A little bit about books, a little bit about life.

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

I'm back. Kind of.

Hello friends! I do have a new computer. Yay! What a great Christmas gift from Mr. Husband! He was good to me.
I got a really cool recipe program, where I can make my own family cookbook, a new food processor and some other really nice "foodie" gifts.

I also got my dream present this year, which completely overrides any recipe program or new computer, or any present ever.
It was one I had been imagining for quite some time, but I didn't think it would come true this year. I imagined it many times in my mind. But it's so much better when it really happens.
This is how it went.....my son Mark and his wife Sadie handed us small package on Christmas Eve. They had made a poem....and adaptation of "Twas the Night Before Christmas". One line was.... "in October Sadie felt a little fatter, they ran to the doctor to see what was the matter."Yes my blogging friends... A BABY! And to what to my wandering eyes did appear, but a picture of TWINS!! Two babies!!!
I was crying and laughing and shaking all at the same time. They have been wanting this for a while and I am soooo happy for them. I got my Christmas dream.... in doubles. 2x! But the best part was that they got their Christmas wish.
(sigh) I'm happy.

And now in my hands I'm holding "The Tale of Despereaux". I want to read it before going to see the movie. I'm pretty safe in this, as we live in a small town and our movie theater... is slow, (to be kind).
I will get back to reading and bloggig about it....as soon as I fnish Despereaux.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Blog Advent Tour


I have a HUGE problem. At least it is for me. My computer is in the shop. Things are not looking good.
And today I am supposed to be participating in the "Blog Advent Tour 2008", hosted by Marg at Reading Adventures
and Kalina at The Written World

I was so excited to be a part of this. I have pictures of the snow, I have pictures of the nutcracker ballet and I have pictures of our little hometown parade. All on my computer which is in the shop.
I'm so sad. (really sad, because how in the world can I live without my home-computer for a week or so, until we decide what we really want in a new one)

But I do have a solution. I have another blog.... a food blog, where I posted some about the Christmas parade last week.
So, in keeping with the Blog Advent Tour, (and I've so enjoyed reading every one else's posts) I give you this .... a link to the post about our small town Christmas parade. It's thebest that I can do.


Check it out please.

I hope you enjoy it.
Merry Christmas everybody!

Monday, December 15, 2008

book groups and book marks




So....I did end up going to my bookclub meeting last Thursday. It's a great food club. We had a great supper and dessert. And there was much talk and laughter....about everything BUT the book.
There are a lot of nice women, but I have noticed that it's us, older ones who want a bit more discussion and not so much social time.
I do enjoy it tho and it's our own fault ....we're quiet. We don't speak up.
We'll keep going tho, because we really like the group, but it's kind of like a "Supper Club" to us. And it's fun, don't get me wrong, we just have to be in the supper club mode (and we usually are ) and then if anyone talks about the book we've all been reading, that will be a bonus.

Now on this upcoming Wednesday, I have two other book groups.
The first is a noon-time group. It's the oldest club in Winnemucca (that's the name of our town).
There are a group of us in our mid 40's to mid 50's, who are fairly new to the club. We are the youngest. One of the older members has stopped coming because (and I quote) "the younger ones are taking over".
Some of us "younger ones" are grandparents. LOL.
Anyway, it's a nice little luncheon and there is a book report.
It's a nice noon-time meeting. I'm sure in days of old, the ladies wore gloves and hats.

On Wednesday evening, it is the Totally Lit (erature) bookclub.
We ALWAYS discuss the book. And food is not a major part of our book group. We usually have a dessert or cheese and crackers.
Except for this time.... we are having a Congealed salad party.

It all began, because...well, long story, but we don't say congealed in the west. We'll say Jell-o salad. And then it got to be a joke, and well, we decided to hold a congealed salad party. I'll let you know how it goes.
And also write a longer post. I'm just trying to pass the time right now, until the snow plows get out and I can go to work.
I would much rather curl up with a book on this snowy December Monday morning. But then I don't get paid, and if I don't get paid, I won't have money to buy the book to curl up with. (sigh) it's a never ending circle.

I will leave you with my new little bookmark.... a gift from my friend Ruth.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Bookclub mayhem

I am supposed to be reading. I am supposed to be reading "The Gold Coast" by Nelson DeMille. I usually like DeMille's books. But for some reason this isn't holding my attention. Could it be because of the holidays? And the fact that I'm working hard: Christmas Parade, Retail Business window decorating Contest, election of a new board of directors, no gifts purchased yet, no cookies made yet, no cards sent yet?
Or...is it because the book isn't that great?
No. That can't be it. The book is on the best seller list. DeMille just came out with a sequel. They are making a movie based on this book.
The book must be good. It's me. Something's wrong with me!

I'm going to have to appear at my book club meeting on Thursday night and say.... about a book a lot of people have loved..... I will say.....

my dog chewed it up and I didn't get a chance to finish it. (and I'll say it real fast, with maybe a cookie in my mouth, so they won't really care for me to expand on any part of my explanation, like, what did I think of it before my silly old bassett hound ate it. )

And this, dear friends, is why I am not a book reviewer. I cannot fess up to the truth. I cannot hurt someone's feelings. Someone chose this book they LOVED to share with us at bookclub. I know she loved it...because she said she did.
Her parting words last month were: I hope you love this book as much as I did.
Oh my gosh... I can't disapoint her! Her face was so earnest, so open, so sincere, so....in love with the book.
So in comes Monroe, the Bassett Hound. The hungry hound dog.

90% of the time, this is the exact reason why I choose a book for bookclub that I haven't read yet. I don't want them to trash something I love. If I choose a book that no one in the club has read, but is on a "hot for bookclubs" list, then it does not matter to me who likes it or doesn't like it. We can read together and voice our opinions and it's okay with me.
I might really have loved this book that I chose, but it's a "new" love, not an old love, a treasured love, a jealous love.
Those old books we LOVE? Well, we tend to get really territorial about them.
HOW DARE YOU NOT LIKE MY BOOK?

I can see it now....book club night... I will be in the corner with a mouthful of cookies and a cup of eggnog, so that I can view, with amusement, the free-for-all that's going to take place. Because I am sure, when someone insults her book choice, DiAnn will be hitting them over the head with said book. Her beloved book. Then perhaps her daughter will feel obligated to help her mom out and another book will fly across the room. Literary insults will be tossed about and then someone will mock a previous book choice, which will cause further put-downs of other beloved books...and it could go on and on.

I have been assigned the month of March to choose a book for this club. I was hoping to get them out of their box .... they tend to read a lot of mass-market best seller, books..... and I was thinking maybe, just maybe "The Handmaid's Tale" by Margaret Atwood. I haven't read it yet.
But now I'm afraid.
I think I'm just going to chose something off one of your blogs. A book you guys reviewed.
And it'll be your fault if I get hit on the head with a leprechaun.

******
and ps, the above mentioned book club is NOT the book club I posted pictures of in a previous post. I belong to a few bookclubs, but this one coming up on Thursday, is turning into more of a eating club. They have served pretty serious food and done too little book talking lately.
Check out this post on "Book Club Girl's blog" about telling us your bookclub breakup story. Who knows, I could be writing about this very thing after Thursday's meeting.


And....the only photo I have of Monroe the book eating dog. He is old. He is much more photogenic than this. He will be mad at me for posting such an unflattering photo...much in the same way I am mad at my husband sometimes for taking those unflattering photos of me!
I have other pictures of him at home, but I am at work.
I'm Taking a break.
Now I have to get back to making sure that Santa fits in his suit for the Christmas parade on Saturday night.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Contests and Giveaways

The Pioneer Woman has 9,107 comments on her giveaway. http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/
Seriously.

LOL ( I know this is my semi-techincally book-blog and I just gave you a link to a cooking blog, but still...you get the picture)

and I just made it 9,108. As well, as entering 3 other giveaways in the last 5 minutes.
I've never won anything. But it's okay... it's just fun.

Did anyone ever see the movie "The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio" by Terry Ryan?
I actually read the book first, and I really enjoyed it. (so much more than the movie, although I did like the movie too)

a blurb about it from a reviewer says:
Erma Bombeck meets Ogden Nash in the inspirational true story of an enterprising mother of ten who kept poverty at bay with wit, poetry, and perfect prose during the "contest era" of the fifties and sixties.

These give-aways remind me of that book. Every time I make a comment on someone's giveaway, I am reminded of those old contests, where you make up poems and rhymes or a jingle about a product in 25 words or less, and hope you win.
And I know they are all chosen randomly, but I still freeze....what if my jingle (comment) is not snazzy (is that still a word?) enough? What if it doesn't make someone smile? (mine rarely do)
How can I be more witty? and enchanting? WHY DON'T I EVER WIN ANYTHING?!

whew...no really, I'm okay now.

LOL

Sunday, November 23, 2008

caution--adults only

Caution! Oh my gosh...
With a title like that.....I wonder, if you're here reading my blog right now, what you are expecting?
It's just my story from book club. Or "after" book club last month.
Books play a supporting role in my short story, (so I'm completely comfortable posting on my bookworm blog ) which is true. Every last word of it.
I'm still searching for my blogging niche.... but for now am sharing my book club story from the day before Halloween.

from October 30th, 2008

Last night, after I got home from Book Club....(where we discussed the book, Tangerine--a great Junior Highish age novel ) I wandered into the family room where my husband Rich was watching TV. We visited for a moment, I am always very excited when I get home from a book club and I need to talk, and then..... (some of you might want to quit reading now---gets a bit x-rated from here on out).... I took my bra off.

