Saturday, July 4, 2015

Eight Hundred Grapes...with a Giveaway!




Eight hundred grapes. That’s how many grapes it takes to make a bottle of wine. Georgia Ford should know this; she grew up in her family’s vineyard. A week before her wedding, Georgia learns something about her fiancĂ© so upsetting that she returns to her family’s vineyard to regroup, and discovers that the family she thought so untroubled and secure just might have some difficulties of its own.

This is a perfect read for summer. You know from page one that everyone is going to go through troubles, but that everything will be resolved by story’s end.

Now you can win a beautiful finished hardback copy of this book for your very own! And the book comes with a fun coffee mug as well! All you need to do is leave your e-mail in the comments (posted, of course, in an elusive way to thwart the baddies). 

I’ll pick one winner at random for the book and mug at the end of the month.



Weekend Cooking is hosted by Beth Fish Reads and is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, quotations, photographs. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend. You do not have to post on the weekend. Please link to your specific post, not your blog's home page. For more information, see the welcome post.

Saturday Snapshot is now hosted by West Metro Mommy ReadsTo participate in Saturday Snapshot: post a photo that you (or a friend or family member) have taken then leave a direct link to your post in the Mister Linky below. Photos can be old or new, and be of any subject as long as they are clean and appropriate for all eyes to see. 

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Makerspaces


So I tried doing Makerspaces in my school library during the last month of school. What a fun time we had! Starting from the upper left hand corner and spiraling clockwise...we had children with drawing books and sketchpads...children assembling a flashlight 
(it worked!)...origami and paper airplanes...puppets...building things with plastic cups...putting together the human body...flying paper airplanes...and building things with Legos.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Top Ten Best Books I've Read So Far in 2015

I've had a great reading year and it's only half over. I've already read 68 books. Of the 68, twelve were five star reads and thirty-eight were four star reads.

Here are eleven memorable, mostly-new-ish books from my reading this year (so far) that you may have missed:

Three novels: 
The Promise by Ann Weisgarber
Dept. of Speculations by Jenny Offill
The Rosie Effect by Graeme Simsion



Four nonfiction books:
Between You & Me: Confessions of a Comma Queen by Mary Norris
The Real Doctor Will See You Shortly: A Physician's First Year by Matt McCarthy
Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania by Erik Larson
Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End by Atul Gawande



 Four book-ish nonfiction books:
By the Book: Writers on Literature and the Literary Life
How to Be a Heroine or What I've Learned from Reading Too Much by Samantha Ellis
My Life in Middlemarch by Rebecca Mead
Letters of Note: An Eclectic Collection of Correspondence Deserving of a Wider Audience


One not-very-new-ish novel (but a fantastic read):
True Grit by Charles Portis





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, June 28, 2015

Sunday Salon: My Week in Books





What I Finished Last Week


I picked up You Can Never Find a Rickshaw When It Monsoons: The World on One Cartoon a Day by Mo Willems at a library sale last week. You know Mo Willems, right? The amazing children's picture book author, he of Pigeon fame and Knuffle Bunny fame, universally adored by children of all sizes and ages (even those of us who are 58). If you know who he is, then you know why I couldn't possibly pass up this book for a buck. I read the blurb on the back, telling You Can Never Find a Rickshaw is a compilation of cartoons Willems drew during a round-the-world trip he took in 1990. He made one cartoon a day, each a drawing to help him recall the quirkiest thing that happened that day.

Here are a couple of cartoons from the book I thought you'd like:

But here was the most amazing thing about this little $1 buy:
Autographed!

God Went to Beauty School is a mesmerizing book of little...well, let's call them poems for lack of a better word...little poems about God visiting in our world. It's by Cynthia Rylant, who, if you are a children's literature fan, you know is one of our living great writers of children's stories. I loved these little poems.

Carrie's War by Nina Bawden is the story of Carrie and her little brother Nick during World War II. The children were sent to live in the country, away from the bombings in London, for their own safety. I'd bet you $55 million dollars you could not show me a children's story with characters more real and more human. The children are placed with an absurdly cheap shopkeeper and his mousy sister for the war's duration, and they are very unhappy there, suffering from the shopkeeper's frugality and the sister's inability to stand up to her brother. Nevertheless, Carrie and Nick gradually form a relationship with the two, and come to see the underlying reasons for the miserly ways of the shopkeeper and the fearfulness of the sister, as they grow to know the household of an estranged sibling of the two. Very complex characters, and that's the great strength of this story.




           






What Arrived Last Week

 

Two audiobooks! I've already up to CD 5 In the Kingdom of Ice, and I'm fascinated with the detail in this epic polar adventure. 
           






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.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Shibumi





Shibumi:
Objects and experiences that exhibit in paradox and all at once the best of everything and nothing. 
Elegant simplicity. 
Effortless effectiveness. 
Understated elegance. 
Beautiful imperfection.







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.

Wondrous Words Wednesday is a weekly meme where we share new (to us) words
that we’ve encountered in our reading.
If you want to play along, grab the button,
write a post and come back and add your link to Mr. Linky at Bermuda Onion!


Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Happy Birthday, Top Ten! My Top Ten Favorite Top Ten Topics from the Past Five Years!

Happy birthday, Top Ten Tuesday! Five years of Top Ten Tuesdays! Congratulations!

This is my 219th Top Ten Tuesday post. That seems pretty amazing to me. Top Ten is one of my favorite memes. The prompt each week gets me to thinking about my reading in a new way. I love the process of writing each post, and I love to read through the posts of others linked each week to the Top Ten prompt.

Here, then, are My Top Ten Favorite Top Ten Topics from the Past Five Years:

My first Top Ten Tuesday. August 2010.
Ironically, I've now read all of the books on this list.




September 2010.
Czechoslovakia. And J'aime. And zephyr.
I love reading the list of words other people love.




October 2010.
No vampires for me.
Or books on quantum mechanics.




November 2010.
Yes, it's my name, but it's still unfortunate.




February 2011.
Is Babar not a lovely name?




November 2011.
Oh how I loathed A Prayer for Owen Meany.
Don't hate me.




February 2012.
Discworld would work for lots of book-haters, I think.




September 2010, May 2012, and April 2015.
I love quotes so much I've listed my favorites several times.




October 2014.
I'd like to do another version of this one...
"Top Ten Book Places I'd Like to Visit"




May 2015.
Have I ever met some great authors?!



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.


Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Hike

Buscher State Park. Outside Smithville, Texas. A cloudy day in April, 2015.


A 3.5 mile hike. With a stylin' backpack.


The bridge was a great photo op.


Some of the signs were a little confusing.


Some seemed unnecessary. 


Saw a little wildlife. Water moccasin on the log.


A selfie to mark our finish.

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.