Thursday, April 30, 2015

Variations on a Theme: Library Marketing

After attending the Computers in Libraries conference, where much information out marketing, outreach, and social media was shared - I am in a refreshed mood to attack the TBR list of books I have related to these topics. If you care to join me, here are some of the titles I've found.

Integrated Marketing Communication: Creative Strategy from Idea to Implementation
Robyn Blakeman

Robyn Blakeman's Integrated Marketing Communication offers a classroom-tested, step-by-step approach that lays out creative processes and strategies for effective integrated marketing communication (IMC), as well as how traditional advertising and marketing principles are changing. Blakeman covers key areas from marketing plans, branding and positioning, and creative briefs to copywriting, design, and considerations for each major media format. She also looks at visual and verbal tactics, along with the use of business theory and practices-and how these affect the development of the creative message. IMC trends require students to become well-rounded professionals, understanding not only advertising but also marketing, public relations, sales promotion, and direct marketing. This user-friendly text walks students through these areas and helps them develop their skills in taking a creative idea and employing the correct message, placing it in the most appropriate media, and using the most effective communications approaches.

Social Media: How to Engage, Share, and Connect
Regina Luttrell

Social Media: How to Engage, Share, and Connect will help readers understand and successfully use social media tools through a thorough history of social media and pioneers of the field; chapters on specific subjects such as photo-sharing, video, networks, and crisis communication, among others; discussions on appropriate use of social media in public relations, where the profession stands today and where it is headed in the future; and real-world examples of successful social media campaigns. This book will become your go-to reference guide for all things social media-related as it applies to public relations and the everyday duties of PR professionals.

Andrew Rohm and Mark Weiss

One of the top marketing challenges that marketing managers and executives face today is to better understand social media and its promise as a marketing platform. The social media ecosystem,
including traditional platforms such as Facebook and Twitter and upstarts such as Instagram and Snapchat, have evolved significantly over the past 10 years; so much so that keeping pace with the latest social media platforms can seem like herding cats. Inside, the authors provide a timeless perspective on how to create, manage, and measure social media content to help you craft a more strategic approach to your social media efforts. They simplify the concept of branding and advertising (fueled by social media) so you can focus on fostering customer engagement; craft your organization's unique story; tell that story strategically via social media channels; organize, manage, monitor, and measure those efforts; identify key metrics and measure the performance through analytics; and understand the extent of change brought on by digital and social media related to how you engage your customers. 

Eileen Elliott de Saez

This best-selling textbook offers LIS students and information professionals a comprehensive foundation and structure for effective strategic marketing and demonstrates how to use this marketing to enable grow, develop and find new perspectives. The book introduces practitioners to a wide range of marketing concepts and techniques suitable for library and information services and shows how it is essential for a library to be truly market-oriented in order to ensure its survival and future prosperity. The third edition is fully updated to encompass recent developments including social media, marketing 3.0, interactive marketing, values-driven marketing marketing, holistic marketing and video marketing, with two new chapters on marketing environments and culture with references and lists of further reading. 

Suzanne Walters and Kent Jackson

Branding provides a unique way for a library to distinguish itself: its identity, personality, and image. Drawing on five vividly unique case studies from libraries across the country, Breakthrough Branding: Positioning Your Library to Survive and Thrive shows how to mesh your library’s brand deeply and seamlessly within your internal culture, to leverage and better position your brand for the audiences you serve, and develop and implement promotional strategies and tactics consistent with your objectives. Experienced marketers and branding consultants Suzanne Walters and Kent Jackson offer clear advice regarding the art and science of library branding, advocacy, ethical considerations, marketing management and evaluation throughout the book’s three sections.

