Articles by " Kristen"
10 Sep

Summer Reading Bingo Wrap-up!

Congrats and Thanks go out to our Bingo Contestants! 
In total, we awarded seventeen 10% off coupons (That's 17 Bingos!!) and one $100 Gift Card!!! For our first ever Summer reading Bingo, it was a smashing hit! 


Our Summer Book Bingo Winner!

We'll be back in the Bingo Swing next summer, so check back to play! In the meantime, our next book contest is right around the corner!


5 Mar

KU’s Book Bites: Written in Red


Background wolves are the best wolves...

Written In Red by Anne Bishop

Okay if you know me, you are probably aware that I enjoy Anne Bishop. Her "Black Jewels" books obsessed me for a REALLY long time. And kinda still do, I'm not going to lie. I spent a surprising amount of time a few nights ago trolling the interwebz for earrings that reflect "the power of my red jewels". (my birthright jewel is green, but I descended to red when I made my Offering to the Darkness. That's right, I'm nerdy!)

Even if you aren't a huge fantasy nerd, who loves Anne Bishop and her world building ways, I still recommend reading Written in Red. Rather than a guilty pleasure, WiR is an actual pleasure. I'm not sure if it was marketed to YA, or adult audiences, but it is suitable for both. (i.e. no sex. Although I have hopes somebody will be "gettin' some" in the next book, as WiR is part of a planned series)

I found this book to be THRILLING! The perfect mix of "alternate reality" re-imagined earth, mythology, and romance. As soon as I finished reading it, I read it again. And many more times since then. I made all my friends read it. My copy is covered in hand cream, wine stains, and tears, the spine bent open in certain exhilarating places. Good thing I own a bookstore, because I'm going to need another copy.

11 Feb

My dog is my Valentine. In the good, non-creepy way.

Every year during Valentine's week, my darling husband and I gaze deep into each others eyes and whisper "honey, the dog show is on!" And by the dog show, of course we mean The Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, being held this year Feb. 11&12. I find it very funny and charming that this is a big, romantic event in our year. Our dogs are the light of our life, however, so maybe it's not so surprising.


Can you really blame us?

Westminster is unique in televised dog shows, in that they feature every breed, not just a select few. (the ones that show two second clips of 5 dogs from each group BOIL MY BLOOD! GOOD THING I DONT HAVE ANY REAL PROBLEMS TO GET UPSET ABOUT!) You can view each breed in all of its beautiful glory. We cheer for the Great Danes and Vizslas.



But we take voyeuristic pleasure in all the breeds, especially the hound group, (Coonhounds! Plotts!) and the "new introductions", breeds that have just been recognized by the Kennel Club this year.

Another thing that we enjoy are the targeted, dog-centric advertisements. I'm crying over these two right now, and Speck, my Great Dane is licking my tears away.

In conclusion, dogs are the greatest. I didnt have a dog growing up, and I wonder how it would have changed my underwhelming  childhood if I had. As an adult, I have been privileged to share my life with both rescue dogs, and breeds, and they have given me nothing but the purest, most unconditional love. Watch the dog show. Get a dog, or two. Live happily ever after. The end.

30 Dec

Happy Birthday, Dame Agatha!

Agatha Christie started me on my life long love affair with mysteries. I read my first one when I was 12, and just re-read the whole series this year. Her books are the perfect wholesome junk food (think granola bars) for the mind. They have everything: murderromanceintriguehigh societygoodevil!, plus, many of them feature two of the most iconic detectives in the history of mysteries, Hercule Poirot and Jane Marple (no offense to Mr Holmes, and Lord Peter Wimsey).

Only the Bible has sold more copies (and the Guy who wrote that has a great PR department!)

Fun Fact: AC is one of the two best-selling authors of all time (and she is in exalted company, Willy Shakespeare is the other one)

I used to be all about Poirot, his quirks and affectations were easy to love. However, the fluffy old maid Miss Marple was less accessible and, in fact, I had never read any of the Miss Marple stories. Then , in 2007, I had one of my periodic bouts of completion-ism, and decided the time had come to read ALL the Agatha Christie books. Well, old Miss Jane became a particular friend of mine, maybe liking her comes with age. Speaking of age, it delights me that both of Christie's main sleuths are old. And I'm not talking 50ish. From the very first books M. Poirot and Miss Marple are described as elderly and infirm, and they frequently use this to their advantage, purposely appearing old and confused to trick a vital clue from a witness or trap a killer. Christie's detection is done in the mind, not searching out the fingerprint or cigar ash, but relying on brains and experience. The idea that the mind improves with age is a comforting and novel thought, especially in today's youth-obsessed culture.

This man is the definition of the word dapper.

Fun Fact: M. Poirot is the only fictional character to have been given an obituary in the New York Times.

I started with Death on the Nile, and recommend that's where you start too. Although, there is a vocal minority here at Kards Unlimited that votes for Murder on the Orient Express (I just really like the movie, that's all! - Chris). Death on the Nile wins my vote because of its rich cast of "characters" in the truest sense (some of these people are odd, no doubt about it!) In fact, one of the best things about AC's books is her speedy, but thorough character development. And of course, that the killer is almost always a surprise. Sometimes shockingly so. Although AC is no longer my favorite English mystery writer, (that would have to beDorothy Sayers, her literary creation Lord Peter Wimsey is my true love) she remains my go-to girl for the times I want to kick back and turn off my brain, without the unpleasant aftertaste that so much popular fiction leaves.

Read on for a list of my Agatha Christie faves:


The Mysterious Affair at Styles, Peril at End House, Murder on the Orient Express, Murder in Mesopotamia, Death on the Nile, An Appointment with Death, Hercule Poirot's Christmas, Five Little Pigs, Cat Among the Pigeons (not much Poirot in this last one, but lots of political intrigue)

Miss Marple:

Oh you saucy, saucy minx!

The Body in the Library, The Moving Finger, A Murder is Announced, 4.50 from Paddington, At Bertram's Hotel

Final Fun Fact: Did you know that the honorific "Dame" is the female version of "Sir", meaning that the recipient has been admitted into knighthood? So, AGATHA CHRISTIE WAS A KNIGHT!!

"I was a knight? That's really cool! Thank you, Wikipedia!"