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<<August 2014>>
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Viewing: Blog Posts from the Bookseller category, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 26 - 50 of 15,615
26. In This Book by Fani Marceau and Joëlle Jolivet

In This Book by Fani Marceau and Joëlle Jolivet, originally published in France (thus the French text in the illustrations, the only I could find) is a boldly illustrated meditation that is short on narrative but strong on images and connections, making this more of a concept book than a story. And, at 64 pages, it is also twice as long as most picture books. "I am in the hair, said the

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27. Planes Go by Steve Light

Steve Light, author and illustrator of the fantastic picture books Have You Seen My Dragon? and Zephyr Takes Flight is also the creator of a superb collection of onomatopoetic, transportation board books, the newest of which is Planes Go. From the seaplane that goes, "GGRRRRRRRRRRRRR Putt Putt Putt ssSPLAAASHH!" to the helicopter, the jumbo jet, the propeller plane, the fighter

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28. Backseat A-B-See by Maria van Lieshout

Backseat A-B-See is now available in BOARD BOOK and an absolute MUST for all little travelers! All my kids learned to read their first words from the backseat of a car, which is exactly why I am so excited and pleased with Maria van Lieshout's new book, Backseat A-B-See. van Lieshout does a wonderful job from A to Z, from the images to the layout to the signs she discovered to go with

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29. Poetry Visits Are So Much Fun OR Are They?

A Reading

Poem: "A Reading" by Wendy Cope from If I Don't Know

Everybody in this room is bored.
The poems drag, the voice and gestures irk.
He can't be interrupted or ignored.

Poor fools, we came here of our own accord
And some of us have paid to hear this jerk.
Everybody in the room is bored.

The silent cry goes up, 'How long, O Lord?'
But nobody will scream or go berserk.
He won't be interrupted or ignored.

Or hit by eggs, or savaged by a horde
Of desperate people maddened by his work.
Everybody in the room is bored,

Except the poet. We are his reward,
Pretending to indulge in his every quirk.
He won't be interrupted or ignored.

At last it's over. How we all applaud!
The poet thanks us with a modest smirk.
Everybody in the room was bored.
He wasn't interrupted or ignored.


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30. Fitz and the Fool

After 10 long years, Robin Hobb revisits two of her most beloved characters, Fitz and the Fool, with Fool's Assassin. If the ending of Fool's Fate made you want to fling the book across the room, you'll be happy to hear that Fitz and the Fool do meet up again. The opening of Fool's Assassin [...]

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31. Fleabrain Loves Franny by Joanne Rocklin, 263 pp, RL 4

Fleabrain Loves Franny is the newest book by a favorite of mine, Joanne Rocklin, with fantastic cover art by Kelly Murphy. Fleabrain Loves Franny begins in 1952 when three life changing things happen to ten-year-old Franny Katzenback: she contracts polio and she reads  and is enamored with the new book by E.B.White, Charlotte's Web, given to her in the hospital by Sister Ed, an enthusiastic

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32. The Trauma of Everyday Life

Mark Epstein masterfully examines the intersection between psychotherapy and Buddhism, and his new book focuses on a fascinating subject within that convergence: trauma. Using even the Buddha's own personal traumas, Epstein pens an exploration that is wise, insightful, and surprisingly uplifting. Books mentioned in this post Portland Noir (Akashic Noir) Kevin Sampsell Used Trade Paper [...]

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33. Of Metal and Wishes

This unusual and hauntingly powerful love story is set in a slaughterhouse factory housing a ghost who grants wishes. The factory hires a cheap labor force and it turns into an exploding workplace. This moving novel weaves violence, tenderness, and forgiveness into one alluring story. Books mentioned in this post Of Metal and Wishes Sarah [...]

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34. The Magician’s Land

The Magician's Land brings Grossman's trilogy to a triumphant conclusion. Quentin Coldwater has been cast out of Fillory, the land he once ruled. He sets out on new adventures with Plum, a young magician. Meanwhile, Janet and Eliot fight to save Fillory from destruction. Books mentioned in this post The Magician's Land Lev Grossman Sale [...]

