Wednesday, June 27, 2018

The Chapter Book Club Picnic


One of the last events of the school year is our Chapter Book Club Picnic.

It's an important milestone for children at my PreK-Grade 2 school to move from picture books to the lengthier text of a chapter book. To encourage them to give it a try, we have a Chapter Book Club. To join, you read a chapter book and write a little about it on a bookmark. To encourage them further, we offer our Chapter Book Club Picnic for everyone who reads at least ten chapter books.

I am very proud of all these Chapter Book Club readers.

Here are the first graders who read at least ten chapter books this year:



 And here are the second graders who read at least ten chapter books:


It was a beautiful day, and we loved spending time together outside, enjoying our lunches, playing on the playground, and eating my prize-winning* Best Chocolate Chip Cookies ever. The recipe is my own, and it was created after thirty years of chocolate chip cookie making and eating research. I wish I could share it with you, but I will say that it contains a secret ingredient.

It takes a while to make enough Best Chocolate Chip Cookies for all those Chapter Book Club readers.


The Chapter Book Club Picnic is one of the (many) things I will miss now that I am retired.




*My top-secret chocolate chip cookie recipe won second prize at my local Wal-Mart in 1989.





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, June 26, 2018

Why I Don't Finish Books in a Series


Thank goodness I was never required to read a whole series when I was in school; I'm not a person who likes books in a series.

Why?

(1) It's hard to maintain the quality throughout a series. Case in point: Wrinkle in Time is wonderful, but the other books in the Time Quintet series are so-so. Result: I never read past Wrinkle in Time.

(2) Books in a series are often long books. I don't like long books. Case in point: Pillars of the Earth is 806 pages. A Games of Thrones is 864 pages. One long book is enough.

(3) Entire books in a series, usually the middle books, can actually have very little plot. Case in point: Hunger Games, book two. What actually happened in book two? 

(4) If order doesn't matter, is the series of books really a series? Case in point: Narnia. There are two ways of ordering these books. How can that be? Do these books really compose a series?

(5) I like books that surprise me. If I have read twenty-two books about the same character, will there really be anything in the story that surprises me?

Series I will not finish, though I loved reading one of the books:





Do you like books in a series? 














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, June 24, 2018

Paris in July, The Great American Read, and My Blogoversary



PARIS IN JULY

Happily, Tamara of Thyme for Tea has announced that Paris in July is on for 2018. To help her out, I took some of my photos from our trip to Paris earlier this month and made them into buttons.



What do you think?

Have you signed up yet for Paris in July? There are no real requirements. You can feel free to read as much or as little as you like. You can blog about French books or movies or cooking or travel. Sign up here.



THE GREAT AMERICAN READ


I felt pleased to have read 71/100 nominees for The Great American Read. The remaining 29 books fell into two categories: (1) Scorned. These are popular books that I felt like I was too good to read. These include DiVinci Code, James Patterson, The Shack, and The Godfather. (2) Impossible. These are books that I thought would be so difficult that they had, in essence, scorned me. These include War and Peace and Moby Dick.

I thought about it a little more, though, and I decided to give this a try. After all, now that I'm retired, I can easily read a mere 29 books.

I started with Looking for Alaska by John Green (Scorned) and Their Eyes Were Watching God (Impossible). After reading on these two books, I realize that I am wrong. Both of these are amazing books, and I can see why others have put them on their list of favorite reads ever.

So I picked up copies of a few more books. If nothing else, this is teaching me not to...wait for it...judge a book by its synopsis.



READERBUZZ'S 10TH BLOGOVERSARY (WITH A GIVEAWAY)!





I never planned to be a blogger.

But somehow I am, and it's now one of my favorite things to do.

And now I've been a blogger for ten years. So let's celebrate! I'm giving away a book of your choice from my list of 100 favorite reads each month this summer. The giveaway is open internationally, so please feel free to join in by sharing your list of books everyone should read here.







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.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

The Great American Read



Here's some television I can get behind: The Great American Read.

What is The Great American Read? It's "an eight-part series on PBS that explores and celebrates the power of reading, as told through the prism of America's 100 best loved books."

