Briefly, because it’s 2:30 am and I’ve just finshed wrapping I don’t know how many packages that have to be sent tomorrow to various uncles and aunts and nieces and nephews and people I love.
Right. The Snow Effect. I love it too. It’s a wordpress thing that appears every Winter and I can’t take any credit for it. Wish I could.
You can thank the good folks at WordPress.
Unaccustomed Earth, a collection of stories and a novella (the latter worth the weight of the whole stellar collection) by Jhumpa Lahiri, made several top ten lists this year, including the New York Times (read what they said here). The laurels are piling up with good reason. A longtime fan of short stories, my interest in them had waned over the past few years. While the ones I read weren’t bad, per se, many of them seeemed, well, a bit precious. And then along came Unaccustomed Earth. And my faith in the form was reborn.
We have some winners for the Book Giveaway to announce If I don’t have your address (Cindi, don’t worry, I have yours) please email it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org post haste. Drawn by my youngest son who has been needing something to do since we’ve been housebound by an ice storm all day, they are:
Randy Pausch’s The Last Lecture Deb
Scholastic Books Children’s Illustrator Calendar Deb
Scholastic Books Children’s Illustrator Calendar Oztegake–are you out there Oztegake?
PermaBound Children’s Books Calendar Monda Fason
Get Crafty Poster Cindy Hoppes
Congratulations to all the winners and
My husband ran the Memphis Marathon last weekend to benefit St. Jude’s hospital. Since he is the man and we are very proud of him, I thought I’d post a few pictures. Also, while we were in Memphis, we went to an awesome flea market called Bo Jos, thousands of square feet of junking grounds. There, I stumbled on a Golden Books cache. We only had an hour there–I can’t wait to go back!
We interrupt the Book of The Day programming to show off some of my crafts. I even had a booth at my church christmas market. I’ve decided, though, to just focus on crafts for family and friends from now on. Crafts booths are too much work and I have too much else going on.
Enjoy (oh, and don’t forget the giveaway which ends tomorrow at midnight. I’m getting lots of hits but few comments, excepting, of course, the wonderful Cindi Hoppes who looks like she’s gonna get a pretty good haul.)
Witty, moving, compelling. The man writes like an angel.
Good bets for adults,
Through The Children’s GateA memoir of family life in modern New York City, post his family’s return from their Paris stint. “The Last of the Metrozoids,” is a hauntingly beautiful chapter and as a stand-alone essay, won several awards.
From Paris to the Moon
Memoir of his family’s time in Paris while he was the New Yorker’s correspondent there. A joy to read.
Angels and Ages: A Short Book About Darwin, Lincoln and Modern Life
(Haven’t read this–not out till January 29 but you can pre-order. It’s going to the top of my birthday wish list!)
Best American Essays 2008
He didn’t write this, he edited it, selecting the essays. You can trust his judgement.
The King in the Window.
Don’t forget the giveaway. Five days left to post!!!!!!!!!
Choreographer and dancer Twyla Tharp’s The Creative Habit provides an inspirational and highly readable guide to making creativity a part of yourlife. A few favorite quotes:
“Muscle memory has its uses in the creative process.”
“Reading is your first line of defense against an empty head.”
“Plan only to a point.”
For anyone who wants to unlock the mysteries of creativity in such a way that you can apply them to your life, Twyla wrote this for you.
Read it, y’all.
I love Joey Pigza.
My friend Sandra introduced me to Joey Pigza this past summer. The hero of the eponymous middle-grade series, Joey Pigza is a hilarious, heartstring strumming character with a mean case of ADD that only a patch can alleviate and a set of parents who are even more challenging. Add to that a chain-smoking grandma with emphysema and an oxygen tank and you can see why Joey’s hands are full just with daily life.
Which is why he is such an endearing character in Joey Swallowed the Key, Joey Pigza Loses Control, What Would Joey Do and I Am Not Joey Pigza . I’d say buy one (or all) of these books for a tweener in your life, but quite honestly, I read them for my own enjoyment this fall. There is something in Joey that we can’t help but root for, a kid just trying to rise above his own very trying circumstances to make a life for himself. A smart, funny, sweet kid.
Jack Gantos created Joey and has written about his own life in A Hole in My Life. Haven’t read that but it’s on my list.
Check out Joey Pigza, ya’ll
Do you like to craft? Are you, like me, modestly equipped to do so? Yes, I have a Necchi sewing machine, circa the 1950’s, that I still need to learn to use (January is looking good), but I can HANDSEW with the best of them (and I’m a mean cross stitcher too). Then you will LOVE The CUTE Book.
Co-authored by the mysterious team of Aranzi-Aronzo, first in Japan and later made available in the American market, this book features a handful of adorable felt character crafts that just about anyone with a needle, thread and some felt could do–and feel proud of. You could gift one of these adorable creatures to a friend, attach it to a tote bag, or even enlarge the pattern to make a larger creature on the style of the Ugly Doll only, of course, cuter. The directions are unbelievably clear and easy. Aranzi-Aronzo have a website, of course, and have authored a number of other books worth checking out, but this was my first and I heartily recommend it for you or any crafter in your life.
Go for it!
I’ve been thinking, since I last exhorted everyone to buy books, and since a gaggle of publishers recently gifted me with a pile o’ book swag (see recent best book fair ever’ post) , AND since now Simon and Schuster, as well as Random House, are supposedly laying off a crowd of people, I thought I would do my part to an industry I love by recommending as many books as I could for purchase between now and Christmas.
Today’s book? ’07 Newbery Honor winner Elijah of Buxton </a>by Christopher Paul Curtis, the author of The Watson’s Go to Birmingham 1963 (Newberry Honor) and Bud, Not Buddy (Newbery WINNER). Buxton is a settlement of free slaves up in Canada, just north of Detroit, in the 19th century and Elijah, the main character, is the first baby born there. A tweenager in this book, he’s by turns funny and touching as are a whole host of other characters. Frederick Douglass even makes an appearance–sort of, but I can’t tell you how, you have to read the book.
I just paid for it in hardcover but just found out that Scholastic is also offering it in paperback, so it must be available that way, somehow. Anyway, it’s the perfect gift for the tweener or teenager in your life, or even the adult who likes these kinds of stories, funny, sweet, with some history thrown effortlessly. Word has it that Christopher Paul Curtis was once a line worker at a factory in Detroit and this fact impresses me no end. Talk about life experience. Probably one of the reason’s why the guy’s such a wonderful writer.
So Elijah of Buxton. My first recommendation. Buy it, y’all, before they make it into a movie, which you know won’t be as good as the book.
PS Don’t forget about the giveaway. Post between now and Dec. 15 will be entered in a draw.