Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Laughter Yoga










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, February 21, 2017

Books I Loved (Much) More Than I Thought I Would


H is for Hawk
I hate violence. This is a very violent book. But deeply true.

March by John Lewis
A graphic novel which I'm not wild about AND it's the story of the Civil Rights Movement, which doesn't sound engaging. Wrong, wrong.

I, Claudius
The story of a stuttering Roman emperor doesn't sound compelling.

Lab Girl
I'd never expected to be captivated by an autobiography of a science nerd.

Lonesome Dove
A western? Really?

True Grit
Please. Another western? And, c'mon, I've already seen the movie. This book is going to surprise me?

A Wrinkle in Time
I think I've spent the last fifty-something years since I read this book trying to find a book as wonderful.

Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus
This was my introduction to the amazing-ness that is Mo Willems.

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
Nothing prepared me for the power of this book on my life.

Tenth of December 
Author Khaled Hosseini puts it best: "Saunders makes you feel as though you are reading fiction for the first time."




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!


Each week we will post a new Top Ten list that one of our bloggers here at The Broke and the Bookish will answer. Everyone is welcome to join. All we ask is that you link back to The Broke and the Bookish on your own Top Ten Tuesday post AND add your name to the Linky widget so that everyone can check out other bloggers lists! If you don't have a blog, just post your answers as a comment. Have fun with it! It's a fun way to get to know your fellow bloggers.




Sunday, February 19, 2017

Four ✭✭✭✭✭ Reads, Plus My Favorite Love Story, Tadpole's Promise

I've read 56 books so far in 2017 and 16 of them have been five star reads. That seems pretty remarkable. How can I account for this? The best reads have mostly been books I didn't get around to reading from last year. Oddly, the best books are not books I thought I'd love. I know nothing about hunting with hawks, for one, and who'd have thought I'd be so taken with a children's book with a scarecrow for a main character?

covertitleauthorreview
H is for Hawk
I'm not a hunter, and I'm not mad for animals, but great writing is great writing, and this book is great writing. Helen Macdonald's dad collapses and ...more [edit]
Remove from my books
Utopia Drive: A Road Trip Through America's Most Radical Idea
I've always been completely fascinated with utopias, and I've secretly longed to join one or start one. I'm a natural reader for this little travel na ...more [edit]
Remove from my books
Worzel Gummidge
Worzel Gummidge is a classic not-quite-human, not-quite-other character, who is able to be in the world without being of the world, who throws out bri ...more [edit]
Remove from my books
Homegoing
Two sisters in Africa. One becomes the wife of a white man who rounds up slaves. And the other is captured as a slave.

Each chapter moves forward a gen
 ...more [edit]


I finished four books this week and every one of them was a five star story.


I'm reading two George Saunders books right now and I'm pretty sure that both of these will also be five star reads.

I can't explain it, this Amazing Book Phenomenon, but I say, keep on coming, great books.


I almost forgot...I also read my favorite picture book love story, Tadpole's Promise, to many of my classes this week. I snapped a picture of the typical reaction of a class to the story...Don't you love this?!








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, February 15, 2017

The Texas Star

Yes, another gemstone cut by my husband.



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, February 14, 2017

Love Stories I Love (and Hate)

I don't read a lot of genre fiction, but (who knows why?!) I adore love stories. Although I generally will permanently close a book after a few pages of sappiness or trite story lines, I can put up with a lot if the story is a romance.


Some of my favorite reads ever have been romances. Here are a few love stories I've loved...

Gone With the Wind
Pride and Prejudice
The Fault in Our Stars
Me Before You
Memoirs of a Geisha
Girl With a Pearl Earring
Age of Innocence
I'll Give You the Sun
Tell Me Three Things
Our Souls at Night
Everything, Everything
All the Bright Places
Eleanor & Park
The Rosie Effect
The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight
The Remains of the Day
As Simple as Snow
Possession

I'm always on the lookout for a good romance. Although...

Don't slam me, but I'm not really a fan of these love stories:
Outlander
Jane Eyre
Twilight
Bridges of Madison County
Time Traveler's Wife


What romances have I missed? 


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!

Each week we will post a new Top Ten list that one of our bloggers here at The Broke and the Bookish will answer. Everyone is welcome to join. All we ask is that you link back to The Broke and the Bookish on your own Top Ten Tuesday post AND add your name to the Linky widget so that everyone can check out other bloggers lists! If you don't have a blog, just post your answers as a comment. Have fun with it! It's a fun way to get to know your fellow bloggers.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

A High-Tech, Voodoo Donut, No-Books-Finished Week

I've spent a glorious week at TCEA in Austin, a technology conference for teachers, librarians, and administrators. I learned about new gadgets that are coming soon, apps for iPads, Chromebooks for primary students, and revamping a library. I should have demo-ed here some of the cool things I learned but I'm eager to get a little reading in today. I did make a Pinterest board so, hopefully, I can refresh my memory soon and try some things with my classes.
I finished nothing last week. Instead I spent my time trying new apps and visiting Voodoo Donuts (twice!) and recharging.

Here are the books I hope to get to this week.


Since Tuesday is Valentine's Day, I'll be doing readalouds with some of my favorite love stories: Martina, the Beautiful Cockroach and Here Comes Valentine Cat, along with my perpetual love story favorite, Tadpole's Promise.

Hope you have a great week!







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, February 8, 2017

A Valentine for Valentine's Day


Yes, my husband cut this gemstone, too.

