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Results 1 - 25 of 158,512
1. Poetry Friday: August by Mary Oliver

When the blackberries hang
swollen in the woods, in the brambles
nobody owns, I spend

all day among the high
branches, reaching
my ripped arms, thinking

of nothing, cramming
the black honey of summer
into my mouth; all day my body

accepts what it is. In the dark
creeks that run by there is
this thick paw of my life darting among

the black bells, the leaves; there is
this happy tongue.

- August by Mary Oliver

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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2. Pasadena Loves YA 2016

Hi everyone! Just popping in for a quick post about Pasadena Loves YA. Our friend Jane Gov who is the teen librarian at Pasadena Public Library (Central Branch) has organized this event for the past couple of years, and we're really looking forward to seeing everyone there again!

What: Pasadena Loves YA is a free teen book festival presented by Pasadena Public Library

Where: Pasadena Public Library - Central Branch, 285 E Walnut St, Pasadena, CA 91101

When: Saturday, Sept 17, 2016 from 12-4 pm. First 300 attendees get free tote bags, so get there early!

What: Meet 19 young adult authors, listen to panels speak about various topics, and get your books signed! Book sales by Vroman's Bookstore. Helping hands provided by Bridge to Books. Find out more at pasadenateenbookfestival.com and follow @pasadenalovesya on TwitterInstagram, and Facebook! No ticket is necessary but we'd love it if you could RSVP here. The official hashtag = #plya16 (you can also tag = #pasadenalovesya)

Who:

Josephine Angelini (Witch's Pyre)
Frank Beddor (Crossfire)
Elizabeth Briggs (Future Shock)
Julie Buxbaum (Tell Me Three Things)
Cecil Castellucci (Stone in the Sky)
Tobie Easton (Emerge)
Dana Elmendorf (South of Sunshine)
Charlotte Huang (Going Geek)
Kerry Kletter (The First Time She Drowned)
Eric Laster (#Static)
Aija Mayrock (The Survival Guide to Bullying)
Shannon Messenger (Let the WInd Rise)
Marisa Reichardt (Underwater)
Robin Reul (My Kind of Crazy)
Robyn Schneider (Extraordinary Means)
Evelyn Skye (The Crown's Game)
Ingrid Sundberg (All We Left Behind)
Thomas Voorhies (The Giant)
Nicola Yoon (Everything Everything)

What a lineup, right? There will be giveaways and some refreshments, too!

Just a few pointers:

  • Parking - Parking can get a little hairy! There's metered parking on the street and a time limit on the lot, but if you park next door at University of Phoenix you should be fine (and it's covered!). Just don't park in any reserved spaces. There are also 2 public parking lots in walking distance. 
  • Books - You may bring books from home. Is there a title you can't live without? Better bring it--Vroman's will have the latest from each author, but supplies will be limited. Of course, supporting our indie bookstore partner with purchases will be greatly appreciated, and will help ensure they'll be back next year with more books!
  • Food - There aren't any places to buy food in the library during the event, and while there are sometimes refreshments, we tend to run out. We highly recommend bringing a picnic lunch, snacks to munch, and something to drink (coffeeholics, I'm looking at you! the nearest Starbucks is at the Paseo Colorado). You can also eat in most of the spaces such as the auditorium, the story room, and the patio--just make sure to keep the library clean!
  • Autographs - Signings and panels will be in the same room--you should be able to listen to the next panel while waiting in the signing line. We will have volunteers armed with Post-Its and Sharpies if you want your book personalized.
  • Tickets - No tickets are necessary, but we'd be grateful if you would RSVP at the Facebook event listing. It would also be awesome if you could share the post with your friends!
  • Social Media - We'd love to see your photos and tweets on social media! Make sure you tag them #plya16 and #pasadenalovesya so they make it to both this year's and the continuing tag feeds. We'll be publishing a quick guide to all of the authors' Instagram and Twitter handles next week, along with the schedule, so you can plan your day!

Any more questions? Head over to pasadenateenbookfestival.com or message pasadenateenbookfest at gmail dot com. We'll do our best to provide answers!

See you on September 17th!

~Alethea

(cross-posted at Kid Lit Frenzy)

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3. Family Stories

How use a family story as a basis for your historical fiction middle grade or young adult novel.

http://www.writersdigest.com/editor-blogs/guide-to-literary-agents/writing-historical-fiction-based-on-a-family-story

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4. Testament of Youth

Testament of Youth. Vera Brittain. 1933. 688 pages. [Source: Library]

First sentence: When the Great War broke out, it came to me not as a superlative tragedy, but as an interruption of the most exasperating kind to my personal plans.

Premise/plot: In 1933, Vera Brittain published her autobiography, Testament of Youth, which covers the years 1900 to 1925. Much of the book focuses directly on the Great War (aka World War I) and its immediate aftermath. During the war, Vera Brittain left her university studies (Somerville College, Oxford) and became a nurse (V.A.D.). She worked as a nurse in England and abroad. (I believe she nursed in France and Malta.) Many of her friends actively served during the war. And those closest to her--including a brother and a fiance--were killed. She wrote honestly and openly about how brutal and devastating the war was, about how the war changed her and there was no going back after peace was declared.

When the book is not discussing the war, it often turns to education, politics, and social issues. Vera Brittain definitely was a feminist. She had VERY strong opinions on women's rights. But she didn't just speak out and speak up about women. She also was a voice for the poor and working class. She saw a lot of injustice and wanted to change the world.

Vera Brittain loved to be a lecturer or guest-lecturer. She had a LOT to say, and wanted to be HEARD wherever she went. This wasn't always the case. She was unhappy with certain groups--or clubs--that didn't value women's opinions and treat women as intellectual equals.

Also of interest perhaps, Brittain shares her experiences as a writer--her journey to publication and her thoughts on the literary world.

The very last chapter is a relief--after spending so many chapters distancing herself from humanity by focusing on POLITICS and WORLD AFFAIRS--focuses instead on her deep friendships and ultimate marriage. She struggled a lot with the idea of marriage. Can she marry and still be a feminist? Can she marry even though she has every intention of staying a career woman? Can she marry even though children are the very last thing (almost) on her mind? She spent so long speaking out against marriage and traditional roles for women, that she is almost ashamed and embarrassed that she fell in love.

My thoughts: It was REALLY long. Overall, I thought it was slightly uneven. It was at times quite fascinating and compelling, but, then at times it was also quite sluggish and boring. There would be pages that definitely kept me reading and kept me caring. I will say that the movie did a great job condensing the book and capturing the spirit of it. Not that the movie is 100% faithful to the book. (No movie is).

Quotes:
There is still, I think, not enough recognition by teachers of the fact that the desire to think--which is fundamentally a moral problem--but be induced before the power is developed. Most people, whether men or women, wish above all else to be comfortable, and thought is a pre-eminently uncomfortable process; it brings to the individual far more suffering than happiness in a semi-civilized world which still goes to war, still encourages the production of unwanted C3 children by exhausted mothers, and still compels married partners who hate one another to live together in the name of morality. (40)
I am inclined to believe that provincial dances are responsible for more misery than any other commonplace experience. (51)
Most of us have to be self-righteous before we can be righteous. (56)
How curious it seems that letters are so much less vulnerable than their writers! (124)
Even my work-driven uncle at the bank wrote a long letter, enclosing a fragment of philosophy which had recently come to England from the French trenches: "When you are a soldier you are one of two things, either at the front or behind the lines. If you are behind the lines you need not worry. If you are at the front you are one of two things. You are either in a danger zone or in a zone which is not dangerous. If you are in a zone which is not dangerous you need not worry. If you are in a danger zone, you are one of two things; either you are wounded or you are not. If you are not wounded you need not worry. If you are wounded you are one of two things, either seriously wounded or slightly wounded. If you are slightly wounded you need not worry. If you are seriously wounded one of two things is certain--either you get well or you die. If you get well you needn't worry. If you die you cannot worry, so there is no need to worry about anything at all." (306)
It seems to me that the War will make a big division of 'before' and 'after' in the history of the world. (317)


© 2016 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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5. Poetry Friday with a review of What’s for dinner: Quirky, Squirmy Poems from the Animal World

For most of us humans, the process of getting our food is relatively simple. We go to a shop or a market and buy what we need. For animals, this process is more complicated. Food has to look for , which can take hours or days. If the animal eats meat, a prey animal needs to be caught and killed.

