Sunday, June 30, 2013

What I Read This Week: June 30, 2013

Can it just stop raining already? I think DC has been a magnet for clouds, rain, and storm alerts lately. It's summer - I want to be able to use my apartment complex's pool! Instead, Mother Nature keeps making me pout. Doesn't she know I have trashy summer books that need to be finished... poolside... with drinks with little umbrellas? Harumph.

At least the rain gave me a reason to get through some other worded things...
  • For Work:
  • In Magazines:
    • Martha Stewart Living, July/August 2013 - I like the bits on clams and ice cream.
    • Real Simple, July 2013 - The article about how your house might make you fat was very intriguing. I also learned a new word: obessogenic. The stories about summer entertaining and summer romances were also pretty good. 
    • National Geographic, July 2013 - The cover on this issue was awesome! (The iPad animation version is even better.) I love all things space and astronomy, so I found the article on our chaotic solar system to be spectacular. I also "enjoyed" the piece on songbird hunting. I use the scare quotes cause it was a rather sad piece. 
  • In Books :
    • I finished Carley Rooney's The Knot Ultimate Wedding Planner. There was a lot of information that will be good to know when we finally hit those stages of wedding planning.
    • I started a new book - Liz Carlyle's A Woman of Virtue. So far it's meh bordering on confusing.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Book 14: Nefertiti

TITLE: Nefertiti
AUTHOR: Michelle Moran
STARTED: May 10, 2013
FINISHED: June 4, 2013
PAGES: 479
GENRE: Fiction

FIRST SENTENCE: If you are to believe what the viziers say, then Amunhotep killed his brother for the crown of Egypt.

SUMMARY: [From BN] Nefertiti and her younger sister, Mutnodjmet, have been raised in a powerful family that has provided wives to the rulers of Egypt for centuries. Ambitious, charismatic, and beautiful, Nefertiti is destined to marry Amunhotep, an unstable young pharaoh. It is hoped that her strong personality will temper the young ruler’s heretical desire to forsake Egypt’s ancient gods. From the moment of her arrival in Thebes, Nefertiti is beloved by the people but fails to see that powerful priests are plotting against her husband’s rule. The only person brave enough to warn the queen is her younger sister, yet remaining loyal to Nefertiti will force Mutnodjmet into a dangerous political game; one that could cost her everything she holds dear.

THOUGHTS: This was an ideal airplane book. Jazzy enough to keep my interest, but not so complex that I got lost (or, really, had to concentrate). I wish I had more to say about this book, but it was a perfectly acceptable summer read. Moran developed her setting, plot, and characters well, and the writing was fine. I give this a better than passing grade because I love all things ancient Egypt.

RATING: 7/10 [Very Good]

BOOLEAN: Friday Fashion Find - Shiny!

I love shiny things. If it sparkles, shines, or gleams it will distract me. I'm like a cat. I guess I should never paint my nails this hue lest I never get work done again.

This is Layla's Mirror Effect nail polish. It comes in several hues.

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Thursday, June 27, 2013

Variations on a Theme: Weather

You  can't escape the weather! (In my head that came out ominously, so - imagine that.) Weather is everywhere all the time. It can be calm and perfect, or an absolute torrent of awfulness - much like the predication for what is to hit DC soon. Dun dun DUN!

Weather is a dramatic force in our world and, thus, is an awesome subject for all kinds of books. Here are just a few titles to keep you entertained on a rainy, snowy, or sunny day.

The Perfect Storm: A True Story of Men Against the Sea
Sebastian Junger

It was the storm of the century—a tempest created by so rare a combination of factors that meteorologists deemed it "the perfect storm."When it struck in October, 1991, there was virtually no warning. "She's comin' on, boys, and she's comin' on strong," radioed Captain Billy Tyne of the Andrea Gail from off the coast of Nova Scotia. Soon afterward, the boat and its crew of six disappeared without a trace. The Perfect Storm is a real-life thriller, a stark and compelling journey into the dark heart of nature that leaves listeners with a breathless sense of what it feels like to be caught, helpless, in the grip of a force beyond understanding or control.

