At the ConferenceThough it may look like Carrie and I jaunted around Monterey for a few days, we did, in fact, attend a three-day conference in the mix.

This was our first Internet Librarian conference, and oh, what a conference it was. This is one of those conferences where I couldn't wait to get home and start finding ways to implement and use everything I learned in the last few days from folks who are immensely smarter than I.

The following is a rundown of the sessions I attended, and links to presentations and blogs from the speakers so that I can always find them again! :-)

  • Lee Rainie (Project Director for Pew Internet and American Life Project) : Lee gave the opening keynote to a standing room only crowd of about 1000 attendees. He talked about trends in use of the Internet, about how teenagers are using the Internet, the "long tail", about finding political information, and about how the electronic world is evolving. Rainie was funny, at ease, informative and we found ourselves do a lot of "Huh...I didn't know that" during his speech. Very, very cool.

Web SessionStephen Abram gave the closing keynote address, and he is *such* and interesting and dynamic speaker. Fast, furious, funny and to the point, Abram discussed the ways for libraries to compete with the Google juggernaut (do you see a googlish pattern at the conference?). He listed 10 ways for libraries to compete with Google, and he ended the conference on a funny, inspiring note. Carrie and I agreed - "THAT was a good time."And that was it. Before we knew it, we were TRYING to catch a cab to the airport at 5am (note to self - always allow cute boy to share cab to airport, as he will pay for it) so that we could make the long flight back to Indiana, and then the 4 hour drive back to TinyTown. We were unsurprised to see Scott Brandt making the same flight home...he was on our flight out to Monterey, and we struck up conversation at the airport. Nice, nice guy. :-)

Monday was the day of the Public Libraries track at the conference, and I'm proud to say I was a part of it from beginning to end! By the way, thanks to Michael Stephens for snapping this photo and proving to my boss that I really was at the conference (I'm on the left). ;-) Michael asked every public librarian to raise their hands....very cool moment. :-)

  • Trends and Innovations: A great panel of speakers anchored this session, from David King of KCPL to Glenn Peterson from Hennepin County PL to John Blyberg from AADL to Sarah Houghton from Marin County PL. They each spoke about different aspects of their websites...programs they use, subject guides, and more. By far the most useful for me was hearing Sarah speak - first, she's the author of the kickass LIB blog; second, she spoke about what smaller public libraries without an enormous tech budget can do to pump up services. I was crazily jotting notes down about things I've wanted to do, but now HAVE to do to our website. It's killing me.

  • Digital Content: This was quickly renamed "the session with the iPod Shuffle guys". Ken Weil and Joe Latini from the South Huntington PL spoke about their experiences circulating iPod Shuffles loaded with audiobooks purchased from iTunes. It was great to finally hear about the process from beginning to end, rather than just reading about it. They obviously have a library staff that embraces change, and realize it's okay for something to fail. Interesting note...they are going to start circulating Shuffles loaded with music soon. I'm still vaguely skeptical of the program in terms of implementation for our library, but I loved hearing about it. Also, I liked teasing Carrie about having a crush on the George Clooney looking speaker. ;-)

    Michael's Talk

  • People and Technology: Dave King from KCPL spoke about hiring and keeping tech staff, and Michael Stephens discussed the ten ways to promote staff buy-in when launching a new "tech" project or program. Hopefully we won't have to use Dave's tips for a while by keeping our stable staff, but I thought Michael provided some great pointers and reminders when trying to get everyone on staff on board with a new project. We've had some challenges in the past in that arena...

  • Social Software & Site for Public Libraries: This session was also known as the "Jessamyn and Jenny Show!". Jessamyn West spoke specifically about Flickr (tagged photos) and tagging in general, and how this can be utilized by public libraries. Her presentation was very straightforward and informative, and even used the "F Word" - folksonomies. Jenny spoke about (tagged bookmarks) and how libraries can utilize this in setting up recommendations for patrons. In fact, Aaron over at TFPL has already done so. I haven't used before, so it was great to get an overview of it. Naturally, I have used Flickr. A little. Sometimes. ;-)

