April 9, 2014 by Reader's Connection
If you read novels, but avoid short story collections, you might want to break your rule for Joan Wickersham’s The News from Spain : Seven Variations on a Love Story. These stories work together in unusual ways.
I don’t think there are interrelated characters (I’m checking that out as I reread the book) but there are echoes among the stories, involving dancing and tunnels and males from Kentucky and biographers–with their fantasy that any person can really tell another person’s story–and homes by the sea.
Much of the first story takes place at a party, with a big illuminated tent and a hole in the hedge and rooms in the house where characters sneak off to smoke cigarettes or gossip; and the book is like that, many-chambered, many-pathed. Marriage and its depth and its dangers are given plenty of room, but the love-complications also involve mothers and daughters, sons and parents, teachers and students, doctors and patients, the disabled and their caretakers. It’s quite an offering, and I was disarmed by the the way even a single story could move around in time, and move from one love to another.
Wickersham’s writing is so intelligent that I’m feeling a compensatory urge to write about something stupid.
Did you ever see the Monty Python skit about the University of Wallamaloo? Probably a terrible insult to Australians. All the guys on the “faculty” of the “philosophy department” are named Bruce, and when a fellow with a different name joins the department, one of the Bruces says, “That’s going to cause a little confusion.”
I thought of that because each of the seven stories in Wickersham’s book has the same title: “The News from Spain.” The title always makes sense, but always in a different way.
When I saw that stories from the collection had been included in The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2011 and The Best American Short Stories 2013, I wondered how this all-the-same-title predicament would be handled. Each story in our book has a different number of dots at the top of the page, but that wouldn’t mean much in an anthology.
For this emergency situation, alternative titles have been created. When I saw “The Boys’ School, or the News from Spain” and “The Tunnel, or the News from Spain,” I knew right away which story was which, and thought, Lucky readers.
Yes, tunnels are mentioned in more than one story–the whole book, in fact, is tunneled–but I still knew which story that was.
April 7, 2014 by Reader's Connection
This in from Central Library’s Betty Tomeo:
Thanks to the American Society for Quality, Indianapolis Section 903, the following quality book titles are now available at the Indianapolis Public Library. This is the Section’s 23rd year of annual donations to the Library.
You can search for these books in our catalog, or click now on any of the titles or on the cover art. Except in the case of the first title on our list, you can request that a book be sent to your nearest branch by clicking on the Make a Request button. To request the 2013-2014 edition of Mark L. Blazey’s Insights to Performance Excellence, you’ll need to speak to a librarian. If you click on Make a Request for that one, you may get an earlier edition.
Insights to Performance Excellence 2013-2014: Understanding the Integrated Management System and the Baldrige Criteria
Mark L. Blazey
The criteria is simplified into understandable and actionable items through the use of simple explanations, flowcharts, and relationship matrices. Examples of effective practices used by recent Baldrige Award-winning organizations are also included. (Again, if you wish to request the 2013-2014 edition, speak to one of our librarians.)
The ASQ Auditing Handbook: Principles, Implementation and Use, 4th ed
J.P. Russell, editor
657.45 ASQ 2013
Corresponding exactly with the ASQ Certified Quality Auditor (CQA) Book of Knowledge, this best-selling handbook is meant for studying for the CQA exam. It also serves as a single source for quality, environmental, safety and health auditors, audit manager, and audit teams.
The Certified Reliability Engineer Handbook, 2nd ed.
Donald W. Benbow & Hugh W. Broome
620.00452 BEN 2013
The structure of this book is based on the ASQ Certified Reliability Engineer (CRE) Body of Knowledge. Prediction, estimation, and appropriation methodology; failure mode analysis and planning; and understanding human factors in reliability are just a few of the topics discussed.
Change or Die: The Business Process Improvement Manual
Change or Die: The Business Process Improvement Manual
Maxine Attong & Terrence Metz
658.4063 ATT 2013
Presented here is a business process improvement (BPI) method that promotes the use of facilitator-led workshops to help you and your team make better decisions.
The Essential Deming: Leadership Principles from the Father of Quality
W. Edwards Deming ; edited by Joyce Nilsson Orsini, Ph.D.
658.562 DEM 2013
Referred to as the “high prophet of quality” by the New York Times, Deming was instrumental in the rise of Japanese industry after World War II. Using previously unavailable material, Deming expert Joyce Orsini presents the legendary thinker’s most important management principles.
Health Care Criteria for Performance Excellence 2013-2014
Baldrige Performance Excellence Program at National Institute of Standards and Technology
The 2013-2014 Baldrige criteria build on a 25 year tradition. A renewed focus is being placed on innovation management, intelligent risk, and strategic priorities; social media; operational effectiveness; and work systems and core competencies.
