Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Wordless Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Accession number 1951.4.162
File name 0555 img0042.pcd
Source The Connecticut Historical Society.

Daisy M. Winslow driving a pony cart, Simsbury.

Isn't this a smashing pose with Daisy and her little dog beside her. The year was 1895. I wonder where she was going? Who was she? Why was she alone? Would anyone like to try and make up a scenario in their comments?

Connecticut History Online is a great place to harvest primary source documents. The copyright citations are included to make it simple. The site is easy to navigate and photos and documents can be found easily using boolean advanced search strategies.

Have a happy Wordless Wednesday!!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Back to School

Getting Ready for Back to School!!

As the mania of getting my media center ready for back to school, my postings will probably be less frequent. Please hang in there, I have not disappeared. I hope you will stop by from time to time to check on me. LOL!!! My stress to get organized heightens with the approach to opening day. My sanity comes from reading your blogs and knowing you are there for support. Thanks to all of you.

Book Giveaways!

Wow!!! Three Contests at Once!!

Drawing for all three on August 31st.

I have 5 copies of The Lost Dog by Michelle de Kretser to raffle off. The same rules apply for all the previous Hachette contests.

Summary from Hachette Website:
Tom Loxley, an Indian-Australian professor, is less concerned with finishing his book on Henry James than with finding his dog, who is lost in the Australian bush. Joining his daily hunt is Nelly Zhang, an artist whose husband disappeared mysteriously years before Tom met her. Although Nelly helps him search for his beloved pet, Tom isn't sure if he should trust this new friend.
Tom has preoccupations other than his book and Nelly and his missing dog, mainly concerning his mother, who is suffering from the various indignities of old age. He is constantly drawn from the cerebral to the primitive--by his mother's infirmities, as well as by Nelly's attractions. THE LOST DOG makes brilliant use of the conventions of suspense and atmosphere while leading us to see anew the ever-present conflicts between our bodies and our minds, the present and the past, the primal and the civilized.

1. Please leave your email address in the post.
2. Leave a comment on the blog post. If you leave your name on this post, please say which book you are interested in winning.
Just a little note....If you leave a comment on the other links you will have other chances. LOL
3. Follow my blog.
4. Post about these contest on your blog and link to mine and you will get two extra chances. Please include the link for me.

Good luck.

Contest #2

The Blue Star by Tony Early

Contest #3

I Can See You by Karen Rose

The deadline to enter is August 31st, 6:00PM EST. All winners will be notified via email and then posted on the blog.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Little Science Stars Series-New

This series of books just arrived from Independent Publishers Group. I normally would include a book series of this type on my blog for children. Since many of you don't know I have Bookworm's Dinner Children, I thought I would share this post with you.

Little Science Stars
Tick-Tock Media LTD
24 pages, pb.
$5.95, C$6.95

What you first notice when you open any of these short paperback science books is the colorful pictures that pop off the page and great your eyes. They are realistic and up-close. Your child will not have to squint to see the worker bees in the honeycomb. The pages are laid out with a super balance of pictures and large text. The vocabulary is age appropriate. The pictures of children are a diverse population which is not always easy to find.

The format is higher level questioning, for example, What happens to flowers in summer? Why are flowers important? What's so good about milk.
It is refreshing to see the use of essential or critical thinking questions that lead to more than a yes/no answer in the young grades. Questions like these found in this series can easily be used as research questions for older students.

The series has text features common to a non-fiction book: contents, index, and a glossary. (A note in the beginning explains that bold faced typed words are included in the glossary.)

I would recommend this series for a library and home use. My only caveat is that they are paperback and in a library a layer of mylar covering would be needed for reinforcement. Otherwise they are super. The books are appropriate for ages 4-8. There are ten books in the series.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Mailbox Monday-Catch-up, Tuesday 11, 2009

Mailbox Monday is hosted by Marcia at The Printed Page. "Mailbox Monday is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came into their house last week (checked out library books don’t count, eBooks & audio books do). Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles and humongous wish lists." ~Marcia

I was thrilled to receive some ARCs this week and then went shopping after reading last weeks Mailbox Monday. So thank you to those who recognize any books they posted as a review. I am such a weakling. You'll notice the book called, The Man Who Loved Books Too Much, by Allison Hoover Bartlett. This is a non-fiction story about "unrepentant & obsessed book thief named John Charles Gilkey. So far it is extremely fascinating!!! I'm not that bad as a collector anyway.

ARCS Received:

Watching Gideon by Stephen Foreman (no cover photo available)
The Man Who Loved Books Too Much, by Allison Hoover Bartlett
The Wildest Heart, by Rosemary Rogers
Blue Star, Tony Early......Contest Book....Check out the Contest!!! Contest!!! Contest!!!


