Tuesday, January 31, 2012
Posted by Tina's Blog at 2:16 AM
Monday, January 30, 2012
I've upgraded a bit! Saturday my Kindle Fire arrived. I have been able to look at/play with it a little, but still need to find a bit more time to get to know it better. I did enjoy watching an episode of Wonder Years on Saturday night, and have downloaded People magazine on it since I already get a print subscription. My girls are very interested in the apps that can be downloaded, of course. I am thinking this won't be the only Kinde Fire in our house. My middle daughter has been saving her money for an iPod Touch, but after looking my new purchase over, is quickly changing her plans.
Posted by Tina's Blog at 3:47 AM
Sunday, January 29, 2012
Posted by Tina's Blog at 4:19 PM
Saturday, January 28, 2012
Posted by Tina's Blog at 6:00 PM
Wednesday, January 25, 2012
Posted by Tina's Blog at 4:56 PM
Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.
Tuesday, January 24, 2012
It's obvious I'm no photographer, but if you can ignore my lack of skills, I just had to share that Middle Sister lost the fang that she was sporting for the last week or two. We had a late start today because of icy roads. Since I had to go to work on time, they spent a few hours with grandma. While there my oldest two girls were wrestling around and a tooth fell out! I doubt there had to be much to make it fall out- it was hanging by a thread! I love how cute kids look with both their front teeth gone, but you will notice that Middle Sister has teeth ready to come in, so she won't be a toothless wonder for long.
Posted by Tina's Blog at 7:01 PM
Monday, January 23, 2012
What can I say? I obviously lack any real skill in predicting which books will win awards, although three of the titles I mentioned did receive recognition.
Posted by Tina's Blog at 9:02 AM
Posted by Tina's Blog at 4:00 AM
Sunday, January 22, 2012
Blackout by John Rocco - I've checked this one out so many times and it's all because I am in love with it. Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick - I don't know if this is a Newbery or or Caldecott contender. I could see it go either way, but I did love the illustrations in it and the story they tell.
Drawing From Memory by Allen Say - I am reading this one today (review to come) and enjoying it a lot. This book reminds me of how much I have enjoyed Say's other books.
As for the Newbery- I have read more books this year than in past years, and I can see several of the ones I have gushed about getting some type of recognition. And then there are those by first time authors that haven't received much buzz, but that I have loved and that I want others to hear about.
When Life Gives You O.J. by Erica Perl-Realistic fiction with a great message and several themes- relationships with grandparents, recognizing it is OK to be different, growing up
A Year Without Autumn by Liz Kessler- A mix of fantasy and realistic fiction - I loved this one for its message.
Something to Hold by Katherine Schlick Noe- a first novel for Noe, somewhat autobiographical about Noe's own childhood living on an Indian reservation. Plenty to think about and discussInside Out and Back Again by Thanhha Lai - Maybe this one has received too much recognition to receive an award, but this is an amazing novel in verse about a young Vietnamese girl who moves to the United States.
I am so interested in what books make the cut and which will be passed over. There are so many great books each year to choose from and it's always fun to add some new titles to the TBR pile.
Posted by Tina's Blog at 2:02 PM
I have had another three day weekend due to our snow day on Friday. This should mean my house is extra clean and I am ready for the week, but that is not the truth. I have read a bit, but my new obsession is the Masterpiece Theatre show, Downton Abbey. As someone who rarely watches television, I have certainly done my fair share of watching lately in an effort to get caught up with this show.
Posted by Tina's Blog at 5:52 AM
Saturday, January 21, 2012
In 1930's Germany, still several years before World War II began, Hitler was already beginning to cause problems for Jews. Karl Stern is entering his teen years, a thin unathletic young man who is beat up by boys at school who know of his status as a Jew. When he meets famous boxing champion, Max Schlesing, at an art gallery show at his father's gallery, he is offered boxing lesson in exchange for a painting. Karl is excited about this and takes Schlesing's advice to heart. He pushes himself to do push-ups, sit-ups, chin-ups, and a 50 minute run each day, something that is difficult at first, but becomes easier over time. While Karl's body is being transformed, Germany is also undergoing a transformation. Stricter rules and regulations are being imposed on Jews and the Sterns are very aware of their reduced means. Food is scarce, Karl's uncle has been taken to Dachau, and Karl is kicked out of school for being a Jew. The one thing Karl is able to focus on is his training. He is also encouraged by his reading which shows that there are a number of successful Jewish fighters. This shows that the Aryan race is not truly superior in everything. Jesse Owens' Olympic medals highlights the successes of other races as well and gives Karl a bit of hope in a very dark time.
Although much of this novel is about Karl's boxing and his passion for this sport, it is also about Germany at this time in history. Through Karl's eyes we are able to see how young Jews felt and the experiences they had in their formative years. As the novel progresses things continue to get worse for the Sterns, eventually taking away the one thing Karl relies on.
Posted by Tina's Blog at 3:12 PM
It isn't really a secret in our house that while my middle daughter enjoys being read to, there are lots of other things she does in her free time. And while Middle Sister still enjoys lots of things, more and more she is turning to books to fill her free time. (I am sure that some of it is due to the fact that I have put some strict limitations on her TV viewing time). It is fun to watch her find new and exciting books, and entertaining to watch her discuss them with me. We are midway through Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban and several times now I have caught her with the book, stuck in a corner trying to read ahead. This book is still a bit too hard for her to read in its entirety by herself, but I think she gets the main points as she is reading. And I am still re-reading anything she has peeked at.
