Friday, January 31, 2014

BOOLEAN: Friday Fashion Find - Lady-Like

Lady B found these lovely, lady-like tights whilst she was perusing the interwebs. She sent them to me as a possible feature, and I pounced immediately.


You can purchase these from The Outnet.

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

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Variations on a Theme: Nostalgia

The Fiance and I have been planning our wedding since May. We still have 11 months to go. All of this planning makes me really excited for the future, but it's also making me oddly nostalgic for the past. I keep remembering the days when I would draw my ideal future wedding dress (oddly not too far off of what I got), or when my childhood BFF and I would play wedding with our barbies. From these memories, I inevitably start recalling the books I adored as a kid. Most of them, in retrospect, were kind of odd but I remember them happily.

This month's Variations on a Theme contains all the books from my childhood that I would re-read time and again.


This Place Has No Atmosphere
Paula Danziger

It's the year 2057 and students take classes in ESP, people live in malls, there aren't any parks left, and thanks to an airtight dome, there is a colony on the moon. Fourteen-year-old Aurora couldn't be happier—she's part of the "in" crowd, her best friend is a celebrity, and Matthew has asked her to Homecoming.
But Aurora's parents have new jobs on the moon, and she and her little sister must leave their friends and schools to go with them. Aurora is sure she will hate life on the moon, because there are only 750 people in the whole colony. What if none of them is a boy her age? Fifteen-year-old Aurora loves her life on Earth in the twenty-first century, until she learns that her family is moving to the colony on the moon a place with no atmosphere. [Side Note: I borrowed this from the classroom library so often that my teacher gave it to me at the end of the year.]

Baby-Sitters on Board!
Ann M. Martin

The baby-sitters have a million adventures during their fabulous summer vacation which includes several days in Disneyland.
Six Months to Live
Lurlene McDaniel

When 13-year-old Dawn Rochelle is diagnosed with leukemia, she's scared. While in the hospital undergoing chemotherapy, Dawn meets Sandy, who also has cancer. Dawn and Sandy battle the disease together, and remain best friends even after they both go into remission and return home. But when Sandy gets sick again, Dawn wonders what the future holds both for Sandy and herself.



Meet Kirsten

Janet Beeler Shaw

Kirsten Larson and her family arrive in America in 1854, after a long sea voyage. Everything looks so different from the life Kirsten knew back in Sweden--the ways people talk and dress seem strange! Getting lost in a big city and parting with her best friend only add to Kirsten's worry. Will she ever feel at home here? It is only when the Larsons arrive at a tiny farm on the edge of the frontier that Kirsten believes Papa's promise--America will be a land filled with opportunity for them all. Nine-year-old Kirsten and her family experience many hardships as they travel from Sweden to the Minnesota frontier in 1854. 

Shel Silverstein

Come in … for where the sidewalk ends, Shel Silverstein’s world begins. You’ll meet a boy who turns into a TV set, and a girl who eats a whale. The Unicorn and the Bloath live there, and so does Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout who will not take the garbage out. It is a place where you wash your shadow and plant diamond gardens, a place where shoes fly, sisters are auctioned off, and crocodiles go to the dentist. Shel Silverstein’s masterful collection of poems and drawings is at once outrageously funny and profound. Irreverent, hilarious and wildly popular, Silverstein’s collection of verse is hard to put down. His black pen drawings are an integral part of the poems, which range from funny and gross to introspective or tender. Silverstein is a master at tickling the funny bone, and his book is definitely not just for kids! 


Caroline B. Cooney


No one ever really paid close attention to the faces of the missing children on the milk cartons. But as Janie Johnson glanced at the face of the ordinary little girl with her hair in tight pigtails, wearing a dress with a narrow white collar—a three-year-old who had been kidnapped twelve years before from a shopping mall in New Jersey—she felt overcome with shock. She recognized that little girl—it was she. How could it possibly be true? Janie can't believe that her loving parents kidnapped her, but as she begins to piece things together, nothing makes sense. Something is terribly wrong. Are Mr. and Mrs. Johnson really her parents? And if not, who is Janie Johnson, and what really happened? A photograph of a missing girl on a milk carton leads Janie on a search for her real identity. 
Other Nostalgic Reads
Nobody's Perfect - Elizabeth Levy
Nutcracker on Ice - Melissa Lowell

Links and Stuff: January 30, 2014

Monday, January 27, 2014

Book 1: The Bronze Horseman

TITLE: The Bronze Horseman
AUTHOR: Paullina Simons
STARTED: November 19, 2013
FINISHED: January 12, 2014
PAGES:894
GENRE: Fiction

FIRST SENTENCE: Light came through the window, trickling morning all over the room.

