Sunday, June 26, 2016

What I Read This Week: June 26, 2016

On Monday, The Husband and I did something that I thought was pretty darn awesome: we took a tour of the US Naval Observatory. Most people know that as the place where the Vice President lives, but we went to the science side of the complex. We got to look through a telescope at Jupiter, see a 360 degree, nighttime skyline view of the DC area, visit their awesome library, and learn about how the navy has developed time technology. It was a nerdy blast.
  • Work
    • I'm reading a lot of disaster response and recovery plans. Ours is out of date and I would love to have it updated and approved before the year is over.
  • Magazines
    • Food Network, July/August 2016 - I loved all the delightfully refreshing summer dishes in this issue. Sadly, some many of them involve a grill that I mourn for the loss of my patio. Oh well. At least the theme party ideas could be put into action.
    • Real Simple, July 2016 - There were two fantastic feature articles in this issue. The first was on how an autistic boy communicates through visual aids - that one hit me right in
      the feels. The second was about gossip and how it's both good and bad for us. Aside from that, I loved the many ideas on how to enjoy the summer months. 
  • Books
    • I made a concerted effort to read Doctor Dealer in larger chunks this week. I was mildly successful which meant I got to sink into the story more. Bowden is doing a wonderful job of discussing the dealer's back-story. I almost like the guy even though, in actuality, he's not a good person.  
    • I'm still working my way through What If?. This is a great book and I keep laughing at some many of the comments and cartoons. 
  • Other 
    • I love leaning about science and astronomy. I've developed fangirl crushes on both Neil deGrasse Tyson and Bill Nye, so I thought it was pretty awesome when the New York Times posted an article about what Bill Nye's Sunday looks like.

Friday, June 24, 2016

The Friday Find: To Infinity!

Super hero bookcases are a thing.

An awesomely, amazing thing.

You can see your favorite on Burak Dogan's website.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Links and Stuff: June 23, 2016

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Why I Love... Surprise Libraries

On Monday, The Husband and I took a tour of the US Naval Observatory. Part of that tour included a stop at their library. I had no idea that was part of the tour and it was stunning!

The room was one large, circular space with two stories of stacks. Lovely, iron spiral staircases on opposite ends of the room led to the second floor area. The room itself was domed with a large chandelier lighting up the space. Beneath the chandelier, there was a fountain. A fountain! I wish my office had a water feature.

The collection has a mix of old and new books. Like every library, there were titles that are meant to be used - i.e. current journals and monographs on science. There were also some parts of the collection that were simply for display. In a rare books display case, there was a book from 1430, a copy of Newton's Principia, and a copy of Galileo's Dialogues. It's a good thing those items were under glass because I want to leaf through them so badly!

Surprise library visits are awesome. It's so cool to see a new library space and collection. Every library has its own vibe and personality. This room felt both academic and military. As a part of the US Navy, that made sense. There was something about the space that made it feel like you could be productive, but there was no overly hushed tone. It was a comfortable room that was both cozy and majestic.

Before tour ended, our guide shared a fun anecdote, "You can spend more time in this space by calling us and saying the magic words... 'I have research to complete.'"

Monday, June 20, 2016

Book 18: Mortal Heart

TITLE: Mortal Heart
AUTHOR: Robin LaFevers
STARTED: June 5, 2016
FINISHED: June 15, 2016
PAGES: 444
GENRE: Fiction

FIRST SENTENCE: For most, the bleak dark months when the black storms come howling out of the north is a time of grimness and sorrow as people await the arrival of the winter, which brings death, hunger, and bitter cold in its wake.

SUMMARY: [From BN] In the powerful conclusion to Robin LaFever's  New York Times bestselling His Fair Assassins trilogy, Annith has watched her gifted sisters at the convent come and go, carrying out their dark dealings in the name of St. Mortain, patiently awaiting her own turn to serve Death. But her worst fears are realized when she discovers she is being groomed by the abbess as a Seeress, to be forever sequestered in the rock and stone womb of the convent. Feeling sorely betrayed, Annith decides to strike out on her own. She has spent her whole life training to be an assassin. Just because the convent has changed its mind, doesn’t mean she has.

THOUGHTS: It took me a few years to finally get around to reading the final book in the series, but I'm glad I got around to it. This book was a good way to end the series even if I figured out the "big reveal" WAY before it was shown. Like... the moment the two characters met I knew where the author was taking the story.

I really wish I had more to say than "this was an enjoyable story." Nothing wowed me in this book, but I found it easy reading and I liked seeing what happened to all of the characters who were introduced in the first book. 

