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review 2018-10-22 19:28
Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore / Matthew Sullivan
Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore: A Novel - Matthew J. Sullivan

When a bookshop patron commits suicide, his favorite store clerk must unravel the puzzle he left behind. Lydia Smith lives her life hiding in plain sight. A clerk at the Bright Ideas bookstore, she keeps a meticulously crafted existence among her beloved books, eccentric colleagues, and the BookFrogs—the lost and lonely regulars who spend every day marauding the store’s overwhelmed shelves.

But when Joey Molina, a young, beguiling BookFrog, kills himself in the bookstore’s upper room, Lydia’s life comes unglued. Always Joey’s favorite bookseller, Lydia has been bequeathed his meager worldly possessions. Trinkets and books; the detritus of a lonely, uncared for man. But when Lydia flips through his books she finds them defaced in ways both disturbing and inexplicable. They reveal the psyche of a young man on the verge of an emotional reckoning. And they seem to contain a hidden message. What did Joey know? And what does it have to do with Lydia?


I’m always on the look-out for a good book about a library or bookstore and I’m also a fan of the mystery genre, so when I ran across this title, it went on my “to read sooner rather than later” list right away. I really enjoyed it—largely because of the setting (the bookstore) but also because the suicide wasn’t the only focus of the story. It becomes obvious early on that there is a mystery in Lydia’s background too, and one that she must sort out if she’s going to figure out why Joey Molina killed himself in her bookstore.

It takes courage to face the past and you can’t blame people for avoiding it whenever possible. Lydia is wary of becoming “Poor Lydia,” the girl who survived the Horrible Thing. But when your childhood trauma was front page news back in the day, it’s hard to avoid being recognized. It’s even harder to come to try to come to grips with a crime that’s colder than Greenland.

I loved the gradual reveal of Lydia’s memories and how she starts to try to make sense of them as an adult. I also found her gradual reunion with her father to be realistic and well done. There are lots of co-incidences and synchronicities required to weave the different story lines together, but nothing too incredible to deal with—I’ve seen real-life situations that would be more unbelievable than this. I also liked the slightly messy ending, being the sort of reader who doesn’t like everything tied up too neatly.

Perfect as the “Book that involves a bookstore or library” selection for my PopSugar challenge this year.

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text 2018-10-15 15:06
Feng Shui Principles for a Balanced Home

Feng Shui is an ancient system of Chinese principles that aims to bring an individual into harmony with his or her surroundings through energy, symmetry, and balance.
Feng Shui, which translates as “wind-water” is based on five natural elements: wood, fire, earth, metal, and water. Each symbolizes colors, shapes, emotions, and connections found in nature, and each is intended to bring balance into your space through complementary textures, shapes, and designs.

Follow these Feng Shui designs to bring greater balance, symmetry, and energy into your space.


Wood is associated with growth and renewal. If you feel like you’re on the cusp of a new beginning, add wooden elements to your internal space and incorporate shades of soothing greens and cylindrical, trunk-like shapes.


Fire symbolizes passion and an internal light. When you feel a need for more light and laughter in your life, incorporate installations that are colorful and angular, and add as much natural light as possible.


Earth elements keep us grounded and stable. When your life or your space feels cluttered and insecure, get rid of unnecessary objects, clear off tables and counters, and add objects that denote strength and stability such as squares or arches. Add wall art that captures earthy colors such as tans, yellows, and browns that reinforce the stability you’re seeking.


Metal represents focus, clarity, and insight. As a pure, tranquil element, metal brings a smoothness into a space, whether in the shape of a table, container, or chair. A metal object can also be a beautiful gift for someone setting off on an endeavor such as a move or a new job. Pieces of metal artwork or a pair of metal frames can make exceptionally powerful art gifts.


The final element, water, alludes to the element’s duality of moving and stillness. It’s said that moving water captures our ability to communicate and connect, much like a river connects to larger bodies of water. Still, water symbolizes our inner depths.

Spaces that serve a dual purpose like a home office or a kitchen with eat-in areas are particularly suited for this final element, though all rooms can benefit from water’s freeing, exploratory properties. Look for items that incorporate water or represent it in artwork.

These five elements can bring balance and positivity to your space, your life, and your outlook. Follow these other Feng Shui principles to enhance the value and balance of your space:

  • Put furniture on rugs, not against the wall: A Feng Shui room should support connectivity and communication; placing furniture on a rug creates a subtle yet conceptually contained space where people can sit and relax.
  • Support symmetry: Avoid singularity in your life, such as a single piece of art, one pillow, or a solo photo. Feng Shui encourages rooms to be filled with pairs, either as a nod to your significant other or to make room for a future partner.
  • Add happy photos: Feng Shui is all about connecting people and energy. Capture and display happy moments with loved ones in the hallway, kitchen, and bedroom.
  • Keep your head above water: Although water is a central element of Feng Shui, you never want to be underwater. Avoid hanging water-themed art or mirrors above the eye-level, including over your bed. You never want your space to reflect the illusion of existing below water.


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Find gifts for every occasion at Demdaco.com

Original Source: https://goo.gl/7yp2wc

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text 2018-10-11 18:06
TBR Thursday
Made to Kill: A Novel (L.A. Trilogy) - Adam Christopher
Evil Librarian - Michelle Knudsen
Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore: A Novel - Matthew J. Sullivan
The Voyage of the Dawn Treader - C.S. Lewis,Pauline Baynes


I'm currently working on The Mysteries of Udolpho, which pretty much demands that you take things slow and gentle.  I feel like I've been reading forever, and the girl isn't even an orphan yet.  And she must be an orphan for this to be gothic!  It's one of my Halloween Bingo choices, so I've got to persevere.


