Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Books That Should Be In A Beach Bag, or Summer, Here I Come, Part II

Summertime is my best time for reading.
If you know me at all,
you know that I will be reading
every day this summer.

This summer I plan to read mostly
nonfiction and
children's books.

Here, then, is what is going in my beach bag.


Children's Books:
Old Yeller
The Invention of Hugo Cabret
The Hound of the Baskervilles
Tom's Midnight Garden
Playing Beattie Bow
The Arrival
The Slightly True Story of Cedar B. Hartley
My Place

(These are the books our online group,
 is reading this summer.
If you like children's books,
 join us.)


Nonfiction Books:
I'm on the panel to choose the best nonfiction book of 2011
and summer is a fantastic time for me to read some of the possibilities.

Here are some nonfiction books of 2011 that I hope to read this summer:
The Magnetic North
Beautiful & Pointless
The Reading Promise
The Geeks Shall Inherit the Earth
The Information
My Korean Deli
Moby-Duck
The Social Animal
Moonwalking with Einstein
Dressmaker of Khair Khana
Planting Dandelions


How about you? 
What is going in your beach bag this summer?



Enter to Win DIVERGENT!

Don't forget to enter the Readerbuzz Monthly Giveaway!
This month's giveaway book is Divergent!
Today, May 31st, is the last day to enter.


Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created here 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, May 29, 2011

Summer, Here I Come!

I read a lot. Over a hundred and fifty books a year, on average.

Still, I never have enough time to read all the books I want to read.

Except during summer. And my summer starts next Friday.

I've already requested books from the three libraries I frequent.
 I've ordered books from my favorite booksellers.
I've got little stashes of books from the library conference
here and there, waiting for summer.

I've also signed up for a Teachers as Writers class
 that meets for a few hours a week.
A Technology for Tots mini-conference in mid-June.
 A Spanish Rosetta Stone license for the summer.
Walking with friends every morning.
A new bicycle to get me around town.
Plans in the works for taking a cooking class and a photography class.

Summer---Here I come!


MINIREVIEWS

I'm playing catch-up here.
Here's a tiny bite of the reviews I posted today
 for the last nine books I just finished.
See what you think.

The Memory Palace: A Memoir by Mira Bartok
...by sifting through items from the storage room, her “memory palace”
Bartok tells the story of her mother’s life and her own life.

Wilder Life: My Adventures in the Lost World of Little House on the Prairie by Wendy McClure
Wendy McClure loves Little House on the Prairie. And I mean loves....

Join the Club: How Peer Pressure Can Transform the World by Tina Rosenberg
Wouldn’t it be lovely to discover that something as simple
as peer pressure could actually transform the world...

Joy for Beginners: A Novel by Erica Bauermeister
Joy for Beginners has Summer Read written all over it....

How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff
I thought this would be an Angst-y Teen book, and it is that, filled with prerequisite (though not, in the book’s defense, of an in-your-face sort) Eating Disorders and Mean Step-Parent Difficulties and Young Troubled Love. But somewhere along the way, Rosoff threw in a Small Nuclear War....

The Provence Cure for the Brokenhearted by Bridget Asher
You will be able to anticipate much of this story (not to give too much away, but you know Heidi will be meeting a handsome yet equally troubled Frenchman, right?) but it has a nice freshness combined with
the predictability that we love in our summer reads...

365 Thank Yous: The Year a Simple Act of Daily Gratitude Changed My Life by John Kralik
You have to respect a book that initiates positive changes in the reader....

To a Mountain in Tibet by Colin Thubron
This is my second book by Thubron and, for the second time,
I have to say that I’m not wild about his writing....

Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson
Ay, faith, I ken Scotland be a braw place, no sae bad as ye would think, in this bonny tale of a man and a halfling boy, who werenae feared of being laid by the heels, hoot-toot, hoot-toot....


Enter to Win DIVERGENT!

Don't forget to enter the Readerbuzz Monthly Giveaway!
I'm giving away Divergent.
Last day to enter the contest is Tuesday, May 31st.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Books You Lied About Reading

Lied is a strong word.
I'm not sure I've ever lied about a book.

I'm a Goody-Two-Shoes.

I always read every book assigned to me,
cover to cover.

I never lied about liking a book
when I didn't.

So this will be an odd little Top Ten Tuesday list.
A list of nothing.

Not much of a post, either.
Forgive me.
I promise to do better next time.

How about you?
What are the top ten books you lied about?

Enter to Win DIVERGENT!

Don't forget to enter the Readerbuzz Monthly Giveaway!
I'm giving away Divergent!



Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created here 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.

Armchair BEA...and a Giveaway!

It's that time again!
It's time for Armchair BEA!

Here I sit, sadly,
contemplating all the book-fun
my fellow readers,
lucky enough to be at BEA this week,
are having.




I can, at least, offer a giveaway!
I hope you will enter my giveaway for the new book,
Divergent by Veronica Roth!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Library-less


Our public library closed a year ago March.

