Wednesday, December 28, 2011

BOOLEAN: Storage

My rabid acquisition of BOOLEAN wear lead to a conundrum. Where they heck do I store them all? Before I went a little nuts buying anything I thought looked awesome, my tight collection fit nicely in a nook in my dresser. Yeah.... that didn't last.

As I amassed more tights, it became harder to select which ones to wear. Black and gray tights start to blur into one another when you have them stacked in a drawer. There were some days that, in the pre-coffee, early morning dimness, I wore a pair of tights out of the house that clashed horribly with my chosen clothing. I'm fairly certain some of my co-workers questioned my fashion sense.

Clearly a change was in order.

So, I tried rearranging my dresser, shuffling the closet, and weeding (yes, weeding) my BOOLEAN collection. Those failed. Suddenly, I had a moment of brilliance when I spotted this pin on Pinterest (that website is too darn addictive). Under my bed, I had a drawer stuffed with my winter scarves, gloves, and hats. I decided to move my winter wear into a closet, freeing up the drawer for all my tights.


I may have shed a tear of happiness once I finished the transfer process

So pretty...

Do I have enough tights? Probably. Will that stop me from adding to my collection? Nope.

There is still room to grow in that drawer.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Book 55: A Rake's Vow

TITLE: A Rake's Vow
AUTHOR: Stephanie Laurens
STARTED: November 23, 2011
FINISHED: November 25, 2011
PAGES: 374
GENRE: Romance

FIRST SENTENCE: "You want to get a move on."

SUMMARY: [From barnesandnoble.com] He vowed he' d never marry.

To Vane Cynster, Bellamy Hall seems like the perfect place to temporarily hide from London's husband hunters. But when he encounters irresistible Patience Debbington, Vane realises he's met his match ...

She vowed no man would catch her.

Patience isn't about to succumb to Vane's sensuous propositions. Yes, his kisses leave her dizzy and his caresses made her melt; but Patience has promised herself she′ll never become vulnerable to a broken heart. Is this one vow that was meant to be broken?


THOUGHTS: The plague of "meh" romance novels continues. I read this book over Thanksgiving, and I don't remember much. How's that for a review? Frankly, this book was just a mash-up of bedroom scenes. The plot that tied them together was fragile at best. I've read far better. I've also read worse.

RATING: 4/10 [An "okay" book]

BOOLEAN: Member Tights - Ballet

BOOLEAN member, The Roomie, sported these tights when we saw The Nutcracker before the holidays. On our walk to the Kennedy Center, she noticed that they sparkle a little in the sun. It was awesome.

They remind me of sugar plums.

Send your BOOLEAN pictures and links to BOOLEANgroup@gmail.com

Links and Stuff: December 22, 2011

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Book 54: McNally's Luck

TITLE: McNally's Luck
AUTHOR: Lawrence Sanders
STARTED: November 19, 2011
FINISHED: November 22, 2011
PAGES: 324
GENRE: Mystery

FIRST SENTENCE: The cat's name was Peaches, and it was a fat Persian with a vile disposition.

SUMMARY: [From barnesandnoble.com] McNally's Luck begins as a search for a purloined pet but quickly becomes far more lethal. As investigator for his father's prestigious law firm, McNally regularly sees a side of elegant Palm Beach that's best described as seamy. But even he is shocked by the Pandora's box of lust and larceny slowly opening before him. On the heels of the catnapping, a prominent woman is brutally murdered, and in some cryptic way, the acts are linked. As he fits the many pieces of the puzzle into a single, lurid truth, Archy crosses paths with mediums, murderers, impostors and adulterers - and learns at an eerie seance that there are scandals even death can't hide. 

THOUGHTS: Okay, this series might be growing on me. My qualms about McNally as a character are still there, but I was able to get through this book without snorting. Progress!

I also liked the mystery in this one. Weird, I know. Maybe there is a bit of a mystery reader in me afterall.

I wish I had more to say about this book (since there have been a dearth of book reviews on this here blog as of late), but it's a beachy read. There's not much to to review. 

RATING: 6/10 [Good]

Monday, December 19, 2011

Happy Holidays

Tomorrow is my last day of work until the new year. I shall be traveling for the next two weeks (lots of reading time in the back seat of the car is in my future), so blogging will be rather spotty. Although, I will try to squeeze in a picture of butter beer as I shall be visiting Harry Potter land for my Christmas gift. Book-related-gift woot!

Regular updates will return in 2012.

And one last note...

Happy Holidays from your BOOLEAN loving blogger.


