Feeling Sorry for Celia by Jaclyn Moriarty

The title of this YA book is actually a bit deceiving - Celia is the (often missing) best friend of Elizabeth, the narrator of this novel.

This epistolary novel (written in the form of pen pal letters, notes on the fridge and postcards) chronicles the life of Elizabeth as she makes new friends, trains for a marathon, finds a boy and discovers that maybe flighty, silly Celia isn't the best friend she needs after all.

This is a cute YA novel, set in Australia, written in a fun style!


You: The Owner's Manual by Michael F. Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet C. Oz, M.D.

I remember that this non-fiction book was all the craze when it was released, and now the follow up (You: On a Diet) has not been on the library shelves since we bought it, so I thought I would check this one out.

This is a really interesting book - written in a conversational tone, with lots of funny asides and quips - about the different parts of the body, how they work, and how you can get the most out of your body through foods, vitamins, exercise and more.

Not preachy, just informative, this is a great book for anyone who wants to know why and how we function as we do, and how different influences (foods, walking, genetics, etc) affect how healthy we are, and what we can do to be "younger".

Informative, interesting and easy to read - this is recommended!


Body Surfing by Anita Shreve

Having enjoyed several of Shreve's previous novels, and on an enthusiastic recommendation from Nat, I picked up this newest novel from bestselling author Shreve.

It did not disappoint.

I absolutely adored this novel - the writing, the style of the storytelling, the characters, the setting - everything about this novel sang to me. Sydney works as a tutor/live in help for a family summering on a New England beach, and quickly finds herself pulled into the family dynamics, complete with treachery, love, hate and everything in between.

I so enjoyed Syndey's journey through this novel, and the way Shreve deftly told the story in short bursts, and then brought it all together in the end - complete with some twists I did not expect.

I can't recommend this luminous novel enough...

(link to Crucial Pop review)


So, one of TinyTown's police officers came to see me this morning.

(No, I haven't been doing anything untoward.)

He informed me that someone got arrested in town over the weekend, and had a trunk full of stolen signs, and they were trying to figure out if one of the signs was ours.

(It was.)

Apparently, someone stolen the library icon sign that you see when you drive into any small town on a main road - the blue one with the library icon on it?

They also stole church signs from that same sign area.

Not street signs, not a bar sign, but the library sign and a church sign.

So, apparently TinyTown thieves are both devout and literate. ;-)

Here's my second amusement for the week...

Each week, the church right by my house has a different expression on the front sign - some are funny, some are serious. You've all seen these, right?

I've NEVER seen this one.

May 20

In case you can't see it, the sign says:

Fer God

I almost drove off the road, I was laughing so hard.

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White Sister by Stephen J. Cannell

I really enjoyed Cold Hit, the first Shane Scully novel I read from Cannell (creator of the A-Team, and thus, a hero), so I was glad to see this on the shelf.

This time, Shane (a detective in LAPD's Homicide Special) is on the trail of a murder perpetrated by execs in the rap world, a dead cop, and worst of all...Shane's wife appears to be a part of it.

This is a fast-paced, edge of your seat ride through the rap world, the LAPD, a gruesome murder and a family wrenched apart by tragedy. I can't recommend the Shane Scully series enough - I love these novels!

Highly Recommended!

Note: I listened to the audio version, narrated by Scott Brick (with the voice of an angel). I think I enjoy these novels so much because of Brick's consistently fantastic narration, and he IS Scully to me. The Brickman rules.


The Quiet Gentleman by Georgette Heyer
I saw this novel reviewed on a different book blog, and realized I hadn't read any Regency romance in a while (and I just finished watching Pride and Prejudice again the other day!).

This is classic Heyer - great characters, a bit of mystery, a bit of snarky (from Gervase's manservant), and a lovely romance at the end. I was cheering for the two characters to get together, and figured out the "mystery" long before but still enjoyed how it all played out.

A great Regency from a great author!


Happy Birthday, me! ;-)

I'm working at the library today, but I've had lots of lovely birthday surprises...

Birthday Flowers from my sister and bro-in-law:


Birthday Dinner with Becca (last night):

May 18

Birthday Cupcakes from Nat (hrm...a couple are already missing...):


Birthday Cards from friends and family:


Birthday Strawberry Pie from Linn:


Birthday Flowers from Mum and Dad, delivered to the Reference Desk:


I love birthday surprises! Thanks for all the flowers, gift certificates, food and cards, y'all!

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Secret Scribbled Notebooks by Joanne Horniman

This is a YA novel that was nominated for numerous awards in Australia, home of the author, and sounded intriguing to me.

This is a meandering novel about the last year of school for Kate, the younger sister of new mother Sophie, and the characters that drift in and out of their lives. It's well written and contains references to great authors, but I personally found it a bit drifting without a true beginning, middle or end.

