Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Top Ten Favorite Heroines

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. This meme 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 complete with one of our bloggers answers. 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 sign Mister Linky at the bottom to share with us and all those who are participating. If you don't have a blog, just post your answers as a comment. Don't worry if you can't come up with ten every time..just post what you can!

This week the topic is---Top Ten Favorite Heroines


(10) Charlotte in Charlotte's Web
Charlotte says, "Some pig." I say, "Some spider."

(9) Amazing Grace
Nothing stops Grace.


(8) The Little House by Virginia Burton
The Little House is a survivor.


(7) Fancy Nancy
She knows how to be fancy without spending a dime.

(6) Stargirl
Stargirl doesn't care what anyone else thinks.

(5) Precious Ramotswe in
No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency
She's proud of her country and proud to be "traditionally built."

(4) Pippi Longstocking
What kid wouldn't want to live in a house all by yourself
and do whatever you want?

(3) Anne of Green Gables
Anne never means to cause trouble...

(2) Scarlett from Gone With the Wind
Scarlett is the one I want with me in our next hurricane.

And, finally,
(1) Meg from Wrinkle in Time, my all-time favorite heroine.
How tough it is to be smart in our world!

Who are your favorite book heroines?

Sunday, August 29, 2010

The Three Musketeers

I finally finished it. Over seven hundred pages. And I finished it.

It was fantastic. Plots and schemes. Duels. Men thrown in prisons. Gambling. Sword play. Admirable women and treacherous women. Friendships among men. Loyalty. Struggles for power.

My favorite read of the year. Not sure anything else could even come close.

To be honest, that really surprises me. I never dreamed I would love The Three Musketeers like I do.

Ever read something you'd expected to hate but found yourself loving?

And tonight we hope to watch the 1948 movie version. Here's a clip:






Two awards this week:
Lovely and Versatile!  Thank you, my lovely and versatile fellow bloggers.












The Sunday Salon.com


What is the Sunday Salon?
Imagine 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. Join the Salon.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Book Blogger Hop: How I'd Like to Rate Books


 Let me introduce myself.
Bonjour! Enchanté!
I am Debnance at Readerbuzz.
I love to read.
I especially love travel memoirs,
children's books, books about happiness, 
creative nonfiction, and literary fiction.

 I'd love to visit your blog. If you like, follow me and leave a comment and I will hop over and follow you.

I also invite you to:
Befriend me at Goodreads.
Follow me at Twitter.
 Befriend me at Facebook

And, the question of the week from the Hop is:

Do you use a rating system for your reviews and if so, what is it and why?

I've been writing reviews of my books since 2003. I've always rated every book 0-10. But I've never used a rating system here at my blog. I want to use a rating system.

If I could, I would steal this rating system, created by Jan T. at her Yahoo group, happily_engaged_in_reading:

10 One of the best, worth adding to my permanent collection

9 Compelling, wonderful, should force strangers to read this

8 Very good, happy I read it

7 Quite good actually

6 Okay plus, good, but not so remarkable

5 Okay, pleasant enough but entirely forgettable

4 I read this under duress or a sense of obligation to the group

3 Why did I bother?

2 I read this only due to lack of nearby cereal boxes

1 Painful, but continued reading anyway

0 Despicable, vile; continued reading to burn off purgatory time

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Top Ten Books I Can't Believe I've Never Read




Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. This meme 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 complete with one of our bloggers answers. 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 sign Mister Linky at the bottom to share with us and all those who are participating. If you don't have a blog, just post your answers as a comment. Don't worry if you can't come up with ten every time..just post what you can!

This week the topic is---Top Ten Books I Can't Believe I've Never Read

I pride myself on being a big reader of children's literature. A few years ago, I decided to try to read all the Newbery winners, and I easily did that in a year. Now I'm working on reading all the 1001 Children's Books You Must Read Before You Grow Up. A bit daunting.

So I'm amending this list to make it the Top Ten Children's Books I Can't Believe I've Never Read. Here goes:

1. The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas
I am working on this one right now. I can't believe I've never read it. I honestly was not all that familiar with the plot.

2. Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe
I love the idea behind this story. Who in their childhood hasn't dreamed of living on a deserted (or almost deserted) island?!

3. Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi
I'll say it like the children often say in my library when I show them a book and ask if they have read it: "No, but I saw the movie!" And, eek, that grates on my nerves like fingernails on a chalkboard.

4. Five Children and It by E. Nesbit
As a little girl, I loved the Edgar Eager books I found in my public library. I devoured them and, when I saw that Edgar Eager attributed his brilliant writing to having read the E. Nesbit books, looked and looked for E. Nesbit around my small town. In vain, however. I must read this book.

5. The School at the Châlet by Elinor M. Brent-Dyer
I have a book friend who has long raved about these books. She even sent me two from the series. Have I read them? No, of course not.

6. Five on a Treasure Island by Enid Blyton
I can already hear the gasps of horror from those outside the US. No, I have not read Enid Blyton. There, I've said it. I can hardly believe it myself.

