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I'm an actress, singer, dancer, and writer. I'm also a freelance journalist, a publicist, a bookseller, and a webdesigner. This LiveJournal, for the most part, pertains to books - book reviews, exclusive interviews with authors, press releases, and booklists. My journal has an emphasis on teen fiction, though there are plenty of items for adult fiction and for juvenile fiction (or "kidlit") as well.
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1. Poetry Friday: To love thee, year by year by Emily Dickinson

To love thee, year by year,
May less appear
Than sacrifice and cease.
However, Dear,
Forever might be short
I thought, to show,
And so I pieced it with a flower now.

- Emily Dickinson

View all posts tagged as Poetry Friday at Bildungsroman.

View the roundup schedule at A Year of Reading.

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2. Best Books of June 2015

June 2015: 8 books and scripts read

Recommended for adults and older teens
Tin Men by Christopher Golden

Recommended for ages 14 and up
Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen

Recommended for ages 8 and up
A Handful of Stars by Cynthia Lord
BSC Graphix #1: Kristy's Great Idea by Raina Telgemeier

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3. Poetry Friday: Much madness is divinest sense by Emily Dickinson

Much madness is divinest sense
To a discerning eye;
Much sense the starkest madness.
'T is the majority
In this, as all, prevails.
Assent, and you are sane;
Demur, - you're straightway dangerous,
And handled with a chain.

- Emily Dickinson

View all posts tagged as Poetry Friday at Bildungsroman.

View the roundup schedule at A Year of Reading.

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4. Poetry Friday: The Mariposa Lily by Ina Coolbrith

Insect or blossom? Fragile, fairy thing,
Poised upon slender tip, and quivering
To flight! a flower of the fields of air;
A jewelled moth; a butterfly, with rare
And tender tints upon his downy wing,
A moment resting in our happy sight;
A flower held captive by a thread so slight
Its petal-wings of broidered gossamer
Are, light as the wind, with every wind astir,-
Wafting sweet odor, faint and exquisite.
O dainty nursling of the field and sky,
What fairer thing looks up to heaven's blue
And drinks the noontide sun, the dawning's dew?
Thou wing√ęd bloom! thou blossom-butterfly!

- The Mariposa Lily by Ina Coolbrith

View all posts tagged as Poetry Friday at Bildungsroman.

View the roundup schedule at A Year of Reading.

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5. Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen

Peyton's crimes and convictions had skewed the view people had of my entire family. People in the neighborhood either stared or made a point of not looking at us; conversations at the pool or by the community bulletin board stopped when we came into earshot. It was like stepping into a fun house of mirrors, only to find you had to stay there. I was the sister of the neighborhood delinquent, drug addict, and now drunk drinker. It didn't matter than I'd done none of these things. With shame, like horseshoes, proximity counts.

Readers who have felt overshadowed by an older sibling or overlooked by their parents will relate easily to Sydney, the protagonist of Sarah Dessen's latest novel, Saint Anything. Sydney's charismatic older brother, Peyton, was the apple of their mother's eye - until he started acting out. Now he's in jail, sentenced to seventeen months for driving drunk and hitting and paralyzing a young boy.

Shortly after the sentencing, Sydney begins her junior year of high school. Legal fees have severely altered her family's budget, so she switches from private school to public. Ready to be anonymous, she welcomes the change. Instead of going the expected route of reinventing herself and/or lying to people about her brother or her family, she stays true to herself and keeps her head above water rather than wallowing or whining. Kudos to Dessen for letting her character remain authentic and genuine.

Because of that, Sydney finds people who accept her for who she is: specifically, Layla and Mac. Both are perceptive, Layla in a more direct way, while Mac stands quietly just one step away, ready to protect and help his loved ones whenever they need him. Layla, in the same grade as Sydney, is lively, lovely, and unlucky in love. Mac, Layla's brother, is one grade up. They understand family entanglements and obligations: their mother suffers from MS and is often resting at home; their father runs the family business, a pizza place called Seaside; and their older sister, Rosie, once a promising figure skater, recently had a brush with the law. The more time Sydney spends with Layla and Mac, the more comfortable she feels with them and in her own skin. She starts hanging out and helping out at Seaside whenever time allows.

