Saturday, October 20, 2018

Dewey's 24-Hour Read-a-thon (Give or Take Twenty Hours)





As often happens to me, I'm off to a late start with the readathon today. I already know that I'm going to be interrupted for many hours as we are going with my daughter-in-law and son and granddaughter to the county fair.

But that's okay. Perfect, really. I've done many, many readathons and the point is to try to draw a line around as many hours as you can and devote them to reading.

That's what I'm going to do today.




I've got books at the ready, including a stack of twenty Cybils picture books I'd like to read, four books about Yellowstone Park I'm reading in preparation for NaNoWriMo, and a brand-new shiny copy of Almost Everything: Notes on Hope by Anne Lamott that I'm itching to read. If I get those finished, I have a few (oh, probably a hundred books under my bed and another hundred on the top shelf of my closet) that I can pull out.


I splurged on some fabulous snacks. The ubiquitous coffee, of course. Plus this year Gardetto's Garlic Rye Chips and Chile Limon Pistachi.

Shall we get this readathon underway? I think we shall.

1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today? Alvin, Texas.
2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to? Almost Everything by Anne Lamott.
3) Which snack are you most looking forward to? Chile Lime Pistachios.
4) Tell us a little something about yourself! I'm a reader of children's picture books, literary fiction, and nonfiction that reads like fiction.
5) If you participated in the last read-a-thon, what’s one thing you’ll do different today? If this is your first read-a-thon, what are you most looking forward to? This is my 20-something-th readathon. Today I plan to read and visit others' blogs. And go to the county fair.



HOUR 12 UPDATE


Mid-Event Survey:
1. What are you reading right now? A Yellowstone Savage from Fishing Bridge.
2. How many books have you read so far? One. Squatters in Paradise.
3. What book are you most looking forward to for the second half of the Read-a-thon? I still have hopes I may read the new Anne Lamott book.
4. Have you had many interruptions? How did you deal with those? I took off six hours to go with my family to the county fair, but I'm back to reading.
5. What surprises you most about the Read-a-thon, so far? I plowed through a book in about two hours, cover to cover.




I love the mini-challenges. I had to join for:
Book and a Snack
Modern Classics
Title Haiku.

Title Haiku was perfect for my readathon TBR. All of these are Yellowstone books, which I'm reading in anticipation of writing a Yellowstone memoir during NaNoWriMo. Here's what I have:


Circling Yellowstone
A Yellowstone Savage from Fishing Bridge
Squatters in Paradise
Yellowstone Has Teeth


FINAL UPDATE


Closing Survey!


1. Which hour was most daunting for you? I fell asleep at 8:30 pm. 
2. Tell us ALLLLL the books you read! Two: A Yellowstone Savage from Fishing Bridge. Squatters in Paradise: A Yellowstone Memoir.
3. Which books would you recommend to other Read-a-thoners? I didn't get to Anne Lamott's new book, but I'm pretty sure that's going to be a book I'll recommend.
4. What’s a really rad thing we could do during the next Read-a-thon that would make you happy? Just keeping it going....
5. How likely are you to participate in the Read-a-thon again? Would you be interested in volunteering to help organize and prep? 100%. Of course I'd love to help.




Did you join in? Leave me your link and I'll stop by later and visit.





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 hosted at The Book Date.



Wednesday, October 17, 2018

(One of ) My New Favorite Author(s)






Do you recognize him? It's Jason Reynolds, author of Long Way Down and Ghost. All these photos are from the 2017 BookExpo. He will be coming to Houston on Sunday, November 4 for the Inprint Cool Brains series. I hope to see him there.



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 16, 2018

The Coolest Libraries I Haven't Yet Visited

I am so crazy about libraries that I keep a Pinterest board of libraries I love and wish I could visit.

Some libraries I will never be able to visit, like this walking library of the 1930's...



...or the smallest public library in America, now, sadly, closed, which was built and maintained for seventy years by eight women in South Dakota....


But I can still visit this library in a tree in Berlin, I think.



I'd like to have a bicycle library some day.



I'd love to visit the Bibliotheca Alexandrina in Egypt, a tribute to one of the world's oldest libraries.

'

Could someone please build me this garden library?


 The first time I saw the Kansas City Library I didn't even think it was real.


Maybe one day I'll put together my own version of a Lego library.


One day I'll stay at the Library Hotel in New York City.


 Look at this beautiful picture book library in Japan.


Who wouldn't love visiting a library like this library in rural Italy?


 We could use a vending machine library in every Walmart, I think.


How about you? What libraries do you want to visit? Share some with me.


Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together. Each Tuesday That Artsy Reader Girl assigns a topic and then post her top ten list that fits that topic. You’re more than welcome to join her and create your own top ten (or 2, 5, 20, etc.) list as well. Feel free to put a unique spin on the topic to make it work for you! Please link back to That Artsy Reader Girl in your own post so that others know where to find more information.

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Reading Frenzy

MY READING THIS WEEK

You probably aren't going to believe this, but I read and reviewed 32 books last week. Yes, the Cybils reading frenzy has begun. We now have almost 150 nominations for best fiction picture book and board book, so I am a hot mess of approving nominations, trying to find nominated books at the libraries I frequent, picking books up from the libraries, reading nominated books, and reviewing books.

I am also trying to read a few more books I hope will inspire me my NaNoWriMo writing adventure that starts in about two weeks. And there is my regular grownup books, including my book club book, Bluebird Bluebird. I'm only a few chapters into Bluebird and our club meets Tuesday. Eek!

Here are some of the books I read and reviewed last week:








WHAT ELSE HAVE I BEEN DOING THIS WEEK?


