Literary Quote of the Month

“For poems are not, as people think, simply emotions (one has emotions early enough)—they are experiences,” … Rilke, The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge.

Friday, September 30, 2016

Banned Books Week... #1 Banned Book in 2006, 2007, 2008, & 2010... And Tango Makes Three by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson


And Tango Makes Three, by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson...

Why was And Tango Makes Three Challenged?
Reasons: homosexuality, religious viewpoint, and unsuited to age group.


What the story is about... It's the true story about 2 male penguins at the Central Park Zoo in NYC who enjoyed doing everything together, and when the time came they built a nest just like all the other Penguin couples, but they couldn't lay an egg. Eventually they are given an abandoned egg and raise this as their own. The chick that hatches is named Tango, because "it takes two to make a Tango". This book is one of the top banned books of all time, and it really makes me scratch my head. Can reading this book really change your child's sexuality? I view this book as a cute book about the love between the two penguins, and I'm not really viewing this as a book about homosexuality. Am I wrong?! It could teach children about tolerance. My library does carry the book, but I could not find it in any of my bookstores.

Sherri Machlin of the Mulberry Street Library wrote a wonderful post about the book being banned on the New York Public Library's Blog on September 23, 2013. Here is part of that post...

"Despite the happy ending to the tuxedo-adorned creatures tale, Tango challenged some Americans' ideas and assumptions about homosexuality, age-appropriateness of the material, and raised the thorny question about what makes a family. Since its publication by Simon and Shuster in 2005, And Tango Makes Three has topped the ALA's 10 Most Challenged Books List between 2006 and 2010.

Re-shelving the book was one way that libraries tried to get around the "problem" with Tango. Rolling Hills (Mo.) Library Director Barbara Read moved the book from the popular picture book section to the less-browsed non-fiction area when parents complained about the gay themes in the title. School Superintendent Edgar Hatrick III of Loudon, VA made a decision to move Tango from the Sugarland Elementary School to an area only accessible by parents and teachers after a parent complained about gay themes in the book. What helped Tango remain available in school and public libraries in some cases was the precedent set by the decision in Island Trees School District Board of Education v. Pico in 1981, which ruled that a Board of Education's decision to ban certain books from its school libraries violated First Amendment protections. The challenges against this book have been so profligate, Dr. Marta L. Magnuson, Professor of Library and Information Science at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, recently carried out a study analyzing the motives behind these various challenges to And Tango Makes Three, published in the journal School Library Media Research in January 2011. But if penguins can survive the brutal Antarctic winter, they can surely survive the challenges of access to And Tango Makes Three."  you can read the full post HERE.

Would you like to listen to the story? Here is Tracey Lai Thom reading and Tango Makes Three...



Thursday, September 29, 2016

Field Guide to the End of the World by Jeannine Hall Gailey... A Review


Field Guide to the End of the World by Jeannine Hall Gailey, winner of the 2015 Moon City Poetry Award, delivers a whimsical look at our culture’s obsession with apocalypse as well as a thoughtful reflection on our resources in the face of disasters both large and small, personal and public. Pop-culture characters—from Martha Stewart and Wile E. Coyote to zombie strippers and teen vampires—deliver humorous but insightful commentary on survival and resilience through poems that span imagined scenarios that are not entirely beyond the realm of possibility. The characters face their apocalypses in numerous ways, from strapping on rollerblades and swearing to taking notes as barns burn on the horizon. At the end of the world, the most valuable resource is human connection—someone holding our hands, reminding us “we are miraculous.”

What Did I Think? Field Guide to the End of the World is not your grandmother's book of poetry. You won't be finding it in that dusty corner in the far recesses of your local library either. Jeannine Hall Gailey's poetry is fresh, lively, and opens your mind to the possibilities all around us. Jeannine takes the idea of the end of the world and creates amazing stories that just happen to be in the form of poetry. If the world was ending, what would you do? What would it look like? Who would be on your mind? I didn't know what to expect, but quickly found myself hooked. From Martha Stewart 's Guide to Apocalypse Living, where we read about Martha stockpiling drones and lemons, to Teen Girl Vampires wanting "to be loved and fed, in that order", I couldn't help but smile, but even though her wry sense of humor is evident in some poems, other poems are thought-provoking, such as this excerpt from Notes from Before the Apocalypse, where...
There was a halo around a gibbous moon. 
The horses all lay down in their fields. 
Children died in a school holding hands. 
Tornadoes right through the city centers ripped up everything we had built...
These poems are meant to be savored and I enjoyed reading them. This is what contemporary poetry should be and I dare anyone to sit down and not enjoy these poems by Jeannine Hall Gailey! I am so glad I got a chance to experience Jeannine Hally Gailey through her poetry thanks to Poetic Book Tours! 4 stars from this poetry reader! BTW, if you enjoy dystopian fiction you should enjoy this book of poetry too! Available from Amazon now!


About the Poet:

Jeannine Hall Gailey served as second poet laureate of Redmond, Washington. She’s the author of four previous books of poetry:Becoming the Villainess, She Returns to the Floating World, Unexplained Fevers, and The Robot Scientist’s Daughter. Her work has been featured on Verse Daily and NPR’s The Writer’s Almanac, and included in The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror.


Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Banned Books Week... Looking for Alaska by John Green

Looking for Alaska by John Green... #1 Banned Book 2015


Before. Miles "Pudge" Halter's whole existence has been one big nonevent, and his obsession with famous last words has only made him crave the "Great Perhaps" (Fran├žois Rabelais, poet) even more. He heads off to the sometimes crazy, possibly unstable, and anything-but-boring world of Culver Creek Boarding School, and his life becomes the opposite of safe. Because down the hall is Alaska Young. The gorgeous, clever, funny, sexy, self-destructive, screwed-up, and utterly fascinating Alaska Young, who is an event unto herself. She pulls Pudge into her world, launches him into the Great Perhaps, and steals his heart.

After. Nothing is ever the same.

WHY? Challenge Looking for Alaska?...

Reasons: drugs/alcohol/smoking; sexually explicit; unsuited for age group; offensive language


Challenged in a Wisconsin school district's libraries due to sexual content (2014). Challenged in a New Jersey high school for mature content (2013). Removed from class reading lists in two Tennessee school districts due to sexual content (2012).

Personally I haven't read Looking for Alaska, so I can't comment on what the big deal is. I did read a small paragraph leading up to the "oral sex" part that caused all the controversy and can understand why some parents may not wish their child to read this. But we are talking high school kids, who I'm sure are pretty savvy when it comes to sex and drugs, or at least know more than some parents give them credit for (or want to acknowledge)And according to the author, John Green, just looking at the "passsage" itself, with no relation to anything else is what creates the problem.

