Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Human Blood


Please tell me why there are boxes of human blood in my hotel lobby.

For more wordless photos,

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Best First Lines in Books






"Where's Papa going with that axe?” said Fern to her mother as they were setting the table for breakfast.                                                                E. B. White, Charlotte’s Web
If you are interested in stories with happy endings, you would be better off reading some other book.                                                                        Lemony Snickett, Series of Unfortunate Events
As Gregor Samsa awoke one morning from uneasy dreams he found himself transformed in his bed into a gigantic insect.                                               Franz Kafka, Metamorphosis 
There was a boy called Eustace Clarence Scrubb, and he almost deserved it.                                                                                                                       C. S. Lewis, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
Call me Ismael.                                                          Herman Melville, Moby Dick
I, Tiberius Claudius Drusus Nero Germanicus This-that-and-the-other (for I shall not trouble you yet with all my titles) who was once, and not so long ago either, known to my friends and relatives and associates as "Claudius the Idiot," or "That Claudius," or "Claudius the Stammerer," or "Clau-Clau-Claudius" or at best as "Poor Uncle Claudius," am now about to write this strange history of my life; starting from my earliest childhood and continuing year by year until I reach the fateful point of change where, some eight years ago, at the age of fifty-one, I suddenly found myself caught in what I may call the "golden predicament" from which I have never since become disentangled.                                                                                                     Robert Graves, I, Claudius
It was a queer, sultry summer, the summer they electrocuted the Rosenbergs, and I didn't know what I was doing in New York.                                            Sylvia Plath,The Bell Jar
Mrs. Dalloway said she would buy the flowers herself.   Virginia Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway
It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.                                                                                                                                George Orwell, Nineteen Eighty-Four
I write this sitting in the kitchen sink.                           Dodie Smith, I Capture the Castle



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.

Monday, July 29, 2013

In Which I Finish My Summer Required Reading


A Cautionary Tale

"We must be willing to let go of the life we planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us." 
---Joseph Campbell


What killed these two books for me? Why am I not prattling on and on about the amazing-ness of these two novels? 

I've had a hankering for Cloud Atlas and East of Eden for months. Both books have been teacher's pets of not only critics but some of my favorite book bloggers right out of the starting gate.

So what happened? Why am I dejectedly feeling meh about the two books I designated in early June as my summer reads, the two books I devoted the last two months to reading?

It's me. It's my own fault. 

Something dies in a book when you force yourself to read it.

I should have known. It happened to me in 2011. In January, I optimistically announce that War and Peace is my goal for the year. I trudge through three hundred of the thousand pages before I finally acknowledge that (1) I have no idea what is going on in the plot and (2) I don't care about the characters. I am a grownup, I remind myself; nobody's making me eat beets and I close the book. 

I wish I'd done that with these two books. I wish I'd closed the books when I first started to dread picking them up. I wish I'd set the books back under the bed until I felt real book desire for these two again. It should have been hot summer evenings in my rocker on the front porch, plunging through the pages,  I adore you, You're the love of my life, We were made for each other. Instead it was waking up each morning to face the same two old heavy books still weighing down my nightstand, I think we need space, We have to talk, You've lost that lovin' feelin', inching through the books, strong-arming myself to stick with it for the kids long past the time it should have been Splitsville.

A cautionary tale. A cautionary tale for all of us teachers and librarians who so yearn to push our book loves on others that we try to marry young readers off to books before they've even shared a good night kiss. A cautionary tale.



WHAT I FINISHED THIS WEEK:




Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell





East of Eden by John Steinbeck






Any reading disasters for you this week? Any happy stories?



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, July 23, 2013

Top Ten Words that Will Stop Me From Picking Up a Book




Top Ten Words that Will Stop Me From Picking Up a Book

Oh dear.  This is a hard one for me. 
Ten words that will stop me from picking up a book?  
Me?  Honestly?  I read everything. 

Well, almost everything.
There are a few things I do not read. 

Here goes then...the top ten words that will stop me from picking up a book....

1. Romance. Especially Harlequin Romance.

2. Action-packed thriller. And action-packed spy novel
Honestly, anything that is action-packed. 
I like my stories as action-less as possible.

3. Textbook.
Does anybody get excited thinking about reading a textbook?

4. Self-help. 
Authors of self-help books seem like know-it-alls.

5. Witch. Or zombie. Or vampire. Or any scary monster.
See #6.

6. Scary.
I am a big scared-y cat baby.

7. Math. And Science.
I apologize for this.
I've tried and tried to like these.
I just can't.

8. Celebrity.
I just really don't care about the empty lives of these empty people.

9. Sports
It's hard to raise two sports-crazy sons without reading a sports book or two.
And there were a couple I really loved, 
like The Last Shot and Bill Bradley's Values of the Game.
But, mostly, no sports.

10. Bestseller
If there is anything that will put me off a book, it's this word. 
If it's a bestseller, I probably won't like it.

Hope I didn't step on any toes.

How about you? What words on a book cover will make you put that book back on the shelf?


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.

Monday, July 22, 2013

What Are You Reading Today?


What I'm Reading Now

By the time you are reading this post, I will be out in Alpine in far West Texas for our second vacation (sounds like a hobbit's second breakfast, doesn't it, in a greedy sort of way). I've only got pages to go in both Cloud Atlas and East of Eden, and I can see that The Night of the Comet is going to be one of those stories that I'll be up late, late finishing. The Society of Timid Souls, or How to Be Brave just arrived and I'm so intrigued with the premise (author Polly Morland investigates how to become a courageous person) that I couldn't seem to stop myself from jumping right in. So that's it from here, right now. 

