I thought I'd jump into the foray of posts about a meme floating around concerning what blogs I read outside the library field, which are many.

Here are but five of my favorites:

  1. LJC FYI - This site by Little Jenny C is just warm and fuzzy. Updated daily, she takes us on her travels, shows us new products she loves, and post adorable photos of her pug. You have to read her blog to understand. :-)

  2. Brotherhood 2.0 - The vidlog site chronicling conversation between YA author John Green and his brother Hank. It makes me laugh every day. Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant.

  3. PostSecret - I discovered PostSecret several years ago, and not a Sunday goes by that I don't log onto my computer to see the newest cards posted. Amazing, inspirational site.

  4. Keris Stainton - I found Keris' site through Trashionista, and like LJC, I love the glimpse into daily life, her lighthearted posts about television and books, and it gives me a bit of a British fix every day.

  5. Pink is the New Blog - When I need my gossip and celebrity fix, I trust Trent. You should too. :-)
It's hard to only pick five, because I have so many others too (notMartha, GreyMatter, Go Fug Yourself, Cute Overload , The Cortex, and Blogging Project Runway, for example)!

What are some of YOUR five?

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I think it's time for another installment of the best and brightest from the TinyTown sheriff reports, don't you?

(These are shown exactly as printed in the paper)

  • Caller advised someone took change out of his car and rambled through all the paper work (how do you ramble paperwork?)

  • Caller advised they are having a juvenile problem (My mother sometimes thinks my problems are juvenile, but she doesn't call the cops about my issues...)

  • Caller advised that a subject climbed a fence and is up in a tree cutting them down (If you are in the tree, how do you cut it down? Wouldn't it hurt when you fell down after cutting the trunk? I'm just saying...)

  • Caller advised that there are guys coming out of field with a tank (Omigod! A military tank? In TinyTown?? We're a military installation now?! Then again, it could be the other kind of tank...)
Gotta love a small town. ;-)


I Am Not Myself These Days by Josh Kilmer-Purcell

I started this book last night, stayed up past my bedtime, and then scurried to finish it this afternoon.

It's like a car crash...you want to look away, but you just can't.

As someone who spent nearly a decade in Bloomington and knew many drag queens, I was interested in this memoir about a drag queen in New York who falls in love with a male escort, while trying to hold down a day job and maintain a fabulous night life. And that's just the beginning. ;-)

This is an absolutely hysterical, well written, engaging memoir that I absolutely devoured. If you like Augusten Burroughs, you'll love this! Highly recommended!


The Saffron Kitchen by Yasmin Crowder

I saw this book listed in a guide as a potential book discussion title, so I thought I would preview it, and I'm so glad I did.

This is a beautifully written novel that encompasses a lot of issues in its meandering pages - cultural differences (Britain and Iran), mother and daughter relationships, lost loves, identity struggles and family destruction. I read this 250 page novel in a day, and loved the characters, the writing, and the images it evoked in my mind.

This is a lovely novel that I look forward to discussing with my group later this year!


Eldest by Christopher Paolini

After thoroughly enjoying Eragon, I was eager to read the second in the "Inheritance" trilogy, Eldest.

This books continues to follow the trials and tribulations of Eragon and his dragon Saphira as forces, both good and evil, begin to assemble for the big "good versus evil" showdown...which I'm assuming is what most of the third book is about! This is a typical "second" book - lots of set up, lots of backstory, lots of getting pieces in place, but it's still very interesting and well written.

I'm eager for the third title to come out after reading this 700 page pageturner!


Personalized Google

Y'all have probably heard by now that you can customize your Google page, so of course I had to hop over and check it out.

I really like the functionality...you can create tabs for separate information (I have a news tab, a "fun" tab, and so forth), and there are a million little widgets you can add, move and subtract. I love the "to do" list front and center, and sometimes a girl just needs her horoscope, the weather report, or a a quick crossword.

