"Outside a dog a book is man's best friend, inside a dog it is too dark to read!" -Groucho Marx========="The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid." -Jane Austen========="I don’t believe in the kind of magic in my books. But I do believe something very magical can happen when you read a good book."-JK Rowling========"I spend a lot of time reading." -Bill Gates=========“Ahhh. Bed, book, kitten, sandwich. All one needed in life, really.” -Jacqueline Kelly=========

Monday, October 31, 2016

TTT: Great books for book club that enjoy reading books about other culltures

Top Ten Tuesday. 
Great books for book clubs that enjoy reading books from other cultures or sub-cultures.  
Keep in mind, good book club books need to generate a good discussion which means it is likely the book itself might be controversial or some of the members may not even like the book

Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese (2009 Knopf)...set in Ethiopia starting in the 1960s this book had me from page one. It looks daunting at over 500 pages but it was pure pleasure to both read and discuss. 

Monique and the Mango Rains: Two Years with a Midwife in Mali by Kris Halloway (2006 Waveland Press)...a nonfiction account of Ms. Halloway's Peace Corp experience working with a midwife in a village in Mali. The story was both revealing and heart-breaking. Our club had much to discuss and digest as we learned about life in rural Africa and the hardships that most women face in their culture.

Dreamers of the Day by Mary Doria Russell (2008 Random House)---historical fiction set in the Middle East around the time of Lawrence of Arabia. I knew nothing about the events covered in this book prior to reading it. Very readable author. 

The Round House by Louise Erdrich (2012. HarperCollins)-  The Round House is set on a reservation in the Midwest. A young adolescent boy tries to solve the mystery of what happened to his mother one horrifying night and in the process is forced to grow up faster than expected. The reader is introduced to several Native American rituals and confronted with the unfairness of our laws. This book is clutch-your-chest-good.

A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki (2013, Viking Press)- I loved this book. The literary themes and symbolism abound. Set in both Japan and in British Columbia.

Day After Night by Anita Diamant (2009, Scribner)---set in Palestine right after WWII, this is the story of several women who are imprisoned by the British for illegally entering Palestine. I knew nothing about the Jewish experience in Palestine prior to the formation of Israel as a country. We had a powerful discussion about this book and the topic.

The Housekeeper and the Professor by Yoko Ogawa (2009 Picadour)...he was a brilliant math professor with a head injury that allows for only 80 minutes of memory.  Set in Japan. She is his housekeeper who has a ten-year-old son. They forge a friendship within the limitations. Many gals in the club mentioned that they were surprised at how much they liked this little book and how charmed they were by the story, a few even felt they learned a little math along the way.

Madonnas of Leningrad by Debra Dean (2007, Harper Perennial)...Set in both modern times and in Leningrad during the siege during WWII, Marina has a hard time living in the present as her brain slips back to her past life in Russia and the art she loved.  I read this book while I was in Europe looking at all the fabulous religious art, so this is a sentimental favorite.

Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay (2007, St. Martin's Press)...another WWII story set in both modern times and during WWII, this story is set in France and exposes the deplorable events of the Vel' d'Hiv roundup of Jews. None of us had ever heard of this event before reading the book. I've recommended this book more than any other book on this list.

State of Wonder by Ann Patchett (2011, HarperCollins)... When Dr. Swenson doesn't send any updates on the research she is doing in the Amazon rain forest, Dr. Singh is sent to look for her. This has so many unexpected adventures and is so full of moral complexities that it makes a perfect book to discuss.

The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen (2015, Grove Press)---A Vietnam War story told from the point of view of Vietnamese double agent. The book is amazing and so well written but was a toughy to read. Nonetheless we did have a good discussion.

Running the Rift by Naomi Benaron (2012, Algonquin)---A Tutsi runner in Rwanda wants to be the first Olympic medal winner for his country, instead he has to run for his life during the Rwandan Genocide just to save his life. We all learned a lot about this despicable event in human history.

Circling the Sun by Paula McLain (2015 Ballantine Books)---a novelization of the life of Beryl Markham who was the first woman in Kenya to learn to fly an airplane and to be a horse trainer. She was also the first woman to fly across the Atlantic, east to west. This book was a fun book to read and to discuss.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Sunday Salon, October 30th

Weather: light rain and grey skies.