Friday, December 16, 2011

BOOLEAN: Friday Fashion Find - Shine

One of the things I like best about the holidays are how they light up my apartment.

No, really. I have so many trees and strings of lights that some days I wonder if it's worth turning on my "regular" lights.

These tights remind me of the holidays because they sparkle.


You can find a pair of these on the Nordstrom website.

Send your BOOLEAN pictures and links to BOOLEANgroup@gmail.com

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Links and Stuff: December 15, 2011

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

YouTube Tuesday: Four-Eyes


Librarian from Mitchell Mitch on Vimeo.



Something like this may have been going through my head when I was purchasing my new spectacles.


Monday, December 12, 2011

On the Job: Holiday Season

As a manager, there are a few times each year where you will just have to admit that productivity is not going to happen. The December holiday season / end of year is one such time (particularly if you work in academic library).

You'll notice these days creep in when you staff seem distant, glassy eyed, and more conversational chatty than normal. Snacks, baked goods, and decorations may randomly appear. Lunches may get longer, and days will end sooner.

And, you know what, that's okay (within reason, of course).

Clearly it's best to keep staff on track, but as long as the "must do" tasks are being completed, let them socialize. When staff are friendly with each other, sharing personal stories and vacation plans, the mood of the office is much happier. A happy office is, in the long run, a more productive office.

So, let your staff slow down a bit, share some holiday cheer, and know that you can get back down to business in the new year.

Friday, December 09, 2011

BOOLEAN: Friday Fashion Find - Spell it Out

The first thing I thought when I saw these tights was, "Ms. Frizzle!"


I still kind of want them. You can buy a pair here (free shipping... for now).

Send your BOOLEAN pictures and links to BOOLEANgroup@gmail.com.

Thursday, December 08, 2011

BOOLEAN: Gray Diamond Again

These tights are a repeat, but I've fashioned them slightly differently. The last time I featured these tights, I wore silver flats and a light gray skirt. Now, I've decided to try them out with grey heels and a darker gray skirt.


Not bad... I think I will continue to try different shoes with these. They are rather versatile, which I love.

Send your BOOLEAN pictures and links to BOOLEANgroup@gmail.com.

Links and Stuff: December 8, 2001

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Useful Things: Moving

I hate moving.

Aside from having to pack and unpack, the worst part of moving is changing your address on everything. Thank goodness Updater.com exists.

While the website can't change 100% of your catalogs, bills, and mail - it manages to update the vast majority. Simply follow the step-by-step process to update your address and notify most people who send you stuff through the mail.

The service is free and secure. While you're there, you can also opt-out of receiving junk mail.

Monday, December 05, 2011

On the Job: Ch-ch-ch-changes

My work week just exploded. My department is gaining some new staff, and that means we're rearranging duties as well as office space. (Our IT is my hero.)

There are lots of changes happening right now, and we're trying to fit them all in before the library closes for the Christmas holiday. Thus, a lot of adjustments, both physical and mental, need to occur in just a short period of time.


To get through office upheavals, it's best to smile and keep an upbeat attitude. If you are a supervisor, showing a calm and collected demeanor can go a long way to making the change period less stressful. Staff will be looking to you for guidance. It is reassuring to everyone when the boss seems excited about what's to come. If however, the boss is worried, the staff are sure to wonder what's up.

Also, listen to your staff. Give them a chance to explain their issues or share their outlook for what's ahead. Keep an open ear. People get great ideas during moments of change, you may want to include their input. Be there for your staff, and show that you are aware that these moments can be both exciting and terrifying.

Don't fear change. Go with the flow, keep a level head, and know that the end goal of change is a more productive and happier office. These times are bumps that, once gotten over, lead to a smoother workplace.

BOOLEAN: Gray Argygle

While I loaded up on tights during the "off season," I bought these guys just a few weeks ago during the awesome sale at Bare Necessities. I needed a few pairs of BOOLEAN wear for when the days are really really really cold. These guys were warm and just like wearing a sweater.


Send your BOOLEAN pictures and links to BOOLEANgroup@gmail.com

Friday, December 02, 2011

BOOLEAN: Friday Fashion Find - Rich

MSNBC posted a story on their website today about (expensive!) legwear being the "it" fashion accessory of the season. I, for one, cannot afford such schwanky apparel. Instead, I price stalk my favorite BOOLEAN pieces until they are offered at a price that doesn't make my wallet cry.

So, when Gilt offered discounts on Kate Spade Tights (sale ends tonight), I took advantage of the sale.



