Saturday, September 29, 2012

Rain Rain Don't Go Away...


...you're the perfect excuse to read all day. In between laundry, college football and brownie baking, I'm swooning over Watership Down with Nick, The Second Life of Abigail Walker with Arielle, and The Big One-Oh with John. I finally finished The Art Of Fielding. After the lights have been extinguished and everyone is tucked into bed I'm relishing Joe Barrett as he delivers the audio version of one of my favorite reads, A Prayer for Owen Meany. It's our book club selection for October. Are you reading anything that has you wishing for a week of rain?

xoxo Michele

Why buy happiness when the library shares it. E-books, audio-books, and digital downloads are at your local library, just visit here or your local library website for complete information.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

The Second Life Of Abigail Walker

Reserve your copy at the library here.

Davidson Book Garden Dedication (free books donated by Davidson Public Library)

I could list all the reasons why I'm positively smitten with The Second Life Of Abigail Walker as a new read aloud with Arielle. Edie introduced me to the divine beauty of Wendell Berry earlier this year and I'm swooning after his poetry like a school girl at a Beatles concert. What? They're old news? Okay, a school girl at a One Direction concert. Open the front pages and there is Wendell Berry, an epigraph to proudly serve as the book's theme. 


The story deals with mean girls, and body-weight issues, and loving those that are undeserving; which under normal circumstances at the very least would put a few butterflies in my tummy and at the worst would cause my voice to shake while reading - but not with Frances O'Roark Dowell as the author. Her companionship is felt in every word, and bestows enough courage and comfort to read aloud with confidence. Did I mention Abby's mother is a reader and loves John and Abigail Adams and as I'm reading my daughter is shaking her head and saying, "it can't be - she is just like you." 


But the biggest reason why I'm enamored with this book is because it was personally handed to me by our public library children's librarian. She thought I'd like to read it. She thought of me and my daughter. 


The relationship I have with our local librarians is akin to having a personal life coach, a family and business and school coach, and especially dear to my heart: relationship cheerleaders. Libraries aren't just about books, music, movies and magazines. Libraries are about relationships. Family. Community. I am convinced it has something to do with their goodwill principle of sharing. A town is only as vibrant as their community library.

 Davidson Book Garden Dedication - (free books donated by Davidson Public Library)

Bake some cookies and go visit your local librarians today. You'll never regret the time you spend building a relationship with them, or the time you spend snuggled with your children within the pages of a great read. Like Abigail Walker, you can live a second life, or twenty, when you open up a book and share it with those you love. 

xoxo Michele

Why buy happiness when the library shares it. E-books, audio-books, and digital downloads are at your local library, just visit here or your local library website for complete information.




Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The Dry Grass Of August


Do you have a fall reading list? Add this one to it.

xoxo Michele

Why buy happiness when the library shares it. E-books, audio-books, and digital downloads are at your local library, just visit here or your local library website for complete information.


Sunday, September 23, 2012

Pintertainment Weekly: Fall Front Porch Inspiration


September shortens days like an expert tailor. The sunlight hours of autumn fit me like perfection and I don't want to miss a moment of outdoor living. I'm dreaming of a fabulous fall front porch. 

I didn't find patio inspiration on Pinterest - but discovered shared treasure from magazines at the library and added my favorite porchy pins here
  
Mirror mirror on the porch. Are you swooning? I was so inspired by this photo that I convinced hubby to move our dining room table onto the porch. Much to my surprise, he said yes.



We moved our table and two bookshelves we weren't using to make a new dining room. It's a work in progress, especially the dead plants. But I love what we're creating. 

We didn't spend a dime, but our furniture and accessories feel brand new.


Can you see the mirror? It's my favorite part of the room. 



Another bonus to front porch living: it takes the children an extra five minutes to find me in the morning. Which means I get to drink my coffee while it's still hot.

I love how the mirrors reflect our trees and sunlight.  



