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1. Trip To Denver: The New Union Station


We headed up to Denver last week for  a little bit of business in the Capitol city...


Click HERE for video of train passing by coffee shop...

But when that was done, we stayed around for a couple of days. For one, to explore the newly renovated Union Station on the Northwest end of downtown...


Denver continues to add to their mass transit system, a sleek new hub between Union Station and the South Platte River in LoDo (lower downtown).


The old Union Station has been a anchor on the Northwest corner of the Sixteenth Street Mall...






and includes a hotel...

                           

and several restaurants, listed here...


Ate at the very hip Kitchen Next Door Community Pub for dinner...


and then came back the next day and had breakfast at Snooze, yup the 60's are cool again...



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2. RICKSHAW GIRL on Stage: Order Tickets Now!


My novel for elementary-aged readers, RICKSHAW GIRL (chosen by the New York Public Library as one of the best books for children over the past 100 years), is pedaling to the stage in a wonderful musical adaptation! The Bay Area Children's Theatre will put on shows at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. every Saturday and Sunday from April 12 to May 22, first in San Ramon's Front Row Theater, next at the San Francisco's Children's Creativity Museum, and last but not least in Berkeley at The Osher Studio.

Here's the ticket purchase information: http://bactheatre.org/shows/RickshawGirl. If you want to say hello and get a signed book, I plan to be there at the opening shows in San Francisco (Saturday, April 16 at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.) and the closing shows in Berkeley (Sunday, May 22 at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.).

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3. Google Experiments With “Unprintable” E-Books

Google Creative Lab in Australia has teamed up with London-based publishing company Visual Editions to create Editions at Play, a new digital bookstore featuring “books that cannot be printed.”

These experimental new titles are designed for mobile phones. Here is more from the Visual Editions website:

Editions At Play is a website aimed at book lovers, tech geeks and design peeps. We sell unprintable books that you can read on your phone. It’s a response to the world of digital books, e-books, enhanced e-books, and online PDFs. Because quite frankly we believe readers deserve more. So why not make digital books that are more bookish. And more delightful. And even magical.

The store launches with two new titles: Entrances & Exits by Reif Larsen which is set inside Google Street View; and The Truth About Cats & Dogs by Joe Dunthorne and Sam Riviere.

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4. N.Y. School Encourages Kids to Buy Books at School Store

Maspeth High School in Queens, NY is reportedly pushing students to buy books from its in-house bookstore, a practice that goes against state and city rules.

According to a report in The New York Post, the school encourages kids to buy specific editions of books and suggests that they buy them from the school book stores. The Post has the scoop:

New York Maspeth sells 45 different books, mostly for English, plus several for other classes such as social studies and chemistry. Prices start at $2 for Machiavelli’s “The Prince” and $3 for Dickens’ “Tale of Two Cities.” Six books cost $10 each, including “Brave New World,” “Black Boy,” and “The Great Gatsby.”

A spokesperson for the school claims that students are not required to shop in the school’s store.

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5. Bob Shea’s Ballet Cat Collection Prize Pack| Book Giveaway

Enter to win a Ballet Cat collection prize pack! Giveaway begins February 8, 2016, at 12:01 A.M. PST and ends March 7, 2016, at 11:59 P.M. PST.

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6. YABC Book Haul - February 2016


This month the publishers of the world sent us ALL THE BOOKS! Enjoy the book haul. What are some of the titles you are looking forward to reading soon? 

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7. ‘Kung Fu Panda 3’ Maintains Top Global Box Office Spot For Second Week

Po was #1 in both the U.S. and China, but there are some reasons for concern.

The post ‘Kung Fu Panda 3’ Maintains Top Global Box Office Spot For Second Week appeared first on Cartoon Brew.

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8. New Legend of Zelda Manga to be Digitally Published

Link 200 (GalleyCat)A Japanese manga series based on the The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess video game will be released later this month. Readers will only be able to access this work through Shogakukan’s MangaOne app.

According to PolygonAkira Himekawa, the pseudonym of two creatives who choose to remain anonymous, has been credited as the writer and artist behind this project. In the past, this duo has produced manga based on three other Zelda games: Ocarina of Time, Majora’s Mask, and A Link to the Past.