I spent Thursday up on a deck three stories in the air in a remote part of the Bolivar Peninsula watching for birds of prey. There were a flock of us (sorry) there that day, as the weather finally cooled down here into the lower 80's, and the sun came out strong for the first time in four weeks. We counted over 600 falcons, hawks, vultures, and eagles for Hawk Watch, so it was a good day.



I spent Saturday at the KBR Kids Day in Houston teaching children to pet and hold alligators. Yes, that's right, alligators. I couldn't begin to count how many kids dared to pet the baby alligator I was holding, and I wish I knew how many kids were willing to hold the alligator. I don't know how many did, but it was a lot. 


Here's a photo from one of our Texas Master Naturalist group holding the alligator at the 2015 KBR Kids Day in Houston.




SOME THINGS YOU NEED TO DO NOW


Have you nominated? There are only two more days left for nominations from the public. Here's a link to the nomination form. Anyone can nominate a favorite children's or young adult book. Add this image to your blog once you have nominated.




Dewey's 24-Hour Readathon will be held on October 20, 2018. Sign up here.



How about you? 
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 hosted at The Book Date.







Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Critters



We are beginning week six as master naturalist interns, and so far we have been on field trips to learn about insects, plants, and reptiles.

We have now seen dragonflies, frogs, spiders, beetles, cranes, snakes, and many, many, many mosquitoes.

I think I expected these critters. I did not expect to see so many alligators. So far, I have seen nine alligators. I held three of them.

The gator in the photo looks small, but he is over six feet long.




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 9, 2018

The Biggest Books I’ve Ever Read

If you know me, you probably know that I am a reader. 

You probably know that I read a lot of books. I can't remember a year when I read less than one hundred books.

Did you know that I have read many big books?

Now the truth is that I'm not a person who seeks out big books. I honestly prefer to read short books. 

But here's the odd thing: the big books I do read are very highly rated. Almost every big book I've ever read is a five star read.

What are the biggest books I've ever read? Well, let's ask Goodreads....


#10 on my list of Biggest Books I've Ever Read...Five Stars and an All-Time Favorite Book
Don Quixote
940 pp
I plan to reread Don Quixote in the next five years.




#9 on my list of Biggest Books I've Ever Read...Four Stars
4 3 2 1
941 pp
This was a fun idea for a book. A character is followed through four different possible lives.




#8 on my list of Biggest Books I've Ever Read...Five Stars and an All-Time Favorite Book
Lonesome Dove
945 pp
You haven't read Lonesome Dove? That's ridiculous. Put down whatever silliness you are currently reading and dig into this book.




#7 on my list of Biggest Books I've Ever Read...Five Stars
The Pillars of the Earth (Kingsbridge, #1)
973 pp
A magnificent read.




#6 on my list of Biggest Books I've Ever Read...Five Stars and an All-Time Favorite Book
Gone with the Wind
1,037 pp
A great novel.




#5 on my list of Biggest Books I've Ever Read...Five Stars
Hawaii
1,136 pp

I can remember being so proud of myself for reading this book when I was a young teen. I promptly went on to read all of Michener's other huge tomes.




#4 on my list of Biggest Books I've Ever Read...Four Stars
The Stand
1,153 pp
I admire the story, but it was just a bit too scary for me.




#3 on my list of Biggest Books I've Ever Read...Three Stars
Atlas Shrugged
1,168 pp
You have to have one dud on your list. I never got emotionally caught up in this story; it felt too preachy for me.




#2 on my list of Biggest Books I've Ever Read...Five Stars and an All-Time Favorite Book
The Lord of the Rings (The Lord of the Rings, #1-3)
1,216 pp
World-building magnifique!




#1 on my list of Biggest Books I've Ever Read...Four Stars
Les Misérables
1,463 pp
I loved so much about this book, but it was just so danged long!




What are the longest books you have ever read?
Did you like them?
Are you a big book fan?




Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together. Each Tuesday That Artsy Reader Girl assigns a topic and then post her top ten list that fits that topic. You’re more than welcome to join her and create your own top ten (or 2, 5, 20, etc.) list as well. Feel free to put a unique spin on the topic to make it work for you! Please link back to That Artsy Reader Girl in your own post so that others know where to find more information.

Sunday, October 7, 2018

The Cybils: It Begins


THE CYBILS: IT BEGINS


Nominations for the 2018 Cybils Awards are now open, and the Cybils rush has begun. I'm the chair of Fiction Picture Books and Board books and I'm a crazy woman, trying to carefully approve nominations (Is the book a fiction picture book or a board book? Was the book published between October 16, 2017 and October 15, 2018? Is the book widely available?) as they pour in. In just four days, we have already had over ninety nominations! 

As soon as I approve the nomination, I have to move to step two of the process for me: finding a copy of the book to read. That's where I shine. Around me, I am blessed to have so many amazing library systems, including my home library, the Brazoria County Library System, along with the Houston Public Library, the Harris County Library, the Friendswood Library, the Moore Library in Texas City, the Rosenberg Library in Galveston, and the Helen Hall Library in League City. A big thank you to all the wonderful librarians and library clerks who have helped me in the past and will be helping me in the near future with my mission.

Now I need to start reading the 39+ books I've already received from the libraries.


I have nominated a book for each category of the Cybils. Have you nominated? Here's a link to the nomination form. Anyone can nominate a favorite children's or young adult book. Add this image to your blog once you have nominated.




NANOWRIMO: READING FOR WRITING


I am gearing up for NaNoWriMo by reading for writing. And writing.

Are you planning to do NaNoWriMo this year?





DEWEY'S 24-HOUR READATHON


Dewey's 24-Hour Readathon will be held on October 20, 2018. Sign up here.




How about you? 
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 hosted at The Book Date.