I don't know how I will wear these, but they were too cool to ignore. (Also, they look epically warm.)

Send your BOOLEAN pictures and links to BOOLEANgroup@gmail.com.

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Links and Stuff: December 1, 2011

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

YouTube Tuesday: Mr. Bean

BOOLEAN: Member Tights - Green with Envy

BOOLEAN Co-Founder Katie B. sent me her first picture of the season. I am green with envy.



Just look at how vibrant those tights are. Strong hues always make for spectacular BOOLEAN wear. Katie also mentioned that she wore green eye shadow to match her tights. Awesome!

Send your BOOLEAN pictures and links to BOOLEANgroup@gmail.com.

Monday, November 28, 2011

On the Job: Schedule

This Wednesday, I will return to work after a rather lengthy break. Between then and the Christmas holiday, I want to accomplish a long list of "things." That means I have to figure out how to cram my many action points into less than a month of work. It's time to break out the calendar.

When you have a list of things to do and only a short time to do them, it helps to create a schedule. That way you know what should be done when. Scheduling your tasks as if they were meetings or events, keeps you organized and on schedule. It also forces you to focus and not get distracted by shiny new projects or extemporaneous activities.

When creating a schedule, I prefer to make a list, determine the time each task will take, create an order of attack, and then write down my plans on a calendar. I am a linear thinker in this regard, so that plan works for me. It's right there in my face, all day. I know what I want to do, and when I want to finish.

A final hint on this - don't beat yourself up if you miss a self-imposed deadline. Delays happen, just adjust as best as you can and keep working.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

BOOLEAN: Friday Fashion Find - Comfy

Quick Author's Note - Sorry this post is late, I forgot to hit publish yesterday.

Now that you've stuffed your face with noms, I'm guessing that tights (particularly those of the control top variety) are not at the top of your comfy clothing pile. If you have to go out and about the day after Thanksgiving, I highly recommend donning a pair of over the knee socks. They are just as warm as tights, but don't have the contraining waist band.

These guys are stripedy and fun.

I found them and a bunch of others at Joy of Socks.

Send your BOOLEAN pictures and links to BOOLEANgroup@gmail.com.


Thursday, November 24, 2011

Links and Stuff: November 24, 2011


Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Useful Things: Talking Turkey

Tomorrow is a day of turkey. In case you had questions about cooking your bird, I suggest the following resources:

USDA - Let's Talk Turkey
eHow - How Long to Cook a Turkey
Whole Foods - Cooking a Perfect Turkey
YouTube - How to Cook Turkey: Part 1 - Prepping and Roasting
All Recipes - How to Cook a Turkey
Epicurious - How to Roast a Turkey


If you'd like to speak to a person, there is always the old standby of the Butterball Hotline - 1-800-BUTTERBALL.

Monday, November 21, 2011

On the Job: Enjoy Your Days Off

I am visiting my hometown in Upstate NY for the Thanksgiving holiday.

For the next few days, I plan on doing nothing but reading in the big comfy chair in front of the fire and futzing around on the interwebs. I also plan on consuming vast amounts of food.... which I will probably regret... but not until next week.

Basically, I'm enjoying my time away from the office. When you're not putting in ye olde 9-to-5, you should too.

Yup, that's all the advice I got right now.

Enjoy!

Friday, November 18, 2011

BOOLEAN: Friday Fashion Find - Shiny

The holidays are upon us! That means you may need a pair or two of appropriate BOOLEAN wear. The Roomie and BOOLEAN member found these excellent, cocktail party appropriate tights.

Shiny = Awesome

You can grab a pair of these from Nordstrom (currently, on sale too!). They're in the Hue line of tights so you'd probably encounter them elsewhere as well.

Send your BOOLEAN pictures and links to BOOLEANgroup@gmail.com

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Book 53: The One-Page Project Manager

TITLE: The One-Page Project Manager: Communicate and Manage Any Project with a Single Sheet of Paper
AUTHOR: Clark A. Campbell
STARTED: November 7, 2011
FINISHED: November 16, 2011
PAGES: 140
GENRE: Project Management

FIRST SENTENCE: Imagine.

SUMMARY: [From AmazonThe One-Page Project Manager shows you how to boil down any project into a simple, one-page document that can be used to communicate all essential details to upper management, other departments, suppliers, and audiences. This practical guide will save time and effort, helping you identify the vital parts of a project and communicate those parts and duties to other team members.