“In context, the novel is arguing really in a rather pointed way that emotionally intimate kissing can be a whole lot more fulfilling than emotionally empty oral sex.”

Sharon Browning does a great review of Looking for Alaska on Litstack, and in her closing she writes...

"I asked my daughter – who has read every single John Green book ever written to date, despite reading being difficult for her – if she felt at all compelled to be like the kids in the book when she read it at age 14, and all she did was give me “the look”.  Later she told me that she can identify with a story, or even characters in a story, without needing to be those characters.  That goes for her friends, too.  And in fact, she told me, Looking for Alaska did more to warn her off risky behavior than entice her into following their example.


Sounds to me that John Green was right.  We need to shut up and stop condescending to teenagers when it comes to making assumptions about we think they should and can read.  Thankfully, that was the decision of the Depew School Board, when they voted unanimously to reject the challenge and allow Looking for Alaska to be taught in the 11th grade English class there." You can read the full review and commentary on Litstack.

In response to the challenges to Looking for Alaska, author John Green made this video...



Though I plan to read Drama for Banned Book Week this year, I am going to pick up a copy of Looking for Alaska to read also. If I don't get a chance to read it for this years banned book... there's always next year (or next week!)

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

BAN THIS BOOK by Grant Snider...

Artist Grant Snider drew this wonderful cartoon for Banned Books Week in 2012. What a great comic and still relevant to Banned Books Week in any year! I want to thank Grant for giving me permission to share this with everyone on Chick with Books! You can find more of his work at IncidentalComics.com. You can even order a copy of this as a poster, HERE!

Monday, September 26, 2016

The "Drama" about Drama by Raina Telgemeier

Raina Telgemeier’s Drama, a graphic novel about the joys and tribulations of a middle school drama troupe, received universal critical praise upon its publication in 2012. The book received starred reviews from Publishers Weekly, Kirkus Media, Booklist, and School Library Journal. It also made “best of the year” or Editors’ Choice lists in Publishers Weekly, the Washington Post, the New York Times, Booklist, and School Library Journal. Finally, it was nominated for a Harvey Award and was a Stonewall Honor Book.

Although most readers of all ages found Drama to be just as endearing and authentic as Telgemeier’s other books Smile and Sisters, a small but vocal minority have objected to the inclusion of two gay characters, one of whom shares a chaste on-stage kiss with another boy. Negative online reader reviews have accused Telgemeier of literally hiding an agenda inside brightly-colored, tween-friendly covers, but in an interview with TeenReads she said that while she and her editors at Scholastic were very careful to make the book age-appropriate, they never considered omitting the gay characters because “finding your identity, whether gay or straight, is a huge part of middle school.” from the CBLDF website  (That's the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund)

Every year I read at least one banned book for Banned Books week. When I visited my local Indie bookstore and discovered that Drama by Raina Telgemeier was in that category I was surprised, but also excited because I had wanted to read this for a long time and this would be the perfect time. So... I'm reading Drama by Raina Telgemeier for Banned Book Week!

My opinion is that most kids are smarter than what some adults give them credit for and most challenged books are a problem more for the adults than the kids. It's important as a parent to be involved with your children, know what they are reading, talk with them and help guide them to what is appropriate (for them). What do you think?

Are you reading a Banned Book this week?

Sunday, September 25, 2016

The Sunday Salon and Banned Books Week!


Welcome to The Sunday Salon and The Sunday Post (a weekly meme hosted by The Caffeinated Book Reviewer)! Every Sunday we set aside a little time to chat books, and this week is no different, with the theme being Banned Books! So, grab a cup of joe, find a comfy chair and let's talk books!


Banned Books Week: Celebrating the Freedom to Read
September 25−October 1, 2016

Banned Books Week is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read. Typically held during the last week of September, it highlights the value of free and open access to information. Banned Books Week brings together the entire book community –- librarians, booksellers, publishers, journalists, teachers, and readers of all types –- in shared support of the freedom to seek and to express ideas, even those some consider unorthodox or unpopular.

Yes, it's the 21st century and still we have book burners and censorship. I think that the point here is that parents should be involved in what their children read and help them understand what they are reading, guide them in choosing appropriate material for their curious minds. BUT, let's not infringe on the reading rights of another child, whose parent may not wish to ban a certain book. Most banning and censorship takes place in the most accessible (and free) place to check out a book - a library! Let's not make reading a privilege. What do YOU think?!


"This year's Banned Books Week is celebrating diversity. While diversity is seldom given as a reason for a challenge, it seems, in fact, to be an underlying and unspoken factor. These challenged works are often about people and issues which include LGBTQIA, people of color, gender diversity, people with disabilities, and ethnic, cultural, and religious minorities—people or issues that, perhaps, challengers would prefer not to consider."


Here are the top 10 banned or challenged YA books for 2014-2015:

 1. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie
 2. Persepolis, by Marjane Satrapi (Pantheon Books/Knopf Doubleday)
 3. The Bluest Eye, by Toni Morrison (Holt, Rinehart, and Winston)
 4. The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini (Bloomsbury Publishing)
 5. The Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky (MTV Books/Simon & Schuster)
 6. Drama, by Raina Telgemeier (Graphix/Scholastic)
 7. Chinese Handcuffs, by Chris Crutcher (Greenwillow Books/HarperCollins)
 8. The Giver, by Lois Lowry (HMH Books for Young Readers)
 9. The House on Mango Street, by Sandra Cisneros (Vintage/Knopf Doubleday)
10. Looking for Alaska, by John Green (Dutton Books/Penguin Random House)

It seems that Banned Books Week has been taking on a theme, instead of just promoting the reading of all banned books. Last year was YA (Young Adult) Fiction, and I read The Fault in Our Stars by John Green (read my review), In 2014, the theme was comic books, and I read The Adventures of Captain Underpants by Dav Pilkey (read my review), which I loved. In 2013, I read a classic, Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison, incredible writing and totally not what I was expecting. And I spent a week with Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger in 2009.

So, for this years banned books theme diversity, I am going to be reading a book challenged because it was deemed "sexually explicit". It's a graphic novel that has gotten starred reviews, wonderful praise and has been nominated for 2 awards. What book would that be??? It's on the top 10 banned books list above... and I'm going to reveal it TOMORROW!  Please come back tomorrow to find out! In the meantime...

