Monday, June 30, 2008

July Book Blowout

I typically do not do book challenges. I'm not sure why because the concept is very appealing to me. I guess because I find I don't have enough time to keep my blog updated as often as I want, no matter how I try, so doing so along with reading books for a challenge and books that I WANT to read and books that I feel I NEED to read just becomes too much!

However, I decided to try ONE and see if I like it. If I don't, I probably won't do another one. But then again, I may find it to be utterly addictive and become a challenger in every way, shape and form.

I decided to do BLUE ARCHIPELAGO'S challenge the July Book Blowout and I'm going to attempt to read 8 books during the month of July for this challenge. I usually don't set a goal for books to read; I just read.

The rules are simple. Read the # of books that I decided up from July 1 - July 31 and then post the list of books on my blog. I'll try to post them one at a time as I finish them, with their first sentences and the final list on the last day.

Doing this challenge may surprise me in a good way!
We'll see...Stay tuned!

I've got 4 days 'til the end and two books to finish. Wish me luck!

Finished books:

WHERE ARE YOU NOW? by Mary Higgins Clark (7-02-08)

LOTTERY by Patricia Wood (7-05-08)

THE TURNING by Jennifer Armintrout (7-14-08)

EXIT STRATEGY by Kelley Armstrong (7-19-08)

FUZZY NAVEL by JA Konrath (7-23-08)

MY DARLING, MY HAMBURGER by Paul Zindel (7-26-08)

INFECTED by Scott Sigler (7-30-08)

Well, the book blowout is over and I failed. I thought I'd be able to read at least 8 books in July and I only completed seven. Oh well! I gave it a shot and it was fun so I may try to take on another one. We'll see...

Friday, June 27, 2008

Iowa libraries damaged in flood of 2008

As a librarian in Iowa, I count myself lucky that during the recent flooding, my library did not sustain any damage. My community was truly one of the lucky ones because although our town sustained damage, our library is intact.

The state however, had three libraries that were severely damaged, one by the tornado that ripped through here and then again by the flood waters that came on its heel. Several more sustained moderate to severe damage but are well on their way to recovery.

I am not one to usually solicit for donations but if one was going to donate to something, these libraries are hurting, and I will use any power I have to champion for their cause. We Iowinians (as we've been called) are a resilient bunch and we'll get our feet on the ground.

The libraries affected by the floods do not want book donations, however monetary donations are welcome and may be sent to the following:

Cedar Rapids Public Library Foundation

500 First Street Southeast

Cedar Rapids, IA 52401

Friends of New Hartford Public Library

P O Box 292

New Hartford, IA 50660

National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library

30 Sixteenth Avenue Southwest

Cedar Rapids, IA. 52401-5904

The links following the above addresses will show you pictures of just some of the devastation incurred.

Please help if you can.

Thank you.

Without libraries what have we? We have no past and no future. -- Ray Bradbury

Sunday, June 15, 2008


When I was 18, I found out that my mother had given up a child for adoption before I was born. I was raised as an only child, and so this information was a startling discovery, and one that left a gaping hole in my life. I searched for several years to no avail, gave up, searched again, gave up. You get the picture.

A couple of weeks ago I found the birth family of a high school girlfriend for her and this has renewed my energy and zeal to find my brother. And I'll use every resource available to me to get the word out. You never know who might be reading. So...

I am in search of my brother who was born BABY BOY LUND in Dubuque, Iowa on 7/19/1968 at Finley Hospital. He may have been adopted by a family that lived in Cedar Rapids and the adoptive mother may have been a teacher. And sadly to say, that is all the information I have on him.

A lot of people don't understand what drives me when it comes to this and I'm not sure I do either. But I know that there is a piece of me missing and I hope to find it and connect with it before I die. And if I don't, I will know that I did what I could to find him. I've even gotten involved in a letter writing campaign to try and convince state legislators to change the Open Records Law. I hope that it'll make a difference, but...we'll see.

And to keep this book-related, an absolutely fabulous book regarding adoption is THE GIRLS WHO WENT AWAY:THE HIDDEN HISTORY OF WOMEN WHO SURRENDERED CHILDREN FOR ADOPTION IN THE DECADES BEFORE ROE V. WADE by Anne Fessler. And I say fabulous, even though I've only made it through 147 pages. I just ordered a copy of my own so I can read it at my own pace, but I got to a point where every single story made me cry. I ached for the women featured and I ached for my mother and what she had gone through. Check it out; it's a fascinating study of the mindset back in the day.

The first sentence is:

My mother told me that on my first three birthdays she lit a special candle on my cake for the young woman who had given birth to me.

After writing this post, while reading other blogs, I came across this quiz and took it:

Your Birthdate: September 19

You are resilient, and no doubt your resilience has already been tested.

You've had some difficult experiences in your life, but you are wise from them.

Having had to grow up quickly, you tend to discount the advice of others.

You tend to be a loner, having learned that the only person you can depend on is yourself.

Your strength: Well developed stability and confidence

Your weakness: Suspicion of others

Your power color: Eggplant

Your power symbol: Spade

Your power month: October

And this is me to a T. A CAPITAL ONE. Huh.

An interesting side note about birthdays. Talking to an aunt of mine on my mother's side, double birthdays are a regular occurrence on that side of the family. My mother and her shared the same birthday number (29th), my brother and I share the same birthday number (19th) and two cousins who are sisters share the same birthday number (14th). Kinda cool.