THOUGHTS: This book would be incredibly useful if you were in need a project planning or status tracking device. The whole point of the book is to walk you through the how and why of creating a one-page project manager. I wish I could use this tool in my current project. I like it so much I may make a variation for myself.

The text is a wee bit repetitive, as I think most of the "one-page" is self explanatory, but that does make the book bad. The multiple examples and thorough explanations just show you how good this tool can be.

If you need a device to sell, orient, or prove your project, this is it. You can check it out for yourself (or download an editable copy) on the book's webpage - www.oppmi.com.

RATING: 6/10 [Good]

BOOLEAN: Member Tights

BOOLEAN Member The Roomie has busted out her tights for the winter season. One of her first pairs of tights were these fun guys.


A good pattern in a tight makes any work outfit more awesome.

Send your BOOLEAN pictures and links to BOOLEANgroup@gmail.com.

Links and Stuff: November 17, 2011

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Librarian Stuff

Following on the heels of last week's Pinterest review, I give you a new page!

Click the "Librarian Stuff" tab above (or this here link) to see a board of librarian/library related stuff that I find amusing. It will grow as I find more things to pin, so feel free to check back often.

If you're on Pinterest had have a book or library board, let me know. I'd love to check it out.


Book 52: Project Management in Libraries, Archives and Museums

TITLE: Project Management in Libraries, Archives and Museums
AUTHOR: Julie Carpenter
STARTED: October 19, 2011
FINISHED: November 5, 2011
PAGES: 207
GENRE: Library Science

FIRST SENTENCE: Projects are a common feature in the work of libraries, archives and museums.

SUMMARY: [From Amazon]  Aimed at practitioners and managers, this practical handbook provides a source of guidance on project management techniques for the academic and cultural heritage sectors, focusing on managing projects involving public sector and other external partners. Issues under consideration and illustration include: different approaches to managing projects and how to select appropriate methods; using project management tools and other applications in project development and implementation; ensuring the sustainability of project outcomes and transferability into practice; realistic monitoring methodologies and specifying and commissioning evaluation work that has real value.

THOUGHTS: This book is very good if you work in a public library or a very community oriented institution. I did not get much out of this book because I was not the target audience. That was disappointing. This book is definitely meant for real project (and ones that take place in Europe). That's not to say that the book is bad or poorly written. On the contrary, this book has very good information if you are in the right audience. It's a bit heavy on the technical vocabulary, but the text is still readable.

I skimmed more than read this book because it relies heavily on examples, descriptions, and what ifs. If that's your thang, than this book is for you.

RATING: 5/10 [Meh.]

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

BOOLEAN: Graphic Design

Last week, I mentioned that I froze outdoors because I wore the wrong pair of tights. These were the guys I happened to be wearing.


They look awesome, but the icy chill of a cold day goes right through them.

Send your BOOLEAN pictures and links to BOOLEANgroup@gmail.com.

YouTube Tuesday: Share Your Food



The New York Public Library wants to know what you've been eating.

Monday, November 14, 2011

On the Job: I'm Back

Today's On the Job is a companion piece to last week's entry about planning ahead.

So you were away from the office for a few days, and today is your first day back. I hope you're refreshed and have coffee (or another beverage of your choice), because it is likely that some amount of work has accumulated in your absence. Here are a few tips to get your through that first day (or two) after an absence.
  • Breath!: Don't stress yourself out. Take a deep breath, and take some time to get yourself readjusted to being back in the office. 
  • Prioritize: Take a look a what has accumulated in your absence and decide what needs to be handled first. If it helps to write out a list, do so. Don't skip this step. It will be easier to handle the first day back if you create order from the "Aaaahhhhhh! My desk is buried!" chaos.
  • Catch-up meeting(s): Have a formal or informal catch-up with your coworkers and staff. Find out what happened while you were away.
  • Get down to business: Once you know what has to be done, get to it. Don't rush to get everything done at once. Stick to your list
  • Take a break: While it is your first day back, you will need to eat. Take a lunch break and/or coffee break. If you pace yourself, you'll be fully fueled and more productive.
  • Announce your return: I believe that this step should wait until the afternoon of your first day back. Most people will be aware that you are back, and you'll probably have a few visits in the morning. Try to keep most people at bay until the afternoon - by then you will know how much/what kind of work you're looking at.
  • End the reminders: Now that you're fully back, remove your out of office reminders on your e-mail and voicemail.
  • Leave: It may be impossible to leave on time, but try not to work too late. The work will be there on day two. Save what you can for the next few days, and go home.
Welcome back to the office!

