Friday, September 30, 2011

Well Hello, October

I can't believe it's October already.  Or at least it will be tomorrow.  That means it's like fall for real!

I'm pretty sure I like fall all the way up until there is something to scrape off my car in the morning and I feel the need to wear gloves.

In the meantime, I'm going to pretend like it's still nice out and do some outdoor stuff this weekend!

I'll be running in the Embrace the Race 5k tomorrow morning in always lovely downtown Highland Park.  We're encouraged to wear pink and/or teal and silly things like boas and tutus...I didn't think about this in time and I'm pretty sure I have nothing interesting to wear.  Whoops.  Whatever, I'm just hoping they don't make me run the killer hill by the lake.  I've yet to make it up that hill without feeling like I was about to die.

We'll also be hitting up the Kane County Flea Market this weekend.  I'm super excited about this because I heard about the flea market 2 years ago and haven't been until now.  I heard about it when I was in Madison and saw some AMAZING red doors that had formerly belonged to a bar/restaurant but were currently leaning against the side of a building.  I immediately pictured them being used as a seriously cool headboard and asked the owner of the shop they were leaning against about them.  He told me that he was selling them for $100 but I had just been beaten to the punch and they were being held for an interior designer who bought them for a client.  I was disappointed but gave him my number in case the deal fell through.  It was then that he told me that he got them at the Kane County Flea Market and went there on a semi-regular basis to find treasures for his store.  I never heard from that store, therefore never getting my hands on those gorgeous red doors, but I tucked the flea market info into my brain.  I have high hopes for some kick ass finds!

Other than that, I'm crossing my fingers the Vikings don't look like grade-schoolers compared to the Chiefs on Sunday, hoping to read a lot of my book, and probably drinking my first beer in 3 weeks.  We'll see.

Happy (almost) October!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Zombie Madness!

Zombies, RUN! is a new running app for the iPhone and Android that allows the user to become part of a zombie world.  Basically, from what I understand, you start it at the beginning of your run and use it in addition to whatever playlist you want.  As you run further/longer (not sure which), you go deeper into the story and collect supplies to aid you and the city against the zombies.  There are voice overs that interrupt your playlist and give you updates to the story as you go.  Each challenge is 20-30 minutes and the first series is 30 challenges long. 

I totally want to try it!  Granted, I never run with my iPhone so i'd have to deal with that...but I think it looks like fun...anything to keep me entertained while running! 

Zombies, Run

Monday, September 26, 2011

Don't Tell Me What I Can't Do!

Top 10 Challenged Books 2010
1) And Tango Makes Three, by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson;
2) The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie;
3) Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley;
4) Crank, by Ellen Hopkins;
5) The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins;
6) Lush, by Natasha Friend;
7) What My Mother Doesn't Know, by Sonya Sones;
8) Nickel and Dimed, by Barbara Ehrenreich;
 9) Revolutionary Voices, edited by Amy Sonnie;
10) Twilight, by Stephenie Meyer

10 years ago the most challenged books were:
2001: 1) Harry Potter, by J.K. Rowling;
2) Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck;
3) The Chocolate War, by Robert Cormier;
 4) I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, by Maya Angelou;
 5) Summer of My German Soldier, by Bette Greene;
 6) The Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger;
7) Alice (series), by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor;
8) Go Ask Alice, by Anonymous;
9) Fallen Angels, by Walter Dean Myers;
10) Blood and Chocolate, by Annette Curtis Klause

Does the lack of classics on the list now show any sort of improvement?  I find it interesting that #10 on both lists is a vampire book...Although, Blood and Chocolate is SIGNIFICANTLY better than Twilight...
I have to be honest, I have only read 2 of the books on this years list and I'm totally confident that the V.C. Andrews books that I found on the libary shelves in junior high blows both of those away...I also find it really sad that And Tango Makes Three consistently makes the list.  It's the true story of two male penguins at the Central Park Zoo who have raised an orphaned baby penguin as their own.  Instead of appreciating the sweetness and love of this story, angry parents have demanded it be taken off the shelves due to its "homosexual" themes.  Shame on you, parents.  Everyone else--buy it, read it, check it out, give it as a gift!

