I got home from spending a few days down at Club Ponderosa and look what was waiting for me: Mockingjay!! This is the final installment of The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins. I must say that I cannot say enough about this series. I recommend it to everyone and have to say that by far, this is one one the best I have read in a LONG time. Great characters that you fall in love with instantly and a truly riveting plot. I first started reading The Hunger Games while on vacation in HHI two years ago. I was instantly obsessed and couldn’t put it down until I was done. This year I brought the sequel, Catching Fire, to HHI again so I could lay around by the pool reading and yelling out to myself “Oh NO!!” and “Katniss!!” -yes I was that pulled into the story! Ever since then, I’ve been anxiously awaiting the release of this book all summer. I even went so far as pre-ordering the book online so I would get is ASAP. Now I can’t wait to dive in and see what happens to Katniss Everdeen and the rest of Panem!

Elizabeth & Darcy: Zombie Killers

Just in time for Halloween: Pride and Prejudice and Zombies!

Um…what to say? When I first heard about this book, A quarter of me thought I should be outraged, the other three-quarters was insanely giggling at the very idea, and then there’s the very small uncounted minority of me that was throwing her fist in the air and screaming "Finally! This is the best idea ever!"

And now that I’ve read it? Well, actually, I still think it’s pretty awesome idea. It was weird reading it though, because the "zombie mayhem" fit into the story so seamlessly that I kept catching myself stopping after every line trying to remember how the original version went. The zombies just seemed to fit in so well! To be honest, I always found the original to be a bit dry at times and somewhat slow moving. The zombie addition speed things along quite nicely, while never taking away from the original story. I think that it’s a great way to introduce the classics to people who would otherwise ignore them. Good show!

Well hello, Lonny!

As you know, I was devestated when CondeNast canceled the publishing of my beloved Domino magazine. I feel like it truly left a void that as yet to be filled in the design magazine genre. Luckily, I think that we have been rescued! Behold: Lonny Magazine. Lonny had been created from those geniuses that were at Domino. The premiere issue has just been published on line. Please, please, please check it out!

How do you stack up?

The BBC believes most people will have only read 6 of the 100 books here. How do your reading habits stack up?

1) Look at the list and put an ‘x’ after those you have read.
2) Put a % after those you’ve read a portion of.
3) Add a ‘+’ to the ones you LOVE.
4) Star (*) those you plan on reading.
5) Tally your total read and put it in the title.

1 Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen ( )
2 The Lord of the Rings – JRR Tolkien (x+)
3 Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte (x)
4 Harry Potter series – JK Rowling (x+)
5 To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee (x+)
6 The Bible (x)
7 Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte (x)
8 Nineteen Eighty Four – George Orwell (x+)
9 His Dark Materials – Philip Pullman ( )
10 Great Expectations – Charles Dickens ( ) 
11 Little Women – Louisa M Alcott (x)
12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles (x) – Thomas Hardy (x) Worst book ever-forced in high school
13 Catch 22 – Joseph Heller (x)
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare (%)
15 Rebecca – Daphne Du Maurier ( )
16 The Hobbit – JRR Tolkien (x+)
17 Birdsong – Sebastian Faulk ( )
18 Catcher in the Rye – JD Salinger ( *)
19 The Time Traveller’s Wife – Audrey Niffenegger (x)
20 Middlemarch – George Eliot ( )
21 Gone With The Wind – Margaret Mitchell (x)
22 The Great Gatsby – F Scott Fitzgerald (x)
23 Bleak House – Charles Dickens ( )
24 War and Peace – Leo Tolstoy ( )
25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams (*)


26 Brideshead Revisited – Evelyn Waugh ( )
27 Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoyevsky ( )
28 Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck (x)
29 Alice in Wonderland – Lewis Carroll (x)
30 The Wind in the Willows – Kenneth Grahame ( )
31 Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy ( )
32 David Copperfield – Charles Dickens (x)
33 Chronicles of Narnia – CS Lewis (x+)
34 Emma – Jane Austen ( )
35 Persuasion – Jane Austen ( )
36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe – CS Lewis (x+)
37. Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini (x+)
38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin – Louis De Bernieres ( )
39 Memoirs of a Geisha – Arthur Golden (x)
40 Winnie the Pooh – AA Milne (x+) Childhood favorite!
41 Animal Farm – George Orwell (x)
42 The Da Vinci Code – Dan Brown (x)
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude – Gabriel Garcia Marquez ( )
44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney – John Irving ( )
45 The Woman in White – Wilkie Collins ( )
46 Anne of Green Gables – LM Montgomery (x)
47 Far From The Madding Crowd – Thomas Hardy ( )
48 The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood (x)
49 Lord of the Flies – William Golding (x)
50 Atonement – Ian McEwan ( ) 


