Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Kid in a Candy Shop: Meeting Celebrities at BookExpo

Everybody who is anybody in the book world was there. 

Guys, I met celebrities. And not just celebs us book nerds would recognize.




 
Mayim Bialik, from Big Bang


Neil Patrick Harris, from How I Met Your Mother


 Of course, there were also celebrity authors,
like John Grisham (left) and James Patterson (right)...

 ...as well as Stephen King (left) and Mary Higgins Clark (right).


 I'm always most thrilled to see children's authors, like
Mo Willems (left) and Lemony Snicket (right).
Even when the children's author doesn't seem all that thrilled to see me.

I loved going on a NYC picnic with romance author Jane Green.

It was delightful to meet Olivia, in person (or is that "in pig?")

Captain Underpants was surprisingly warm and genuine. Even without his pants.


I still can't really believe I got an invite to see Hillary Clinton at BookExpo.


I guess I was most surprised to finally locate Waldo.
Was he at BookExpo all along?


Who would you have most liked to have met?




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 29, 2017

Reading Across the Fifty States


Isn't this fun? At Lit Hub, Emily Temple lists 100 Books Across America: Fiction and Nonfiction for Every State in the Union. For many years, I've worked on a perpetual challenge, Around the World in 80 Books, and whenever I travel around the US, I read books reflective of the state. Why haven't I attempted to read fiction and nonfiction from every state? I like the idea of this challenge.

Temple's choices are quite surprising. She picks a fiction book and a nonfiction book (excluding travel stories) and what she calls the obvious choice from each state. I love lists and decided to create a list for myself as a Google Sheet: 100 Books Across America. I have read 51 of her 150 (one fiction, one nonfiction, one obvious choice for each state) books. The only states I've read nothing from Temple's list are Kentucky, Mississippi, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming. (Don't worry. I have read a good and representative book from each of these: Kentucky - Hillbilly Elegy; Mississippi - Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry; Montana - Yellow Raft in Blue Water; Nevada - Roughing It; New Jersey - Independence Day by Richard Ford; North Dakota - Peace Like a River; South Dakota - Little Town on the Prairie; Wyoming - Josefina Story Quilt)

Here are ten that both well represent their states and are amazing reads. Can you guess the states?

Bless Me, Ultima
Woman Hollering Creek and Other Stories
Olive Kitteridge

Gilead
True Grit
Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe

The Coast of Chicago
Up in the Old Hotel

The Secret History
Plainsong


Answers:  Bless Me, Ultima - New Mexico; Woman Hollering Creek - Texas; Olive Kitteridge - Maine; Gilead - Iowa; True Grit - Oklahoma; Fried Green Tomatoes - Alabama; Coast of Chicago - Illinois; Up in the Old Hotel - New York; The Secret History - Vermont; and Plainsong - Colorado.



And, if you liked Lit Hub's list, you might also like to take a look at Business Insider's The Most Famous Book That Takes Place in Every State. I did a little better with this list: 26 out of 50. Here's my Google Sheet: Most Famous Book from Each State.







August 29Ten Hidden Gem Books in X Genre: Pick a genre and share with us some books that have gone under the radar in that genre!


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!
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Sunday, August 27, 2017

Not Everyone Gets a Solar Eclipse and a Category 4 Hurricane in the Same Week


I'm writing this on Friday, before Hurricane Harvey actually makes landfall. We aren't sure where Harvey will strike, but we are pretty sure he's going to make a big mess out of our Gulf Coast of Texas. I'm expecting a minimum of some flooding and power outages, so I thought I might ought to go ahead and update my week.


For a first full week of school, last week was an odd week. We started off the week on Monday with the eclipse. Here are some of our first graders with their special solar eclipse glasses provided by our school district for every student.



The school district decided to cancel school Friday so that people could make preparations for the storm which had suddenly strengthened in the Gulf. I browsed the Internet for a list of supplies we needed to obtain for the storm. I particularly liked this list I found online; books are listed just after prescription medicine and drinking water. I quite agree.

Right now, we've had rain but we still have power and Internet. I'm spending this rainy day and (most likely) all weekend reading. And praying.

Here are some books I might read in the next few days:





 Stay safe, everyone.



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.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

An Author and a Fan: Dav Pilkey at BookExpo



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 22, 2017

Teaching in Tough Schools: A List of Great Stories

It was forty years ago, in August of 1977, that I was first given the reins of a class. I was twenty years old, and, even though I'd studied education in college, even though I'd babysat with children a thousand times, even though I'd worked with students while I was in high school...despite all those things, I knew nothing. Teaching is a hard job. Teaching is a craft. Teaching is something you learn on-the-job. Forty years later, and there are still days I make mistakes...I am a bit too strict for a sensitive group...a lesson goes a little long...I talk a little too much...or a story doesn't get the reaction I'd anticipated. Like I say, teaching is a hard job.

It's also the most satisfying job. All it takes is a smile from a student who spent the first week of school crying for his mom, an "I love books!" from a child, a moment of silence from a class while they think about a powerful story, and I put off retirement another year.

I've been blessed to have amazing fellow teachers to learn from, kind and helpful administrators, a budget that pays for most of the things I need, a clean and inviting environment, and parents who deeply care about their children.

Not all teachers are this fortunate. Here are some of their stories.


All Day: A Year of Love and Survival Teaching Incarcerated Kids at Rikers Island



Reading with Patrick: A Teacher, a Student, and a Life-Changing Friendship



Raising the Curve: A Year Inside One of America's 45,000 Failing Public Schools



Educating Esme: A Diary of a Teacher's First Year



Saving the School: The True Story of a Principal, a Teacher, a Coach, a Bunch of Kids, and a Year in the Crosshairs of Education Reform



Fire in the Ashes: Twenty-Five Years Among the Poorest Children in America



Rain School by James Romford



Tested: One American School Struggles to Make the Grade



Relentless Pursuit: A Year in the Trenches with Teach for America



Whatever It Takes: Geoffrey Canada's Quest to Change Harlem and America



Work Hard. Be Nice. How Two Inspired Teachers Created the Most Promising Schools in America



The  Battle for Room 314: My Year of Hope and Despair in a New York High School



Getting Schooled: The Reeducation of an American Teacher



Among Schoolchildren by Tracy Kidder



Have you read any of these? What did you think? Do you have any recommendations for me of teaching stories that I have forgotten?










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!

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Back to School: Open for Business (Wow!) and What I Read (Nothing)




Back to School

I remember a long time ago, when my sons were in school, I was talking to a teacher at the high school in our town. It was summer and the high school campus was silent. The teacher said to me, "I love summer. I get so much done without all those students here."

But that's the point, isn't it? The students.


That's the point for me. And this week they returned. Our teachers turned on the shine, big, and the students came in droves for Meet the Teacher Night on Tuesday and the First Day of School on Thursday. Our school is thrilled to be Open for Business again.

What I Finished This Week

The downside of Back to School is my reading. I read a Book-a-Day this summer, easily. Last week I finished nothing. I'm a bit sad about that. But I know my reading will pick up in a few weeks.

The Call for Cybils Judges

The call will go out Monday, August 21, at 9:30 am PDT. The volunteer application will be open until September 11. If you love children's books or YA books, and you love to write about the books you read on your blog, we'd love to have you on our Cybils team. I've been a judge for the last ten years and I must say that the reading is huge, daunting at times. But every year I am thrilled to find so many exemplary books that the decision about which is best is incredibly difficult. I hope you will apply. Keep watching here.

What Arrived in the Mail and What I'm Reading Now



I plan to finish and review most of these this afternoon.





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.