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35. In the Kingdom of Ice

Truly a great adventure story, Sides's thrilling tale of the 1879 polar expedition of the USS Jeannette left me slack-jawed and wide-eyed. Vividly experience the grim, harrowing journey into a frozen world and discover the fate of the heroic crew determined to survive. Impossible to put down, this book has award winner written all over [...]

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36. Thrones and Bones: Frostborn

Drawing on Norse legends is the first of a series involving Karn, a farm boy who would rather play board games, and Thianna, a half-frost giantess. They join together to battle trolls, walking dead, and a fire-breathing dragon. This is a wonderful summer read filled with humor and adventure. Books mentioned in this post Frostborn [...]

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37. Excavation

In this searingly honest memoir of growing up during the '80s and '90s in Southern California, Ortiz brilliantly narrates her five-year relationship with a teacher 15 years her senior. This is a work of startling incandescence and raw beauty. Books mentioned in this post Excavation: A Memoir Wendy C. Ortiz Sale Trade Paper $10.50

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38. Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage

Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki may be a simple story, but it carries an emotional heft that feels like a throwback to one of Murakami's classic early novels, like Norwegian Wood. His ephemeral and effortless prose flows like a perfectly choreographed dream and will leave you as satisfied as a long afternoon nap. Books mentioned in this [...]

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39. Amsterdam

Many Americans have a specific idea of the city of Amsterdam: they think of its front-and-center red light district or legal drugs or, for those less interested in vice, the Anne Frank House. But Russell Shorto's interests go deeper — in Amsterdam he traces the history of the place and its liberalism, from the inception [...]

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40. The Good Lord Bird

Through the tremendous voice of Little Onion, a slave boy mistaken for a girl, James McBride takes America's battle against slavery, including the infamous raid on Harpers Ferry, and weaves a story that is exhilarating, profound, and darkly funny. Books mentioned in this post Portland Noir (Akashic Noir) Kevin Sampsell Used Trade Paper $8.50 Pacific [...]

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41. Sweet Thunder

This charming story from Ivan Doig reintroduces the personable Morrie Morgan — now newly married and finding himself in charge of a rundown mansion and as a novice newspaper editor in 1920s Butte, Montana. Readers will find much to love in this look back at a fascinating time in American history. Books mentioned in this [...]

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42. Middle Grade Webinar 8/14

By popular demand (really!), I'm revisiting my Writers Digest class, WRITING AND SELLING MIDDLE GRADE FICTION. Last time I taught this webinar we had 100+ participants and it was really fun, and I hope interesting and inspiring for attendees! Here's what you need to know:

* The live webinar will be held Thursday 8/14 at 1pm Eastern. BUT! If you can't attend live, NO PROBLEM - everyone who has signed up ahead of time will get the webinar on-demand, and have access to all program materials for a year

* Everyone who has signed up ahead of time will get a critique of EITHER the first 500 words of their finished/WIP middle grade OR their query. Your choice.

* EVERY question will be answered, either during the presentation or in writing afterward -- if you can't attend and ask during the live presentation, you may simply send in your question to WD, and I will get to all of them.

This class is probably most useful for:

* Folks who are either ready-to-query or who are in the query trenches but haven't yet hooked an agent (or perhaps, have gotten rejections but don't know why!)

* Those just starting their Middle Grade writing journey (or perhaps don't even know where to start!)

* Published or unpublished writers in other categories who are considering transitioning into Middle Grade.

You can sign up for the Webinar with critique anytime until 8/14. Check out the Writers Digest website for more info or to register.

And if you have ANY questions about this class, please ask here or on Twitter!

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43. The Unwanteds: Book 1, by Lisa McMann, 400 pp, RL 4

The Unwanteds, the first book in Lisa McMann's Unwanteds series came out in 2011 and the blurb on the cover, "The Hunger Games meets Harry Potter," didn't grab me, despite the fact that I read and admire both series. I was  burned out on dystopian settings and wary of any book that is compared to Harry Potter. But, The Unwanteds won the California Young Reader Medal medal for best

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44. The Little Bear Book by Anthony Browne

Originally published in 1988, Anthony Browne's The Little Bear Book is back! The Little Bear Book definitely reflects the standards of the time, but Browne's genius and imagination shines through - even in this seemingly simple story. Little Bear is a bit of a Harold, from Harold and the Purple Crayon. As he travels through the forest, he meets animals who could be threatening but, with

