Friday, September 16, 2011

The Night Circus (2011) by Erin Morgenstern
Bravo!  Well done!  I clap my hands in applause!  To read The Night Circus is to easily slip into the black and white mysterious world of vintage magic, dreamy imagery, enigmatic characters, and infinite possibilities that Morgenstern creates to every detail without flaw.  And I mean every detail of this book is magical even down to the writing on the circus tickets and business cards.  There are a variety of characters all enticing enough to be your favorite and these vivid characters will continue to haunt you even after you’ve turned the last page.  This book is scrumptious like and old black and white film except not old but new and vibrant in its monochrome.  This is a book for the senses and every drop should be enjoyed.  This is not a book you rush through; you enjoy the journey and then are immensely rewarded with the end of the story.

The reader feels as though they are entering and experiencing the exhibits of the circus among the intricate weaving storyline of stories within stories acting independently when they are not.  You follow the lives of many characters; among them are Marco and Celia, around whom the circus was created.  They are the products of rival magicians and are bound from childhood to compete against each other using the circus as a venue.  The rules and how to win the competition is a mystery to them both.  It also complicates things as the opponents begin to grow found of each other.  As the story unfolds you learn more about the night circus and the countless lives it touches. You also learn that there are unknown consequences of the night circus to all involved.

Really an imaginative work of literature this is the closest in writing that I’ve ever read that has actually put into words what is seen in the imagination.  It points to truths about life and the possibilities and real magic inherent in life that unfortunately so many people either don’t see or choose to ignore.  It is about making what seems to be impossible… possible, which is an underlying message whispered throughout.  Follow your dreams.  Nothing is impossible.

By the time I got to Part V of the book my only thought was “Genius!”  The writer herself could be called an illusionist.  I can see why Summit Entertainment already has the rights to the movie and if they do this movie right it will win Best Picture.  The colors depicted in this novel are vibrant even the whites and blacks.  Absolutely vibrant!

This book has been compared to Harry Potter and Twilight but I feel that it is something else entirely and is much darker and more mature than its comparisons.

This is a great story for adults to enjoy as it is intricate and mature but also carries a flavor for the adolescent and I think most of the story could even be read to fascinated children.

In all, I can see this book inspiring many more like it.  I can see this book inspiring new fashions and art.  This would be a wonderfully fun book to do for a book club that could incorporate the festive and fun themes from the book.  Your readers become rêveurs decked in black and white with a touch of red.

Spectacular Spectacular!  Invigorating.  Enchanting.  Beautiful and Sad.  An Amazing Story!

Happy Reading ;)

Monday, September 12, 2011

God Never Blinks: 50 Lessons for Life’s Little Detours (2011) by Regina Brett


            So after a rough summer, and just coming out of a fog of depression, I followed my heart and it lead me to Barnes and Nobles where it then lead me to the café and had me order a grande chai tea latte.  Yum!  And then my heart lead me to browse the store when I stumbled across this book in bright holy orange screaming with glory at me GOD NEVER BLINKS!  I was compelled to pick this book up and see what it was all about.  I opened it up to a lesson.  Lesson 31 No Matter How Good or How Bad a Situation Is, It Will Change.  Brett begins this lesson by quoting a friend for saying “Life is rough, wear a helmet.”  And I laughed to myself thinking, “Yeah, she got that one right.”
Flipping around many lesson titles caught my eye:  Lesson 20 When it comes to going after what you love in life, don’t take no for an answer.  Lesson 21 Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie.  Don’t save anything for a special occasion.  Today is special enough.  Lesson 23 Be eccentric now.  Don’t wait for old age to wear purple.  Lesson 27 Always choose life. Lesson 28 Forgive everyone everything.  Lesson 18 A writer is someone who writes.  If you want to be a writer, write (this lesson really made me laugh as Brett lists all the things that will not make you a writer and I can so relate to many of the things us writers do besides actually writing our novel)  Lesson 29 What other people think of you is none of your business.  Lesson 11 Make peace with your past so it doesn’t screw up your present.  Lesson 3 Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.  Lesson 4 Don’t take yourself so seriously.  No one else does.  Lesson 17 You can get through anything life hands you if you stay put in the day you are in and don’t jump ahead…  And the lessons go on and on.
Just standing there in the store briefly reading over different lessons that caught my eye also caught my heart, these lessons were making my heart swell and some were making me laugh, and some just made me feel included in the common events that effect all of humanity.  I knew right away I had to buy this book and I had to buy it now.  I did not care that I was going to pay full price for it.  I needed the lessons in this book and I wasn’t going to wait for Amazon to send it to me!
You don’t have to read this book in any particular order, although I started from the beginning after my jumping around in the store and read the book from lesson 1 to 50, but you can absolutely skip around to the lessons that grab you on any particular moment.  The lessons are short too, averaging around 4 to 5 pages.  They are perfect little snippets to remind you of who you are and how miraculous life is and how lucky we all are to witness it.  But really, if you are having a bad day this is the book for you.  It is the cure for bad days.
And just like what I experienced browsing this book in the store I experienced at home while reading.  My heart often swelled, I cried, and I laughed as I followed the lessons of Regina Brett’s life.  She openly and honestly shares her life, her joys, her success, and the mistakes she’s made.  She shares stories about the people in her life all shaping her lessons.  And her lessons encompass many topics such as saving money, sex, relationships, parenting, dealing with ones own parents, being angry, God, dropping out of college because of getting pregnant, surviving cancer, living life to the fullest, following your dreams, and even the law of attraction (thinking positive thoughts which will bring positive things into your life.  Read The Secret by Rhonda Byrne if you want to learn more about the law of attraction).
When I first starting reading this book one of my immediate thoughts was I should have picked up more copies.  I really think this is the kind of book that many people could benefit from reading or be comforted by reading.  Although Brett is religious and Christian, readers from any faith or no faith will enjoy this read because it speaks of the core of human understanding and life, which can be touched regardless of individual beliefs.
Also, this is a book that can be savored over time.  I enjoyed picking it up and reading a lesson or two and soaking those lessons up for a while before finding the book again at another time.  I would leave it here and there about the house.  Even my husband would pick it up and read from it from time to time; he also concurred that it was actually a really good book.
So I hope this book finds its way into your hands or the hands of someone who needs it and that it is enjoyed.

