Book Review: Recursion by Blake Crouch

Recursion-cover-1263x1920Helena Smith’s mother is suffering from Alzheimer’s and she wants nothing more than to bring back her mother’s precious memories. So she begins experimenting with a new technology that will preserve special moments in life while also allowing them to relive learning to drive, getting married, the birth of their children or the last few moments with a loved one who is about to pass over into the afterlife.

Through her research and efforts, “the chair” is created. It can send you back to different memories in time, creating new timelines and erasing past mistakes or events. The only problem is, Helena’s boss isn’t using it for the purpose she intended and instead of doing good, her technological advancement is wreaking havoc on the current timeline of the world.

NYC cop Barry Sutton stumbles upon Helena’s invention while investigating False Memory Syndrome – a condition that’s causing people to kill themselves based on memories of lives they never thought they experienced. Unknown to them, their jolting memories, which return to them once they’ve reached the moment in time the original event was altered, are a side effect of someone else in their life using “the chair” to undo some event in the past.

The general public doesn’t know about “the chair” – only Helena and a few other researchers, and their subjects are poached off the street by Helena’s boss, Marcus Slade.

Soon the government will get involved and that opens a whole new Pandora’s Box. They start small by jumping timelines to undo school shootings or horrific criminal acts and soon, top officials want to eradicate past events like the Holocaust.

Recursion is a stellar follow up to sci-fi writer Blake Crouch’s thriller Dark Matter. There’s a lot to keep track of with the shifting timelines, but once you get used to it, it’s not hard understand where our characters are in the story line.

In addition to the face paced writing style, Crouch challenges readers to think about if changing the past really would really be for the moral good and if the human race can ever be trusted to carry that out if the technology is ever invented.

Easily one of the best books I’ve read all year, Recursion should be at the top of your reading list. Netflix has already optioned it for a film/TV series with Shonda Rimes’ production company to produce.

 

Library Due Date Headwrap with the Lemondime

As many of you know, I’m a librarian. And when it comes to fashion, librarians aren’t always known for their fashion sense, but I’m trying to change that perception! And if you’d like to see some more modern day, rock star librarians, be sure to check out This Is What A Librarian Looks Like – you may be surprised that we don’t all rock the bun and glasses look.

However, being a librarian means I can’t help myself when it comes to literacy inspired looks and when I saw this adorable library due date stamp headscarf, I knew it was right up my alley.

And when Kellie (nice name, by the way 🙂 ), the owner of The Lemondime wanted to partner, I was ecstatic!

Not only is this a GREAT piece that you can wear several different ways in your hair, but by purchasing from The Lemondime’s store, you are helping employ women who are at-risk and survivors of human trafficking.

The fabric from the headwrap comes from a local Indianapolis quilt store called Crimson Tate and they hand stamp each piece. So you’re getting a limited, unique piece that not many others are going to have and was handmade by one of the women The Lemondime works with.

You can buy the fabric from them as well and I’ll let you in on a little secret – they have other library inspired patterns too, so if you sew, go check Crimson Tate out immediately!

For more information on The Lemondime, be sure to watch their YouTube video for what inspired Kellie to start her company and how she’s helping these women with her store.

If you’d like to purchase your own library due date headwrap, here’s a discount code for free shipping! Use RETROREADER (all caps) at checkout.

And special thanks to the amazing Erica Dildine for taking my photos! Go follow her on Instagram if you aren’t already.

 

 

What to Eat at the 2019 Indiana State Fair

It’s that time of year again! The Indiana State Fair is always one of my favorite things to attend and sort of serves as a last hurrah of summer before the pre-fall mindset kicks in. Thanks to Indiana Grown, who gave me a free ticket, I got to attend last night and try out all kinds of new foods, drinks and relived my late teen years by attending the Pop 2000 Tour which was hosted by none other than Lance Bass of ‘NSYNC.

This year’s theme is Heroes in the Heartland and it’s a fun one  – in addition to recognizing our every day heroes like our farmers, military, police and first responders, superheroes have taken over and each day features a different character.

So on to the star of the fair: the food! There are sixteen new items on the menu and while I didn’t try all of them, I did sample a few of the hotter items and have a full review of everything I ate and drank.

Let’s start with the Blue Raspberry Lemon Twister. It’s a lemon shake-up but with a gorgeous blue raspberry twist. I give this one 5/5 and could have drank the larger size. Definitely order one to go along with your Angry Pretzel Poppers.

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My lovely friend Rachael (a.k.a. Forensic Fashion Notes), tagged along to help me eat all the things. Here she is trying out the Angry Pretzel Poppers with Mad Ranch Sauce. OMG. These are a must for this year – they do have some heat to them because of the jalapenos, but they are not overly hot. 5/5 on these as well.


