Posts Tagged ‘book response’

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

It’s Monday! What are you reading? Is a meme sponsored by Sheila at Book Journey.  Kellee at Unleashing Readers and Jen at Teach Mentor Texts gave the meme a kidlit twist.  It’s a great way to reflect on what you’ve read and reviewed the last week and plan what you want to read next.  Join up with us and discover what good books other people  are reading.

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I finally reviewed a book that I have been thinking about ever since I read it just after Christmas:  I Am Malala. I can’t wait to add it to the collection in my Little Free Library. I hope with warmer weather on the way, more people will start dropping by again to discover books. I did sneak one out to give to the little boy across the street! I also reviewed In a Glass Grimmly. I have also enjoyed the sunshine this week. Sunday afternoon I tramped through our woods and helped my husband plant several American chestnut tree seedlings. We’ll see if these once common trees take root and grow.

I finished…

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Boy + Bot by Ame Dyckman, illustrated by Dan Yaccarino – I reread this one in order to write and submit my first paid book review for WINK. We’ll see what happens with that, but I thoroughly enjoyed revisiting this delightful story of an unusual friendship. The text and illustrations combine for just the right amount of sweetness and humor.

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In a Glass Grimmly by Adam Gidwitz – This companion to A Tale Dark and Grimm lives up to its predecessor. This time Jack and Jill set off on a quest to find a magic mirror–a mirror that will give wisdom and riches to whoever possesses it. They don’t want the mirror for themselves. You see, they unwittingly made a promise to the Others to bring it back. If they don’t succeed, they die. Of course, they may die anyway at any point along a dangerous and twisted journey. If the giants at the top of the beanstalk don’t squash them, the evil mermaid or the devious goblins  might. Once again, the narrator is an invaluable guide–at least most of the time warning unwary readers to close their eyes or walk away from the book. A few times he forgets to warn of upcoming blood and gore, but he does apologize for the slip up. Learn the true stories behind the fairy tales–if you dare.

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Learning to Walk in the Dark by Barbara Brown Taylor – I much to think about and explore after finishing this book. Brown describes and reflects on her experience with physical and spiritual darkness. I learned more than I expected about darkness and dark places. I also have broadened my view of darkness to include its benefits as well as the things that go bump in the night. I am eager to explore darkness for myself as well now to see what it has to teach me.

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Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott – This book on writing and life is definitely worth the reread. As I sit down to write, I am trying to pay attention and listen to the truth I have to tell from my life. Even if no one else ever sees it, the writing is worth it. Reading this book is like sitting down in a writing class taught by Lamott. Wouldn’t I love that opportunity? I suspect I will turn back to its pages again as I continue writing.

I’m currently reading…

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By the Book: Writers on Literature and the Literary Life from The New York TImes Book Review edited by Pamela Paul – This week I enjoyed “chatting” with Jonathan Franzen, Hilary Mantel, Walter Mosley, Khaled Hosseini, Jeannette Walls, Dan Brown and Dan Savage. I love learning which children’s books had an impact on these writers. While some admit to reading only the classics, others fell in love with reading through comic books and series such as the Hardy Boys. Even better is when I find I loved some of the same characters. I don’t know how many times I wished I could be friends with Francie Nolan from A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. It’s like Jeannette Walls and I have a friend in common.

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Seabiscuit by Laura Hillenbrand – I had every intention of picking up another middle grade or YA novel to read, but I picked this one up off the shelf where it has been patiently waiting for me for years. I don’t regret it. I’m just getting started and have met Seabiscuit’s future owner and trainer and now the horse himself. I am enthralled. I will definitely want to watch the movie, too, once I finish. After all, I did meet the horse who played Seabiscuit on a tour of horse farms in Lexington a few years ago!

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How to Make Sense of the Bible by Adam Hamilton – My mom gave me this book for Christmas because she got so much out of reading it. I just started this one on Sunday and have read only the introduction. I think I’m going to enjoy it. I do appreciate the fact that he doesn’t claim to have all the answers, but wrote the book to explore the questions he has while reading as well as those he as been asked throughout his years as a pastor.

