Friday, February 27, 2015

The Friday Find: Harry Potter and the Awesome Skirt

There are days I want to be Ms. Frizzle simple so I can wear awesomely themed items. Like this!

You can grab this off Etsy.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Variations on a Theme: Purty

They say you shouldn't judge a book by its cover... and that is very true... but you should totally love these books for the pretty covers. This month's theme is rather subjective, but I can't help but want to share books with excellent cover art.

The Bone Clocks
David Mitchell

Following a terrible fight with her mother over her boyfriend, fifteen-year-old Holly Sykes slams the door on her family and her old life. But Holly is no typical teenage runaway: A sensitive child once contacted by voices she knew only as “the radio people,” Holly is a lightning rod for psychic phenomena. Now, as she wanders deeper into the English countryside, visions and coincidences reorder her reality until they assume the aura of a nightmare brought to life. For Holly has caught the attention of a cabal of dangerous mystics—and their enemies. But her lost weekend is merely the prelude to a shocking disappearance that leaves her family irrevocably scarred. This unsolved mystery will echo through every decade of Holly’s life, affecting all the people Holly loves—even the ones who are not yet born. A Cambridge scholarship boy grooming himself for wealth and influence, a conflicted father who feels alive only while reporting on the war in Iraq, a middle-aged writer mourning his exile from the bestseller list—all have a part to play in this surreal, invisible war on the margins of our world. From the medieval Swiss Alps to the nineteenth-century Australian bush, from a hotel in Shanghai to a Manhattan townhouse in the near future, their stories come together in moments of everyday grace and extraordinary wonder.

Leaving the Sea
Ben Marcus

By turns hilarious and heartfelt, dark and illuminative, Ben Marcus’s Leaving the Sea is a ground breaking collection of stories from one of the single most vital, extraordinary, and unique writers of his generation. In the heartfelt “I Can Say Many Nice Things,” a washed-up writer toying with infidelity leads a creative writing workshop on board a cruise ship. In the dystopian “Rollingwood,” a divorced father struggles to take care of his ill infant, as his ex-wife and colleagues try to render him irrelevant. In “Watching Mysteries with My Mother,” a son meditates on his mother’s mortality, hoping to stave off her death for as long as he sits by her side. And in the title story, told in a single breathtaking sentence, we watch as the narrator’s marriage and his sanity unravel, drawing him to the brink of suicide. Surreal and tender, terrifying and life-affirming, Leaving the Sea is the work of an utterly unique writer at the height of his powers.

Lily King

From New England Book Award winner Lily King comes a breathtaking novel about three young anthropologists of the ‘30’s caught in a passionate love triangle that threatens their bonds, their careers, and, ultimately, their lives. English anthropologist Andrew Bankson has been alone in the field for several years, studying the Kiona river tribe in the Territory of New Guinea. Haunted by the memory of his brothers’ deaths and increasingly frustrated and isolated by his research, Bankson is on the verge of suicide when a chance encounter with colleagues, the controversial Nell Stone and her wry and mercurial Australian husband Fen, pulls him back from the brink. Nell and Fen have just fled the bloodthirsty Mumbanyo and, in spite of Nell’s poor health, are hungry for a new discovery. When Bankson finds them a new tribe nearby, the artistic, female-dominated Tam, he ignites an intellectual and romantic firestorm between the three of them that burns out of anyone’s control. 

The Nightingale
Kristin Hannah

In the quiet village of Carriveau, Vianne Mauriac says goodbye to her husband, Antoine, as he heads for the Front.  She doesn’t believe that the Nazis will invade France...but invade they do, in droves of marching soldiers, in caravans of trucks and tanks, in planes that fill the skies and drop bombs upon the innocent. When a German captain requisitions Vianne’s home, she and her daughter must live with the enemy or lose everything. Without food or money or hope, as danger escalates all around them, she is forced to make one impossible choice after another to keep her family alive. Vianne’s sister, Isabelle, is a rebellious eighteen-year-old girl, searching for purpose with all the reckless passion of youth.  While thousands of Parisians march into the unknown terrors of war, she meets Gäetan, a partisan who believes the French can fight the Nazis from within France, and she falls in love as only the young can...completely.  But when he betrays her, Isabelle joins the Resistance and never looks back, risking her life time and again to save others.

