Tuesday, August 12, 2014

♫ ♪ ♫ My Kind of Town! ♫ ♪ ♫







For more wordless photos,
go to Wordless Wednesday.


Saturday Snapshot is hosted by West Metro Mommy ReadsTo participate in Saturday Snapshot: post a photo that you (or a friend or family member) have taken and then leave a direct link to your post in the Mister Linky at West Metro Mommy Reads.

Top Ten Books I'm Not Sure I Want to Read


Here's the truth: (1) These books are on every Must-Read list. (2) I want to read books that many, many people have said are amazing. 

But something about each of these puts me off.

Today I will make my stand. I'm crossing these off my (long) list of books I must read before I die. 

Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
The whole idea of this book is creepy to me. Yes, I've heard over and over that Nabokov is an amazing writer. But I can't get past the subject of the book. I don't think I ever will.


Sons and Lovers by D.H. Lawrence
The title. Ugh. 


Ulysses by James Joyce
I've read a page or two from this one. It took me hours and, when I got the end, I still wasn't very clear about what I'd read. Do I really want to do that to myself?


Tropic of Cancer by Henry Miller
This one seems dangerously close to my idea of porn. Ick.


The Secret Agent by Joseph Conrad
If there is one book that was a universally bad experience for those of us who loved to read in high school, it was Heart of Darkness. HofD spoiled Joseph Conrad for me. Forever, I think.


The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner
I dare to call myself a reader, and yet I've never read Faulkner. Nothing. And everything he's written is on every Good Book list. But he just doesn't ring my bell.


The Golden Bowl by Henry James
Henry James is another author I've skipped over. Again, no bells ringing with this author.


Remembrance of Things Past by Marcel Proust
How long is this book? Is it a book or a life experience? 
Does it ever end? And does it have any plot?


War and Peace. Crime and Punishment. Fathers and Sons.
Or any of those other enormous Russian novels. Shudder.


Beloved by Toni Morrison
I hate to admit this, but I've never read Beloved. Or any other Toni Morrison. And I don't think I ever will. Why TM isn't working for me I do not understand. Everything about her says she should be a perfect author for me. And yet, no.


Have I acted in haste? Should I reconsider any of these? Talk me into it!





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 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 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.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Last Week of Summer





What I Read Last Week

My summer reading frenzy is almost over. Next week, school resumes and 
my weekly reading consumption will go back to my normal two-to-three-books-a-week.
Sigh.






Happily, I had one last big bang of a reading week: How Georgia Became O'Keeffe (thank you, Natasha!), War Horse, Riveted, Seven Letters from Paris, Never Mind Miss Fox, and Before Happiness. Reviews are coming soon.

           






What Arrived Last Week


Don't these look promising?! The Upside of Your Dark Side and
The Industrial Revolution for Kids!
           








What I'm Reading Now

I ran across a cool list of books a few months ago. It's a list of Mood-Boosting Books from a social service agency in the UK. This week, I finally had a chance to try one from this list that was new to me. And I agree; this is a mood-boosting book. 
Inspiring, but not in an awful pedantic way. 
Life According to Lubka.


Have you read it? Have you read any other books from the Mood-Boosting list? Do you know anything about that agency? Is it still in existence?

           








What are you reading today?!



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.

The Sunday Post is a meme hosted by Kimba at Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It's a chance to share news and recap the past week.

Mailbox Monday was created by Marcia at The Printed Page. We share books that we found in our mailboxes last week. 
 It is now being hosted here.


Stacking the Shelves is a meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews in which you can share the books you've acquired.

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. 

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

A Pigeon Tale Visits Our School!


I first realize that something magical is going to happen when
I receive this package in the mail.


The author reads the story accompanied with music by the illustrator.

It is a packed library, but the children are mesmerized.

video


The illustrator paints moments from the book.

Lucky children!

The author shares music with a student.

What a great day! Thank you, author Dana Knox Wright and illustrator Harriet Myrick!


P.S. A little serendipity:
The author and illustrator told us that one of their pigeons had, sadly, died.
One of our teachers raises pigeons,
and was able to procure a baby that day for A Pigeon Tale!


For more information about having A Pigeon Tale come to your school or organization,


For more wordless photos, go to Wordless Wednesday.