Living Dead in Dallas
, Charlene Harris
Persuasion, by Jane Austen (Challenge Book)
Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen (Challenge Book)
I gave my copy to my niece, however, I did download a free copy to my iPhone and it works really well. Good back-up for travel....just in case.
Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, by Harriet Jacobs

Book Giveaway-The Blue Star,by Tony Earley


5 Copies of The Blue Star by Tony Earley will be raffled off. Good luck everyone!!

By Tony Earley
286 pages. Little, Brown & Company. $23.99.

The Summary from Hachette's Site

Seven years ago, readers everywhere fell in love with Jim Glass, the precocious ten-year-old at the heart of Tony Earley's bestseller Jim the Boy. Now a teenager, Jim returns in another tender and wise story of young love on the eve of World War Two.

Jim Glass has fallen in love, as only a teenage boy can fall in love, with his classmate Chrissie Steppe. Unfortunately, Chrissie is Bucky Bucklaw's girlfriend, and Bucky has joined the Navy on the eve of war. Jim vows to win Chrissie's heart in his absence, but the war makes high school less than a safe haven, and gives a young man's emotions a grown man's gravity. With the uncanny insight into the well-intentioned heart that made Jim the Boy a favorite novel for thousands of readers, Tony Earley has fashioned another nuanced and unforgettable portrait of America in another time--making it again even realer than our own day.

This is a timeless and moving story of discovery, loss and growing up, proving why Tony Earley's writing "radiates with a largeness of heart" (Esquire).

About the Author: (from the Hachette website)

Tony Earley is the author of Jim the Boy, Here We Are in Paradise, and Somehow Form a Family. He lives with his family in Nashville, TN, where he is the Samuel Milton Fleming Associate Professor of English at Vanderbilt University.

1. Follow my site on Google..One chance.
2. Make a comment on this site..Once chance.
3. Blog about the contest on your site with my blog and link back. Once chance.
4. Drawing will be on August 31st. Make sure you leave your email address so that I may contact the winners.

As usual, books will be mailed directly to the winners from Hachette. So, please leave an email contact in your comment, so that I may contact you for further information.
The contest is open to US residence who have a regular mail address. ( No PO Boxes are allowed. )

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Sunday Salon-Evening Post

The Sunday

It's been a busy weekend and I didn't think I would post at all, but I felt like something was missing in my life. My nephew got married last night and I spent the day with him yesterday, running around doing last minute things. We went shopping and had to pick up flowers. It was really fun though spending a few hours with my oldest nephew. I went to his rehearsal dinner on Friday night at his house. He has spent three years or so remodeling the place and it was great to see all his finished work. It really came out nice and he is so meticulous with his craftsmanship.

Speaking of talent,
my sister,(remember who just passed her RN test) spent the last two days making her son and daughter-in-law's wedding cake. Check this awesome cake out. She made a couple of test cakes for the bride and groom to try, but she also made a mini for me. Yummy!! It was a dense, moist chocolate cake with an incredibly delicious ganache filling iced with the most lip smacking buttercream frosting. Don't you just wish you could taste it?

Of course, I did read this week and so that this is truly a Sunday Salon, I will recap some thoughts.

I had a hard time deciding what to read and found myself flipping through the first through chapters of one book. Then I would put it aside and pick up another one. Still not satisfied I started reading a third, then a fourth and I am so confused right now that I stopped reading all together. Has that ever happened to you?

I did finally try another book. A completely different one called Half Moon by Douglas Hunter. This is the story about Henry Hudson. So far I really like it, but as with the other books, I have only read two chapters. I can't believe my indecisiveness this week. All the books I started are good, I liked them and I will read them I don't know why I was having so much trouble deciding what to read.

Has this ever happened to you? I think it was Alyce who asked me, How do you decide what to read? Did I get jinxed? Just kidding, Alyce. Maybe it was just nervous sympathy for my sister as she was whipping up her masterpiece for the wedding.

I hope this week is better. Don't forget the contest for the Karen Rose book I have going. Also...see the contest over at Naida's the bookworm. Both contest links are in my sidebar. Have a great week.

Friday, August 7, 2009

William Kamkwamba, The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind

This is an astonishing story not to miss! I hope after reading my review and watching the You Tube Video, you will want to read William Kamkwamba's book, The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind. In my opinion, he is an exceptional person. His book comes out on September 29, 2009 and he now has a blog. Please read what William says at the end of his book,
"I hope my story finds its way to our brothers and sisters out there who are developing their own ways to elevate themselves and their communities, but who may feel discouraged by their poor situation. I want them to know they're not alone. "


The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind
by William Kamkwamba and Bryan Mealer
October 2009
William Morrow
$25.99.288 pages

Many have goals that require hard work and persistence. Many have setbacks that often delay the realization of their goals. Many give up. Many succeed. When you read “The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind”, you will read the memoir of William Kamkwamba, who had a dream, had a goal to help his family and did not give up.

