Teaser Tuesdays

Teaser Tuesdays asks you to:
Grab your current read.
Let the book fall open to a reandom 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!
My teaser comes from Schooled by Anisha Lakhani (appropriate for the first day of school, don’t ya think?)

From page 45:

The remainder of orientation was spent preparing my room, typing up lesson plans, and attending inane department meetings and faculty workshops with titles like Deep Down We Are All Visual Learners and Your Student, Nanny, and You: Finding That Right Balance.  I had assumed that a school like Langdon-springboard for the Ivy path, education bastion of the elite- would have a rich language arts curriculum.  I was wrong.

Tuesday Teasers


  Teaser Tuesdays asks you to:

  • Grab your current read.
  • Let the book fall open to a random page.
  • Share with us two (2) “teaser” 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!
  • Please avoid spoilers!
  • My two (2) “teaser” sentences for today:

    From page 45 of Sweetsmoke by David Fuller, a novel set during the Civil War, featuring a character named Cassius, a slave working on a Virginia tobacco plantation:

    “He did not know what existed out there.  He could not read, and to him, a map was nothing more than a jumble of shapes and lines.”  


    What are you reading this week?  Can you share two random sentences?

    Teaser Tuesdays


    Okay, I ripped this off borrowed this from Minds Alive on the Shelves, who got it from Should be Reading, a great blog I’ve never visited before today.  Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly meme that is just too much fun to pass up.
    Here’s how it works:
    ● Grab your current read. 
    ● Let the book fall open to a random page. 
    Share with us two (2) “teaser” 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! 
    ● Please avoid spoilers!            

    So, here are my sentences for today, between lines 7 and 12, from my current book, Netochka Nezvanova, a Penguin Classic… hmmm.  1, 2, skip a few..  Ok, here we go, from page 103:

    Two years later, while the family was at the Prince’s summer villa, little Sasha, Katya’s younger brother, fell into the river Neva.  The Princess screamed, and her first thought was to throw herself into the water after her son.”
    Since I’m only on page 15, I have no idea what’s going on down the road on page 103.  But it sounds interesting!
    Play along if you’d like.  I’m going to tag a few people for fun, but anyone is welcome to join in!
    I’m tagging:  Jill from Fizzy Thoughts, Anna from Diary of an Eccentric, Natalie from CurlyWurlyGurly, Care from Care’s Online Book Club, and Karen from Planet Books.  

    Booking Through Thursday: Writing Challenge

    Here’s today’s Booking Through Thursday challenge.

    Pick up the nearest book. (I’m sure you must have one nearby.)
    Turn to page 123.
    What is the first sentence on the page?
    The last sentence on the page?
    Now . . . connect them together….
    (And no, you may not transcribe the entire page of the book–that’s cheating!)


    Oh, good. An easy one. My mind is on overload and if BTT were too thought provoking today I would have to skip it.

    My first and last sentences from page 123 come from the book The Knitting Circle by Ann Hood. This is a book I started last week, got to page 19 and was sobbing like a moron, soaking my t-shirt in tears. It’s about how a mother copes the year after her 5 year old daughter suddenly dies. My own daughter is having some serious medical issues right now, so the grief, pain, and heartache of the mother was a bit too real for me; too raw, too scary. Reading it made my mind travel down some terrifying mental paths. I couldn’t hang, so I closed the book and will try it again some other time (maybe). But since it’s sitting here, I’ll use it for BTT. Here goes:

    “We’ve got champagne and gorgeous hors d’oeuvres and tenderloin for dinner.” She walked in and everything, eight months later, was exactly the same.

    Those two sentences don’t go together at all, but whatever.. I’m just following directions, and I’m grateful this didn’t take any real effort.


    OOOPS.   I do believe I did this all wrong.  It’s a writing challenge.  You’re supposed to actually write something in between the first and last sentences on the page to connect them.  How did I not get that??  Oh, yeah.. my brain is full.  That’s right.  Anyway, I made an effort, so here goes.  Please don’t laugh.  I am well aware that I’m not a writer!!

