Jill's blog

Still missing The Wire?

Like many people I am a huge fan of the HBO show, The Wire.  I love the rich character development (Stringer Bell and Omar Little are my favorites!) and how each season focuses on different institutions that impact the drug trade and life in Baltimore: criminal justice, unions, politics, education, media, etc.

After devouring all five seasons of The Wire in an extraordinarily short amout of time, I was eager for another show in which I could lose myself.  Luckily, I found other programs that proved satisfying.

Justified:  In many ways, I see Justified as the rural version of The Wire.  Justified has a little of everything: on-going character development, family dysfunction, a highly compelling “bad guy”, social issues in coal-mining country, a little romance and a lot of drama.

Sons of Anarchy:  Call this a cross between The Wire and Justified, but on motorcycles.  It’s a  gritty, violent, oddly touching and funny (at times) tale about an outlaw motorcycle club.

Homeland:  While this show is definitely for fans of 24; the action, interesting cast, is he/isn’t he a terrorist storyline, and how it portrays mental illness make it a must see.  Don’t be surprised if you want to cancel all plans to watch a full season in one sitting.

The Walking Dead:  First off, I am not a fan of zombies.  But, the beauty of The Walking Dead  is that you don’t have to be to love this show. It’s a scary, adrenaline rush that has you rooting for your favorite characters each episode.  I recommend watching it with another person and in the daylight, unless you’re fearless (or stronger than me).

More shows to keep you engaged:  Game of Thrones, Dexter, Breaking Bad, Girls, Deadwood, The Sopranos, Southland.

Please, tell us your favorites too.

Remembering James Gandolfini

Sad news yesterday when I heard that the actor James Gandolfini passed away at the age of 51.  

As a huge fan of the hit TV series The Sopranos, I can remember the excitement and anticipation for each week's episode.  In my mind (at least), The Sopranos was one of the first in a long line of iconic, must-see HBO shows.

While famous for playing Tony Soprano, Gandolfini appeared in many films.  Check one of them out in honor of a great actor that left us too soon.  



East Lansing Modern, 1940-1970: Exhibit and Events

Did you know that the East Lansing Public Library is a prized example of mid-century modern architecture? Visit the MSU Museum to see ELPL and many more examples of East Lansing buildings that highlight this very popular form of architecture.  


East Lansing Modern, 1940 - 1970
MSU Museum Ground Floor,  April 28 - August 18, 2013

Believe the Hype: George Saunders

Sometimes when you really love something you want to keep it to yourself. Other times you want to shout about it from the rooftops. My love for George Saunders falls in the latter category.  I became instantly smitten with George Saunders' writing after a friend recommended him to me.  And, after meeting him in person and acting like a giddy tween meeting Justin Bieber, I adored him as a person.  My love for his writing remains unwavering. Now, years after being introduced to Saunders, he's back with an amazing collection of stories, Tenth of December.  

Saunders' writing is difficult to describe, but his short stories are hilarious, devastating, poignant and wildly creative. The closest comparison I can come up with is a twisted blend of the writings of Twain, Vonnegut, Thomas Pynchon and Aimee Bender and that still doesn't really capture Saunders' work.  
Skeptical?  While it can be argued I am hyperbolic regarding Saunders, check out New York Times, NPR, San Francisco Chronicle, just a few places recently singing his praises.  

NPR's Best Music of 2012

Is your iTunes rotation played out? Curious if your new favorite band is one of the best of 2012? If so, check out NPR's Best Music of 2012. NPR covered it all from rap to rock and country to classical.

Image from:  http://piccsy.com/2012/04/mixtapes/ 

ELPL: City Pulse's Eye Candy of the Week

 Thank you City Pulse for selecting The East Lansing Public Library as "Eye Candy of the Week".  Great article!  Also, if you haven't been in the library lately check out our new carpet, thanks to a very generous anonymous donor.  

North Foyer Art Gallery, Meeting Room and Foyer restrooms inaccessible on November 27

Tomorrow, Tuesday November 27, the North Foyer Art Gallery, Meeting Room and Foyer restrooms will be inaccessible due to the carpet installation. But, the installation is ALMOST complete!

Happy National Bundt Day!

Last year I made a ton (ok, around seven) different Bundts to celebrate National Bundt Day and participate in The Food Librarian's "I Like Big Bundts" project.  This year, it snuck up so fast I almost forgot about it.  

While I didn't make any Bundts (yet!), our baking books are filled with great recipes.  Bundts are easy, look good and taste great.  They are also perfect for people who don't like frosting.  