Coming up…

I have several books I finished that I do want to review and share more thoughts about. I also have some good books I just started that I look forward to getting into this week. After that I have a college visit with my daughter coming up. I plan on enjoying this part of the process and not worry too much about how soon she will be leaving.

Disclosure: I participate in the Amazon Associates Program. If you decide to make a purchase by clicking on the affiliate links, Amazon will pay me a commission. This commission doesn’t cost you any extra. All opinions are my own.

In a Glass Grimmly by Adam Gidwitz

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The fairy tales (and nursery rhymes and Biblical allusions) are back with the absolutely true (and sometimes bloody) account of Jack and Jill. Yes, they fell down and hill and Jack indeed split his head open, but they were not sent up to fetch a pail of water. Oh no, they climbed a beanstalk, killed the giants, and then fell off the clouds. Why did they do this? Well, it has to do with finding a magic mirror or else they die. Of course, death and gore and horror lurk around every corner where Jack and Jill go in search of this magic mirror. If the giants don’t succeed in squashing them, then they might succomb to evil mermaids or devious goblins. Don’t forget the fire-breathing salamandar and the murderous Others.

At least the narrator is once again a reliable guide. He generously points out the places where it might be best to close your eyes or walk away from the book altogether. Except when he forgets. At least he apologizes after the blood and gore finishes dripping down the page. Just as I did in the first book, A Tale Dark and Grimm, I love the humor the narrator adds as he (or maybe she) interrupts the story to warn and taunt the reader.

Adam Gidwitz has created another hilarious (if somewhat bloody) romp through another collection of fairy tales and nursery rhymes with In a Glass Grimmly (Puffin Books 2012). Rather than connecting retold stories as he did in A Tale Dark and Grimm, he uses the fairy tales as inspiration and and jumping off point for original stories involving characters we thought we knew–llike the Frog Prince. He’s really just a frog, but a funny frog.

Even though this is a fun story to read, it explores big ideas that will resonate with readers young and old. For much of the story, Jack and Jill are con-fused. They can’t separate how they want others to see them from how they see themselves. It is only once they learn to see themselves clearly, that they find what they have been searching for all along.

Maybe that’s why fairy tales have such enduring power. Through tales of princesses and giants and enchantments, we learn to see more clearly through the fog that con-fuses us our “real” lives. Which fairy tales–fractured or not–help you to see life more clearly?

Disclosure: I participate in the Amazon Associates Program. If you decide to make a purchase by clicking on the affiliate links, Amazon will pay me a commission. This commission doesn’t cost you any extra. All opinions are my own.

I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai

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My mom passed on her copy of I Am Malala (Little, Brown and Company 2013) to me over the Christmas holidays. I have been thinking about Malala’s story ever since. I had heard on the news about the Taliban shooting her and two of her classmates. I had heard about her being awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace this past year. Those brief accounts on the news don’t do justice to Malala’s story as told by herself.

I have to confess that I know very little of Pakistan, much less the region of Swat, where Malala lived. She opened my eyes to a country and culture that is filled with beauty and wonder, yet also suffers under poverty and oppression. Malala was blessed that her father rejoiced in her birth (in a land where sons are usually celebrated much more) and encouraged her education.

Encouraged by her father, who spoke out against the Taliban, Malala found her voice and spoke out as well. For years before she was attacked, she found ways to speak out on behalf of peace and education–especially for girls. She wrote (under the pen name of Gul Makai) of her experiences living and going to school under Taliban rule for the BBC Urdue website. She and her father gave interviews about the need for all children–including girls–to have an education. Woven in with the accounts of her political actions are descriptions of daily life with her family and friends under the most trying of circumstances: an earthquake, Taliban executions in the town square, curfews imposed by the army, the sounds of battle and explosions, even travel as displaced persons.

I am most impressed with Malala’s attitude of peace and joy throughouth. Even though she at times lived in fear, she doesn’t let the fear control her life or limit her opportunities. She wants peace for her homeland and is willing to work to help bring it about. I am inspired by her courage and determination.