Friday, November 11, 2011

BOOLEAN: Friday Fashion Find - Harvest

I had to stand outside, in the cold, during a false fire alarm yesterday. If the building had been on fire, I would have stood next to the flames to warm up. I turned into a block of ice because I was wearing the wrong tights.

Winter weather calls for warm tights. Like these guys below. They look like a sweater for your legs.




You can grab a pair of these for yourself from Bare Necessities. Speaking of which, in case you need to stock up on BOOLEAN supplies, they are holding a 25% off sale on a large selection of their legwear. Rejoice!

Send your BOOLEAN pictures and links to BOOLEANgroup@gmail.com.

So that's where my time goes...


For funsies, I decided to create a page that lists every book I've read since I started this blog.

After several days of work and numerous hand cramps, I completed my work. I know I read more books than your average bear, but seeing the list on one page is a mix of awesome and scary.

You can peruse this list for yourself by clicking on the Reading List tab in the blog or by following this link.

What I find most interesting is how my reading sort of acts as a record of my life. My reading tastes and speed change according to what's going on in my non-book world. Has anyone else noticed that in their lives?


Thursday, November 10, 2011

Book 51: Orbiter

TITLE: Orbiter
AUTHOR: Warren Ellis and Colleen Doran
STARTED: October 26, 2011
FINISHED: October 27, 2011
PAGES: 104
GENRE: Graphic Novel

FIRST SENTENCE:

SUMMARY: [From Amazon] In this science fiction mystery tale, Venture, a space shuttle that disappeared ten years ago with its crew of seven, miraculously returns from outer space without warning or explanation. Occupied by only an insane pilot, the spacecraft shows evidence of a remarkable journey through the solar systems. Now, in order to solve the mystery of the shuttle's inexplicable journey and the fate of its six lost astronauts, three NASA specialists are called upon to investigate the alien instrumentation and materials that adorn Venture. But as secrets are revealed, it soon becomes apparent that the shuttle's journey not only took it outside our solar system but to a realm of existence that is unimaginable.

THOUGHTS: I want to go into space. I'm pretty sure that the authors of this book intended me to feel just that. The story is a little weird and creepy (a shuttle covered in skin? ew.), but the desire for the characters to "know what's out there" is palpable on every page. This is a book about desire, and that feeling overwhelms everything else.

This graphic novel is very short. The story covers only a few days, but the simplicity makes the point of the story very clear. These characters have been contacted to discover what happened to the shuttle. Tis a very straightforward plot, and the characters' motives are easy to follow. Orbiter is a book that is more about a feeling of adventure as opposed to an actual story. X,Y, and Z all happen in course, but the whole point is make you wonder, "What if?"

You never get an answer to that question, but that is okay. I still have a lingering sense of wonder after reading this book, and that makes me happy.

RATING: 6/10 [Good]

Book 50: Girls in White Dresses

TITLE: Girls in White Dresses
AUTHOR: Jennifer Close
STARTED: October 23, 2011
FINISHED: October 26, 2011
PAGES: 304
GENRE: Fiction

FIRST SENTENCE: Isabella's sister, Molly, was married with ten bridesmaids in matching tea-length, blue floral Laura Ashley dresses.

SUMMARY: [From Amazon] Girls in White Dresses tells the story of three women grappling with heartbreak and career change, family pressure and new love—all while suffering through an endless round of weddings and bridal showers.

Isabella, Mary, and Lauren feel like everyone they know is getting married. On Sunday after Sunday, at bridal shower after bridal shower, they coo over toasters, collect ribbons and wrapping paper, eat minuscule sandwiches and doll-sized cakes. They wear pastel dresses and drink champagne by the case, but amid the celebration these women have their own lives to contend with: Isabella is working at a mailing-list company, dizzy with the mixed signals of a boss who claims she’s on a diet but has Isabella file all morning if she forgets to bring her a chocolate muffin. Mary thinks she might cry with happiness when she finally meets a nice guy who loves his mother, only to realize he’ll never love Mary quite as much. And Lauren, a waitress at a Midtown bar, swears up and down she won’t fall for the sleazy bartender—a promise that his dirty blond curls and perfect vodka sodas make hard to keep.

With a wry sense of humor, Jennifer Close brings us through those thrilling, bewildering, what-on-earth-am-I-going-to-do-with-my-life years of early adulthood. These are the years when everyone else seems to have a plan, a great job, and an appropriate boyfriend, while Isabella has a blind date with a gay man, Mary has a crush on her boss, and Lauren has a goldfish named Willard. Through boozy family holidays and disastrous ski vacations, relationships lost to politics and relationships found in pet stores, Girls in White Dresses pulls us deep inside the circle of these friends, perfectly capturing the wild frustrations and soaring joys of modern life.

