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

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Booking Through Thursday...Storing my books

Today's Booking Thru Thursday question is:

“How do you arrange your books on your shelves? Is it by author, by genre, or you just put it where it falls on?”

It is 5:00 a.m. I want so badly to go take pictures of all my bookshelves, book baskets, book closets and book hiding places. But...it's 5:00 a.m.
I have a husband asleep in one room and a son asleep in another.
And well, I would probably be embarrassed to actually see in pictures how many books I have.
In the Library Thing, I have cataloged over 400 books. I never finished that project and I have bought more since then. And that didn't include my "children's" book collection (which I would say is close to 200) or my cookbooks collection ( you can check that out here ), which is just over 200.

I must state right here, that my house isn't as unorganized as it sounds. And anyway there is a whole decorating style that tells how and encourages us to decorate with books.
Check out this book: House Beautiful's Decorating with books. In the book .....
Hueston encourages readers to keep books "stacked on an ottoman, piled on the floor, lined up on a bench, or ... draped over a ladder," in addition to keeping books "confined to shelves and tabletops."

Hooray for me!!! Because...um no, my books are not arranged nicely by author or genre on a bookshelf. I try, but for the most part, no.

And just last night, I asked my husband if he could build us some bookshelves. I want one whole wall in our bedroom.....floor to ceiling...as our headboard.
He just rolled his eyes at me.

It is 5:30 a.m. now, and I'm off to Reno and the bookstore. Have a good day everybody!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

A fun question

Jen at Jen's book Thoughts
had a question on her post the other day....Saturday, I think it was,
but it was such a fun question for me to comment on!

You'll need to read her post to get the whole story, but to make it short and sweet, she asked, "If you were wrongly accused of a crime, what fictional sleuth would you hire to clear your name?"

I wrote a hurried comment to her this morning before going off to work. But seriously....I could ponder stuff like this for hours. Sometimes even days. (I am taking the Beatles class...remember? ), so I gave the short answer.

YOU think about it and then comment on it. Over at Jen's blog. Because it was her question.
But leave me an clue as to your answer...okay? A comment letting me know you answered her.

Oh...and my answer?
Here it is as seen on Jen's comment page. :~)

I stopped at "A" for Alibi also, but probably not for the same reasons as you did. (It wasn't my favorite, but I just had so many more in my TBR pile. I might read another one in the future )

This is a fun question!! Although I've discovered that I lean towards the cozy mysteries. (if that's the correct word)
What sleuth would I hire to clear my name?
The trouble with "cozies" is that there is rarely a sleuth for hire...they are mostly homemakers, librarians, bookstore owners who come upon murders. All the time.
Stephanie Plumb? no, she's a bail bondsman.
Deborah Knott? no, she's a judge.

I need to change gears...
Peter Decker? He's a police detective...I can't hire him.
Okay... I would hire Tess Monaghan! She would be my choice.

So now it's your turn! Go to Jen's page and comment. (and let me know what you said)

Monday, February 16, 2009

Musing Mondays

Today’s MUSING MONDAYS post is about book reviews…
Do you read any non-blogging book reviews? If so, where (newspaper, library etc)? Do you have any favourites sources you'd like to share?

I don't read many, but I do read a few. Most of the non-blogging book reviews I read are to get a feel for what's new and good in Children's literature. I used to be a Children's Librarian in a school library, and have worked in public libraries and I have a deep love for Children's literature.

I try to keep up with the Horn Book

and the School Library Journal

Other than that, I read the Sunday section of our newspaper, which spotlights popular authors and books.

Mostly now, I use blogs to get suggestions for good books and book club choices.

In love

And this...THIS is why I love Lois Lowry! I've never liked books that "set out" to prove a point. I like when the point or lesson comes serendipitously.

I just want my grandchildren (our family will be welcoming three of them this year) to enjoy books, reading, literature.

My daughter in law works at one of the Yale libraries. She is expecting twins in July. Our first outing, a field trip with the babies ( Lil and Phil--not their real names ) will be to the Yale Library.
Okay, yes, it's "my" field trip, but what a great start to a book filled life!
I'm getting them a collection of Lois Lowry books for Christmas.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Books I've been reading in 2009

At the end of 2008, I noticed that a log of book bloggers listed a compilation of all the book they had read for the year.
I figure the only way I can remember the books I read would be to list them now and add on as the year continues.
So, that is what I am doing here.

But first I just have to document it: my son really has checked out the book, "Catcher in the Rye".

