Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Top Ten Books I've Recently Added to My TBR


The Geography of Genius by Eric Weiner


Only in Naples by Katherine Wilson


The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend by Katarina Bivald


Thirteen Ways of Looking by Colum McCann


Carry On by Rainbow Rowell


The Dust That Falls from Dreams by Louis de Bernieres


City on Fire by Garth Risk Hallberg


Our Souls at Night by Kent Haruf


Thing Explainer: Complicated Stuff in Simple Words


Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff


Anything look interesting? Thoughts?


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.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Instant Happy Journal (and Enormous Smallness)


Just time for a quick update this morning. My son and his wife are visiting from Chicago, and we spent a lovely day Friday with them and my older son and his family. That night we unexpectedly headed with my dad to the ER. He has a bowel obstruction and the doctors are trying to determine if he needs surgery over this holiday weekend. I'm headed back to the hospital in a bit. Here's a little of my reading week....



What I Read

Instant Happy Journal: 365 Days of Inspiration, Gratitude and Joy by Karen Salmansohn

You want to be happy. Of course you do. We all do.

Did you know there are lots of little tricks to instantly make you happier? No, they don't often tell us that.

Well, Karen Salmansohn does. She not only shares the tricks-to-happy but she gives you time and space to practice them in this little journal book.

I've only been practicing for twelve days and I'm already 117% happier.*

What will this book do for you?

*Percentage figured using a complicated mathematical formula that involves lots of first order differential equations and Gauss-Jordan elimination while also considering the binomial coefficients in Pascal's triangle. I think you'll have to trust me on this.
 



Enormous Smallness: A Story of E. E. Cummings by Matthew Burgess

ah, e e cummings
how i have 
loved
you since 7th grade you took me by
surprise
and now enormous smallness your biography 
in small form
lovely lovely lovely
yes i say yes
read this book




What I'm Reading Now


 




Thoughts? What are you reading this week?




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 Date loves to encourage you all to go and visit the others participating in this meme. 

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Selfie at a Quinceñera


Top Ten Books I Meant to Read in 2015, But Didn't

Book:  H is for Hawk
Why I wanted to read it:  On many must-read lists
Why I didn't read it: Had to return it to the library before I got to it
Plan for 2016: I've put it on hold again and hope to read it this year


Book:  The Eight
Why I wanted to read it:  I've had it in my TBR for more than ten years
Why I didn't read it: Never got around to it
Plan for 2016: I've started it, like it so far, and hope to finish it this year


Book:  Any Human Heart
Why I wanted to read it:  I got a copy as a gift
Why I didn't read it: Never got around to it
Plan for 2016: It's at the top of my TBR for 2016


Book:  The Razor's Edge
Why I wanted to read it:  I'm intrigued by the plot
Why I didn't read it: Never got around to it
Plan for 2016: I've put it at the top of my TBR for 2016


Book:  Appointment in Samarra
Why I wanted to read it:  I've had this book in my TBR for ten years or more
Why I didn't read it: I read the first chapter and set it down and never picked it back up
Plan for 2016: Good grief. This book is tiny. I must read it this year.


Book:  Beloved
Why I wanted to read it:  So many of my favorite bloggers love this book
Why I didn't read it: I'm worried that it is too difficult a read for me.
Plan for 2016: If I could read this with a group, I think I might finish it.


Book:  A View of the Harbour
Why I wanted to read it: The author is highly regarded, and I've never read much of hers.
Why I didn't read it: Never got around to it
Plan for 2016: I might try it this year.


Book:  The FSG Book of Twentieth-Century Latin American Poetry
Why I wanted to read it:  Poems in Spanish with translations in English
Why I didn't read it: It is 728 pages
Plan for 2016: I'll continue to read a few poems every month.


Book:  Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town
Why I wanted to read it:  Recommended as a happiness-enhancing story
Why I didn't read it: Though I've had it on my wish list for three years, no one has given me a copy.
Plan for 2016: Hope that someone will gift me with this book


Book:  The Glass Bead Game
Why I wanted to read it:  I read it in a philosophy class I took in high school
Why I didn't read it: There's no nice way to say this...it bored me silly
Plan for 2016: I gave away my copy and never want to try to read it again



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.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Ten Good Books, One So-So Book, and One Disappointment



                    2016 has been an amazing year so far. Why, you ask? Well, I've already knocked out twelve books. Half were fiction (I hoped to read more fiction this year). And all but two were very good. A strong start.

                    What have I read that I recommend highly? Write these titles down: Our Souls at Night. Humans of New York. Jesus: A Pilgrimage. Everything, Everything. Very good books? The Dust that Falls from Dreams. A Beginner's Guide to Paradise. Pacific. The Woman Who Walked in Sunshine. The Unforgettable Photograph. Deep, Dark Fears. So-so read? Fungus the Bogeyman. Disappointing? Fates and Furies.