In this poetry title children will find unique poems that explore what animals eat. The sometimes 'ick' worthy poems combine humor and facts to give children an entertaining and educational experience.

What's for Dinner?: Quirky, Squirmy Poems from the Animal World What’s for dinner:Quirky, Squirmy Poems from the Animal World
Katherine B. Hauth
Illustrated by David Clark
Poetry
For ages 6 to 8
Charlesbridge, 2011, 978-1-57091-472-0
Animals spend a lot of their time looking for food. After all, if they don’t forage or hunt for their meals they will “croak,” and therefore “finding food / is no joke.” Some of the things animals eat might not seem at all palatable to us, but to them they are vital, and no doubt delicious as well.
   In this book young readers will see how animals of different species are connected through their need to eat. One of things that we humans forget sometimes is that all animals are part of a food chain. Perhaps we forget because we are at the top of our chain most of the time. In the poem Food Chain, we see how a butterfly gets eaten by a lizard, which gets eaten by a garter snake, which then gets eaten by a roadrunner. Every animal has a place in a chain, and every food item that they eat has its place as well.
   We may think that animals that eat dead things are disgusting, but in fact their dining choices serve a very useful purpose for the rest of us. The vulture for example, who is “No dainty vegetarian,” loves carrion, and this is a good thing too because if they didn’t disease-ridden dead bodies would be lying all over the place.
   Nighthawks and little brown bats both love to eat insects, and they have different strategies to catch their preferred dinners. Both animals hunt at night or in the early evening and they catch their meals on the wing, swooping, and in the case of the bat scooping, the insects out of the air.
   Some animals have come up with quite complicated strategies to get their food. When it is hungry the wood turtle goes around “Stompin’ its feet / and slammin’ its shell.” All the commotion causes worms to “pop up / to see who’s jamming,’” which is when the turtle eats the worms.
   Children who have a fondness for things that some would consider unsavory are going to love this book. The interesting thing is that a great deal of information is wrapped up in these poems. For readers who would like to know more about the animals mentioned in the book, the author provides notes at the back of the book that are packed with more facts. 

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6. Going Digital #BeBrave

Follow me this year as I try for the fifth time to go digital. Some say, "third time's the charm." It wasn't for me. Maybe the fifth time, with some extra determination, will do the trick!

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7. Furthermore, by Tahereh Mafi

To be honest, I was first drawn to this book because of the gorgeous cover. Who wouldn't fall for the jeweled toned rich hues suggesting autumn evenings wrapped up in cashmere? Then I noticed the girl, front and center oddley white except for a hint of a blush on her cheeks and gold toned eyes. I was curious.

Furthermore joined me on my journey upstate to my summertime reading retreat.  It's August pub date meant it wasn't the first book that I read, but I kept eyeing it as I pulled others from the shelf.  Clocking in at 393 pages, this is not a slight read, but once I started it, I put it down only to sleep.

Alice, almost twelve, is filled with anticipation for Ferenwood's annual Surrender. She is anxious for life to change, because frankly Alice's life hasn't been so easy lately.  Not only is Alice considered odd, even by Ferenwood's magical standards, her father is still missing.  Alice's father is the one who really cared for her and understood her despite her differences from everyone else in Ferenwood. He indulged her and listened to her. And now it was only Alice, her three little brothers and her mother.

 "Alice was beginning to realize that while she didn't much like Mother, Mother didn't much like her, either. Mother didn't care for the oddness of Alice; she wasn't a parent who was predisposed to liking her children." (p.10)

Because of her situation, the Surrender is more important to Alice than she can really say.  Ferenwood is a magical place, and everyone who resides there has magical gifts. The Surrender is the time when all the 12 year olds share their gifts upon the stage.  At the end of the surrender, only one child would be celebrated and given a task. The task is always an adventure of some sort and is rather secretive as well. This year there are 86 twelve-year-olds. Alice meeds to win the task in order to leave her home.

But Alice is odd, and she believes that in this magical world, her love of dance is her gift. After all her father always encouraged her to listen to the earth and to dance when she feels it.

Alas.

Alice's failure on the stage, however, is not the death knell for adventure. An acquaintance of hers named Oliver approaches her with a request. One that will bring her on the adventure of her life if she chooses to accompany him.

What follows is an adventure reminiscent of the Phantom Tollbooth, with a dash of Through the Looking Glass and a coming of age bent.  Furthermore is a place like no other. The orderly magic of Ferenwood is wild here, and the rules seem to change from town to town.  Will Oliver and Alice be able to find her father and bring him home?

This is a fantasy adventure that will keep readers on the edge of the page. Interestingly both Alice and Oliver are unlikeable at times for very different reasons which get slowly revealed as their adventure moves along. At first I was worried about the idea of Alice being white in the sea of color that is Ferenwood.  What did it mean? But it works in that it others Alice in a way but helps explain her own magic as the story unfurls. 

I enjoyed the voicey nature of Furthermore. Alice, though exasperating, is endearing as well. I was charmed by the chapter sections' headings as well as the fox! There is a cinematic aspect to Furthermore and I would *love* to see it on the big screen.

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8. And The Award Goes To... Hugo Awards 2016








Aussiecon 4 Hugo, created by Nick Stathopoulos, etched by Lewis Morley, logo by Grant Gittus, who designed my favourite book cover, for Crime Time. Fair use, but I know the boys won't mind.

This list of nominees/winners is pinched from the TOR website. Alas, I haven't read any of the nominated titles let alone the winners! It tends to be the case with these awards - so much American stuff on the list, so harder to get in local bookshops, and at a time of year when I am busy reading for the CBCA  Awards, which are, after all, for our local books - and who knows how long those will be published if the Productivity Commission gets its way? Maybe next year I'll join as a supporting member. It's not too expensive and you get to read the nominated works in ebook, at least, quite good value! And then you get to vote. 

I see that Mike Glyer has won yet again, both for best fanzine and best fan writer. He and Dave Langford between them have  racked up quite a lot of Hugo wins! 

I see also, looking down the list, that the Puppies have been up to their old tricks yet again, slating. I mean, why? They must know it won't work, and last year was a particularly nasty year, in which both sides were horrible. If I'd been a member of the Puppy committee I would have made sure that the loudest-mouthed people on the other side were on this year's slate... and sat back and grinned while they denied frantically any connection... They would have refused their nominations, of course, but there would have been a lot of fun meanwhile. 

And frankly, some of them would have  deserved it, IMO. The whole business caused a lot of disagreement and unpleasantness in the committee of my lovely ASIM. I'm out of it now, except as a slush reader, but it was a bad year for me, and spoiled somewhat my pride in my first ASIM editing.

Anyway, why not just set up their own awards? It can be done. It has been done to a certain extent with the Prometheus Awards for libertarian SF. I was horrified to find a Poul Anderson novel among the winners of that award, but then I read it and said, "Oh. I get it."

The awards could even be presented at Worldcon, if they asked nicely. 

Still, there's no reasoning with some people.

Anyway, as a service, here's the list, with winners in bold. Congratulations to everyone who made it this far. Remember, someone cared enough to nominate your work. You're all winners! I see Ann Leckie was shortlisted again and would like to remind anyone who sneered at ASIM last year that she made one of her earliest sales to us, as did plenty of others, eg off the top of my head, Jim C Hines. 