The Island of the Day Before
Umberto Eco

After a violent storm in the South Pacific in the year 1643, Roberto della Griva finds himself shipwrecked-on a ship. Swept from the Amaryllis, he has managed to pull himself aboard the Daphne, anchored in the bay of a beautiful island. The ship is fully provisioned, he discovers, but the crew is missing. As Roberto explores the different cabinets in the hold, he remembers chapters from his youth: Ferrante, his imaginary evil brother; the siege of Casale, that meaningless chess move in the Thirty Years' War in which he lost his father and his illusions; and the lessons given him on Reasons of State, fencing, the writing of love letters, and blasphemy.
In this fascinating, lyrical tale, Umberto Eco tells of a young dreamer searching for love and meaning; and of a most amazing old Jesuit who, with his clocks and maps, has plumbed the secrets of longitudes, the four moons of Jupiter, and the Flood. In 1643, in still-uncharted Antipodean waters, Roberto, a young nobleman in exile, survives the wreck of his ship and lands on another ship, the mysterious and deserted Daphne, which is anchored just across the Date Line from an island surrounded by treacherous reef. If Roberto can reach the island, when time is always yesterday, can he correct his past? Simultaneous hardcover release from Harcourt Brace.

The Monsters of Templeton

Lauren Groff

In the wake of a wildly disastrous affair with her married archaeology professor, Willie Upton arrives on the doorstep of her ancestral home in storybook Templeton, New York, looking to hide in the one place to which she swore she'd never come back. As soon as she arrives, though, a prehistoric monster surfaces in Lake Glimmerglass, changing the very fabric of the town. What's more, Willie's hippie-turned-born-again-Baptist mother, Vi, tells her a secret she's been hiding for nearly thirty years: that Willie's father wasn't the random man from a free-love commune that Vi had led her to imagine, but someone else entirely. Someone from this very town. As Willie puts her archaeological skills to work digging for the truth about her lineage, she discovers that the secrets of her family run deep when past and present blur, dark mysteries come to light, and the shocking truth about more than one monster is revealed. One dark summer dawn, at the exact moment that an enormous monster dies in Lake Glimmerglass, twenty-eight-year-old Willie (nee Wilhemina) Upton returns to her hometown of Templeton, NY in disgrace. She expects to be able to hide in the place that has been home to her family for generations, but Willie then learns that the story her mom, Vi, had always told her about her father has all been a lie. He wasn't the one-night stand Vi had led her to imagine, but someone else entirely. Someone from this very town. As Willie digs for the truth about her lineage, voices from the town's past — both sinister and disturbing — rise up around her to tell their sides of the story. In the end, dark secrets come to light, past and present blur, old mysteries are finally put to rest, and the surprising truth about more than one monster is revealed.

Other Pretty Book Covers
Boy, Snow, Bird - Helen Oyeyemi
The Clockwork Universe - Edward Dolnick
Cubed - Nikil Saval
Delicious - Ruth Reichel
The Disappearing Spoon - Sam Kean
An Atheist's History of Belief - Matthew Kneale
Slammerkin - Emma Donoghue
What If? - Randall Munroe

Links and Stuff: February 26, 2015

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Sunday, February 22, 2015

What I Read This Week: February 22, 2015

It's ski trip weekend! When this auto-posts I'll either be still asleep, digging into a breakfast casserole, or rounding up some friends to go snow tubing. I never ski on the ski trip; I do other wintery things. Last year, I actually attempted snowboarding and didn't die. It's a bit cold for my tastes this year, so I'm doing other things to keep myself occupied... like claiming the seat closest to the fireplace as my own. Blessed, blessed heat.
  • Magazines
    • Real Simple, January 2015 - I want to organize all the things after reading this issue. I mentally saved the articles on control freak tendencies and getting rid of stuff. I have closets that could use my attention. In addition to those pieces, I enjoyed the articles on raising a DIY kid and quick dinner strategies.
    • Cooking Light, March 2015 - I was surprised at home fast I was able to read this recipe. The only real article in it was the piece about Michelle Obama (which was good). The rest of the issue was a decent collection of recipes. I pulled two to try later.
  • Books 
    • I am still reading The Dante Club. I should just give in, but I'm more than halfway through at this point. If my reading stinks this year, I am blaming this book for getting me off on the wrong foot. Harrumph.

Friday, February 20, 2015

The Friday Find: Lord of the Ring

Wear your reading on your finger with this awesome (customizable!) book flower ring.

