It seems that I will be torturing you with bike posts until I finally finish a book. Sometimes there are luls in the reading enthusiasm, or books are just extra long, or I’m reading 3 at once so it takes FOREVER. Or at least it seems that way. Also, if a book is meh, or the second book in a series, I might not review it. Just star and tag in Goodreads and let that be that.

So, biking! My knee is getting better, although I can still feel a pull in there. I keep riding and it keeps getting better, so I figure I’m not hurting anything.

The first of April, the first day of #30daysofbiking, was my day off. I had plenty of errands to run though and ended up with 19.2 miles.  Here’s a quick picture tour:

 

 

Errand 1, FedEx pickup

Errand 2: Emergency Gardening Tool Delivery

Errand 3: Yeast retrieval from Cellar Homebrew

Errand 4: Met with Emily from Cascade and retrieved a growler of Balebreaker IPA from Bottle Works

Day 2 was fairly cool. I rode to work and and on the ride home I randomly met up with  a friend and we got a beer at Chucks Hop Shop. 10.6 Miles.

On day 3 I took the long way to work. I took a bunch of pictures with my Contour Roam 2, which you can see if you click on the picture below. 15 miles

Hello Crow!

Today was less exciting. I rode to work the regular way, then met my family at Northgate. 8.4 Miles. I took The Boy to dinner, then caught a ride home with The Mr. Now we’re all looking at our respective gadgets and relaxing. The Boy is taking in a movie with friends and will be back tomorrow.

I may go on a longer ride with my Woolbuddies on Sunday, but it depends on how planning for the Tour de Cure Fundraising Dinner goes. That’s Sunday evening and trumps everything else.

Recapping, This week from Tues-Friday: 53.2 Miles

Bikes Ridden: Surly the Pacer and Lucille the little green Bike Friday Tikit

Wheeee!  I feel so fortunate when I get to have an interaction with a favorite author on Twitter. It just makes me all glowy.

I read Justine Larbalestier’s post on her blog (which I found through a twitter post) about a cycling adventure. I was impressed because I didn’t know she biked and told her so and she tweeted back at me. I wanted to dance around it makes me so happy.

I’m missing my bike right now. I did a dumb thing and hurt my knee falling over a speed bump in a parking lot. I was looking for a car2go and it wasn’t where it was supposed to be and I was distracted. It didn’t hurt at all, although I had to ice it for some swelling. I rested for 2 days, then rode my bike for 2 days to work and it was still fine, so I went running on the fifth day and oops, not so good. The swelling came back and it started to hurt, too. The bruising came out then as well and I had a pretty purple pattern all over. That’s fading now and I’m feeling good again, but I’ve banned myself from the bike and running until April 1st. No fooling (I wish I was).

Why April 1st? Well, April is the 30 Days of Biking is a fun challenge because it gets me on my bike on my days off, when I’m tempted to take it easy or stay home cleaning. I’m also signing up for The National Bike Challenge that runs May – October and I’ll be doing Bike to Work month in May. I’m a team captain and love the idea of getting my coworkers to bike to work, however, I also love logging all of my bikey miles with the National Bike Challenge which doesn’t care where you are riding to or how often. It just gives a bit more of a sense of accomplishment.  And April 1st so that I don’t start too soon and hurt myself again and have another setback.

So, as you can see, I am a little bike obsessed, as well as YA author obsessed.

The Blossoming Universe of Violet DiamondThe Blossoming Universe of Violet Diamond by Brenda Woods

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book was on a list of books that include people of color as the main character. Violet Diamond is in the situation where her mother and all of the family around her is white, she lives in a predominantly white town and she is half black. Her father died before she could know him.

Violet hates the looks from people when she’s out shopping with her mother and sister. Everyone always has that question on their face, where does she fit in? These are questions that children do see, whatever their difference from others. Eventually they start to see it whether or not it’s there.