Well written, but not my favorite YA novel ever.


The Mermaid Chair by Sue Monk Kidd

I read this second novel from Kidd several years ago, but I recently selected it as a book discussion title, and thought I better reread it.

Once again, I adored this book. I love the setting, the romance, and the struggle Jessie goes through to come to terms with her life, her love, and her family. Kidd's writing is luminous, and I found myself rereading sentences to try and capture the beauty of them.

A wonderful follow up to The Secret Life of Bees, though it is a very different type of novel. I'm looking forward to discussing this one - highly recommended!


Innocent Traitor by Alison Weir

Okay, between Philippa Gregory novels and The Tudors on Showtime, I'm currently big into the historical period of Henry VIII, so this novel directly feeds the addiction.

Though I knew it was a sad tale, I was still drawn to this novel (by historical NON-fiction writer Weir) about Lady Jane Grey, who was Queen of England for 9 days. Until she was beheaded. Because of other people's schemings. Darn.

This was a beautifully written novel about a really interesting period in British history, and I really felt as though I was taking the journey from cradle to grave with Lady Jane, and I liked the alternating voices of other "players" in the game.

Highly recommended, particularly if you heart Philippa Gregory novels!


We're FINALLY done with all the thrashing and rearranging in my Adult Services department at APL!

Rearranged furniture, new stations, light through the windows and a lot of dustbunnies.


Click the photo to see what changed...

New View

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For several months now, I've had a new love in my life.

The Discovery Channel.

I know.

I always thought Discovery was stuffy educational shows, boring claptrap, and wasn't part of my fave channel lineup, so I frequently zipped past it.

Times have changed, my friend.

Discovery is full of shows I can now not live without. I check Discovery first when I sit down to eat lunch. I watch Discovery On Demand. I even surf over to the website occasionally.

My three top reasons for lovin' the Discovery Channel are as follows...

Reason Number One for lovin' the Discovery Channel:

mikeroweMike Rowe.

Mike Rowe is my man. And, apparently, everyone else's. I mention Mike Rowe, and people immediately say "I love him!". Men, women, everyone. My mother has a crush on Mike Rowe. Mike Rowe sets my heart a quiver.

Mike Rowe's voice is on par with Scott Brick (and that, my friends, is high praise indeed). Mike is the host of Dirty Jobs, and every episode never fails to make me laugh out loud, swoon once or twice, and then totally gross me out.

I heart Dirty Jobs.

(Trivia tip: Mike used to sing opera. I can totally see it.)

Reason Number Two for lovin' the Discovery Channel:

bearBear Grylls.

Bear is the British host of a BBC show picked up by Discovery called Man Vs. Wild, and I'm telling you, you get TOTALLY sucked in.

Bear gets dropped in the middle of the most forbidding places on earth, and then shows you how to "get out alive". In so doing, he climbs a lot, sweats a lot, eats disgusting food, makes fire, runs from bears (get it?), jumps over lava, eats a lot of raw fish, and generally is damn good entertainment (and is rather easy on the eyes, I might add. See Reason Number One.)

I'm not sure which episode is my favorite, but watching Bear eat a dead zebra is not among my favorite moments, though I found myself oddly fascinated and unable to look away.

Reason Number Three for lovin' the Discovery Channel:

deadliestThe Crab Men.

I remember hearing blurbs about some show about catching crab, and I scoffed. What's so interesting about that? I mean, really. Fishing?

Oh. My. God.

I can't go a week without my crab men.

Deadliest Catch, y'all.

These insane men take out boats into the Bering Sea to catch the crab I love to eat, and this show chronicles all the painful work, the rough seas, the catches, the not catches, the captains, the crises, the deaths, everything.

I'm so into this show.

I feel like I've gotten to know the crews of the Time Bandit (with Captain Johnathan), Cornelia Marie (with Captain Wiseass, Phil), and The Northwestern (Norwegian Captain Sig, and his little brother Edgar, in the photo). I feel their pain, I root for full pots, and I pray nothing bad will happen during the hour-long show to my guys.

(Also, narrated by...yep. Mike Rowe. BONUS.)

And there you have it.

I'm the Discovery Channel's dirty mistress.

Yeah, I said it.

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Y'all may have noticed I was off the grid for a few days there...I spent a week in Chicago with my family, seeing a cousin from England who is traveling 'round the world, and stopped in the Midwest to say 'allo, 'allo!

We packed a lot of sightseeing into just a few days, but made sure to leave time for lovely meals and leisurely coffee in the morning! We stayed at a fabulous boutique hotel (Hotel Indigo) in the Gold Coast, which was just lovely as well. Wanna see what we did?

Welcome to Illinois!

Welcome to Illinois

My super cool hotel room...

My Room II

All together at last!

