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

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...

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.

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.

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)

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!

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?

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...

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!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Booking Through Thursday

Our BTT question this week.....

Have you ever felt pressured to read something because ‘everyone else’ was reading it? Have you ever given in and read the book(s) in question or do you resist? If you are a reviewer, etc., do you feel it’s your duty to keep up on current trends?

Interesting question.
I've never felt it was "pressure" but, yes, I do get carried away by books that "are in style" (for lack of better terminology). I've read "Twilight" but not the sequels. (I own them though). I wanted to see what the buzz was about and I wanted to read it before I saw the movie. You never know about movies, they can be a spur of the moment thing, and then where would I be? Stuck seeing before reading--and you know how that is.
I am not a reviewer, but I like to keep up on trends...book trends... I want to know what my children are reading and excited about and my 6 year old grandson too. I guess I want to be able to "talk books" with people.

I've always felt "excitement" when a new book or series is all the rage. A lot of times, I'm disappointed in it and wish I had used the library instead of wasting my money, (now that is something I need to work on). My impulsiveness is usually buying the book in question instead of getting it from the library. (like the Twilight Series I bought--in hardback ) I need to stop that practice...but reading the book because of peer pressure, I don't think that's such a bad thing. There are lots worse.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Give Aways! (not for you, but for me, hopefully)

I live in Nevada. The land of slot machines and 21 tables... not to mention neon and flashing lights. It's everywhere we go. Okay, not EVERYWHERE, it's only in the tourist sections of towns, but I was leading up to a great opening sentence of how I never win ANYTHING, even living here in the gambling state.
So...having said that, I have entered a "give away" for the book "Tomato Girl" by Jayne Pupek.
To increase my odds (Nevada talk) I am blogging about it here on this post with a link back to Bermudaonion's page with the give away info...


you should really check out her give away page and her blog.
But don't...please...please don't enter! You'll ruin my chances of winning.
(sigh) okay, enter if you must.

Lit Flicks Challenge

A few weeks ago, I signed up for the Lit Flicks challenge. It started on the 1st and I haven't turned in my list of books to movies that I'm going to do yet.
So, here it is... my blog post with my list.

As of September 1st, I've read Pride and Prejudice...on the 1st. In a car. On the ride back from Washington state. I had to do this for the "Classic Book Club Challenge" and it could fit in this challegn too ... if I need it near the end.
And now I get to re-watch the PBS series staring Colin Firth. YAY!

So, one down 4 to go. For the challenge anyway.
On August 29th on the ride up there, I read "The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants" because I've never read it and I want to see the movie before seeing the 2nd movie which is out right now, and because I want to see the 1st movie I want to read the book first. (whew...long sentence)
And then a week or so ago, I read "Nights in Rodanthe" by Nicolas Sparks. I will still see the movie when it comes out, but...really...the book was painful for me. (don't tell ..I'm sure Nicolas Sparks is a fine man, and hey, he can write. People love his books---just not me, I've discovered)
It was just such a predictable love story, and I'm just not into that. The Movie Trailer looks different than the book, so I'm hoping for better. Richard Gere's hair for one thing!
But those two came before September 1st, before the challenge started.

Here is my list for the challenge

1. Gone with the Wind. (I'm probably the only person ever who hasn't read this)
2. 1984 (I own it, but have never read it)
3. Watership Down (I own this one too, but also haven't read it)
4. Jurassic Park
5. Adventures of Pinocchio by Carlo Colladi

now for the questions

1. Are you more likely to see a movie if it’s based on a book?
I watch a lot of movies, so "more likely" doesn't really fit for me, although it is fun to see movies of your favorite books, but sometimes very disappointing.

2. Do you prefer to read the book first or see the movie first?
I like to read the book first. Sometimes I find it hard to understand how someone who didn't read the book can "get" the movie. The movies leave so much out, but I guess you just "get it" on a different level.
And after re-reading what I wrote above about "The Traveling Pants", I see I'm a sucker for reading the book first if I possibly can.

3. List one movie that was better than the book it’s based on, and one book that is better than the movie.
Too difficult!!

4. In your opinion, what film is the most accurate representation of the book?
All 3 Godfathers put together? Does that count? LOL
Probably PBS's mini-series of Pride and Prejudice.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Book Clubs

I'm just posting the books to be read over the next few months for "one" of my bookclubs.
the Totally Literature bookclub.