What Banned Book Are You Going to Read?!?

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Commonwealth by Ann Patchett... A Review

I didn't know what to expect from Ann Patchett. I hadn't read anything by her before this book. There seemed to be a buzz in the air about a new Ann Patchett novel, and so I decided I would open the pages of this book for a brief look. What I found was wonderous! I was swept up into the story of these two ordinary families almost immediately and spent the next 50 or so years with them. At around page 182 I had an AHA moment and appreciated this story even more if that could even happen. What have I taken away from Commonwealth? That I love Ann Patchett, and that I loved this book!

Without giving too much of the story away, because that's the fun part to discover all a novel has to offer on your own, Commonwealth begins with a simple drunken kiss at a christening party that begins an affair, causes two divorces, two broken families, the unlikely bonding of 6 children, some of whom are related and trying to survive being ripped from their normal routine and trying to survive a tragedy that touched all their lives one summer long ago. Commonwealth follows all the characters through the ups and downs of trying to navigate life. You are reading it all in a book, which you discover is a book, and you can't help but feel something for each one of them. Empathy, hate, saddness and heartbreak, it's all there.

The writing is so inviting, I found myself not being able to put the book down even though I was just going to read a small bit to get a feel for Ann Patchett's writing style. I felt I was living through the story right along with these characters that were so well developed that they could just walk off the pages. And the story was so interesting right to the end. Each character had it's own voice and shared with us their point of view.

My initial thought was that this novel would be similar to The Nest by Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney, about a disfunctional family dealing with the everyday lessons of life and eachother. But Commonwealth is so much more than that and so much better. I would say that if you enjoyed The Nest, which I did, you will enjoy Commonwealth even more. If you enjoy literary fiction that revolves around the story of an ordinary family, just go out a pick up a copy of Commonwealth! It is moving and beautifully written.

Pulbished by Harper and released Sept. 13th.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Memoir Monday... American Heiress by Jeffrey Tobin


“On February 4, 1974, Patty Hearst, a sophomore in college and heiress to the Hearst family fortune, was kidnapped by a ragtag group of self-styled revolutionaries calling itself the Symbionese Liberation Army. The already sensational story took the first of many incredible twists on April 3, when the group released a tape of Patty saying she had joined the SLA and had adopted the nom de guerre “Tania.” The weird turns of the tale are truly astonishing—the Hearst family trying to secure Patty’s release by feeding all the people of Oakland and San Francisco for free; the bank security cameras capturing “Tania” wielding a machine gun during a robbery; a cast of characters including everyone from Bill Walton to the Black Panthers to Ronald Reagan to F. Lee Bailey; the largest police shoot-out in American history; the first breaking news event to be broadcast live on television stations across the country; Patty’s year on the lam, running from authorities; and her circuslike trial, filled with theatrical courtroom confrontations and a dramatic last-minute reversal, after which the term “Stockholm syndrome” entered the lexicon.
     
The saga of Patty Hearst highlighted a decade in which America seemed to be suffering a collective nervous breakdown. Based on more than a hundred interviews and thousands of previously secret documents, American Heiress thrillingly recounts the craziness of the times (there were an average of 1,500 terrorist bombings a year in the early 1970s). Toobin portrays the lunacy of the half-baked radicals of the SLA and the toxic mix of sex, politics, and violence that swept up Patty Hearst and re-creates her melodramatic trial. American Heiress examines the life of a young woman who suffered an unimaginable trauma and then made the stunning decision to join her captors’ crusade.” 
    
Or did she?

The 70's was a crazy period of time, and the kidnapping of Patty Hearst and her "radicalization" was headline news, and actually as I remember it was almost delivered as daily updates, and drew a lot of speculation as to whether or not Patty was a willing participant. Jeffrey Toobin's book, American Heiress, not a memoir, more of a good piece of investigative reporting, has gotten a lot of great reviews. On my TBR list, published by Doubleday and available now

Sunday, September 18, 2016

The Sunday Salon and I've Read That Movie... 4 Great Books Coming to a Theatre Near You!


Welcome to The Sunday Salon and The Sunday Post, which is a weekly meme hosted by The Caffeinated Book Reviewer! It's that day of the week we all gather together virtually to talk about one of our favorite subjects... BOOKS! So, find a comfy chair and grab a cup of joe...

I've always loved books, but my interest in movies came later in life. And what I really find interesting are books that I enjoy that have been made into movies. I love seeing if the movie lives up to the book. I don't think I can say most do or don't, but there are things that I can say...


  1. "Hey, they changed the ending!"
  2. "That actor doesn't look like what I imagined the character to look like."
  3. "I loved the way they brought it all to life!"

If there is a book that I've been meaning to read, but haven't gotten around to it and the movie of it is coming out, I do try to read it first. Why? Because I like to create the characters in my head, to read the full details of the story myself first. Sometimes, I don't have time to read the book first. An example of that is with the movie Me Before You by Jo Jo Moyes. I just watched that last night. I have had that book in my eReader for forever, but just never got around to it. The previews for the movie looked so good, I had to just go for it. Now that I've seen the movie, it kind of ruins the reading experience for me. Why? Because even though I knew more or less the ending of the story beforehand, I won't be able to discover it. To experience it "like the very first time" while turning the pages. It is still is on my TBR list though.

There are some movies coming out that I am so excited to see though! And here they are...

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins! OMG, I can't wait to see this! I really loved this book and the trailer looks great! 

"Rachel (Emily Blunt), who is devastated by her recent divorce, spends her daily commute fantasizing about the seemingly perfect couple (Haley Bennett, Luke Evans) who live in a house that her train passes every day, until one morning she sees something shocking happen there and becomes entangled in the mystery that unfolds."



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Me Before You by Jojo Moyes... Hubby and I just rented this the other night and WOW! I love romance novels, but I do not normally watch romantic comedies. The previews for this looked so wonderful. The book had been in my eReader for forever, and I was in the mood for a movie, and not a horror movie (movie genre of choice usually), and I thought I'd give this a try. It was wonderful! I would give it 5 stars and a box of tissues. I was blubbering so much by the end of the movie I couldn't see or breathe very well. I think the last time I cried that much was watching Terms of Endearment. Ugh. As I said above, the book is still on my TBR list. But the follow-up to Me Before You, is Me After You, published this past July. If you haven't read (or seen) Me Before You, I can't tell you anything about Me After You without revealing anything, so trust me.... RENT Me Before You!