Every have one of those weeks...where the days all seem endless and full and exhausting, and mind-numbing, yet at the end of it you can't remember what you did or thought or accomplished? That was this past week for me. The only thing I do remember about the week was having half days at schools for conferences. Conferences at the secondary level are very different than those happy affairs I remember when I would conference with my daughter's elementary teachers. Since I don't have many students, I had some extra time to finish up tasks around the library which have been left undone since the beginning of the school year. Bonus.

Books read in October: 
  • Winter by Marissa Meyer. The fourth book in the Lunar Chronicles. I got this book last November at the launch party in Tacoma. I finally got around to reading it and enjoyed it quite a lot. It is a satisfying ending to a wonderful series which is very popular with my readers. Finished on Oct 28th. YA. Audio and print. 4 stars
  • Railhead by Philip Reeves. A futuristic Sci-Fi novel where travel between planets is possible on special trains. When Zen is hired by Raven to steal an artifact he has no idea he might just be causing the end of civilization. Finished Oct. 30th. YA. Print.  3.5 stars
  • Out of Africa by Isak Dinesen. The memoir by Karent Blixon, made famous by the movie of the same name. I started this book in July and finally finished it last weekend during my readathon. Finished Oct. 23rd. Print. 3.5 stars
  • Leading from Within: Poetry That Sustains the Courage to Lead by Intrator and Scribner. I love this type of poetry book which not only contains poems but also descriptions by others who are inspired by them, Finished Oct. 23rd. Print. 4.5 stars.
  • The Reader by Traci Chee. The first book in a new series. It is very inventive and fun. What if our lives were changed every time someone read about us in THE Book? I look forward to seeing where this book goes in subsequent volumes. Finished Oct. 19th. YA. Print. 4 stars.
  • On the Edge of Gone by Corinne Duyvis. Set in the Netherlands before and right after a huge meteor slams into Earth. Finished Oct. 16th. YA. Audio. 2 stars.
  • The Crack in the Kingdom by Jaclyn Moriarty. The second book in the Colors of Madeleine series. A very inventive and surprising series about parallel worlds and the cracks that allow communication between the two. I'm a fan. Finished Oct. 10th. YA. Audio. 4 stars,
  • Hondo by Louis L'Amour. My first by this famous Western author. When I told my mother-in-law I read it to honor my father-in-law on this his death, she laughed and said, "Oh! Harlequin romances for men." I agree. Finished Oct. 10th. Print. 2.5 stars.
Currently reading:
  • Still Life With Tornado by A.S. King. Another book by King where the main character is really cracking up due to some trauma in her life. The writing, as usual, is impeccable. Print. Progress: 10%.
  • Lucy and Linh by Alice Pung. Set in Australia. The book is about growing up and about the importance of friends. Audio. Progress: 20%.
On deck: (I have a lot of books screaming my name right now.)
  • Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. For the Classics Club Spin. Due date: December 1st.
  • In the Shadow of the Banyan by Vaddey Ratner. For book club #1. Due date: November 15th.
  • Girl at War by Sara Novic. For Book Club #2. Due Date December 14th.
On TV: Seattle Seahawks game on DVR. Football. Football. Football. 

Song running through my head: "Stand in the Light" by Jordan Smith.

Happy week!

Saturday, October 29, 2016

National Book Award Shortlist

The National Book Award organization has culled down their lists in preparation for November 15th when the winners will be announced.




Unbelievably for me I have only read one of the books on the lists, Burn Baby Burn.  Many of the books are aimed at a younger population of readers or middle grade readers. Of all  the books on the list I really want to read March Three, the third book in a series about the life of John Lewis, a Civil Rights activist and American hero. There is usually very little crossover with National Book Award and the Printz Award so I am not too worried that I am missing some book I should be thinking about for the Printz. We'll see. Watch this space on November 15th for the announcement of the winner. As soon as I know something I will announce it.

Friday, October 28, 2016

Friday Quotes: Winter

Book Beginnings on Friday is hosted by Rose City ReaderShare the opening quote from the book.
The Friday 56 is hosted at Freda's VoiceFind a quote from page 56.

