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Member: bibliothecarivs

CollectionsOffice : Amy (18), Home : Adult (1,521), Home : Children (659), Home : Teen (155), Office : Joseph (89), All collections (2,442)

Reviews53 reviews

TagsMedieval Britain (283), British Fiction & Literature (176), Medieval Britain - History (170), Medieval History (166), Penguin Books (160), Penguin Classics (156), Ireland (139), Biography (116), Poetry (91), Penguin Classics Series 4 (88) — see all tags

MediaBook (2,442), Paper Book (2,428), Audiobook (7), Ebook (7)

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About meβ˜™ 'I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve (or save) the world and a desire to enjoy (or savor) the world. This makes it hard to plan the day.' ― E. B. White

I'm π–Žπ–”π–˜π–Šπ–•π–π–›π–˜ π–‡π–Žπ–‡π–‘π–Žπ–”π–™π–π–Šπ–ˆπ–†π–—π–Žπ–›π–˜. According to my basic genealogical research, at ten generations back (circa 1650-1750 CE) 32.6% of my ancestors were English, 18.8% Norwegian, 13.5% English Colonial American, 12.6% Swedish, 12.6% Danish, 6.3% Scottish, 1.8% German, 1.6% Irish, 0.2% Swiss, and 0.2% Dutch. When I combine them into linguistic/cultural groups, I find that 46.1% were English, 44% were Scandinavian, 7.9% were Celtic, and 2.2% were Germanic.

I was born in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA in 1980 to middle-class parents who were active members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (sometimes called the 'Mormon' or 'LDS' Church). I had craniosynostosis. Two sisters and two brothers - Nathan, Laurisa, MaryLayne, and Jordan - came after me and we were raised in a somewhat strict version of the LDS faith. Everything revolved around the expectations, practices, and ceremonies of 'The Church.' In 1989, we moved to South Jordan - at the time a small, rural community in the south-west part of Salt Lake Valley. As I look back on it now, the early years of my childhood were idyllic and the later years stormy. Teenage rebellion and mental illness don't combine well. As adults, my siblings and I have moved in and out of each other's lives but I'm very glad to still have relationships with them.

Rainstorm Over Salt Lake City by Jonnyapple

β˜™ 'We have each other and for all I know that's what hope is.' ― James Goldman, The Lion in Winter

Amy and I met around 1990, began dating in the summer of 1998 after she asked me out, and married in the autumn of 1999 in the back garden of my grandparents' home in Salt Lake City. Our first couple years together were difficult, which was mostly my fault, but since then our love and commitment has grown. She's my best friend and she has helped me grow into a better human being. We now have five amazing children who attend primary school through to university. They frequently amaze me with their intelligence, vitality, and love. We have lived in the Utah part of beautiful Cache Valley since late 2004. We moved into our dream house in 2019 (built-in book shelves, indoor and outdoor fireplaces, and lots of trees!) and renewed our vows in our back garden there on the 22nd anniversary of our first date.

β˜™ 'He read whenever he could as he walked to and from his work.' ― Thomas Hardy, Jude the Obscure

I dropped out of high school in 1999, for many reasons. A couple years later, Amy convinced me to earn my GED and go back to school to better myself and provide for our growing family. I went on to earn an AS in general studies from Salt Lake Community College in 2004, a BA cum laude in history and British & Irish literature from Utah State University in 2007 (including two years studying Latin), and an MS in library science from Clarion University of Pennsylvania in 2009. Amy also graduated with an AS in general studies from SLCC, a BS in sociology from USU, and an MS in educational psychology-school counselling from USU. She is an exceptional counsellor at Logan High School (see Honors & Awards at her LinkedIn profile). In my adult life I worked for the Salt Lake County Library System (Dec 1999-Dec 2004), Barnes & Noble (Jan 2001-Aug 2002), the Bridgerland Applied Technology College book store (Mar 2005-Jan 2008), and since Jun 2008 I have worked at the Logan Library, the largest public library in Cache Valley, where I am now the Assistant Director & Adult Non-fiction Librarian. I'm an active member of the Utah Library Association and the Cache Valley Library Association, which I helped establish a decade ago.

