Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!

I got a lot of great reads for Christmas, BUT...

this post isn't about that.

It's about my awesome dad, who is hilarious and amazing and that is why I am posting this holiday-themed video of him. Enjoy, and a very merry Christmas!

Ex libris,


Sunday, December 20, 2009

The smartest card won't necessarily make you smarter...

I came across this story while poking around on the interwebs today. Sure, the incident happened over 3 years ago, but it is still hilarious. Remember, potential criminals-- library cards are ID, too!

I can just imagine the guy going to the library the next day: "Can you look me up? I think I left my card somewhere...oh CRAP!"


Ex libris,


Saturday, December 19, 2009

The snow is coming, why not read?

Tomorrow, make sure you stay in and read all day. It's ok, you are allowed. Here is the info from a Wisconsin library school student at her blog. How clever are library school students, anyway??? :D

Ex libris,


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Books are hott.

I really really really love books. I'd say I was a bibliophile, bookworm, or bluestocking (bas bleu), but I recently came across a sexier term while reading reviews on Ready???


How great is that? I'm totally a bibliosexual. (You can click through the link...just the Urban Dictionary definition, nothing scandalous).
I am so using this now. I tried to edit my Facebook orientation to "bibliosexual," but it doesn't work that way. There are just checkboxes for men or women under "Interested in." I guess they wanted to avoid sketchiosity.

Homo, hetero, or bi? Nope, BIB. :D

Ex libris,


Friday, December 4, 2009

The Sketchbook Project

First things first-- done with my fall semester! It's such a relief. So now I need to get started on the Sketchbook Project!

The Sketchbook Project is run through a very very cool group called Art House Co-op. The project works like this: After I signed up, I received my theme for the sketchbook. Then I received the sketchbook in the mail. It has a barcode on it and a book pocket. The theme is also printed next to the barcode. I have to complete the book and send it back, and it will be in several exhibitions. Then it will be in a permanent library of sketchbooks and the barcode will be linked into a database! It's the best of both worlds for me-- libraries and art. Full deets are here, but the deadline to sign up is long gone (sorry).

The themes are randomly assigned out of thirty possible themes. My theme is how to save the world. I have tentatively titled it "Live Simply/Simply Live" because I feel like everything is way too complicated these days. The world would be a better, cleaner, and more peaceful place if we just simplified things. I want to incorporate the Shaker song "Simple Gifts" into my piece as well.

What do you think? Any ideas on how to save the world? Once I get my project going, I'll post photos in my Art House profile. I can use it as an online portfolio, as well, which is super cool.

Phewwww, I really need to get back into art. I hope this is a great jumping off point.

Ex libris,


Sunday, October 18, 2009

Blog for the 1001 Books Project

I've created a blog for the 1001 Books Project. Please follow us and comment often! Also, any motivational tools, such as carrot cake, would be much appreciated.

Ex libris,


Sunday, October 11, 2009

"The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step." -Lao Tzu

In my case, the journey of one thousand and one books begins with one text message. A few days ago, my sister texted me and asked if I wanted to join her in reading every book listed in 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die. I gave her and her husband a copy of this book last Christmas. I was totally onboard. So now Emily (my sister), Mike (my brother-in-law) and I are going to read them all. Last night, I bought myself a copy of the book so I could follow along with the reviews and criticisms. The books are listed chronologically, but we're going to read them as listed in the index-- alphabetically. I think this is a great idea because I don't think I'd want to read a whole bunch of, say, Victorian novels all in a row.

This morning, I went through the list and checked off every book I've read from the list and it turns out I've read fifty-two of them. Not bad. That means I've been averaging two books from the list every year I've been alive. Obviously, I wasn't reading any of these books as a small child, but still. I have a list of every book I've read since 2001, so for most of them, I can pinpoint when I read it. If I don't reread any of the fifty-two, I'm already down to nine hundred forty-nine books to read before I die. If we assume that the average woman lives to seventy-eight, I have fifty-two years to read nine hundred forty-nine books. Which means that I need to read eighteen and one quarter books each year from the list. Definitely doable! (And yes, I used a calculator).

The first book is Aaron's Rod by D.H. Lawrence, originally published in 1922. I've requested it through interlibrary loan. I'll keep you posted on my progress. This is like Julie & Julia, except it's more like Emily, Marissa, Mike, & A Whole Bunch of Authors. Oooh, maybe we should have a blog. Interesting...

Ex libris,


Monday, September 28, 2009

Read no evil?

September 26-October 3 is Banned Books Week. A few of my personal favorites from the lists:

Looking for Alaska by John Green
The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett

The Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer
Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
Naked Lunch by William S. Burroughs
Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut

Celebrate the freedom to read!