More ELPL Bundts:
Paula Deen Keeps It Real: Coconut Pound Cake Bundt
No Recipe Necessary: Rice Krispies Bundt Cake
The Go and Vote Bundt Cake
Jumping on the I Like Big Bundts Bandwagon: Pumpkin-Pecan Bundt Cake

Be Informed: Voter Guide 2012

Love politics?  Hate 'em?  Either way, it's best to be informed!  Below is a brief list of websites focused on local and national voting information useful to prepare ourselves for the November 6 election.  

Michigan Votes: Voter Information Center : provides infomation on if you're registered to vote, where you're registered and your polling location.  Last day to register to vote for the November 6 election is October 9.

League of Women's Voters of the Lansing Area: voter guides for the Greater Lansing area.  Both the Ingham County and East Lansing School Board guides are useful for the East Lansing community. Also check out Vote411.org, where you can "build your own ballot" to prepare to vote for who and what you support.  

On the Issues:  every politcal leader on every issue.

Project Vote Smart: non-partisan information on U.S federal and state candidates.  Called "heaven for politcal junkies" by USA Today.

Say Nice Things About Detroit

Detroit has been the subject of much discussion over the past few years.  It's a hot topic and not just here in Michigan.  On a recent trip to Los Angeles, people were still talking about Detroit becoming the "new Brooklyn" (read more here and here) and the Santa Monica Public Library had the book featured in this post prominently displayed for check out.  When I walked by 30 minutes later it was checked out.   

While opinions about Detroit vary wildly, one thing is for sure:  people sure like talking and writing about it.  Personally, I love Detroit. Being a huge fan of mid-century architecture, Detroit (Wayne State's campus is one of many places to explore) and the surrounding area (particularly Cranbrook) is amazing. 

If you are at all interested in Detroit, this book is worth checking out: Detroit: a biography by Scott Martelle. While not exactly a jolly read, it does give a good historical glimpse into what Detroit once was and what it can now become.  

Before reading this book, I found these interesting documentary videos about Detroit made by Johnny Knoxville.  It's a three part series that focuses on a variety of aspects of Detroit, including a lot of the positive changes being made.  

Since it's that time of year, I'll end this post by shouting (well, writing) Go Tigers!  

East Lansing Modernist Architecture Information Session: Tuesday, September 25 at 5pm

Love architecture? Curious about buildings and houses in East Lansing? If you are interested in or have information about modernist architecture (1940-1970) in East Lansing, please join this community discussion led by Dr. Susan J. Bandes, Professor in the Department of Art/Art History/Design at Michigan State University. In collaboration with the East Lansing Public Library and the State Historic Preservation Office, MSU students are contributing to a statewide inventory (michiganmodern.org). Come learn about the project.

Too Hot? Cool Off at the Library!

It's supposed to be over 100 degrees today-- yikes!  If you need a cool (in so many ways) place to hang out, come to the library.  The A/C is kicked up and it's definitely a nice reprieve from the blistering weather we've been having these past weeks.  

Blog to Book: Let's Pretend This Never Happened (A Mostly True Memoir) by Jenny Lawson

I have to admit, before picking up this book, I had never really read Lawson's Blog.  I read hundreds of blogs each week and have been trying (unsuccessfully) to limit the time spent on them.  Seriously, it can become an addiction if you let it.

That being said, the cover of the book intrigued me (see: taxidermied rat) and the reviews were good.  I was on vacation, just finished all three Fifty Shades books in one day and needed (wanted!) to read something completely different.  So, enter Lawson's book.  

Verdict:  hilarious and oddly touching.  The underlying theme is that those moments that humiliate us and make us seem "weird" and embarrassed are also the ones that make us who we are and that's a good thing.  While I really enjoyed this book it should probably be avoided if you have an aversion to swearing (because there is a LOT of it), gross out situations and mild oversharing.  

Michigan Notable Author Visit: MSU Graduate Dr. Anthony Youn, M.D. on Thursday, May 3 at 7PM

Please join us for a visit from Michigan Notable Author, Dr. Anthony Youn, M.D.  From "Dr. 90210" to "Good Morning America" to the "Rachael Ray Show," Dr. Youn is becoming America's best-known expert on cosmetic surgery.  A board-certified plastic surgeon, Dr. Youn is a frequent contributor to CNN.com and MSNBC.com.  Dr. Youn is a graduate of the MSU College of Human Medicine and a majority of his book "In Stitches" takes place at MSU.

Check out his website and new book trailer:  http://www.institchesbook.com/