Reading Roundup

I have a confession to make. I haven’t been reading Ulysses. It’s really thick! The words are really small! It’s scary! So, that isn’t going very well. But never fear! I’m still working on my reading list! I’ve just decided to do it out of order. So right now I’m working on The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton. I’m enjoying it much more than I thought I would based on my high school loathing of Ethan Frome.

In other book news….

It isn’t really a secret that I’m becoming a huge Anglophile. I’m obsessed with BBC tv (particularly the soap operay ones like Downton Abbey. SO MUCH FUN!) Naturally, I had to read about the Queen. I enjoyed reading this biography, although it might have been a little too pro-royalty. I don’t know an enormous amount about modern British history but I felt that Smith went out of her way to always show the Queen in a positive light.

That said, I had a lot of fun reading it. I came away from it with a new respect for Elizabeth II. She seems like a dedicated, dignified woman who does her best to make the world a nicer place.

Yup, I’m still reading Star Wars novels. Steve and I are more or less reading them together, although he’s about 5 books ahead of me at this point since I keep venturing off into other books. They aren’t particularly well written, and at times they get a bit soap operay. They’re fun, and they make excellent before bed books!



PS: I read both of these on my Nook! I’ll probably do a long post professing my undying love for my Nook in the near future.



We’re big fans of awesome museums, science, and dinosaurs so we visited The Academy of Natural Sciences again yesterday. It is one of our favorite Philly places so far! It’s always nice to take a few hours and look at dinosaurs, butterflies, exotic animal displays and whatever else the museum has up that day. This time around I had a great time looking at all the tiny details of the dioramas they have the stuffed animals in. The level of detail that they put into creating the background is just incredible, especially when you consider that most people probably pay a lot more attention to the animal than the ground!  They have plants, trees, other little animals… It’s amazing!

The big attraction this weekend was Paleopalooza! There was even more dinosaur related stuff around than usual. The highlight was probably the T-Rex from Field Station: Dinosaurs that hung around outside the museum. It was so much fun to watch it tear through the crowds scaring/entertaining children and adults alike! Steve got a great video of it chasing him down:

Anyway, dinosaurs are pretty awesome, and so is the Academy of Natural Sciences!


Harry Potter Paper Hearts!

The fun I have with my dying copy of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban is never ending! I’ve made a few more paper flowers and today I decided to get rid of my regular paper snowflakes and replace them with Harry Potter paper hearts!

It really wasn’t anything difficult or time-consuming. I added some little hearts on to some of the big ones, and some of them I added some purple or blue highlights. Mostly it was just really fun to cut lots of hearts out!

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!

Love is a book and a light to read it by

I am slowly (oh so slowly!) making our little apartment more homey and organized. Despite having moved in months ago we still have piles of cardboard boxes stacked in corners. Our books are unorganized (gasp!) and we hardly have anything hanging on our walls.

Today, I fought back the chaos and moved some things around. Here is my lovely little bookcase!

It has some of our favorite books, favorite Lego sets, and my favorite teapot!

Here’s a close up of the top with the picture on the wall:

I’m very pleased with my cozy corner! Maybe next week I’ll tackle one of the other bookshelves…

The Fault In Our Stars

I am a sucker for a good tragedy. I always have been. As a child I devoured books on the Holocaust, the Titanic, and anything written by Lurlene McDaniel. For some reason I really love to cry.

Well, John Green has written the best crying book I’ve read in a long time. I spent the last 50-100 pages rocking back and forth in bed with tears streaming down my face. I loved it.I started reading the book around 7:30 last night and I finished it around 1:30 in the morning. It has been AGES since I stayed up that late because of a book, and more than anything else that tells me what a great story The Fault In Our Stars is.

The main characters, Hazel Grace and Augustus Waters are both teenagers dealing with cancer. Despite feeling like a grenade about to explode (die) and hurt anyone who loves her, Hazel falls for Augustus. Together they go on an adventure in Amsterdam, deal with their mortality, and do their best to just been teenagers. Hazel and Augustus are witty, smart characters with more than a little melancholy.

So that’s what I liked. What didn’t I like? Well, I called the ending less than halfway through reading it. There were a few events in the book that felt very predictable and scripted to me. That didn’t make it any less enjoyable or tear-jerky, but I do wish there had been more surprise.

If you want to know more about the book or John Green here is a link to his website:

Alright, those are all my thoughts for now! Next stop…. Ulysses!

Reading List

A lot of my reading is haphazard and unplanned. I spend a lot of time shelving books at work, and while that can get tedious, I do love getting to see and handle so many books. I’ll see something that sparks my interest and BAM, it goes into my reading stack.

But lately my brain feels like it’s turning to mush. I’ve been out of school for over a year and I miss serious reading and paper writing and thinking. So tonight I’ve decided to systematically work my way through the Modern Library’s 100 Best Novels. I’ve already read 17 on the list but most of those were in high school. I think a revisit to something like Catch 22 would do me good.

This doesn’t mean I’ll give up my haphazard reading, or even my “fluff” reading. I’ve got a big stack of Star Wars books and Doctor Who books to work through (laugh all you want! They are FUN!) and beyond that I’m sure I’ll find more things at the library. This personal challenge is going to be more of a set of guidelines on my literary journey than an exact road map. I want to read as many books on the list as possible in 2012–definitely at least 1 a month. I’ll blog about every one of the books on the list, and probably the ones that aren’t.

So, wish me luck!