Friday, June 23, 2017

The Friday Find: Mobile

I need this Harry Potter mobile for reasons.

I can hang it over my desk.

You can find this at the LesPetitsshop on Etsy.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Why I Love... Bookish Puns

This past month at work has been rough. We are relocating our Music branch library into the main library collection. It's a lot of physical, mental, and strategic planning work and I've been the project manager on this (and all our other) library relocations.

My brain is about ready for a vacation but it can't take one just yet. Instead, I amuse myself after long days with a few wonderful bookish puns.

Puns are great because they're stupidly funny and enjoyable. They are ideal antedotes for long days when my mind needs a bit of break as well as a challenge of something different. Bookish puns are extra awesome because they speak to my literary side and help me feel smart because I am in on the joke.

Word play that is both humorous and informative is the best kind of wit.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

What I Read This Week: June 18, 2017

On Monday, the girls and I saw Wonder Woman. IT WAS AMAZING! I was quite scared that the film would not live up to the hype but it did! It did so much! Lady K and I are already talking about seeing it again. I will likely own it and watch it lots.

In reading news, I am [thisclose] to catching up on my magazine backlog.

  • Magazines
    • National Geographic, June 2017 - A cover story about why we lie... while this administration is in office... oh boy! This was a great look at the science and psychology of lying. It also says that none of us tells the truth. Not surprising. Aside from that, this issue had three other great articles: how climate change is impacting the Galapagos, the perils of being an albino in Africa, and the uncovering of an excellent dinosaur fossil.
    • Cooking Light, July 2017 - It's not fair that I don't have a grill. This whole issue was chick full of grilling recipes and they all looked amazing. At least I can partake of the picnic recipes. (Mental note - schedule next picnic) The best part of this issue was the article on non-meat proteins. The Husband and I try to eat vegetarian at least once a week. That's easy. What's not easy is getting us to try tofu. I think some of these recipes might be worth a shot.
    • HGTV, July/August 2017 - This issue was even more catalog like than usual. It was pages and pages of things that you could buy. That said, I did like the article about adding curb appeal. I also liked the fun DIY reupholstery pictures. Before and afters like that are always great.
    • Washingtonian, April 2017 - The main theme of this issue was buying a place in DC. Since The Husband and I are in the market, I ate up all the tips... just not the ads... can't afford those sky-high prices. In non-home news, there was a great guide to the Eastern Shore of Maryland. One of these days we'll spend a long weekend out there. 
  • Books
    • I finished off Today Will Be Different on Sunday night. I've had a week to mull it over and I still don't know if I like the main character or not.
    • I started reading The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. This book has been on my mental TBR for ages. The mood to read it suddenly struck so I grabbed a copy from the public library. I find it odd that it's shelved in the kids section.

Friday, June 16, 2017

The Friday Find: Notebooks

I have a "thing" for all things stationary. I love walking in to a store that sells pens, papers, cards, and all manner of journal type things. It's a little piece of paradise for me.

If I went in to a store that sold these adorable literary notebooks, it would be really hard for me to not buy one or two.

You can purchase these from Manuscript.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

What I Read This Week: June 11, 2017

I did not get much reading done this week. The first reason for that is work was cuh-razy and I came home le tired. The second reason is, last Friday, I decided to start rewatching The West Wing. I might not have completed much in the reading department but binge watching my favorite TV show has been so good for my mental health... particularly this week. #ThisTown #Comey

  • Books
    • I put a HUGE dent in Today Will Be Different. If I don't finish it tonight, I would be surprised.
  • Other
    • All things Comey hearing related. I am a DC girl after all. 
In other news, I made a new cookie recipe this week - Bourbon Chocolate Chip. I used a small cookie scoop which resulted in bite-sized pieces of awesome. You have got to try them.

Friday, June 09, 2017

Book 11: Dear Data

TITLE: Dear Data: A Friendship in 52 Weeks of Postcards
AUTHOR: Giorgia Lupi and Stefanie Posavec
STARTED: May 10, 2017
FINISHED: May 28, 2017
PAGES: 291
GENRE: Non-fiction

FIRST SENTENCE: [From the Foreward] "My experience is what I agree to attend to," William James wrote at the dawn of modern psycholog.

