Book Blog

Book Blog: Year in Review 2018


It’s interesting looking at my reading list for 2018. I didn’t have any goals this year except to read more non-fiction and poetry, as well as, writing reviews in a timely manner.

Sad to say I didn’t read any poetry, but I did read 11 non-fiction titles. Impressive, considering the year before I think I read one. And as far as the reviews went, I tried but ultimately gave up around August. I’m no good at writing them… maybe next year.

Some of my favorite titles in 2018 include…

  • What Does This Button Do?: An Autobiography by Bruce Dickinson
  • Hannah Green and Her Unfeasibly Mundane Existence by Michael Marshall Smith
  • The Bloody Chamber: And Other Stories by Angela Carter
  • The Hunger by Alma Katsu
  • Florida by Lauren Groff
  • Burning Down the Haus: Punk Rock, Revolution, and the Fall of the Berlin Wall by Tim Mohr
  • The Anomaly by Michael Rutger (aka Michael Marshall Smith)
  • The Labyrinth of Spirits (Cemetery of Forgotten Books, Bk. 4) by Carlos Ruiz Zafón
  • Becoming by Michelle Obama

… just to name a few.

I also had a first this year. I read my first Agatha Christie and I discovered a few new authors for myself… C.J. Tudor, Deanna Raybourn, Gail Carriger, Neal Shusterman, and Matthew Pearl. Also, I can’t recommend the ‘Steeplejack’ series by A.J. Hartley enough.

Here’s a quick review of everything I’ve read in 2018.



  • What Does This Button Do?: An Autobiography by Bruce Dickinson
  • Why We Suck: A Feel Good Guide to Staying Fat, Loud, Lazy and Stupid by Denis Leary
  • Plaid and Plagiarism (The Highland Bookshop, Bk. 2) by Molly MacRae
  • Why We Don’t Suck: And How All of Us Need to Stop Being Such Partisan Little Bitches by Denis Leary
  • Twelve Angry Librarians (Cat in the Stacks, Bk. 8) by Miranda (Dean) James
  • Imprinted by Jim C. Hines
  • The Wrong Dead Guy by Richard Kadrey
  • Scythe by Neal Shusterman
  • Firebrand (Steeplejack Series, Bk.2) by A.J. Hartley
  • Of Murder and Men by Lynn Cahoon
  • Paper Ghosts by Julia Heaberlin















  • Seduced by Randy Wayne White
  • This Body’s Not Big Enough for Both of Us: A Novel by Edgar Cantero
  • The Middleman: A Novel by Olen Steinhauer
  • Burning Down the Haus: Punk Rock, Revolution, and the Fall of the Berlin Wall (Galley, September 2018) by Tim Mohr
  • Harry Potter and the Cursed Child: Play by J. K. Rowling, Jack Thorne, and John Tiffany
  • Library of Souls by Ransom Riggs
  • The Man Who Came Uptown by George Pelecanos
  • Patient Zero, The Dragon Factory, and The King of Plagues, Assassin’s Code (Joe Ledger, Bks. 1-4) by Jonathan Maberry
  • Guardian (Steeplejack, Bk.3) By A.J. Hartley





  • The Ghost and the Bogus Bookseller (Haunted Bookshop, Bk. 6) by Cleo Coyle (aka Alice Kimberly)
  • A Tale of Two Kitties (A Magical Cats Mystery, Bk. 9) by Sofie Kelly
  • Blood Orbit by K.R. Richardson (aka Kat Richardson)
  • Before the Chop IV (and after): LA Weekly Writing (and more) 2012 – 2018 by Henry Rollins
  • Predator One, Kill Switch, and Dogs of War (Joe Ledger, Bks. 7-9) by Jonathan Maberry
  • Much Ado About Muffin (Merry Muffin Mystery, Bk. 4) by Victoria Hamilton
  • The Chalk Man by C.J. Tudor





