Amber's blog

City Tales: City Noir

paris noir

This time around our travels take us to the darker side of the city.

Are you ready for the seamier side of your favorite city? The Akashic Books city noir series combines two of my favorite things: noir mysteries and great cities. Each anthology features original stories (by authors such as Lawrence Block, Stewart O'Nan, Pete Hamill and Michael Connelly) set in a "distinct neighborhood or location within the city."

Indian Country Noir

City Tales: Pittsburgh

The Mysteries of Pittsburgh by Michael Chabon

Ah, Pittsburgh. The Steel City. City of Champions. My adopted hometown.

Pittsburgh has come a long way from the dirty, smog filled days of the steel mills but I don't think the city has quite yet reached the status of a vacation destination for many other than me.  Here are a few titles that allow you to travel to the 'Burgh without leaving your recliner.

What Have We Done For You Lately

What is your first thought when you think of libraries?

I recently had to create an elevator speech on library advocacy.  It is my thought that many people aren't aware of all the fantastic services the Denver Public Library has to offer. Here's my take on what your library can do for you, in 30 seconds or less:

Cover Me

Jeff Buckley's Grace

Is there any cover song that is better than the original?

My husband and I were discussing cover songs the other day and the conversation got me thinking. I used to be adamant that no cover song is better than the original until I realized that I couldn't argue my point because one of my favorite songs of all time is a cover! This brought to mind several other examples of cover songs that I actually prefer over the original. So I guess I have to eat my words a bit (just don't tell my husband!).

Here's my "better than the original" list. I'm curious to see what your list would include.

City Tales: Chicago

sin in the second city

Did you know that the nickname the "Windy City" is derived not from the city's weather, but from the reputation of politicians in the late 1800s to boast about the city?

This nickname came into play as Chicago and New York were vying to be named host to the 1893 World’s Fair. Ultimately, Chicago won the honor and thus we have the strange and fascinating tale, Devil in the White City.

Currently engrossed with Erik Larson’s fantastic story, I have discovered two additional strange but true tales about Chi-Town to add to my reading list:

A cuppa, a crumpet and a corpse

british flag

There's a reason why many of our popular shows are remakes from the UK: our friends across the pond really know how to do good TV, especially clever, thrilling mysteries. So if you're in the mood for a smart whodunit check out one of these fine British mystery series.

  • Wire in the Blood - Psychologist Dr. Tony Hill is called upon to help the police solve a series of brutal murders in the northern English town of Bradfield.

Funny Mommies

sippy cups are not for chardonnay

Have you recently traded in your stylish handbag for a diaper bag? Do you miss eating dinner with two hands while your food is still warm? Have your Facebook posts gone from witty comments to ponderings on baby poo?

If you answered yes to any of these questions then put down What to Expect the First Year and pick up one of these hilarious tales.

What’s your funny mommy moment?
 

Let Guns N' Roses Soothe Your Baby to Sleep

Rockabye Baby Guns N' Roses

What baby wouldn’t enjoy drifting off to sleep to the sounds of Welcome to the Jungle or November Rain? My daughter and I have had a blast listening to Rockabye Baby’s lullaby renditions of popular bands (ok, so maybe this is more of a treat for Mommy). Who knew the xylophone and glockenspiel could sound so good?

Not a fan of 80’s hair bands?

A Blender, A Vegetable and an Ice Cube Tray

blender baby food

It really is that easy to make your own baby food! I love the idea of knowing exactly what is in the food my daughter is eating and I’ve found that making our own baby food takes just a small amount of time and effort.

We’re still on simple fruits and vegetables, but in one afternoon I made enough food to last for several weeks. After the food is steamed and/or pureed I pour it into ice cube trays and freeze. These “ice cubes” make the perfect serving size for my hungry six month old!

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