Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Top Ten 2016 Debuts I'm Looking Forward To




Geography of Genius: A Search for the World's Most Creative Places


Every Exquisite Thing by Matthew Quick


The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend



All the Birds in the Sky



My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry


Demon Dentist


Only in Naples: Lessons in Love and Famiglia from My Italian Mother-in-Law


Arcadia by Iain Pears



The Future We Want



Cure: A Journey into the Science of Mind Over Body




Where My Heart Used to Beat by Sebastian Faulks





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, November 29, 2015

Thankfully Reading Weekend





Day One: Kick-Off!

It's time again for our Thankfully Reading Weekend, hosted by Jenn from Jenn's Bookshelves. It will be held November 26 through November 29. 

Here's Jenn:

"There are no rules to the weekend. We’re simply hoping to devote a good amount of time to reading, and perhaps to meet some of our reading challenges and goals for the year. We thought it’d be fun if we cheered each other on a bit."

I plan to combine the Thankfully Reading Weekend with Nonfiction November and read nonfiction for the weekend. 





In my stack:

The Kindness Handbook by Sharon Salzberg
Last Night's Reading by Kate Gavino
Paris: An Inspiring Tour of the City's Creative Heart
Almost Catholic: An Appreciation of the History, Practice, & Mystery of Ancient Faith
Genghis Khan: His Conquests, His Empire, His Legacy
Nagasaki: Life After Nuclear War
A House of My Own by Sandra Cisneros
Lafayette in the Somewhat United States by Sarah Vowell
Palimpsest: A History of the Written Word
Pastrix: The Cranky, Beautiful Faith of a Sinner & Saint
A Year with the Saints
I am Malala
Saint Anthony the Great by John Chryssavgix & Marilyn Rouvelas


Day Two: What Book Are You Most Thankful For This Year?


Here's Jenn:
"For today’s challenge, I invite you to write about the book you are most thankful for this year. Is it a book written by one of your favorite authors or one you just happened to come upon? Tell us about it!  Include a link to your post below (or if you don’t have a blog, tell us about the book in the comments).
The winner of this contest will win a $25 gift card to the book retailer of their choice!"


The book I am most thankful for this year is the book I am reading right now. It's Almost Catholic and that's what I am. Almost Catholic, I mean. Today, in three and a half hours, I will stand before a huge church full of people and declare my intention to become Fully Catholic. So my reading of this book is quite timely, even divinely inspired.
Almost Catholic is written by a man raised as a Protestant who has a deep appreciation for the Catholic Church. He is my guide to All-Things-Catholic as, chapter by chapter, Sweeney lingers over them. One by one, Sweeney explores the crucifix, stations of the cross, rosary beads, contemplative living, confession, and the sacraments. You'd never believe that Sweeney wasn't born a Catholic or was in the process of becoming a Catholic, so wide is his love for the Church. Yet he does not feel compelled to become Catholic; I find that intriguing. I've got about ninety pages to go, and then I may reread it again, and I am definitely getting my own copy as soon as I can. 
Very thankful for Almost Catholic.


Day Three: Support a Small Business
Jenn says:
"Don’t forget: today is Small Business Saturday! Take a break in your reading a visit/support a small business in your area today! I plan on doing this very thing! We’re hitting up our favorite independent bookstore, One More Page, and probably a few local comic shops as well!"

The only store we visited this weekend is our hometown favorite, Stanton's. (Wish I'd taken a picture, but here's one I found online. Thank you, Dan Pancamo.) 


Stanton's is family-owned and has served my townsfolk since 1922. You can buy everything there...groceries...hardware...appliances...farm tools...everything. The people who work at Stanton's actually know a lot about what they are selling. Isn't that amazing?

Day Four: Wrap-Up 

Jenn says:
"Thank you to all who participated, clearly taking this event more seriously than I have!  Rather than post a new challenge, we’re going to devote the entire day to reading on this last day!"

So let's do it...let's read the day away.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

My Annie and Her Amazing Hands

I promise I won't go on and on,
but my new granddaughter, Annie, is amazing.

Her hands are amazing. Expressive.

She is always making wonderful hand gestures.









We shouldn't be surprised, I think.
Look at her before she even made her appearance here in the world.



Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Thirty Days of Thankfulness

Day 1. My wonderful wabi-sabi town. Beauty in the imperfect. Alvin, Texas can be as wonderful as Paris, France.


Day 2. " ... give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus." 1 Thessalonians 5:18

Day 3. Corrie Ten Boom and her sister, while in a concentration camp during WWII, were thankful for fleas.

Day 4. Words. Beautiful words. Happy words. Silly words. Peaceful words. Always, with me, it's words.