Yes, it's true. I just slipped it off under my shirt and laid it on the chair... my intention was to pick it up when we went upstairs to go to bed. It was uncomfortable!!!
The girls needed to be freed. Ahhh....sweet relief!
It's a sad fact of life, but for a large breasted woman in her late 40's, the taking off the bra moment is the best moment of the day! (sigh)

I picked up my book and sat down to read for a bit.... I got sleepy. Rich got sleepy... he began to turn off lights, I followed him up the stairs...off to bed.
but, we had left behind one important piece of evidence behind....THE BRA!!!

Had it slipped my mind that my 25 year old son is now living with us again? Had it slipped my mind that he was not home and would soon be arriving?
His M.O. is to grab a snack and watch a movie or the news or something.... in the very same room where said bra was left.

I have no idea what horror he might have gone thru at the sight of that... b...r...a... just lying there over the arm of the chair. (sigh)
My mind cannot go there....poor child.
Even if he tried to go on with his life.....his routine of turning on the TV, eating a snack..... his eyes must have been drawn to the grotesque sight again and again, like one is drawn to a car accident. With every flash of light from the TV screen in the darkened room, it must have jumped out like a hideous phantom, like the boogy man in a house of horrors. (I can hear horror music soundtracks in the back of my mind).

Hopefully, when he finally went upstairs to take his slumber (and there is no doubt in my mind he went up earlier than usual), he was not bothered by nightmares.

The house was dark this morning as I walked down the stairs.. As I do every morning, I grabbed my book and headed to the coffee pot. I made the brew and then walked slowly out into the family room, turned on the light by the side of my chair and YIKES, YIKES, YIKES!!! There it was---evidence of parents who are gross and disgusting! I grabbed it and ran up the stairs, into the bathroom where Rich was in the shower and began screaming (In a stage whisper), "OMG!!! I forgot my bra!! It was just lying there on the arm of the chair, for the world to see!"
He said "so?"
I said, "Your son!! Dustin was down there!"
He said, "Well Dustin is 25 years old, I can pretty much guarentee you, he's seen a bra before."
I said, "Not his MOHTER'S! Just lying around in the living room, like we'd been.... you know."
He said, "no. I don't know."
I listed all the things I think Dustin might be going thru....disgust, annoyance, horror, fright repulsion, etc.
Rich, as supportive (ahhahaah--a pun. Bra? Supportive?) as he usually is, just laughed at me.
Kind of like the clown in a horror movie..... laugh clown, laugh!! Laugh Rich laugh!

I guess this horror I must have put my son thru is appropriate...after all....tomorrow is... HALLOWEEN!!!

*****
Photos below are:
Totally Lit (erature) Book club friends!! We're missing a few friends. We come and go, we can't all make every meeting. We Average around 8 or 9 at each meeting. I have never missed a disscusion. I think I'm the only one who can say that. We've been meeting every month since January, 2003. And I have a list of all the books we've ever read.
Our book for the month, Tangerine was a great read, if you want to give it a try.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Finding my Niche

My Thought for the day! and this is not about books!

There is just something odd about the Bare Naked Ladies sing God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen.

I was searching for something good to listen to on my Sirius radio and I came upon the Bare Naked Ladies singing... God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen. The odd part was just seeing their name in conjunction with a Christmas Carol.
I grew up with Andy Williams, Dean Martin and Perry Como, the old crooners, singing the carols .... it's just now, in more recent years, that I can listen to "country" singers sing carols.....I had to get used to that twang...some have it, don't deny it.
I mean.....country twang versus the Rat pack, smoking non-filtered camel cigarettes, drinking single malt scotch, telling lewd and bawdy on stage in Vegas Baby, singing about the birth of Christ?
How can there be any comparison!?
The Rat Packish people wore suits, so it's a given.
They sang better Christmas Carols.

I digress....again. Bare Naked Ladies singing "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen"

I actually liked it very much....the way they did it. What do you call that? Their......rendition? interpretation? arrangement?
It was really good, whatever you call it . A bit different, but the same.
And it's not even new. I googled the Barenaked Ladies holiday album and saw that it came out in 2004.
I'm not even "with it" when I think I'm with it.
Just a tad bit behind the times....

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Trying to keep up

I have my "Booking thru Thursday" questions lined up. I have not been participating in this weekly meme, but I have been asking my original Friday Friend forum what their feelings are about these questions. I'll post them here. Even tho the FF's are not bloggers, they love to see their names on a blog...it's the little kid in them.

I am feeling very unorganized, and that bugs me. Yes, I have been busy, but not more or less so than anyone else. I just haven't been blogging.

I am not a book reviewer, nor a great cook...like most of the blogs I follow, I just like to read. Everything. So, I read. And I like to cook, so I cook. And I like to read blogs from Bloggers who read more than I (who knew?) and cook more than I. They review and recommend and interview and write (very well), and then they post and...well, I read them. I enjoy them.

I'm not sure I have found my blogging niche---yet.
But I will, I'm sure...someday.

Anyway, the FF's (some of them anyway) thoughts on book questions.

On October 16th, the question was:
"What tomes are waiting patiently on your shelves


and some of the answers from my original FF forum were.....

from Sally in PA:
Waiting patiently: A walk in the Woods (Everytime I hike the Appalachian Trail, I come home and a non hiking friend says: Have you read A Walk ... I own it, but no, I have yet to read it. Hillary Rodham Clinton's It Takes a Village, Eat, Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert, Last Child in the Woods, Broadsides from the Other Order(a book of bugs) by Sue Hubbell. No fiction. sorry. And I guess I'm spending all my free time outdoors and can't read about the outdoors. I believe Eat, Pray, Love is a book on religion. I found it in a health food store in the yoga section. One of my friends said "I" needed to read. She wasn't partial to it, but I would be!!! Whatever that means.

from Barb B in AZ:
The Mermaid Chair-----Sue Monk Kidd (I actually have many that I keep moving to the bottom of the pile, as I always find something I want to read NOW and figure those can wait when I'm really desperate).

from me/debbie....the October 25th question also came and went..
“Name a favorite literary couple and tell me why they are a favorite. If you cannot choose just one, that is okay too. Name as many as you like–sometimes narrowing down a list can be extremely difficult and painful. Or maybe that’s just me.”

from Barb in Buckeye (AZ) again:
I like two authors who are married and each write books with separate characters------they are Jonathan and Faye Kellerman.

from Sally in PA:
Katz and author Bill Bryson. A couple of schmucks hiking the Appalachian Trail. I'm half way done and I have never laughed out loud so much, or read so many portions of a book to Matt. He hardly has to read it himself. A Walk in the Woods is absolutely the funniest read.

from me/debbie:
Sally was pleasantly surprised that I had read the book.....and that I had heard or known about the Appalachian trail. She didn't know of any west coast equivalent... that would be The Pacific Coast Trail, from Mexico to Canada, the boarders anyway.
I know tons of things. LOL
Sally's right....it was a funny read. I love Bill Bryson.


from Lisa C in NV:
Okay,

I get it now, literary couple. Defined as two fictional or autobiographical couples from a BOOK. I get it.

I panicked, and here lies my true confession that I thought you wanted me to name two together-type people that WROTE books.

I was alarmed, panicked and aghast. I thought I'm gonna really have to ramp it up for this book club. Arrrrrgh. Ha!
How many literary writing couples do you know off the top of your head? I was feeling totally unenlightened, because I certainly wouldn't have to narrow down the list, I can't MAKE a list of literary (writing) couples! You, being so well-read and knowledgeable, may probably name many, but I was stumped. Masters & Johnson?? Whew, the other interpretation sounds much better.

Okay, after that diatribe - I'm too distressed to come up with a favorite literary couple. I agonize over ordering off a menu, I'll have to change my train of thought. I'm laughing at myself now, and if you really are looking for a literary couple, I'm sulking.

Then we jump to October 30th......
Are you a spine breaker? Or a dog-earer? Do you expect to keep your books in pristine condition even after you have read them? Does watching other readers bend the cover all the way round make you flinch or squeal in pain?

from Gina in NV:
Never a spine bender, can't stand that. However, I have been known to dog ear and am actually trying to get myself out of that habit. Mostly I will dog ear a paperback. I try never to de a hard bound book, but have slipped once in a while. I NEVER dog ear a borrowed book, just my own.

from Jolina in NV:
No - only from use - I broke many spines in text books.
Or a dog-earer?
OMG No
Do you expect to keep your books in pristine condition even after you have read them?
Yes!
Does watching other readers bend the cover all the way round make you flinch or squeal in pain?
I don't like it. This is one of the reasons I have to really like you to share my books - can't stand it when someone bends the corner of my books!

