Sunday, September 28, 2014

My Week in Books





What I Read and Reviewed Recently

I swear to you that I've been reviewing each book as I have read it. Somehow, though, I skipped actually posting my reviews here and on Goodreads and at LibraryThing and on Amazon. I will do better in the future. Promise.

covertitleauthorreview
Born Reading: Bringing Up Bookworms in a Digital Age -- From Picture Books to eBooks and Everything in Between
Boog sells you on his book right from the intro. Children whose parents read interactively with them are six to eight months ahead of other children,...more[edit]
The Upside of Your Dark Side: Why Being Your Whole Self--Not Just Your "Good" Self--Drives Success and Fulfillment
Okay. Quite the title, isn’t it?! Long but perfect, as that’s exactly what this book is about.

I must report that reading this book has resulted in a...more
 [edit]
True Stories, Well Told: From the First 20 Years of Creative Nonfiction Magazine
How much better it is for a book when you are the groundbreaker! True Stories, Well Told suffers only in comparison to the masterpiece of creative non...more [edit]
Dinner: The Playbook: A 30-Day Plan for Mastering the Art of the Family Meal
If you and your family find yourselves constantly eating out of a box, Dinner: The Playbook is for you. It is masterful and covers every possible ques...more[edit]
Think Like a Freak
Why are the Freak books so refreshing? Maybe they tap into that part of us as humans that reminds us that we really don't have everything all figured...more[edit]
We Are Not Ourselves
It started out well. The plot moved me along. Our main characters are Irish immigrant parents and their daughter. The daughter is driven as a teen to...more [edit]
Friendswood: A Novel
I lived Friendswood. From the minute I first saw this book on the Coming Soon section of blogs, as soon as I saw it dealt in part with the Superfund t...more [edit]
Biggles The Camels Are Coming
I hated the first couple of pages; I didn't get what was happening in the story. Then I decided to back up and just read it and go with it, not trying...more[edit]
Life According To Lubka
It didn’t take more than three pages of meeting Lubka before I wanted to adopt her as my grandmother. What a great character. Feet firmly planted on t...more [edit]
Aimless Love: New and Selected Poems
Aimless Love: Billy Collins. And, if you are like me, that’s all you really need to know. Billy Collins is the most readable poet in America today. Hi...more [edit]
War Horse (War Horse, #1)
What an excellent idea for a book! Our main character is Joey, a farm horse, and he is going to war. It certainly turns things around to have a horse...more[edit]
Riveted: The Science of Why Jokes Make Us Laugh, Movies Make Us Cry, and Religion Makes Us Feel One with the Universe
Some books are annoying because the author writes too much out of his own experience and doesn’t draw on science. This book doesn’t have that problem;...more [edit]
Seven Letters from Paris: A Memoir
We want the happy ending, don’t we? Sam did. She was at the end of her marriage, had slipped past forty with no children, and found her career had tan...more [edit]
The Accidental Connoisseur: An Irreverent Journey Through the Wine World

Lawrence Osborne learns about wine by taking a journey through the wine world. And, in the process, we learn a bit about wine, too. 
[edit]
Before Happiness: How Creating a Positive Reality First Amplifies Your Levels of Happiness and Success

If you tell me a book is about happiness, I’m gonna check it out. I just am.

This one was not a disappointment. Here are the ideas I took away:

“...in...more
 [edit]
Life is a Wheel: A Passage Across America by Bicycle
Bruce Weber rode his bike across America twenty years earlier. Now he’s in his fifties and he decides it’s time to do it again. Along the way, he meet...more[edit]
The Roads to Sata: A 2000-Mile Walk Through Japan
This book is going straight to the top of my list of favorite travel narratives. What a story! What amazing people he met! And what a writer Booth is!...more [edit]
Never Mind Miss Fox: A Novel
I don’t like to post reviews of books that disappoint me. I do it, nevertheless, as a public service; I would want to know if I was going to walk into...more[edit]
Life With the Lid Off
So happy I read this memoir, another book from the list of Mood-Boosting Books. Nicola Hodgkinson tells the story of her life as a single mother of th...more [edit]
Murder Strikes a Pose (A Downward Dog Mystery #1)
I admit it: The cover sold me on this book. As soon as I saw it, I was eager to find a copy.

Turns out, the cover was the best part. Don’t get me wron...more
 [edit]
How Georgia Became O'Keeffe: Lessons on the Art of Living
Now I see why others have raved so much about this story. It’s the life of artist Georgia O’Keeffe, but you won’t find this story in the encyclopedia....more[edit]
All the Light We Cannot See
This is a story of small lives---an orphan who is an expert with radios, a blind girl who makes her way through her town by way of a miniature village...more[edit]
Happy All the Time


Our main characters are actually not. (Not happy all the time, that is.)

