Year: 2012

Does environmentalism sound fishy to you?

Name the trend — Hunger Games, Downton Abbey, cupcakes, social networking, recycling and eco-friendly lifestyle, financial education for kids, apps, eBooks — and you can count on us to offer enlightening resources.  We know that our customers will be hungering for a full accounting.

But not for lionfish.

The ad for The Lionfish Cookbook in my husband’s scuba magazine describes this entree’s role in the invasivore movement. “Eat ‘em to beat ‘em”: that’s the slogan of those seeking to manage invasive species by consuming them, as this New York Times article explains.

Conservation magazine explores implications of this approach, and others warn that extreme caution must be exercised during the sea-to-sushi process.  Still, diners with open minds are in for a pleasant surprise: lionfish are allegedly delicious. Freed from the guilt associated with fattening and non-nutritious foods, lionfish consumers may derive satisfaction from having joined NOAA, The Nature Conservancy, REEF, and other concerned groups in eradicating an aquatic predator currently threatening reef fish populations.

And just imagine the product possibilities as this delicacy is embraced by the masses:  Shake ‘n Bake for Lionfish, lionfish noodle casserole, the inevitable new artery-clogging taste sensation at the State Fair of Texas, perhaps a takeout run for some KFL.

Added to the obvious appeal of fork-as-weapon, the lionfish trend affords this attraction that we Americans seem to crave:  focus.   Blessed with hundreds of opportunities to use our powers for good, along with thousands of products up for purchase, we are inundated with choices. When a new option incorporates meal selection and world-bettering action, who wouldn’t consider it?

Based on checkout figures for home improvement and DIY resources, I suspect that most library patrons (like me) operate more comfortably with challenges involving limits — e.g., budget — anyway. We embrace makeover projects on battered cabinetry or furnishings armed with only hand tools and paint. How empowering it feels to achieve multiple goals: re-purposing, cost-saving, aesthetic enhancement.

Books like Upcycling: Create Beautiful Things with the Stuff You Already Have, along with HGTV (whose slogan should probably be “Spray Paint is Your Friend”), and the online resource Hobbies and Crafts Reference Center are proven successes here in Round Rock.  Perhaps lionfish will catch on, too.

To make your world (and city) a better place, cardholders can request purchase of The Lionfish Cookbook, recipe guides centered on non-venomous edibles, or many other resources to guide your current path of exploration.

A giant possum, hugelkulture, and the Ghost of Babe

The Spirit of Babe has haunted my house since last weekend, and I’m fine with that.  Given her valuable assistance in my latest DIY effort, the least we can do is play host for a while.

Babe Didrikson Zaharias entered the picture when I resolved to remedy the last traces of the Possum Who Ate Through Our Roof.  Structural repair issues were long since completed, but water stains blighted the ceiling of the smallest bedroom, which currently houses my elliptical machine.  Every time I exercised, the off-putting yellowy clouds presented themselves for contemplation. Someone needed to make them disappear.

Don Van Natta’s Wonder Girl: The Magnificent Sporting Life of Babe Didrikson Zaharias is assigned for an upcoming discussion, and, having acquired supplies for a ceiling re-paint, I’d run out of excuses for not executing that task, too.  The Playaway version came to the rescue:  once I’d stashed the little audio of Wonder Girl in my pocket and installed the earbuds, Babe and I were set to multitask.

I, however, am not a Wonder Girl, and thanks to artsy architectural features which add extra height, the endeavor proved to be a little scary.  Balancing on an upper rung of the ladder with the roll of painter’s tape clamped in my teeth and wielding an upraised extended-handle paint roller, I was tempted more than once to climb down and just never look up again.  But by then, I’d already gleaned enough details about Babe’s determination, grit, and dogged pursuit of her goals to be shamed into finishing the job.  Who would want to rank with the class of female she’d have pegged “sissies”?  

So now thoughts of Babe greet me on every approach to that room (you know, the one with the pristine ceiling)–and not just because of her Olympic medals, controversial approach to image-making, and astounding athletic versatility.

You might have encountered another  (less paranormal) example of just-in-time information delivery this week:   the library’s Keyhole Gardens, Wicking Beds, Hugelkultur, and Beyond! program on Tuesday.  On that very evening, City of Round Rock Communications Director Will Hampton called to remind us of the new water rates, designed to encourage conservation.

