Tuesday, December 06, 2016

That's What She Said

Way back when, I used to share posts on my blog about bookish quotes under the category "That's What She Said." Today, Twitter informed me that category is an actual Library of Congress subject heading.

First, I laughed.

Then, I Googled.

That lead me to the LOC page about the matter.

Librarians. We may seem stodgy at times... but we're not. We're really, really not.

YouTube Tuesday: Speed Organizing

Sunday, December 04, 2016

What I Read This Week: December 4, 2016

The Husband was out of town for most of the week. That meant that I stayed up way later than normal for two reasons - 1. every noise was suspect 2. I was busy binge watching The Crown on Netflix. I managed a bit of reading, but my magazine box is still jammed full with back issues. I'll get to them eventually.
  • Magazines
    • Washingtonian, November 2016 - The bulk of this issue was basically an advertisement for local doctors. Blergh. At least there were decent articles on the Loving Supreme Court case and a feminist approach to self defense. Additionally, there was a legitimately interesting section on the three local DC airports. Finally, the article on Trump's new hotel and it's battle with keeping a restaurant just made me sad. Very sad.
  • Books 
    • I'm about halfway through Kate Alcott's The Dressmaker. To put it bluntly, this book is not good. At this point, I'm only reading it to see how it ends.
  • Other
    • The Chronicle of Higher Education featured an article on the death of cursive. As someone who loves to write in cursive, this makes me sad.
    • You might sniffle while reading those story about a white envelope at Christmas.

Friday, December 02, 2016

The Friday Find: Inhale

Hat tip to Lady K for sending me this Etsy shop. It sells fragrances and other body products - many of which are based on books AND are vegan. I love lavender so, of course, I was drawn to the scent for The Secret Garden.

You can find this fragrance at RavensCtApothecary.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Book 34: Pointe

TITLE: Pointe
AUTHOR: Brandy Colbert
STARTED: October 22, 2016
FINISHED: October 31, 2016
PAGES: 333,
GENRE: Young Adult

FIRST SENTENCE: I wish I could say the day Donovan came home was extraordinary from the start, that I woke up knowing something special would happen that Thursday evening in October.

SUMMARY: [From BN] Theo is better now. She’s eating again, dating guys who are almost appropriate, and well on her way to becoming an elite ballet dancer. But when her oldest friend, Donovan, returns home after spending four long years with his kidnapper, Theo starts reliving memories about his abduction—and his abductor. Donovan isn’t talking about what happened, and even though Theo knows she didn’t do anything wrong, telling the truth would put everything she’s been living for at risk. But keeping quiet might be worse. Brandy Colbert dazzles in this heartbreaking yet hopeful debut novel about learning how to let go of even our most shameful secrets.

THOUGHTS: Whoopsie! I completely forgot that this book was sitting in my drafts folder entirely unreviewed. Well, I do remember that I very much enjoyed the book as I was reading it. The characters were interesting and the plot was well-placed. I love ballet and, as a former dancer, the descriptions of those scenes felt true to life. I truly looked forward to reading it each evening.

That said, it felt a touch overwritten and dramatic. There was a lot of different plot points going on and I don't think all of them were necessary. One or two of the big "shocking" things could have been omitted and this still would have been a good book.

RATING: 6/10 [Good]

Sunday, November 27, 2016

What I Read This Week: November 27, 2016

Quick write-up today - we need to decorate our apartment for Christmas. I can't decide if we should watch NFL Red Zone or Die Hard whilst we deck the halls.

  • Magazines
    • National Geographic, November 2016 - I read this issue while lying on the floor in my parents living room. It was great! The cover story on Mars was fantastic and I can't wait to binge watch the companion series. On top of the Mars, there was a nice piece on octopi (octopusses?). The pictures were lovely and I can never get enough information on this animal. Finally, there were brief pieces on the opening of US tourism in Cuba and the recovery from the civil war in Sri Lanka that are also worth the read.
    • Washingtonian, October 2016 - Om nom nom. The cover spread on breakfast and brunch places in the DC area has my name all over it. In addition to the list of tasty places I need to try, there was a fun piece on creating your dream kitchen. I can't remodel
      our rental, but I can file ideas away for later. There was also a fascinating (and more than mildly disturbing) article on a weird crime that took place in Virginia. Finally, there was a great piece on "the speech whisperer" - a consultant who teaches women how to speak more authoritatively without coming across as shrill or angry. It makes my blood boil that there is a niche for this kind of work - but I get it.
  • Books
    • On Thanksgiving morning, I finished off the final pages of Dietland. While the ending was a touch of a let down, I generally liked the book. Full review to come!
    • I'm a few pages into The Dressmaker by Kate Alcott. It's too soon to tell if I'm going to like this book... but part of it takes part on the Titanic, so that's a positive in its favor.
  • Other
    • When mom is "cleaning fairy" to her son but not to her daughters things need to change.

Friday, November 25, 2016

The Friday Find: Grumpy

I don't do black Friday. I prefer to spend it reading. This perfect perfectly encapsulates how I feel when my reading is interrupted.

