Posts Tagged ‘books’
Wednesday, November 23rd, 2011
I am thankful…
That I didn’t swallow the fly in my coffee this morning.
That I had coffee this morning.
I’m thankful that I have children who are full of health and laughter and flights of fairy-winged fancy.
Who fill my world with health and laughter and flights of fairy-winged fancy.
I am thankful for parents who love me, and instilled within me the ability to love.
And friends who support me even when they think I’m insane. (And are kind enough to let those moments of insanity pass without comment.)
I am thankful for my husband.
Who buys me old books. And new books.
And even better—well-used books.
I’m thankful I have work.
That I can put fingers to pen to paper to write.
To create words that might ease a heart on grieving days and bring a smile on peculiar days.
I am thankful for times of tranquility, when the world feels a little more in balance, and for the times (so often in hindsight) when struggling has forced me to give. To grow. To dream.
I am thankful that I have One who holds my heart above the mess of myself.
And…I am thankful for you. My reading friends. ;0)
Wednesday, November 16th, 2011
While I rarely do roundups, bookish or otherwise, this week was all sorts of intriguing! So, I thought I should share and you could enjoy. (Just click the links as you please.) Because, seriously, how can we bypass the news that Jane Austen might’ve died from arsenic poisoning? I’m totally convinced.
And doesn’t it only seem appropriate that, in light of BREAKING DAWN hitting theaters this week, we read Sarah Blackwood’s fantastic post in defense of Bella Swan’s character? Yes, it does. (note: post includes some swear wordage)
Also coming out, in books not theaters (yet), is my friend Jay Asher and his coauthor Carolyn Mackler’s book, THE FUTURE OF US. It releases next week. You can read their silly interview here and my book review here.
And for those of us who obsess over the HUNGER GAMES more than coffee itself, the Examiner offers us a Hunger Games Holiday Suggestion list of dystopian books that fans might enjoy. Um, yes please!
Which leads us to the HUNGER GAMES MOVIE TRAILER!!! Good gracious it’s incredible! To the point that it exceeded all my expectations. Thank you Hunger Games movie people.
And finally…I had a birthday this week along with my son. Which we combined into a vacation last week. One of the perks of homeschooling is that you get to take time away in the off-season when hotels are cheap and theme parks are empty (plus, we had free tickets!). Here are a few of my favorite moments:
Yep, that’s me.
And that’s a giant Orca.
And that’s Mission Bay.
And that’s some strikingly handsome guy I have a rabid crush on.
And this is PubCakes.
And they make beer batter cupcakes.
And here is my favorite birthday gift from Wolverine.
Tuesday, July 5th, 2011
What happens when uber-authors Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler decide to co-write a project together? They come up with “The Future of Us,” a creative concept novel set way back in the year I turned nineteen….
It’s 1996, and things like pagers, Wayne’s World, and boy bands are still riding their trend while cell phones, computers, and DVDs are the enviable luxuries of the cool kids in high school. When Emma gets a computer from her long-distance dad, she and her best friend Josh excitedly dial up the internet (remember that awesome squealing/whirring sound it used to make?) and log on using an AOL CD-ROM. There, they stumble upon something called Facebook, which hasn’t even been invented yet. Better yet, they find themselves ON Facebook—or rather they find their someday-selves on Facebook, status updates and all—fifteen years in the future.
Based upon his future profile, Josh is thrilled to discover his someday-self is married to one of the hottest girls in school, just as Emma is as equally disappointed to find her future full of heartache and seemingly unfulfilled dreams. In an attempt to alter her disappointing life course, Emma begins to implement small changes, hoping to induce the butterfly effect. But in doing so, she sees her future self gain and loose children, cycle through relationships with men, and move from one location to another as each new change she implements in the present brings about a dramatic result in her future. As if the pressures of teen life aren’t enough, she now has her adult life to stress out about as well. And the more she worries about her future, the more obsessed she becomes with controlling it. Except the changes don’t just affect HER future—they influence Josh’s as well (and vice versa). Which makes things strenuous with Josh since he is already taking measures of his own to initiate his happily-ever-after future with Miss Hottie.