"Young and quirky Louisa "Lou" Clark (Emilia Clarke) moves from one job to the next to help her family make ends meet. Her cheerful attitude is put to the test when she becomes a caregiver for Will Traynor (Sam Claflin), a wealthy young banker left paralyzed from an accident two years earlier. Will's cynical outlook starts to change when Louisa shows him that life is worth living. As their bond deepens, their lives and hearts change in ways neither one could have imagined."

SaveSave

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Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ranson Riggs! Wonderful YA book, which my Book Club read and loved, and the movie adaptation looks spot on!

"When his beloved grandfather leaves Jake clues to a mystery that spans different worlds and times, he finds a magical place known as Miss Peregrine's School for Peculiar Children. But the mystery and danger deepen as he gets to know the residents and learns about their special powers - and their terrifying enemies. Ultimately, Jake discovers that only his own special peculiarity can save his new friends."




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Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them by J.K. Rowling! This movie is set to release in November and I am so excited about this one too! I love all the Harry Potter movies! Some are better than others, but I just find them magical! The world of Harry Potter is so well recreated on the screen. AND this movie adaptation, based on the book of the same name, looks to be very well done. Though the book itself is just a slim supplement to the Harry Potter world, the movie takes all the "Beasts" in the book and creates a story to go with them.

"A magizoologist (Eddie Redmayne) makes a brief stop in 1926 New York but is waylaid by a Muggle, a misplaced magical case and the escape of some fantastic beasts."


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Some other books to movies I've enjoyed...
  • The Reader (although they changed the ending)
  • Jurassic Park (although they changed the ending)
  • The Time Travelers Wife
  • The Perfect Storm
  • Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil
  • Twilight
  • The Girl with The Dragon Tattoo
  • The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe
  • The Fault in Our Stars
  • True Grit (the new movie version- not the John Wayne movie)
  • The DaVinci Code
Some Books I've enjoyed that were made into movies...
  • Water for Elephants
  • The Help
  • Memoirs of a Geisha (I thought the book was so much better)
  • Wild (The book was SO much better)
  • The Martian (liked the movie, but thought the book was better)

Do You Like to Read the Book Before Seeing the Movie?

Weekly Wrap-up...
Monday, for Memoir Monday,  I reviewed In Good Company by Carol Burnett
Tuesday we found out (and I listed with links) The Man Booker Prize Shortlist.
Wednesday I announced the upcoming celebration of Banned Book Week! In two weeks it's Banned Books Week on Chick with Books and we are going to be celebrating our freedom to read highlighting some fantastic banned books! Plus a nice surprise at the end of the week to wrap it all up! 


That about does it for this week! Hope you found something to "watch" and read. Share the books that you loved as movies! AND, share what books you'd like to see as a movie?!

Happy reading... Suzanne

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Celebrate Your Freedom to Read!

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

The Man Booker Prize... Short List!


2016 Man Booker Shortlist

The Man Booker Prize Shortlist was announced today! Here are the 6 books & authors... (and their country of origin)

Paul Beatty (US) - The Sellout 

Deborah Levy (UK) - Hot Milk 

Graeme Macrae Burnet (UK) - His Bloody Project 

Ottessa Moshfegh (US) – Eileen 

David Szalay (Canada-UK) - All That Man Is 

Madeleine Thien (Canada) - Do Not Say We Have Nothing 

Hey, What is The Man Booker Prize?

"The prize, which launched in 1969, aims to promote the finest in fiction by rewarding the best novel of the year written in English and published in the United Kingdom.To maintain the consistent excellence of The Man Booker Prize, judges are chosen from a wide range of disciplines, including critics, writers and academics, but also poets, politicians and actors, all with a passion for quality fiction."

Monday, September 12, 2016

In Such Good Company by Carol Burnett... A Review

Did you live during that era of great TV, with shows such as Bewitched, The Andy Griffin Show, Gilligan's Island, The Addams Family, and of course, The Carol Burnett Show? If you did, you will love this book! In Such Good Company is a little walk down memory lane, with Carol Burnett as your tour guide.

When I opened In Such Good Company, I was instantly brought back to my childhood, where Carol Burnett (and friends) were a weekly ritual. I was pretty young for some of the show, which ran from September 11, 1967, to March 29, 1978, but I was allowed to stay up most nights when it was on and I remember many, many of the skits that are part of TV history. Who could forget Carol at Scarlet O'Hara in that dress with the drapery rod still in it, or Carol's portrayal of Mildred "Fierce"?! I learned a lot from reading the book... I didn't realize that the designer Bob Mackie created the costumes that made up the show. And during the 11 years that the show was on, that adds up to about 17,940 costumes! I didn't know that the shows were "live", and I didn't realize at the time that it really was Carol's show, that she just wasn't the "star". 

Though it didn't feel like it when I was reading it, the book is actually broken up in parts. The beginning of the book is about what lead up to Carol and the show, Carol's background , which is also sprinkled throughout the book, and then it get's into the show itself... The main "gang" of players (Vicki Lawrence, Harvey Korman, Lyle Waggoner and Tim Conway), some behind the scene funny things you'd never know otherwise, the recurring sketches, the movie parodies, and a up close and personal look at all the wonderful guests over the years, who were more friends than just guests. Also, there are what appear to be full scripts of some of the skits included in the pages of the book, maybe just part of the scripts, but I found reading them to be tedious. I enjoyed reminiscing about the skits, but didn't need to read them word for word. In any case, In Such Good Company really is a wonderful look at The Carol Burnett Show, and also a wonderful glimpse into TV shows of the day. What went into creating them,  and the politics behind running the show (as a woman in Carol's case). Written in a conversational style, with Carol sharing her personal insights and tidbits, I enjoyed reading it very much. 

Published by Crown Archetype it will be on the shelves of your bookstore of choice on Sept. 13th! I wouldn't hesitate to recommend In Such Good Company to anyone who grew up in that "era", and it would make a great gift for someone who use to watch the show too.

*I want to thank Crown Archetype for the eGalley of In Such Good Company that I received for my honest opinion and review!


Sunday, September 11, 2016

The Sunday Salon and Girls Who Like Baseball


Welcome to The Sunday Salon and The Sunday Post! It's that day of the week bloggers from all over the internet get together virtually in a large gathering place called The Sunday Salon and talk books!  And at The Sunday Post, which is a weekly meme hosted by The Caffeinated Book Reviewer, in which more bloggers share their bookish news! So, find a comfy chair, grab a cup of joe and relax! Let's talk books and in particular, Baseball Books!

