Introducing Nonfictionado

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I’m back, sort of. During my hiatus I realized that my passion in reading comes mostly from non-fiction. And so I’m changing my book review blog to one devoted entirely to non-fiction, and I got a fancy URL and everything.

If non-fiction is your thing, join me at Nonfictionado.

A Victory Garden Grows in Brooklyn.

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A Victory Garden Grows in Brooklyn.

I’m currently reading Eat the City, a book about the New Yorkers past and present who fish, forage, plant and brew. I love New York City history, and wanted to share a photo I found. This is Elka Israel, chairman of the West Flatbush C. V. O. Victory Garden Committee, and her husband, Abraham, working in a community vegetable garden in 1945. Part of me wishes that agriculture was still a large part of our urban metropolis, but another part of me is thankful we have things like air conditioning on underground subways (especially on a day like today, where the heat index is 105!).

Photo courtesy of Brooklyn Visual Heritage.

Goodbye, Google Reader!

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If you’re a Google Reader user, you’ve probably gone through the five steps of grief like I have…or you’re stuck in one of them.

I was in denial for awhile (“No, they wouldn’t do that, would they? Would they?!?). Then I got angry; I knew there was no point in trying to bargain (what would I say? “Google, please, I’ll give you back 3G of space in my Gmail for just a few extra years with Reader?”). Depression set in, but then I found out about feedly and barreled right on through to acceptance.

Whether you’re ready or not, Google Reader is going away as of July 1st. Below are some alternative ways to follow Mark It Read:

  • Subscribe by email. This isn’t my personal cup of tea (I really, really love RSS readers), but some people enjoy getting updates about new posts by email. If that’s you, well, that’s cool. Just go to any page on my blog, and you’ll find a “Follow by Email” button in the left-hand sidebar.
  • Bloglovin. Bloglovin seems to be the successor-of-choice for fashion and lifestyle blogs. I don’t know what genre my blog is, per se, but I know that it’s a pretty universal platform. You can view a blog with its design and layout right in Bloglovin, as well as leave comments. To follow me via Bloglovin, just go here.
  • Feedly. I ended up choose feedly as my replacement-Reader because it’s no-frills. It’s easy to read and uses a lot of Reader’s options (titles only, scroll through mark-as-read, etc). You can customize color schemes if that’s your thing. You do have to click out of feedly to leave comments, but I enjoy giving pageviews to blogs I like enough to comment on anyway. I use it as an extension/app in Chrome, I’m not sure how well it gets along with other browsers. To follow on feedly, just go here.
  • Twitter. I push all of my posts to my twitter account of the same name, as well as other book-related updates and RTs.
  • Tumblr. Easy peasy, all of my posts get pushed to tumblr. Unlike twitter, my tumblr is just links to my posts, no off-topic ramblings or pretty pictures. Therefore, if you’re following me somewhere else, you probably don’t need to be following me there…unless you want to.

With the absence of Google Reader, I have a feeling there will be several other viable options very soon. It sounds like Digg has a work-in-progress RSS app, and only time will tell if there will be more. I hope you’ll continue reading after July 1st!

The Great Presidential Puzzle

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The Great Presidential Puzzle

I’m currently reading a book about the election of James Garfield, and one of the most intense Republican National Conventions in history. Naturally I had to find a political cartoon to go with it. The distressed man is Roscoe Conkling, and Garfield isn’t even in the picture (which makes sense, with the whole “Dark Horse” thing).

Image courtesy of the Library of Congress.