BEST NOVEL 

The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin (Orbit)
Ancillary Mercy by Ann Leckie (Orbit)
The Cinder Spires: The Aeronaut’s Windlass by Jim Butcher (Roc)
Seveneves: A Novel by Neal Stephenson (William Morrow)
Uprooted by Naomi Novik (Del Rey)

BEST NOVELLA

Binti by Nnedi Okorafor (Tor.com)
The Builders by Daniel Polansky (Tor.com)
Penric’s Demon by Lois McMaster Bujold (Spectrum)
Perfect State by Brandon Sanderson (Dragonsteel Entertainment)
Slow Bullets by Alastair Reynolds (Tachyon)

BEST NOVELETTE 

“Folding Beijing” by Hao Jingfang, Ken Liu (Uncanny Magazine, Jan‐Feb 2015)
“And You Shall Know Her by the Trail of Dead” by Brooke Bolander (Lightspeed, Feb 2015)
“Flashpoint: Titan” by CHEAH Kai Wai (There Will Be War Volume X, Castalia House)
“Obits” by Stephen King (The Bazaar of Bad Dreams, Scribner)
“What Price Humanity?” by David Van Dyke (There Will Be War Volume X, Castalia House)

BEST SHORT STORY 

“Cat Pictures Please” by Naomi Kritzer (Clarkesworld, January 2015)
“Asymmetrical Warfare” by S. Algernon (Nature, Mar 2015)
“If You Were an Award, My Love” by Juan Tabo and Harris (voxday.blogspot.com, Jun 2015)
“Seven Kill Tiger” by Charles Shao (There Will Be WarVolume X, Castalia House)
Space Raptor Butt Invasion by Chuck Tingle (Amazon Digital Services)

BEST RELATED WORK 

No Award - (presumably because everything here was on a Puppies slate?)

Between Light and Shadow: An Exploration of the Fiction of Gene Wolfe, 1951 to 1986 by Marc Aramini (Castalia House)
“The First Draft of My Appendix N Book” by Jeffro Johnson (wordpress.com)
“Safe Space as Rape Room” by Daniel Eness (castcom)
SJWs Always Lie: Taking Down the Thought Police by Vox Day (Castalia House)
“The Story of Moira Greyland” by Moira Greyland (com)

BEST GRAPHIC STORY 

The Sandman: Overture written by Neil Gaiman, art by J.H. Williams III (Vertigo)
The Divine written by Boaz Lavie, art by Asaf Hanuka and Tomer Hanuka (First Second)
Erin Dies Alone written by Grey Carter, art by Cory Rydell (dynet)
Full Frontal Nerdity by Aaron Williams (nodwick.com)
Invisible Republic Vol 1 written by Corinna Bechko and Gabriel Hardman, art by Gabriel Hardman (Image Comics)

BEST DRAMATIC PRESENTATION (LONG FORM) 

The Martian screenplay by Drew Goddard, directed by Ridley Scott (Scott Free Productions; Kinberg Genre; TSG Entertainment; 20th Century Fox)
Avengers: Age of Ultron written and directed by Joss Whedon (Marvel Studios; Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)
Ex Machina written and directed by Alex Garland (Film4; DNA Films; Universal Pictures)
Mad Max: Fury Road written by George Miller, Brendan McCarthy, and Nico Lathouris, directed by George Miller (Village Roadshow Pictures; Kennedy Miller Mitchell; RatPac‐ Dune Entertainment; Warner Bros. Pictures)
Star Wars: The Force Awakens written by Lawrence Kasdan, J. Abrams, and Michael Arndt, directed by J.J. Abrams (Lucasfilm Ltd.; Bad Robot Productions; Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)

BEST DRAMATIC PRESENTATION (SHORT FORM

Jessica Jones: “AKA Smile” written by Scott Reynolds, Melissa Rosenberg, and Jamie King, directed by Michael Rymer (Marvel Television; ABC Studios; Tall Girls Productions; Netflix)
Doctor Who: “Heaven Sent” written by Steven Moffat, directed by Rachel Talalay (BBC Television)
Grimm: “Headache” written by Jim Kouf and David Greenwalt, directed by Jim Kouf (Universal Television; GK Productions; Hazy Mills Productions; Open 4 Business Productions; NBCUniversal Television Distribution)
My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: “The Cutie Map” Parts 1 and 2 written by Scott Sonneborn, A. Larson, and Meghan McCarthy, directed by Jayson Thiessen and Jim Miller (DHX Media/Vancouver; Hasbro Studios)
Supernatural: “Just My Imagination” written by Jenny Klein, directed by Richard Speight (Kripke Enterprises; Wonderland Sound and Vision; Warner Bros. Television)

BEST EDITOR ‐ SHORT FORM

Ellen Datlow
John Joseph Adams
Neil Clarke
Jerry Pournelle
Sheila Williams

BEST EDITOR ‐ LONG FORM 

Sheila E. Gilbert
Liz Gorinsky
Jim Minz
Toni Weisskopf
Vox Day

BEST PROFESSIONAL ARTIST 

Abigail Larson
Lars Braad Andersen
Larry Elmore
Michal Karcz
Larry Rostant

BEST SEMIPROZINE

Uncanny Magazine edited by Edited by Lynne M. Thomas & Michael Damian Thomas, Michi Trota, and Erika Ensign & Steven Schapansky
Beneath Ceaseless Skies edited by Scott Andrews, Nicole Lavigne, and Kate Marshall
Daily Science Fiction edited by Michele‐Lee Barasso and Jonathan Laden
Sci Phi Journal edited by Jason Rennie
Strange Horizons edited by Catherine Krahe, Julia Rios, J. Odasso, Vanessa Rose Phin, Maureen Kincaid Speller, and theStrange Horizons staff

BEST FANZINE 

“File 770” edited by Mike Glyer
“Castalia House Blog” edited by Jeffro Johnson
“Lady Business” edited by Clare, Ira, Jodie, KJ, Renay, and Susan
“Superversive SF” edited by Jason Rennie
“Tangent Online” edited by Dave Truesdale

BEST FANCAST 

No Award
8‐4 Play, Mark MacDonald, John Ricciardi, Hiroko Minamoto, and Justin Epperson
Cane and Rinse, Cane and Rinse
HelloGreedo, HelloGreedo
The Rageaholic, RazörFist
Tales to Terrify, Stephen Kilpatrick

BEST FAN WRITER

Mike Glyer
Douglas Ernst
Morgan Holmes
Jeffro Johnson
Shamus Young

BEST FAN ARTIST 

Steve Stiles
Matthew Callahan
disse86
Kukuruyo
Christian Quinot

JOHN W. CAMPBELL AWARD FOR BEST NEW WRITER 

Andy Weir *
Pierce Brown *
Sebastien de Castell *
Brian Niemeier
Alyssa Wong *
* Finalists in their 2nd year of eligibility.

FOREST J. ACKERMAN AWARD

Joe Siclari & Evie Stern



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9. Book Review: The Winner's Kiss by Marie Rutkoski

Title: The Winner's Kiss
Author: Marie Rutkoski
Published: 2016
Source: ARC from a friend

Summary: Kestrel has been banished to a frigid northern work camp. Drugged and beaten, she struggles to remain defiant, but finally succumbs. When she is rescued, it's going to be a long, long road back to who she used to be.

Meanwhile, Arin is fighting for the future of his country, trying to oust the Valorian invaders and rebuild what was smashed to rubble. Reunited with Kestrel, he struggles with his emotions over previous events and the betrayal that wasn't.

It's a harrowing journey for both Arin and Kestrel to freedom for the Herrani people, and to personal happiness.

First Impressions: Arrrrgh so gooooooood.