                    Two new books arrived in the mail, both quite promising:


                     How is your 2016 proving? Any recommendations so far? Any disappointments?



cover
titleauthorreview
Humans of New York is the kind of book I like best.

Reasons?

(1) Little stories about lots of people.

(2) Photography of the people.

(3) Lots of surprising
 ...more
I hate to write this review, because it's completely unexpected; after hearing all the positive buzz, I just knew I'd love this story. Man's pov and w ...more
The four McCosh sisters grow up between the well-mannered Pendennis boys and the wild Pitt boys in Edwardian England. Then along comes World War I to...more
Here’s the subtitle (and, honestly, it’s better than the blurb on the back or my thoughts when it comes to deciding if this is a book for you): “9 ste ...more
In a quest to learn more about making good photos, I bought this book.

It’s all about taking photos of people, and the author is all about spontaneity
...more
Two priests take a pilgrimage into the Holy Land, walking in the steps of Jesus, sharing close knowledge of Christ.

I’ll never make it to the Holy Land
 ...more
Addie stops by Louis’ house and asks him a question: Would he stay the night with her? Just to talk? And Louis says yes.

But Addie and Louis aren’t two
 ...more
Fungus and his bogeyman friends are the cause of all the gross and upsetting things in the world, though those of us who live Up Top know little of th ...more
Winchester presents a collage of stories all centering on a place, the Pacific.

He doesn’t stand back from a subject, like a good journalist, but leap
 ...more
Fear is the devil, maybe. I’ve heard it says “Fear not” in the Bible 365 times. Whether or not that is true, I know fear crushes us.

So, then, a book
 ...more
It’s the latest in Alexander McCall Smith’s No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series. You know what you get when you read a series; part of the fun is th...more
I didn’t read as much fiction in 2015 as I wished, so I wanted to start 2016 out with some good fiction reads. Oh my, did I ever hit the jackpot with ...more




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 Date loves to encourage you all to go and visit the others participating in this meme. 

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

On the Yoga Mat



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 Book Resolutions for 2016

Here they are...my Top Ten Book Resolutions for 2016:

1. Reading Mrs. Mike last year reminded me of the power of a backlist of old, wonderful books. Sure, there are great new books. But let's not allow the new to shove the old offstage. So, my first book resolution for 2016 is, in the words of our (old) Brownie song: "Make new friends, but keep the old...."

2. In that same vein...Reread. 

3. Similarly...when necessary, speed read. Some books you have-to read (for-review, books from your Great-Aunt Martha) but you don't have to linger over them.

4. And...this happens more often than non-readers think...don't be afraid to cast books aside.

5. Make a list of books to read this year. (See It's a Brand New Year! for my list.)

6. But feel free to set the list aside.

7. Live with the good books. Write down favorite parts. Talk about them with others. Reread the best lines. Blog about them. Buy a to-keep copy of them.

8.*

9.*

10. This will make you gasp aloud: Do non-book-ish things, too. Reminder to self: The non-book-ish things enrich your book life. So do some non-book-ish things now and then.



*To be added as the year progresses...






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.

Friday, January 1, 2016

The Cybils Fiction Picture Book Finalists


We seven panelists for the Cybils Fiction Picture Book Award have been busy. 

Between us, we have read 1,689 books in the last three months (I did the math). Yes, these were picture books, but honestly it isn't the reading but the considering that takes time. I myself read 250 of the 254 nominated books (said quite proudly) and reread over 200 of these to write detailed notes on the writing and the illustrations. Then I took the best of these and submitted them to the most important test---real children. I spent a week in my library reading several books to each of my thirty-two classes of students and soliciting feedback. If feedback was negative or even just ho-hum, it was the kiss of death for a book. 

My fellow panelists did much the same, and then we threw books into the ring to see which ones could stand up to all the punches we could swing. 

I don't remember ever reading this many wonderful fiction picture books, and a few of my favorites didn't make it out of the ring alive, but here are our Cybils Fiction Picture Book Finalists of 2015:




Sidewalk Flowers


On a wonder-inspiring walk around the city with her father, a young girl gathers wildflowers that tenaciously grow in the cracks of the sidewalk. She uses them to lovingly bedeck the people and animals she passes, unlocking a colorful world from the drab urban grey. JonArno Lawson and Sydney Smith have created a gorgeous wordless journey that uses perspective and pacing brilliantly to give readers a kid's-eye view of the world--a world where poetry is found in the tiniest, most ordinary details. This one is perfect for quiet contemplative reading and provoking visual storytelling. 

