Sunday, August 1, 2010

Sunday Salon: 暴走機関車, in Which I Read My First Book in Japanese

What a fantastic week of reading!  As this will be my last week where I will be free this summer, I was happy to knock a bunch of 1001 CBYMRBYGUs off my list.

I loved them all. The fantastic Shirley Hughes appeared again, this time with Bathwater's Hot, a little book of opposites. Hughes knows little kids. Her books are ideal for the very young.

And then there was Sleep Well, Little Bear. Poetry, pure poetry, and with illustrations that seemed to lull me to sleep.

Dusty Wants to Help, and you know before you even open the book that this is not going to turn out well.

Baby Bear and Grandbear have a fantastic time together, whatever they do, so I adored reading the whole John Prater Baby Bear collection.

Are We There Yet? took me off to Australia, and I loved hearing little side comments about all of Australia's landmarks from a precocious child.

Mister Magnolia...I knew Quentin Blake could draw, but who knew that he can tell a tale, too.

The Sea Monster has pictures that are so realistic that the fantastic elements of the story seem even more fantastic and cool.

The Boy Who Grew Flowers takes the subject of special needs children and turns it on its head; who wouldn't want to be special needs after reading this book? It's a glorious gift!

Little Mole finds someone has pooped on his head and goes off in search of the culprit. I'm eager to share this with my nephew.

And then there is 暴走機関車. Yes, I said 暴走機関車. Here's how it happened that I read my first book in Japanese:  Oddly, this book that I can find all over Great Britain is not available locally...except in Japanese. And I mean totally in Japanese. No English. I could not even resort to typing the text into Google Translator this time. The pictures, fortunately, told the story well. Just wish I could have read the story in English. Or Spanish. Or even French!

For full reviews of all I read this week...

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Only 662 Books to Go!

I am a person who likes to have goals.

Last Christmas, I was told of a marvelous book called 1001 Children's Books You Must Read Before You Grow Up. I was invited to join a bookgroup that is attempting to read all 1001 books.

Naturally, I joined this group. I am, after all, a children's librarian. And how hard could it be to read a few children's books, right?

Harder than one might think, it turns out. The rascally scoundrels...sorry, rather that is, the wise scholars, who devised this list of children's books cleverly broke the books up into five categories of books, by ages, with 0-3, 3+, 5+, 8+, and 12+. The easier books, what we librarians call picture books, comprise less than half the list. And look at some of the books these quacks...oops, sorry again, that is, erudite critics, have classified as children's books: Fahrenheit 451...Gulliver's Travels...The Hound of the Baskervilles...To Kill a Mockingbird...The Arabian Nights....A lot of these are well over 500 pages....

I was thrilled, then, to hit 339 books read from this list. That's a little over 1/3 of the way through.

I can see myself slowing down now that I've read most of the shorter books. Also, these books are from all over the world. I've been finding it very difficult to obtain copies of books published outside the US.

I can see myself soon at a point where I am only finishing a book a week. At that rate...let's see...662 books to go...a book a week...52 weeks in a year...Only twelve years and nine months! That's doable.

I'm quite certain that I still have at least twelve years and nine months before I grow up.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

6 Bajillion Times More Effective Than Studying in Your Shower

I agree. Studying in the library is 6 bajillion times more effective than studying in your shower.

Although my library is not that quiet....

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Texan Again (But With a Shake of Paris and a Handful of Provence)

Shakespeare & Co. in Paris
Cooking Class in Provence
Cafe in Paris

(Please forgive me, but I could not seem to stop myself from posting a few more pictures from France. Last time. I promise. Oh, and which one is me? I'm---oddly---on the far left of every picture.)

I've returned home from France and I'm back in my world of books, though I'm continuing to attempt to live a French life amid my Texas universe. A slew of books arrived for me from the library. I've finished three grownup books and nine children's books from the 1001 list. I'm in that wonderful place where I'm loving what I'm reading (I'm hip deep in The Lost Girls) while simultaneously eyeing the heaps of books awaiting me (Sadness of Lemon Cake...Don't Cry...Trail of Crumbs...two Savory Baking books).

So I will do with the remains of this day what I love best: read. I will also spend time today browsing my favorite blogs in hopes of adding a few new titles to my wishlist. Suggestions are always welcomed!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

The New Me

Paris and Provence 056

Warning: This post has only occasional references to books.

After seventeen days in Heaven (aka Paris, Provence, France), I have returned home.

While in France, I experienced several epiphanies.

I am changed.

How so?

1. Food.
Food in France was real food. It was fresh. It had taste. It had color.
It had been alive recently; it still had a bit of aliveness in it.

So, no more eating bad foods.
I don't finish bad books, so why have I been eating bad food? 

2. Savoring.
People in France take month long vacations. They close their shops for two hours for lunch.
They spend six hours eating dinner.

I've always thought of myself as a hurry-hurry girl. No more.
I am slowing down. Pause. Think. Reflect. Visit. Pray. Taste. Smell. Hear. Listen. Savor.

A new me. 

Paris and Provence 196