Imagine It

Hey Indianapolis readers in particular —

You know what would make me REALLY happy? If you bought a ticket to the Library Foundation’s new Imagine It! event.

Here’s the deal: For $30, you get to join us for a fun evening at Ash & Elm Cider Co. You Imagine It Cider Logoget some drink tickets, some refreshments and you get to vote on a new Library program that will be funded by YOUR ticket proceeds. That’s right, you pick. It’s like American Idol meets Library programs.

If you read just one adult book/month from your public Library, that’s approximately an annual value of $204. If you read more, or listen more, or download more, you save more by using the awesome free resource that is the Library.

Which means, for all the things you love about the Library, a $30 ticket is a bargain compared to all that the Library gives you. I know the last time the hubby and I did dinner and movie, we spent nearly that on an evening’s entertainment. And trust me — as funny as Guardians of the Galaxy might be — it won’t make you feel as good as supporting a Library program. (Seriously, they’ve done brain scans. Making a philanthropic gift lights up the same part of your brain as when you eat chocolate or have sex. It feels that good.)

The projects you’ll get to hear about are amazing. The librarians involved have busted their tails for these awesome ideas.

They just need you — the Library needs you — to help implement their idea.

Buy your ticket here.

Trust me. If you don’t love it, find me, and I’ll buy you a Snickers bar to make your brain feel better a different way instead.


Hello again

Hi again! So that was an unintended two-week Word Nerd hiatus, but hello again world!

helloWe’ve been reading, but nothing super exciting. I, Bethany, spent a good chunk of yesterday reading the last 200 pages of “East of Eden” for book club. I’m actually looking forward to the meeting to see what others thought. That is 600 dense pages, but I know exactly what the Salinas Valley in California looked like at the turn of the 20th century.

We’ll be back with more regular posts, we promise.


Book Banter: Miranda and Caliban

mirandaTitle: Miranda and Caliban

Author: Jacqueline Carey

Genre: fantasy

Length: 348 pages

Where Bethany’s Copy Came From: IndyPL

Plot Basics: Miranda knows only life on the island with her Papa, though she has fragments of memory from before. When Papa binds the wild boy — Caliban — to serve him, Caliban and Miranda become good friends. But their friendship stands in the way of Papa’s magical plans and it could threaten to destroy them.

Banter Points: If you haven’t guessed, “Miranda and Caliban” is a retelling of Shakespeare’s “The Tempest.” I think I saw a live production of the Tempest when I was in high school, but my memory is foggy at best.

I think not knowing the play actually increased my enjoyment of Carey’s retelling because I didn’t know what was coming. My recollection is that Carey’s book spends a ton of time before the Shakespeare story actually starts and the part that’s the play takes up just a fraction of the book.

Carey’s story is a beautiful picture of the innocence of early friendship and how the world can taint it. Miranda is lovely, Caliban is loyal, Prospero is deceiving, Ariel is tricksy — just as expected, but the way she tells the story, it’s all rich. I just sank into this book and wish I could go back.

Bummer Points: I don’t have much here, other than I wish it could have ended differently for the characters.

Word Nerd Recommendation: This is a strong, strong contender for a top 10 book of the year.

Bonus: Also, my May Reading Challenge Book! While I didn’t quite find it on the new book shelf, I had it on hold from Wowbrary from before it was released.

Washington DC

Last week, I jetted to DC for a work related conference and had the bonus of staying for Saturday, which meant trying to cram in all the museums in to the six hours between museum opening and my flight.

I spent most of my time at the American Musuem of Art and the National Gallery, first exploring new to me artists, then exploring new to me works by familiar artists.

It was a breath-taking day of art, and enriching.

Now, back to my regularly schedule work week.

Vader Cat

vader cat

Vader Cat finds your lack of reading disturbing.

How to Spend a Saturday

We are finally getting some nice weather in Wisconsin, and the cat took full advantage of it.

Book Banter: Henry and the Chalk Dragon

chalk dragonTitle: Henry and the Chalk Dragon

Author: Jennifer Trafton

Genre: juvenile fiction

Length: 229 pages

Where Bethany’s Copy Came From: IndyPL

Plot Basics: Henry drew the best chalk dragon on his door… but it escapes. With his creativity running wild, Henry and his school friends Oscar and Jade. are going to have to learn bravery and how to let their imaginations run free to recapture the creature.

Banter Points: At Hutchmoot 2016, I got to hear Trafton read a chapter aloud and she had the audience of grown-ups laughing along. I promptly told my coworker who is the juvenile book selector about it and she ordered a few copies for our Library for when the book released in April.

This book is delightful. I’ve already told several people about it and I highly suspect it will make my top 10 for the year. Yes, it’s a kids books, but it powerfully talks about the differences of creativity and conformity and how to stand up for both people in trouble and your work. It’s just as poignant for adults… maybe even more so.

Bummer Points: I wish this book had existed when I was a 3rd-grader like Henry. It would have been good for me in those years.

Word Nerd Recommendation: Read it for yourself or get it for the kids in your life, especially if they are artsy types who might be inclined to give that up in the face of conforming to popularity.


I was in San Francisco for the past few days for the Association of Fundraising Professionals annual conference.

As I was planning to go, I checked the weather and the forecast for the time I was there was perfect — mid 70s, sunshine. Suddenly, I was wondering how many sessions were too many to skip (I was a good kid, I promise) and what I could manage to get to while there.

Here is the conversation that went through my head:

Me: I wonder if I can get to Golden Gate park and hike around.

Me: No, you can’t do that. That got blown up.

Me: <pause>

Me: Wait. No. That was in a book. That was fictional.

Me: This is a new low.

So — a shout out to Chris Holm and the beginning of “Red Right Hand” for writing a scene so vivid that a year later or so, I was convinced for a minute that it really had gotten blown up. (Technically, he blew up the bridge itself… )

It’s good to know it’s still there.

golden gate