However, wear and tear things such as bent covers or pages - or water damage because we are reading by the pool or in the tub just means the book has been used and enjoyed. That is OK.

from me/debbie:
then it jumps to November 13th......
If you usually buy your books, tell me why. Why buy instead of borrow? Why shell out your hard-earned dollars for something you could get for free?

from Shelly in NV:
I never bought too many books until I started work. As you can guess, it was a money thing. Until then I always borrowed books from the library (and from my friends!). Now I buy books. Mostly it's easier to just order them online (it's way too easy with the "you might like this" helpful hint) and I get impatient at the library...just taking the time to look through all those books. I keep quite a few of the books I read but if I don't really like them I give them to the thrift store.

from Cherrie in WA:
Most of the books I buy are non-fiction, and craft type books. these are books I like to take my time with or refer back to. I used the library a lot more when I was going to school, for references I had no desire to keep after the course was complete.

from Gina in NV:
I only buy if its a series I have been reading and collecting, OR and this is the main reason is because most of the time I don't want to wait for my turn so I buy it instead. I'm impatient!

from Sally in PA:
Why do I buy books? Because I can't get them read in the library's allotted time. Because I will forget to read it if it is not my bookshelf, or beside my bed in a basket. (my bedside basket is smaller than yours, and includes my three journals! Because after I read it I can give it to others to read. Most people I know won't go to the trouble to get it themselves. Night and Walk in the Woods are already out of my possession. They were two great books. Night because it is so important and Walk in the Woods because it is so funny. I also buy books for my family, so they can loan them to me to read!! But if they own them, hopefully, they will, too.

from Theresa B in WA:
I have many books that have a permanent home on book shelves in my home. I bought them because I love them. Most of them are non fiction books. Crafts, gardening, sewing, cooking, doll making, entertaining, decorating, nutrition, and other things of interest to me. I worked at the Public Library in The Dalles, Oregon for a couple years. I was turned on to a lot of these books there. I'd check them out, read them, return them, and go to the local book store. I would have them order the book for me, they ordered from Portland and I would have it in 2 days. I don't read fiction books over again once I have read them. But over the years, I have discovered that owning non fiction was great, because no matter how many times you read it, you learn something new that slipped by the first dozen times. I love fiction books and read many of them. but when I read one over it is the same every time. I don't pick up any new knowledge for them. We go to the library every 3 weeks and each check out books, I get all of the fiction that I can for free there. The ones that the Library doesn't have, I order from the book club, or buy at Barns and Noble

from Bev (also my mom ) in WA:
Well, I have a Bible that I bought. Your father and I both buy books instead of going to the library, but sometimes they are used books.

from Jolina in NV:
this is the eternal question at my house. Why buy when you can borrow? Since Mike's mom worked at the library, he never understood why I bought books. He's quit asking! Before book club, I wouldn't have said anything specific, except I love to own books. I like borrowing yours, Debbie, but don't like to borrow much from our library. Seems they never have what I want. Now, I buy because it's the book club pick.

from Diana in NV:
I usually go to the book store and get books from the .20 cent table. Then I pass them on to my parents who pass them on to Battle Mountain.I read the cover of the book and if it looks interesting I buy it.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Booking Thru Thursday on Sunday

*** I'm going to put this answer on my blog. For my answer for Booking Thru Thursdays. It's a bit late, but......***

I don't think I've ever gotten a book as a gift...that was life-changing. Oh, I guess the question was....was it memorable, or notable?
I don't think so.
I usually buy them before I can get them as a gift.

But let us see what the rest of the Friday Friends have to say....
(not ALL the rest of them, because 3/4 of them didn't answer)

from Barb in Buckeye:
I was seeing a great guy in Seattle and he took me on a very special lunch to a wonderful restaurant and gave me the book "Gone With the Wind", which I had barely mentioned at one time as being my favorite book ever.And I think that's the only time I got a book as a present! Unless you count the Xmas Mike gave me a Fred Meyer gift card so I could go buy a whole bunch of paperbacks. I had such a good time in their book dept.!

from Georgann in San Leandro:
It was either God' Men or The Good Earth by Pearl Buck given to me by a teacher. I then continued to read many of Buck's novels. I may have read all of them. She became one of my favorite authors. Saw her in person in the early sixties.

from Sally in Phoenixville:
Gone With the Wind. When my daughter found out that I had attempted it twice and not finished it, I soon received it as a gift for Christmas. I suppose I forgot to mention my lack of desire to see or read it. When your kid buys you a book, you have to read it. I did manage to read it sometime that year. Loved it, but probably won't do it twice.

from Ashley in Meridian:
My grandparents Mamaw and papaw gave me my first bible for my first communion and I still have it. They even wrote a message and signed my book.
Whenever you give a book as a gift you should always sign and date it so the person always knows who gave them the book I think it makes it special

from me/debbie:
I'm sorry to say, that I have never ever read "Gone with the Wind", and I have no desire to either. I've never watched the movie either.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

FOUND IT (whew)

My plans for this weekend......

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Library Time

Tonight was "Spooky Story Night" at the library. After soccer practice and a hamburger, I grabbed my grandson, Camron and we donned pajamas, grabbed a pillow and a stuffed animal and went to Spooky Story Hour.

It was fun... that's his little blond head at the bottom of the photo, holding onto his pillow. I just want him to love the library. After story time, he asked if he could check out some books...of course I said yes. He ran to NON-FICTION.

What is it about little boys and non-fiction? Spiders and magic tricks and a dinosaur book.


And I was trying to get a good picture of this from across the room. It looks a bit shakey, which looks a bit spooky, so I put it in anyway.


And last but not least, a bookmark! A Halloween bookmark for my collection.

I want to win

If you know me at all, you will know that I'm just not the winning type.
I went with my friends to a "Taste of Home" Cooking show, where they gave away, 2 complete sets of kitchen appliances, and some custom cupboards, not to mention numerous other things all the way down to a pot holder.
http://thefridayfriends.blogspot.com/2008/10/taste-of-home-cooking-school.html

I did not win...even the lowly little pot holder. It's sad really. Sad, when you think that I live in Nevada and I should be shouting from the rooftops... IT'S GLORIOUS HERE, WE HAVE WINNERS ALL THE TIME . (I do work indirectly with the tourism industry), but.... it's just not true. I never win.
It could be, because I rarely "play".... but still

So, I think that I deserve to win! LOL
Seaside Bookworm Blogger is hosting her first give-a-way. She is giving away a few copies of "Who by Fire" by Diana Spechler. Check out her blog post, which includes a video clip of Spechler talking about her book.
It sounds great!
And then....enter if you must.

( I used this same line for another give-a-way I entered. The whole, poor me, I live in Nevada but never win anything line. It didn't work then either. Wish me luck)

Check out the give-a-way at:
http://38thavedivareaders.blogspot.com/2008/10/my-first-book-giveaway.html

Monday Memory--The Changeling


Well, today isn't Monday, it's Tuesday....would you accept a "late" Monday Memory?

Just a (Reading) Fool at http://justareadingfool.wordpress.com/
has been having fun reliving his childhood thru reminiscing about books he read in his youth. Or not. Some of them ring a bell, but when he re-reads them as an adult, some leave him cold. But that's what is so fun about reminiscing.


At first, I was just making comments on his posts about the books he read as a youth... I have read most of them. But yesterday's book, "The Incredible Journey", I have never read. Shame on me. I do love the movie tho...the one with Michael J. Fox as a voice of one of the dogs (part of the reason I love it, is because a lot of it was filmed in Oregon, around where my family homesteaded a century ago... it was fun to think I recognized some scenery, but I digress once again ).

Since I've never read this "Monday Memory", I decided to do one of my own: The Changeling by Zilpha Keatly Snyder.

A blurb from the inside cover:
Ivy Carson belonged to the notorious Carson family, which lived in a run-down house in suburban Rosewood. But Ivy was not a typical Carson. There was something wonderful about her. Ivy explained it by saying that she was a changeling, a child of supernatural parents who had been exchanged for the real Ivy Carson at birth. This classic book was first published in 1970. It was awarded a Christopher Medal and named an outstanding book for young people by the Junior Library Guild.


I must have read this book when I was around 10 or 11. It became my favorite book of all time...that summer. I remember my friend Kathy and I, riding our bikes to the library once a week and taking turns checking out "The Changeling" back and forth, all summer long.
The Changeling was about a friendship between Ivy and Martha. Martha came from a home, that was very structured and upper-middle class, while Ivy came from a poorer part of town with an obvious dysfunctional family. The two became friends and invented a wonderful, magical, make-believe world in which they would play together. They never met often at each other's homes, but would play in the wooded area, which was perfect for their make-believe world.
Their friendship lasted years and went thru rough times...the rough times of growing up, peer pressure and--yes--a class system. Even tho we don't want to admit it, in the United States, there are cliques and class system situations that children have to learn to deal with all the time.

These are the things that stuck with me about the book.
Ivy and Martha played for hours in a wooded area. They knew to be home for dinner, but other than that, no one came looking for them.

This is true. I mean, that's how it was in 1970. We could leave our parents home, and ride our bikes or walk anywhere and no one thought anything of it. We just knew that we, too, like Ivy and Martha, had to be home in time for dinner. There was such freedom at that time. During the summer, my friends and I would ride our bikes to orchards on the outskirts of town and read our books or play hide and seek or truth or dare. Or we would ride downtown and get an ice cream at Henry's. Or, we would go to the "canyon", which of course had a swamp monster and we would run and hide and get lost in it. (when I go back home now, the canyon is a park with walking and biking trails, only a few blocks long... but we really thought we were lost.)
So, I identified with the freedom that Ivy and Martha had.