Here’s more from Tech Times: “The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess is an action-adventure game from Nintendo that originally released in 2006 for the GameCube and Wii. The story follows the hero Link as he tries to save Hyrule from an evil parallel dimension. Many Zelda fans and critics often consider Twilight Princess as one of the best Zelda games ever made.” (via ComicBook.com)

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9. Google’s Spotlight Stories Unveils Trailer For Interactive ‘On Ice’ Short

The film is directed by Shannon Tindle, who also came up with the idea for Laika's "Kubo and the Two Strings."

The post Google’s Spotlight Stories Unveils Trailer For Interactive ‘On Ice’ Short appeared first on Cartoon Brew.

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10. The Church at the Movies

On Sunday I went to the movies,
A space that the theater now shares
With a church that was holding a service
On the second floor, right up the stairs.

As the clerk took ahold of my ticket,
I noticed the welcoming sign;
So a person who entered had choices –
See a movie or seek the divine.

There were mouthwash and mints in the bathroom
Which the church leaders sweetly supplied,
Though I have to admit I was baffled –
Would a gargle make virtue implied?

As I fixed on the coming attractions,
While relaxed on my faux-leather perch,
I supposed I was one of the sinners
To the worshipers up in the church.

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11. Bella Heathcote Lands Role in Fifty Shades Darker

Fifty Shades Darker Book Cover (GalleyCat)Bella Heathcote has been cast in the Fifty Shades Darker film adaptation. In the past, this actress has taken on literary-themed projects such as Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and The Curse of Downers Grove.

International Business Times reports that Heathcote will play Leila Williams; this character is the “former and mentally unstable submissive” of Christian Grey. E.L. James, the author of the Fifty Shades book trilogy, confirmed on the news on Twitter.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, “this casting follows the announcement that Kim Basinger will play Grey’s Mrs. Robinson-esque first lover.” Both Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan have agreed to return to step into the roles of Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey. (via E! Online)

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12. Happy Blogiversary Indeed!

It's been eleven years of blogging for Tanita and me. Can you believe it? I went diving into our archives and found a few fun tidbits from our blogging past, in honor of our Feb. 24th blogversaryThree years in, I posted a cartoon of THE TWO OF US in... Read the rest of this post

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13. Red nose

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14. Scanning the Backlist (5)

I always wait way too long between these posts, especially since it's a feature that I really enjoy working on.  Here's the latest round of backlist titles I'll be reading based on books I reviewed and enjoyed on the blog:

It's been a year and a half since I read and reviewed The Farm by Tom Robb Smith, and I'm still itching to get to his backlist title Child 44, which has been out for a while and begins his Leo Demidov trilogy.
Child 44 (Leo Demidov, #1) 
Stalin's Soviet Union is an official paradise, where citizens live free from crime and fear only one thing: the all-powerful state. Defending this system is idealistic security officer Leo Demidov, a war hero who believes in the iron fist of the law, but when a murderer starts to kill at will and Leo dares to investigate, the State's obedient servant finds himself demoted and exiled. Now, with only his wife at his side, Leo must fight to uncover shocking truths about a killer--and a country where "crime" doesn't exist.

I loved S.J. Watson's Before I Go to Sleep and enjoyed the more recently released movie adaptation of the book, so I want to include his latest book, Second Life.  It's not technically backlist since it was released after Before I Go to Sleep, but it's been out for a while and one I discovered when searching for his backlist.

Second Life: A Novel
...She loves her husband. She's obsessed by a stranger. She's a devoted mother. She's prepared to lose everything. She knows what she's doing. She's out of control. She's innocent. She's guilty as sin. She's living two lives. She might lose both ...

Kate Racculia's Bellweather Rhapsody enchanted me when I read it in 2014 and I was pleased to check Goodreads and find that her backlist title This Must Be the Place was already on my TBR.