    “We’ve got champagne and gorgeous hors d’oeuvres and tenderloin for dinner,” said Rene as he kissed me on both cheeks, European style.  I attempted a smile, hoped it was convincing, and made my way into the kitchen, finding Rene’s sister, Grace, with an armful of appetizers.  “Can I help?” I asked, but she waved me away and kindly said, “Grab a drink and find me out back.”  She knows I hate this. 

    If only I had an appetite. I’ve lost 18 pounds in 8 months, although I don’t recommend the diet plan.  What would we call it.. the Husband Caught Cheating Diet?  The Brad’s An Asshole Diet?  The Lose Your Marriage/Lose the Weight Diet?  

    If Rene wasn’t so important to me, I’d be home on the couch, clicker in hand, but to miss his commitment ceremony would be unthinkable.  He’s my oldest friend, and he’s the one who introduced me to Brad all those years ago, although I don’t hold it against him.  

    Earlier, I put on my makeup, fixed my hair, and picked out clothes, all on automatic pilot.  I actually used to enjoy these things, before.  Before it got so hard to leave the house.  Maybe this is what I need, even though I’m uncomfortable with it, I tell myself, trying to psych myself up for the evening.    Everyone says it’s good to get out, see people.  Friends, acquaintances – a room full of potential conversations and possible connections are here.  Rene’s friends are all so witty and fun.  Maybe they can shake me out of this funk, this black hole of self imposed isolation that I’ve descended into.  

    I slide open the screen door, looking for Grace and actively avoiding Clark and Stephan, feeling their eyes boring into my back as I step outside.  They know her, of course.  Clark is Brad’s boss, and Jasmine is Clark’s assistant.  Jasmine.  Sexy, younger.  What a fucking cliché.  I’ve often wondered if Clark set them up, or at the very least did nothing to discourage it.  He’s never been that friendly to me.  Well, it doesn’t matter at this point.  Jasmine left the company when I found out about the affair and all hell broke loose.  Brad begged me to forgive him.  We saw a therapist.  We went on ‘dates’, made love, made plans.  He apologized profusely and said it was over between them.  He loved me, he loved our life together, he promised it would never happen again.  And then…she walked in and everything, eight months later, was exactly the same.  So much for promises. 


    So, that’s it.  I have no idea where that came from in my overloaded brain, but there it is.  You should try it. It’s a good exercise.  Make something up and see where it goes.  Have fun.

    What’s in a Name Meme

    Softdrink did a funny meme on her blog, so I lifted it from her.  My 10 year old and I both did it.. her answers are in parentheses.  It’s fun, try it!

    1.  Your Rock Star name  (first pet, current car):  Taffy Quest (Jasmine Quest)

    2.  Your Gangsta name (fave ice cream flavor, fave type of shoe):  Moose Tracks Clogs (Chocolate Brownie Vans)

    3.  Your Native American name (favorite color, favorite animal):  Yellow Dog (Blue Horse)

    4.  Your soap opera name (middle name, city where you were born):  Marie Detroit (Marie Laguna Niguel)

    5.  Your Star Wars name (the first 3 letters of your last name, first 2 letters of your first name):  Munli (Munla)

    6.  Superhero name (2nd fave color, favorite drink):  Blue Mocha (Green Rootbeer)

    7.  NASCAR name (the first names of your grandfathers):  Bill William  (Joe Kenneth)

     8.  Stripper name (the name of your favorite perfume/cologne/scent, favorite candy):  Pleasures Reeses (Princess Sour Belts)

    9.  TV Weather Anchor Name (your 5th grade teacher’s last name, a major city that starts with the same letter):  Beno Barcelona (Steinbrink San Diego)

