Sunday, May 26, 2013

What I Read This Week: May 26, 2013

I think my reading mojo might be back. This week, I started to kick the magazine backlog's butt. I also managed to throw some other stuff in there as well.

All of this reading in a week where The Fiance and I may have found out venue... win!

  • For Work:
    • American Libraries, May 2013 - I enjoyed the articles on the libraries of national parks and social media in libraries.
    • Library Resources & Technical Services, April 2013 - This was a pretty meh issue for me. The only thing I found useful was the article on using a LibGuide to create Technical Services transparency.
    • I read through the ALA report called the State of America's Libraries 2013. It basically said we're awesome and adaptable, and need money to keep being those things.
  • Magazines:
    • Martha Stewart Living (with Everyday Food), May 2013 - I pulled a few craft ideas and a summer recipe. Nothing too exciting to see here.
    • Martha Stewart Living, June 2013 - I love cheese, so I couldn't pass up the piece on homemade ricotta. I also enjoyed the bit on test-kitchen wisdom. This issue arrived with my renewal notice. I used it to cancel my subscription when the current run ends - probably not what Martha would want.
    • Real Simple, May 2013 - The Mother's Day pieces were very touching. I found the article on what we really can afford to be fascinating - it really is worth the read. My favorite bit of this issue was the kitchen gadget testing. Now I need a few things...
  • Books:
    • I put a couple chapter dent in Nefertiti. I have a feeling this one will be my airplane read for when we head to California next week.

Friday, May 24, 2013

BOOLEAN: Friday Fashion Find - Who

If you are a Whovian. These tights are for you. If you're not a Whovian, might I suggest you try out the show.

I found these on Etsy.

Send your BOOLEAN pictures and links to

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Variations on a Theme: Outside

I was stumped for what to write this month. Lady B came through with a great idea: Books That Should Be Read Outside. The books for this month are all items that should be read while sitting outside in a garden, on the beach, on your porch, or, really, wherever you are comfortable in the great out of doors.

A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Train
Bill Bryson

Back in America after twenty years in Britain, Bill Bryson decided to reacquaint himself with his native country by walking the 2,100-mile Appalachian Trail, which stretches from Georgia to Maine. The AT offers an astonishing landscape of silent forests and sparkling lakes—and to a writer with the comic genius of Bill Bryson, it also provides endless opportunities to witness the majestic silliness of his fellow human beings. For a start there's the gloriously out-of-shape Stephen Katz, a buddy from Iowa along for the walk. Despite Katz's overwhelming desire to find cozy restaurants, he and Bryson eventually settle into their stride, and while on the trail they meet a bizarre assortment of hilarious characters. But A Walk in the Woods is more than just a laugh-out-loud hike. Bryson's acute eye is a wise witness to this beautiful but fragile trail, and as he tells its fascinating history, he makes a moving plea for the conservation of America's last great wilderness. An adventure, a comedy, and a celebration, A Walk in the Woods is destined to become a modern classic of travel literature.

Into the Wild
Jonathan Krakauer

In April 1992 a young man from a well-to-do family hitchhiked to Alaska and walked alone into the wilderness north of Mt. McKinley. His name was Christopher Johnson McCandless. He had given $25,000 in savings to charity, abandoned his car and most of his possessions, burned all the cash in his wallet, and invented a new life for himself. Four months later, his decomposed body was found by a moose hunter.  How McCandless came to die is the unforgettable story of Into the Wild.

My Side of the Mountain
Jean Craighead George

Sam Gribley is terribly unhappy living in New York City with his family, so he runs away to the Catskill Mountains to live in the woods—all by himself. With only a penknife, a ball of cord, forty dollars, and some flint and steel, he intends to survive on his own. Sam learns about courage, danger, and independence during his year in the wilderness, a year that changes his life forever.

