New Domain

When I started this blog two years ago, I wanted a place on the web that could highlight my professional accomplishments, where I could post all the academic work I’d done because I was going to be well-known (or something… I don’t really know) in the world of library science.

But that didn’t really work out, and, per request from one of my former teachers, I removed some assignments and made everything else private. Then I started a video blog and re-vamped this blog a couple of months ago to focus more on the book reviews about which I’ve been vlogging and writing outside of my career as a Professional Librarian.

In effect, this blog became less about real-life me (a.k.a. rachelalexandr) and more about online me (a.k.a. thewasofshall). Hence the name change. will still function until the end of August, but I’ve changed my blog name and url to – I’d be much appreciative if you could change your links as well. If you’re arriving here via my wordpress link,, don’t fret – that will always work because SOMEBODY HAS MY WORDPRESS NAME ALREADY. >:(

Staff Review: Coraline – Neil Gaiman

Originally posted on read this!:

coralineReviewed by Rachel

By all accounts, Neil Gaiman’s children’s book Coraline is a strange and creepy piece of fiction. It features another set of parents for its protagonist, Coraline Jones, who live through the hallway behind the door that goes nowhere. Copies of her next door neighbors, Miss Spink and Miss Forcible, perform nightly for an audience of talking dogs. And everyone she meets while in this other world has black buttons sewn into their eyes. As Coraline explores this other space, she has to use her wits and cunning to out-smart her other mother and rescue her real parents before black buttons are sewn into her eyes.

But Coraline is written as a strong female character who is brave for taking on her other mother, and braver still for doing it while fully understanding the consequences should she lose. This braveness permeates the whole of the novel, and cements…

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Review: Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal by Eric Schlosser

Originally posted on read this!:

ffn Reviewed by Rachel

Fast Food Nation, a journalistic exploration into fast food – or what author Eric Schlosser terms the “dark side of the all-american meal” – turned 13 this year… and its age is showing. There’s no doubt in my mind that the book was a first of its kind, or that the information about which Schlosser writes is interesting (because it is), but the way in which Schlosser presents his argument is lacking and weakens the entire narrative as a whole.

I went into this book with almost no expectations, and the only real information I knew about the story was that I owned a copy – which means I’d had enough interest to purchase the book rather than just read it – and it was shorter than most of my other unread non-fiction – which promised a relatively short read. With that said, I found the…

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