Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Favorite Couples in Literature

Here are my picks.


10. Scarlett and Rhett
(and Scarlett and Ashley)

9. Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy
8. Charlotte and Wilbur


7. Mrs. Teaberry and Mr. Putter

6. Frodo and Sam

5. Gus and Woodrow

4. Anne and Gilbert


3. Frog and Toad


2. Jim and Della


1. Old Dan and Little Ann

Sunday, September 26, 2010

1/2 Book + 1/2 Book + 1/2 Book = ?

Let me start by saying that I did finish four children's books this week. That's something.

Unfortunately,  I also read and gave up on three grownup books this week. It would have been okay if I'd read a few pages and gave up. No, instead I read half the book and then gave up.

What is going on?

Has my attention span withered to that of a child after reading so many children's books? Am I not choosing books that engage me? Could I be in danger of never finishing a real book again?! Eek!

I need suggestions!

Books I finished this week (all four are 1001 Children's Books):
Just Annoying by Andy Griffiths

Andy (Is it coincidence that this book's main character has the same name as the author?) bugs people. His dad. His mom. His sister. Friends. Neighbors. Just about everybody, actually.

I could see this book would be very, very popular among the children at my school. Especially among those who like to annoy others. I suppose I must acquire a copy of it for my school library.



Fire Bed & Bone by Henrietta Branford

Who would have thought that a children's book about a dog living in England in 1381 would have such a realistic feel? The dog experiences losing her master and mistress, captured and imprisoned by men who don't like the peasants revolting. The dog experiences losing her puppies. The dog experiences the difficulties of trying to find food in lean times. An unexpectedly stark look at life during these times. So stark that I would caution parents of sensitive children.



Babe, the Gallant Pig by Dick King-Smith

I've wanted to read this book forever. It's one I would definitely include in my list of best children's books. Babe is a pig won by Farmer Hogger and brought to live on the Hogger sheep farm. Fly, the sheepdog, mothers Babe and begins to teach Babe the ways of sheepdogs. Before Babe knows it, he is an acknowledged sheep-pig. And Babe begins to teach Fly some things as well.



45 & 47 Stella Street and Everything that Happened by Elizabeth Honey

The copyright says 1995, but it's so contemporary that it could have been written yesterday.

New people move into Stella Street. These new people are oh-so la-di-dah pretentious and snooty. The children on the street (as well as some of the more childlike adults) can see right through these phonies; in fact, the new people are quickly nicknamed Mr. and Mrs. Phonie. What is really going on at the Phonie house? It's up to the children (and some of the more childlike adults) to find out.

Friday, September 24, 2010

The Hop Not Taken



 Let me introduce myself.
Bonjour! Enchanté! Bienvenidos!

I am Debnance at Readerbuzz.
I love to read.
I especially love children's books,
travel memoirs,
 literary fiction
creative nonfiction,
and books about happiness.

 I'd love to visit your blog. 
If you like, follow me and leave a comment
and I will hop over and follow you.

I also invite you to:
Befriend me at Goodreads.
Follow me at Twitter.
 Befriend me at Facebook

I plan to try my own hop today.
Here's what I'm going to do:
I'll start by going to a blog I know and love.
I'll randomly pick a new-to-me blog
who has visited that blog.
And so on...and so on...
The Hop Not Taken, if you will.

If you are stopping by,
I'd love it if you could help me with this:
What is a wonderful book
you've read this year
 that you recommend?
I need ideas!


Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Top Ten Favorite Book Quotes



10. Grown-ups love figures. When you tell them that you have made a new friend, they never ask you any questions about essential matters. They never say to you, “What does his voice sound like? What games does he love best? Does he collect butterflies?” Instead, they demand: “How old is he? How many brothers has he? How much does he weigh? How much money does his father make?” Only from these figures do they think they have learned anything about him.
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince




9. "...I would like to beg you dear Sir, as well as I can, to have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and to try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Don't search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer."
Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet




8. "We used to all come outside when the streetlights came on and prowl the neighborhood in a pack, a herd of kids on banana-seat bikes and minibikes. The grown-ups looked so silly framed in their living-room and kitchen windows. They complained about their days and signed deep sighs of depression and loss. They talked about how spoiled and lucky children were these days. We will never be that way, we said, we will never say those things."
Jill McCorkle, Creatures of Habit









7. "Listen to your broccoli and it will tell you how to eat it."
Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird


                                                                                                                               
                                                                        





6. "Alice laughed: "There's no use trying," she said; "one can't believe impossible things."