I've got two more Halloween Bingo books waiting.  I've read a few pages into Made to Kill, but I'm making myself wait to start Evil Librarian


And I've got two books from my planned reading list for the year, Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore and The Voyage of the Dawn Treader.  I've heard very mixed reviews on the former, but the latter should be a reliably good read.


Also on my schedule is a performance of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, which I'm attending on Sunday.  Our city's Shakespeare Company is doing a season centred on Hamlet, which this play kicks off.  Next up will be Hammered Hamlet, followed by Hamlet, a Ghost Story.  The fourth play is The Hamlet Frequency, but I've got my fingers crossed that I will be in France at that point.


I still need to get my Science Fiction & Fantasy books organized--maybe I can squeeze that task in as well.


Have a great weekend!




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text 2018-10-03 11:37
Activity Your Ideas Into Books

Maybe you’re one of those lucky writers whose head is bursting with ideas. Or perhaps you have one idea that’s been nagging you for weeks, always at the edge of your thoughts. Either artifact, you’re itching to begin writing. That’s good. But before you rush headlong into your account, act and ask yourself one question: Is this just an idea, or is it a book?

Ideas, of course, are the seeds of any activity of fiction or nonfiction. But until an idea is fully developed, until you can envision its beginning, middle and end, that one idea might not be enough. The experience of writing for pages about an idea and finally getting nowhere (or getting a pile of rejections) has taught many writers to outline their books before they begin. Many writers also write college essays and then start writing own books. If you need some college essay writing go there to buy. But if the cerebration of an outline sends shivers up your spine, at least cerebration your idea finished and making careful it merits months of writing can economise you future frustration.

Ideas for Fiction

A lot of writers, especially when they’re beginners, get ideas for fiction from their own lives. This can be functional for various reasons: you’re emotionally invested in the issue, you can relate directly to the main character, and if the situation actually happened to you, you’re less likely to be unconsciously basing the account on a book you’ve read. But remember, just because you find this abstraction that happened to you or your child fascinating, it doesn’t mean it will be fascinating to thousands of potential readers. Real often, a real-life event is just that–an event. It’s a vivid environment you recall with pleasure, or a family joke that’s repeated over and over. It evokes alcoholic emotions when you remember it, perhaps you even look back on an event as a corner in your life. But only rarely does reality provide a plot.

When writers adhere also closely to what really happened they fail to develop the elements necessary for a good account: a believable main character who is faced with a problem or conflict, mounting tension as that character tries to solve her problem and experiences setbacks, and a tension- filled climax followed by a resolution that’s solid to the character and the reader. If your main character is really your son, you might not deprivation to get him in ail or communicate rocks in his path. But you have to. It’s the only artifact you’ll create a account that will keep readers hooked and inquisitive how it will end.

Address of endings, if the resolution of your account comes also easily, it’s probably obvious and predictable. Attempt mixing up real life and have the situation evolve in a different direction. Attack yourself, and you’ll attack an editor.

However you get your idea, focus first on whether it’s a plot or a theme. Many times, an initial idea is really the implicit meaning of the account, what the author wants to convey to the reader. Themes should be coupling in their appeal– much as friendship, appreciating one’s own strengths, not judging others also quickly. So play around with the film of events until you develop a plot (what actually happens in the book) that makes this theme clear to the reader. And remember; if you’re exploitation a childhood incident as the foundation of your account, tell it from your childhood stand, not how it feels to you now as an adult.

Ideas for Nonfiction

Your nonfiction book should be based on something you’re truly interested in and passionate about. After all, you’ll be living with this idea for many months. The key to booming nonfiction is to accept your idea and approach it in a artifact that no one else has ever done before. This means doing most of your research before you begin to compose. Don’t bench for the most easily-found information on your topic–your readers have probably read the same information. Keep digging until you find an aspect to your case that strikes you as single. So examine finished the library and book stores to make careful no one else has already beat you thereto.

For a nonfiction idea to become a book, you need enough information to fill the number of pages necessary, depending on the age group for which you plan to compose. Younger children need a foundation of basic facts, but you can also get fairly detailed inside the scope of the approach you’ve chosen as long as you explain concepts in a simple and direct manner (how animals hibernate, why insects are different colors). Older readers can draw on a broader foundation of knowledge, and infer connections between your issue and related subjects. A detailed outline of any nonfiction book is essential to help you accompany if your idea has enough capital and originality, or if you need further research before you begin writing.

Whether it’s fiction or nonfiction, your idea should mean something to you, but also have the potential to mean a lot to your readers. Believe it finished, add thereto, accept the nonessential elements away, and make careful it has a beginning, middle and end. Only so will your “idea” activity into “an idea for a book.”

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review 2018-09-09 01:40
What Do You Do With An Idea
What Do You Do with an Idea? - Kobi Yamada

This is a story for anyone who has ever had an idea that was a little scary, intimidating, or seemed too difficult. We are introduced to a child who has an idea, but is afraid of what others will think of his idea which leads to him almost giving up on it. Suddenly he realizes, "This is MY idea. No one knows it like I do," this passage is the turning point of the story. The end of the story says that you can change the world with an idea and I truly believe that children need to have this inspiration to follow their dreams. I would have children illustrate what their world changing idea would be and then present them to the class. I would then display "My Students' World Changing Ideas" in the hallway for all to see. 


Lexile: 490L


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