Meanwhile, Sydney's mother Julie, always organized and ready to put a positive spin on things, tries to stay involved in her son's life - and you'd think by the way she was acting, he was away at school or on a long trip, rather than in prison - while she's still somewhat oblivious to her daughter. Julie can't wait to go to Family Visiting Day at the jail, Sydney doesn't know if she wants to. Julie trusts Peyton's friend Ames, who gives Sydney the creeps. Ames (supposedly) cleaned up his act and keeps in contact with Peyton, so Julie sees him as an extension of her son and uses him as a sounding board and messenger. Sydney doesn't like how Ames looks at her, how he stands a little too close; he makes her uncomfortable, especially when he jumps at the chance to be her chaperone when her parents are away. The attention she wants but doesn't get from her parents and the attention she gets but doesn't want from Ames becomes trapped in the same four walls.

Sarah Dessen always gives her characters dimensions and realistic attributes. Rather than simply being Sydney's support group, the supporting characters in Saint Anything have their own storylines and interests (ask Layla how she likes her french fries; consider Mac's hobbies, or those of Sydney's long-time friends Jenn and Meredith). Some orbits cross and interact while others are separate. There is also music, though not as prevalent as in some of Dessen's other works, more of a gentle underscore here and there, playing in the background at the pizza joint, then at in the Chatham home, then growing louder as Sydney gets to know a local band. Dessen's dedicated readers will notice subtle connections to characters and places from her previous novels, further enriching the world she's created.

The title comes from something Sydney is given, something that gives her hope. For anyone who is searching for that hope: may you find it, and share it, and never lose it.

My favorite quotes from this novel include:

"There's no shame in trying to make stuff work, if how I see it. It's better than just accepting the broken." - Mac to Sydney, page 244

I would have love to know how it felt, just once, to have something fall apart and see options instead of endings. - pages 244-245

You only really fall apart in front of the people you know can piece you back together. - Page 387

When faced with the scariest of things, all you want is to turn away, to hide in your own invisible place. But you can't. That's why it's not only important for us to be seen, but to have someone lookfor us, as well. - Page 401

"I can go with you," he said. "If it would make it easier."
"It would," I told him. "But I think I need it to be difficult."
- Page 415

If you like Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen, you will also like The Opposite of Invisible by Liz Gallagher and The Queen of Everything by Deb Caletti. If this was your first foray into the world of Sarah Dessen, make sure to check out her backlist. Click here for my reviews of all of Sarah Dessen's novels.

Related posts at Bildungsroman:
Interview: Sarah Dessen
Booklist: Tough Issues for Teens
They Tried to Ban This Book Today, or, There's a Sticker on the Cover of This Book: Reacting to the Challenge of Just Listen by Sarah Dessen
Roundtable: Sarah Dessen Novels
Roundtable: Just Listen by Sarah Dessen
Playlist: This Lullaby by Sarah Dessen
Author Spotlight: Sarah Dessen

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6. Poetry Friday: Into the Noiseless Country by Thomas William Parsons

Into the noiseless country Annie went,
Among the silent people where no sound
Of wheel or voice or implement - no roar
Of wind or billow moves the tranquil air:

And oft at midnight when my strength is spent
And day's delirium in the lull is drowned
Of deepening darkness, as I kneel before
Her palm and cross, comes to my soul this prayer,
That partly brings me back to my content,
"Oh, that hushed forest! - soon may I be there!"

- Into the Noiseless Country by Thomas William Parsons

View all posts tagged as Poetry Friday at Bildungsroman.

View the roundup schedule at A Year of Reading.

Learn more about Poetry Friday.

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7. Poetry Friday: Ralph Waldo Emerson

Finish every day and be done with it.
You have done what you could.
Some blunders and absurdities
no doubt have crept in;
forget them as soon as you can.

Tomorrow is a new day;
begin it well and serenely
and with too high a spirit
to be cumbered with
your old nonsense.

This day is all that is
good and fair.
It is too dear,
with its hopes and invitations,
to waste a moment on yesterdays.