Ex libris,


Monday, August 3, 2009

Something to ponder.

mindbump suggested by Spelling Search

"What would you do if the internet disappeared tomorrow? Are we becoming too dependent on the internet for our information and social interactivity?"

I was intrigued by this blog prompt and decided to share. If the Internet disappeared tomorrow, I feel like contact with others would dry up. Sure, we have telephones and addresses, but the Internet is a convenient way to stay in touch, and I feel like losing the Internet would be very isolating. On the flip side, it would be so freeing. Imagine just using your computer to type a document or edit photos! No constantly checking email or Facebook. I know I am very dependent on the Internet. It's how I go to school, for heaven's sake. But not having people expecting you to be always available...ahhh.

Ex libris,


Saturday, August 1, 2009

Is that the what?

I just finished listening to Dave Eggers' What is the What yesterday. It has always intrigued me when I've seen it in the library-- the title and the cover. I decided the fastest why I'd get through it would be to listen to it. It is amazing. I admit I didn't know much about the Lost Boys of Sudan, nor do I really understand the conflict in the region. But it's not necessary to enjoy this book. Valentino's trek to Ethiopia and then Kenya is sad but compelling. His way of referring to people (TV Boy, Quiet Baby, Christian Neighbors) is so simple yet logical. While the action of the story goes on, Valentino describes his time fleeing his home in Sudan. It is basically one large flashback grounded in his life in Atlanta where he is not really known. He tells his story so we know where he comes from. He also addresses people indirectly to tell his story ("I was like you, TV Boy...) As usual, I don't want to go too much into the book because I feel like it should be experienced without my personal slant on it. I loved it, though, and I didn't think I would. If you know nothing about the conflicts in Sudan, fear not, Blog Reader. Stripped down, it is a bildungsroman (thank you 11th grade English teacher Ms. Smith). However, Valentino's coming of age is a much longer path (literally) than any you have ever heard of and, while full of hardship, is ultimately quite triumphant. I loved how the book ended...I will not reveal, but it gave me a real sense of perseverance. Also, it ended logically, not tied up in a neat little bow.

Dion Graham is the audiobook's narrator and brings the book to life so much that I felt that this wasn't a book I was listening to, it was someone telling me a story directly. As if it was just told to me. Graham is in "The Wire," which I don't watch but I hear is really good.

Valentino Achak Deng, the Sudanese refugee who is the book's protagonist, is a real person. The book is billed as a novel, but it is based on Valentino's life. He runs a foundation called the Valentino Achak Deng Foundation that rebuilds Sudanese communities that have been decimated by the war.

A great read or listen! One of my top for the year so far, I think.

Ex libris,


Monday, July 13, 2009

The Whisper Initiative

There was a complaint the other day that the Children's staff was too loud.  I find this a little bit hilarious because the kids are loud, so I feel our loudness is justified.  Nevertheless, libraries are supposed to be quiet places, so my pal Ketti and I launched "The Whisper Initiative."  It was her idea and she named it, but I was totally onboard.  We were both on the Children's desk and whenever we got asked a question, we spoke in a whisper to the patrons.  And you know what?  They lowered their voices as well!  So maybe that is the answer...sort of a "monkey see, monkey do" type thing.

Unrelated: my class is chugging along.  I have a lot of work to do, plus my job, so it is tough, but only about 5 more weeks of reference, then a mini-break before the fall semester!  Yay!  And also, it was my birthday on June 17.  I'm 26 now, which is scary, BUT I know what I want to do for a career, so that is awesome.

Ex libris,


Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Happy Birthday to me!

I am 26 today!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

The grind. I'm back to it.

I had a brief break from school in which I read books, chilled, and basically soaked in free time after work.  My summer semester just started this week (Monday).  I find it rather amusing that I blog when I have homework to do, but don't blog at all when I have free-ish time.  Hmm.

Went to the CLA conference last month which totally rocked and reaffirmed that I'm in the right career.  Phew.  Oh and I got a scholarship!  Yay!  Thanks to the Fairfield Libraries Administrators Group.  

Got my grade back for cataloging: A- omggggggg!  Thank God.  Cataloging is tricky business.  This semester I'm taking my reference course.  Lecture notes are staring at me accusingly from my bed.

I'll make up a recommended summer reading list soon and post it.  Please comment if you read (or have already read) a book from the list.

Finally, if you aren't playing Farm Town on Facebook, I am sad for you and you should add it and become my neighbor so I can get a trophy.  This is also what I did on my summer vacation.  :)

Ex libris,


Tuesday, April 14, 2009

I did it.

