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1. Vogalonga 2015 in Venice - The World's Most Pleasant Boat Race

Vogalonga 2015
(Venice, Italy) The Vogalonga or "long row" has evolved into an international rowing event, with people who have a passion for boats that are propelled only by oars or paddles arriving in Venice from all over the world. It is one of the most beautiful days to be in Venice because there are no motorboats allowed -- not even the vaporettos run on the Grand Canal.

Vogalonga 2015
Rowing clubs from the Veneto and beyond fill the lagoon with the sweet sound of oars gliding into the water. Even though there are no cars in Venice, the noise the motor boats make with their grinding engines sometimes sounds as bad as the Los Angeles freeway. On Vogalonga, the loudest noises are made by human voices and the pounding drums that keep the dragon boats on track. The silence is awesome... and inspiring.

Vogalonga 2015
The Vogalonga began 41 years ago, back in 1974. A group of Venetians who were rowing enthusiasts wanted to draw attention to how motor boats run by fossil fuel were damaging the Grand Canal and lagoon by the violent waves they made -- something that Venetians still fight to bring to the world's attention today. They decided to have a long, non-competitive race, starting in the Bacino of San Marco in front of Palazzo Ducale.

Vogalonga 2015
The route is about 30 kilometers long (about 19 miles), winds out past the islands, and ends up on the Grand Canal -- really one of the most fantastic routes on the planet that a rower could hope to enjoy. It takes anywhere from 2 hours (if you're very fast) to 6 hours (if you want to kick back and see the scenery) to complete the race.

The event is entirely self-funded -- no sponsors, no government support -- just the €20 entry fee each rower pays to participate. These days there are thousands of participants; each year seems to set a new record.

Vogalonga 2015
For a few hours, on the day of the Vogalonga, it is easy to see how Venice came to be called La Serenissima -- the Most Serene Republic. How peaceful and serene the world seems without gasoline motors!

CLICK to go to the official Vogalonga website.

Ciao from Venezia,
Cat
Venetian Cat - The Venice Blog

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2. Make Something Up

Reading the new Chuck Palahniuk collection is like popping that giant zit on your forehead: it's completely gross and full of bodily fluids, but you just can't leave it alone. After finishing, you step back from the mirror — exhausted, ashamed, and totally satisfied. Books mentioned in this post Make Something Up: Stories You Can't... [...]

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3. The Water Knife

In this near-future thriller portraying a severely drought-ridden Southwest, the fate of the region depends on three people — Angel, a Las Vegas water knife whose job it is to ensure his city stays flush; Lucy, a journalist; and Maria, a young refugee. Frighteningly bleak but a pleasure to read, The Water Knife is a [...]

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4. Ice Cream Summer

Peter Sis's new picture book, Ice Cream Summer, is all about fun (and ice cream!) and family (and ice cream!) and learning (about ice cream!). It's the ice-creamiest ice cream in the whole-wide ice cream world! Books mentioned in this post Ice Cream Summer Peter Sis New Hardcover $17.99

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5. The Sunlit Night

Delightfully quirky and charming, the tale of how Frances and Yasha come to meet on a tiny Norwegian island is both winsome and slightly melancholic. From the reaches of the far north to a Russian bakery in Brighton Beach, Dinerstein transports us to her slightly wacky world. Books mentioned in this post The Sunlit Night [...]

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6. Put On Your Thinking Cap

Put on your thinking cap, because I'm writing the stories for my new weekly post, Monday's Mysteries , which I wrote a post about last Monday. Forgive me, but I've changed a few things about Monday's Mysteries, including the title. I realized that the title might imply that the stories will be mysteries, when one story will be true and the other fiction. The new title will be Monday's Stories: Truth or Fiction.

On Monday's post I wrote: "Every Monday I’m going to write two brief stories, one story will be authentic, and the other highly colored fiction.

You will decide which story is true and which is pure imagination. These Tall Tales will be brief, fun, and challenging. Do you think you can tell the difference between truth and fiction?" 


In addition to changing the title, my friend Sandee from Comedy Plus, suggested I wait a few days before I reveal the true story, and I think it's a good idea, so the true story will be published every Friday.

