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!”