And the class system? In our town, there was a neighborhood called "Sunny Slope Homes". A lot of migrant workers lived there with their families. My mother had reservations about me befriending Esther Gonzales, who lived in Sunny Slope, because it was a poorer part of town. To be honest, Esther was also Mexican... I was so in love with her brother Henry in the 5th grade...which gave my mother pause: fast forward 38 years and her great-grandchildren are Mexican and Guamanian, as well as Norwegian and Italian. My how times change. In my family, for the better.
There I go, digressing again.
Esther's house, even tho she was a poor Mexican and she lived in Sunny Slope, was clean and inviting and nice. And it had Henry, the love of my 5th grade life.
My other friend, Cheryl Miller, lived not in Sunny Slope homes, but in a neighborhood down the street. My mom felt more comfortable about my friendship with her, but in that household, there were dirty dishes, unmade beds, laundry overflowing...things that were not so in our home. It intrigued me... that families could live in such disarray and be happy. In my home, you cleaned and your things were picked up and put away, and a dish was never undone.
Both of these friendships intrigued me, because their home lives were so different from my own.
Just as Ivy and Martha in "The Changeling" came from different backgrounds and were such close friends.

I also always had an imaginary world going on inside my head (and then I read "You never promised me a Rose Garden" and found out that voices in our heads isn't such a good thing...LOL ).
I just felt a kinship with the book... The Changeling. I loved it. I read it for years every summer. I haven't read it in over 30 years and I wonder how it would read to me today? I think I might have to find it and learn if my memory holds true.
A magical, wonderful, intriguing book about what it means to be an outsider and to find friendship.

Monday, October 27, 2008

A choice to make

Last night I finished "Tangerine" by Edward Bloor, for my Wednesday night book club. It was good. It'll be a good book to discuss.

But now.... I want a good mystery. Any ideas? I grabbed "Fearless Fourteen" this morning, and I know I'll finish it tomorrow. Fast read, and although I love Stephanie Plumb, I want something a little more "intense" right now.

My TBR piles at home are separated into two piles:
mysteries and others
so...I do have some mysteries at home to chose from. hmmmmm, or perhaps a good horror story. It is almost Halloween after-all.

I have "The Spellman Files" at home. Should I read that? Or Faye Kellerman's "False Prophet?", or even Laura Lippman's "In Big Trouble?"
I even have:
Dying for Chocolate
The Murder at the Murder at the Mimosa Inn
Deja Dead

okay, so I haven't read any Kathy Reich's, but I own about 4 of them...
so, should I read that one? Her fist one?
I want one that is really good.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The correct link....

And if I didn't read so fast, I would have understood him (Just a reading fool) to ask that I leave the link to this Memory Monday...which is this link:
http://justareadingfool.wordpress.com/tag/mondays-memory/


and now...I have to hurry up and read "Tangerine" before my book club next week. Just starting it now.

Monday Memory on Wed

Anyone who knows me, knows I like to reminisce. I like to talk about things I used to do, love, listen to...and read.
So, I was very excited when I read "Just a Reading Fool's blog" and found out he had asked a question on his "Monday" blog, about a book I loved as a child.

As far as I can tell, he began his "Monday Memory Blog" about a month ago.
And I am going to comment on all of the books he is "remembering", because---well, I love them.

A link to his beginning post for Monday Memory
http://justareadingfool.wordpress.com/2008/09/22/mondays-memory-in-the-night-kitchen/

This past Monday, October 20th, Reading Fool talked about "The Boxcar Children". He didn't care for it.
http://justareadingfool.wordpress.com/2008/10/20/the-boxcar-children/

BLASPHEMY!! (of course, he read it as an adult and granted.....there are a lot of unanswered questions, such as, why and how did the children, Henry, Benny, Jessie and Violet end up in a bakery at night alone after their parents funerals? Where in the world was Social Services? And too many exclamation points...of which I have a bad habit of using also! See? It must be a subconscious thing from my love of the Boxcar Children. LOL ), but it holds a special place in my heart, as does the rest of the series that was originally written by Gertrude Chandler Warner.
As with a lot of children and YA series, they became "formula books" once they got to be so popular. And some say this isn't true, but, I swear I can tell when the original author quit writing and the 'formula" authors began. Not that they still aren't good and hey, if kids like them and get them reading...good for them, but I prefer the "old" originals.

We own the Boxcar Children books and I've read them to my children and my grandchildren. I think the world must be divided into groups: Boxcar and nonbox lovers.
We fall into the first half.

This is the comment I left for "Reading Fool"....on his post about The Boxcar Children and his Memory Monday:
ooooh. I’m sorry you didn’t like it. It is, of course, all those things you said. But, ah, when you are 8 years old, in 1966 and your 3rd grade teacher reads it aloud to you after lunch….it becomes YOUR FAVORITE BOOK OF ALL TIME (until the next one your teacher reads to you).I just wanted to live in a boxcar!! LOL
but you are right…. I can’t go intellectual there (forgive spelling errors please), because “why…why did the nice grandfather hate their mother? Perhaps the mother was a lunatic and just brainwashed the children into thinking that? Or the nice grandfather was…not-so-nice after all!! (exclamation point!!! I’m doubling up on mine to make a “boxcar” point. )And how did they end up alone in a bakery after their parents funerals?There are a lot of unanswered questions. It lends itself to a Prequel….of a scandalous nature.

and now...I have to comment on his past posts for Memory Monday.
Have a good day.

Tuesday Thingers have a great question/meme

I am not a "Tuesday Thinger" (but perhaps I should be---I am a Library Thinger, which is where Tuesday Thingers originated I believe), but I stole/borrowed their question to ask my original Friday Friends.
The original Friday Friends, my friends from all over the United States. (heavy on the West Coast)...there are 50 of them, and.....3 or 4 take the time out to answer my questions.
LOL
I ask questions every day, (in an e-mail forum) and every day 3-10 of them answer...always a few the same and a few different who respond, so we do get around to hearing from everyone, eventually.

so....here was yesterdays question.....

Now...in addition to Booking Thru Thursdays...there is a new "meme" I found. It's called "Tuesday Thingers" (and officially I think you are supposed to belong to "Library Thingers"...which I do, so)....... this is your question:
Today’s questions: Series. Do you collect any series? Do you read series books? Fantasy? Mystery? Science fiction? Religious? Other genre? Do you use the series feature in LT to help you find new books or figure out what you might be missing from a series?



and here are the Friday Friends answers

first me!
I do read series. I love them. And I have to read them in order. I have a little notebook where I list my favorite authors and their series books in order, so that I can cross them out once I've read them.
I'm that anal about reading them in order. And I love the characters so much. They are like old friends.
It began long ago with the Boxcar Children, and it has never ended. I just keep finding new authors and new series to enjoy.
It's like a drug to me.
Most of them are mysteries, but I do love "the Mitford" Books and the "Harry Dresden" books. The Narnia books.... I could go on, but lets see what the other Friday Friends have to say...

from Lisa in Nevada:
I have the Mitford series! I love, love, love them! Thank you Debbie and Gina for turning me on to them several years ago....
Also, I do not collect these but I love the alphabet murders with Kinzie Milhon, The Rabbi series, Goldie the caterer series, Mrs. Pollifax series, Kay Scarpeta series and I just recently started the Elizabeth Peter's Amelia Peabody series and the wacky sister series that I cannot remember their names but one of the title's is "Murder on a Girl's Night Out"......wow, I did not realize how many series' I was reading/listening to!


from Peggy, somewhere in the United States, full time RV'er:
Hi deb it seems I only read series. fantasy, science fiction, paranormal, you name it. examples Harry Dresden, by Jim butcher, sookie stackhouse by charlaine harris, (now a series on hbo called true blood, twilight series, (don't miss the movie in November), the dragon series by Anne mccaffrey, too many to name. I am interested in library thingers will you send me a link? hope everyone is fine. sorry I missed you on our last trip. We're in lake havasu now the weather is wonderful, between 80 and 90 degrees. hope to see you soon.

from Barbara in Arizona:
Most of the books/authors I read have an on-going character that MUST be read in sequence to follow their lives and the plots, etc.I use fantasticfiction.com to find which books to read in order written, as well as new authors. They have a "star" system that rates the better ones.

from Shelly:
No series. I tend to get tired of them so haven't even tried to read a series for several years. The last one I read (and never finished) was the Father Tim series. I can't even remember their proper title. For me, I would rather read a book with reoccurring characters. The book can stand alone but there are familiar references to previous stories.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Booking Thru Thursday--a few days late

I've been missing in action. Because of a number of things; none that are that important to any one but me....but I did ask one of my book clubs to answer last week's "Booking Through Thursday" question/meme.
I thought I would share it here and then hopefully get back into the swing of things very soon:

the question....
What was the last book you bought?
Name a book you have read MORE than once

Has a book ever fundamentally changed the way you see life? If yes, what was it?
How do you choose a book? eg. by cover design and summary, recommendations or reviews
Do you prefer Fiction or Non-Fiction?
What’s more important in a novel - beautiful writing or a gripping plot?
Most loved/memorable character (character/book)

Which book or books can be found on your nightstand at the moment?
What was the last book you’ve read, and when was it?
Have you ever given up on a book half way in?

the answers.
from Lisa Campbell:

What was the last book you bought?
Tangerine.... Surprise :)
Name a book you have read MORE than once
Glass Castle, but I just don't enjoy reading anything twice. Same thing with travel, my view is that there are so many new and wonderful books, places to visit and so little time.
Has a book ever fundamentally changed the way you see life? If yes, what was it?
I used to be a collector of self-help/women's awareness books when I was going through my counseling grad school program and in my 20's... and ugh as I sit and type I can't recall the author and title of one that I recall to be memorable - but it was one of the last one that I'd picked up and read.The gist of it was to savor the moment, live in the now. Often I think as women, we're planning ahead, living two steps ahead of where we are precisely now. If you forget to live in the present, you miss the full experience of this moment, seeking the next before you've fully given time to the present. So, maybe I should go back and drum it out and re-read that one instead!
How do you choose a book? eg. by cover design and summary, recommendations or reviews
Yes, yes, and yes. Cover design, book summaries and reviews are all great for me. I like the look of the cover and title and that becomes a first draw, more often when I am physically in a bookstore. On the Internet it becomes more of a glance and then the review and excerpts that draw me in. But of course, the most important selection now, is what is up next for book club and friend reviews. And that is probably best. A deadline and scheduled opportunity to do something enjoyable.
Do you prefer Fiction or Non-Fiction?
(answer here) Fiction, let's get lost in someone else's world for distraction and entertainment.
What’s more important in a novel - beautiful writing or a gripping plot?
Gripping plot to keeping me through to the end. Beautiful writing I can appreciate, but a plot holds me there.
Most loved/memorable character (character/book)
Um.... so now I'm Sarah Palin and I can't recall anything I've read. Argh. the pressure.

Which book or books can be found on your nightstand at the moment?
See I'm a literary lazyheart, reading only bookclub titles right now- Those who save us, glass castles....
What was the last book you’ve read, and when was it?
Charles Martin, When Crickets Cry, last month
Have you ever given up on a book half way in?
Yes, unfortunately. When I read a book, if I'm drawn to it the world almost has to stop as I tear through pages trying to read to the end. Dishes wait, dinner becomes extremely unhealthy, stay up to late. Most often I can't abandon one, but if it doesn't draw me in I'm out.

from Gina Jones:
Iʼve seen this series of questions floating around the ʽnet the last few days, and thought it looked like a good one for us!
What was the last book you bought?
Angel's Everywhere by Debbie Macomber
Name a book you have read MORE than once
The Stand by Stephen King

Has a book ever fundamentally changed the way you see life? If yes, what was it?
Left Behind series
How do you choose a book? eg. by cover design and summary, recommendations or reviews
Cover design and summary
Do you prefer Fiction or Non-Fiction?
Fiction
Whatʼs more important in a novel - beautiful writing or a gripping plot?
Gripping plot
Most loved/memorable character (character/book)
Odd Thomas

Which book or books can be found on your nightstand at the moment?
Birds and Blooms and Wild Bird
What was the last book youʼve read, and when was it?
Angels Everywhere - currently reading
Have you ever given up on a book half way in?
East of Eden

from Jolina Adams:
What was the last book you bought?
The Guernsey Literature and Potato Pie Society, Ask Again Later, Friday, Girls Poker Night, The Art of Racing in the Rain. I never order just one book.
Name a book you have read MORE than once
Never read books more than once.

Has a book ever fundamentally changed the way you see life? If yes, what was it?
No
How do you choose a book? eg. by cover design and summary, recommendations or reviews
Reviews and book club picks.
Do you prefer Fiction or Non-Fiction?
fiction
What’s more important in a novel - beautiful writing or a gripping plot?
Can't I have both?
Most loved/memorable character (character/book)
I tend to love my characters as I read the book.

Which book or books can be found on your nightstand at the moment?
Girls Poker Night, The Lace Reader, 1000 Dresses
What was the last book you’ve read, and when was it?
Ask Again Later
Have you ever given up on a book half way in?
Yes

from Mitzi Storm:
Iʼve seen this series of questions floating around the ʽnet the last few days, and thought it looked like a good one for us!
What was the last book you bought?
Tuesdays With Morrie (for my office), Why Don't You Listen?, and Mindset, The New Psychology of Success
Name a book you have read MORE than once
All Things Bright and Beautiful, All Creatures Great and Small, All Things Wise and Wonderful, all by James Herriot

Has a book ever fundamentally changed the way you see life? If yes, what was it?
Left to Tell: Discovering God Amidst the Rwandan Holocaust by Immaculee Ilibagiza / She was one of the few that lived through the Holocaust and lost most of her family members. She was able to forgive her persecutors anyway. A book about forgiving and moving on. Also, Tuesdays With Morrie, Mitch Albom
How do you choose a book? eg. by cover design and summary, recommendations or reviews
The cover lures me in, and then I look at the summary on the flap. Sometimes I go by a friend's recommendation.
Do you prefer Fiction or Non-Fiction?
Usually fiction, but it depends on what type of non-fiction.
Whatʼs more important in a novel - beautiful writing or a gripping plot?
I like it when the plot is good and makes me keep turning the pages.
Most loved/memorable character (character/book)
Mrs. Piggle Wiggle, and the Raggedy Ann & Andy books my mother used to read to us.

Which book or books can be found on your nightstand at the moment?
Chicken soup for the parents soul, 10 Secrets for Success and Inner Peace, Flags of Our Fathers, Reader's Digest
What was the last book youʼve read, and when was it?
Finished last week, The Are of Racing in the Rain, by Garth Stein. It was soooo dang cute! And frustrating, but a good ending.
Have you ever given up on a book half way in?
You bet, my motto is "so many books, so little time" so if I don't like it, why bother?

from Sadie Stone:
What was the last book you bought?The Trinity by Karl rahner (not very exciting just some theology stuff) Name a book you have read MORE than onceAll of John Grisham's books Has a book ever fundamentally changed the way you see life? If yes, what was it?Yes, Malcolm X was the first book I read that related to the broader issues of race in our country. It opened my eyes to how bad things were and how much work still needs to be done. I've spent a great deal of my time and energy reading other individuals active during this time period. How do you choose a book? eg. by cover design and summary, recommendations or reviewsRecommendations and reviews Do you prefer Fiction or Non-Fiction?I like both. I love non-fiction books with inspiring or amazing people but a little fiction is good to. What’s more important in a novel - beautiful writing or a gripping plot?gripping plotMost loved/memorable character (character/book)to many to choose from Which book or books can be found on your nightstand at the moment?Middlesex (I read it a long time ago but it's still there)What was the last book you’ve read, and when was it?Pauli Murray the autobiography if a Black activist, feminist, lawyer, priest and poet. I finished it yesterday Have you ever given up on a book half way in?Yes I gave up on 100 years of Solitude maybe I'll try again someday.

from Traci Marques:
Iʼve seen this series of questions floating around the ʽnet the last few days, and thought it looked like a good one for us!
What was the last book you bought?
??? Right now I don't remember, it was a couple of weeks ago.
Name a book you have read MORE than once


Has a book ever fundamentally changed the way you see life? If yes, what was it?
Not that I can think of, tho I do learn a lot from reading.
How do you choose a book? eg. by cover design and summary, recommendations or reviews
summary and friends
Do you prefer Fiction or Non-Fiction?
Fiction
Whatʼs more important in a novel - beautiful writing or a gripping plot?
Plot
Most loved/memorable character (character/book)
?

Which book or books can be found on your nightstand at the moment?
Jodi Picoult books
What was the last book youʼve read, and when was it?
The Host by Stephanie Meyer - this weekend
Have you ever given up on a book half way in?
Yes

Friday, September 26, 2008

Stolen Idea

Somewhere, somehow in the land of blogging, I came across a link to Martha's show...the one she did about bloggers..and her whole audience was full of bloggers, you know the one.
And in the 9-minute clip I watched, she introduced me and her audience to two bloggers, from the Portlands. Portland Maine and Portland Oregon.
To make a long story short, every day for one year they took a morning picture and just sent it to each other. This has become a book!!
I, of course, will buy the book (or put it on my Christmas list) because besides being a huge bookworm, I also love a good coffee table book! (who could not?)
To make another long story short, I was telling this to my "Friday Friend" Forum and some of us 3 or 4 out of 40, thought it would be a fun thing to do with each other.
Some of us (me) find it hard to sustain something like this....(so I say Hurrah for the authors of "A Year of Mornings" ), but it'll be fun while it lasts.
For the Friday friends anyway.
And even tho, not all 40 participate, they LOVE TO LOOK. So, even tho we are strewn across the United States, the picture project might be skewd to look like we are from Nevada and Connecticut only. We'll wait to see who else participates as time goes on.
So...since Wednesday night (which was book club night by the way...) here is what we have.
(and yes, some of us [me] are a bit obsessive and started out by a goodnight picture too)
but first I have to tell you what Lisa said....Lisa my so-called friend. ( LOL Love her!) she said "I don't thinkyou could do this! You would have to talk.....:) "
(the authors/bloggers/photographers didnt' discuss what they took pictures of ), so...what is Lisa saying about me?
and Sadie and Jolina are all for playing along... Jolina said:
cute, cute
I'm going to do this all weekend.
Now for the Friday Friend pictures from across the country!

My table after book club. Nevada

my cake...I made if from scratch! Nevada (sigh. Okay Lisa, I guess I do have to 'talk' )



my morning begins...early 5:00 a.m. Nevada



Good morning from New Haven, CT. Yale University


Jolina's Morning desk...waiting for the bank to open in Winnemucca, NV


just out of bed...Nevada


Raining in Connecticut today.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

It's Booking Through Thursday


Our booking thru Thursday question....