William believes, “If you want to make it, all you have to do is try.” He was born in Malawi the son of a farmer in the town of Dowa. As a young boy famine strangles the country choking the harvest. William’s family is faced with the daily struggle to survive. Each day becomes harder and harder as their meager meals shrink to barely a spoonful at each meal. Meals are often skipped entirely. Ropes tie up pants as the body shrinks, muscles deteriorate and weakness replaces strength. Stealing, violence and desperation become the norm among the Malawian people.

William must drop out of school when his father cannot pay the fee for tuition. But William has an idea. He visits the library and begins to read a book he discovers, Explaining Physics. He comes up with the idea to create electricity by making a windmill. He believes “ a windmill means more than just power, it means freedom.”

William scavenges for materials to build his windmill by visiting the local junkyard. Imagine his mother's chagrin when his bedroom begins to look like another scrapyard with batteries, engine parts and pvc pipe strewn around. He learns and applies the physics required and then must find parts that will work together. People in the village think he is crazy.

Despite setbacks, he won’t give up as he learns, reworks and perfects his creation. After all he says, “Any new invention is going to have its share of problems.....” His windmill tower looks primitive as he uses PVC pipe, tires, old rubber, bottle caps and other recycled finds. It is creatively artistic, but most importantly, it works, capable of generating power for his family. “Look” someone said, “He’s made light.”

This memoir is much more than a story of a boy building a windmill. It is a miracle of wonder that “something good can come from something bad.” William’s story is very special. Through his eyes you witness the harsh reality of poverty. Lives that depend on the fickleness of weather and the emergence of malaria and other life-threatening illness for survival. Read about William Kamkwamba, a remarkable boy whose self determination and willful nature would not let any obstacle block his education.


Thursday, August 6, 2009

July Review

I have never put together a recap of my reading, but to be honest I didn't know what else to post about today. Isn't that terrible?

I have written reviews on all of these and they are in most cases posted to my blog. If not, they are due to be released in publication and I have to wait for the release to post them. I was pretty pleased with my reading this month because I had to get through several books for my Civil War class.

July List
7-09-Inkheart by Cornelia Funke
7-09-Beneath a Northern Sky, Steven E. Woodworth (A Short History of the Gettysburg Campaign)p.227.
7-09-When I Was a Slave, Memoirs from the Slave Narrative Collection, Edited by Norman R. Yetman
7-09-Slavery by Another Name, Winner of the Pulitzer Prize by Douglas A. Blackmon
7-09-Dead Until Dark (Sookie Stackhouse) by Charlaine Harris
7-09-Forever Free by Eric Froner
7-09-Hootcat Hill by Lucy Coats (YA)
7-09-The Last Day by James Landis
7-09-Under This Unbroken Sky by Shandi Mitchell
7-09-American Lion by Jon Meacham
7-09-The True Story of Hansel and Gretel by Louise Murphy
7-09-The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows
7-09-The Disappearance of Irene Dos Santos, by Margaret Mascarenhas
7-09-Titanic, The Untold Story, by W. Mae Kent

Two books won a Pulitzer Prize:
American Lion by Jon Meacham and Slavery by Another Name
The Re-Enslavement of Black Americans from the Civil War to World War II, by Douglas A. Blackmon.

I am not one to pick favorites because it really depends on the genre.

Two books stood out as big surprises to me. I really enjoyed reading these two books. They are not necessarily my favorite reads of the month, but they were the most entertaining with memorable quirky characters.

Dead Until Dark...Sookie Stackhouse by Charlaine Harris
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows

Barnes and Noble has assigned Under This Unbroken Sky by Shandi Mitchell for the First Look Book Club in August. I couldn't wait to finish this book. It is fabulous. I did post a review on my blog, and if you didn't catch it, this book is one NOT to miss. She is a gifted writer and the story is unforgettable.

Well, that's about it for my July. I just finished my first book for August, The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind, bye William Kamkewamba. Look for my review soon. I am just finishing re-reading Pride and Prejudice again. it!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Wordless Wednesday, August 5, 2009

The beginning of school is still 3 more weeks away for me.
However, I thought I would share a couple of books I use in the beginning of the year.
My Librarian is a Camel: How Books Are Brought to Children Around the World, by Margaret Ruurs, always generates a lot of laughter, but also excellent questions and discussion.
Students discover that not all children have the abundant access to books that they are accustomed to. Imagine the surprise when students see how a library can be more than a building and in some cases move by camel, boat, elephant and even wheelbarrows.