β˜™ 'Love of England is very nearly the strongest emotion that I possess.' ― Bertrand Russell, Autobiography

I have loved England, especially its medieval history, since my youth. Medieval Britain is the largest topic in our home library. People have asked me how this feeling originated and I trace it back to two things: my dad taking me to see Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves in the summer of 1991, and my mom telling me around the same time that a large portion of my ancestors were from England. It's hard to describe my feelings for England. I think about it every day. I often mourn the fact that I was not born there, or that I don't live there now. I'm a financial supporter of the Campaign to Protect Rural England.

Brean Down Panorama by ArticCynda

In October, 2016, Amy and I took our kids to visit England! Since this was our first time travelling outside of the US, it was stressful for me but also completely amazing. We went at specifically that time to visit the location of the battle of Hastings on its 950th anniversary and it was a powerful experience for me. Over the course of nine days, we also visited Canterbury (briefly), St Margaret's-at-Cliffe, the London Temple, Laurence Olivier's birthplace in Dorking, Stonehenge, the village of Anderson, Thomas Hardy sites around Dorchester (his birthplace cottage, his adult home: Max Gate, the resting place of his heart in St Michael's, Stinsford), the Cerne Giant, Glastonbury Tor, Wales (briefly), Shrewsbury Abbey (locus of the Cadfael Chronicles), Ruthwell Kirk (just over the Scottish border), Sycamore Gap/Hadrian's Wall, Bede sites around Durham (his church St Paul's, Jarrow and his tomb at Durham Cathedral), Nottingham (searching for the place my great-grandfather stayed in 1902), Kibworth (featured in The Story of England by Michael Wood), London (Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, the London Eye, the British Museum), and the Abbey Road zebra crossing! We brought home 28 books in our luggage.

β˜™ 'I'm a big fan of the local library. I just read a book, but that's another story.' ― British Sea Power, Who's In Control?

I love books, libraries, and bookstores. My parents read to me and encouraged me to read. I have happy childhood memories of visiting the Sprague Library in Salt Lake City with my mom (I picked out Saint George and the Dragon by Hodges & Hyman) and with my Anderson grandma (we asked the librarian about the origin of Robin Hood tales and the resulting answer was the first time I heard of Piers Ploughman). I once rode my bike to and from the old South Jordan library (5 miles each way - quite a distance for my young self) and I later enjoyed spending time in the old West Jordan library and Bingham Creek library. They were places I enjoying going to learn but later became havens that may have saved me. Today I am a slow but usually thorough reader and I finish about 25 books per year- about 2/3 nonfiction and 1/3 fiction. I still frequently purchase books and we have 2400+ in our home library (catalogued here).

My ten favourite books are Great Tales from English History Volume 1 (Robert Lacey, 2004), Tess of the d'Urbervilles (Thomas Hardy, 1891), Selected Poems and Four Plays (William Butler Yeats, edited by M.L. Rosenthal, 1996), Ecclesiastical History of the English People (Penguin Classics) (Bede, translated by Leo Sherley-Price, 731), The Wild Places (Robert Macfarlane, 2007), Essays (Penguin Modern Classics) (George Orwell, edited by Bernard Crick, 1941), Albion: The Origins of the English Imagination (Peter Ackroyd, 2002), Landscape and Memory (Simon Schama, 1995), The Wake (Paul Kingsnorth, 2014), and In Search of England: Journeys Into the English Past (Michael Wood, 1999).

β˜™ 'If I had my life to live over again, I would have made a rule to read some poetry and listen to some music at least once every week.' ― Charles Darwin, The Autobiography

While growing up I took lessons on piano before studying trumpet at school, then taught myself to play my mom's guitar. From 1997-2000 I was the singer and rhythm guitarist in a rock band with my friends Craig, Josh, and Devan. I don't play any instruments regularly any more but I still listen to a lot of music - an average of 7100+ tracks per year, or 18 tracks per day. I love 90s alternative rock (the music of my teenage years), 00s post-punk revival, post-rock, celtic folk music, Gregorian chant, soundtracks of my favourite films, and Western classical string music, especially string quartets and the compositions of Ralph Vaughan Williams. Recently, I have been slowly discovering the original post-punk bands of the late 70s and early 80s. To view a nearly-complete list of the concerts I have attended since I was 16, go here: My all-time favourite musical composition is Vaughan Williams' The Lark Ascending. I still frequently purchase music albums on CD and we have 700+ in our home library (not catalogued yet).