- Ralph Waldo Emerson

View all posts tagged as Poetry Friday at Bildungsroman.
View the roundup schedule at A Year of Reading.
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8. Best Books of May 2015

May 2015: 5 books and scripts read

Recommended for Teens and Adults
All the Rage by Courtney Summers
Read Between the Lines by Jo Knowles
The Game of Love and Death by Martha Brockenbrough

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9. Poetry Friday: Ida Frickey

Nothing in life is alien to you:
I was a penniless girl from Summum
Who stepped from the morning train in Spoon River.
All the houses stood before me with closed doors
And drawn shades- I was barred out;
I had no place or part in any of them.
And I walked past the old McNeely mansion,
A castle of stone 'mid walks and gardens,
With workmen about the place on guard,
And the County and State upholding it
For its lordly owner, full of pride.
I was so hungry I had a vision:
I saw a giant pair of scissors
Dip from the sky, like the beam of a dredge,
And cut the house in two like a curtain.
But at the "Commercial" I saw a man,
Who winked at me as I asked for work--
It was Wash McNeely's son.
He proved the link in the chain of title
To half my ownership of the mansion,
Through a breach of promise suit - the scissors.
So, you see, the house, from the day I was born,
Was only waiting for me.

- Ida Frickey in Spoon River Anthology by Edgar Lee Masters

View all posts tagged as Poetry Friday at Bildungsroman.

View the roundup schedule at A Year of Reading.

Learn more about Poetry Friday.

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10. The Game of Love and Death by Martha Brockenbrough

In the first chapter of The Game of Love and Death by Martha Brockenbrough, a baby boy is visited by the manifestation of Love. Appearing as a man in a fine gray suit, Love gives the boy a steady heart and these words: "Have courage." The next night, the manifestation of Death visits a baby girl across town and marks the child with a tear and whispered warnings. The first chapter is set in 1920; the next chapter skips forward to 1937, when the players are seventeen years old and the Game officially begins.

Told in third person, the book shuttles between the perspectives of the players - Flora, an African-American aviatrix who tends to planes during the day and sings jazz music at her uncle's club at night, and Henry, a scholarship student who lives with his best friend's well-to-do family - and the game runners - Death, a cynical feminine presence who would give Once Upon a Time's Queen Regina a run for her money, and Love, a masculine presence who believes in the transformative power of love. Other characters who come into play include Henry's best friend Ethan, Ethan's little sister Annabel, Ethan's cousin Helen, Flora's grandmother, Flora's uncle, and others at the jazz club. The third-person narrative permits the readers to know more about the characters, the events, and the overall big picture than the main players, who are unaware of their part in the Game. Revelations and connections lead to some tense page turns, especially as the story ramps up to the climax.

Death is a master manipulator, cunning and some would say cruel as she finds a way to get close to Henry and use him as a pawn. Meanwhile, Love is determined and hopeful, and his side story is something that made me want to give Brockenbrough a very strong high-five. The world would be a better place if all people were open-minded and optimistic and true to themselves.

The contrast between Death and Love is stark, but what's even more interesting is what they have in common. Consider, if you will, what they want; what they seek; what they are willing to sacrifice; and what they refuse to give up. It's eye-opening and tear-jerking and thought-provoking and other hyphenated things. If you are an emotional reader, you should probably have a box of Kleenex nearby. Also, perhaps you should sit in a comfy chair so you can grip the arm of it and/or curl up in a ball when necessary.

The writing throughout the novel is thoughtful. Every scene offers a complete picture of the setting and the people present. For example:

"Do you ever wonder," Helen said, walking down the stairs towards him, "if flowers feel pain when someone cuts them?" She lifted one from the basket. "Does it look like it suffered?"

"Oh, Helen," Mrs. Thorne said, "what a curious thing to say. I'm sure Henry has thought no such thing."

It was true. But, he realized, he would not be able to look at a flower again without wondering whether it had suffered, or whether anyone had cared.
- Page 94

The word "someday" is introduced early in the book as something important to the characters, and it leads to an impactful song that I wish we could hear.