I wish the students I had–those who complained about school and thought it a waste of their time–could listen to Malala’s story and see how valuable education is. It is not a surprise that groups who want to oppress people go after schools first. Without education, people can easily be misled and controlled. Education–the ability to read, write, think, and understand the world–is the first step in creating a better life. I am glad Malala is speaking out for education for all, and I hope she is one day able to return to her homeland to bring that dream to reality.

Disclosure: I participate in the Amazon Associates Program. If you decide to make a purchase by clicking on the affiliate links, Amazon will pay me a commission. This commission doesn’t cost you any extra. All opinions are my own.

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

It’s Monday! What are you reading? Is a meme sponsored by Sheila at Book Journey.  Kellee at Unleashing Readers and Jen at Teach Mentor Texts gave the meme a kidlit twist.  It’s a great way to reflect on what you’ve read and reviewed the last week and plan what you want to read next.  Join up with us and discover what good books other people  are reading.

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I was so excited this week when I walked outside on one of the few sunny days between rain showers and saw purple crocuses. I have lots of bulbs starting to send up green shoots now that the snow has melted, but those brave crocuses were blooming brightly. My husband also brought home cabbage plants and spinach seeds to plant in the garden. Believe it or not, some spinach made it through the winter from last fall. It doesn’t took too good, but maybe it will bounce back while the new seeds sprout. I hope your week is filled with as much sunshine as rain this week. If our rain keeps up, I may have to break out the canoe to float to town!

I even wrote a review in honor of Pi Day on Saturday:  Navigating Early features the story of Pi, so it seemed appropriate!

I finished…

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Triumph of the Lion by Peter Danielson – A satisfying end to this massive saga–19 books in the series. I am sad to leave this world and the characters that populate it. Urnan, Eri, and Sunu remain loyal armorers and warriors to King David as he establishes the kingdom of Israel and makes his new capitol in the city of Jerusalem. The women they love–Jerioth, Balaan and Mara remain strong as well. The new children to be born to the Children of the Lion bring their gifts to life as well–especially Leah, who shows signs of supernatural tendencies. Kaptor journeys to Israel to scout out the land of Canaan for his brother, the Pharoah Sheshonk, and returns to Egypt after being thought dead to find things are not as he left them. Once again, it is a world filled with war and violence, but also with love and loyalty and honor.

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Navigating Early by Clare Vanderpool – Where do I even start praising this beautiful, haunting story of two boys–really more than just them–trying to find their way back home again after experiencing grief? It combines unforgettable characters, a mythic quest through the Maine wilderness, the story of Pi as told in the numbers and so much more. I won’t soon forget Jackie Baker, who lands far from his Kansas home in a boarding school in Maine. His voice tells the story and worms its way into my heart. Neither will I forget the strange boy, Early Auden, who becomes Jackie’s friend and gives him direction until he is hopelessly lost himself. They encounter saints and sinners, pirates and poets along their journey and discover that our lives interconnect in the most surprising ways.

I’m currently reading…

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Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott – There is so much writing wisdom packed into this book. The words that resonated with me this week: “Listen to your broccoli.” Somehow, someway, in order to write, I have to still the outside voices in my head (whether those that dream too big or those that crush any dreams at all) and listen to the voices within the story I am trying to tell. Easy to read about, but oh-so-hard to do. I’m listening and looking. Now I am going to sit down and write what I see and hear without worrying too much yet about where I’m going with this story.

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By the Book: Writers on Literature and the Literary Life from The New York TImes Book Review edited by Pamela Paul – The more of these interviews I read, the more I am fascinated by the different ways people read, the different books they are drawn to and the different histories they have with reading and literature. I am also humbled by how many books and writers I still have to meet. This week I met Katherine Boo, Marilynne Robinson, Sheryl Sandberg, Caroline Kennedy, Isabelle Allende and Anna Quindlin

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Learning to Walk in the Dark by Barbara Brown Taylor – This is another book that is giving me much to think about. For so much of my life (not all of it) darkness was something to be feared and to keep at bay with lights–nightlights, candles, flashlights, lamps, floodlights and more. In many of the stories I read, dark symbolized evil while light stood for all that is good. I suspect that darkness (both literal and symbolic) may have much to teach me, too. Friday night I even sat on the back porch, listening to the rain fall while darkness fell around me.

