For a lot of working ladies, maternity leave means an extended period of time off. Little do they know, it's hard to get things done with a newborn babe.
But Bilo bucked the trend.
Her goal: Finish all six novels by Jane Austen. Those would be Pride and Prejudice, Emma, Persuasion, Mansfield Park, Sense and Sensibility and Northanger Abbey. Bilo decided to embark her Austen-ite literary journey after downloading 25 classic books on her Nook for 99 cents. Lucky for Ms. Jane, Austen happened to be first in line.
Bilo's favorite is Pride and Prejudice, with Persuasion coming in second.
Just because Bilo achieved her goal doesn't mean it was easy. "Life with a 3 1/2-year-old and a 2-month-old is crazy, so if I read five pages I was proud of myself," Bilo said, adding that Austen's prose sometimes put her to much-needed sleep.
Bilo is quite the bookworm even when not recuperating from giving birth. She counts Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Vladimir Nabokov and George R.R. Martin's A Game of Thrones series ("I read all the books in a month," Bilo said about the fantasy series-turned-HBO epic) as favorite entries in her library.
It's important to Bilo, who grew up in Phoenixville, that her kids see her reading so they appreciate literary love, even if they aren't past the picture-book phase. "I loved the Narnia series and A Wrinkle in Time. I'm really excited to see my kids discover these worlds I loved so much as a kid," Bilo said. "These books live forever."
On thin ice
A petition started circulating around that very special conclave of the Internet reserved for Philadelphia sports fans recently in an effort to save the Flyers' Ice Girls, the ladies charged with cleaning the ice between periods.
Problem is, reps for the Flyers and Comcast-Spectacor didn't know the girls were going anywhere.
Sources close to the Ice Girls said the 11-woman team would be eliminated, while others said some Ice Girls weren't behaving in accordance with Flyers standards, so the whole squad got a talking-to.
* While speaking at the Conservative Political Action Conference on Thursday, Dick Morris announced that he will be the new host of WPHT Talk Radio 1210's new afternoon drive-time show from 2 to 6 p.m., starting April 15. Morris will start off broadcasting from Philly, but then pontificate remotely from his houses in New York and Florida. Morris said he's excited to explore the Philadelphia area. Steve Martorano and Rich Zeoli, who occupy the drive-time slot, will move to a post-Phillies slot. WPHT has had quite the shake-up of late; Michael Smerconish recently announced he'll be leaving terrestrial radio for SiriusXM starting April 15.
* Three-time Olympic gold medalist Heather Mitts will join the Philadephia Union as a pregame and sideline reporter. Mitts, who was also a member of the U.S. National team, officially announced her retirement from playing soccer via Facebook on Wednesday. Mitts has been married to former Eagle A.J. Feeley since 2010.
OUT AND ABOUT
* Eagles fans, get pumped. You know the upcoming season is a reality when our Birds start dining out around town. Newly minted Eagles safety Patrick Chung, who was formerly with the Patriots, dined with his wife at Del Frisco's, enjoying dinner in the main dining room. Linebacker/special teams player Jason Phillips, who just came to Philly from the Carolina Panthers, opted for a private dining room at the Center City steakhouse with members of the Eagles staff to toast his signing. * New Eagles offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur opted for Italian food not far from his office, rather than steak, supping on a special stuffed 16-ounce veal chop at South Philly's Scannicchio's. I hear he chatted with the staff about the upcoming season and was quite friendly. * Destiny's Child's Michelle Williams hit up the Barnes Foundation while she was in town starring as Sandra Isadore in the musical "Fela!" at the Merriam Theater. "Fela!" about the life of Afrobeat musician and activist Fela Kuti, was produced by some Philly heavy-hitters including Will Smith and Questlove.
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