---Hannah DeCamp, Kid Lit College




In a Village By the Sea 

Written by Muon Van, illustrated by April Chu

Author Muon Van’s spare, lyrical text is richly illustrated by April Chu, evoking a short art film. Together they pull readers deeply into the hearts, lives, and loves of a particular family in a mountainside fishing village half a world away. Told as a nested circle story, it unfolds line by line, page by page, contrasting the expansive waters surrounding fishing boats with the intimacy of the fisherman's family waiting at home. Shifting perspectives and warm, earthy scenes make the story safely familiar despite images rendered with Asian style and detail. Comfort shifts to concern as a sea storm rises, revealed in the artwork of a fantastically talented pet cricket. It's a story that is both richly specific and lovingly universal, with enough visual detail and depth of character to invite countless satisfying rereads. 



Hoot Owl, Master of Disguise

Beware, inhabitants of the night!  Hoot Owl is flying in search of a meal!  Everyone knows owls are wise.  But as well as being wise, Hoot Owl is a Master of Disguise.  One after another, Hoot Owl devises disguises designed to fool his prey.  Sean Taylor’s intentionally purple prose begs to be read aloud.  Jean Jullien’s bold, expressive illustrations provide the perfect accompaniment to Hoot Owl’s dramatic plans. Kids from preschool to elementary age will enjoy seeing through Hoot Owl’s self-proclaimed cleverness, staying engaged (and giggling) throughout. 

---Sondra Eklund, Sonderbooks



Blizzard

When the relentless snow brings a boy’s world to a halt, he discovers a way to both enjoy it and provide relief to his family and neighbors. John Rocco’s Blizzard produces four feet of snow and is still warm on the inside as it unites family. Proving how fast a blizzard shuts things down and also how long the recovery process takes, our young main character’s first person voice relays the varied emotions that accompany the flurry, engaging readers personally. With a lovely balance between dialogue and storyline, interaction from family and neighbors, and wonder-filled thoughts of a boy on a mission, Blizzard creates a relatable experience -- even for those who never see snow! Featuring an incredible use of white space in the overwhelming amounts of snow and delightful details such as a snow-infused timeline and a snow-tracked map of the rescue, Rocco has created a complete work of art.

---Carrie Charley Brown, Carrie On...Together!




Last Stop On Market Street

Written by Matt de la Peña, Illustrated by Christian Robinson

Matt de la Peña delivers a great cross-generational experience on an ordinary bus ride. CJ doesn’t want to wait in the rain, doesn’t want to ride the bus, and does not want to venture across town like he does ever Sunday after church. He longs for what others have until Nana opens her gentle, very unique worldview that includes trees that drink from straws, a blind man that see with his ears (and nose) and CJ, himself, who embraces the discovery that the true smell of “freedom,” is one that simply finds magic, beauty, and fun in the many diverse spectrum of people he meets everywhere. Loved, loved this title and how well the energy of the words marry the vibrancy and color of Christian Robinson’s illustrations, for this book is one that will leave every child embracing delicious moments in their own life.

---Jodell Sadler



Bug in a Vacuum
Bug in a Vacuum by author/illustrator Mélanie Watt is that most valuable of picture books: a bibliotherapy text that succeeds on its own literary and artistic merits. On one level, it is the humorous story of a bug who is sucked into a vacuum and struggles to come to terms with its situation. Watt overlays this narrative with a presentation of the Kübler-Ross model of the five stages of grief. The mixed media illustrations merge seamlessly with the text to tell a rich, multilayered story. It has much to offer children of all ages — and I do mean all. The witty commentary and humorous illustrations of the bug, rife with puns and visual metaphors, are sufficient to carry the story even if the reader has no knowledge of or interest in the grief process. Sensitive readers will breathe a sigh of relief as the bug reaches a satisfying conclusion. This quirky offering by the author of Scaredy Squirrel will surely provoke thoughtful discussion, inspire meaningful questions and draw children in for multiple readings. 
---Maggi Rhode, Mama Librarian



Mango, Abuela, and Me

Mia's "faraway" grandmother comes to live with her 
familia, and both she and her abuela are sad; Mia can't speak Spanish and her grandmother no habla ingles. How can Abuela tell Mia about her home where wild parrots roost in mango trees and how can Mia tell Abuela about her accomplishments in running and art? Mia is inspired by a red feather tucked in her grandmother's suitcase to buy a parrot, and suddenly both Mia and Abuela find their "mouths are full of things to say." With vivid writing and expressive illustrations, this is a story that will "toca su corazon," touch your heart.

---Deb Nance, Readerbuzz


Take a look at all the other finalists for the 2015 Cybils here.