Island of the Blue Dolphins
Scott O'Dell

Scott O’Dell won the Newbery Medal in 1961 for his unforgettable novel Island of the Blue Dolphins, based on the true story of a Nicoleño Indian girl living in solitude between 1835 and 1853 on San Nicolas Island, only seventy miles off the coast of Southern California. His quietly gripping tale of Karana’s survival, strength, and courage—and vivid descriptions of island life—has captivated readers for decades. This fiftieth-anniversary paperback edition features an introduction by the two-time Newbery Medal recipient Lois Lowry. Left alone on a beautiful but isolated island off the coast of California, a young Indian girl spends eighteen years, not only merely surviving through her enormous courage and self-reliance, but also finding a measure of happiness in her solitary life.

The Secret Garden
Francis Hodgson Burnett

When Mary Lennox is sent to Misselthwaite Manor to live with her uncle everybody says she is the most disagreeable-looking child ever seen. It is true, too. Mary is pale, spoiled, and quite contrary. But she is also horribly lonely. Then one day she hears about a garden in the grounds of the manor that has been kept locked and hidden for years. And when a friendly robin helps Mary find the key, she discovers the most magical place anyone could imagine.

Everyman's Rules for Scientific Living: A Novel
Carrie Tiffany

The "Better-Farming Train" slides through the wheat fields and small towns of 1930s Australia, bringing advice to farmers. Amid the swaying cars full of cows, pigs, and crops, a strange and swift seduction occurs between Jean Finnegan, a sewing instructor, and Robert Pettergree, a scientist with an unusual taste for soil. In an atmosphere of heady idealism, they settle in the impoverished Mallee farmland with the ambition of transforming the land through science. In luminous prose Tiffany writes about the challenges of farming, the character of small towns, the stark and terrifying beauty of the Australian landscape, and the fragile relationship between man, science, and nature. This is a sensual and startlingly original debut that establishes Carrie Tiffany as one of the great new voices in fiction.

Other Books to Read Outside
Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed - Jared Diamond
Silent Spring - Rachael Carson
White Fang - Jack London
Life of Pi - Yann Martel
Bridge to Terabithia - Katherine Paterson
Where the Red Fern Grows - Wilson Rawls
Heidi - Johanna Spyri
Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail - Cheryl Strayed
Walden - Henry David Thoreau
The Hobbit - J.R.R. Tolkein

Links and Stuff: May 23, 2013

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Book 13: Courtesan

TITLE: Courtesan
AUTHOR: Dora Levy Mossanen
STARTED: April 27, 2013
FINISHED: May 9, 2013
PAGES: 304
GENRE: Fiction

FIRST SENTENCE: I pinch my nose shut and gulp down two raw rooster gonads.

SUMMARY: [From]  Set amid the elegant châteaux of Belle époque France and the closely guarded world of nineteenth-century Persian women, Courtesan unfolds with the breathtaking cinematic sweep and stunning visual grandeur of an epic film. At its heart are three unforgettable women: Madame Gabrielle, the courtesan whose fateful liaison with the shah of Persia reverberates in the lives of her daughter, Françoise, and her rebellious and brave granddaughter, Simone, whose journey plunges her into the cutthroat diamond trade, where the secrets of an ancient culture may hold the truth she desperately seeks.

THOUGHTS: This book was just bad. There were too many characters and the plot was too flimsy to support them all. I should have DNFed this one. Curse my inability to do that! I should have known it was going to be a bad book when I guessed the ending after 3 chapters. Yawn. Next please.

RATING: 3/10 [Poor, Lost Interest]

Seen on the Metro: Spy?

As I exited the train last night, I saw a man reading a book.

He was wearing a trench coat, there was a black bag by his feet, and his face was hidden by Roderick Thorpe's Nothing Lasts Forever.

Was there a spy on my commute?

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Book 12: Comfort Food Fix: Feel-Good Favorites Made Healthy

TITLE: Comfort Food Fix: Feel-Good Favorites Made Healthy
AUTHOR: Ellie Krieger
STARTED: April 27, 2013
FINISHED: April 27, 2013
PAGES: 304

FIRST SENTENCE: Comfort food is the food that makes us feel good - satisfied, calm, cared for, and carefree.