I watched episode one last night and I loved it. It's a two hour celebration of books and the power of good books to change lives, with lots of celebrity endorsements of amazing stories. The book list, surprisingly, isn't stuck on Books Your English Teacher in 1965 Wants You To Read; the list includes classics, of course, but it also includes many popular favorites.

You can watch the first episode here, if you missed it.

What books are on the list? Take a look at the complete list here.

But this is not simply a tv show about good books. Interactivity is encouraged. Vote for your favorite book(s). You can vote every day for as many books as you like here. How many books from the list have you read? Take the quiz here. Which novel has had the greatest impact on your life? You can share your story here. Talk about the books at The Great American Read Book Club on Facebook. For more resources for discussion or information, take a look at the PBS Learning Media on the books.

Here is a spreadsheet of the 100 books, if you'd like to make a copy and keep track of your own reads.

I've read 70 of the 100 so far (here's my list), and I'd like, of course, to have read them all. I think I can read the other 30 this summer. I think I'll start today.


Help me celebrate my 10th blogoversary by adding books to my People's List of 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die and you may win one of my favorite 100 books!
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, June 19, 2018

Books to Read by the Pool or at the Beach: A Definitive Guide to the Best Water-and-Summer Themed Books for Kids and Grownups

Just for you, just for summer, I've culled through all the amazing summer-y, water-y books out there. Trust me. These are the best.


Picture Books

Come Away from the Water, Shirley

On a day trip to the seaside, Mom and Dad settle down in their deck chairs to snooze the day away, while for Shirley, it’s a chance to set sail for uncharted seas. "Come away from the water, Shirley," caution her parents. But Shirley has already set out on an adventure, where she encounters danger, pirates, and buried treasure!




The Uncorker of Ocean Bottles

The Uncorker of Ocean Bottles, who lives alone atop a hill, has a job of the utmost importance. It is his task to open any bottles found at sea and make sure that the messages are delivered. He loves his job, though he has always wished that, someday, one of the letters would be addressed to him. One day he opens a party invitation—but there’s no name attached. As he devotes himself to the mystery of the intended recipient, he ends up finding something even more special: the possibility of new friends.





Jabari Jumps

Jabari is definitely ready to jump off the diving board. He’s finished his swimming lessons and passed his swim test, and he’s a great jumper, so he’s not scared at all. “Looks easy,” says Jabari, watching the other kids take their turns. But when his dad squeezes his hand, Jabari squeezes back. He needs to figure out what kind of special jump to do anyway, and he should probably do some stretches before climbing up onto the diving board. In a sweetly appealing tale of overcoming your fears, newcomer Gaia Cornwall captures a moment between a patient and encouraging father and a determined little boy you can’t help but root for.





I'm the Biggest Thing in the Ocean

When a giant squid takes inventory of all of the creatures in the ocean, he realizes that he's way bigger than most of them! Of course, there are bigger things lurking around . . . but maybe this giant squid with a giant touch of hubris doesn't really care?





Summer by Alice Low

Better than fireworks, this classic Beginner Book edited by Dr. Seuss celebrates all the wonderful things that come with summer! From trips to the beach and eating watermelon to fireworks and fishing, Alice Low and Roy McKie’s Summer will have young readers eager for the kind of fun only warm breezes and sunny weather can bring.





Underwater Dogs: Kids Edition

Dive right into this kids edition of the New York Times bestseller! This delightful book features brand new photographs, as well as old favorites, of the cutest canines chasing after their toys. With fun, joyful rhymes and information about each dog breed, this is a special treat for kids and adults alike. And the full-color poster on the back of the jacket is sure to be a doggone hit!





The Summer Nick Taught His Cats to Read

Nick loves to read books—and he loves to play with his cats, Verne and Stevenson. So naturally Nick decides it’s a great idea to teach his cats to read. But Verne and Stevenson don’t appreciate when Nick wakes them up with a flashcard that says NAP. Nick finally piques Verne’s interest with words like MOUSE and FISH. But not Stevenson’s. While Nick and Verne go to the library, Stevenson hides under the porch. Will Nick ever find a way to share his love of reading with his feline friends?





Mr. Gumpy's Outing


Mr. Gumpy lives by a river. One sunny day he decides to take a ride in his small boat.
It is such a perfect idea, for such a perfect summer day, that he soon has company: first the children, then the rabbit, the cat, the dog, the pig, the sheep, the chickens, and still others until-- Mr. Gumpy's outing comes to an inevitable but not unhappy, conclusion.



