Wednesday, January 18, 2017

90 Candles!




 My dad's 90th birthday party.
January 8, 2017.
Happy birthday to my amazing and wonderful dad!



For more wordless photos, go to Wordless Wednesday.

Saturday Snapshot is hosted by West Metro Mommy ReadsTo participate in Saturday Snapshot: post a photo that you (or a friend or family member) have taken and then leave a direct link to your post in the Mister Linky at West Metro Mommy Reads.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

A Few Books You Might Have Missed (But Shouldn't Have) from Last Year

Lab Girl...Yes, I know you've seen it around, but you still haven't picked up a copy, have you? Deep down you think it's not your sort of story. You are wrong.

Letters of Note...A book of letters? Really? you say. Give it a chance. It's mesmerizing. I promise.

The Battle for Room 314...You might think I'll let you pass on this one if you aren't a teacher. Sorry, but everyone needs to read this book. It explains a lot about the abysmal lack of thoughtful discourse in the US. As well as the results of the most recent American election.

The Art of the Pie...It's easy. Really. (Easy as pie, it turns out, is true.) I dare you to find this book at your local bookseller and take a look at the cover (oh, deliciousness) or to read the brilliant intro and walk away without buying it. We need more pie.

Lonely Planet's Beautiful World...I don't think I've ever seen a more beautiful book of beautiful photos from our beautiful world.

The Night Gardener...My list of wonderful books you might have missed last year would not be complete without a children's picture book. This one is a doozy.

Some Writer! The Story of E. B. White...Have to include this one. The illustrations in this children's biography are brilliant. 

I'm sorry I don't have any fiction from last year on this list. There was a lot of fiction I liked a lot, like Commonwealth and Summer Before the War, but the truth is I liked these a lot but I'm not mad for them, and I think there's a difference between these levels of love for books. Maybe you've run across some fiction from 2016 I missed...please share.












Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. This feature was created because we are particularly fond of lists here at The Broke and the Bookish. We'd love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!

Each week we will post a new Top Ten list that one of our bloggers here at The Broke and the Bookish will answer. Everyone is welcome to join. All we ask is that you link back to The Broke and the Bookish on your own Top Ten Tuesday post AND add your name to the Linky widget so that everyone can check out other bloggers lists! If you don't have a blog, just post your answers as a comment. Have fun with it! It's a fun way to get to know your fellow bloggers.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Books for Living, News of the World, and Oodles and Oodles of Alice in Wonderland

Maybe it's the start of the brand new year, but, for whatever reason, my mailbox has been swamped with books for review this week. Here's what arrived:



I am happy to have a three day weekend in which I can jump into these.



I also had a great reading week. Here's what I finished:




I took Books for Living off my Amazon wish list just before Christmas when I saw it was coming to my public library. Then I was sad that it took so long to get to the library (it always does though, doesn't it?) Finally it arrived, and, with great anticipation, I jumped in. I love to read about books and one of my favorite subgenres of books-about-books is books-about-favorite-books. I worried a bit when I saw in the introduction that the author Will Schwalbe had had a great conversation about his favorite books on a plane with a fellow passenger and that one of the books the two had in common was The Alchemist (a book that didn't wow me). Nevertheless, I read on. I was disappointed to find that, while I had a few favorite books in common (The Little Prince, Bird by Bird, The Odyssey), there were a lot of forgettable books (at least forgettable to me) on the list, including Gift from the Sea and Girl on the Train and Rebecca, and there was a lot more memoir talk than book talk. Nevertheless, I may take a closer look at some of the books on Schwalbe's list that I haven't read, such as Lateral Thinking and The Importance of Living and Song of Solomon and A Little Life. In addition, to some good book recommendations, I love this little quote from his book:

"Now that my brother, sister, and I are all over fifty, my brother, using a golf analogy, refers to our lives as being played on the back nine---the first nine holes are behind us. Whatever score we've accumulated, we carry with us. Suddenly, finishing honorably and staying out of sand traps and water hazards matters more than seeing our names on the leaderboard."

The 101 Most Influential People Who Never Lived is one of those books that would have made a better magazine article or a simple list than it did a book. Most of the book felt like filler. I'm not terribly sure I agree with many of the choices on the list either. Would you put The Marlboro Man at the top of the list? I don't think so.

