Friday, August 29, 2008

Wild Releases #381 & #382

It has been awhile since I released anything at the Westmoreland County Courthouse, so I decided to amend that today. I left John Lescroart's "The 13th Juror" in the Courthouse Square courtyard by the No Smoking sign around 12:15 p.m. And since it has been a few days without releases for me, I decided to release a second book today. I left "Snoopy's ABCs" at the Hempfield Plaza McDonald's on top of the USA Today newspaper box on the sidewalk. Bon appetit!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Wild Release #380

It's back-to-school week for most kids in my area and to celebrate, and perhaps commiserate, I left "99 1/2 School Jokes, Riddles, & Nonsense," by Holly Kowitt, in the seat of a kiddie cart at the Eastgate Giant Eagle on Route 30 East in Greensburg.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Wild Release #379

Coupons do work. They are the reason I had lunch at Steak 'n Shake in Greengate Centre today. I enjoyed a lovely salad for just $3.99 and was able to leave Walt Disney's "The Little Mermaid" on the newspaper machine outside the front door.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Wild Release #378

This release was a long time coming. "Long Way Round: Chasing Shadows Across the World," by Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman, has travelled a long way in the back of my car for the last eight months or so. I knew I wanted to release it at a motorcycle shop, but I finished reading it while winter was still rearing its ugly head, and then one thing or another--such as over-anxious salesmen who meet you at the sidewalk and prevent you from just leaving a book in a plant, on a bench, or in the window--kept me from sending Ewan and Charley on their next adventure.

The planets were finally in alignment today: I was in the right part of town and Z&M Cycle Sales is closed on Sundays so no salesmen could scare me away. I was finally able to leave the book on a bench outside *and* take a release photo. Happy travels!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Wild Release #377

Niece No. 2 and I went to the Greensburg Hempfield Area Library's book sale this afternoon. Since she is a little more discerning about her books, she left the library with only four books, having spent $1. I, on the other hand, ended up with a total of 64 books, and spent just $10.50. After dropping her off at home, I stopped at the Subway/Rax restaurant on Route 119 in South Greensburg to pick up dinner and release "You Know You Love Me: A Gossip Girl Novel," by Cecily von Ziegesar, on the payphone outside.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Wild Release #376

Sister No. 5 and I dined with friends in Cozumel this evening. No, not Cozumel, Mexico, but Cozumel Mexican Restaurant in Greensburg. I left Isabel Allende's "Kingdom of the Dragon" on the candy machines in the hallway on our way in and we later saw our waiter carrying the book around. No journal yet, but my fingers are crossed.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Wild Release #375

Ever since Niece No. 5 gave "Curious George at the Fire Station," by Margret Rey, to me, I knew the perfect place to leave would be at a fire station. I had the opportunity to do so today: I left it leaning against the flagpoles outside Greensburg Hose Co. No. 2 on Pennsylvania Avenue around 1:45 p.m.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Wild Release #374

I was planning on leaving "The Bourne Ultimatum," by Robert Ludlum, inside or ouside of The Olive Garden where I was having a meeting this evening, but it didn't work out. Fortuitously, I had a movie to return to Blockbuster, which just so happened to be the perfect stop for Jason Bourne; I left the book next to the Bourne movies on the bottom shelf in the Action section.

Catch #48!

"Rebecca" has checked in after travelling for about seven weeks. She was journalled by an Anonymous Finder who says, "What a wonderful idea this is. I am a big "Rebecca" fan. But I never read the book before. Answered some questions the movie didn't." Thanks for helping Rebecca with her journey, AF! I think BookCrossing is a wonderful idea, too. :)

Monday, August 18, 2008

Wild Release #373

Mount Odin Park can be an oasis above the City of Greensburg. It sits high on a hill and its trees, golf course, soccer fields, and tennis courts overlook the downtown district. There is a playground by one of the pavilions that has a miniature town--child-sized playhouses that look like the buildings in Greensburg--as well as swings and jungle gyms. I left Walt Disney's "Brother Bear Read Aloud Storybook" on one of the jungle gyms by the Heather Lund Pavilion.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Catches #46 & #47!