I did it. I joined Twitter. We'll see if I keep it up. For now, you can follow me. There is a link in my blog sidebar. As if I didn't have enough of an online presence before, right? Oh man.

Ex libris,


Tired tired tired.

MAN. I've been off since Thursday afternoon, today is my first day back, and I am dead. I was shelving and I got so stressed, then it was busy on the circ desk, and now I'm in children's and it's quiet...for now. I feel like that sleepy Yorkie (not a picture of my dog, but still a cutie!). And I'm here until 8 because I am closing. Man oh man.
I did come across 2 copies of Real Simple on a cart today and they looked good, so I checked them out. I'm also done with that huge cataloging project, so that is a relief. And tomorrow I'm going to see Jesus Christ Superstar with my librarian friend Nick. I just need a good good rest tonight and I will get my library skillz back.

Ex libris,


Happy National Library Week

Happy National Library Week!  It started on April 12 and runs through April 18.  Today is National Library Workers Day.  Go show the folks who work at your library some love.  Here is a link to the NLW homepage at ALA.  There doesn't seem to be the awesome commercials for NLW like there was last year, but commercials or no, supporting libraries is always important and definitely needed this year what with the economic downturn boosting use.
The theme this year is "Worlds connect @ your library."  Can I justify joining and using Twitter as a way of celebrating?  That's connecting with different worlds.  I swore I'd never get on Twitter...but then I said the same thing about MySpace and restarting a blog and Flickr.  Hmm.  Stay tuned...I am undecided on Twitter yet.

Ex libris,


Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Respect the catalogers.

I have an assignment for my cataloging class due on Sunday and it has been tough. We're collecting bibliographic records for Doris Lessing-- 20 books by her and 20 books about her. Then we have to use the Library of Congress rules to make a shelflist with the items in the proper order. Sounds simple, yes? Not quite. The Library of Congress has these rules, but not a lot of information on how to apply them. It's like an ancient society where the traditions are passed down orally but never actually written down or explained. I've been struggling with it for awhile now, but today I made a breakthrough. I have seen a pinpoint of light at the end of the tunnel. I still have to check my formatting and dates and I need to find out if we're supposed to include subject headings. Then I have to write my commentary on why shelflisting table is tricky to use. Hmm. Because it is totally arbitrary? And there is no explanation? What if the last person who knows how to catalog properly dies? There needs to be a backup person. This could all end in tragedy and misshelved books.

Ex libris,


Sunday, April 5, 2009

Two sticks and some string.

I've been knitting a lot lately and I've recently bought a LOT of yarn. (In my defense, it was on sale and it is sooooo beautiful.) I also just got Stephanie Pearl-McPhee's Free Range Knitter through interlibrary loan, and it is cracking me up. I've already read two of her other books and I love her quirky style. I read and laugh, read and laugh, and then go knit. Here's a quote from Free Range Knitter that got me going. Stephanie on (not) living alone:

"I harbor a suspicion that I am tidy (inasmuch as I am tidy), organized (same thing), and behaving properly (going to work) only because I have other people living around me who would hold me accountable or phone someone if I gave into my natural urges to drink nothing but coffee and wine, eat nothing but chocolate and wasabi peas, and do nothing but sit around knitting in my underpants while watching old movies." (Free Range Knitter, page 32.)

OMG. THAT IS ME. I laughed so hard because that quote is exactly me. When my parents go to the Cape for the weekend and/or I am left to my own devices, I go a little weird. Plus, I love coffee, wine, chocolate, wasabi peas, and knitting. It is totally within the realm of possibility.

Stephanie's blog is more of the same amazingness. It is nice to know that I am not alone!

Ex libris,


I'm Nobody, who are you?

I finished Neil Gaiman's The Graveyard Book this week, and it was brilliant. It read beautifully and every piece worked. I work with a woman who is a big Gaiman fan, and there was a great article about him in School Library Journal recently, so when we finally got our copies in and one came up on hold for me, I dove in. Gaiman's writing is so subtle that you 1. forget you're reading a children's book and 2. find it perfectly normal that a boy grows up in a graveyard. And the illustrations by Dave McKean are simple and stunning. I recommend it! Also, Gaiman just won the Newbery Award for this book and posted the tweet heard 'round the world when he found out that he won. Awesome.

Ex libris,


Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Where I'm from

This is so beautiful, I took it from Julie. The template is here. I'm pretty satisfied with mine. Why don't you try it in honor of National Poetry Month?

I am from handmade afghans, from Five Alive and devil dogs.

I am from the half round windows, red ceilings, and worn gravel driveways.

