Showing posts with label sunday salon. Show all posts
Showing posts with label sunday salon. Show all posts

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Sunday Salon: Texas Library Association Conference 2012


It's time for the 
Texas Library Association
Annual Conference!

My sweet esposo graciously offered no protest 
when I suggested, 
though the conference is a mere thirty miles from my home,
that I would like to bunk in for the week in Houston
to completely immerse myself in the conference experience.

So I am. 
For the next week, I'll be Read-Kiddo-Read-ing and
Using-Creative-Nonfiction-ing and 
and eReader-Technology-ing and more.

I'll be meeting authors.

And I'll be acquiring free books!

Let me know if you'll be there, too!
Tweet me @debnance!

What is the Sunday Salon
Imagine 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.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Odds and Ends

I did it. Late last night, when I was barely awake enough to type the numbers on my credit card, I went online and ordered a new iPad.

Indulgent. I already have a desktop, a large laptop, a medium-sized (pink) laptop, a mini, a Kindle, an iPhone, and an iPad.

But I love technology the way some women love shoes. And I stick to one pair of shoes.

I'm working on a post about it.

Yes, I'm that far behind. The Cybils were announced mid-February. I'm working on a post.

Last Monday, the Indie Lit Awards were announced. I'm working on a post.

Incredible as it sounds, it looks very promising for a trip to Italy this summer. Mio marito has gotten his passport. I got a 99 cent app for learning Italian. I went to the bookstore last night and got three books on Italy. We are as good as there.

I'm working on a post about it.

I have an enormous stack of books I've read and have yet to review. I'm working on a post.

I hope to join for Dewey's 24-Hour Read-a-Thon. It will be on Saturday, April 21st. I need to write a post about it.

Which all brings me to my final odd (or end): the need to blog. Next weekend is Bloggiesta and I plan to blog and blog and blog.

And get caught up on all of these things.

How about you? Will you be bloggiesta-ing next weekend? I hope that you will and that you will stop in and chat about good books or with blogging tips or about Italy even.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Sunday Salon: Peaceful

It's Sunday and I'm completely and totally relaxed and peaceful.

I just spent most of the last week at an amazing technology conference. But that wasn't the relaxing and peaceful part.

The relaxing and peaceful part was the hotel where I stayed.

 I walked. I listened to calming music. I ate almonds and peanut butter and chocolate. And I read a fabulous book. A fabulously sad book. And I cried. I cried because the book was very sad. I cried because the book was very true.

Here it is:

Why We Broke Up*
Review to come soon.

And don't forget!
The February Giveaway here at Readerbuzz is...
All Kinds of Kisses!
And it's international!

*CAUTION!  CAUTION!  CAUTION!  This book is marked YA but it's full of things your mama won't be happy about. 
You have been warned.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

TSS: Proudly Announcing the 2011 Cybils Finalists!

Folks, I'm tired.

I've just finished reading 260 Cybils children's fiction picture book nominees. I reviewed over half of them and posted my reviews at Amazon, at Goodreads, at LibraryThing, on Twitter, on Facebook, and on my blog here.

This is the fourth year I've been a Cybils judge. I should have known this was a big job, right?

No, I've always been a judge for the Cybils children's nonfiction picture books. There are (only!) about 80 nonfiction nominees each year in the picture book category. And last year, with my mother being so sick with cancer, I served as a judge in the finalist round. Wasn't that easy?! I just went online to my public library catalog, requested all seven finalists, picked them up from the library after a couple of days, read them a couple of times, tried them out with students at school, and discussed with the other judges our favorites. Easy-peasy.

I feel proud of reading all 260 Cybils fiction picture books. Happily, thanks to kind publishers and wonderful librarians, I was able to read them all.

I almost feel like I've run a marathon and finished. :-)

So, it is with great pride that I announce the 2011 Cybils Children's Fiction Picture Book Finalists:

by John Rocco
Do You Know Which Ones Will Grow?
by Susan A. Shea
Blue Apple Books
I Had a Favorite Dress
by Boni Ashburn
Abrams for Young Readers 

I Want My Hat Back
by Jon Klassen
Candlewick Press
Me . . . Jane
by Patrick McDonnell
Little, Brown
Press Here
by Herve Tullet
Chronicle Books
Princess and the Pig, The
by Jonathan Emmett
Walker Books for Young Readers

Here's the complete list of all the 2011 finalists:

Congratulations to all of the finalists and to all the nominees!

And now I'm off to begin reading
 the 2011 Indie Lit nonfiction finalists...a mere five books...but 2,288 pages!

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Sunday Salon: What Are Your Reading Resolutions for 2012?

New Year's Day. A brand new start. I love this feeling.

I make resolutions every year. My focus this year, as it has been for the past several years, is on Happiness. To that end, I have made this reminder chart (thank you, Andrew Weil and Spontaneous Happiness):

Here are my Reading Resolutions for 2012:

1. Read good books slowly. Keep a sticky and pencil nearby as I read these good books. Note great quotes. Note great ideas. Note great new words.