The Fantastic Undersea Life of Jacques Cousteau

Jacques Cousteau was the world’s ambassador of the oceans. His popular TV series brought whales, otters, and dolphins right into people’s living rooms. From the first moment he got a glimpse of what lived under the ocean’s waves, Cousteau was hooked. And so he set sail aboard the Calypso to see the sea. He and his team of scientists invented diving equipment and waterproof cameras. They made films and televisions shows and wrote books so they could share what they learned. The oceans were a vast unexplored world, and Cousteau became our guide. And when he saw that pollution was taking its toll on the seas, Cousteau became our guide in how to protect the oceans as well.


Chapter Books




Amazon Adventure by Willard Price

Hal and Roger Hunt crash-land into the middle of a pioneering expedition to the unmapped regions of the greatest jungle on earth: the Amazon. And when their mission to explore the uncharted territory of the Pastaza River goes off course... it's the survival of the fittest.




The Summer Book by Tove Jansson

In The Summer Book Tove Jansson distills the essence of the summer—its sunlight and storms—into twenty-two crystalline vignettes. This brief novel tells the story of Sophia, a six-year-old girl awakening to existence, and Sophia’s grandmother, nearing the end of hers, as they spend the summer on a tiny unspoiled island in the Gulf of Finland. The grandmother is unsentimental and wise, if a little cranky; Sophia is impetuous and volatile, but she tends to her grandmother with the care of a new parent. Together they amble over coastline and forest in easy companionship, build boats from bark, create a miniature Venice, write a fanciful study of local bugs. They discuss things that matter to young and old alike: life, death, the nature of God and of love. “On an island,” thinks the grandmother, “everything is complete.” In The Summer Book, Jansson creates her own complete world, full of the varied joys and sorrows of life.





The Penderwicks: A Summer Tale of Four Sisters, Two Rabbits, and a Very Interesting Boy

This summer the Penderwick sisters have a wonderful surprise: a holiday on the grounds of a beautiful estate called Arundel. Soon they are busy discovering the summertime magic of Arundel’s sprawling gardens, treasure-filled attic, tame rabbits, and the cook who makes the best gingerbread in Massachusetts. But the best discovery of all is Jeffrey Tifton, son of Arundel’s owner, who quickly proves to be the perfect companion for their adventures.





Call It Courage

Maftu was afraid of the sea. It had taken his mother when he was a baby, and it seemed to him that the sea gods sought vengeance at having been cheated of Mafatu. So, though he was the son of the Great Chief of Hikueru, a race of Polynesians who worshipped courage, and he was named Stout Heart, he feared and avoided tha sea, till everyone branded him a coward. When he could no longer bear their taunts and jibes, he determined to conquer that fear or be conquered-- so he went off in his canoe, alone except for his little dog and pet albatross. A storm gave him his first challenge. Then days on a desert island found him resourceful beyond his own expectation. This is the story of how his courage grew and how he finally returned home. This is a legend. It happened many years ago, but even today the people of Hikueru sing this story and tell it over their evening fires.




Kensuke's Kingdom

When Michael's father loses his job, he buys a boat and convinces Michael and his mother to sail around the world. It's an ideal trip - even Michael's sheepdog can come along. It starts out as the perfect family adventure - until Michael is swept overboard. He's washed up on an island, where he struggles to survive. Then he discovers that he's not alone. His fellow-castaway, Kensuke, is wary of him. But when Michael's life is threatened, Kensuke slowly lets the boy into his world. The two develop a close understanding in this remote place, but the question of rescue continues to divide them.





Holes by Louis Sachar

Stanley Yelnats is under a curse. A curse that began with his no-good-dirty-rotten-pig-stealing-great-great-grandfather and has since followed generations of Yelnatses. Now Stanley has been unjustly sent to a boys’ detention center, Camp Green Lake, where the boys build character by spending all day, every day digging holes exactly five feet wide and five feet deep. There is no lake at Camp Green Lake. But there are an awful lot of holes.

It doesn’t take long for Stanley to realize there’s more than character improvement going on at Camp Green Lake. The boys are digging holes because the warden is looking for something. But what could be buried under a dried-up lake? Stanley tries to dig up the truth in this inventive and darkly humorous tale of crime and punishment—and redemption.