Interesting to me that he is reading this.

okay...now for my list

The Tale of Desperaux---I wanted to read it before the movie came to our little town. The movie still hasn't come to our little town, but the book was good.

The Family Tree by Barbara Delinsky --I read this for my book club "Totally Lit--erature". It was a good book for the book club, it led to lots of discussion about race and prejudice.

Grace by Richard Paul Evans -- had to read this for the "no-name" book club. It was an easy, one day read. It was okay. I find it hard to get into sentimentality sometimes, and the book was completely trying to build on his previous "sentiment" books.
But it was a quick read, not too bad.

Out of the Deep I Cry -- the 3rd in a mystery series by Julia Spencer-Fleming. It's a Claire Ferguson mystery. I like them, so this one was just for me.

The Madonna's of Leningrad by Debra Dean-- a book club book (Totally Lit) We meet next week to discuss it. I'll let you know what everybody thinks.
I liked it.

The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson-- a "no-name" book club choice. I know it won an award, but there were so many people and so many facts!! It was hard for me to keep straight, but I found it very interesting. We discuss this next week too (different day)
The Girl Who Stopped Swimming--by Joshilyn Jackson. I just read this one because I wanted to. It was good. I like her books.

I used to think I read fast and a lot. Until I came up on book bloggers. LOL I am nothing compared to you/them.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Finding a Book

Apparently, I have neglected my motherly duties. I must have never brought my children into the 21st century when it comes to using libraries.

My middle son, the one who is almost 26 years old went to the library this morning and wanted the book "Catcher in the Rye"....(his friend told him he should read it ) but he couldn't find the card catalog.

This is a child of mine, (he is no longer really a child, but a young man), who grew up in the technological age. He had a computer in the house, he has/had/has a cell phone with e-mail and Internet capabilities, there are camera phones, iPods, blue-tooth, etc etc etc.
He once cheated on a game of Scrabble with us. We thought he was texting (as if that wasn't rude enough while we were playing a game ) and he was actually looking up what words he could make with the letters he had...scrabble.com.

My point is.... when he called me and said he hated the library, I was in shock. WHAT?
(his mother/me, has worked in public and school libraries his whole life. And now sits on the board of our local public library)
What are you talking about? I asked him.
I like the old card catalogs, he answered.
didn't you see the computer there, where you could look up books? I asked.
Yep, he said, but I wanted a card catalog.
Well, I said, it's fiction. J.D. Salinger, so it's easy to find anyway, you don't need a call number. And.... I have a copy upstairs in the bookshelf in my bedroom.
That's what I figured, he said, the library, your books shelves, same thing.

I'm not quite sure what that meant.... I have too many books? He knows I am an accomplished (LOL) reader and I have most of the modern American classics at my fingertips ? He thinks I am a book pack-rat?

But I have a confession to make...when I'm in a library, I, too, miss the old card catalogs.
Do you?

Booking Thru Thursday--author blogs

The Booking Through Thursday question of the week:

Do you read any author’s blogs? If so, are you looking for information on their next project? On the author personally? Something else?

Well, I read Lois Lowry's blog

and if Madeline L'Engle were alive and had a blog, I'd read that one. Before there were blogs she published a set of her journals, "The Crosswicks Journals" and I read them and loved them.

from Wikipedia:
L'Engle wrote many nonfiction works, including the autobiographical "Crosswick Journals" and other explorations of the subjects of faith and art. For L'Engle, who wrote repeatedly about "story as truth," the distinction between fiction and memoir was sometimes blurred. Real events from her life and family history made their way into some of her novels, while fictional elements, such as assumed names for people and places, can be found in her published journals

I don't know why, but I am obsessed with L'Engle. Obsessed, I tell you. I love everything about her.
My question is this: why does someone get "obsessed" with an author? I don't know why I love her so much. But I do.
I guess I loved her philosophy of life.
AND...her husband was Dr. Charles Tyler on "All my Children". LOL Remember him? Okay...yes, I'm old....half a century this summer.

I got off track...AGAIN.

No, I don't read many author blogs, I only have one that I keep up on and that is Lois Lowry's. She of course is a YA author. I love the "Coming of Age" genre` and while I don't read as much YA as I used to, I keep up on Lowry.

Other than that, the short answer is "no."

(now I feel like I should check out some of the author's blogs, recommended by other BTT bloggers, but I'm afraid. Afraid I'll become addicted. ~sigh~ oh what to do?)
If you want to play along with BTT, click here.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Bookin Thru Thursday

This week’s Booking Through Thursday question is:
Suggested by Simon Thomas:

Have you ever been put off an author’s books after reading a biography of them? Or the reverse - a biography has made you love an author more?