Violet does get to work through this feeling. She meets her grandmother and the rest of her father’s family. At first she doesn’t quite fit in there either, being half white, but as time goes on she is able to see herself as a whole person and her family sees her that way as well.

The writing drew me in, the characters were well done and the message was interwoven with the story in such a way that you don’t feel preached to. It is nice to see it set in a middle class household (possibly upper middle, as mom and dad were doctors and grandma is a successful artist) rather than a poor one as seems to usually happen.

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The Crane WifeThe Crane Wife by Patrick Ness

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Based on the Japanese myth (the same one The Decemberists wrote about) Patrick Ness has woven a modern day fantasy in his book The Crane Wife. The crane comes to George in the dead of night, needing help and support and getting it of course, as these fairy tales begin.

This one is a bit on the dark side though. As George struggles to break the arrow and remove it from her wing, he’s freezing to death and contemplating his shortcomings as a man and a human. The complex character building continues through the book with most of the major characters. The only one we don’t get to know is Kumiko, the crane, the wife, who should be a mystery.

I love the art work they create through the book. It gives an added depth I didn’t think possible. I enjoy paper art; making it, looking at it, exploring the possibilities, and the multi-media art that makes George and Kumiko semi-famous, a little richer, and builds the story is just the right touch to really draw me the rest of the way in.

This book was effortless for me. It flowed, the characters were flawed but relateable and the whole thing just took me out of time and place, sat me down and read to me.

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I’ve been struggling to get through a book. It seems like I only get a few pages in a night and that just doesn’t cut it when you have a pile of books to read.  On top of it, it’s a book that a lot of people like and one that I bought, thinking I would like it.  That’s right, I actually bought a book. ahem, back to the subject. So, I’ve decided not to finish it. I can still give it to the right teen–someone who likes supernatural mysteries with strong characters and strange plots with a little historical fiction.

Now I’m reading The Crane Wife by Patrick Ness.  It’s the kind of book I can’t wait to get back to. The main character is just a regular guy on the surface, a little amazing below it, who finds himself in a very strange situation. I love the story, the tone and the complex characters and I’m so happy to move on to something that keeps my mind intrigued.

The library has been busy. I’m planning a couple of special projects that have been going up and down with triumphs and setbacks.  Each time I run up against a setback, another opportunity saves the program. It’s been bumpy but I’m learning a lot and feeling very optimistic how they will turn out.

Now if only I could make most of my job revolve around community biking programs, I’d be set! ;)

Oh, one more triumph this week. I watched a webinar today given by Eidelweiss and finally scored my first digital ARC. I also figured out how to download it. So I’ll be reading Singapore Noir, a series of short dark stories set in Singapore, a place that’s always intrigued me.

And now to go nurse this cold. My third in a month. I hope it’s short.

 

A lucky few that are subscribed to my blog somehow have probably noticed the reviews that have popped up here recently. I’ve been reluctant to start blogging again because private life has been more exciting than library life in a lot of ways, and I talk about that so much on Google+ that it seems silly to blog it too.

However, library life has had some golden moments in the last 6 months.  I attended the Pacific Northwest Library Association’s Leadership Institute in October of 2014. It was held at Fort Worden in beautiful Port Townsend. The weather was beautiful. I can’t talk about what they do in the conference, but it was very helpful and I feel so much gratitude towards my group and mentors for their help.  Here’s a few pictures to distract you. The second picture is of my folding bike. Chris and I sailed to Port Townsend and I rode my bike down to the Ferry to Edmonds, which was a grand adventure.

Many deer ran around the park

So sunny for October!

My library has also undergone a small remodel over the last couple of months. The children’s area has been expanded to reflect our usage (so 50% bigger) with lots of seating both desk style and comfy reading style. It’s much brighter and more welcoming. One of the changes that were made though was a combined reference and circulation desk. This has had some mixed results.  My feeling is that this is the future, but also that our practices of staffing the desk will change also. I can see that it would be best to have a basic librarian position at the desk, then have the advanced librarian staff doing more specialized work–outreach, reference, etc somewhere they can easily come to the aid of those on desk. Right now I’m helping with fines and finding holds an awful lot. I like giving good service, but I don’t want to get to the point where they’re wondering why they’re paying me so much to do clerical work. More pics:

New children’s area after school

One view of our fancy new desks–fab models, no?

