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Results 1 - 25 of 661,464
1. 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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Next month at Fantasycon, the above horror novellas (published by Snowbooks) will be released in sunny Scarborough. For those who can't make it to FCon the books are now available to pre-order from Amazon in both hardback and paperback.

The novellas are:

Within the Wind, Beneath the Snow by Ray Cluley
The Bureau of them by Cate Gardner (that's me)
The Greens by Andrew Hook
The Nine Deaths of Dr Valentine by John L Probert
The Hammer of Dr Valentine by John L Probert
Albion Fay by Mark Morris
Scourge by Gary Fry

The Nine Deaths of Dr Valentine won the British Fantasy Award in 2013 (and it's a cracking book), while The Bureau of Them and Albion Fay are nominated in the novella category of this year's British Fantasy Awards.

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3. Children's Book Review of Pumpkin Patch Blessings and a Giveaway!

by Sally Matheny

Pumpkin Patch Blessings
Are you looking forward to autumn? I saw an eager, yellow leaf parachuting from a tree yesterday. The apples are almost ripe for picking, and soon the pumpkins will follow. In anticipation of the refreshingly cool air, I’m reviewing a children’s book, Pumpkin Patch Blessings, today. Also, someone will receive a blessing and win a free copy of the book!

Pumpkin Patch Blessings, written by Kim Washburn and illustrated by Jacqueline East, is published by Zonderkidz.

Soft lines and colors fill this fourteen-page, board book. Children will take delight scouring the pages for illustrations of God’s creations—plants, animals, and people. On most pages, there is a dog and a bunny. Children will enjoy searching for them throughout the book.

The story centers around two children visiting a pumpkin farm. Through the story, readers” hear” the crunch of the leaves, “smell and taste” roasted corn on the cob, and “feel” the multi-textures of pumpkins. The rhyming verses recount many more sensory experiences before ending with pumpkin pies at home.

Another feature of the book I liked was the inclusion of more than one ethnic group in the book. 

One additional note, two jack-o-lanterns are inserted on the last page. Nothing in the book mentions, or alludes to, Halloween or jack-o-lanterns. In fact, the whole book focuses on God’s creation. Nonetheless, two small jack-o-lanterns nestle in among the rest of the pumpkins on the last page. Some pumpkins are plain. Others have carved-out circles and shapes with light shining through. 

Overall, children will enjoy this beautiful book. The rich vocabulary makes it a wonderful book for ages 4-6. The durable design and colorful illustrations provide an entertaining book for younger children as well.

Who would like to win this book?

*All you have to do is tell us what part of God’s creation do you enjoy the most during the autumn season. We will announce the winner on Sept. 2!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers <http://booklookbloggers.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255

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4. Writing Through the Hard Parts

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

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5. 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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6. ओ मांझी रे – सिस्टम और समाज को बदल डालो

ओ मांझी रे – सिस्टम और समाज को बदल डालो दशरथ मांझी बनाम दाना मांझी चाहे मांझी हो या मांझा… सिस्टम के लिए बहुत बडी चुनौती है. Its right time to wake up ..आज अचानक फेसबुक facebook memories को देखा तो पिछ्ले साल की बात याद आ गई. तब  मांझी का नाम सुर्खियों मे था. दशरथ मांझी […]

The post ओ मांझी रे – सिस्टम और समाज को बदल डालो appeared first on Monica Gupta.

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7. ‘Nelbert the Introvert’ Trailer and Photoshop Brushes by Disney Designer Shiyoon Kim

Shiyoon Kim, who designs memorable characters for Disney films like "Zootopia" and "Big Hero 6," introduces a personal character of his own, Nelbert the Introvert.

The post ‘Nelbert the Introvert’ Trailer and Photoshop Brushes by Disney Designer Shiyoon Kim appeared first on Cartoon Brew.

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8. Dazzle Ships Poetry Reading

Jane Yolen came in town the other day to participate in a reading of poems about Dazzle Ships. I mentioned Dazzle Ships in another blog post...