It's a tragedy for someone like me,
accustomed to visiting the library almost every day.

Hurricane Ike swept through our town in September of 2008.
 It caused lots of damage in our town, including,
we thought, damage to the library.
FEMA was asked to help out with the
library damage from the hurricane.
When they investigated,
FEMA discovered that water had been
leaking into the library
long before the hurricane.
FEMA was unable to help.

Last April, our town agreed to fund a project
to repair the water damage in the library.
The library shut down and repairs began.
But then, in late April, the library was hit again.
In the early morning hours,
firefighters were called to the library to put out a fire.

Fire and flood. No library. 
A year without a library.

Last Thursday, I became library-less no more.
The library reopened.

The new repaired library is magnificent.
I feel like it is my birthday.

The mayor cuts the ribbon at the grand reopening.

Punch and cookies for the guests.

A brass quartet from the college played.

Best of all: a happy smile from a child.


The Alvin Library is open again!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Favorite Minor Characters


10. Mma Makutsi in
The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series

Mma Makutsi scored an astounding 97% at
Botswana Secretarial College,
but she longs to be more than just a secretary
at a detective agency.


9. The Little Seamstress
from Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress

Luo finds a stash of illegal classical novels
during Mao's Cultural Revolution
and shares them with an uneducated tailor's daughter,
changing the lives of everyone in the story.


8. Manny Rat, Muskrat, and C. Serpetina from 
The Mouse and His Child

Lots of wonderful minor characters in this
classic story of a mouse and his son
who seek to find a way to
become self-winding.

7. The Family and the Animals from
My Family and Other Animals
by Gerald Durrell

Who is zanier? Durrell's family
or the animals they take on as pets
during the five years they live
on a Greek island.


6. Julia from
Julie and Julia

You get to know Julia Child
quite well as Julie
attempts to cook something every day from
Child's brilliant Mastering the Art
of French Cooking.

5. The Dead Wife from
The Photograph

His wife is long dead,
yet she becomes a fascinating character
in this novel about how a man's
perception of his wife changes
upon discovering an old photograph of her.


4. The Office from
Then We Came to the End

Like many good books,
the setting becomes a strong
minor character in this novel that tells the story of
the struggles of a group of people
in an anonymous office
that is having great troubles of its own.


3. Ludo from
Mrs. Palfrey at the Claremont

Mrs. Palfrey moves down in life
to live at the once-reputable Claremont.
She meets a young struggling writer
who brightens her bleak life.


2. Turtle Wexler,
 Flora Baumbach, Christos Theodorakis, Denton Deere,
Denton Deere, J.J. Ford, Alexander McSouthers,
Grace Wexler, James Hoo, Berthe Erica Crowe,
Otis Amber, Douglas Hoo, Theo Theodorakis,
Sydelle Pulaski, Angela Wexler, Sandy Hoo, Jake Wexler
from The Westing Game
 
Sixteen potential heirs try to solve the mystery of
who killed Samuel Westing.

 
 
1. Lula, Ranger, and Grandma Mazur in
the Stephanie Plum mystery series

You just have to love these
ridiculous minor characters
in this little mystery series.




Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created here 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.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Morning Moon


For more Wordless Wednesdays,
click here.

Top Ten Jerks In Literature



10. Unbroken.
A plane crashed during WWII and
three men managed to get aboard a rubber raft,
with only a few chocolate bars and containers of water to keep them alive.
The first night on the raft, one of the three men ate all the chocolate bars himself.


9. Stanley in A Streetcar Named Desire

Drinks too much. Hits his wife. You know the type.


8. Six Military Guys in Zeitoun

Zeitoun, an immigrant to the US, is right there in the middle of the mess
left by Katrina. He is out every day, saving people caught in bad situations.
One day six military guys show up and cart him off to jail,
accusing him of being a terrorist.


7. Dad and Mom in The Glass Castle

They kept their kids out of school,
didn't take the kids to the doctor when the kids got sick,
drank, and used grocery money for themselves.


6. The Pritchard Boys in Where the Red Fern Grows

These boys are mean to everyone.
They are so mean that they even kick their own dogs.

5. Wang Lung in The Good Earth

His amazing but plain wife, O-lan,
sacrifices, working as a near-slave,
helping her husband Wang Lung to save to buy more and more land.
And how does he treat her in return?

Not very nice.


4. Gatsby in The Great Gatsby

Gatsby was not great in all the ways that matter.


3. Brother Leon in The Chocolate War

Brother Leon ruined my view of
Catholic priests as high school teachers.


2. David in No, David!

Do they come worse than David?
He steals cookies from the cookie jar,
talks with his mouth full,
and breaks his mother's favorite vase.

His only saving grace is
that he is only six years old
and he's sorry for being so bad.


1. Kevin in We Need to Talk About Kevin

Just thinking about Kevin
makes me shudder.




Enter to Win DIVERGENT!

