Wednesday, July 28, 2010

How do YOU arrange your bookshelves?

There is a definite art to filling bookshelves. I don’t think there is any right or wrong way; the only thing that doesn’t work for me is when they are empty.

Good article from the NY Times. Enjoy!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Author Victoria Hanley

I must post about one of my favorite authors, Victoria Hanley, whom I've met. She lives in the nearby town of Loveland, Colorado. (Yes, Loveland is all a frenzy around Valentine's Day, but that's another story, maybe in February.)

Victoria presented at one of my media meetings and she was just delightful and amazing. I sat in awe and I introduced myself and probably mumbled something about loving her books. She was very gracious. I am a closet writer, so that is one of the reasons for my book obsessions, I live vicariously through authors. They work so hard to perform their magic, and I do mean MAGIC. Because I've tried to make magic with words and it's DARN hard.

I've read ALL of her books and loved them all. Her two books about writing are so helpful, I give them as gifts.

One of my favorite "stories" about her books involves my sweet husband of almost 35 years, George. He reads the paper every morning, and I swear he reads EVERY word. He's one of the smartest people I know and I love him dearly. BUT...and this was a very sad BUT for me. Are you ready? He didn't read books. Not since college. Oh, the occasional book about golfing or Las Vegas but not a REAL book.

Well, he retired two years ago. I was reading out loud to him because now he's captive audience. He enjoys it, actually.

Reading a book out loud to George is one of the biggest compliments I can give a book, it means I LOVE it A LOT!

Well, I was reading Violet Wings, her newest. He picked it up and READ it! I came home after school one day and he said, "I finished the book." I congratulated him but he didn't look too happy. My heart just sank for a moment. "It just ended. Right there. It, it....JUST ENDED." I started laughing when I realized what he was talking about. "Honey, it's a series. It's called a cliffhanger. I promise you there will be more." "But when?" "Well, in about a year or so." "A YEAR OR SO???!!!" I just laughed again and said, "Welcome to MY world!"

I am one of Victoria's FB friends so I get to hear about things like the next title, INDIGO INK, how she's finished the draft and working on the editing and George gets ALMOST as excited as I do to hear the news.

Oh Boy! INDIGO INK! Sigh... ♥

Hurry up, Victoria, George and I are patiently waiting. Please.

My Favorite Children's Books

Okay, the list is on the right hand side. If the title is blue, click on it to go to the author's website. My students LOVE Mo Willems' and Judy Byron Schachner's books AND websites. Authors are SO smart to have beautiful and FUN websites! It's a blast for the rest of us and, I imagine, quite a marketing tool for the author. If you are an author without a website, GET ONE!!

This bloggin' thing!

I'm smitten, obsessed, addicted, you name it, I LOVE this bloggin' thing.

For an introvert, it's a way to "talk" in front of everyone without tripping over words, shaking, turning red, and feeling dumb.

It's liberating to say the least.

But time is always the culprit, ya know? HOW do I get the hundreds of books on here that I want to share with you all? Slowly, I guess, with patience.

Check back often and let me know about YOUR favorite books!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

THE HELP by Kathryn Stockett

THE HELP by Kathryn Stockett, knocked SECRET LIFE OF BEES out of 2nd place in my list of favorite books of all time. Probably because it's much like my number 1 fave of all time, TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD by Harper Lee. I felt as if I was reading about old friends and didn't want the book to end.

Here's the summary from Fort Collins Public Library: In Jackson, Mississippi, in 1962, there are lines that are not crossed. With the civil rights movement exploding all around them, three women start a movement of their own, forever changing a town and the way women--black and white, mothers and daughters--view one another.

Keep Reading!

So many books, so little time...

I love that saying. And "life is simple, eat, sleep, read". I bought that t-shirt from the literacy site.

Loving/reading a few books at the moment.

TEACH LIKE YOUR HAIR'S ON FIRE by Rafe Esquith. Recommended by Blue Skunk Blog (a great media specialist's blog). Pretty intimidating is this award winning teacher from California. He's a SUPERTEACHER that's hard to live up to. But I'm looking at it in a way that is realistic, taking what I can from it and being inspired. What he does with his kids is pretty darn amazing, but I like that the LOVE he has for them and his job comes shining through.

SPINSTERS IN JEOPARDY by Ngaio Marsh, recommended by Yvette, an internet friend who has become one of my best friends and is certainly a kindred spirit, and the reason for ME starting a blog. Our love for books drew us together, meeting at  author Lee Child's website on his forum.  ANYWAY, I'll tell you more about Yvette and Lee later.

Back to SPINSTERS, written the year I was born. Yes, it is OLD, but a delightful mystery starring a married couple and their small son. Marsh was one of the grande dames of mystery in the 50's along with the likes of Agatha Christie. Her writing reminds me of the way Elizabeth Peters writes her Amelia Peabody series, with that unmistakable "English air" about it. Her word usage blows me away sometimes but never distracts from the story.

From Fort Collins Public Library, a summary of SPINSTERS: En route to a family vacation on the French Riviera, Inspector Roderick Alleyn glimpses from the train a shocking tableau. In a moonlit window, a white-robed figure raises a knife to a woman's shadow. Thus begins his incognito exploration of the Chateau of the Silver Goat ... where a jet-set cult's "Way of Life" could spell death for a maiden lady of a certain age--and even for Alleyn's own young son, unless he can unveil its illicit mysteries.

I love it when authors can make you see, feel, smell, and almost touch their story, don't you? If you like that old English way of life, and writing, anyone would enjoy this.

As always, what are YOU reading?


Saturday, July 24, 2010

First Time Blogger

Everytime I write an email to someone who has asked for book recommendations, I wonder why I don't have my very own blog so I can just say, "go HERE to my blog."

So, if you LOVE books, I hope you'll come back often and let me know what YOU are reading!