Day 5. Coffee. Thank you.


Day 6. Thank you, Mother Teresa.


Day 7. Stories. Big stories. Small stories.


Day 8. Mi familia. I wish I could tell my husband and my sons and their wives and my granddaughter and my sister and my brothers and their spouses and my dad and my nieces and my nephews and my sisters-in-law and my brothers-in-law and my cousins and my aunts 
and my uncles and my various garden-variety-relatives how much I love them. A lot.


Day 9. Languages. Spanish. Then French. And even a little Italian.

Day 10. “Here are the two best prayers I know: 'Help me, help me, help me' and 'Thank you, thank you, thank you.” ― Anne Lamott

Day 11.  How to be happy. Or happier. Thank you.


Day 12. My Little Library.

Day 13. A reading room of my very own.


Day 14. Yoga. Thank you.


Day 15. Bookcrossing. Online book groups. All the friends I've made through books. I thank you.


Day 16. I read for a living. I'm a librarian. Thank you.


Day 17. Authors.

Day 18. "Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song. For the Lord is the great God, the great King above all gods. In his hand are the depths of the earth, and the mountain peaks belong to him. The sea is his, for he made it, and his hands formed the dry land." – Psalm 95:1-5


Day 19. Strawberries. Bananas. Blueberries. Grapes. Apples. Oranges.


Day 20. Hats. Dresses. Jewelry. Skirts. Pajamas. And hats.

Day 21. Walking.


Day 22. Baking bread.


Day 23. Sunshine. Thank you.

Day 24. Drawing.

Day 25. "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." – Philippians 4:6-7


Day 26. The World's Best Chocolate Chip Cookie.


Day 27. Reading on my front porch.

Day 28. My favorite books via My Ideal Bookshelf.


Day 29. Trees. Thank you.


Day 30. "Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. Know that the Lord is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations." – Psalm 100:1-5



What are you thankful for?


Sunday, November 22, 2015

Nonfiction November



It's Nonfiction November and I am late to the game.

Forgive me, but this hasn't really been Nonfiction November as much as it has Cybils November. I've read 231 children's fiction picture books this month with 23 left to read. That's a lot of children's fiction picture books.

How about if I run onto the field, despite the late hour? To some, nonfiction is fiction's ugly stepsister. But not to me. Nonfiction is one of my favorite genres. Of the 168 books I've read and reviewed so far this year, 73 were nonfiction. That's close to half. And lots of my favorite reads of the year were nonfiction.

So here I go. Again, I ask forgiveness for the brevity of my posts: I just wanted in the game, but I didn't care if I scored.


Week 1 (November 2-6) – Your Year in Nonfiction hosted by Kim  





What are your favorite nonfiction reads of the year?






Letters of Note: An Eclectic Collection of Correspondence Deserving of a Wider Audience


Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania


Being Mortal by Atul Gawande


Between You and Me: Confessions of a Comma Queen


Lone Star: A History of Texas and the Texans


In the Kingdom of Ice by Hampton Sides


The Wright Brothers by David McCullough





              







I signed up for the Nonfiction Book Swap.



Interesting. Guess who my partner is for the Nonfiction Book Swap?




Ironic, yes?




What nonfiction books did I pick for her?

Nonfiction that reads like a novel, of course!





Week 2 (November 9-13) – Book Pairing

I was challenged to pair up a nonfiction and a fiction book.


I decided to match up a fiction book I read and loved this year with a nonfiction book I loved in the past.



Both are about the 1900 Storm in Galveston. 
The fiction book has elements of nonfiction. 
The nonfiction book has elements of fiction.

Maybe that's why I liked them both so much.




Week 3 (November 16-20) – Nontraditional Nonfiction hosted by Rebecca


I listened to two nonfiction audiobooks this year. Oddly, I won both of these from Armchair BEA. And, again oddly, these were both brilliant nonfiction books. Hard to believe that both the audiobooks I listened to this year were both nonfiction and beautifully written.











Week 4 (November 21-27) – I Am Malala Read Along Discussion hosted by Katie 

I read I am Malala. It's the hard-to-believe-it's-happening-now story of a girl whose school is closing just because it's a girls' school. Malala speaks up and becomes the target of the Taliban. 

So much hatred in the world. How can girls in school be a threat? And what kind of philosophy can seed girls in school as a threat? 

So much good that came from Malala speaking up. So much courage. 

What a story.





Did you participate in Nonfiction November? What were your favorite nonfiction books this year? I hope you will share them in the comments. I'm always looking for more good nonfiction.





