Archive for the ‘ Books & Media ’ Category

A Great Day for Up

  One of my favorite Dr. Suess books is a Great Day for Up. There are some books that are just so fun and whimsical that I can’t help but get in a good mood whenever I read them. And with the sun shining and the birds chirping, my thoughts wander to some of my favorite childhood books.

There’s something almost mystical about remembering those books. Almost like I’m revisiting a dream I once had. I have so many great memories surrounding the books I read; My dad reading The Secret Garden to me and my siblings at our family’s cabin in Vermont, me reading Encyclopedia Brown on my parent’s bed for so long that I woke up with my face pressed as a bookmark between the pages, sitting with my brother and sister and reading The Mouse and the Motorcycle.

Of course, being raised as a book lover, there are hundreds more each with a special link to some memory in my past. I’m sure you have many such memories as well. I’d love to hear them!

Happy reading! 😀

Why BEA Rocks

  I had the best, best time at BEA this year. For those of you who have gone you’ll know what I’m talking about when I say it’s like a kid in a candy store. Plentiful exhibitors with their shiny ARCs just waiting to be plucked by the likes of bibliophiles like moi. It’s glorious. If you’ve never been you need to make plans to attend when you can.

To entice you a little more, here are my favorite things from the expo this year:

1. Listening to debut YA authors including the highly buzzed about Gennifer Albin and her novel Crewel. Which brings me to…

2. Getting a signed copy of Crewel! Woohoo! (It’s being released this October)

3. Talking to people from all over the U.S. You meet the most interesting people and it’s a great place to network too.

4. Having a Libba Bray moment. I stood in line that stretched across the floor of the Javits Center of people eager to get a signed copy of Bray’s newest book Diviners. Fortunately, I got there way early so I was towards the front of the line and there was a great group of women around me that I chatted with the whole time. When I got to Libba I said, “Thanks for deciding to become a writer.” She stopped signing and took my hand and said, “Thank you.” She probably won’t remember in her whirlwind of fandom, but it was a perfect moment for me. 🙂

5. Feeling refreshed and rejuvenated by the great energy of being surrounded by books and writers and publishers and others who are passionate about all things books.

Only thing I was really disappointed about: In chatting with another attendee she mentioned she really loves the books that Bloomsbury puts out. Excited I hurried over to their exhibit and inquired about the getting one of the ARCs they had. The woman at the booth looked at me and said, “Sorry, we only have a few copies of those books left.” Period. No, how about a different book or explanation or anything. In other words, you, our readers, aren’t worthy of these books in my eyes. I am saving them for someone I deem more important. No matter what her reasons for refusing to pass out her remaining ARCs, I didn’t enjoy my interaction with Bloomsbury. Disappointing.

Overall, I had a fabulous time with the good far outweighing that one experience. Hope to see you there next year! 😀

It’s Monday, What Are You Reading?


It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? is hosted by Sheila @ Book Journey. Want a good book to read? Stop by and see what’s new in the world of literature!

 Americus by MK Reed and Jonothan Hill – This was a great graphic novel. When a conservative mother makes it her personal crusade to rid her town of sin and evil, which comes in the form of a well-loved novel featuring dragons and magic, chaos ensues. Parts made me mad because I know there are actually people like this woman out there who want to censor books that libraries carry because of their personal beliefs. A very good read though with great subplots threaded throughout.

 Aunt Dimity and the Village Witch by Nancy Atherton – I really enjoy this series featuring a woman who inherited an English cottage in a small town from Aunt Dimity, a friend of her mother’s whom she never met but speaks to in the form of a journal. What’s great about these books is that they aren’t dark and murderous, they’re set in the English countryside, and, despite trials along the way, always have nice resolutions. Purely an escape novel, which can be so nice.

  The Island of Dr. Moreau by H.G. Wells – I’m listening to this sci-fi tale on CD. It’s another novel that I should have read a long time ago. When the protagonist, through a series of unfortunate events, comes to the island he is disgusted by the grotesque creatures that inhabit it. Only as he sees and learns more does he realize the true madness that has captured the island and fears for his life. The only bad thing about this CD is that I’m certain I’ll miss a turn one day because I’m so entranced with this nail-biting tale.

  The House of Silk by Anthony Horowitz – An adult novel based on a case of Sherlock Holmes. I hope he plans on writing more as I am thoroughly enjoying this novel. Filled with the spirit of Doyle plus twists and turns that will keep your heart thupping until the last page.