Straight on. The desks go up and down–very space age.

Hopefully I will continue to find interesting things to say here. Thanks for reading.

 

Etiquette & Espionage (Finishing School, #1)Etiquette & Espionage by Gail Carriger

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This series is just as entertaining as Carriger’s adult romances, minus the romance and raunchiness. It has a good bit of snark that her readers will find endearing, and a smart girl protagonist that really leads the show.

Set in an alternate steampunk history with floating finishing schools and a mysterious communication device that somehow runs without wires, Etiquette & Espionage hints at being a prequel to the Parasol Protectorate series.

I love Sophronia. This will be on my 2014 Book Talk list for my next school visit.

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Book coverThis book is not your typical fluff/mean girl/chic fiction, which is what the title lead me to expect.

Most of Homeroom 10B got the flu vaccination at the nurses office during lunch one day. By the next day they were hearing everyone’s thoughts, but even better, they could communicate with each other mentally. Was it a cool talent or a cruel joke? For each of them it meant something different.

I enjoyed the humor and the diversity of the characters (although actual racial diversity was one thing that could have made it more interesting–I think one character was described as dark skinned). There’s the mean girl, the know it all, the shy girl, the nice boy, the jock, the sleazy boy. They’re well written, believable and you can see how telepathy makes them better people and more understanding of others.

There’s enough sexual references to make it deliciously bad, but not so explicit to make it too scandalous for most teens.

Definitely a fun read.

We’ve only been home 2 days and I’m ready to go back. Yesterday was a fine day. I got to see my Nevadan Siblings for breakfast, then got a lot done at work. Did some texting with The Boy and set up the weekend plans.

Today has been another story. I got up early and pretty cheerfully and saw everyone off to school, then started some laundry. On my second attempt at switching to the dryer (do those timers ever really tell you how long it’s going to take?) I locked myself out of the house. In my bathrobe. Yes.

I managed to get back inside in less than half an hour. I won’t say how, but I was relieved. I’d envisioned waiting for the dryer to be done, getting some clothes and walking to the library to throw myself on their mercy to call The Mr. I didn’t want him to have to leave work or me to have to wait around until the dryer was done and dress in the basement…

That was annoying thing number one.

I did a couple more chores, then headed out on my bike to meet my friend Diva for lunch. The ride and the lunch went fine, although the topic was a sad one and by the end I was exhausted. I decided to ride right home instead of the longer training ride I’d planned. I sat on the couch, watched Castle and started coughing up a lung. The jury is still out if I am getting sick.

That’s somewhat annoying thing number 2.

I had to go get some sugar and a few other essentials a the store, and that’s when I discovered annoying thing number three. Poor patient Betty was vandalized. Her back little passenger side triangle window was broken out, three doors were left unlocked and as far as I can tell nothing was taken. It seemed both mean and dismissive at the same time. My imagination has come up with the story of a couple of ner-do-well young adults coming along, seeing Betty, thinking of a smash and grab then realizing they had the wrong car. They sat in her for a few minutes to get warm and moved on. I am a little surprised they didn’t take the hat I bought for The Boy in Mexico, but that was the only thing in there worth anything. The radio would be a real pain to get out of the dash, as are the speakers. They didn’t even take the change in the ashtray.

Poor Betty

Anyhow, do you think that the universe will align to give me some sun for tomorrow?

Do you think Betty will forgive me for leaving her in the rain with a busted window?

Nothing like a trip to Cable to make you want to blog. We are having a wonderful time in the sun.

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The last is Chris and his sister st a great restaurant we found in Todos Santos, El Zaguan.

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