Three catches in two days--hooray! "Water for Elephants" and "Five Quarters of the Orange" were found at the Webster's on Aaron OBCZ in State College and journalled by leahfelicity. Thanks for picking them up, leahfelicity! Enjoy!

Catch #45!

"E is for Evidence" was caught and journalled before we got home from our trip! New member RHC reports, "It was sitting in front of the Curtis Center, waiting for a temporary home. I will pass it on!" Thanks for journalling and joining, RHC. Happy BookCrossing to you!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Wild Releases #367 - #372

Today was a long day of sightseeing and driving, and it was great fun. Sister No. 1 and I took Niece No. 4 into Center City Philadelphia to show her some of the historic sites including the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall. I had a few books to leave behind and I started at the Independence Visitor Center where I left a "My America" book--"Five Smooth Stones: Hope's Diary, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1776," by Kristiana Gregory--on a bench outside. After visiting the Liberty Bell, we walked over to Independence Hall where I left Boris Artzybasheff's "Seven Simeons" on a bench under a lovely shady tree.

Sister No. 1 wanted to give Niece No. 4 the true flavor of Philadelphia, so we got pretzels and drinks from a cart on the sidewalk outside of The Curtis Center, where the lovely Dream Garden mosaic by Maxfield Parrish and Tiffany Studio dominates the lobby. We could only peek in the windows to view it because they were setting up for a wedding, but we ate our pretzels on the steps and left Sue Grafton's "E is for Evidence" behind. We went back to the grounds of Independence Hall to hear a story about Commodore John Barry, the Father of the American Navy who is honored with a statue in Independence Plaza, then did some souvenir shopping before heading to the Christ Church Burial Ground to see Benjamin Franklin's final resting place. It's a very simple stone grave visible through an iron gate at the southeast corner of 5th and Arch Streets. I left "The Ghost Next Door," by R.L. Stine, on the sidewalk just outside the iron gate, under the plaque listing his accomplishments.

After our adventures, we returned Sister No. 1 to her house, said our goodbyes, and headed back to southwestern Pennsylvania. We stopped at the Sideling Hill Travel Plaza on the Pennsylvania Turnpike for dinner and I left Dr. Seuss's "I Had Trouble in Getting to Solla Sollew" propped up against the information sign on the sidewalk outside the westbound entrance to the service plaza. Many hours later, after dropping Niece No. 4 at her house, I stopped for gas at the Sheetz in Irwin and left another "Goosebumps" book by R.L. Stine, "Ghost Beach," on top of the gas pump. It's great to be home!

Wild Releases #365 & #366

Ah, hotel living! Free cable, free wireless, free breakfast--it doesn't get much better. On our way to breakfast, Niece No. 4 and I left Stephen King's "The Dead Zone" on an end table near the piano in the lobby of the Crowne Plaza Valley Forge in King of Prussia, Pa. After filling up at the buffet and consuming many energy bars, we checked out and headed to Sister No. 1's house in Ardmore, leaving Scott O'Dell's "Island of the Blue Dolphins" on a bench outside the hotel on our way out.

Releases #117 & #118 for MRWiley's 2008 Movie/TV books release challenge.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Wild Releases #361 - #364

I'm on the road again, this time with Niece No. 4 in tow to visit Sister No. 1 in Philadelphia. We stopped at Sheetz in Youngwood to check the tire pressure, fill up with gas, and release John Sandford's "Rules of Prey" on top of the gas pump. A few hours later we stopped for lunch at the Plainfield Travel Plaza on the Pennsylvania Turnpike, and we left "Prince Caspian," by C.S. Lewis, by the self-serve lottery machines in the vestibule around 1:30 p.m.

We met Sister No. 1 at the King of Prussia Mall in King of Prussia, Pa., the biggest mall on the east coast of the United States. After a few hours at the Sanrio store, coveting all the Hello Kitty merchandise, we checked into the hotel and went back to the mall for dinner at the California Pizza Kitchen. I left Mario Puzo's "The Godfather" on a table near an escalator in the Plaza portion of the mall, and Walter Farley's "The Black Stallion's Courage" in the seat of one of the quarter-operated kiddie rides near the Five Below store in the same section of the mall.

