I don't keep very good track of all the book and literary-related articles I read through the year, nor the videos I watch, either. Maybe that would be a good 2012 resolution, since by the end of the year I've ingested so much great stuff I wish I could share the best of the best of it with you all. It's a busy, hectic, over-informed world out there; we're all bound to have missed some outrageously good stuff when we're off doing other things.
What I've collected here is no reflection on my 2011 book-related reading. I'm at a loss as to how to go about finding it all again. I suppose I can't, though, without trolling through my "history" on all the computers I've used.
Quick answer: That isn't going to happen.
So, alas and alack, a mere shadow of highlights from the literary world in 2011 is the best I can do. Hope you enjoy these bits.
One of my fave YouTube videos of 2011, from World Book Day:
Edinburgh International Book Festival, "The Book I Bought Today:"
Favorite laugh-out-loud book trailers of 2011:
Sebastian Barry, on On Canaan's Side and his nomination for the Booker:
Julian Barnes on winning the Man Booker Prize for The Sense of An Ending:
Téa Obreht on winning the Orange Prize for The Tiger's Wife:
Edna O'Brien, "I'm sorry books don't have the same cachet as a pair of jeans:"
Disclaimer: I am not responsible for any ruptures of muscular or organ(ic?) body parts as a result of laughing at this video. Nor any acts of spitting out beverages of any sort due to uncontrollable mirth. If you ruin your keyboard it's your fault, dude.
School District 300 Students, Parents and Teachers chanting "Save Our Teachers"
Welcome to Illinois, the single most corrupt state in the union! Thanks to Governors Quinn and Blagojevich, our school district is owed $ 4.5 million, the money earmarked for education having been squandered on what must be considered more important than the education of our children.
Due to this shortfall, 230+ teachers are being fired, elective courses eliminated, school days shortened, class sizes enlarging and the number of credits needed to graduate dropped below the state requirement. If nothing is done students graduating from our school district will have a difficult, if not impossible, time getting into college.
The school board voted last evening to balance the budget, at least temporarily, by enacting all these cuts. However, if the teacher's union will agree to cut 5 % of all teacher's salaries the district will remain solvent enough to get through at least another year.
Meanwhile, the State of Illinois debt will continue to grow, forcing us to face this all over again the school year after next, mounting our deficit while we wait for the State to grow a pair and pay what it owes.
The State is planning to build a very limited high-speed rail service, which is an utter joke, instead of funding schools. Because it will create 6,000 jobs? Corruption in this state is sickening. Job stimulus at the expense of our children. What a brilliant idea.
Here is contact information for Governor Pat Quinn:
Office of the Governor 207 State House Springfield, IL 62706 Phone: 217-782-0244 TTY: 888-261-3336
Office of the Governor James R. Thompson Center 100 W. Randolph, 16-100 Chicago, IL 60601 Phone: 312-814-2121
If this affects you, if your student is either in District 300 or similarly screwed by the state, please consider barraging his phone and email, letting him know how you feel.
We cannot sacrifice the future of our children. The cushy life of government corruption needs to stop now. Let your voice be heard.