Later On: As you can probably tell from my first impressions, I'm not exactly unbiased about this series. I adored the first two books for their mix of the great fate of nations and the intimate fate of people, and how powerfully each can affect the other. The end of the second book left everything in rubble, so I was anxious to see how Rutkoski resurrected her characters.

Refreshingly, Arin and Kestrel do not fall into each others' arms when he rescues her from the work camp. There's too much pain and betrayal between them for that, and Kestrel is far too broken to focus on anything but putting herself back together.
Kestrel's memory returns in fits and starts, and some pieces remain patchy until the end (and, one suspects, will do forever). But she is still Kestrel, brilliant and crafty and occasionally ruthless, yet still impacted by her family ties and history.

Arin, for his part, is struggling between the two sides of this woman and trying to simultaneously forgive himself for his anger and to forgive her the things that she's done, as well as trying to be the ruler that he seems to have been elected.

This book, and the whole series, are deeply satisfying on both the grand-fate-of-nations and the intimate-fate-of-people fronts.

More: My review of the first book
Waking Brain Cells
Book Nut
Cuddlebuggery

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10. Sing Along Saturday (Cook Me Up Something)

Today's prompt: Song You Listen To While You Cook

This meme is hosted by Bookish Things & More.

I actually really LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the album Tuscany -- A Romantic Journey. I bought it for $1 at my local charity shop that benefits Habitat for Humanity.


And now just because I can, and because it's funny...Sing Verdi Very Loud (Live)



© 2016 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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11. Sabotage: The Mission to Destroy Hitler's Atomic Bomb by Neal Bascomb


While WW II was waging furiously in Europe, some countries didn't see as much action. But it didn't mean that pivotal moments didn't occur in those countries.  Switzerland declared itself neutral, but Norway didn't.  And there was one place in Norway that became very VERY interesting to the Nazis.  It was a place so obscure and rare, they would do anything to make sure they could control it. 

An interesting fact - the science behind the nuclear bomb was being explored before and during World War II.  Everyone knew that whomever developed it first would win the war.  And the race was on.  Different physicists and scientists came up with various ways to create one and there were many elements that had to be used.  One of them was called heavy water.  Hydrogen has been replaced by deuterium, which made it essential for bomb making. The unfortunate thing was that heavy water was difficult to produce and there wasn't much of it.

But there was one place in Europe where heavy water was produced.  The Vemork Hydroelectric Plant in Norway.  Difficult to access, it was the perfect Nazi situation, making it hard to infiltrate.  It was to be a huge Nazi secret that gave them the extra incentive to win the nuclear race. 

One thing they didn't count on was the patriotism of the Norwegians.  There were underground resistance groups that sprung up and when the Nazis found them out, they used scare and death tactics to contain them.  It only bolstered them to fight back even more.  Several Norwegians went to England to train with the secret intelligence service to become infiltrators, spies and saboteurs.  They were to go back to Norway and create new resistance groups and sabotage any Nazi effort.

The top priority was to destroy Vemork....but could they without getting caught or putting the small town of Rjukan in jeopardy for their lives? Even worse, their mission was to take place in winter across a vast frozen area where survival would be severely tested.

Young adult non-fiction is fascinating for one very simple reason - these are the events that aren't usually written about in history books. Neal Bascomb hit it out of the park with his newest book. Narrative in nature, Bascomb tells a riveting story as well as providing images and photographs of the main players and sites.  In hindsight, readers will see how one mistake could have changed the outcome of the war. This is the invisible part of WWII teens will find fascinating.

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12. An Interview With Anna Ciddor



Early in 2016, I wrote an informal review of The Family With Two Front Doors by Anna Ciddor, a novel based on the childhood of the author's grandmother, who appears as the ten year old heroine of this book. It's set in the 1920s, but it certainly appealed to my mother, who was growing up in Poland in the 1930s, and she is currently re-reading the book, which she says takes her right back to her own childhood. She did quite a lot of things little Nomi does, although her family wasn't a rabbi's family, and the small-town flavour was very similar. 

But I've read all of Anna Ciddor's fiction, so when she kindly agreed to be interviewed for The Zgreat Raven, I couldn't resist adding questions about her other work. 

Anna, welcome to The Great Raven! 

SB: 

What was your first book? The first one I read was your history of toilets in Allen and Unwin's True Stories series, but I think you were writing education books before that. Anything before the education books

AC: 

My first book was a picture book called ‘Take Me Back’ which was published in 1988. It was inspired by Australia’s bicentenary celebrations (for the arrival of white settlers). I realised these celebrations would be meaningless to children unless they could see how life in Australia had changed over those 200 years so I created a book that gave a snapshot of home life for each generation from 1788 to 1988. 

SB: 

The Viking Magic books were delightful, set in a small Scandinavian community with two children who had been exchanged at birth. Would you like to tell us a bit about it and how you got the idea for it?




AC: 

When I did some research about Vikings for a little non-fiction reader, I discovered there was a lot more to these horned-helmet wearers than dragonships and raiders (and I found out that they didn’t really wear horned helmets at all!) Viking lives were dominated by a belief in magic. They thought there were little folk who lived underground and had to be appeased with gifts of food. They feared neighbours might be witches who could cast spells on them. And then, I discovered that if a Viking family didn’t want a newborn baby, they were allowed to dispose of it by leaving it for the wolves! Well, that was it. The idea for the series was born! I came up with the idea of a midwife secretly swapping an unwanted girl-baby for a boy born at the same time. This then set up the wonderful storyline of two children, Oddo and Thora, growing up in families where they didn’t fit in. 
It was great fun writing Runestone, Wolfspell and Stormriders, because every time I got stuck, I researched more about Vikings, and discovered some other wonderful truth I could use in the stories. 



SB: 

You wrote a book in the Quentaris series, Prisoner of Quentaris, in which your leprechauns formed a small copy of heroic Irish society instead of the cliched cutesy leprechauns of most fiction - what gave you that idea?





AC: 

When I was approached to contribute to the Quentaris series, I was immersed in research for Night of the Fifth Moon, a novel set in Ireland during the fifth century – in the time of druids, kings and battles. I decided to write a variation on an old Irish folktale from that period. In Prisoner of Quentaris, the king of the leprechauns is captured by humans and the little leprechauns have to work out how to free him. I asked students in schools I visited to give me ideas how they might achieve this, and I actually used some of their suggestions in the novel. 



SB: 

There is a gentle humour in all your fiction,  even in The Family With Two Front Doors, which is based on the true story of your grandmother's childhood - is this deliberate on your part or is it just you?

AC: 

A bit of both. I am always alert for humour in any setting or situation I am writing about. As a reader, I appreciate humour and the way it brightens a book, so I always want to include it in my writing.

SB: 

You mentioned at the Jewish Writers' Festival that this novel took you five years to research and write. Can you tell us a bit about what was involved? Mostly, my research involves reading lots of books and following up anything I can't find by going online. I suspect your process was a lot more complex!
AC: 

The book was inspired by interviews with my grandmother from twenty-five years ago. However, when I sat down to write it in 2011, I discovered some crucial holes in my information, and sadly, Nana Nomi was no longer around to answer my questions. That was what set me off on my five-year quest. Like you, I researched as much as I could in books and on-line, but these were not enough. I wanted to bring back to life the intimate everyday details of a lost lifestyle from 1920s Poland and also the characters of the eleven members of Nana’s family. 

I pored over the half dozen family photos that had come down to me, trying to guess personalities from solemn sepia images taken so long ago. I reread over and over again the little anecdotes my Nana had told me – each time noticing some nuance or particular I had overlooked before. I interviewed other elderly people who had lived in Poland at that time, and I asked rabbis for details of Jewish rituals and customs. Finally, I travelled across the world to Poland. I hunted in museums, I searched old archives for family documents, but most importantly of all, I found the apartment block where my Nana’s family lived. I opened the big wrought iron gate and ventured into the courtyard. I walked the street outside, following the footpath they must have trodden, and bought a banana in the market where they shopped. By the time I had finished all my research and written the book, I felt I really had known that long-ago family. 

