Dangerous Book For Boys author on his new book - Video

Friday, April 30, 2010

I love the idea of books with boys in mind. It is so strange to think that way back in the day women weren't allowed to learn to read and now men have a reputation of not reading at all, which I think is untrue but anyway... I think more effort should be made to let boys know there are things out there they would like to read.

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
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Book Review- Bug's Adventure Series by K.M. Groshek

Thursday, April 29, 2010

I recently received three of the Bug's Adventure books for review from the author.
Bug's Trip to the Store takes us along with Bug (a VW Bug) as he bravely handles an intimidating Semi truck on his way to the store. Bug Goes Through the Maze follows Bug through a fun corn maze. He makes some new friends on the farm as the help him navigate the maze. Bug Meets his Friend
finds Bug trying to figure out what to do for the day. When his friend Coop comes along they decide to head down to the track for a day of racing.
Each Bug book is filled with bright eye-catching illustrations. Although from an adult point-of-view they seem a bit computer generated my son didnt seem to mind as he enthusiastically pointed out each character by name after just a couple readings. He instantly connected with Bug from the first time we read Bug Goes Through the Maze.
Each story is told through rhyming prose making them fun to listen to for the kids and fun to read for the adults.
Bug Meets his Friend
is by far my son's favorite, I think because we used to own a Coop (mini Cooper) which is Bug's friend. Whatever the reason he has picked this one out for nearly every storytime since it arrived in the mail and that is the best recommendation any children's book can recieve.
These titles will be available for sale in June from Amazon and Barnes and Noble in fact some are available to pre-order right now. You can find even more information on the author and her books at http://kmgroshek.com. The fun doesn't stop there either check out tge online games at http://bugsadventureseries.com.

Great Poetry Reading Day

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Today is Great Poetry Reading Day so for your enjoyment here are a few I consider great.

If by Paul Lawrence Dunbar

If life were but a dream, my Love,
And death the waking time;
If day had not a beam, my Love,
And night had not a rhyme, --
A barren, barren world were this
Without one saving gleam;
I'd only ask that with a kiss
You'd wake me from the dream.

If dreaming were the sum of days,
And loving were the bane;
If battling for a wreath of bays
Could soothe a heart in pain, --
I'd scorn the meed of battle's might,
All other aims above
I'd choose the human's higher right,
To suffer and to love!

City Trees by Edna St. Vincent Millay

The trees along this city street,
Save for the traffic and the trains,
Would make a sound as thin and sweet
As trees in country lanes.

And people standing in their shade
Out of a shower, undoubtedly
Would hear such music as is made
Upon a country tree.

Oh, little leaves that are so dumb
Against the shrieking city air,
I watch you when the wind has come,—
I know what sound is there.

Last Night In Twisted River Book Trailer

Thursday, April 15, 2010

I have really enjoyed the John Irving books I have read and this trailer just makes me want to run out, buy this one and start reading. I love getting into an author's head and his voice is so soothing, he seems so willing to share his ideas and motivations. I love it.

Book Review - Nocturnes by Kazuo Ishiguo

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

I picked up Nocturnes: Five Stories of Music and Nightfall by Kazuo Ishiguro at the library in Florida for my drive back to New Orleans last week. I picked it off the shelf simply because it filled the "music term" requirement for the What's In A Name Reading Challenge I am working on, it was only later that I learned Ishiguro wrote The Remains of the Day. Honestly I never finished watching that movie but now I am tempted to go read the book and then try watching the movie again, because I think I fell in love with Ishiguro's writing style while listening to Nocturnes.

From Publisher's Weekly:

"This suite of five stories hits all of Ishiguro's signature notes, but the shorter form mutes their impact. In Crooner, Tony Gardner, a washed-up American singer, goes sloshing through the canals of Venice to serenade his trophy wife, Lindy. The narrator, Jan, is a hired guitar player whose mother was a huge fan of Tony, but Jan's experience playing for Tony fractures his romantic ideals. Lindy returns in the title story, which finds her in a luxury hotel reserved for celebrity patients recovering from cosmetic surgery. The narrator this time is Steve, a saxophonist who could never get a break because of his loser ugly looks. Lindy idly strikes up a friendship with Steve as they wait for their bandages to come off and their new lives to begin. In the final story, Cellists, an unnamed saxophonist narrator who, like Jan, plays in Venice's San Marco square, observes the evolving relationship of a Hungarian cello prodigy after he meets an American woman. The stories are superbly crafted, though they lack the gravity of Ishiguro's longer works (Never Let Me Go; Remains of the Day), which may leave readers anticipating a crescendo that never hits."