Co-worker Eric, one of the program’s presenters, reported that nearly fifty attendees engaged in a lively exploration of gardening practices and technologies for conserving water.   That represents a remarkable attendance figure for a weeknight event, but then water issues loom larger with each passing month.

Finally, my reference colleague Chris reminded me of an instance proving that the library can equip you for nearly any eventuality, including frivolous ones.  You should know that September 19 will be here before you know it–and that our Mango Languages online learning resource offers a course in Pirate! 

What can you say about a 70s hit?

It’s like a dare in reverse.

Assure me that “you have to read this book”, and a little neuron deep within my gray matter commences to flash in a no-I-don’t- you-can’t- make-me sequence.   Not coincidentally, I’m often the last in my crowd to pick up trendy titles–The Hunger Games, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, The Help, etc. 

On the other hand, should the recommendation be couched in terms of “it reminds me of that other book you told me about and I loved” or “too slow-moving for me but you’d go for it”, I’ll chart a beeline for the bookshelf.

I did just finish the recent and gushed-over Defending Jacob yesterday and judge the mass approval to be entirely justified.  Seriously, you have to read it.

But the soon-to-be-available (June) The Innocents by Francesca Segal sounds exactly my cup of tea.   Reviewers note its thematic similarity to Edith Wharton’s Age of Innocence, so it gets English major points (even more so because it also calls Zadie Smith to mind).  Morever, I adore first novels, and not only is Segal a debut novelist, she’s been–according to her homepage— authoring the “Debut Fiction” column in The Observer for three years.   And, while the premise should be engrossing, it doesn’t promise to achieve blockbuster status–extra credit for potential mild obscurity. (I’ll be thrilled should sales prove me wrong on this point.)

Speaking of popular hits, though, you should know that Francesca is the daughter of Erich Segal, well regarded as a Yale classics professor but unfortunately more celebrated for his 1970 bestseller, Love Story.  Segal’s 2010 obituary in The New York Times quoted a Variety article naming  Love Story “the first of the modern-day blockbusters.”

The writeup further asserts that the film version of Segal’s book salvaged the finances of Paramount Pictures, “which was facing imminent destruction”.  At this point in my background-checking of the Segals and Love Story, numerous Fun Facts began to surface.  I was reminded, for example, that Harvard classmates Al Gore and Tommy Lee Jones were said (by Segal) to have inspired aspects of the Oliver character and Oliver’s troubled relationship with his father.

According to Mr. Segal’s Washington Post obituary, Love Story was nominated for the National Book Award, but judges threatened to resign unless it was withdrawn.

Did you know that Erich Segal received writing credit for (among other movie projects, including the screenplay for Love Story) the Beatles’ Yellow Submarine?

And now I can wield a comeback the next time someone rolls his/her eyes dismissively at English-major books:  Tommy Lee Jones majored in English. 

Birdbrains, unite!

It’s true what they say–tweeting on the job is sooo distracting.  But the dove, sparrow, and grackle families outside the library windows intent on nest arranging and procreation are definitely in twitter mode.

One of the two dove nests currently defies several laws of physics by somehow accommodating a mother and two fluffy youngsters who seem to enlarge right in front of our eyes.  Doves are second-rate nest builders at best, so we were agog at Mom’s success at balance and containment even before the kids came along.  How soon will those adolescents fledge and leave the nest?  Will they volunteer, or will parental pressure be brought to bear?  

We can’t see the sparrow nest.  That tiny domicile is situated just outside on the window ledge and its view blocked by the frame. But anyone could relate to sounds of a busy household.

The grackles are another story entirely.  Their nest looks roomy and sturdy and even exhibits symmetry (so we knew it didn’t belong to doves), but the mother bird was difficult to spot and identify.  With the help of and several identification guides from the library’s collection, I arrived at the unsurprising conclusion that the brown female is one of those stately yet raucous types who frequent our bit of urban forest. And then Papa Bird finally showed up, confirming the guess; he’s much more distinctive.   This is why I love Roger Tory Peterson‘s bird guides; he generally illustrates females and juvenile birds along with the males and even positions “confusing” species side by side so you can compare markings, etc.