I'll post the links to the blogs and websites, (or your name if you do not have a blog) for those of you who guess the true story. You can let me know by leaving a comment. I love comments and I will reply. Take your time, you have until Friday. Although you're more than welcome to leave a comment today, just to say hello, or if you have any questions.  

Thank you and good luck!

Have a wonderful day. :)

Ann Clemmons

Special note: Thanks Sandee. 

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7. schwupp und weg: reeve & mcintyre hit frankfurt

Look! Seawigs have reached Germany! Here are some young rambling isles who we met last week at the European School in Bad Villbel, near Frankfurt.



Dressler, our German publisher, had asked us to go and visit some international schools to spread the word about Oliver and the Seawigs, or Schwupp und Weg as it’s known in those parts.






Our main host was Stephanie von Selchow who is the librarian at the European School in Frankfurt.



She’d arranged for us to do two sessions there, for her own students, and a visiting class from Textorschule, Sachsenhausen. A lot of the kids had already read Oliver and the Seawigs, so after we’d talked a bit about it we went on to Cakes in Space, which has just been published in Germany as Kekse im Kosmos. Most of the audience spoke good English, and it seemed to go down well... of course, some of the show needs no translation; the bit where I hit Philip over the head with a mandolin case goes down well in any language.



That afternoon we had a quick wander around Frankfurt, and tried to draw some of the odd but attractive nobbly linden trees which line the riverside.



They're quite tricky trees to draw, and I'd love to have another try at them. One of the school kids had a picture of this kind of tree in his Oliver and the Seawigs artwork and he got the funny shape of it just right.



Then it was off to the Literaturhaus restaurant, where we had dinner with Stephanie and some of her colleagues from ESF and other schools.



As you can see, it was very grand, and the food and company were first-rate.



The next morning we were picked up by Manuela Rossi, who whirled us down the Autobahn to Bad Villbel, where we talked Seawigs and Cakes to some of the students of the European School Rhine Main.



Utte, the librarian there, showed us some of the great artwork the children had produced, including this fantastic tower of houses. It looks a bit like a Traction City out of Philip’s Mortal Engines books.



Most amusing question of the day: Where did you get those GIGANTIC SHOES?



Then it was back on the Autobahn to yet another international school, Accadis in Bad Homburg.



We’d met Samantha Malmberg and Caitlin Wetsch from the school at the previous night’s dinner, so it was good to see them in their natural surroundings, and meet their students, who were VERY EXCITED TO SEE US.
Some of the classes had done whole whole projects on Oliver the Seawigs, complete with some great drawings.



And after that we had a little bit more time to mooch around Frankfurt...



...in the guise of Mitteleuropean crime-fighting duo Peek & Cloppenburg.



Strange things were going on in Frankfurt city centre. Nobody seemed to be bothered by the fact that the shopping mall was being devoured by a wormhole…



But we discovered a natty German-style TARDIS and were able to save the day.



And we both found excellent covers for our pop albums, should we ever find time to write and record them. Here’s Philip, waiting for the Trans-Europe Express…



Heaven knows what mine is going to sound like.



But whatever it is, it will be lovely: some things are Better Than Perfection.



Thanks to Stephanie, Utte, Sam and all the staff and volunteers who helped to make our visit to Frankfurt so enjoyable. We were very sad to leave!

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8. The uplifting, funny and feel good story of one boy’s incredible survival against the odds.

Abdi was a happy-go-lucky, soccer-playing fifteen year old when Somalia’s vicious civil war hit Mogadishu and his world fell apart.  Effectively an orphan, he fled with some sixty others, heading to Kenya.  The journey was perilous, as they faced violence, death squads and starvation. After three months, they arrived at a refugee camp in Kenya. […]

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9. On the wall

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10. Pollen

The porch is piled with pollen,
Transported by the breeze
And though I'm not allergic,
It's enough to make me sneeze.

It's powdered on the table
And it's dusted on the floor.
As the vacuum bag gets fatter,
Soon there is no room for more.

