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While waiting for the train last week, I was able to read Mary Poppins. Yes, it was a book way before Disney ever made it into a movie. The book is quite a bit different than the movie although all the same characters pop up. What I found most interesting was Mary Poppins being portrayed as a cranky, vain woman.


I’ve long wanted to read Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut. When I found it on my library’s shelves, I had to check it out even though it’s not one of the books I originally chose for the 52 books challenge. This was an incredibly strange and fascinating book. I can’t really say much more about without giving anything away. But I do recommend reading it if you haven’t already.


Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar is an autobiographical novel of the writer’s life. This was one of those gem’s that I’m surprised I’ve missed reading for so long. Despite the time period she lived in, this book really is timeless. I’d imagine lots of people could identify with that feeling of hopelessness and inertia that Esther experiences. Maybe even more so these days. Another book that I’d recommend although it’s more of a read for women.

I’m now onto The Art of Racing in the Rain and The Seventh Well (which is another not on the original list.) It’s supposed to be cold this weekend and I’ve got some things to do around the apartment, so it may be a good weekend to spend time curled up with a good book.


The second book I’ve finished for the 52 books in 52 weeks challenge is the Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie. This is another YA book, so it was a quick read. I enjoyed every page of this book.

Sure there were some incredibly sad parts in this boy’s life, but in general, he handles all the challenges with tenacity and a certain grace. Plus, he’s got a great sense of humor about the world around him and himself. It’s an attitude that keeps him going and makes the reader like and admire him.

I’d give this book a high recommendation. You’ll laugh, maybe cry a small bit, and come away having gained something.

It’s amazing how a cute outfit can make you feel good. I recently got a dark brown pencil skirt from Avenue. (Let me just say that I love Avenue. At least the online store.) Add a denim swing jacket with a floral tank underneath and my purple suede wedges and I feel stylish and sassy. The only bad thing is the pachyderm ankles due to hose. While most women have eliminated pantyhose out of their wardrobe, with my scarred up, dry skin legs, I really need to wear something when I’m wearing a skirt or dress. As the temps cool more, I’ll switch over to tights.

And the weather is cooling some here this week. The temperature on the computer says 61 degrees. I’m able to sleep with my window open a small bit which makes for better sleep for me. Don’t know why it is, but fresh air seems to help. My landlord came in sometime last week to turn the heat on, but it’s not running much because it’s really not that cold outside yet. We might get some rain tomorrow. I like rainy fall days. Perfect for sweaters, hot tea, and soup. And of course, knitting.

On the knitting front, I seem to have many WIP’s and not much FO’s floating around. I’m almost done with my second pair of socks. I’m almost done with my string market bag. I’m almost done with my pumpkin. I’m almost done with my vest. One of my 101 things was to finish a knitting project each month. Since I knit fast (when I’ve got uninterrupted time) this isn’t usually a problem and I’ve been doing well with this goal. But I got a bad case of startitis recently. Now I’ve just got to get the finishitis bug and get some things off the needles.

I finished reading The Historian this weekend. It was a really good book and held my interest. In fact, I was almost late to work Saturday because I was trying to finish the last couple of chapters as I ate my breakfast. A very different take on Dracula’s story. Less about Dracula and more about how the fascination in the vampire affected the lives of the characters. Throw in a mystery and a couple of doomed love stories and you get a fascinating read.

I recently got a $50 gift card for completing an online health survey for my work insurance. It was a pretty simple survey and there were some good suggestions for health improvements at the end of it. And a $50 gift card, did I mention? I got to choose the store. Of course I went with a bookstore, Barnes and Noble. Today I picked out my goodies and am pleased with my haul. I pre-ordered Stephen King’s new collection of short stories. Looking forward to that. I’m also getting a new box calendar for my desk at work. Knitting related of course. Someone reminded me of the knitting cartoon book. And there had to be some music in the order as well. It’s like Christmas in October.

On the job search front, I’ve got a phone interview next week for another possibility. The job is here in KS though. But I’d like to talk to them to find out more and see if it would be a good fit. In many ways I’m still torn about looking for a job. There are many reasons for leaving, but a few good reasons for staying put. If anything, it’s making me fairly cautious about what I’m looking at and where. I won’t be rushing into a new situation without careful thought and thorough research. In the meantime, I do have some interesting projects I’m working on. (Which is part of the reason I’m reluctant to leave. If I could basically be left to do my work, I’d be happy as a clam.) Something that just came up is doing SWARM International tours again for spring semester. I really enjoyed working on this before the fall semester started and now that I know how it worked, I’m ready to tackle it again. And I’m confident that I’ll be able to easily meet my tenure requirements as there have been some very positive developments on that front. It was a struggle, but I think we’re in a better place with how the process should work and how to interpret the requirements for librarians. Still…