The News of the World was a satisfying read. The plot is the story of an elderly veteran of several wars who takes on the difficult task of returning a ten-year-old girl to her family after being captured by and spending many years with a Native American tribe. I loved traveling through post-Civil War Texas with those two, and I loved the relationship that developed between them.

I picked up The Annotated Alice to help me thoroughly prepare for our upcoming bookgroup discussion of Alice in Wonderland. I don't think you could find any book that would explain and provide thoughtful commentary for the curious aspects of this very curious book. Just for fun, I also read Alice in Wonderland, illustrated by Alison Jay, along with the Disney Step into Reading version, and the board book version, Alice in Wonderland: A Colors Primer. And I read The Once Upon a Time Map Book: Take a Tour of Six Enchanted Lands (including Alice's) and Alice in Wonderland Adapted for the Stage.

You want a book that will delight a new mom? You can't do better than Take Heart, My Child. Beautiful pictures. Lovely text. You will ooo and aaah. You will cry. It's for everyone except those who don't do ooo and aaah and who hate to cry over children's books.






What are you reading today?


What is the Sunday SalonImagine some university library's vast reading room. It's filled with people--students and faculty and strangers who've wandered in. They're seated at great oaken desks, books piled all around them,and they're all feverishly reading and jotting notes in their leather-bound journals as they go. Later they'll mill around the open dictionaries and compare their thoughts on the afternoon's literary intake....That's what happens at the Sunday Salon, except it's all virtual. Every Sunday the bloggers participating in that week's Salon get together--at their separate desks, in their own particular time zones--and read. And blog about their reading. And comment on one another's blogs. Think of it as an informal, weekly, mini read-a-thon, an excuse to put aside one's earthly responsibilities and fall into a good book. Click here to join the Salon.

The Sunday Post is a meme hosted by Kimba at Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It's a chance to share news and recap the past week.

Mailbox Monday was created by Marcia at The Printed Page. We share books that we found in our mailboxes last week. 
 It is now being hosted here.


Stacking the Shelves is a meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews in which you can share the books you've acquired.

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is where we share what we read this past week, what we hope to read this week…. and anything in between!  This is a great way to plan out your reading week and see what others are currently reading as well… you never know where that next “must read” book will come from! I love being a part of this and I hope you do too! It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is now being hosted at The Book Date.


Wednesday, January 11, 2017

The Best Part of the Texas Book Festival: Caught Reading









For more wordless photos, go to Wordless Wednesday.

Saturday Snapshot is hosted by West Metro Mommy ReadsTo participate in Saturday Snapshot: post a photo that you (or a friend or family member) have taken and then leave a direct link to your post in the Mister Linky at West Metro Mommy Reads.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Books I Meant To Read But Didn't Get To (But TOTALLY Plan To)

Hillbilly Elegy


News of the World


Books for Living


Raymie Nightingale


Barkskins


A Little Life


When in French


American Housewife


Homegoing


Jellicoe Road


Have you read any of these? Any recommendations for what I should get to first?


Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. This feature was created because we are particularly fond of lists here at The Broke and the Bookish. We'd love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!

Each week we will post a new Top Ten list that one of our bloggers here at The Broke and the Bookish will answer. Everyone is welcome to join. All we ask is that you link back to The Broke and the Bookish on your own Top Ten Tuesday post AND add your name to the Linky widget so that everyone can check out other bloggers lists! If you don't have a blog, just post your answers as a comment. Have fun with it! It's a fun way to get to know your fellow bloggers.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Starting Out 2017 With a Bang! (And I Don't Mean Fireworks)



I finished ten books on January 1, 2017.

Huh? I can hear you say. Are you pulling my leg? Exaggerating? Lying?

Nope. I honestly and truly finished ten books on January 1st. I do it every year. 

So what is my secret? 

I finish off my list for 2016 just before the Christmas break from school. Then I read like crazy for the week or so before the first of the new year. I read like crazy, but I don't quite finish the books I'm reading; I leave the last chapter or the last few pages for the first day of the year. 

