Archive for January, 2011

I Still Have a Girl Crush on Anne Hathaway

I totally and  completely love Anne Hathaway.  She is one of my favorite actresses and I think she is one of the most beautiful women in the world.  So pretty!!!!

I am excited and terrified for her because she is hosting the Oscars with James Franco.  This is like a really big deal!  I assume she is one of the youngest hosts ever, if not the youngest.  Normally I watch awards shows with the sound off because it is just way too awkward to listen to celebrities try to read from a teleprompter (it’s not that hard people!!!!) and engage in funny banter (that is never actually funny).  Plus, the only reason to watch any of those shows is to see how beautiful (or awful) everyone looks.

Well, this year I might have to listen to the show as well just to support Ms. Hathaway in her efforts.  I have a good feeling that she and James are going to make a good team.  I have always been kind of iffy towards James Franco, but the promos for the show give me hope that he is going to be great too.

Here is the first ad that aired for the show.  There is a split second when Anne screams that she is totally Mia Thermopolis.  I love it!!

Heeheeheee…..I also think the other promo is cute too.

So I will be watching on the 27th, hopefully to see The King’s Speech kick some ass!  Will you be watching Anne and James?


Hogwarts in the Library

There are many cool things that I love about my library.  One of the greatest things is a volunteer named Toni.  Every few months, she fills our humble display case at the library with the most unbelievable creations.  It is literally impossible to describe how amazing her displays are.  In the time that I have been there I have seen the case transformed into Beatrix Potter’s garden, a Mardi Gras/New Orleans celebration, a winter wonderland, a celebration of classic literature, and an underwater paradise.

Ever since I started there has been talk of doing a Harry Potter display.  It took us a while to get it together because Toni had never read the books or seen the movies, and I was worried that we couldn’t actually pull it off without it looking kitschy and commercialized.  Well, after many months of planning, the display is up now and I will admit that I never should have doubted her.  It is pitch-perfect.  We are really making it an event at the library by having a trivia contest and other programs going on while the display is up.  Of course, this means that everyone in town is finding out that the children’s librarian is a Harry Potter freak (as the local paper points out), but that’s okay with me 🙂

There is a lot of my stuff hidden somewhere in the display, which makes me very proud.  This is the first display that I can really say I had a lot of say in so I am very proud of it.  Here are some pictures of the display, which  totally don’t do it justice.



If you are a big fan of the series, you will see a LOT of familiar things in there.  We always do an “I Spy” to go with each of our displays and we are going to do two of them for Harry Potter.  One for regular people and little kids with things like “Find the 12 owls, find the bacon, etc…” and then another one for super fans with things like “Find the Monster Book of Monsters, find Padfoot, find the Felix Felicius…”

If you want to see all the pictures I took, you can go to my Flickr page.  You should definitely check out the other pics because then you can see the castle that we have at the entrance of the library.  The display has only been finished for a few days and we have already had a huge response.  So if you are in the Iowa City area, you should come by the Solon Library and check it out!!!


Congratulations ALA Youth Media Award Winners!

I had a rough morning today that involved no internet and lots of cat pee, so I completely spaced out the fact that the YMAs were announced today!!  I logged onto Twitter over my lunch break and was like, “Holy Crap!”  I win the bad librarian award for totally forgetting about this.

I would just like to say that I am pretty happy with the winners.  I am deeply saddened that Keeper by Kathi Appelt wasn’t recognized.  But, maybe it’s better that it can be like my own secret book and only I know how phenomenal is really is.

But I will admit that I am kind of writing this post to toot my own horn (just a little).  I recently posted my list of favorite books that I’ve read this year.  Shockingly, that list included the Sibert award winner, the Geisel award winner, and the Newbery winner!!!  I will admit that I hadn’t been paying too much attention to the buzz this year, so I wasn’t aware who the frontrunners were, but I think that Moon over Manifest by Clare Vanderpool came out of nowhere for the Newbery.  I am so happy that it won!!!  Great book!  I would highly recommend it.  When you pick it up and start to read, you automatically think, “oh, this is written like a Newbery.”  And I mean that in a great way, not a bad way.

I would also like to say, “Way to go Bink and Gollie!!!!!”  If you haven’t read this book, you are really missing out.  Go to a bookstore and pick it up now!  It will only take you 15 minutes to read it, but you should really read it a couple times to really appreciate the awesomeness of the illustrations and to pick up on all the dry humor of the text.  I haven’t purchased a book in a really long time (okay, a non-used/Goodwill book in a really long time) and I am seriously considering buying Bink and Gollie.

So, I hope you will all go out and read the winners, because they are fantastic.  Hats off to the ALA committees for their great choices!


Anna and the French Kiss: Jen vs. Lindsay


I think it’s only fair to let you know that this is Lindsay typing this part. Part? Yes! Jen and I have TEAMED UP to bring you this post about Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins! (Did you go visit Stephanie’s site?  Can you believe how she can tell how good we look today?  Also, I HAVE been working on my smile for photos lately – it’s nice that someone noticed.  And OMG, isn’t she just so super cute??)  The reason for this is because even though we both read the same book, one of us LOVED it, and one of us LOATHED it!  Spoiler alert: I LOVED it!  Jen LOATHED it.  I have read through Jen’s opinion, and can see where she is coming from.  And to be honest, I was wondering if her opinion would sway mine, but it didn’t!  I still love it!  Sometimes my opinion isn’t super strong and can change when someone else states their case, so this just proves that I SUPER LOVED this book!

So you probably would like a summary, huh?  Well here’s one from Indie Bound:

Anna is looking forward to her senior year in Atlanta, where she has a great job, a loyal best friend, and a crush on the verge of becoming more. Which is why she is less than thrilled about being shipped off to boarding school in Paris – until she meets Etienne St. Clair: perfect, Parisian (and English and American, which makes for a swoon-worthy accent), and utterly irresistible. The only problem is that he’s taken, and Anna might be, too, if anything comes of her almost-relationship back home.

Would you like a mini-review by John Green?  @realjohngreen:  @maureenjohnson have you read ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS? It’s like you and me and Sarah Dessen had a really sexy baby.

Do you really want to miss that, people?  DO YOU?  Even though that’s one heckuva weird description.  But still, 3 authors I adore!  And their ….baby…?  WHATEVER!  I LOVE IT!

So in order to save people from spoiling themselves on accident, I am going to make this an after the jump kind of post!  Now, how do I do that? (Hold on a second, I have to hunt…I know you can do it ’cause Jen’s done it before…holy cow, what is the kitchen sink?  …You can do polls??? is shortlink what I’m looking for?  …OK, NOTE TO JEN!  CAN YOU MAKE THIS A JUMPING POST?  I WOULD DO IT BUT I’M AFRAID TO HIT THE SHORTLINK BUTTON AND THEN DELETE ALL THIS STUFF.  THANK YOU! ❤ )

I’ve already read the book, let’s go! Or at least, I don’t care if I spoil myself!

I Heart Josh Groban!

I wouldn’t consider myself a huge Josh Groban fan, (I don’t have his CDs or anything like that) but I do think I might be a little bit in love with him.  I first started crushing on him when I saw him in the Jimmy Kimmel/Ben Affleck video.  Not only is his voice amazing, but he has a sense of humor!

Now he has teamed up with Jimmy Kimmel again and the results are just as funny.

Heeeheeheeee!  I make awesome decisions in bike stores!

This totally made my day.


Resolutions: Jen Edition

I am not really a big New Year’s resolution type of person, because I have never kept any of them.  Maybe if I call them goals, I will be more likely to accomplish them.

Here are my Goals for the year 2011:

1.  Teach my cats how to get along!!!  Now that I have four cats, my life is pretty miserable.  They all hate each other, and most of the time they hate me too.  My days are spent breaking up fights, picking up broken things, and cleaning up kitty puke.  Hopefully, 12 months from now, we will all be a very happy family sitting together on the couch in front of the space heater.

2.  Lose a few more pounds and keep the weight off!!!  Last year I lost 25 pounds, which is pretty awesome.  Then, I gained some of it back (more than some actually) when I went on my cruise.  The holiday eating binge did not help either.  So my goal for the next year is to stop my weight gain in its tracks and hopefully shave off a few more pounds.

3.  Revisit some favorites on DVD!!  I will be the first to admit that I have a problem with buying DVDs.  I have tons of movies and a bunch of tv shows in my possession right now.  I would like to spend some quality time catching up with my favorites like 30 Rock, Arrested Development, Road to Avonlea, Firefly, and Everwood.

