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1. Being A Captain is Hard Work: A Captain No Beard Story | Dedicated Review

Ahoy! Captain No Beard and his crew are back. In the latest installment to Carole P. Roman’s award-wining series, Being a Captain is Hard Work, readers learn it’s okay to make mistakes, especially when you learn something from them.

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2. 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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3. 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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4. 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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5. SOL Tuesday & 3 Weeks Until the March Challenge Begins

When you're writing a slice of life, it can be about something ordinary. Please don't wait until something extraordinary happens to you to share a slice of life story here. That's not what slicing is about. Sharing the ordinary is more than okay... it's what slicing is all about!

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6. Black Comics Month: Free comics, Cyborg, Myisha Haynes and more!

The Substitutes Promo BannerContinuing our spotlight on #BlackComicsMonth, by arrangement with Vixen, we have some catching up to do. First FREE COMICS! Concrete Park Vol 1. is still free from Comixology or Dark Horse! FREE!!!!!   Also Free, a new selection of comics from B. Alex Thompson including Hass #1 and two issues of Chaos Campus: Sorority Girls vs. […]

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7. The Boy Who Stole Attila's Horse review

       The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Iván Repila's The Boy Who Stole Attila's Horse -- available in a lovely little pocket-sized Pushkin Press edition, but packing considerably more of a punch than its size (and title) might suggest.

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8. 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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9. Prepare Your Daughter Now for Her Wedding Day

by Sally Matheny

Pretending to be a Princess Bride
Photo by Pixaby
Is there a little princess twirling through your home? Perhaps she has difficulty choosing a wedding gown from the half-dozen glittering dresses in her closet. Days are filled with delightful giggles bubbling out as she waves from the top of the sofa...I mean, her horse-drawn, glass carriage. And you breathe in the moments. 

Then reality hits. Unless you have a fairy godmother, you wonder if you'll be able to make that future fairy tale wedding come true. Whether she's two or twelve,  begin preparing your daughter now for her wedding day.

The average cost of a wedding in the United States is around $30,000 according to valuepenguin.com. Manhattan, New York weddings average a skyrocketing $88,000 and Mississippi marriages glide around $13,000. Weddings in my home state of North Carolina typically fly around $28,000 but not so for my family.

Read more »

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10. 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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11. 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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12. Self-Help Author: Robots Are Taking Over So Learn Animation Before It’s Too Late

If you want to learn a new job in 3 months that'll make you lots of money, this self-help author recommends animation.

The post Self-Help Author: Robots Are Taking Over So Learn Animation Before It’s Too Late appeared first on Cartoon Brew.

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13. Red nose

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14. The Thunder Maker, by Suzanne Rothman | Dedicated Review

The Thunder Maker is a tale that explores the power of sound and learning to speak words of kindness, including knowing when to apologize.

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15. 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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16. Author Margaret Forster Has Died

Author Margaret Forster has died at the age of 77, according to a report on BBC.com.

The award-winning novelist, known for Hidden Lives, Georgy Girl, Diary of an Ordinary Woman, and a biography about Daphne du Maurier, succumbed to cancer on Monday in London. BBC has more:

Forster died on Monday morning at the Marie Curie Hospice in north London.

Confirming her death, the couple’s daughter Caitlin Davies wrote on Twitter: “Our lovely mum Margaret Forster died this morning. Her books will live on.”

Born in 1938, Forster attended the Carlisle and County High School for Girls and then won an Open Scholarship to Somerville College, Oxford.

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17. 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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18. स्वच्छ दिल्ली अभियान

… और वो मर गया स्वच्छ भारत अभियान हो या Swachh Bharat Mission… देश की राजधानी दिल्ली को देख कर ही दिल बैठा जा रहा है… जब दिल्ली का बुरा हाल है तो और राज्यों की क्या कल्पना करेंगें हम !!! – BBC प्रधानमंत्री नरेंद्र मोदी ने 2 अक्तूबर 2014 को स्वच्छ भारत मिशन की […]

The post स्वच्छ दिल्ली अभियान appeared first on Monica Gupta.

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19. #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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20. Book of the Year Awards in Iran

       I can't seem to be able to find any mention of local fiction winners, but in the Theran Times they report Asghar Farhadi's collection wins Iran's Book of the Year Award (that would be in the screenplay category), where they also mention some other category-winners -- including best literary translation, which was for Borges' correspondence-collection, Cartas del fervor (which, oddly (?), doesn't appear to have been translated into English yet ...).
       And in the bibliography category: "the first award went to List of Published Translated Books" -- which actually sounds like fascinating reading (at least to me -- what gets translated (and published) is enormously revealing, and even more fun in Iran, where there is no inhibiting adherence to copyright convention(s), so multiple translations of the most popular titles are not uncommon).

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21. 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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22. African literature

       At okayafrica Siyanda Mohutsiwa writes that I'm Done With African Immigrant Literature -- fed up with the so widespread African writing (and writers) that are (and emphasize the) beyond-continental. (Note, however, that, as is sadly almost needless to say, Mohutsiwa's 'Africa' is only the sub-Saharan sort; the Arabic- (and occasionally French- and some other languages) writing northern part not really figuring in this (or most) discussion.)
       She's exaggerating slightly for effect, but has a point -- and for all the African literature under review at the complete review, I would love to see more local(ized) stuff too (but that goes for most regions, as it's often not the most (locally) popular stuff that gets translated, even from places such as France, Germany, Spain, etc.).
       If nothing else, the article is a nice reminder of the Pacesetter novels, and even if they're no longer on the shelves at Botswana Book Store, you can find them at that online site -- or at what should always be your first online destination for African books, the Africa Book Centre.

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23. Webcomics Alert: Downton Crabby by Rina Ayuyang — SPOILERS

Confession. I have never seen an episode of Downton Abbey in my life. But many of the rest of you have. So be warned, here there by spoilers in this new webcomic by Rina Ayuyang entitled Downton Crabby, a follow-up to her previous PghPolka. Like I said SPOILERs, but if you want, go to the rest of Rina's blog for recipes and more comics. MM, chestnut filled mochi!

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24. Becca's Top Ten Fictional Crushes...

From Becca's Shelves... Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke & The Bookish. 
This week's topic is A VALENTINE'S FREEBIE, which means, of course, I am choosing to share my TOP TEN FICTIONAL CRUSHES. Because fictional crushes are basically the only crushes I have these days. In my opinion, Fictional Crushes are the only crushes worth having, and since V-day is unfortunately

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25. 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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