In the meantime, READ BANNED BOOKS!  And let your kids read whatever they want because I know from experience, it won't hurt them!
ALA Banned Books Week

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Damn Straight Sister!

“You built a factory out there? Good for you. But I want to be clear: you moved your goods to market on the roads the rest of us paid for; you hired workers the rest of us paid to educate; you were safe in your factory because of police forces and fire forces that the rest of us paid for. You didn’t have to worry that marauding bands would come and seize everything at your factory, and hire someone to protect against this, because of the work the rest of us did. “Now look, you built a factory and it turned into something terrific, or a great idea? God bless. Keep a big hunk of it. But part of the underlying social contract is you take a hunk of that and pay forward for the next kid who comes along.”
-Elizabeth Warren, Massachusets Sentate Candidate (D) and former White House Financial Reform Advisor
Huffington Post article

Mama's Got A New Pair Of Shoes!

picture of Stephanie Air Oxford Pump

Who's a hot librarian now?

Just Because

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Lady Killer

Ok, so maybe this particular Chelsea Cain book isn't about her famous lady killer, Gretchen Lowell, but when it comes to writing good killin' spree thrillers, Cain has it down.  If you haven't read Chelsea Cain's previous three Beauty Killer books, I highly recommend them.  Heartsick is the first of the series and introduces us to Archie Sheridan, Susan Ward, and the evil Gretchen Lowell.  Archie tries to balance professional duty with his obsession with Lowell, the serial killer who can get away with almost anything by combining a manipulative personality and stunning good looks.  Susan Ward is the local reporter that becomes a sort of sidekick/pain in the butt for Archie.  Don't get me wrong, this synopsis may seem silly or suggest the book is a bit campy.  It's not.  Cain writes a serial killer that oozes sex appeal and you watch helplessly as it steam rolls everyone in her path. 

One of the reasons I loved Chelsea Cain's previous novels is because she did such a fantastic job of building the character of Archie over each book.  I was angry at him for most of Heartsick and grew to really care about him by Evil At Heart Heartsick, Sweetheart, and Evil At Heart were all smart, gripping, and chilling.  So when The Night Season came out, I was a bit disappointed to see that the story didn't focus on Gretchen's continuing reign of terror.  The Night Season is a standalone novel featuring Archie Sheridan and Susan Ward, as well as a number of other characters we've come to know.  The city of Portland is struggling with a flooding river and mysterious deaths.  Archie and Susan work together to determine the cause of death while dealing with personal blows of their own.  The premise of how the people are being killed off is a bit ridiculous but I was dying (no pun intended) to know how it worked. 

Overall, this was a satisfying story that kept me reading well past my bedtime each night.  I wasn't nearly as grossed out or intruiged as I have been by her previous novels, but I still felt like Archie and Susan held their own.  If you haven't read her other books, you can absolutely read this by itself without missing much.  I think Chelsea Cain is one of the most entertaining female thriller authors of the past couple years.  I will wait patiently for her next book (hurry up!) and recommend the current four to anyone looking for something new and fun!
p.s. if you read The Night Season and it doesn't totally work for you, don't give up on Cain! Go back and read the Gretchen Lowell books.  I promise, they are worth it.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Mrs. Robinson