 

 

I hope you’re reading week is just as enjoyable as mine is! Happy reading! 🙂

It’s Monday, What Are You Reading?


It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? is hosted by Sheila @ Book Journey. Want a good book to read? Stop by and see what’s new in the world of literature!

Another wonderful weekend with great running weather. Hope you were able to get out and enjoy the weekend too! The nerdiest part of my weekend was when I took my long-haired dachshund Jackson to the local pet store to get his caricature done. It proved to be very entertaining. Lots of dogs of all shapes and sizes were there and Jackson had a great time checking things out. I’m still on the fence as to whether this was okay to do or if I should get out more…Regardless, I have a great picture of my pup now. 🙂

When I’m not playing the eccentric dog-owner, I’m reading and working on my novel. Here’s what I’m reading now:

  Born on a Blue Day by Daniel Tammet -Daniel is an autistic savant born into a world that doesn’t quite understand what autism is yet. He falls on the highly functioning side of the spectrum and chronicles both his fascinating view of the world as well as how he learns how to become more socially at ease. It always interesting to me to hear stories of how differently people think and see the world. For example, Daniel has a unique relationship with numbers where he visualizes them differently than others, so to raise money for an epilepsy foundation he memorizes over 22, 000 numbers in pi. !!! I’m lucky if I remember my phone number most days. I listened to this book on CD and it was very well done.

  Some Assembly Required by Anne Lamott & Sam Lamott -I’m also listening to this memoir on CD which is read by both authors, although mostly by Anne. She has a great dry wit that really catches me off guard, so I find myself laughing a lot (which probably looks pretty creepy to passing drivers, but oh well). This story chronicles her son’s first son. Sam is only 19 and dealing with school, a young girlfriend, and a new baby aren’t always a recipe for blissful peace. Listening to this one makes me want to read her memoir of Sam when he was young called Operating Instructions as I’m sure it’ll be just as entertaining.

  What I Talk About When I Talk About Running by Haruki Murakami -I’m long overdue in reading this highly touted memoir by novelist Murakami. He writes in a journal-like style with jotting down his thoughts on different dates and giving readers an inside look into how he thinks, why he runs, and how he became a novelist. It’s an interesting running book as it delves more into the day-by-day workings of a man’s mind rather than on a longer narrative. If you’re a runner or a writer, then you will like this little book.

  Why Be Happy When You Can Be Normal? by Jeanette Winterson – So said Winterson’s mother to her in regards to her daughter being gay. Adopted and raised by a domineering mother who prayed fervently and would alternate locking her daughter in the coal cellar or outside all night, this memoir captures Winterson’s unique voice perfectly. Readers walk with Winterson as she comes to terms with her upbringing and how those experiences shaped her life as a person and a writer today.

I just realized that all of these are memoirs! I love reading about people from different walks of life and the stories they have to tell, but this week was especially memoir-centric. All well worth reading too. Happy reading! 🙂

It’s Monday, What Are You Reading?


It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? is hosted by Sheila @ Book Journey. Want a good book to read? Stop by and see what’s new in the world of literature!

This past week was a great one for reading on my porch. Sunshine, warm breezes, the smell of spring, ahhh… So while I got a little distracted and had to go off and play disc golf every once in a while, it was a great week for springtime reading.

Here’s what I’ve been reading:

  Stupid Fast by Geoff Herbach – Felton Reinstein is used to being called Squirrel Nut and being an outsider. But one day he wakes up and realizes he is really, really fast. Soon he’s playing football and being one of the jocks. But Felton realizes it won’t fix everything that is wrong in his life. At some point he’s going to have to stop running and face bigger issues that are going on in his life. Adolescent angst and running? This is going to be a great book. 🙂

 

 

Dead End In Norvelt by Jack Gantos – The winner of the 2012 Newbery Medal and the Scott O’Dell Award for Historical Fiction, Dead End is marketed as the entirely true and wildly fictional story about a kid named Jack Gantos. (Not sure what that means, but someone clearly thought they were being clever…) The story sounds extremely entertaining however with small town eccentricities and exaggerated obituaries. I’m listening to this one on CD and its narrated by the author. A great motivation to drive to work!

 

 

  The Great American Ale Trail by Christian DeBeredetti – As a beer lover I’m constantly on the lookout for new books that center around the craft of beer making and enjoying. I also love road trips, so while drinking is driving is never good, this book is perfect for when I reach a destination and am looking for restaurants and brewpubs that serve unique craft beer selections. And more often than not, places that serve good beer, serve good food too. I’ve already taken note of breweries and/or brewpubs around my area to visit and can’t wait to try them out.