I couldn’t wait to start assembling the Halloween goody bags for the student workers. It’s just too much fun. I’ve found little Halloween decorated cans of pop, Halloween stickers, tattoos, play-doh, pencils, and mini flashlights. All I need now is some candy and the bags will be ready to go. I’ve got to get candy to hand out at home this year. It’s the first time in years that I’ll be home to hand out candy. I enjoy seeing the costumes and hearing “trick or treat”. Since I’ve got Halloween on the brain, I’ll leave you with a Halloweenie picture:

On reading

Posted on: October 12, 2008

Maybe it’s the time of year, but I’m reading more again. Last night after work, I turned on the iPod, made some dinner, and sat down with The Historian. I started reading this a year ago and wasn’t that interested. It happens. So it went back on the shelf and I moved on to other things. Last week I thought I’d try it again. I’m hooked. It’s hard to put it down even when I know I need some sleep.

Books have had that allure for me for a long time. Ever since I can remember. There was a question on Friendfeed about the book that started your love of reading. I really can’t remember which one it might have been for me. I do remember loving the Anne of Green Gables books as a child. Even as an adult, I’ve searched out other Lucy Maude Montgomery books because of my early delight in her writing.

My mom was instrumental in turning me into a reader. There were always books available in the house. When we got our book order forms in grade school, she usually let me order whatever I wanted. The other kids laughed at me when I brought home a box of books when the order arrived, but I didn’t care. I was bringing home a box full of adventures, new friends, and interesting places to travel. How could you beat that?!

Like most readers, I have favorite genres, favorite authors, and favorite books. I don’t think you’ll find a prevalent theme because I have fairly eclectic tastes in books. But if I had to pick favorites, I like suspense and historical fiction. One of my current favorite authors is Paulo Coelho. One of my favorite books is The Little Prince. See what I’m saying. Eclectic.

The only problem with reading and books is that I won’t live long enough to read everything I want to. *laugh*

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Little Bits

Posted on: October 1, 2008

I wrote my first book review for the local paper. It should be published Oct. 10. Yes, family types, I’ll get a couple of copies and send it along. It’s really not anything spectacular, but I enjoyed doing it. The hard part was deciding which book to review. I chose Augusten Burroughs latest book, A Wolf at the Table.

Currently I’m reading Kevin Brockmeier’s A View from the Seventh Layer. It’s a beautiful collection of short stories. There is even a choose-your-own-adventure story! I love his writing and am very impressed so far. Highly recommend you grab this at your local library.

So far this week, I’ve not watched any movies. Television isn’t really an option since I don’t have cable. I’m rediscovering how incredibly relaxing reading and listening to music can be.

I’m working on increasing my meditation to 3 hours a day. Means I do some over my lunch hour. Almost three weeks since the retreat and I’m noticing a difference in meditating in the real world with distractions and noise. But I will persevere because I also notice how I’m dealing with life in a more productive and peaceful way. That’s a huge thing for me!

And I’ve been doing the vegetarian thing for a month now. It’s hard to find good fresh produce (and a good selection of it) here in LittleUtown, but I’m determined to stick with it. Overall, I do feel healthier and am still able to get all the nutrients I need. I found a great cookbook at the public library and am looking forward to trying out different recipes. DH might even find that he likes the food. *grin* He’s been great about this change in lifestyle. Just means we have to eat veggie or cheese pizzas on the weekend instead.

Life will be a bit crazier for the next few weeks. I’m working the next three weekends and have a few workshops and conferences coming up. Seems like it comes in spurts.

And the weather is starting to cool off. Still in the 70’s this week, but it’s lower 70’s. Means I can wear light sweaters and jeans. I’m ready for 50’s.

My roommate at Ref Renaissance was kind enough to pass along her copy of Odd Hours, the latest installment in the Odd Thomas series by Dean Koontz.

As usual, it didn’t take me long to get through the book. I’ve really been enjoying the series. Something about a person who sees dead people interests me (for example, I also enjoy watching Ghost Whisperer.) However, I’d have to say this was not one of the better books. But you almost have to read it to understand whatever is coming next because he introduces a couple of new characters. In fact, it’s the existence of one these enigmatic characters that left me deeply dissatisfied with the book. Koontz really doesn’t need to do this to sell more books. So, now all of us loyal readers are left hanging until the next Odd book comes out. *laugh* I guess I’ll survive somehow in the meanwhile.

…is a great used bookstore, The Dusty Bookshelf. It’s dangerous to go in there because I usually come out with a stack of books. But yesterday I was good and only bought an Edward Gorey postcard.