What was the most unusual (for you) book you ever read? Either because the book itself was completely from out in left field somewhere, or was a genre you never read, or was the only book available on a long flight. whatever? What (not counting school textbooks, though literature read for classes counts) was furthest outside your usual comfort zone/familiar territory? And, did you like it? Did it stretch your boundaries? Did you shut it with a shudder the instant you were done? Did it make you think? Have nightmares? Kick off a new obsession?

*************

When we first moved back to Winnemucca, eleven years ago, I didn't have a job right away, so I decided to take some classes, for fun, at our local community college. One was a Science Fiction class....Sci-Fi literary themes or something like that.
As an adult, I had never cared for Science Fiction, but I thought I'd get out of my box and see what it was all about. One of the first books we had to read was H.G. Wells, "The Time Machine". When the class discussion began, I was all ready to say that was the strangest book I had ever read....but then people started talking about politics and society and human rights and it just started going in a whole different direction than I had "seen" when I read the book.
That night and throughout the rest of the semester, I began to gain a new respect for Science Fiction books. Most of them, are very sophisticated and address social and political issues in a non-threatening way, but they make you THINK about things.
The Science-Fiction genre is still not my favorite, but I do have an appreciation for it now. Once in a great-great while I will pick up a sci-fi book.....which is completely different from a fantasy(I think).....and read it, but I haven't become obsessed with Sci-fi books.

By the way, did anyone see or read (I did both) "The Jane Austen Bookclub"? the character Grigg, kept wanting one of the female characters to read some Ursula Le Guin, who is notable for her Science Fiction. The female character resisted, because she LOVED AUSTEN, but at the end, of course, she did and really loved the new genre.
I've never read any of Le Guin's novels (short stories, yes in an anthology from the class), but I buy them once in awhile.

They sit in my "to be read" pile.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

What is on MY nightstand?



What's on my Nightstand.

well....what's in the basket beside my bed?



The Twilight books.
And yes, that is a Harlequin romance you see there. ONLY BECAUSE a local author wrote it, Jeannie Watt. She has written three and I have every single one. Although I've only read one. The two in my basket are "A Difficult Woman" and "The Horseman Returns". To tell the truth it's kind of embarrassing to have a Harlequin there. What does that say of me? I do find it honorable, tho, that I am telling the truth and you get what you see.... LOL I mean, I could have stacked some very philosophical and literary books there... a photo op. But then, when you read my blogs, you'll be thinking--WHAT? By the look of her books, you'd have thought she would write more smart.....hmmm, nope "more smart" is not good English. (would have been a better writer :~)

So, this leads us back to the Harlequins by the bed.
This just doesn't sound good.... I am getting in deeper and deeper. LOL

Actually, It's kind of fun to recognize names and places in a book you read. Watt uses local places and has asked permission to use local names also. We're a small community in Northern Nevada, so it really has been fun to read.
Jeannie Watt has also spoken at "my" book club. I know authors! I got connections.

I think tonight I'll pickup "The Horseman's Secret"..... a good cowboy, love-story, before going to bed. Just the ticket, don't ya think?
(seriously tho....there has to be a literary masterpiece hidden under all that fluff, I'm sure of it)

Oh...and if you look closely on the floor (no one said I was a great housekeeper ), you will see two tapes....subliminal weight loss tapes. (sigh), I KNOW they don't work.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

You can help too.

And anyone who reads this blog, can vote on which book I should read too.
It is always a struggle for me. You know that old saying "Too many books, too little time"? Well, I own too many books that I haven't read. I need to quit my job and just concentrte on reading all my books.

Too make it intersting (for me anyway) I'll let you choose, not from the book title, but from the first line in the book. (and yes, I did add a 5th book... "What's a girl gotta do" )

1. On the last day of the year, I got this weird phone call. It's not every day a dame like me gets a call from a mysterious stranger.

2. A sign hangs next to the cradle of Texas liberty, reminding visitors that concealed firearms are not permitted on the grouds.

3. The yahoos came just after the dinner party broke up.

4. My name is Towner Whitney. No, that's not exactly true. My real name is Sophya. Never believe me, I lie all the time.

5. Embraced by stone, steeped in silence, I sat at the high window as the thrid day of the week surrendered to the fouth.

Pick now! for my sake!

How to choose a book

I haven't posted in quite some time....
so I'm throwing this in there. LOL
From my little "friend forum"
I was looking for a book to read...narrowing it down and I needed help.

this is what I sent out:
I get to read something "for fun" (no book club or challenge)I have narrowed it down to three....or four, but Rich won't pick for me. He thinks it's stupid. :~) (that I can't just chose a book by myself)

so...what should I read?

1. A Fountain Filled with Blood

2. In Big Trouble

3. The Lace Reader

4. Brother Odd
*****************************

and they replied:

from Barbara Brown:
WooHoo!! I'm back!!And number one does NOT sound like fun. So at least I helped you narrow it down to 3...................

from me/debbie:
she "woo-hooed" herself. What if I didn't want to woo hoo that she is back.
Very presumptuous! LOL
(I'm glad she's back) but......she did not pick a book for me to read.

from Meghan Stone:
I don't recognize any of those...except Brother Odd might be a Dean Koontz?? who I don't like...I used to ...now he bugs. I am reading The Kitchen Gods Wife by Amy Tan right now...
QUICK...dinner ideas?? I want to do something delicious and yummy and different... I am headed to the Market and always end up with random ingredients that are boring...

me/debbie:
chicken caccaitore. mmmmm....that sound really good!!!
Now, I've helped you....you help me.
(some of Dean Koontz are a bit out there, but I LOVE the "odd" books....Odd Thomas, etc. )

from Darleen Evans:
4. Brother odd - is it by dean koontz? If it is you have to read it. I love him. Also I just finished SAIL by James Patterson..OMG..talk about good!! I never heard of the other books on your list. I read murder mysteries mostly, James Patterson, John Sandford, Patricia Cornwell, Sue Grafton, etc. Don't read romance novels at all, haven't for over 20 years. I got hooked on Dean Koontz when I read WATCHERS, back in the early 1980's, on Guam. I have NEVER read one of his books I haven't loved. Sometimes they tend to be a little gory (OK, a LOT GORY) but he is such an excellent novelist.
Enjoy!!

from me/debbie:
THANK YOU...the only one who helped me!
And.... this is what happens in book-club. We don't always agree on what we like.
i.e.: meghan and darleen, who are semi-related, but not really, and have never met, but know each other well.
Books are like.... well, food, I guess. WE all don't like what each other likes, but we know we need to eat.
or something like that. LOL
I loved the old Dean Koontz. And then I quit reading him. And then I began (because Gina told me to) his "Odd Thomas" Books and I love them.

I used to read romance all the time, but I haven't in years and years. And then I'll try one and it just doesn't cut it for me.
Case in Point: Nights in Rodanthe. a Nicholas Sparks book. It was painful for me to finish.
It was love, love, ooooo you made me what I was meant to be love.
I know that many, many people love Nicholas Sparks...I loved "the Notebook", but anyway, he is just too...too....predictable for me. (which isn't fair of me, since I love murder mysteries, which are sometimes very predictable...???)
BUT, I so love Richard Gere's hair, that I will go out on a limb here and watch the movie. This could be one case where the movie is better than the book.
I like the two actors.

I digress, (as usual)
Rich just walked up behind me and asked me what I was up to.... "getting people to help you pick a book?" and he rolled his eyes.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Tag, your it!

A few weeks ago, my daughter in law, Sadie and Smiling Sal sent me a "meme" or a "survey" or a "tag".
Both of them.... at two different times, but within a few days of each other.
I meant to do it right away... I meant to answer
I was supposed to write 6 unique things about myself...and then pass it on to 6 different bloggers.

here are the rules from both of them:
from Smilin' Sal:
Here are the rules:1. Link to the person who tagged you
2. Mention the rules on your blog.
3. List 6 unspectacular quirks.
4. Tag 6 bloggers by linking to them on your post and then commenting them to let them know that they are "it!"

from Sadie:
Here are the tag rules:
1. Link to the person who tagged you
2. Post the rules on your blog
3. Write 6 random things about yourself
4. Tag 6 people at the end of your post and link to them
5. Let each person you have tagged know by leaving a comment on their blog
6. Let the tagger know when your entry is posted.

I have fallen behind. Time got away from me. I'm a huge procrastinator.... ? (is that unique)
Forgive me?
Quirky or random. I can't think.
hmmmm.....

1. Okay, I collect clocks. My friend Jolina says it's apparent I have an obsession with clocks in my front room. I like clocks. But clocks also...when you think about it...can be quite sad. (the passing of time and all that) But clocks are just so.... I mean, Hickory Dickory Dock-ish...and Grandfather Clock-ish (from Captain Kangaroo) and they have hands, and faces. And they are the keepers of time.
I like the sound of a quiet house and a tic-toc of a clock.
But...I don't wear a watch. So that's kind of quirky.

2. I'm an obsessive note taker. I take notes all the time. I have been known to get out of bed and write something down so i wont' forget it. I have notes in my purse, notes on my desk, and notes in a folder in the desk to use. I have spiral notebooks of notes like Anne Frank had a diary.
I want to write about things in letters to friends or blogs and so I make notes for myself. But, I do not have enough time in the world to write about everything I want to write about.