Check out the links for the rules and for the posts of the participants each week. Participants don't select their favorite, coolest, or most intellectual books, they just use the one they are currently reading. This is the book I'm reading right now---

Book Title: Winter by Marissa Meyer

Book Beginnings:
Winter's toes had become ice cubes. They were as cold as space. As cold as the dark side of Luna.
Friday 56:
Wolf's shoulders hunched closer to his ears, and the guilty expression was all the answer she needed. She's heard rumors of his insatiable appetite and the high-octane metabolism that kept him always fidgeting, always moving.
Comment: Marissa Meyer, the author of Winter and the other books in the Lunar Chronicles, lives in my neck-of-the-woods. Last November I attended the launch party for Winter which was held in an old ballroom crammed full of girls dressed in their finest ball gowns. It was quite the affair. But after i got home I placed the book on the library shelves for others to read first. Finally it was my turn. It only took me a year to finally get around to reading the finale of this wonderful and inventive series which is a re-telling of several popular fairy tales: Cinderella (book 1-Cinder); Little Red Riding Hood (book 2 -Scarlet); Rapunzel (book 3 -Cress), and Snow White (book 4- Winter.)

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Leading From Within: Poetry That Sustains the Courage to Lead

This past weekend, on my 24-hour Readathon, I finally cracked open and jumped into another poetry collection by the Center for Courage and Renewal, Leading From Within: Poetry That Sustains the Courage to Lead edited by Sam M. Intrator and Megan Scribner. I loved the first two volumes, Teaching with Fire and Teaching with Heart and I wasn't disappointed by this third volume of poetry and thoughts from various leaders in our society.

Since the first volumes focused on teaching and I am a teacher so  I found more within their pages that spoke to me but there were some real jewels that jumped off the pages. These I will share with you.

I am nearing the end of my working life. Retirement is looming on the horizon. Sometimes I find myself thinking about the future more than what is happening in my present life. In "Wild Geese" by Wendall Berry I am reminded I have what I need right now and it is worth paying attention to.
Geese appear high over us,
pass, and the sky closes. Abandon,
as in love or sleep, holds,
them to their way, clear
in the ancient faith: what we need
is here. And we pray, not
for new earth or heaven, but to be
quiet in heart, and in eye,
clear. What we need is here.
A lot of my focus these days is on American politics. It has been a horrifying and disturbing few months. One would think if one or the other of the candidates wins that the whole world will fall apart. Thank goodness for poetry like "The Irony of American History" by Reinhold Niebuhr, which reminds me "Nothing that is worth doing can be achieved in our lifetime therefore, we must be saved by hope." Well, I am hoping for good things to come!

This has been a hard start to a school year. Marge Piercy's poem "To Be Of Use" is cathartic for me. I cling to these words which reward me for my hard work,
The people I love the best
jump into work head first
without dallying in the shallows....
I love people who harness themselves, an ox to a heavy cart,
who pull like water buffalo, with massive patience,
who strain in the mud and muck to move things forward,
who do what has to be done, again and again.
If I ever feel insecure and unsure of myself, I am in good company. Shakespeare himself confesses to feelings of inadequacy in Sonnet 29 when he compares himself to others, and wishes he had "this man's art, or that man's scope.

I love many of the poets' works in this volume: Nami Shihad Nye, Denise Levertov, Billy Collins, Mary Oliver, Rumi, and Langston Hughes. It is like meeting old friends again when I read their poems. Billy Collins makes me laugh. Mary Oliver sends me out to pay attention to nature. Langston Hughes helps me understand the dignity of life of all people and races. Nye and Levertov speak to me and for me. And Rumi is so spiritual. His poem "Childhood Friends" addresses the issue that is worrying me right now, the health of family members. In the poem he talks about trusting the teacher or the surgeon and encourages his reader to be aware of the miracle of healing (light entering us). I am blown away by his words. 
Don't turn your head, Keep looking
at the bandaged place. That's where
the light enters you.
     And don't believe for a moment that you're healing yourself.
And finally I found poems within this volume that speaks to my grief over the recent death of my father-in-law. In fact, only poetry and psalms have reached in and addressed that grief where other books and readings have left me feeling flat.  Henry Nouwen's "Work Around Your Abyss" speaks to the need of working through the pain of my grief, 
There is a deep hole in your being, like an abyss. You
will never succeed in filling your hole, because your
needs are inexhaustible. You have to work around it
so that gradually the abyss closes.
Nouwen goes on to explain that the pain is so enormous the temptation is to flee from it but he warns that is not a good idea if you want the wound to heal.

