Thursday, February 27, 2014

Book Trailer Thursday - 50 Ways to Wear a Scarf

I love scarfs and I'm always trying new ways to wear them, this book 'sepaks' to me! 

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Winter Book Club - Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg

Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to LeadLean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead by Sheryl Sandberg
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I have had this book on my To Be Read list since it came out, but because of all the mixed reviews when it came out I never got around to reading it.  This is one of the things I love about book clubs, I get to read books that I never would have picked up, or that I've put off reading.

I didn't know how the book would translate into information I could use, I'm not on an upward climb to the top of the corporate ladder. I'm surprised at how much I was able to take from the book, just the idea of sitting at the table and leaning in, is something that can be applied no matter what job a woman holds.

At the discussion I found that a lot of us were able to apply some of the basic concepts to our jobs. We all agreed that we liked the idea of work being like a jungle gym rather than a ladder.  The idea that we can make those lateral transitions and still have access to growth is a better image to hold onto, at least it is for me.  We had a great discussion about mentors and how sometimes official mentorship programs haven't worked.  Personally, I never thought about mentors but when looking back at the steps in my career I've found that there are women and men in my life that have been there in a form of mentorship to guide me over the hurdles and direct me down the right paths.

I've already suggested this book to friends and I think it's something more women should read. I don't think everything Sheryl Sandberg talks about is applicable to everyone, but I think there is enough in the book that most women can pull out to apply to their own lives. At lot of what I read is going to stick with me as I move forward in my career.  When the time comes for me to have children, I know that I'm in a profession I want to come back to, I know to keep leaning in and not let myself pull back from job opportunities. I know that while I may not feel confidant in where I stand sometimes, that when others feel that I can handle a job I should trust them.

Friday, February 21, 2014

55 Flash Fiction Friday - The Text Message

This meme is hosted by Mr. Knowitall.

So I was trying to figure out what to write for today's Flash Fiction Friday and was coming up blank.  Then I saw the above Tweet show up in list for #librarianproblems and knew right away what I would write!

“Hi how can I help you?”
“I won some money and I need to go online to fill out the paper work to claim the money. Can you help me?”
“Ok what’s the web address?” She hands me her phone and I read the text message. “This is a scam.”
“But it says I won!”

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Tea and a Book - The Light Between Oceans

The Light Between OceansThe Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Book Description:
After four harrowing years on the Western Front, Tom Sherbourne returns to Australia and takes a job as the lighthouse keeper on Janus Rock, nearly half a day’s journey from the coast. To this isolated island, where the supply boat comes once a season, Tom brings a young, bold, and loving wife, Isabel. Years later, after two miscarriages and one stillbirth, the grieving Isabel hears a baby’s cries on the wind. A boat has washed up onshore carrying a dead man and a living baby.

Tom, who keeps meticulous records and whose moral principles have withstood a horrific war, wants to report the man and infant immediately. But Isabel insists the baby is a “gift from God,” and against Tom’s judgment, they claim her as their own and name her Lucy. When she is two, Tom and Isabel return to the mainland and are reminded that there are other people in the world. Their choice has devastated one of them.
I could not get into this book. I tried...I really did, but it just wasn't holding my attention. I ended up doing a quick skim of the last 2/3 of the book just so I knew what happened so I could discuss the book.

So I didn't have a typical book club meeting this month. One member stopped by my desk later in the day and we talked about the book.  He too couldn't get into the book, but skimmed it to at least read the ending. We both enjoyed the idea of the story, but just felt the story dragged.

I'm interested to see how this is turned into a movie. I might watch the movie.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Poetry - Whiskey

I wrote this poem in a creative writing class in college.  The prompt was to compare two things in a Venn diagram. I compared a kiss and a shot of whiskey.  I no longer have the diagram I came up with, but this poem has to be one of my favorite things I've written. 


I can’t forget the events of those nights
The taste of whiskey in your kisses
The smell of it on your breath
I’m haunted by the feel of your hands
And the soft curses spoken

I remember every whispered promise
Those of love, marriage and a family
I remember the night those promises stopped
And all that remained was the whiskey
The burn of it all going down

I’ve tried to drink away these memories
But nothing can burn them away
When I drink rum I only get sick
The same with vodka and tequila
I’ve tried whiskey, but it reminds me of you

Taking a shot of whiskey is like kissing you
My whole system is affected by it
My mouth goes numb and
Everything tastes weaker after
It’s a taste that can never be forgotten

I can remember my first shot of whiskey
Just like I remember our first kiss
And haunted by our last kiss
I swore I’d never shoot whiskey again

But I crave the burn

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

55 Flash Fiction Friday (on Tuesday!) - Whiskey

This meme is hosted by Mr. Knowitall.