It's a constant losing battle
'Cause we clean up every trace
But when we wake up tomorrow,
There'll be more to take its place.

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11. Our Souls at Night

What a blessing it is for Kent Haruf fans to have one last story to savor. In his resonantly lean style, he sheds light on a relationship between two elderly people living alone yet seeking the warmth of companionship in conversation during nights spent in bed together. Here is the essence: lives enhanced by the [...]

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12. 5 Questions – Week 4

KidsComicQuestions TourBanner

And yessss! Another fantastic week of asking some super talented people, 5 Questions! Check out the interviews that Rafael and I did with them!

Questions for the amazing Sara Varon @ Sharp Read

David Rubin talks Aurora West, Spanish artists & collaborations @ Teen Lit Rocks

Visual literacy, sweaters in VT Summer, and 5 Questions for the Adventures in Cartooning Crew @ Word Spelunking

Cleopatra in Space, Columbus Pizza and obsession with 3 – 5 questions for Mike Maihack @ Bookish

College buddy collaborators, teenaged boats, and hippos. 5 Questions with John Patrick Green at Haunted Orchid

Claudette’s soundttrack, animation discipline & Kirby, Kirby, Kirby! I get to interview my partner and friend Rafael Rosado at Shae has left the Room.

Drawing cars, animation, and Nameless City — 5 Questions with Faith Erin Hicks at Good Books and Good Wine over  

Coming up next week: Dan Santat, Andy Runton, Colleen AF Venable, Jay Hosler, Eleanor Davis, and Ben Hatke

 

 

KidsComicSponsored BlogTourBanner


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13. How an #ink #drawing starts. #Sketch #studio #bookart (at 17th...


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14. Good Thing I Am Not Made of Sugar

Day two of a long three-day holiday weekend. The weather is a mixed bag of sun, clouds and rain. It just wouldn’t be right to have three beautiful days in a row. At least it isn’t snowing!

Gardening

spiderwort

spiderwort

I am a morning person and if I had my choice I would wake up with the sun every day. I love the long days of summer. At the moment the sun comes up around 5:35 and as the light filters into the bedroom my eyes fly open. It doesn’t matter that I get up at 5 for work during the week, sleeping in on weekends when the sun is up so early is impossible. But instead of jumping out of bed and rushing to shower, I get to wake up slowly and stretch and lounge a bit and languorously get up and wander into the kitchen where Bookman has already been up for a few minutes and is brewing coffee and starting to make breakfast. All this and it is barely 6:00!

Over breakfast and the weather forecast Bookman and I discussed the order of the day, stay home and garden and cook or go for a long bike ride? Since the day promised light rain throughout, we decided today would be a good day to stay home. Bookman began his wizarding (he is not a witch, he is a kitchen wizard) by putting pinto beans on to cook so he can make vegan sausages one of which will be used to slice up for the pizza he is making the crust for today too. And then there are the energy bars he is making for biking. Who needs Clif Bars when you can make your own nutritious granola bars with real food and no white sugar. We add coconut and chocolate chips and change up a few different kinds of seed like flax, pepitas, and sunflower.

I did a few around the house chores and then we got suited up to go outside. It had not yet started raining. We gathered our gloves and tools and the seeds we intended to plant and walked outside and it immediately began raining! At first it was a few sprinkles and then it was a light rain heavy enough to chase us back inside. We changed our clothes and puttered around indoors and couldn’t bear it any longer. Back into our gardening togs and out into the light rain. Since neither Bookman nor I are wicked witches or made of sugar, we did not melt (such a relief because sometimes you just never know).

We planted flax seeds, planted three different kinds of sunflowers we had sprouted so the squirrels didn’t dig up the seeds (lemon queen, Russian, and arikara). We also planted the basil we had sprouted in pots in our little greenhouse. Oh, and okra, we planted seeds for that where the garlic was supposed to be growing.

Kind of pretty mystery bug

Kind of pretty mystery bug

The garlic is the first garden fail of the year. Only two cloves came up. Most of the rest I found mushy and heaved up beneath the winter mulch. We didn’t plant them deep enough for what turned out to be a warm winter with quite a lot of freezing and thawing. And I was so looking forward to garlic scapes again this year. Guess I will have to wait another year.