Poetry has done it again. It has spoken to my soul and I am better for it. I loved this volume, Leading From Within.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

24-Hour Read-a-thon. Finale!

And so it begins, another readathon! Just like last Spring I plan on doing a lot of reading and very little blogging (chatting). I also hope to actually read for 24 hours, during the whole weekend, not just on Saturday.

My plan:
Read or blog for 24-hours Friday, Oct. 21 thru Sunday, Oct. 23
Blog updates every 4 to 6 hours.

Books I hope to read (or at least make progress on):
  • Out of Africa...I have simply been plodding along on this book all summer. I still have over 100 pages. Here's a perfect weekend to close the book on this one!
  • Winter by Meyer...I went to the book launch for this book in the Lunar Chronicles series last November. I am listening on audiobooks and it is over 21 hours of listening. So far I have only knocked off six hours so I could spend my whole readathon listening to this book, but I won't. I hope to make some progress. Perhaps I will listen to it while I rake the leaves and walk the dog.
  • Railhead by Reeve...one of three books we are still considering for Mock Printz and I haven't had the volition to do much reading lately. 
  •  Still Life With Tornado by A.S. King...another of the three books I hope to read very quickly. A.S. King is a favorite author so I know I can do it.
  • Vassa in the Night by Porter...the last of the three. Another friend who is reading for Mock Printz inclusion says the book is pretty weird. I hope it is well-written though.
  • Little Women by Alcott...this is my Classics Club spin book. I haven't started it yet. I'm not worried but I do want to get started.
  • Leading from Within: Poetry That Sustains the Courage to Lead by Intrator and Scribner...can't let a reading week-end go by without a bit of poetry.
Challenges and distractions:
(I already know that the weekend will not be all about books and reading.)
  • Dinner party tonight. Don and I have a commitment for a dinner at a wonderful restaurant with fun people this evening. It is in a nearby town so I will at least be able to listen to the audiobook en route.
  • Football Game. When we get home from the dinner we will watch our favorite team play football as we will record the game while we are gone. I may be able to read a few chapters during the game, but I doubt it. Altogether I hope to knock off four hours of reading/listening on Friday.
  • A second dinner out. We have plans to go out to dinner with my cousin and his wife on Saturday evening. I hope to squeeze in about twelve hours of reading on Saturday.
  • Church. It has been several weeks since I've been to church so I am not skipping it. No problem though because I think I should easily be able to fit in eight hours of reading in to the rest of the day.
I'm off  to start the Dewey 24-hour Readathon.

1:49 PM Saturday, Update#1
I can't believe how slowly my reading seems to be going today. So far I have only read a few pages, and listened to a few hours of an audiobook. I had such high hopes for getting lots of books finished. Sigh. Here is where I am since I began the readathon yesterday afternoon:
  • I've read approximately 80 pages of Railhead by Philip Reeve, a YA science fiction novel where travel between planets is done by rail. Progress: 33%
  • I've read 40 pages of the poetry book Leading from Within. I am really savoring the poems and the thoughts. I am already concocting a blog post with them. Progress: 17%
  • Out of Africa by Isak  Dinesen is a book I'm determined to finish even though I am proceeding at a snail's pace. Today I've read 10 more pages which brings me to 75%
  • Winter by Marissa Meyer is my current audiobook. It involves over 21 hours of listening pleasure. So far today and yesterday I've listened to around seven hours of the book bringing me to just over the 50% mark. I listened while I sorted photos from Don's parents. We just got boxes and boxes of them.
11:00 PM Saturday, Update#2
Honestly. I should just admit that I am not really spending all day reading. With two dinner engagements, and taking advantage of good weather to work in the yard, I've really read much less than I hoped to scrunch into my day. Here is what I've read since my last update:
  • I've read another 100 pages of Railhead bringing me to 63%. I hope to read a few more pages before I turn off the lights tonight.
  • I listened to 3 more hours of the audiobook of Winter while I sorted more photos. I'm currently on tract 15 of 21 which I think is about 67%.
  • I enjoyed a few more pages of poems from Leading from Within. 31%
2:10 PM Sunday, Update#3
We are back from church and have had a delicious lunch of grilled tuna sandwiches. Now back to reading. Will I make my goal of 24 hours of actual reading time for the week-end? Doubtful but I am still plodding along.  Before church I did read a bit more pages in two of my books:
  • Leading From Within: Poetry that Sustains the Courage to Lead. I am up to 70% done.
  • Out of Africa I read 25 more pages which brings me to 81%. If I finish nothing else, I am going to finish this book today.  Can you hear my determination?
I'm done. I did spend the weekend reading (and listening to books) but I also did a lot of other things which drew my attention away from reading. Altogether I probably spent 16 hours in the pursuit of reading over the course of the whole weekend, far short of my goal of 24 hours. I finished two books, listened to 8 to 10 hours of a very long audiobook, and got deep into another book. Not bad.
  • Finished: Leading from Within: Poetry That Sustains the Courage to Lead. I've had this book checked out from my library for months. It spoke to me on many levels.
  • Finished: Out of Africa by Isak Dinesen. I started this classic book on July 10th and lost all my incentive to read it fast and finish it until this weekend.
  • Listened to 9 tracks of Winter by Marissa Meyer. Each track is approximately 65 minutes. I listened on 1.25 speed so I guess I listened for around 8 hours. I will still have to push to finish the book in the next two days, however, because it is due back on Overdrive and I'd hate to get this far and not be able to finish it.
  • 200+ pages read of Railhead by Philip Reeve. No doubt I will finish this book this week as well.