David Lee King

Presenting a practical guide for any organization that aspires to create direct, deep, rewarding relationships with its patrons and prospects, social media expert David Lee King goes beyond Facebook and Twitter to demonstrate how a range of Web 2.0 tools and techniques can be used to start and sustain conversations and humanize the organization in the eyes of those it seeks to serve. Suggesting myriad ways to connect with customers using photos and video, communities and networks, and specific tools such as blogs and location services, King uses real-world examples to illustrate the dos and don’ts of using social media. The book covers topics including responding to criticism, listening to consumers, creating an approachable tone, and designing a human-centered site, as well as explaining all the critical components of any effective customer-engagement strategy.

Other Library Outreach Titles
The Librarian's Nitty-Gritty Guide to Social Media - Laura Solomon
Marketing with Social Media: A LITA Guide - Beth C. Thomsett-Scott
Marketing your Library: Tips and Tools that Work - Carol Smallwood, et al.
Social Media for Creative Libraries - Phil Bradley
Using Social Media in Libraries: Best Practices - Charles Harmon and Michael Messina

Links and Stuff: April 20, 2015

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Why I Love... Conference #Hashtags

This week, I am attending the Computers in Libraries conference. I lucked out that this shindig is only a mile from my apartment. I can walk to and from the event each day. It's so convenient. 

What is also convenient, is that many of my fellow librarians are prolific twitterers. Since this conference consists of many concurring sessions, I can physically sit in one session while eavesdropping on another via the conference hashtag. I've attended this conference before with nothing but a notepad, and it was a one dimensional experience. I feel that I'm getting a much richer experience because I can have conferences with my colleagues and learn WAY more than I could without Twitter. We even schedule meet-ups with one another to continue our online chats in person.

This conference is not alone in having a hashtag. Most conferences promote an official moniker which means I can drop-in and learn even when I'm not in the area.

If you're curious, the hashtag is #cildc.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

What I Read This Week: April 26, 2015

Read-a-thon was yesterday, but I took it easy. That said, I still have all the tireds... in case you were wondering where they went.
  • Work
  • Magazines
    • Washingtonian Bride & Groom, Spring 2015 - I have a really hard time not looking at DC real weddings when they cross my path. This issue caught my eye when I passed the magazine rack at CVS. I couldn't say no... so pretty!
  • Books
    • I'm still reading Shadows in the Vineyard. The story is kind of hoping all through time, but the writing is wonderful.
  • Other
    • An article on ASMR posted in my feedly this week. I almost ignored but what I learned (and heard) was awesome.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Hour 12: Wherein Our Reader Pauses (And Possibly Ends Her Day)

CURRENTLY READING: I am a mere few pages into The One & Only by Emily Giffin

THOUGHTS?: Don't know yet, just started.

SNACKS AND STUFF: Dinner is served. I enjoyed this pizza while watching The Husband play video games. It's hard to eat pizza and read at the same time.
It's not delivery...
COMPANION UPDATE: He made the aforementioned pizza and played the aforementioned video games.

ANYTHING ELSE?: I'm going to get another 5 or so pages read, but that will be it for the next several hours (possibly read-a-thon). We are headed out to a friend's birthday shindig. I might read a touch when we return, but these events are usual later nights.

PAGES READ TOTAL: 1018 (awwwww yeah)

Shadows in the Vineyard: The True Story of the Plot to Poison the World's Greatest Wine by Maximillian Potter
The Secret Recipes: Unforgettable Dessert from the World’s Most Celebrated Bakery by Dominque Ansel
The Newlywed Cookbook: Fresh Ideas & Modern Recipes for Cooking with & For Each Other by Sarah Copeland

Make-Ahead Meals Made Healthy: Exceptionally Delicious and Nutritious Freezer-Friendly Recipes You Can Prepare in Advance and Enjoy at a Moment’s Notice by Michele Borboa

Hour 11: Wherein Our Reader Takes a Break

CURRENTLY READING: Make-Ahead Meals Made Healthy: Exceptionally Delicious and Nutritious Freezer-Friendly Recipes You Can Prepare in Advance and Enjoy at a Moment's Noticeby Michele Borboa

THOUGHTS?: There first 10 or so pages were very information about purchasing, prepping, making, and freezing meals like this. The rest of the pages have been delicious looking recipes. I have flagged many for later production.

