Sunday, December 31, 2017

Play: My Word for 2018


I painted a rock to remind me.

Look what is (naturally) on the back of the rock.
Looks like this rock has already been at play.
For thousands of years.

Play. With last year's rock. Where I can see it.

Play. And play.

Play. Play. And a rock from my Little Free Library. And a wine bottle I painted.

 Play. It's all play.


First Book of 2018





Do you see a theme here? Yes, we have booked a trip to Italy for early summer. As is my wont, from now until the plane takes off, I'll be cooking Italy, reading Italy, and singing Italy. Here are books I hope to finish in the first five months of 2018:

Leonardo Da Vinci by Walter Isaacson (I'll finish it today)
Italy for the Gourmet Traveler
A Literary Tour of Italy
Walking in Italy
Italian Folktales by Italo Calvino
Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking by Marcella Hazan
The Italian Baker by Carol Field
The Wanderer's Guide to Lucca
Italian Days by Barbara Grizzuti Harrison
A Traveller in Italy by H. V. Morton
The Seasons of Rome by Paul Hofmann
Christ Stopped at Eboli by Carlo Levi
One Summer Day in Rome by Mark Lamprell
Songbirds, Truffles, and Wolves by Gary Paul Nabhan
Brunelleschi's Dome by Ross King
Eating Rome by Elizabeth Minchilli
Aldabra by Silvana Gandolfi

Do you have any more recommendations? Have you read any of these? What did you think?

I love First Book. Thank you, Sheila of Book Journey. Here are my First Books of the last four years.

First Book of 2017: Atlas Obscura


First Book of 2016: Every Thing, Every Thing


First Book of 2015: The Rosie Effect


First Book of 2014: The Grapes of Wrath


Head over to Sheila's Book Journey right now and see what other books people are reading on this first day of the year!


Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Top Ten Books I'm Looking Forward to Reading in 2018

I think I can...I think I can...Books I really am (truly!) going to read this year....

FROM LAST YEAR...

The Eight by Katherine Neville
A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara
Appointment in Samarra

Any Human Heart
The Night Circus

BOOKS ABOUT ITALY

Christ Stopped at Eboli
The Seasons of Rome
Italian Days

A Literary Tour of Italy
Italy for the Gourmet Traveler



 What books do you hope to read this year?



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

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Two Poems and a Quote About Oranges: Merry Christmas

I'm grateful for oranges today. I'm grateful for you.




The Orange
by Wendy Cope 

At lunchtime I bought a huge orange 
The size of it made us all laugh. 
I peeled it and shared it with Robert and Dave— 
They got quarters and I had a half. 

And that orange it made me so happy, 
As ordinary things often do 
Just lately. The shopping. A walk in the park 
This is peace and contentment. It's new. 

The rest of the day was quite easy. 
I did all my jobs on my list 
And enjoyed them and had some time over. 
I love you. I'm glad I exist.





Oranges by Gary Soto

The first time I walked
With a girl, I was twelve,
Cold, and weighted down
With two oranges in my jacket.
December. Frost cracking
Beneath my steps, my breath
Before me, then gone,
As I walked toward
Her house, the one whose
Porch light burned yellow
Night and day, in any weather.
A dog barked at me, until
She came out pulling
At her gloves, face bright
With rouge. I smiled,
Touched her shoulder, and led
Her down the street, across
A used car lot and a line
Of newly planted trees,
Until we were breathing
Before a drugstore. We
Entered, the tiny bell
Bringing a saleslady
Down a narrow aisle of goods.
I turned to the candies
Tiered like bleachers,
And asked what she wanted -
Light in her eyes, a smile
Starting at the corners
Of her mouth. I fingered
A nickel in my pocket,
And when she lifted a chocolate
That cost a dime,
I didn’t say anything.
I took the nickel from
My pocket, then an orange,
And set them quietly on
The counter. When I looked up,
The lady’s eyes met mine,
And held them, knowing
Very well what it was all
About.

Outside,
A few cars hissing past,
Fog hanging like old
Coats between the trees.
I took my girl’s hand
In mine for two blocks,
Then released it to let
Her unwrap the chocolate.
I peeled my orange
That was so bright against
The gray of December
That, from some distance,
Someone might have thought
I was making a fire in my hands.





“Each time you look at a tangerine, you can see deeply into it. You can see everything in the universe in one tangerine. When you peel it and smell it, it’s wonderful. You can take your time eating a tangerine and be very happy."                                    ― Thich Nhat HanhPeace Is Every Step



What are you grateful for today?

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Books I Hope Santa Brings

My birthday is in November and I'm part of the most wonderful birthday book club, so my wish list has been almost depleted by now. Nevertheless, I have several wonderful books that I'm hoping Santa brings me. 