"Prince Caspian," "The Godfather," and "The Black Stallion's Courage" are releases #114 - #116 for MRWiley's 2008 Movie/TV books release challenge.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Wild Release #360

Today's superfun activity, other than mowing the whole yard, was attending a performance of "101 Dalmatians" put on by Stage Right!'s theater campers, aged 4 to 7 years old. Sister No. 6, Niece No. 4, and I went to the Greensburg Garden & Civic Center and had a great time. The kids were cute even when (or because?) they missed their cues and flubbed their lines and choreography. I left a little surprise for someone to find: R.L. Stine's Goosebumps book, "Phantom of the Auditorium," on a bench outside the auditorium.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Wild Release #359

Sister No. 6 commanded that Mom and I join her for dinner--and we had to bring the dinner! To be fair, she was making a side dish, which was delicious, but we were assigned to bring a pizza. I decided to get one from Red Brick in West Point, so before I went in to pick it up, I left "The Summer of the Swans," by Betsy Byars, on the ledge outside the front door.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Catch #44!

I received a transmission from "Tonight On The Titanic" today! It has been rescued from the Titanic exhibit at the Carnegie Science Center in Pittsburgh and has made its way to Ohio, thanks to new member pounds: "This is the first book I've found, and I found it at the end of the "Titanic" exhibition at the Carnegie Science Center in Pittsburg[h]. Great location for it! I read it on the way home, and it was entertaining being that I hadn't read any kids novels in a while. I was mostly excited to find a program like this exists. I've been a book leaver for a while now, but never knew what happened to them!" Welcome to BookCrossing, pounds, from one book-leaver to another!

Wild Releases #357 & #358

It was a beautiful day for a drive today, so Mom and I headed to Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater in Mill Run, Pa., to take a self-guided tour of the grounds and leave themed releases behind. I highly recommend the self-guided grounds pass if you ever go. You are allowed to go all around the house (but not inside), guest house, pools, and grounds at your own pace and you are not stuck with a huge group of people.

You can even go on a couple of the cantilevered terraces, which is where I left Nancy Horan's "Loving Frank"--a fictional account of the relationship between Frank Lloyd Wright and Mamah Cheney--leaning up against a vase on a sideboard. My second somewhat-themed release was "Last of the Zinja," by Robert Shea, which I left on a bench at the scenic view area--that spot that *all* the Fallingwater photos are taken from where you can see the house and the stream that runs under it. From reading "Loving Frank," I learned that Frank Lloyd Wright had a great love of all things Japanese, hence "Last of the Zinja" was right at home.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Wild Releases #355 & #356

Happy vacation to me! I had a few days to use before the end of August so I took the whole week off to do stuff I want to do. Today, I wanted to go to the Titanic: The Artifacts Exhibition at the Carnegie Science Center in Pittsburgh, so my mother and I did. I was both impressed and disappointed with the exhibit. I was glad to see so many things that were salvaged from the ship, including a two-ton piece of the actual hull, but I wanted the whole experience to be even bigger and more ... titanic. Before you go in the exhibit, they give you a card with biographical information about one of the passengers on the ship. At the end, you are supposed to check the wall of survivors to learn your fate. Unfortunately, I died. Strangely, when I was younger, I always had the feeling that I died on the Titanic in a previous life. Perhaps I was peeking into the future, rather than the past. I left two themed releases there: "Tonight on the Titanic," by Mary Pope Osborne, was left inside the exhibit on a windowsill in the small recreation of the second class dining room, and "The Discovery of the Titanic," by Robert D. Ballard, was left on a light pole sporting a "Titanic" exhibit banner, just outside the exhibit at SportsWorks at the Carnegie Science Center.