SNACKS AND STUFF: I chugged a bottle of water, but The Husband just started warming up the oven for dinner.

COMPANION UPDATE: He, like me, was upset about the Caps loss so he's back to playing Assassin's Creed.

ANYTHING ELSE?: I spent the first 15 minutes of the hour taking a shower. Since we are going out this evening, I thought it would be a good idea to at least look presentable.

Cheetah print slipper socks. Oh yeah.
PAGES READ TOTAL: 884 (cookbooks are not cheating, cough)

Shadows in the Vineyard: The True Story of the Plot to Poison the World's Greatest Wine by Maximillian Potter
The Secret Recipes: Unforgettable Dessert from the World’s Most Celebrated Bakery by Dominque Ansel

The Newlywed Cookbook: Fresh Ideas & Modern Recipes for Cooking with & For Each Other by Sarah Copeland

Hour 10: Wherein Our Reader is Tense

CURRENTLY READING: Just finished off The Newlywed Cookbook

THOUGHTS?: It took a bit longer to finish this book than I thought it would. There were a bunch of longer party ideas in the back pages.

SNACKS AND STUFF: Nada, but I know that dinner is coming up sooner rather than later.

COMPANION UPDATE: He is very tense while watching the game.

ANYTHING ELSE?: I am very tense while watching the game.
This score is displeasing.
PAGES READ THIS HOUR: 180 (mainly recipes)

Shadows in the Vineyard: The True Story of the Plot to Poison the World's Greatest Wine by Maximillian Potter
The Secret Recipes: Unforgettable Dessert from the World’s Most Celebrated Bakery by Dominque Ansel

The Newlywed Cookbook: Fresh Ideas & Modern Recipes for Cooking with & For Each Other by Sarah Copeland

Hour 9: Wherein Our Reader Uses Food to Calm Down

CURRENTLY READING: Still working on The Newlywed Cookbook

THOUGHTS?: We have hit the food portion the book. First, the author described, in great detail, what to buy when. Then we hit the recipes... with pictures.

SNACKS AND STUFF: No food this round. Just some water

COMPANION UPDATE: The Husband is stressing out while watching hockey. I'm reading him recipes in an effort to calm things.

ANYTHING ELSE?: Game is still 1-1 and the second period just ended. Here's hoping the Caps stay strong in the third.


Shadows in the Vineyard: The True Story of the Plot to Poison the World's Greatest Wine by Maximillian Potter

The Secret Recipes: Unforgettable Dessert from the World’s Most Celebrated Bakery by Dominque Ansel

Hour 8: Wherein Our Reader Lunches

CURRENTLY READING: The Newlywed Cookbook: Fresh Ideas & Modern Recipes for Cooking with & For Each Other by Sarah Copeland

THOUGHTS?: I'm enjoying the general content so far (building a kitchen, pantry, shopping, etc.) but it bugs me a touch that everything is organic this and fancy splurge that. Also, it's a touch "do this for your hubby" for my feminist side.

SNACKS AND STUFF: I ate lunch... and, yes, I understand the weirdness of eating canned soup while reading a from-scratch cookbook.

Wedding soup seemed appropriate for this cookbook.

I was only thinking "Don't drip on the book! Don't drip on the book!"

COMPANION UPDATE: He is screaming at the hockey game. With good reason! Our team is down by one. Nevermind. We just scored. Tie game. Woot!

ANYTHING ELSE?: I discovered that I need to dust our dining room. We've been leaving the windows open and there is a film of pollen on all the surfaces. I shall attack tomorrow.


Shadows in the Vineyard: The True Story of the Plot to Poison the World's Greatest Wine by Maximillian Potter

The Secret Recipes: Unforgettable Dessert from the World’s Most Celebrated Bakery by Dominque Ansel

Hour 7: Wherein Our Reader Realizes How Much Time Has Passed

CURRENTLY READING: Just wrapped up The Secret Recipes

THOUGHTS?: As tasty as the recipes in this book looked, there is no way I could make any of them. Even the "Beginners" recipes were too much for me. I may need to hand this book off to Lady K. She has many more skills than I in this area.