Coming up…

I’m obviously going to continue with the books I’m reading. After that, I’m going to dig into my baskets of books that make up my TBR pile. I may just pull one out at random and see where it takes me, or I might browse through the covers and choose one to match my mood.

Disclosure: I participate in the Amazon Associates Program. If you decide to make a purchase by clicking on the affiliate links, Amazon will pay me a commission. This commission doesn’t cost you any extra. All opinions are my own.

Navigating Early by Clare Vanderpool

Happy Pi Day! today is an extra special Pi Day since the date (3-14-15) gives five digits of pi instead of the usual three. I can’t think of a better way to celebrate than to share a book that weaves a story of Pi throughout a quest for two boys–and even more characters they meet along the way–to find their way home again.

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 Jack Baker has lost his bearings after the death of his mother. Instead of letting him stay in Kansas where landmarks show up against the sky, his father, a Naval officer before and during World War II, drops him to find his way alone at the Morton Hill Academy for Boys in Cape Fealty, Maine.

Jack narrates the story of his friendship with Early Auden, “the strangest of boys,” in a voice that is both matter of fact and heartbreaking. Jack makes a half-hearted attempt to fit in with the other boys, but there is too much he doesn’t know (rowing, the sea, school legends), and too much that they don’t know (grief, homesickness, lostness). Instead, Jack finds himself drawn to the mysterious Early.

Early rarely shows up to class. He has a workshop in the basement. He listens to Mozart on Sundays, Louis Armstrong on Mondays, Frank Sinatra on Wednesdays, Glen Miller on Fridays and Billie Holiday when it’s raining. When he looks at Pi, he sees colors and textures. He is convinced that Pi is lost and shares the story revealed in the numbers with Jack as they work together to build (or rebuild) a better boat. Jack even learns to row in a straight line with Early as his coxswain shouting out directions.

When Jack’s father doesn’t show up as planned for fall break, Jack joins Early on a quest to find Pi–and Early’s dead brother Fisher–and bring him home before he disappears completely. As they journey deeper and deeper into the Maine wilderness, they encounter characters that offer help and harm: loggers/pirates, a gruff woodsman and outdoor guide, a lonely old woman, an ugly girl who turns out to be beautiful and the biggest grizzly bear on the Appalachian Trail. Will they ever find their way home again?

I love the way Clare Vanderpool weaves together multiple stories in Navigating Early (Delacorte Press 2013). Both Jack and Early bounce between their past and present stories. Each of the characters they meet has a story as well. Then there is the story of Pi, that only Early can see in the numbers. Each of the stories and the characters within them connect in surprising ways. I will be thinking about this book for some time to come and looking at the connections in my own life in a new way.

Disclosure: I participate in the Amazon Associates Program. If you decide to make a purchase by clicking on the affiliate links, Amazon will pay me a commission. This commission doesn’t cost you any extra. All opinions are my own.

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

It’s Monday! What are you reading? Is a meme sponsored by Sheila at Book Journey.  Kellee at Unleashing Readers and Jen at Teach Mentor Texts gave the meme a kidlit twist.  It’s a great way to reflect on what you’ve read and reviewed the last week and plan what you want to read next.  Join up with us and discover what good books other people  are reading.

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I have gotten into a much better routine with my personal writing and business writing this week. Finding a routine that works for me has been freeing in many ways. I’m not wasting as much time, and when I’ve accomplished my goals for the day, I can check them off and then enjoy other work or reading for the rest of the day. My biggest accomplishment for the week is finishing the web copy for my copywriting website and putting it out in the world. If you want to check it out, you can find it at Kay McGriff Copywriting. After one last (I hope) blast from winter, we’ve been enjoying more spring-like days this weekend. Now for the season of mud!