  • Hardware Solutions:
    This was a half and half session for me...the first half was less useful, the second half a shot between the eyes. Bernadine Goldman from Los Alamos County PL spoke of her experiences in setting up a thin client in her library. Since this isn't something we'reDueling iBookspresently exploring, it was less useful to Carrie and I. However, then Aaron Schmidt took over the stage, and I wanted to jump up and down for all that he said. His presentation (“Smart Computing at Your Library” or “Geek to Live, Don’t Live to Geek”) centered on letting patrons really *use* our computers...use the CD drives, IM, burn CDs, USB drives, installing programs they need, gaming, saving files to the desktop...all things I have been pushing for at our library. He made a number of great points about having a cleaning checklist, using Firefox, and protecting from spyware, as well as software solutions to keep those computers running quickly and smoothly (Deep Freeze). I'm so glad Carrie was there to hear his presentation and was able to talk to Aaron afterwards about their staffing and number of computers. I hope together we can come to a compromise on letting our patrons use our terminals, instead of keeping them locked down for good, which I hate.

  • Future Tech Trends for PLs: This was a panel discussion from a number of the day's previous speakers about where they see technology heading in the future for PLs. Sarah has a nice summary of the session on her blog, as well as slides from her presentation. Much of what was discussed throughout the day was revisited...the future importance of RSS and Wiki collaboration, social participation online, giving users the computing they need, and much more. A great session to round out a great day of presentations.

    Liz Lawley
After the track was done for the day, everyone flooded into the Exhibit Hall to visit the vendors, and grab some nibblies and drinks. As Carrie perceptively noted: "You know, librarians really love to eat free food", to which I answered "And free drinks!" A great ending to a great first day... Tuesday morning, our keynote speaker was Liz Lane Lawley, who was a fantastic speaker and covered a lot of ground in her presentation. There is a fantastic summary on the official IL05 blog (and how damn cool is that??) of her speech, and well as links to other summaries of her talk. Since being home, I've linked or caught the feed of so many other speakers and bloggers I learned about at the conference! (I'm taking a picture of Liz for my Flickr account, as she takes a picture for her Flickr account)

  • Trends in Blogs SessionWhat's Hot & New in RSS, Blogs & Wikis: This presentation was from Steven Cohen of Library Stuff, and his presentation covered a laundry list of new sites that use socialinteraction, tagging, ratings, and a slew of resources to make life easier. He showed demos of a number of sites, which was really great for newbies, and I had to laugh when he mentioned that so many of these sites are "still in Beta" (such as Google News, which has "been in beta" for 2.5 years). Little was said about blogs or wikis, since the crowd in attendance were pretty much up on that technology. Fun!

  • Planning for a Handheld Mobile Future: Megan Fox gave a really interesting presentation on handheld devices, their future, and how libraries need to adapt to keep up with this changing technology. She gave lots of examples of how university libraries are already providing PDA-ready information, as well as trying to forecast what the future will hold for people getting information from PDAs, Blackberries and smartphones. I walked out of the session with equal parts amazement, wonderment, and just a touch of fear. :-)

Rich and RoyWednesday morning was our last morning of getting up before the sun, the fabulous free breakfast, and of kickass keynote speakers. This morning, we got to hear Roy Tennant and Rich Wiggins "face off" on the top of Google's planned digitization of library materials. Wiggins is much in favour of the project, while Tennant has reservations. The speech was made even more informative when Adam Smith, the PROJECT MANAGER for Google Print, took the stage and was pummeled with questions.

Carrie and I walked out saying "that was a brave, brave man" (also, that he was a cute man, but that's neither here nor there). An interesting point-counterpoint that really brought the Googlization of the world more into focus for me. (That's Rich on stage, Roy in the foreground)

  • CNN Library Intranet: Sunny McClendon is a librarian for CNN - and man, am I jealous of her job. She gave a talk about the intranet used by the news organization, and let us actually walk around the site and see some of the features included in the CNN library. Carrie and I both got some tips on what to include on our soon-to-be-here intranet at APL.

  • Fostering Collaboration with Wikis and Weblogs: This was a presentation that turned into a sharing session about how and when to best utilize blogs and wikis, both internally and externally.

  • Expert Reviews of Real-World Intranets: Unfortunately, I only caught the last 10 minutes or so of this presentation, as I was rendered useless by a wicked migraine in the early afternoon. What I saw of the presentation was neat, though Carrie admitted she didn't care of the style of just ripping apart different intranets with no suggestions of how to make them better. Stephen Abrams

And then it was over...thankfully, I've been able to go back and read blogs from folks who attended other sessions, who made notes of things I didn't catch or jot down myself. It was such an amazing experience, and I would go again in a heartbeat. Thanks to all the fabulous speakers and public librarians who shared their knowledge with me!(In what I'm sure is a first at APL, I'm submitting this blog entry as my conference report to my boss. Enjoy the photos and links, Steve.)