Nocturnes being my first Ishiguro book I wasn't left hanging in anticipation of a "crescendo that never hits" as the above review suggested so if you are new to his work maybe this is the title to start with as it is engrossing and delightful to read but doesn't leave you hanging as it might if you read one of the more popular novels first. I would definitely recommend reading Nocturnes and look forward to reading more from Kazuo Ishiguro.

1. Food

2. Plant

3. Title

4. Place Name

5. Body of Water

6. Music Term

Currently "Reading":
Book - The Adventures of Doctor Who. Omnibus comprising: Doctor Who and the Genesis of the Daleks; Doctor Who and the Revenge of the Cybermen; Doctor Who and the Loch Ness Monster by Terrance Dicks
E-Book - The Man Upstairs & Other Stories - From the Manor Wodehouse Collection, a selection from the early works of P. G. Wodehouse by P.G. Wodehouse
Audio - Selected Shorts: A Touch of Magic (Selected Shorts: A Celebration of the Short Story) by Various Authors

Book Review - Cultural Literacy by E. D. Hirsch Jr.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

I picked up The New First Dictionary of Cultural Literacy: What Your Child Needs to Know by E. D. Hirsch Jr. at the library in Florida for the ride back to New Orleans. I was hoping for an informative read (listen) that would be interesting enough to keep me occupied while driving and provide me with insight into the world of raising kids at the same time. Unfortunately the thing almost put me to sleep rather than keep me engaged. I totally and completely agree with the author's basic idea:

"The idea behind Core Knowledge is simple and powerful: knowledge builds on knowledge. The more you know, the more you are able to learn." - taken from the Core Knowledge Foundation's website

We take for granted what a person already knows for example only half of all people polled could locate the state of New York on a map. That core knowledge is something we take for granted and we shouldn't, as a parent it is my responsibility to teach my son this core knowledge so he will have a good foundation to build on that info in school and be prepared to face the world.

It's not the idea that is the problem, it's this book, I'm going to be flat out honest. This book sucks and the list (which took up 3 discs) of things we should all know is woefully incomplete even for 1985 (when the book was written). It is very very heavy on religious and political terms and nearly completely missing Artistic terms of any kind. I am almost ashamed to say I am a culturally literate person if this is the list used to judge such a thing.

The Core Knowledge website seems to be a bit more advanced today than those original thoughts back in 1985 so maybe it is worth a second look in 2010 but I have to say I am reluctant.

My First Teaser Tuesday

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!

Here are mine:

He slammed down the receiver as his men came along the corridor. "No sign of the Doctor?"

He led them through the back streets of the little village at an amazing pace. Sarah and the soldiers soon lost sight of him. They split up, trying to cover all possible escape routes. Tulloch was a small village, and there weren't many places to go.

From Doctor Who and the Loch Ness Monster by Terrance Dicks

mini challenge I wanted to do but missed

Monday, April 12, 2010

There was a mini challenge during the Read-A-Thon on Saturday that I wanted to to but didn't get back in time to get it done during the Read-A-Thon itself but it looked like to much fun so I wanted to do it anyway and so I am going to do it now. The idea is to post pictures of book covers that represent the following words; Disturbing, Vibrant, Beautiful, Scary and Moving.






Read-A-Thon Recap April 2010

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Well, I read at every possible moment. Started early in the morning on April 10th reading

Doctor Who and the Revenge of the Cybermen, which I finished though I had already started it before the Read-A-Thon began.

Then since it was just me and my 3 year old son all day long we had some errands that we simply had to run yesterday, like mail the taxes. We were going to go to the library to pick up a bunch of new children's books to read together but instead we went to a cool little place called the Children's Clothing Exchange because it was their half off day and that was too good to pass up. It was good that we did too because for $8 we brought home 20 children's books which gave us plenty to read when we got home. While we were in the car we listened to audio books too, I finished

Cultural Literacy by E. D. Hirsch Jr. and got started listening to

Touch Of Magic which will be the first book I used Overdrive from the library to download and burn to CD. So far it sounds great and will take care of one of my books for the Short Story Challenge.