I am from the riotous forsythia, the pastel cherry tree, and the smellgoods.

I am from pysanky and creative spirits, from Jean and Jay and theirs.

I am from the worriers and optimists.

From light golden brown hair and beautiful eyes.

I am from Catholicism, spiritual through myself.

I'm from Connecticut, the Cherokee, and Europe, kielbasa and potatoes.

From the sisters jumping rope at midnight, the epic eyebrows of Euie, and the mischievous brothers playing with firecrackers.

I am from Chapman Street and Flushing, from wartime love notes accompanying onions, from the roots of the tamarack tree and the cracked sidewalk pieces.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Slow down, breathe, and chill.

I knew (re)starting a blog might not be the best idea because I am not the world's most consistent poster. But I did, and it's been awhile, so that's that. It may be because of a BOOK I just read (oh, look at that segue!)

In Praise of Slowness by Carl Honoré
Here is Carl's website for the book.

The book is basically about slowing down in just about everything-- eating, sex, driving, living. It details how being slower can actually mean living a better life. It's fascinating and I recommend you read it-- but take your time. :)
I have always tried to stop and smell the roses, but it's been hard lately with work and school. I don't do much else besides those two things. When I do have free time, I nap. I haven't seen some (most) of my college friends since graduation. I never wanted to be that girl, but here I am. And you'd think that a library job would be slow, but it's not. So I've been trying to not get so keyed up about things. I've been sick the past two days and I took a sick day and didn't feel too guilty. I've tried not to worry that I don't have an assignment for school started yet-- it's due April 12. I am trying to regain the Marissa I always tried to be. It's hard and definitely not instantaneous, but I credit Carl's book with giving me a little jab.

Ex libris,


Monday, January 19, 2009

Books into television programs.

So I am having the laziest weekend ever (not counting shoveling snow while my dad is away in Vermont). I am committing the sin of SLOTH. I love it.
On the advice of Michelle and Eileen, my library girlz, I checked out season 1 of "Dexter." Oh my gracious, it is amazing. I am so into it. I think my mom is concerned that I'm salivating over a serial killer, but I have been known to have questionable taste in the past. But did you know that the show is based on Jeff Lindsay's Darkly Dreaming Dexter? I have the book checked out but I haven't read it yet (too busy watching the show). I wonder if it's going to be a let down or even better than the show. I am a believer that the book is always better than the movie, and I am interested to see if the same goes for TV shows. However, is it worth it to read now that I know what will happen (mostly)? Should I treat it as a readalong and read, then watch? I'm halfway through the season. I have so many books that I want to read, and I don't have Jeff Lindsay's book high on the list, but should this book trump the others since I am watching the show?

Maybe I am overthinking this...

Showtime's website for "Dexter"

Ok, I'm going to read the book. From the synopsis on the website for the book it seems that it is going to be good! Thanks, blog, for letting me work it out in your virtual pages.

Ex libris,


Monday, January 5, 2009

First book of '09

So I haven't done either of the resolutions I said I would in my last post. But I did finish my first book for 2009, Chris Bohjalian's The Double Bind. I listened to it, actually, and I was about to finish it on Saturday on my drive home, and I had to drive around the neighborhood and finally just park in the driveway and listen because I wasn't going to wait two days to finish it! It was recommended by my big sister, and it blew me out of the water. Clicking on this link will take you to Bohjalian's website and a blurb about the book. Honestly, reading the blurb doesn't do the book justice. It is so intricate and multi-layered and excellent. Go to your public library and get it!

Ex libris,


Thursday, January 1, 2009

Hello 2009!

I've been keeping a list of every book I've read since January 2001. I tally up the number at the end of each year. Last night, just before bed, I tallied up how many books I read in 2008 and it came to-- get ready-- ninety-three. That is a lot. Granted, some were children's books and some were audio books, but still. I feel quite accomplished!
Highlights from my list for 2008:
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim by David Sedaris (audio book)
The Friday Night Knitting Club by Kate Jacobs
Last Exit to Brooklyn by Hubert Selby, Jr.
Triangle by Katharine Weber
500 Handmade Books: Inspiring Interpretations of a Timeless Form juried by Steve Miller
The Host by Stephenie Meyer
Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer
The Glass-Blowers by Daphne Du Maurier
Bliss by Lauren Myracle
Black Seconds by Karin Fossum
Inkheart by Cornelia Funke

And onto resolutions for the New Year... I'd definitely like to get back to making books. I'd like to make a book a day, however small and simple the binding. I'd also like to take a photo a day. I don't know yet. I feel like making a resolution is just a promise to break it. We'll see.

Ex libris,