True Facts About The Cuttlefish

photo of a tan colored cuttlefish

I’ve been frantically working on an essay in hopes of having good news to post soon. In service to this essay, I’ve been learning about cephalopods –  octopuses, cuttlefish, squis, and nautilises.

Here, for you edification, is a helpful video called “True Facts About the Cuttlefish.” It was made by zefrank1. Thank you, zefrank1, this was indeed edifying!


And here’s one I’ve posted before, but can’t resist posting again:


Between the Lines Book Club: Interviews with Nancy Isenberg

between the lines book club logoThis month we are reading White Trash: The 400 Year Untold Story of Class in America. Nancy Isenberg is an author and a history professor at Louisiana State University. Here’s an interview with her from Salon.

Prefer radio? You can hear an interview with Isenberg at WNYC on the Leonard Lopez Show.

Finally, If you are up for a long video, this is a video of Isenberg at Roosevelt House Public Policy Institute, in conversation with Frank Rich, Writer-at-Large for New York Magazine, and Bill Goldstein, Public Programming Curator for Roosevelt House:



Meet Me At The Library!

Frankenstein's monetser, by Stephanie TaylorFebruary sees me giving talks at several library branches. I would love to see friends and blog readers! Here’s my schedule”



Tuesday, 2/6/18, Folsom Library

Persuasion Book Club Chat

6:30PM – 7:30PM



Saturday, 2/10/18, Arden Dimick Library

Romance, Then and Now

10:30 – 11:30AM

Carrie Sessarego, blogger, will talk about the history of romance as a genre, from the medieval era in which “romances” were adventure stories, to today when romance novels are a billion dollar industry. We’ll talk about how romance changed from the 1970’s to today and how different social movements affect the genre. Finally, we’ll discuss the many subgenres that exist, including contemporary, science fiction, fantasy, paranormal, and historical! Handouts will include a list of book recommendations from Jane Austen to current authors.




Saturday, 2/10/18, Robbie Waters Pocket Greenhaven Library

Frankenstein: The 200th Anniversary

2PM – 3:30PM

In 1818, Mary Shelley crafted one of history’s greatest literacy achievements. Two hundred years later, local artist Stephanie Taylor has created a new interpretation of Shelley’s Frankenstein, bringing her own vision to the story. Taylor’s illustrations have been published within the original work in a limited edition run from the I Street Press. She and Carrie Sessarego will discuss the lasting impact of the book, the process of illustrating the novel, and the public perception of this iconic story it.
A 15-minute Q & A will follow each hour-long discussion. 

Frankenstein's monetser, by Stephanie Taylor

Thursday, 2/15/18, Folsom Library

Persuasion Book Club Chat

1:30 – 2:30


Saturday, 2/24/18, Arden Dimick Library

Frankenstein: The 200th Anniversary

3PM – 4PM





Between the Lines Book Club: White Trash, by Nancy Isenberg

between the lines book club logoOur February Book Club pick is White Trash: The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America. We will be meeting to discuss this book at Arden Dimick Library on February 24, 2018 at 10:30 AM.

In White Trash, Isenberg explores the history of class in America from colonial times through the present. she looks at class from a historical lens but also examines it in popular culture, in works such as Deliverance, To Kill a Mockingbird, and Duck Dynasty. Topics explored include eugenics, past and current politics, and the intersections of class and race.

Join us on Feb 24 for what is sure to be a spirited (BUT POLITE) discussion!


Blessed Imbolc

snowdrops in snow

Imbolc, also called St. Brigid’s Day, is a quarter day festival halfway between Winter Solstice and Spring Equinox. Like the more secular Groundhog’s Day, it acknowledges that eventually winter will actually end. It’s usually at this time of the year that lambs are born in Scotland, Ireland, and Wales.

Originally, Imbolc was a festival of the Goddess Brigid. When the Celtic lands were Christianized, it became the festival of Saint Brigid, who is associated with cows and butter, protection, and learning.

Here is a herding blessing, from Power of the Raven, Wisdom of the Serpent by Noragh Jones. Blessed Imbolc to you all!

I will place this herd before me

As was ordained by the King of the World,

Brigid to keep them, to watch them, to tend them

On ben, in glen, on plain.


Arise, you Brigid, the gentle and fair,

Take you your lint, your comb and your hair,

Since you made to them the lovely charm

To keep them from straying, to save them from harm;

Since you made to them the lovely charm

To keep them from straying, to save them from harm.


From the rocks, from the drifts, from the streams,

From crooked passes, from destroying pits,

From the straight arrows of the slender banshee,

From the heart of envy, from the eye of evil;

From the straight arrows of the slender banshee,

From the heart of envy, from the eye of evil.


Mary Mother, tend you the offspring all,

Fair-handed Brigid, encompass my herd,

Kindly Columba, saint of many powers,

Nurture the cow mothers to bring me more beasts

Kindly Columba, saint of many powers,

Nurture the cow mothers to bring me more beasts.

Between the Lines Book Club: More Books About Domestic Life

between the lines book club logoTomorrow (January 27, 2018) we’ll be meeting at Arden Dimick Library at 10:30AM to discuss At Home, by Bill Bryson.

At Home is entertaining, but how accurate is it? Most of the book covers the Victorian Era. Here are some other nonfiction books about domestic life in Victorian (and Edwardian) times. If it’s a book I”ve reviewed, I’ve linked to the review.

Unmentionable: The Victorian Lady’s Guide to Sex, Marriage, and Manners, by Therese O’Neill

Yes, the Victorians had their hangups, but they had a lot of sex too! I loved this book which was both fun and informative – and made me very happy not to have to wear a crinoline.

How to be a Victorian, by Ruth Goodman

Goodman, a historical re-enactor, never takes herself too seriously, but she supplements her well-researched book with anecdotes of her own experience. She also wrote How to be a Tudor.

What Jane Austen Ate and Charles Dickens Knew, by Daniel Pool

As the title suggests, this covers everyday life in the Regency and Victorian periods.

To Marry an English Lord, by Gail McColl and Carol McD. Wallace

Want to know how to marry an English Lord during the Edwardian Era? Here’s a hint – be very, very rich, and know your table manners.


Come Hear My Mary Shelley Rant!

Portrait of MAry Shelley
Hey Sacramento area peeps – I am doing a series of talks about the 200th anniversary of Frankenstein in partnership with The Sacramento Public Library. I’ll be presenting along with Stephanie Taylor, the illustrator of a new edition of Frankenstein, published by the library’s very own I Street Press. The first of these talks will be this coming Friday at Rancho Cordova Library, from 1PM – 2PM. Here’s the complete schedule:

Rancho Cordova Library: Fri, Jan 26 @ 1 pm

Carmichael Library: Wed, Jan 31 @ 6:15 pm

Pocket Greenhaven Library: Sat, Feb 10 @ 2 pm

Arden Dimick Library: Sat, Feb 24 @ 3 pm