Tag Archives: reading room

It’s a birdhouse! It’s a treehouse for Borrowers! It’s a Tiny Library!

Delightful morsel of the day: This article on Little Free Libraries.

Barely bigger than a birdhouse, there’s a movement to install wee take-a-book, leave-a-book swapping spaces in yards all across America.

Is this not the cutest thing ever? Image via LittleFreeLibrary.org

I’m going to try to forget for a minute that our next house project should probably be sealing the basement and think about how awesome it would be to install one of these. We live on a boulevard that’s super popular for runners and walkers, so I imagine lots of people would use it! I’m always telling Joe how I want to put something weird in our yard so we’ll be “that house” that people use to give landmark directions. “Oh, we’re just a block east of that house with the weird tiny library in the front lawn!” (I bet you hooligans would put trash in it in two seconds, but I’ll try not to let my library fantasy dissolve.)

I imagine there are a bajillion different designs you could come up with, but the Little Free Library site offers some plans, too.

If you are a fan of miniature things, you have to check out the miniature barn museum in the Amana Colonies. It’s super weird.

What are you reading? I just started “In the Garden of Beasts,” by Erik Larson. Who, on the topic of libraries, is coming to Des Moines for the DMPL AViD series this May!

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Missy G’s Sweet Potato Pound Cake and Colum McCann

Our rag-tag meet-when-we-can book club finally got together again, post-holidays for a discussion of “Let The Great World Spin,” by Colum McCann, and pound cake, which Michael made from my favorite cake cookbook, “All Cakes Considered.” <— Amazon lets you preview pretty much the entire thing, so you can find the recipe on page 45.

I was feeling pretty run-down, despite it being just the first night of the week, but I’m glad I picked myself up and spent a few hours in the world of tight-rope walkers and prostitutes. It’s tradition to go around the circle and rate the book 1-1o (10 being the highest) to kick off discussions, and LTGWS got pretty high marks. Lyrical writing and the interwoven stories that were sometimes funny, sometimes heartbreaking won us over.

The book opens with this quotation:

“All the lives we could live, all the people we will never know, never be, they are everywhere. That is what the world is.” — Aleksander Hemon, The Lazarus Project

Those words, which form the basis of this exploration of different disparate but interconnected lives focused around one day in 1974, when Philippe Petit tightropes between the World Trade Center towers. But I think it’s also an interesting lead-in to our next book club read, “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks,” — a nonfiction account of how one cervical cancer patient’s tissue sample opened up boundless possibilities for medical research, and the ethical issues they raise.

On the topic of good reads, Joe and I both enjoyed this article on the science of human nature (to be a social animal). I read a lot of science-y articles about what makes a person happy, and this thesis made sense to me. There is a book club tie-in, because it does mention how being a part of a group that meets even just once a month elevates one’s sense of well-being.

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