Discovering Titanic's Remains by Meish Goldish

After the Titanic sank in 1912, many schemes were proposed to lift the great ship from its watery grave. But there were problems—no one knew exactly where the Titanic had sunk, and, even if they had, the technology to reach the ship, which lay on the ocean floor almost two miles down, didn’t exist. By the 1970s, however, new technologies allowed explorers like Dr. Richard Ballard to search the deep ocean. Finally, in 1985, Dr. Ballard found something . . .Discovering Titanic’s Remains is the thrilling story of how the most famous shipwreck of all time was found. It’s a tale of unbelievable persistence and the amazing technology that revealed the once-grand ship disintegrating on the deep ocean floor. The fascinating content and large-format color images, maps, and fact boxes bring the Titanic’s amazing re-discovery to life.





Half Magic by Edgar Eager

It all begins with a strange coin on a sun-warmed sidewalk.
     Jane finds the coin, and becasue she and her sblings are having the worst, most dreadfully boring summer ever, she idly wishes something exciting would happen.
     And something does: Her wish is granted.
     Or not quite. Only half of her wish comes true.






One Crazy Summer by Rita Garcia-Williams


Eleven-year-old Delphine is like a mother to her two younger sisters, Vonetta and Fern. She's had to be, ever since their mother, Cecile, left them seven years ago for a radical new life in California. But when the sisters arrive from Brooklyn to spend the summer with their mother, Cecile is nothing like they imagined.
While the girls hope to go to Disneyland and meet Tinker Bell, their mother sends them to a day camp run by the Black Panthers. Unexpectedly, Delphine, Vonetta, and Fern learn much about their family, their country, and themselves during one truly crazy summer.





The Cay

   Phillip is excited when the Germans invade the small island of CuraƧao. War has always been a game to him, and he’s eager to glimpse it firsthand–until the freighter he and his mother are traveling to the United States on is torpedoed.
   When Phillip comes to, he is on a small raft in the middle of the sea. Besides Stew Cat, his only companion is an old West Indian, Timothy. Phillip remembers his mother’s warning about black people: “They are different, and they live differently.”
    But by the time the castaways arrive on a small island, Phillip’s head injury has made him blind and dependent on Timothy.




Grownup



The Wave: In Pursuit of the Rogues, Freaks, and Giants of the Ocean by Susan Casey

For centuries, mariners have spun tales of gargantuan waves, 100-feet high or taller. Until recently scientists dis­missed these stories—waves that high would seem to violate the laws of physics. But in the past few decades, as a startling number of ships vanished and new evidence has emerged, oceanographers realized something scary was brewing in the planet’s waters. They found their proof in February 2000, when a British research vessel was trapped in a vortex of impossibly mammoth waves in the North Sea—including several that approached 100 feet.

As scientists scramble to understand this phenomenon, others view the giant waves as the ultimate challenge. These are extreme surfers who fly around the world trying to ride the ocean’s most destructive monsters. The pioneer of extreme surfing is the legendary Laird Hamilton, who, with a group of friends in Hawaii, figured out how to board suicidally large waves of 70 and 80 feet. Casey follows this unique tribe of peo­ple as they seek to conquer the holy grail of their sport, a 100­-foot wave.

In this mesmerizing account, the exploits of Hamilton and his fellow surfers are juxtaposed against scientists’ urgent efforts to understand the destructive powers of waves—from the tsunami that wiped out 250,000 people in the Pacific in 2004 to the 1,740-foot-wave that recently leveled part of the Alaskan coast.






The Summer Before the War

East Sussex, 1914. It is the end of England’s brief Edwardian summer, and everyone agrees that the weather has never been so beautiful. Hugh Grange, down from his medical studies, is visiting his Aunt Agatha, who lives with her husband in the small, idyllic coastal town of Rye. Agatha’s husband works in the Foreign Office, and she is certain he will ensure that the recent saber rattling over the Balkans won’t come to anything. And Agatha has more immediate concerns; she has just risked her carefully built reputation by pushing for the appointment of a woman to replace the Latin master.