I read a lot of children's books to my son throughout the day which if you can't get a babysitter or your significant other is unwilling or unable to care for the kid(s) for one full day by himself I definitely recommend getting a bunch of books from the library and reading to your kids whenever they need that extra attention during the day. We finished:
The Hole In The Ocean by Jasper Tomkins
Nate The Great: San Francisco Detective by Marjorie Weinman Sharmat and Mitchell Sharmat
The Little Engine the Could by Watty Piper
Oh Bother! Someone's Fighting by Nikki Grimes
What Can Pinky See? by Lucy Cousins
Big Shark's Lost Tooth by Steve Metzger
You Silly Goose by Ellen Stoll Walsh
I Spy A Runaway Robot by Dan Marzollo
Curious George Goes Camping by Margaret and H. A. Rey
I'm Terrific by Marjorie Weinman Sharmat
What Happened to Patrick's Dinosaurs? by Carol Carrick
I also read about 20 pages in a book that has been living in my bathroom for quite a while now, it's great to just pick up and read a few pages here and there because it is full of short stories or as the author calls them "flash fictions"

Difficult People by Jim Stallings

My biggest accomplishment for the whole Read-A-Thon was finishing

Club Dead by Charlaine Harris. I stated it during my son's nap time and finished it this morning after I woke up I had about 10 pages left when the clock hit 7:00 am which I pushed on to finish and I consider that finishing it during the Read-A-Thon.

Next time I hope that my husband will be home and so I can read and he can be in charge of the little one for the day to really see how much I could finish if really given a whole 24 hours to do nothing except read. Though if next time I can get as much accomplished as this time I will be happy. I am satisfied with the pages I got through during this Read-A-Thon.

Look for reviews of all the books I read during the Read-A-Thon coming up soon.

24 Hour Read-A-Thon Post 6

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Another mini challenge hosted over here, The idea is to pick a book that you would want to be turned into a movie then cast one roll.

Well, hands down the book I would want to be turned into a movie is The Stupidest Angel by Christopher Moore and weirdly enough I just need Billy Bob Thornton to be in it but I really see him as Santa so he is going to be the man dressed as Santa.
Thanks to this challenge I just found out they actually have a movie of this book in pre production right now, I can't wait!!

Sponsor me by sponsoring my friend during the Read-A-Thon and be part of my giveaway. Be a part of it all Right Here.

24 Hour Read-A-Thon Post 5 mid event challenge

We took a break to walk to French Quarter Fest which isn't very far from our house, the little one had to get out now I am going to read him as many books as he wants for bedtime then go back to finishing Club Dead.

Mid-Event Survey:
1. What are you reading right now? Nothing I have to take a break to give the little one a bath but soon I will be reading Club Dead again
2. How many books have you read so far? 7
3. What book are you most looking forward to for the second half of the Read-a-thon? I am looking forward to reading a lot of books to my son at bedtime and finishing Club Dead
4. Did you have to make any special arrangements to free up your whole day? No, I wish I could have, maybe next time
5. Have you had many interruptions? How did you deal with those? Yes, lots. It's just me and my 3 year old today but we got lots of new kids books and I read to him whenever he needed attention.
6. What surprises you most about the Read-a-thon, so far? How fast it seems to go once you get started
7. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year? not yet
8. What would you do differently, as a Reader or a Cheerleader, if you were to do this again next year? I really want to get a babysitter or at least have my husband home all day so I can read as much as possible without interruptions.
9. Are you getting tired yet? Nope
10. Do you have any tips for other Readers or Cheerleaders, something you think is working well for you that others may not have discovered? love, love, love tweetgrid which lets me keep track of all the #readathon tweets

Sponsor me by sponsoring my friend during the Read-A-Thon and be part of my giveaway. Be a part of it all Right Here.

24 Hour Read-A-Thon Post 4

In the last few hours I have been reading a lot of books to my son and also I read 137 pages in Club Dead during his nap. Now that I am back to taking care of him and sort of taking a little break from reading I am going to do a mini challenge hosted over here.

Reading is Fundamental and here's my story:

I don't remember my Mom reading to me when I was really little like 3 and under but I know she did not just because she tells me she did but because I don't remember a time where books were a foreign idea. Books and reading has always been a part of my life and I have always enjoyed the experience of reading to myself and out loud. I remember when my Mom would work long nights I would read out loud to my sister while we lay in bed, it was a special thing for me and I think for her too, I wonder if she even remembers that now? I started reading full force on my own when I was around 12 years old and from that time on I was never without a book in my hands, literally I used to carry a book and a journal everywhere with me, to school, to the grocery store, on walks, everywhere. I know in my heart this love of reading came from the moments remembered consciously and subconsciously of reading with my family when I was young and because of that I have read to my son from before he was born. When I was pregnant and then breastfeeding I would read my books out loud to him, adult books whose content he couldn't possibly understand and whose gray scale pages held no interest for him but I knew it was the act of holding the book and of reading out loud to him that was important not the content. As he grows I pick out books that are his age level to read, we read every day before naptime and just before bedtime too. He has a whole shelving unit full of books and each day he picks the books that interest him at that moment for us to read together. He loves to have us read to him and with each book I read or let him see me reading to myself I hope that I am instilling a love for books and reading that he can carry with him throughout his life and that will allow him the ability to be self-taught and the joy of a good escape.