"The Discovery of the Titanic" is release #113 for MRWiley's 2008 Movie/TV books release challenge.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Wild Releases #353 & #354

It has been a few days since I have released any books, so to make up for it, I released two today. My first release was Carolyn Keene's "The Thirteenth Pearl" at King's Jewelry in Greengate Centre after enjoying lunch at Panera Bread next door. I tucked this themed release (pearl = jewelry) in the plastic catalog rack attached to a display sign on the sidewalk. My second release was "Hannah Montana Volume 4: Cars and Superstars," by Todd J. Greenwald and Steven Peterman, which I left on the outside windowsill of Stage Right! School for the Performing Arts on North Main Street in Greensburg.

Releases #111 - #112 for MRWiley's 2008 Movie/TV books release challenge.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Wild Release #352

I gave Sister No. 1 some prenumbered labels for books her not-yet-officially-BookCrossing co-workers leave behind. They understand the concept of book sharing, but just don't know about BookCrossing yet! One of those shared books was Nicholas Sparks's "The Notebook"; Sister No. 1 reports she left in the café at the Bryn Mawr Film Institute in Bryn Mawr, Pa., when she went to see "Brideshead Revisited" on July 18, 2008.

Release #110 for MRWiley's 2008 Movie/TV books release challenge.

Wild Release #351

I went to McDonald's on Route 119 in South Greensburg for lunch today to enjoy a Southwest Salad (which I did!) and left Kate DiCamillo's "Because of Winn-Dixie" tucked into the "come-work-for-us-take-an-application" employment rack in the vestibule between the side entrance doors.

Release #109 for MRWiley's 2008 Movie/TV books release challenge.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Wild Releases #344 - #350 & OBCZ Find #1

After our meeting last night, I was talking to my roommate about book clubs and reading and loving books and she said, "I heard of this program once where you go on this website and register your books and then you just leave them for other people to find and you can track them, but I can't remember the name of it." So I pulled out my BookCrossing T-shirt and BookCrossing tote bag full of labelled books and said, "Could it be BookCrossing?" And it was. She was so glad to finally know its name and I answered some of her questions and showed her the labels and bookmarks I have made. I think that was my first face-to-face encounter with someone who knew what BookCrossing was!

I was able to leave some books today before and after our meeting. This morning, on my way downstairs to breakfast, I left "The Devil Wears Prada," by Lauren Weisberger, on the ice machine on the second floor of The Nittany Lion Inn. On my way back from storing my luggage in my car, I left "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn," by Betty Smith, on a statue in front of the J. Orvis Keller building on Penn State's campus. And finally, after our meeting was over and done and goodbyes were exchanged, I left "To Kill A Mockingbird," by Harper Lee, at the sundial outside The Nittany Lion Inn.

One of the reasons I was glad to go to the conference in State College was so I could visit an Official BookCrossing Zone (OBCZ). Though there are some closer to me than State College, this is the first time I found myself in the right place at the right time. On my way home, I stopped by Webster's Cafe on Aaron, ordered a single mocha, and perused their OBCZ shelf to find a book to bring back to Greensburg with me. I found Anne Tyler's "Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant," and left three of my own there: "Water for Elephants," by Sara Gruen, "Five Quarters of the Orange," by Joanne Harris, and "P. T. Barnum: America's Greatest Showman," by Philip B. Kunhardt Jr., et al.

I had one final release to take care of once I reached Greensburg. I left "The Bungalow Mystery," by Carolyn Keene, on a table outside the women's restroom on the first floor of the Mountain View Inn. It's good to be home, sweet home.

"The Devil Wears Prada," "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn," "To Kill A Mockingbird," "Water for Elephants," "P.T. Barnum" and "The Bungalow Mystery" are releases #103 - #108 for MRWiley's 2008 Movie/TV books release challenge.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Wild Releases #342 & #343

I'm on a road trip to State College this weekend for an American Cancer Society Daffodil Days Leadership Conference. Any road trip should begin with properly inflated tires, especially when gas prices are hovering around $4 a gallon, so I stopped by Sheetz in Greensburg--the only place in Greensburg with FREE air--to top off my air and leave "Italian for Travellers" propped up against the air machine.

I arrived at The Nittany Lion Inn in State College about 2-1/2 hours later and left Johanna Lindsey's "All I Need Is You" on a bench between the parking garage and the hotel. This is the first of many books I hope to leave behind in State College this weekend.