Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Authors I Can't Believe I Met









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, March 26, 2017

Childhood Poverty


Sometimes the planets align. This week they did. Two different settings (Rust Belt of America in the 80's and the mining area of England in the 60's) and two different genres (nonfiction and fiction), but the story is the same: the devastating effects of childhood poverty. Of course, we know from research quite a bit about the terrible problems that result from childhood poverty (here is a summary of some of these), but nothing is as powerful as a story.

In Hillbilly Elegy, J. D. Vance grew up in a single parent home with a mom who struggled with drug problems and man problems, but Vance was able, with the help of his grandparents as a stabilizing force and a stint in the military as a stabilizing force, to overcome his childhood and create a life for himself as an adult with solid relationships and a steady job. I thought he made the road from poverty to the Ivy League look a little too easy, and I wished he'd waited another ten years to write his memoir, time that would have given him depth and reflection and honesty that I found this memoir sometimes lacked. 

Barry Hines' A Kestrel for a Knave, though fiction, seems to me to be a truer and deeper look at childhood poverty than Elegy. Kestrel takes us for a walk through a day in the life of Billy Caspar during one of his last days at school before he is to quit and begin working, probably, like many others in his town, in a dead-end job at the mine. Billy finds little to eat in his home before he heads to his part-time job before school, and learns his brother has taken his bike, leaving him to distribute his newspapers on foot. School is no easier, with teachers and peers who laugh at him and bully him. His brother, too, bullies him and ridicules him. The only moments of happiness Billy finds are those he spends with his kestrel, teaching him to hunt. Even that is taken away from him in the end....there's no Ivy League future for this young man, I think.

Imagination Soup has a great post about books that facilitate empathy for those in poverty, and it lists several of my favorites, including Last Stop on Market Street, Out of the Dust, and The Hundred Dresses. 

After a week reading nothing but sad stories of childhood poverty, I've picked up a couple of reads that (hopefully) will be less bleak:

On Living is Kerry Egan's stories of people she has met in her job as a hospice chaplain. All These Wonders is true stories told at The Moth. 

I'm continuing to read Anne of Green Gables (a character that suffered from childhood poverty herself but always had her imagination to pull her through), and I've just started Ron Chernow's Alexander Hamilton. (I'd hoped to see Hamilton when I go to NYC at the end of May, and there are tickets available, but I just don't feel justified in spending $500 for a seat there....I think I'll read the book and listen to the soundtrack.)


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, March 22, 2017

When You Really, Really Want to Know Alice in Wonderland...

I wanted to thoroughly read Alice in Wonderland for our book club read, and so I ended up requesting all of these wonderful AinW books from the library. 

A map of Alice in Wonderland from a book of maps of imaginary lands

An easy reader


A board book

A play and an audiobook.

The Annotated Alice


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, March 21, 2017

100 One-Night Reads

I'm crazy about short books. I'm not one for an author who goes on and on; I'd much rather read someone who can tell it all in a little.

The best book I've ever found on short reads is 100 One-Night Reads. Every book the authors list is a book that can be read in a single evening. No more excuses like I don't have time to read, folks. Turn off the tv and read a book.

Over the years (the copyright is 2001) I've picked up many books from this book of books. Here are some of the best from this book:

Dubliners               The Great Gatsby               Mrs. Bridge

Between Meals: An Appetite for Paris          Breakfast at Tiffany's 

Animal Farm          As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning          84, Charing Cross Road

The Sun Also Rises          True Grit


I am off now to request some other books from the list from the library. I think I'll try Where Angels Fear to Tread and Snow Country and Pale Horse, Pale Rider.

Do you have any short books that you recommend?







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, March 19, 2017

Spring Break!

What I Did

There's nothing like trying to cram a month's worth of activities into a week. Over spring break, I:

*drove eight hours to Arkansas
*went quartz crystal hunting
*stayed in a cabin
*ate s'mores over a campfire
*drove eight hours home
*had a dental appointment
*went to the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo
*had a sleepover in my friend's cousin's beach house
*stayed up until midnight, laughing and talking like teenagers
*had another dental appointment
*made a homemade apple pie
*went to my sister's for a wonderful dinner with my extended family
*helped my daughter-in-law with the farmer's market
*wrote on my book
*read three books

My nephew finds quartz crystals on his first dig.

 My granddaughter, Annie, at her (and my!) first Houston Livestock Show.

My friends and I at our beach house sleepover.


What I Finished Reading

 Maybe in Another Life
Catholicism: A Journey to the Heart of the Faith
The Old Ways: A Walk on Foot

What Arrived in the Mail

 The Moth Presents All These Wonders: True Stories About Facing the Unknown
Inferior: How Science Got Women Wrong and the New Research That's Rewriting the Story
The Winged Girl of Knossos (a 1934 Newbery Honor Book, republished)



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, March 15, 2017

Balloon Release



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, March 14, 2017

My Spring TBR

I've whittled down a bit of my TBR this winter, but I hope to plunge in and swim through lots this spring. I'm working on four books, so let's start there, shall we?



I still have eighteen books on my Goodreads To-Read list, so that should be the next place I go to plan my spring reading, I think.

Which of these should I aim to read over the next few months?


Wordcatcher: An Odyssey into the World of Weird and Wonderful WordsThe Eight (The Eight #1)

Appointment in SamarraCarry on, Jeeves (Jeeves, #3)

White Sands...
Carry On, Jeeves...

Appointment in Samarra...
The Eight...
Rarely Seen: Photographs of the Extraordinary...
Word Catcher: An Odyssey into the World of Weird and Wonderful Words...
Any Human Heart...
Highly Illogical BehaviorJellicoe Road...
Any Human HeartHighly Illogical Behavior...
The House in Paris...
Little Pleasures of Paris...
The Narrow Road to the Deep North...
The House in ParisOrthodoxy...
The MothSee How They Run...
Three Men in a Boat...



National Geographic Rarely Seen: Photographs of the ExtraordinaryThe Little Pleasures of Paris






What should I read next?



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.