Sponsor me by sponsoring my friend during the Read-A-Thon and be part of my giveaway. Be a part of it all Right Here.

24 Hour Read-A-Thon Post 3

Here is another mini challenge more info on the challenge is here. Here is my entry, some of these are more of what sprang into my mind first rather than which are actually my favorite. I know a few of these would change if I had more time to think about them but I don't want to take more time away from reading than I already have so here you go.

Favorite Female Character in a book: Winter from the Leven Thumps books
Favorite Male Character in a book: Ford Prefect from the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy trilogy
Favorite Side Kick in a book: Mort from Mort though he's only kind of a sidekick to Death.
Favorite Couple in a Book: at the moment it's Bill and Sookie from the Sookie Stackhouse series by Charlaine Harris
Favorite Book Series: Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy trilogy
Favorite Author: Zora Neale Hurston
Favorite Book Cover: right now Admit One by Emmett James
Favorite Book of 2009: Written in 2009 or read in 2009? I think The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley covers both

Sponsor me by sponsoring my friend during the Read-A-Thon and be part of my giveaway. Be a part of it all Right Here.

24 Hour Read-A-Thon Post 2

So we are back from our errands. While we were out I finished listening to Cultural Literacy by E.D. Hirsch Jr and started A Touch of Magic on audio. We also bought so many kids books at the clothing exchange that we didn't need to go to the library, which is kind of crazy but I'll think about that later. I'm going to grab some lunch now while I read to my little guy a few of our new books to keep him busy.
I did enter a mini challenge a minute ago you can read about the challenge here

My entry is:
Bonk the last madam if you want to write sexuality today. and here's the picture to go with it.

Sponsor me by sponsoring my friend during the Read-A-Thon and be part of my giveaway. Be a part of it all Right Here.

Read-A-Thon Post 1

So far I have read about 20 pages and finished Doctor Who and the Cybermen. That's not very much but I am also feeding myself and a 3 year old so I am not feeling bad about it. That's usually the number of pages I read in a whole day and it's only 8am. I am going to have to take a couple hour break now to run our errands then I'll be back to read some more. I do have an audio book I'll be listening to in the car though so I won't really have to stop "reading".

Here is the info for the first mini challenge of the Read-A-Thon.

Where are you reading from today? mostly my house but I will also be listening to audio books int he car while we run some errands I just can't get out of today

3 facts about me … I die my hair Red, I have published a book of poetry and I have traveled to Australia

How many books do you have in your TBR pile for the next 24 hours? 9 I think. The pile is kind of less of a physical pile and more piled in my head from books that are on my shelf.

Do you have any goals for the read-a-thon (i.e. number of books, number of pages, number of hours, or number of comments on blogs)? The only real goal I have is to finish the books I have checked out of the library which I already finished one so now I just have to finish Club Dead. Anymore than that is just gravy.

If you’re a veteran read-a-thoner, Any advice for people doing this for the first time? Get a babysitter, enlist your husband or Mom or someone. I wish I could take this advice...if you can't get a babysitter then get a bunch of kids books and get the little one involved. Children's books count so read to them when they need lovey attention throughout the day.

Sponsor me by sponsoring my friend during the Read-A-Thon and be part of my giveaway. Be a part of it all Right Here.

24 Hour Read-A-Thon Sponsor Giveaway

Read-A-Thon Sponsor Giveaway!!!!

I have wanted to read for a cause both times I have done this but never figured out who early enough. I still didn't work it all out early but I have a friend who is walking in the 5th Annual Walk for Change to support the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center tomorrow. She needs sponsors so here is what I am going to do, link through to her sponsor page or her husband's sponsor page
or her daughter's sponsor page or just pick anyone off of this list to sponsor.
You sponsor someone for ANY $ amount then send a screenshot of your confirmation or a copy of your confirmation email or some other proof of your sponsorship to me at Deatren@gmail.com
Everyone who sponsors at any time today (during the Read-A-Thon) and sends me the proof email will be entered in a giveaway for a miscellaneous gift pack which will include but not be limited to, ARC books, DVDs and handmade items. A winner will be chosen from eligible entries using Random.org and announced on Sunday 4/11/2010.

