Sunday, April 30, 2017

Readathon Wrap-Up

By my account, yesterday's readathon was a great success. I read from 8:00am until 12:36am. If I didn't have an event planned for today, I would have kept going because The Woman in Cabin 10 is just that good.

I finished reading:

  • 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne
  • Bake It, Don't Fake It! by Heather Bertinetti
  • Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
  • 365: No Repeats by Rachael Ray
  • The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware (Just over half)
I read 1,236 pages which leads to a $61.80 donation to First Book. Since I love kids getting books, I am going to round that up to $75.

An excellent day! See you all at the next readathon in October!

What I Read This Week: April 30, 2017

This was one of those weeks that just drains you. There was a lot going on at work and the dreary weather at the start of the week did not help my mood. Thank goodness I had yesterday's readathon to look forward to. Sure it keeps me from my usual Saturday sleeping-in, but I love having the excuse to read all day. It's rather healing to my soul right now.
  • Magazines
    • National Geographic, April 2017 - Cyborgs and robotics are not my favorite subjects, but the cover story on the interaction between human and machine was really interesting. It speaks to the science need to advance as a species. In this issue, I also enjoyed the articles on what was like surviving under ISIS and the grass-eating monkeys of Africa. The spread on climate change facts was just depressing because I don't see humanity doing anything about it any time soon.
  • Books
    • Readathon was yesterday. Here are the books I managed to finish before I went to bed:
      • 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne (Finally!)
      • Bake It, Don't Fake It! by Heather Bertinetti
      • Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
      • 365: No Repeats by Rachael Ray
    • I also managed to put a very big dent in The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware.
  • Other
    • I read a lot of stories about the March for Science, but one of my favorites was this WaPo piece on Bill Nye. Bill! Bill! Bill!
    • Article club was this week! We skipped our last meeting so we had two articles to discuss. The article for March was about busyness as a status symbol and the article for April was about millennial co-living spaces.
    • I'm trying to clean out the backlog of articles I've emailed to myself. I managed to get through quite a few this week and these are the ones I found the most intriguing:

Readathon Check-In The Eighth and the Last

CURRENTLY READING: I have crossed the halfway mark in The Woman in Cabin 10.

THOUGHTS?: This book is quite the good mystery, but it is time for me to go to bed.

SNACKS AND STUFF: Nothing but water.


Saturday, April 29, 2017

Readathon Check-In The Seventh

CURRENTLY READING: I'm about to dive in to The Woman in Cabin 10.

THOUGHTS?: The Rachael Ray cookbook was fine, but I'm glad I get to move on to something else. Something about the colors they used in Ray's cookbook was just hard to read. It was distracting.

SNACKS AND STUFF: I did some damage to the pad thai I ordered, but there was a large amount left for leftovers. I know what I'll be eating for lunch at work on Monday.

PAGES READ TOTAL: 1,061 (I love it when I cross over into four digits during readathon.)

Readathon Check-In The Sixth

CURRENTLY READING: I just finished Fangirl.

THOUGHTS?: ZOMG this book was so addictive! I can't articulate right now why it was so awesome, but I actually upset when the food delivery arrived when I had just 10 pages left.

SNACKS AND STUFF: As soon as I finished the book, I scarfed down the garden roll portion of my Thai takeout order. I'm about to dig in to the tofu and veggie pad thai.


Readathon Check-In The Fifth

CURRENTLY READING: I'm just over halfway through Fangirl.

THOUGHTS?: I am not a fast reader. Not at all. That is driving me batty right now because this book is so good that I just want to know what happens next. READ FASTER BRAIN!

SNACKS AND STUFF: I nibbled on the lunch spread for a few hours, but the leftovers have been packed way so that I can get hungry for dinner. I think I shall be ordering Thai...


Readathon Check-In The Fourth

CURRENTLY READING: Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

THOUGHTS?: I am loving this book. I can see why so many people recommend and love it. The characters are great and I can't wait to find out what happens on the next page. It's a fairly thick book but it moves quickly.

SNACKS AND STUFF: I have been attacking the lunch spread. No cucumber will be spared!


Readathon Check-In The Third

CURRENTLY READING: I finished Bake It, Don't Fake It and will be starting Fangirl shortly.

THOUGHTS?: This was one of the better baking goods I've read. It was well-organized, easy to understand, and included great tips you don't normally see. I loved most of the sweet recipes but I am really jonesing to make these savory scones below. They look so good!

SNACKS AND STUFF: Just coffee.


Readathon Check-In The Second

CURRENTLY READING: I just finished up 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and I am about to start Bake It, Don't Fake It! by Heather Berinetti... who happens to be The Husband's cousin.

