Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Vacation Randomness

I thought I would get more reading done while on vacation, but I'm busy playing with the kiddies and making sure they don't drown (esp. when the public beach tells you they can't use FLOATIES!) ugh. Anyway, I AM engrossed in PAPER TOWNS by John Green. Not due out until Oct, but it seems like everyone in kidlitosphere has an ARC. Thanks to my friend, Jen, who will be doing YA podcasts for READ,WRITE, THINK ( and is getting LOTS of these coveted morsels. I am gladly taking them off of her hands when she's done. So, I think this is an exceptional novel. John Green is just so dang smart! And, I love the way he weaves literature, meaning, coming of age, and friendship into every novel he has. I especially love the way he depicts road trips for teens! Quentin, after a night of "mystery" with his long-time love, Margo Roth Spiegelman, decides to go find her when she doesn't show up for the next 6 days and is considered a runaway. The excerpt I found most satisfying was his metaphor of mini-van as moving home. He delineated the different spaces of the car to different rooms in a house as he and his friends Radar, Ben, and Lacey were using them. The passenger seat was the "family room" and the driver's seat was the "living room" because you couldn't get too comfy there and it had to stay neater. The console was dubbed the "kitchen" and the bench seats were "bedrooms." The journey to find the "real" Margo through Walt Whitman's LEAVES OF GRASS was a phenomenal reference to literature and it's relation to life. This was exceptional for 18 year-old Quentin. The ending is satisfying to the reader and the journey is filled with humor (much, laugh out loud), searching, longing and that creative literary edge we all seemed to have in early adulthood- before marriage and children. The searching for meaning of Margo as a person through Whitman's poem had me captivated (because I'm a bookish English teacher). Happy Reading! Read to your kids! No kids? Read to a neighbor or relative.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

More New Books!

Here's a widget for a new children's book that looks good. The pictures remind me of the artist who did THE MAGIC HAT by Mem Fox. Actually, I just looked and Tricia Tusa is the artist for both. Jim Averbeck is the author.

Summer Goals

Over at A Year of Reading ( summer goals are being assessed. As for me, I have accomplished most of them.

1. Read LOTS! --done-mostly YA; did great catching up in three months.
2. Play with the kids- we seem to have done quite well with this one and now we are headed off to our last vacation on Saturday.
3. Write and plan for the year- well, the planning part is kicking off fine, but the writing-well,.....Julia Cameron, help me!
4. Lose 15 lbs. -I played tennis, etc., and managed to get 4 off. I will keep working at it.

Looking forward to Sept. 2nd and working only until 2 p.m.! But, not looking forward to paying 20% more of my health insurance!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Breaking Dawn- no spoilers

I have to say that I'm relieved to find that others are as disappointed with the plotline of the last Twilight book as I am. Though I still have 200 pages to go, I'm finding it difficult to actually finish. The whole storyline seems so contrived compared to the other novels in the series! Does anyone else see this?

Great Giveaways!

It's the last day, but I found great giveaways at the 5 Minutes sites today. What a cool place! You need to visit even if you don't enter the contests. Great stuff for teachers and moms!


Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Food and Books

Okay, while continuing to devour BREAKING DAWN, I am obsessed with The Pioneer Woman. You have to check out her website and her amazing August challenge for recipes with dairy. See it here.
I just entered a recipe that I made up the other night since I have so much zucchini and so many tomatoes! Check it out- I'm number #1338 and #1339 (since I must have deleted the zucchini from the list of ingredients when I was typing...). You also have to check out PW's Love Story she wrote in installments called: "From Black Heels to Tractor Wheels". It's the story of how she met and fell in love with her husband. Well written, too!

So, all I have to say about the new TWILIGHT book is that after the first 400 pages I am truly disapppointed that the whole story has become so far fetched. I guess I expected more, but I will wait until I finish and I will read the reviews of others to see if hard core fans feel the same way.