I usually don't read more than the blurb about the author on the cover of the book. Once in a while I'll read a biography, but I prefer memoirs above them.

To answer the question tho, I can't think that I would be put off by any information about an author. "Generally" that is-- there are always exceptions to the rule.

There is a book by Jim Trelease, the author of "The Read Aloud Handbook", in which he gives a very short story of various authors...to pique interest of adolescent readers, or non-readers, as the case may be.

I guess you could say that Treleases "bio" made me love him more, although he is not an novelist, but a champion of getting kids to love reading and raising children who read. The book I'm talking about is "Read All About it". I always thought it a good intro into the lives of authors, not only for teens and pre-teens, but for the rest of us who want to know just a little bit more, but not the whole story of an author's life. I've used the book for presentations I've had to give, book clubs and just because it interested me.

I hope that information about an author won't keep people away from a good book. I hope that people are more open-minded than that. But I hear about boycotts all the time, and it makes me mad, when people don't make up their minds by themselves. I don't like being told what to do by a "group". I knew a woman once who would go into the library and take a book she didn't agree with and move it...re-shelve it in another area. She would never steal a book, but she thought that by making it harder for others to find, she was doing a good thing. I'm getting off track here.

I might not like everything I find out about an author, and it might make me look at the book in a different way, but I don't think much could turn me off, if it were a good book.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Everywhere a sign....and 2 memes

You all know that I am gearing up to do a big walk for breast cancer. A few weeks ago, I was really wondering, "can I?" "can't I", "should I?" "could I?" and then all these signs began to become clear to me.
One of those signs happened at my book club last week. We met to discuss "The Family Tree" by Barbara Delinsky. It was a quick read, a great book for discussion, and enjoyed by all in the club. In reading a short bio printed off the Internet, it says that Delinsky is a 10-year breast cancer survivor.
Stuff like that kept popping out at me.
I just had to walk the walk. Put my money where my mouth was, so to speak.

I've been researching Fundraisers that previous walkers have used and one was to hold a book sale/yard sale..(but primarily books) and promote it as "Books for Boobs".
I love it... and while I appreciate the humor, I'm not sure I could pass out flyer's that said that. Could you? Maybe I can. LOL
I'll have to see... but I certainly have a lot of books that I could sell. I'm kind of running out of room in my house.

Moving on to something more uplifting (ahhaha...uplifting, a pun) than breast cancer, I'm excited to be participating in a meme.
Jo-Jo of "Jo-Jo loves to read!!!" has tagged me for this meme.
I LOVE how she keeps a running list of contests and giveaways on her sidebar. You really should check it out.

Here are the directions:
Here are the rules: Open the closest book to you, not your favorite or something you have to go searching for but whatever is closest to you right now, and go to page 56. Starting with the fifth sentence on the page, transcribe three to six lines directly from the text. Once you've typed those lines, tag five more bloggers to do the same on their blogs.

The book closest to me is one I haven't read yet, "False Prophet" by Faye Kellerman (A Peter Decker and Rina Lazarus Novel). I pick them up whenever I find them at books sales and yard sales, because I have to read them in order. It's a quirk of mine....everything in order. It's the 5th book in the series, the one I'm going to read next.
Hmmmm. Page 56 is the end of a chapter and has 2 sentences on it. LOL
I will go to page 57....

..... if she was good--inquisitive like Kelley had said--she'd probably heard his name paged over the loudspeaker and would wonder what that was all about. Ness knew he could probably pull off playing dumb, but now was not the time to audition for the Oscar. Keep it simple and keep her off guard.

okay, now I'm intrigued myself.
I'm supposed to pass this on to five bloggers. But....can I think about it for a bit? I love to be
"tagged", I just have a hard time feeling as comfortable tagging others.
I will find five deserving bloggers and tag them. As soon as I finish my book and can pick up this one.

2nd meme

I've been tagged!
A few days ago, The Blond Duck was tagged...and now she is passing it on.
Here is her story .....click! It's very funny.

She makes me laugh almost everyday. I have a "grand" chihuahua, and she has 2 chihuahua's that rule! And she posts about them often. I love her blog.

Here are the rules:

1) choose the 4th folder where you store pictures on your computer.

2. Select the 4th picture in the folder.

3. Explain the picture.

4. Tag 4 people to do the same.

5. No cheating (cropping, editing, etc.)

This is funny. My old computer crashed right before Christmas and we got a new one. Well....it didn't really crash. It's a long story...just beware of computer doctors who are unreliable.BUT anyway, my picture files are on my old computer. Waiting to be saved to a disk. I have but a few folders on this new computer.