Saturday Snapshot is hosted by West Metro Mommy ReadsTo participate in Saturday Snapshot: post a photo that you (or a friend or family member) have taken and then leave a direct link to your post in the Mister Linky at West Metro Mommy Reads.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Books I'd Give to Readers Who Have Never Read...Oh, Dear...Nonfiction


Top Ten Kinds of Books I'd Give To Readers Who Have Never Read Nonfiction 

I know you. You hear the word "nonfiction" and you shut down. You visibly shudder. You loathe it. You know what nonfiction is. You got enough of that in college. Ugh.

Give me a chance. I've been where you are. I wasn't a nonfiction aficionado either. 

Then I found the good stuff. The amazing nonfiction. The nonfiction that reads like fiction.

Let me share some of my favorites with you. 

Travel.
Old travel books read like a list of where-to-go and what-to-do, but that's old travel books. If you haven't read a travel narrative lately, I urge you to try The Roads to Sata (I just finished this one yesterday and it is a must-read) or Lost on Planet China or Dark Star Safari or Shooting the Boh. You can take a trip anywhere in the world for the cost of a paperback.


   

Memoir.
Oh, there is nothing like a good memoir. It's powerful and amazing and, somehow, it's also true. I have a long list of memoirs I recommend, but if you are new to memoir, I'd send you in the direction of The Glass Castle. Then go on to try Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life. And The Last Shot. Maybe The Year of Magical Thinking.

    


Moving-and-Starting-Over Books.
You might call these travel. You might call these memoir. I call them MASO books. People decide their lives need a reboot and off they go to a run-down house in the wilds of Arkansas or an old castle in France. These are magical. Try Still Life With Chickens or Nine Hills to Nambonkaha or The Olive Farm or 36 Views of Mount Fuji.

    

Religion.
Anne Lamott. You say you've tried books on religion and they are awful and pedantic, as if they were written by the people who persecuted Christ rather than Christ himself? I say, Try Anne Lamott. She writes out of her own life experiences and she's authentic and quirky and hilarious and sad. Try Anne Lamott. Traveling Mercies. Help, Thanks, Wow. Grace (Eventually). And Francis Chan's Crazy Love is fantastic, too.

     

History.
Oops. You are halfway down the street. Running. Wait. Give history a chance. There are some amazing history books out there. If you are new to history, or you have a bad history with history, I urge you to try Unbroken. Try Unbroken, just try it, and you will be an instant history convert. Later, you might try Devil in the White City and Isaac's Storm and Seabiscuit and The Warmth of Other Suns.

    

Foodie Nonfiction.
Yes, cookbooks, sometimes, but also food narratives (Yes, that's a genre!) Try old ones like M.F.K. Fisher's An Alphabet for Gourmets or new ones like Jam Today and Candy Freak.

    

Biographies.
I hate celebrity bios. Abhor them. I was late to the game with biography. (Here's where that came from: When I was in sixth grade, I was crazy about Sound of Music. I had to have a bio of the real Maria from the Scholastic book order. What a disappointment!) Then I found Kathleen Krull. Yes, she writes biographies for children, but who cares? They are fabulous. Start with her Lives of series (I'd suggest Lives of the Artists first) and go on to her bio of Wilma Rudolph and then find her Dr. Seuss and you will not stop. Kathleen Krull can tell the story of a life.

     

Writing How-to Books.
I'm not talking about textbooks. Trust me here. Put down the latest from Writer's Digest and spend ten bucks on Bird by Bird (Anne Lamott again) or Writing Down the Bones or Letters to a Young Poet. That's all you need.

    

Creative Nonfiction.
It is a term that is batted about in the book world, with strong feelings both for and against, but I will encourage you to give it a try, though you shouldn't go into it expecting The Whole Truth and Nothing But the Truth. Here's my favorite collection of short pieces: The Touchstone Anthology of Contemporary Creative Nonfiction.


Maira Kalman-ish 
I don't even have a name for Maira Kalman books (Draw-and-Write?) but try this kind of book anyway. Maira Kalman draws great pictures and thinks aloud about the world, and she's mesmerizing. Principles of Uncertainty. And the Pursuit of Happiness. There's another coming out in the fall. And let's just hope she's busy drawing and painting and writing right now. In that same vein are Le Road Trip and Relish.

  



I have other new nonfiction categories like Books-about-Books and Road Trips and Let's-Shake-Up-Education and Odd Pets, but I'll save those for another Tuesday.



I bet you have recommendations for me. I'd love to hear them!



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 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 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.