2. Read so-so books quickly. Skimming is okay for these books and these books still count as books read. A two sentence review is perfectly acceptable.

And that's it.

No big resolutions to read War and Peace this year or to read and review 365 books this year or to read all the 1001 Children's Books You Must Read Before You Grow Up this year. No attempts to read strictly from my enormous TBR. No vows to refrain from purchasing new books. Just these two little resolutions for me.

How about you?  What are your Reading Resolutions for 2012? Do you have a list of books you want to read this year? How about challenges? What about your TBR? What do you hope to accomplish in 2012?

P.S. Here's my list of Top Ten Reads of 2011!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

So You Want to Give a Child a Book for Christmas?

I'm crazy about the idea of giving everyone you know a book for theory....

The truth is the whole thing could backfire and you could end up with fifty friends and relatives who are furious, quietly steaming because they didn't get anything they wanted for Christmas.

But can you really go wrong giving a kid a book? A book and a toy, of course.

And I've got just the list of kid Christmas book recommendations for you.

First, some words of advice:

(1) No big enormous chapter books you loved as a kid. You giftee may be a poor reader and this will just drive him farther and farther away from Book World.

(2) No big enormous classics. See above.

  (3) No books made from popular tv series or celebrities (for example, skip all the awful Justin Bieber books). The cover is great, but it's the only good thing about the book.

(4) No books to teach lessons. Please don't make kids think books are just another way to sneak up on you and try to talk you into following our rules.

(5) Funny or is usually best if you are not sure.

(6) The truth is there are boy books and there are girl books.
Girls will read girl books or boy books, but boys rarely read girl books. Just look at the cover. Read the title. You know the difference.

(7) Thinner is better than thick. Lots of pictures is good.

(8) Just because the book says it is a level 1 book doesn't mean
it is a level 1 book or that your giftee can read it. Read it to him one time as part of the gift (or, even better, start reading it and then leave him hanging..."I'm so sorry, but I'm out of time.")

(9) With boys, if you are not sure, stick to nonfiction with lots of pictures. Scary, if possible.

Now, the ideas:

Ages 3-8...Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus...Fancy Nancy...How Do Dinosaurs Say Good Night by Jane Yolen (any of this series)...If You Give a Mouse a Cookie (any of this series)...Diary of a Worm...How I Became a Pirate...The Kissing Hand...any dinosaur book...any true book about
animals...Biscuit...No, David!...books about trucks and cars...David Scarry books...princess books...Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?...fairy tales...short Seuss...Elephant and Piggy books...Fancy Nancy books...

Ages 6-9...Frog and Toad books...Henry and Mudge books...Mr. Putter and Tabby series...Magic Tree House series...Junie B. Jones series...A-Z Mystery series...Secrets of Droon series...Mercy Watson series...Franny K. Stein chapter books...still with the animal books or dinosaur books...joke books...fairy tales...princess on CDs...In a Dark, Dark Room...

Ages 8-12...Judy Blume books...Roald Dahl books...Harry Potter series...The Lightning Thief series...Andrew Clemens books...My Weird School series...Diary of a Wimpy Kid series...Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark...Series of Unfortunate Evens books...Tale of Despereaux...Spiderwick experiment books...joke books...Where the Sidewalk Ends...I'm
Still Here in the Bathtub...Guinness Book of World Records...Ripley's Believe It or a book for his Ipod...Jack Prelutsky poetry books...

I'm sure I left some great choices out, but this should be a pretty good place to start.

Do you have recommendations for this list?

(Reposted and updated from Christmas, 2010)

And, if you are interested in be-gifting children a picture book from 2011, take a look at my Definitive List of the Best Children's Fiction Picture Books of 2011!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

How Happy Are You? Would You Like to Be as Happy as Pollyanna?

Photo by markhillary

Happiness. We all want happiness. We take jobs and marry and buy homes and have children, all in hopes of being happy.

Nevertheless, studies show that we are not very happy.

A few years ago, I decided to focus on happiness.  I decided to read about happiness and to put into practice the ideas about happiness I learned.

Are you curious about what secrets I learned?

Here they are, the twelve hows from Sonja Lyubomirsky's book, The How of Happiness:

1. Expressing gratitude
2. Cultivating optimism
3. Avoiding overthinking and social comparison
4. Practicing acts of kindness
5. Nurturing social relationships
6. Developing strategies for coping
7. Forgiving
8. Increasing flow experiences
9. Savoring life’s joys
10. Committing to your goals
11. Practicing religion and spirituality
12. Taking care of your body

I just finished a book where the main character lives all these ideas. It's Pollyanna. She's not the goody-two-shoes I thought she would be. No, she is a person who lives all these ideas, especially expressing gratitude and cultivating optimism, practicing acts of kindness and nurturing social relationships.

I've read a lot of books about happiness in the last few years and I've become happier. If you want to be happier, you could read these books, too.  Or you could read Pollyanna.

What are you reading today?

Other books on happiness that I've read in the past few years: