June 30, 2012

Maggie Shipstead's Seating Arrangements

In this cleverly written social satire, we are given a three day glimpse into the world of an East Coast blue blood dysfunctional family.  It’s Thursday and Winn Van Meter is on his way to his New England summer home for his eldest daughter’s wedding.   The house is filled with too many women including his drunken sister-in-law, her daughter's "bombshell" bridesmaids and his overwhelmingly depressed youngest daughter.   Not a good combination for Winn who is so full of self-pity, because his oldest rival seemingly has kept him out of the island's prestigious golf club for three years, that he starts to consider fulfilling some unfulfilled desires.  Thankfully the author provides different perspectives from several characters and we don't just witness Winn’s cringe-worthy behavior.  In all honesty, I thought this book would be much funnier and it’s not necessarily a compelling storyline however I really enjoyed the way Shipstead writes.  She writes in a descriptive and almost poetic way that you get lost in the book even if you don't like any of the characters. 

June 19, 2012

You Can't Steal a Free Book

While browsing through Etsy tonight I found an awesome article on mini hand-built libraries.  The article, Little Free Libraries: “You Can’t Steal a Free Book” is posted on the Etsy Blog and talks about these community libraries that resemble large birdhouses with hinged glass doors.  There are over 1,500 Little Free Libraries with more popping up all across the country.  You can even find a Google map of each library's location.  It has me seriously considering my craftsmanship skills because it desperately looks like my neighborhood needs a Little Free Library!

June 14, 2012

A Dog's Purpose by W. Bruce Cameron

A Dog’s Purpose is a fantastic story that contemplates the all-too-human question of “What is our purpose in life?” but from a dog’s perspective.  We follow several reincarnations of a puppy that sometimes lives into old age, and sometimes doesn’t, but each time comes back as a new and different puppy.  This story is definitely heartwarming and sentimental but thankfully not too tearful.  Cameron creates a humorous illustration of a dog’s thoughts, “as far as I have been able to tell, cats do not have a purpose” plus a thoughtful side of our protagonist as he “ponder[s] what it meant that I was a puppy once more.”  If you like dogs even a little bit you’ll love this book. 

June 5, 2012

Transit of Venus

Today is the day!  June 5th, 2012.  The last Venus Transit until 2117.  I've had this date marked on my calendar for months now so I'm extremly excited it's finally here.  Venus will make first contact at about 6:04 Eastern time.  It will take roughly 6 hours to travel across the upper half of the sun so here in the midwest we won't get to see the final parts of the transit.  And just like every other article I've read, DON'T look directly at the sun!  Here are some safe ways to view the transit.  If clouds will be in your way or you happen to be in the area in which the transit will not be visible, I suggest checking out this live feed of the transit.  Happy Transit Viewing!