Friday, September 04, 2015

The Friday Find: Flicker in Style

The candle in our living room just flickered it's last flame. We may need to replace it with this beauty. The holder is so pretty I would reuse it with all the votives we have leftover from our wedding.

You can buy this candle from R. Nichols.

Thursday, September 03, 2015

Links and Stuff: September 3, 2015

Wednesday, September 02, 2015

Why I Love... Beach Reads

This time next week, I will be sitting on a (hopefully) sunny beach with a book in hand and the sound of waves in my ear. The Husband and I are taking a belated summer vacation, and I've got two beach reads on my packing list. I love beach reads because, even though the term describes different books for different people, the books are always meant to be sunk into.

My favorite beach reads are big, door-stopper books with entertaining narratives. For our honeymoon, I packed one book from the Clan of the Cave Bear and another from the Outlander series. I'm doing the same for our upcoming trip. I like my beach reads to be easy to follow, but gripping. These books fit the bill. They are high activity and low-stress on my brain. This means I can take a break to look at the waves and not lose my mental bookmark. Their size also means I only need one or two to get me through an entire vacation (travel included). As a bonus, they tend to be paperbacks that are easy to carry and hold for long periods of time.

Beach reads are great because the represent a time of leisure and enjoyment. Books themselves should represent this, but we've so often forced certain reading and titles on people that books become work. Beach reads represent the fun-side of reading. They are a mood rather than a specific genre, and for that, I love them.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

What I Read This Week: August 30, 2015

This week was intense. My grandfather was buried at Arlington National Cemetery in an incredibly beautiful and moving ceremony. We had a ton of family in town for the ceremony. Thus, I spent most of my time with them (eating a lot of food) and not reading. The Husband and I finally got our apartment back from the flooring issue and house guest (at least my brother is easy to host), but it was a loooooooong week.
  • Magazines
    • The Atlantic, September 2015 - Even with everything that was going on this week, I managed to finish this issue. It is, hands down, one of the best issues The Atlantic has ever published. The cover story about trigger warnings would have been good on it's own, but it was supplemented by great pieces on humor on college campuses and incarceration in New Orleans. Most important, however, was the letter by Ta-Nehisi Coates to his son. This letter talks about what it means to live in a black body in our society. It is devastating to read and exquisitely written. More than once I found myself on the verge of tears. There was so much I thought I knew, and this piece showed me just how little I understood. If you read only one thing this year, let it be this piece. 
  • Books
    • I'm working my way through Astonish Me. It's quite good so far and makes me miss dance more than I thought I would. I have a weird feeling that this story is going to linger with me when I'm done.
  • Other

Friday, August 28, 2015

The Friday Find: Doctor's Note

I started a new book this week, and I have a feeling it's going to impact me like this.

Image from KellyAngel.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Variations on a Theme: Washington, DC

I had a ton of family in town this week, and their visit reminded me of how pretty of a city I live in. This month's post is mainly eye-candy books about Washington, DC but here are a few non-fiction in there for good measure.

The Evolution of Washington, DC: Historical Selections From The Albert H. Small Washingtonia Collection and George Washington University
James M. Goode

The Evolution of Washington, DC is a striking volume featuring select pieces of the extraordinary collection of Washingtoniana donated by Albert H. Small to the George Washington University in 2011. It showcases treasures such as an 1860 lithograph of the equestrian statue of Andrew Jackson in front of the White House and a contemporary print of old Potomac River steamboats. Other unique pieces include early designs for the White House, the Capitol, and the Washington Monument as well as presidential portraits and Civil War memorabilia. Each object--from architectural plans and topographical maps to letters and advertisements--tells a fascinating story, and together they illustrate the history of our nation's capital and indeed our nation itself.

N is For Our Nation's Capital: A Washington DC Alphabet
Roland Smith et al.

An A-Z pictorial for children all about our nation's capital including, famous people, geography, history, and symbols. Topics are introduced with poems accompanied by expository text to provide detailed information.