    10.  Spy Name (your favorite season/holiday, fave flower)  Autumn Rose (Autumn Daffodil)

    11.  Cartoon Name (favorite fruit, article of clothing you’re wearing right now):  Raisin Boots (Watermelon Jeans)

    12.  Hippie Name (what you ate for breakfast, your favorite tree):  Nature Valley Birch (French Toast Redwood)  

    Booking Through Thursday: Cover-Up

    Cover-Up March 27, 2008

    Filed under: WordPress — –Deb @ 1:32 am 

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    This week’s question comes from Julie, who asks:

    While acknowledging that we can’t judge books by their covers, how much does the design of a book affect your reading enjoyment? Hardcover vs. softcover? Trade paperback vs. mass market paperback? Font? Illustrations? Etc.?

    The design of a book doesn’t affect my reading enjoyment necessarily, but I do love a beautiful, well designed cover.  Unless I go to the book store with a specific book or author in mind, the cover art absolutely plays a role in which books I pick up and ultimately bring home. One of my favorite blogs, dedicated to the appreciation of book cover design, is Covers, maintained by Fwis, a design firm based out of Brooklyn, NY and Portland, OR.  It’s a place where people in the industry praise or trash covers.  Go there for some highly intelligent commentary from people in the ‘biz.  This is the cover that currently graces their home page.  What do you think? Would you buy this book?



    The End: Booking Through Thursday

    The End March 20, 2008

    Filed under: WordPress — –Deb @ 1:55 am 

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    You’ve just reached the end of a book . . . what do you do now? Savor and muse over the book? Dive right into the next one? Go take the dog for a walk, the kids to the park, before even thinking about the next book you’re going to read? What?

    (Obviously, there can be more than one answer, here–a book with a cliff-hanger is going to engender different reactions than a serene, stand-alone, but you get the idea!)


    Well, usually when I finish a book, I reach over and shut out the light, snuggle in next to my snoring husband, and go to sleep.  I do much of my reading at night after my kids are in bed, and if I’m pretty close to the end of a book, I’ll stay up to finish it. 

    If I was reading something really intense, like THIS ONE, or thought provoking, like THIS ONE, or something beautifully written, like THIS ONE, or utterly unique, like THIS ONE, it might be a few days before I start another book, and I usually pick something entirely different.  I have a colossal “to be read” stack at the moment, so I have all this self-imposed pressure to get on with the next book, but sometimes I need to just sit with a book for awhile and let it sink in before moving on.  If it was a light, fun, easily forgettable read, I’ll start another one the very next day. 

    What do you do when you’ve reached the end of a book? 


    Booking Through Thursday: Playing Editor

    Playing Editor March 13, 2008

    Filed under: WordPress — –Deb @ 1:13 am 

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    Suggested by John :

    How about a chance to play editor-in-chief? Fill in the blanks:

    __________ would have been a much better book if ______________________.



    In order to answer this question, it’s important to understand what an editor actually does..  I thought I knew, but just to be sure I looked it up.  

    Typically, an editor does a lot of reading, obviously.  Their job includes everything from looking for errors in spelling, punctuation, and grammar (copy editing), to character development, plot structure and clarity (substantive editing).  They also work at spotting cliched phrases, over-used words, and the overall organization of a story. Fine tuning phrases and removing redundant words can make a huge difference in the final product.

    What an editor should NOT do is impose their own voice or point of view over the author’s. An editor should be like Switzerland – totally nuetral, allowing the author’s unique style to shine through, while enhancing and clarifying the text.

    Ok, sounds like a tough job.  I guess I’ve been reading a lot of books lately that have benefitted from great editing because I can’t think of any that I would want to change in that way.  

    The only exception would be some kids books I’ve been reading with my girls.  We make a game out of counting the number of times the characters in the Goosebumps series “murmur” something.  Seems every other page says, “Look at that!” she murmured.  We dissolve into giggles and get out the notebook that we use to keep track of how many murmurs there are per book.  It’s silly fun.

