Sunday, March 30, 2014

What I Read This Week: March 30, 2014

My second crazy weekend in a row is almost over. This time, it was a wedding in New York City. The Fiance and I opted to take the bus up with some friends. That left us a lot of uninterrupted time for reading (and napping - I succumb from vehicular narcolepsy quite a bit).
  • Magazines
    • Food Network, April 2014 - I was a bit bummed that their slow cooker issue was released as we're leaving slow cooker season, but I did save a few recipes to try. One of my favorite pieces was the quick hit articles on the store bought favorites chefs use. I also flagged a few deviled egg recipes to try. Finally, the pasta from scratch article is not to be missed.
    • Real Simple, April 2014 - I perused through the articles on cleaning from A to Z and cooking techniques - otherwise this issue was pretty meh.
  • Books
    • I finished Worm. About darn time. It was not my favorite Bowden book, but it was still an enjoyable read. 
    • I started a new book. This one is Pope Joan. The print is very very tiny. I may be reading it for awhile.
  • Other
    • I love food. I would eat cheese all day if it was socially acceptable. Since I can't, I like to console myself by reading about food. The New York Times posted a very interesting (and delicious sounding) piece on modern casseroles.

Friday, March 28, 2014

The Friday Find: Rawr

If you have a library, you might need some bookends. Might I recommend something rather iconic?
You can grab these kitties from the New York Public Library's shop.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Links and Stuff: March 27, 2014

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Seen on the Metro: iPad

Well this is a first. I finally manged to see what someone was reading on their iPad.

The metro was very crowded so this guy was right next to me. We were one tight corner of puffy coats. (Silly endless winter.) I tried to resist glancing at his screen, but once I realized he was reading a book and not a secret government document I gave in.

It took a few side-eye glances, but I was able to figure out that he was reading one of Lee Child's Jack Reacher novels. In this case: Killing Floor.

I'm beginning to see that e-readers have one unexpected benefit over dead tree books. You only need one hand to read. So, when the commute forces you to stand, you can still enjoy your book while holding onto a pole.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

What I Read This Week: March 23, 2014

This weekend is the first of three in a row where I am "out of office" so to speak. This weekend was Lady C's bridal shower, bachelorette party, and final dress fitting. Next weekend, The Fiance and I are attending a wedding in New York City. Then, the weekend after that one is Lady C's wedding. March and the beginning of April are rather nut-so, but at least it's all joyous and fun stuff.
  • Magazines
    • Cooking Light, April 2014 - It is cruel that the spring issue arrived while there was still snow on the ground. Not cool. At least the recipes were delectable. The Fiance noticed that I tend to pull/save a lot of pasta based recipes. I find pasta recipes easy and tasty, so I tend to default to them. While I pulled a ton of recipes from this issue, only one of them was pasta based. Go me. I also think this issue was reading my mind. I've been wanting to experiment with tilapia since it's always on sale at our grocery store, and this issue had a whole section devoted to tilapia. Win!
  • Books
    • I finally (!) finished The Knot Complete Guide to Weddings. It only took me 7 months and numerous stress dreams to get through but I did it. The book has been extremely helpful and I'll be referencing it until the big day arrives. 
    • I read a few more pages in Worm. The narrative style is a bit messier than Bowden usually employs, but the book is still enjoyable if a bit heavy on the tech speak.

Friday, March 21, 2014

The Friday Find: Cover

Spring is here! (*Ignores weather report containing snow for next week.*) Nicer weather means reading outside. I have found something that might be helpful. It's a clear bookmark that covers the entire book. Thus, you can read with the wind flipping things about as you consume a tasty beverage.

This cover would also be handy for those who use print cookbooks in the kitchen. Find your recipe, plop on the cover, and start chopping.

You can buy this nifty gizmo from Amazon.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Links and Stuff: March 20, 2014

I think Walter Dean Myer's op-ed on a lack of diversity in children's books is deserving of a special note. It is a thought-provoking and moving piece. 

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Why I Love... Making To Read Lists

Nothing makes me happier than finding a good book to read. Since I'm only human, it's impossible for me to read every book as soon as I see it. Thus, I create To Read lists. They are there to remind me of what I found interesting and help spur my reading mojo when it's flagging or in need of direction.

My first To Read lists started on paper. I would jot titles down as I saw them on whatever I had handy - scrap paper, napkins, magazine covers, etc. Once in a while, I would add each slip or note to a master To Read list. As I read a book, I would cross it off. Once the strikeouts became too many, I would rewrite the list. (Yes, I'm that kind of person.)