If you liked The Game of Love and Death, you should check out The Ghost and Mrs. Muir. Read the original book, then see the classic film. The book was written by Josephine Leslie, but she used a pseudonym: R.A. Dick. The book also inspired a TV series, a sitcom. You should also read The Book Thief by Markus Zusak, which is directly narrated by Death, who is omniscient and genderless and more of an observer than a manipulator. Set on the European homefront during World War II, you'll need Kleenex to handle the tears you'll shed while reading that book, too.

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11. Poetry Friday: Someday from The Game of Love and Death by Martha Brockenbrough

You are the moon
And I am the sea
Wherever you are
You've got pull over me

The whole of the sky
Wants to keep us apart
The distance is wearing
A hole in my heart

Someday your moonlight
Will blanket my skin
Someday my waves
Will pull all of you in

Someday I promise
The moon and the sea
Will be together
Forever you and me.

- from The Game of Love and Death by Martha Brockenbrough

This song is written by one of the main characters in the novel, and performed as a duet by the two protagonists.

View all posts tagged as Poetry Friday at Bildungsroman.
View the roundup schedule at A Year of Reading.
Learn more about Poetry Friday.

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12. All the Rage by Courtney Summers

Courtney Summers' latest novel All the Rage begins in third-person narrative, detailing what happened to a girl at a party - at a table - in a truck - at the hands of the boy she thought she liked. Within three short pages, we learn this all happened a year ago, that this is a flashback, as we abruptly shift to first-person narrative and are brought into the here and now, where and when something has taken place that makes same girl feel even more ashamed and lost.

The action then shifts back in time two weeks and goes from there. Just two few weeks. Less than half a month. Not a lot of time, right? And yet so much can and will and does happen in that time.

A year ago, Romy was raped by a golden boy, the son of the town sheriff. Her complaints tossed aside like so much dirt, the case not pursued, Romy lost the respect of her peers, who think she made it all up, and her best friend, who is dating the sheriff's other son. Thankfully, Romy has the support of her mother - though they aren't extremely close, as Romy keeps everyone at arm's length - and she makes it through every school day with gritted teeth. At night, she escapes to her job at a restaurant at the next town over, where her reputation doesn't follow her like a cloud of dust.

The supporting characters in this book feel very real and distinct. For example, Todd, Romy's mother's boyfriend. If this were a film, I'd put Clayne Crawford or Christian Kane in that role in a heartbeat. I appreciated the realistic depiction of his chronic pain and condition, and I hope it makes people think twice before they call someone in that position "lazy." Throughout the book, Romy's mother's attempts to connect with her daughter are both heartwarming and heartbreaking, particularly the scene at The Barn (picture Big Lots!) and what comes after. If this were a film, smart actresses that fit Romy's mom's type and age would be doing everything they could to audition for that role. Then there's Leon, Romy's good-hearted co-worker who likes her, as well as his welcoming older sister and brother-in-law, who are preparing for the arrival of their first child. (Romy's reaction to that news is painful: she hopes for their sake it's not a girl.)

This feels like Courtney Summers' most mature work to date. Not to say her previous books were not mature - far from it; please read her debut novel Cracked Up to Be, followed by Some Girls Are, and on from there - but there's something even more grounded here, in the word choice of the author, the pacing of the story, and the mentality/narrative of the protagonist. "It's like a Sarah Dessen novel written by Courtney Summers," I said to a friend the day after I read it. (Then I added: "Now go read it so I can discuss it with you.")

The story could have gone in so many directions. We could have ended up in a courtroom, or a detention center, had the story focused on the pursuit of the person who attacked Romy. Or Romy could have run away, or not gotten up when she hit the ground. Instead, the book follows the story of two missing girls, only one of whom is missing in the way you suppose; the other has been gone for a long time, yet she's still there somehow - she's still here, somehow - and she tries to cover up the cracks in her foundation with red, red, red.

