Sunday, February 18, 2018

The Cybils Winners, A Single-Book Reading Week, and the Book Bus


THE CYBILS WINNERS!
After five months of reading 357 books, and two rounds of judging, the Cybils winners for fiction picture books and board books have been announced.





The 2017 Cybils Fiction Picture Book winner is Big Cat, Little Cat by Elisha Cooper. 






The 2017 Cybils Board Book winner is Meet Happy Bear written by Nathan Thoms and illustrated by Carles Ballesteros.


For other Cybils winners, take a look at the Cybils website.




WHAT I HAVE BEEN READING


I only read one book this week. That sounds weak (for me) but this novel is 866 pages. Surely that gives me a few bonus points.




WHAT ARRIVED IN THE MAIL


Ella: Queen of Jazz by Helen Hancocks
Petra by Marianna Coppo


The Spirit Photographer by Jon Michael Varese
The Overstory by Richard Powers



CATALOGING BOOKS FOR THE BOOK BUS



We have a wonderful resource in my school district, Alvin ISD. It is the Book Bus. It rolls out in the summer, loaded with books for children, venturing into spots where children don't have good access to books. 


We librarians in the district spent Friday cataloging books for the Book Bus.

I donated all the books I received as Cybils Fiction Book and Board Book entries to the Book Bus. That was over a hundred books. 

Do you have children's books you no longer need? We could use them for our Book Bus. Contact me through the comments here or by e-mail at debnance at gmail dot com. 


What are you reading today?



What is the Sunday SalonImagine some university library's vast reading room. It's filled with people--students and faculty and strangers who've wandered in. They're seated at great oaken desks, books piled all around them,and they're all feverishly reading and jotting notes in their leather-bound journals as they go. Later they'll mill around the open dictionaries and compare their thoughts on the afternoon's literary intake....That's what happens at the Sunday Salon, except it's all virtual. Every Sunday the bloggers participating in that week's Salon get together--at their separate desks, in their own particular time zones--and read. And blog about their reading. And comment on one another's blogs. Think of it as an informal, weekly, mini read-a-thon, an excuse to put aside one's earthly responsibilities and fall into a good book. Click here to join the Salon.

The Sunday Post is a meme hosted by Kimba at Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It's a chance to share news and recap the past week.

Mailbox Monday was created by Marcia at The Printed Page. We share books that we found in our mailboxes last week. 
 It is now being hosted here.

Stacking the Shelves is a meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews in which you can share the books you've acquired.

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is where we share what we read this past week, what we hope to read this week…. and anything in between!  This is a great way to plan out your reading week and see what others are currently reading as well… you never know where that next “must read” book will come from! I love being a part of this and I hope you do too! It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is now being hosted at The Book Date.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Good & Garlicky Thick & Hearty Soul-Satisfying More-Than-Minestrone Italian Soup Cookbook


"Italians have a saying, 'La cuppa fa settee rose,' which means, 'Soup does seven things.' It quenches your thirst, it satisfies your hunger, it fills your stomach, it aids your digestion, it makes your teeth sparkle, it colors your cheeks, and it helps you sleep....Certainly, soup is the ultimate comfort food."

What better cookbook to begin my planned series on Italian cookbooks than this one on soup?

There are all sorts of common Italian soups, including soups with seafood (zuppe di pesce) and soups with pasta (zuppe di pasta), but the two most popular Italian soups are minestrone ("big soup") and pasta e fagioli (pasta and beans).

Italian cooks love to improvise and to cook creatively, I learn. This cookbook contains nine minestrone variations. There are, according to cookbook author Joe Famularo, "as many types of minestrones as there are people cooking them." 

