Wednesday, July 14, 2010
So when I went looking for something to carry books and notebooks and bandannas and bookmarks and jacks, etc. in for school and library visits, I went looking for a suitcase.
Not sure of the era of the one I did find, but it met several criteria. It is leather covered. It has intact handles and clasps that work. And it doesn't smell.
So I brought it home and fixed it up with a facsimile luggage label with my name, etc., copies of the covers of my three kids' books - with SILVER RAIN taking up much of the lid - and a smattering of dimes.
I filled it with books, bookmarks, little cowboy notebooks (KNUCKLES), bandannas (KNUCKLES), jacks (SILVER RAIN). All I need now are a few rolls of gum drops, a calligraphy pad and some pens (MEETING MISS 405) and I'm all set for a visit to a summer day camp program tomorrow, and other school and library visits.
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
Sunday, July 04, 2010
Chocolate Lily Award (and one remaining chocolate) top shelf left, KM = Knuckles McGraw on third, and on the shelf between them, a pic of my dad Bill Peterson taken in Spain (left) and me on the top of Mount Sinai (right) Email me a pic or two of your bookshelves and I'll post a collage at some point - email@example.com.
Hilarious, quirky and outspoken Clementine is the kind of character I wish I'd invented, if I could do funny.
A story about WWII from two children's perspectives. I read it because my WIP Cuckoo's Nest is set in wartime London (WW1 in my case.) A good enough read but nothing too compelling.
An important book about disfigurement and kids' reaction to it.
In Zodiac Light by Robert Edrich (A)
For some reason, I'm facinated by novels set in insane asylums of the past.
Irene is a fellow BC children's writer with some impressive titles under her belt. And I'm always facinated by the way different authors approach the same historical topic - in this case the sinking of the Titanic.
One boy's efforts to have an impact on the exploitation of young women undergoing plastic surgery. Funny, too. Sarah has been my editor at Orca for my first three books, and I'm fortunate to have the support of such an awesome writer.
When/if I can extricate myself from the hypnotic voice in the this novel, I'll try to step back and figure out how Smiley conveys so much so well.
A Reed Shaken by the Wind: Travels Among the Marsh Arabs of Iraq by Gavin Maxwell (A)
Best known for his wonderful RING OF BRIGHT WATER, Gavin Maxwell was one of two Gavins (the other is Gavin Young) who traveled in the Marshes with Wilfred Thesiger. One of them Thesiger enjoyed spending time with; the other he said whined the whole time (can't remember which was which). But I've recently used books by all three of these men as research sources for my WIP ESCAPE FROM THE MARSHES, and Maxwell's book I must have read a dozen times in the past forty years.
The Locked Garden by Gloria Whelan
Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
I don't read as much as I'd like. The time I can find to keep up on all the wonderful books that are being published / promoted / recommended / required research reading is done in bed -early in the morning with my first cup of tea while my husband is at the gym, and in the evening before I put the lights out.
Not enough to keep up, but just enough to feel like I'm honouring a lifetime passion for reading and the wonderful, useful and interesting work put out by writers all over the world.
On the left you'll see a column of my list of Best Books for the current month, as I think to add them.
Here in the main section of my blog I'll be posting each previous month's list, with some general comments - hardly reviews - of some of them.
My notes might include: what prompted me to pick up the book, whether I ended up buying a copy (I have to be pretty selective about what I buy, but as a library staffer and advocate, borrowing can be as good as buying, and I do very often make recommendations for library purchases, which can result in them buying more copies than they might otherwise), other general comments that occur to me, without necessariky launching into anything that might be called a review.
(Y) after a title indicates a book for younger readers. (A) that it's an adult book.
Do add a comment if you have anything to say about any of the books noted here.
My Dad's a Birdman by David Almond (Y)
Almond's Skellig is what I consider to be perhaps one of the best and most resonant kids' books - indeed any book - I've ever read. Anything else he writes is fair game to me.
Rex Zero -King of Nothing by Tim Wynne-Jones (Y)
This one I picked up after enjoying the first one Rex Zero and the End of the World and enjoying it immensely.
A Thousand Never Evers by Shana Burg (Y)
The cover called to me when I saw the book on the new book display at the library. Set in the American South.
The Field Guide to Fields: hidden treasures of meadows, prairies and pastures by Bill Laws (A)
Again, a cover that prompted me to pick it up. A beautiful design of the entire book that encouraged me to read it, and the wonderful breadth of scope of the topic-and a germ of content that I'll use as the basis of a kids' story-was what motivated to buy a copy to keep for myself. Also, on discovering author Bill Laws is the editor of a magazine for UK Travellers (what used to be called gypsies), it renewed my interest in them, as they are now, and as they were in the past in both Europe and England.
The Frozen Thames by Helen Humphreys (A)
A very nice format. An enticing subject - small essays about each of the 40 times the Thames has frozen. And again, this one also provided a germ that I plucked from the many stories, which now forms the basis of my new WIP The Sparrow Thief. I bought this one, too.
Winner of the National Book Award by Jincy Willett (A)
Grabbed this one off a library Book Sale because of its title. Glad I did as I'd not heard of it before. Compelling voice and lively and distinctive storytelling.
The Brambles by Eliza Minot (A)
I love a good family story. This is one.
How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff (Y)
I hate to say it now, but can't remember why I chose it or what it's about. Just goes to show you how bad my memory is - no comment on the book itself, I don't think.