When I went to college, I received my very first personal computer. One day I decided to upgrade my To Read list to an Excel file. This move allowed me to easily add, update, and sort all the interesting books I found. After I got a cell phone, it became even easier to add titles. I moved from random paper notes to sending myself e-mails and pictures of titles. As you can imagine, that Excel file got pretty darn long.

While I still hold onto that master Excel file, I've found myself relying on a new To Read list. This one has take the form of a Pinterest board. Two actually: one for "personal" books and one for professional reads. I like using Pinterest because it allows me to use covers. The visual image helps jog my memory as to why I wanted to read the book in the first place. Lately, I've started to think that I should migrate my Excel list to Pinterest... but that would take quite a bit of time.

How do you keep track of all the books you want to read?

Sunday, March 16, 2014

What I Read This Week: March 16, 2014

C'mon spring! As much as I love snow days, I am sick of winter. It's been too cold for too long. The epic wind storm we had this week was the last straw. Yesterday was lovely, but Capital Weather Gang tells me there is more winter weather in the forecast for tonight and tomorrow. Boo. At least I can console myself with a rather productive reading week.

  • Work
    • So. Many. Digital Preservation. Policies. That is all.
  • Magazines
    • The Atlantic, March 2014 - This issue was all over the place when it comes to subjects, but I enjoyed many of the article. The cover feature on "the fraternity problem" was well researched and more than a little bit alarming.  My favorite article in this issue was about training hockey goalies. The "War on Reason" piece offered an interesting insight into the brain's biochemistry and how human's act. It offered a fascinating study of an overlooked position in an overlooked sport.
    • National Geographic, March 2014 - Science! I was so looking forward to the cover story on black holes. It was great but, sadly, quite lacking in length. Happily, the long article on tuna more than made up for my disappointment. Also, I need to travel to New Zealand because it looks really pretty.
  • Books
    • Score one for putting a large dent in Worm. I shall finish my third book of the year yet!
  • Other
    • I am a huge fan of Neil deGrasse Tyson - so you better believe I'll be parking it on the couch to watch the second part of Cosmos tonight. (Last week's episode was awesome!) Along with the watching, I've been reading every article written about the reboot that comes my way. This piece on the Daily Beast was particularly good.
    • I've mentioned in the past that I like reading books about "things." I've now added three titles to my TBR list because of this Atlantic blog article on dust.

Friday, March 14, 2014

The Friday Find: The Reading Girl

The weather was so lovely last Saturday that The Fiance and I decided to play DC tourist. One of our stops was the National Gallery of Art. We were just wandering about the sculptures when I found The Reading Girl. Naturally, I stopped. If you happen to follow me on Instagram, you might have seen me post a picture of said sculpture.

As I was snapping  pictures, The Fiance suggested that I use her as the Friday Find. Good idea.

The Reading Girl or La Leggitrice was carved by Pietro Magni in 1861. I find her to be both lovely and realistic looking (although I know of no one who has hair that good while they read). The sculpture is housed in the niche of a window, so our subject seems to be ensconced in a window seat. If you're ever in DC, I recommend swinging by the Gallery to see her in person.

Sunday, March 09, 2014

What I Read This Week: March 9, 2014

As much as I like snow, I am so ready for winter to be done. I can has sun dresses?
  • Magazines
    • Cooking Light, March 2014 - I was pleasantly surprised by the article on vegan eating. Actually, I should say that the focus on cooking from scratch is what made it appealing. I enjoyed looking at the chicken recipes, but they were mostly repeats. I did pull a delicious scone recipe. I hope to try it soon. 
    • Food Network, March 2014 - An issue devoted entirely to bacon? Yes, please! That said, the BLT cake looked yummy but also scary.
    • American Libraries, March/April 2014 - The digital issue came out this week, so I gave it a quick read. This issues mainly covered ALA's Emerging Leaders and mid-winter conference. Nothing to earth-shattering, but it's nice to catch up. There were also an interesting article on film libraries. As the subject librarian for media studies at my library, that was right up my alley.
    • Real Simple, March 2014 - I'm a simple girl when it comes to style and beauty, but I greatly enjoyed the review of beauty products old and new. There was an article on embarrassing gaffes and how to handle them; I was fascinated by the psychology behind it all. Also, who doesn't love one pot meals?
  • Books
    • I am still working a few pages at a time through The Knot Complete Guide to Weddings. Much to my chagrin, it's still giving me stress dreams. 
    • Mark Bowden continues to make complex "things" interesting. While the going is slow, I'm enjoying my time with Worm. Who knew computer code could be so riveting?