Washington, DC
Jordan Worek

Founded in 1790, Washington, DC, offers some of the country's most notable architecture and significant sites. Along with its renowned buildings, monuments, gardens and museums, the national capital also features some unexpected treasures. Photographs that capture the history and beauty of the city include:
  • National monuments and memorials
  • The Capitol, the White House and the U.S. Supreme Court
  • Georgetown's historic sites and picturesque streets
  • Arlington National Cemetery
  • Parks and gardens 

  • Washington, DC: Portrait of a City
    Graphic Arts

    Washington D.C. is a unique city because it was established by the Constitution of the United States to serve as the Nation’s capital. Built on the Potomac River, the city is composed of government buildings, monuments, parks, museums, performing arts venues, embassies, and numerous office buildings as well as eight professional sporting teams, shopping districts and over 500,000 citizens who make the District of Columbia their home. The District of Columbia’s most popular attractions are pictured here from the White House, the Washington Monument and the Smithsonian’s museums to performances at The Kennedy Center and giant pandas at the National Zoo. Besides all the top tourist destinations, you will see the Declaration of Independence inside the National Archives, gaze into a handmade outrigger canoe in the National Museum of the American Indian and explore the neighborhoods of Washington, D.C.

    Washington, DC: A Photographic Portrait
    Randy Santos and Susan Diranian

    There is no city in the world quite like our nation's capital. It's a place where history meets modern day, power meets compromise, conflict meets peace. It's vibrant, peaceful, political, cultural, sensational, livable and wonderful. From the marble steps of the U.S. Capitol building and the White House to the monumental monuments and museums to the tranquil neighborhoods and parks, it's all captured in this detailed photographic portrait. Many of the city's memorials and monuments have been ranked as America's most favorite architecture by the American Institute of Architects, including the United States Capitol building, Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Thomas Jefferson Memorial and the National Cathedral. Neighborhoods, such as Adams Morgan, Chinatown and Dupont Circle, exemplify the vibrancy and diversity found throughout D.C. The surrounding landscape, such as the cherry blossoms, reminds visitors and residents of the sheer beauty that abounds. Take a look at what makes Washington, D.C. so extraordinary. These stunning photographs will take you inside D.C.'s most storied buildings, institutions, memorials, monuments, and landmarks and help make clear that there really is no other place in the world like our nation's capital.

    Capital Views: Historic Photographs of Washington, DC, Alexandria and Loudoun County, Virginia, and Frederick County, Maryland
    James M. Goode

    Metropolitan areas change over the time. These changes come together and create a city's character and personality. Renowned Washington, DC, historian James Goode has assembled an incredible collection of images that look back at a Washington before it developed into the international metropolitan city it is today. The impactful historic photography exposes the elements of the DC metro area that have disappeared: the dairy farms of Loudoun County, the railroad round house in Alexandria, and model boats on the Rainbow Pool on the National Mall, as well as provide startling different views of areas and neighborhoods that still exist. The majority of these images have never been published, and under the curatorial eye of James Goode have been put together in a way that give readers a better understanding of the city Washington DC was, and the city it was to become.

    Other DC Titles
    Cherry Blossoms - Ann McClellan
    Freedom's Cap - Guy Gugliotta
    Hello Washington, DC - Martha Zschock
    The Hidden White House - Robert Klara
    The Kid's Guide to Washington, DC - Eileen Ogintz
    Very Washington DC - Diana Hollingsworth Gessler
    Washington, DC: A Pictorial Celebration - Penn Publishing
    Washington, DC Sights - MobileReference
    Washington: Portrait of a City - Steve Gottlieb

    Links and Stuff: August 27, 2015

    Sunday, August 23, 2015

    What I Read This Week: August 23, 2015

    It was quite the week. Our neighbor's apartment had a massive leak of some sort about two weeks ago. The water managed to seep into our bedroom and completely warp and buckle our parquet floor. We called the building manager about the problem and they started replacing the floor on Monday. The Husband and I had to clear out the bedroom (and a hallway closet) so that they contractors could replace quite a bit of square footage of flooring. We've essentially been living in a studio all week. The bed lived just off our living room rug and next to the dining room table. When we read before falling asleep, I use the office desk as my nightstand. It's been weird.

    Happily, the work is done and our apartment is back together. Fingers crossed the leak does not return.
    • Books
      • I finished In Search of the Perfect Loaf on Monday. Turns out I had all of 10 pages to kill off. It was a good book... and it truly did make me want to eat all the carbs I could find.
      • I also finished Truce. It's a juvenile book about the World War I Christmas truce. For some reason I thought it was supposed to be a graphic novel. It wasn't. It was not a bad book, but I still kind of wish it was a graphic novel.