SUMMARY: [From BN] Equal parts mail art, data visualization, and affectionate correspondence, Dear Data celebrates "the infinitesimal, incomplete, imperfect, yet exquisitely human details of life," in the words of Maria Popova (Brain Pickings), who introduces this charming and graphically powerful book. For one year, Giorgia Lupi, an Italian living in New York, and Stefanie Posavec, an American in London, mapped the particulars of their daily lives as a series of hand-drawn postcards they exchanged via mail weekly—small portraits as full of emotion as they are data, both mundane and magical. Dear Data reproduces in pinpoint detail the full year's set of cards, front and back, providing a remarkable portrait of two artists connected by their attention to the details of their lives—including complaints, distractions, phone addictions, physical contact, and desires. These details illuminate the lives of two remarkable young women and also inspire us to map our own lives, including specific suggestions on what data to draw and how. A captivating and unique book for designers, artists, correspondents, friends, and lovers everywhere.

THOUGHTS: The authors of this book were on NPR some time ago and I really liked the idea of this project. I added the book to my TBR list and I just now got around to reading it. What I thought would be a quick, two-hour read turned into a much deeper and far more interesting book. Sure this work is mainly pictures, but if you take the time to read and try to analyze the data it becomes a much better book. You could just flip through the postcards, but it's far more interesting to the explanations the author gives for how the authors are illustrating their data collections. I also loved that each page included some additional insights the authors discovered about themselves.

RATING: 7/10 [Very Good]

The Friday Find: Spectacles

There are a lot of stereotypes about librarians, but one of them is that we all wear glasses. Thick rimmed and cat-eye glasses seem to be the most preferred presentation of the stereotype. If you want to give in to the myth, might I suggest adding this lovely dress to your wardrobe.

Hat Tip to Lady B for finding this dress from Boden.

Thursday, June 08, 2017

Links and Stuff: June 8, 2017

From Indexed

Wednesday, June 07, 2017

Book 10: The Truth About Alice

TITLE: The Truth About Alice
AUTHOR: Jennifer Mathieu
STARTED: May 3, 2017
FINISHED: May 9, 2017
PAGES: 201
GENRE: Young Adult

FIRST SENTENCE: I, Elaine O'Dea, am going to tell you two definite, absolute, indisputable truths.

SUMMARY: [From BN] Everyone knows Alice slept with two guys at one party. When Healy High star quarterback Brandon Fitzsimmons dies in a car crash, it was because he was sexting with Alice. Ask anybody. Rumor has it Alice Franklin is a slut. It's written all over the "slut stall" in the girls' bathroom: "Alice had sex in exchange for math test answers" and "Alice got an abortion last semester." After Brandon dies, the rumors start to spiral out of control. In this remarkable debut novel, four Healy High students tell all they "know" about Alice--and in doing so reveal their own secrets and motivations, painting a raw look at the realities of teen life. But in this novel from Jennifer Mathieu, exactly what is the truth about Alice? In the end there's only one person to ask: Alice herself.

THOUGHTS: I thought this book would make me cranky. Whenever it comes to reading about slut-shaming, I get angry and righteous. This book did make me cranky but only a little. Throughout the books, I mainly felt compassion and empathy for the characters and the events in their lives. I have to give kudos to Mathieu for right such a well-done book about a touchy subject.

Each chapter in this book takes a different characters' point-of-view. Throughout the story, their thoughts and opinions about various events unfold and overlap. This structure works well to show how our experiences are not always the same as others. It also helps to show how personal bias colors our views and actions. It terms of teaching teenagers to think twice before they act or spread a rumor, I have to give Mathieu an A+.

The only thing that kept me from loving this book is that it leans too heavily on stereotypes. The jock is popular, the nerd is ignored, etc. While I get that this is often the way of things, this book was too nuanced for such writing.

RATING: 7/10 [Very Good]

Why I Love... A Sudden Reading Mood

I am a total mood reader. I pick what book I'm reading based on what I am in the mood for at that very moment. When I have no specific genre craving, it makes it hard to get in to a book. That's why I love it when a mood suddenly strikes.

