A Whirlwind

Saturday night and I feel like this is the first chance I’ve had to catch my breath since I arrived home from book nerd summer camp on Sunday. It hasn’t even been a week since the end of book nerd camp, but it feels like it ended ages ago. I arrived home on Sunday and reconnected with my family. On Monday I took the day off work to catch up on the homework and projects I missed over the long weekend. Tuesday and Wednesday were very busy at work with no less than three meetings and piles of catch-up. Thursday I went to Oglethorpe University in Atlanta for a Georgia Library Association meeting and then met-up with Sam and the kids at Zoo Atlanta. We arrived home – hot and sweaty – to a home with no functioning air conditioning. Thursday night I did more homework and then tossed and turned all night. On Friday I traveled to UGA in Athens for a Research and Assessment interest group meeting and then back to the sweaty house. Today was grocery shopping, finally getting the air conditioner repaired, and then a solid four-hour chunk of coursework.

So, yeah, this is the first chance I’ve had to catch my breath and fill you all in on book nerd summer camp.

I did a very long book haul video on Fig and Thistle Books on Facebook, but I haven’t had a chance to write about the experience. In short, it was fan-fucking-tastic. I finished one and a half books. Not nearly as much as I had hoped, but I don’t even care. I slept like a log. I spent long stretches of time staring at nature. I drank gallons of great coffee. I bought books and ate delicious food. Wonderful things, but not the best part. The best part was the amazing conversations I had with my friends.

We talked about families, careers, goals, and silly things. Our last evening at the cabin we went around the room and shared the book that has most impacted our life. We talked about gender, feminism, sexuality, religion, and pop culture. What a deeply enriching and rewarding experience.

We’re doing it again next year. July 2018 we’ll be going to Asheville, NC. I’ve thought about making this event big and inviting more book bloggers and I’ve had several readers express interest. But, I’m hesitant to make this “a thing.” While I knew some people better than others at this book nerd summer camp, I still felt like I knew them all to some degree and the group was small. I hesitate to open the event up to something larger because I want to take those three or four days and talk to friends and read; I don’t want to manage a camp. I’m thinking next year I will send out invites to folks I know best and keep the group small (no more than 10 folks including myself). However, I will share what week we’ll be in Asheville in case some of you other book nerds would like to organize a trip with your bookish friends at the same time and we can all meet up for dinner or coffee.

Another perk of book nerd summer camp is it really revitalized my reading, writing, and blogging mojo. It may not look like that now – thank you last week of the semester – but I have plans for August and I’m trying to squeeze in some pockets of time to catch my breath, read, think, and write.


Book Nerd Summer Camp!

On Friday I did my first Fig and Thistle Books Facebook Live video (BTW, like my F&T Facebook page and be entered into a bookish prize drawing). I talked about my overly ambitious July TBR and I mentioned an exciting event happening this week. BOOK NERD SUMMER CAMP!!!

burning calories

This upcoming Thursday my good friend Shannon is picking me up and we are headed to Tennessee for a Book Nerd Summer Camp. Shannon isn’t a blogger – but is a total book nerd – but the other bookish pals meeting us up there are bloggers (AndiHeather, Carrie, and Katie). We have a cabin on the side of a mountain for several days. We have plans to read and write during the day and then in the evening we’ll explore the city for delicious food, coffee, and plenty of book shopping.


I’m ridiculously excited. Work is INSANE and I’m trying to finish multiple projects before vacation starts. I’m also in the last two weeks of my summer semester and I have two monstrous projects to chip away at before I leave.

Tonight my brain is too pudding like to attempt school projects. I’m off to draft up my packing list and maybe make a book list of titles to find at all the shops we’ll be visiting.


Ridiculously excited!

F&T Facebook Contest

Eons ago, when I was still “lifestyle” blogging and less focused on books, Fig and Thistle had a Facebook page. I could never figure out exactly what I wanted to do with the Facebook page. My personal page is filled with political rants and my personal life; stuff I’m trying to keep at least semi-private. So what in the hellfire do I put on Fig and Thistle? Do I just re-post bookishness? Do I need to develop a content schedule for that as well? What’s a busy mom/grad-student/library-lady nerd to do?

Whelp, I’ve hit on something. I’ve toyed with starting a vlog, but I know that if I start a vlog on YouTube I will want to do it the “right way” and that means tons of time, planning, and fooling with editing software (perfectionism sucks, btw). I’ve decided to restart the Fig and Thistle Books Facebook page to do weekly Facebook live videos. Think mini-reviews, TBR piles, hauls, and the like.

If you’d like to hear/see me awkwardly talk about books on a Facebook page then please like the Fig and Thistle Facebook page.

Let’s sweeten the deal. If I hit 250 likes by August 15th and I’ll do a drawing for a bookish prize box that will contain some of my top bookish picks. I’ll open this contest up internationally, but international winners will win a gift of comparable value from the Book Depository.

You can like my FB page over there >>>> in the side bar, or simply click here.


Readerly Rambles: 7/3/2017


Ummmm… I need this mug.

What I read: Whelp. I read one book in June and it was a pretty good one. Shirley Jackson’s posthumously published collection Let Me Tell You. Was a solid 4 out of 5 stars. The book is made up of unpublished short stories, sketches, and non-fiction essays. I enjoyed the stories and many of the non-fiction pieces, but these writings definitely lacked a sense of completeness and Jackson’s word wizardry. It was interesting to enter into her imagination and think about how the final drafts would have looked. Don’t get me wrong, everything is engaging and well-written, but Jackson typically dazzles and knocks me on my tush and this collection lacked that final bit of polish.

What I’m reading: I’m nearly done with my re-read of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. Each time I re-read a Potter book, I like Dumbledore less and less. I’m also several hundred pages into Nicholas Basbanes’ door stopper A Gentle Madness: Bibliophiles, Bibliomanes, and the Eternal Passion for Books. I’m reading this text for my rare book librarianship class. I’m learning so much about the history of book collecting and it is fascinating. I have thoughts on the book that I’m reserving for my end of class paper and a book review for this blog.

What’s Up Next: I was supposed to read My Cousin Rachel in June along with some other bloggers, but course work had me knackered. That’s number one on my list. I’m going to have a chunk of reading time next week and I hope to knock it out then.

Happy Reading!

And happy 4th of July… remember… #RESIST