And by the time I'd read the book, I felt that I, too, had known that family! 

Thanks for answering, Anna! 

If you'd like to get hold of this book or any of the others here are some places where you can get them: 



 https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_c_3_11?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=anna+ciddor&sprefix=Anna+Ciddor%2Caps%2C494

Or there's Booktopia, where I've put in a link to the ebook versions:

http://www.booktopia.com.au/search.ep?pn=1&productType=917504&keywords=anna+ciddor&suggested=L&list=8

Book Depository has some and for others suggests AbeBooks, as they're out of print.

https://www.bookdepository.com/search?searchTerm=Anna+Ciddor&search=Find+book





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13. Review of the Day: Who Broke the Teapot?! by Bill Slavin

WhoBrokeTeapotWho Broke the Teapot?!
By Bill Slavin
Tundra Books
$16.99
ISBN: 978-1-77049-833-4
Ages 3-5
On shelves now

In the average life of a child, whodunits are the stuff of life itself. Who took the last cookie? Who used up all the milk and then didn’t put it on the shopping list? Who removed ALL the rolls of toilet paper that I SPECIFICALLY remember buying at the store on Sunday and now seem to have vanished into some toilet paper eating inter-dimension? The larger the family, the great the number of suspects. But picture books that could be called whodunits run a risk of actually going out and teaching something. A lesson about honesty or owning up to your own mistakes. Blech. I’ll have none of it. Hand me that copy of Bill Slavin’s Who Broke the Teapot?! instead, please. Instead of morals and sanctity I’ll take madcap romps, flashbacks, and the occasional livid cat. Loads of fun to read aloud, surprisingly beautiful to the eye, and with a twist that no one will see coming, Who Broke the Teapot?! has it all, baby. Intact teapot not included.

The scene of the crime: The kitchen. The family? Oblivious. As the mother enters the room it’s just your average morning. There’s a baby in a high chair, a brother attached to a ceiling fan by his suspenders, a dad still in his underwear reading the paper, a daughter eating pastries, a dog aiding her in this endeavor, and a cat so tangled up in wool that it’s a wonder you can still make out its paws. And yet in the doorway, far from the madding crowd, sits a lone, broken, teapot. Everyone proclaims innocence. Everyone seems trustworthy in that respect. Indeed, the only person to claim responsibility is the baby (to whom the mother tosses a dismissive, “I doubt it”). Now take a trip back in time just five minutes and all is revealed. The true culprit? You’ll have to read the book yourself. You final parting shot is the mother accepting a teapot stuck together with scotch tape and love from her affectionate offspring.

WhoBroke2Generally when I write a picture book review I have a pretty standard format that I adhere to. I start with an opening paragraph (done), move on to a description of the plot in the next paragraph (so far, so good), and in the third paragraph I talk about some aspect of the writing. It could be the overall theme or the writing or the plotting. After that I talk about the art. This pattern is almost never mucked with . . . until today!! Because ladies and gents, you have just GOT to take a gander at what Mr. Slavin’s doing here with his acrylics. Glancing at the art isn’t going to do it. You have to pick this book up and really inspect the art. For the bulk of it the human characters are your usual cartoony folks. Very smooth paints. But even the most cursory glance at the backgrounds yields rewards. The walls are textured with thick, luscious paints adhering to different patterns. There’s even a touch of mixed media to the old affair, what with cat’s yarn being real thread and all (note too how Slavin seamlessly makes it look as if the yarn is wrapped around the legs of the high chair). Then the typography starts to get involved. The second time the mom says “Who broke the teapot?!” the words look like the disparate letters of a rushed ransom note. As emotions heat up (really just the emotions of the mom, to be honest) the thick paints crunch when she says “CRUNCHED”, acquire zigzags as her temper unfurls, and eventually belie the smoothness of the characters’ skin when the texture invades the inside of the two-page spread of the now screaming mother’s mouth.

So, good textures. But let us not forget in all this just how important the colors of those thick paints are as well. Watching them shift from one mood to another is akin to standing beneath the Northern Lights. You could be forgiven for not noticing the first, second, third, or even fourth time you read the book. Yet these color changes are imperative to the storytelling. As emotions heat up or the action on the page ramps up, the cool blues and greens ignite into hot reds, yellows, and oranges. Taken as a whole the book is a rainbow of different backgrounds, until at long last everything subsides a little and becomes a chipper cool blue.

WhoBroke1Now kids love a good mystery, and I’m not talking just the 9 and 10-year-olds. Virtually every single age of childhood has a weakness for books that set up mysterious circumstances and then reveal all with a flourish. Heck, why do you think babies like the game of peekaboo? Think of it as the ultimate example of mystery and payoff. Picture book mysteries are, however, far more difficult to write than, say, an episode of Nate the Great. You have to center the book squarely in the child’s universe, give them all the clues, and then make clear to the reader what actually happened. To do this you can show the perpetrator of the crime committing the foul deed at the start of the book or you can spot clues throughout the story pointing clearly to the miscreant. In the case of Who Broke the Teapot, Slavin teaches (in his own way) that old Sherlock Holmes phrase, “When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.”

I love it when a book turns everything around at the end and asks the reader to think long and hard about what they’ve just seen. Remember the end of The Cat in the Hat when everything’s been cleaned up just in time and the mother comes in asking the kids what they got up to while she was gone? The book ends with a canny, “Well, what would YOU do if your mother asked YOU?” Who Broke the Teapot?! does something similar at its end as well. The facts have been laid before the readers. The baby has claimed responsibility and maybe he is to blame after all. But wasn’t the mother just as responsible? It would be very interesting indeed to poll a classroom of Kindergartners to see where they ascribe the bulk of the blame. It may even say something about a kid if they side with the baby more or the mommy more.

WhoBroke3I also love that the flashback does far more than explain who broke the teapot. It explains why exactly most of the members of this family are dwelling in a kind of generally accepted chaotic stew. You take it for granted when you first start reading. A kid’s hanging from a ceiling fan? Sure. Yeah. That happens. But the explanation, when it comes, belies that initial response. The parents don’t question his position so you don’t question it. That is your first mistake. Never take your lead from parents. And speaking of the flashback, let’s just stand aside for a moment and remember just how sophisticated it is to portray this concept in a picture book at all. You’re asking a child audience to accept that there is a “before” to every book they read. Few titles go back in time to explain how we got to where we are now. Slavin’s does so easily, and it will be the rare reader that can’t follow him on this trip back into the past.

I think the only real mystery here is why this book isn’t better known. And its only crime is that it’s Canadian, and therefore can’t win any of the big American awards here in the States. It’s also too amusing for awards. Until we get ourselves an official humor award for children’s books, titles like Who Broke the Teapot?! are doomed to fly under the radar. That’s okay. This is going to be the kind of book that children remember for decades. They’re going to be the ones walking into their public libraries asking the children’s librarians on the desks to bring to them an obscure picture book from their youth. “There was a thing that was broken . . . like a china plate or something . . . and there was this cat tied up in string?” You have my sympathies, children’s librarians of the future. In the meantime, better enjoy the book now. Whether it’s read to a large group or one-on-one, this puppy packs a powerful punch.

On shelves now

Source: Publisher sent final copy for review.

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14. Book Review: Burn Baby Burn by Meg Medina

Title: Burn Baby Burn
Author: Meg Medina
Published: 2016
Source: NetGalley

Summary: In the muggy summer of 1977, 17-year-old Nora struggles with family drama and her own choices about what to do with the rest of her life. Meanwhile, New York City is terrorized by the serial killer Son of Sam, overwhelming heat, and power outages.

First Impressions: I normally hate near-past stories but this one had a reason to happen where it did. Compelling.