THOUGHTS?: I am sooooo happy that I finally finished 20,000 Leagues. I have been reading it for weeks. I loved being able to finish it in one bug chunk. It make the reading all that more enjoyable.

SNACKS AND STUFF: I made waffles!

PAGES READ SINCE LAST CHECK-IN: 91 (not bad given there were many footnotes in this unabridged text)

Readathon Check In The First

I am not going to sugar coat it. It was really hard to get out of bed this morning. It's not that I wasn't excited about readathon... it's just that I really love sleep. I really, really love sleep. But I only hit snooze once. I'm also glad I had the forethought to pre-set coffee. Hitting the start button without having to count the scoops of grounds out first makes life so much easier.

I have not set up my readathon shop and am ready to get down to business.

Here are my answers to the opening survey:

1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today?
- Not so sunny Washington, DC. I'm told it might hit 90 today.

2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to?
- Fangirl. It has been on my list for quite some time.

3) Which snack are you most looking forward to?
- The lunch spread of veggies, pita, hummus, cheese, and crackers.

4) Tell us a little something about yourself!
- I'm feeling lazy so I'm just going to cute and paste my Twitter profile: "Librarian. DC resident. Food lover. Fan of exploring things because - Ooo! That's interesting! - is a good policy in life."

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've participated many times before and I am not changing a thing from last time. I am taking this as a relaxing fun day. Enjoy everyone!

Friday, April 28, 2017

Tomorrow is Readathon

Hooray! Another readathon is upon us!

It has been a taxing work week so I am looking forward to reading all day long. Nothing says rest and relaxation to me like ignoring the world by sticking your nose in a book. This week, I made time to make my book pile, buy snacks, and draw out a readathon tracking spread in my bullet journal.

I love the more relaxed attitude I've taken toward readathoning, so I am going to continue that trend. I will blog (or Instagram) when I feel like it. I will eat when I feel like it. I will nap when I feel like it. I will basically do whatever I feel like, when I feel like it, and I expect that to lead to one awesome day.

What I also feel like is continuing to support one of my favorite charities, First Book. For every page I finish during readathon, I will donate 5 cents to First Book. Since they do great work, you better believe I packed my reading pile with cookbooks and easy reads. More books for kids!

See you all tomorrow!

The Friday Find: Stickers

This week, I felt the need to track down some bookish stickers. I found this fantastic (printable!) book lover bundle that would make any reader and/or bullet journaler happy.

This pack is from the LittleBlueGarden Etsy shop.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Variations on a Theme: Ballet

Many (many) years ago, I was a ballet dancer. I loved the movement and emotion. I loved the feel of pointe shoes on my feet and tightness of the bun in my hair. I loved stretching and spinning and leaping. I loved the excuse to just express myself to music. I was only a casual, after-school sort of dancer, but I loved every moment of my time on the floor and at the barre. After moving to DC, I have taken full advantage of seeing professional companies perform in our local theatres. Is it any surprise then, that I love reading books based around ballet?

This month's Variations on a Theme is all about ballet.

Tiny Pretty Things
Sona Charaipotra and Dhonielle Clayton

Black Swan meets Pretty Little Liars in this soapy, drama-packed novel featuring diverse characters who will do anything to be the prima at their elite ballet school. Gigi, Bette, and June, three top students at an exclusive Manhattan ballet school, have seen their fair share of drama. Free-spirited new girl Gigi just wants to dance—but the very act might kill her. Privileged New Yorker Bette's desire to escape the shadow of her ballet-star sister brings out a dangerous edge in her. And perfectionist June needs to land a lead role this year or her controlling mother will put an end to her dancing dreams forever. When every dancer is both friend and foe, the girls will sacrifice, manipulate, and backstab to be the best of the best.
Astonish Me

Maggie Shipstead

For years Joan has been trying to forget her past, to find peace and satisfaction in her role as wife and mother. Few in her drowsy California suburb know her thrilling history: as a young American ballerina in Paris, she fell into a doomed, passionate romance with Soviet dance superstar Arslan Rusakov. After playing a leading role in his celebrated defection, Joan bowed out of the spotlight for good, heartbroken by Arslan and humbled by her own modest career. But when her son turns out to be a ballet prodigy, Joan is pulled back into a world she thought she'd left behind—a world of dangerous secrets, of Arslan, and of longing for what will always be just out of reach. [My review]