     Ships were painted like this during WWI (maybe also during WWII) to throw off locators trying to figure out which direction or how fast ships were going. This one was recently commissioned by artist Ciara Phillips for the Edinburgh Arts Festival, as was the poetry reading about Dazzle Ships hosted by Marjorie Lotfi Gill of Open Book at the Edinburgh Bookshop.
     Two wonderful things together, Jane and the Edinburgh Bookshop, we were so there! (And Jane got us guest tickets - yay!) Here was the program, a limited edition risograph printing by Out of the Blueprint:
The poems took on several different angles and moods. I especially liked the one about the women who painted the ships (yes, they were all women), who were able to get out of the house and wear trousers for the first time! Jane's poem was also wonderful, of course.
     Factoid: Did you know that she shares a poem every day via email? You can sign up HERE.
      What a fun evening!

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9. सफ़र

जेबो में भरके वो आँसू, कहते है येतो नाम है,
ना बोले वोकभी प्यार से, पर दिल मेंबसता राम है,

हैरां हूँ मैंयह देख कर, गिरने कि हदभी गिर बैठी,
हंसते है अबवो देख के, जब भी होताकोई काम है,

कैसी फ़ितरत हम बनाबैठे, जो देखेरह जायें हैरान,
बिन खोले आँखेखुद से हम, हर कोने मेंबदनाम है,

सोचा था मिलजाएगा वो, जोसच का हीबस साथी हो,
पूछा हमने जबरस्ता तो, वोबोले वो गुमनामहै,

बस ठाना थाअब दिल मेये, कि ढूँढके उसको लाऊंगा,
जब कदम पड़ेदो धूप में, सोचा बेहतर आरामहै,    

फिर भी निकलामैं निश्चय से, घर बार सभीछोड़ा मैने
देखे पत्थर तो मानाये, इस पीड़ाका ना बामहै,

टूटा दिल मेराभूख से, समझाकि क्यूँ अपराधहै,
राहों में देखेदर ऐसे, नाजाने जो क्याआम है,

देखी हिम्मत, देखा पैसा, देखा इन्सा कैसाकैसा,
घर कि हालततो खाली है, सड़कों में लेकिनजाम है,   

सोचा कि ताक़तदेखूं मैं, इनसब लोगो सेमिल मिल के,
जब गहराई से पहचाना, तो पाया टूटेतमाम है,   

भूला था खुदइस जग कोमैं, कुछ करनेकी अब चाहतथी,
जब देखा मैनेकब्रिस्तान, ये जानाकि सब आमहै,
हैरानी में डूबाथा मैं, नासमझा क्या होगा' दोस्त',

जब अंधेरा गहरा साथा, मैं समझाकि हल श्यामहै ||

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10. 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! 


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


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. 


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?


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. 


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?


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. 


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?


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.


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!

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: 


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


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


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11. Vídeo-animação pra ASDUERJ

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12. A Flame as a Moth: How I began chronicling the life of Harrison G. Dyar, Jr., Part 2

I joined the staff in the Smithsonian’s Department of Entomology, National Museum of Natural History in 1992, at the time Pam Henson and I published “Digging for Dyar: The Man Behind the Myth”. Having stayed in Washington, DC long enough to complete the article, my job at the Museum would give me roughly a dozen years to accumulate information on Dyar, while performing other duties.

The post A Flame as a Moth: How I began chronicling the life of Harrison G. Dyar, Jr., Part 2 appeared first on OUPblog.

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13. Journey to the East: Kathmandu