I have a small "New England" bucket list. That is, things I want to do while I am still living in New England. One of those items on the list is a trip to The Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY, which we did this weekend! One bookish connection to Cooperstown is James Fenimore Cooper, who wrote The Last of the Mohican, The Leatherstocking Tales, and The Pioneers, just to name a few, and whose father was a land speculator and who Cooperstown is named after. Cooperstown is also home to the Fenimore Art Museum, where I was able to see the original drawings for The Leatherstocking Tales. But when people visit Cooperstown, it is usually all about baseball! Baseball is not just for the boys though, girls play ball too, and today I thought I would share some children's books about the girls who loved baseball...

Catching the Moon:  The Story of a Young Girl's Baseball Dream by Crystal Hubbard... From School Library Journal: This anecdotal tale is based on the childhood of Marcenia Toni Stone Lyle Alberga (1921-1996), who became the first woman to play professional baseball. As a girl, Marcenia dreams only of playing baseball, while her strict but loving parents suggest that she stick to dolls and focus on school. One night she overhears them ruefully acknowledge the limited options that lie in store for most African-American girls: teaching, nursing, or being a maid. Marcenia promises herself that she'll achieve her goal. Opportunity arrives in the form of Gabby Street, manager of the St. Louis Cardinals, who runs a free baseball camp for kids. He's impressed by her talent, but doesn't allow girls to participate. The story ends with her acceptance into the camp and her determination to make her dream come true. An afterword sums up Lyle's name change and her career, including the fact that she filled the spot vacated by Hank Aaron when he joined the Major Leagues. Hubbard's lively text does a fine job of capturing this young heroine's unquenchable spirit.

Dirt on Their Skirts: The Story of the Young Women who Won the World Championship by Doreen Rappaport and Lyndall Callan... You had to be really, really good to play in the 1946 championship game between the Racine Belles and the Rockford Peaches. Sitting in the stands, Margaret thrills to every crack of the bat. Someday she hopes to join her heroes like Sophie "the Flash" Kurys and Betty "Moe" Trezza. As the ball hurtles toward the plate, Margaret can almost feel what it would be like to be in that batter's position, arms tensed, bat held high.As we see this historic game in the annals of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League through the eyes of a fictional young girl, Dirt on Their Skirts is a potent reminder that women athletes have inspired young fans throughout the twentieth century. Based on written accounts and on the memories of the players themselves, this exciting story is for all those sandlot sluggers whose hearts beat a little faster whenever they hear the words?"Play ball!"

Mighty Jackie: The Strike Out Queen by Marissa Moss... For as long as she could remember, Jackie Mitchell's father had told Jackie she could be good at whatever she wanted, as long as she worked at it. Jackie worked at baseball. She worked hard. And before long Jackie could outplay anyone in her neighborhood -- even the boys. She had one pitch -- a wicked, dropping curve ball. But no seventeen-year-old girl could pitch against Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig. It was unthinkable. Then on April 2, 1931, the New York Yankees stopped in Tennessee for an exhibition game against the Chattanooga Lookouts. And on that day Jackie Mitchell made baseball history. Marissa Moss tells a true story of determination and heroism, a gem of baseball history sure to inspire ballplayers of all ages. And C. F. Payne's vibrant, glorious illustrations make the golden age of baseball come alive.

Players in Pigtails by Shana Corey... A winning new picture book about the All American Girls Professional Baseball League--written with sass and style by all-star Shana Corey with illustrations from promising young rookie Rebecca Gibbon. Did you know that one of America's favorite songs, "Take Me Out to the Ball Game," was written about a girl? And that in the 1940s girls all across America were crazy for our country's favorite game? These little known facts inspired Shana Corey to imagine a story about how one determined girl made her way to the big leagues & found a sisterhood of players in pigtails. With the same exuberant spirit that fueled the formation of the All American Girls Professional Baseball League, joyful text & jubilant pictures celebrate these brave girls' love of the game & the league they called their own.

Okay, not to leave the boys out... there are some fantastic books for the boys too (we girls can also enjoy them!)

Terror in the City of Champions by Tom Stanton... Detroit, mid-1930s: In a city abuzz over its unrivaled sports success, gun-loving baseball fan Dayton Dean became ensnared in the nefarious and deadly Black Legion. The secretive, Klan-like group was executing a wicked plan of terror, murdering enemies, flogging associates, and contemplating armed rebellion. The Legion boasted tens of thousands of members across the Midwest, among them politicians and prominent citizens—even, possibly, a beloved athlete. Terror in the City of Champions opens with the arrival of Mickey Cochrane, a fiery baseball star who roused the Great Depression’s hardest-hit city by leading the Tigers to the 1934 pennant. A year later he guided the team to its first championship. Within seven months the Lions and Red Wings follow in football and hockey—all while Joe Louis chased boxing’s heavyweight crown. Amidst such glory, the Legion’s dreadful toll grew unchecked: staged “suicides,” bodies dumped along roadsides, high-profile assassination plots. Talkative Dayton Dean’s involvement would deepen as heroic Mickey’s Cochrane’s reputation would rise. But the ballplayer had his own demons, including a close friendship with Harry Bennett, Henry Ford’s brutal union buster. 

The Greatest Baseball Stories Every Told edited by Jeff Silverman... At a 1931 barnstorming exhibition game in Tennessee, a seventeen-year-old pitcher for the Chattanooga Lookouts struck out Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig back to back. Her name was Jackie Mitchell--"organized baseball's first girl pitcher." On September 9, 1965, Sandy Koufax made baseball history by pitching his fourth perfect game. In July 1970, a stripper rushed onto the field at Riverfront Stadium to kiss Johnny Bench, temporarily disrupting a game attended by President Nixon and his family. These are just some of the great, quirky, and comic moments in the annals of baseball recorded in THE GREATEST BASEBALL STORIES EVER TOLD. Here also are profiles of such legendary figures as Joe DiMaggio, Pete Rose, and Yogi Berra, essays that explore the complexities and pleasures of the game, even an excerpt from the movie Bull Durham. This is the perfect book for anyone who has ever played so much as a game of catch. 

The Only Game in Town Edited by David Remnick... For more than eighty years, The New Yorker has been home to some of the toughest, wisest, funniest, and most moving sportswriting around. The Only Game in Town is a classic collection from a magazine with a deep bench, including such authors as Roger Angell, John Updike, Don DeLillo, and John McPhee. Hall of Famer Ring Lardner is here, bemoaning the lowering of standards for baseball achievement—in 1930. John Cheever pens a story about a boy’s troubled relationship with his father and the national pastime. From Lance Armstrong to bullfighter Sidney Franklin, from the Chinese Olympics to the U.S. Open, the greatest plays and players, past and present, are all covered in The Only Game in Town. At The New Yorker, it’s not whether you win or lose—it’s how you write about the game.