In honor of Valentine's Day I paired down a poem I wrote in college.
 So here is the shorter version of Whiskey
I remember my first shot of whiskey
Just like I remember our first kiss
My whole system is affected by it
My mouth goes numb and
Everything tastes weaker after
It’s a taste that can never be forgotten 
I’m haunted by our last kiss
I swore never shoot whiskey again
But I crave the burn

Tomorrow I'll post the whole poem.

Book Review - Friends with Benefits SUCKS (At Least for Women)

Friends with Benefits SUCKS (At Least for Women)Friends with Benefits SUCKS by Lynn Gilliard
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

Lynn Gilliard calls herself the 'Big Sis' of dating advice. While reading this short book, I thought more like that sassy friend who has an answer for everything.  Gilliard uses her past experiences in love/dating to dish out advice on why women shouldn't let themselves get involved in a Friends with Benefits relationship.

I don't have a Big Sis or a sassy friend who's been there, but when I was younger I wish I had someone there to guide me.  While I never ended up in these situations, I can see how this book could benefit someone who needs to quick kick in the butt to start respecting herself.

Things I disliked about this book were the sweeping generalizations that weren't backed by any research or solid facts. Lines like this:
Low self-esteem starts with feelings of being unwanted and unloved by a father or mother. (Loc 34)
 and this:
The problem is that the high levels of testosterone present in men tend to decrease the effect of oxytocin while the high levels of estrogen in women increases the effect. (Loc 115)
There were also some passages that I think anyone in a relationship needs to remember. In Chapter VII. Prioritizing YOUR Needs Gillard writes:
You deserve to get what you want from life just as much as the next person. (Loc 228).
When I finally learned how to say "NO" to other people, a whole new world opened up to me. (Loc 235).

I received a copy of the book from the author for an honest review.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Book Review - The Good Luck of Right Now by Matthew Quick

The Good Luck of Right NowThe Good Luck of Right Now by Matthew Quick
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Matthew Quick writes some of the best quirky and unique characters.  Bartholomew's world is turned upside down when his mother passes away. As he's going through her stuff he discovers a letter sent to supporters of The Gere Foundation in support of protesting the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. His mother was a HUGE Richard Gere fan and raised her son to be a big fan too. (I mention this because it's important but I'm not going to tell you why it's important you need to read the book to find out!)

 Besides being a Richard Gere fan, Bartholomew is a regular at both the library and church. Father McNamee is trying to help during this difficult time and enlists the help of Wendy to help Bartholomew through his grief.  Bartholomew is reluctant to see that Wendy is any help, since she wants him to change. When Father McNamee defrocks himself and moves in with Bartholomew things go from quirky to strange...but enjoyably so.

While at the library Bartholomew does some intense research and also spends time admiring The Girlbrarian. The Girlbrarian who's real name is Elizabeth, is sister to Max.  Max just happens to be the guy Bartholomew  is paired with when he goes to group therapy.  Max is mourning the loss of his cat. Max's dream is to go to the Cat Parliament in Ottawa, Canada. Father McNamee wants to take Bartholomew up to Toronto. So the four of them head out on a road trip together.

It took me a bit to get into this story, but slowly I found myself really drawn into the characters and the plot.  Bartholomew and Max are both special needs characters and their dialogue took awhile to adjust too. While I didn't feel like I could connect to any of the characters, I definitely was invested in their stories. Elizabeth and Father McNamee, even Wendy, are all struggling with their own issues and they are all intertwined with Bartholomew's journey to finding out where he belongs in life.

This book is a must read!

I received an ebook ARC for an honest review.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

55 Flash Fiction Friday - Dinosaurs

This meme is hosted by Mr. Knowitall.

Okay so this is a day later than I had wanted to post it, but I couldn't get my wording quite right.  This is a story that is loosly (very loosely) based on fact. I did question the existance of dinosaurs in the bible, and I was told it was the 'beasts' mention in the creation story and I do have a great uncle we call Uncle Father. Besides all that, completely made up!

“But where are the dinosaurs?” She clutched the stuffed raptor to her chest.
“Right here niña.” Tío Padre pointed to the passage he just read. “God created the beasts of the earth, sea, and air.”
“Does it say why God killed the dinosaurs?”
Tío Padre chuckled, “No niña, God doesn’t have to explain his actions.”

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Blind Date with a Book - Year 4

I've changed up my display again this year.  It makes for a really cute design, but it was a pain to print on the paper bags.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Forever YA - The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

The Fault in Our StarsThe Fault in Our Stars by John Green
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I loved this book.  We had a great discussion (is it a discussion when it's only 2.5 people?). I say 2.5 because one woman had only read part of the book and was only there for part of the meeting.

I have the Exclusive Collector's Edition from B&N that features a Q&A with John Green.  This really added to our discussion to have his answer to some of our discussion topics. We also used the questions to facilitate our discussion. For example in discussing the way Augustus misuses big words and how Hazel is wrong about infinite sets.

I'm really excited for the movie too!

View all my reviews