But I’ve had suspicions about Mr. Grackle ever since I (a) spotted two females hanging around, only one of whom brings food to the nest and (b) read that some grackles will mate with one female and then abandon her for a second one during the nesting period. Do we have a feathered temptress trying to lead Papa astray?  Or have I just read one fiction review too many?  Time will tell.

And–this is the wonder of bird watching–time always tells quickly.  Young birds emerge, develop, and leave the nest in two or three weeks.  The avian youngsters could be viewed as micro-grandchildren (revel in their cuteness and above average development) or perhaps characters in a living mini-series in which intergenerational issues resolve themselves within days, not decades.  When the baby doves take flight, I’ll relish a “my work here is done” aura of self-congratulation.

If you haven’t already pegged your favorite bird sites, take a look at, US Geological Survey’s Bird Checklists, and Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s All About Birds.  You can ask bird-related questions (identifying, dealing with noise, etc.) Two live bird cams–great blue herons and red-tailed hawks–chronicle the Circle of Life, good and bad.  Will the great horned owl attack again? When will the eggs hatch? 

Having fully activated your bird radar, you may begin to appreciate the exotic species all around you.  Only this week, right here in the library, I’ve observed a Cardigan-Clad Empty Nester, a Ponytailed Seersucker Wearer, a Red-braided Songbird, a Bleary-Eyed Testprepper, and a whole flock of Texas Websurfers.   

All creatures of habit great and small

Scene witnessed while I waited in a customer service queue; the venue shall remain nameless: just ahead stood a young woman juggling several items requiring the attention of the person behind the counter–and a cell phone parked between shoulder and ear. 

Deep in her narration of personal issues (about which the rest of us would have preferred to remain ignorant), the chatterer glanced up periodically to see when she might expect her turn.  Not frequently enough, though; absorbed in conversation, she failed to notice that a clerk had looked meaningfully at her a couple of times–the clerk who currently had no one in front of her and had occupied herself with paperwork, awaiting an opening to invite the customer forward.

In the fleeting moment between ending one conversation and speed-dialing the next one, the customer did achieve eye contact with the staffer.  And that was sufficient.  “Ah,”  the employee observed, “If you’ve finished talking, I can assist you now.” 

That phone disappeared like magic.  Judging from the covert smiles registered on other faces in line, I wasn’t the only one who approved.

Resorting to phone chat to fill every spare moment is a habit–an annoying one, in this case–but who doesn’t have one or two of those?  Coincidentally, I just got my hands on Round Rock Public Library’s copy of Charles Duhigg’s The Power of Habit:  Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business

I love a good makeover as much as the next reader, and this book stands out amid transformational titles.  It doesn’t exhort you to become a different person so much as it promotes awareness of why you’ve allowed cravings to drive you while underscoring how much change potential you already possess.

Though not far into the book,  I’ve spotted some easily relatable examples that could equip even non-science major types to grasp the mental processes in question.  I comprehended the fundamentals of string theory for about five minutes after reading Brian Greene, so clearly anything is possible.

Referencing unique case studies, historical events (Montgomery bus boycott), and popular culture (Febreze marketing, Cinnabons franchise locations, Tony Dungy’s coaching), Duhigg’s message is loaded with empowerment.

This is a busy week, so I’m relieved  to note that the text portion of The Power of Habit is under 300 pages.  I can finish it and still avoid the habit of overdue book returns.  And besides, small items can still exert tremendous influence for good or ill.  Just consider the power of cookies, lottery tickets, and smartphones.

Celebrating the Poe in poetry

It’s April, National Poetry Month, and the sad but timely news is that poetry and e-readers don’t play well together.  Craig Morgan Teicher observes in the 3/26 Publishers Weekly that it’s “surprisingly hard” to recreate as digital display the irregular line lengths and distinctive indentations with which poets craft their work. 

Another threat to poets’ peace of mind has been with us for centuries: those irreverent types who can’t resist the temptation to parody or pay homage to their favorite verses.  I have it on good authority that some of these people even blog.

Cultivating my own bit of Round Rock lately, I’ve encountered (as you have) a vibrantly stubborn landscape challenge that thrives on adversity.  The spiraling despair of Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Bells” seemed the ideal point of departure for my tribute to this worthy opponent: 


Note the plethora of weeds – 
Tall weeds!
What a dismal chore their lushness guaranteed!
In the pleasant afternoon,
At their quantity we swoon
And we forecast hours rendering them less.
For each unwanted sprout
Means everyone will doubt
Our success.