Read-A-Thon Pile

Friday, April 9, 2010

So here is my tentative pile, I don't plan to be a stickler about it but I want to use this as a jumping off point and see where it takes me. I will also be picking up a bunch of children's books from the library tomorrow to keep my little guy happy and still technically be reading so those will be added later. I also plan to download an audio book for tomorrow, oh Hell let me just go do that now...and now I have an audio book to listen too tomorrow while we are in the car running our errands.

Selected Shorts by Various Authors will be my audio book selection

Club Dead by Charlaine Harris, the 3rd in the series I can't wait to start and finish it, hopefully during this Read-A-Thon.

Doctor Who and the Revenge of the Cybermen, I already started this one but I hope to finish it tomorrow.

The Tales of Beedle the Bard by J. K. Rowling, I've had this one since before Christmas and haven't read it yet. I think it will be a fast read so an easy addition to my Read-A-Thon pile.

Talk to Me like I'm Someone You Love by Nancy Dreyfus, Psy. D.

Share From The Heart by Marilyn Randall. This is the only unread children's book I have in the house but we are planning to read it.

What About the Children by Dianne Nelson, this is a short read but not sure if I want to get into such a heavy subject during the Read-A-Thon so we'll see.

Diggers by Terry Pratchett, I really want to read this but it's the second in the series so I have been holding off till I find the first in the series somewhere but I might get into it a little tomorrow.

And last but not least by any means is Practical Demonkeeping by Christopher Moore. I love Moore's books so much but I'm not sure I will make it to this one because I really want to have the time to get into the story so we will see.

I know I have way more books in my pile than I can possibly finish tomorrow but having a lot to choose from will keep the reading fresh and hopefully keep me motivated to read as much as I have the extra time to do. Tune in tomorrow for all my updates.

24 Hour Read-A-Thon Join Up Post

Hi there everybody, The Read-A-Thon is tomorrow and I am going to try to do it again. Last time I didn't get to read as much as I wanted but I still participated and that is what counts. This time I remembered it and then I totally forgot about it but I am so glad I remembered it again before it passed, even if I only remembered one day before the Read-A-Thon begins. Only remembering with one day to spare means I don't have anyone to watch my son (he's 3) and I haven't picked up any kids books from the library yet which means I will have to do a run to the library in the morning to pick up an audio book and a bunch of kids books to keep the little guy interested and still be reading for the Read-A-Thon. That worked wonderfully last time. Maybe I can' download an audio book tonight...that will save time at the library since I also have to hit up the post office tomorrow no way around it. I am hoping to read a bit in the morning then hit the post office/library and then be able to read a lot in the afternoon. I won't be able to read super late into the night because it will be just me and the little guy on Sunday too and he doesn't let me sleep in just because I want to do a Read-A-Thon but I plan to read until I am too sleepy, then just not push myself too much. One of these times I will just be able to stay up all night and read, that will be great but for this time I will just do the best I can. I also plan to do blog posts as much as possible shooting for once per hour while I am reading. So stay tuned.

Book Review - Living Dead In Dallas by Charlaine Harris

Saturday, April 3, 2010

I have been waiting for this book to come in to my library back in New Orleans since before Christmas I almost thought I wasn't going to be able to finish the Sookie Stackhouse Reading Challenge I signed up for and then I came to visit my Mom in Fort Myers, Florida. I can't sing the praises of the library system here enough. They have so many copies of this book I just walked in a picked it off the shelf, I had to finish it fast but it was easy because this series is just so damn entertaining.

Living Dead in Dallas (Southern Vampire Mysteries, Book 2) by Charlaine Harris is wonderfully engrossing. I barely put it down from start to finish. This book veers wide from the plot of True Blood (the HBO series based on the books) which makes it all the more exciting. I love the TV show and I love the books so I can't wait to get the next in the book series to see where she takes it and I can't wait for the new season of the show to start to see what they use and what they don't and also what they fill in and change along the way. The show has been so well done up to this point that it can't be bad.

I don't want to give a description because I don't want to give anything away and the description on Amazon is lacking tot he point of uselessness so I will just say this, READ IT!

Currently "Reading":
Book - The Adventures of Doctor Who. Omnibus comprising: Doctor Who and the Genesis of the Daleks; Doctor Who and the Revenge of the Cybermen; Doctor Who and the Loch Ness Monster by Terrance Dicks
E-Book - The Man Upstairs & Other Stories - From the Manor Wodehouse Collection, a selection from the early works of P. G. Wodehouse by P.G. Wodehouse
Audio - The Finer Points of Sausage Dogs by Alexander McCall Smith

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