RATING: 6/10 [Good]

Sunday, June 19, 2016

What I Read This Week: June 19, 2016

This week was the perfect balance of work and relaxation. I took a few days off but while I was home I worked-out, voted, and tackled a few things on my to do list. At the office, I managed to stay on top of the daily tasks while having time to plan for and research future projects.

Also, yesterday was awesome. I met up with Lady K and Lady B for a movie (Love and Friendship) and a late lunch. Lady K and I were supposed to use our lunch time to set up our new bullet journals. Whelp, the day before our date, I found out that I ordered a blank instead of dotted notebook... so Lady K set up her journal while I joined Lady B in coloring. While I'm very bummed I didn't get to set up my journal, coloring is still awesome.

Speaking of awesome - The Husband didn't bat an eye during my "It's not dotted!" freak-out when I opened the journal... which had been sitting around (unwrapped) for over a week... so it's my own fault. He merely found an outlet that had it in stock and sent me a link to order the right journal this time. I have ordered two (yes, two) of the correct notebooks from two different vendors. Whoever arrives first gets to be my first bullet journal. Then the other one gets to be a back up. I plan on using the blank notebook for all those meetings I have to take notes in. I don't need dots to keep my notes neat. I'm depending on them to make my bullet journal easier to organize.

Now onto the reading!
  • Work
    • I requested a book, Working Together: Collaborative Information Practices for Organizational Learning, from a library in our consortium to reference for my article. It was a lot shorter than expected. I managed to finish it in a day. Go me.
  • Magazines
    • HGTV Magazine, July/August 2016 - I loved how colorful this issue was, but it seems to be that this magazine repeats the same design styles over and over again. I would love to see something outside of the norm. 
    • Good Housekeeping, July 2016 - I ran through this issue rather quickly, but I did enjoy reading the feature pieces on how one woman surprised her family with her weight loss and how another learned to overcome her fear. There was also a great short piece on a group of military wives who put together a business for other military wives.
    • Cooking Light, July 2016 - I looooooove summer recipes. All the fresh produce and pictures of grilled food just sets my mouth to watering. I snipped a few recipes to try including a steak and tomato panzanella salad that should make both me and The Husband happy. 
  • Books
    • I finished reading Mortal Heart. I'm glad I got to finish it off one massive chunk while on the train. It made it much easier to get absorbed into the end of the story.
    • Now, I am reading Mark Bowden's Doctor Dealer. This has been sitting on my shelf for years. I was in the mood for non-fiction, so it's about time I finally got around to reading it. As with all things Bowden, so far, so good. Also, I didn't realize that he wrote this book in the 1980s. I do wonder if that will have an impact on his writing style.
    • I put another dent in What If?. This book is the perfect thing to read when you're also half-watching television. The chapters are (mostly) short, so I can stop and start easily.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Book 17: Working Together

TITLE: Working Together: Collaborative Information Practices for Organizational Learning
AUTHOR: Mary M. Somerville
STARTED: June 15, 2016
FINISHED: June 15, 2016
GENRE: Library Science

FIRST SENTENCE: Librarians at California Polytechnic State University (Cal Poly) in San Luis Obispo were experiencing  rapid technological change, aggravating financial uncertainties, and escalating community expectations.

SUMMARY: [From ALA] Around the globe, library leaders are asking: How do we create ‘forward thinking’ outcomes in the Digital Age? In response, the profession is increasingly recognizing that we must start by transitioning current employees into new roles and responsibilities within redesigned workplace environments. Given the magnitude of external economic, technological, and social changes, merely tinkering with traditional organizational models is inadequate. Rather, the forces at play require pro-actively moving from the old, comfortable model - designed for a world that no longer exists – to fundamentally re-invent professional assumptions, organizational structures, and workplace processes. Working Together presents a framework for comprehensive redesign of library organizations. In addition to a review of core literature, the author presents workplace examples illustrating the efficacy of collaborative information practices orchestrated by inclusive leadership principles.

THOUGHTS: I grabbed this book to see if it would be useful for an article I'm working on. Parts of it were, but the majority is a sort of case study look at the changes in one library. That information was valuable, just not for my purposes. The best part of the book was the chapter that summed up the essentials of working together. Not a bad book, just not what I was expecting it to be.

RATING: 5/10 [meh]

The Friday Find: Purse!

You can now carry your books in a book! The Husband sent me the link to the fabulous purse. I think it's a fantastic find.

You can purchase this from Think Geek.