Want some more veranda inspiration? Your library shares the magazines and books that share these beautiful ideas.



Dear September, please don't go. I love you so. 



Fabulous fall pinspiration is as close as your library.

xoxo Michele


I would just love for you to follow me on Pinterest.

Why buy happiness when the library shares it. E-books, audio-books, and digital downloads are at your local library, just visit here or your local library website for complete information.


Wednesday, September 19, 2012

My Berlin Kitchen


The latest buzz among my bookish friends is this great read is completely swoony

If you follow Luisa's blog, The Wednesday Chef, you'll already know why. I know what you're thinking: a popular new release like My Berlin Kitchen will take a year on hold at the library.

Nope. 

I know a secret and I'm going to share it with you, because I love you and want you to read this book in October with me. 

Sign up for Wowbrary. It's free, it's easy, and best of all, you'll be alerted by email once a week on new books, music, cookbooks, and movies coming to your local library. 

Yes - you can actually put new releases on hold, even before the library gets them. I know, somebody pinch me, this can't be real. The library is magic, sweet friends.


All you need is your library card. 

xoxo Michele

Why buy happiness when the library shares it. E-books, audio-books, and digital downloads are at your local library, just visit here or your local library website for complete information.

A Simple Sock-Puppeting Solution



Have you heard about the author that was sock-puppeting his own books on Amazon while anonymously trashing competitive authors? 



Have you ever purchased a book based on reviews, read it, and wondered why it was given such favorable praise?



Did you know that authors can buy book reviews?




I have a swoony solution. Borrow books from the library first. 



Most of the great reads on my home shelves are purchased from the library book sale table, and only after I've read them



No-Man's Lands (I love this book)

They are precious memories for me, like photos of my family. Mementos of time spent with characters and countries I love. Meaningful beauty times infinity.

When you borrow beauty from the library, there is no buyers remorse. You can check out books, movies, cookbooks, magazines and my favorite: music. Pairing the various genres into themes can make every visit to the library an exciting adventure. 


In a world where we are constantly being told to spend, spend, spend, the library welcomes us to share, share, share.  

xoxo Michele

Why buy happiness when the library shares it. E-books, audio-books, and digital downloads are at your local library, just visit here or your local library website for complete information. 


Monday, September 17, 2012

Worth A Thousand Words: Reading on the Na-Da Farm

 

"We learn from them and gain interests in this world from books more than anywhere else..."
~ Anne Marie  

Pictures are worth a thousand words. Anne Marie's post has far less words than a thousand, but she shares photos that speak volumes of the beauty found in books. Ann Marie and her husband have a farm to run, children to raise, animals and gardens to tend, and probably eighteen more things I've left out, but they make reading a priority. I hope you'll pop over to visit her and then skip merrily to your local library. 

Sharing makes life so much sweeter. Thank you, Anne Marie, for sharing your priceless snapshot stories, and grazie to the library for welcoming us to borrow the beauty but keep the knowledge. 


                                                                                 xoxo Michele

Why buy happiness when the library shares it. E-books, audio-books, and digital downloads are at your local library, just visit here or your local library website for complete information. 

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Star Celebrarian for September: Jennifer Garner

Celebrity + Library = Celebrarian


I adore Jennifer Gardner as an actress. This goes way back to the days when I was nursing Arielle at 2:00 in the morning and became hooked on Felicity


At the time I blamed it on hormones and lack of sleep, but really it was because Felicity and her world of NYC college life and choosing between Ben or Noel was the antithesis of my life of diapers and choosing between French or English toile wallpaper in the hallway. Carl started to worry when I began waking Arielle just so I wouldn't miss an episode. Then the show ended and Arielle and I both grew up. ;)

Update: A dear bloggy friend just informed me that Felicity is on Netflix. This is terrible news for my hubby. 

I loved her characters in Catch and Release, Cyrano de Bergerac, and Juno.