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45. What If . . . ? by Anthony Browne

Anthony Browne is a longtime favorite of mine. His illustrations are always well worth the cost of the book, and are often like owning a small work of art. But it's Browne's stories that have made his award-filled career last as long as it has. Browne has a rare and amazing sensitivity to the worries of children combined with a gift for capturing and honoring them subtly and gently with

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46. Live Today, Leave a Legacy for Tomorrow

Live for Today, Leave a Legacy for Tomorrow 

Many people have the notion of legacy as being a gift of money or an estate left for their dear ones or someone else. While this is definitely a part of your legacy, it is not the entire picture. A legacy will also include what you impart to the future generation, including things like your ideas, philosophy, your accomplishments, and also your money.

While great leaders have left behind a legacy that continues to influence the future generations and inspires them every day, you cannot imagine everyone leaving a rich legacy that is influential to an entire community or the entire world. But, your legacy can be something that talks about you and influences as many people as is possible.

In order to leave a legacy that inspires and influences the lives of the future generations it is essential to start planning for it as early as possible and sharing your thoughts and viewpoints to the benefit of the future generations. But, how does one plan on leaving a legacy?

Learn the Purpose of Your Life

Everyone has a purpose in their lives. It is essential to listen to your mind and heart and get to know what the purpose of your life is. Once you do this, you can work a lifetime enjoying each day trying to get closer to this purpose in life. Document this purpose of your life and mention your achievements as you draw every step closer to this goal. This itself will speak monuments about your achievements and thinking and speak of your legacy when people read through what you have left behind.

Identify your Thoughts and Document them

Everyone has their viewpoints on every aspect of life. You too will have your own. Identify your thought process and give in depth thinking to core aspects of life including family, love, philosophy, spirituality, community, etc. Pen down your thoughts and read through them again. You might want to visit them over time and refine your writing depending on your thought process. Enrich your writing with your thoughts and be honest. You will never know how and whom you will inspire with your ideas and thinking.

Think about Overall Improvement

Everyone thinks about improving their family and making them wealthy and rich. By doing so, you might not leave a rich legacy. Think even about overall improvement from a broader perspective, for example, you community or your city. Think about how your thought process and work can help in the betterment of many people. Being wealthy and passing it on to your near and dear ones will not help you create a legacy like the one you can create by working for the betterment of other people that need you to help them out.

It is never late to start working towards leaving a legacy. But, when you are starting early you have more time to put your efforts and thoughts into action and ensure that you are inspiring many people for a long time to come.

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47. the strange beautiful sorrows of ava lavender by Leslye Walton, 301 pages, RL: TEEN

When I was in high school I read Gabriel Garcia Marquez's One Hundred Years of Solitude and it remains one of the handful of books I have read twice in my life. There is something about the genre of magical realism that seems perfectly suited to the adolescent experience. It provides escape from what might be painful, difficult and confusing times and presents a version of the world that can

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48. Poetry Friday: In the Gloaming by Meta Orred

In the gloaming, oh, my darling,
When the lights are dim and low,
And the quiet shadows falling,
Softly come, and softly go;
When the winds are sobbing faintly,
With a gentle, unknown woe;
Will you think of me and love me?
As you did once long ago?

In the gloaming, oh, my darling,
Think not bitterly of me.
Tho’ I passed away in silence,
Left you lonely, set you free;
For my heart was crushed with longing,
What has been could never be;
It was best to leave you thus, dear,
Best for you and best for me.
It was best to leave you thus,
Best for you and best for me.

- In the Gloaming by Meta Orred

In 1877, Annie Fortescue Harrison composed a song using this poem as lyrics. The song has been performed countless times since. I like this version by The Story.

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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49. The Powell’s Playlist: Water Music by Peter Mendelsund

We "see" when we read, and we "see" when we listen. There are many ways in which music can create the cross-sensory experience of this seeing... through sonic imitation, through poetic evocation, through dynamic mapping, through programmatic association, through the literal use of physical materials... 1. "La Mer" by Claude Debussy The big kahuna of [...]

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50. A Few Beautiful Summers Ago...