 

 

Hope you’re enjoying this spring weather as much as I am. Happy reading! 🙂

It’s Monday, What Are You Reading?


It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? is hosted by Sheila @ Book Journey. Want a good book to read? Stop by and see what’s new in the world of literature!

Another amazing weekend! Not only did I get to go to my favorite trail for my long run, but I also went to NYC to watch the half marathon. Members of the American Olympic running team, Meb Keflezighi and Kara Goucher, participated as well as other amazing runners from around the world.

We got front row spots right along the finishing chute and were able to see the runners sprint (SPRINT!) past us then run back within touching distance with the flag of their countries draped across their shoulders in a victory jog. Incredible. I felt a runner’s high just from watching. 😀

I have to admit, I’ve been too distracted by bright and shiny cookbooks to finish any of the novels I posted last week. I love cooking and I wanted to integrate more seasonal ingredients into my dishes and find more fun vegetarian recipes to try. Here are some of the books I picked up this week:

  Bean by Bean by Crescent Dragonwagon – First, this cookbook might sound a little gassy, but it is chock filled with dips and stews and salads that are filled with healthy goodness that look and sound delicious! Second, how can you not read a book by someone named Crescent Dragonwagon? I mean, really.

  Cooking Light: Cooking Through the Seasons – A perfect start to more seasonal cooking, this cookbook offers a wide selection of dishes that make use of the freshest ingredients in every season. While this book offers a selection of meat based meals, it also has recipes like Roasted Baby Spring Vegetables and Banana-Rum-Coconut Cookies. Yum!

Farmstead Chef by John Ivanko & Lisa Kivirist – Highlighting foods that can be homegrown or farm fresh, the authors are the owners of the Inn Serendipity Bed & Breakfast and want to bring their passion for eco-friendly foods to people everywhere. This cookbook has recipes from pancakes to breads to pizza, pasta and sandwiches.

  Welcome to Claire’s by Claire Criscuolo – A collection of favorite recipes from Claire’s Corner Copia, a vegetarian restaurant in New Haven, CT. Some of the 350 recipes include: Spicy Thai Sunflower Noodles, Summer Tomato and Basil Quiche, and Grilled Cheese Florentine. I may need to run to the grocery store soon!

Despite all the healthy, fresh ingredients found in the pages above, all this food makes me happy I run regularly! 🙂

Happy reading!

It’s Monday, What Are You Reading?


It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? is hosted by Sheila @ Book Journey. Want a good book to read? Stop by and see what’s new in the world of literature!

I’m happy to report that the Pitchapalooza event that my library hosted was a huge success! After months of planning, it’s a relief to not have to think about making sure all the details are covered and that the event goes off without a hitch. We had more than 80 people present, which is about room capacity, the weather was amazing for March, and no last-minute disasters occurred. It was wonderful. Even Arielle and David, the Book Doctors, said how there were many great pitches, more than usual even! People are already clamoring for them to come back for another Pitchapalooza, but I’m happy to take a break for a little while. 🙂 The winner of the event was actually the leader of the NJ Children’s Writer’s Guild with her pitch on a bi-lingual picture book she’s been working on. Very cool!

As always, I’m filling in my free moments with lots of writing and reading. Here’s what I’ve been reading:

   Feynman by Ottaviani & Myrick – Despite not understanding much of physics, I’ve always been fascinated by the sciences, especially areas like physics and quantum mechanics. When I saw the shiny new copy on the amazing Richard Feynman come into the library, I snatched it up. Not only was Feynman a leader in the world of theoretical physics, but he worked on the controversial Manhattan Project, a secret atomic bomb making project sanctioned by the U.S. As I’m reading this biography in graphic novel form, I’m learning a lot more about the great man and liking him even more than before!

 

 

 

The Dirty Life by Kristin Kimball – Can you imagine living a hipster life in a rent-controlled apartment in NYC one minute then packing all your worldly possessions into your hatchback and moving to a farm? Thus begins Kimball’s memoir, taking her readers from supermarkets, heels, and a vegetarian existence to a run-down farm, work boots, and eating every (EVERY) part of a slaughtered farm animal. Funny and eye-opening, this is a wonderful book on CD. While some parts are cringe-worthy, it is amazing how a life calling can yield such bountiful results. Although not an easy road, Kimball shows her readers what it’s like to learn farm-life from scratch and learn to love every minute!

 

 

 

Slow week for me because of all my running around, but hoping to add some more titles before the week is out! Happy reading! 🙂