I selected the "teahouse" theme, which is so cute it hurts a little bit. And it even changes every few hours based on your time of day!

Love it!


Who says the Quiltin' Ladies are shy? ;-)

March 23

Since we didn't have a project in the works, we decided to go out to dinner and thumb through my quilt books in the hopes of finding inspiration. Now we all have a list of about 15 new quilts we want to make.

Yay for quilts and good friends!


I finished my blue and yellow quilt (started in..um...January) last weekend.

Pretty no? :-)


(It's got pretty eyelet and gorgeous fabrics from the Boonville quilt store)


So, today provided a bit of excitement in Ye Olde Library, as I was interviewed for an Evansville NBC affiliate story about the Posey County sex offender registry, which is also available in print at our library.

Blink and you'll miss me...

Figures it's a day when it's 89 degrees in the library and I was dressed to shift books, not be a TV star. ;-)

White Lies by Jayne Ann Krentz

Krentz, a former librarian,writes under several pen names, including Amanda Quick and Jayne Castle. I've not read any of her titles, but this one was well reviewed as part of her "Arcane Society" series.

This is a typical mystery with a bit of romance tossed in, but with a twist. The main characters are members of the Arcane Society, people who possess paranormal abilities. Clare Lancaster, a level 10 para, can detect falsehood, no matter how subtle, and when she is accused of murder, a race to solve the mystery begins with the help of Jake, a "hunter".

This is an interesting twist on the typical mystery, though I didn't really feel as though I got to know the characters, or got inside their head. Still, good enough...


How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff

I'm not sure how to categorize this YA novel...it's not quite romance, not quite suspense, not quite adventure. It is, however, a Printz Honor book, so I thought I would give it a whirl.

This novel takes place in a not too distant future, as Daisy (an American) goes to live with her English cousins at the onset of a war. This novel deals with a lot of heavy issues - incest, anorexia, war, death, family separation and more, and has a raw, unfinished feel to it.

I think this would appeal to older teens and has crossover appeal for adults, but certainly isn't written with younger readers in mind.

Strange and weird, but thought provoking and ultimately hopeful...

Note: I listened to the audio version, narrated by Kim Mai Guest, who did a fine job with this YA voice.


Love Walked In by Marisa de los Santos

This has been on my TBR list for ages - since it was released last year - as it was heralded as great chick lit, and the rights have already been picked up by Paramount with Sarah Jessica Parker set to star.

This novel did not disappoint.

I loved, LOVED this novel. Cornelia's life changes when a Cary Grant lookalike walks into her cafe, and her life changes forever. I really can't give a plot without giving anything away, except to say that this novel is warm and amazing and so wonderfully written (you can tell de los Santos is also a poet), and doesn't read like chick lit at all - not a pink cover in sight.

This was a wonderful read - highly recommended!

Note: Sarah Jessica Parker is so NOT the main character to me. I think she's miscast, but that's just my opinion...


Hour Game by David Baldacci

I've not read anything by Baldacci (save The Christmas Train) but I know he is uberpopular with our patrons, so I grabbed this audiobook to give it a try.

A serial killer is stalking Wrightsburg, VA, and leaving a watch set to a different hour on each victim's wrist. Sean King and Michelle Maxwell are charged with investigating the crime, and the town,which is full of secrets, quirky characters and a lot of twists and turns as they race to solve the crimes.

This was a fast paced thriller with lots of great, weird characters. The ending was twisted and almost unbelievable, but I still thoroughly enjoyed the story. I can see Baldacci's appeal!

Note: I listened to Scott Brick's narration of this novel. The Brickman MAKES the story. I heart the Brickman.


March by Geraldine Brooks

This was the selected book for our adult book discussion group at the library, so I thought I better get a jump on my "assignment"!

This novel, winner of the 2006 Pulitzer Prize, takes a unique perspective on perennial classic Little Women by portraying Mr. March's year away from his family, and his strife and turmoil as he enlists as a chaplain in the army during the Civil War, deals with racism and abolition, and struggles to be a man his family could be proud of.