Brandy Colbert

Theo is better now. She’s eating again, dating guys who are almost appropriate, and well on her way to becoming an elite ballet dancer. But when her oldest friend, Donovan, returns home after spending four long years with his kidnapper, Theo starts reliving memories about his abduction—and his abductor. Donovan isn’t talking about what happened, and even though Theo knows she didn’t do anything wrong, telling the truth would put everything she’s been living for at risk. But keeping quiet might be worse. Brandy Colbert dazzles in this heartbreaking yet hopeful debut novel about learning how to let go of even our most shameful secrets. [My review]

Kathryn Wagner

In the City of Lights, at the dawn of a new age, begins an unforgettable story of great love, great art—and the most painful choices of the heart. With this fresh and vibrantly imagined portrait of the Impressionist artist Edgar Degas, readers are transported through the eyes of a young Parisian ballerina to an era of light and movement. An ambitious and enterprising farm girl, Alexandrie joins the prestigious Paris Opera ballet with hopes of securing not only her place in society but her family’s financial future. Her plan is soon derailed, however, when she falls in love with the enigmatic artist whose paintings of the offstage lives of the ballerinas scandalized society and revolutionized the art world. As Alexandrie is drawn deeper into Degas’s art and Paris’s secrets, will she risk everything for her dreams of love and of becoming the ballet’s star dancer?

Jennifer Holmes

For more than four hundred years, the art of ballet has stood at the center of Western civilization. Its traditions serve as a record of our past. Lavishly illustrated and beautifully told, Apollo’s Angels—the first cultural history of ballet ever written—is a groundbreaking work. From ballet’s origins in the Renaissance and the codification of its basic steps and positions under France’s Louis XIV (himself an avid dancer), the art form wound its way through the courts of Europe, from Paris and Milan to Vienna and St. Petersburg. In the twentieth century, √©migr√© dancers taught their art to a generation in the United States and in Western Europe, setting off a new and radical transformation of dance. Jennifer Homans, a historian, critic, and former professional ballerina, wields a knowledge of dance born of dedicated practice. Her admiration and love for the ballet, as Entertainment Weekly notes, brings “a dancer’s grace and sure-footed agility to the page.”

Simon Morrison

In this enthralling, definitive new history of the Bolshoi Ballet, visionary performances onstage compete with political machinations backstage. On January 17, 2013, a hooded assailant hurled acid into the face of the artistic director of the Bolshoi Ballet, making international headlines. A lead soloist, enraged by institutional power struggles, later confessed to masterminding the crime. The scandal, though shocking, is not an anomaly in the turbulent and tormented yet magnificent history of the Bolshoi. Renowned music historian Simon Morrison reveals the ballet as a crucible of art and politics, beginning with the disreputable inception of the theater in 1776 and proceeding through the era of imperial rule, the chaos of revolution, the oppressive Soviet years, and the recent $680 million renovation project. Drawing on exclusive archival research, Morrison creates a richly detailed tableau of the centuries-long war between world-class art and life-threatening politics that has defined this storied institution. As Morrison makes clear, as Russia goes, so goes the Bolshoi Ballet.

More Ballet Titles
The Art of Movement - Ken Browar
The Book of Proper Names - Amelie Nothomb
Life in Motion - Misty Copeland
Mao's Last Dancer - Li Cunxin
The Master's Muse - Varley O'Connor
The Red Shoe's - Michael Powell

Links and Stuff: April 27, 2017

From Keep Reading Forever

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Why I Love... The Library Hold List

Readathon is this Saturday. I browsed my personal shelves for books I want to read, but I need to head to the library for more.

My local branch is currently closed for a complete demolition and remodel, so I scoured the website to place holds on items to be sent to the interim location.

I love the hold list for three reasons.

First, its makes my life so much easier. Instead of having to travel to each branch to get my books, they come to me!

Second, I can also toss books onto my holds when I know I really want to read them... and so does everyone else. If a title is in high demand, I just put it on my holds list and wait until a copy is available. It's always a wonderful surprise when I get the email that it's finally my turn with an anticipated title.

Third, it provides on-going enjoyment as I check to see where I am in line each day. I love that feeling of watching the books can get closer and closer to being in my hands. I can see when my number in the wait list decreases, I can see when the book is being processed for me, and then, finally, I can see when a book is ready to be picked up.

If you haven't made use of your local library's holds list, you really should. I think you'll be surprised how much you love it.

Then again... there is always that one major downside when all your holds come in at once. Eh. It's worth it.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

YouTube Tuesday: Clean Up

I saw this on the Boston Public Library's Twitter account and I think it is awesome.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

What I Read This Week: April 23, 2017

The Husband and I were supposed to attend the March for Science yesterday, but I am a rain wimp and opted to stay home. That said, I put a lot of work into my Ms. Frizzle costume, so I took some pictures and participated virtually on Twitter and Instagram. I give the highest of fives and the strongest of kudos to all the awesome scientists and science lovers who marched in the dreary weather. You all rock! Also, the signs at all these marches were particularly fantastic.