SUMMARY: [From] In Comfort Food Fix, Ellie Krieger presents a healthier take on classic American comfort food—without sacrificing the comfort part. These 150 soul-satisfying recipes include such hearty favorites as meatloaf, lasagna, chicken potpie, crab cakes, and mashed potatoes, but without all the calories and saturated fat. With simple tricks and tips, Ellie serves up healthy delights like delicious sweet potato casserole with just a third of the calories and amazing buttermilk waffles with just a fraction of the fat. With full nutrition information for every recipe and gorgeous full-color photos that are sure to whet any appetite, Comfort Food Fix is the perfect cookbook for healthy eaters with healthy appetites. 

THOUGHTS: Yum! I flagged so many recipes in this I might as well just cook the whole book. The recipes in this book all look wonderful. I enjoy the simple and straightforward way Krieger writes her recipes. I also love how many recipes are introduced with a quick story. Yes, that might upsell the food, but I am willing to buy it.

RATING: 7/10 [Very Good]

YouTube Tuesday: Strand

Monday, May 20, 2013

Book 11: Julie & Julia: 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen

TITLE: Julie & Julia: 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen
AUTHOR: Julie Powell
STARTED: April 27, 2013
FINISHED: April 27, 2013
PAGES: 310
GENRE: Memoir/ Food

FIRST SENTENCE: At seven o'clock on a dreary evening in the left bank, Julia began roasting pigeons for the second time in her life.

SUMMARY: [From] With the humor of Bridget Jones and the vitality of Augusten Burroughs, Julie Powell recounts how she conquered every recipe in Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking and saved her soul.Julie Powell is 30 years old, living in a tiny apartment in Queens and working at a soul-sucking secretarial job that's going nowhere. She needs something to break the monotony of her life, and she invents a deranged assignment. She will take her mother's worn, dog-eared copy of Julia Child's 1961 classic Mastering the Art of French Cooking, and she will cook all 524 recipes -- in the span of one year.At first she thinks it will be easy. But as she moves from the simple Potage Parmentier (potato soup) into the more complicated realm of aspics and crepes, she realizes there's more to Mastering the Art of French Cooking than meets the eye.And somewhere along the line she realizes she has turned her outer-borough kitchen into a miracle of creation and cuisine. She has eclipsed her life's ordinariness through spectacular humor, hysteria, and perseverance.

THOUGHTS: I saw the movie first and I loved it. This book was just as delightful. I am so glad my mom decided to hand this book over when she was finished. I love food, and I love reading. This book was just the perfect piece for read-a-thon. If you've seen the movie then you, in a way, have read this book. The tone is the same for both.

The best part of this book is seeing how Powell struggles and preservers through her quest to complete her self-set goal. She shares her highs and lows, and is able to show her own faults with honesty. She is so open that many of these moments are hilarious (although the last bit with the maggots left me gagging a bit). This is a book about how Powell grows up. She learns (and she eats), and it's a great story.

Finally, I must mention that Powell's descriptions of her cooking sound delicious. If nothing else, read this book for the food.

RATING: 8/10 [Terrific]

Sunday, May 19, 2013

What I Read This Week: May 19, 2013

Reading? What's that? I've been slacking lately. That said, having your brother in town is a pretty good reason not to put one's nose into a magazine or book. Hopefully I'll be able to dive back into reading soon. My magazines are slowly taking over... and I HAVE NEW WEDDING BOOKS! Can you tell I'm a little excited about that?

Anywho. I did manage to get some words into my head...
  • Cooking Light, May 2013 - This was the taco issue. Man did they look delish. I also like the article on how to cook with a microwave. Several recipes were pulled from this issue before I recycled it.
  • I started Michelle Moran's Nefertiti as my book. Lady K's cousin gave her two books by this author. Lady B and I each borrowed one. Deliciously light summer reading here I come!

Friday, May 17, 2013

Book 10: Muffins and Other Morning Bakes

TITLE: Muffins and Other Morning Bakes
AUTHOR: Linda Collister
STARTED: April 27, 2013
FINISHED: April 27, 2013

FIRST SENTENCE: In my ideal world, breakfast and morning treats would be made with love and care, so here are recipes for quick, nutritious weekday breakfasts as well as leisurely weekend brunches.

