Latest Reads: February 2017

Here are some short reviews of books I’ve read lately.

Dark Matter: This book won numerous awards in 2016 and all accolades are well-deserved. Full of action and science, it’s also romantic. You’ll reflect and appreciate all that you have in life after reading.

Swing Time: This book follows two girls as they grow up and grow apart. It touches on everything that helps shape an individual… income, education, parenting, friendships, career choice, culture, etc. I look forward to reading more books by Zadie Smith. 

All the Single Ladies: This book is very thought provoking. It digs deep into the cultural shifts that are enabling more women to bypass the standard family unit and stay-at-home lifestyle.

The Twelve, City of Mirrors: These books are the second and third (final) books in the popular series by Justin Cronin about the world after a science experiment goes wrong. I flew through these and wish the story wasn’t over. 

Edgar Sawtelle: If you love dogs, you’ll be touched by this book. It’s raw and impressive, but also surprisingly sad. 

The Story Behind the Barcart

I write this post while watching my favorite show… HGTV’s Flea Market Flip. I could watch it all day…

Bringing new life to old furniture is one of my favorite things to do. This passion definitely stems from my parents and my childhood. My dad and I weren’t above picking up things off the side of the road and reworking them. And I have fond memories of going to auctions, garage sales, and of course flea markets with my mom. 

In my apartment right now we have a TV console, dresser, and coffee table that I fixed up. But without a lot of space for more furniture, it’s been awhile since I’ve tackled a project. 

When my friend moved to a new apartment and started looking for a bar cart, I was inspired to rework the tired, outdated cart that I’d been using as a side table. 

I found the cart at a secondhand store in Rochester and snagged it for $20 almost 7 years ago. Over time, the second-tier glass shelf disappeared somewhere and the gold finish rusted in spots. It needed some love, and dusting…

So, I decided to play in Alex’s scrap wood pile and pull out an eclectic mix of walnut, oak, and padauk then build a random pattern. 

Using a table saw, wood planer, drum sander, some clamps, and wood glue, I created a new shelf to replace the one I lost. Alex helped me add a routed edge design and then finish with a gloss. 

I also sanded down the old metal frame and painted it a flat black. I had no idea that this little change would make the piece look so much better. 

We worked on this sporadically, so I never finished it in time for my friend to use for her apartment… go figure! 

I also have no idea how to ship it… So I can’t send it to a friend in NYC who wants to buy it. 

Right now it’s sitting in my basement. Such a shame! I might post on Craigslist soon, but it’s also hard to part with. I love its story, but have no use for a bar cart. 

I’m currently looking for my next project, so let me know if you have one in mind  đź™‚