THOUGHTS: I put this book in my library queque because it received a lot of pre-release hype. I was disppointed. I never connected with the book's characters or story. I am, for the most part, living the life of these characters, and I still couldn't identify or care about them.

The writing is far to episodic, and that makes the story feel incomplete. I felt myself constantly asking, "And?" The writing felt lazy and unedited. The stories of the characters are told in vignettes, but there was no connection or transition. There were just stories about the happenings in these characters lives. Normally, I can get behind vignette writing, but not this time. The stories felt too much like a high schooler attempting to write their first novel.

I could have overlooked the writing if the story was good. Instead, it just felt "there." Nothing special, nothing intriguing, simply there. More often than not, I wondered why the characters were acting they way they were. The motivations for these characters actions and responses seemed to be lacking. Close does make some decent observations about what it means to be a young woman finding her way, but her characters don't live up to these insights.

I did not give this book a lower rating because I at least didn't hate it. I just didn't care. Maybe that's actually worse, but I have to truly dislike a book to give an epically bad score. This book, I just cast aside when I was done and said, "Next."

RATING: 4/10 [An "okay" book]

Links and Stuff: November 10, 2011

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Useful Things: Pin It!

I have a new addiction.

My drug of choice is Pinterest.

Pinterest is a virtual pinboard where you clip, comment on, and save all the awesome stuff you find on the web. According to the website:
Pinterest lets you organize and share all the beautiful things you find on the web. People use pinboards to plan their weddings, decorate their homes, and organize their favorite recipes. Best of all, you can browse pinboards created by other people. Browsing pinboards is a fun way to discover new things and get inspiration from people who share your interests.

What that does not say is that Pinterest is highly addictive and you may never want to stop pinning, repinning, sharing, and commenting.

The website is easy to use and you can customize your board and pins to suit your needs.You can "pin" an item by uploading it to the site or by using the "Pin It" function which can be (very easily) added to your browser of choice. For more ways on how to Pinterest, visit their About page - it has some great ideas. There Help page also offers an extensive list of how tos.

The service is free, but you do need to request an account (I got mine in about 24 hours). Speaking of which, if you want to follow my pin boards, you can do so by clicking here.

Book 49: Blankets

TITLE: Blankets
AUTHOR: Craig Thompson
STARTED: October 23, 2011
FINISHED: October 23, 2011
PAGES: 591
GENRE: Graphic Novel

FIRST SENTENCE: When we were young, my little brother Phil and I shared the same bed.

SUMMARY: [From Amazon] Revisiting the themes of deep friendship and separation Thompson surveyed in Goodbye Chunky Rice, his acclaimed and touching debut, this sensitive memoir recreates the confusion, emotional pain and isolation of the author's rigidly fundamentalist Christian upbringing, along with the trepidation of growing into maturity. Skinny, naive and spiritually vulnerable, Thompson and his younger brother manage to survive their parents' overbearing discipline (the brothers are sometimes forced to sleep in "the cubby-hole," a forbidding and claustrophobic storage chamber) through flights of childhood fancy and a mutual love of drawing. But escapist reveries can't protect them from the cruel schoolmates who make their lives miserable. Thompson's grimly pious parents and religious community dismiss his budding talent for drawing; they view his creative efforts as sinful and relentlessly hector the boys about scripture. By high school, Thompson's a lost, socially battered and confused soul-until he meets Raina and her clique of amiable misfits at a religious camp. Beautiful, open, flexibly spiritual and even popular (something incomprehensible to young Thompson), Raina introduces him to her own less-than-perfect family; to a new teen community and to a broader sense of himself and his future. The two eventually fall in love and the experience ushers Thompson into the beginnings of an adult, independent life. Thompson manages to explore adolescent social yearnings, the power of young love and the complexities of sexual attraction with a rare combination of sincerity, pictorial lyricism and taste. His exceptional b&w drawings balance representational precision with a bold and wonderfully expressive line for pages of ingenious, inventively composed and poignant imagery.

THOUGHTS: I wish I could give this book a full review... but it's been two weeks since I read it... and I don't remember much. Gah - bad blogger, Meghan!

I do recall being very intrigued by this book, but not being sure if I was supposed to focus on the "love story" or the "religion story." Both were very important parts of the book, but it was kind of hard to know the author's main point. I do remember laughing quite a bit, but I think that was related to the brothers' antics.

