Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Look What Came in the Mail!

A shiny red envelope arrived in the mail several months ago.

Inside was a lovely box.

 And inside that box? The Acadia Files: Book Two, Autumn Science

It's just as much fun on the inside, too.

Acadia Green explores her world---cleaning up a nearby pond, studying the changing color of the leaves, thinking about time zones, and analyzing the role of dinosaur pee in the water cycle---by using the scientific method and keeping a science journal.

It's a very fresh take on an early chapter book. A delight.

For more wordless photos, go to Wordless Wednesday.

Saturday Snapshot is hosted by A Web of StoriesTo 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 A Web of Stories.

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Places I've Visited Through Books

I've been working on the Around the World in 80 Books Challenge since 2013. So far, I've read books from seventy-six countries around the world.

Where do I often visit?

Because I am American, I have the most access to books set in the United States, England, and Australia. But there are other places I often visit in books:

The Little Pleasures of Paris Paris to the Moon Mrs. 'Arris Goes to Paris

France, of course. I've read at least 163 books set in France. Some of my favorites are The Little Pleasures of Paris, Paris to the Moon, and Mrs. 'arris Goes to Paris.

Italian Days Italian Folktales Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking

Italy. It's the homeland of my ancestors. I've read 36 books set in Italy. I love Italian Days, Italian Folktales, and The Essentials of Italian Cooking.

Japanland: A Year in Search of Wa The Narrow Road to the Deep North and Other Travel Sketches (Yuasa) The Roads to Sata: A 2000-Mile Walk Through Japan

Japan. I'm fascinated with Japan. I've read 19 books set in Japan.  I especially like Japanland, The Narrow Road to the Deep North, and The Roads to Sata.

Other Places. I often read books set in India and China. I occasionally read books set in Mexico, Norway, Sweden, and Greece.

There are 194 recognized countries in the world. That means I've yet to read books set in 118 countries. Here are the countries I've yet to read in: Albania, Algeria, Angola, Antigua, Argentina, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bolivia, Bosnia, Brunei, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cabo Verdi, Cambodia, Central African Republic, Comoros, Congo, Costa Rica, Cote d'Ivoire, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Djibouti, Dominica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Estonia, Eswatini, Gabon, Georgia, Ghana, Grenada, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Honduras, Iraq, Ireland, Jamaica, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kiribati, Kosovo, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Latvia, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mauritania, Mauritius, Micronesia, Moldova, Monaco, Mongolia, Montenegro, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nauru, Nicaragua, Niger, North Macedonia, Oman, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Philippines, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, San Marino, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, Somalia, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, Suriname, Taiwan, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Togo, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, United Arab Emirates, Uruguay, Vanuatu, Vatican City, Venezuela, Yemen, and Zambia.

I like to read both fiction and nonfiction set in various parts of the world.

Do you have any suggestions for 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, February 24, 2019

Weekly Wrap-up: Books Read, Books Being Read, and a Fabulous Chicago Deep-Dish Pizza


Emily Climbs (Emily, #2) Merci Su�rez Changes Gears Five on a Treasure Island (Famous Five, #1) Rosie and Rasmus The Acadia Files: Book Two, Autumn Science

I finished five books last week, and all five were children's books. Emily Climbs is one of a series written by the author of Anne of Green Gables. Merci Suarez Changes Gears is the winner of this year's Newbery Award. Five on a Treasure Island is the first in the Famous Five series by Enid Blyton. I also read and reviewed a new picture book Rosie and Rasmus as well as a new early chapter book series The Acadia Files.

That puts me at 54 books read so far this year.


The Night Circus Don Quixote Mythology: Timeless Tales of Gods and Heroes

I'm currently working my way through The Night Circus (at last!), Don Quixote, and Edith Hamilton's Mythology: Timeless Tales of Gods and Heroes.

Thinking about...

I've been thinking about The Sunday Salon. I was offered The Sunday Salon, and I decided to give a go to running it. Right now it is a Facebook group, but I'm thinking about making a few changes. I've posted a poll about it, and I welcome suggestions. The poll is here.

