News of libraries and good living

I’ve been on the lookout for library and good-living news, and we’ve got some fine stories here, my friends..

Theodore Roosevelt’s getting a library

I love me a good presidential library, and it’s always exciting to hear about a new one on the way for old TR.


While we’re talking TR and books… he was bookish as all heck and even had rules for reading. 

Public libraries keep on improving lives

Turns out, living near a library makes people’s lives better. I believe this in my bones and I love it.

And speaking of community-building…

Maybe talk to a stranger sometimes

Talking to strangers can also make us happier. Even for introverts. (Case in point: I talked with another runner — a woman who was a total stranger — on the path yesterday, and it made my run happier.)

Apollo 11 living history site


When the Dear Man sent me this article about the restoration of NASA Mission Control, I totally got verklempt.



So, good people… what articles are lighting up your life these days?

Bookish news, in which I am despondent

There’s been some good stuff lately on the bookish interwebs, but this first story is making me ache inside.

There goes one of my favorite podcasts…

Brian Lamb has retired. And I just downloaded his final Q&A podcast –an interview of David McCullough. And I’m feeling gloomy and withdrawal-y and unhappy and a bit moan-y about it. He wasn’t supposed to ever retire.

(photo credit: Wikipedia)

In Jeopardy, baby…

In happier news, the current Jeopardy winner has stated that he learned so many darn facts by reading children’s booksmy very most favorite way in the world to learn new stuff. I hope this technique goes viral.

If only I had faith in TV…

…this would be better news. Susan Orlean’s magnificent The Library Book has been optioned for TV.

Validation for not Konmari-ing the books

Science says book buying is good for us. (Why do none of us find this to be a surprise?)

(Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash)

What bookish news stories have caught your eye lately?

Favorite stuff on the Interwebs

You know when you find something online that you just keep thinking about?

Here’s what’s captivated my mind lately…

Home Library / Library Home

(photo credit: Joel Abroad, via Flickr)

Oh my goodness. We live in our dream house, but this one’s right there in contention for the title. It’s a former Carnegie library, and my heart nearly exploded at the sight of it.

“This $2.95M Home Used to Be a Library and, Wow, I’ve Never Wanted Anything More”

The Library 100

When I saw that OCLC published a list of the 100 most widely-owned novels in libraries…


“The Library 100”

And then they expanded the list to 500!

Full disclosure: I’ve read only 7 of the top 10. And then it gets worse: out of all 100 novels, I’ve only read 38.

(If only I got extra credit for reading Anne of Green Gables, Pride and Prejudice, The Red Badge of Courage, The Great Gatsby, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, and To Kill a Mockingbird more than once!)

Grand Canyon Typewriter

Even if you’re not a complete fanatic about typewriters, there’s plenty to love about this story.

A park ranger set up a typewriter at a Grand Canyon overlook and invited hikers to type a note.

“You’re Just My Type: Hikers Compose Love Notes to the Grand Canyon”

Writing Tips from a Pro

Every time I see “5 Writing Tips:” followed by the name of an author, every single time I click. Publishers Weekly, y’all know my soft spot.

Two recent standouts:

5 Writing Tips: Mark Bowden

5 Writing Tips: Barbara Kingsolver

What have you found online that’s knocked your socks off?

What’s obsessing me in this week’s book news

(photo credit: JD Lasica, Flickr)
OK, so we’re all compulsively watching the Olympics, right? 
And so… you might’ve seen Anthony Ervin, co-author of the spectacular book Chasing Water: Elegy of an Olympian (a book I loved so much I could hardly stand it), win the gold medal (the gold medal!!) in the 50m freestyle. 
In case you missed it, here’s the replay

And now his publisher is going back to press with his book. So there’s all kinds of good news there, guys. 

And then, carrying on the Olympics theme… PBS did one of those freaky-good documentaries like they do… and this time it’s about The Boys in the Boat. The documentary’s called The Boys of ’36. I watched it and liked it so much I’m yearning to re-read the book
Meanwhile, the President is doing summer reading, and the White House has released his book list. (I love it when this happens.) And his list is pretty darn good and even includes the amazing new novel by Colson Whitehead.