SUMMARY: [From] A mouth-watering collection of 30 tempting, sweet and savory recipes for a delicious and nutritious start to the day. There's nothing better than home baking, and not even the best store-bought treat can compare. Based on fresh or dried fruits and nuts, morning bakes are more robust and lower in fat and sugar that their rich pastry counterparts. Each recipe includes overall cooking times, essential storage times, plus toasting and freezing details to help you plan, prepare, or bake in advance. For relaxed mornings, Muffins and Other Morning Bakes Saves you precious time and makes baking simple and enjoyable.

THOUGHTS: Not a lot of text to this book - but there were many yummy looking recipes.

RATING: 6/10 [Good]

BOOLEAN: Friday Fashion Find - S-words!

I should start posting polish colors now, but these leggings were too awesome to pass up. BOOLEAN member Megan R. pinned them and I thought they were stellar.

Very Game of Thrones-y.

You can find these guys on Etsy. Boots not included.

Send your BOOLEAN pictures and links to

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Book 9: The Art of the Handwritten Note

TITLE: The Art of the Handwritten Note: A Guide to Reclaiming Civilized Communication
AUTHOR: Margaret Shepherd
STARTED: April 27, 2013
FINISHED: April 27, 2013
PAGES: 155
GENRE: Non-Fiction

FIRST SENTENCE: When I mention the handwritten note to any group of otherwise optimistic and intelligent people, I almost always hear someone sy, " it's a dying art."

SUMMARY: [From] When you receive the daily mail do you jump to open the handwritten envelopes first because you can’t wait to see who has written and why? Or do you hold those letters aside to savor and enjoy after you are done sorting your bills and tossing the junk mail? Whatever your approach, you no doubt recognize the importance of the note that comes in a unique envelope with distinct handwriting and possibly a decoration or two. Indeed, in an age when even birthday greetings are sent by e-mail, the personal letter is appreciated more than ever before.

For those who enjoy writing notes, or those who value doing so but find themselves intimidated by the task, acclaimed calligrapher Margaret Shepherd has created both an epistolary tribute and rescue manual. Just as you cherish receiving personal mail, you can take pleasure in crafting correspondence. Love, gratitude, condolences, congratulations–for every emotion and occasion, a snippet of heartfelt prose is included, sure to loosen the most stymied letter writer.

Not only providing inspiration for the content of the missives, The Art of the Handwritten Note gives thorough instruction in the specific details that give so many men and women the jitters when it comes to correspondence that can’t (or shouldn’t) be produced on a keyboard. From overcoming illegible penmanship to mastering the challenge of keeping straight margins, avoiding smeared ink, and choosing stationery that is appropriate but suits your style, this is a powerful little guide to conveying thoughts in an enduring–and noteworthy–way.

THOUGHTS: I love writing notecards, so this book was right up my alley. While Shepherd could come across as a bit pretentious, the book was quite good. I enjoyed that Shepherd broke down the steps of writing a good note, and even gave examples to help jump start the process. I also enjoy how Shepherd romanticized what it means to write notes by hand. While reading this book, I felt the urge to drop everything and start writing. I think that's a good thing.

RATING: 7/10 [Very Good]

Links and Stuff: May 16, 2013

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Why I Love... Late Night Reading

Sometimes, I decide that I don't need sleep. Sometimes, I decide that all I want to do is read late into the night. Sometimes, The Fiance falls asleep before I do and I get to cuddle with a book into the wee hours of the night. Sometimes, I want to do nothing but read until I can't keep my eyelids open.

Late night reading is one of my favorite kinds of reading. It's quiet. It's dark. It's cozy. Even when The Fiance is there, I still get the sense that the world is made up of just me and my book. I get to fully focus on the story and shut the rest of the world out. Late night reading is completely immersive.