You can find this in the Wonderflies Etsy shop.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Variations on a Theme: Cooperstown

I am home for today's Thanksgiving holiday. Home is the small village of Cooperstown in Upstate New York. Since I connect this holiday with my hometown, this month's Variations on a Theme is a collection of books about and inspired by my little village.

In addition to this list of good reads, I wish you much warmth, happiness, and pie!

William Cooper's Town: Power and Persusasion on the Frontier of the Early American Republic
Alan Taylor

An innovative work of biography, social history, and literary analysis, this Pulitzer Prize-winning book presents the story of two men, William Cooper and his son, the novelist James Fennimore Cooper, who embodied the contradictions that divided America in the early years of the Republic. Taylor shows how Americans resolved their revolution through the creation of new social forms and new stories that evolved with the expansion of our frontier. of photos.

James Fenimore Cooper

During the fierce French and Indian wars, an adroit scout named Hawkeye and his companion Chingachgook weave through the spectacular and dangerous wilderness of upstate New York, fighting to save the beautiful Munro sisters from the Huron renegade Magua. The Last of the Mohicans is the most popular of James Fenimore Cooper’s five Leatherstocking Tales. With its death-defying chases and teeth-clenching suspense, this American classic established many archetypes of American frontier fiction. An engrossing “Western” by America’s first great novelist, The Last of the Mohicans is a story of survival and treachery, love and deliverance.

The Clarks of Cooperstown
Nicholas Fox Weber

Nicholas Fox Weber, author of the acclaimed Patron Saints (“Exhilarating avant-garde entertainment”—Sam Hunter, The New York Times Book Review) and Balthus (“The authoritative account of his life and work”—Michael Ravitch, Newsday), gives us now the idiosyncratic lives of Sterling and Stephen Clark—two of America’s greatest art collectors, heirs to the Singer sewing machine fortune, and for decades enemies of each other. He tells the story, as well, of the two generations that preceded theirs, giving us an intimate portrait of one of the least known of America’s richest families.

A Great Day in Cooperstown: The Improbable Birth of Baseball's Hall of Fame
Jim Reisler

Using an iconic photo of the game's original superstars — a group that included, among others, Babe Ruth, Cy Young, Honus Wagner, and Connie Mack — as his starting point, Jim Reisler explains the unusual origins of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and delivers a delightful history of not only the game's early stars and the house built to honor them, but also the myth of baseball America. With his trademark eye and ear for the spirit of the game's golden age, Reisler explains that the construction of the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY was as much an attempt to revive the economy of a struggling draught-ravaged farming town at the height of the Depressioin as it was a tribute to the National Pastime. Weaving quirky, anecdotal stories about the Hall's first eleven inductees in and out of the story of how two industrious businessmen convinced a nation that a former Union general named Abner Doubleday created the game of baseball (which he didn't) and that the first pitch was thrown in the sleepy hamlet of Cooperstown (which it wasn't), Jim Reisler provides us with a fascinating story to be cherished by baseball fans and Americana enthusiasts alike.

Tom Stanton

Every true baseball fan dreams of visiting Cooperstown. Some make the trip as boys, when the promise of a spot in the lineup with the Yankees or Red Sox or Tigers glows on the horizon, as certain as the sunrise. Some go later in life, long after their Little League years, to glimpse the past, not the future. And still others talk of somedays and of pilgrimages that await. The Road to Cooperstown is a true story populated with colorful characters: a philanthropic family that launched the museum and uses its wealth to, among other things, ensure that McDonald's stays out of the turn-of-the-century downtown; the devoted fan who wrote a book to get his hero into the Hall of Fame; the Guyana native who grew up without baseball but comes to the induction ceremony every year; the librarian on a mission to preserve his great-grandfather's memory; the baseball legends who appear suddenly along Main Street; and the dying man who fulfills one of his last wishes on a warm day in spring.

Otsego Lake: Past and Present

Richard S. Duncan

Otsego Lake is one of the most celebrated bodies of water in America immortalized in the novels of James Fenimore Cooper, praised by artists and writers, and loved by generations of visitors to the region. It has been called ""the cradle of American literature"" and even "the Walden Pond of New York State." This volume is the first comprehensive photographic documentation of Otsego Lake. It features the extraordinary color photographs of Richard S. Duncan and draws upon the historical photograph collections of the New York State Historical Association, housed in Fenimore Art Museum. This book takes the reader on a fascinating journey to each of the principal sites around the lake, and reveals the beauty, history, and mystery of one of America's most picturesque landscapes.

Other Cooperstown Titles
American Canopy - Eric Rutkow
Around Cooperstown - Brian and Becky Nielsen
Cooperstown Confidential - Zev Chafets
Cooperstown, The Book 
The Deerslayer - James Fenimore Cooper
The Hall - National Baseball Hall of Fame
Inside the Baseball Hall of Fame - National Baseball Hall of Fame
The Monsters of Templeton - Lauren Groff
Otsego Country, Its Towns and Treasures
The Pathfinder - James Fenimore Cooper
The Pioneers - James Fenimore Cooper
Rural Hours - Susan Fenimore Cooper