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Month in review

The ABCs of Fruits and Vegetables and Beyond by Steven Charney and David Goldbeck
At Her Majesty's Request by Walter Dean Myers
Bleach Volume 14 by Tite Kubo
Blind Side by Penny Warner
Cannery Row by John Steinbeck
Castrato by Michael Collins
Character Flu by Robert Reed
Chronicle of the City of Havana by Eduardo Galeano
Color for Thought by the 5th grade class of Coast Episcopal School
Crescent Moon Volume 1 by Haruko Iida
The Cuba Journal by Sophia Peabody Hawthorne
Cuba Revisited by Martha Gellhorn
Cuban Childhood by Fidel Castro and Frei Betto
Diary of the Boy King Tutankhamen by June Reig
The Dive from Clausen's Pier by Ann Packer
Dora's Backpack by Sarah Willson
Dreaming in Cuban (excerpt) by Cristina Garcia
Dreamland by Clarence Budington Kelland
Fables from the Mud by Erik Quisling
Fergus by Mary Patterson Thornburg
The Ghost of Lizard Light by Elvira Woodruff
The Girl Genius Omnibus by Kaja and Phil Foglio
Go Green by Nancy H. Taylor
Image of Josephine by Booth Tarkington
Jewel in the Skull by Michael Moorcock
The Light in the Forest by Conrad Richter
Litany by Rand B Lee
Local Rites by Paul Daffey
Measuring the World by Daniel Kehlmann
Monkey See... by P. E. Cunningham
Nature's Children: Ostriches by Merebeth Switzer
Never Have Your Dog Stuffed by Alan Alda
No More Monsters for Me by Peggy Parish
OPEN Brand by Kelly Mooney and Nita Rollins
Operation Ghost by Jacques Duquennoy
Ophie Out of Oz by Kathleen O'Dell
Our Man in Havana (Excerpt) by Graham Greene
Peacocks by Ruth Berman
Picture Purrfect Kittens by Erika Tatihara and Masaru Mizobuti
The Pigeon Loves Things That Go by Mo Willems
The Poe Shadow by Matthew Pearl
The Salting and Canning of Benevolence D. by Al Michaud
The Sea Shack by Mark McNulty
She Who Hears the Sun by Pamela Jekel
Ship of Fools by Katherine Anne Porter
Shoes by Debbie Bailey and Susan Huszar
Show Me Your Smile by Christine Ricci
Sister Carrie by Theodore Dreiser
State Birds by Arthur and Alan Singer
Still Hot by Sue Mittenthal and Linda Reing
A Superior Death by Nevada Barr
Tundra Swans by Bianca Lavies
The War with Spain (excerpt) by Henry Cabot Lodge
Where's the Big Red Doggie? by Norman Bridwell
What to Wear by Consuelo Hermer and Marjorie May
Wheels, Wheels and More Wheels by Ed and Ruth Radlauer
Wild Turkeys by Julian May

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Rating System

5 stars: Completely enjoyable or compelling
4 stars: Good but flawed
3 stars: Average
2 stars: OK
1 star: Did not finish

Reading Challenges

Beat the Backlist 2024

Ozathon: 12/2023-01/2025

Canadian Book Challenge: 2023-2024

Chicken Prints
Paintings and Postcards

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OPEN Brand: 06/01/08

Open Brand

OPEN Brand by Kelly Mooney and Nita Rollins starts with the thesis that the internet is changing how brands work. The problem with this thesis is that it assumes that brands work. So many recent business books get hung up on the all powerful brand and never really stop to think about what a brand is in the grand scheme of things. In other words, marketers become punch drunk on their own marketing even if the general public doesn't.

OPEN Brand attempts to be a handbook for traditional marketing to learn how to use the concepts of open source, the internet, social networking and web 2.0 to revolutionize the branding experience while lowering expenses and increasing ROI. Unfortunately the book's description of all these things sounds as genuine as a Baby Boomer using l33tspeak.

For traditional marketers, OPEN Brand may very well be a good starting point if they've never played with the internet beyond their own company's website but it is not the all-in-one handbook that it hopes to be. The twenty-somethings that OPEN branding will apparently work on just aren't that interested in brands.

The version I was given to read makes use of a green, black and white color scheme. Yes, green is making a comeback on the internet with so much interest in the environment with the current energy crisis and of course global warming. This book though has nothing to do with the environment and yet it's sporting a hideous green color throughout the book. Important buzz words are printed in green making them hard and annoying to read. I'm hoping that later editions of this book will do away with the presentation and focus more on the message.

Green on an internet marketing book outside of the new environmental niche marketing is so 1999; think pre dot-com bubble. For the concept of OPEN (on-demand, personal, engaging and networked) branding to work, the internet model has to come out of the dark ages of the 1990s and take a serious look at how the internet is being used now, not how marketers think it's being used.


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