Later On: One of the reasons I don't like near-past stories is because they seem like the author just wanted to write about their own teenage years without bothering to research the Youth of Today. This one is different because Medina draws on a specific time and place, and the events that go along with it, to underpin her story of a confusing, terrifying time of changes for her protagonist.

Nora is scared of becoming another of Son of Sam's victims, but she's equally frightened of her brother's violent outbursts. When the massive 1977 power outage hits New York, it affects her job and her relationships. She feels oppressed by the social mores of the day, but she also feels oppressed by her mother's specific translating needs and the pressure to be a good Latina daughter who ignores her brother's violence. The personal blends with the cultural blends with the social until everything is indistinguishable - they're all equal pressures that impact Nora's life.

I also really appreciated the way the author touched on social issues and movements of the day and didn't idealize them. She discusses feminism and the rush that Nora gets from it, but makes sure to mention that it's mostly white middle class feminism, that doesn't do much for working class Latinas and black women - a problem that still persists today.

More: Bookshelves of Doom for Kirkus

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15. The Picture Book in 2016: Social Themes and Lessons

I recently received a very interesting, if puzzling, question.  A friend of mine needed to know, for professional reasons, what I would consider the top themes in picture books these days.  By “themes” I don’t mean trends but rather emotional or social lessons for young readers.  You might even go so far as to call them the morals we’re trying to impart upon our 21st century offspring.

This is not as easy a question. While I attempt to take meticulous notes on every picture book I read, it’s far easier to keep track of, say, movie cameos in 2016 books than overarching societal anxieties.  Still, I managed to whip up a list and then thought, why not share it widely?

Here then are the top themes I’m detecting in picture books this year.


 

  • It’s Okay to Make Mistakes – Particularly as it applies to girls in science or math, but also to how kids do their own art.  I’ve seen a lot of books where a kid is making art, messes it up in some way, and then learns how to turn it into something new.  By the same token, a lot of books are about how you have to make mistakes to get better at something.  And it’s not about failing once or twice but a LOT.  Not mention asking as many questions as possible!  Hopefully those books where someone tries something three times and gets it done perfectly on the third will be a thing of the past soon.

A Good Example Would Be:

Ada Twist, Scientist by Andrea Beaty, ill. David Roberts

adatwistscientist

Though you might just as easily apply this to Ada’s predecessor Rosie Revere, Engineer.


 

  • Gender Roles – Most notably when it comes to boys in dresses (though no girls identifying as boys) as well as just how kids interact with one another.  Kids learn gender roles VERY early and enforce those roles with one another.  There’s a great book call NutureShock for adults that talks a lot about this.  Picture books have always liked this theme (William’s Doll came out in the 1970s, after all) but now it’s ramping up again.

A Good Example Would Be:

I’m a Girl by Yasmeen Ismail

ImGirl

I was initially going to go with the new James Howe picture book Big Bob, Little Bob, but I already mentioned that one in an earlier post.  There are remarkably few books where gender stereotypes for girls are as thoroughly knocked to the floor and trampled upon than what you’ll find here.  It even saves space to kick to the curb some male gender stereotypes as well at the end.  I’m a fan.


 

  • Economic Disparity – We’re finally seeing some books that acknowledge that not all kids have the same resources at home.  Some kids have parents who lose their jobs.  Others have single family homes.  And not every kid you know has parents who can afford to buy them a bike.

A Good Example Would Be:

A Bike Like Sergio’s by Maribeth Boelts, ill. Noa Z. Jones

BikeLikeSergios

I think what I love so much about this is the easy breezy ignorance of Sergio.  He simply cannot conceive of a world where a boy’s parents wouldn’t be able to buy their son a bike if they wanted to.  Meanwhile the character of Ruben is placed in the awkward position of having to hide his family’s economic situation from his best friend.  And this is a picture book!  We’re finally seeing this topic handled in something other than a Charlie Bucket kind of way.  I’m very pleased.


 

  • Unplug – Possibly the MOST popular theme in the past three to four years.  Very Willy Wonka in the moralizing sometimes (imagine what Mike TeeVee could have done with a personal device), but important to adults. Many is the picture book where someone turns off all their devices and discovers the wide and wonderful world.

A Good Example Would Be:

Tek, the Modern Cave Boy by Patrick McDonnell

Tek

What I like about this book is that since you’ve got a caveperson with a cell phone, adding dinos to the mix really isn’t going to upset anyone.  You’ve already gone beyond the pale.


 

  • Try to See It Their Way (or, Everyone’s a Person – Even Mean People) – Picture books where you have to see it from another person’s point of view are becoming very sophisticated these days.  Some of them will also show that bullies sometimes have problems at home or at school that cause them to act out.  Though, if we’re going to get technical about it, even The Berenstain Bears and the Bully discussed this decades ago.

A Good Example Would Be:

Eddie the Bully by Henry Cole

EddieBully

Bully books aren’t going away anytime soon.  Nuanced bully books?  That might mark the second wave of titles.


 

  • Apologize When You’re Wrong – Oddly popular as a theme.  Owning up to your own mistakes is hard.  Books are making that infinitely clear, but also show the right way to do it.

A Good Example Would Be:

What’s Up, Chuck? by Leo Landry

WhatUpChuck

I think this might fall more into the “early reader” category vs. “picture books” but I care not.  The interesting thing about this storyline is that when our main character has acted like a spoiled brat for not winning a contest’s first prize medal for the first time in three years, the person who does win gives Chuck (our hero) an out.  But Chuck doesn’t take it, and apologizes like a pro.  It’s really well executed in a book this simple.  Check it out sometime.


 

  • Try Something New – Whether it’s food or school or new friends or whatever, trying something new is a big time theme.

A Good Example Would Be:

School’s First Day of School by Adam Rex, ill. Christian Robinson

SchoolFirstDay

So my daughter started Kindergarten this week and I figured this book might make a good gift to her Kindergarten teacher.  Turns out, it’s been a HUGE hit in the school, with other teacher vying to borrow it.  What I like about it, though, is that it takes time to acknowledge that when you try something new it isn’t instantaneously fantastic.  Things go wrong.  It takes time to enjoy something you’ve never done before.

And yes, you could argue that these are themes every year, but I feel like they’re particularly prevalent in 2016.  What are you seeing that I’ve missed?

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16. Ballerina Bess

Ballerina Bess. Dorothy Jane Mills and Dorothy Z. Seymour. 1965. 25 pages. [Source: Bought]

First sentence: This is Bess. Bess wants to dance. Bess wants to be a ballerina.

Premise/plot: Young readers meet Bess who wants to be a ballerina. Ballerina Bess is from the Early-Start Preschool Reader series. It has a 25 word vocabulary.

My thoughts: I had this one and Ann Likes Red growing up. While I think I prefer Ann Likes Red a little better, this one is still a lot of fun if you like vintage children's books. (It was published in 1965.)

Simple can be a great thing when you are learning to read. Words need to be either sight words (common frequency like is, was, the, this, etc.), or easy to sound out. To read a whole book on your own can be a great confidence booster.

One thing that I just noticed now as an adult is that there are a few pages where LEGS are missing. On one page readers clearly see Bess dancing ON HER TOES. And on the very next page, Bess is missing BOTH LEGS as she's shopping at a store. The sales clerk has legs, but Bess and her mother DO NOT. And on the next page. Bess, her mom, and the sales clerk are all missing legs. But fortunately Bess' legs return for the next page when she's dancing once more.