Implementing ISO/IEC 17025: 2005: A Practical Guide
001.40218 MEH 2013
Laboratory accreditation is the unique purpose of ISO/IEC 17025-2005. It is not unusual for laboratories to retain dual certification to ISO 9001 and to ISO/IEC 17025-2005. This book highlights the differences between the two accreditations.
ISO 9001: 2008 Explained, 3rd ed.
Charles A. Cianfrani , John E “Jack” West, & Joseph J. Tsiakals
658.562 CIA 2009
Learn how making ISO 9001 QMS the principle management system of your company will drive sustainable growth and achieve innovation in your products and services.
Lean Acres: A Tale of Strategic Innovation and Improvement in Farm-liar Setting
658.4012 BOW 2011
This book uses as its basis a story. You are asked to consider a complex environment where numerous functional units perceive their requirements to be exclusive and unique. Follow these individuals as they work together using the four basic quality methodologies (lean, Six Sigma, theory of constraints, and business process re-engineering).
Lean Hospitals: Improving Quality, Patient Safety, & Employee Engagement, 2nd ed
658.562 GRA 2012
Hospitals can use the lean management system to improve safety, quality, access, and morale while reducing costs.
The Lean Turnaround: How Business Lenders Use Lean Principles to Create Value and Transform Their Company
658.4013 BYR 2013
Art Byrne is famous for turning around Wireworld, the wire management company. He rethought every aspect of the company from the customer’s perspective. Learn how he used lean strategy to turn around 30 companies worldwide.
The Metrology Handbook, 2nd ed.
Jay L. Bucher, ed.
620.0044 MET 2012
Basic metrology and calibration principles are set forth in this practical reference guide.
The Outstanding Organization: Generate Business Results by Eliminating Chaos and Building the Foundation for Everyday Excellence
658 MAR 2012
Martin’s system uses four key behaviors to promote effectiveness – clarity, focus, discipline and engagement.
Performance Metrics: The Levers for Process Management
658.4013 OKE 2013
Guidance is given on how to select appropriate metrics that will successfully guide people and processes in the direction the organization wants to go.
A Practical Field Guide for AS9100C, 2nd ed.
Erik Valdemar Myhrberg, Dawn Holly Crabree, & Rudy “RE” Hacker
658.562 MYH 2010
Step by step assistance is given to implementing a quality management system (QMS) in conformance with AS9100C. Also included are flowcharts showing the steps to be taken in implementing a QMS to meet a sub-clause’s requirements.
Principles of Quality Costs: Financial Measures for Strategic Implementation of Quality Management, 4th ed
Douglas C. Wood, ed.
658.4013 PRI 2013
This updated popular title covers everything you need to know about quality costs.
New material on ISO 9000, costs systems in small businesses, and activity-based costing is also included.
Quality Improvement Through Planned Experimentation, 3rd ed.
Ronald Moen, Thomas Nolan, & Lloyd Provost
658.562 MOE 2012
This authoritative guide encourages the sequential building of knowledge essential to implementing effective improvements. Use the end-of-chapter exercises and forms to help you integrate the methods into your daily work.
Statistics for Six Sigma Made Easy! revised & updated, 2nd ed.
658.562 BRU 2012
This book promises to help you conquer your fear of six sigma statistics.
Statistical Process Control for the FDA-Regulated Industry
Manuel E. Pena-Rodriguez
658.562 PEN 2012
This book is a how-to guide about the application of the various statistical tools used to analyze and improve process in organizations that are regulated by the Food and Drug Administration. It is not intended to be an intensive course in statistics.
Supply Chain Transformation: Building and Executing an Integrated Supply Chain Strategy
Paul J. Dittmann
658.7 DIT 2013
Thousands of U.S. companies never consider the supply chain in their business plan. Sixty percent of a firm’s total costs are attributed to the supply chain. Learn how to create a supply chain that drives revenue and maximizes profitability.
April 3, 2014 by Reader's Connection
Here’s your chance to read a great book before it becomes your new favorite TV show in 2014.
–Selector Robin Bradford
April 1, 2014 by Reader's Connection
April is National Poetry Month, and we begin with three poems from a new poet.
“‘Blessed Are the Wingless . . . ‘” and ”Six Owls” and “Five Horses (A Gratitude)” all appear in Cecilia Llompart’s first collection The Wingless, (from Carnegie Mellon University Press, ©2014) and are reprinted by permission.
The latter two poems here are from a section called “Wherever We Roam” which begins with “Eight Buffalo” and works its way down to “One Jackrabbit.”
