Mailbox Monday

Mailbox Monday was created by Marcia of The Printed Page and is now on tour.  Kathy at Bermuda Onion is the host of this fun meme for the month of September!   According to Marcia,  “Mailbox Monday is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came into their house last week. Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles and humongous wish lists.”

This is what I found in my mailbox last week, all in one shipment, all purchased by me:

People of the Book by Geraldine March  (for my book club)

Savvy by Ingrid Law (for my 12 year old daughter)

The following are AR books for my 11 year old daughter (she’s decided Andrew Clements is her favorite author after reading Frindle):

The Landry News by Andrew Clements

The Janitor’s Boy by Andrew Clements

No Talking by Andrew Clements

Among the Hidden by Margaret Peterson Haddix

Booking Through Thursday: Flapper? Or not a flapper?

Suggested by Prairie Progressive:

Do you read the inside flaps that describe a book before or while reading it?

Don’t forget to leave a link to your actual response (so people don’t have to go searching for it) in the comments—or if you prefer, leave your answers in the comments themselves!

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I guess this is meme week.  Can you tell I’m procrastinating about writing reviews??

Yes, I’m a flapper.  I read the flap.  Maybe not EVERY time, but if I’m browsing in a bookstore and don’t really know what I want, I read flaps to help me decide if it’s a book I want to buy. Usually when I get a book in the mail I’ve already agreed to read it, so in that case I don’t read the flaps.  Except when I do.

I’m sure you’re all really happy you read this post, aren’t you?   Such insight!  So provocative!

I’ve lost my internet connection 3 TIMES while trying to publish this post.  Is that the universe’s way of telling me to get off my a$$ and write a review???  Hmmmm…

Are you a flapper?  Are you a procrastinator too??

Teaser Tuesday – January 12, 2010

Miz B and Teaser Tuesdays asks you to: Grab your current read. Let the book fall open to a random page. Share with us two (2) sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12. You also need to share the title of the book that you’re getting your “teaser” from … that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you’ve given!

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My teaser today comes from page 95 of American Rust by Philipp Meyer, a powerful book sent to me by Random House for a TLC Book Tour, which kicks off today on The Blue Stocking Society with a giveaway to celebrate the trade paperback release!

The first two random pages I picked didn’t work out- the book is told in sort of a stream of consciousness style and the first one just would not have made any sense, while the second one contained the “f” word.  In keeping with my blog’s PG rating, I thought it would be best to keep looking!  So here’s my third random teaser-

“She pulled in next to the trailer and there she was, his mother, dressed for church and him standing in his underpants in the driveway, nearly one o’clock in the afternoon.  She shook her head, but not in a friendly way.”

This book has commanded my attention in a way I haven’t been grabbed by a book in ages..

Teaser Tuesday- November 24, 2009

Miz B and Teaser Tuesdays asks you to: Grab your current read. Let the book fall open to a random page. Share with us two (2) sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12. You also need to share the title of the book that you’re getting your “teaser” from … that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you’ve given!

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My teaser comes from page 51 of When the Emperor Was Divine by Julie Otsuka.  At 144 pages this is a minimalist story told by a young boy about his Japanese American family during WWII, when they are split up and sent to the internment camps.

My (step) grandparents were children during WWII and went to the camps with their families, so I have a personal interest in these kinds of stories.  I’m pre-reading this one to see if it would be ok for my 12 year old daughter to read.  So far, so good.  Here’s the teaser, from page 51:

“There was a window above the boy’s bed, and outside were the stars and the moon and the endless rows of black barracks all lined up in the sand.  In the distance, a wide empty field where nothing but sagebrush grew, then the fence and the high wooden towers.”

Sunday Salon

Well would you look at that..  it’s been a whole week since I’ve posted anything!  So sorry.

Reading:

Goldengrove-PB-199x300I was about halfway through A Field Guide to Burying Your Parents when I accidentally left it in my husband’s car, leaving me without an ‘in progress’ book.  Thankfully Goldengrove arrived that day.

Actually, Goldengrove TRIED to arrive twice before but the UPS man wouldn’t leave it without a signature.  That just burns my shorts.  Who can be home all day, waiting for books to arrive??  I wrote a note asking UPS to please leave it on the porch, or with a neighbor, so they finally did that on the 3rd day. My neighbor ran it over to me as I was leaving to pick up the kids at school, so I started it in the school parking lot and haven’t put it down since.  The writing is achingly beautiful, and I’m blown away by the author’s ability to paint such vivid mental images with her words.  I’ve inhabited the Goldengrove world entirely and I’m going to finish the book before going back to A Field Guide.. because I just can’t bear to put it aside.