I am walking across Ratna Park in the middle of Kathmandu on this early, sunny morning, the smell of beadies in the air, the sounds of broken mufflered vehicles in the distance. I step around a pile of shit, not dog shit, human shit. This city is just an adjustment for the people of the mountains. Some of them shit here as they would in the meadows and hills. “God made man, man made money, money didn’t make man, don’t think about money” chants the fortune teller. He is a student of the occult from India. Dusty, dirty, selling glimpses of his truth to lazy, stoned Western travellers in sunny Ratna Park. We sit down on the grass, cross legged, facing each other. He presses a glass bead into my palm. “It is from Kashmir. Never let any but your loved one see this and it will bring you luck” My loved one. We stay outside of the city in the Chobar Valley in the second story of a house owned by a family who lives on the first floor. Last night, like most nights, we smoked a chillum with the father, man of the house and his smiling wife. By candlelight they giggled in disbelief when we told them that it was against the law to smoke hash in the West, that they put you in jail for it, went to great lengths to stop people from doing it. The husband and wife talked Nepalese to each other, gave us looks of sad commiseration when they concluded that we were telling the truth. On the road, in front of the house, we can catch the bus a few times a day. It takes about a half hour to take us to the centre of Kathmandu. The fortune teller continues his singsong spiel for ten rupees, his eyes unclouded by freeways, supermarkets and luxury. “Your heart is open and sometimes goes up and down. You will live to be eighty four, no sickness, no disease, no hospital, eating and sleeping, good health until you die” His stare holds my eyes. “Now, pick a number below five, sit properly, do not lie down” He presses a piece of paper into my hand. Led Zep music comes floating across the park from Freak Street. “Four” I pick. “Another, please” “Three” “There, I will write them down” He takes the paper from me, writes on it, gives it back to me. “Now, blow on the paper. If it is the same number, you will pay my fee?” “I already paid ten rupes, ten rupes is your fee, that’s it” It’s not hard to be firm and suspicious when you’ve been in Asia for six months and had almost everything stolen. The fortune teller is exasperated by my attitude. He decides to give me a break. “If the number is the same, you give me what you like. Don’t think of money. Man will die, God won’t die, money won’t die. You think too much. Don’t think of money” He takes back the paper, unfolds it. It reads thirty-one. “There, you see, the same. It means long life, happiness, a large family” “But they’re not the same, I picked forty three” He points to some other pencil marks on the piece of paper. “See, forty-three, the same. Give me what you will” He holds out his hand, waits. Some men near us, sit cross legged facing the barbers who shave them with long, straight razors. Kids wander over to us. A small crowd begins to watch. I give the fortune teller five more rupees. In better days, somewhere in the South, in the huge, teeming world of India (who knows how he got here?), he didn’t feel the humiliation of poverty and begging. He didn’t think of selling his truth to sceptical Westerners worried about rupees. I rise, make the namaste sign to him, walk toward the street. There is rice and milk to buy and the bread’s only available in the mornings. We’re meeting at the Tibetan restaurant where they make good lassi. Once we saw the smile on the Tibetan woman there, an unforgettable, beaming smile, we made that restaurant our regular rendezvous. Tomorrow we would begin our trek to Annapurna. Joyce has become friends with a Canadian girl, one of two sisters, who stay in a youth hostel on Freak Street. Shirley confides to Joyce that she is having an affair with Jay, the Nepali who runs the place. I hear later that the Nepalis do everything else in a crouch, on their haunches, so why not sex? The half sitting, half crouching position becomes comfortable after a while. It is not normal for North American knees, but becomes natural with practice. The feet splayed, tip of the rear grazing the ground, the convenient knees to lean on, quite natural after a few times. Seems a bit strenuous for sex to me, but to each their own. There are two main treks in Nepal, the one to Everest and the one we were taking, to Annapurna. The birthplace of Buddha is just a few miles away. The small, walking path winds upward through rhododendron forests, past spectacular waterfalls and impossible terraced paddies. Our eyes bulge at the sight of the huge burdens carried by the Sherpas. We look away from their thick, muscular legs as they pass us when we stop to wonder at the little building beside the path. It is a Nepali version of a Legion for Ghurkas. The silent, fearless killers, so admired by the Brits, deserve a Legion. Just didn’t think I’d see one here. Some travellers hire the Sherpas to carry everything so their hands are free to take pictures. They can’t survive without toilet paper and corn flakes with milk in the morning. The Sherpas are stolid beasts of burden. At the far end of the trek, as far as you can go, unless you intend to climb Annapurna, there is a windswept airstrip on a plateau. The same travellers who hired Sherpas to carry everything, take a plane back. They have other destinations to photograph, no use wasting film walking back. We stop at Pokhara as we descend. Many Western travellers just go there and stay there. The shore of the lake beside Pokhara sports restaurants with ‘Western Chinese Food’ and stereo speakers mounted in the outdoor dining rooms. The rock n roll never ends. Hostels are full beside the beginnings of a hotel there. The attraction, though, is the silent beauty of calmness, peace, as one floats in dugouts rented by the locals, by the hour. On sunny days, in the middle and all around the lake, float silent dugouts, some with two occupants, some with one. Snow capped Himalayas rise on all sides of the lake, descend from grey to brown to green. Valleys which end in the lake are carved by tributary streams descending from the hills. Giant white clouds float above terraced paddies built with patient hands and mud. Like some times and places in the Rockies, moments there are perfect. Back on Freak Street, in Kathmandu, we meet Billy Bob from Kansas City. Every year he manages to get his holidays and enough money to spend two weeks in Nepal. It is always coordinated with the arrival in town of the famous Manali hash from Northern India. This straight looking, short haired American was the stonedest of the stoned. He shared chillums with all who approached his gregarious presence on Freak Street as he spent his two weeks enjoying the stories of the travellers, the news of old, Nepali friends who he saw every year. He didn’t hesitate to demonstrate, with his passport, that Billy Bob was his real name. We had never met one before, must’ve blurted out our curiosity in a Led Zep soaked burst of coughing laughter as the chillum passed. Where the Bagmati River has flowed for ages in its journey to join the Ganges, a valley has been produced. The valley is below our house. When we sit on the balcony attached to our room, we can watch every day activities on the road in the distance, see the green, yellow, brown after harvest colours in the fields below, watch the cow and goat blink at the hawk circling above them. I was reading Henry Miller’s, Night of the Assassins, then. A combination of what he wrote and what I was thinking at the time, convinced me that constantly pursuing experiences so that you weren’t only thinking and talking about the world is, in the end, useless. As useless as the attitudes of people who think and talk about the world, but never experience it. Sitting on our rough balcony, getting ready for our imminent departure to Goa in the far South, I realized that I had come all this way for nothing. I was convinced that all the travelling, the learning, the questioning, was a waste of time. As addictive as it was, there was no more value in it than in staying safe and secure at home, watching it on television. Krishnamurti had something to say about that, too. It was a little surprising and humbling, but it made sense there, at that time. We stop in the Tibetan restaurant on our way to the train station. The smiling woman gives us lassi. We walk down Freak Street, saying goodbye to old and new acquaintances, cross Ratna Park. As we leave the park, I see the fortune teller again. His words rise above the Led Zep and muffler sounds, “Man will die, God won’t die, money won’t die. You think too much. Don’t think about money”

