Wednesday, October 15, 2014

The Mysterious Case of the Brazoria County Fair Ribbons



Perhaps a little explanation....I was going through some old boxes in the garage last summer and ran across a couple of these beautiful ribbons won many years ago at our Brazoria County Fair. Here's the mystery: Who do they belong to? I won some for my quilts at the fair. My older son, Jon, won some for some Lego creations he entered in the fair. You'd think you could flip them over and easily solve the mystery with information written on the back. But there is no information written on the back. And so...the mystery.

I say they are mine. Jon says they are his.

How can we solve this mystery?


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, October 14, 2014

Places I've Visited Because of Books



Places I've Visited Because of Books


The search for books has sent me many places.

The Strand in NYC.


Powell's Books in Portland, Oregon.

City Lights Bookstore in San Francisco.


Sandmeyer's in Chicago.


Ocotillo Books and Rocks in West Texas.


Strange Maine in Portland, Maine.


Shakespeare and Company in Paris.


You can find books wherever you go these days.


Even though I don't really have to leave home to find books any more,
I still love visiting all these wonderful bookstores.



What did I forget? Any suggestions for me?


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, October 12, 2014

My Book-ish Week (and a Preview of Book-ish October...or is that Boooook-ish October?)



October is always book-ish here. First we have the school Scholastic Book Fair, including the always-exhausting yet ever-fun Open House late night book fair. It's followed by Dewey's 24-Hour Readathon. Next weekend, I'll be cheering you on while trying desperately to read, complete mini-challenges, and---most of all---stay awake. Then it will be time for the Texas Book Festival. Once again, I'll spend Saturday taking photos and making short videos of author presentations to share with children at my school. On Sunday, I'll be an Author Escort. In years past, I've escorted children's author Adam Rex and children's author/pop star Jewel. Who will I get to escort this year? Can't wait to find out! And this whole month is the start of Cybils time. I set my alarm for midnight on October 1st so that I could be first to nominate my favorite children's books of the past year. I started putting in requests at the library to find all the books I'll be reading as a Round 1 Cybils Easy Readers and Early Chapter Books panelist. And then I'll try once again to read all of the sixty (seventy? eighty?!) nominated books!

Want to come to the Texas Book Festival? Take a look at the lineup of authors here.

Want to join in for Dewey's Readathon, but think you can't do 24 hours? Check out my Readathon Lite.

Wanna nominate a children's book for the Cybils? You have until the 15th. Click here.



What I Read Last Week




I thought hosting the school book fair would put a crimp in my reading last week, but, happily, this did not happen. Three excellent reads. 

Are you a teacher, too? Or raising kids? Or (oh dear!) both? You should read master teacher Rafe Esquith's new book, Lighting Their Fires. Have you almost given up (in despair) your hope of raising and teaching children who are respectful, hard-working, and self-motivated learners? Esquith tells it like it is. He shows us a few of his best at a baseball game and showcases their amazing behavior in sharp contrast to other children (oh double-dear!) and adults. You will be moved to try again. Esquith will light your fire so that you can light their fires. 

Debbie Stier? What a mom! Her underachieving son prompts her to figure out a way to light his fire toward being accepted into a top college. The way she comes up with is helping him score big on his upcoming SAT. And how to do that? She decides to jump in and take the test herself. Seven times. Yes, seven times in one year. And, in the process, she tried every single possible SAT-score-enhancing practice method. This book is full of ideas for ways to do better on this all-important test. The Perfect Score Project is a must-read for anyone with an SAT in one's future. 

Sisters. A graphic novel that captures that love-hate relationship between sisters that happens from the very beginning. It's a memoir for our young students that interweaves themes all children face---sibling rivalry, parent conflict, parent-child conflict---in a way that is reassuring yet genuine. 
           






What Arrived Last Week



Here's the plot: In A Fifty-Year Silence, Mouillot tries to discover what happened to her grandparents' marriage shortly after WWII. Her grandfather was an interpreter at the Nuremberg Trials and her grandmother was a physician. After the war, the two moved to a small isolated village in the South of France. One day, her grandmother moved out. Her grandparents never spoke again, never saw each other again, and never explained what happened between them.

Doesn't that sound intriguing?
  