Sunday Salon, October 23rd

Weather: Overcast with sunbreaks. I do hope to run outside for a quick walk with the dog and to pull up the impatiens which got a bit soggy looking this past week. They are done for the year.

Curled up in a metaphorical ball: Almost a month ago my father-in-law died very suddenly. As is often the case, we were unprepared for his passing. Last night I had a stomach ache as I was preparing for bed. As I laid in the dark holding my stomach I thought of how these physical symptoms were mimicking my life right now. The pain and sorrow from grief have left me feeling like just curling up in a ball.

Last week-end we held a memorial service in Chet's honor and we helped host a social event afterwards so that family members could be together to swap stories and share the love. My father-in-law and his wife lived in Eastern Oregon (about five hours from our home) so we had to travel and spend several nights in a hotel. We were able to route our daughter, who is attending graduate school in New York, through the Pasco, Washington airport which was an easy half hour drive to pick her up so she could join us for the weekend. Everything about the event and the whole weekend was good. Don and I both spoke at the service and our son-in-law participated in the portion of the ceremony conducted by the Masons. We were together as a family. Don was able to be with his uncles and cousins he doesn't often see. He and his brother were together in their grief. Everyone helped support Chet's widow. As we drove home last Sunday I had a positive feeling about the time we all spent together.

After: But after we got home and brought in the seven boxes of family photos and paraphernalia we need to go through, after we collected the dog from the kennel, after we drove Carly back to the airport for her return trip to NYC, after we went back to work on Tuesday to our demanding jobs... the grief remains. It is a grief which is just percolating under the surface at all times ready to swamp us at a moment's notice. For a month I feel like I have been curled up in a ball nurturing this grief. Shockingly, the one thing that has really seemed to go by the wayside is my desire to read and to blog. I don't have the attention span for either of these activities. This weekend I had signed up to participate in a blog event: a 24-hour readathon. It seemed like a good idea at the time but even with this impetus behind me I can barely make myself read and when I do my reading is very slow, which is not like me. But one book I am finding which has provided some relief is a poetry book called Leading from Within. Poetry always seems to speak to me when other forms of communication can't get through.

Let Me Remember...a poem which reminds me of our transitory lives here on earth but of an eternity to look forward to.

Let me remember, by Winston O. Abbott




beyond forgetting —
let me remember always
for my spirit is often shrouded in the mists
let me remember beyond forgetting
that my life is not a solitary thing
it is a bit of the rushing tide
a leaf of the bending tree
a kernel of grain the golden wheat fields
a whisper of wind about the mountaintop
a reflection of sunlight upon the shining waters
it is fleeting
it is of the moment
it is timeless
it is of eternity.