My ten favourite popular music albums are Urban Hymns (The Verve, 1997), Takk… (Sigur RΓ³s, 2005), No Need to Argue (The Cranberries, 1994), Story of an Immigrant (Civil Twilight, 2015), A Rush of Blood to the Head (Coldplay, 2002), Surfacing (Sarah McLachlan, 1997), Valhalla Dancehall (British Sea Power, 2011), Boy (U2, 1980), Shag Tobacco (Gavin Friday, 1995), and White Chalk (PJ Harvey, 2007).

My ten favourite popular music songs are Lucky Man (The Verve, 1997), Acrobat (U2, 1991), Time (Pink Floyd, 1973), The Rebels (The Cranberries, 1996), Boxes (Travis, 2013), Possession [Live] (Sarah McLachlan, 1999), Yeats's Grave (The Cranberries, 1994), Sæglópur (Sigur Rós, 2005), My Twentieth Century (Gavin Friday, 1995), The Last Living Rose (PJ Harvey, 2011).

β˜™ 'I saw a film today, oh boy, The English army had just won the war. A crowd of people turned away, But I just had to look, having read the book...' ― The Beatles, A Day in the Life

I have always been a frequent film viewer, but it was only as an adult that I began to recognise and develop my own taste. I enjoy historical films, literature adaptations, Irish cinema, and the work of actors Laurence Olivier, Kenneth Branagh, Michael Fassbender, Emma Thompson, Rowan Atkinson, and director/writer Ingmar Bergman. I still frequently purchase films on DVD and Blu-ray and we have 900+ films in our home library (not catalogued yet).

My ten favourite films are The Secret of Roan Inish (John Sayles, 1994), Michael Collins (Neil Jordan, 1996), Robin Hood Prince of Thieves (Kevin Reynolds, 1991), Richard III (Laurence Olivier, 1955), The Secret of Kells (Thomm Moore, 2009), The Seventh Seal (Ingmar Bergman, 1957), Hamlet (Franco Zeffirelli, 1990), Braveheart (Mel Gibson, 1995), Creation (Jon Amiel, 2009), and Becket (Peter Glenville, 1964).

I love visual art. I have drawn or sketched for most of my life. Favourite mediums and styles include pen-and-ink, woodcuts and etchings, stained glass, oil paintings from the romantic and realism movements, gothic architecture, and black and white photography. Favourite artists include John Everett Millais, Agnes Miller Parker, Arthur Rackham, Howard Pyle, David Macaulay (whom I had the opportunity to meet in 2014!), Edward Gorey, Fred van Deelan, N.C. Wyeth, William Morris, Brian Cook, Jackie Morris, Anton Corbijn, and Banksy. My all-time favourite artwork is Mariana by Millais.

β˜™ 'I don't blame any one for not believing my history. If I had not experienced what I have, I could not have believed it myself.' ― Joseph Smith Jr., King Follett funeral sermon

In my young adult and newly married life I swung back and forth between long periods of intense LDS religious practice (I could never be perfect enough) and brief moments of apathy and doubt. In late 2010 I began a journey to explore other religious options after reading the experience of a Cache Valley man who had converted from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to the Episcopal Church. Over the following year, I explored Catholicism (which has fascinated me since childhood), paganism, Deism, and finally landed in humanism, where I have resided, fairly comfortably, ever since. Looking back, I see that my over-arching desire was/is for a universal and objective truth. Basically, the light of science pushed the supernatural farther and farther away until it no longer had any real meaning or purpose in my life. This was a very difficult and painful process which put a lot of strain on our marriage and kids. Thankfully, we're in a good place now despite sometimes mourning the loss of my old way of thinking and living. I still enjoy an academic interest in Catholicism, Mormonism, British paganism (both old & new), and the intersections between them.

β˜™ 'Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none.' ― William Shakespeare, All's Well That Ends Well

I am a humanist because I try to live an ethical life and I don't see convincing evidence for anything supernatural. This translates into a focus on humanity's one shared life, here and now (since there's likely no pre-existence, nor post-existence), and a responsibility to, at the very least, be kind to everyone equally as best I can. Simply put, it's about some combination of the Golden Rule and the Silver Rule: I try to extend toward others the same good feeling and honest brotherhood I would like them to return to me. I support a strict separation between church and state, including reverting the national motto to 'E pluribus unum' - 'Out of many, one'. I'm a paid member of Humanists International, the American Humanist Association, and Humanists of Utah. I'm a financial supporter of the International Committee of the Red Cross, the International Rescue Committee, and Foundation Beyond Belief.