SNACKS AND STUFF: Just water. Contemplating lunch.

COMPANION UPDATE: Still playing the game. Apparently there was a difficult section. I did not notice that. Now he's turning on the Caps playoff game. I will likely be distracted by that.

ANYTHING ELSE?: Why is it so cold today? It's nearly May!

PAGES READ THIS HOUR: 186 (I got to the actual recipes)

Shadows in the Vineyard: The True Story of the Plot to Poison the World's Greatest Wine by Maximillian Potter
The Secret Recipes: Unforgettable Dessert from the World’s Most Celebrated Bakery by Dominque Ansel

Hour 6: Wherein Our Reader Feasts Her Eyes

CURRENTLY READING: The Secret Recipes: Unforgettable Desserts from the World's Most Celebrated Bakery by Dominique Ansel

THOUGHTS?: This book came to be via a Pop Sugar box. It is decadent. So far, I've only read the introductory stories. Each discusses a pasty and Ansel's history with it... along with pictures. It's definitely a feast for the eyes.

SNACKS AND STUFF: Pulled out the pretzel crisps.
Good on their own; awesome with hummus.
COMPANION UPDATE: He's still playing Assassin's Creed. This one is the black flag version and the sea shanties are always fun to hear.

ANYTHING ELSE?: First a book about French wine and now one about French pastry. I really want to go back to Paris.

PAGES READ THIS HOUR: 74 (Cookbook territory for the win!)


Shadows in the Vineyard: The True Story of the Plot to Poison the World's Greatest Wine by Maximillian Potter

Hour 5: Wherein Our Reader Finishes Book 1

CURRENTLY READING: I just finished Shadows in the Vineyard.

THOUGHTS?: Well, the mystery was not all that complex in the end. The book did not suffer, in fact, it made the whole story more interesting.

SNACKS AND STUFF: I finished off the last of my coffee.

COMPANION UPDATE: He killed off his RSS reader and has just started playing Assassin's Creed. I (heart) the music in this videogame. Also, I learned something a while back, if you need to focus but want noise, videogame music is a good choice. It's designed to keep you alert without distracting you. Also, I find it to be really pretty.

ANYTHING ELSE?: My stomach is growling. Even though I have eaten twice, read-a-thon makes my stomach think it needs to feast all day.

My purty bookmark. Thanks Lady B!


Shadows in the Vineyard: The True Story of the Plot to Poison the World's Greatest Wine by Maximillian Potter

Hour 4: Wherein Our Reader Brunches

CURRENTLY READING: Shadows in the Vineyard

THOUGHTS?: So much history, very little mystery. How shall it end?

SNACKS AND STUFF: As promised, The Husband made brunch. Noms.
Bacon makes everything better.

COMPANION UPDATE: We sat down to eat together. He's been clearing out his RSS reader.

ANYTHING ELSE?: Someone in the apartment below us is trying to hang something... or many somethings. Much drill noise has been heard.


BOOKS COMPLETED: Might finish my first book in the next hour.

Hour 3: Wherein Our Reader Takes Cover

CURRENTLY READING: Still working on Shadows in the Vineyard

THOUGHTS?: Now I am in the mood to a) drink wine b) watch Bottleshock and c) take a wine tasting trip.

SNACKS AND STUFF: Finished off the last of my coffee. 

COMPANION UPDATE: He is alive! Not quite awake yet, but upright and moving.

ANYTHING ELSE?: It got chilly in here, so I decided to wrap up in a fuzzy blanket.


BOOKS COMPLETED: I've still got several dozen pages to go in my first book.

Hour 2: Wherein Our Reader is Informed

CURRENTLY READING: Shadows in the Vineyard

THOUGHTS?: The plot thickens. This book is building the mystery by discussing many aspects of history and winemaking. I cannot wait to see the conclusion.