I love the feeling of falling so deeply into a book that I don't care what time it is. When I started Hunger Games for the first time and when I read Poison Study, I looked at the clock to see the hours pass from 1am to 2am and finally to 4am because books were too darn good to stop reading. Sure I need extra strong coffee the next day, but late night reading is a treat because it is so rare. I get to let the book take me away.

Some nights, in place of dreams, I read stories. It makes me happy.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

What I Read This Week: May 12, 2013

Another week down and another week where I spent far too much time looking at wedding stuff. At least I managed to read a little bit of non-wedding things.
  • For work, I finally read "Libraries at Webscale." It was pretty darn interesting.
  • I started reading the May 2013 issue of The Atlantic, but I have not gotten very far yet.
  • I also finished Courtesan. Finally. It wasn't very good. I'll get around to reviewing all the books from read-a-thon once I pull myself away from wedding things. The Fiance would probably appreciate the break too.

Friday, May 10, 2013

BOOLEAN: Friday Fashion Find - Butterflies

The weather is still not cooperating. Foo. It's been cold, wet, and rainy for what seems like weeks. That does not make me happy. Thus, I decided to seek out tights that do.

Butterflies for the win!

You can pick these up at Etsy.

Send your BOOLEAN pictures and links to

Thursday, May 09, 2013

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

YouTube Tuesday: Tardis

The Tardis has a HUGE library! In which we learn the Doctor's name is in a book... but they don't tell us what page. Darn.

Sunday, May 05, 2013

What I Read This Week: May 5, 2013

I've been greatly distracted this week. While I managed to read a few pages in Courtesan, I've mostly been spending my time on Pinterest and wedding blogs. If you're interested, I found this blogs to be most awesome and helpful:

Friday, May 03, 2013

BOOLEAN: Friday Fashion Find - Bride

Not gonna lie, these tights are totally inspired by the new shiny on my finger. I'll be glowing about that for a little while longer.

You can buy a pair from La Lilouche.

Send your BOOLEAN pictures and links to

Thursday, May 02, 2013

Variations on a Theme: Wedding Bells

This Variations on a Theme is in honor of The Boyfriend deciding to upgrade his title to The Fiance. SQUEEEE!

They day after read-a-thon, we went to a cellar tasting at our favorite Virginia winery. After the tasting, as were were enjoying our glasses of wine and cheese plate on the patio, he popped the question. I immediately started tearing up and forgot to say yes. Oops! I did eventually get there.

So, all these books are about weddings! I might be purchasing a few of these soon.

Style Me Pretty Weddings: Inspiration and Ideas for an Unforgettable Celebration
Abby Larson

Joyful, love-filled weddings are created with the details that make the couple unique. These touches—letter-pressed table cards with a pet bulldog cameo; a chandelier to which the bride and groom tied hundreds of colorful ribbons; a photograph of the bride's grandparents fastened around her bouquet—elevate a beautiful day into a deeply personal, unforgettable celebration.Full of lively and oh-so-lovely ideas, and more than 250 photographs, this swoonworthy volume will help you distill the wide world of wedding inspiration into the most meaningful, utterly original day you can imagine.

Michael Essany

The ring's on her finger, her to-do list is growing, and her mood is frantic. What's a groom to do? Let Groomology show him how becoming a partner in the wedding process can make the whole event more enjoyable, meaningful, and memorable. Time and time again, soon-to-be husbands only tackle what the bride-to-be has told them to do. Groomology outlines these traditional groom's duties but goes a step further to instruct grooms in the art of getting involved. Complete with helpful resources, a guide to bridal party responsibilities and etiquette, tips on hiring vendors, wedding statistics, and more, Groomology is sure to keep couples happy throughout the tricky planning process.

A Practical Wedding: Creative Ideas for Planning a Beautiful, Affordable, and Meaningful Celebration
Meg Keene

A Practical Wedding helps you create the wedding you want—without going broke or crazy in the process. After all, what really matters on your wedding day, what you’ll remember ‘til you’re old and gray, is not so much how it looked as how it felt. In this refreshing guide, expert Meg Keene shares her secrets to planning a beautiful celebration that reflects your taste and your relationship. Wedding Zen can be yours. Meg walks you through everything from choosing a venue to writing vows, complete with stories and advice from women who have been in the trenches, the Team Practical brides. So here’s to the joyful wedding, the sensible wedding, the unbelievably fun wedding! A Practical Wedding is your complete guide to getting married with grace.