It would be easy to describe The Kingdom of Childhood by Rebecca Coleman as a literary Mary Kay Letourneou story.  But that doesn't quite describe it.  The main characters are a middle-aged woman named Judy MacFarland and a 16 year old student, Zach Patterson.  They are introduced when Zach's mother offers him as a volunteer to help get ready for Judy's school fundraiser.  Their relationship starts off much like any teacher-student relationship but soon begins to cross a line.  There is a conversation between Zach and Judy that happens near the beginning of their relationship about the song Mrs. Robinson by Simon and Garfunkel.  Zach believes (as many do) that the song is about a younger man being seduced by an older woman.  Judy explains that she believes it to be about a woman stuck in suburbia going crazy.  While I picked this title up expecting more of a doomed romance, I found myself feeling more like I was reading a psychological thriller.  Their relationship is certainly doomed but will they both mentally unravel first?  Zach is a hormonal teenager with no real concept of the emotions that come with physical relationships.  Judy is suffering from a lack of any emotion besides resentment in her household.  Together, the combine to make a Molotov cocktail of sexual intentions. 
I found myself at the end of this novel feeling negatively about all the characters involved.  I hated what they had done, how they had treated each other, how sloppily they had covered it up, and how self righteous they came across.  But at the same time, I couldn't stop thinking about how this stupid fling had turned into such a deeply emotional car wreck.  I couldn't stop thinking about how immature Zach was and how Judy lost any sense of reality.  I wanted to understand them.  I wanted to shake them.  I wanted to warn them.  Which I think really speaks for my feelings on The Kingdom of Childhood in the end.  I have to admire a book that makes me really feel for the characters and question their decisions for a week after I've finished reading.  Rebecca Coleman may not have written characters that I have affection towards, but she did a fantastic job of writing characters that kept me thinking.  It will be published in paperback at the end of the month and I think it's the perfect fall read.  I definitely recommend it.  A good read to get your mind working while letting the rest of yourself get used to the chill of fall. 

Saturday, September 17, 2011

I'm Once Again 14

Because I desperately want to see The Lion King in 3D.  I can't believe I was even 14 when that came out! It feels like forever ago and I feel like I was so much younger...Anyway, I'm dying to see it.

17 Things You Might Not Have Known About The Lion King

I also definitely had this SUPER cute talking Simba

I think there's a chance I still have him....but I'm not fact, I'm real scared that he might be gone...

Thursday, September 15, 2011


Mysterious paper sculptures

A wonderful person (or group of people?) has been leaving book sculptures across Scotland's libraries.  They are so pretty that I wish I could see one up close.  Visit the Deerfield, Secret Leavers of Beautiful Library Art!
Mysterious Paper Sculptures

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Libraries Are Not Quiet

Especially when I have to shout in the phone to Dave my 83-year-old library boyfriend.

Our latest conversation (after he's made about 6 silly jokes about how I should stay just the way I am after asking me how I am)

Dave: "I'm looking at a topigraphical map of Cuba and I see something that looks like coral reefs or an island or something.  I need you to translate a word, it's spelled j-a-r-d-i-n-e-s"

Me: "That means 'grounds'"

Dave: "What? Drunks?"


Dave: mumbling random words

Me: "G-R-O-U-N-D-S!"

Dave: "J-R-O? No!  J-A-R-D-I-N-E-S!"

Me: "Dave! I know! I'm telling you what that means! Jardines means GROUNDS!"

Dave: "Trounds?"

Me: head in hands "NO! GROUNDS! G-R-O-U-N-D-S"

Dave: "T?"

Me: "NO! G! As in 'GOOD', 'GROVER', "GARBAGE'"

Dave: "Ooooooohhhh G! Grounds.  Oh. hm. So guess it's their word for islands."

Me: "Yup"

Dave: "HA! YUP!"

Me: "Ok, bye Dave"

Dave: "Bye my dear! Stay sweet!"

So frustrating, yet comically ridiculous...Meanwhile I'm yelling this across the library as people laugh at me.  Also keep in mind, this happens approximately 3 times a day. 

Oh Dave....

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Newly Inspired

Well, I'm back from my kicked-ass-so-hard-I-don't-know-if-it-will-ever-be-topped trip to Vegas!  I'll have to work on summing up the trip in a later post because I'm pretty sure you all need to read this RIGHT NOW. 

Pick your fights wisely

Best idea EVER

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

HOLY COW I Suck At Blogging Right Now

Because you aren't all as lucky as me and don't get to be swanky at the Bellagio in like 24 hours, here's a list of other things that I'm excited about! 


(sweet potato donuts)

ok, I think those are all the things that I'm enjoying or looking forward to that I can think of right now..Back atcha after Sin City!