By this time we had gotten a bit damp so we came back indoors and changed out of our gardening gear and had some lunch. It was still raining after lunch with no chance of it clearing up. I was restless and grumpy over not being able to be outdoors. Bookman took pity and humored me. We put our gardening gear back on and went out to garden in the light rain.

We turned over the groundcover clover in an arm of the veggie bed and planted zucchini, lemon squash and strawberry spinach. The squash does not taste like lemons but are yellow round things about the size of a lemon, maybe a bit larger. The spinach isn’t really spinach at all but one of those green leafies that like the heat of summer and you can substitute for spinach. The strawberry comes from the strawberry red flowers is gets that look kind of like strawberries but I think look more raspberry-like, at least in the photos. The flowers are edible too. I have not grown this before so it will be a fun experiment. I decided to grow this instead of the malabar spinach I grew last summer that is a vining plant and requires trellising. The strawberry spinach is tall and bushy.

We also planted seeds for cantaloupe, variety Minnesota midget. These softball-sized melons that grow on a compact vine and in a shorter growing season than your big full-size cantaloupe. I have grown these for a couple of years now and love them. They are the perfect size for two people and they are as sweet and tasty as their bigger cousins.

Do I need to say that gardening in the rain is a muddy affair? My wellies were designed for such delights! My

geese with babies

geese with babies

gloves, my gardening pants and the sleeves of the light windbreaker I was wearing are caked in mud. So are Bookman’s gloves and jeans and shoes (he does not have wellies in spite of my encouragement for him to get some).

While we were out gardening in the rain, our neighbor walked through her yard on the way to her car and I can’t imagine what she must have thought about the two crazy people who live next door to her. She didn’t say a word, probably too afraid to.

Not much blooming at the moment. I did notice the lemon thyme I bought at the plant sale a couple weeks ago has a few tiny pink flowers on it. The spiderwort is beginning to flower and the wild geraniums in the garden are going to town. Walter is covered in little bean-sized crabapples and it looks like it will be a big year for Bossy, the green cooking apple too. I can’t tell yet what Bee the Honeycrisp apple is going to do. The tree is still pretty young so I don’t expect anything really. I wouldn’t mind a surprise though!

Biking

Theodore Wirth Park trail

Theodore Wirth Park trail

Bookman had to work on Saturday so I once again ventured out alone on Astrid to do some exploring. I found two trails I had not been on before and oh, are they gorgeous! I took a couple of photos so you can see what a marvelous bike city I live in. And the trails were a little hilly too. Not big hills, but a few long, not very steep inclines and a couple small rollers, enough for a bit of a workout and some panting and a few whees! when I got to go downhill.

While out I saw lots of birds, a few I didn’t know what they were. There were geese too with their fuzzy babies. I got hissed at as I rode by. I also saw a deer! She crossed the bike path about ten feet/3 m in front of me and then stood next to the path until I was about six feet/2 m away before she bounded into the woods. It was so amazing!

The weather was cool and cloudy and rained lightly a couple times but I rode between the raindrops and didn’t

Luce Line Regional Trail

Luce Line Regional Trail

get wet. It was a perfect day for a ride. When all was said and done I had gone 43.8 miles/70.5 km in three hours and ten minutes, three hours and 37 minutes if you count my rest breaks and stops to look at a map when I couldn’t find the connecting trails or when the trail would suddenly disappear at a street intersection. Not bad, eh?

Tomorrow it is supposed to rain in the afternoon so Bookman and I will be out early for a long ride. We are going to try and see if we can reach Purgatory. Seriously. There is a park off a spur of the trail I rode last week called Purgatory. This amuses me immensely. I’ll be sure to let you know what Purgatory is like!


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15. News & Newsletter

sitting in my office, contemplating what to write...

I've been wanting to try out TinyLetter for a little while now, having subscribed to a few newsletters that use it, and so I took some time to create a newsletter aimed at sending out information, musings, etc. about my upcoming collection, Blood: Stories, which Black Lawrence Press will release in January.