This novel is well plotted and well written, with lots of loose ends wrapping up throughout, and Brooks even brings us perspective from Marmee for parts of chapters.

Though it wasn't a book I would have selected to read myself, I'm glad I did. It's clever, thought provoking, and well written.


Good Grief by Lolly Winston

This has been on my TBR pile for absolutely ever, and yet seemed to always get superceded by something else.

Why did I wait so long?

I LOVED this novel! Winston takes an atypical chick lit topic and makes it funny and brutal and easy to read. I was rooting for Sophie as she grieves for her husband of only a few years, and works to overcome her sadness by moving on with her life - slowly but surely. At first she revels in her bathrobe, snarfing Oreos, but in time makes changes in her life, gains new friends, and learns to stand on her own.

I laughed, I smiled, I rooted for Sophie. And I want her recipes. :-)

A great, GREAT read!

Note: I knew it would be good when it was blurbed by no less than: Anne Rivers Siddons, Jennifer Weiner, Luanne Rice, Audrey Niffenegger, Jennifer Crusie and Billie Letts.

So, Jen came down to visit for the weekend.

We ate, we shopped, we hung out, we discussed Trent's scarf in the new vid.

We walked, we made muffins, we surfed online for Rome.

And oh yeah...

We went and saw 300 on IMAX, baby!

The 7:15 show was completely sold out (thank god for buying tix online ahead of time), and the theatre was packed with fellow dorks and fans...our gender and age group was sorely lacking, but we made up for it in enthusiasm.

300 is awesome, people.

The action, the costumes, the way it was filmed blew us away. Queen Gorgo is the baddest ass woman on screen today. My Michael (Fassbender) was awesome as Stelios, and Gerry Butler did not disappoint. Every scene was just amazing!

We were speechless when we left the theatre, and spent the next half an hour trying to cram all our observations and thoughts into coherent sentences as we left with goofy grins on our faces.

Awesome, awesome film!

(The only thing lacking, we decided, was NIN's Just Like You Imagined playing on repeat through the movie)

We had such a good time, and I can't wait to see it again!

(And Pat...there is a VERY SPECIAL Gerry treat at the beginning of the film - I think you'll appreciate it, as we did. *big drooling grin*)

March 10

I think the fankids were a little taken aback when I shoved my way through the crowds and asked some dude to snap this photo. I didn't care. :-)


Eragon by Christopher Paolini

This is one of those YA novels I've been trying to get my hands on for months, but it's always checked out!

This YA fantasy novel combines elements of LOTR, the Wheel of Time series, Harry Potter and its own unique combination of fantasy characters and plots. But with dragons. :-)

I flew through this novel and thoroughly enjoyed it, and was even more amazed to learn Paolini was only 15 when he wrote it! It's intelligent, well written, fun and engrossing. Recommended!

I plan to read the next book in the trilogy, Eldest, as soon as I can!

Note: I hear the movie isn't so good. Boo.


The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

This YA novel was a Printz Honor Book this year (along with John Green's fabulous An Abundance of Katherines), so I was interested in reading this novel, based on a young girl's experiences in Nazi Germany during World War II.

This novel is narrated by Death, and the narration is at times choppy, out of sync, and I found the story difficult to get into. I struggled and struggled through the novel, and found I didn't enjoy it at all, though I appreciated the author's style and narrative, though I didn't like it.

Not, NOT my favorite YA novel...


March 8My friend Jen is coming down this weekend so that we can witness firsthand the wonder that is 300 (the movie) which we have been eagerly anticipating since last fall when the first teaser trailer came out. 300 on IMAX, baby!

(Need to see the trailer again? Click here.)

I've been cleaning my house in preparation for Jen's arrival, and have made wondrous use of my new Dirt Devil Kone. Oh my god, the Kone rocks!

It's really powerful and looks supercute sitting on my table, and I love the little glowy nightlight. No wonder it took me so long to find one...everyone else was buying them too!