I've been thinking about all the different places I've read about in books. I have a blog post coming on Tuesday called Places I've Visited Through Books. I set a goal back in 2013 to try to read books set in eighty different places in the world. I'm getting very close to my goal now, with seventy-five.

Baking, photography, drawing, and other projects...

I tried a baked Chicago-style pizza this week. I overworked the crust a tiny bit, and that was a little disappointing. I will do better next time.

I had visits this week from my sweet friend, Rae, and my wonderful sister, Cathy. Rae surprised me with a delightful gift of Novel Teas. Isn't that fun? And my sister, who is just home from three weeks in Paris (!) brought me the amazing gift of two knives from Dehillerin, the store in Paris where Julia Child bought all her cookware. 

In real life...

My daughter-in-law started having serious contractions Friday. She is at 35 weeks. Her doctor admitted her to the hospital and gave her some medication to stop the contractions. They slowed, and finally stopped late yesterday. Prayers are appreciated.

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.

Thursday, February 21, 2019

My Fifty Favorite Children's Picture Books and Board Books From 2018

I read over 308 picture books and board books this year for the Children's and Young Adult Bloggers' Award, the Cybils. My full reviews for 189 of these are posted here. My top fifty favorites are (in no particular order):

The Day War CameDavies, NicolaBravo, Nicola Davies, for taking on a difficult subject and...more 
ImagineHerrera, Juan FelipeImagine is the evocative and inspirational autobiography-told-...more 
Holes in the SkyPolacco, PatriciaBefore Trisha’s beloved babushka dies, she tells her grand...more 
Birds of a ColorEloLift the flap of the bird and learn about colors in this delightful...more
Contrary DogsEloContrary Dogs is an interactive board book in which young...more 
Edison: The Mystery of the Missing Mouse TreasureKuhlmann, TorbenA tiny mouse strikes out to find answers to an old...more 
The Rabbit ListenedDoerrfeld, CoriA child builds an amazing structure out of blocks only to...more
Bedtime, Ted!Henn, SophyTed has lots of good reasons to avoid going to bed. Told with...more 
Dear Girl,Rosenthal, Amy KrouseDear Girl is a letter from a mom to her daughter...more
The Day You BeginWoodson, Jacqueline It's not easy to impress me. I was an elementary school...more 
The Rough PatchLies, Brian Evan and his dog do everything together. They especially...more 
Ocean Meets SkyFan, TerryFinn sets sail for the place where ocean meets sky, in...more
Imagine!Colón, RaúlA boy ventures into New York City's Museum of Modern Art,...more 
Hello HelloWenzel, BrendanA colorful introduction to the wide variety of animals in the...more 
Black Bird Yellow SunLight, Steve Dr. Seuss took on the challenge to write a story in fifty words...more 
When Your Llama Needs a HaircutHill, Susanna Leonard A llama needs a haircut, but he doesn't want one. (Are you...more 
But Not the ArmadilloBoynton, SandraI'm a huge Sandra Boynton fan so bear in mind that I gave this ...more 
Hello LighthouseBlackall, SophieThis is the beautiful story of a family's life in a lighthouse...more 
Peek-a-Who?Mroziewicz, ElsaPeek-a-who? What animal makes what sound? Turn the...more
The Remember BalloonsOliveros, Jessie James has a lot of balloons filled with memories but his...more 
Atlas of Imaginary PlacesCassany, MiaTake a trip to places you never knew existed and didn’t...more 
All Are WelcomePenfold, Alexandra With a huge cast of amazingly diverse children, Alexandra...more 
Alma and How She Got Her NameMartinez-Neal, Juana Alma Sofia Esperanza Jose Pura Candela is frustrated with...more 
We Don't Eat Our ClassmatesHiggins, Ryan T. Penelope the T-Rex can't wait to meet her new classmates...more 
If the S in Moose Comes LooseHermann, PeterOh no! The S and E in MOOSE have come loose. Cow must...more 
These Colors Are Bananas: Published in Association with the Whitney Museum of American ArtShopsin, TamaraWe know bananas are yellow, but can they be other colors...more 
Julián Is a MermaidLove, JessicaJulian loves mermaids, and his grandmother finds a way to help...more 
Why The Face?Jullien, JeanWhy the face? Look at the picture. Why is she making that...more 
But First, We Nap: A Little Book about Nap TimeMiles, David WHow many words does it take to tell a story? This little board...more
Khalida and the Most Beautiful SongMoeckel, Amanda A song keeps appearing to Khalida but no one gives her time...more 
The FieldPaul, BaptisteA girl and her friends play a game of pick-up soccer. It's a little...more 
Misunderstood SharkDyckman, Ame It's time for Underwater World with Bob, and right in the middle...more 
AfricvilleGrant, ShauntayWho knew there was an Africville in Canada, a thriving black...more
Mixed: A Colorful StoryChung, ArreeIn the beginning there were just three colors: Red, Yellow,...more 
Mirror PlayShin, MonteThis wildly novel board book challenges children to fold a mirror...more
Let the Children MarchClark-Robinson, Monica In 1963 in Birmingham, Alabama, blacks were still not free...more 
The Old ManV, SarahThe Old Man shares a day in the life of a homeless man...more 
Madeline Finn and the Shelter DogPapp, Lisa Madeline Finn learns about the sadnesses of shelter dogs, and...more 
Whale in a FishbowlHowell, TroyWednesday the whale lived in a fishbowl. Secretly she longed...more 
IslandbornDíaz, JunotLola can't remember much about the island where she was...more 
A Stone for SaschaBecker, Aaron A girl is sad after losing her beloved dog. At the beach she...more
The King of BeesLaminack, Lester L.Henry wants to help his Aunt Lilla with her bees. One day he...more
Drawn TogetherLê, MinhA boy and his grandfather don't speak the same language, but...more
When the Cousins CameYamasaki, KatieCousins come from two different places, and they have...more 
This Is My Eye: A New York StoryVaswani, NeelaA girl roams around New York City and takes beautiful photos...more
The Pink UmbrellaCallot, AmélieAdele and her cafe are the soul of her community. Everyone...more 
Polar Bear IslandBonilla, LindsayOnly polar bears are allowed on Polar Bear Island. The mayor...more 
The Patchwork BikeClarke, Maxine BenebaA girl and her brothers in Africa create their own bike from...more 
Lorraine: The Girl Who Sang the Storm AwaySecor, KetchLorraine and her grandpa make music together. Slowly all their...more 
Night JobHesse, KarenA boy goes with his dad to his night job as a school custodi...more 