I finished…

departed gloryDeparted Glory by Peter Danielson – Volume XVI presents a break from the prior books in the series. Urnan and Eri are Children of the Lion descended from Belsunu (from Book I), but they have no connection to the characters who filled the books coming immediately before It returns to the first books in several ways. The focus is on the metalworking skill–especially arms-making–of the Children of the Lion rather than on their occult powers. Once again a father (Urnan) and son (Eri) are separated by invading soldiers and sold in to slavery. Once again the Children of the Lion unite with the descendants of Abraham to fashion weapons for them. This time God raises up Saul to fight the Philistines with his friend Eri by his side. Meanwhile, Urnan finds himself in Egypt as friend of and armorer to the prince.

death of kingsThe Death of Kings by Peter Danielson – Saul is king of Israel, but he no longer has the support of Samuel and the priests. Urnan and Eri still fashion arms for the Israelites, but their loyaly is tested by Saul’s insane jealousy of the warrior David. Yes, the same David that slays Goliath and thousands of other Philistines. While life gets complicated for Urnan and Eri, they remain true to themselves–and to the God they almost believe in. I think my favorite character, though, is Urnan’s son Kaptar, left in Egypt with his mother, Tania. The Libyans threaten Egyptian rule, and Kaptor is determined to take a stand in spite of his youth.

shining kingThe Shining King by Peter Danielson – With the deaths of Saul and Jonathan, David is poised to become king of Israel–if he can convince Saul’s remaining son and his loyal general Abner to defer to him. Urnan travels to try to convince young Ish-bosheth to join forces with David–unsuccessfully. Eri stays with David, while young Suno breaks with tradition and becomes a warrior in David’s army, not just an armorer. Throw in young love and mature love and lots of political intrigue in Egypt (where Kaptor still protects his younger brother to put him on the throne of Two Lands one day) and you have another gripping saga. My favorite expression, though, comes from more than one of the Children of the Lion as they wonder why these stiff-necked Hebrews fight against each other when they have more than enough enemies outside their land to fight against.

I’m currently reading…

Triumph of the Lion by Peter Danielson – I’m just starting this last and final book in the Children of the Lion series. I can’t wait to see how it all ends, though I will be sad to leave the world of these books.

Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott – I read a little more. In my writing this week, I’m trying to trust her advice that I don’t have to know where I’m going when I start to write. I can learn where I’m headed through the process of writing. I also struggle with those first drafts. I labor over each word rather than just writing, trusting that I can find something valauble later and change the rest–or throw it out if needed. I’m also trying to pay more attention to the life around me.

By the Book: Writers on Literature and the Literary Life from The New York TImes Book Review edited by Pamela Paul – The first question in most of these interviews drives me crazy: What book is on your nightstand? I get that it’s asking what you are reading now, but I don’t keep books on my nightstand. I cannot read in bed. If I do, I never go to sleep because I get sucked into just one more page. Finally, I found someone else who is like me: Lee Child has the same problem. Other interviews I enjoyed this week were with Arnold Schwarzenegger, Francine Prose, Jared Diamond, Alain de Botton and Dave Barry.

Coming up…

I am finally going to finish the Children of the Lion Series. Then I’m ready to dive back into the stack of middle grade and young adult titles sitting around in stacks. I also have some nonfiction titles that I want to explore. I still have Christmas gifts I haven’t read yet!

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

It’s Monday! What are you reading? Is a meme sponsored by Sheila at Book Journey.  Kellee at Unleashing Readers and Jen at Teach Mentor Texts gave the meme a kidlit twist.  It’s a great way to reflect on what you’ve read and reviewed the last week and plan what you want to read next.  Join up with us and discover what good books other people  are reading.

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It’s been another week of cold and snow, but I’ve stayed toasty warm if a bit stir crazy. I was glad to get out this weekend and walk down the main road through the state forest. I love how the woods and river look draped in snow.