The story could have gone in so many directions. That's what I love about good stories and good storytellers: you can read ten books or watch ten movies or listen to ten songs with the same basic premise, but they won't be exactly the same, and the truly good ones will stand out due to the quality of the work and/or the unique sound and flavor of the author, the narrator, the singer, the artist. Summers has a distinct style, a simple and frank way of putting words down to guide readers along a train track and into a scarred soul. She usually uses first-person narrative to relate the thoughts and experiences of her protagonists, who are often burdened by secrets and losses that have shaken their strength - but it is that underpinning of strength that allows the characters to rebuild, to move forward, to strive for better.

The conclusion of All the Rage leads me to believe that Romy is going make it after all, and it is that simple thing - hope - that carries so many of us through the day, day after day. Instead of getting buried under the secrets and the pain, we should share our truths and make things better not only for ourselves, but for others. If we speak up, if we tell our stories, if we say no to what we don't want and yes to what we do want, we can have the lives we deserve and make the world safer, better, stronger, more wonderful for us all.

My favorite lines in the book include:

- ...the compliment lingers and fades. I remind myself it's nothing I have to hold or be held to. - Page 27

- Still, the way he says it to me is different than he'd say it to anyone else. Small town nuance. Something you don't learn in the city, It's knowing when hello means go away or when rough night means I know you got drunk again or when yeah, I'd love to see you, it's just so busy lately means never, never, never. - Page 37

- When Conway tells me he hopes I'm staying out of trouble what he means is I am the trouble. - Page 37

- I wonder what Leon sees when he looks at me. - Page 43

- I didn't want to see what that looked like on their faces because however they gave it back to me would come from some place I don't want any part of. - Page 53

- Sometimes I want to ask Todd how he's so good at that. Knowing more than he lets on. But I have a feeling it's from all those years he spent on the outside after his accident. When all you can do is watch, you see. - Page 128

- She doesn't even know how hard it's going to be yet, but she will, because all girls find out. - Page 263

- My heart is heavy with the weight of my body and my body is so heavy with the weight of my heart. - Page 314

- The last line of the very first section, and the last line of the book. I won't spoil them here; I'll simply say they act as bookends.

Related posts at Bildungsroman:
Interview: Courtney Summers (2015)
Interview: Courtney Summers (2008)
Book Review: Cracked Up to Be by Courtney Summers
Book Review: Fall for Anything by Courtney Summers
Book Review: This is Not a Test by Courtney Summers
What Makes Courtney Summers Smile
So You Want to Read YA? Booklist by Little Willow at Stacked

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13. Read Between the Lines by Jo Knowles

A boy with a broken finger who quietly suffers under the weight of his father's cruel words. A girl desperate to fit in. The teenage boy who dates a girl in public and a boy in private. A young man who is counting the days until he's 21. A teacher struggling to get her students' respect.

Read Between the Lines by Jo Knowles tells all these stories and more. The book contains ten short stories total, with each character's tale roughly 40 pages long. The storylines overlap and connect, woven together by setting - all of the stories take place in the same town, on the same day - as strangers, neighbors, relatives, co-workers and classmates interact, ignore, confront, and combust.

Set aside some time for this book, because once you've finished reading it, you may feel compelled to read it again! If you read this book a second time, you will pick up on even more of the connections, causes, and consequences, just like when you read a mystery for the second time, you pick up on more of the clues because you already know the identity (and intentions) of the murderer.

The author said that this book was inspired by a stranger who flipped off her family while driving down the road. That symbol of disrespect is in each of the stories, which may make some parents or teachers hesitate, but don't be worried - overall, the book is fairly PG.

Read Between the Lines is both frank and considerate, honest in its depiction of emotional abuse, intolerance, secrets, and hierarchies within families, classrooms, and communities. Though they have different backgrounds and different interests, each character is trying to find a place for herself or himself in the world, and there's something universal in that search for identity and belonging. The point of the book is to pause, to think, to consider, to look, to look again: we don't always know what's happened to others to make them act or react the way they do; we can't read their minds, we don't know what their day has been like or what their home situation is, but if we take a moment to consider other people's feelings, to respect their space and hear their side of the story, we might be find we are more alike and more connected that we think.

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14. Poetry Friday: Acquainted with the Night by Robert Frost

I have been one acquainted with the night.
I have walked out in rain - and back in rain.
I have outwalked the furthest city light.