Do you read books about sports?

A whirlwind weekend in Cooperstown, and now a day to recover from all that we did. It was fun, although I did not get to read any of the book I brought with me. Hope you found something interesting here today! And please, share any "sports" books you've enjoyed!

Happy reading... Suzanne

Friday, September 9, 2016

Not a Star by Nick Hornby... A Review

I don't know how I stumbled across not a star by Nick Hornby, but the premise sounded so funny to me - a mother discover's that her adult son is a porn star, and even worse is the fact that the nosy neighbors knew first. Let me tell you, this book is a riot!

Written tongue-in-cheek, not a star opens up with "Lynn" (aka the "stars" Mother) picking up the video someone dropped through her mail slot and reads a little note attached... "Dear Lynn, I'm not in the habit of dropping smutty films through people's letter boxes. But I thought you and Frank might be interested in this one! It's not mine, I should add!" And the story just jumps off from there. Mark, "the star" was never really good at anything, and after watching the porn movie, Mom discovers he is really good at something, or not really good, but really...ahem, well you know, ah... well endowed. So, Lynn tells her husband, and they both decide to "confront" Mark about it all. Of course, Lynn's nosy neighbor, Karen, isn't one to keep things to herself or have the decency NOT to ask questions, so everyone in the neighborhood knows about Mark, but in the end Lynn has the last word. And Mark, the "star"? Well, you'll have to read not a star to find out! BTW, Mark being a porn star seems to touch everyone in Lynn's life, as she questions just what else didn't she notice "all these years"!

Very funny, great writing, and less than 100 pages. And the story behind the book is a good one too. Not a star is part of the Open Door Series, which is a series of books published to encourage literacy. All the books in the series are under 100 pages, written by Irish writers, and are aimed at readers who have difficulty reading.
"The Open Door Series was launched in the mid-1990s by Irish publisher New Island and author Patricia Scanlan. Scanlan had worked in public libraries in Dublin before becoming a full-time writer and was acutely aware of the literacy problems facing a large segment of the adult population and the dearth of appropriate reading material available to them."
What a great program! And the authors writing for the series are well known. Authors such as Maeve Binchy, John Connolly, and Marian Keyes. You can go to the New Island website to see what books are in the series or Goodreads has a list too. So, if you're looking for a short read, why not give one of these novellas a try! All the royalties earned by the books go to charity or a special fund. Sounds like a plan to me. And I'm up for reading more in this series.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

The passing of Anna Dewdney and her reading of Llama Llama Red Pajama


Anna Dewdney, who wrote and illustrated the popular children's Llama Llama series that starred Baby Llama, passed away Saturday. She had fought a 15 month battle with brain cancer...

"Her children’s book career began in earnest with her artwork for The Peppermint Race by Dian Curtis Regan (Henry Holt, 1994). Dewdney went on to illustrate a number of other children’s chapter books in the 1990s. Then, in 2005, Viking published the first picture book she both wrote and illustrated: Llama, Llama Red Pajama. The humorous tale of Baby Llama’s struggles to get to sleep at bedtime received critical praise and became a hit with kids, parents, librarians, teachers, and booksellers. The series now contains more than 10 titles and has sold more than 10 million copies combined. Netflix is producing an animated Llama Llama series that is due out in 2017..." 
                                                                                     ...from Shannon Maughan, PW on tumbler

Llama Llama Red Pajama is adorable, and just hearing the words of the story puts a smile on my face. Here is Anna Dewdney reading Llama Llama Red Pajama... it should put a smile on your face too! Anna will be missed, but what wonderful books she leaves behind.

Anna requested that in lieu of a funeral service that people should read to a child instead. 


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Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Lily and the Octopus by Steven Rowley... A Review

"This is a story about that special someone: the one you trust, the one you can't live without."

How do you pick up a book and start reading it, when you don't know ANYthing about it? The quote above was the first line in the dustjacket. There were a few more indications about what it was about, with comparisons to The Art of Racing in the Rain and the Life of Pi, but that was it. But, I had seen a lot of bloggers raving about this book. And I finally read a review that told me what it was about. OOoh... But if you don't want me to spoil it for you, and you want to discover the story on your own, just pick up the book and trust me. Also remember to grab a box of tissues.... And now cover your eyes for the rest of this review.

Now, if you are still curious and have kept reading, here is the gist of the book...  It's about the depths of our love, fierce loyalty and the need for forgiveness all wrapped up in a ball of wonderfulness! 

 Lily is a dachsund owned by Ted, a L.A. guy who at the start of the book is alone and miserable after having ended a long term relationship with a guy named Jeffrey. But Lily is really his greatest love, sharing confidences about cute boys, playing monopoly on game nights and eating pizza on Sundays. Lily has been with Ted through rain or shine, and he's not about to let Lily be abducted by some... Octopus. Now, I don't mean that literally, but the octopus plays a big part in the story. "The Octopus" appears one day on Lily's head. It's actually a mass that looks just like an octopus with its' arms hanging down around the sides of Lily's head. And this is the start of the fight of a lifetime... 

The story is imaginative, charming, and will leave you with the warm fuzzies. It will also make you start to choke up in spots, especially if you have had or have a special furbaby in your life. I don't want to say much more, but the story really is heartwarming and the author paints such an amazing true picture of that deep loving relationship we have with our babies that just happen to have four legs. Dog lover? Just read it, you won't be sorry. 

Lily and the Octopus by Steve Rowley is published by Simon & Schuster, and can be found at your local bookstore now! 

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

New Oprah Book Club Choice!

I usually don't pay much attention to Oprah books, but her last pick The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead piqued my interest and I bought it. I have yet to read it because I didn't want to start it right after reading Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi, which was a fantastic read, but it was also about slavery.

When Oprah had a network talk show, she started her book club and each month there was a new book to be enjoyed.  Eventually, she changed the book club selection to 3 or 4 titles a year, because it was hard reading all those books in order to find the "perfect" one. I can relate to that! In 2012, Oprah brought back her book club, now Oprah's Book Club 2.0, and is making selections whenever she finds an exceptional book to share. No timetables, no schedule, just when a book hits home. So, it's kind of a surprise that we have another book selection so soon, but here it is...

Love Warrior: A Memoir by Glennon Doyle Melton... The highly anticipated new memoir by bestselling author Glennon Doyle Melton tells the story of her journey of self-discovery after the implosion of her marriage.