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, February 7, 2017

Books That Could Use a Little More...Paris

Almost any book would be a little better if it were set in Paris. Here are a few suggestions....





I loved Lillian Boxfish, but why couldn't she have taken a walk in Paris?




Humans of New York was great, but how about Humans of Paris?




Do we really need to go past the city limits of Paris to see the Lonely Planet's Beautiful World? 




The Almost Perfect People of Scandinavia? What about those of Paris?




Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki wouldn't have been colorless had he lived in Paris, I think. 




Why couldn't the Ingalls family head to France instead of trying to traverse and settle the wilds of the American prairie?




Holly Golightly's main problem may have been that she was in the wrong city.



I can see Gatsby living quite happily in Paris. Now that would be a Great Gatsby.



As would Fancy Nancy.



I bet they'd let the Pigeon drive the bus in Paris.






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!

Each week we will post a new Top Ten list that one of our bloggers here at The Broke and the Bookish will answer. Everyone is welcome to join. All we ask is that you link back to The Broke and the Bookish on your own Top Ten Tuesday post AND add your name to the Linky widget so that everyone can check out other bloggers lists! If you don't have a blog, just post your answers as a comment. Have fun with it! It's a fun way to get to know your fellow bloggers.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

A Super Bowl-less Super Bowl Sunday

It's Super Bowl Sunday and it's a day....well, if you don't love football, like me, you already know what I'm going to say, so why say it, and, if you do love it, you aren't reading this. It's probably among the sports-minded that I find myself most often having to channel my inner Martin Luther King, Jr.

Which is all really to say that I've been reading in a frenzy since the beginning of the year. I know many people can't read when the world is topsy-turvy, and I'm sorry about that, but I'm just the opposite; I can't seem to do anything else. I've already read a ridiculous seven books this month, and I'm deep into five more:
The Art of the Pie; H is for Hawk; Homegoing; March, Book Three; Tenth of Dec.

Rather than talk about what I'm reading or...heaven forbid...football, let me catch you up on my adventures with the Inprint Reading Series. At the October reading, with Ann Patchett and Lauren Groff, I ran into a woman I met last summer at the Writers' Retreat in far west Texas. She oh-so-kindly invited me to join her circle of friends for dinner before the next Inprint author reading in November, and I did. And then she invited me again in January, and I did. What a lovely circle of friends she has. Literate, of course. But they also see films (not movies) and go out to eat and volunteer in hospitals and even march for Truth and Justice. Just being in the presence of these women gives me hope again that right will triumph in the world. 

And who have I seen at Inprint? In November, it was Rabih Alameddine and Juan Garcia Vasquez. Both are immigrants, Alameddine from Lebannon, and Vasquez from Columbia.  Both know the deep value of writing in a repressive culture. Alameddine tells us. "You're an easy audience. Where I come from, we heckle much better." Vasquez believes writing is a contact sport. Alameddine says the writer has to be both part of the culture and separate from it. "Good literature," Vasquez says, "doesn't come from certainties, but from questions." Vasquez says many people tell him they want to be writers but they don't want to read; what should they do? Vasquez quips, "Run for president."



In January, it was Annie Proulx. Barkskins is her tenth book. Proulx was trained as a historian, so she starts a book with a place. "Once I have the place," she says, "characters appear." She can spend days on a single sentence, on the precise word. "I know the ending before I know the beginning," she tells us. Ironically, she seems to have developed an allergy to trees while researching Barkskins, and her reading was kept short, perhaps due to that.


Thank you to all who recommended March. I think I'll spend a little time today on Book Three.




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, February 1, 2017

Icy Beauty



Did I tell you my husband cuts gemstones? This one is 'specially special since we actually found the garnet he cut at Ruby Reservoir up near Yellowstone Park.




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, January 31, 2017

Fiction Picture Books That Knocked My Socks Off

I’ve been a Cybils Award judge for the last ten years. I can’t remember a year when so many wonderful fiction picture books hit the shelves as they did last year. As a panel, we had to agree on our favorite seven (take a look at my blog post here), but there were many others I loved that didn't quite make the cut. Of course, you could always buy these (and thus help lift their authors a nudge up from the poverty-level existences many of them have) but these are widely available at your public library, too.



A Well-Mannered Young Wolf

Before a young wolf can eat his prey, he must honor the prey's last wishes. The prey are not quite as well-mannered.  


The Bear Who Wasn’t There and the Fabulous Forest

 One day The Bear Who Wasn’t There forgets something quite important---himself---and sets off on a journey to find himself. 


A Most Mysterious Mouse 

A cat spends all his days imagining mice, yet there is one he cannot imagine.


We Found a Hat 

Jon Klassen is back with his final story in his hat trilogy, this one taking on relationships.


Cry, Heart, But Never Break 

This cover will tell you all you need to know.


The Uncorker of Ocean Bottles

A lonely man perpetually uncorks ocean bottles.


The Day I Became a Bird

A boy falls in love. But she is only cares about birds. How can he interest her?


My Baby Crocodile 

A crocodile happens upon a helmeted knight and mistakes him for an abandoned baby croc.


The Quickest Kid in Clarksville 

 Alma’s the quickest kid in Clarksville, just like her hero, Wilma Rudolph, once was. It doesn’t matter that Alma has holes in her shoes; so did Wilma. But what will happen when the new girl with shiny new shoes takes Alma on?


The Water Princess 

 A young girl dreams of finding a way to get clean water to her village.