Why not use what I have on hand to make my own minestrone soup? So I did. I threw corn and celery and carrots and sausage into my pot. Here is the delicious result:




3/4 Lb. Italian Sausage 
1 T. Vegetable Oil
1/2 Cup Carrot
1/2 Cup Celery
1/2  Green Pepper 
1 Can Beef Broth
1 Can Zesty Tomato Sauce
1 1/2 Cup Water
1 Cup Bow-Shaped Pasta, Uncooked


Form sausage into 3/4" meatballs. In a large saucepan, heat oil and cook meatballs until browned, stirring often. Spoon off all but 1 T drippings. Add vegetables. Cook 5 minutes, stirring often. Add broth, tomato sauce, and water. Heat to boiling. Add pasta. Reduce to low heat. Simmer 10 minutes or until pasta is done, stirring now and then.




For more wordless photos, go to Wordless Wednesday.

Saturday Snapshot is hosted by West Metro Mommy ReadsTo participate in Saturday Snapshot: post a photo that you (or a friend or family member) have taken and then leave a direct link to your post in the Mister Linky at West Metro Mommy Reads.

Weekend Cooking is hosted by Beth Fish Reads and is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, quotations, photographs. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend. You do not have to post on the weekend. Please link to your specific post, not your blog's home page. For more information, see the welcome post.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Want to Share a Little Love This Valentine's Day? Give a Child a Book


Want to share a little love this Valentine's Day? Give a book.

Here are some of my new favorites.


How to Say I Love You in Five Languages by Kenard Pak


We can make the world a happier place if we can speak to others. Could anything be better to know how to say in another language than these words:
I love you.
This little board book teaches children how to say I love you in five languages: English, French, Spanish, Japanese, and Mandarin Chinese. Not only are pronunciation guides included, but there is a lovely side panel where the child can press and hear how to say the words in each language. 







Hug Machine by Scott Campbell (Board Book Edition)


I'm a huge fan of Hug Machine and my fandom of Hug Machine has grown to incorporate  all the children at my school. Now, I'm happy to say, Hug Machine is a board book, and a whole new group of our youngest readers can hear this lovely story of a child who hugs everything he sees. 







When An Elephant Falls in Love by Davide Cali and Alice Lotti


Aw. We humans get a little silly when we fall in love. It's reassuring to know that elephants get downright ridiculous. Children will love the story and illustrations in When An Elephant Falls in Love. It's crazy funny.





I Am Loved by Nikki Giovanni and Ashley Bryan


Nikki Giovanni sings a song of love to the old, the young, the weary, and Ashley Bryan lights up the songs with his brilliantly colored text. I love I Am Loved. I especially love Giovanni's "No Heaven." And you can't miss (you MUST NOT MISS) "Do the Rosa Parks." Wonderful.






How Do You Say I Love You by Hannah Eliot and Shirley Ng-Benitez


I think we all know that we seem to be needing a few more words of love in this world these days. Happily, there is this new board book, How Do You Say I Love You by Hannah Eliot and Shirley Ng-Benitez. In gentle rhyme, the author and illustrator share ways to say I love you in Italy, Japan, Spain, Russia, Egypt, Brazil, Germany, France, India, and China. Let's all learn how to say these words wherever we are and to whoever we meet. Let's start with our young with this board book.






Colors of Love by Tina Gallo and Tony Neal


We love our Crayola crayons, with all of their amazing colors. What better way to illustrate our love than in all the colors of the crayon box? With people illustrated with all the colors of the box? A subtle lesson on the colors of love.






Click, Clack, Moo I Love You! by Doreen Cronin and Betsy Lewin


You are going to have to get your own copy of the latest Click, Clack, Moo to see the sparkle on every page. It's a glittery story of animals-on-the-farm and their huge barnyard dance for Valentine's Day. Even an unexpected guest ("Yip yip yip") won't tarnish this shiny event. Another wonderful Click, Clack, Moo story.






Take Heart, My Child by Ainsley Earhardt and Jaime Kim


Ainsley Earhardt and Jaime Kim combine their writing and illustrating talents to make a brilliant song of love for you to share with your child on Valentine's Day or any day. The words will delight you and the illustrations will dance for you. It's a beautiful book.