Erik Larson

At the dawn of the twentieth century, a great confidence suffused America. Isaac Cline was one of the era's new men, a scientist who believed he knew all there was to know about the motion of clouds and the behavior of storms. The idea that a hurricane could damage the city of Galveston, Texas, where he was based, was to him preposterous, "an absurd delusion." Galveston would endure a hurricane that to this day remains the nation's deadliest natural disaster. In Galveston alone at least 6,000 people - possibly as many as 10,000 - would lose their lives, a number far greater than the combined death toll of the Johnstown Flood and the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake. Meticulously researched and vividly written, ISAAC'S STORM is based on Cline's own letters, telegrams, and reports, the testimony of scores of survivors, and our latest understanding of the hows and whys of great storms. It is the story of what can happen when human arrogance meets nature's last uncontrollable force. As such, ISAAC'S STORM carries a warning for our time. 
Gary Krist

In February 1910, a monstrous, record-breaking blizzard hit the Northwest. Nowhere was the danger more terrifying than near a tiny town called Wellington, perched high in the Cascade Mountains, where a desperate situation evolved: two trainloads of cold, hungry passengers and their crews found themselves marooned. For days, an army of the Great Northern Railroad's most dedicated men worked to rescue the trains, but just when escape seemed possible, the unthinkable occurred—a colossal avalanche tumbled down, sweeping the trains over the steep slope and down the mountainside. Centered on the astonishing spectacle of our nation's deadliest avalanche, The White Cascade is the masterfully told story of a never-before-documented tragedy.
Timothy Egan

The dust storms that terrorized America's High Plains in the darkest years of the Depression were like nothing ever seen before or since, and the stories of the people that held on have never been fully told. Pulitzer Prize–winning New York Times journalist and author Timothy Egan follows a half-dozen families and their communities through the rise and fall of the region, going from sod huts to new framed houses to huddling in basements with the windows sealed by damp sheets in a futile effort to keep the dust out. He follows their desperate attempts to carry on through blinding black blizzards, crop failure, and the death of loved ones. Drawing on the voices of those who stayed and survived-those who, now in their eighties and nineties, will soon carry their memories to the grave-Egan tells a story of endurance and heroism against the backdrop of the Great Depression.Egan captures the very voice of the time-its grit, pathos, and abiding heroism-as only great history can. Combining the human drama of Isaac's Storm with the sweep of The American People in the Great Depression, The Worst Hard Time is a lasting and important work of American history. 
Timothy Egan
On the afternoon of August 20, 1910, a battering ram of wind moved through the drought-stricken national forests of Washington, Idaho, and Montana, whipping the hundreds of small blazes burning across the forest floor into a roaring inferno. Forest rangers had assembled nearly ten thousand men—college boys, day workers, immigrants from mining camps—to fight the fire. But no living person had seen anything like those flames, and neither the rangers nor anyone else knew how to subdue them. Egan narrates the struggles of the overmatched rangers against the implacable fire with unstoppable dramatic force. Equally dramatic is the larger story he tells of outsized president Teddy Roosevelt and his chief forester, Gifford Pinchot. Pioneering the notion of conservation, Roosevelt and Pinchot did nothing less than create the idea of public land as our national treasure, owned by and preserved for every citizen.

The Last Run: A True Story of Rescue and Redemption on the Alaska Seas
Todd Lewan

It was a desperate mission that made front-page headlines and captured the attention of millions of readers around the world. In January 1998, in the dead of an Alaskan winter, a cataclysmic Arctic storm with hurricane-force winds and towering seas forced five fishermen to abandon their vessel in the Gulf of Alaska and left them adrift in thirty-eight-degree water with no lifeboat. Their would-be rescuers were 150 miles away at the Coast Guard station, with the nearby airport shut down by an avalanche. The Last Run is the epic tale of the wreck of the oldest registered fishing schooner in Alaska, a hellish Arctic tempest, and the three teams of aviators in helicopters who withstood 140-mph gusts and hovered alongside waves that were ten stories high. But what makes this more than a true-life page-turner is its portrait of untamed Alaska and the unflappable spirit of people who forge a different kind of life on America's last frontier, the "end of the roaders" who are drawn to, or flee to, Alaska to seek a final destiny.