7. Prince Caspian by C. S. Lewis
Oh dear. Now I am in danger of having my children's librarian license revoked. Wait, though, I have read Lion, Witch, and Wardrobe. But only that book in the seven book series. Nothing else.

8. Old Yeller by Fred Gipson
Not having read this one will get me in deep trouble here among Texas children's librarians. Let me say that I desperately want to read it. And I promise to read it soon. Is that better?


9. Journey to the Center of the Earth by Jules Verne
20,000 Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne
Around the World in 80 Days by Jules Verne
I'm afraid some are starting to throw tomatoes at me. "Children's librarian? Ha!" I can hear the snickers. But, people, let's look at the reality here. These are three separate books. And they are all BIG books. And, no, I haven't read any of them. No Jules Verne at all. Now I really feel bad. And not just because I'm covered in tomatoes.


10. The Secret of the Old Clock by Carolyn Keene
The Hardy Boys: The Tower Treasure by Franklin W. Dixon
Whatever you do, please do not tell my mom that I have not read these two series. My mom lived on Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys as a girl. I cannot believe it myself, but I have never read any of the books in the series. Eek.

Well, as you can see, I need to get busy and read some books.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Review: The Pocket Therapist


Here's a new idea:  Let's choose someone to write a self-help book who knows what she is talking about. Someone who is not a researcher. Someone who is not a psychiatrist. Someone who is not even a therapist.

How about picking someone who is crazy?!

Yes, the author of The Pocket Therapist, Therese J. Borchard, claims she wrote this book by drawing on notes she took from "more than twelve years (i.e., six hundred hours) of therapy" as well as "get-ahold-of-yourself tips...learned in the psych ward."

There you go.

What kind of ideas does this book offer? Borchard provides 144 ideas for sanity, most as simple as breathing. In fact, the very first idea is breathing.

I liked this book, but, to really assess its efficacy, perhaps we need a crazy reader as well. Any takers?

Full disclosure:  I obtained this book from an online trade.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Review: The Power of Half by Kevin and Hannah Salwen


Now I must decide:  Shall I review this book by looking at it as Half Full or Half Empty? ;->

That's easy for me. I'm a Half Full kind of gal.

Half Full it is then.

You probably already know the story. Fourteen-year-old Hannah Salwen saw a homeless man and a shiny Mercedes and had an idea which she shared with her family. If her family would sell their enormous house, they could give half the money from the house to the poor and would make the world a better place. The family decided to do what Hannah had suggested and the money was given to villagers in Ghana. The book elaborates on this story, related by Hannah's dad, including interjections by Hannah herself. A lovely tale of sacrifice and thoughtfulness and caring.

My Half Empty self is screaming. Sorry. Just a minute.

Okay, I'm being forced by my Half Empty self to mention that the book falls into my personal genre, Books-That-Make-Better-Magazine-Articles-Than-They-Do-Books. Do you get the picture? It runs on, we'll say. Also, I'm being asked to share the fact that the Salwen house was a two million dollar house. We're not talking about a 3-2-2 in the suburbs. Is it really sacrifice to move down to a 3,000 square foot house?

This book was obtained from the public library.

This week I also finished:



Friday, August 20, 2010

Il est temps de sauter! (It's Time to Hop!)


 Let me introduce myself.
Bonjour! Enchanté!
I am Debnance at Readerbuzz.
I love to read.
I especially love travel memoirs,
children's books, books about happiness, 
creative nonfiction, and literary fiction.

 I'd love to visit your blog. If you like, follow me and leave a comment and I will hop over and follow you.

I also invite you to:
Befriend me at Goodreads.
Follow me at Twitter.
 Befriend me at Facebook

Here are a few cool blogs I've discovered through the Hop and Follow Friday:

And, the question of the week from the Hop is:
How many blogs do you follow?

My answers:
No lo sé. I don't know. No idea.
I visit a blog each day and
I visit ten blogs every Sunday.
Je ne sais pas!
Whatever the number, I'd love to have one more...Yours!


Tuesday, August 17, 2010

10 Picture Books I Would Not Want to Teach Without


I ran across the coolest challenge today. The challenge actually took place on August 10th, but I'm jumping in, even at this late date.

Read and Refine: Building a Learning Community together with Enjoy and Embrace Learning issued a challenge: Name the ten picture books without which you would not want to teach.

And here's the result: 10 for 10. I've just barely looked around, but these appear to be fantastic lists. I hope to make my own list soon.

UPDATE: My Own List!


How can I possibly pick just ten books?!  Impossible, really.  So I decided to pick ten picture books that I've recently discovered from 1001 Children's Books You Must Read Before You Grow Up. Here goes....


1. Not Now, Bernard by David McKee

2. Come Away from the Water, Shirley by John Birmingham

3. The Tiger Who Came to Tea by Judith Kerr

4. Crictor by Tomi Ungerer

5. Mister Magnolia by Quentin Blake

6. Dogger by Shirley Hughes

7. Who's Seen the Scissors? by Fernando Krahn


9. The Elephant and the Bad Baby by Elfrida Vipont

10. Window by Jeannie Baker

How have so many wonderful picture books eluded me until now??!!