Libraries as places.
Shameless self promotion.

Marvelous engineering.

It was always my secret dream to marry an engineer.

You'll notice I've always been a pragmatic girl; I recognized early on I wasn't going to have the brains to BE an engineer, so I tweaked my dream accordingly. It didn't come true, but the fact remains I've always been a big fan of engineers. My brother is an engineer. I used to be an engineering librarian, and students training to be engineers remain the nicest group of students and people I've ever worked for. (In fact, when I left the engineering library for the public library, the members of the public were so shockingly mean, when compared to engineering students, that I cried after work the whole first month.)

Narrows So the other day when I was browsing the library stacks and found the book Marvels of Engineering, I thought, hey, I miss engineering. So I brought it home and spent a very enjoyable Saturday evening perusing it. I know. I'm the biggest nerd ever. But did you know that "in 1824, Joseph Aspdin concocted 'Portland cement' by burning a mixture of clay and lime. He had rediscovered the art of making cement, which was known to the Romans"? I thought not. It covers a ton of subjects: waterways, bridges, railroads, tunnels, skyscrapers, sports arenas, pyramids, and gothic cathedrals (among many others).

It's a great book, worth it for the pictures alone, but also for the explanatory text. It is, in short, the type of book you should buy if you have kids, and just leave it laying around for them to discover and look at. I may have missed the boat on marrying an engineer. But maybe if we have kids I can keep the dream alive by hoping they'll become engineers?