Other Weather Titles
Rising Tide: The Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 and How it Changed America - John M. Barry
Tornado Alley: Monster Storms of the Great Plains - Howard M. Bluestein
Tornado Hunter: Getting Inside the Most Violent Storm on Earth - Stefan Bechtel and Tim Samaras
The Children's Blizzard - David Laskin
The Johnstown Flood - David McCullough 
The Thirtymile Fire: A Chronicle of Bravery and Betrayal - John N. Maclean
1 Dead in the Attic: After Katrina - Chris Rose
Storm Kings: The Untold History of America's First Tornado Chasers - Lee Sandlin
Sudden Sea: The Great Hurricane of 1938 - R.A. Scotti
The Storm: What Went Wrong and Why During Hurricane Katrina - Ivor Van Heerden and Mike Bryan

Links and Stuff: June 27, 2013

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Why I Love... Librarian Stuff

I have a Pinterest board called Librarian Stuff. It's where I post any and all things I find related to librarians, libraries, and reading. On that board, I've tossed up wardrobe ideas, jokes, cartoons, librarian tools, memes, and much much more. I do this, because I love all things library. It's that simple.

I know many librarians who hate the whole shushing stereotype, but I like to just go with it. As a librarian, I like the idea of embracing the whole vibe of what it means to be in this profession. If that means putting my hair in a bun with a pencil, so be it. I have such a love for the role of librarian as information sharer that I can't help but play up the classic image.

Luckily, I know I'm not alone. My Librarian Stuff board is well shared (at least by my standards) - and love finding new items to add and share. Part of being a librarian is having a passion for what you do. I like to use Librarian Stuff, stereotypical or not, to show just that. 

Sunday, June 23, 2013

What I Read This Week: June 23, 2013

I think I might have found a new summer reading system. I read a chapter or article of whatever, and then I play 5 minutes of Theme Park on my iPad. I wanted a new game, and this little bugger did the trick. Warning - it's highly addictive. As a side bonus, however, I notice I read more because I'm killing time between collecting money.

It works for now, but I have a feeling I'll get bored with the game soon.

  • For work:
    • I finished the Pew Report about Library Services in the Digital Age. Reading this will come in handy when I need to cite statistics that library services have not been made irrelevant by computers, the internet, and mobile tech. 
    • I read an article by Sherianne Shuler and Nathan Morgan about emotional labor in academic libraries. It basically states that the emotional side of library work (dealing with difficult patrons, etc.) is just as exhausting as the physical side. Word.
  • In magazines:
    • Real Simple, June 2013 - This was a basic flip-through issue for me, I but I did stop and read the articles on organizing and the 50 books which might change my life. 
    • Cooking Light, July 2013 - I only pulled two recipes, but all the summer recipes (and regional burger ideas) looked absolutely delicious.
    • The Atlantic, June 2013 - As usual, I read this issue cover to cover while working out. I LOVED the article on gay marriage - it makes the point that people in same-sex relationships can't fall into gender roles. It was fascinating and highly informative. The story about rare diseases was also a good read - it introduced me to something new.
  • In books:
    • I finished reading Love and War. It was just as awful as I expected - but that is what made it an entertaining read. I'll post a full review soonish.
    • I started reading my weddings books. (Squeeee!) I'm nearly done with The Knot Ultimate Wedding Planner but it's going to take me awhile to get through The Knot Complete Guide to Weddings.

Friday, June 21, 2013

BOOLEAN: Friday Fashion Find - Awesome Polish

For funzies, I went to Pinterest and searched "Awesome Nail Polish." The results were pretty spectacular. This color, however, was my favorite.

This is Chanel's Holographic nail polish and it would look awesome on your toes. Sadly, I can't find a source to buy it - there are similar styles available on Amazon.

Speaking of toes, the ladies and I got pedicures yesterday. Aren't our feet pretty?

Starting from the top - Lady K went with a coral, I went with a shiny blue, and Lady B selected a deep pink.