Just when Glennon Doyle Melton was beginning to feel she had it all figured out―three happy children, a doting spouse, and a writing career so successful that her first book catapulted to the top of the New York Times bestseller list―her husband revealed his infidelity and she was forced to realize that nothing was as it seemed. A recovering alcoholic and bulimic, Glennon found that rock bottom was a familiar place. In the midst of crisis, she knew to hold on to what she discovered in recovery: that her deepest pain has always held within it an invitation to a richer life. Love Warrior is the story of one marriage, but it is also the story of the healing that is possible for any of us when we refuse to settle for good enough and begin to face pain and love head-on. This astonishing memoir reveals how our ideals of masculinity and femininity can make it impossible for a man and a woman to truly know one another―and it captures the beauty that unfolds when one couple commits to unlearning everything they’ve been taught so that they can finally, after thirteen years of marriage, commit to living true―true to themselves and to each other.

I don't know much about Glennon Doyle Melton except that she struggled with addiction for many years (drugs, bulimia, etc), wrote a New York Times bestseller called Carry On, Warrior about her messy life and turning it around, and that she has a website called Momastery. Basically, just when she thought life was great, she finds out it's not so great, or at least there was something lurking in the background to " Say, Glennon, not so fast". This is her "second" memoir (kind of), I haven't read the first, but sampling the first pages of this book, I was drawn in by Glennon's writing. Can we learn something here? I'm not sure, but I have put this on my TBR list. What do you think? 

Published by Flatiron Books, it was just released today. 

Sunday, September 4, 2016

The Sunday Salon and Fall into Reading... Must Reads for this Fall!

Welcome to The Sunday Salon and The Sunday Post! It's that day of the week where Bloggers from all over get together virtually to talk books in The Sunday Salon and The Sunday Post, which is a weekly meme hosted by Kim of The Caffeinated Book Reviewer. So, find a comfy chair, grab a cup of joe and let's talk books...

It's the beginning of September which marks the end of summer. Why does it always seem that the summer comes and goes in the blink of an eye? This summer has been the hottest summer I can remember too. But Fall really is my favorite season. And with Fall comes cooler temps and NEW BOOKS!

I'm always on the lookout for books that sound interesting. Sometimes I get books in the mail from some generous publishers, or I'll be in a bookstore and open up book or two that seem to be calling my name. This week I went to my local independent bookstore, Byrd's Books, and found a few YA books I wanted to read and I found a couple of books through some "Fall Reading" blurbs. First, my YA finds that you should be reading...

Hundred Percent by Karen Romano Young... Byrd's Books was having a release party the saturday before last, because Karen is a LOCAL author! Yay to local authors! Unfortunately, I wasn't able to go to the release party, but I was able to pick up a signed copy at the store yesterday! What's special about this book is not only is a local author, BUT Hundred Percent has gotten a zillion great reviews! Even Kirkus Reviews gave it a starred review (which is great). It's a YA book, written for ages 10 and up, but if you were ever a twelve year old girl, you know that awkward stage, then you should be able to relate to this book. And I loved the writing that I sampled too. Here's the blurb from the publisher...

"The last year of elementary school is big for every kid. In this novel, equal parts funny and crushing, utterly honest and perfect for boys and girls alike, Christine Gouda faces change at every turn, starting with her own nickname— Tink—which just doesn’t fit anymore. Readers will relate to this strong female protagonist whose voice rings with pro- found authenticity and absolute novelty, and her year’s cring- ingly painful trials in normalcy—uncomfortable Halloween costumes, premature sleepover parties, crushed crushes, and changing friendships."

This is on top of my reading pile. After I finish what I'm reading now (A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth L. Ozeki, short listed for the Man Booker Prize in 2013), I'll be cracking open Hundred Percent. (Hmmm, I may just start this now instead...)

Drama by Raina Telgemeier... There was a display at Byrd's Books of banned books for Banned Books week, which is coming up Sept. 25. I alway like to read a banned book in "honor" of our right to free speech, and I saw displayed Raina's book Smile, which reminded me about her book, Drama. I asked if they had a copy of Drama, which they did in the part of the banned book display only visible from the front window. I didn't realize that Drama had been tagged as banned and asked why it was banned. They didn't know offhand, but quickly looked it up and told me it was banned because of it being "gay". I hadn't known that it had any gay characters, so I investigated a little further and here's what I found at the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund site...

 "a small but vocal minority have objected to the inclusion of two gay characters, one of whom shares a chaste on-stage kiss with another boy. Negative online reader reviews have accused Telgemeier of literally hiding an agenda inside brightly-colored, tween-friendly covers, but in an interview with TeenReads she said that while she and her editors at Scholastic were very careful to make the book age-appropriate, they never considered omitting the gay characters because “finding your identity, whether gay or straight, is a huge part of middle school.”

I feel that most "banning" of books is done out of fear. Fear that your child is going to become "gay" because they "read about it in a book", Fear that your child is going to start taking drugs because they "read about it in a book", Fear about almost anything you can find in a book. I feel that parents should take an active part in their children's lives, and that includes what they read, to either determine that a book is not appropriate for THEIR child or to open a conversation about what is in a particular book. In any case, I'm reading Drama for my banned book choice this year, but more on that during Banned Book Week. BTW, if you are a fan of Raina Telgemeier, who writes books for middle school readers, her next book Ghosts (it's another graphic novel) is due out Sept. 13th. You can read more about it at her website, Go Raina.

Now onto a few "adult" books...

A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles... Immerses us in another elegantly drawn era with the story of Count Alexander Rostov. When, in 1922, he is deemed an unrepentant aristocrat by a Bolshevik tribunal, the count is sentenced to house arrest in the Metropol, a grand hotel across the street from the Kremlin. Rostov, an indomitable man of erudition and wit, has never worked a day in his life, and must now live in an attic room while some of the most tumultuous decades in Russian history are unfolding outside the hotel’s doors. Unexpectedly, his reduced circumstances provide him a doorway into a much larger world of emotional discovery.


Brimming with humor, a glittering cast of characters, and one beautifully rendered scene after another, this singular novel casts a spell as it relates the count’s endeavor to gain a deeper understanding of what it means to be a man of purpose.