And the neighbors -ah, the neighbors- 
Those expending all their labors,
Who can guess
At the hours, hours, hours
Mitigating some distress
‘Mid the shrubberies and flowers
Lest their yards appear a mess?
They fight vegetations evil 
In this campaign quite primeval 
Soldiering on.  
Though the dandelions should cower
Still they tower, tower, tower,
Those paragons of weeds!
Uninvited plants exceed
Those we’ve coaxed to grow from seed!
Toward their absence we proceed.
Spending time, time, time,
Fighting these botanic crimes,
For the overthrow of weeds,
Of the weeds  – 
Spending time, time, time,
Fighting these botanic crimes, 
We’re swiftly chopping weeds,
Oh, the weeds, weeds, weeds- 
We’re expertly lopping weeds;
Spending time, time, time,
Turf is freed, freed, freed, 
Righting these botanic crimes,
Cheer abating of the weeds, 
Of the weeds, weeds, weeds –  
And negating of the weeds, 
Of the weeds, weeds, weeds, weeds,
Weeds, weeds, weeds – 
End the greening and the preening of the weeds.

The good, the bad, and the literate

While brooding about our Western Problem this week, it’s been easy for me to imagine Sam Bass and A.W. Grimes finding some aspects of downtown Round Rock–just a few blocks from the Chisholm Trail–pretty familiar. 

You can still mosey in off the street through a set of double doors for music, relaxation, and a chance to re-connect with civilization.  The library is one such place, though we don’t currently feature liquor or anyone who could properly be addressed as “barkeep”.  We’re at least as effective as a saloon in terms of an inside track to local goings-on, which, thanks to our police department, are less volatile than in the old days.

And that’s our current worry:  too few desperadoes.  We recognize that some folks here in Round Rock are devoted readers of Western novels.  Authors aren’t producing as many of the traditional stories–with iconic outlaws and morally upright loner heroes–as they used to.  The Western genre is evolving in much the same way that Romance has, which means that some readers will be gratified or even recruited and others, sadly, not so much.

Our challenge will be to replace volumes that appear to have traveled on one trail ride too many, and we’ll seek out new publications for all our Western fans.

Outside of Westerns, hero-villain distinctions are even more diverse and blurry.  Even if the good guy can be readily identified, the bad guy might not be a guy.  In Rebecca Dean’s forthcoming The Shadow Queen (fiction) and Juliet Nicholson’s Abdication (nonfiction, due out in May), divorcee and eventual Duchess of Windsor Wallis Simpson stars as the troublemaker. 

In this election year, political figures inspire scathing criticisms and glowing endorsements that end up side by side on the bookshelf.  For further evidence that the powerful and high-placed enjoy no immunity from judgment, consider What in God’s Name? by Rich Simon.  Due out in August, Simon’s tale imagines that the CEO of Heaven, Inc. has lost interest in Earth; two minor angels have extracted God’s promise to prevent the planet’s destruction–that is, if they accomplish their near-impossible mission. 

William Kent Kreuger’s fictional Trickster’s Point (August) features a protagonist convincingly framed for murder.  Identifying the real perpetrator (who’s killed the governor-elect with an arrow to the heart) is only one issue; he’ll begin doubting the goodness of the deceased every bit as much as the public suspects him

And what if it turns out that we’re the miscreants?  Some recent books make a convincing case.  Wasted World: How Our Consumption Challenges the Planet speaks for itself.  Others, such as The Startup of You: Adapt to the Future, Invest in Yourself…, Control Your Destiny or Someone Else Will, Change Your Mind, Change Your Life, and any number of diet and fitness titles highlight our failure to achieve full potential or at least optimum BMI. 

We (unlike Sam Bass) can yet be reformed.  But achieving a lifestyle turnaround or career re-start could demand more spark than we’re experiencing that day.  Should we decide to delay our transformation a bit longer and come and hang out downtown–well, worse decisions have been made (e.g., by Sam). Perhaps if the library, Friar Tuck’s, Star Co., Junior’s, Krave, Louisiana Longhorn, Quinn’s, or Main Street Plaza had been options in Sam’s day, he’d have achieved a more favorable–not to mention lengthier–outcome. 