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The Confessor by Daniel Silva

I've been trying to read some authors I've not tried before - particularly in the mystery and suspense areas - so that I can better recommend books to some of my hardcore mystery reading patrons.

This title by Silva delves into a number of topics, all interwoven together - the assassinations of members of Black September from Munich in 1972, the Holocaust, the Vatican, and European politics and struggles of religion, murder and more. I felt as though I had been dropped into the book in the middle when I began reading, but it slowly revealed itself.

This was a clever read, well written, though best read in just a few sittings...I found if I put it down for more than a few days, I tended to lose the thread. A good suspense title!


Some of the fun things I've encountered at Ye Olde Library in the last couple of days...

  • I got to put out a (rather lengthy) plastic cigarette butt trashcan thingy fire, having my director thus dub me "Fireman Marissa"

  • I had a 5 year old run up and give me a big hug after I watched his books while "he went potty with Mommy"

  • I input a override password into a PSP handheld, and got a standing ovation (a quiet one!) when it worked

  • One of my favorite reference transactions: "Yeah, my teacher said I have to read a Hemingway novel." "Okay, which one?" "It doesn't matter." "How about Old Man and the Sea? It's short." "How short?" "105 pages short." "Dude! Sweet! You rock!" I laughed.

  • Getting to teach someone how to use the Contemporary Authors, CLCs, TCLCs, and seeing the lightbulb go off when they figured out the index and the information it contained

  • Having a patron seek me out to tell me how much a particular audiobook narration rocked based on my recommendation (Yay for Scott Brick!)

  • Feeling that sense of satisfaction as I weed really, REALLY outdated (and dusty) volumes from our print reference collection

  • Having a patron pump his fist and grin when I accessed our online auto repair database and found the EXACT wiring diagram he needed

  • Picking out a new picnic table for the staff area, as well as new benches and even a zippy new trashcan
Nope. No day is exactly the same in the life of a librarian...


Strange Candy by Laurell K. Hamilton

This is a collection of short stories compiled by Hamilton and written at various points during her career. The collection is bookended by two Anita Blake short stories, though neither advanced the plot of the series or the upcoming book.

This collection includes stories about lake monsters, flying cupids, wizards, alternate fantasy worlds and more, and each story has a short introduction written by Hamilton explaining the origin of the story.

I read most, but not all, of the stories and they were all fine, but nothing that really struck me, or stuck with me, if you know what I mean, but if you need a Hamilton fix before her next Anita Blake novel, then this collection is for you.


For One More Day by Mitch Albom

Albom has truly cornered the market on short, sappy, overwrought fiction that people across America for some reason flock to.

I read this more out of obligation than desire, as I'm often asked about Albom's books at the reference desk.

It's not MY cup of tea, but I'm sure someone somewhere thinks it's lovely. This time, Albom tackles relationships with parents, death, awakenings and the same sort of themes he has produced in every one of his books.



Plum Lovin' by Janet Evanovich

This is a "between the numbers" novel in the insanely popular Stephanie Plum series. This time, Diesel (of a previous "between the numbers" novel) returns and seeks Stephanie's help with a capture, setting up some Valentine's Day couples, and generally turning her world upside down.

This quick, quick novel is a lot of fun to read, though it asks readers to suspense disbelief a few times, as Diesel is an...Unmentionable.

Fun...a good novel to tide us over until Lean Mean Thirteen...


Lion Eyes by Claire Berlinski

This is a truly clever book, with stories within stories, and fiction and reality blurring together.

This novel features a novelist by the name of Claire Berlinski who begins an online romance with a man known as "The Lion" after he contacts her admiring her first novel, Loose Lips (which I read and enjoyed a couple of years ago). Mystery, the CIA, romance, Paris, Istanbul and more mix together in this novel I found impossible to put down, though I found myself pouting at the ending.

This was a fun novel that I thoroughly enjoyed. Recommended!