3. I can crack an egg with one hand. And I can eat with chopsticks. My little grandson, when he saw me crack an egg with one hand ( and I was showing off) told me that I was doing it wrong.

4. I have been to the NYC Marathon. I didn't run, but was support for my friend who did run. I have "walked" in the Bay to Breakers 12k in San Francisco a few times, I have walked in many 5k's, 10k's and mile walk/runs. I do not run tho... I walk. I love them. I love walking for a cause or just walking.
(one would think I was in great shape, but that's not the case. )

5. I have never had a brain freeze from eating ice-cream fast. I can eat, drink ice, ice-cream, slushies...you name it. And I've never had a brain freeze.

6. I love to cook for people. I love to have parties. I love to entertain. I am probably a better party giver than I am a cook.

And then this part is weird.... I am supposed to "tag" how many bloggers? I don't really have that many blogger friends... I mean, I do, but I don't. I don't review or critique books... I just like to write about them, or book related issues and themes. I love to cook, but I don't see this "meme" going around the cooking blogs...at all.
So.... if this is kind of like a chain letter, I'm sorry.....dont' feel you have to do this. :~), but the rules are that I have to "tag" some others...(I don't think I can find six)
I found five!! And remember, if you don't want to play---don't. I just love your blogs and always go to them.

okay...I tag

Meghan at Mstone
she's my sister in law....the best cook EVER, but not a blogger. She has a blog, but it is blank. Maybe if I tag her she'll blog. :~)

Jo at the Adventues of Kitchen Girl http://kitchengirljo.blogspot.com/
she gave me an award, and I repay her how? LOL
and really...I've not seen these "memes" in foodie bloggers, so if she does answer, this will be fun.

Honey Bunch at The Life and Loves of Grumpy's Honeybunch http://shellymaelawstories.blogspot.com/
Honey is funny. And I know that Grumpy really adores her.

Bermuda Onion at Bermuda Onion's Weblog http://bermudaonion.wordpress.com/
We have switched to book blogs... and her's is great. And she said I was funny once. I love anyone who says I'm funny.

Jenn at Jen's Book Thoughts http://jensbookthoughts.blogspot.com/
I look at her blog every day...and sometimes wish I lived her life. :~) she gets to meet her favorite authors!!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Booking Thru Thursday--villany

Today is the 7th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. I know that not all of you who read are in the U.S., but still, it’s vital that none of us who are decent people forget the scope of disaster that a few, evil people can cause–anywhere in the world. It’s not about religion, it’s not about politics, it’s about the acknowledgment that humans should try to work together, not tear each other apart, even when they disagree.
So, feeling my way to a question here … Terrorists aren’t just movie villains any more. Do real-world catastrophes such as 9/11 (and the bombs in Madrid, and the ones in London, and the war in Darfur, and … really, all the human-driven, mass loss-of-life events) affect what you choose to read? Personally, I used to enjoy reading Tom Clancy, but haven’t been able to stomach his fight-terrorist kinds of books since.
And, does the reality of that kind of heartless, vicious attack–which happen on smaller scales ALL the time–change the way you feel about villains in the books you read? Are they scarier? Or more two-dimensional and cookie-cutter in the face of the things you see on the news?
*******

Before answering the Booking Through Thursday question, I have to share an excerpt from an e-mail from my sister in law Meghan (the one with the exceptional children...and me, being their Aunt, must say I agree. LOL )
This just struck me as relevant to today's question...

"from Meghan:
I was trying to tell the kids this morning that this is the anniversary of the terrorists attacks... and of course, it is impossible to explain to them or for them to understand without being scared. They ask nonsensical questions and offer alternative outcomes.
'the people should have jumped from one building to another'...'the plane should have flown AROUND'...'I would have punched them in the face and thrown them off the plane' and lastly Devin's question about the many who died that day ' was one of them named Bill?' which made me smile...thank God for her!"

So while we "lived" that history and it could color what we choose to read, children will only see it as something that happened in the past and they can never fully understand what we all felt that day and for days to come. It will never impact the books they read, or their view of the villain in literature.

I mean no-disrespect, but my answer is no. 9-11 hasn't changed my view of the villain or the type of books I read. I like a wide variety and can read anything.
9-11, changed the way I watch movies tho. Seeing the violence is much harder for me than reading about it. I think it's a whole different way of processing that information. Books give me the time, or at least the chance to put the book down if I need to, and process it before continuing.
I do think, tho, that it's better to have a balance in the books I read. A total diet of suspense and thrillers, terrorist thrillers, would be too much of a downer, so it's good to keep that in perspective and balance my type of books.
Life is full of laughter and sadness, happiness and tragedy, wonder and disappointment and I think the books I choose have a good balance of all those things and more.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Book Banning, II

I guess I should have clarified yesterday....I don't agree with book banning, but age appropriateness is okay. So is parental "censorship". (even tho I hate that word...but I preface it with "parental" ) I just don't want you telling me what "I" can read. And I won't be telling you what "you" should read.
It gets a bit complicated I guess.
Here are three comments/opinions from Friday Friends (of the originals), one is my sister in law, Meghan. She is the mother of two elementary school children. And Traci, my friend who works in a school district Media Center. And my friend Kevin, who worked beside me as the computer teacher in the computer lab when I was the librarian at the Grammar School.

from Meghan:
Funny you mention book banning... I have been kinda worried about the books my kids are reading! Not worried...but ... well, Devin is into the Junie B Jones books..... these are IMMENSELY popular with the kids and ALL the 1st grade TEACHERS read them to the kids and they even go see the LIVE show at the Chabot theater... but we were reading it last night and I kept having to say 'you know that's not ok to do or say' when Junie would call someone stupid or be rude to her teacher... and correcting Junie's grammar as it is terrible... so I AM CENSORING!! I don't know, I guess Ramona books were kinda like that as she was a sassy spitfire... but this seems like it could be a bad influence in a kid susceptible to bad behavior, ya know? And Nate, who is a struggling reader.... his teacher does not believe in giving homework just for the sake of doing another worksheet at home (LOVE her) so asks that the kids read for 30-40 minutes a night...we bought a ton of books to help him get interested... then were recommended Diary of A Wimpy Kid.... which he loves!!! but there are cartoons depicting things that aren't 'appropriate'...calling people morons and such. We sometimes swear in front of our kids, and say silly things but we KNOW our kids .... there is no way they would say anything like that in school... but most 6 or 8 year olds (who are not as exceptional as my kids, lol) would tend to repeat this stuff! what do you think?
I too used to sneak books from my moms closet and read what I was forbidden to... Wifey by Judy Blume (I HAD read all her others! why not this??) and Erica Jung come to mind!

from Traci: I agree with the banning, but I do have question for you?
How do you feel about books that give misinformation (outdated or just morally wrong)to young people. Do you still put the book on the shelf or pull it???

from Kevin:
My first banned book was Tom Jones by Henry Fielding. It was also a banned movie, but the book was one of several the Montrose librarian caught me with in the stacks. I can also remember a big push to ban "Catcher in the Rye" and burning of writing was very popular.
When I was a senior, at the second new high school I attended, I was in the journalism class. I wrote a column about freedom, of expression, and got the whole school newspaper burned.
Lois Lowry is one of the many dynamic writers Debbie introduced me to, when she was the Grammar School librarian in the last century. Just the other night, I watched a movie with the same theme: "Freedom Writers".

So... (me again) what is the answer?
I cant' even remember why Catcher in the Rye was banned. Times have changed, haven't they?

"morals" are subjective, so what I might find offensive, you might not, and so forth. And that's what I don't like about any person or group of people deciding what "I" can read. I want to decide for myself what I can read. And hopefully the "age appropriateness" can kind of weed out the unlawful and "wrong" books for the kids. I don't have a "pat" answer for that question. I don't want any political, religious, or social group telling me what is right or wrong to read, or what is right or wrong for my children or grandchildren read. I don't want educators or community leaders telling me so either.
And, I, in turn will not censor their books. Or their children's books.
It's really a lot more complicated than just a blanket statement. But I would still say I am against the banning of books...any books.

"outdated" ....but it's so much fun to find old books that say things like "Mommy stays home and cleans the house while Daddy goes to work" LOL...too funny. Outdated in non-fiction, of course, but in fiction? How can you be outdated?

And Holy Cow, I've never read the Junie B. Jones books (now you know I'll have to), but I was never a huge fan of serial books until a few years ago and now I'm into mysteries with returning characters.
That too is a complicated situation.
Why is it that some very popular authors have to use means like that? I don't like that, but I wouldn't "ban" it. It's hard sometimes to not cross the line from spunky to obnoxious when writing about a character, I guess.
As a parent I think the way you live your life and let your views be known, your children will pick up on. It's really hard when all the teachers love the books and use them. And in conversation if you voiced your concerns about them, you could be labeled as a CENSURER!! OMG!! Who knew Meghan was a censor. LOL

BUT ... you are still reading them to your kids and having "conversations" over them and about them. YAY!! You didn't ban them or go picket against them. You have a concern as a parent.

I did appreciate those concerns...having to address or look at things from a different view point.... they are things to think about.