This Must Be the Place

The Darby-Jones boardinghouse in Ruby Falls, New York, is home to Mona Jones and her daughter, Oneida, two loners and self-declared outcasts who have formed a perfectly insular family unit: the two of them and the three eclectic boarders living in their house. But their small, quiet life is upended when Arthur Rook shows up in the middle of a nervous breakdown, devastated by the death of his wife, carrying a pink shoe box containing all his wife's mementos and keepsakes, and holding a postcard from sixteen years ago, addressed to Mona but never sent. Slowly the contents of the box begin to fit together to tell a story—one of a powerful friendship, a lost love, and a secret that, if revealed, could change everything that Mona, Oneida, and Arthur know to be true. Or maybe the stories the box tells and the truths it brings to life will teach everyone about love—how deeply it runs, how strong it makes us, and how even when all seems lost, how tightly it brings us together. With emotional accuracy and great energy, This Must Be the Place introduces memorable, charming characters that refuse to be forgotten. 

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15. Happy Birthday, Matthew!

I hope you have a fun day!!

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16. The First Chapter

Here's a checklist to help you revise that oh-so-important first chapter.

http://annerallen.com/2016/01/how-to-start-novel-checklist-for.html

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17. correctdichotomy: (image credit to Dan Hoare on twitter) I ONLY...









correctdichotomy:

(image credit to Dan Hoare on twitter)

I ONLY JUST LEARNED ABOUT THE EXISTENCE OF THIS MUSHROOM????? WHICH ERUPTS FROM AN EGG BEFORE UNCURLING HELLISH ARMS, EXPOSING ITS STICKY MASS OF SPORES TO BE SPREAD BY FLIES ATTRACTED BY THE SCENT OF ROTTING FLESH???

Admittedly, I am easily won over by all organisms that attract flies with the scent of rotting flesh. But the octopus stinkhorn (Clathrus archeri) also has tentacles, a freaky egg stage, and blackish goop, so it’s my favorite now.









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18. Giveaway \\ THE POWER by Jennifer L Armentrout #ApollyconOfficial

THE POWERby Jennifer L ArmentroutSeries: A Titan Novel (Book 2)Paperback: 344 pagesPublisher: Spencer Hill Press (February 23, 2016)Goodreads | Amazon With any great change, there is always strife, and the Covenant University has become the frontline between pure-bloods who want the Breed Order reinstated and the half-bloods who want the right to control their own destinies. Fate has other

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19. Comics sales increase by 2.1 million units in five years

The top 300 comics charts are out for January, and John Jackson Miller has his monthly analysis which reveals that graphic novels were heavily discounted in January, perhaps accounting for part of the fall in sales. He also points out something very important which I think a lot of people don’t remember – because they […]

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20. #STBAblogtour16 DAY ONE

Today kicks off the 2016 Sydney Taylor Book Award Blog Tour, a virtual book tour for authors and illustrators of this year's gold and silver medalists. Check back each day for new interviews, or wait until the end and read all the interviews at once! Find the entire blog tour schedule here.

MONDAY, FEBRUARY 8, 2016



Ketzel the Cat Who Composed by Lesléa Newman, illustrated by Amy June Bates
Sydney Taylor Book Award winner in the Younger Readers Category
At Ann Koffsky's Blog

Author Interview
Illustrator Interview



Serendipity's Footsteps by Suzanne Nelson
Sydney Taylor Honor Award winner in the Teen Readers Category
At Bildungsroman
Author Interview


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21. Buzzworthy Books - Winter 2016

There are SO MANY amazing books hitting the shelves this winter. Which 25 are we buzzing about? Check out our list and be sure to enter to win one of the 8 books we're giving away! 1. THE SHADOW QUEEN by C.J. Redwine - 2/16/16  A dark epic fantasy inspired by the...

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22. Gung Hey Fat Choy!!!

"the lucky one"
6x6 acrylic on canvas
©the enchanted easel 2016
here's to 2016 and the year of the monkey! this is beautiful little Mei Lin. she comes to bring good fortune with her lucky mandarin orange

PRINTS (AND OTHER GOODIES) FOR SALE THROUGH THE SHOP LINKS HERE...also, the ORIGINAL PAINTING is AVAILABLE. message me here if interested.