Other big hits with her are the Babymouse books by Jennifer Holm. A few weeks ago Middle Sister checked out every single Babymouse book during a library visit and read them within two days. She has moved on to the Little Lulu books as well as the Adventures of Tin Tin series. While graphic novels aren't my cup of tea, she certainly is having a great time with this genre.
And just to show how versatile she is, she has started reading a biography on Sitting Bull.
Posted by Tina's Blog at 4:03 AM
Friday, January 20, 2012
Posted by Tina's Blog at 3:00 AM
Wednesday, January 18, 2012
Back in 2001, I was a new mom, still off on maternity leave when 9/11 happened. I spent hours watching the news footage. I just couldn't help myself and often felt connected to the young moms who were tragically widowed.
Posted by Tina's Blog at 12:00 PM
Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.
Unbeknownst to one another, they both build fledgling lives in America, Ciro masters shoemaking and Enza takes a factory job in Hoboken until fate intervenes and reunites them. But it is too late: Ciro has volunteered to serve in World War I and Enza, determined to forge a life without him, begins her impressive career as a seamstress at the Metropolitan Opera House that will sweep her into the glamorous salons of Manhattan and into the life of the international singing sensation, Enrico Caruso.
From the stately mansions of Carnegie Hill, to the cobblestone streets of Little Italy, over the perilous cliffs of northern Italy, to the white-capped lakes of northern Minnesota, these star-crossed lovers meet and separate, until, finally, the power of their love changes both of their lives forever.
Lush and evocative, told in tantalizing detail and enriched with lovable, unforgettable characters, The Shoemaker's Wife is a portrait of the times, the places and the people who defined the immigrant experience, claiming their portion of the American dream with ambition and resolve, cutting it to fit their needs like the finest Italian silk.
This riveting historical epic of love and family, war and loss, risk and destiny is the novel Adriana Trigiani was born to write, one inspired by her own family history and the love of tradition that has propelled her body of bestselling novels to international acclaim. Like Lucia, Lucia, The Shoemaker's Wife defines an era with clarity and splendor, with operatic scope and a vivid cast of characters who will live on in the imaginations of readers for years to come.
Tuesday, January 17, 2012
Posted by Tina's Blog at 2:00 AM
Monday, January 16, 2012
Posted by Tina's Blog at 5:00 AM
Sunday, January 15, 2012
Posted by Tina's Blog at 7:10 PM
Posted by Tina's Blog at 5:58 AM
Saturday, January 14, 2012
Posted by Tina's Blog at 7:54 AM
Wednesday, January 11, 2012
Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.
A captivating novel about the woman who chaperoned an irreverent Louise Brooks to New York City in 1922, and the summer that would change them both.
Only a few years before becoming a famous actress and an icon for her generation, a fifteen-year-old Louise Brooks leaves Wichita to make it big in New York. Much to her annoyance, she is accompanied by a thirty-six-year-old chaperone who is neither mother nor friend. Cora Carlisle is a complicated but traditional woman with her own reasons for making the trip. She has no idea what she’s in for: Young Louise, already stunningly beautiful and sporting her famous blunt bangs and black bob, is known for her arrogance and her lack of respect for convention. Ultimately, the five weeks they spend together will change their lives forever.
For Cora, New York holds the promise of discovery that might prove an answer to the question at the center of her being, and even as she does her best to watch over Louise in a strange and bustling city, she embarks on her own mission. And while what she finds isn’t what she anticipated, it liberates her in a way she could not have imagined. Over the course of the summer, Cora’s eyes are opened to the promise of the twentieth century and a new understanding of the possibilities for being fully alive.
Tuesday, January 10, 2012
As you can imagine, walking a plastic jug around town is a bit embarrassing, and Zelly doesn't want to be made fun of. She is also getting used to life in a small town. When she meets Jeremy, another Jewish kid, Zelly begins to realize there may be other people just like her that live near her after all.
As I was reading last night, my ten year old asked about this book. I told her a bit about it, and am so glad that I can pass it on to her.
To learn more about this fabulous author and her work, visit ericaperl.com
Posted by Tina's Blog at 9:05 AM
Shared with me by some book loving friends.
Posted by Tina's Blog at 4:50 AM
Sunday, January 8, 2012
Posted by Tina's Blog at 4:00 PM
Posted by Tina's Blog at 9:29 AM
Saturday, January 7, 2012
Posted by Tina's Blog at 4:42 PM
Friday, January 6, 2012
Posted by Tina's Blog at 4:19 AM
Thursday, January 5, 2012
So far in 2012 I haven't signed up for a single challenge. While I keep thinking I will look for a TBR challenge, I also know myself. And yet, as I say that, I have already begun my second book off my stacks in the past two days. So, while two books does not reduce my TBR pile or even make a dent in it, it is a start. And this way since I am not naming titles of books I intend to read, I have a wide selection to choose from.
Long before this book was done, I was in love with this story. Although not a cheerful book, it certainly gives a picture of what life could have been like in 1974 in small town America. It is hard for me to believe that people could be so close minded and racist in such recent times, and yet we have seen proof of that throughout history. Revoyr also does a great job of creating complex characters. Michelle's grandfather should have been easy to hate, and yet the love and care he showed for her makes us see him in a different light.
Posted by Tina's Blog at 9:35 AM
Wednesday, January 4, 2012
Posted by Tina's Blog at 3:39 PM