Happy Reading :)


After reading a book comprised of 50 life lessons it makes me wonder what my 50 life lessons would look like.  In fact I am tempted to write a 50 lesson book to pass down to my own kids one day.  If you are interested in one of my lessons read the previous blog post entitled My Number 1 Life Lesson:  Follow Your Heart and Everything ElseWill Fall Into Place

What are some of your life lessons?

My Number 1 Life Lesson: Follow Your Heart and Everything Else Will Fall Into Place

            I had been feeling a little beat down by life this past summer.  I was supposed to have a baby and deliver this November.  I was supposed to start my Master of Library Science degree this fall.  Unfortunately, after dealing with two months of intense all-day pregnancy nausea and just crossing into the second trimester when the fear of losing your baby is supposed to have passed, I lost my child.  My child was diagnosed with a condition that is incompatible for life and for health reasons my pregnancy was terminated.  Before all this, when I was blissfully ignorant of my child’s condition but ill with nausea I decided to postpone my education till the fall of 2012.  I was just too sick and vapid to continue to fill out the proper documentation to continue with school this year.  In the end, I was left with no child and not even the event of starting school to look forward to.  A year that was supposed to be full of wonderful, exciting, and new experiences had in effect been taken away from me.  Instead loomed an empty year.  At least that’s sometimes how I viewed the situation
            And so I went grabbing for anything to fill this year up with.  I thought, “I’ll go back into teaching!  Why waste a year?  Why not make some extra money?”  Note that I wasn’t thinking anything close to having a passion for teaching children English.  I worked really hard at building my teaching resume back up.  I worked really hard at creating responses and essays for detailed applications for teaching jobs.  I got calls and I went on a few interviews.  And I did well at these interviews.  But it didn’t take me long to realize that, again, teaching just is not my passion.  I used to find it easier to ignore my passions in life but lately they will not be ignored.  If I so much as look in a direction different from my passion something inside me screams and rattles and makes me feel miserable until it gets me to recognize that I am looking in the wrong direction.  All of life around me seems to become dark and cold when I am looking away from my passions.  Life seems to close up and lock down when I am looking away from my passions.  Even though being a teacher would make life so much easier for me.  I already have the degree, the training, the experience, I can do the job and do it well, and it can bring in big money.  But something about it just isn’t right for me.  Even thinking of it in these beneficial terms brings a sour taste to my mouth.  Why?  Because I am not passionate about it.  It is not my calling.  It is a wonderful profession that I respect very much but it is just not my calling.
            And so on the way to my last teaching interview I finally gave myself permission to not be a teacher.  I finally gave myself permission to stop beating myself up over not wanting to continue teaching.  I did the interview because I felt it would be rude to cancel this late but I did not try to sell myself.  I was polite and answered the questions thoughtfully and truthfully.  And then that was it.  I was released back out into the world, but this time to follow my passions.  And the passion that my heat needle turns to like a compass, what I cannot ignore, what brings sunshine to my days and opens up the world to me, what is rainbows and candy and flowers to me, although it means more schooling, having to pay for schooling, and perhaps a hard time at finding a job, my passion is to become… a librarian.
            My number one lesson in life would be to follow your heart.  This is not an easy thing for all of us to do.  For one, sometimes it is hard to know what your heart wants.  Sometimes it is hard to hear the heart over the loudness of the brain, over logic, over society, over your upbringing.  And it is also hard to follow your heart when it leads you into a direction in which you are blind to the outcome.  It’s scary.  It takes courage.  But from what I know, if you don’t follow your heart your fate will be much worse than the discomfort of the unknown.  No happiness or true satisfaction can come of following a path that is not meant for you and you will know this path is not meant for you because it will not be your passion, it will not consume you with interest and intrigue.
            When you follow your heart life will open up to you and you will find peace, love, happiness, and satisfaction.  It cannot be said where exactly your heart will lead you but know that often it will lead you to a world of opportunities that are more perfect for you and better than you could have ever dreamed or imagined possible.  Just follow your heart.