β˜™ 'Comment is free, but facts are sacred.' ― C. P. Scott

I highly respect the noble profession of investigative journalism and try to support independent, non-profit news organizations and public broadcasters. I consume a lot of news in various mediums. I subscribe to the Guardian Weekly print magazine, the Salt Lake Tribune digital edition, and buy a print issue of our hometown newspaper, the Herald Journal, once a week. I'm a financial supporter of KUER 90.1 NPR Utah and PBS Utah. I often visit the Guardian and BBC News websites. I listen to the BBC World Service through the KUER app and a radio given to me by my friend, Shawn. I watch Sky News on YouTube to get UK news and a British perspective on world events.

β˜™ 'The advancement of science and the diffusion of information [is] the best aliment to true liberty. ― James Madison

Literacy, education, and free information are incredibly important to me. I'm in favour of public schools and public libraries and I'm anti-censorship. I'm a financial supporter of the Wikimedia Foundation, the Friends of the Logan Library, the Friends of Merrill-Cazier Library, USU Alumni Association student scholarships, and Bridgerland Literacy.

β˜™ 'Many forms of Government have been tried, and will be tried in this world of sin and woe. No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise. Indeed, it has been said that democracy is the worst form of Government except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.' ― Winston S. Churchill

I'm a strong supporter of multi-party representative democracy. I try to be informed about the issues of the day - from our neighbourhood to the world - and I vote in every election. I'm in favour of sensible taxes, of sensible term-limits, of implementing ranked choice voting, of making it easier to vote, of making it easier to run for office, and of making it easier for political parties to organize. Hate speech and violent rhetoric have no place in a democracy (or anywhere, for that matter). Over the years, I have voted for Republicans, Democrats, Libertarians, independents, and Greens.

I'm a green democratic socialist, or ecosocialist, because the climate crisis is the number one problem facing humanity and I believe that capitalism, which caused the crisis, must be replaced by a more nature-friendly, humanising, and equal way of living. I support a 'Green New Deal', or 'Green Industrial Revolution'. I also believe that distributing our society's resources and power more fairly would go a long way towards resolving inequalities of health, education, and opportunity for women and racial, gender, and sexual minorities. I'm not perfect, but I would call myself a feminist, an LGBTQ+ ally, an anti-racist, an anti-fascist, and a tree-hugger. I'm anti-violence and pro-civil disobedience. I'm a paid member of the Green Party of the United States, the Green Party of Utah, Democratic Socialists of America, and Democratic Socialists of Salt Lake. I'm a financial supporter of Extinction Rebellion, Greenpeace, and One Tree Planted.

The one major area of disagreement I have with other leftists is abortion. Despite empathising with pregnant women in desperate circumstances (though I acknowledge that as a cisgender male I will never know what that feels like), I just haven't been able to come to terms with the idea of intentional termination of future humans. I'm in favour of sex-positive education in public schools, including information about birth control, and of government and community safety nets for those who fall pregnant. The fact that some people close to me are pro-choice has made me deeply question my beliefs, but my core belief hasn't changed. Since I don't agree with the predominantly religious rhetoric in the American anti-abortion movement, I find myself in a very small boat with other anti-abortion socialists, progressives, secularists, and humanists. And, yes, I know that many of the organizations I am a member of support abortion rights. It's a paradox I must live with.

Due to the recent illness of someone close to me, I'm now a financial supporter of the Intermountain Foundation at Primary Children's Hospital, the Children's Oncology Group Foundation, and the Huntsman Cancer Institute. Let's #kickchildhoodcancer! Continental Tire donates $1 to Children's Oncology Group for every use of that hashtag on social media during September (Childhood Cancer Awareness Month). I support the creation of a 'single-payer' healthcare system or 'Medicare for All' or National Health Service in the US. We can afford to provide this basic human need in one of the richest countries on earth.

My favourite sport is association football. I am a fan and part-owner of the Dorchester Town FC Magpies. I'm also a fan of the Three Lions and the Lionesses- England's senior national teams, Real Salt Lake, and Utah Avalanche's youth teams. Our son is a fan of Tottenham Hotspur so I casually follow them as well.