SUMMARY: [From BN] The golden skies, the translucent twilight, the white nights, all hold the promise of youth, of love, of eternal renewal. The war has not yet touched this city of fallen grandeur, or the lives of two sisters, Tatiana and Dasha Metanova, who share a single room in a cramped apartment with their brother and parents. Their world is turned upside down when Hitler's armies attack Russia and begin their unstoppable blitz to Leningrad. Yet there is light in the darkness. Tatiana meets Alexander, a brave young officer in the Red Army. Strong and self-confident, yet guarding a mysterious and troubled past, he is drawn to Tatiana—and she to him. Starvation, desperation, and fear soon grip their city during the terrible winter of the merciless German siege. Tatiana and Alexander's impossible love threatens to tear the Metanova family apart and expose the dangerous secret Alexander so carefully protects—a secret as devastating as the war itself—as the lovers are swept up in the brutal tides that will change the world and their lives forever.

THOUGHTS: It might have taken me two months to finish this book, but I enjoyed the ride. This is, for the most part, a romance novel masquerading as fiction. It works.

Tatiana, Dasha, and Alexander are in a love triangle to end all love triangles. They live in Leningrad... and, oh look!, World War II has started. While I was not in love with the characters (they were a bit high on the whiny scale), I thought they came across as realistic for their time and situation. Our two leads play well off one another, and the secondary characters help move the story forward without feeling like cardboard, play-actors. The characters move through quite the emotional roller-coaster, and the journey is over all too quickly.

This story was structured for high-drama - and that is exactly what it delivers. The book begins with slow pacing and deliberate action. The feeling of anticipation builds and builds with each page. Then, the action starts flying. This structure fits with the ebb and flow of the war in which the book takes place. Once the action threshold is crossed, there is no going back. Once I hit that tipping point in the novel, I kept trying to find time to read. The steady build-up leads to a power-packed ending that completely delivers.

This is the type of book to lose yourself in. It's certainly not literature or a masterpiece, but it is an all-consuming read. If you're looking for a good book to fill lots of hours, then pick up The Bronze Horseman. It will stick with you have the last page is done.

RATING:7/10 [Very Good]

Sunday, January 26, 2014

What I Read This Week: January 26, 2014

Woot! I got some reading done.

  • Work
    • Our library consortium is moving into the future. Dun dun! To do so, we need the next generation library system. I read the draft version of our Request for Information that we plan on sending to vendors. It's pretty darn comprehensive. I hope we get back some good stuff.
  • Magazines
    • National Geographic, Dec. 2013 - The cover story in this issue is the first in what promises to be an epic series. A man is following the journey of early humans from Africa to South America... on foot. I cannot wait to read the rest of the pieces in this series. I also enjoyed the story on cougars, but the cute images of baby cougars may have made me biased. The article on skiers (not the kind you'd expect) was also a good read. 
  • Books
    • I'm reading Veronica Roth's Allegient at the pace of a chapter or two a night. This is the last book in the Divergent series, and I am not entirely sure I like where it is going. We shall see...

Friday, January 24, 2014

BOOLEAN: Friday Fashion Find - What does he say?

I had What Does the Fox Say? stuck in my head last night. Now you all must suffer the consequences... by looking at these incredibly cute fox tights.

These are from Anthropolgie.

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

Sunday, January 19, 2014

What I Read This Week: January 19, 2014

I got a new shiny this week. A new, shiny computer to be specific. The new shiny's operating system is Windows 8. I have no idea where anything is. Perhaps I should read the manual...

In other news, Lady B and Lady K helped the Fiance and host Ringfest 2014: The Lordening yesterday. I sent Lady B the NPR article about hosting a Lord of the Rings party... and it kind of spiraled from there. I might still be digesting.