In other news, Readathon is next Saturday. I need to start prepping! First, I need to see what books I can read at home before I start raiding the library. I have a feeling this readathon is going to be rather eclectic.

  • Work 
    • College and Research Libraries News - April 2017 - I skimmed the majority of this issue, but the article on collaborating in the humanities was pretty good. 
  • Magazines
    • Food Network, May 2017 - I didn't bother to read any of the articles in this issue, but I did spend some quality time with the recipes. I loved that the entire issue was themed around Tex-Mex food. Now I need tacos. And avocado. And sour cream. 
    • Good Housekeeping, May 2017 - I want Connie Britton's hair! In other news, there was a lot of pastel to be had in these pages. Aside from that, the article on laundry tips was the best part of this issue.
    • The Atlantic, April 2017 - OMG this issue! I read the cover story on women in Silicon Valley and fumed the entire time. The fact that this outright sexism still exists (on top of inherent bias) is downright infuriating. If you don't think sexism is a problem, read that story. Aside from that, the piece on bringing wooly mammoths back to Siberia was incredibly interesting. It makes you wonder how far we should go with science. The shorter stories were also good, particularly the pieces on data in therapy and Beowulf.
  • Books
    • The end of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea is in sight! I'm excited by that because I want to see how it wraps up... and I am sooooo ready to move on to another book. I am going to try to finish this before readathon, but I have a feeling I will be finishing this next Saturday morning.
  • Other
    • I read a lot of news every day. One of the problems with that is that I can start to suffer from compassion fatigue. CNN posted a story this week about a photographer who tried to save a child instead of taking pictures that moved me to tears. It's a reminder that what is happening each day in Syria is still devastating. 

Friday, April 21, 2017

The Friday Find: Stationery

I love paper products and I love libraries. Ergo, I love these bibliophilia postcards.

You can buy these from the Library of Congress store.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Links and Stuff: April 20, 2017

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

YouTube Tuesday: Pairings

If you like tea, it might be worth watching the entire tea and book pairing series.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

What I Read This Week: April 16, 2017

This was a good week. It was a short work week due to the Easter holiday. The Husband and I got to see the Caps in their first playoff game. (Thank goodness for the OT come back!) Yesterday, I hosted a girly coloring and movie party complete with homemade scones and tea sandwiches. And, today, we're going to a park to hang out with friends. I like weeks like this.
  • Work
    • It was a short work week for me, so part of my To Do list was trying to clear out my backlog of article reading. I read and skimmed a bunch of things, but I found the stories below to be most useful:
    • I'm still working on Digital Preservation. The introductory chapter did a great job of highlighting why this issue is so difficult and complex. With digital preservation you're not just saving a real life thing - you're saving bit streams plus content plus a thing. Oh, and then you have to make sure you can legally save these things. 
    • American Libraries annual issue on the State of America's Libraries came out this week. As usual, the report highlights how important libraries are to their communities and how we're always doing more with less. This year, however, there was an emphasis on how libraries and librarians are important in crafting a well-informed citizenery in the age of "fake news."
  • Magazines
    • HGTV Magazine, May 2017 - Not gonna lie. I read this issue whilst tipsy. And by read... I mean skimmed. It was mainly pretty pictures of colorful home decor. The only article I stopped to read was the various ways of laying out a gallery wall.
  • Books
    • I made a decent dent in 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. My goal is to finish this book before read-a-thon on May 29th. I just might make it.
  • Other

Friday, April 14, 2017

The Friday Find: Travel Art

I have travel on the brain, so I thought I would feature something that combines both travel and reading. I think this art print accurately depicts how bookworms pack for a long trip.

You can find this in TheLightFantastic Etsy shop.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Why I Love... Killing Time

A few weeks ago, The Husband needed to get a haircut. We were already doing other things downtown so it didn't make sense for me to go elsewhere. Luckily, there are several bookstores in the location of his hair cuttery. I decided to head to the nearest one to kill time.

I absolutely love killing time in libraries because, no matter how much time you have, you can always find a way to fill it. If you have a few minutes, you can browse the shelves. If you have a half hour, you can grab a book that looks good and read a page or two. If you have longer, you can always buy a book or magazine, sit down, and read until your time is up.