51 Life of Pi – Yann Martel ( )
52 Dune – Frank Herbert (x+)
53 Cold Comfort Farm – Stella Gibbons ( )
54 Sense and Sensibility – Jane Austen (x)
55 A Suitable Boy – Vikram Seth ( )
56 The Shadow of the Wind – Carlos Ruiz Zafon ( )
57 A Tale Of Two Cities – Charles Dickens (x)
58 Brave New World – Aldous Huxley (x+)
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time – Mark Haddon ( )
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera – Gabriel Garcia Marquez (x)
61 Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck ( )
62 Lolita – Vladimir Nabokov (x+)
63 The Secret History – Donna Tartt ( )
64 The Lovely Bones – Alice Sebold (x+)
65 Count of Monte Cristo – Alexandre Dumas (x)
66 On The Road – Jack Kerouac (x)
67 Jude the Obscure – Thomas Hardy ( )
68 Bridget Jones’s Diary – Helen Fielding (x)
69 Midnight’s Children – Salman Rushdie ( )
70 Moby Dick – Herman Melville (%) -Language was awful, skipped through about half of it.
71 Oliver Twist – Charles Dickens (x+)
72 Dracula – Bram Stoker (*)
73 The Secret Garden – Frances Hodgson Burnett (x)
74 Notes From A Small Island – Bill Bryson ( )
75 Ulysses – James Joyce (*) 


76 The Bell Jar – Sylvia Plath (x+)
77 Swallows and Amazons – Arthur Ransome ( )
78 Germinal – Emile Zola ( )
79 Vanity Fair – William Makepeace Thackeray ( )
80 Possession – AS Byatt ( )
81 A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens (x+) Who doesn’t love this one?
82 Cloud Atlas – David Mitchell ( )
83 The Color Purple – Alice Walker (x+) I read it about once a year, another favorite.
84 The Remains of the Day – Kazuo Ishiguro ( )
85 Madame Bovary – Gustave Flaubert ( )
86 A Fine Balance – Rohinton Mistry ( )
87 Charlotte’s Web – EB White (x)
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven – Mitch Albom (x)
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (%)
90 The Faraway Tree Collection – Enid Blyton ( )
91 Heart of Darkness – Joseph Conrad ( )
92 The Little Prince – Antoine De Saint-Exupery (x)
93 The Wasp Factory – Iain Banks ( )
94 Watership Down – Richard Adams (x+) Yet another favorite.
95 A Confederacy of Dunces – John Toole ( )
97 The Three Musketeers – Alexandre Dumas (%)
98 Hamlet – William Shakespeare (x)
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Roald Dahl (x+)
100 Les Miserables – Victor Hugo ( ) 


48/100 total. Pretty good, but I think I need to try out some more classics. I think I am going to write some of these down for the next time I go to the book store/library.

****Thanks to Tabula Rasa for bringing this to my attention*****

Giant size

Shawn and I won the colossal art book on Andy Warhol at the Arts Ball on Saturday night! The title, Andy Warhol Giant Size , is highly appropriate, both for the encyclopedic view of his work and life and for the physical size . . . over 15 pounds! I can’t wait to crack this open and dig in, but I am not quite sure where to read it. . . a book that is over a 16 inches talk is not really one you can cuddle up with on the couch.

Major disappointment

Ok, I went to check out the Middleton Library today. I was all excited because it looks like a really nice one. It was newly built and it is always busy when I drive past. So, I was looking forward to browsing the stacks and picking out some good reads. Unfortunately, I was sorely disappointed. They have nothing! I went in there with a list of books that I was looking for and they didn’t have half of them! Plus the ones that they did have were looking raggedy and old. Quite a sad site really. I ended up getting a few books, “classics” that I think everyone in high school read but me. Animal Farm, The Island of Dr. Moreau, Dorian Gray, etc. I am going to see if maybe I can order some books online from this branch for the more current ones I am looking for. Will let you know how that goes. . .

Book Bike

Ok, here is another reason to love Chicago. Gabriel Levinson has created the “book bike.” Essentially, he rides around Chicago parks and neighborhoods and gives away new books for people to read. Levinson, who is a reviews editor for Make: A Chicago Literary Magazine, accomplishes this by working with both local and national independent publishers, such as Drawn & Quarterly, McSweeney’s, Farrar Straus and Giroux, Dark Horse, Soft Skull Press and Lake Claremont Press, to donate books to his cause. To read more about him and where he what park he will be at next, check out his website.

Now if he would only make a trip up to Madison . . .

BTW, don’t you want to own one of these! I could see myself using it to buy groceries, taking Walter for a ride, ha!

What to read . . .

I am recently without a book to read. Normally, I usually have several going at the same time, or have a stack of them waiting patiently for me. However, I have neglected to line up some reading for myself and now I am stuck. Hoping that someone might be able to give me a few suggestions. . .

I guess this gives me some motivation to check out the local library.