"I daresay you haven't had much practice," said the Queen. "When I was younger, I always did it for half an hour a day. Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast."

Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland




5. "Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?"
Mary Oliver, "The Summer Day" from
The Truro Bear and Other Adventures: Poems and Essays







3. "As I ate the oysters with their strong taste of the sea and their faint metallic taste that the cold white wine washed away, leaving only the sea taste and the succulent texture, and as I drank their cold liquid from each shell and washed it down with the crisp taste of the wine, I lost the empty feeling and began to be happy and to make plans."         
                                                                                        Ernest Hemingway, A Moveable Feast
4. "If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life, it stays with you, for all of Paris is a moveable feast."
                                                                                        Ernest Hemingway, A Moveable Feast
2. "This inner peace of mind occurs on three levels of understanding. Physical quietness seems the easiest to achieve, although there are levels and levels of this too....Mental quietness, in which one has no wandering thoughts at all, seems more difficult, but can be achieved. But value quietness, in which one has no wandering desires at all but simply performs the acts of his life without desire, that seems the hardest."
Robert Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

1. "The place to improve the world is first in one's own heart and head and hands, and then work outward from there."
Robert Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance



Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. This meme 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 complete with one of our bloggers answers. 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 sign Mister Linky at the bottom to share with us and all those who are participating. If you don't have a blog, just post your answers as a comment. Don't worry if you can't come up with ten every time..just post what you can!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Sunday Salon: Doktor Büks


(The following is in English....Try reading it aloud!)
Vis veek en zee wibrarie
ve haves zee visit frum de famous personne,
Doktor Büks.
Vis doktor vorks on zee büks zat
gits woen en zee wibrarie.
Vis doktor shoes zee shildwen
zee vewy sad büks.



I finished five 1001 Children's Books You Must Read this week:


The Fairy Tales of Charles Perrault


I actually read these while I was in France, but I reread a couple of them this week while my online group was discussing them. The online discussion reminded me how dark these stories were, full of violence and terror and unpredictability. The things we face in life, in other words. The things we seek out in books.



 The Story of the Treasure Seekers by Edith Nesbit

As a child, I loved books with magic. I was often disappointed to discover that books with wonderful magical titles and wonderful magical covers had nothing magical in them.

This book sounded like it would be magical. It was not, but I liked it anyway.

A family of children hope to restore their family’s lost fortune. They engage in a series of attempts to recover their family fortune including digging for treasure and writing a book, all of which are doomed to failure and yet ultimately result in restoring the family fortune.

I liked this book very much. The children have tremendous fun together. It almost tempts one to have an enormous family in the hopes of finding the companionship seen in this family.



The Secret of the Old Clock by Carolyn Keene

The first Nancy Drew and my first Nancy Drew.

Although it took many, many pages to warm up to Nancy, it finally began to happen. I was at first taken aback by her amazing kindness and hospitality; you do not meet many Nancy Drews in 2010 America and she seemed unrealistic and one-dimensional.

After I made comments of this sort on my blog, all the Nancy Drew fans ganged up on me and urged me to reexamine my thoughts about Nancy with gentler, pre-2010 eyes. So I did. Who wants to risk being beaten up by a horde of Nancy Drew aficionados?

So I will revise my initial impressions of Nancy as a goody-two-shoes to that of a genuinely nice person who has learned to always be kind and helpful to the young and the poor and the elderly. Such a person could exist. Right?

One can only hope.



Only You Can Save Mankind by Terry Pratchett

Johnny Maxwell is shocked to find that the aliens in his computer game are talking back to him. They are conceding defeat. What can he do? What must he do?

Though this book has apparently been updated (in 2004) from the original story (published in 1992), it probably needs to be updated again. Lots of computer talk and popular lingo that has changed dramatically in the past few years and would leave a modern child feeling a bit clueless.



Skellig by David Almond

I’ve saved my favorite book for last.

I loved this book. I don’t want to write one word more,
except to say that if you like YA fiction,
I think you will find this book compelling.



Friday, September 17, 2010

I Introduce Myself



 Let me introduce myself.
Bonjour! Enchanté!
I am Debnance at Readerbuzz.
I love to read.
I especially love travel memoirs,
children's books, books about happiness, 
creative nonfiction, and literary fiction.

 I'd love to visit your blog. If you like, follow me and leave a comment and I will hop over and follow you.

