Sunday, February 13, 2011

Indie Lit Awards Announced!

I love nonfiction.

(Don't misunderstand me; I love fiction, too. But I love nonfiction.)

I was happy this year, then, to serve on not one but
two nonfiction book judging panels.
One was for children's nonfiction picture books (Cybils) and

The Cybils finalists are here.
The Cybils Awards will be announced tomorrow.

The 2010 Short List for Non-Fiction
was selected earlier in the year:


■The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot

■The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson


■Let’s Take the Long Way Home by Gail Caldwell


■Cleopatra: A Life by Stacy Schiff


■At Home by Bill Bryson

And now...the envelope, please....

The winner of the Independent Literary Award for Non-Fiction for 2010 is...


The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson!



What do you think? Did you read this title?
Do you have other nonfiction
favorites from 2010?

For a complete list of Indie Lit Award winners for 2010, visit the website.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Top Ten Characters I'd Name My Children After


1. My favorite.
Bet a lot of us would choose this one.
Atticus. 
from To Kill a Mockingbird

2. Should I go with Aramis, Athos, or Porthos?
Or D'Artagnan?
from The Three Musketeers

3. Named after the book character,
not the movie character.
Shrek.
from William Steig's Shrek

4. What about naming a child
after a favorite elephant book character?
Babar.
from Laurent de Brunhoff's Babar

5. Not her real name, surely,
but certainly a lovely one.
Stargirl.
from Jerry Spinelli's Stargirl

6. My husband, with his penchant for the western,
would love either or these.
Gus or Call.
from Lonesome Dove

7. Bilbo?
Or Frodo?
Gandalf?
from Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit

8. Chrysanthemum.
from Kevin Henkes' Chrysanthemum

9. So many wonderful names
from Shakespeare...
Romeo?
Macbeth?
Hamlet?
from Shakespeare

10. Or, what about naming my child after an author?
There are some fantastic author names...
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, for example.
Or Halldor Laxness.
Haruki Murakami.
Khaled Hosseini...
I could go on and on....


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.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Blog Hop: Where in the World?

From this week's Literary Blog Hop,
Robyn asks: What setting (time or place)
from a book or story would you most like to visit?

I inherited some strange genetic combination
of both my father's love for travel with
my mother's deep desire to never leave her house.

Luckily for me, I have books.

And from my travels via books,
I've determined most that I really
don't want to be anywhere but here.

Here is my list of
places/times I would NOT want to visit:

The World is Not Enough by Zoe Oldenbourg
Life in the 12th century.
"It's an epic of multiple pregnancies, miscarriages,
births, diseases, wounds, deaths, infidelities,
debts, superstitions, treacheries, feuds, battles,
flea-ridden castles, mud, cold, mold,
damp, dust, heat, flies, mosquitoes, and
other assorted attractions of the good ol' days."

The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
Life in a future dystopia.
If you thought the past was
bad for women,
this picture of a future is worse.


Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi
Tehran in the last century was not
a nice place for women.
Especially independent-minded women.
Nafisi established
a secret reading group for women in Tehran.
Here's a bit from my review
"Nafisi's group faces bullets and beheadings,
yet the most awful horror is the day-to-day
slow death of the world of the imagination."


Shooting the Boh by Tracy Johnson
A middle-aged woman travels to Borneo.
A little from my review:
"...Gimme a second here (pant, pant)...
Let me...ugh...rip this leech off my leg...
Ouch!...Jeez...another beesting!...And...what?...
What the heck is that GROWING ON MY FEET???..."

I hope you did better than I did.
Have you found some lovely
places/times to visit via books?

My First Snow Day

School was cancelled today. We're under
a Severe Weather Alert. Usually this means,
for those of us who live along the balmy
Gulf coast of Texas, that a hurricane is approaching

Not today.  Snow, we were told, was imminent.
We were under a Winter Storm Warning.

I eagerly checked outside
several times during the school day yesterday.
Took off my gloves. Studied the sky. Nada.

I woke up several times last night
and raced to the front porch.
A little rain. And the porch felt slippery,
like there might be ice.

But I was pretty disappointed
 to see this when I checked again
at five this morning:


My regular green world.

A teeny-tiny bit of ice on the front porch.
It was enough for my husband to slip on it
this morning and fall down the concrete steps.
Ouch.

My bird bath. Frozen.

And that's it.
Snow-less.  A snow-less Snow Day.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Top Ten Best Debut Books

In no particular order....


For many years after reading Durable Goods by Elizabeth Berg,
I eager awaited new Berg books, though
I've been disappointed with the last couple of reads.


In contrast, I loved Stephen L. Carter's
brilliant first book Civility, but
I never liked anything else.

Operating Instructions wasn't Anne Lamott's first book,
but it was her first nonfiction book and it took my breath away.
I still love her nonfiction and
shy away from her fiction.


The Lightning Thief was not Rick Riordan's first book either,
but it was his first children's novel and the first book of his that I had read.
I love his kids' books. Not so much the grownup mysteries.


Apparently I will never read Tracy Kidder's first book,
The Road to Yuba City. Kidder hated it so much
that he bought the rights to it,
saying he did not want it to "see the light of day."
I've loved everything else he has ever written, however,
including my current read, Home Town.


I was crazy about the first Douglas Adams book,
Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.
I just acquired the Dirk Gently series.
Hope I like it as much.


I was crazy about Amy Krouse Rosenthal's debut book.
I went on to love all of her children's books, too.


Not only did my love for this debut novel of Wally Lamb
send me off in search of more Wally Lamb works,
but it also sent me off in search of more Oprah novels.


Can a book be your debut novel if it's your only novel?
In any case, GWTW is fantastic.


Pirsig's debut book changed the way
I see the world. In a good way.
I liked it so much that I wrote Pirsig
my first and only letter-to-the-author.

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.