Still, I doubt that he was ever destined to be a latte drinker.   

This old thing? I only wear it when I want to feel uninformed.

“So, you guys are still in it, then?  Way to go!”

The kind gentleman in the queue at Walgreens was addressing me — why?  A quick self-survey revealed that I was sporting a favorite T-shirt, emblazoned with the image of a smiling mythical bird wearing buckled shoes. The giant letters proclaiming “KANSAS” were another clue.

Awkward.  I’d chosen the shirt for Saturday because of its nice un-rectangular fit.  Also, it’s appropriate for errand running and lawn mowing, two items on the day’s checklist.  And Jay the Jayhawk is cute.

Embarrassed though I am to admit it, NCAA wasn’t on my radar screen.

Displayed on my desk is a photo of my daughter at her KU graduation. I love Lawrence, Kansas; it’s a small Austin, minus the capital component.  So, naturally we wish KU well. And I usually track the NCAA tournament because friends and co-workers are interested, and it’s fun.  But I’m not an avid basketball fan; at that moment I couldn’t have sworn (though it’s a safe guess) that KU was still in the hunt.  Wearing that jersey definitely bought me unearned sports fan cred.

Should I assuage my guilt by reciting the Rock Chalk, Jayhawk chant a few dozen times? Or maybe I could come clean about some librarian assumptions that don’t hold up, either:

    • You librarians must be completely unbiased about genres and authors.  Well, we try.  We tend to seek out books beyond our comfort zones.  For me, joining three book clubs helps me achieve wider experience so that I can recommend reads in less favored areas. To balance my love for English-major standards, I’ll try edgier takes on classics: Victoria Patterson’s This Vacant Paradise (Wharton’s The House of Mirth); Francesca Segal’s The Innocents (Wharton’s The Age of Innocence); Eleanor Brown’s The Weird Sisters (Shakespeare); Peter Cameron’s Coral Glynn (du Maurier’s Rebecca); Hilary Jordan’s When She Woke (The Scarlet Letter meets The Handmaid’s Tale).
    • And surely you’re not swayed by pretty book covers or clever titles?  I for one am a sucker for a daring or inventive title — which explains how I first came to appreciate Dave Eggers (A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius) and probably accounts for my reading a reasonable amount of nonfiction. As for judging books by their covers — you bet.  That’s a good thing.  Particularly with lesser-known authors or publishers, if we select items in the interest of scope and variety, lame book covers still deter potential readers from even trying them.
    • Even though librarians aren’t attorneys or tax preparers, you can tell me which forms I need, right?  No, we really can’t — and shouldn’tWe’ll gladly help you locate forms when you specify names or numbers, but if we guess which paperwork you need, we could send you down the wrong path entirely. Out of concern for your well-being, we will not be speculating about that. You, our valued customer, deserve better — and by that we mean the expertise of qualified tax and legal professionals!

Award-winning silence not reserved for the Oscars

Did you catch the article about Girl Scouts’ 100th anniversary in last weekend’s Parade magazine?  My favorite change-is-good reference was the singularly 21st-century merit badges.  According to the GS website, Scouts can now achieve recognition for geocaching, entertainment technology, digital moviemaking, screenwriting, product design, and many such nontraditional pursuits.  All the more reason for you to justify stocking your freezer next time the cookies come up for sale!

Authors and publishers, too, are realigning classic concepts to current trends.   This recently acquired selection in the library’s New Nonfiction collection is from Dale Carnegie & Associates, Inc.: How to Win Friends and Influence People in the Digital Age.   Astrology and cookbooks are two perennially popular topics here, so this 2012 offering should find an audience:  Lobster for Leos, Cookies for Capricorns: an Astrology Lover’s Cookbook.

With her gutsy new memoir about rearing two autistic sons, independent filmmaker Jeni Decker revisits both a timely concern of recent years and a comic success from David Sedaris.  Titled I Wish I Were Engulfed in Flames:  My Insane Life Raising Two Boys with Autism, Decker’s book offers a candid take on what is generally rendered as a solemn undertaking.

Another theme receiving an overdue re-think involves approximately one third of the population:  introverts.  According to Susan Cain, author of Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, those born with an introverted constitution are generally thought to possess “a second-class personality trait, somewhere between a disappointment and a pathology”. 

Cain observes that Western culture actively rewards extroverts; she seeks to promote the merit of introverted modes.  Psychologists have noted that these behaviors–listening, reflection, analysis, sustained attention–offer great value in the workplace.  Cain notes that introverts manifest high degrees of innovation and creativity.  Forbes’ photo gallery of World’s Most Famous Introverts includes, among others, Warren Buffett, Gandhi, Albert Einstein, Steven Spielberg, J.K. Rowling, Larry Page (co-founder of Google) and Steve Wozniak (co-founder of Apple).

An introvert myself, I was nonetheless surprised (pleasantly) by some assertions in articles I found online via the library’s Academic Search Complete database (including “Just Be Quiet” in the Jan/Feb 2012 Psychology Today,” Introverted Talent in America, Buried by the ‘Influence Score'” in in the 10/7/2011 Christian Science Monitor, and “In Quiet Praise of Introverts” from the 1/24/2012 USA Today). 

Amazing strides forward could be accomplished if extroverts and introverts alike devoted a bit more effort to appreciate and emulate one anothers’ gifts.  Those of you who have maintained successful life partnerships with a member of the opposite persuasion know what I mean.

My husband delights in pointing out how frequently, in the course of reporting some heinous crime, newscasters employ the expression, “Neighbors described him as a quiet man….”

Though not a psychologist, I can personally report a high correlation between introversion and sense of humor.

Beware the sticker shock of March

Never underestimate the power of the shamrock.

Determined to forgo the usual March themes for book displays–Irish-Americans, springtime–I first imagined a celebration of National Caffeine Month (maybe next year) but settled on horror fiction.  Beneath a graphic that co-worker Kate judged “really creepy” lurks an assortment of chillers starring Dracula and his kind, zombies, and other popular but horrifying stuff.  This array is titled Beware the Ides of March AND…

It’s eye-catching, all right, but so far those books don’t seem to be moving as briskly as book tower items generally do.  Is the topic too off-putting?  Or are patrons resisting the shamrock-free selections because they’ve vowed to get their taxes completed this week? 

At least the nod to Julius Caesar works–too well. 

“Beware the Ides…” is an entertaining allusion for those of us who aren’t Caesar.  We relish the novelty of alarm; the Ides is only one day per month, and anyway it doesn’t apply to us.  This week, however, another JC quotation came to mind.  The library community is pondering the latest news from e-book publishers, and that does concern us.

Remember Marc Antony’s inspired appeal to the crowd:  “Lend me your ears”?  It’s deemed a great example of metonymy: substituting a word representative of an attribute for what is actually meant.  What Antony really wants to borrow, of course, is the crowd’s attention.

Famous lenders ourselves, library people who circulate books are honestly more excited about sharing the knowledge in them (and in our e-books, databases, audiovisuals, and events).  Our customers may think we’re about loaning books, but we’re fundamentally about access.

And because we provide (ebooks are leased through Overdrive, the major supplier/lender of ebooks to public libraries, for as long as a contract is active with them) that access with tax dollars, libraries nationwide have been anxiously monitoring moves by major publishers seeking favorable distribution formulas for their ebooks:

Last year, HarperCollins placed a 26-checkout limit on ebooks leased to libraries. Libraries pay HarperCollins’ price for the product but may no longer access it after the 26th use.

Last month, Penguin Group closed its partnership with Overdrive, which is our library’s ebook platform. We were allowed to keep the Penguin titles we’d already leased (Kindle users now need to follow a new workaround procedure for those). We cannot, however, acquire any new Penguin ebooks for our patrons to borrow; those must be purchased individually by private users. Penguin still allows libraries to purchase and share its printed books. Other “Big Six” publishers who do not make new ebook titles available to libraries include Simon & Schuster, Hachette, and Macmillan.

Last week, Random House announced price increases for ebooks leased to libraries. Some charges rose as much as 300%.   A library leasing Eisenhower in War and Peace before the price jump would have paid $40; after the hike, it’s $120. Blessings by Anna Quindlen now costs $45.00, triple the $15 “before” price tag. George R.R. Martin’s A Dance with Dragons now lists at $105.00 in ebook format.

This surely won’t be the first or only time anyone says this, but I can’t resist:  Et tu, Random House?