Text: 4 out of 5
Illustrations: 3 out of 5
Total: 7 out of 10

© 2016 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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17. Comedy in Picture Books

There are several time-honored ways to create a funny picture book.

https://www.theguardian.com/childrens-books-site/gallery/2016/jun/29/comedy-in-picture-books-how-its-done-in-pictures

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18. After the "Yes"

After an editor says he/she wants to publish your book, it still has to be approved by other editors and the acquisitions committee.

http://project-middle-grade-mayhem.blogspot.com/2016/07/it-only-takes-one-yesor-does-it-by-joy.html?spref=fb&m=1

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19. Monopolists

The Monopolists. Mary Pilon. 2015. Bloomsbury. 320 pages. [Source: Library]

First sentence: One day during the depths of the Great Depression, an unemployed salesman named Charles Darrow retreated to his basement.

Premise/plot: Love Monopoly? Hate Monopoly? Mary Pilon's The Monopolists is a fascinating read to be sure. Who invented Monopoly? Who did NOT invent Monopoly? Why does it matter?

The Monopolist tells the story of the woman who invented the game, a game with two very different sets of rules. She didn't call her game 'monopoly' but 'The Landlord's Game.' The general game board concept and rules of play were hers. This was in 1904. In her community, it became quite popular, even an obsession of sorts. So much so that it spread across the nation as one person--or one couple--would teach another and another and another and another. People would create their own homemade game boards. The rules were taught but not written down. For decades, people were playing this game, loving this game. It wasn't a game you could buy at the store, though. 'The Landlord's Game' wasn't the only real-estate game that predates Parker Brothers' Monopoly. The game Finance also did. It also being offspring of Lizzie Magie's original game. Though I think perhaps by that time, it had just one set of rules. Charles Darrow, the man whose name would be associated with the game MONOPOLY, was taught the game by friends. He later claimed he invented the game. The couple who taught Darrow spent a lot of time in Atlantic City with the Quakers who LOVED the game and changed their own game boards to reflect their lives. These place names would stay with the game and be the names that we come to associate with Monopoly. The rules, the layout of the game board, the place names, all were essentially handed to Darrow ready-made.

Most of this book focuses on a lawsuit in the 1970s and early 1980s. Parker Brothers was trying to stop one man--Ralph Anspach--from selling his own game, a game called ANTI-MONOPOLY. Anspach was an economics professor, I believe. It would take a lot of time, effort, stamina, and courage to stay in the fight.

My thoughts: I really enjoyed this one. I enjoyed it even more than I thought I would. I don't love playing Monopoly, but, I found the game-playing culture of the twentieth century to be FASCINATING. There is something to be said for people spending time together around a table and actually talking and having fun doing the same thing. This was written in an engaging way. I'd definitely recommend it.

© 2016 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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20. And The Award Goes To... Hugo Awards 2016








Aussiecon 4 Hugo, created by Nick Stathopoulos, etched by Lewis Morley, logo by Grant Gittus, who designed my favourite book cover, for Crime Time. Fair use, but I know the boys won't mind.

This list of nominees/winners is pinched from the TOR website. Alas, I haven't read any of the nominated titles let alone the winners! It tends to be the case with these awards - so much American stuff on the list, so harder to get in local bookshops, and at a time of year when I am busy reading for the CBCA  Awards, which are, after all, for our local books - and who knows how long those will be published if the Productivity Commission gets its way? Maybe next year I'll join as a supporting member. It's not too expensive and you get to read the nominated works in ebook, at least, quite good value! And then you get to vote. 

I see that Mike Glyer has won yet again, both for best fanzine and best fan writer. He and Dave Langford between them have  racked up quite a lot of Hugo wins! 

I see also, looking down the list, that the Puppies have been up to their old tricks yet again, slating. I mean, why? They must know it won't work, and last year was a particularly nasty year, in which both sides were horrible. If I'd been a member of the Puppy committee I would have made sure that the loudest-mouthed people on the other side were on this year's slate... and sat back and grinned while they denied frantically any connection... They would have refused their nominations, of course, but there would have been a lot of fun meanwhile. 

And frankly, some of them would have  deserved it, IMO. The whole business caused a lot of disagreement and unpleasantness in the committee of my lovely ASIM. I'm out of it now, except as a slush reader, but it was a bad year for me, and spoiled somewhat my pride in my first ASIM editing.

Anyway, why not just set up their own awards? It can be done. It has been done to a certain extent with the Prometheus Awards for libertarian SF. I was horrified to find a Poul Anderson novel among the winners of that award, but then I read it and said, "Oh. I get it."

The awards could even be presented at Worldcon, if they asked nicely. 

Still, there's no reasoning with some people.

Anyway, as a service, here's the list, with winners in bold. Congratulations to everyone who made it this far. Remember, someone cared enough to nominate your work. You're all winners! I see Ann Leckie was shortlisted again and would like to remind anyone who sneered at ASIM last year that she made one of her earliest sales to us, as did plenty of others, eg off the top of my head, Jim C Hines. 


BEST NOVEL 

The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin (Orbit)
Ancillary Mercy by Ann Leckie (Orbit)
The Cinder Spires: The Aeronaut’s Windlass by Jim Butcher (Roc)
Seveneves: A Novel by Neal Stephenson (William Morrow)
Uprooted by Naomi Novik (Del Rey)

BEST NOVELLA

Binti by Nnedi Okorafor (Tor.com)
The Builders by Daniel Polansky (Tor.com)
Penric’s Demon by Lois McMaster Bujold (Spectrum)
Perfect State by Brandon Sanderson (Dragonsteel Entertainment)
Slow Bullets by Alastair Reynolds (Tachyon)

BEST NOVELETTE 

“Folding Beijing” by Hao Jingfang, Ken Liu (Uncanny Magazine, Jan‐Feb 2015)
“And You Shall Know Her by the Trail of Dead” by Brooke Bolander (Lightspeed, Feb 2015)
“Flashpoint: Titan” by CHEAH Kai Wai (There Will Be War Volume X, Castalia House)
“Obits” by Stephen King (The Bazaar of Bad Dreams, Scribner)
“What Price Humanity?” by David Van Dyke (There Will Be War Volume X, Castalia House)

BEST SHORT STORY 

“Cat Pictures Please” by Naomi Kritzer (Clarkesworld, January 2015)
“Asymmetrical Warfare” by S. Algernon (Nature, Mar 2015)
“If You Were an Award, My Love” by Juan Tabo and Harris (voxday.blogspot.com, Jun 2015)
“Seven Kill Tiger” by Charles Shao (There Will Be WarVolume X, Castalia House)
Space Raptor Butt Invasion by Chuck Tingle (Amazon Digital Services)

BEST RELATED WORK 

No Award - (presumably because everything here was on a Puppies slate?)

Between Light and Shadow: An Exploration of the Fiction of Gene Wolfe, 1951 to 1986 by Marc Aramini (Castalia House)
“The First Draft of My Appendix N Book” by Jeffro Johnson (wordpress.com)
“Safe Space as Rape Room” by Daniel Eness (castcom)
SJWs Always Lie: Taking Down the Thought Police by Vox Day (Castalia House)
“The Story of Moira Greyland” by Moira Greyland (com)

BEST GRAPHIC STORY 

The Sandman: Overture written by Neil Gaiman, art by J.H. Williams III (Vertigo)
The Divine written by Boaz Lavie, art by Asaf Hanuka and Tomer Hanuka (First Second)
Erin Dies Alone written by Grey Carter, art by Cory Rydell (dynet)
Full Frontal Nerdity by Aaron Williams (nodwick.com)
Invisible Republic Vol 1 written by Corinna Bechko and Gabriel Hardman, art by Gabriel Hardman (Image Comics)

BEST DRAMATIC PRESENTATION (LONG FORM) 

The Martian screenplay by Drew Goddard, directed by Ridley Scott (Scott Free Productions; Kinberg Genre; TSG Entertainment; 20th Century Fox)
Avengers: Age of Ultron written and directed by Joss Whedon (Marvel Studios; Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)
Ex Machina written and directed by Alex Garland (Film4; DNA Films; Universal Pictures)
Mad Max: Fury Road written by George Miller, Brendan McCarthy, and Nico Lathouris, directed by George Miller (Village Roadshow Pictures; Kennedy Miller Mitchell; RatPac‐ Dune Entertainment; Warner Bros. Pictures)
Star Wars: The Force Awakens written by Lawrence Kasdan, J. Abrams, and Michael Arndt, directed by J.J. Abrams (Lucasfilm Ltd.; Bad Robot Productions; Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)