Why create such a thing when I've already got this here blog? Because I think of this blog as a more general thing, not really a newsletter. I will put all important information about Blood here (as well as on Twitter, and I'll make a Facebook author page one of these days), but the newsletter will have more in-depth material, such as details of the publishing process, background on the stories, etc. There will be some exclusive content and probably even some give-aways, etc. I probably should have titled it Etc., in fact... And it's not all limited to Blood — if you take a look at the first letter, you'll see some of the range I'm aiming for. That letter is public, and some of the future ones will be, too, but for the most part I expect to keep the letters private for subscribers only. (I've always wanted to be part of a cabal, and now I've started my own!)

One of the things I note in that first letter is that Mike Allen is running a Kickstarter to raise funds for his fifth Clockwork Phoenix anthology, and all backers can now read a 2006 story of mine that Mike first published, "In Exile". This is, as far as I remember, the only story I've ever published set in the typical fantasy world of elves and wizards and all that. (To learn why, read the newsletter!) Mike made an editorial suggestion for the manuscript that completely fixed a major problem with the story, so I've always been tremendously grateful to him, and I'm thrilled that it's now available to backers of this very worthy Kickstarter.

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16. Interview with Anne Sawyer-Aitch, author of 'Nalah Goes to Mad Mouse City'


Anne Sawyer-Aitch (pronounced like the letter “H”) is a puppeteer and stilt-walker. When she decided to create her first book, Nalah and the Pink Tiger, she began experimenting with different styles of illustration, and finally discovered a technique that uses her skills as a maker of color shadow puppets. She calls it “Illuminated Illustration”, and it involves cut-away designs, layering, and backlighting. In her capacity as a puppeteer, Anne creates puppet pieces of all kinds: parade floats, giant stilt puppets, and intricate color shadow shows. She is a MN State Arts Board Roster Artist, teaching puppetry all over the state, and has been touring around with her first book & her Nalah and the Pink Tiger show for the last two years. Nalah Goes to Mad Mouse City is her second book. She lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

For More Information
Tell us about your recent release. What was your inspiration for it?

In my newest book, Nalah Goes to Mad Mouse City, the adventures of Nalah continue! One day Nalah finds herself bored and lonesome because all of her imaginary friends have gone away on vacation. But wait – not all. Mad Tooth, the little mouse who lives in her sock drawer, is still busy munching away on her knee-highs. When she finds out why Nalah is sad, she offers to take her down through the sock drawer into a mouse metropolis. The result is a tale of wild dancing, cousins and mice, taffy and a sock monster.

This book was inspired by my little niece, Nalah. She is a very lively girl who is always getting into mischief. She sparked the first story, Nalah and the Pink Tiger. The series has taken on a life of its own since then. 

Tell us about your children's books.

There are the two Nalah books mentioned above. I have illustrated a book for the MN Humanities Commission as well called The Imaginary Day. My next projects include a third Nalah book (Nalah in Piggy Wig Paris) and a book about animals in winter. The latter is something I started developing when I began painting small creaures sleeping: hedgehogs, squirrels, dormice, sleeping. I want to make a little board book for toddlers that parents can read to them at bedtime.

Describe your working environment.

Ha! I’m a puppeteer as well as an author/illustrator, and that means I save everything. I work in all sorts of mediums, from fabric to clay to paint and paper cutting. I’m always re-configuring my dining room table based on the project at hand. 

Do you have a website/blog where readers may learn more about you and your works?




What are you working on now?

Aside from the books I mentioned before, I’ll be developing some new puppet pieces, including the Spanish version of Nalah Goes to Mad Mouse City, and a Mexican folk tale in toy theatre style. 

Where are your books available?


What was your experience in working with an illustrator author?

I illustrated both of my books. I think both in words and in pictures, so I enjoy doing it that way. I use a lot of speech bubbles in my books. Probably because I grew up reading my Mom’s old Donald Duck comics.

What type of book promotion works for you? Any special strategies you’d like to share?