Have you read any of these? Any new wonderful children's books about love? Share with me in the comments.








Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together. Each Tuesday That Artsy Reader Girl assigns a topic and then post her top ten list that fits that topic. You’re more than welcome to join her and create your own top ten (or 2, 5, 20, etc.) list as well. Feel free to put a unique spin on the topic to make it work for you! Please link back to That Artsy Reader Girl in your own post so that others know where to find more information.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

2,613 Pages: Reading Enormous Books


Suddenly I am reading some very big books.

Paul Auster is coming to Houston on Monday night so I'm desperately flipping pages in his latest work, 4321 (Is that how you write it? Or should it be 4 3 2 1? Or something else?) Good grief, it's 866 pages. That's a lot of book.

One of my favorite authors is Richard Powers (The Gold Bug Variations), and I was thrilled to receive an ARC of his most recent book, The Overstory. It's 505 pages.



I'm also reading Barbara Grizzuti Harrison's Italian Days and Italo Calvino's Italian Folktales. Days is 479 pages and Folktales is 763 pages.

Whew. That's a combined total of 2,613 pages. Whew.

You know what I'm doing today. And tomorrow. And the next day.

How about you? Are you attempting some big books? Do you have any recommendations for me? Preferably some small tomes?




What is the Sunday SalonImagine some university library's vast reading room. It's filled with people--students and faculty and strangers who've wandered in. They're seated at great oaken desks, books piled all around them,and they're all feverishly reading and jotting notes in their leather-bound journals as they go. Later they'll mill around the open dictionaries and compare their thoughts on the afternoon's literary intake....That's what happens at the Sunday Salon, except it's all virtual. Every Sunday the bloggers participating in that week's Salon get together--at their separate desks, in their own particular time zones--and read. And blog about their reading. And comment on one another's blogs. Think of it as an informal, weekly, mini read-a-thon, an excuse to put aside one's earthly responsibilities and fall into a good book. Click here to join the Salon.

The Sunday Post is a meme hosted by Kimba at Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It's a chance to share news and recap the past week.

Mailbox Monday was created by Marcia at The Printed Page. We share books that we found in our mailboxes last week. 
 It is now being hosted here.

Stacking the Shelves is a meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews in which you can share the books you've acquired.

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is where we share what we read this past week, what we hope to read this week…. and anything in between!  This is a great way to plan out your reading week and see what others are currently reading as well… you never know where that next “must read” book will come from! I love being a part of this and I hope you do too! It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is now being hosted at The Book Date.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Name This Artist


And, yes, it is me.


For more wordless photos, go to Wordless Wednesday.

Saturday Snapshot is hosted by West Metro Mommy ReadsTo participate in Saturday Snapshot: post a photo that you (or a friend or family member) have taken and then leave a direct link to your post in the Mister Linky at West Metro Mommy Reads.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Books I've Had on My Shelf the Longest and Still Haven’t Read




The Eight


I remember precisely when I first added The Eight to my TBR. It was after I finished reading The Secret History, and I was told that this book would have similar elements. That was in 1992, and though I've obtained and given away many copies of this book, I still haven't read it. 





Appointment in Samarra

Happily I finally read this book last month. Crossed off!






The Night Circus

I have at least three copies of this book, all obtained at various book sales and stores over the year. I will read this book this year.





Perdido Street Station

I once was a huge science fiction and fantasy reader. But that was long ago. When I was asking about new, wonderful sci fi and fantasy, this book was mentioned to me over and over. That was over fifteen years ago, and I still haven't read it.





Jellicoe Road

This is a book I see on so many Best Books I've Ever Read lists. I have two copies of it in my TBR, and I've tried to start it several times, but I've never gotten farther than a few pages.