            I am now determined more than ever to continue to follow my heart and stay on the path that leads me to realizing my dreams.  I was called by one of the schools I interviewed for.  It turned out they were really impressed by me and I was one of their top three candidates for the position of English teacher.  They wanted me for another interview.  Although flattering and never easy to turn down a good opportunity like that I stayed true to my heart and I politely declined the interview.  Amazingly around the same time (and after applying over and over again to every job opening) a library called me in for an interview!!!!  I am going in the right direction.  And with faith I believe I will become a librarian and even more importantly I will have the family that I have always dreamed of having.  I will follow my heart into the darkness for I know great things are to unfold.


Wednesday, September 7, 2011

To Kill A Mockingbird (1960) by Harper Lee

I had read this book in high school, I think in 9th grade but remembered nothing except the name “Boo Radley” and for some reason I thought Boo Radley was black.  Then at some point in between high school and now I bought the 40th anniversary edition of the book at Borders.  I guess I really liked the cover art and the roughed up edges of the pages.  I also bought it because I figured this is supposed to be the book that’s in everybody’s personal library.  I also intended on reading it again.

Well finally, here in September of 2011 I re-read To Kill A Mockingbird for no other reason than I joined a book club and this is this months pick.  I matters well have been reading it for the first time because I swear I remembered nothing of the story and was completely shocked by the stories events.

On the back of my particular copy of the book at the top reads, “Voted Best Novel Of The Century By Librarians Across The Country (Library Journal)” but in reading the first hundred pages of the book I really couldn’t fathom why this was voted the best of the century?  So of all the books published from 1900-1999 this was the best???

The story is told by a little girl named Scout Finch.  And she tells the story of the events that happened in her and her family’s life that lead up to her brother Jem getting his elbow broken.  It’s a coming of age novel of Scout and Jem growing up in Maycomb, Alabama in the 1930’s.  The story focuses on the curiosities of the people of Maycomb (especially the Radley’s) and the culture of that town.  Many topics subtly come to light in this story: the importance of school vs a home education, the differences of men and women, the ways of children and how they view the world and the adults that don’t understand them, learning that being a lady (or a woman) is more than meets the eye, family lineage and expectations, and the differences and social class divides between people of different socioeconomic statuses.  But most prominent in the story is the topic of race and racism.  The main event on which the plot turns is that Scout’s father, Atticus Finch is defending a black man in court for the rape of a white girl.  As you can imagine in the deep south in the 1930’s this will cause quite a stir in the town and consequences for the Finch family and it does giving the reader a glimpse into another world.

Upon finishing the book I am still not convinced that this is the best book of the 20th century nor why it is one of Oprah’s favorite books, however I do see why it is a popular book especially for teachers of English.  And I would certainly not oppose to my own children being exposed to this book and at a young age too, I’m thinking between the ages of 12-15 would be a good time to introduce this book to them.  Not only is this book full of good discussion topics for young people, it is also chop full of excellent vocabulary words such as assuage, umbrage, and vapid.  It is a story of moral lessons and doing the right thing.  It is also a story of childish adventure and at times could be quite funny.  I did find myself chuckle out loud at a few parts.  So perhaps what makes this an attractive book to readers is that it tackles a large portion of life and adult topics in an innocent and quite family friendly way; perhaps this is why librarians like it so much, it’ll make most patrons happy.  But for me although it had some interesting parts, and although I could appreciate the story and the innocent humor our little narrator Scout brought to the story, and although there were many surprises for me in the plot… it just isn’t my favorite, not even on the list of top 10 for me.

But regardless of the fact that the book didn’t do it for me, I will still have to recommend it.  Better to be one of the people who can say you’ve read this number one classic than to be the one to bow your head in shame and have to explain why you still haven’t read To Kill A Mockingbird yet.  But besides that it is a well-written book with vivid, alive characters, and a plot that comes full circle and tackles the topics of life.

But what do you think?  Is this one of your favorite books?  And if so what makes it sparkle for you?