I figure that I can send a link to the bookclub group, even tho they are not bloggers, they can read and see the list (chosen by different members of the group), or see the book, as the case may be.

This club is a very eclectic group, with eclectic choices.
As most of my bookgroups are.
Here are the choices for the next few months for the Totally Lit bookclub:

The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein--September 24th

Tangerine by Edward Bloor-- October 29th

Up Pops the Devil by Angels Benson--November 19th

And as an extra bonus, here are September choices for--they don't have a name, so I will call them:
New Book Club
RED, Passion and Patience in the Desert by Terry Tempest Williams--September 25th

Library Book Club
The Basque Hotel by Robert Laxalt--September 16th

My 4th bookclub is "The Literary Guild" and it is the oldest social club in our little town of Winnemucca, NV. I am 49 years old and I am one of the "young ones" who are kind of upsetting some of the older ladies, with our wild thoughts and crazy ways.
We don't all read the same book, but have "book talks" at a local restaurant once a month.
Then in this blogworld, I have signed up for 3 or 4 reading challenges....crazy me! I know how those old ladies feel about me now. ~grins~
As you can tell, different people like different books and that is the point of letting others chose. It isn't always easy to give up that control of what you read, but it's really rewarding in some ways to get outside of your box. Some of them are regional, some local authors, some mass-market media, some literature, a little bit of everything. It should be fun!

I'll be giving my short little reviews on here after each bookclub meeting.

I also have no idea why my pictures got smaller and smaller as the blog went on. This in no way my opinion of the books. :~) I haven't even read most of them.

Pride and Prejudice, a challenge

To be honest, I put off reading this book. I was daunted by the language. Or so I thought.
So, this past week, we loaded up the car to head north to a wedding. "North" being an 8 hour trip to Washington state.
I took 2 books.... The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (no, I had never read it) and Pride and Prejudice. I had 8 hours up and 8 hours back. I finished the Sisterhood in a few hours.
I put off Pride.
We arrived, we had a nice weekend. My step son got married, we saw family, we ate out A LOT. We went to a bookstore, got some really neat local/Washington State books, went to a gigantic produce stand, ate, visited and had an all around nice time.
Monday morning, we got back in the car, I took a nap. 2 hours into the trip, I grudgingly pulled out the book....
Ahh... I was pleasantly surprised! I really enjoyed it. And kick myself for not starting it sooner. I had no trouble getting into it. That famous first line.... that was the one I began with, and I read all kinds of great lines out loud to my husband through-out the day. He was a captive audience, just sitting in the car beside me.
As someone else mentioned, I am by no means a great book reviewer, well, they didn't mention that I WAS NO GREAT BOOK REVIEWER, they said they weren't and I'm agreeing with their opinion of themselves, in regards to myself.
But you knew that, didn't you?
Anyway, descriptive words escape me now...as they always do when I have something important to write, but I liked it. I'm glad I read it. I don't think without this challenge I would have. I have owned the book for quite sometime, but it's one of those things way, way down at the bottom of a "to be read" pile. (what is the blogger acronym for that, TBR? What is ARC, someone help please. LOL ).
I have a horrible habit of digressing, sorry. I fell in love with the way Austen was able to get the personalities of her characters to come across in her writing. I love Mr. Darcy and Mr. Bennett the best and that Lydia was such a twit! Austen just has a way of making you either love them or hate them... and it's interesting because while reading, we never really know that Mr. Darcy will "melt" (if I can use that word), but we come to hope and pray that he will, we come to be his champion, because Austen somehow makes us know what's really inside his heart and mind.
I only wish I would have read it earlier. I think it would have been (and still could be) a great summertime "hammock" book. Maybe I'll do that next year.
I have seen the PBS series (many times) with Colin Firth and think he is the very best Mr. Darcy EVER. I've seen the Keira Knightly movie and it was--good. Just recently I watched "the Jane Austen Bookclub", which has nothing to do with Jane Austen, but it was cute.
This is short, but I' am short on time.

Monday, September 1, 2008

It's Monday and I have a bookmark.

It's Monday, and I have a bookmark! But it's also late and I'm tired....just got back from a wedding in Washington. (more on that later).

My favorite "used" and "independant" book store was closed for the holiday weekend (in my hometown in WA), so we ended up going to Barnes and Noble (we live in a small town with NO bookstores, so they are all special to me). Anyway, I picked up this bookmark while I was there. Spanish sayings. I need to learn them, so......