Nothing phases Holly. She’s imperturbable, un-ruffle-able. Nothing gets to he...more
 [edit]
Thursdays in the Park
If you get nothing else from this book, think about this quote from the main character's Aunt Norma:
"Sixty is heaven," she had told Jeanie as they sat...more
 [edit]
The Awakening of Miss Prim: A Novel
Expectation: will love.
Actual evaluation: liked.

Transformation novels are my favs. I’d thought, hoped really, that The Awakening of Miss Prim might ri...more
 [edit]
Tales from the Yoga Studio
Everyone at the yoga studio has troubles. The owner of the yoga studio, Lee, is unexpectedly separated from her husband. Katherine is terrified of lov...more[edit]
Girls Standing on Lawns
I'd waited with great anticipation for Girls Standing on Lawns. And it was a lovely book. But it's only sixty-four pages. Just a bit of text. Okay, I...more[edit]
The Year of the Book
Why is it that elementary girls are facing Girl Meanness these days? It never struck for me until junior high. Sigh. But that was long, long ago, I su...more[edit]
       






What Arrived Last Week

These both look like great reads for me!

           










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! As part of this weekly meme Book Journey loves to encourage you all to go and visit the others participating in this meme. 

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Rain, Rain, Go Away







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.

Top Ten Books On My Fall To-Be-Read List


Eight books I can't wait to obtain:

  
 
  
 
How We Learn: The Surprising Truth About When, Where, and Why It Happens
Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson
Promise Land: My Journey Through America's Self-Help Culture
Small Victories: Spotting Improbable Moments of Grace
Wild Things: Acts of Mischief in Children's Literature
My Favorite Things by Maira Kalman
How to Be Happy by Eleanor Davis
The Happiness of Pursuit: Finding the Quest That Will Bring Purpose to Your Life


Along with two that I am reading now:

 
True Stories, Well Told
Born Reading: Bringing Up Bookworms in a Digital Age


What did I forget? Do you have any suggestions for me?


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 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 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, September 21, 2014

What May Well Be the Worst Bloggiesta Post Ever (Plus...My Week in Books)



It's the last day of Bloggiesta and I'm just getting around to writing my blogging improvement goals.

Something is wrong in Blogland.

I feel great waves of malaise sweeping through my world. Recently I've read posts by some of the blogging greats---Still UnfinishedBookfoolerySophisticated DorkinessEstella's RevengeBeth Fish ReadsRiver City ReadingCapricious Reader---who are all suffering from sort of as-yet-fully-diagnosed book blogging malady. 

Well, folks, here I am to offer a remedy. A home remedy, if you will. (I'll give you some time to grab a pencil. You might want to write this down.)

Here goes:

Blog if you want to. Blog when you want to. 

If you don't want to, don't.

Here is my gauge:  I use what Nabokov called "the tingle in the spine" as my measuring device. If I'm not feeling it while I'm reading, I'm dropping the book. If I'm not feeling it in my blog post while I'm writing, I'm hitting DELETE. If I'm not feeling it while visiting blogs, I stop. And vice-y verse-y.

At least that's my approach. Mind you, I'm not setting out to make a living off this blog. I'm not setting out to do anything, really, but share thoughts about reading.

That's all I've got, friends. But it works for me.



What I Read Last Week

 

I haven't read any Annie Dillard in years and years. But when I saw For the Time Being on a recommended book list a few weeks ago, I impulsively requested it from the library. I'm glad I did. Dillard buzzes around, stopping to rest on a Jesuit paleontologist, Hasidic thought, physical defects, beauty, and, somehow, even God. What a writer!

I picked up The Family Under the Bridge for the recent Travel the World in Books Readathon. (I focused on children's books from around the world during the two weeks of the event.) Most of the books I read were picture books, but this one was a bit longer. What a surprise. A 1958 original copyright date, but a fresh story. Armand is a tramp in Paris who runs up against three fatherless children. The children's mother is working and is unable to care for them during the day. Armand reluctantly takes over. Imagine that. Homeless people. In 1958. A classic.
           





What Arrived Last Week



Boog sells you on his book right from the intro. Children whose parents read interactively with them are six to eight months ahead of other children, he tells us. Reading interactively will push your children's IQ up an amazing six points. And then he shares with us what research has shown is the best way to read with your kiddos.

I've just started this one, but I can tell it's going to be a keeper, a book I share with parents and other librarians.
           







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! As part of this weekly meme Book Journey loves to encourage you all to go and visit the others participating in this meme.