What's a good game online for vocabulary nerds who have a few minutes to waste?

Free Rice.

Even better, you get to feed the hungry - 10 grains at a time.

Try it - you'll be addicted! :-)

(Thanks, Erica!)


There's a (Slight) Chance I Might Be Going to Hell by Laurie Notaro

Many of us at the library, and thus many of our patrons, adore Notaro's short story collections. This is her first fiction novel, though it once again seems to vaguely mirror her real life, with hilarious results.

Maye Roberts and her husband just moved to a new town from their hometown of Phoenix, and Maye (a freelance writer) seems to have trouble finding a friend. This novel chronicles her journeys to join (and quit) different groups, to find someone to hang out with, and to, ultimately, enter a beauty pageant to win friends and influence people. ;-)

Notaro's wit is on full display here, with laugh out loud moments, but much like her collections, I find I have to read her in short doses, or the funny goes away. Still, this is a fun first novel - as long as you don't take it seriously. ;-)


Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

I have a confession to make.

I've never read Fahrenheit 451.

(I know, I know...they are going to come take away my librarian card now)

But when I saw the 5-disc audiobook, narrated by the lovely and talented Scott Brick, I picked it up.

This story's famous premise takes place in a not-too-distant future in which firemen are in charge of starting fires to destroy books, rather than putting fires out. Guy Montag, a fireman, slowly becomes disillusioned with his job and his happiness when he meets Clarisse, a neighbor girl who seems to think beyond the parameters they all live by.

This still stands as a classic in literature, and is, ironically, often found on banned book lists.

I'm glad I read this!

Note: I listened to the audio version, narrated by Scott Brick. Brick does a great job of cadence and tone in this novel, and in making the "chase" at the end full of suspense. Brick for Prez! ;-)


You can tell I'm back and trying to catch up on my blog!

So besides going to the Biltmore, what else has been going on?

I cut 8 inches of my hair off, and had it dyed red. ;-)

Self Portrait

I went on a motorcycle ride with my bro-in-law Don, which rocked. :-)

October 15

I got a shiny, tiny, pink new cell phone!

October 17

I did NOT get blown away by the big, scary storms...

Storm Coming In

I made my very first shepherd's pie!

October 20

How was your week?

Time for a new library display, and I must say, this is a favorite of the staff. ;-)

And the patrons - it's almost clear after only a week!

Love a Man in a Kilt?

Love a Man in a Kilt? ;-)

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Things around this blog have been quiet, as I finally took a few days of vacation and got outta town!


My sister and I took our annual "sisters weekend" last weekend, this time with a destination in North Carolina: the Biltmore!

We had fantastic weather, a great vacation package, a wonderful visit, lots of pictures taken, a lot of laughs, some good relaxing and only got stuck in traffic once. ;-)

I've never been to North Carolina, so I loved getting to see the Smokies and enjoying the vistas. *grin*

Anyhoo, it was a fantastic trip, and it was REALLY hard to go back to work...I need a vacation from the vacation, methinks...

We toured "the big house"...

October 12

We marveled at the architecture and the grounds...

Side View

We ate lots of tasty food!


We drank a lot of coffee and saw lots of pretty plants...


We visited the winery and did some tasting...

The Cellars...

We drove the Blue Ridge Parkway and saw lovely vistas...

October 14

What a fantastic autumn trip - thanks, Mich! :-)

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If I Am Missing or Dead: A Sister's Story of Love, Murder and Liberation by Janine Latus

The blurb about this book is misleading...upon reading, you believe this is a nonfiction work about Janine's struggle with her sister's disappearance and eventual murder at the hands of a boyfriend, when it reality this is not a "true crime" book at all.

Instead, this engrossing work is more autobiography than anything, as Latus chronicles her childhood, her difficult relationships, and the parallels between herself and her sister when it comes to abusive, difficult relationships with men, and how far a woman will go to please a man. In a lesser writer's hands, I would have been upset at being misled by the blurb, but instead found this autobiography at times engrossing, horrifying, heartbreaking and ultimately hopeful in some ways.

Though I likened it to a car crash ("you can't look away"), this is a great nonfiction/biography work. Recommended!


Almost a Gentleman by Pam Rosenthal

After not giving Rosenthal's newest novel a terribly positive review, Miss Lissa convinced me in the comments to try another title by Rosenthal, and I'm glad I did!

In this novel, again set in the Regency period, Phoebe is posing as a *male* dandy by the name of Phizz Marston who has become the creme de la creme of the ton in London society - though no one seems to know much about Phizz' background. When Lord David Hervey meets Marston, there is a definite spark between them, complicated by the fact Phoebe is hiding her identity.

What follows is a romance, a second chance, a chance to uncover society, a plot against Phoebe's life, and a lot of definitely NOT chaste sex between David and Phoebe! This is definitely not a Regency as I knew them - rather chaste and more about manners and breeding than just getting it on - which is pretty much all that happened in the second half of this novel. ;-)

Still, it was well written and much easier to get into that Rosenthal's other, and I enjoyed it much more than the other. This may or may not be for you, but if you are used to Georgette Heyer, this novel is coming to come as a bit of a shock for Regency readers!


O' Captain, My Captain'…

Ran across this picture of Nathan Fillion the other day, and had a little swoon-y moment. He's just a doll, y'all…

I miss Firefly. :-(


Please he supports Kids Need to Read. Le Sigh.


The Assault on Reason by Al Gore

This book hasn't spent a lot of time on the library's shelves, so I grabbed it while I could to give it a read. This isn't a book you can sit down and read for hours and hours because you either a) get a bit bogged down in the facts and more importantly b) become so incensed with our current government that you can't stand to read any more!

Gore covers a bevy of topics in this book - the politics of wealth and of faith, the transgressions of Bush's White House, the rise of free media on the internet and, of course, the crisis of the environment. Gore's writing and research are well-reasoned, and actually makes you think, rather than "writing to the lowest common denominator". Though I occasionally found myself "tuning out" from reading too long, this was a good book to read out of consistently.

An interesting take on "the assault on reason" - recommended!


The Used World by Haven Kimmel

Kimmel, a Hoosier native and author of A Girl Named Zippy concludes her "loose trilogy" taking place in Jonah, Indiana with this novel. I haven't read the other two titles, but didn't feel as though I were lost or behind.

This book took some time to grow on me...the writing is lovely and lyrical, but difficult to absorb, somehow. I felt a bit lost at times, trying to interpret the backstories, the character interplay, and the basic plot, but once I let go and stopped trying so hard, the book just flowed. Three women who work at Hazel Hunnicutt's Used World Emporium are tied together by work, friendship, history, pregnancy and love, and this novel weaves them all together beautifully. So many of the threads tied together at the end - which I always love.

This is not just a slapdash, quick novel, but rather a measured, lyrical work that somehow stuck with me. Recommended!


Queen of Babble in the Big City by Meg Cabot

This is the followup to Cabot's Queen of Babble, following the adventures of Lizzie Nichols, she of a big mouth, wedding dress rehab and boyfriend woes. :-)

Lizzie is back from France and living in NYC with Luke, her new French boyfriend. She is pounding the pavement looking for her dream job while making do with something that will earn a paycheck. Naturally, domestic woes, friendship troubles, a fairytale wedding and a disastrous wedding dress all ensue. :-)

The way this adult novel ended is just BEGGING for a sequel, which is good news! Lizzie is fun to read!


Alan Rickman reading Sonnet 130 by Shakespeare.

Holy god, that's a good thing to perk up ANY Monday.