Marie Proeller Hueston

Everybody has a little country in their heart, and this is for the bride who wants to embody the essence of country on her wedding day. Weddings presents page after page of evocative photos demonstrating how to infuse this most special of days with quintessential country touches that will appeal to a range of tastes. Broken into three sections—Choosing a Location, Designing the Day, and A Wedding Primer—brides are taken step by step through the planning of the perfect country wedding. Learn how to assess the pros and cons of various locations—both indoors and out—and the logistics involved, from setting up a catering area to obtaining the necessary permits. Then choose a theme and all the elements that go along with it, such as stationery, flowers, favors, and a wedding cake. And of course those important nitty-gritty details are here, too:  setting a budget, deciding whether or not to use a wedding planner, choosing vendors, and much more. Sidebars throughout give helpful tips and evocative photos prove that even the most "country” wedding can be polished, stylish, and sophisticated.

Hamish Bowles (ed.)

A spectacular book of nearly 400 photographs of the weddings and wedding dresses of royalty, social figures, models, artists, actors, musicians and designers which have appeared in Vogue through the magazine’s 120 year history.These images transport you to a myriad of romantic settings around the world, from grand social and royal weddings in storied castles, palaces, and cathedrals, to weddings by the sea or in the countryside.  In the Introduction, Hamish Bowles brings his historian’s eye to reveal fascinating behind-the-scenes details as he looks at the glamour of weddings past and present; while Mario Testino, Plum Sykes, Marina Rust and Sarah Mower tell us personal stories about their own weddings or memorable ones they attended.

Edwina Ehrman

From the romance of its evolution to the splendor of its design, the wedding dress is unlike any other garment, a talisman from a fantasy world, the manifestation of dreams coming true. This book draws on wedding garments in the V&A’s renowned collection along with photographs, letters, memoirs, and newspaper accounts to explore the history of the white wedding dress and the traditions that have developed around it from 1700 to today, when designers from Vera Wang to Vivienne Westwood continue to challenge the aesthetic. Paintings, drawings, and wedding photos depict queens, princesses, celebrities, and everyday women—including Kate Middleton—in their gowns. The text considers the dress in the context of the commercialization of weddings that began in the Victorian era. The Wedding Dress is not only about costume, but also about the cultivation of the image of the bride.

More Wedding Books
It's All About the Dress: Savvy Secrets, Priceless Advice, and Inspiring Stories to Help You Find "The One" - Randy Fenoli
The Groom's Instruction Manual: How To Survive and Possibly Even Enjoy the Most Bewildering Ceremony Known to Man - Shandon Fowler
The Engaged Groom: You're Getting Married. Read This Book. - Doug Gordon
Weddings by Tara Guerard - Tara Guerard
Handmade Weddings: More than 50 Crafts to Personalize Your Big Day - Eunice Moyle et al.
The Knot Book of Wedding Lists: The Ultimate Guide to the Perfect Day, down to the Smallest Detail - Carley Roney
The Knot Complete Guide to Weddings: The Ultimate Source of Ideas, Advice, and Relief for the Bride and Groom and Those Who Love Them - Carley Roney
The Knot Ultimate Wedding Planner: Worksheets, Checklists, Etiquette, Calendars, and Answers to Frequently Asked Questions - Carley Roney
The Big White Book of Weddings: A How-To Guide for the Savvy, Stylish Bride - David Tutera
The Wedding Planner & Organizer - Mindy Weiss
Wedding Inspiration: Ideas & Advice for Your Perfect Wedding - Kimberley Schlegel Whitman

Links and Stuff: May 2, 2013

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

BOOLEAN: Presidential

I just gotta say... I think President George Bush would be a BOOLEAN man. Just look at his socks!

You can see more of his collection in this TIME pictures.

Well done, Mr. President.