Because I’m a professional puppeteer, I have a puppet show that goes with the book. I’ve been performing that at various sites and selling books that way. But also through social media, Amazon, Good Reads, and shops that support local artists. 

What advice would you offer aspiring writers?

Don’t worry about how you are going to publish it. There are lots of ways to do that. You don’t need anybody else’s permission. Focus on making something you enjoy.

Who are your favorite authors?

In children’s ficiton, I love Maud Hart Lovelace, the D’Aulaires, Wanda Gag, William Steig. Also the Harry Potter books. They are so Dickensian.


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17. How an #ink #drawing starts. #Sketch #studio #bookart (at 17th...



How an #ink #drawing starts. #Sketch #studio #bookart (at 17th Avenue Studios)


Original post by Brian Bowes via Emergent Ideas: http://ift.tt/1KfhZrP

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18. New The Manila Review

       Issue 6 of The Manila Review is now (partially ?) available at its (sigh) newly redsigned site.

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19. Library Loot: Fourth Trip in May

New Loot:
  • One Crow Alone S.D. Crockett
  • After the Snow by S.D. Crockett
  • Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George
  • Alice's Tulips by Sandra Dallas
  • Return to Gone-Away by Elizabeth Enright
  • To All The Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han
  • Pioneer Girl: The Annotated Biography by Laura Ingalls Wilder
Leftover Loot:
  • Hop on Pop by Dr. Seuss
  • I Wish That I Had Duck Feet by Dr. Seuss
  • Fox in Socks by Dr. Seuss
  • I Had Trouble Getting to Solla Sollew by Dr. Seuss
  • Miles from Nowhere by Amy Clipston
  • Dear Hank Williams by Kimberly Willis Holt
  •  Stella by Starlight by Sharon Draper
  • Evidence Not Seen by Darlene Deibler
  • The Cottage in the Woods by Katherine Coville
  • Gone Crazy in Alabama by Rita Williams-Garcia 
  • The Acts of King Arthur and His Noble Knights by John Steinbeck
  • The Midwife's Tale by Sam Thomas
  • Three Musketeers by Alexander Dumas, translated by Richard Pevear
  • Murder at Mullings by Dorothy Cannell
  • Princess of the Midnight Ball by Jessica Day George
  • Princess of Glass by Jessica Day George
  • Princess of the Silver Woods by Jessica Day George
  • The Black Cauldron by Lloyd Alexander
  • Cursed in the Act by Raymond Buckland
  • Here There Be Dragons by James A. Owen
  • The Search for the Red Dragon by James A. Owen
  • Indigo King by James A. Owen
  • The Iron Trial by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare
  •  Dr. Seuss's Sleep Book
  • The Far Side of Evil by Sylvia Louise Engdahl
  • The War That Ended Peace: The Road to 1914 by Margaret MacMillan
  • The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson
  • One Summer by David Baldacci
  •  Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
    Library Loot is a weekly event co-hosted by Claire from The Captive Reader and Linda from Silly Little Mischief that encourages bloggers to share the books they’ve checked out from the library. If you’d like to participate, just write up your post-feel free to steal the button-and link it using the Mr. Linky any time during the week. And of course check out what other participants are getting from their libraries 

© 2015 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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20. Read Russia Prize shortlist

       They've announced the Read Russia Prize shortlist, 'Celebrating the best translations of Russian literature' (into English).
       The two new Anna Karenina translations (by Rosamund Bartlett and by Marian Schwartz) both make the cut, as does Oliver Ready's (re)translation of Crime and Punishment. Among newer (or at least previously untranslated) works is Vladimir Sharov's Before and During (also by Ready; I have a copy and should get to it at some point) and Sergei Dovlatov's Pushkin Hills (a Best Translated Book Award finalist -- find out if it takes that prize on Wednesday !).
       See also Lisa Hayden Espenschade's comments at her Lizok's Bookshelf weblog.
       The winner will be announced 29 May, at The Grolier Club in New York.