Friday, January 17, 2014

BOOLEAN: Diamond-tastic

You know what's awesome? Checking your e-mail, and receiving an awesome BOOLEAN submission.

Danielle sent me this image of her awesome legwear. She says, "Wore these today! Diamond-patterned, a gift from my youngest brother this past Christmas. Life is good, even though the streets are snowy. :)" Danielle blogs over at Seashell Nell.


Diamonds are a girl's best friend.

Seen on the Metro: YA

During my commute home this week, I noticed a tween curl curled into her seat on the metro. She looked right at home, slouching against the arm rest, one leg swinging back and forth. It was a rather herky-jerky ride, but she didn't seem to notice. Her eyes were glued to her book.

It took me a few subtle glances, but I was finally able to discern that she was reading Radiance by Alyson Noel. BN.com tells me the book is a supernatural, YA novel. Also, there is a totally cute dog on the cover.

BOOLEAN: Friday Fashion Find - Text

I was scrolling down Pinterest when these tights popped up. Fun and full of text? Win!


You can grab a pair from Trendy Legs.

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

Thursday, January 16, 2014

BOOLEAN: Hound

I think the houndstooth may be my go-to tights this year. Methinks I need to rotate the tights in my box so that wear different stuff.

Work It

The Fiance was updating his iPad apps last night. Spotify has some awesome notes.

.

Links and Stuff: January 16, 2014

Sunday, January 12, 2014

What I Read This Week: January 12, 2014

Who got back on the reading horse this week? I did. Boom!

Friday, January 10, 2014

BOOLEAN: Friday Fashion Find - Sweater

I wore jeans to work all but one day this week. It was too darn cold for tights - even fleece lined ones. If I had braved the cold with tights, I would have done so with these guys. They are sweater-rific.


I found them on Amazon.

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

Thursday, January 09, 2014

Links and Stuff: January 9, 2013


Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Why I Love... Treating Books Well

I love to treat books well. I don't dog-ear pages, I use a book mark. I try as hard as I can not to break the spines. I neither underline nor highlight (books I was assigned in college are exempted from this). When the book is a hardcover, I remove the dust-jacket for the duration of my reading time. It is my hope that after I finish reading a book it will look the same as when I started.

Why do I do this? Beats me.

A beat-up book is just as usable as a new book. I purchase well-worn used books all the time. Wear and tear is not a deterrence to my enjoyment of a book. In fact, I enjoy perusing books to see if a previous reader has left marginalia or other tell-tale signs of enjoyment. If I lend a book to someone, and it's returned the little worse for wear, I don't care. It goes back on my shelf to be read another day.



I may treat my books gently but they are still well loved.

This post was spurred by today's post by Screwy Decimal.

Monday, January 06, 2014

BOOLEAN: Monday Mornings

Today was my first day back at work after being off for two weeks. (Gotta love working on an academic calendar.) I stayed up WAY too late reading so the morning was, to put it mildly, rough.

As I lie in bed this morning, hitting snooze for the third time, I decided it was a safe bet to wear all black. It matches everything and I didn't have to think too much. Part of my morning involved sticking my hand blindly into the back of my tights box where I store all of my black tights. I came out with these.

Note the coffee mug.

Pretty snazzy for a random grab.

Sunday, January 05, 2014

2014 Bookish/Reading Resolutions

Last year I did not make any resolutions. The results? I only managed to read 34 books. A record low. Sad face.

This year, I am still not going to make any resolutions... per se. Instead, I will endeavor to regain my reading mojo in 2014. 

2014 is going to be a hectic year. The Fiance and I are getting married in December and we still have plenty left to do. (Who wants to be our DJ?) But I want to fall in love with books again. I want to be able to put aside the "other things" and spend time with authors and their works. I want to find that feeling I used to get when I settled down with a book for a few hours.

For this year, I endeavor to make more time for reading. I may not read any more books or any more pages than I did in 2014, but I will try to at least find my relationship with books again.

What I Read This Week: December 29, 2013

This post covers three weeks (!) worth of reading and is also the last reading recap of the year. Where did 2013 go? You would think that for three weeks worth of reading, this post would be long. It's not. In fact it will end quite soon. Over the past three weeks, I only managed to read about 100 pages in The Bronze Horseman and finish off InStyle Weddings.