Don't forget to enter the Readerbuzz Monthly Giveaway!
This month's giveaway book is Divergent!



Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created here 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.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Buzzards at Breakfast...and a Book Giveaway!


For more Wordless Wednesdays,
click here.

But wait...there's more!
Enter to Win DIVERGENT!

Don't forget to enter the Readerbuzz Monthly Giveaway!
This month's giveaway book is Divergent!

Books I'm So Happy Were Recommended To Me

Top Ten Books I'm So Happy Were Recommended to Me

10. Thank you to teachers
who encouraged me to try classics
that intimidated me.

9. Thank you to mi esposo,
Jim Nance,
who led me to Ray Bradbury and
all the great science fiction reads out there.

8. Thank you to Oprah for sending me
to A Fine Balance and many
more fantastic reads during
my stay-at-home years.

7. Thank you to Candy Morgan,
my mentor during my first years of teaching,
who shared Where the Red Fern Grows.

6. Thank you to Miss Rowena Hillhouse,
now long since passed away,
who pointed out all the good reads in the children's section
of the Alvin Public Library,
including Half Magic and A Wrinkle in Time.

5. Thank you to the members of Bookgrouplist,
who revolutionized my reading when I joined the group in 1999.
Among others, they recommended Haruki Murakami, Richard Powers,
and A. S. Byatt.

4. Thank you to my mother who suggested
the amazing Gone With the Wind
and Love is a Wild Assault.
And almost every other good book
I read for the first fourteen years of my life.

3. Thank you to my Australian friend and fellow reader,
Louise, who told me about
1001 Children's Books You Must Read Before You Grow Up.
She not only led me to this book, but to the 1001 children's books
I am now attempting to read before I grow up.

2. Thank you to my sons, Jon and Ben,
who talked me into reading
Ender's Game and
The Phantom Tollbooth
when they were boys.

1. Thank you to the professor at University of Houston who put
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance as the only book
that was required reading for an Educational Philosophy class in 1976.
The class did not make,
but that didn't matter,
because I'd already started reading the book
which was to become my favorite read ever.


Enter to Win DIVERGENT!

Don't forget to enter the Readerbuzz Monthly Giveaway!
This month's giveaway book is Divergent!

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created here 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, May 1, 2011

Is My Kid Stupid? and a Giveaway!


Photo by Ashtyn Renee


I've been an educator since 1977. 
I've been a parent since 1984. 
I've been a human being since 1956.

Despite all this time in the trenches,
I feel like I don't have a clue about what makes people tick.

So I valiantly continue to live in the world
and read about the world and try to figure people out.

If you are like me, you might like to try this book then.
It is called Is My Kid Stupid?

Here's a blurb from the publicist that tells about it:
Is My Kid Stupid? was written to fill a need for all parents of children who are struggling in school, or who have been diagnosed with learning disabilities. Is My Kid Stupid? addresses concerns like: • How to get a free private school education for your child • How to choose a practitioner for your child • How to choose the best advocate for your child, or how to advocate for your child yourself • Special education laws and how you can make the most of them • How to significantly lower the cost of college for your child   Is My Kid Stupid? also offers letter templates, and additional websites that may be helpful during your search.

I have read this book now.
I found it to be all that it describes itself to be.
I found it to have nice summaries of the
various learning disabilities children often manifest.
That was helpful.

Two annoyances: 

(1) The author warns against relying on this book for information,
and repeatedly asks parents to seek out professional advice. 
Somehow that goes against the idea of buying the book, doesn't it?

(2) The very title of the book is irritating.
I shared this book with the speech teacher at my school
and she immediately noticed that the title
 makes this a difficult book to recommend to parents. 
As a librarian or a counselor or even a classroom teacher,
would you really say to a parent,
"Hey, I've got a great book to help you with your child.
The book is called Is My Kid Stupid?!"

This week's reading:


 Tolstoy and the Purple Chair by Nina Sankovitch



Cognitive Surplus by Clay Shirky


 Migrant Mother: How a Photograph Defined the Great Depression by Don Nardo


Divergent by Veronica Roth

And now for the giveaway!
What if each month
I give away a book?

So, for my first giveaway,
how about Divergent?

Rules for the Readerbuzz Monthly Giveaway
are simple:
(1) You must
(2) You must live in the US.
(I apologize to those who live outside the US,
but mailing costs are now ridiculously expensive.)
(3) You must leave a comment here
that expresses your interest in this giveaway
and includes an e-mail address
 (posted in an elusive way to thwart the wicked).
(4) If you really, really want to win this book,
you are welcome to receive extra entries by:

Following me at Twitter
and leaving a comment +1 

Befriending me at Goodreads
and leaving a comment +1

Befriending me at Facebook
and leaving a comment +1

I will leave this giveaway open until May 31st.
Good luck!

Thank you to the publishers who
provided copies of Migrant Mother,
Tolstoy and the Purple Chair,
Is My Kid Stupid? and
Divergent.