It's purty and can be found on Etsy.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Links and Stuff: February 19, 2015

Sunday, February 15, 2015

What I Read This Week: February 15, 2015

This cold weather is perfect for reading. Instead, The Husband and I have been playing Lego Lord of the Rings. Not gonna lie, I'm a fan. The cold snap is set to last all week so I'll have plenty of time to read then. Or so I tell myself. My reading mojo has been fairly non-existence for a long, long time. Hopefully that changes soon.
  • Magazines
    • Real Simple, December 2014 - I love holiday issues, and this one came with a snazzy new design makeover. New look aside, I enjoyed much of this issue including holiday tips and tricks, delicious looking cookies, gift ideas, and a feature article about how to instill gratitude in children. 
    • Washingtonian, February 2015 - I skimmed the middle chunk of this issue. As much as I love pets, I don't have one. The restaurant reviews and make your body hotter without surgery were also a bit meh for me. I did, however, love the articles on the local book agents and Ethiopian cuisine. 
  • Books
    • Can this book be over yet? While it is a touch more entertaining to read now, I'm still now into it. There are so many names to remember and I don't give a hoot about any of them... or the plot for that matter. I should just stop reading, but my damned stubbornness won't let me.

Friday, February 13, 2015

The Friday Find: Catalog This

The days of the old school card catalog are, for the most part, long gone. The creators of Unshelved have modernized this library legend with their card catalog USB drive.
At 8GB these babies can hold more information than any card catalog drawer. You can grab one or a pack here.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Links and Stuff: February 12, 2015

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Sunday, February 08, 2015

What I Read This Week: February 8, 2015

Sometimes I have a lot to say in my introduction, other times I have nothing. This is one of those other times. Let's just skip ahead to this week's reading.
  • Magazines
    • National Geographic, February 2015 - The article on veterans and their emotional masks gave me all the feels. I think is an important piece about the invisible wounds our soliders bring home. I think Nat Geo wanted to balance out that piece with slightly lighter pieces on surfing in Hawaii and climate change in Florida. Both good. Also, if you're squirmy around bugs and things that crawl, just skip the photo feature on mites. It was cool looking but mildly icky.
  • Books
    • I am not enjoying The Dante Club. I'm just not. I should stop reading it, but I can't. I have this urge to finish every book I stop, and this urge will not let me stop reading this book. I'm 80 some pages in. That's it. Maybe I should just hop on the bike in my building's gym and read for an hour. That would at least help me put a dent in this thing.  
  • Other

Friday, February 06, 2015

The Friday Find: Posted

I love writing and sending fun mail to people. I have a box full of notecards I use. I may need to add these to my collection.

You can buy these from Paper Source.

That reminds me, now that the wedding is over, I'm due to send a round of fun mail out to people. I think I shall add that to my To Do list. Valentine's Day is arriving after-all. Who doesn't like a mailbox hug?

Thursday, February 05, 2015

Links and Stuff: February 5, 2015

Wednesday, February 04, 2015

Why I Love... Librarian Meetings

I had a consortial level library meeting this morning. I was not a fan of the hike to Georgetown, but the meeting itself was pretty darn good. It was a joint meeting of two committees where we discussed preservation of born-digital and AV material in our institutions.

No matter when I go to a meeting, if it involves hanging out with other librarians, I always leave with items for my professional reading list. This is a good thing.

I graduated with my MLS in 2010, but I have not stopped learning. I always make a note of new trends and areas I need to read up on. It's impossible to keep up with everything, so I love hanging out with other librarians because it can help me target specific areas and jump start my reading list.

Librarian Conferences and webinars? Hoooo boy... I always leave those with a rather large list.

You never know what you're going to learn when you hang out with others in your profession. I think, when you're always happy to learn more, it shows you picked the right career.

Sunday, February 01, 2015

What I Read This Week: February 1, 2015

The Husband and I are hosting our annual Superbowl party tonight. I make vats of chili with all the fixings and bribe people to come over and eat it. This year we've added extra incentive by enticing them with all our leftover wedding beer. I'm fairly certain The Husband would love to get those two cases out of his side of the closet so he can access all his shoes again.

Speaking of The Husband, he was awesome and put together the wedding album. Yeah! I added a few tweaks and we've ordered three copies - one for us and one for each of our parents. We can't wait to see everything print. Can I could flipping through that as an item on my 2015 completed reading list?
  • Work
    • American Libraries, March/April 2014 Digital Supplement - I mainly skimmed this supplement because it's not my particular area of interest, but I do think the content is important. That content being mainly a list of webinars and other learning opportunities. As more and more stuff moves online, libraries need to be aware and take advantage of what's available. 
  • Magazines
    • Washingtonian, January 2015 - This issue made me hungry. The main feature about the 100 very best restaurants in DC was quite the tasty looking list. I've only dined at one of the places featured, so I think I might have to check out a few of the others. The January issue also had great articles on changes at Meet the Press and a town without cell phones.
  • Books
    • I can't tell if I dislike The Dante Club or if I can't get into it because I keep falling asleep after reading just a few pages. I've actually considered tossing this one aside. That would be a first for me.