Books | SIMA

Well, friends, we made it through another week! And this was a particularly memorable week–one of my closest friends in Omaha gave birthday to a big, beautiful baby boy yesterday. I’m especially giddy this morning because I get to meet him today, and his parents asked me if I would take his first “professional” portraits next week. What an honor! I’ve been doing my research on newborn photography, learning the best positions for the baby and what equipment I’ll need. But if you have any experience photographing newborns, I’d love your suggestions.

On another note, do you enjoy these weekly round-ups? I know I don’t do them every week, and I’m debating whether to continue with them. I come across so much great content on the web every day that I want to share with you, but I’m wondering if these types of posts disrupt the “flow” of my blog. (Does my blog even have a flow?) I’d love to hear your thoughts, so please leave your comments below. Or email me if you prefer: pj at somewhereinmiddleamerica dot com.

And now, the list:

From honey-colored waves or a bleach-blond pixie, Michelle Williams can do no wrong with her hair.

Am I jealous that this talented photographer is only 19? You bet! (via Creature Comforts)

I have never been to Maine, but I would go just for a McLobster.

These book clocks are so brilliant. One would look terrific in my living room. (via A Merry Mishap)

Free downloads for fellow list-making lovers. (via Elizabeth Anne Designs Living)

I’m in the mood for A Little Romance.

When was the last time you had a really good cry?

Have you ever seen anything as darling as this embroidered cake? (PS: Happy birth day, Spencer!) (via Oh Happy Day)

Knitting takes too long; I need to learn how to crochet. (via Design*Sponge)

Again, please let me know what you think about this weekly series (or any of my posts). I’m in the process of considering a blog revamp and could use your good advice.

The end of August is finally here! Yippee! Woot Woot!!

Can you tell I’m excited about the September? Why wouldn’t I be? So many exciting things are happening: a visit to NJ, the birth of my friend’s baby, J’s homecoming.

Plus, I’m dying to get a jump start on Fall trends, from menswear for women and military-inspired fashion (Did anybody catch last night’s “Project Runway?” Isn’t Gretchen just awful?) to purple makeup and “greige” nails. What are you looking forward to next season?

Here are some of my favorite finds from around the web this week. If you like them too, please comment below!

I need an intervention: I am addicted to paper planners.

Must have this green apple box for the kitchen. (via Design*Sponge)

Kimberly Ayers‘s style is so me.

Just say no to receipts: There’s BPA on heat-activated paper. (via Design Scouting)

Did Cynthia Rowley sell out?

Bookshelf Porn. Enough said. (via Paper Tastebuds)

Brilliant use of a chalkboard door.

Lox Papers creates amazing collages for each blog post. (via Creature Comforts)

And speaking of “Project Runway”… I already have Tim Gunn’s book; now I need Nina Garcia’s Look Book.

Hope you have a blissful weekend!

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After reading several reviews like this and this in February praising The Postmistress by Sarah Blake, I quickly requested it from the Omaha Public Library. It was a popular pick; a copy didn’t become available for me until early May. Eagerly I dove inside the pages expecting to fall in love with it as I did with The Help, but I was quickly–and sadly–disappointed. I couldn’t get into the story. I didn’t like the writing, the author’s overuse of commas. Feeling guilty, I returned the book to library yesterday unfinished. Now I wonder what everybody else saw in it that I didn’t.

I hate not finishing books, don’t you? Do you force yourself to get through books you’re not enjoying, or are you comfortable putting them down before reaching the end?

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If you were as obsessed with the tween book series “The Baby-Sitters Club” by Ann M. Martin as I was growing up, you probably also watched the terribly cheesy TV adaptation starring absolutely nobody famous.

In honor of the new BSC prequel by Martin, Lemondrop dug up some clips from the TV show and found one featuring guest star ZACH BRAFF as Dawn’s potential love interest. I pinky swear that I recognize his character, but I can’t remember if my 10-year-old self thought he was cute. At the time it probably didn’t matter because Dawn’s character was one of my least favorite (I was never what you’d call a “hippie”), and I didn’t really care what happened to her. I was definitely more of a Stacey and or a Claudia. Who was your favorite BSC member?

And how many of you tried to start your own baby-sitters club? You can bet that my friends and I did, sticking fliers in neighborhood mailboxes, although I don’t think we ever got any jobs.

Inspired by Real Simple’s No Obligation Book Club pick from a couple of month’s ago, I put A Gate at the Stairs on hold at the library at the end of the year, and a couple of weeks ago I received a call that it was available to pick up. It sat on my coffee table for a while, fighting with the TV for my attention. Last week, when I was feeling particularly blue, I decided to take a bubble bath. Since I can’t watch TV in the bathroom (can you?), it was the perfect opportunity to crack open Lorrie  Moore’s book.

It took a short while to get into A Gate at the Stairs, but once I did, I read it in less than two days. The author’s style was a bit too lyrical for my taste – some of her descriptions went on and on – but the story was interesting and the main character’s perspective on the people and events surrounding her was compelling.

To read a review of A Gate at the Stairs, click here.

What are you reading?