While in Denver, I took the opportunity on Tuesday night to visit The Tattered Cover. If you are ever in Denver, GO! I’m sure people thought I was strange wandering around snapping pictures, but I just had to share. I also got three great bargains. When I get back to Denver, I’m going to carve out a whole afternoon or morning to spend in this place.

A Good Read

Posted on: August 1, 2008

I recently finished reading Without a Backward Glance by Kate Veitch. She will be doing a reading from the book at a bookstore during the time I’m in Denver. I’m planning to go and look forward to meeting her. I’ll share my review that I posted on Goodreads.

I really enjoyed this book. In the beginning, it was hard not to dislike Rose, the mother because she walked away from her children and husband seemingly without an explanation. Yet, because you are given insight into her mind, you can also be sympathetic with a woman who perhaps shouldn’t have been a mother and who wants something more from her life. Rose is creative and artistic and living in a time and place where that isn’t appreciated or encouraged in women.

It would be easy to see Alex, the husband, as a victim of Rose. But the author makes him human with flaws and rather than feel sorry for him because of his wife’s abandonment, the reader is able to relate to him as a person who has also made mistakes. If Alex were a different type of man, Rose may not have left. In many ways, they weren’t suited to each other and ended up together because of an unplanned pregnancy.

The book however, is really about the children who were left behind and their individual struggles to finally grow up. Facing reality and one’s responsibilities is a thread that runs throughout the book. As the protective layers are peeled away, the children are finally able to become adults.

Life is messy and this book doesn’t gloss over that. People often act without thinking about long term consequences. Fortunately we sometimes get second chances to make things right. Kate Veitch offers an insightful look into the consequences of difficult choices. Highly recommend this book.

I never read just one book at a time. Well, I do read one at a time, but I usually have several books started at any given time.

I’m currently reading Plainsong and a few other books. For some reason, July has been a particularly prolific month of reading for me. It’s not likely that I’ll keep up the pace. But it’s something I’ve noticed as I’ve added books to the list.

Of course, my TBR list gets longer by the day. Some people have adventurous things on their bucket list. I’m pretty content with having a long list of books that I’d like to read before I die. It might be considered living vicariously, but I’ve always enjoyed the adventures that I experience when I enter the pages of a book.

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July 2020


Mar. 10 - Photography Class

Mar. 11 - Quad Cities SnB

Mar. 12 - Lincoln Reenactor performance at BHE

Mar. 13 - Annual budget due

Mar. 14 - SnB trip to Galena

Mar. 16-21 - Spring Break

Mar. 16-18 - On the Front Lines library conference in Springfield

Mar. 19-22 - In Kansas

Mar. 23 - Orientation in Quad Cities

Mar. 24 - Photography Class

Mar. 26 - Spring Break for Academic Librarians workshop in Peoria

Mar. 27 - Supervisor Development in Quad Cities

Apr. 2 - Using Social Technologies in Library Instruction workshop

Apr. 6 - Weight Watchers

Apr. 6 - My birthday

Apr. 7 - Photography Class

Apr. 9-12 - In Kansas

Apr. 10 - College Closed

Apr. 12 - Easter

Apr. 13-19 - National Library Week

Apr. 13 - Weight Watchers

Apr. 14 - Photography Class

Apr. 16 - Evening Instruction Session

Apr. 17 - Information Literacy Summit

Apr. 18 - A Day of Books and Quilts at Toulon Public Library

Apr. 20 - Weight Watchers

Apr. 21 - Photography Class

Apr. 22 - Renegade Reference meeting in Bloomington

Apr. 23 - Illinois Library Day

Apr. 24 - Quarterly Supervisors Meeting

Apr. 27 - Weight Watchers

Apr. 28 - Photography Class

Apr. 29 - Supervisor Training in Quad Cities

May 5 - Photography Class

May 12 - National Library Legislative Day

May 25 - Memorial Day - College Closed

June 4 - RSA Users' Group meeting in Peoria

June 6 - SIL's birthday June 6 - Brother and SIL Anniversary

June 8 - Nancy Pearl at Bradley University

June 13 - WWKIP train trip to St. Louis

July 3 - Holiday - College Closed

July 4 - Independence Day

July 10 - Mom's Birthday

July 10-15 - ALA Annual Conference in Chicago

July 17-19 - Midwest Fiber & Folk Art Fair in Crystal Lake, IL

July 31 - 10th Anniversary

Sept. 7 - Labor Day, College closed

Oct. 6-9 - Illinois Library Association Annual Conference in Peoria

Nov. 23 - Brother's birthday

Nov. 26 - Thanksgiving Day, College closed

Nov. 27 - College Closed

Dec. 7 - MIL's birthday

Dec. 18 - DH's birthday

Dec. 25 - Christmas Day

Dec. 26 - Dad's birthday

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