SNACKS AND STUFF: Just coffee. I should probably leave what's left for The Husband.

COMPANION UPDATE: Speaking of which, he is still asleep. 

ANYTHING ELSE?: I'm being partially distracted by what's on TV. Sometime ago, The Husband figured out how to load pictures onto the Apple TV. Now when we play music, there is a slideshow of our wedding and engagement pictures. Every now and then, I look up from my book and get distracted for a few minutes. 
Heck yes our venue had a library.
PAGES READ THIS HOUR: 39 (Consistency!)

BOOKS COMPLETED: None yet. I estimated 3-4 hours before I have one here. I am a slow non-fiction reader.

Hour 1: Wherein Our Reader Wakes Up

CURRENTLY READING: Shadows in the Vineyard: The True Story of the Plot to Poison the World's Greatest Wine by Maximillian Potter

THOUGHTS?: This book is a carry over from my "regular" reading. It's non-fiction that reads like fiction. I love it so far.

SNACKS AND STUFF: I'm on my second cup of coffee (drinking out of my librarian mug), and have consumed some banana bread I made last week.

Gift from my parents. Thank you!

nom nom nom

COMPANION UPDATE: The Husband is still asleep. He was crazy busy this week and needs to catch up on his sleep debt. He promises to make me eggs and bacon when he does wake up. I think I'll keep him.

ANYTHING ELSE?: The sun popped out for a few minutes which helped wake me up, but it's gone back behind the clouds. The weather reports calls for dreariness and, later, cold temperatures and rain. My least favorite. Normally I would not care, since it is an indoor read-a-thon, but I've promised myself to a friend's birthday party tonight.

PAGES READ THIS HOUR: 39 (pretty darn good non-fiction pace for me)


Read-a-thon: Kick-Off

I'm awake. Barely.

I've got my book.

I've got my coffee.

iTunes James Horner radio is playing on the TV.

Let's do this!

But, first, the kick-off survey.

1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today?
- Washington, D.C. Where it is gray, promises to be dreary, and no longer has these pretty cherry blossoms.

2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to?
- The Newlywed Cookbook. I've been cooking out of it, but haven't read a word beyond the recipes.

3) Which snack are you most looking forward to?
- None planned. We shall see what I find.

4) Tell us a little something about yourself!
- I'm a librarian who loves crossword puzzles, books (obv.), Notre Dame football, and Capitals hockey. 

5) If you participated in the last read-a-thon, what’s one thing you’ll do different today? If this is your first read-a-thon, what are you most looking forward to?
- I took the fall off (for wedding planning), but I've done several read-a-thons before. My game plan this time is to just have fun. Normally I force a whole game plan on myself. Hopefully, I will be able to just let things happen today.

Here's a cherry tree to wake you up!

Friday, April 24, 2015

Read-a-thon's Eve

If you saw my post earlier this week, you know that I'm trying to be more laid back with tomorrow's read-a-thon. I will read what I can, and just let everything else happen as it may. That said, I did pile up a few books to grab from. Everything here, save for my current read, is from my personal library. I hope to get to a few of these, but if I don't, oh well.

I have also decided to wake up in time to start coffee for kick-off at 8am. So, I will be getting up and not sleeping in. That is because I've got distractions occurring starting at 3pm. First up, the Caps play the Islanders in Game 6 of their play-offs. The Husband and I went to the electric Game 5 and I nearly lost my voice from cheering so loudly. After that, we two are headed to a friend's birthday shindig. Depending on when that wraps up, I might cram in more reading before drifting off to sleep.

So that's the game plan. I shall see you tomorrow.

The Friday Find: Ha!

I love a good book job. This one definitely had me ha-ha-ing out-loud.