The Cybils finalists for 2018 were announced on January 1, 2019.

The Cybils winners were announced on February 14, 2019.

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Books I LOVED That No One Else Has Read: I Bet You Haven't Read Any of These

I'm going to make a bet with you. Do you want to bet me? I bet you a cup of coffee and a homemade blueberry muffin right now that you have not read ANY of the books I am listing below. Check yourself. (BTW, the ratings refer to the number of ratings on Goodreads).

Mrs. 'arris Goes to Paris by Paul Gallico 
1795 ratings

The Gold Bug Variations by Richard Powers 
1493 ratings

That Night by Alice McDermott 
1420 ratings

So Many Ways to Begin by Jon McGregor 
1400 ratings

Miss Lonelyhearts by Nathanael West 
1238 ratings

Happenstance by Carol Shields 
1184 ratings

The Box Garden by Carol Shields 
956 ratings

Rhoda: A Life in Stories by Ellen Gilchrist 
659 ratings

Wife by Bharati Mukherjee 
220 ratings

The World is Not Enough by Zoe Oldenbourg 
182 ratings

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty by James Thurber 
88 ratings

How did you do? Did you win the bet? Have you read any of these? If you haven't, you need to find copies and read them this year. Time's a-wasting.

Oh, and if I need to pay up, let me know when you will be in my part of the woods and I'll put a pot of coffee on for you.

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.