Here the 4th picture of the 4th folder.

Does it need explanation?

Well, check out this site....kind of self-explanatory. And because I am a food blogger, (as well as a book blogger) all of the sudden most of my files are filled with food pictures. (most of them not very good)I read the rules and it says to choose 4 bloggers to pass this one to.I have to think about that one for a day or two. But I will. I promise.

Feel free to steal the memes if you want too. I understand there is a "stealing Sunday" for stealing meme's out there somewhere.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Completely Random

Yes....call me crazy. Because that's what I am. Crazy. I'm turning 50 this year, and while the actual number 50 doesn't bother me, I have been feeling as if I need to mark this occasion with something special. And being me, marking it with a fun-filled vacation to Tahiti or a life-time dream of a trip to Europe wasn't going to make the final cut (could be something like I can't afford Tahiti or Europe right now... I have 3 grandbabies due this year)
I decided to do two things: one was to particpate in a 3-day, 60-mile walk for breast cancer, and this is huge for me, because I can't catch my breath going up my own stairs. (that is a slight exaggeration, but only slight. LOL ) So I'm on a training schedule for the next 7 months. Wish me luck.

and just in case any of you felt so inclined to donate to the cause (yes,I realize this is shameless. SHAMELESS! But I have to raise $2300---$5 here and there add up :~)
just click here. ( thank you if you do...and no worries if you don't)

The 2nd thing I decided to do is take a class at our local college. "Beatles Across the Universe". It's an intergrated studies class. I had no idea what that meant. I just like the sound of the class and decided to take it. I had to get instructor permission, because it's an upper level class and I don't have all of the prerequisits. I take classes every once in a while as something fun and interesting to do. Yeah, I know--HUGE DORK.
I haven't taken any of my math requirements...NONE. I don't like math. But this is all besides the point..... the point is: I THOUGHT THIS WOULD BE FUN???!!
Last night was the first class. I think I am in over my head. Plus I am the oldest person in the class.
We live in a very rural Nevada town (every town in Nevada is rural except for Reno and Las Vegas).....so we live out in the middle of nowhere. You Eastern people don't understand what "in the middle of nowhere" means. Take it literally.
Great Basin Community College is our college. It is based in Elko, NV, but we have branch campus here in Winnemucca, as well as in other small towns in a 7-hour...YES, 7 HOUR radius of Elko. (that is driving time).
Sometimes intructors are based in a town that isnt' your town....so they have a video class. There is a more technical name of course, but it bowls down to a big fancy-schmancy video system that broadcasts your class, the teacher and classes in other towns. there are two huge screens, one always shows the insturctor and the other one shows the classroom of someone who is talking or asking a question or particiapting in some way, so that one jumps around.
IF....you are just listening to the instructor lecture, it stays on your classroom.

So....you can see yourself. And I saw myself. It was very uncomfortable for me. I couldn't get over my socks. Seriously. I stared at them all night long. They were white. Like I had soaked them in bleach and just put them on. White was screaming out at me.
Note to self: wear blue socks next time. socks the color of my jeans. Or boots...wear boots.
Because of my age, I am really going to have to get used to this video broadcast thing. Well I feel as if it's my age, as everyone else seemed perfectly comfortable with the video technology.
One third of the grade is on participation....so I'm going to have to get over my fears.....of seeing my white socks.

Yes, I am crazy. But not as crazy as the instructor. I've never seen a more devoted fan of the Beatles. This week we discussed the Beatles up to 1962--PRE Ringo Starr.
Every time the instructor put a record on (he has a great collection of rare records), so that we could listen to their beginning sounds...he, the instructor would ..."Lip sync" to the song. And play the air guitar.
Now remember he is being broadcast to the campus network.... lip syncing. And exaggerated at that.
Kind of like playing charades or guesstures. A bad mime.

He's a nice man, and a good instructor.... ummm, not so good at lip syncing or air guitar. As my friend Jolina said...it's like watching a train wreck, you just can't look away even tho you probaby should.

I have to research and find information related to the Beatles on/about the first canonized Catholic Saint in the United States. (Because....they released a song in Germany in 1960 called Saints. )
This is my assignement for next week... and then I get to present it, over the evil, vile, stinking campus broadcast system.

I really am crazy. And nervous.

I should have taken a cooking class. Or joined another book club. YIKES.