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 
Cooking-Up-Language-Development-ing
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.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Top Ten Books That Were Totally Deceiving




The prompt this week for Top 10 Tuesday is Top Ten Books That Were Totally Deceiving. The prompt goes on to add, "those covers or titles that don't fit the books, a book that was totally different than its summary, or those books you thought were going to be fluff that turned out to be more serious etc etc."    

I want to take a second look at books that are defined as children's picture books. Often people think of children's picture books as simplistic, with controlled vocabularies, and overly-rosy views of the world.

That can be true.

It is not true of the best of children's picture books. The best children's picture books are small poems that ponder all the big issues of life, with illustrations that add to the thoughtfulness of the poems. 

I will go so far as to say that the best children's picture books are...gulp...Literature.

Here are some you might consider reading again. And again. And sharing with a child. Or even another grownup....

Woolbur by Leslie Helakoski
(or Tacky the Penguin
or Chrysanthemum or a dozen other books 
about children...or grownups...who don't feel like they fit in...)
Woolbur refuses to go along with the rest of the flock....


That's Good! That's Bad! by Margery Cuyler
A boy is lifted up into the sky by his balloon.
That's good, right?
Or is it bad?

Tadpole's Promise by Jeanne Willis
Do you think you are in love?
Take a look at this little story....


The Little House by Virginia Lee Burton
I seem to love this story about a beautiful little house
that falls into disrepair with age
more and more as I grow older....


Window by Jeannie Baker
Here's another Jeannie Baker book
that you can only really appreciate, I think,
as an adult....


Rotten Island by William Steig
You must read this picture book.
Or any other William Steig book.


Jumanji by Chris Van Allsburg
Another fabulous author.
Chris Van Allsburg is a philosopher.
In the disguise of a children's picture book author.

Hey, Al by Arthur Yorinks
Yet another author that you must try...


Terrific by Jon Agee
Jon Agee knows human nature....

Yo! Yes? by Chris Raschka
Anything Chris Raschka.

The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore by William Joyce
I've always loved William Joyce's books.
He's apparently been puttering around with movies
for a while and taking a break from books,
but now he's back with a book/movie,
an iPad book app that is...well, fantastic.

I could go on and on with this list, and I probably will on another day. 

Do you have titles for this list?

What did you do with this prompt? Where did it take you?





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, April 9, 2012

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?


                     




What I Finished Last Week

The Buddha in the Attic by Julie Otsuka
In just 144 pages, Julie Otsuka magically takes us the readers
 deep into the experience of the lives of Japanese mail-order brides of the 1930's...more


A Room With a View by E. M. Forster
I decided to read this book for the wrong reasons...more


The Floor of Heaven by Howard Blum
You'd think you were reading fiction. This story is that good.
And the truth is that Floor of Heaven is a little bit fiction...more


 
What I'm Reading Now

I Am the Messenger by Markus Zusak

A Traveller in Italy by H. V. Morton

Wife 22 by Melanie Gideon



What I Might Read Next


Italian Days by Barbara Grizzuti Harrison



What are you reading today?!



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. Book Journey offers a weekly contest for those who visit 10 or more of the Monday Meme participants and leave a comment telling BJ how many you visited.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Sunday Salon: A Slow-Book Manifesto




Read books. As often as you can. Mostly classics.

Thank you, Maura Kelly. We've all eagerly embraced the Slow Food movement. We've tried Slow Travel. We've taken on Slow Money and Slow Schools. But it is you, Maura Kelly, who have challenged us to attempt the most important slow movement of them all, Slow Books
As you write:  



 
"I'm all for efforts like these. But why so much emphasis on what goes into our mouths, and so little on what goes into our minds? What about having fun while exerting greater control over what goes into your brain? Why hasn't a hip alliance emerged that's concerned about what happens to our intellectual health, our country, and, yes, our happiness when we consume empty-calorie entertainment?"


Maura, you have given us three important reasons to slow-book:

 
(1) "Because literary books are so mentally invigorating, and require such engagement, they make us smarter than other kinds of reading material, as a 2009 University of Santa Barbara study indicated." 
 (2) 'Research by Canadian psychologists Keith Oatley and Raymond Mar suggests that reading fiction even hones our social skills, as Paul notes. "Dr. Oatley and Dr. Mar, in collaboration with several other scientists, reported ... that individuals who frequently read fiction seem to be better able to understand other people, empathize with them, and see the world from their perspective," she writes.' 
 (3) "Best of all, perhaps, serious reading will make you feel good about yourself. Surveys show that TV viewing makes people unhappy and remorseful—but when has anyone ever felt anything but satisfied after finishing a classic?"



You conclude, Maura, by quoting Joseph Brodsky's 1987 Nobel Prize acceptance speech:

 
'"Though we can condemn ... the persecution of writers, acts of censorship, the burning of books, we are powerless when it comes to [the worst crime against literature]: that of not reading the books. For that ... a person pays with his whole life; ... a nation ... pays with its history."'


There you have it. Slow-Reading: Makes us smarter. Improves our social skills. Makes us feel good.

Where do I sign up??



What is the Sunday SalonImagine 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.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Top Ten Books To Read In A Day


I don't know what it says about me,
but I love short books.

Here are ten of my favorite books you could read in a day*:

Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
107 pages

A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams
144 pages

A Member of the Wedding by Carson McCullers
163 pages

Breakfast at Tiffany's by Truman Capote
178 pages

Lying Awake by Mark Salzman
181 pages

Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress by Dai Sijie
184 pages

That Night by Alice McDermott
192 pages

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
192 pages

Into That Good Night by Ron Rozelle
192 pages

A Year in Japan by Kate T. Williamson
192 pages

If you like short books, a great reference is
100 One-Night Reads: A Book Lover's Guide.
 
*For this list, I am excluding the many
wonderful 32-page children's picture books I love.

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, April 2, 2012

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?







What I Finished Last Week

The Buddha in the Attic by Julie Otsuka

(review coming soon)

A Room With a View by E. M. Forster

(review coming soon)

The Floor of Heaven by Howard Blum
(review coming soon)


 
What I'm Reading Now

I Am the Messenger by Markus Zusak

A Traveller in Italy by H. V. Morton



What I Might Read Next


La Bella Figura: A Field Guide to the Italian Mind
by Beppe Severgnini



What are you reading today?!



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. Book Journey offers a weekly contest for those who visit 10 or more of the Monday Meme participants and leave a comment telling BJ how many you visited.