BeautifulWell, I'm back from Monterey, greeted by piles of mail, a Murder Mystery to perform, well over a 1000 entries in Bloglines and a lot of laundry to do.

But it was totally worth it.

Rental CarThe conference was a smashing success (an entry on the conference itself to follow), Monterey was lovely, Carrie and I had a great time, and we made it home in one piece!

By far, highlights of the trip were renting a car and setting out to see the 17 Mile Drive, Carmel, Cannery Row, as well as walking down to Fisherman's Wharf each night from our hotel.Rocky Shore

Also, eating much seafood and lots of shopping. ;-)

You can see all 105 photos I took in Monterey right here, but here are a few of my favorites...

Lone CypressSunday morning, we hopped in our trusty rental car and drove the winding road towards 17 Mile Drive, with stops at Lover's Point Park and along the highway to take lots of photos.

It was foggy and cool, which somehow made the coast even more interesting and mysterious. We paid our fee to get into the 17 Mile Drive area, where we purred along,Pebble Beach snapping photos and cooing at the waves.

We also took a side trip to Pebble Beach Golf Course so I could make my golfing family jealous. ;-)

After oohing and aahing our way through the coast line, the cypress trees and the enormous houses, we headed for Carmel to have a walk around.

Carmel was quaint and cute, and reminded me very much of Nashville, Indiana.Cannery Row

After Carmel, we drove down to the Cannery Row area, and spent a leisurely afternoon walking down the coast, popping into shops, eating lunch, getting our palms read and picking up tacky gifts for friends and family.

Our last stop before returning our car was to the butterfly refuge...every year, thousands and thousands of monarchWaves butterflies return to the same grove of trees to wait out the winter. It was amazing to see thousands of butterflies in the branches of these tall trees, just waiting.

Before we knew it, the day was almost over, and we had to get ready for the conference beginning the next morning!


It was so nice to finish up conferencing for the day and still have a chance to walk downFisherman's Wharf toFisherman's Wharf for dinner, or to take a walk out to where all the seals seem to gather.

One evening, there was even a farmer's market right outside the was so fun to grab some dinner, drool over the fresh produce, buy some prezzies and just mill around with the crowds.

It was the first time either Carrie or I had been to California, and what a lot we saw. Monterey really is a beautiful corner of the world.

An amazing, amazing trip...

On the BeachEnd of Fisherman's Wharf

My friend/co-worker Carrie and I are leaving for the Internet Librarian conference tomorrow after work. We're both really excited about our first trip to California - especially to beautiful Monterey!

And I can't wait to learn all sort of exciting techno things from cooler librarians than me, even though I fear I'm not going to understand half of what they're saying. ;-) In any case, yay for IL having a public libraries track!

We fly back to the Hoosier State on Thursday, and return to work Friday, so this blog will be dormant until then - but after that, expect lots of pictures. ;-)

If you see me in Monterey, say hi!

CIMG0890Last weekend definitely helped user in the autumn friend Becca had a bonfire out at Harmonie State Park last weekend, complete with chili, cider and chocolate chip cookies!

Carrie and I headed up to the park and finally found our way to the campsite just as it was turning to dusk.

We were the first to arrive, but more people filtered in over CIMG0886the course of the next hour until we had a merry group of about a dozen.

The air got progressively cooler as we all sat around the fire, watching the flicking lights and meandering from topic to topic. CIMG0885

We went for a walk around the campground to admire all the Halloween decorations adorning RVs, tents and campsites.

I even got to roast a marshmallow for the first time in about 15 years. :-)

It was a perfectly clear, perfectly cool, perfectly planned night. Thanks, Becca!

(other bonfire pics here)

Weekend Warriors by Fern Michaels

This incredibly quick book (only about 200 pages in big type) was recommended to me by our Bookmobile Lady as a good "woman scorned" read.

A group of wronged women band together to pay back the men who wronged them. One was gang raped, another was set up to take a fall for a brokerage firm, another shot her daughter's killer, and so forth. The plot has potential and the revenge certainly is sweet, but the writing was so atrocious I could barely stand it! Stilted language, tacky conversations, no sense of continuity and a sense that everything fell into place waaaaay too easily.

An interesting plot marred by a less-than-stellar writing job. Eh.

And now, a weekly roundup of some of my favorite links...

Hoosier Coal Train
  • Found via Erica, this made me laugh heartily. :-)

  • I love getting the latest from the Flickr "Indiana" photo pool in my Bloglines every day. (My latest contribution at left)

  • Jennifer Crusie has a blog! Cool!

  • Fitzwilliam Darcy of Pride and Prejudice fame was recently crowned favorite hero by the people of the UK. My favorite part of the article? British author Carl MacDougall told, “The fact that Mr. Darcy is No. 1 says more about Colin Firth than it does Jane Austen.”

  • I can't believe I'm going to be here in less than a week for the Internet Librarian Conference! I'm so excited!! I've never been to California before, much less Monterey!

A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson

Bryson, best known for his quaint and funny observances of life around the globe, takes an entirely different tack with this hefty (500+ page) volume.

Bryson devoted nearly three years of his life to researching and writing a book that chronicles all that we know about the Earth - from origins to weather to gravity to evolution to Mother Nature. Nothing is left out, and this book is chock-a-block with quirky tales of scientists, heavy chemistry and physics, the odd one-liner and a sense of accomplishment and a bit (or a lot) of knowledge at the end.

Though I found it best not to read this right through, but rather in short bursts, it became something of a quest for me to finish. It's been ages since high school chemistry and I didn't so do well the first time 'round, but I feel like I understand the scientific origins and maturations of Earth better than ever before after reading this. You will too!


APL marketing gal extraordinaire Becca sent out a press release a couple of months ago about our new IM Reference service. I had the pleasure of speaking to School Library Journal about the new service, and now here's the requisite article with equally horrifying photo.

I spoke to the reporter for ages about tracking the progress of IM in larger libraries, the rock star status of folks like Michael and Sarah, and our promotion of the service, but it got pretty condensed.

Still, pretty cool to be a wannabe rock star in a national publication. Ain't ya proud, Mum? ;-)


The new Depeche Mode album comes out next Tuesday! Qhee!

Can't wait until then to hear it? DM has a streaming version on myspace!

Mmm....getting to hear Dave's voice again...rawr...

This past weekend was fabulous.

Good friends, black eyeliner, loud music, buff Trent, Aver's and good DVDs. What could beCIMG0848 better?

I headed for Bloomington on Thursday evening to catch up with Jen, Jason and Sean. We've been friends for over 10 years (holy crap! 10 years??), and though I don't see them as often as I'd like, it's wonderful when we do get together.

First stop was Jen's so I could see Baby Layne! He'sCIMG0842 gotten so big since I saw him last! Natch, he's sporting his new favorite outfit, courtesy of Auntie Marissa (as if the racing motif didn't give it away!). The boys came over and hung out, and then we crashed early...we were going on a roadtrip in the morning!

Friday morning, Jen and I bustled around making ourselves as goth fabulous as possible...*sigh*'s been ages since I wore black liquid liner. The boys stopped by and we jumped in the trusty Jetta for a trip to Chicago!
We get into Chicago (no thanks to the traffic!) and checked into the Hyatt Regency Chicago. I had stayed there during ALA, and had received less than exemplary service. They tried to make amends by offering me a free night's stay - woohoo! Nothing was better than being personally greeted by the manager while wearing all black and looking goth. ;-)

CIMG0850We checked out the room (fab view! fab mini bar! fab beds!), and then headed for Allstate Arena, the site of our worship for the evening.

CIMG0851If you've never been to a Nine Inch Nails concert, you haven't lived.

People watching galore. Black everything. Loud, screaming music. Lots of booze and smoking. Awesome. ;-)

We watched Autolux (eh) and Queens of the Stone Age (eh), and then prepared for our god.

CIMG0854And, oh my god, did Trent deliver.

Not only did he look f'n hot with the buff arms and buzzed hair, but he sounded amazing. We got the new drummer of the tour, but I thought he did a good job - especially since he only learned the show the night before! The set list rocked, and the set rocked, the band rocked.

Trent totally f'n rocked.

We stumbled out into the cold afterwards to cuss and discuss, find a midnight snack and head for the hotel.

CIMG0858The next morning we decided to cruise Michigan Avenue, grab some grub at Weber Grill, and then head back to Indiana. (While waiting for the car, I got a message from De that she got to see Chad again! Qhee!) We listened to NIN on the way home, daydreamed, talked and just hung out.

Jason and Sean were my hosts for Saturday night, and we gorged on pizza and watched Firefly and Dead Like Me - both awesome. Finally crashed into bed, full of nummy pizza and good times.