I have looked down the saddest city lane.
I have passed by the watchman on his beat
And dropped my eyes, unwilling to explain.

I have stood still and stopped the sound of feet
When far away an interrupted cry
Came over houses from another street,

But not to call me back or say good-bye;
And further still at an unearthly height,
One luminary clock against the sky

Proclaimed the time was neither wrong nor right.
I have been one acquainted with the night.

- Robert Frost

View all posts tagged as Poetry Friday at Bildungsroman.

View the roundup schedule at A Year of Reading.

Learn more about Poetry Friday.

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15. Poetry Friday: The House and the Road by Josephine Preston Peabody

The little Road says, Go,
The little House says, Stay:
And O, it's bonny here at home,
But I must go away.

The little Road, like me,
Would seek and turn and know;
And forth I must, to learn the things
The little Road would show!

And go I must, my dears,
And journey while I may,
Though heart be sore for the little House
That had no word but Stay.

Maybe, no other way
Your child could ever know
Why a little House would have you stay,
When a little Road says, Go.

- The House and the Road by Josephine Preston Peabody

View all posts tagged as Poetry Friday at Bildungsroman.

View the roundup schedule at A Year of Reading.

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16. Interview: Courtney Summers

I first interviewed author Courtney Summers in 2008, shortly before her debut novel Cracked Up to Be was released. Seven years, five novels, and many tweets, Tumblr Q&As, and short stories later, her latest novel All the Rage is all the buzz, as is the #tothegirls campaign, which Courtney launched via Thunderclap on April 14th to remind girls everywhere that they are seen, heard and loved.

During her blog tour, I threw three questions Courtney's way. It was difficult, but somehow, I managed to resist the urge to ask her about her love for Pollito, the chicken in Despicable Me 2.

What inspired you to create #ToTheGirls?

I write for and about girls because I believe girls and their stories matter. I think we should take and make every opportunity we can to tell them so.

When you were a kid, were there any books or characters that you connected with strongly?

When I was a kid, I was obsessed with The Baby­-Sitters Club. I was so obsessed they inspired me to start baby­sitting . . . and that was not as fun as the novels led me to believe.

BUT. Those girls were so cool, so any time I could recognize a trait that I shared with any of the characters - from Claudia’s drawing (I loved to draw when I was younger) and her junk food obsession, to Mallory’s writing, to Kristy’s bossiness - I was thrilled beyond words. I felt like I could be as cool as them. Those books had such a positive impact on me and fueled my love of reading.

What's your favorite feature of the Supernatural Clue board game?

I love this question! My favourite part of the Supernatural Clue game is playing as Dean.And then taking it really personally when any of the other characters let him down by being whodunit. Especially if it’s Sam! :)

BONUS: Here's a little quote from ALL THE RAGE...



Follow the blog tour + learn more about Courtney Summers at her website.

Related posts at Bildungsroman:
Interview: Courtney Summers (2008)
Book Review: Cracked Up to Be by Courtney Summers
Book Review: Fall for Anything by Courtney Summers
Book Review: This is Not a Test by Courtney Summers
What Makes Courtney Summers Smile
So You Want to Read YA? Booklist by Little Willow at Stacked

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17. Best Books of April 2015

April 2015: 2 books and scripts read

With much of April spent onstage, backstage, and on sound stages, I did not have a lot of time to read. (Or sleep, but what else is new?)

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18. Poetry Friday: Tawny by Carl Sandburg

These are the tawny days: your face comes back.

The grapes take on purple: the sunsets redden early on the trellis.

The bashful mornings hurl gray mist on the stripes of sunrise.

Creep, silver on the field, the frost is welcome.

Run on, yellow balls on the hills, and you tawny pumpkin flowers, chasing your lines of orange.

Tawny days: and your face again.

- Tawny by Carl Sandburg

View all posts tagged as Poetry Friday at Bildungsroman.

View the roundup schedule at A Year of Reading.

Learn more about Poetry Friday.