What I'm Reading Now



Next week, we will be going to France at my school library. I'm pulling together a Madeleine costume (did you know this is the 75th anniversary of this classic children's book?) and we are taking a trip to France. This will be the perfect time to read my new book, 100 Places in France Every Woman Should Go. I also hope to read a couple more Frenchies, Madame Pamplemousse and Her Incredible Edibles, Dodsworth in Paris, Everybody Bonjours, and Zat Cat!
           









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, October 8, 2014

Pumpkin Truck


Warrenton, Texas
September 2014



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, October 7, 2014

Best Character-Driven Novels

Best Character-Driven Novels

I don't like plot. 
Yes, this sounds strange.
 But plot is the least of my interests in books. 

I love characters.
Here are a few of my favorites.



Anne of Green Gables.

Tom Sawyer.

Eleanor & Park. 

Park, of course. And Eleanor.

Manolito Gafas.

The Summer Book. 
Grandma. I plan to be Grandma one day.

Henry Huggins. 
I know lots of folks like Ramona better, but I continue to prefer Henry.

Frog and Toad.
Frog. And Toad.

Olive Kitteridge.
Just gotta love Olive for her gossipy all-American-ness.



Sahara Special.

Brideshead Revisited.

I Am the Messenger.
Ed Kennedy. Lost. And then found.

Madeline.

Shrek.
(The book, not the movie.)

The Incredible Adventures of Professor Branestaum

The Good Earth.
The mom. What a mom. Sacrifice. She's all about sacrifice.

Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress.
The little Chinese seamstress is all of us. Before books.
And after books. Changed.




What did I forget? Any suggestions for me?


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, October 5, 2014

A Week in Books






What I Read Last Week





Now this is what I call a good reading week:  One brilliant novel (A Month in the Country...a Booker nominee, a Guardian Fiction Prize winner...could there be a movie adaptation?), one nonfiction book, and two versions of a children's classic from the 1001 Children's Books You Must Read list. 

I can't say enough about a Month in the Country. Tom Birkin is a WWI vet, traumatized by the war and a bad marriage, who takes a job in a country church uncovering an old mural. It's a healing summer for Tom, with friendships and work that helps him rethink religion, marriage, and even life. A Month in the Country is a short read, a one-night read even, so I can't think of a single reason why you shouldn't take it on. Somehow, in reading it, after a long string of current novel disappointments, I remembered why I love novels. 

I Survived: Five Epic Disasters is a nonfiction takeoff of a very popular new middle grade series of books of fiction based on true disasters. So, a nonfiction version of fiction books based on nonfiction events. (I think I said that right.) The author makes great choices in her selection of disasters, mixing some well-known events (Titanic) with some lesser-known, but equally powerful stories (Blizzard of 1888). These I Survived books fly off the shelves and I can't think of any reason this book won't also. 

My online book group is reading Swiss Family Robinson this month. Our leader set me free when she revealed that scholars say there is no one single authoritative version. Okay. So, shall I read the 496 page version, written on a ninth grade reading level? Or shall I go for the 112 page adaptation, written with third graders in mind? Should I choose the 72 page graphic novel? I settled on the last two. And I think I chose wisely. Plenty of action and adventure and quite readable to boot. I'm pretty sure I read some version of this as a child as I've always had a secret longing to live in a treehouse. 

           






What Arrived Last Week


Nothing makes me happier than when I receive a book set in France. Nothing except, perhaps, receiving two books set in France. There is just something about scenes from Paris on the cover that completely mesmerizes me. I'm quite certain that I will find both of these books delicious.

           







What I'm Reading Now

I'm almost at the end of The Perfect Score Project and I have to say that I cannot imagine a more perfect book for you if you are interested in aiming at a fabulous score on that oh-so-important test in your near future. Debbie Stier covers everything, takes a look at every possible test-help, shares all the tips-and-tricks she finds. A very good investment of your time and money, for all you you SAT-ers and parents of SAT-ers out there.

And Real Fast Food? A big yes. We want to eat things that are good for us, right? And that taste good? And that are easily prepared? Yes, yes, yes.           







So what do you have for me? Have you run across something I should be reading? 
How was your Week-in-Books? And 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. 

Tuesday, September 30, 2014