    I remember reading Middlesex last summer and thinking that it would benefit from a liberal dose of editing, but I couldn’t give you specifics all these months later.  I just remember thinking the middle section was way too long and made the book much longer than it needed to be (544 pages-pushing the limits of my patience!). 

    What books do you think would benefit from editing?



    James Lipton Meme

    I’ve been tagged for a fun meme by Chartroose,

    Here goes: 

    I can justify playing with James Lipton’s questionnaire because he has written a memoir which was published several months ago, so this is kinda sorta book related.  Since the Academy Awards are coming up, I thought it would be fun to try this.  Lipton is so filled with affectation that I always cringe when he mentions the “great Bernard Pivot” before doing the questionnaire.  Who is Bernard Pivot anyway?  I know he hosted some French talk shows, but what’s so great about that?  Is it really that difficult?  If Maury Povich can do it, anyone can.  Here’s a picture of Bernard Pivot:




    He looks like a nice grandfatherly type of guy.  Maybe Lipton is right and Bernard Pivot really is “great.”


    Here is the questionnaire along with my answers: 

    1.  What is your favorite word?  Luscious, symmetry, alliteration.  I like the sound of them and I’m always looking for clever ways to use them in everyday conversation.  (I don’t really have a favorite word but I do like those).  If by favorite word they mean one I use too frequently, this week’s word would be “random”.  

    2.  What is your least favorite word?  vomit

    3.  What turns you on creatively, spiritually or emotionally?  Photography and scrapbooking, things I don’t do nearly enough anymore.    

    4.  What turns you off?  Mean people.  Inflexible people with a superiority complex. 

    5.  What is your favorite curse word?  I like Barnacles! and Tartar sauce!  I guess I watch too much Spongebob.

    6.  What sound or noise do you love?  Whispering and giggling, waves crashing on the beach, rain on the roof, crickets chirping on a summer night. 

    7.  What sound or noise do you hate?  My kids fighting with each other, loud snoring at 3am when I’m trying to sleep.

    8.  What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?  Professional photographer, editor, writer.

    9.  What profession would you not like to do?  Public speaking of any kind.

    10.  If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?  You’re only human, you did the best you could.  Don’t be afraid, you’ve come to the right place!  

    This is fun!  Try it and you’ll see.  I’m tagging anyone who wants to play.


    Perfect Library Format: Booking Through Thursday

    Format February 21, 2008

    Filed under: WordPress — –Deb @ 1:18 am 

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    All other things (like price and storage space) being equal, given a choice in a perfect world, would you rather have paperbacks in your library? Or hardcovers? And why?


    At one time I was only interested in buying hardcover books, because I was newly married and loved the way bookshelves looked (with books on them!)  Mine were basically empty so I needed to start filling them up, and let’s face it, hardcovers look better on the shelves.  But that was then.  Now I almost never buy hardcover books.  I prefer the feel of a paperback in my hands.  They are more portable, lighter, easier to hold, and definitely more affordable.  I can dogear or highlight without guilt.  I’m not worried about a kid with sticky fingers touching my books if they are paperbacks.  I want them to be accessible to the whole family.

    It’s funny, though, I rarely keep my books anymore.  Once I’ve read them, I lend, share, send, donate, and leave behind all my best books.  People who know me will tell you that I am the type to constantly be pressing a book into their hands, no doubt annoying the heck out of them (at least I don’t drive them insane by asking them, “Did you read that book I gave you?”).  The only books I make a point to keep are the ones we read with my book club so that I can reference them later if I need to.  

    But the question was about a library, so..  I’m thinking, is this a library I want to use all the time?  Or one I want to impress others?   If it’s purely about looks, then fill it with hardcovers.  If it’s about practicality and ease of use, bring on the paperbacks.  The exception would be my best loved, most cherished books.  I’d want them in hardcover, so that they’d last longer, but probably after I’ve read them in paperback.  Must I make a choice in this perfect world we’re talking about?  Can’t I have both? And can someone else please do the dusting in this perfect library?