4.  Eat more veggies!!  As I explain to most people, I am a vegetarian who doesn’t like vegetables.  I hope to spend the next 12 months trying to eat at least one serving of vegetables per day.  I know you’re supposed to eat like 4 or something crazy like that, but one a day will be a good start for me.

5.  Print off more photos and frame them!!!  I am totally stealing this from Monica on Friends because that episode was on the other day.  I noticed that all the framed photos in my apartment are from approximately 5 years ago.  Ever since getting a digital camera, I download pics on my computer and then don’t do anything else with them.  I am determined that this year I will print them off and change out some of the old photos.

These are all pretty easy resolutions to keep (except the vegetable one) so hopefully I will do well keeping them.  Do any other Nerdgirls have resolutions besides Lindsay?


Jill’s Reading Roundup 2010

Instead of doing the regular roundup like last year, I’m going to steal a reading survey found at Persnickety Snark and YABOOKNERD.  Enjoy!  *Note: These are books I read in 2010, not necessarily published in 2010.

Best Book of 2010:  Tie between Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson and The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness






Worst Book of 2010:  Wow, apparently I only stopped reading 1 book this year and only rated 1 book (out of 89) with 1 star (out of 5).  They are The Carbon Diaries: 2015 and Incarceron, respectively.  I know other people who do like these books though, so don’t let me discourage you from reading either one.

Most Surprising (in a good way!) Book of 2010:  Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson.  Fabulous and has everything: realistic teens dealing with heavy life stuff, light-hearted moments, playlists, romance, and a road trip.  Also, Surviving Antarctica: Reality TV 2083 by Andrea White was a satisfying Hunger Games-readalike that held me over until Mockingjay came out.  A random online read-alike search led me to it and I was surprised by the similarity.






Most Disappointing Book of 2010:  The Prince of Mist by Carlos Ruiz Zafon.  It was an ok book but did not live up to the cool cover or the hype I’d heard.

Most Recommended-to-Others Book of 2010: For teens- Suite Scarlett by Maureen Johnson.  I’ve booktalked this at every school I visit and to a lot of teens.  No one seems thrilled by it, which is a CRIME.  For adults- The Supremes’ Greatest Hits by Michael Trachtman. Such an incredibly fascinating book about how the Supreme Court decisions affect our daily lives.






Best Series You Discovered in 2010: Chaos Walking series (The Knife of Never Letting Go, The Ask and the Answer, Monsters of Men) by Patrick Ness HANDS DOWN.  With the Gallagher Girls series by Ally Carter coming in 2nd.

Favorite New Authors Discovered in 2010:  This year was the first time I read anything by Maureen Johnson and Ally Carter.  What a huge mistake on my part for waiting so long.  I cannot get enough of either of them (but unfortunately I’ve basically reached a current end).

Most Hilarious Read of 2010:  I am a Genius of Unspeakable Evil and I Want to be Your Class President by Josh Lieb, former executive producer for The Daily Show, if that tells you anything.






Most Thrilling, Unputdownable Book of 2010:  The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness, followed by Only the Good Spy Young (Gallagher Girls #4) by Ally Carter.  Sorry to repeat titles, but I have to.  🙂






Most Anticipated Book of 2010:  Mockingjay, duh

Favorite Cover of a Book You Read in 2010:  The Replacement by Breanna Yovanoff





Most Memorable Character in 2010: Toughy, but I think I have to choose the Gallagher Girls.  They’re not afraid to be smart and kick some butt.

Most Beautifully Written Book in 2010: Hmm, I’m bad at remembering what writing was like.  The Knife of Never Letting Go had a very unique writing style in terms of visuals.  I think As Easy As Falling off the Face of the Earth had great, lyrical writing.  The writing in the nonfiction books The War to End All Wars by Russell Freedman and The Good, the Bad, and the Barbie by Tanya Lee Stone helped me give both 5 stars.  Both are great as well.






Book That Had the Greatest Impact on You in 2010:  I think it’s a 3-way tie between The Knife of Never Letting Go, Speak, and The Supremes’ Greatest Hits.

Book You Can’t Believe You Waited Until 2010 to Read: Speak.  I don’t know how I missed it for the 11 years.  #epicfail

In all the books I read, I read just over 25,000 pages, including some J Fiction, J Nonfiction, 1 (I think) adult fiction and a few adult non-fiction…but mostly YA.  🙂  Next year my goal is to get to 30,000 pages.  We’ll see…

Happy 2011!

– Jill