The UPS man had another surprise for me this week.  Last Night in Twisted River by John Irving is a chunkster at 576 pages.  On the back cover it says, “In 1954..in Northern New Hampshire, an anxious 12 year old boy mistakes the local constable’s girlfriend for a bear.  Both the 12 year old and his father become fugitives…”  An unsolicited book of that size might have ended up on the bottom of my TBR pile, but I’m intrigued.. plus, well.. it’s John Irving.

imageDB-3.cgiMy book club meets today to discuss Lottery by Patricia Wood.  Lottery is about a mentally challenged young man who wins 12 million dollars in the Washington State Lottery.  Ms. Wood is working toward her doctorate in a disability and diversity program, and she is also the daughter of a lottery winner, making her uniquely qualified to tell this story!  She lives with her husband on a boat in Hawaii but will take time out of her busy ‘aloha’ schedule to chat with us this afternoon.

My kids have been reading quite a bit.  My youngest, the reluctant reader, found a book she likes.  Dork Diaries: Tales from a NOT-SO Fabulous Life by Rachel Renee Russell has captured her imagination.  It’s subtitle is “The Secret Diary of Nikki Maxwell” and it’s set up as the diary of a middle school girl.  It’s kind of the female version of the Wimpy ugliesKid books.  My daughter has to read 20 minutes per day and this book has her reading a little longer, even after the timer goes off.

My oldest is a reading machine.  Her latest obsession is the Uglies series by Scott Westerfield.  She plowed through Uglies in a day and a half and begged me to get in the car and drive to the book store for Pretties, the next in the series.  There are four books in the Uglies trilogy (isn’t a trilogy, by definition, 3 things?  Did he get to three and just decide to keep going??)  She’ll probably have them all finished by the end of the week.  Any suggestions on what to feed the raging reading inferno that is my 11 year old?

Kids and Home:

1st day of 5th grade!

1st day of 5th grade!

My 5th grader went back to school on Tuesday.  On Wednesday she tried out for basketball, and on Thursday she found out she made the team!  Which is great, but also adds another layer of chaos to our already hectic lives.  She’ll practice twice a week and have games through mid November.  It’s a travel team with games as far as 30 miles away, mid-week.  I’ll have to use my magical powers to be in two places at once, or rely on other parents at times to drive one of my kids around.

My 7th grader, who has played the trumpet for the last two years, announced this week that she was switching instruments.  She wants to play the baritone.  Having never been in band, I wasn’t even sure what that is.. but I know now that it’s sort of a small tuba.

Her band director thinks that’s great and is totally encouraging the switch, but I’m a little unhappy about it.  Maybe because I’m the one who has been renting the stupid trumpet for two years and paying for lessons all summer!  On the plus side, the fingering is the same on both instruments, so she should pick up the baritone very quickly.  Plus, she can use a school-owned instrument in junior high and high school (if she sticks with it) because not that many kids go out for baritone, and bands need them, so the schools have plenty to lend out.  That means no more instrument rental fees for me.  I should be happy, right?

Football season has started so the hub has checked out of family interaction on weekends in favor of a perpetual tv trance.  He’ll be “watching” the kids today during book club.  Hopefully they won’t burn the house down.

I signed on to chair the Scholastic Book Fair at the junior high, which starts this Friday and runs for a week.  There are a ba-zillion details to attend to in advance of the fair, so if anyone wondered why I haven’t been around the blog-o-sphere much lately, that is why.  It’s a big job, but I love being a book pusher.

Thanks for stopping by Books on the Brain!  Leave me a comment and let me know what’s new with you.  What are you reading this week?

Wondrous Words Wednesday

 vocabularyWondrous Words Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Kathy at Bermudaonion’s Weblog where we share new (to us) words that we’ve encountered in our reading. Feel free to join in the fun. (Don’t forget to leave a link in your comment if you’re participating.)

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I haven’t done this meme in a few weeks, but because I’ve been too lazy busy to write up a review this week, I thought I’d show you how dumb I am.  Many of you probably know these words already.. not me, though!

All of these come from Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger.  I’m reading an ARC so the page numbers might be off in the final edits.

gormless– “He hung back, keeping his eye on them and feeling pervy and gormless, not to mention highly noticeable.”  pg. 108

definition:  –adjective 

 Chiefly British Informal.

gaumless.

bloviating–  “You’re just bloviating.  Get on with it.”  pg. 164  

definition:  –verb (used without object), ‑at⋅ed, ‑at⋅ing.

to speak pompously.

truncheon–  “Well, sorry to be such poor company, but I really do have to finish this or my editor will be at my door with a truncheon.”  pg 217

definition:  –noun

1. the club carried by a police officer; billy.
2. a staff representing an office or authority; baton.
3. the shattered shaft of a spear.
4. Obsoletecudgel; bludgeon.        