A true Wordless Wednesday, I think this photo speaks for itself.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Teaser Tuesdays, August 4, 2009

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

* Grab your current read
* Open to a random page
* Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
* BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
* Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

"Daddy Hoyt said the old man was crazy, due to the metal plate in his head, which was put there by World War I army medics after the top of his skull was shot off by a German soldier. Daddy Hoyt said the moonshiner claimed to communicate with Jesus through that metal plate, but that he was kind and fair and would give us a good price for the whiskey, if he charged us at all."
Velva Jean Learns to Drive, by Jennifer Niven, page 34.

Mailbox Monday August 3, 2009

Mailbox Monday is hosted by Marcia at The Printed Page. "Mailbox Monday is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came into their house last week (checked out library books don’t count, eBooks & audio books do). Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles and humongous wish lists." ~Marcia

This week I have three categories of books that I received. It was a huge week and I need to have my head examined for bookmania. I'm sure I have it. What do you think? Perhaps there are a few of you who have similar symptoms.

Do you have more books than you could ever read? Do you still have the urge to purchase more? Do you make trips to the library even though your shelves are overflowing? How about those ARCs, still arriving daily on your doorstep? Do you continue to buy more bookshelves and use bookstacks for furniture? Well, I am no DR. of Bookology, but my guess is you also have BOOKMANIA. Smile:) it could be worse.

ARCs I Received ......

Pope Joan by Donna Woolfolk Cross
Searching for Pemberley by Mary Lydon Simonsen
Willoughby's Return by Jane Odiwe
The Maze Runner, by James Dashner
The Sentinels: Fortunes of War, by Gordon Zuckerman

I found these at a store in CT selling books for 75% off. Woo Hoo!!!

A Hundred and One Days by Asne Seierstad (Bookseller of Kabel)
With Their Backs to the World, Portraits from Serbia by Asne Seierstad
Ahead of Time, Memoir by Ruth Gruber
A Year in the South: 1865 by Stephen B. Ash (A True Story of Four Ordinary People Who Lived Through the Most Tumultuous Twelve Months in American History)
The Colors of Courage, Gettysburg's Forgotten History, by Margaret S. Creighton
If the Creek Don't Rise, (My Life Out West with the Last Black Widow of the Civil War), by Rita Williams

Books I purchased while browsing in a bookstores.....

Coming of Age in Mississippi by Anne Moody
Black Reconstruction in America by W.E. Du Bois
Whittacker Chambers by Sam Tanenhaus.....for a 50 Books Challenge.
Impeached, David D. Stewart
The Forgotten Garden, by Kate Morton

What did you get this week. Are you as eccentrically book manic as I am?

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Review-Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris

Dead Until Dark
Sookie Stackhouse Southern Vampire Mysteries Book One
292p. $7.99 pb
Ace Books, May 2001

As I surf the blog world I have encountered a plethora of reviews and chat about Dead Until Dark, book one of the Sookie Stackhouse series by Charlaine Harris. So it seems almost redundant to summarize the story line. However for my own future reference and for those interested I will do so.

Sookie Stackhouse is a feisty young twenty-five year old bartender in the rural town of Bon Temps outside of New Orleans, Louisiana. She describes herself as pretty, blonde, blue-eyed. She says, her “ bosom is substantial and I have a waspy waistline.” Sookie however has a disability that interferes with her dating prospects. She is telepathic and is able to read the thoughts of the people around her. This isn’t comfortable to her as she explains how unsettling it is to know what a date is thinking about you. Honesty is not always a good thing. But, when a vampire named Bill walks into the bar and sits in her area, she discovers her mind is quiet for a change. She is overjoyed to discover she cannot hear his thoughts.

Vampires are common in Bon Temps and considered a segment of society, albeit trans-human dating is not always acceptable. They have become vampire through the transmission of a virus and so they walk the night. Bill has inherited a large home and has decided to mainstream here. When he meets Sookie, he knows she is something special, different an enigma and he is immediately stricken by her. As you can guess, they go out on a date, but soon the trouble starts. Sookie is witness to Bill’s anger and brutal strength. Later, a girl is discovered murdered, with bite marks on her neck an apparent death by strangulation. So now the stage is set for the mystery of Dead Until Dark.

I fell in love with this book from the first page. Is this a deep thought provoking novel headed for a Pulitzer Prize? Doubtful. Although it has won The Anthony Award and is now on HBO as True Blood, based on this series. Charlaine Harris is a literary temptress who hooked me into the story immediately. I couldn’t put it down. I loved the character of Sookie and her recalcitrant and sarcastic wit. She is strong, feminine, opinionated and eccentric. What a fabulous combination to pair up with a suave, handsome and sexy vampire who together ignite the turning pages. Go ahead and try something different. Charlaine Harris is sure to entertain you with her skillful storytelling, but be aware, I don’t think you will want to stop at book one. The series contains seven volumes. Hopefully, they will keep me coming back for more of the same fabulous fantasy.