Friday, July 20, 2012


My current read is The Great Gatsby. I can't remember if I've ever read it, so I am (re)reading.

I borrowed it from Penn State Behrend's library (actually looked up the call number and found it on the shelf).

I took it home last night and opened it. This addition was printed in 1953. Behrend only opened its doors in 1948. So this book has been on the library's shelf for all but five years of my alma mater's existence.

It's an incredible thought. Although the library's location has changed at least three times; this book has been here. The Berlin Wall came down; this book was here. Man walked on the moon; this book was here. I was born; this book was here. I went to school, graduated, and got hired here; this book was here.

This book has been thoroughly loved and has survived. I love the idea of all the students and alumni who have read this book before me! And while, I hope the story is good, the knowledge of all the hands that held it and all the eyes that stared, makes me smile.

Monday, June 11, 2012

25 Book Series for Hunger Games Fans

I came across this on Pinterest. But since, for me, Pinterest is where ideas go to die (or at least hibernate for the unforeseeable future), I thought I would add it to the blog instead of repinning.

Here are 25 other book series to read if you loved The Hunger Games.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Eat, Pray (i can keep reading), Love (to put it down)

Last summer I borrowed Eat, Pray, Love from Kt's mom... It's still in my possession. Last year, I read eight chapters (and the chapters are short), maybe I read around 20 pages total.

This summer I made it a bit farther into the book, but I am still struggling.

I'm still only in the Eat section (in Italy, which is where I desperately want to travel to). Recently in the book, the author was eating the world's best pizza, with a lovely description on her experience in Naples. You would think that this would be a (mouth-watering) page turner.

And if that wasn't enough, she is also working on her Italian with twin, twenty-something, hotties (also mouth-watering).

But I just can't seem to get into this book.

The auther is dealing with divorce and separation from her second love affair, learning about herself, taking antidepressants, having internal conversations with Depression and Loneliness, finding her individual voice after never being single, and writing (and responding to herself) in her journal.

I don't know why I can't seem to sink my teeth in to the book, but I have a few ideas... I'm only twenty-something, not thirty-something. I am single and don't need to find my individuality. I've never been married, and don't understand the heartbreaking devastation of divorce. I don't travel to faraway places and write about it.

What it comes down to, I think, is I just can't relate. So far, her life is depressing, so I don't even want to imagine her situation.

Maybe the book gets better, but right now it's not inspirational. It's just annoying.

Thoughts? Have you read the book? Should I trudge on or just forget it? Do you think Kt's mom knows I've borrowed the book for a year?

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

What Next?

Here's a fun website that helps you or your bookclub decide what novel to read based upon previous books or favorite authors.

It's called What Should I Read Next.

Hopefully our bookclub can use this in the future to determine what should be next on your reading list.

Any other sites you know of to help?

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Ellen Reads 50 Shades!

Casting Mrs. Robinson

Who should play Elena Lincoln (a.k.a. Mrs. Robinson) in Fifty Shades of Grey movie?

Julianne Moore


Sigourney Weaver

Heather Locklear

Sharon Stone

Jane Seymour

Kim Cattrall

Who's your vote?
Other suggestions?

Monday, May 7, 2012

Buy it on Amazon

From Saturday Night Live... buy Fifty Shades of Grey (and more) for your mom this Mother's Day

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Christian Grey

Who would you cast to play Christian Grey in the Fifty Shades of Grey movie?

Our votes:

Henry Cavill

Just the right age. And look a those gray pants and white shirt combo. Only two probs with the Brit, he is the new Superman and his hair is curly.

Ian Somerhalder

That is JBFed hair, if I've ever seen it. He definitely has bad-boy charm, maybe too much.

Mark-Paul Gosselaar

Did you see him on that one of episode of Weeds. He used a belt. This good old (maybe too old) boy doesn't have gray eyes, but he has CEO written all over him.

Mark Bomer

Those eyes could cause panties to drop all over the country. And that picture looks like he is sitting in his loft just waiting for Ana to get there to punish her.

Out of those four, who would you choose?

Who are your other suggestions?

Monday, April 23, 2012

Fifty Shades Frenzy

If you have or haven't jumped on the Fifty Shades bandwagon, here is an interesting (first) interview with the author E.L. James.

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Wednesday, April 18, 2012


Yep, we jumped on the bandwagon. (Maybe we need to change the name of this blog to something like "we will read anything the masses suggest" or "being made into a movie? okay, we will read.")

The Fifty Shades trilogy by E.L. James is the next series of books we are reading.

A few of us have finished the first book, while others haven't started.

I'm not really sure how we are supposed to meet to discuss this erotic novel. I think it will tend to embarass all of us more than anything. The only way we could discuss, in my opinion, is with large cocktails in our hands.

Haven't heard about Fifty Shades yet? The author's first interview will be featured on ABC's 20/20 this Friday. Here's a sneak peak:

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Friday, March 9, 2012

Hunger Games Bracelets

This question doesn't get asked until the last book of the Hunger Games series, Mockingjay. But I don't think it's a spoiler... if you haven't gotten to that point.

Just a cute bracelet for you and your partner.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Where in the World is...Panem?

This is a VERY well thought out map of Pamen. I love that she took all the real life science into account and pulled so much information from reading the book. It takes into account tectonic plates and where there would be flooding in a "post-apocalyptic" world.

Read her whole logic here

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Jennifer Lawrence in Glamour

The April 2012 Glamour Magazine features Jennifer Lawrence for her role as Katniss in The Hunger Games movie.