List of a few: (from the Forbidden Library dot com)
http://title.forbiddenlibrary.com/

The Call of the Wild. Jack London. Ace; Bantam; Grosset; Macmillan; NAL; Penguin; Pocket Bks.; Raintree; Tempo. Banned in Italy (1929), Yugoslavia (1929), and burned in Nazi bonfires (1932). Who knew Nazis didn't like sled dogs?

Catcher in the Rye. J.D. Salinger. Published in 1951, this immediate best seller almost simultaneously became a popular target of censorship. A 1991-92 study by the People for the American Way found that the novel was among those most likely to be censored based on the fact that it is "anti-Christian." Challenged by Concerned Citizens of Florida who wanted the book removed from a high school library (1991) in Leesburg, Florida due to "profanity, reference to suicide, vulgarity, disrespect, and anti-Christian sentiments." They were unsucessful: a review committee voted unanimously to retain the book.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Roald Dahl. Bantam; Knopf; Penguin. Removed from a locked reference collection at the Boulder, Colo. Public Library (1988), where it had been placed because the librarian thought the book espoused a poor philosophy of life.

A Doll's House. Henrik Ibsen. Penguin. Four members of the Alabama State Textbook Committee (1983)--presumably the same who objected to The Diary of Anne Frank --called for the rejection of this work because it propagates feminist views.

The Egypt Game. Zilpha Keatley Snyder. Dell; Macmillan. This award-winning novel was challenged in the Richardson, Tex. schools (1995) because it shows children in dangerous situations, condones trespassing and lying to parents and ostensibly teaches about the occult. The school board declined to ban this book, but did decide that parents should be notified when it is used in class.

The Happy Prince and Other Stories. Oscar Wilde. Penguin. Challenged at the Springfield, Oreg. Public Library (1988) because the stories were "distressing and morbid."

Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee. Dee Brown. Holt. Removed in Wild Rose, Wis. (1974) by a district administrator for being "slanted." The administrator also said "if there's a possibility that something might be controversial, then why not eliminate it."

The Lorax. Dr. Seuss. Random. Challenged in the Laytonville, Calif. Unified School District (1989) because it "criminalizes the foresting industry." Isn't that the de-foresting industry?

My Friend Flicka. Mary O'Hara. Harper; Lippincott. Removed from fifth and sixth grade optional reading lists in Clay County, Fla. schools (1990) because the book uses the word "bitch" to refer to a female dog, as well as the word "damn."

Where's Waldo? Martin Handford. Little. Challenged at the Public Libraries of Saginaw, Mich. (1989), Removed from the Springs Public School library in East Hampton, N.Y. (1993) because there is a tiny drawing of a woman lying on the beach wearing a bikini bottom but no top. Yes, but did they find Waldo?

A Wrinkle In Time. Madeleine L'Engle. Dell. Challenged at the Polk City, Fla. Elementary School (1985) by a parent who believed that the story promotes witchcraft, crystal balls, and demons. Challenged in the Anniston Ala. schools (1990). The complainant objected to the book's listing the name of Jesus Christ together with the names of great artists, philosophers, scientists, and religious leaders when referring to those who defend earth against evil. Got it. Let's cross Jesus off that list, shall we?

I could go on, but I won't. I will say "AARGHGH!" before I leave tho. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Madeleine L'Engle, who was the writer in residence at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in NYC, until she died last year.

Okay, that's it. That's my blog for today. :~)

PS I think my niece and nephew are exceptional too!!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Children's Classic picture books

ooohh.... I think I'm old.
My favorite pictures books are....much older than the other posts I've read. I've kept up on Children's books tho, so I know all the books/illustrators that were mentioned, and enjoyed each of those books too.
but I LOVE..Love....LOVE the illustrations of Robert McCloskey. I don't know why. there is something so, simple but yet not in his illustrations. Maybe that simpler life. But they are so, so detailed. I think I like the illustrators that add those little, small, teeny detail that could pass you by... kind of Like Norman Rockwell, but he isn't a children's book illustrator. But the detail...like a gum wrapper on the floor. I love that kind of detail in a children's book. And I guess I love the older books better.

Blueberries for Sal


Make Way for Ducklings


My husbands favorite was "The Biggest Bear" by Lynn Ward.


I own all these books...so that I can share them with my grandchildren, (who are babies!! Babies... we are not really THAT OLD.)
When I was younger, working in a school library, (the last of my children had just entered elementary school ) I came across this book "Rain" by Peter Speir. I LOVE that book. It's a wordless picture book, about an rainy afternoon, and what the children do to pass the time. But the pictures were mirror images of MY LIFE! What my children did, what my children ate, what my children watched. It was "my life". And I love that book. The illustrations, down to the last minute detail are amazing. (sigh)


I could go on and on and on... even the Dr. Seuss illustrations are kind of cool. In a wacky kind of way. He had a lot of detail... wacky detail, but detail just the same.

Book Banning, an opinion

I find myself in this interesting blogger world... and kind of in between. I've always been kind of an "in between" person. Friends with everyone. Respecting everyone's viewpoints, enjoying their likes, applauding their causes.
But then sometimes that leaves me feeling, "unknown" to some of even my closest friends.

Why am I writing this? Because I just sent an e-mail to my "Friday Friends Forum" (that's what the "FF" stands for in my blog name ) about book Banning Week.
I STATED AN OPINION. I actually got off the fence!! And then I get nervous. What if not all of my friends agree with me? What'll I do? I'm a dork.
In my own little way, I'm a political wife. My husband is on the city-council of our little town. I've attended functions, shook hands with our governor, ate dinner with our U.S. Senator, organized a candidates night... but I don't like to be "too" political. I just want to appreciate you for who you are!! And I want you to appreciate me for who I am.

Let me back track a bit here.... I find myself, in this blogger world, reading and following blogs from stay-at-home, homeschool mom's all the way to very "intellectual, in-depth, book reviewers. Not to say that we MOMS aren't intellectual, I'm just trying to find a way to show/state the broadness of the blogs I follow.
I go back and forth, back and forth, jumping around reading everyone's opinions and following their stories. And I like them all.

And right now, before I post about my favorite Children's Picture Book, I'm going to post my little rant on Banned Books...hoping it gets lost in the middle.

**I'm not as dumb as I made myself out to be in the 2nd paragraph. I do have opinions, and I think that MOST people can pretty much tell my stance on things by the life I lead. I'm really not afraid to stand up for what I believe. I just don't like to "force" my opinions and beliefs on people. That's it...force. I am not a forceful person. As in: forcing my opinions down your throat. (but you better darn well agree with me here...)

Here is my rant to the FF Forum:
(and a couple of comments from Friday Friends at the bottom. It's a forum, not a blog, so they just e-mail me back. LOL )

My Platform.
Yes, I do have one.
The only thing I am not a fence-walker on.
The only thing I cannot "see the other side" on.
The only thing I feel so strongly about, that I am willing to go out on a limb and walk naked down the street for!! (okay, not naked, but it kind of seems like I am naked when I have to take a stance in front of everyone, because that is not my usual "m.o."
I like to say "oh really? Imagine that.", In lieu of being committal... but...I can't do it on this )
SO HERE IS MY STANCE--naked or not!

BOOK BANNING.
I'm against it.

oh wow! I feel free....free....free.....
I've stepped off the edge.

oh, what's that you say? You already KNEW I didn't believe in book banning?
OH.

Well, anyway.... here is a bit of a blog from author Lois Lowry, (Number the Stars, The Giver, etc)


Banned Books Week
Celebrating the Freedom to Read
September 27–October 4, 2008
Banned Books Week: Celebrating the Freedom to Read is observed during the last week of September each year. Observed since 1982, this annual ALA event reminds Americans not to take this precious democratic freedom for granted. This year, 2008, marks BBW's 27th anniversary (September 27 through October 4).
BBW celebrates the freedom to choose or the freedom to express one’s opinion even if that opinion might be considered unorthodox or unpopular and stresses the importance of ensuring the availability of those unorthodox or unpopular viewpoints to all who wish to read them. After all, intellectual freedom can exist only where these two essential conditions are met.

If you want to read all of Lois's Blog, go to...
http://loislowry.typepad.com/lowry_updates/2008/09/from-someone-whose-books-have-been-banned.html

and yes, she does mention Sarah Palin. Once again, I am not stating my political choices, but I cannot agree with book banning. FOR ANY REASON. I can, however, understand and endorse "parental rules and discretion" when it comes to what our children read. It's a parent's obligation to teach their children well (or was that a song by Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young?...no that was "teach. your parents well" ) (I'm REALLY sorry I get off on tangents like that)

And on the flip side, I can, understand children disobeying (OMG....did I just say that?) those same rules and sneak reading books in the night (me, Mario Puzo and the Godfather, 1972) (me, William Peter Blatty and The Exorcist, 1973).

My parents had no idea what I was reading. They thought I was still on "Betsy and Tacy" books---which are very good by the way--- my point? I have none, EXCEPT be aware of books that have been banned and GO READ THEM!!!! (and call all the book banner wanna be's HITLER)
See? I really do have an opinion on something. (other than the no ketchup with hot dogs, which is also very important)

I just might make myself a sandwich board and walk up and down main street!!!


comments from
Shelly in Nevada:
I double-dog dare you to!

and Carolyn in Idaho:
I am also against book banning, but I won't walk naked with you----even wearing a sandwich board.....you can still see in the sides!