CIMG0870Of course, reality sunk in and I had to head back to TinyTown to do chores, catch up on work, and try to catch some zzz's before work on Monday.

But, armed with my new NIN tee shirt, a playlist on my iPod of the set list, and a mental image of Trent in a sleeveless shirt, it didn't seem so bad.CIMG0875

Thanks for an amazing weekend, guys. It was awesome. :-)


1. Pinion
2. Love Is Not Enough
3. Wish
4. Terrible Lie
5. The Line Begins to Blur
6. March of the Pigs
7. The Frail
8. The Wretched
9. Closer
10. Burn
11. Gave Up
12. Eraser
13. Right Where It Belongs
14. Beside You In Time
15. Sin
16. Only
17. Reptile
18. Suck
19. Hurt
20. The Hand That Feeds
21. Head Like A Hole

Personal Highlights From the Show:

*Trent screaming "MARCH!" and then launching into March of Pigs
*The lightshow during "The Line Begins to Blur"
*Hearing the ENTIRE crowd sing every word of "Hurt"
*The vid during "Right Where It Belongs" - the new "Hurt"
*The crowd screaming when Dubya was shown on the screen
*Trent shakin' it during "Terrible Lie"
*Aaron throwing himself onto a speaker upside down during "The Hand That Feeds"
*Trent being backlit during "The Frail"
*Trent's arms

Quotables from the Weekend:

"This is not the Wacker you're looking for."

"Nancy boy hair gel!"

"[Awitha_Teetha], the new album!"

"Who wants the Madame Alexander doll that came with my happy meal?"

Current Desktop:

poster from Chicago

Current lusty photo of Trent:


Rawr. ;-)

God Bless You, Dr. Kevorkian by Kurt Vonnegut

This short book is full of great snapshots of personalities.

Vonnegut, posing as a reporter of the beyond, goes up to the pearly gates and interviews various famous, and not-so-famous, dead folks to learn a bit more about their story, their life, their secrets. Dr. Kevorkian takes Vonnegut "to the brink", and then brings him back to life in these stories that began as a radio spot for WNYC, New York's public radio station.

An interesting read in typical Vonnegut-esque style.

Note: I listened to the audiobook, narrated by the rawr-worthy voice of Scott Brick. We heart Scott. :-)

Last week, I had the unique experience of riding along with our Bookmobile Lady, Jeanne, on one of her busiest stops.

I've been on the Bookmobile before (as an extra pair of hands, or as muscle in some more secluded or chancy parts of the county), but those stops were always quiet, with maybe one visitor, two if we were lucky.

We saw over 110 kids in the course of two hours on Wednesday morning, and naturally, everything that could go wrong, did. Our remote desktop didn't work, our scanner, our key pad, and yet Jeanne kept everything running smoothly. It was cool to see the satellite deployed and to learn how things work on our library on wheels.

Plus, I love the fact that Jeanne is a buck five soaking wet, and yet wheels around this enormous bus and keeps it stocked every day. ;-)

When's the last time you visited your Bookmobile? You should! It's fun!

(In all fairness, I'd never set foot on a Bookmobile until I started at APL, so don't feel bad.)

CIMG0839 CIMG0835
CIMG0836 CIMG0838

Last week was the Fall Festival in Evansville.

CIMG0826Fall Festival is like a religion in southern Indiana - it's a weeklong event of food, rides, entertainment and spending money like water.

The Fall Festival is the second largest street festival in the country (second only to Mardi Gras, which we may surpass this year). All the food booths are nonprofit, and there are almost as many rides as there are at the Indiana State Fair.
There are 111 booths this year, covered five? six? city blocks, and on the first night, 47,000 people showed up. Rumour has it that many of these nonprofits make upwards of $10,000-$30,000 in a single week.

If you haven't seen the Fall Festival, it's nearly impossible to describe.

After telling my folks this for two years, they decided to comeCIMG0829 down and see it for themselves last Tuesday. Mum held down the fort while Dad and I plunged in to soak it all in.

We nabbed a entire bag of food (chicken and dumplings, frog legs, snails, corn dogs, puppy chow, potato springs, apple cider...) and headed for home for a (what I'm sure was lo-cal) feast!
Suffice to say, Dad was impressed. ;-)

If you've never been to Fall Festival, I highly recommend it - it's worth the trip and the money. But be sure to bring some comfortable pants for all the food you'll eat. ;-)

I know I've been remiss in updating ye olde just somehow got away from me! But the pictures are loaded, and I've got a few stories to tell, so let's get started!
A couple of weekends ago, I went home to celebrate the 40th anniversary of my parents, visit with my sister, and, as it turned out, work my ass off.

I spent the better part of Friday crawling around in my parents attic and helping Dad haul things down. You can'tCIMG0813 get a sense of the accumulation in the space, unless you picture everything you've taken out of your house for 35 years being shoved into a space above your head. That was the attic. ;-)

We made tremendous progress on Friday, though!

(Holy crap! Barbie's dreamhouse and the old treehouse I loved! It's a treasure trove up there!)

CIMG0765Saturday morning, Michelle and I headed over to Nashville for a walk-round and some lunch. It was a gorgeous day, and the streets were packed with people and shoppers. There must have been a wreck on the way to Nashville - only in Indiana would you find a stretch of highway with everyone out of their cars socializing. :-)
Michelle bought some jewelry and a kicky pair of new shoes, but I didn't find anything to strike my fancy. But there's something about wandering the shops and smelling the air in Nashville that makes it officially "autumn" for me. A great place for a walkabout!

CIMG0769We headed back to the homestead (after picking up our contribution to the planned dinner) to whip up a fabulous meal for the folks and get pretty for the evening. Mum and Dad came over for steaks, twice baked potatoes, bread, nibblies and a trifle made by me.

The best part, of course, was giving them their anniversary/Christmas present.

Mum has said for ages that she would love to spend Christmas in a cabin in Brown County, Indiana, but the cabins in the state park there are booked two years in advance.
CIMG0772 CIMG0773

So, we found another cabin (not in the park) nestled away, secretly reserved it, and "gave it" as a gift. We're going to spend three days in a cabin for Christmas, and I can't wait! It's got a hot tub, pool table, fireplace, loaded kitchen and everyone has their own room. It's going to be lovely.

Also lovely was seeing Mum's reaction when she figured out what the gift was. :-)


CIMG0802Sunday morning we returned to the attic and hauled down more and more and more...

It was hot and exhausting (could my face be any more pink?!), but we accomplished a ton! After a cool off, we watched the Talladega race, and I headed home - slowly. I sat on I-65 for 1.5 hours waiting for a wreck to be cleared off. I was mightly glad to finally get back to TinyTown and fall into bed after 11pm (on a school night!)...

CIMG0815All in all, a great weekend - beautiful weather, a lot accomplished, some quality family time and a happy present for a longtime anniversary. Good times. :-)

Flirting with Pride & Prejudice: Fresh Perspectives on the Original Chick-Lit Masterpiece edited by Jennifer Crusie

As a huge P&P fan (and Colin Firth fan, natch!) and a huge chick lit fan, I was stoked to see this title, chock a block with essays from lots of "names" in the chick lit genre.

This slim volume covers everything from analysis of Elizabeth Bennett to discussions about the movie remakes to modern day "rewritings" of certain scenes. Each essay was fresh and fun, and led me to think about P&P in lots of different ways.

And to think about Colin Firth, which is ALWAYS a favorite pastime.

If you haven't read P&P, do so. If you don't want to read it, rent the BBC version of it - it's lovely.

Plus, WET Colin Firth. ;-)

A great read for the Austen fan!

Love Rules by Dandi Daley Mackall

This YA novel is published by a Christian publishing house, but is very light on the scripture referrals and imploring of God.

Instead, it's a sweet story of a girl going to college, learning about boys, herself, her best friends, and who she is. The "love rules" are a once a week ritual...she is to send a postcard home with a rule about love on it.

Very sweet, very cute story.

Leap of Faith: Memoirs of an Unexpected Life by Queen Noor

This autobiography has long been on my to-read list, and it was well worth the wait.

Queen Noor, born Lisa Halaby in America, chronicles the twists and turns that took her from an education at Princeton to a marriage to King Hussein, the leader of Jordan. This fascinating account ranges from their courtship to her family, to all the peace problems in the Middle East to Hussein's final years. Never too sappy nor too textbook-y, this book does a fine job of balancing (and educating) the topics contained within - Palestine, peace, leadership and globetrotting.

Hussein was a moderate, a peacemaker, and a beloved leader. Noor was his wife for 21 years, and throughout this book, you can't help but wish he was still striking peace accords with Noor by his side.

A wonderful, well written, interesting, fascinating glimpse at an amazing life and marriage. Highly recommended!