Result: I start each year confident. Excited to work on my yearly reading challenge. With a bang. (And I don't mean fireworks.)

I guess it's a bit of a cheat of a sort but it works for me. It's fun to tell people when I am asked that I've already read ten books by day one of the new year. Lots of Oooos and Aaaaahs and the "You are an amazing reader!" sort of comments. Well, yes, I am.

Here's what I have finished last week:


covertitleauthorreview
But What If We're Wrong? Thinking About the Present As If It Were the Past
This is a wonderfully refreshing idea for a book: how will the present look from the future? What will we think about the way we looked at sports and ...more 
From Cover to Cover: Evaluating and Reviewing Children's Books
Evaluating and reviewing children's books is something I do a lot. I could benefit from reading this book, I thought. I was disappointed to find that ...more 
The Monks and Me: How 40 Days in Thich Nhat Hanh's French Monastery Guided Me Home
Mary Paterson spends forty days at Thich Nhat Hanh's monastery in France and returns home to Canada calm and peaceful. This book is a collection of re ...more 
I'll Give You the Sun
Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance Wow. Wow. Wow.

(That doesn't tell you much, does it? Let's see if I can tell you a little bit of what this story is about....)

T
 ...more 
The Almost Nearly Perfect People: Behind the Myth of the Scandinavian Utopia
The question of everyone's mind these days seems to be: What's so great about Scandinavia? Michael Booth, an Englishman living in Denmark, decides to ...more 
Atlas Obscura: An Explorer's Guide to the World's Hidden Wonders
Carhenge, a replica of Stonehenge, using junk cars. The Museum of Bad Art, where nine of every ten submissions are rejected for being too good. Ozyman ...more 
Hating Alison Ashley
I didn't know a thing about this book except (1) it is a 1001 Children's Book and (2) one of the main character has the same name as I originally had ...more 
The Battle for Room 314: My Year of Hope and Despair in a New York City High School
Let me start by telling you the ending....

*****SPOILER ALERT! SPOILER ALERT! SPOILER ALERT!*****

...he quits.

Yes, he gives it a year, one year, and he
 ...more 
More Letters of Note: Correspondence Deserving of a Wider Audience
It's a book of letters and, if that sounds boring, you obviously haven't read this book. These are brilliant missives, some funny, some sad, some zany ...more 
The Diary of a Country Priest
If I was more clever, I'd rate this a five and if I went by what a struggle it was to get through it, I'd rate it a three, so I suppose this is a spot ...more 

I'll be at my dad's 90th birthday party most of today. My dad is just like a five year old before Christmas!



What are you reading today?


What is the Sunday SalonImagine some university library's vast reading room. It's filled with people--students and faculty and strangers who've wandered in. They're seated at great oaken desks, books piled all around them,and they're all feverishly reading and jotting notes in their leather-bound journals as they go. Later they'll mill around the open dictionaries and compare their thoughts on the afternoon's literary intake....That's what happens at the Sunday Salon, except it's all virtual. Every Sunday the bloggers participating in that week's Salon get together--at their separate desks, in their own particular time zones--and read. And blog about their reading. And comment on one another's blogs. Think of it as an informal, weekly, mini read-a-thon, an excuse to put aside one's earthly responsibilities and fall into a good book. Click here to join the Salon.

The Sunday Post is a meme hosted by Kimba at Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It's a chance to share news and recap the past week.

Mailbox Monday was created by Marcia at The Printed Page. We share books that we found in our mailboxes last week. 
 It is now being hosted here.


Stacking the Shelves is a meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews in which you can share the books you've acquired.

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is where we share what we read this past week, what we hope to read this week…. and anything in between!  This is a great way to plan out your reading week and see what others are currently reading as well… you never know where that next “must read” book will come from! I love being a part of this and I hope you do too! It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is now being hosted at The Book Date.


Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Grandpa Reads at Christmastime



For more wordless photos, go to Wordless Wednesday.

Saturday Snapshot is hosted by West Metro Mommy ReadsTo participate in Saturday Snapshot: post a photo that you (or a friend or family member) have taken and then leave a direct link to your post in the Mister Linky at West Metro Mommy Reads.