BEST DRAMATIC PRESENTATION (SHORT FORM

Jessica Jones: “AKA Smile” written by Scott Reynolds, Melissa Rosenberg, and Jamie King, directed by Michael Rymer (Marvel Television; ABC Studios; Tall Girls Productions; Netflix)
Doctor Who: “Heaven Sent” written by Steven Moffat, directed by Rachel Talalay (BBC Television)
Grimm: “Headache” written by Jim Kouf and David Greenwalt, directed by Jim Kouf (Universal Television; GK Productions; Hazy Mills Productions; Open 4 Business Productions; NBCUniversal Television Distribution)
My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: “The Cutie Map” Parts 1 and 2 written by Scott Sonneborn, A. Larson, and Meghan McCarthy, directed by Jayson Thiessen and Jim Miller (DHX Media/Vancouver; Hasbro Studios)
Supernatural: “Just My Imagination” written by Jenny Klein, directed by Richard Speight (Kripke Enterprises; Wonderland Sound and Vision; Warner Bros. Television)

BEST EDITOR ‐ SHORT FORM

Ellen Datlow
John Joseph Adams
Neil Clarke
Jerry Pournelle
Sheila Williams

BEST EDITOR ‐ LONG FORM 

Sheila E. Gilbert
Liz Gorinsky
Jim Minz
Toni Weisskopf
Vox Day

BEST PROFESSIONAL ARTIST 

Abigail Larson
Lars Braad Andersen
Larry Elmore
Michal Karcz
Larry Rostant

BEST SEMIPROZINE

Uncanny Magazine edited by Edited by Lynne M. Thomas & Michael Damian Thomas, Michi Trota, and Erika Ensign & Steven Schapansky
Beneath Ceaseless Skies edited by Scott Andrews, Nicole Lavigne, and Kate Marshall
Daily Science Fiction edited by Michele‐Lee Barasso and Jonathan Laden
Sci Phi Journal edited by Jason Rennie
Strange Horizons edited by Catherine Krahe, Julia Rios, J. Odasso, Vanessa Rose Phin, Maureen Kincaid Speller, and theStrange Horizons staff

BEST FANZINE 

“File 770” edited by Mike Glyer
“Castalia House Blog” edited by Jeffro Johnson
“Lady Business” edited by Clare, Ira, Jodie, KJ, Renay, and Susan
“Superversive SF” edited by Jason Rennie
“Tangent Online” edited by Dave Truesdale

BEST FANCAST 

No Award
8‐4 Play, Mark MacDonald, John Ricciardi, Hiroko Minamoto, and Justin Epperson
Cane and Rinse, Cane and Rinse
HelloGreedo, HelloGreedo
The Rageaholic, RazörFist
Tales to Terrify, Stephen Kilpatrick

BEST FAN WRITER

Mike Glyer
Douglas Ernst
Morgan Holmes
Jeffro Johnson
Shamus Young

BEST FAN ARTIST 

Steve Stiles
Matthew Callahan
disse86
Kukuruyo
Christian Quinot

JOHN W. CAMPBELL AWARD FOR BEST NEW WRITER 

Andy Weir *
Pierce Brown *
Sebastien de Castell *
Brian Niemeier
Alyssa Wong *
* Finalists in their 2nd year of eligibility.

FOREST J. ACKERMAN AWARD

Joe Siclari & Evie Stern



0 Comments on And The Award Goes To... Hugo Awards 2016 as of 8/26/2016 8:23:00 PM
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21. Review: The 2016 Arthur C. Clarke Award Shortlist, part 2

The second part of my review of this year's Clarke shortlist is now online at Strange Horizons, covering Arcadia by Iain Pears, Europe at Midnight by Dave Hutchinson, and The Book of Phoenix by Nnedi Okorafor.  You can find it here, and in case you haven't already read part 1, that's here.  The actual winner will be announced in London in a few hours, but as I write in the conclusion to the

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22. Video Sunday: And Stuff Like That

Good morning! We’ve not done a Video Sunday here on Fuse8 in a while, so let’s start with the ritualized boiling of the blood. Which is to say, can picture books be written in an hour? No. But Slate decided to go on and and prove as much. The results:

Screen Shot 2016-08-27 at 10.32.41 PM

More interesting, in a way, is the accompanying written piece in which real editors like Alvina Ling and Cheryl Klein critique what the folks here have come up with. Kindly. Very very kindly.


 

Looks like that Curious George documentary got the Kickstarter backing it was seeking!  Love the promo video they created for it.  Some killer original footage here that I’ve just never seen before.  Check it out:

Screen Shot 2016-08-27 at 10.43.12 PM

Thanks to 100 Scope Notes for the link.


 

A pretty advanced PSA, I must say.  Even if you’re unfamiliar with the song it’s parodying, I think you’ll get a kick out of it.  The book cameos are particularly keen.


 

My father-in-law wrote me a week or two ago to tell me that, “CBS Morning news had a lovely piece on the research librarians at the main library (5th and 42nd). I think you would enjoy the segment and probably know some of the featured librarians. Hopefully, the website has the video from this morning’s show.”

They did.  It does.  Here is the result.

Screen Shot 2016-08-27 at 10.17.47 PM

I used to work a floor about the ASK NYPL team. There wasn’t any partition between the floors so you could hear them talk pretty clearly. It was a fascinating process.


 

Finally, this is sorta off-topic.  It’s certainly older.  I’m not one for the Cute Kids Saying Cute Things genre, but cute kids with Australian/New Zealand accents?  That’s different.  Particularly when it’s all part of an effort to raise money for sick kids.  And this isn’t entirely off-topic.  After all, there are some very interesting children’s books in the backgrounds here.  Stick around for the song.  It’s not the earnest tripe you fear at first.

Good cause.  Good folks.

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23. The Truth About My Unbelievable Summer by Davide Cali and Benjamin Chaud


The premise of David Cali and Benjamin Chaud's trilogy is simple, circular and deeply satisfying. Beginning in 2014 with I Didn't Do My Homework Because . . ., Cali and Chaud have taken readers on one detail packed adventure after another, starring our young hero in his pinstriped suit, red necktie and red socks, and his faithful, bug-eyed dachshund and his bespectacled, clever teacher. 



The Truth About My Unbelievable Summer begins with the inevitable question upon returning to school, "So, what did you do this summer?" Our hero responds, "Well, you may not believe this, but . . . " On a visit to the beach, he finds a message in a bottle and inside it is a treasure map! But, a magpie swoops in and pecks it out of his hands and the adventure begins. There are pirates, submarines and time travel that finds our hero floating down the Seine in his submarine as a bucket of slop is tossed on his head as he passes under the bridge in front of Notre Dame. Turns out he didn't time travel - he just happened onto a movie set.


There are libraries, hot air balloons, the Taj Mahal, mummies, pyramids and the Great Wall. And Yetis. But I don't want to give the whole story away. The final page ends, circling back to the start of the story, with a nice little reveal that brings the teacher back into the story. Three is a nice number, but I wouldn't mind one or two more books featuring our imaginative, well dressed hero and his dog . . . 




The first two books in the trilogy and .  . .



A Doodle Book of Excuses!! How cool is that?




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24. Writing Through the Hard Parts

How can we teach our students to trust the writing process?

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25. A Game Plan for Writing Workshop Transitions

Have you ever visited a colleague’s classroom or watched a video of a lesson and wondered, “How are those kids so perfect? How do they seem to know exactly what to do, the… Continue reading

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