I finished…

trumpet and the swordThe Trumpet and the Sword by Peter Danielson – Gideon, a foolish braggart, is chosen by Yahweh to lead the Israelites back to the worhip of Yahweh and back to freedom. Those who are left of the Children of the Lion have fallen on hard times. Iri’s son Talus made it to Home, where he was banished to live in poverty. Theon lost his memory and lives another life. His twins, Hela and Gravis are stolen into slavery. Nimshi and Micah have been destroyed by the violence of their past. Luti sets out to warn MIcah of danger and ends up a slave herself. Even though this story is one of the darkest of the series so far, I found myself caught up in the drama and intrigue.

prophets and warriorsProphets and Warriors by Peter Danielson – Fortune has turned its wheel to crush the Children of the Lion with violence and betrayal, but they remain strong and survive. Theon and Talus find themselves enslaved by the evil Nuhara and working near death in a marble quarry. Only Talus’s carving ablity and  Theon’s eternal optimism sustain them. Hela and the mysterious child Tuk struggle to survive across the desert and hope to reconnect with any survivors from Home. Micah and Luti are forced by the priests of Astarte to spy on the powerful Phoenicians. Cotto and Purah throw their lot together since they have betrayed their people. Once more, the series is filled with violence, intrigue, love and betrayal.

I’m currently reading…

departed gloryDeparted Glory by Peter Danielson – This latest book skips several generations to the time of Samuel and Saul. As always, I’m enjoying the story and the characters, but I want to know what happened to Theon and Talus and Tuk and Hela. So far there has been no mention of those characters from the last book.

bird by birdBird by Bird by Anne Lamott – I didn’t read any of this one this week. It’s not that I don’t enjoy it and learn from it, but I am nearing the end of my massive series and want to race through to the end of it!

by the bookBy the Book: Writers on Literature and the Literary Life from The New York TImes Book Reviewedited by Pamela Paul – Just three interviews this week (see explanation above): PJ O’Rourke, Anne Lamott and Ian McEwan. I love it when I discover I share a favorite book when someone–even if its just through these interviews.

Coming up…

I have only four books left in the Children of the Lion series. Can I finish it? I don’t know, but I’m going to put forth a valiant effort!

What good books have you read lately? What books should I read once I finish this series?

 

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

It’s Monday! What are you reading? Is a meme sponsored by Sheila at Book Journey.  Kellee at Unleashing Readers and Jen at Teach Mentor Texts gave the meme a kidlit twist.  It’s a great way to reflect on what you’ve read and reviewed the last week and plan what you want to read next.  Join up with us and discover what good books other people  are reading.

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Cold and snow haved filled this week here in southern Indiana. I’ve had lots of opportunity to shovel snow, but haven’t left the house much otherwise. I am thankful to have a warm, cozy home with plenty of hot soup and fresh-baked bread to eat through these cold winter days. Even though the roads outside are still icy and the winds are still howling from the Arctic, I look forward to traveling through more dusy, desert lands as I read this week.

I finished…

promised landThe Promised Land by Peter Danielson – Pepi, son of Neftis and Apedemek, has faithfully served as armorer for the Israelites, but now Caleb and Joshua turn against him. I’m sure it had nothing to do with Pepi’s criticism of Joshua’s bloodthirsty destruction. Meanwhile, Iri’s search for his wife Keturah and their son leads him to the shores of Troy–and a war that grinds on for years over a face deemed the most beautiful of women. I did not expect to sit at an inn having dinner with Odysseus and Iri, but I grew to like the reluctant hero–but not the arrogant Achilles or sneaky Paris. Iri also adopts a son, Phorbus, who is just as faithful as any Child of the Lion with a birthmark.

invadersThe Invaders – Tyrants rise and fall and allegiances switch. Pepi left the Israelites who drove him out and was determined to help their enemies. Disillusioned with the brutality of the new oppressors, he returns to help the Israelites when Deborah speaks the word of Yahweh to Barak and Yael. The Greeks still battle outside the walls of Troy until the wily Odyesseus can come up with a plan to end it once and for all. Even when tempted by the love of a beautiful woman, Phorbus remains faithfuil to his promise to rescue Keturah and her son Talus. Nimshi and Micah attempt to start a new life, but violence finds them in the desert. And finally, Luti, another daughter of the Lion, makes a desperate trek to bring back designs for a new chariot and save the people of Babylon. While the mighty empire of Khalkeus struggles, Theon travels the world looking for the lost Children of the Lion.