I have odd tastes in books, so good luck to you, Santa, in finding these for me. 


Can You Be Happy for 100 Days in a Row: The #100happydays Challenge


Getting Your Shot: Stunning Photos, How-to Tips, and Endless Inspiration from the Pros


Language for a New Century: Contemporary Poetry from the Middle East, Asia, and Beyond

From a Broken Bottle Traces of Perfume Still Emanate

Read for Your Life: Literature as a Life Support System


Inside the Grass Hut: Living Shitou's Classic Zen Poem


XX: Poems for the Twentieth Century



The Virginia Woolf Writer's Workshop: Seven Lessons to Inspire Great Writing



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.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

My Favorite Books of 2017: 53 Books You Must Read Now

This has to be the post I love writing each year more than any other...and it is probably the most difficult post to write...My Favorite Books of 2017. I've read 261 books, according to Goodreads, but that doesn't include my 357 Cybils Fiction Picture Books and Board Books, of course.

As you might imagine, I have to break down my favorite reads of the year into categories. Here, then,  are my favorites of 2017:


HAPPINESS BOOKS
The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World
The Tiny Book of Tiny Pleasures
Blue Zones of Happiness: Lessons from the World's Happiest People
Happiness is an Inside Job: Practicing for a Joyful Life by Sylvia Boorstein


CHILDREN’S BOOKS (Non-Cybils Only...Apologies...)
Raymie Nightingale by Kate DiCamillo (audio)
One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia (audio)
Worzel Gummidge
Stand Up and Sing: Pete Seeger, Folk Music, and the Path to Justice
D’Aulaire’s Book of Greek Myths
Schomburg: The Man Who Built a Library
Tuck Everlasting (audio)
Just So Stories (audio)
Karma Khullar’s Mustache by Kristi Wientge
The Glasstown Game by Catherynne M. Valente


BOOKS-ABOUT-BOOKS
My Life with Bob: Flawed Heroine Keeps Book of Books, Plot Ensues
Wild Things: The Joy of Reading Children’s Literature as an Adult
Reading with Patrick: A Teacher, a Student, and a Life-Changing Friendship


FOODIE
The Art of the Pie: A Practical Guide to Homemade Crusts, Fillings, and Life
Finding Yourself in the Kitchen: Kitchen Meditations and Inspired Recipes from a Mindful Cook
The Comfort Food Diaries: My Quest for the Perfect Dish to Mend a Broken Heart


ARMCHAIR TRAVEL
Walking to Listen: 4,000 Miles Across America, One Story at a Time
Utopia Drive: A Road Trip Through America's Most Radical Idea
La Bella Figura: A Field Guide to the Italian Mind
At Home in the World: Reflections on Belonging While Wandering the Globe 


YA
The Hate U Give
Everything I Never Told You
March Books 1, 2, and 3
Ghost by Jason Reynolds
Amulet of Samarkand (audio)
Warcross by Marie Lu


LITERARY FICTION
Three Men in a Boat (To Say Nothing of the Dog) (audio)
Chemistry: A Novel by Weike Wang
Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk by Kathleen Rooney
News of the World: A Novel by Paulette Jiles
Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi
Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders
The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead
Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward
Remembering Laughter by Wallace Stegner
Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine
The House in Paris by Elizabeth Bowen


NONFICTION
Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption
The Moth Presents: All These Wonders
Hallelujah Anyway: Rediscovering Mercy by Anne Lamott
50 True Stories: The Moth
The Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America's Shining Women
At the Existential Cafe: Freedom, Being and Apricot Cocktails
Imagine Wanting Only This by Kristen Radtke
The Places that Scare You: A Guide to Fearlessness in Difficult Times
It’s All Relative: Adventures Up and Down the World's Family Tree
Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century
Autumn by Karl Ove Knausgard 
Wisdom of Sundays: Life-Changing Insights from Super Soul Conversations (audio)


And, finally, my Top Ten Favorite Books of 2017, the books I loved at a gut-level, books I recommend widely, and remember fondly:


MY TOP TEN FAVORITE BOOKS OF 2017
3 Men in a Boat
News of the World
Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk
Walking to Listen: 4,000 Miles Across America, One Story at a Time
The Hate U Give
Ghost by Jason Reynolds
Lincoln in the Bardo
Stand Up and Sing: Pete Seeger, Folk Music, and the Path to Justice
The Art of the Pie: A Practical Guide to Homemade Crusts, Fillings, and Life
It's All Relative: Adventures Up and Down the World's Family Tree



Have you read any of these?
What did you think? Agree? Disagree?
What are your favorite reads of 2017?
Please share a link to your list so I can see what you enjoyed,
or tell me about your favorites in the comments.



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