What are you reading right now? Anything you'd recommend? 



Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell


From Amazon:   "David Mitchell combines flat-out adventure, a Nabokovian love of puzzles, a keen eye for character, and a taste for mind-bending philosophical and scientific speculation in the tradition of Haruki Murakami, Umberto Eco, and Philip K. Dick."






East of Eden
by John Steinbeck
From Amazon:  "California's fertile Salinas Valley is home to two families are fruitfully and fatally intertwined. Over the generations, between the beginning of the twentieth century and the end of the First World War, the Trasks and the Hamiltons will helplessly replay the fall of Adam and Eve and the murderous rivalry of Cain and Abel."







The Night of the Comet 
by George Bishop
From Amazon:  "For his fourteenth birthday, Alan Broussard, Jr., receives a telescope from his father, a science teacher at the local high school who's anxiously awaiting what he promises will be the astronomical event of the century: the coming of Comet Kohoutek. For Alan Broussard, Sr.--frustrated in his job, remote from his family--the comet is a connection to his past and a bridge to his son, with whom he's eager to share his love for the stars."





The Society of Timid Souls, or How to Be Brave
by Polly Morland
"With The Society of Timid Soulsor How To Be Brave, documentary filmmaker Polly Morland sets out to investigate bravery, a quality that she has always felt she lacked.  The book takes inspiration from a vividly eccentric, and radical, self-help group for stage-frightened performers in 1940s Manhattan, which coincided with the terrifying height of World War II and was called The Society of Timid Souls.  Seventy years later, as anxiety about everything from terrorism to economic meltdown continues, Morland argues that courage has become a virtue in crisis.  We are, she says, all Timid Souls now."






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. 

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Super Hair-O John Rocco Visits Blue Willow Books

John Rocco, author and illustrator of some wonderful childen's picture books, 
including the amazing Blackout, 
came to Blue Willow Bookshop in Houston on Thursday, May 23rd. 

A whole bunch of my librarian friends and I went to hear John speak at the bookshop.

Is there any better way to spend an evening than to hear an author speak?
I think not.

This, then, is John Rocco at Blue Willow Books:

Then. And now.

When he was a boy, John Rocco tells us, 
he lived on a block in the city with fourteen other boys. 
They decided they would try to break all the records
in the Guinness Book of World Records. 

One of the games they played was Cowboys and Indians.
Cowboys would ride their bikes as fast as they could and
Indians would try to shove their mom's broom through the spokes.

Thinking about all of that, and how everyone had a lot of hair,
he wrote this book.


A little from his new book, Super Hair-O and the Barber of Doom.


What might Super Hair-O stow in his hair?
The audience has lots of ideas.


Sans hair, Rocco reads Blackout, his Caldecott Honor Award winner.
It is fun to know that the little girl in Blackout is his daughter.


And I take back an autographed Super Hair-O for my library.

Thank you, John Rocco.


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 at West Metro Mommy Reads.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Top Ten Authors Who Deserve More Recognition





Am I lazy? Old? Just tired? 



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.

Monday, July 15, 2013

It's Monday!

I'm on a reading roll. I read three good books last week and dived into the two I'd set as my summer reading goal.

What I Finished Last Week




The Other Typist: A Novel
by Suzanne Rindell

Rose has made a good life for herself. Though she grew up an orphan, she has learned a new, useful skill for a woman alone in 1923, typing, and she has...more







The Mouse-Proof Kitchen
by Saira Shah

Anna and her husband Tobias eagerly anticipate the arrival of their first child. When Freya is born, the parents learn she will never develop the way...more








Counting by 7s
by Holly Goldberg Sloan

Willow Chance is different. She is brilliant. And, except for her loving parents, Willow keeps to herself. She finds it soothing to count by 7s...more








What I'm Reading Now



Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell


From Amazon:   "David Mitchell combines flat-out adventure, a Nabokovian love of puzzles, a keen eye for character, and a taste for mind-bending philosophical and scientific speculation in the tradition of Haruki Murakami, Umberto Eco, and Philip K. Dick."






East of Eden
by John Steinbeck
From Amazon:  "California's fertile Salinas Valley is home to two families are fruitfully and fatally intertwined. Over the generations, between the beginning of the twentieth century and the end of the First World War, the Trasks and the Hamiltons will helplessly replay the fall of Adam and Eve and the murderous rivalry of Cain and Abel."





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. 

Friday, July 12, 2013

ALA in Chicago 2013!







Welcome to the 2013 American Library Association Conference!
In beautiful, cool Chicago!


You know you are at a library conference when you see ads like these.


I met lots of wonderful librarians.
Can you identify which person in this picture is a librarian?
I think you can.



Happy to see some people come suitably attired to ALA.


A little jazz.



Some librarians can really get down.


Long lines for authors.


But who cares if you are in a long line when you can make new friends?
Another round of "I Love My White Shoes," please!


Some librarians accumulated a lot of ribbons.


 But what do we come for? Right, the authors. 
Here are authors Lois Lowry and Tamora Pierce.


The Pinkneys sign simultaneously.


 Authors Marilyn Singer and Jarrett Krosoczka. So much fun!


The bottom line?
A hefty 225 books scored!



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 at West Metro Mommy Reads.