These events send me bolting to my bookcase, bookstore, or a library to grab a book that fulfills my sudden craving. It makes me happy and gives me a ton of reading energy. When I find that perfect book for my sudden reading mood, I've been known to plow through it in record time... usually because I neglect sleep.

Monday, June 05, 2017

Book 9: The Woman in Cabin 10

TITLE: The Woman in Cabin 10
AUTHOR: Ruth Ware
STARTED: April 29, 2017
FINISHED: May 3, 2017
PAGES: 341
GENRE: Fiction

FIRST SENTENCE: In my dream, the girl was drifting, far, far below the crashing waves and the cries of the gulls in the cold, sunless depths of the North Sea.


THOUGHTS: I haven't read a thriller in years. Many many years. I tossed this book on to my TBR list after reading a review that piqued my interest. I am so glad I did that because this was a fun book to read. I started it at the end of readathon and stayed up past my usual stop time because I was that absorbed in to the story.

I can't review this book, plot-wise without giving stuff away. (I'm not good at being spoiler free.) But I can tell you that the characters are well-written and I love how everyone in the story interacts. Some of the motivation was a touch hard to believe but not enough for me to be taken out of the story. For some reason, this book reminded me of a stage-play in terms of how everything works together.

In terms of writing, Ware manages to give just enough detail to set the scene and create tension without overdoing it. There was not a lot of excess material to the text and I don't remember a single, unnecessary paragraph of infodumping. The story flows nicely with enough tension and slacktime to be well-paced.

While this is far from high-literature or the best book I've read, it's definitely a great summer or beach read.

RATING:7/10 [Very Good]

Sunday, June 04, 2017

What I Read This Week: June 4, 2017

One of the aspects of librarianship that I think many people overlook is how physical the job can be. We are relocating our music library branch into our main library. While I'm done heaving books and boxes about, I've moved onto the planning stage which, somehow, involves lots of squats. Lots and lots of squats. That's what I get for measuring shelves and writing down call numbers.

At least it gives me an excuse to eat ice cream.
  • Magazines
    • Real Simple, May 2017 - The cover was all about makeovers... but there was only one makeover in this issue. Hmm. Anyway. I enjoyed the useful information in the articles on delegating and medical tests, but my favorite piece in this issue was the story about how a woman remembers her father through dance. It brought a few tears to my eyes. I also saved a couple of tasty looking recipes from the food section. 
    • Real Simple, June 2017 - These issue had two major articles that I found useful. The first was on how to finally stop procrastinating and finish things that have been on your to do list for awhile. While the article lack broad tips, I did like that it gave specific examples of how to complete tasks. The second article was about how to be more mindful and healthy with your "me" time. As someone who loves to veg with a
      snack and bad TV, this piece was talking to me.
    • The Atlantic, June 2017 - This issue is well worth the time it takes to read it cover to cover. All of the feature articles and most of the small stories are just fantastic. The cover story called "My Families Slave" was eye-opening and had me in tears by the end. The story on children who are born as psychopaths was a whole new take on brain and behavioral science for me. The feature story on Richard Spencer, the alt-right leader, just made me want to punch things... but in a very understandable way. Finally, the piece on Akan Eustace and his jump for the edge of space was a great adventure story.
    • Washingtonian, March 2017 - I am so far behind in my
      backlogs of this magazine that I was ecstatic I managed to finish one issue this week. The cover story on great places to work in DC was fine, but I did like the prep piece on workplace trends. I also enjoyed the article on how to become a great D.C. United fan. The most surprising story in this issue was about Bobby Charles Thompson, a man who conned thousands for a fake charity while working under a stolen identity while claiming to be under deep cover for the CIA. Phew! Was that a mouthful to get out.
  • Books
    • I started reading Today Will Be Different by Maria Semple. I can't remember why this book ended up on my TBR list, but so far I'm glad it did. I'm not entirely in love with the main character, but I don't think I'm supposed to be. The story is good despite my misgivings.
  • Other

Friday, June 02, 2017

The Friday Find: Tumbler

Books and beverages go hand in hand. Sometimes, I even pair my library trips with a stop at a coffee shop. If you love home brew best, this is a fantastic travel tumbler in which to carry it.
You can find this in the AThingCreated Etsy shop.

Thursday, June 01, 2017