The Library Hotel (picture post)

A couple of years ago I stayed at the Library Hotel in New York City. I waited for a deal on room prices and stayed one weekend while visiting the city. I took a bunch of pictures, and then somehow never posted them! So here they are.

front door

The front desk has a card catalog behind it

Our room number! Sixth floor, room 6 (or: 600.006 Health & Beauty)

The best “please clean my room/do not disturb” sign!

Junior suite – nice big bed with bookshelves on the side – unfortunately they were all non-fiction about health & beauty. I wasn’t excited.

Health & Beauty.. eh.

Suite sitting area

View from the window – Madison Avenue

guest lounge on the 2nd floor. Loved this place – snacks and coffee and tea whenever you want, plus books (fiction this time)

better picture of the bookshelves in the lounge

The hotel is about a block away from Grand Central, and in the other direction, a block away from the NYPL (Stephen A. Schwarzman building) and Bryant park

There’s also a really cool library walk on 41st street and I took a ton of pictures of that. But I think I’ll leave that for a second post.

I would stay here again mainly because it’s a really nice hotel in a VERY good location, but I didn’t think the library theme added much. The concept was a little gimmicky and not a reason to stay there by itself.

Bookish Gifts II

Last year I had a lot of fun window shopping on the Internet for a post on gifts for book nerds. Since it’s been almost a year and I don’t really need much of an excuse to look at pretty things, I bring you even more booky things, the 2012 edition. (click to embiggen)

1. The Little Prince inspired pendants (€55.00 EUR/ about $73) (also available in silver and in ring form) 2. Literary Posters (€13.00 / about $17) 3. Wooden Book Necklaces (8 colors) (£9.00 GBP / about $15) 4. Handdrawn Literary Bookmarks (€8.00 / about $10.57) 5. Literary Scented Candles ($9.50-$18.50) 6. Metal Art Bookends ($49.99) 7. Wolf Slippers inspired by Where The Wild Things Are (Child: $35, Adult: $50)

8. NovelT Shirts ($24.95) 9. Paperback Book Covers (cotton $10, embroidered faux suede $24) 10. Jane Austen Quote Cameo – ($30 various colors) 11. Paper Passion ($98) 12. Dead Writers, a bookish blend of Heliotrope, Vetiver, Black Tea, Clove, Tabacco, Musk, & Vanilla (from $10) 13. In the Library (from $12) 14. Book scented candle ($49) 15. NYPL Building, metal bookmark ($9.95) 16. Quote Couture Earrings ($9.99) 17. the official Roald Dahl Stamps (from £3.04) 18. Hunger Games Lip Balm Tints ($19.50 set, $6.50 individual)

19. Mental Floss Tees ($19.97) 20. Olympia Le-Tan Book clutches and ipad mini-cases (€950.00) 21. Harry Potter Glasses & Scar jewelery (from $21) 22. round book ring ($84) 23. Sterling Publishing Classic Lines ($8.95 ea) 24. Kindle Paperwhite ($119) 25. Nook Simple Touch ($99, with GlowLight: $119) 26. Kate Spade book clutches ($325) 27. Go Away, I’m Reading mug (£9.95)


There’s something about these dog days of summer that put me in a really lackadaisical mood. This past week I’ve written one paragraph for a review. That’s OK, I am sure the motivation will come eventually. In the meantime I’m reading and enjoying the warm weather. And I’m interrupting my regularly scheduled book blogging with some photos of the wedding anniversary present my husband and I got ourselves: a balloon ride (more pictures behind the jump).

Continue reading

On writing reviews…

(image: Mar.tin)

This is a question for other book bloggers. I’ve been curious about this for a while: how do you write your reviews? I know that I can agonize over a sentence or a word, and worry that one paragraph doesn’t flow nicely into the next. I have my system, but it still takes me a while to write a review because I don’t seem to have that ability to sit down and write something for half an hour to an hour and be done. It takes me some timeand I can’t seem to do it all at once.

These are some of the things I do:

  • I type all my reviews into emails and save them in draft form in gmail. I work on them in bits and pieces throughout the day. That “check spelling” option of gmail is awesome. I also like the formatting capabilities there.
  • My thoughts are fresher as I read a book, so starting reviews while I’m in the middle of the book works out really well for me. I fell out of the practice of doing this, but I’m trying to start again.
  • I’m more coherent in the morning, so my best working-on-the-blog time is after my coffee has kicked in.
  • I jot down thoughts I want to remember to communicate. I should do this as I read a book, but I don’t. 🙂
  • If I can’t remember a name or a place I use a placeholder that I bold or capitalize so I can look it up later. I also do this with words that don’t come to me.
  • Sometimes I will just type something quickly, just to get the thought out there before it disappears, and then check back later to fix it.
  • I move sentences around until I’m satisfied.
  • I scan my review looking for parts that are too stilted, have passive voice, grammar problems, and mixed tenses.