When Beatrice Nash arrives with one trunk and several large crates of books, it is clear she is significantly more freethinking—and attractive—than anyone believes a Latin teacher should be. For her part, mourning the death of her beloved father, who has left her penniless, Beatrice simply wants to be left alone to pursue her teaching and writing.

But just as Beatrice comes alive to the beauty of the Sussex landscape and the colorful characters who populate Rye, the perfect summer is about to end. For despite Agatha’s reassurances, the unimaginable is coming. Soon the limits of progress, and the old ways, will be tested as this small Sussex town and its inhabitants go to war.





Three Men in a Boat

Martyrs to hypochondria and general seediness, J. and his friends George and Harris decide that a jaunt up the Thames would suit them to a 'T'. But when they set off, they can hardly predict the troubles that lie ahead with tow-ropes, unreliable weather-forecasts and tins of pineapple chunks - not to mention the devastation left in the wake of J.'s small fox-terrier Montmorency. 




Ocean Sea by Alessandro Baricco

In Ocean Sea, Alessandro Baricco presents a hypnotizing postmodern fable of human malady--psychological, existential, erotic--and the sea as a means of deliverance. At the Almayer Inn, a remote shoreline hotel, an artist dips his brush in a cup of ocean water to paint a portrait of the sea. A scientist pens love letters to a woman he has yet to meet. An adulteress searches for relief from her proclivity to fall in love. And a sixteen-year-old girl seeks a cure from a mysterious condition which science has failed to remedy. When these people meet, their fates begin to interact as if by design. Enter a mighty tempest and a ghostly mariner with a thirst for vengeance, and the Inn becomes a place where destiny and desire battle for the upper hand. Playful, provocative, and ultimately profound, Ocean Sea is a novel of striking originality and wisdom.




Hawaii by James Michener

Pulitzer Prize–winning author James A. Michener brings Hawaii’s epic history vividly to life in a classic saga that has captivated readers since its initial publication in 1959. As the volcanic Hawaiian Islands sprout from the ocean floor, the land remains untouched for centuries—until, little more than a thousand years ago, Polynesian seafarers make the perilous journey across the Pacific, flourishing in this tropical paradise according to their ancient traditions. Then, in the early nineteenth century, American missionaries arrive, bringing with them a new creed and a new way of life. Based on exhaustive research and told in Michener’s immersive prose, Hawaii is the story of disparate peoples struggling to keep their identity, live in harmony, and, ultimately, join together.





The Light Between Oceans

After four harrowing years on the Western Front, Tom Sherbourne returns to Australia and takes a job as the lighthouse keeper on Janus Rock, nearly half a day’s journey from the coast. To this isolated island, where the supply boat comes once a season, Tom brings a young, bold, and loving wife, Isabel. Years later, after two miscarriages and one stillbirth, the grieving Isabel hears a baby’s cries on the wind. A boat has washed up onshore carrying a dead man and a living baby.

Tom, who keeps meticulous records and whose moral principles have withstood a horrific war, wants to report the man and infant immediately. But Isabel insists the baby is a “gift from God,” and against Tom’s judgment, they claim her as their own and name her Lucy. When she is two, Tom and Isabel return to the mainland and are reminded that there are other people in the world. Their choice has devastated one of them.





A Year by the Sea by Joan Anderson

Life is a work in progress, as ever-changing as a sandy shoreline along the beach. During the years Joan Anderson was a loving wife and supportive mother, she had slowly and unconsciously replaced her own dreams with the needs of her family. With her sons grown, however, she realized that the family no longer centered on the home she provided, and her relationship with her husband had become stagnant. Like many women in her situation, Joan realized that she had neglected to nurture herself and, worse, to envision fulfilling goals for her future. As her husband received a wonderful job opportunity out-of-state, it seemed that the best part of her own life was finished. Shocking both of them, she refused to follow him to his new job and decided to retreat to a family cottage on Cape Cod. At first casting about for direction, Joan soon began to take pleasure in her surroundings and call on resources she didn't realize she had. Over the course of a year, she gradually discovered that her life as an "unfinished woman" was full of possibilities. Out of that magical, difficult, transformative year came A Year by the Sea, a record of her experiences and a treasury of wisdom for readers.