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14. The Poetry of Summer

Every week, poets, book bloggers, librarians, and other bookworms share their original or favorite poems as part of Poetry Friday. (Learn more at Poetry Foundation.) I participate at my blog, Bildungsroman. I tend to select poems based on my mood or recent events. This month, I shared four Mary Oliver poems, including her aptly-titled piece August:

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.

What poems or poets make you think of summer? Leave a comment below and let us know!

Special thanks to my friend and fellow writer Courtney Sheinmel for introducing me to Mary Oliver's poetry a few years ago!

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15. Happy News For Angry Birds: A Sequel Is Being Planned

More Angry Birds is on the way!

The post Happy News For Angry Birds: A Sequel Is Being Planned appeared first on Cartoon Brew.

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16. Sweetness

The hummingbirds were waiting 
For their sugar water feed;
Some sweetness must be something 
Every species seems to need.

If you read these words and doubt them
Or dismiss them with a shrug,
Think of how we can be nourished
By the sweetness of a hug.

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17. Cartoon – Helping hands are better

Cartoon – Helping hands are better helping hands are better than praying lips …मदद करने वाले हाथ  प्रार्थना करने वाले होंठो से अच्छे होते हैं… पिछ्ले दिनों एक खबर ने बहुत विचलित कर दिया जिसमें असपताल  से एम्बूलैंस की  सुविधा न मिलने पर ओडिसा का गरीब दाना मांझी अपनी मृतक पत्नी का शव कन्धे पर […]

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18. डिटॉक्स डाइट और हम

डिटॉक्स डाइट और हम Detox diet Tips एक जानकार से मिलना हुआ. चाय सर्व करते हुए उसने बताया कि वो आज कुछ नही लेगी  डिटॉक्स प्लान है … यानि सारे दिन बस एक ही चीज लेनी है और वो आज घिया ही ले रही है घिया की सब्जी, घिया का रायता… इससे शरीर के अंदर की […]

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19. 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.


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20. 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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21. Ten underappreciated philosophers of the Islamic World [timeline]

In this timeline, Peter Adamson, author of the History of Philosophy series, highlights ten underappreciated figures of the Islamic world, during and well beyond the medieval era.