 

I used to think that, even if I didn’t know a word, I could usually infer the meaning from the context.  The only one in my list I guessed right on was bloviating.  What about you?  Do you normally guess right, based on the context, when you come across a word you don’t know?

Teaser Tuesday – August 11, 2009

tuesday-t11Miz B and Teaser Tuesdays asks you to: Grab your current read. Let the book fall open to a random page. Share with us two (2) sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12. You also need to share the title of the book that you’re getting your “teaser” from … that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you’ve given!

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9780061572937Today’s teaser comes from page 65 of Who by Fire by Diana Spechler.

“I can explain what I felt that night only by comparing the experience to a far lesser one:  Once, a few years ago, Bits and I started talking about old TV shows, and she asked, “What was the name of Alice’s boyfriend in The Brady Bunch?”  Neither of us could remember.”

I can’t remember either.  Bonus points if you know the answer (without Googling it!)

Wondrous Words Wednesday

vocabularyWondrous Words Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Kathy at Bermudaonion’s Weblog where we share new (to us) words that we’ve encountered in our reading. Feel free to join in the fun. (Don’t forget to leave a link in your comment if you’re participating.)

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My wondrous words this week come from Life of Pi by Yann Martel (yes, Sheri, I’m reading it!).

raiments – “They stir and leave their shelter and tiptoe to the water’s edge. They show their raiments.” pg. 15

Definition: –noun

clothing; apparel; attire.

onanists – “And there are indecencies even more bizarre: onanists breaking a sweat on monkeys, ponies, birds; a religious freak who cut a snake’s head off; a deranged man who took to urinating in an elk’s mouth.” pg. 29

Definition:–noun

1. one who withdraws the penis in sexual intercourse so that ejaculation takes place outside the vagina; coitus interruptus.
2. masturbation.

agouti – “Nonetheless, our golden agouti vanished, stolen by someone who ate it, Father suspected.” pg. 30

Definition:–noun, plural -tis, -ties.

1. any of several short-haired, short-eared, rabbitlike rodents of the genus Dasyprocta, of South and Central America and the West Indies, destructive to sugar cane.
2. an irregularly barred pattern of the fur of certain rodents.
3. an animal having fur of this pattern.

Oh, dear. My blog just went from a G to a PG-13 rating. Darn onanists!!

Wondrous Words Wednesday

vocabularyWondrous Words Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Kathy at Bermudaonion’s Weblog where we share new (to us) words that we’ve encountered in our reading.  Feel free to join in the fun.  (Don’t forget to leave a link in your comment if you’re participating.)

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This is my first time doing Kathy’s Wondrous Words meme.  These 3 words come from All We Ever Wanted Was Everything by Janelle Brown (reviewed here).

It wasn’t until I started looking for unfamiliar words that I realized how stupid I am!!  In the past I thought there just weren’t that many words I didn’t know.  Most I can figure out from the context.  But not all..

assiduously – “The hostess, who looks like a Slavic supermodel, with her sunken cheeks and jutting clavicles, assiduously ignores everyone, including Margaret.”  pg. 36

Definition: adjective

1. constant; unremitting: assiduous reading.
2. constant in application or effort; working diligently at a task; persevering; industrious; attentive: an assiduous student.

sibilant – “The sibilant hisses of whispered prayers make it sound like she’s sitting in a snake pit.” pg. 278

Definition:–adjective

1. hissing.
2. Phoneticscharacterized by a hissing sound; noting sounds like those spelled with s 

binaries – “The woman is expressing her female-centered sexuality, Margaret would neutrally observe; she is rejecting binaries and entering into the Symbolic.”  pg. 146

Definition:–noun

5. a whole composed of two.
6. Astronomybinary star.
7. Also called binary number. Mathematicsa number expressed in the binary system of notation.  

 

(Even with the definition of binaries, I still don’t really get the meaning in the sentence!)

Teaser Tuesdays: July 28, 2009

tuesday-t11Miz B and Teaser Tuesdays asks you to: Grab your current read. Let the book fall open to a random page. Share with us two (2) sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12. You also need to share the title of the book that you’re getting your “teaser” from … that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you’ve given!

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piABMy teaser comes from page 177 of  Life of Pi by Yann Martel, which happens to be my face-to-face book club’s selection for August.  I’m going to miss this meeting due to our family’s annual trip to Pennsylvania, so it’s tempting to skip the book, but because a couple people in our club are passionate about it (Hello, Sheri!), I may give it a go.  

“The stars shone with such fierce, contained brilliance that it seemed absurd to call the night dark.  The sea lay quietly, bathed in a shy, light-footed light, a dancing play of black and silver that extended without limits all about me.”

Ahhhh, sounds beautiful.

Have you read Life of Pi?  What do you think, should I read the book, even though I’ll miss the book club meeting?