Twenty-Thousand Leagues Under the Sea

Originally serialized between March 1869 and June 1870, Jules Verne’s “Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea” is one of the greatest underwater sea adventures of all time. It is the story of Professor Pierre Aronnax who sets off aboard an American frigate to investigate a series of attacks, which has been reported to be made by an amphibious monster. The monster in question is actually the submarine vessel the ‘Nautilus,’ which is commanded by the eccentric Captain Nemo. When the Nautilus destroys the Professor’s ship, he is taken prisoner by Captain Nemo along with his trusted servant Conseil and the frigate’s harpooner Ned Land. What follows for the three is a tale of great adventure and scientific wonder. An early pioneer of science fiction, Jules Verne’s work is noted for its prediction of scientific advancements. In the case of “Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea” Verne accurately forecasted the development of submarine vessels. It is at once a harbinger of technology to come and captivating tale of adventure which has delighted readers ever since its original publication.




Blue Latitudes: Boldly Going Where Captain Cook Has Gone Before

Captain James Cook's three epic journeys in the 18th century were the last great voyages of discovery. His ships sailed 150,000 miles, from the Artic to the Antarctic, from Tasmania to Oregon, from Easter Island to Siberia. When Cook set off for the Pacific in 1768, a third of the globe remained blank. By the time he died in Hawaii in 1779, the map of the world was substantially complete.  

Tony Horwitz vividly recounts Cook's voyages and the exotic scenes the captain encountered: tropical orgies, taboo rituals, cannibal feasts, human sacrifice. He also relives Cook's adventures by following in the captain's wake to places such as Tahiti, Savage Island, and the Great Barrier Reef to discover Cook's embattled legacy in the present day. Signing on as a working crewman aboard a replica of Cook's vessel, Horwitz experiences the thrill and terror of sailing a tall ship. He also explores Cook the man: an impoverished farmboy who broke through the barriers of his class and time to become the greatest navigator in British history.






The Perfect Storm: A True Story of Men Against the Sea

It was the storm of the century, boasting waves over one hundred feet high―a tempest created by so rare a combination of factors that meteorologists deemed it "the perfect storm." In a book that has become a classic, Sebastian Junger explores the history of the fishing industry, the science of storms, and the candid accounts of the people whose lives the storm touched. The Perfect Storm is a real-life thriller that makes us feel like we've been caught, helpless, in the grip of a force of nature beyond our understanding or control.



Can you think of any others I need to add to this list?

Here is the list of Wendy at Falconer's Library. It's amazing.



Here are some other Beach Books Lists I've made in the past:

Best Beach Books

Top Ten Books I'd Recommend as Good Beach Reads


Books That Should Be in a Beach Bag


Looking for Beach Reads?





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.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Readerbuzz's 10th Blogoversary



READERBUZZ'S 10TH BLOGOVERSARY

I never planned to be a blogger.

I started out by doing my summer professional development online with a version of an amazing class called 23 Things sponsored by the librarians at Spring Branch ISD way back in June of 2008. Part of the 23 Things was creating a blog in which to try out all the new online tools of the Internet.

By the end of the summer, I'd learned about a fun semi-annual event called Dewey's 24-Hour Readathon and I'd heard about a weekly event called Sunday Salon and I was invited to serve as a judge for the Cybils....I was a real blogger.

It's such a silly word. Blogger. But it's something that I am. It's something that I love.

This post is my 1,560th published post. Ten years of blogging. Let's celebrate!



BEST READS EVER

One of my early blog posts, way back in the summer of 2008, was a list of my 100 favorite reads ever. I noted that an "online book group" had asked its members to post a list. (Unfortunately, I didn't link to that group. Does anyone know what group this was?)

I promised to update this list regularly. I haven't done that. I think now is a good time to do so.

Here is my updated list, with books I added in the last ten years noted.