"the lucky one" is sized at 6x6, acrylic on canvas. what a lovely little addition she would make to your home, bringing good fortune and happiness along with her.

{hey, i was working on her when my man Peyton won the SB yesterday so she is lucky for sure! :)}

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23. shape challenge aliens

They come in peace. (Click here to see other #ShapeChallenge drawings.)



I was really taken with these #ShapeChallenge drawings by kids; in some ways, they're more proficient than mine, in their bold use of colour and pattern. @MrsJTeaches, who tweeted them, explained that she had the kids look at the shapes for two minutes and think about them, then spend ten minutes drawing inside the shape and ten minutes drawing outside it. What a great way to pace them! (She said that, if she doesn't do that, they just tend to colour inside the shape.) I'm packing away that tip for future use!



These would make amazing abstract tapestries.







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24. Between the World and Me

cover artBetween the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates is a powerful and passionate book. As a white person in America, it was at times difficult for me to read. I found myself whispering I’m sorry I’m sorry I’m sorry over and over. How do we make things different? What can I do? And at other times, reading the words of a black man talking about how white society does whatever it can to control his body and lets him know regularly that his body is not his own, I thought, yes, I understand from my place as a woman in a patriarchal society what it means for the culture and the law to always be trying to control your body. The control comes in different forms, but I too know what it’s like to walk down the street and be afraid. And so Coates’s book had the curious effect of making me feel guilt and sympathy and anger in repeated waves of various intensities.

Between the World and Me is a “letter” Coates wrote to his fifteen-year-old son. It is inspired by James Baldwin’s 1963 book The Fire Next Time, a book about what it means to be black in America. Certainly a great deal has changed since 1963 but so much remains stubbornly the same. I got the impression at times that Coates felt like nothing would ever change, that we will never see an end to racism, while at other times, especially when he was reflecting on his son’s life and experiences and how they have been different from his own, Coates seemed hopeful in a clear-eyed there is still much work and struggling ahead sort of way.

In thinking about the book and how I should read it and understand it, the best approach was to just listen. Don’t try to say, it’s not like that; don’t even think about suggesting things aren’t that bad. Don’t argue and critique or dismiss. Don’t compare my experience of oppression with his in order to determine who is worse off. Don’t go to an insensitive place and think, I have a black friend so I can’t possibly be racist. Don’t get defensive and definitely don’t try and claim I am not part of the system.

It is not always easy to listen, to refrain from Yes, but… I think I managed pretty well. Being open to Coates’s experience was unsettling at times. I caught myself thinking at one point when he was talking about slavery that my ancestors came to America after the Civil War, none of them owned slaves, my family had no part in it and can’t be blamed. But that is beside the point, isn’t it? While my ancestors may have had nothing to do with slavery they certainly reaped the benefits of a country made wealthy by the work of slaves. And they were definitely not immune from participating in casual and thoughtless racism.

It is hard to shut up and listen and not try to exonerate oneself, to think other people are like that but not me. When you grow up and live in a racist society, especially when you grow up and live with the privileges that come from white skin, you are not free from prejudice, I am not free from prejudice. And it hurts, I don’t want to be a “bad” person. And that is good. Because that is the only way we can move as individuals, as a culture, as a country, through prejudice to a society that is as free and equal as it imagines itself to be.


Filed under: Books, Nonfiction, Reviews

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25. Fans Petition For a Permanent Terry Pratchett Statue in England

terry pratchettEmily Brand, a fan of Sir Terry Pratchett, has launched a Change.org petition. She hopes to encourage the city council of Salisbury to install a permanent statue of the late fantasy fiction author.

Prior to his passing, Pratchett resided in this English town for more than two decades. So far, the petition has drawn more than 7,000 signatures.

Some of the supporters behind this project include Pratchett’s family and Pratchett’s longtime friend Neil GaimanBBC News reports that “a spokeswoman for the family said he would ‘undoubtedly’ have found the amusement ‘in almost any statue.'” Gaiman wrote a post about this venture on Facebook and encouraged his followers to sign the petition.

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