Category Archives: randomness

Blizzards & Books

The front door to my condo building. Don't think the warning (step down) applied today.

You might have heard about the little storm that we had in Chicago this week. Over 20 inches of snow making it the third worst snow storm in Chicago history. Hundreds of cars were abandoned on Lake Shore Drive.

I like snow. In December. After Christmas, I think enough is enough and I’m ready for Spring.

This storm also made it into the record books for my office. It was the first time in history that we in the Chicago office have ever had a snow day. Sure we’ve had bad weather where most didn’t make it into the office, but never an official snow day. Our office closed early on Tuesday and remained closed Wednesday and Thursday. I am thankful to our snoverlords (as a colleague refereed to them on twitter). Commuting into work today wouldn’t have been pretty. One of the major streets by me is down to one lane. Side streets haven’t been plowed. Snow is piled up everywhere. Oh and it was -4 this morning.

Yesterday I took advantage of the day off to catch up on the piles of laundry, chat with friends & family,  and obsessively watch storm coverage online. Today I will be using my second snow day to snuggle up with a book. But I’m having trouble deciding what to read. Do I pick something escapist? Something set in a warm climate or during summer? Should I continue reading the book on prohibition? In any case, I’m going to enjoy the fact that I don’t have to go outside today.

So what do you do on snow days? Do you grab a book or do you reach for a favorite movie? What’s your go-to read/watch?


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I Wish I Had Artistic Talent

Two things today reminded me of my favorite book and made me wish I had one once of artistic talent.

Below is an artist’s attempt to sum up some of his favorite books, movies, historical events, anything, -in this case The Great Gatsby- with just four icons. Neat concept and really cool artwork. Take a look at some of the others.

The other thing that I came across today was  The Fox Is Black competition: Re-Covered Books. Take a look at some of those illustrations. It’s a good thing that not all of them are available or I’d buy even more copies of this magnificent book.

(Note: I still wish the pretty hardcover Penquin Classics books were sold in the U.S. I want the whole set and I’m too cheap to order them on Amazon and deal with currency conversation and shipping.)

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Booking Through Thursday: Thankful

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It’s Thanksgiving here in the U.S. of A. so …
What authors and books are you most thankful for?

I’m thankful for so many authors and books. I’m in awe of their talent and dedication.

F. Scott Fitzgerald is the first author that comes to mind. I have had hours of enjoyment reading The Great Gatsby and his other work including his short stories. It’s totally cliche, but I also am thankful for Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. I loved the book when I first read it and fell in love with it even more when I watched Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy in the BBC production.

But there are also modern fiction writers like Christopher Buckley (Thank You for Smoking, Boomsday) and Jonathan Tropper (This is Where I Leave You). I love their snark. And Buckley combines my love of politics with dripping satire. Who doesn’t love that?

And lastly my favorite women’s fiction/romance writers: Susan Elizabeth Phillips (Can’t pick just one!), Kristan Higgins (Too Good To Be True) , Julie James (All 3 but especially Just the Sexiest Man Alive), Lisa Kleypas (Smooth Talking Stranger), and Jennifer Crusie (So many but especially Bet Me).

So what about you? What authors are you thankful for?

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Happy Thanksgiving

It’s easy to take what we have for granted. But when I look around I realize that while things aren’t perfect they are pretty good. I have a good job, a place to live and loving friends and family – things that not everyone is fortunate enough to have.

So today, I’d like to stop and give THANKS. And offer up a clip of one of the best Thanksgiving episodes to ever air on television.

Now on with my holiday traditions…  watching the Thanksgiving episodes of The West Wing (Butterball hotline!) and my favorite Thanksgiving movie, Home for the Holidays.

Hope you and yours have a very Happy Thanksgiving!

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Because Once Wasn’t Enough

So last night HarvF started a discussion on twitter about books that we reread.

It got me thinking. With so many books on my TBR pile I rarely have time to re-read books but there are some are the exception.

The first one that popped into my mind was The Great Gatsby. It’s my favorite book so I typically reread it one a year or every other year. Each time I find something new to appreciate or notice. Fitzgerald just has a way of pulling me in. I can transport myself back to the East Coast in the 1920s.

I’ve also reread Pride and Prejudice because well Elizabeth and Darcy. Need I say more?

But then there’s also my guilty pleasure rereading – contemporary romance. I love the happily ever after endings. Have a bad day, pick up one of these books and instantly feel better.  (Is is any wonder why my collection of DVDs has a large number of romantic comedies.) Since last year, I’ve reread Julie James’  Practice Makes Perfect and Just the Sexiest Man a couple of times. I’ve also reread Lisa Kleypas Smooth Talking Stranger. And I have a feeling once I finish reading all of the Susan Elizabeth Phillips books, several of those will end up on the list.

So are there any books that you reread? What is it about them that draws you in?


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It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

This weekly recap is hosted by Shelia of One Persons Journey Through a World of Books. Each week we recap what we’ve read and look at what’s coming up this week. If you’re interested head over to Shelia’s site and get involved!

So what was I up to last week?
It was a bad week, I only managed to finish Elin Hilderbrand’s The Island. Liked it. I would give it a 4/5.

What’s planned for this week?
Honestly, the more I read about authors from the 1920s through the 1940s I’m amazed. These literary geniuses were a mess.

I’m also reading Adam Langer’s The Thieves of Manhattan based on a recommendation from a coworker.A satire of the publishing world involving a fake memoir. How could I pass that one up?

At some point I hope to go back to reading Douglas Perry’s  The Girls of Murder City: Fame, Lust, and the Beautiful Killers who Inspired Chicago. I read about 40 pages between shiny book syndrome kicked in and books on request from the library coming in didn’t help

What about you? Anything interesting that you would recommend?

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Booking Through Thursday: Disaster!

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You’ve just dropped your favorite, out-of-print book into a bathtub, ruining it completely … What do you do now?

First, I would have my head examined. Why on earth was I in a bath with a cherished book? What could I have possibly been thinking. There’s no way I’m getting near water or food with a cherished book. That’s what a backup copy is for.

Next, I would cry.  No seriously cry.

Then I would get online and start hunting and putting my social networks to work. The great thing about my job is that I’m “friends” with a lot of people who have a lot of friends. Someone out there somewhere would have to know of a copy of this book.

What would you do?

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