And it’s not just Emma and Josh’s futures. What about Emma’s discovery that her best girlfriend has a kid in the future and the time-frame tracks back to becoming pregnant in the very soon present? And how can Josh and Emma justify purposefully altering their own futures when the effects will encompass others as well? And what if their fixation on the future prevents them from recognizing what they have now? To paraphrase Jay Asher, “Everything truly does affect everything.”
What I liked:
(1) “The Future of Us” is written from two different perspectives with two distinct voices (Mackler as Emma, Asher as Josh), and they alternate back and forth by the chapter. Having two separate authors write the characters infuses each one with unique personality and style, making them believable and easy to follow. Well done.
(2) The Sun-In reference. Oh man, I soooo remember using that stuff!
(3) While not quite along the same lines as Asher and Mackler’s other books, “The Future of Us” still takes a look at issues all too familiar to teens no matter what the decade. The pressures of family and friend relationships, the pressure to “make out” and have sex (when and with whom), the pressure to fit in or rise above, the pressure to obtain the “good life,” and the pressures concerning what the future holds.
(4) The reminder to value your present situations and the people you share them with. Basically, the reminder to live in the NOW.
(5) The way the authors portrayed the parents—realistic, involved (in their own ways), and (I felt) honored.
(6) The ending. I liked the choices they made and the sense of reclaimed innocence. Sweet.
What I’d mention as a parent:
Something I know Jay and Carolyn are continually commended on is their accuracy and what I’d call “rawness” in writing from teenage perspectives. In “The Future of Us,” one of the ways this “rawness” comes out is in the teens’ language, actions, and thoughts about the topics of making out, body parts, and sex. In my opinion, a teen’s individual stage of development will determine at what age a parent might prefer them to read it. While my preteen might not be digging into the book for a few more years, when she does, it’ll make for some good conversation opportunities between us. ;o)
And don’t miss my upcoming interview with the two of them! It’s hilarious. In fact, you may want to wear a pair of Depends or something ‘cuz…well, yeah.
What’s the mood noise of the moment? Dave Matthews: Satellite
Monday, June 20th, 2011
There was definitely “something strange in the neighborhood” this weekend (cue Ghostbusters theme song). Something ghostly. Something haunting. Something that looked strikingly similar to the Weber family and Jay Asher family.
Oh wait. It WAS our families. Playing Ghostbusters.
As a kid, I used to spend long, lazy afternoons playing in this old, replicated ghost town. So when Jay had the fun idea that we all get together for an equally long and lazy afternoon to do some ghostbusting at the spooky place, I promptly said, ”I know who we’re gonna call (to obtain permission, since it’s privately owned).”
Jay, JoanMarie, and adorable little Isaiah brought lunch. It was amazing.
Not only are the Ashers cool parents, they’re also really funny. Here, JM is making a silly face for Isaiah while Korbin is making a curious face at Jay. And note the crazy deer heads.
We quickly discovered that, even without ghostbusting gear, Isaiah “ain’t afraid of no ghosts.” His real investigative interests mainly revolved around the crunchy oak leaves and trying to walk.
My girls’ main investigative interests revolved around everything, everywhere, all at once, without pause. Which is why they were too busy to join in for a quick family photo. But check out that good-looking guy I’m married to.
One of the awesome moments of the day was when Jay and JM happened to notice that (unbeknownst to me) the fabulously ragged yard-sale-find t-shirt I was wearing was in fact a Twilight / New Moon t-shirt. Um…ahem.
To top off the day, we offered to make them lattes. They offered to let us borrow this:
Obviously, we got the better deal.
What’s the mood noise of the moment? GHOSTBUSTERS!
Sunday, May 8th, 2011
I love this book trailer. Probably because I remember my brothers stumbling across teenage photos of my mom and being like, “Whoa, Mom! You were hot!” And of course I was like, “Your mother let you out of the house in a skirt that short?!” And that’s when it suddenly occurred to us that, yes, mom actually had a life before us kids came along.
And you know what? My mom is still hot.
So here’s a very Happy Mother’s Day to all the mom ladies out there. Including my own. ;o)
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