Found here.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Links and Stuff: April 23, 2014

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

YouTube Tuesday: Toto

I had no idea that this took place in a library. That makes the song even more awesome.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Read-a-thon: Decision Time

Read-a-thon is Saturday. I sat out the last one because I needed that day for wedding planning... and sleeping. I thought missing one would make be uber-eager for the spring date. Instead, I find myself actually debating whether or not I want to participate. While I signed-up on the date the kick-off post came out, I've been hemming and hawing ever since.

I spent much of the weekend thinking about what to do. Normally, I attack read-a-thon full throttle. I prepare snackage, I make a library trip, I consider my book options, and I establish a plan of attack. The thought of putting that much energy into Saturday makes me cranky... but I still want to participate.

So, I've come to the following decision: I will indeed participate on Saturday, but I'll be more relaxed. No master plan, no special grocery trip. I'll simply grab a few books I have lying around the house and read whatever looks good. Food will happen on it's own. I'll read for as long (or short) as I want, and that will be that. Without the massive stress of planning for read-a-thon, I think I might actually be looking forward to Saturday.

I will do hourly posts as usual, but no extravagant ramp up this year... heck, I may even sleep-in if I need to.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

What I Read This Week: April 19, 2015

You know what I started doing again this week? Wunning. I have not walked/run since before the wedding cause I am a slacker. I went out a few times this week and did not die, but it was not a pretty sight. I hurt everywhere. That's what I get for taking 4+ plus off from working out. Now that I've loaded up the old iPod with some new music, I hope to stick with it. DC summer, please be kind.

The Husband was in San Francisco for work most of the week. Left to my own devices, I read all of the internet (and made banana breads) while watching bad TV, so the "Other" category is a bit longer than normal this week.
  • Work
    • College and Research Libraries News, April 2015 - I skimmed most of this issue, but I did stop to read the article on "Organizing the Liaison Role." I even tracked down the mind map to pin.
  • Magazines
    • National Geographic, April 2015 - While I read this issue cover-to-cover, it was just mediocre for me. I enjoyed reading about Lincoln's legacy and Trajan's column, but the pine beetle article was the only one I considered eye opening. You can never go wrong with pictures from Hubble, so I greatly enjoyed that part. Otherwise, meh.
    • Cooking Light, May 2015 - A whole issue of fast and tasty recipes? Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! This issue took only a single commute to read because it was almost entirely recipes. No complaints from me. I pulled a few to try at some point.
  • Books
    • I'm a few chapters into Shadows in the Vineyard. This book is a smattering of styles so far. Parts of it read like high-intensity fiction, but it's more of a memoir/mystery/non-fiction. I like it.
  • Other
    • The ladies and have moved forward with my idea for a long-form article club. Huzzah! Our first piece, which I managed to read on a commute home, is about the recreation of Monica Lewinsky. We hold our first discussion on Tuesday.
    • Whilst reading through some stories I pulled up from The Washington Post, I came across an article on the divisiveness of brunch. It was a pretty tasty reader for this brunch lover.
    • In that same WaPo binge, I read a piece on adult coloring books. I am so glad this is a thing.
    • From The New York Times: "Italy is a slag heap of history...
    • The placebo button... I knew it!

Friday, April 17, 2015

The Friday Find: Cartoon

This is, hands down, my favorite book related cartoon.

It comes from the comic strips Zits and it appeared a long, long time ago. I even clipped it from our Sunday comics section so that I could hang it on my cubicle wall.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Links and Stuff: April 16, 2015

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Why I Love... Community Libraries

Our apartment building has a small community library in the laundry room. Residents are free to drop-off and/or pick-up books as they wish. I've left several books on the shelves myself. While I have not yet taken a title home with me, I often find myself perusing the collection as I wait for my laundry to finish. There is a large mix of books available from non-fiction to romance to reference. Each book came from somewhere and is looking for its next home.

In addition to the bookcase, there is a small magazine rack for people to drop of their old issues. During my wedding magazine binge, I would leave all my read magazines for others. They were taken (and enjoyed, I hope) by others in minutes. Once, a woman just took them straight from me before I even got the chance to add them to the rack.