On this particularly day, I went to Kramerbooks. It's a fabulous independent store with an attached restaurant and coffee bar. The store recently expanded, so I made a beeline for the new area to check things out. I didn't know how long I had before The Husband would be finished, so I spent about 45 minutes scanning every shelf in the store while the smell of coffee wafted from from the cafe. The smell of freshly baked pie also tempted me, but I was able to distract myself by tracking down a book I've not been able to find in the local library system.

Before I went to the store, I told The Husband I would only buy two books. I left with four. (Oops.) It was a great way to idle away an hour of my time.

Can't wait to do it again!

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

YouTube Tuesday: Wishbone

I have seen every episode of this classic kids' show. I might need to watch them all again.

Sunday, April 09, 2017

What I Read This Week: April 9, 2017

This was my first "normal" week in quite some time. It was kind of nice knowing that I would be going home each day after a typical day at the office. Sometimes I enjoy a good "rut." That said, Lady K and I saw Beauty and Beast on Friday and it was both awesome as a movie and spectacular as a trip down memory lane. We did not go to a sing-along showing... but that did not keep me from singing along in my head.

This week, I also finished the S-Town podcast. It left me with many, many feels. It's not the story you think it will be and that is what makes it so special. I highly recommend adding that to your list.

  • Work
    • I started reading Digital Preservation by Marilyn Deegan and Simon Taner. This is a book that is, shockingly, about digital preservation. Our library is making moves towards ensuring our digitized material is around for the long haul, so I thought I would bone up on the topic. 
  • Magazines
    • Food Network, April 2017 - There were two things I loved about the issue. The first was the quick-one page recipe on how to make a cake look like a galaxy. (So cool!) The second was the feature on destination DC. I'm a sucker for stuff on where I live. This issue also had some tasty looking veggie noodle recipes. I also liked the brief piece on all the colorful
      small appliances there are out there.
    • Good Housekeeping, April 2017 - This was a skim issue for me. The only piece I stopped to look at slightly more closely was on how to add more color to your home.
    • Cooking Light, April 2017 - Normally, I love this magazine for the recipes and party menu ideas. This issue, however, had some great articles devoted to healthy eating. The first article looked about the myths and science behind how food impacts metabolism. The second was about what healthy means now (as compared to when the magazine started in the 1980s). The last article was about how to go green (as in eco-friendly) in the kitchen. There were also some great recipes. Good issue!
  • Books
    • Ugh! One of these days I'll get into a long reading session for 10,000 Leagues Under the Sea. I'm enjoying the book, but I have been reading forever and I'm kind of itching to move on to other things. At least I know I will finish it before or during readathon in a few weeks. No matter what, I will be reading a new book before April is over.
  • Other
    • This article, posted on The Atlantic, shows how former Obama White House photographer Pete Souza's Instagram account provides visual criticism (read: epic levels of shade) of the current administration.

Friday, April 07, 2017

The Friday Find: Glasses

Yesterday, I shared a link to Harry Potter related cocktails. Today, I share a bar and glassware set you might want to purchase to drink said cocktails out of.

This is just epically awesome.

You can buy this set from the StarGiftShop Etsy store.

Thursday, April 06, 2017

Links and Stuff: April 6, 2017


Sunday, April 02, 2017

What I Read This Week: April 2, 2017

Hoo-boy! I don't normally have to extrovert this much in a month... let alone in a week. I spent the bulk of the week attending the Computers in Libraries conference. It was three days of great sessions, meeting people, and following conversations on Twitter.

I ended the week celebrating a friends wedding. On Friday, The Husband and I attended the welcome dinner. These friends work with the State Department so they've traveled the world, and the food was awesome. It was taste of everywhere they've been. The wedding, yesterday, was lovely and a heck of a lot of fun.

Now I need to spend some time introverting to recharge my batteries. Excuse me as I burrow under a blanket and ignore the world for the rest of the day.

  • Work
    • This is quite work reading, but roll with it. This week I attended (and presented at) the Computers in Libraries conference. There were a bunch of great presentations but, as always, the tweets surrounding the event make it even better. If you're interested, check out the #cildc hashtag on Twitter.
  • Magazines
    • Washingtonian, February 2017 - The bulk of this issue was devoted to the best DC area restaurants. I added a few to my list, but I've seen most of the names before. In this issue, I most enjoyed the article on the ghostwriter who worked with mulptiple high-level politicians. It was a fascinating look into political life that you don't often hear about. Finally, I enjoyed the article about Larry Hogan, the governor of Maryland. 
  • Books
    • I am still reading 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. I am still enjoying the story - even the minutia. At this point, I have a feeling that I won't finish this book until readathon. But finish it I shall!
  • Other