Oh holidays, why you gotta distract me with cookies.

Here's to getting my reading mojo back in 2014.

Saturday, January 04, 2014

2013 in Review

How I Would Describe 2013
Books? What are books? I seriously lost my reading mojo this year. Yes, there was the distraction of getting engaged and starting to plan a wedding, but that cannot account for the fact that I simply was not in the mood to read this year. This was the worst reading year on record (only 34 books!) since I began tracking.

There were a few great books that came my way this year, but the bulk of my year was spent doing things other than snuggling with a hardcover.

Reading Goals v. Reading Reality
I decided not to make any reading/bookish resolutions in 2013. Maybe I need the incentive after all?

The Year in Genres
Fiction, wedding, and food were the themes of the year.

Fiction = 8
Library Science = 5
Cookbook = 5
Wedding = 4
Young Adult = 4
Non-Fiction = 2
Memoir = 2
Romance = 3
Travel = 1
Food = 1
Literature = 1

The Year in Ratings
A very middling year for ratings. I apparently decided that 7 was my favorite number.

1 = 0
2 = 1
3 = 1
4 = 2
5 = 3
6 = 9
7 = 14
8 = 2
9 = 2
10 = 0


The Five Best Books of 2012
Since I read less than 40 books this year, I've decided to list my top 5 books instead of my usual 10. The best books list loses a bit of importance if a quarter of my yearly reads make it.

5. Love and War by Patricia Hagan
4. Clan of the Cave Bear by Jean M. Auel
3. Julie and Julia by Julie Powell
2. Joy for Beginners by Erica Bauermeister
1. The Lost Art of Mixing by Erica Bauermeister

Two quick notes about this list:
  • I'm so happy I discovered Bauermeister. I love her books so much that I gave all of them to my mother for Christmas.
  • Yes, I included a book with a 2 rating on the list (Love and War). The book was bad, but I had an immensely fun time reading it.

2013 - You were not my best year. At least that feeling was limited only to reading. 2014 - Here we go!

Book 34: InStyle Weddings

TITLE: InStyle Weddings
AUTHOR: Hilary Sterne
STARTED: November 23, 2013
FINISHED: December 30, 2013
PAGES: 248
GENRE: Wedding

FIRST SENTENCE: [From the Foreward] Bot long ago I attended a wedding in a vineyard about 100 miles east of New York City.

SUMMARY: [From Amazon] How many times has the instant that a wedding turned magical taken you by surprise? Was it the disarmingly accurate rehearsal dinner toast or the bride's knowing glance during the exchange of rings? Was it the vow that could only have been written by that particular man about this special woman or the significance of the song playing as they take the floor for their first dance as husband and wife? Whether staged with black tie formality in a candle-lit chateau or with bare feet under a summer oak tree, the perfect wedding is only perfect to the extent that it's personal. When you've decided to say yes, "In Style Weddings" is the one book you'll need to create your unique expression of this timeless ritual. So that when the time comes to say I do, you'll be in the moment - and loving it. Here's a world of inspiring options shown in exquisite detail - invitations, dresses, flowers, music, cakes - and tips from today's top wedding planners on how to make it all come together in a way that's personal, meaningful, and just right. Throughout each chapter, "In Style Weddings" includes details from celebrity nuptials: How Kate Beckinsale fell in love with her strapless Vera Wang gown, the flowers that Debra Messing carried, and the cake that Catherine Zeta-Jones and Michael Douglas picked for their wedding.

THOUGHTS: I stole and idea or two, but this book was mainly about the pretty pictures. It was odd to see all the celebrity wedding examples knowing that a few of them were already over.

RATING: 6/10 [Good]

Friday, January 03, 2014

BOOLEAN: Necessity

I am waiting out one of my last days of holiday vacation huddled inside away from the wind chill. Lady B is, unfortunately, not as lucky. She had to go into the office today.

They aren't anything special to look at, but fleece-lined is pure magic on mornings that say "feels like -1."

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

BOOLEAN: Friday Fashion Find - Stars

Get 2014 started off on the right foot with some awesome star tights.


I found these at Macy's.

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

Thursday, January 02, 2014

Links and Stuff: January 2, 2014