I love the idea of a community library (and little free libraries). They are a simple, fun, and free way to create a sense of unity among a group of strangers. I always hope that someone will get as much or more pleasure out of an item I leave.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Book 3: The New Yorker Book of Lawyer Cartoons

TITLE: The New Yorker Book of Lawyer Cartoons 
AUTHOR: The New Yorker
STARTED: March 15, 2015
FINISHED: March 15, 2015
GENRE: Humor

FIRST SENTENCE: "I consider myself a passionate man, but, of course, a lawyer first."

SUMMARY: [From BN] Perhaps Shakespeare said it best--"first, kill all the lawyers." Now, the profession we most love to hate is hilariously portrayed by some of the greatest cartoonists of our time, including James Thurber and Charles Addams, in this small-format collection of cartoons taken from the pages of The New Yorker magazine.

THOUGHTS: I still don't get most New Yorker cartoons. 

RATING: 4/10 [An "Okay" Book]

Sunday, April 12, 2015

What I Read This Week: April 12, 2015

I was so over this week by Wednesday. It was just so gray and rainy. Thank goodness the sun shown through this weekend. It salvaged things somewhat. The only upside to the weather is that it gave me a reason to stay in at night and finally start formatting things on Evernote. I have a horrible tendency to clip and clip and clip things... and then leave them sitting in my "To Sort" folder. I have a massive pile of work ahead of me, but at least I've begun to chip away at it.
  • Work
    • I finally read the Taylor and Francis white paper, "Use of Social Media by the Library," that had been sitting on my desk, untouched, for far too long. It was nice to see that most of the work my library is doing is on trend. Now if only I could figure out how to make us stand out.
    • American Libraries - Digital Supplement, March/April 2015 - This supplement focused on the American Dream Starts @ Your Library initiative. It was heartening to see all the good work that has been done. 
  • Magazines
    • HGTV Magazine, May 2015 - This issue was all about paint. Since we live in an apartment, The Husband and I don't do much of this activity, but I did enjoy many of the ideas... and, of course, the pretty pictures. I even pulled the idea of a "drop cloth" chair. It looked plain cool. The home tours in this issue were also quite inviting, particularly the one with the family who loves mid-century modern. 
  • Books
    • Surprisingly, I finished The Battle of Mogadishu. I expected it to take a lot longer to read... now I just need to find a new book.

Friday, April 10, 2015

The Friday Find: Decorate

I was stumped for what to post this week, so I just trolled Etsy (like ya do), until I came across something I liked. This was the first awesome thing to catch my eye and make me go, "Ooo!"

Love these book "vases"? You can buy them here.

Thursday, April 09, 2015

Links and Stuff: April 9, 2015

Wednesday, April 08, 2015

Book 2: The Martian

TITLE: The Martian
AUTHOR: Andy Weir
STARTED: March 3, 2015
FINISHED: March 11, 2015
PAGES: 400
GENRE: Fiction

FIRST SENTENCE: I'm pretty much fucked.

SUMMARY: [From] Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars. Now, he's sure he'll be the first person to die there. After a dust storm nearly kills him and forces his crew to evacuate while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded and completely alone with no way to even signal Earth that he’s alive—and even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone long before a rescue could arrive. Chances are, though, he won't have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment, or plain-old "human error" are much more likely to kill him first. But Mark isn't ready to give up yet. Drawing on his ingenuity, his engineering skills—and a relentless, dogged refusal to quit—he steadfastly confronts one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after the next. Will his resourcefulness be enough to overcome the impossible odds against him?

THOUGHTS: After the horribleness that was my first book of the year, The Martian was a welcome relief. This is a high-energy, dramatic, and intense book. If work/life/sleep didn't get in the way, I would have read this in one setting. That said, I did stay up way past my bedtime a few nights because I could not stop reading.