The art was quite nice. Very easy to look at, and full of detail. I love graphic novels that don't skimp on the art.

At best, I could say this was an enjoyable book at the time I was reading it - but it left no lasting impact on my memory.



RATING: 6/10 [Good]

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Book 48: Death of a Hussy


TITLE:
Death of a Hussy
AUTHOR: M.C. Beaton
STARTED: October 22, 2011
FINISHED: October 22, 2011
PAGES: 151
GENRE: Mystery

FIRST SENTENCE: "You might have known people really do dress up for dinner in the highlands."

SUMMARY: [From Amazon] The Scottish village of Lochdubh has a problem: the beloved police constable, Hamish Macbeth ( Death of a Perfect Wife ), has been transferred to Strathbane because of a dearth of local crime. In a successful bid to get him back, the villagers, led by newcomer Maggie Baird, organize a crime wave. On his return, Hamish is confronted with a possible murder. Maggie, who in younger and slimmer years had amassed a fortune as a well-rewarded kept woman, dies, ostensibly of a heart attack during a car fire. Suspects include her niece and heir, Alison, who had been living with Maggie after recuperating from lung cancer, and four of Maggie's former lovers and present suitors, whom she had invited for a visit: an ad man, a car salesman, a manager of a gambling club and a fading pop singer, all of them in dire need of money. Hamish draws on his knowledge of the local people and of human nature to solve the case. Meanwhile he continues his off-again, on-again romance with a daughter of the local gentry and attempts to stay out of hot water with his superiors, who resent his unpredictable approach to life and policing

THOUGHTS: Not gonna lie, this book amused me before I even started read. Hussy... teehee.

Anyway, juvenile laughter aside, this is your typical Hamish MacBeth book. There are shenanigans and a death (or two) that must be solved. Hamish rises to the occasion while aggravating some and charming others. It's all very quaint and formulaic. Yes, I will read more.

My only complaint, Hamish was a bit of an ass at the beginning of the book. Thank goodness his later adorableness makes up for most of that.

RATING: 6/10 [Good]

YouTube Tuesday: The Smell of Books



Can I get one for my car?

Monday, November 07, 2011

On the Job: Plan Ahead

Thanksgiving is just under three weeks away. If you plan on taking time off, whether it be a few days, a week or longer, now is the time to start planning for your absence. Here are a few steps you can take to make sure the office runs smoothly while you're away:
  • Announce your time off: Let everyone you usually work with know that you will be away. If necessary, let them know that they should adjust their workflow accordingly.
  • Annouce your limits: While you're letting people know that you'll be away, you should also make it known if you can be contacted. You are stepping away from the office, so make sure your coworkers and staff know your boundaries. If you don't want to be or are unable to be contacted, they should be aware of that fact. If you have certain things that you just can't ignore, let me people know the best way to contact you.
  • Emergency contact: If the worst case scenario occurs, someone should be able to get in touch with you. Leave your emergency contact information with a colleague you trust.
  • Delegate: If certain projects/events need to be handled while you're away, let people know. Your coworkers and staff should not be left guessing who needs to handle what. Let them know what your expectations are before you head out.
  • Water me: Let someone know if they need to water your plants or feed your office pet.
  • Check you calendar: Make sure that you don't have any meeting, events, etc. occurring during your time off. If you do, reschedule or make alternative arrangements. Take care of this as far in advance as you can, you may want to schedule some meetings before you leave.
  • Mail call: If you receive a lot of mail, figure out what to do with it in advance. Designate someone else to take care of it, or tell the mail room to hold onto everything until you get back.
  • Finish lingering projects: If you've had a few "things" sitting on your desk, take care of them before you leave (if you can). You'll feel better knowing you've accomplished something before you leave, and they won't be staring you in the face when you return.
  • Do your part: If someone's project depends on you, get your part done. Don't leave your coworkers hanging; make sure you deliver your end of the job. If you forget to do so before you leave, it's likely that you'll be getting phone calls during your vacation.
  • Organize your space: Clean your desk area, empty your inbox, wash that coffee cup, etc. If necessary, designate an area for people to drop off mail, memos, projects, etc. while you're away. Do whatever it is you need to do to make sure you come back to a clean space.
  • Set reminders: If you have e-mail and/or voicemail, make sure to set your "Out of Office" reminders. If you can, let people know how they can reach someone who is in the office.

Now that you're ready to leave - turn off your computer, pack your bag, and switch off the lights. Enjoy your vacation!