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Sunday, June 16, 2013

What I Read This Week: June 16, 2013

My brain, it does not want to work. Consider this witty opening material.
  • I am the magazine queen!
    • Cooking Light, June 2013 - This issue was all about summer recipes... veggies, sandwiches, grilling, etc. While it looked every tasty, I only pulled one recipe to try later. I did enjoy the story about summer veggies and how to use them.
    • National Geographic, June 2013 - The cover of this issue was odd, but I did enjoy the articles on the new explorers. I also found the story about climbing Everest interesting. I had no idea so many people summit the mountain each year.
    • Food Network, June 2013 - Reading this magazine always makes me hungry. Not fair. I like the article on how to make a great burger (and they give several options). I also pulled many summer friendly recipes. One of these days I will get around to making them. Although I think The Fiance is not holding his breath on that one.
  • I also managed to put a hundred page or so dent in my book, Love and War. It is just as deliciously trashy as I had hoped. 

Friday, June 14, 2013

BOOLEAN: Friday Fashion Find - Sunny Days

Sunny days... sweeping the... clouds away.

Yellow is not my favorite color, but this hue is so cheerful I might make an exception to my "no yellow/orange polish" rule.

This is Revlon's Buttercup.

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Thursday, June 13, 2013

Links and Stuff: June 13, 2013

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Why I Love... Rainy Day Reading

When I was growing up, my bed was right in front of a window. I used to grab a book, make a nest of pillows and blankets, and read for hours in that spot. It was my own little literary window seat. I would read there all the time, but my favorite time to read was when it was raining.

I could pop the window open and read to the sound of the raindrops hitting the backyard. The dim light of those days was perfect for illuminating whatever book I was reading. Sometimes, there was a gentle breeze that would splash a few raindrops against the screen. This created a cooling mist that, somehow, felt perfect on my skin. I could prop a glass of whatever beverage I had that day on the windowsill, and be content for hours.

I love rainy day reading because it's so calming. Outside the world might be icky, but inside... it's warm, cozy, and just like that nest I used to make on my bed. Rainy day reading gives me a feeling that I'm in a bubble, protected from whatever is going on outside. It also seems a bit quieter. Sure, it may be pouring out, but that just heightens the cocoon feeling of being inside. It's easier to get lost in a book when it's raining.

Whenever it rains, I always feel the need to grab a book and settle in for a few hours of uninterrupted page turning.

Sunday, June 09, 2013

What I Read This Week: June 9, 2013

Jet lag is mean. I have no idea why, but it always takes me longer to adjust back to my normal time. The Fiance and I slept until almost 1pm on Saturday. Oops. At least the local deli/diner restaurant I needed to use a Groupon at serves breakfast until 2pm. Omelets... yum!

Anywho, the vacation to California means this list is short, but it does include a book.

  • I finally finished reading the May 2013 issue of The Atlantic on the plan ride back. I found the article on oil interesting but I've also told several people about the end of life care story. It is very good and thought provoking. I also liked this issue's fiction piece about a young movie critic.
  • While commuting this week, I read the June 2013 issue of American Libraries. It was the pre-conference issue so I skipped the bulk of it, but I did like the stories on autism and iPad apps as well as the void of libraries in charter schools.
  • I managed to finish Nefertiti by Michelle Moran on the plan ride back. It was the ideal plane read for me. I hate flying. This book was awesome enough to keep my distracted but not so complex that I got lost.
  • I started (as in I'm 3 chapters into) a new romance novel. I was in the mood for something deliciously trashy. I found just that in Love and War by Patricia Hagan.

Friday, June 07, 2013

BOOLEAN: Friday Fashion Find - Polish

I have my first sunburn of summer. At least it occurred in a fun way. Whilst on vacation, The Fiance and I hit a few vineyards in a friend's Mustang convertible. It was awesome. However, I was a dolt who forgot to put on sunscreen. You know what that means.... seatbelt tan lines!

Anywho, I think the redness is a good signal that it's time to start posting nail polish in lieu of tights. It's time for BOOLEAN to get summer ready. Expect a few of this summer's hues to end up on my toesies.

This bottle is OPI's I Have a Herring Problem.

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Thursday, June 06, 2013

I'm back!

I am back on the east coast! Our vacation to California wine country was loverly. We are currently waiting the delivery of the wine we purchased. We managed to contain ourselves to only 6 bottles. (I don't even think we have room for those...) I can't wait to pop them open and read on the patio. Summer reading, ahoy!

Blog posting will resume it's normal schedule tomorrow.