The Book Thief

I bought it. I read a page or two. I gave it away. I bought it. I read a page or two. I gave it away. Over and over. Finally, I decided to read this book. Maybe because I forced myself to read it, I admired the beauty of the writing but I never found myself emotionally caught up in the story. 

Ah well. In any case, I read it. Crossed off.




Looking for Alaska

I was swept up completely in The Fault in Our Stars, so I naturally would like to read other books by John Green. I found this book at a yard sale. Still I hesitate. My experience with Authors I Love Based on Only One Book has been horribly disappointing in the past, once I have ventured past that single book. I think I am afraid of being disappointed again.




What do you have sitting on your shelf, almost obscured by dust?
Have you read any of these? Should I read them? Or give them away forever?




Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together. Each Tuesday That Artsy Reader Girl assigns a topic and then post her top ten list that fits that topic. You’re more than welcome to join her and create your own top ten (or 2, 5, 20, etc.) list as well. Feel free to put a unique spin on the topic to make it work for you! Please link back to That Artsy Reader Girl in your own post so that others know where to find more information.

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Wildly and Imperfectly Reading and Writing: Jhumpa Lahiri Visits Houston





Serendipitous. That's what the January Inprint author reading is. 

To share how serendipitous the author reading is, I have to start by telling you that I've joined an online group this year and I have committed to writing every day. The focus is on writing, but not on judgment or evaluation. I know there will be a day soon that I will miss, but so far I've written for over thirty days in a row. The group is called Wildly Imperfect to remind ourselves that we aren't to worry about the quality of what we are writing. 

So there's the Wildly Imperfect part of the serendipity.

Then I must also share with you that I am learning Italian. I'm practicing every day online. Little words like gatto (cat) and panne (bread). Every day. Practicing. 

So there's the Italian part of the serendipity.

I always try to read the latest book of an author who is coming to Houston via the Inprint Margaret Root Brown Reading Series. So I look at the public library for Jhumpa Lahiri's latest book and what do I find? I've already read two of Lahiri's books, The Namesake (a novel) and Unaccustomed Earth (short stories). Her most recent novel was published in 2013, which is quite a while ago, I think. Her most recent work is nonfiction, so I request it. 

When the book, In Other Words, comes in for me at the library, I am surprised to find that the book is the story of Lahiri's decision to learn Italian, a decision that eventually led to In Other Words, a book which was written in Italian and translated by someone else into English. 

I read this book. Here is a part that struck me. Especially notice the last paragraph.


Oh my. She is writing in Italian. And it gives her the freedom to be imperfect.


Serendipitous. 

I'm still thinking about all of this.





I've downloaded the latest calendar from Action for Happiness. Love these daily reminders.



What Arrived








What I'm Reading Now










What are you reading today?



What is the Sunday SalonImagine some university library's vast reading room. It's filled with people--students and faculty and strangers who've wandered in. They're seated at great oaken desks, books piled all around them,and they're all feverishly reading and jotting notes in their leather-bound journals as they go. Later they'll mill around the open dictionaries and compare their thoughts on the afternoon's literary intake....That's what happens at the Sunday Salon, except it's all virtual. Every Sunday the bloggers participating in that week's Salon get together--at their separate desks, in their own particular time zones--and read. And blog about their reading. And comment on one another's blogs. Think of it as an informal, weekly, mini read-a-thon, an excuse to put aside one's earthly responsibilities and fall into a good book. Click here to join the Salon.

The Sunday Post is a meme hosted by Kimba at Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It's a chance to share news and recap the past week.

Mailbox Monday was created by Marcia at The Printed Page. We share books that we found in our mailboxes last week. 
 It is now being hosted here.

Stacking the Shelves is a meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews in which you can share the books you've acquired.

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is where we share what we read this past week, what we hope to read this week…. and anything in between!  This is a great way to plan out your reading week and see what others are currently reading as well… you never know where that next “must read” book will come from! I love being a part of this and I hope you do too! It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is now being hosted at The Book Date.