Monday, March 29, 2010

Books I Finished Last Week

Last week I read three books I really liked....I don't always post all my books on this blog, but I thought I'd review these. I can easily recommend all of them!

The Art of Choosing
By Sheena Iyengar

Why would a person choose to eat more chili flavored yogurt if it had been picked for him than if he had selected the flavor himself from an array of equally disgusting options? Why do children do better at math puzzles they choose themselves than they do at puzzles selected for them by their parents? Through questions like these, this book discusses the amazing power choice wields our lives. Author Iyengar presents a fascinating series of studies centered on our ability to choose, from the big decisions, like marriage and career, to the little decisions, like what to where and what color of polish we want on our toes.

The subject matter presented here is completely fascinating and the author is able to present it in an entertaining and vibrant voice. Many of the studies offered were conduct by Iyengar herself and she adds a personal note to conclusions made and how one set of results led to more inquiries and further studies. While not as readily accessible as some of Malcolm Gladwell’s books, this is still quality science writing.

Mrs. Mike: The Story of Katherine Mary Flannigan
By Benedict and Nancy Freedman

Katherine Mary is sent from a sheltered life in Boston to live with her uncle in Canada where, her mother hopes, she will enjoy better health thanks to the cleaner air. Soon after her arrival she meets and promptly falls in love with handsome Sergeant Mike Flannigan of the Canadian Mounted Police. Days after their marriage, she is off to the far North where the newlyweds set up a life for themselves in that great white wilderness at the turn of the century.

Though not written in a journal format, this book is similar to Nancy Turner’s These Is My Words. Katherine Mary is not the spitfire Sarah Agnes was, but she is still a strong woman enduring a life filled with danger and sorrow, yet finding joy, love and friendship. Minus a little mild language this is an enjoyable book for almost any reader looking for a gentle and uplifting read.

Jane’s Fame: How Jane Austen Conquered the World
By Claire Harman

Jane Austen. Her name is familiar to almost everyone, but she still remains a figure we know little about. Most of her personal correspondence was destroyed within years of her death and what little remains provides a patchy portrait at best. This new biography covers more than just her life but the decades of fame she has enjoyed since her death. The author presents the popularity and almost universal enjoyment of her six novels as an unprecedented phenomenon. Austen’s books have provided material for plays, movies, prequels, and sequels and has inspired works on etiquette, dating, fashion, and more. Harman presents a host of interesting insights into Austen’s contributions to our literary heritage and popular culture over the past 150 years.

This is a must read for all Janeites. (Which is pretty much everyone, right?) Harman is an obvious fan herself and quickly draws the readers into the subject matter with warmth and humor. She includes quotes and characters from Austen’s books that enrich her narrative and make the reader feel a part of the “in” group, even including a section on Colin Firth’s wet shirt. Entirely entertaining and enlightening. After putting this book down, you will either want to pick up your worn copy of Pride and Prejudice or maybe even pop in the DVD.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

I Got a Tip!!

So, this afternoon an older gentleman came into the library and asked for some help with the microfilm. He wanted to access the Daily Herald in 1953. Being the excellent & helpful librarian that I am, I showed him our online index of the Daily Herald and looked his name up that way. SO CUTE!!! He had several articles listed. One was his daughter's wedding announcement and another was about his stellar performance in a high school basketball game. He had me print out all 5 articles he had appeared in from 1950 to 1977.

Anyway, he didn't find what he wanted, so we headed to the microfilm readers and I got him all set up. He found a few pages that I helped him scan and print and then he let me know he was finished. I put everything away and counted up his prints and told him the total was $.90. He opened his little wallet, pulled out a $5 and said, "Thanks for your help. Keep the change." Then headed for the elevator.

How sweet, eh? He gave me a 555% tip! I totally should have been a waitress. Of course, I had to ring the whole amount into the cash register (how do you spell til? or till?). But I suppose the Library should be rewarded for the good sense it has shown in employing me for the past 11 years.

(I feel that to be completely honest in this post I should admit that last week I got in a big fight with one of my patrons after he told me to "use the gray matter between my ears". He definitely didn't leave me a tip....he left me a little steamed. Win a few, lose a few....)

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

It's St. Patrick's Day....And I'm Jealous

I thought that today would be a good day to list all the things I'm green about. So, here are things I'm jealous over:
  • Garages (someday!!!)
  • Closets (who builds a house without a closet that can fit a vacuum...I ask you!!)
  • People who don't sweat (Curse you Mary Ann!!)
  • People who effortlessly have flawless skin (Deep down I hate you all!)
  • Handsome, handy, and on hand husbands (I'm pretty sure mine is handsome and handy....just not on hand at the moment.)
  • Adorable children (most of the time...even the adorable ones are handfuls at times...I don't envy you parents all the time...but sometimes.)
  • People who retire at 35 (I'd be two years I'm over 2 decades away, but who's counting?)
  • Athletic abilities (I really do try to be athletic...but it never feels truly natural...I'll blame it on my over sized feet.)
  • Cute little feet (All shoes look cute in a size 5...come to think of it....all clothes look cute in a size 5....but let's not go there.)
  • Natural beauty (What beauty I gain takes so much work!!!)
Well, that's a quick list. It's nice to occasionally admit there are a few things I'd prefer in use denying it.

(However, I now feel the undeniable need to list some stuff I am overwhelmingly grateful for...notice nowhere on the previous list do I mention amazing friends, stupendous parents, loving and lovely sisters (and sister-in-law), handsome and handy brother (and brothers-in-law) adorable nieces and nephews, a fantastic job with incredible co-workers, a beautiful home to live in (that is quiet and all mine), good health, an infinite atonement, a wonderful ward and a great calling, Spring on the horizon,, there is just so much!!)

Thursday, March 11, 2010

What am I....

I don't have anything to write about....but I thought I'd just fill you all in...

What am I Reading?
"The Brightest Star in the Sky" by Marian Keyes
It's okay...nothing fantastic but it fulfills my need to read a Women's Literature book for work.

What am I Listening To?
"The Buried Book: The Loss and Rediscovery of the Great Epic of Gilgamesh" by David Damrosch
If I had something else to listen to, I wouldn't finish's kind of boring. But someone just died of maybe it's picking up.

What am I Exercising To?
Robin Hood Season 2
I's cheesy....but even with long nasty hair, Richard Armatage is fun to look at!

What am I Watching?
Burn Notice...season 3 just ended (sob), Lost...I'm confused, Chuck....I wish I were a spy, Being Erica....who knew there were Canadian TV shows, Castle....books, murder, and Nathan Fillion, what's not to love, Supernatural...because it's good and creepy, American Idol...because I caved in to the powers of reality TV. I better stop before I sound pathetic :)

What am I Eating?
Lunch today was a PB and honey sandwich, some baby carrots and cherry tomatoes and a bag of fruit snacks.