Next up was the Relleno de Papa, which was essentially a fried mashed potato ball with seasoned ground beef inside. It comes with or without rice; I went rice free since I wanted to save room for other food too. I give this one a 4/5 because I like spicy and it could have used a little more kick for my personal preference.

I needed a break to let my stomach digest for a few minutes, so after that, we headed over to the Ag building and looked at all the local vendors in the Indiana Grown Marketplace. So many cool things!

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Then, it was over to the 4-H building! I was a ten year 4-H member and it was exciting to see some exhibits from Gibson County (my home county) take home top prizes 🙂 These kids are really creative and 4-H is such a great program to be a part of.

Appearing on the free stage last night was the Pop 2000 Tour, featuring Tyler Hilton, Ryan Cabrera, Aaron Carter and O-Town. If none of those names ring a bell, you probably weren’t a teenage girl in the early 2000s, haha.

We watched most of the acts, leaving when Aaron Carter came on to go get funnel cakes and then going back for O-Town, who brought out Lance Bass at the end for a rendition of “Bye, Bye, Bye.”

Our funnel cakes are A MUST: I got Birthday Cake (repeat from last year) and Rachael got the Red Velvet.

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Are you going to the Indiana State Fair this year? There’s a WHOLE list of other foods I didn’t get to try, notably the Rollin’ Mac Daddy Egg Roll, Poutine and Bison Hush Puppies. Let me know if you try any of them and what’s unique to your state fair if you live outside the Hoosier state!

 

 

 

Highway 1: L.A. to San Francisco

Called one of the most beautiful drives in the United States, Highway 1 spans several states and follows the coast from Washington all the way down to southern California. When driving this route, experts suggest taking days or even weeks to take in the beauty – and I can see why.

It’s been on my road trip bucket list for years and while we didn’t drive the WHOLE thing, we did take in quite a bit of it all the way from California up through Oregon. There were so many places we could have pulled over along the way, but didn’t, instead choosing to just enjoy the drive, take in Big Sur, then headed to San Francisco for a few days.

On the way out of Los Angeles, we drove through Malibu where I tried to stop to see the Cohen house from the television show The O.C. The home that was used, along with Marissa Cooper’s house and an adjacent neighboring house with the famous pool house from the show were in the path of the wildfires last summer. Online blogs reported the home was undamaged, however after making my way up the winding road into the community, you’re met by a gate at the bottom of the driveway and you can’t see anything once you get up there. It is visible from farther down the street, just no up close views. Sadly, the home with the pool house burned, so that’s no longer there.

Adam and I split up the drive that day; I took the first couple of hours and he took the rest. Highway 1 does take about twice as long as catching the 101, so take that into account when planning your trip.

The road is also very winding – I would not enjoy driving it at night. On one side, you have the mountain and the other a sharp drop off into the ocean. I can see where it would be very dark at night, and there are some construction zones following the mudslides from a few years ago, so plan accordingly.

It took us nearly all day to get to Big Sur, which was the highlight of the drive for the day. We pulled off at Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park and hiked the short trail to the overlook for McWay Falls.

The view was stunning. It was golden hour and pictures just really don’t do it justice.

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Note: there is no beach access, so don’t plan to swim here!

From there, we kept driving up Highway 1 toward Carmel-by-the-Sea for the night. On the way, I had to stop at Bixby Bridge, which some people probably recognize from the opening credits of Big Little Lies. In fact, residents in the area are pretty annoyed by tourists stopping to take photos because it’s clogging up the traffic and some are even doing dangerous things like hanging off the side of the bridge for an Instagram shot.

Please don’t be like these people! There is a designated viewing area – park there and don’t trample down the embankment or hang off the side of the bridge.

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Our hotel for the night was the Carmel Mission Inn. Hotels along this route are pricey, so factor that into your budget. I booked through Orbitz, so it was about half the price as what their web site says.

For dinner, we walked to a pizza place right behind the hotel called Allegro Pizzeria and got carryout. The pizza was New York style, pretty delicious and hit the spot after a long day on the road. I didn’t take any photos of it because I was too hungry, haha.

On day 4, we headed to San Francisco, which was another two hours or so. We left Highway 1 for this portion of the trip, stopping at Google Heaquarters in Palo Alto. I would have loved to have gone to Shark Fin Cove, but it was a more efficient route to jump on the 101 again, but if you aren’t detouring to San Francisco, consider adding it to your list of things to see.

Here are a few photos from Google. There’s a gift shop and the andriod statue garden, but if you want a tour of the place, you have to know someone who works there. We did walk around outside, but there’s not a lot to see on the campus.

We also went to Facebook but there were zero parking spots there, so no photos with the famous thumbs up sign by the road 🙁

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