24-hour read-a-thon, my progress:
  • Out of Africa by Isak Dinesen, 81%
  • Leading From Within, 70%
  • Winter, an audiobook, track 15 of 21 which I think is about 67%
  • Railhead, 63%  Can I finish them all before days end? Unlikely but I'll give it a shot.

Monday, October 10, 2016

TTT: Books I read because of a recommendation

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I read at someone's recommendation

This is an odd list for me because I am often the person giving book recommendations and reading reviews. Many of the recommendations that come from someone else are book club selections based on another club member's research. I also pay attention to books my blogging friends are reading. Often my favorite books are ones someone else has loved.

1. Girl in the Blue Coat by Monica Hesse, recommended by several bloggers. I finished the audiobook version in September 2016.

2. The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend by Katarina Bivald, recommended by a book club member. I listened to this audiobook with my family in August 2016.

3. The Secrets of Mary Bowser by Lois Leveen, recommended by a book club member. I read it in July this year.

4. Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson, recommended by several bloggers. This is one of the most influential books I've listened to this year. (June)

5. My Name is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout, recommended by several gals in book club. I read this book in May.

6. Jackaby by William Ritter. A student recommended this book. She was wildly crazy for it. I read it in April and then met the author.

7. Letters to a Young Poet by Rainer Maria Rilke, recommended by a colleague, an English teacher friend. She is a big fan of Rilke's poetry. Read in March.

8. The Sound of Gravel by Ruth Wariner, recommended by several bloggers. Now we are doing it for book club this month.

9. Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain, recommended by my daughter, an introvert. I read it in March and then I recommended my Principal read it, too.

10. Enormous Smallness: A Story of E.E. Cummings by Matthew Burgess, a saw this book on the blog of an elementary librarian and just had to read it.

Saturday, October 8, 2016

BSD Mock Printz list for 2017

It is with a bit of trepidation that I publish the Bethel School District Mock Printz list for 2017 because it still feels like a work in progress. We have settled on fourteen books so far, and are leaving ourselves open to adding additional books once we get a change to read them. Our list is static. Once we make our selection we publish it for our students, purchase additional copies of each book, and finally discuss these books only during our workshop.

B.S.D. 2017 Mock Printz list

1. The Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge
Six starred reviews. 
It is historical/horror/mystery with a strong message for young women to follow their dreams.

2. The Passion of Dolssa by Julie Berry
Five starred reviews.
Another historical novel, this one is set in Provence in the 1200s and deals with the topic of a Christian mystic and the Inquisitions.

3. Jazz Day by Roxanne Orgill
Six starred reviews.
This is a surprise addition since it looks more like a Caldecott book. It is a collection of poems about the amazing photograph taken in the late 1950s about the day many Jazz musicians came together for one phenomenal photograph. We think our teen readers will like it but wouldn't read it without this gentle nudge.

4. Character Driven by David Lubar
Four starred reviews.
A coming-of-age tale about a boy named Cliff whose life is right on the edge of a precipice. 

5. Burn Baby Burn by Meg Medina
Four starred reviews.
Set in New York City during the summer of 1977 when the city was burning up and Son-of-Sam was busy killing people. 

6. Exit, Pursued By a Bear by E.K Johnston
Four starred reviews.
A realistic story about being a member of a team, and about friendship even in the face of tragedy.

7. Golden Boys by Sonya Hartnett
Four starred reviews.
A new family moves into a neighborhood in Australia and their boys seem to have every toy any boy could ever want. But the toys come with a cost. A sinister message told through the voice of three narrators.

8. The Reader by Traci Chee
Four starred reviews.
Set in a world where reading and books are unheard of. It is both a fantasy and adventure novel.

9. We Are the Ants by Shawn Hutchinson
Four starred reviews.
A gay teenager is abducted by aliens and offered a change to save the world. But he is not sure if he will do it.

10. The Memory of Light by Francisco X. Stork
Four starred reviews.
A suicidal girl comes to grips with her feelings through her hospitalization and therapy.

11. Railhead by Philip Reeve
Three starred reviews.
Science Fiction. A small-time thief travels between worlds on a interstellar train and is asked to steal something which may swamp the universe

12. Essential Maps of the Lost by Deb Caletti
Three starred reviews.
There are lots of ways people become lost and sometimes, if you are really lucky, you find a map to find your way back. A romance story set in Seattle.