I've had a conflicted relationship with food all of my adult life. I'm somewhat overweight but otherwise surprisingly healthy. I'm a vegetarian for moral reasons and I don't consume dairy for dietary reasons. I enjoy bread, oatmeal or porridge, apples, potatoes, rice, nuts, lentils, pot pies, soups, black pepper, cold water, black coffee (often decaffeinated), wassail, ginger ale, and beer (usually non-alcoholic). Join me for a ploughman's lunch?

β˜™ 'I must keep my own style & go on in my own way.' ― Jane Austen, letter

And, finally, a few random facts. I collect anything related to Robin Hood. I enjoy open-water swimming and walking. I'm slowly learning to play the tin whistle. When I was 15, my sister and I had the chance to meet Margaret Thatcher but at the last moment I was too embarrassed by my common clothes to go through with it. I have never been skiing (in neither snow nor water). I once talked to Ben Folds on the phone. I was chosen to play Hamlet in a sixth grade production and have loved Shakespearean tragedy ever since. I was the second president of the Cache Valley Library Association. I enjoy playing chess, Klondike solitaire or Patience, Tetris, and Kubb, though I'm not proficient at any of them. Before I die, I would like to produce my own translation of Bede's Ecclesiastical History of the English People. After being introduced to the Mini in Mr. Bean in the 1990s, I dreamed of owning one and since 2017, I have. In addition to England, I'm also interested in Ireland and the Scandinavian countries. I hope to live to the 1000th anniversary of the Battle of Hastings on 14 October 2066 (I'd be 86 years old). I've had difficult experiences (some of which are not referenced here), but overall I have been very privileged.

β˜™ 'Where are your books? - that light bequeathed, To beings else forlorn and blind! Up! up! and drink the spirit breathed, From dead men to their kind.' ― William Wordsworth, Expostulation & Reply

The books I'm currently reading can be found on my Litsy and Goodreads profiles. The music I've recently listened to can be found on my profile.

I rate books I read with the following system:
β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜… Loved it
β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜† Liked it
β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜†β˜† Indifferent
β˜…β˜…β˜†β˜†β˜† Disliked it
β˜…β˜†β˜†β˜†β˜† Hated it

About my libraryThis is a catalogue of our personal library. We're happy to lend to neighbours, colleagues, friends, and family.

Our adult collections include many books of or about:
β˜™ British & Irish history (mostly medieval England & revolutionary Ireland), biography, fiction (mostly classics & historical), poetry, theatre, folklore (mostly ❯❯❯=𝖗=𝖔=𝖇=π–Ž=𝖓=𝖍=𝖔=𝖔=𝖉=➀), literary studies, nature, geography, travel, built environment, visual art, music, film, religion, philosophy (including humanism), science, language, & left-wing politics β˜™ Mormon history & culture, including the pioneering novels of Nephi Anderson (1865-1923), my paternal great-grandfather β˜™ Catholic history, doctrine, & culture β˜™ Psychology & sociology β˜™ Latin, Old English, & Middle English β˜™ Scandinavian history, fiction, drama, folklore, & film

GroupsAtheism and humanism, Beautiful Game, Books and Mormons, Catholic Tradition, George Orwell, Happy Heathens, Librarians who LibraryThing, Lingua Latina, Penguin Classics, Progressive & Liberal!show all groups

Favorite authorsPeter Ackroyd, Nephi Anderson, Bede, Ingmar Bergman, Ray Bradbury, Christine F. Cooper-rompato, Tom Gauld, Thomas Hardy, Dan Jones, Norman L. Jones, Paul Kingsnorth, David Macaulay, Robert McFarlane, George Orwell, Bertrand Russell, Simon Schama, William Shakespeare, Colm TΓ³ibΓ­n, Michael Wood, William Butler Yeats (Shared favorites)

VenuesFavorites | Visited

Favorite bookstoresBack of Beyond Books, Becky's Bookshelf, Eborn Books, Ken Sanders Rare Books, Marissa's Books, Orrin Schwab Books, Pioneer Book, Powell's City of Books (Portland), The Book Garden, The Cathedral Bookshop, Weller Book Works

Favorite librariesBingham Creek Library, Calvin S. Smith Library, Dorking Library, Logan Library, Merrill-Cazier Library, St. Ann's Library


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Real nameJoseph N. Anderson (he/him)

LocationShoshone land / northern Utah, USA

Account typepublic

URLs /profile/bibliothecarivs (profile)
/catalog/bibliothecarivs (library)

Member sinceNov 14, 2007

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