Now I love Jen because she reads to her children. And checks out books at the library with her daughters. Growing up, she wanted to be a librarian. We both have a swoony crush on David McCullough. And read cookbooks like novels (especially Ina Garten). You can read her entire interview with Oprah about all the books that made a difference in her life here.





My star celebrarian for September is Jennifer Garner. Who would you nominate for October?


xoxo Michele

Why buy happiness when the library shares it. E-books, audio-books, and digital downloads are at your local library, just visit here or your local library website for complete information.  


Thursday, September 13, 2012

Life Of Pi


Ang Lee, the genius behind the 1995 film, Sense and Sensibility, is producing a movie they said was unproduceable. It will be in theaters this Thanksgiving. 

I could have sworn I read this book, but after picking it up again so I'll be ready for the movie, most of the story is unfamiliar to me. Either I'm in early stages of dementia or this was a book I listened to on Audio-CD. I don't retain stories as well if my eyes aren't involved. Does that ever happen to you?



Even if the movie is beyond swoony, the source is always the best place to start. Yann Martel found inspiration to write Life Of Pi from this book. Richard Parker (the tiger) is named after a character in this book. You can find more books by Yann Martel here.


What books did you read before going to see the film adaptation?

xoxo Michele




Why buy happiness when the library shares it. E-books, audio-books, and digital downloads are at your local library, just visit here or your local library website for complete information. 


Wednesday, September 12, 2012

A Harvest For The Heart


An amazing thing happened on the way to September. I had been so excited for New Chances New Year that almost without my awareness, the new school year actually started. Fresh bedtime and daytime routines commenced. Our beloved first born, Nicholas, transitioned into middle school without batting an eye. I couldn't perceive or fully appreciate the magnitude of this season without looking back. 

The produce in these photos from summer is a harvest for my heart.


Sometimes I feel a gentle nudge by an invisible hand, alerting me to the importance of historical moments in the making, and I grab my camera. The precious children I babysit are the age my children were just a few short years ago, but they won't be for long. Snapshots are a link to the past, and by looking back, I have a better understanding and appreciation for where we are today.

Books are snapshots of the past, too.


Books take us out of the bathtub of self and immerse us in the ocean of humanity. This is a big part of why I love reading with my children; great reads connect us to the world by helping us harvest the fruits of the past. 

Think of the library as the memory keeper of mankind. The snapshot sentinel of society. 

In this glorious season of harvest, what beautiful bounty from the library will you share with your family today?

Paddle-To-The-Sea is one of four books by Holling Clancy Holling. I can't recommend them highly enough.


xoxo Michele

Why buy happiness when the library shares it. E-books, audio-books, and digital downloads are at your local library, just visit here or your local library website for complete information.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

9/11: "So Many Names,



...there is barely room on the walls of the heart."  ~ Billy Collins

The library shares books, movies, and music in memory of 9/11 for the entire family. You can read my post from last year's 10th Anniversary here.


xoxo Michele

Why buy happiness when the library shares it. E-books, audio-books, and digital downloads are at your local library, just visit here or your local library website for complete information.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Pintertainment Weekly


When I hear the chickadees and cardinals commence their morning warble, I hum a swoony ode to Pinterest. It's this photo-fan's favorite early bird indulgence. Like finding worms except totally not. It's totally like discovering new treasures at the library.

And then Carl brings me coffee and a please-God-whatever-the-kids-did-to-her-yesterday-don't-let-them-do-it-again-today prayer, which is my cue to re-enter the actual atmosphere of school mornings. 
Lunches to assemble. 
Breakfast to prepare. 
Pets to schlepp in and out. 
Sibling skirmishes to settle (usually involving toothbrushes being handled by the non-owner). 
Clean socks and homework papers to locate (which are usually found together, playing poker with the Legos under the bed). 

Pinterest, prayer, and coffee. Is there any other way?


Maurice Sendak in his twenties. We hug his precious books from the library and re-read the love. Oh how we miss you so. I can't listen/watch/read Little Bear without a tearful mascara marathon, how about you? More on Mo here and here.