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! It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is now being hosted at The Book Date.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Book Quotes I Love from the Last Year

“You know what I like about you, Ultraviolet Remarkey-able? Everything.” 
― Jennifer NivenAll the Bright Places


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“It may have been observed that there is no regular path for getting out of love as there is for getting in. Some people look upon marriage as a short cut that way, but it has been known to fail.” ― Thomas HardyFar from the Madding Crowd


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“Texas was where the action was. It became a lodestar, pulling an enormous number of the men—Sam Houston, Davy Crockett, James Bowie, and others—who were already in some way legends on the old frontier. As one historian wrote, Texas seemed to cast some sort of spell, to make men who were cold, pragmatic, and opportunist in the main, want to go and die.”
― T.R. FehrenbachLone Star: A History of Texas and the Texans



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“You'll see, you'll come to understand. These big things, these terrible things, are not the important ones. If they were, how could one go on living? No, it is the small, little things that make up a day, that bring fullness and happiness to a life.” 
---Benedict FreedmanMrs. Mike



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“It was dusk - winter dusk. Snow lay white and shining over the pleated hills, and icicles hung from the forest trees. Snow lay piled on the dark road across Willoughby Wold, but from dawn men had been clearing it with brooms and shovels. There were hundreds of them at work, wrapped in sacking because of the bitter cold, and keeping together in groups for fear of the wolves, grown savage and reckless from hunger.” 
― Joan AikenThe Wolves of Willoughby Chase



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“We mortals, men and women, devour many a disappointment between breakfast and dinner-time; keep back the tears and look a little pale about the lips, and in answer to inquiries say, "Oh, nothing!" Pride helps; and pride is not a bad thing when it only urges us to hide our hurts— not to hurt others.” 
― George EliotMiddlemarch



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“Born on third base, my daddy always said of the well off, and they think they hit a home run.” 
― Mary KarrLit



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“What hurts so bad about youth isn't the actual butt whippings the world delivers. It's the stupid hopes playacting like certainties.” 
― Mary KarrLit



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“A dysfunctional family is any family with more than one person in it.” 
― Mary KarrThe Liars' Club


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“You do not think much of me, do you, Cogburn?"

"I don't think about you at all when your mouth is closed.” 
 

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“Good-by, Good-by, world. Good-by, Grover's Corners... Mama and Papa. Good-by to clocks ticking... and Mama's sunflowers. And food and coffee. And new-ironed dresses and hot baths...and sleeping and waking up. Oh, earth, you're too wonderful for anybody to realize 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.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

¡Vemos Sandra Cisneros!



     It's hard to drive into Houston after a long day at work, knowing you won't get home until a couple of hours past your usual old-lady bedtime. I struggled. Should I or shouldn't I? Last time, I got stuck in traffic that added an extra hour to my normal hour long drive. 
     But it was Sandra Cisneros this time and that clenched it. Yes. Sí.
     Different venue this time. I can find Rice University, I thought pompously. Right. So this time I got stuck in traffic and lost.
     But it was worth it. I promise that I will remind myself of the wonderfulness of this Sandra Cisneros reading when I hesitate about going to an author event. I felt like I didn't need headlights when I was traveling home; I was glowing.


     Cisneros started by reading a chapter from her new memoir, A House of My Own. She's originally from Chicago, where my first daughter-in-law and her huge Mexican-American family has roots, and Cisneros later settled in San Antonio, so she has the Mexican-Texan connection with my second daughter-in-law, too. 
     After the reading, Cisneros was interviewed by University of Houston Creative Writing faculty member Chitra Divakaruni. Divakaruni asked the questions; Cisneros answered around them.
     In her memoir, Cisneros spends time "poking under the bed with a broom." She tells the audience, "My family suffers from stories no one dares to tell." Cisneros relates the story of the arrival of the Census form in her household. "What are we?" she asks her boyfriend. "We don't agree with being classified as Hispanic." She checks off Other. But that doesn't end it. She has to choose an Other and settles on Indigenous. Of course that's not enough either. "What tribe are we?" she asks. 
     

     "Writing is the one country where you can say anything," she shares. 
     Cisneros now lives in Mexico. She moved there after what she calls a spiritual epiphany when she was visiting in San Miguel. "Spirits speak to you in Mexico in a way they can't talk to you here. Maybe they can't cross the border."
     "There should be a whole theater of Chicano writers," Cisneros says. "Why am I the only one?"
     I loved the advice she offered to people who want to write. "Give yourself a long runway of time," she says. "Imagine you are writing what can never be published. Then write."


     I left the Sandra Cisneros event happy. Why am I so happy? I asked myself. Then it came to me: these readers, these writers...these are my tribe.




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! It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is now being hosted at The Book Date.