The 13 Clocks by James Thurber
1001 Children's Books You Must Read Before You Grow Up
Across Five Aprils by Irene Hunt
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
All the King’s Men by Robert Penn Warren
Amazing Grace by Kathleen Norris
Angela’s Ashes by Frank McCourt
Animal Farm by George Orwell
Animal, Vegetable, Mineral by Barbara Kingsolver
Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery
Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo

Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress by Dai Sijie
The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
The BFG by Roald DahlBird by Bird by Anne Lamott
Bless Me, Ultima by Rudolfo Anaya
Blue Highways by William Least Heat-Moon
Blue Latitudes by Tony Horwitz
Book of Luminous Things edited by Czeslaw Milosz
The Box Garden by Carol Shields
Bowling Alone by Robert D. Putnam
Boy’s Life by Robert McCammon
Breathing Lessons by Anne Tyler
Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh
Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Patterson
By the Great Horn Spoon by Sid Fleischman
Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis
Candide by Voltaire

Caps for Sale by Esphyr Slobodkina
The Center of Everything by Laura Moriarty
Charlotte's Web by E. B. White
Cheaper by the Dozen by Frank B. Gilbreath
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
Civility by Stephen L. Carter
The Color of Magic by Terry Pratchett
The Color Purple by Alice Walker
The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen

Corduroy by Don Freeman
Crispin: Cross of Lead by Avi
Crossing to Safety by Wallace Stegner
Dark Star Safari by Paul Theroux
A Death in the Family by James Agee
The Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller
The Death of Vishnu by Manil Suri
Don Quixote by Miguel Cervantes

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sleep? by Philip K. Dick
Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus by Mo Willems
Dubliners by James Joyce
Eats, Shoots, and Leaves by Lynn Truss
Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life by Amy Krouse Rosenthal
Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card
Everyday Sacred by Sue Bender
Ex Libris by Anne Fadiman

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer
Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry

Firegirl by Tony Abbott
Founding Brothers by Joseph J. Ellis

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
Frog and Toad by Arnold Lobel
For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway
A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin
Ghost by Jason Reynolds
Gilead by Marilynne Robinson
The Giver by Lois Lowry
The Glass Bead Game by Herman Hesse

Go, Dog, Go by P. D. Eastman
The Gold Bug Variations by Richard Powers
The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck
Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett
Good Poems edited by Garrison Keillor
The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
The Grass Harp by Truman Capote

Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss
Half Magic by Edgar Eager
Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
Hank the Cowdog #8: The Case of the One-Eyed Killer Stud Horse by John R. Erickson
Happenstance by Carol Shields
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Apprentice by J. K. Rowling
Hatchet by Gary Paulsen

Hawaii by James Michener
The Heart is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers
Heaven is a Playground by Rick Telander
Henry Huggins by Beverly Cleary

The Hiding Place by Corrie ten Boom
A Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien
Holes by Louis Sachar
Homer Price by Robert McCloskey
The Hours by Michael Cunningham
A House for Mr. Biswas by V. S. Naipaul
The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros
How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss

How to Be Perfect by Ron Padgett
How to Steal a Dog by Barbara O’Connor
The Hundred Dresses by Eleanor Estes
I Ain’t Gonna Paint No More by Karen Beaumont
I, Claudius by Robert Graves
The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde
Into that Good Night by Ron Rozelle
In Cold Blood by Truman Capote
Independent People by Halldor Laxness
In the Heart of the Sea by Nathaniel Philbrick
The Inheritance of Loss by Kiran Desai
It Can’t Happen Here by Sinclair Lewis
I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen
John Adams by David McCullough
Jumanji by Chris Van Allsburg

King Bidgood's in the Bathtub by Audrey Wood
A Kiss for Little Bear by Else Holmelund Minarik
The Last Shot by Darcy Frey

Letters of Note: An Eclectic Collection of Correspondence Deserving a Wider Audience by Shaun Usher
Life-Sized Zoo by Teruyuki Komiya
The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan
Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel
The Little House by Virginia Lee Burton

Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder
The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery
Lives of the Writers by Kathleen Krull
A Long Way from Chicago by Richard Peck
Lord of the Flies by William Golding
Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien
Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry
Love is a Wild Assault by Elithe Hamilton Kirkland
Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert

Madeleine by Ludwig Bemelmans
Magister Ludi by Hermann Hesse
Main Street by Sinclair Lewis
Make a World by Ed Emberly

Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey
Material World by Peter Menzel
Maus by Art Spiegelman
Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden
The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka
The Middleman and Other Stories by Bharati Mukherjee

The Mouse and His Child by Russell Hoban
Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day by Winifred Watson
Mr. Putter and Tabby Walk the Dog by Cynthia Rylant
Mrs. Bridge by Evan S. Connell
Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Wolfe