I also invite you to:
Befriend me at Goodreads.
Follow me at Twitter.
 Befriend me at Facebook


And, the question of the week from the Hop is:
Let's take time this week to honor our favorite book bloggers!

That's easy.
You are my favorite book blogger!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Top Ten Books I'm Dying To Read

Top Ten Books I'm Dying To Read

Once again, I'm choosing from the list of
1001 Children's Books You Must Read Before You Grow Up.


10. The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier
Sounds like a book that would inspire discussion.

9. The Princess and the Goblin by George MacDonald
It's by George MacDonald.
I've never read anything by George MacDonald.

8. Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson
I'm trying to read Everything Stevenson.
It's my school name.
I must.


7. Only You Can Save Mankind by Terry Pratchett
I love grownup Terry Pratchett.
I bet I'll love kid Terry Pratchett.


6. Haroun and the Sea of Stories by Salman Rushdie
Rushdie is coming to Houston in October.
I want to read this before his visit.

5. Redwall by Brian Jacques
My sons loved this book.
I've tried it a dozen times.
I must try it again.


4. Old Yeller by Fred Gibson
Essential reading for a Texan.


3. Prince Caspian by C. S. Lewis
Must read it before I see the movie.


2. Stuart Little by E. B. White
Another book that comes highly recommended by my sons.


1. The Secret of the Old Clock by Carolyn Keene
My mom loves Nancy Drew.

What are you dying to read?




Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. This meme 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 complete with one of our bloggers answers. 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 sign Mister Linky at the bottom to share with us and all those who are participating. If you don't have a blog, just post your answers as a comment. Don't worry if you can't come up with ten every time..just post what you can!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Nancy Drew: Can You Believe This Girl???

If you know me at all, you know that I love children's books.

After all, I'm a children's librarian.

I've never read Nancy Drew.
Everybody has read Nancy Drew.
My mother, for example, adored Nancy Drew.
And it's on the list of 1001 Children's Books You Must Read Before You Grow Up.

So I've been listening to Nancy Drew on the ride to school every morning.
And guffawing.

(Please, please, don't tell my mother.)

Nancy Drew is just too ridiculous to be believed.

With a copyright date of 1930, right in the middle of the American Depression,
here's the first bit of the first Nancy Drew:

"Nancy Drew, an attractive girl of eighteen,
was driving home along a country road
in her new, dark-blue convertible.
She had just delivered some legal papers for her father.

'It was sweet of Dad to give me this car for my birthday,' she thought.
'And it's fun to help him in his work.'"

The plot has Nancy meeting up with two elderly women, with very little income, who are trying to raise a young niece. Nancy learns that the two women had been promised an inheritance from a rich relative, but instead the relative apparently left all his money to a family with two snobbish daughters. There could be a later will, Nancy discovers, and she is off to find it.

Here's a little more:
"When she told Hannah Gruen her plans, the housekeeper warned,
'Don't become too deeply involved in this matter, dear.
In your zeal to help other people, you may forget to be on your guard.'

'I promise to be as careful as a pussycat walking up a slippery roof,'
Nancy assured the housekeeper with a grin."

I think it is all the adjectives that are annoying me.
"The pleasant, slightly plump housekeeper."
Nancy's 'tall and handsome father'.

And Nancy is just so terribly nice.
Refusing to engage in gossip.
Cheerily playing badminton with a child.
Never losing her temper despite a long wait at a department store.
So nice.

Have I become jaded?  Am I being harsh in judging
sweet Nancy to be a goody-two-shoes,
a namby-pamby?


Friday, September 10, 2010

BlogFest, The Hop, and A New Me!


and


 Let me introduce myself.
Bonjour! Enchanté! Bienvienidos!
I am Debnance at Readerbuzz.
I love to read.
I especially love travel memoirs,
children's books, books about happiness, 
creative nonfiction, and literary fiction.

 I'd love to visit your blog. If you like, follow me and leave a comment and I will hop over and follow you.

I also invite you to:
Befriend me at Goodreads.
Follow me at Twitter.
 Befriend me at Facebook

Blogfest 2010 is hosted by Cinnamon at A Journey of Books.
Be sure to head on over to her blog for the full list
 of over 250 participating Blogfest blogs!

And, the question/topic of the week,
suggested by Anne from My Head is Full of Books,
 from the Hop is:

Post a link to a favorite post or book review
that you have written in the past three months.

I love this post because (1) it reminds me that I am changed, and
(2) it has beautiful pictures.