Summer Reading List: Window Shop Wednesday

It’s Window Shop Wednesday again with The Katie Chronicles! This week’s location is my biggest weakness. The place I can walk around aimlessly for hours, scouting out comfy chairs and look longingly at the vanilla lattes but never purchase because I’m too cheap. I used them for their free wi-fi in my college days, and usually walk out satisfied but empty-handed… Barnes & Noble!

As you know, I have an unhealthy obsession with books.

Today I am picking out all the books I would buy at B&N given the chance. (In reality, I will be getting most of these from the library. Libraries rock!! P.S. I just got my new library card for my new town! I love my new library already. Plus, they have a magazine swap bin! I came home with a huge stack of Better Homes & Gardens)


I have a policy. If I want to see the movie, I need to read the book first. I knew that as soon as I saw the new movie trailer for “The Help”, starring the hilarious Emma Stone, I needed to read this book. The Help is a story of a young journalist who shares life stories from the perspective of three African-American maids who work for white families in Mississippi in the 1960s.

I love to read memoirs and biographies. This summer I would like to read A Stolen Life, Jaycee Dugard’s memoir of her kidnapping. Unless you’ve been under a rock, you would know that Dugard was kidnapped when she was 11 years old and was kept in captivity (while having had two children mind you) for 18 years before she was discovered in 2009. I would love to hear her tale and see how she had remained so positive and grounded throughout such a life-altering experience.

I have actually already read this book. But, I haven’t read it since my dear life-long dog friend/pet/family member Woody passed away almost two years ago. The Art of Racing in the Rain will make you cry. It’s a story of a race car driver and his life told through the perspective of his dog, Enzo. Grab me the tissues already, will you?

I judge novels by the cover. So sue me. I’m a graphic designer. It’s what I do. This cover is just stunning! I always looks for classic books with beautiful covers or bindings whenever I am at used books sales or garage sales. With seven Austen books packed in one, I may actually consider buying this one new!

I read Julie & Julia (duh, see my policy under book #1 listed) a year or so back and also saw the film. I am so intrigued by the life of Julia Child and I would love to learn more about her life via My Life in France. This has nothing to do with the fact that my Dad used to talk in a Julia-Child-voice while making Saturday morning cinnamon buns.

I don’t really know a lot about Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens if you’re tight). This was Twain’s last book that he wrote and was published in 2010. Did you read that correctly? Yes. This is why I want to read this book. Twain wrote his autobiography (a whopping 736 pages) but then laid down restrictions that it couldn’t be published until 100 years had passed after his death, giving Twain the rare privilege of writing a best selling novel in 19th, 20th and 21st centuries. Why wouldn’t you want to read about a man that interesting?

I have also already read The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. I thought this book was fascinating. Granted, I work in the biotechnology industry, but this woman and her story have impacted every person on this planet and no one knows her name. HeLa (HEnrietta LAcks) cells make up nearly every cell on the planet that is used for medical testing. Her cells have gone into space, are being used to fight AIDS and cancer and help create every vaccine you could imagine. Little would you know her cells were taken from her without her knowing before she died from a vicious bout of cancer. This book is about Henrietta Lacks, her family and racism in the medical testing field in the mid 20th century.

And finally, I would buy a new copy of The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis, because mine is falling apart. This is a very interesting read and one of my favorite works of Lewis. It’s a series of letters back and forth between the Devil and one of his minions on earth talking about how to tempt his assigned human into sin.

There you have my new reading list!

What are you going to read this summer?

Dorm Living Throwback: Window Shop Wednesday

My freshman dorm room was an explosion of hot pink and green. Luckily, my randomly assigned roommate also happened to choose hot pink and green. Our room was a madness of bright colors, patterns, Hanson music (did I just say that one outloud?) and goldfish (RIP Frank).

I lived in the basement floor of my building, affectionately called the “She-Pit”. It was fun. It was quirky. It was… grody. Living in the basement increased the humidity, so our posters were always falling down (because of course we had to use sticky tack. No tape allowed!).

Also funny, a few of the older dorms on campus (like the one I was living in) were built in the 1960s on some type of government grant. The grant elected to cover all the building expenses, except for furniture. And they defined furniture as anything that touches the floor. Naturally.

So, of course, all of our “furniture” was bolted to the wall, hovering about 8 inches above the floor (and thus covered).  No, I’m not kidding. My bed was a big plank sticking out from the wall. And you couldn’t move anything. Except for the desk chair.

So where am I going with this again? Ahhh yes. It’s that time of the week again – Window Shop Wednesdays with The Katie Chronicles! Today we are window shopping at Bed, Bath and Beyond – the holy grail for dorm living accessories. I was feeling nostalgic. So today I decided that I will window shop for a “dream dorm room”. (…Like I’d ever give up that pink and green. It was awesome.)

I would start with this fun Amy Butler Dream Daisy Duvet Cover! I love the fun peacock colors and graphic flowers.

Since my bed would be so amazingly comfy, I would need this Timex® Wacky Shake & Wake Alarm Clock. (True story: When I had my very, very first test in college I slept through it. Oh, I cried. I needed this clock. Do they make clocks that start punching you in the stomach when you don’t get out of bed?)

I would also need this Real Simple Laundry Tote. I love the fun colors and it looks big enough to hold a semester’s worth of dirty clothes.

To beautify my cement block walls, I would put up these Round Mirrors Framed In Black. Hung up with 3M sticky hooks of course.

And lastly, I would need this Indoor/Outdoor Travel Blanket. I would use it to watch soccer games on the quad, outdoor movies, going to the beach or whatever collegiate antics I may be up to.

I would NOT need the all-nighters and cafeteria food though. Those I am happy to leave in the past.

What did your dorm room look like?