Monday, May 25, 2015

Book 5: The Battle of Mogadishu

TITLE: The Battle of Mogadishu: Firsthand Accounts From the Men of Task Force Ranger
AUTHOR: Matt Eversmann and Dan Schilling (eds.)
STARTED: April 1, 2015
FINISHED: April 12, 2015
PAGES: 221
GENRE: Non-Fiction

FIRST SENTENCE: [From Mark Bowden's Forward] Matt Eversmann was the first serious interview I had for my book Black Hawk Down.

SUMMARY: [From BN] It started as a mission to capture a Somali warlord. It turned into a disastrous urban firefight and death-defying rescue operation that shocked the world and rattled a great nation. Now the 1993 battle for Mogadishu, Somalia–the incident that was the basis of the book and film Black Hawk Down–is remembered by the men who fought and survived it. Six of the best in our military recall their brutal experiences and brave contributions in these never-before-published, first-person accounts.

THOUGHTS: It's not every day that I stare at my bookcase and think, "You know what I could really go for right now? A military memoir." But that feeling did strike me, so I grabbed this out of my collection. It's not the best book in the world (military men have a very distinctive way of talking/writing), but it did hit the spot. I've always been fascinated by the Battle of Mogadishu, so it was very interesting to see the personal the stories of some of the people who lived through the incident. I was a bit bummed that the collected essays were mainly narratives and not more introspective or analytical, but it was still interesting to read.

RATING: 6/10 [Good]

Sunday, May 24, 2015

What I Read This Week: May 24, 2015

The operating system on the computers at work were finally upgraded from Windows XP to Windows 7. It took our tech guy half a day to transfer, update, and reconfigure everything I use. I use Windows 7 at home, so I know how the system works, but it still took me almost a full day to organize my transferred files and set up all the programs just as I like them. Thank goodness it's summer and the rest of my projects are running smoothly.

Also, The Husband was on staycation all week. I came home to freshly folded laundry, delicious dinners, and walks around our neighborhood. It was spectacular. Now I'm, bummed that he'll be going back to his crazy work hours next week. Sad face.
  • Work
    • I flipped through the May 2015 issue of College and Research Libraries News. I only stopped to read the article on an innovative way to collect reference questions.
  • Magazines
    • Food Network, May 2015 - I was going to love this issue, no matter what was inside, since there was a cupcake on the cover. Luckily for me, the issue was as delicious as promised. The cupcake piece contained some create recipes along with some baking tips. I also enjoyed the editorial on colorful kitchens, along with the behind the scenes look at the set of Guy's Grocery Games. Now that is a store I want to shop in. The attention to detail is amazing. Finally, I pulled a few recipes to try later; a few came out of the pasta dinners section.
    • Food Network, June 2015 - I read this immediately after I finished the May issue, so it was a touch of a let down. June was Hollywood themed, so it was just meh for me. I did enjoy the tidbits I learned about popcorn and what the stars like to eat, but otherwise, *toss*. 
    • Washingtonian, May 2015 - As a person who loves to walk everywhere, this issue was perfect. I read every word of the Washington walks article, and I filed away several ideas to try later. Next up: Kevin Spacey. The Husband and I watch House of Cards, so I found this story about Spacey, the man to be very interesting. I read the rest of the issue enjoying the usual neighborhood and restaurant insights, but nothing else particularly caught my eye.
  • Books
    • I'm a few chapters into my new read, The Sweet Life in Paris. So far it's a nice mix of (slightly stereotypical and judgy) insights about Parisians and recipes. Now I want to go back to that glorious city and eat all the things. ALL THE THINGS!
  • Other

Friday, May 22, 2015

Book 4: Symbiont

TITLE: Symbiont
AUTHOR: Mira Grant
STARTED: March 11, 2015
FINISHED: March 30, 2015
PAGES: 528
GENRE: Fiction

FIRST SENTENCE: The recording is substandard, clearly done on a cellular telephone or cheap tablet, rather than any form of professional camera.

SUMMARY: [From BN] The SymboGen designed tapeworms were created to relieve humanity of disease and sickness. But the implants in the majority of the world's population began attacking their hosts, turning them into a ravenous horde.

Now those who do not appear to be afflicted are being gathered for quarantine as panic spreads, but Sal and her companions must discover how the tapeworms are taking over their hosts, what their eventual goal is, and how they can be stopped.

THOUGHTS: Mira Grant basically writes the same story over and over again, but it works. This novel was highly predictable, and even two months later, I can still remember the entire plot. So, even though it's predictable, it's enjoyable. The story is well paced and the plot dramatic, but it's meh otherwise.

RATING: 6/10 [Good]

The Friday Find: Clip It

These hair clip is one of the most adorable things I have seen.

You can buy this from PinsWithPersonality on Etsy.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Seen on the Metro: Cozy Reader

I love it when I see people not reading books stereotyped for other demographics. Last week, on my commute home, I saw an older, white haired and gray mustacheoed gentleman reading a cozy romance novel. While I could not see the title, it was a Debbie MacComber.

I have now seen this gentleman on the metro twice in about a week. The first time I saw him, he was just starting this book. Yesterday, he was nearly done.

I hope he enjoyed his book.

Links and Stuff: May 21, 2015

Sunday, May 17, 2015

What I Read This Week: May 17, 2015

I got nothing. I'm searching my brain for something to write here, but I got nothing. Straight to the reading then!
  • Work
    • I finally worked my way through the pile of reading I collected while at Computers in Libraries. Most of the stuff I just skimmed, but I did read an article about digitizing material in the March/April 2015 issue of Online Searcher. It was a nice introduction to the kinds of projects my library might be attempting soon.
  • Magazines
    • The Atlantic, May 2015 - I was mostly unimpressed by this issue. Aside from the cover article on Starbucks and college, I mostly went "eh" while reading the stories. I guess not every issue of your favorite magazine has to be a winner.
  • Books
    • I finished reading The One and Only. I didn't "like" it but I didn't not like it. It's a weird sort of feeling that I kind of love. Now I need to track down another book to read, and I have no idea what I am in the mood for.
  • Other
    • I continued to read The New York Times feature articles about nail salons. The piece about the health effects was particularly disturbing.
    • In last Sunday's WaPo Magazine, there was a feature article on a woman who conserves textiles. It was right up my alley.

Friday, May 15, 2015

The Friday Find: And Cheese

Here is a snack delivering device that every bookclub needs.
Looking at this picture makes me want cheese. You can find this board on Uncommon Goods.