Mrs. 'Arris Goes to Paris by Paul Gallico
Mrs. Palfrey at the Claremont by Elizabeth Taylor
My Mistress's Sparrow is Dead edited by Jeffrey Eugenides
My Name is Asher Lev by Chaim Potok

The Napping House by Audrey Wood
The Narrow Road to the Deep North by Richard Flanagan
Never Cry Wolf by Farley Mowat
No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith

The Norton Anthology of Modern Poetry
The Odyssey by Homer
Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout
One Man’s Meat by E. B. White

Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood
The Other Side by Jacqueline Woodson
Out of the Dust by Karen Hesse
Paris to the Moon by Adam Gopnik
The Phantom Tollbooth by Norman Juster
Plan B by Anne Lamott
A Poem a Day edited by Karen McKosker
Possession by A. S. Byatt
The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Spark
Principles of Uncertainty by Maira Kalman

Regarding the Fountain by Kate Klise
The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro
Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates
Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe
Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred D. Taylor
Rotten Island by William Steig
Sailing Alone Around the World by Billy Collins
Saint George and the Dragon by Margaret Hodge
Seabiscuit by Laura Hillenbrand
The Secret History by Donna Tarte
A Separate Peace by John Knowles
The Sheltering Sky by Paul Bowles
Shiloh by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor

Shooting the Boh by Tracy Johnston
A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson
Silk by Alessandro Baricco
Small Island by Andrea Levy
The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down by Anne Fadiman
A Single Shard by Linda Sue Park
Some Writer: The Story of E. B. White by Melissa Sweet
Sounder by William Armstrong
Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli
Step Ball Change by Jeanne Ray
Strong Measures edited by Philip Dacey and David Jauss

The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway
Suite Francaise by Irene Nemirovsky
Sylvester and the Magic Pebble by William Steig
Tadpole's Promise by Jeanne Willis
Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo

The Roads to Sata: A 2000 Mile Walk Through Japan by Alan Booth
The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien
Three Men in a Boat by Jerome JeromeTo Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
The Touchstone Anthology of Contemporary Creative Nonfiction by Lex Williford
Traveling Mercies by Anne Lamott
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith
True Grit by Charles Portis
Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Resistance by Laura Hillenbrand
The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams
The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C. S. Lewis
Waiting by Ha Jin
A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson
The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration by Isabel WilkersonWatership Down by Richard Adams
We Are in a Book by Mo Willems
We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver
The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin
We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed With Our Families by Philip Gourevtich
Window by Jeannie Baker
The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami
Where I’m Calling From by Raymond Carver

Where is the Green Sheep? by Mem Fox
Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls
Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein
Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame
Winnie-the-Pooh by A. A. Milne
The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare
Word Freak by Stefan Fatsis
Working by Studs Terkel
The World is Not Enough by Zoe Oldenbourg
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle
Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg
The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert Pirsig
Zen and Zen Classics by R. H. Blyth

Unfortunately, this list has 239 books. Let's see if I can whittle it down to my top 100.

And here it is. My list of my 100 best reads ever:

My 100 Best Reads EverThe Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark TwainAnimal Farm by George OrwellAnne of Green Gables by L. M. MontgomeryBecause of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamilloThe Bell Jar by Sylvia PlathBird by Bird by Anne LamottBless Me, Ultima by Rudolfo by debnance



Thoughts? Books I've left out? Books I've included that you don't like?


I've done a couple of other things with my favorite books, including My Ideal Bookshelf below:



Titles pictured: Be Happy; Ed Emberly's Make a World; Possession; Maira Kalman's Principles of Uncertainty; The Wind-up Bird Chronicle; A Wrinkle in Time; Zoe Oldenbourg's The World is Not Enough; The Little Prince; Bowling Alone; The Gold Bug Variations; Anne Lamott's Traveling Mercies; Civility by Stephen L. Carter; The Secret History by Donna Tartt; Material World; My Name is Asher Lev; Watership Down; Because of Winn-Dixie; A Tree Grows in Brooklyn.

And a few years ago I decided to try to compile a list of books that are so good they should not be missed. 


To celebrate my ten years of blogging, I'd like to ask that you contribute to this list:





I hope you will help me celebrate ten years as a blogger by joining in.






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.