Sunday, July 29, 2007
Yesterday was a truly lazy day. Spent it doing a bit of cleaning and working my way through the piles of "it isn't crucial" paperwork near my favorite chair. Did get the seashell adorned wreath for the master bathroom ordered from LL Bean so I can then match new carpets and a window shade to it. Decided, though I do not want to live in the tropics again until we truly retire, I miss it very much and need a bit of the ocean feel and colors around me. We have a number of tropical looking pictures and Steve gave me gorgeous tiles made from real shells pushed into them to make an imprint. They are going to go around the wreath above the jacuzzi.
Went to bed early and read a bit of Patrick Jones' Chasing Tail Lghts. Christy is a teen living in a Flint, MI home that most of us wouldn't wish on our worst enemy - dysfunctional is too kind of a descriptor! So she goes to the freeway and chases tail lights, the desire to get out of town. Her father once told her if you are lost to follow the tail lights in front of you and in most cases you will get where you want to go. I am only part way into the book, but I do like the way it jumps between Christy's earlier life, to help build foundation knowledge for the life she is living now and why those tail lights look so attractive.
Today has been catching up with emails and finishing up the paperwork for the Tennessee Association of School Librarians presentations in November. I'll be doing back to back booktalking sessions on MS and then HS books. Looking forward to attending this conference as TN is our southern neighbor state. Also read through the North Carolina Library Association Youth Services Section Chapbook which reminded me I am doing a morning preconference workshop on "hot formats"in teen literature on October 16th as well as a session introducing new children's books on Thursday at the North Carolina Library Association Conference in Hickory. The Fall is going to be a busy semester as I am also presenting a 1/2 day preconference and a session at the AASL Conference in Reno.
The 2007 winners of the North Carolina Children's Book Award Program were announced in the Chapbook:
Once Upon a Motorcycle Dude by Kevin O'Malley in the picture book category and A Dog's Life: The Autobiography of a Stray by Ann M. Martin in the Junior Book category. No wonder so many of my students referred to these two books in their summer school assignments! The 2008 Nominee list is also included. Go to www.bookhive.org for more information and the lists. My vote for the 2008 award in the picture book category is Wolves by Emily Gravett, which I talked about in an earlier blog entry. My favorite for the Junior Book category is Jennifer Holm's Babymouse 1: Queen of the World. I just finished reading Camp Babymouse and found myself laughing out loud at this precocious mouse's antics at summer camp. She has the most delightful sense of humor! This sister and brother collaboration is a delight. The 8th episode in Babymouse's active life will be published soon. A perfect graphic novel series for elementary school - actually, for any age. I heard these are very popular in dorm rooms. I want a t-shirt with Babymouse on it! :-) Check out the cool website at: www.babymouse.com. There are some great tools on their for teacher - such as actual graphic novel pages students can make up their own stories on as well as posters that can be printed out etc.
Jen used to chat with my UHCL students in my YA literature courses as I am a big fan of her Boston Jane historical fiction series set in the Pacific Northwest. Most of you know her best for her Newbery title, Our Only May Amelia, which holds a special place in my heart as it is based on Jen's Finnish heritage. And, for her second Newbery honor book, Penny from Heaven, based on the other part of her heritage, which is Italian, and on her own mother's life.
A long post today to make up for the days without!
Wednesday, July 25, 2007
Actually, I would like to be where I took this picture - sitting on the wall on the waterfront in Cozumel watching the sun go down before going into Guido's and eating the best calazone possible - no cheese and lots of sauce, pepperoni, mushroom, and black olives. Hmmm. I must be hungrier than I realized.
I would convince Steve we need to go out for dinner, but we did that last night before the Allison Krause concert, which was fantastic!!! (We went to Rumors, which I thought when we first moved here was a topless bar and couldn't figure out why we were going to lunch there!) Her incredible voice is even better in person. I had goosebumps when she sang her ballads. I think Steve like the guys' singing better as one of them is the voice over for George Clooney when he sang in O Brother, Where Art Thou?, one of Steve's favorite movie. "We thought you was a toad!" is a favorite line of his. Not that poor Steve could see. We had center seats several rows from the front, on the floor, so they were great seats, but a behemoth of a guy sat down in front of me and blocked out the view of stage completely with his big head and even bigger wide brimmed hat. Steve changed places with me and we talked, a bit loud, to the neighbor about my not being able to see, hoping the guy would take his hat off. No such luck so Steve mostly listened to the concert and fidgeted as he had an even bigger guy on the other side of him with thighs the size of a whole 30 lb. turkey, not just the leg! Those small chairs hooked together are not great seating for well fed and/or large muscled adults! Uncomfortableness aside the concert was superb and I loved Krause's very dry and deadpan sense of humor. She is a hoot when she talks. I'd put up with seats and go back tonight if I could. Now to purchase her latest CD. :-)
I know tweenage girls love Meg Cabot, but I will not be experiencing Princess withdrawal now that I finished listening to The Princess Diaries, Princess in the Spotlight, Princess in Love, and Princess in Waiting. Okay - that is enough for me, I get the idea that she is very insecure about her relationship with a non-noble and with her own nobility status. Actually, my favorite character is the French grandmother who looks and acts nothing like Julie Andrews. She has her eyebrows painted on and has a cigarette and drink in her hand 24/7. And, she is not above a little lie (heck - a big lie) to get Mia to do what she wants. The narrator's voice for Grand Mere (sp?) is hilarious and almost made listening to four of these tween novels worth it. Almost! By the time I got through the 4th I was shouting at the radio in the car - "Get a spine already!" Okay, so I had been on the road for several hours, drank way too many Diet Cokes, and had made my still sore jaws even sorer by eating crunchy Cracker Jacks! There are now 8 books about this clumsy insecure princess. In the latest Mia, as a junior, finds out her beloved Michael is going to Japan in Princess on the Brink. Not ready for the next 4 yet, so I guess I'll see if I can find any of Cabot's Mediator series titles on audio. :-) It is amazing what I find at Half Price Books and I haven't been up there in over a month. Oh dear, just thinking about it gives me withdrawal symptoms. Just think of all those cheap YA audiobooks someone else besides me bought! How could I let my scrunging for a good deal go so far between visits?
Steve came home, didn't smell any dinner cooking and headed out to mow the lawn. Hmmm. Wonder if that is good or bad news in relation to me getting out of cooking dinner. But, not much can ruin my momentary good mood since I am caught up on my grading! :-)