Happy Reading :)


Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Librarian Movie!: Party Girl (1995)

Party Girl is a blast from the nineties that is quirky and super funny.  This movie is full of a variety of characters from the uptight godmother librarian, to the Lebanese lover, to the gay friends, the crazy alcoholic, the brutish English boyfriend, the wannabe dj… it’s got everything!  And then there’s the stylish main character Mary, played by the beautiful Parker Posey, who finds herself in the midst of librarians, partiers, and parties while trying to find herself and pay her rent.
If you’re interested in movies about libraries and librarians this is a MUST SEE!  And even if libraries aren’t your topic of interest this movie is still super hilarious and can be enjoyed by a large audience.

Genre:  Independent Quirky Comedy 

Age Recommendations:

  • Really this is an adult film (Rated R).  Ages 16 + may enjoy the film as well but it’s up to parents to decide whether or not it is appropriate for their child’s viewing.
  • This movie does include brief nudity, drugs, sex, and bad language. 

You can currently stream this movie off so grab yourself a falafel, sit back, and laugh :D

QR Code & App for FindItGirl blog!!!!!

So this is super exciting!  I was reading other librarian blogs today when I stumbled across TheWikiMan and his post How To Turn Your Blog Into An App For iPhone.  He credits @gwynethjones The Daring Librarian with the tweet that lead him to this awesome technology.  Basically you go to this site: and you type in some information to verify your blog and you set up your app and QR code.  In order for others to download your app they must simply download the app for bloapp and can then either search for your app or simply scan the QR code to get your app.  And PS... it's free!  So yes there is officially an app for everything including your own blog!  How cool is that!

TheWikiMan aka Ned Potter explains How To Turn Your Blog Into An App For iPhone so rather than reexplain I encourage you to click on the link and visit his blog.

Happy Blogging :)

Monday, August 29, 2011

The Secret: The Power (2010) by Rhonda Byrne

The Secret: The Power by Rhonda Byrne
First sentence:

You are meant to have an amazing life!

Now that’s how I like to start a book!  Who wouldn’t want to have that told to them? “You are meant to have an amazing life!”  Man it just makes me feel good to read that one sentence.  And the feeling stays no matter how many times I read it.  And that’s what this book is all about:  feeling good!

The book is about the power of love and thinking positive.  Byrne claims that by feeling love and thinking positively you can have all that you want in regards to money, relationships, health, and life.  You attract what you want by thinking positive and loving what you want.

The book is simple to read and easy to understand.  Quotes by famous people of all walks (Nikola Tesla, Jerry Spinelli, Martha Washington, Jesus, etc) are included and scattered throughout the book to further support Byrne’s claims.

A few mini topics that she covers that I found interesting were:

Water healing (pg 205-206) - the idea that by sending positive words and energy into water can actually change the structure of the water.  If you are interetsed in this I've read another book on the topic called Water Crystal Healing: Music and Images to Restore Your well-Being by Masaru Emoto that comes with music and beautiful images of, essentially, snowflakes.  Very intriguing and uplifting.

Marital Problems (pg 174) - the idea of being happy despite problems and loosely the idea of unconditional love towards your partner despite problems.  Another book that I am interested in reading which also discusses unconditional love is called The Love Dare by Alex and Stephen Kendrick.

And a bigger topic that she covers that I found interesting was:

Money (pg 148-169) – I particularly enjoyed reading this section about making money stick to you and receiving more money!  Who wouldn’t like that!  Also, if you are interested in reading more about receiving money you can go to Byrne’s website and download The Science of Getting Rich by Wallace D. Wattles for free.

I also love the section on money because it discusses doing what you love in life and not taking on a career you don’t love just because you think it will bring in more money.  It is always reaffirming to me to hear this because I really want to be a librarian, a job some say will not bring in money, and worse some say you wont get a job!  But this book teaches me to follow my passions and dreams and that only through following what I love will I bring in money.  (Which makes sense.  I believe, like Byrne, that there is a power in what you love that when used can propel you to the top.)  Hence, I will be a successful librarian and I will bring in lots of money!

This is only a very small sampling of the multitude of topics Byrne includes in her book.  You will have to read the book to see how many ways having The Power can make your life wonderful!


I would recommend this book to people of all ages.  Certainly anyone 15 years old and older can enjoy and learn from this book.  And the philosophies and lessons garnered from this book could be taught to children.  I know as for myself I will teach the power of love, positive thinking, and the laws of attraction to my own children.

I definitely recommend this book for anyone who has been feeling down and needs a little boost in life.

Just a few notes:

·      I read this book in two days and if I had had more time I could have read this in a matter of hours.

·      It’s not a prerequisite to read The Secret by Rhonda Byrne before reading this book.

·      The book itself is beautiful and small.  The pages are smooth and filled with color.  This book feels great to hold in your hands and would make a great addition to anyone’s house.

·      And for the skeptics out there, even if you don’t buy into the theories of this book you have to admit… it couldn’t hurt in most situations to have a positive outlook in life :)