Next week, I'll discuss ways to tackle the first day back to the office.

Book 47: The Invention of Hugo Cabret


TITLE:
The Invention of Hugo Cabret
AUTHOR: Brian Selznick
STARTED: October 22, 2011
FINISHED: October 22, 2011
PAGES: 534
GENRE: Juvenile / Graphic Novel

FIRST SENTENCE: The story I am about to share with you takes place in 1932, under the roofs of Paris.

SUMMARY: [From Amazon] Orphan, clock keeper, and thief, Hugo lives in the walls of a busy Paris train station, where his survival depends on secrets and anonymity. But when his world suddenly interlocks with an eccentric, bookish girl and a bitter old man who runs a toy booth in the station, Hugo's undercover life, and his most precious secret, are put in jeopardy. A cryptic drawing, a treasured notebook, a stolen key, a mechanical man, and a hidden message from Hugo's dead father form the backbone of this intricate, tender, and spellbinding mystery.

THOUGHTS: This book is incredibly pretty to look at. The illustrations (most double page spreads) are incredibly detailed and full of emotion and action. Selznick is an incredible artist, and a pretty good storyteller as well. The story has a kind of subtle magic to it, but the illustrations are what make this book a good read.

The narrative is a little bit convoluted for a young adult book, but I like that Selznick expects his readers to follow along. He does not take the reader by the hand and lead them through his plot. Instead, he just tells the story. Like many young adult books of today, there is an old timey quality to this story. Sure the story is set in 1932, but that doesn't really cause the "old school" feel. I don't know how he does it, but Selznick manages to make his story feel old and long-lived. I like it.

As for the art, just look at it. So pretty. Selznick must have magical, non-cramping hands to draw all of these pages.


RATING: 6/10 [Good]

Friday, November 04, 2011

5 Stars

My friend and fellow librarian, Katie B., had a great post on her blog a while back. In it she mentions what 5 library things that excite her these days. I'd thought I'd throw my 5 out there as well.

1. Stereotypes - This is one of those hotly contested "things" going about the library realm. Some people are just sick of all the articles about hot librarians, hipster librarians, trendy librarians, etc., while others, like myself, are in love with it. Frankly, I like to play up (and with) librarian stereotypes. I've just decided to give into the whole young/trendy/hot librarian fad. I'm young, and I own it. I'm a nerd, and I love it. I also say, screw it - if you think librarians wear buns and sensible shoes, than that's what I'm going to do. I own that stereotype. At the same time, I'm one of the younger librarians on staff, and I try to use my age and enthusiasm to show our undergrad patrons that libraries are great places with awesome stuff. We librarians are here to help. If that means using stereotypes to achieve my goals then, gosh darnit, I'm gonna do it. So, shush.

2. Pop Culture Presence - It could be because I look for it, but I've noticed a resurgence of libraries/librarians in popular culture and the press. I loves it. Sometimes it's just a mention here and there, other times they get whole articles and TV shows. If it reminds the public that we exist to do their bidding, I'm all for it.

3. User Centered Service - Why do libraries exist? To connect people with information. Yes, most people still see libraries as book warehouses, but we are so much more than that these days. Libraries have become these hives of information where people buzz around without being shushed. I got into library science because I like to connect people with information. (I was always that girl saying, "Oooo! You'd like this. Here!") While libraries will always house information in some way, they are no longer just these big buildings filled with dusty and old books. Libraries are being designed and remodeled to encourage collaborative learning, information sharing, and community development. Versatility is the new name of the game. Librarians tend to see themselves more as information sherpas, leading their users to their information goal. You are our patrons, we are here to facilitate your information need. Ask me!


4. Information Literacy - I don't need to tell you that we live in an information saturated world. Modern humans encounter more information in one day that previous generations could ever hope to see in their lifetime. To navigate it all, you need to be information literate. Libraries and librarians are making a strong push to encourage information literacy training beginning at a young age. It makes my heart go all aflutter when I think librarians out in the wild telling people how to successfully identify, find, and use information.

5.Shiny! - This could be my inner cat speaking, but I like how libraries are always toying with the newest technologies and tools. Not every library is on the cutting edge, but those that are have a lot of fun with and use for "the coolest new things." Our experiments with the latest shtuff does not always work, but sometimes we can strike it big. (We were digitizing collections and making them searchable before Google. So, ha!) Librarians, for the most part, are not afraid to mess around with the next big thing. It's this fearlessness that I get excited about. You got a new tool, bring it on. I'll see if I can make it work.

What 5 library things have you excited?