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21. Revisiting Palace of Stone

Palace of Stone. (Princess Academy #2) Shannon Hale. 2012. Bloomsbury. 323 pages. [Source: Library]

I definitely enjoyed rereading Shannon Hale's Palace of Stone, the sequel to Princess Academy. It was great to read these two books back to back. Having that continuity certainly helped me appreciate it all the more.

Miri is the heroine of Palace of Stone. Princess Academy concludes with Prince Steffan choosing Miri's friend, Britta, to be his wife. Britta and Steffan had known each other before and had fallen in love with each other. But Britta was not from Mount Eskel. Not until her father pushes her into a big deception: she MUST go live a year on Mount Eskel, she must be an orphan sent to live with oh-so-distant relatives on the mountain. She must attend the academy. No one but Miri and Britta and Steffan know the absolute truth. (Well, obviously her ambitious parents know.)

Palace of Stone opens with Miri and a handful of other Princess Academy graduates preparing to go with traders to the capital city. They have all been invited by Britta, they are her ladies. Miri will have an extra privilege as well. She'll be the first person from Mount Eskel to go to university. (Queen's Castle) She is thrilled and anxious and overwhelmed. She really WANTS to learn, to keep on learning, to absorb as much as she possibly can, so she can return to the village she loves and teach others what she's learned in her year away. She is a most eager and motivated student. She's also a great listener. She tries to stay close to Britta and the others, but, it isn't always easy since she's so busy.

And then there is of course her spying. Katar, the representative of Mount Eskel, her former classmate, has begged for Miri's help. She KNOWS that many are discontent and eager for revolution. But she can't seek these 'traitors' out herself and spy for the royal family. But Miri, well, she can be her eyes and ears. She may quite naturally come across these people at university or in the community. (Miri does have greater access, wider access, than some of the other girls.)

Miri learns all about the cause of 'the shoeless.' What she learns about the royal family, what she learns about the nobility, changes her. How can she LIKE such despicable people who are so cruel, so smug, so unfeeling?! She loves Britta, and, she wants to believe that Steffan isn't just like his father, but, she sees the rightness of the cause...

What will Miri do? What can she do? Will revolution come and change the kingdom forever? Or will Miri find a way to save the day?

Readers definitely meet a lot more characters in Palace of Stone. And the book is a quick, satisfying read. Her love of Peder remains strong throughout despite the fact that she's tempted a few times to entertain the attentions of another young man--a fellow student.

The book is beautifully complex in its characterization. It's easy to recommend both books. 

© 2015 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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22. Slow Books

A note from Candy: I was truly wowed by the last book I read by Nicky Singer  -  Knight Crew, a retelling of the Arthur-Guinevere romance set in a gritty council estate and populated by heart-breaking teenagers. When Knight Crew came out, Nicky actively urged readers not to buy the book from Amazon. Last week I stumbled on Nicky's Kickstarter campaign to publish her play, Island, as a novel. I

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23. School Visit Packet

Before your school visit, send out a packet containing all the information they will need to make your visit a success.

http://coolschoolvisits.com/2015/03/09/dont-forget-advance-promotional-materials/#more-94

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24. Heimrad-Bäcker-Preis

       The Heimrad-Bäcker-Preis is pretty small-time -- though actually the €8,000 in prize-money isn't bad (right there at Pulitzer/National Book Award level) -- apparently without its own website (nor one for the Interessengemeinschaft Heimrad Bäcker that awards the prize), but I think it's neat that the author and his wife used the apparently tidy sum he got for selling his archives to fund this prize (and a Förderpreis to go with it), to be awarded to an author writing in the spirit of Bäcker's edition neue texte, and so it seems well worth a mention that Monika Rincks will pick up this year's prize; see the (German) report at Salzburg24.
       Dalkey Archive Press admirably brought out Bäcker's fascinating transcript a few years ago.

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25. Now That You're Here Book Review

Title: Now That You're Here Author: Amy K. Nichols Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers Publication Date: December 9, 2014 ISBN-13: 978-0385753890 304 pp. ARC provided by publisher Here's another book in the current parallel universes mini-trend, Now That You're Here by Amy K. Nichols. There's dual narration by Danny, a street artist in Phoenix who lands in his doppleganger's body

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