I initially glanced past this when I was looking at fall book recommendations. I was thinking this was going to be a historical fiction story about an exiled Count and how he survived his circumstances. But what this description does not tell you is that Count Alexander Rostov strikes up a lasting friendship with a young girl named Nina, who also lives in the hotel. When Nina grows up, marries and the man she marries is exiled to Siberia (Wasn't Russia doing that to everyone in those days!), Nina deposits her six year old daughter, Sophie with the Count. When Nina does not return, the Count raises Sophie as his own daughter. It's that twist that intrigued me and so this is now on my TBR list. This book is also on quite a few "must read" fall book lists. Published by Viking, it is on the shelves in bookstore this tuesday, Sept. 6th!

The Mothers by Bait Bennett... "All good secrets have a taste before you tell them, and if we'd taken a moment to swish this one around our mouths, we might have noticed the sourness of an unripe secret, plucked too soon, stolen and passed around before its season."

It is the last season of high school life for Nadia Turner, a rebellious, grief-stricken, seventeen-year-old beauty. Mourning her own mother's recent suicide, she takes up with the local pastor's son. Luke Sheppard is twenty-one, a former football star whose injury has reduced him to waiting tables at a diner. They are young; it's not serious. But the pregnancy that results from this teen romance—and the subsequent cover-up—will have an impact that goes far beyond their youth. As Nadia hides her secret from everyone, including Aubrey, her God-fearing best friend, the years move quickly. Soon, Nadia, Luke, and Aubrey are full-fledged adults and still living in debt to the choices they made that one seaside summer, caught in a love triangle they must carefully maneuver, and dogged by the constant, nagging question: What if they had chosen differently? The possibilities of the road not taken are a relentless haunt.

The fall book recommendations I was looking at yesterday, were from a list on Literary Hub. It's a pretty cool site for all things literary (you should check it out), and they asked their favorite booksellers what books they were excited about coming out this fall. The Mothers had 5 booksellers recommending it, and the premise intrigues me. I can't find any reading samples, so I don't know if I like Bait Bennett's writing style or not, but I'm sure after it's October 11th release, I'll be able to find a chapter or two to read before making a decision to purchase it or borrow it.  Published by Riverhead.

Commonwealth by Ann Patchett... One Sunday afternoon in Southern California, Bert Cousins shows up at Franny Keating’s christening party uninvited. Before evening falls, he has kissed Franny’s mother, Beverly—thus setting in motion the dissolution of their marriages and the joining of two families.

Spanning five decades, Commonwealth explores how this chance encounter reverberates through the lives of the four parents and six children involved. Spending summers together in Virginia, the Keating and Cousins children forge a lasting bond that is based on a shared disillusionment with their parents and the strange and genuine affection that grows up between them.

When, in her twenties, Franny begins an affair with the legendary author Leon Posen and tells him about her family, the story of her siblings is no longer hers to control. Their childhood becomes the basis for his wildly successful book, ultimately forcing them to come to terms with their losses, their guilt, and the deeply loyal connection they feel for one another.

Ann Patchett is a wonderful storyteller and this looks to be one of those interesting stories that developes into something beyond the seed of the story that starts it all. This book is also on many lists for anticipated releases this fall. Published by Harper and due out Sept. 13th!

Other Notables...

The Journey Hardcover by Francesca Sanna... "At first glance The Journey seems to be a picture book for children but quickly reveals itself as a troubling mirror for adults today. This masterpiece—and I do not use that word lightly—is a story of a refugee family escaping their unnamed country in pursuit of safety. What is unsaid speaks volumes, and the illustrations will remain in mind long after The Journey ends." –Cressida Hanson, Kepler’s

A picture book aimed at 3 - 7 year olds, with beautiful illustrations by the author herself, who studied at Lucerne School of Art and Design with a Master of Design  in Switzerland. Published by Flying Eye Books and in bookstores, Sept. 13th.

Faithful by Alice Hoffman... "Alice Hoffman does something different and beautiful with each novel she crafts. Faithful is a rich, heartbreaking story about two friends and the devastating tragedy that separates them. Hoffman is so adept at exploring the depths of human emotion, especially in young women, that her characters seem to pulse on the page." –Mary, Newtonville Books

Alice Hoffman is also a wonderful storyteller, and I can't wait to read this one!  On my wish list, published by Simon & Schuster and coming out Nov. 1st!

You can read the full list of bookseller Fall Reading recommendations from Literary Hub at Lithub.com.

Do You Read Banned Books for Banned Books Week? 
What Do You Think About Books Being Banned?

Weekly Update...

As much as the week before was a big reading week, this week was a bit slower. My reading group met this past week to discuss our pick, which was The Life We Bury by Allen Eskens, which everyone loved. I was waiting until after the meeting to review this, but I enjoyed it so much I read Allen Eskens next book, The Guise of Another, which I loved and reviewed on August 9th

During the week I also spent some time researching Man Booker Prize winners and books that made the shortlist. (Here is a list of the longlist for 2016) This was for my reading groups Book Bingo cards, which we decided we were going to read something for. I had read The Driver's Seat by Muriel Sparks for my Bingo Square, but there are plenty of interesting books that have won and/or been shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize and for this book club selection, we are choosing whatever book we want to read and we will discuss them all at the next meeting. It should be a fun meeting! I decidced I was going to read another book for this... A Tale for The Time Being by Ruth Ozeki about a young girls diary carefully preserved and swept up by the 2011 Tsunami and deposited on a beach across the Pacific and into the hands of a novelist, who starts to read the diary and wonders the fate of the girl who wrote it. This book was shortlisted in 2013, and I've been wanting to read it for so long. (P.S. For January I posted the Chick with Books Bingo card for 2016. I need to update it with a few more squares I read for,  but HERE'S the bingo card if you'd like to check it out. I have 4 more squares to fill in for a total black out! What about you? How many squares could you fill in so far this year?)
I began to read N.P. by Banana Yoshimoto... "A celebrated Japanese writer has committed suicide, leaving behind a collection of stories written in English, N.P. But the book may never be published in his native Japan: each translator who takes up the ninety-eighth story chooses death too -- including Kazami Kano's boyfriend, Shoji. Haunted by Shoji's death, Kazami is inexorably drawn to three young people whose lives are intimately bound to the late writer and his work. Over the course of an astonishing summer, she will discover the truth behind the ninety-eighth story -- and she will come to believe that "everything that had happened was shockingly beautiful enough to make you crazy." 

Banana Yoshimoto is a wildly popular contemporary Japanese writer. I read that this book was going to be reprinted May 2017, which piqued my curiosity since I have enjoyed her writing before. The story sounded interesting, so I found myself a used copy, because I didn't want to wait!

That about does it for this week! Hope you found something interesting to read here today! And please, share what great books you're reading here too!

Happy reading... Suzanne
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