Jennifer Lawrence beat half of young Hollywood for the role. Abigail Breslin, Emma Roberts and Hailee Steinfeld were contenders for the part of Katniss Everdeen, which went to Lawrence. Some fans of the books were angry—Katniss is a brunette; Lawrence is blond. But director Gary Ross laughed them off. “We can easily deal with Jennifer’s hair color,” he said.

Katniss’s archery skills are real. Twenty-one-year-old Lawrence trained with Olympic archer Khatuna Lorig. “She shot about 100 arrows a day on an Olympic-style bow,” says Lorig. “Her technique was great!”

The movie used 35 full-time makeup artists. And there were more than 450 wigs on set to create the Hunger Games look, according to Linda Flowers, the movie’s hair director. For her freaky look as Effie Trinket, above, Elizabeth Banks was airbrushed with pale pink foundation and had a different eye makeup design for each outfit. Katniss was lower-maintenance—it took only about 20 minutes a day to create her signature braid.

GLAMOUR: What were your first thoughts about The Hunger Games being turned into a movie…
JENNIFER LAWRENCE: When I heard they were making the movie, I was like, ‘oh, that’s nice—they’re going to ruin another great book.’ But then I met Gary [Ross, the director], and he was unbelievable and brilliant and genius.

GLAMOUR: But you thought about all of this before you took the job, right?
JENNIFER LAWRENCE: I gave myself three days. I knew from reading the books that I loved The Hunger Games. I just didn’t know if it was worth changing my life for. I’m at a peaceful place right now. The people who used to ignore me at parties, now they’re nice to me and kissing my ass. But nobody’s staked outside of my house. I wanted to make sure that when I said yes, I wouldn’t regret it. And I don’t regret it. I would have said no because I was scared, and then I would have been that bitter actress telling my grandkids, “I’m the one that turned it down.”

GLAMOUR: What did you do to get in shape?
JENNIFER LAWRENCE: I hate saying, ‘I like exercising.’ I want to punch people who say that in the face. But it’s nice being in shape for a movie, because they basically do it all for you. It’s like, ‘Here’s your trainer. This is what you can eat.’
I don’t diet. I do exercise! But I don’t diet. You can’t work when you’re hungry, you know?

GLAMOUR: Have you adjusted to being a famous actress?
JENNIFER LAWRENCE: Just recently I started letting myself eat things from the minibar. When we were kids, we would never open the minibar. A $6 Snickers bar? But the other day I was in a hotel and I was staring at a Snickers bar, and I finally just ate it. Then it was like something in me snapped. I opened all these drinks. I thought: I can do it now. Now I’m all grown-up. I can eat things from the minibar.

GLAMOUR: How do you feel about being in the public eye?
JENNIFER LAWRENCE: In some ways, it’s a hard life, but it’s a great professional life. I’m doing what I love, and then I get months and months of rest. I have a lot of money for a 21-year-old. I can’t stand it when actors complain.

To read our full interview with Jennifer Lawrence, pick up a copy of Glamour’s April issue, on newsstands March 6, 2012. Or read some more of the interview online.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Hunger Games Food

At first glance at the title of the book, The Hunger Games, it's unclear what the book has in store.

If you didn't read the description (or see the movie trailor), you might think the book is about food. And while the residents in many of the districts are starving, Katniss does describe many different meals throughout the book.

So, when putting your book club meeting together, here are some of the recipes you can use to make you feel like you are having a meal right along side of Katniss.

From the District 12:

Perfect Prim Goat Cheese (serve on top of Mellark's Bakery bread - while still warm)
Peeta's Cheese Buns
(Stale) Apple and Goat Cheese Tarts

From the Capitol:

Capitol Hot Chocolate
Chicken with Creamy Orange Sauce (meal with Cinna at the press of a button)

And finally, we can't forget...

Lamb Stew with Dried Plums (from The Unofficial Hunger Games Cookbook)
Yield 8-10 servings
  • 5 pounds lamb fillet, shoulder or leg, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • ½ cup water
  • 4 cups beef stock
  • 2 teaspoons white sugar
  • 3 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 3 cups diced carrots
  • 1 cup diced zucchini
  • 1½ cups diced celery
  • 2 large onions, diced
  • 3 potatoes, cubed
  • 5 cups dried plums
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 3 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh basil
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 cup ginger ale
  1. Place lamb, salt, pepper, and flour in a large mixing bowl. Toss to coat meat evenly.
  2. Heat olive oil in a large pan and brown the meat, working in batches if you have to.
  3. Remove lamb to a side plate. Pour off fat, leaving ¼ cup in the pan. Add the garlic and onion and sauté until the onion becomes golden. Deglaze frying pan with the ½ cup water, taking care to scrape the bottom of the pan to stir up all of the tasty bits of meat and onion. Cook to reduce liquid slightly, then remove from heat.
  4. Place the lamb and garlic-onion mixture in a large stockpot. Add beef stock and sugar, stirring until sugars are dissolved. Bring mixture to a boil, cover, and simmer for 1½ hours.
  5. Add the vegetables, dried plums, herbs, and ginger ale to the pot. Simmer for 30-45 minutes, or until meat and vegetables pierce easily with a fork.
Anyone else hungry now?

Thursday, February 23, 2012


Daisy says, "I'm the Mockingjay."

Just kidding, she says, "I love book club because that means I get to cuddle with KC while she reads."

Just kidding, she says, "This book cover matches our house."

Just kidding, she says, "Books borrowed from Staci and the library smell good."

Just kidding, dogs don't talk.