“Blessed Are the Wingless . . . “
Blessed are the wingless, for their bones
are not hollow but heavy with want.
Blessed is whatever flocks homeward,
as well as whatever remains–as I do–
for the winter. Blessed are those who
shoulder up. Blessed are those who suffer
no fools. Blessed what is in me to tip
the intimate scale of guilt, and blessed
that guilt for it knows no immediate
bounds. For it made me better than I am.
Blessed is the solemn animal that weighs
every question asked, finally, by the river.
Blessed all the debris that waits inside
of monuments. Blessed is your body,
big enough for the both of us. Blessed
are my hands for falling upon all which
they do not understand. Blessed is the moon,
bled white, bandaged in silk. Blessed too,
the stars. For it is with the mercy of carrion
birds that they dip their fingers in silver
and pick her carcass clean. Blessed is the sea,
graveyard of time. Blessed are the black waves
that congregate like mourners. Blessed are those
who have done their weeping, and are quieter now.
In the days when owls moved
among us, like Gods, and held
their graces cloaked from us.
When they knew the infinite
gestures of an evening, and they
droned out their incantations.
In the days of bringing them gifts,
of placing the meats of our gratitude
at their feet, of adorning their necks
with lace, of spicing their feathers
with cardamom, of burning incense.
In the days when owls governed
the high court of night, kept tidy
the attics of our understanding,
kept a kind of dusty relevance open
to the subterranean world upon which
we broke our toil and took our rest.
These were the days of darkness, yes,
but they were also days of plenty.
Then there was the afterripening,
when we made for ourselves a golden owl.
We polished the owl eyes until they
shone like signals and we carved
the owl talons impossibly sharp
and we painted ourselves golden
and the other owls began to move
back into the shadows, one by one,
back further than shadows, muscled
back into stone, tucked into a fold of
wind, became the soft depressions on
our bones, became all marble backdrop
and song, until all wisdom was myth,
until we lost our animal teeth, until
even the moonlight pawed around
mouse-like and all the trees a trap,
until none but the gold remained.
That no horse panicked. That even the oldest mare
indexed his unit of pain and kept pace–making of
the dark fields a kind of secret not to be repeated.
That there was no need for the whip. That the evacuation
route had been practiced, had been committed to that
which is like the memory of a horse, but further down
in the holding of the bones. That fear is a kind of harness.
That only once did the little one protest, benched awhile
her soft nose in white clover and whinnied. That
they sleep with blankets over them now when so little
is certain: Forgiveness of branches. A startle of birds.
March 31, 2014 by Reader's Connection
I signed on to #Read26Indy back in January, pledging to read 26 books this year. Here’s a report of my progress during this 1st quarter.
This Is the Story of a Happy Marriage by Ann Patchett
Also in this collection of essays: the story of Patchett’s first marriage and divorce, the story about her bookstore in Nashville, the story about her dog, the story about the nuns who helped her grow up . . .
Vienna, by Eva Menasse. If you click and read the blog post, one of three that I devoted to our One Book, Two Cities selection, I need to apologize for the fact that Studiocanal has shut down the YouTube excerpt from The Third Man.
I’m currently listening to my beloved recording of Bach’s Matthew Passion, with Nikolaus Harnoncourt conducting the Concentus Musicus Wien. So there’s another link to that city.
Horse Heaven, by Jane Smiley. This blog post was a Chinese New Year greeting, wishing everyone an auspicious Year of the Horse.
For better or worse, it was the launch of a series of posts that are in some way horse-related.
The Internal Enemy: Slavery and War in Virginia, 1772-1832, by Alan Taylor.
I left fifty pages of this wonderful book unread. Had to hurry on to the next blog post. Occupational hazard. BUT I have read at least that many pages of John Barth’s novel The Tidewater Tales, a novel set in the Chesapeake Bay area where much of Taylor’s history takes place. Taylor had me so fascinated with the Chesapeake that I had to read more about it.
Elegy Owed, by Bob Hicok
2 poems still available on this blog post. “Love” might make your day. “The days are getting longer” will seem like a strange title for an October poem, but that won’t be the only strange thing you encounter.
I’m hoping that this will be the darkest horse-related post I do this year.
The Empty Chair by Bruce Wagner
Did anyone read this book and feel that I had betrayed you?
If so, I’m sorry. Tried to warn you.
Pop quiz: How many species have gone extinct since I did this post last week?
It’s a trick question. Nobody knows.
So that’s 8 books during the 1st quarter of 2014. Makes me feel good, but some woman over on #Read26Indy has already read 36 books this year.