A Literary Year in Review, 2014 Edition

Literary ReviewIt’s hard to believe that this is the fifth year of The Literary Year in Review, but so it is, and the Library Pug is here once again to help shepherd in another great round-up of favorite reads from 2014. This year’s list, as always, was curated by an eclectic group of smart and funny women to whom I owe a deep debt of gratitude, and is full of interesting, entertaining, and inspiring books. Hopefully, you will find something wonderful here to fill those precious minutes you carve out for yourself between the comings and goings of day-to-day life; I, for one, know my Goodreads list is overflowing.
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2015: New Year, New Resolve

Happy 2015!

I know I say this every year, but it’s hard to believe that yet another year has come and gone and now it’s 2015. As in, 15 years have passed since we waited with baited breath for a new millennium to arrive, hoping that a silly, antiquated coding error wouldn’t bring modern society to its knees. As in, there are teenagers alive today who were not alive on September 11, 2011. I’m not sure when these things will cease to blow my mind.

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Foundation of the Month: Smashbox Camera Ready BB

smashbox-bb-headerMy friend Victoria is on a year-long quest for the perfect foundation. She’s looking for a low-maintenance, oil controlling, medium coverage product that clocks in at under $40. As I’ve tiptoed into my 30’s and now work at a big girl job that requires me to look the part, I’ve realized that a dash of concealer and some powder just won’t cut it anymore. Indeed, my criteria for a good foundation are basically the same as Vik’s: I want to look professional and put together without too much fuss or expense. This month, she invited me to guest post, and I’m happy to oblige.

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Roller Coaster

roller-coasterThe Six Flags near me has a wooden roller coaster modeled on the one at Coney Island. It is jerky and rickety and aptly named The Scream Machine. When I was about 10, someone had the genius idea of running the ride with the cars turned around backward, which resulted in an experience that was both terrifying and slightly pleasing: Without being able to see what’s coming next, you end up either hanging on for dear life as you plummet and jolt down a huge hill, or you find yourself smiling at the exhilarating little drop in your stomach on the smaller, less terrifying ones. And, so far, that is what this year has felt like.

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My Favorite Cookbooks


I enjoy cooking quite a lot. Something about the artistry of making food that is both beautiful and delicious appeals to me. Some nights, dinner is simple and no-fuss, but it’s calming nonetheless to get in the kitchen and slide into the rhythm of preparing a meal. I’ll either make something up on the fly, or flip through one of a number of simple, quick-cooking cookbooks and magazines I keep in my pantry. Other times, I have a little more time and energy to create a more purposeful, inspired meal. On these occasions, I turn to one of my favorite cookbooks to come up with something really special. These books all have amazing recipes, but even more, are beautiful to look at, interesting to read, and challenge me to be a better, more patient and skillful home cook. I hope one (or more) of them inspires you, too. Click here to read the rest of this post »

2014: A Year of Intention


It’s hard to believe January is almost over: The holidays seem like the distant past, the days are getting noticeably longer, and the gym is quickly emptying out. I’ve written and re-written this post over and over in my head, but haven’t been able to put words on the page until now. But that doesn’t mean I haven’t already put my plan for the year into action. So far, 2014 is already off to a great start, which means only more good things are to come for the remaining 11 months, right?

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A Literary Year in Review, 2013 Edition

Literary ReviewI have to say, I wasn’t particularly sad to see 2013 go: It’s not that it was bad, it just wasn’t a banner year for me on several levels. Fortunately, 2013 did grace us with some really good books, though. In the midst all the general malaise of last year, I managed to steal time here and there to savor some truly great works of both fiction and non-fiction. And with my new Kindle, I was able to read more new releases without having to wait for them to come out in paperback. Of course, again, as in years past, my circle of interesting, diverse, and intelligent friends has come through with the best of their reading lists, too! I hope you find something to inspire and entertain you in 2014; I know that I have!

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Law School Outlines, Redux

I finally did something I’ve been meaning to do for a while: I fixed the broken links on all of the outlines I posted a couple years ago and converted them to PDF format. Lucky for you, this all happened just in time for finals!

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The BLT: Fall Back

So summer happened, even though it rained the. whole. time. and didn’t really feel like summer.  And now it’s fall and the colors are the best they’ve been in years and it’s delightfully crisp in the mornings and moderately warm in the afternoons if you happen to be in direct sunlight. I haven’t gone over-the-top fall crazy like I usually do, but I have certainly taken the time to observe the leaves change and drink a PSL or two and play as much tennis as I can before it gets cold. Since we’ve reverted back to Eastern Standard Time (why can’t we keep Daylight Saving Time all the time? Isn’t it better to Save than to be Standard?), I’m actively fighting my body’s strong biological urge to go into hibernation mode. I force myself to go to the gym and be social and do Things even when it’s dark out and all I want to do is cook carb-y comfort food and watch bad TV. Now that we’ve had a chance to catch up, let’s fall back into the BLT, shall we? Click here to read the rest of this post »

The BLT: Summer Preview

It’s hard to believe that summer will be here in just a few short weeks. Maybe it was the cool and rainy spring, or perhaps it’s the increasingly frenetic pace at which life seems to move. In any event, I wanted to share a few items in this edition of The BLT that will help make your summer a little sweeter and maybe a little more fun. Enjoy! Click here to read the rest of this post »