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22. Teacher Who Helped: Believe in Your Students

Hi, folks, This is the last in my series of Teachers Who Helped.  Of course, I saved the best for last. In 1995, I moved to Kirkland, Washington. A friend of mine, Kathi Appelt, encouraged me that there was a vibrant group of writers in the Seattle area and recommended that I take a class on children's writing at the Bellevue Community College. Kathi said the teacher was considered very helpful.

I signed up for the class and met the teacher, Peggy King Anderson. (Those of my readers in the children's writing community are freaking out right now because I am dropping some names!)  Peggy is a teacher like no other I have ever known. She loves her students and her subject. She taught me that my best story is in my soul, curled up inside, and that it is destined to break out its chrysalis and take flight. But the most important lessons I learned from Peggy were all about loving the journey of writing books, loving the people who write children's books, and actually letting the writing transform me, before it transforms anyone else.

Her Master Classes around her dining room table were magical. Bowls of popcorn, slices of apples, and generous heaps of conversation, I met Jolie Stekly, Meg Lippert, Allyson Schrier, Vijaya Bodach, and so many more in these classes. One thing was clear about Peggy: she nurtured excellence. Most writers entered her classes unpublished. Few stayed that way. Peggy encouraged me as a mom, as a wife, and as a student. She understood that people are complex and all the pieces of who you are inform your stories.  She taught me that in the midst of storms of life that writing is my safe place. She said, "Writing is saving you."

I'm a person of faith in Christ. With Peggy's gentle critique, I learned that there was a divine spark in in my work, something wholly outside me. Each book is lit by God and is part of a great fire of goodness. Faith is something beautiful that I share with Peggy. She taught me about holiness of my work, that it is important, and that children were hungry for my words. It is my sacred duty to make my words wonderful, to draw close to the bone, and reveal the hidden truth of the worth of every individual.

Finally, Peggy's belief in each and every one of her students buoys me. Do you have any idea how powerful the faith of a learned teacher is? Her unending encouragement lit a fire of encouragement in me that I try to pass it on. Peggy is no longer teaching classes to devote time her family. (Always keeping those priorities right.)  She does however continue to mentor. Check out the link to website above if you are interested.

My puny words are never going to reveal the total awesomeness of Peggy. If you read my post, and know Peggy, drop by her Facebook, and let her know what a difference she has made in your life. If not, thank the teachers who believed in you.

I hope you liked this series and will back with next week with a series I call Close to the Bone.

Here is a doodle for you.

Here is a quote for your pocket.

I am indebted to my father for living, but to my teacher for living well. Alexander the Great, (His teacher, Aristotle, who was taught by Plato, who was taught by Sophocles.)

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23. Olympic swimmers meet Latin America’s vast gray area of private security

During the closing week of the Rio games, the biggest story was not about the pool, the mat, or the track but rather about the after-game party . . . and the after-party mess. As of Friday morning, the next-to-last day of the games, the home page of the New York Times was carrying headlines for five separate articles concerning the event. Clearly, the events that unfolded when the swimmers arrived at the gas station as well as the interviews given by American medalist Ryan Lochte, fit some powerful stereotypes about Brazilian (in)security and American hedonism and hubris.

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24. शुभ मुहूर्त में शिशु जन्म – कितना सही

(तस्वीर गूगल से साभार) शुभ मुहूर्त में शिशु जन्म – कितना सही गुजरात के विरडिया अस्पताल में 15 टेस्ट ट्यूब बच्चों का जन्म हुआ.  15 अगस्त  को 15 नि:संतान दंपत्तियों के टेस्ट ट्यूब से 15 बच्चों को जन्म दिया।ट्रिनिटी टेस्ट ट्यूब बेबी सेंटर और विरडिया हॉस्पिटल में 15 अगस्त को 15 महिलाओं की टेस्ट ट्यूब […]

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25. 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. 


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)


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)


“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)


“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)


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)


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)


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)


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)


Ellen Datlow
John Joseph Adams
Neil Clarke
Jerry Pournelle
Sheila Williams


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


Abigail Larson
Lars Braad Andersen
Larry Elmore
Michal Karcz
Larry Rostant


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


“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


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


Mike Glyer
Douglas Ernst
Morgan Holmes
Jeffro Johnson
Shamus Young


Steve Stiles
Matthew Callahan
Christian Quinot


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


Joe Siclari & Evie Stern

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