The concept of this book is simply. An astronaut gets stranded on Mars, how does NASA save him and how does he save himself. That's it. That's all you need to make a fantastic read. Since I highly encourage everyone to read this book, I'm not going to share anything else. Just read it. You will not regret it.

My only qualm with this book is that all of the characters tend to sound the same. They have an equal level of sass and sarcasm, and I wish their voices were a bit more individual. But that's it! Everything else is really good. 

RATING: 9/10 [Excellent!]

Monday, April 06, 2015

Seen on the Metro: Art of a Commute

Somehow I managed to schedule a very early morning (8am!) dentist appointment on my day off. Boo. Metro has not been the most trustworthy transit system lately so I left myself plenty of time to get across town. Well, wouldn't you know, metro worked perfectly, and I arrived 45 minutes early to my appointment. I assumed that I would have to sit around reading months-old magazines, but the dental hygienist was able to see me right away. Woot! I was done with my appointment before it was even scheduled to begin.

All of that information is a set-up to say I started my commute back home at 9am, just in time to board the train with a (earmuffs Husband) very attractive, blond haired gentleman. Said gentleman became more attractive when he took up a post by the door and pulled a library book out of his bag. His title of choice was The Art of War. Interesting.

Sunday, April 05, 2015

What I Read This Week: April 5, 2015

Short work week. Woot! You know what that means... I spent my days off cleaning all the things and washing all the laundry. I also purged and reorganized almost everything I could get my hands on in the apartment. I do this fairly regularly throughout the year so the piles of stuff to donate are not that large, but I feel accomplished nonetheless. Why I've held onto that unused wire cheese slicer for years is a mystery even to me. Then again, cheese is the most delicious.

Our wedding photographer also posted her blog update about our wedding. I might have squeed a bit when it came out... even though we've had all the pictures for months. I just love all of them so much; it's hard not to be excited every time I see them again.
  • Work
  • Magazines
    • The Atlantic, April 2015 - It took me just over a week to finish this issue because I was only reading an article or so a day. It was worth it. I learned and loved so much in this issue that The Husband was probable a touched annoyed that I kept reading snippets outloud with no warning. You should just read everything in this issue, but if you can't read it all, at least read the piece on "The False Gospel of Alcoholics Anonymous." It was eye-opening to say the least. You should also take a few minutes to read the shorter piece on the "Clones on the Court."
    • Washingtonian, April 2015 - Build all the things! (After rezoning all the land, of course.) I've lived in DC for 12 years and the transformation this city has undergone is astounding. I love that this magazine showed where it might be headed. I can only hope some of their predictions come to pass. In other news, the piece on the man who assassinated Lincoln's assassin was pretty darn interesting. Who knew? Finally, their was a brief article on the owner of restaurant Nora in Dupont Circle. I may need to make a reservation.
  • Books
    • Symbiont = Done! Nothing too spectacular, but Grant is good enough to make me want to read the next book in the series.
    • I'm a couple chapters into The Battle of Mogadishu. It's a compilation of essays about the Black Hawk Down incident in Somalia. Black Hawk Down by Mark Bowden is, hands down, my favorite non-fiction book. It's nice to read the perspectives of the men who actually lived through it.

Friday, April 03, 2015

The Friday Find: Liberty

I stumbled upon this beauty of a thing while scrolling through Pinterest this week. I heart it and think it should probably be posted in most libraries. Turns out, the image was created a few years ago to celebrate banned books week. More information on that here.

Sadly, after some internet sleuthing, I could not find a place that still sold the image. Boo.

Thursday, April 02, 2015

Links and Stuff: April 2, 2015

Wednesday, April 01, 2015

Why I Love... Dead Tree Books

This week, after reading two books in a row on a Kindle, I went back to my love, dead tree books. Hardover or paperback, I don't care which, but I love "book" books. The tactile sensation, the smell, the sense of accomplishment as I flip the pages, etc. I love it all. I really could go on, but there is no need. I am on the side of printed books. If you want to see more of the debate, head on over to BuzzFeed. This article gave me the giggles.