13. A Rebel of the Sand by Alwyn Hamilton
Three starred reviews.
A fantasy novel set a desert kingdom. It is the first book in a series.

14. The Memory Book by Lara Avery
Three starred reviews.
A teen girl is diagnosed with a genetic disease which is robbing her of her memories. She decides to write down her memories so she can have them when she needs them.

In addition. we are considering these books as additions to the list:
A. Vassa in the Night by Sarah Porter (Urban Fantasy)
B. Steeplejack by AJ Hartley (Mystery)
C. Still Life in Tornado by A.S. King (Realism)
D. Lucy and Linh by Alice Ping (Multicultural)

Lastly we are offering our readers a challenge to read:
The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater
Four starred reviews.
Since it is the fourth book in the Raven Cycle series we didn't think we could add the book to our list because readers would need to read the first three books of the series before reading it, but we think the book is worthy of a Printz consideration.

We are aware this list isn't as diverse as we usually select. In past years we have included at least one nonfiction title, a graphic novel, and a novel written in verse. We decided that the Printz committee must not be interested in nonfiction after snubbing two fabulous selections last year so we decided that we wouldn't go out of our way to add one to our list this year. Jazz Day is our nod to poetry and to illustrations! We also try to include as many genres as we can. This year our one horror book (The Lie Tree) isn't very horrifying and it is also our only mystery so far.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Friday Quotes: Hondo

Book Beginnings on Friday is hosted by Rose City ReaderShare the opening quote from the book.
The Friday 56 is hosted at Freda's VoiceFind a quote from page 56.

Check out the links for the rules and for the posts of the participants each week. Participants don't select their favorite, coolest, or most intellectual books, they just use the one they are currently reading. This is the book I'm reading right now---

Book Title: Hondo by Louis L'Amour

Book Beginning:
He rolled his cigarette in his lips, liking the taste of the tobacco, squinting his eyes against the sun glare.
Friday 56:
They walked slowly. It was very hot. Dust arose. A road runner darted away ahead of them, a streak of dull brown against the desert A rattler buzzed from under a mesquite bush. They walked on.
Comment: My father-in-law, a Western-genre reader, died last week. In honor of his reading life, I am reading my first Louis L'Amour book. It is not my usual genre and I must admit there are parts of it that really bug me. My father-in-law really liked the author so I trying to stay open-minded.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Classics Spin #14 book: Little Women

Monday was spin day for Classics Club Spin #14. I dutifully put together my list of twenty books. (See list here.) When the die was cast, No. 1 won and Little Women by Louisa May Alcott claimed that spot. So I shall be reading this classic book by an amazing American author by December 1st. As in the past I plan to blog updates throughout my reading.

When I was young, I think I was in 5th or 6th grade, I read an abridged version of Little Women in the Great Illustrated Classics series. It is only 240 pages and no doubt abridged so much making it accessible to young readers, maybe as young as eight. Only recently I put together my reading habits as a kid and realized all these classics I remember reading in elementary school were actually part of the Great Illustrated Classics series making me want to go back and reread the full version of the book now that I am an adult. Other classics I read as part of this series were Jane Eyre, David Copperfield, Pride and Prejudice, and the Legend of Sleepy Hollow. Now I have a chance to fall in love again with a book I've loved almost my whole life.

The version I shall be reading is published by the original publisher, Little, Brown, and Co. It has 502 pages. The author Anna Quindlen, said in the book's forward, "I won't temporize. Little Women changed my life. Up to that time, age 10, she had only read fairy tales where all of the characters were either good or bad; ugly or beautiful. "At the time Little Women seemed to me to be the first naturalistic work of imagination I had ever read."

Little Women has spoken to girls since its publication. It said to girls they didn't have to be girlish and care only about the home arts. They could be writers, or some other career, and they could use their skills to take care of themselves. Not exactly ground-breaking messages today, but in the 1850s it was unheard of.  I have always loved Jo March and identified with her gumption. I also adored the whole March family, their closeness and bonds with each other and their neighbor Laurie. I look forward to jumping in.

I also have a copy of the audiobook version which I will listen to in part, a mix with my print book.
The audiobook I have was part of the free Sync download during the summer. It was published by Penguin Random House Audio Books and read by Kate Reading. I love listening to books so I'm sure I will enjoy the book in this format, too.