Wednesday, January 28, 2015

X Marks the Spot



I'm a big fan of trees.
But this one had to come down.

X marks the spot.



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 27, 2015

Ten Books I'd Love to Read With My Book Clubs


It's hard to suggest books for your book clubs. After all these years on this planet, I finally realize that not everyone likes things just as I do. 

I've already reread a lot of my favorite books with my book clubs. Some had a great response: The Good Earth. Gilead. Unbroken. Others, not so much: The Mouse and His Child. Working.

So what are some books I might suggest to my book clubs? Here are some of my ideas:


Crossing to Safety or Angle of Repose by Wallace Stegner


 Traveling Mercies by Anne Lamott


My Name is Asher Lev by Chaim Potok


Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout


Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred D. Taylor


The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien


Good Poems by Garrison Keillor


True Grit by Charles Portis


Out of the Dust by Karen Hesse


Suite Francaise by Irene Nemirovsky


Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi


Window by Jeannie Baker



What did I forget? Any suggestions for me?


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 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 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, January 25, 2015

Trees and Thieves and Twinkie Pie


It's thieves and trees this week. And a bit of Twinkie Pie.

Trees. 

Alexis York Lumbard retells an old Native American legend in Pine and Winter Sparrow. Sparrow is hurt and cannot fly off with his family for the winter. He tries to find shelter in an oak tree, a maple tree, an elm tree, an aspen tree, but all of these trees send him on his way with a cruel reproach. It is Pine who reaches out to Sparrow and offers him refuge. "If you don't mind my sticky branches and needle-sharp leaves, then all that I am and all that I have is yours." The Creator notes, "Those of you who have so much shared nothing. But the one who had so little shared everything." To reward Pine for his kindness to Sparrow, the Creator makes Pine evergreen. Oh my. I loved this little story of the willingness of a flawed creature to give despite its flaws. And with trees as main characters.

Trees and Thieves. 

The Olive Tree by Elsa Marston tells the story of an olive tree that divides families. It stands in the yard of a family in the Middle East who has fled during the war, but its olives fall into the yard of the neighbor next door. When the olive tree owners return, the neighbors are disappointed to hear the owners angrily declare that collecting the olives is stealing. The olives lay on the ground. The owners and the neighbors are estranged. Then lightning hits the tree and destroys it, and the families are somehow reconciled in its loss. Beautiful story.
Trees and Thieves. 

The Promise by Nicola Davies also features trees, this time in the role of agents of redemption. A young girl in a gray and desperate city steals the purse of an old woman. The old woman gives up her purse after making the girl promise to "plant them all." The girl discovers that inside the purse are lots of acorns, and something inside her changes. The girl begins to plant the acorns all over the gray and desperate city and the city changes. As the city changes, the people in the city change. A beautiful little story of the power of nature to heal.
Thieves. 

No trees in Smith by Leon Garfield, but there were plenty of thieves. Our main character, Smith, a twelve-year-old boy, lives in the gritty streets of old London and makes his money by stealing. He picks a man’s pockets and is then horrified to witness the man’s murder on the street, killed for something Smith just stole from him. And now Smith becomes the target for the murderers.

Garfield masterfully takes us to eighteenth century London, into the poverty of this boy and the affluence of a kind benefactor, the random and frequent unexpected wickedness along with the random and frequent unexpected kindnesses.

I don’t think I’ll ever forget the scene where Smith is forced to take a bath by his benefactor, the first of his life, and he must first remove bits and pieces of all the clothes he has ever worn, frayed, ragged, filthy.

Smith is a book full of little moments like this. A little treasure.



No Thieves. No Trees. 

I'm in the middle of The Truth About Twinkie Pie (no trees or thieves, so far) which arrived this week from the publisher. It's a gentle little story of a twelve-year-old girl, Double-G (real name: Galileo Galilei...yes, her mother named her after that fellow in the hopes that she, too, would grow up to be a scientist) who attempts to shift from following the agenda of others to pursuing her own agenda. Much of the story's charm lies in the collection of oddball recipes from GiGi's dead mother featured at the end of each chapter, related in her charming mother's voice, recipes no one would really want to make but which can't help being quite captivating. I don't quite know how it's going to work out yet, but I can't wait to read on.






How about you? Any trees in your reading week? Thieves? Good recommendations are always appreciated.





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! As part of this weekly meme Book Journey loves to encourage you all to go and visit the others participating in this meme. 

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Cinderella









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 20, 2015

Little Books---Not Just for Little People



It has taken forever for teens and grownups to discover the delight of graphic novels. There was a day when no one over seventeen would have picked up what was derisively known as comic books. But look at graphic novels now.

Let's revolutionize the way teens and adults see picture books, too. Try these little picture books. How about assigning some for high school summer reading? The One-Book for your community? See what you think. Maybe all little picture books aren't just for little people.


The Keeping Quilt by Patricia Polacco


The Composition by Antonio Skarmeta


Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day


The Arrival by Shaun Tan


The Biggest Bear by Lynd Ward


Joseph's Yard by Charles Keeping


The Duck in the Gun by Joy Cowley


Tadpole's Promise by Jeanne Willis


Clown by Quentin Blake


Lend Me Your Wings by John Agard


Window by Jeanne Willis

And, don't laugh, but I'd also include How the Grinch Stole Christmas. And all fairy tales.


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 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 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, January 18, 2015

Perfect






My niece takes a perfect walk when she ventures off the path at Versailles.



How about ideal? Flawless? No, I think quintessential. Yes, that's it. Last week my reading was ideal. It was flawless. My reading was quintessential. Quintessential reading.

You can imagine a perfect game in baseball. You've studied perfect numbers in school. You probably know how to cook the perfect scrambled eggs. (If you don't, take a look here.) 

So what, then, is a perfect reading week? Let's see if I can define it. Two books, I think. One fiction and one nonfiction. You start them both on Sunday afternoon (reading on the front porch, I'm pretty sure, with a cool breeze and a nice bright sun) and continue to read, captivated, a little every evening after work, finally, regretfully, finishing them both on a lovely Saturday morning (with strong coffee).

Yep, that was my week. Quintessential. A perfect reading week.

You want to know the titles, don't you? You want to duplicate the experience. (I know, I know.) I will reluctantly share these with you, but I'm not sure the experience can be so easily replicated, and I really hate to disappoint you. Okay. Okay. You want to know anyway? Okay. Here goes...True Grit and The Real Doctor Will See You Shortly. I oh-so-slowly read through them, wanting to read on, hating to see those final pages. 

You've had a week like this, I'm sure. Maybe it was the lovely after-Christmas lull. Maybe it was the pull of the words. Who knows? 

If you think it was the books, I'd love for you to share the titles. I'm working on a People's List of the 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die, and I'd love to add your fav books to this list. 

And here's my wish for you: I wish for you to experience this perfect reading week at least once before you leave this little world. Maybe we better not experience this every week or we might never exit.
   
A perfect West Texas sunset.
           


What are you reading today?!






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! As part of this weekly meme Book Journey loves to encourage you all to go and visit the others participating in this meme. 

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

You Know You're in Texas When...





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.