First Dinner

We visited Frank Lloyd Wright's home and studio in Oak Park, which was fantastic:

Pat and I

We walked all 'round Millenium Park, and took self-potraits in "The Bean":

And Without Flash

We took a river architecture tour from Navy Pier, which was fantastic:

Window Washer

I braved the top of the Sears Tower, despite my fear of heights!

Being Brave

I insisted on a stop at Giordano's for Chicago style pizza. ;-)


We saw the absolutely gorgeous Chicago Botanic Garden, complete with trolley rides!


We had an awesome, awesome steak dinner at Ruth's Chris:

Family Photo

We went to the Chicago Art Institute, where I saw my Monets, and had my own Ferris Bueller moment with this painting... :-)

Georges Seurat

I also threw down major coin at Crate and Barrel while the "elderlies" looked on, and Dad filed an incident report for slicing his hand open:


And before we knew it, we were back home again in Indiana...

Back Roads to Indiana

We had a fabulous time, and it reminded me again how much I love Chicago!

(The entire huge, honkin' photo set is right here)

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Smitten by Janet Evanovich

I wanted a short audiobook (this one clocking in at 4 discs) to take with the fam to Chicago that would be light and funny, and of course Evanovich always fits that bill.

This was one of Evanovich's earlier romance-era novels, and was cute, though echoed Stephanie Plum in a lot of ways - the feisty older family member, the sexual tension, and the quirky secondary story.

A bit predictable, but still a fun little romance romp!

Note: I listened to the audio edition, narrated by the incomparable C.J. Critt.


Natural Born Charmer by Susan Elizabeth Phillips

I started this book last night, and finished it this afternoon (I had some time on my hands while my car was being serviced!), and enjoyed every page!

Phillips is the queen of the zinger, one-liner, laugh out loud stories, and this was no exception. I laughed at the verbal sparring between free spirited, "between jobs" Blue and star NFL quarterback Dean. They come from different worlds, but their family backgrounds are not dissimilar, and somehow, the chemistry between them just works.

This is a fantastically funny book filled with great supporting characters and an unlikely duo as the hero and heroine. I highly recommend this title, as well as the kinda-sorta prequel Match Me If You Can!


The Trouble with Valentine's Day by Rachel Gibson

This was another "vacation novel", and like the first, featured a romance that looks doomed, fun characters in a small town, and lots of family upheaval before the inevitable happy ending.

I thought this was a really sassy, fun romance novel, and I loved the introduction of the characters and how they end up together in the end. Fun!


Good Girls Do by Cathie Linz

I'm all about taking trashy romance novels on vacation, and my trip to Chicago was no exception. :-)

This is a cute novel about a small town librarian (hee!) who hooks up with the rough and tumble bar owner who just breezed back into town. Of course, there are the quirky small town characters, the sexual tension between our hero and heroine, and a lot of family hi jinx.

Very cute, very quick read!


The Slightest Provocation by Pam Rosenthal

One of my patrons had listed this novel as "very sensual" in a book review, and as it was a Regency romance (known more for manners and sharp wit) I was intrigued.

Okay, maybe I just missed it - lots of other reviewers raved about this novel, but I didn't see it. I didn't see a lot of depth, and I didn't really care for the characters, or even the acrobatic sex they had several times throughout the novel as they reconciled a marriage gone bad. Many of the political events and schemes were written so that it made me feel I should already know what's going on and who's who, and what's what, and I was lost through much of it.

I liked the countryside descriptions and the sex scenes were all well and good, but found little else to recommend it.


The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri

I don't know why I waited so long to read this novel, but after seeing the promotion of the movie at ALA Midwinter, I decided to give it a listen.

What a wonderful, engaging novel - now I know what all the fuss was about! This novel chronicles the lives of a family who moved from India to America, and the children they raise who become like strangers to them. I so enjoyed the blend of Indian culture with contemporary themes and issues in America.

With a couple of chapters left to go, I went and saw the movie before it left the theatres, and though well acted, beautiful and well filmed, it left off so much of the original novel, and lost so much of what made the book wonderful, though I still enjoyed the film and the actors in it.

The book, though, is the winner. :-)

Note: I listened to the audio edition, beautifully narrated by Sarita Choudhury.


Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult

It was eerie to read this latest novel by Picoult, which features a school shooting, just days after the Virginia Tech tragedy.

Nonetheless, this is another stellar novel from Picoult, switching from past to present, character to character to rebuild what drove a young man to shoot his schoolmates, and the aftermath and trial that followed.

I know there is always a twist to Picoult's books, but I didn't quite see the one at the end of this novel, which is a nice surprise. As always, Picoult's writing is luminous and evocative, and her storytelling is wonderful as is unravels before your eyes. I tore through this novel in no time.

Highly, highly recommended from one of my favorite authors!