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19. Tin Men by Christopher Golden


Christopher Golden's novel Tin Men will be hitting stores this June - and it's going to hit hard. While I can't say much for the sake of spoilers, I can tell you the mini-summary that the publisher is offering:

Brad Thor meets Avatar in this timely military thriller for the drone age, which spins the troubles of today into the apocalypse of tomorrow. A rocket ride of a read packed with high action, cutting-edge technology, and global politics, Tin Men begins with the end of the world as we know it and takes off from there.

I love sci-fi stories that are based in science and technology, stories that present us with possible, plausible situations that stir up society as we know it. Hello, Black Mirror. Oh, how I adore thee, Twilight Zone. And you all know how much I love Christopher Golden's writing. So of course I can't wait until Tin Men is released - even though I hope none of them attack my home.

Bonus points for those willing to discuss the various Cybermen storylines from Doctor Who with me. Leave your thoughts in the comments below.

Tin Men by Christopher Golden will be available June 23rd, 2015. Check out the awesome reviews it has received. (Yay, Publishers Weekly!)

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20. #tothegirls




From author Courtney Summers:

"I write about girls.

"I write about girls because every girl deserves the opportunity to pick up a book and see herself in its pages.

"I write about girls because girls, and their stories, matter.

"It's my way of letting them know.

"On April 14th, 2015, please join me in telling the girls you know - and the ones you don't - that they are seen, heard and loved. Share advice, be encouraging. Tell us about or thank the girls in your life who have made a difference in yours. Use the hashtag #ToTheGirls along with your personal message of support and encouragement on Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook, Instagram, or the social media platform of your choice."


For more information on how to participate visit summerscourtney.tumblr.com/tothegirls and share the campaign via Thunderclap.

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21. Best Books of March 2015

March 2015: 9 books and scripts read

Knee-deep in rehearsals, I read a scant 9 books this month.

I enjoyed Alex as Well by Alyssa Brugman. I posted my review of the book here and at GuysLitWire.

I read and discussed The Winter People by Jennifer McMahon with a friend who had also read it - and then I recommended that she read Snowblind by Christopher Golden stat. Both of those books make me grateful for life and sunshine.

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22. Poetry Friday: Room by Jillian Edwards

With all of my heart, I'm racing
Watch the page as it turns out
You would read all of me had you the chance
You'd never put me down
Please don't put me down

I get a little bit restless
You just gotta give me time
I get a little bit insecure, a little bit bent
I get a little bit everything every now and then

But there's room for you here
Oh, if you take it all
Got so much room for you here
Yes, I pray you lay your head down here

So take it all
Take it like you would your childhood
The street you lived
You ride your bike
The whole world there inside your eyes
I'll find the water's deep
The river's wide
I've got nothin' but time

This is steady and sure and clear as the wind
That I see the other side of me in you
That I've got nothing but room for you here

- selected lyrics from Room by Jillian Edwards

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23. Poetry Friday: Try by Jillian Edwards

If you were a melody
I'd sing you all the time
And if your hands were poetry
I'd memorize every line
And if every look you gave me were
A different hue or shade of color
I'd learn how to paint you
You know I'd try

And if you were words in a story
You'd be in a book that's overdue
That's somewhere hidden in my closet
Looked a million times for you
And if you were just one day
You'd be the very first of May
And I'd be sunlight in your skies
Or at least I'd try

- selected lyrics from Try by Jillian Edwards



If you can't see the media player embedded above, click here to listen to the song.

Last week, I posted lyrics from Jillian's song Room.

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24. Poetry Friday: Coming Awake by D.H. Lawrence

When I woke, the lake-lights were quivering on the wall,
The sunshine swam in a shoal across and across,
And a hairy, big bee hung over the primulas
In the window, his body black fur, and the sound of him cross.

There was something I ought to remember: and yet
I did not remember. Why should I? The running lights
And the airy primulas, oblivious
Of the impending bee - they were fair enough sights.

- Coming Awake by D.H. Lawrence

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25. Poetry Friday: Bone Gap by Laura Ruby

Compose a haiku in honor of a person you admire.
You are spiky spring, humming summer, wings that beat
back ghosts of winter.

This appears on page 310 of the novel Bone Gap by Laura Ruby.

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