Family reunions can help remind us of the importance of family and good times in our lives. A few beautiful summers ago, my wife, Marilyn, and I attended a Sottile Family Reunion in Colorado. More than 70 relatives from states as far as Florida and New York attended. We met in the tourist town of Estes Park for a week of fun and discovery. The town is clean, compact, and even dog friendly. There’s a well-shaded park for dogs and doggie bowls of water in some tourist shops. Picture perfect mountains surrounded this haven.

More than half of the Sottiles that came to the family reunion live in Colorado. There were two major events planned for each day. These events included a western barbecue, hayride in the mountains, a sock hop, a rock climb, an aerial ride over the mountains, racing go-carts, white water rafting, gambling Texas Hold ’Em style, a cowboy and cowgirl dance, mountain hiking, fishing for phantom fish, golfing on a fantastic course (with majestic mountains in the background), and much more.

Each morning Marilyn and I enjoyed eating breakfast in a different restaurant and doing some window shopping. A good breakfast in a new place was a delicious way to start the day. As we strolled around the town, we held hands like newlyweds. On days that were less structured than other days we visited Rocky Mountain National Park. 

On a sunny day you would have to be camera-challenged not to take a superb picture at the park. We enjoyed the breath-taking beauty by taking more than 100 digital photographs. There seemed to be endless photo opportunities to share with the family back home. The park contains 359 miles of trails and 60 peaks above 12,000 feet. In the park you can escape the crowds and enjoy a mountain playground where elk, muler deer, and big horn sheep roam freely in the meadows and along streams.

Matter of fact, the elk sometimes trot into town and you have to be careful just how fast you drive or you might hit one. Marilyn and I each had a turn at yelling, “Look out for the elk ahead!” Both times it was almost lunchtime, so guess elk get hungry too.  

When we weren’t at the park, we caught up on the lives of people who were somehow connected to us by birth or marriage. Later, after hiking or white water rafting, it was easy to go to bed and fall asleep in each other’s arms.

Since this was a vacation with no cooking or cleaning to be done, people were in superb moods. A harsh word was never heard, not even among the many children. The good times and cheer seemed to roll along from day to day. At the last dance there were old films of past family events and new slides of the happy reunion. Some of the old super-eight film brought tears to our eyes as we saw loved ones who we once patterned certain aspects of our lives after, but were no longer with us. Group pictures of our families were taken at our western dance and woven together like a family tapestry of celluloid and light to celebrate our history on our last night together

During a typical day at home, my most strenuous activity might be mowing the lawn with my self-propelled mower. Count me out as far as mountain hiking and white water rafting (during record breaking temperatures in the Rockies). But, sometimes you have to pluck down some coins and courage that were set aside for “someday I’ll do that.” Marilyn and I were the oldest white water rafters on our family’s “ride the rapids” day. We earned our wet badge of courage and had a once in a lifetime experience.

It’s great fun to share stimulating activities with people you know from birth. But there were many Sottile clan members that I had not met; they grew up in Colorado and I in New York. Fortunately, we all seemed to have the same definition of fun: swap family stories and memories, while creating new ones.

Perhaps the funniest new story told around the campfire in the mountain was about my two cousins, Laurie and Jim, from New York. One evening during the week, they came home at midnight to their backwoods condo and discovered a 300 pound bear eating out of the garbage can. They couldn’t get into their place without adding to his menu. (That’s not the funny part.) They honked the car horn and flashed their headlights, but the bear was determined to finish its midnight snack. Finally, they called 9-1-1 on their cell phone. Laurie was told to call “Bearbusters.” She laughed hysterically until the lady at the other end of the phone said that she wasn’t kidding. By that time the bear was done snacking and had wandered off. Bearbuster intervention wasn’t needed. (That was the only unbearable event of the week.

Throughout the week everyone got along amazingly well. We had fabulous food and exciting times. Even when we had an open bar at our dance party on the last night, nobody over-indulged themselves and acted like a fool in the flock.

When my brother Tony left for home, he whispered to me that being at the reunion felt like being, “bathed in love and laughter for a week.” I shared the same feeling.

At the farewell breakfast, there were hugs, kisses, and some tears. I thought of the words of Chief Many Horses had uttered to us one night while speaking to us at the campfire. He said that in his Indian language there isn’t a word for “good-bye.” What they say in their language is equivalent in English to “I hope our paths cross again soon.

I hope they do, too.


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