I’m reading…

trumpet and the swordThe Trumpet and the Sword by Peter Danielson – I just started Book XIV this morning. I can’t wait to find out what is in store for Luti and Talus and Micah and Nimshi and Theon.Even just a few chapters in, I’m astounded at the turns of fortune. Where will they all end up?

bird by birdBird by Bird by Anne Lamott – I know the first time I read this book, I devoured it quickly. This time I’m reading more slowly, chewing on the thoughts about life and writing. I have so much to learn, but I can enjoy it along the way!

by the bookBy the Book: Writers on Literature and the Literary Life from The New York TImes Book Review edited by Pamela Paul – This week I enjoyed interviews with Jeffrey Eugenides, JK Rowling, David Mitchell and John Grisham. My favorite question (when it is asked and answered) is “What were your favorite books as a child? Do you have a favorite characgter or hero from one of those books? Is there one book you wish all children would read?” I love it when an author shares one of my favorites from childhood, but I find the question very hard to narrow down to just one book.

Coming up…

Now that the end of the series is in sight, I suspect I will focus much of my reading energy on The Children of the Lion–just a handful of books to go. I will miss these characters once I’m done with the series. I am glad I was able to pass on the books I’ve read to a friend. I can’t wait to hear what she thinks about them! I’ll also continue enjoying interviews in By the Book and savoring the wisdom of Bird by Bird.

What have you read this week? Do you have any favorite books from childhood?

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

It’s Monday! What are you reading? Is a meme sponsored by Sheila at Book Journey.  Kellee at Unleashing Readers and Jen at Teach Mentor Texts gave the meme a kidlit twist.  It’s a great way to reflect on what you’ve read and reviewed the last week and plan what you want to read next.  Join up with us and discover what good books other people  are reading.

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The Arctic blast has arrived, and snow is supposedly on the way. We’ve gotten excited a few other times this winter, but the snow has passed us. I’m ready for at least a little snow, but many not quite as much as Boston and the northeast has been getting. Whatever the weather, I’m ready to curl up with a good book and a mug of hot cocoa!  I hope you are staying snug and warm no matter the weather wherever you are.

I finisned…

exodusThe Exodus by Peter Danielson – I loved how Danielson wove together natural disasters and the power of Yahweh to tale the story of Moses leading the Habiru out of Egypt. I also loved the showdown between Moses and the evil magus Apedemek from the earlier books. As always, there was plenty of intrigue in the court as people jostled for power. The clan of the Children of the Lion continues to grow in unexpected directions as well.

sea peoplesThe Sea Peoples by Peter Danielson – One of the things that I love about this series is that even eleven books in, Danielson continues to surprise me. I did not expect to see pirates, but the storyline with the pirates in this book is one of my favorites. The Minotaur is not your typical pirate. He commands not one ship, but a fleet of ships, that he rules with the power of respect rather than violence. Seth’s son, Theon, infiltrates the pirate fleet–as a slave–to spy on the pirate and learn his secrets. The characters are also complex and vivid. Joshua takes over from Moses. He is a brillaint soldier, but he enjoys killing a bit too much. His bloodlust creates a rift between him and his childhood friend, Pepi, who is now chief armorer for the Israelites.

I’m reading…

bird by birdBird by Bird by Anne Lamott – This is a reread for me. I remember that I enjoyed it and learned from it the first time I read it with the Indiana University Southeast Writing Project site. I am getting just as much out of it this time. I am finding that as I read it, I want to stop and write! I am also reading this one much more slowly this time around. Now that I have decided to make a go out of freelance writing fulltime, I am even more eager to learn and to write.

by the bookBy the Book: Writers on Literature and the Literary Life from The New York TImes Book Review edited by Pamela Paul – This week I enjoyed interviews from Nicholson Baker, Emma Thompson and Michael Chabon. As I’m reading these, I want to know more about the reading lives of others. Not just famous writers, but the people I see in my daily life. Do you think the NYT Book Review would mind if I came up with my own questions regarding the literary life to ask people?