I could never have been an English major: writing takes me too long! Focusing and analyzing while reading are no problem. Communicating what I think? Yarg.

What do you find works for you? Do you have tips for getting your reviews done? For writing better? I am very curious what your process is!

The ‘Life Ain’t Bad’ Book Haul

Every time I start writing a new post this month I have to hold myself back from whining ranting about my class, but really, if I think about it, other than long work hours, I’ve been really lucky this month, at least in the book haul department. So let’s look at pretty books that I am hugging to keep myself sane, shall we?

First of all, it was my birthday recently and my husband surprised me with some awesome goodies

First of all, he got me the BBC Emma (2009) DVD I wanted, plus the Penguin Threads edition of Emma. I’d also mentioned wanting The Serpent Sea pretty much as soon as I finished the Cloud Roads, because that book was good (a review is forthcoming). These were on the gift idea list I sent him, so I was happy but not as shocked as when I opened the Penguin Threads edition of The Wizard of Oz. I didn’t know that even existed! He also did good with picking me this edition of Jane Eyre with a watercolor Gothic cover. On top of this he gave me a really nice orchid plant and took me out for a day trip that involved sunny skies, perfect breezy weather, rolling green hills, a barbeque joint, a bookstore, and ice cream. Hello, I should marry him!

BUT THEN. I also got these in the mail this month from authors/publishers. All books I’m super excited to read. I’ve already read half of For Darkness Shows the Stars (I like it a lot), and Spellcrossed, the sequel to Spellcast by Barbara Ashford is probably next. And I was thrilled that I won a copy of A Once Crowded Sky which is a superhero story with a very interesting premise.

Oh, and THEN, I was in my local Friends of the Library booksale area and picked these up, and guess what? They’re signed. For $1.

I don’t know who this Ryan is, but these are mine now.

And THEN.. I won this awesome Avengers prize pack from one of my favorite bloggers, Chelle, and I was so obsessed with the Marvel Fairy Tales graphic novel in there, that I completely forgot it came with other stuff. So I get this box, and I see who it’s from and I am stupidly thinking ‘This box is too big for one graphic novel, what’s going on?’ — I think I’m sleep deprived.

Lots of cool, super cute stuff! I may have done a little squeal jig while the husband was out of the apartment. That’s why when he geeked out over the prints that came with the prize, he said that I was “disturbingly nonchalant”. He also got to open the Tokidoki Marvel for me and is very excited that I got Wolverine :D. Not pictured here is the Avengers t-shirt I’m wearing.

So. Life ain’t bad. Just crazy busy. I hope I can slow down on weekends enough to plan BEA. Anyone else going? I’m definitely going to the Book Blogger Con and then Tuesday and Wednesday. Not so sure about Thursday.


On the Wishlist…

I usually don’t do many cover posts anymore (maybe I should?) but I couldn’t resist posting about the recent cover reveals for two books from a couple of favorite series. I was just updating my 2012 Wishlist with these.

Ashes of Honor by Seanan McGuireAshes of Honor is book 6 of the October Daye series. From what I can tell from Seanan McGuire’s hints on her blog, this book will bring Toby and Quentin back to Tamed Lightening, and we will see April O’Leary and familiar characters from A Local Habitation once again.

Endgame by Ann AguirreEndgame is also the 6th book in a series (Sirantha Jax), but in this case it is also the final book. “As part of a grass-roots resistance, Jax means to liberate the La’hengrin. Political intrigue and guerrilla warfare are new to her; this will be the most dangerous game she’s ever played—spies and conspiracies, a war of weapons and hearts, and everyone might not make it out alive…” An excerpt can be found here.

I also found out about a new series starting and this is definitely going on my wishlist..

A Confusion of Princes by Garth Nix uk editionA Confusion of Princes by Garth Nix. “You’d think being a privileged Prince in a vast intergalactic Empire would be about as good as it gets. But it isn’t as great as it sounds. For one thing, Princes are always in danger. Their greatest threat? Other Princes. Khemri discovers that the moment he is proclaimed a Prince. He also discovers mysteries within the hidden workings of the Empire.”

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I have created a Pinterest board for books I’m eying. Wishlist books are books I’m definitely buying, these books are books to be considered 🙂

So are you on Pinterest? If you are a book blogger, did you know there is a Directory of Book Bloggers on Pinterest at the Well Read Wife? Looks like a nice resource. I just asked to be added to it.

So here’s the deal..

Work has been taking up my mental cycles lately since I’m now officially on two teams. I’m trying to get used to jumping back and forth between two jobs that are not very much alike and involve completely different sets of people. It’s an adjustment.

Anyway, that’s the reason why my reading and blogging hasn’t been as consistent lately, but I have a plan. I’m going to start doing more fun shorter posts and bring back my rants and raves here (I have ideas saved up). I’m also considering doing a new feature. 🙂

Those life changes, they mess up the blog. Anyone else notice this?

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I will now leave you with the back blurb of a book whose premise gave me the willies when I read it.