Friday, March 07, 2014

The Friday Find: Totes

This marks the first post in a new series: The Friday Find. (This replaces the previously weekly feature of BOOLEAN: Friday Fashion Find.) In this weekly feature, I will showcase a book or library related product, picture, or what-not that I find to be either fun, interesting, or both. Heck, it may even give you gift ideas for that bibliophile in your life.

In our opening post, I give you a tote bag. Cause tote bags are awesome.

This bag was created by Jeph, the writer and artist of the webcomic Questionable Content. (Check it out - some of the strips take place in a library.) I love this bag because it combines libraries with science and sass. I can also tell you that it is well-made and rather large.

Lady B gifted this bag to me a few years ago, and it has made several trips to the library with me. See:

If I remember correctly, there are at least six hardcover books in this bag. In case you want an idea of the size, I'm about 5'3. Even when the bag is full, I can toss this tote over my shoulder and balance the bulk of the weight on my back. Also, when you walk into your local library with this bag, you'll likely make the librarians' day. I've been asked several times where this bag can be purchased.

You can grab this bag for yourself here.

Thursday, March 06, 2014

Links and Stuff: March 6, 2014

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Why I Love... Reading While Watching Sports

As I type this, my Washington Capitals are being trounced by the Philadelphia Flyers. Oh look, off-setting penalties for fighting. Stupid rivalry night on NBC. Harrumph. I am not pleased by this situation, but it does remind me of my love of reading while watching sports.

I love sports - football, hockey, the Olympics, tennis - you name it, I'll likely watch it on TV. There are certain teams I follow religiously (the Capitals and the Notre Dame football team), and I can get really into the game. I've been known to throw salty language around when I think the situation calls for it. Getting into the game is awesome, but it can also be incredibly stressful. I've been known to hide behind a pillow or in my hoodie during field goal attempts and shoot-outs.

One way I've managed to ease my personal tension during the game is by reading. Usually it's just a magazine or blogs, but I'll pick up a book if that's what I'm in the mood for. I've become quite the master of looking up in time to catch the big plays and returning to my reading material when there is a pause in the action. This multi-tasking keeps my heart-rate within acceptable limits and allows me to enjoy the game without passing out. It also means I can eek out some extra reading time which is always a plus.

And let's be honest with one another - football is a slow moving game, there are a lot of breaks and pauses in which one can read.

Seen on the Metro: Reading Yoga

Last night, I was squeezed like a sardine on a packed metro train. Bummer. Most of my fellow commuters are hardened veterans who don't blink an eye at the crush. Everyone just funnels on and off the train, rarely making a scene. You now, typical commuter stuff. Then, I saw a guy who outshone them all.

I was lucky and managed to snag a seat. This gentleman did not fare as well, but he had the advantage of height. Not to be deterred by the crowds, he managed to prop his book against the ceiling rail, over the heads of a couple shorter commuters, as an impromptu book-rest. He only had to tilt his head up a bit to see the pages, and he looked perfectly content to read in a not-so-comfortable looking position. It was a fantastic sight to behold.

We only shared a few stops, but he seemed completely adsorbed in Neal Stephenson's Cryptonomicon. Well done, sir.

Sunday, March 02, 2014

What I Read This Week: March 2, 2014

The DC area is looking at another major snow storm hitting tonight. The weather people expect 6 to 12 inches to accumulate. Where was this weather last week when The Fiance and I were on a ski trip? Harrumph. Actually, I'm not going to complain - last weekend's warm temperatures meant I got to learn snowboarding in 50 degrees.

I managed to read some, but not a lot, over the past two weeks.
  • Magazines
  • Books
    • After many months of ignoring it (Bad, Meghan), I returned to reading The Knot Complete Guide to Weddings. We seem to have entered the chapters that won't give me stress dreams. Hooray.
    • I started a new book - Mark Bowden's Worm. He's my favorite non-fiction author so I expect to love it. So far, so good.
Also, as promised, here are a few more pictures from out engagement session. One day I will get tired of sharing these, but that day is not today.

Of course there were book pictures.

One of my favorites.

It started to snow. It was perfect.