And then I saw this article about tons of self-improvement books, each described in a single sentence. And so, of course, that had me all blissed out. 

All of which has me thinking: This was one of the best book news weeks in recent history. 

The most bookish cities in America

Their #3 is my #1 city

Who doesn’t like a good list? And if you’re hanging out here, then you also like a good book. 

So when there’s a list of the 20 most well-read cities… I don’t know about you, but I sure get excited. 

My only quarrel: it’s based on Amazon sales, which completely neglects to factor in library use. And some of us are huge library users!

(In Amazon’s calculations, I’m a reading lightweight!)

But anyway. That’s what this list is about, and we’re gonna roll with it. 

So in this Amazon sales contest, Seattle’s the winner, but my all-time favorite city comes in a highly respectable 3rd. 

Then I started thinking of cities that are literary because of their culture, rather than just their online book-buying habits, and I found this article, which lists the top literary cities in America

And this list, I liked even better. It’s even got Iowa on it! The literary cities list looks like a great list of travel destinations. 

What’s your favorite literary city?

My boxcar days

Hello! to my hardcover children’s classics

Anyone else old-school enough in their childhood reading, that they were completely obsessed by The Boxcar Chidren

Yeah, me, too.

I still think about that book sometimes — how the children were so resilient and hardworking and honest and kind and cheerful. 

They made do, with so little! And they liked it!

It feeds that part of me that keeps reading all the self-improvement books

(I know: annoying and sickeningly earnest.)

So when I saw this headline, I got super excited: 
“The Boxcar Children” and the Spirit of Capitalism

It’s an article in the New Yorker by Jia Tolentino, and it explores the Puritanical work ethic stuff in the book. 

And the inevitable happy ending. 

Pretty darn fascinating. 

I was a little afraid the article would rip the book to shreds, which I don’t think it does. It’s a critique, but an intriguing, fair-minded one. 

And it goes gently on the way the book led into a mystery series about the same children. I loved, loved, loved those mysteries, even though I knew they were kind of a strange spin-off from the original book with its old-fashioned notions. Suddenly, the kids are solving crimes

But heck. I’m still a sucker for a good mystery.

Anyone else a Boxcar Children fan? Original book or series… or both? 

It’s a mystery

Mysteries have filled the news this past week. 

The Edgar Awards were announced, and that always gets me all excited. 

Each year, I look at the winner (and nominees) of the Best First Novel award, because usually that signals we got some up-and-comers to track. 

This year, you didn’t have to look far to find out which novel won that one. 

The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen, recently all over the news for having won the Pulitzer, also won the Edgar for Best First Novel.

And then some other books won awards, too.  

In other news… Book Expo is almost here, and I’m gonna be there! Completely excited about meeting other bloggers amidst the book-laden frenzy. If you see me, say hi. And then tell me what you’re reading; can’t wait to hear.


Self-improvement… in all ways except book moderation

My kinda room!
Recently this article about books that’ll make you healthier caught my eye… especially since it includes books by Gretchen Rubin and Charles Duhigg, who are two of my recent favorites.
In other bookish articles online… this one, about packing books for a trip, is full of helpful tips I’m likely to disregard completely. 
I’m a one-book-per-day kinda girl when packing for any kind of travel, and that’s for a normal trip that’s not expected to include any lengthy reading sprees. 
And heaven help us all, if the trip requires that I bring books to aid in any sort of research. 
(Shameful recollection of that episode at Midway Airport, when I had to transfer Kennedy assassination books from my overweight suitcase to my soon-to-be-leaden-in-weight carry-on, right there in the middle of the terminal)
I’m a wiser woman these days. I start out with the books in the carry-on. That, my friends, is my best book-packing tip.

Prizing the Pulitzers

Books — they’re in the news!

The Pulitzers were announced, and thanks to the Tournament of Books, I’d actually heard of the fiction winner (though it’s largely been overshadowed by Hamilton‘s big win in the drama category). 

And the good folks over at Library Journal put together a list of the 10 best American police procedurals. Such a list would always make me happy, but when I saw that they included Craig Johnson… squealing commenced.