I love the idea of using nature as a paintbrush. Art books that inspire you to spend time outdoors are our swoony faves. We adore this book, too.

Pinterest Source

Amazing how a chic graphic novel can make donuts look avant garde.
Pinterest Source

My son requested this in blue and orange. His Boise State football is ready for service. Sweet friends, there's no shortage of wreath inspiration at the library.

Pinterest Source

Sunday afternoons in the fall are made for: football, and catching up on magazines from the library. The best part is they have them all organized and make it easy to find the autumn issues of Real Simple, Martha Stewart, Southern Home, Oprah, Better Homes and Gardens and so many more.

If I tried that at home, well, let's not go there.

I would love for you to follow me on Pinterest. I will follow you back if you don't post photos of stark-naked people. Or vampires. Or spiders. 


How do you start your school-day mornings?


xoxo Michele

Why buy happiness when the library shares it. E-books, audio-books, and digital downloads are at your local library, just visit here or your local library website for complete information.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Words Are Wings For The Soul

I had a dream a few nights ago about my daughter reading on the trampoline when a black capped chickadee landed on her shoulder. That is never going to happen. And even if it did, I wouldn't have my camera. Most likely the dream was inspired by this book, which I can't get enough of.  

What are you up to this weekend? I hope it brings you to the library.

xoxo Michele 

Why buy happiness when the library shares it. E-books, audio-books, and digital downloads are at your local library, just visit here or your local library website for complete information.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Heroes For My Daughter

Several weeks ago, we adventured into Charlotte as a family for this. After the performance, we strolled dreamily down the city blocks. Arielle spotted quotes on columns of the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library and started reading while I snapped pictures of birds and trolleys and the entrance to The Dunhill Hotel. This was one of those evenings when I was glad there wasn't anyone taking photos of us: Carl and Nick engaged in coat-hanger tackling (an Australian football move), John (illegally) splashing in the fountain and me about to be pancaked by a trolley.

I hear Arielle excitedly shout, "She's here! Mom, come take a picture of me and Abigail!"


Abigail Adams is a hero for me and my daughter, not because of external beauty but rather because of her bravery. Courage when the world was on fire around her. Her ideas bring purpose and admonition. Like a great teacher, Abigail inspires us to aim higher. 


I'm thankful for books like Brad Meltzer's Heroes For My Daughter  (and his Heroes For My Son). Our family is forever grateful for the magical place that shares these heroes with all of us. Our access to knowledge has never been greater, but it can't be left to chance. 

Live. Learn. Library.

xoxo Michele

Why buy happiness when the library shares it. E-books, audio-books, and digital downloads are at your local library, just visit here or your local library website for complete information.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

The Election Collection


I wanted to bring you fabulous DNC coverage, live from uptown Charlotte. People protesting. Southern hospitality. Me, dancing in the streets.  



But it was eerily quiet. This was my first presidential convention experience,  and my expectations were craving breathless hoopla and fireworks. Carl and I went to see Morning Joe and Mika moderate a lecture on the role of media in elections (it was awesome), and then had lunch nearby at swoony Ri Ra's (usually it is mission impossible to score outdoor seating).


When we got home I phoned a friend to relay my DNC disappointment, and Christine sympathetically reminded me it was, after-all, a workday. But all the businesses are closed, I cried. Disco dancing and street foxtrotting was frowned upon, mostly because the police appeared in favor of order and sidewalk strolling instead. And to be fair, we did not attend events at the Time Warner Cable Arena since it may have been mobbed; and who needs that, right?



But I know where there's an endless political party, especially welcoming of our children. Which is important, considering the low percentage of voting in our country.


And our favorite election movies. Ever.



Have you attended a presidential convention? Please share. 

xoxo Michele

Why buy happiness when the library shares it. E-books, audio-books, and digital downloads are at your local library, just visit here or your local library website for complete information.