Coming up…

This week my goals are to write more. I have all these ideas bouncing around that I want to get down, and I want to finish the copy to launch my new copywriting website. Of course, I will find time to continue with the Children of the Lion and savor more of By the Book and Bird by Bird.

What are you reading this week?

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

It’s Monday! What are you reading? Is a meme sponsored by Sheila at Book Journey.  Kellee at Unleashing Readers and Jen at Teach Mentor Texts gave the meme a kidlit twist.  It’s a great way to reflect on what you’ve read and reviewed the last week and plan what you want to read next.  Join up with us and discover what good books other people  are reading.

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This has been a quiet week, which allowed me to catch up and finish several books that I had started. I’m looking forward to more good reading this week!

I finished…

sword of glorySword of Glory by Peter Danielson – In book VIII of the Children of the Lion, everything that could go wrong, does. Kamose is turning out to be worse than the wrongful pharaoh he is trying to overthrow. Members of an evil cult have influenced him and infiltrated all levels of the army. Riki quits the army in disgust and cannot overcome his grief over the loss of Teti–one of many plague victims. Seth sets out on a journey to discover the secret of his heritage, but is seduced by glittering temptations. Joseph’s descendents are enslaved and threatened. Will anyone–Baliniri, Mara, Miriam–be able to stand against the forces of evil long enough to ensure the safety of the foretold deliverer?

new geography of jobsThe New Geography of Jobs by Enrico Moretti – Moretti takes the long view of economics, looking at and describing trends that have developed over the past decades rather than the latest cycle of recession and growth. He describes a shift in the drivers of our economy from a manufacturing base to an innovation base. The internet didn’t do away with the need for proximity, but rather intensified it as he describes how various innovation hubs developed in particular locations. The good news for those areas are that they have the potential for continued growth, while the bad news for the rest of the country is continued decline. There are no easy answers to the growing divide he describes in detail, but understanding long-term causes as opposed to short term results is a start.

elements of styleElements of Style by William Strunk and EB White – I am amazed at how modern the wisdom contained in this slim little volume remains. This is a book to read slowly, to savor and chew on the writing advice and then strive to incorporate it into my own writing. I suspect I will refer back to it more than once as I continue writing. From the lucid explanations of grammar to the illustrations of style, I have much to learn.

delivererThe Deliverer by Peter Danielson – In Book IX, Moses has been groomed as a Prince of Egypt, to one day take over from the evil Amasis. Baliniri sends him as the head of an army to quash a rebellion in Nubia and continue his education. The mission also serves to keep Moses safe from the dangers lurking in the court at Thebes. Meanwhile, the Haibiru (the Hebrew descendents of Jacob) suffer in slavery and wait for their promised deliverer. What will happen when Moses learns of his true identity? All the way through the ninth book in this series, I have not been disappointed. The action is nonstop, but it is the characters I enjoy the most. Each generation of the Children of the Lion is filled with fascinating individuals who meet their destiny.

I’m currently reading…

exodusThe Exodus by Peter Danielson – Now it is time for Moses to fulfill his destiny–even though it is not at all what he imagined. The evil Apedemek has taken control over Kamose (poor guy can’t catch a break to just be himself) and even more evil spreads throughout Egypt.

by the bookBy the Book: Writers on Literature and the LIterary Life from The New York Times Book Review edited by Pamela Paul – I’m still enjoying these interviews. Reading them makes me even more curious about other people’s reading lives, not just famous authors, but the people I interact with throughout my days and weeks. How many good books could I discover?

Coming up…

Who am I kidding? I had plans to pace myself through the Children of the Lion series, but now that I’m halfway through with it, there’s no slowing me down through the last half of the nineteen books. I also plan to pick up Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott to read again. I may not be able to join in the online discussion, but following their reading plan gives me a reason to revisit old writing favorites and discover new one.

What have you been reading this week?

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