  • Soulless, Changeless, Blameless, Heartless, Timeless (The Parasol Protectorate Series, Bks.1-5) by Gail Carriger
  • Candy Apple Red by Nancy Bush
  • Tangled Web (Deadly Curiosities, Bk.3) By Gail Z. Martin
  • Fear Nothing by Dean Koontz
  • Blue Christmas by Mary Kay Andrews
  • What Happened by Hillary Clinton
  • The Anomaly by Michael Rutger (aka Michael Marshall Smith)
  • The Labyrinth of Spirits (Cemetery of Forgotten Books, Bk. 4) by Carlos Ruiz Zafón
  • The Secret, Book & Scone Society by Ellery Adams
  • Becoming by Michelle Obama
  • Deep Silence (Joe Ledger, Bk.10) by Jonathan Maberry

Final Thoughts

Wow, 106 titles read in 2018. Way to go me! I see a lot of cozy mysteries, urban fantasy, and mystery-thriller in my list. Along with some non-fiction (did I mention I read 11 titles) and got caught up on four series. Huh, February has only three titles listed. Weird.

Here’s to 2019!!! Happy Reading!!!

Special Collections/Archives

Special Collections Archive Internship Experience (Getting Started)


Last year I had the fantastic opportunity of completing an internship in a special collections archive for my Library and Information Science Practicum. I learned a lot and thought it would be fun to share my experience with others.

I was able to complete onsite visits and interviews of various archives in the city, as well as, processing a collection and creating the collections finding aids for both written and metadata records.

Below you’ll find some of the objectives, activities, readings, and web tutorials that I utilized throughout the process, as well as, a list of onsite interview questions that helped me understand the similarities and differences between each special collection archive.

Game Plan:


  • Gain exposure to archive and special collection activities and issues within a variety of institutional contexts.
  • Obtain a broad overview of activities, institution types, and positions in archives and special collections.


  • Observe reference service interactions in archives and special collections department; participate as required.
  • Observe and participate, as necessary, in collection development, acquisition, and donor relations activities.
  • Arrange and describe a small archival or special collections collection according to institutional guidelines and standards.
  • Create an Encoded Archival Description (EAD) finding aid according to institutional standards.
  • Complete site visits and interviews with area archival and special collection professionals.
  • Complete assigned and elective readings in archival and special collections topics.
  • Attend appropriate department and committee meetings, as identified by supervisor.
  • Participate in digital initiative activities, as appropriate.


  • Bradsher, J.G. (1989). Managing Archives and Archival Institutions: Introduction to Archives. Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press.
  • Daniels, M. and Walch, T. (1984). A Modern Archives Reader: Basic Readings on Archival Theory and Practice. Washington, D.C: National Archives Trust Fund.
  • Greene, M.A. and Meissner, D. (2005). More Product, Less Process: Revamping Traditional Archival Processing. The American Archivist, 68(2), 208-263.
  • O’Toole, J.M. and Cox, R. J. (2006). Understanding Archives & Manuscripts: Archival Fundamentals Series II. Chicago: Society of American Archivists.
  • Olivieri, B. And Mehaffey, A.M. (2015). Interlibrary Loan of Special Collections Materials: An Overview and Case Study. RBM: A Journal of Rare Books, Manuscripts, and Cultural Heritage, 16(2), 113-126.
  • Roe, Kathleen D. (2005). Arranging and Describing Archives and Manuscripts. Chicago: Society of American Archivists.
  • Society of American Archivists. (2013). Describing Archives: A Content Standard (2nd Ed.). Chicago: Society of American Archivists.


Site Visits and Interviews:

Here’s a list of question provided by my internship supervisor…

  • What is your job title and what do you do?
  • What is the scope of your collection? What do you collect and not collect?
  • What is your parent organization?
  • Who are your primary users? What types of research and reference questions do you receive?
  • What system do you use to manage your collections? Do you use Archivists’ Toolkit, Archives Space, and a homegrown system?  Do you work with a library system?  What are the benefits and challenges of your system?
  • Do you work with born-digital or digitized materials? What type of digital program do you have?
  • What is your educational background? What is your professional history?
  • Why did you decide to enter this profession?
  • What types of preservation and conservation activities do you do?
  • What descriptive standards do you use? Do you use DACS?  Do you create EAD finding aids?
  • What suggestions do you have for someone considering archives and special collections as a career?