Tuesday, May 19, 2015

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

A little while back, I read The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins, but I had yet to blog about it.  I got this title off of the list of books to read for fans of Gone Girl, but it was only really after I read it that the book took off.  Suddenly it was on tables at all the bookstores, and when I told people I was reading it or had read it, they told me they'd seen it recently or had just bought it themselves.

I loved this book, in some ways even better than Gone Girl.  It was basically the story of Gone Girl if Amy hadn't been Amy, and hadn't been scheming to get her husband in trouble.  How would it have changed things if she was missing for a valid reason, instead of her own conniving?

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

What are your favorite books with strong female main characters?

This article is a couple months old, but I just ran across it today, and I love it:

29 Awesome Books With Strong Female Protagonists

I love me a good book with a strong heroine, and this list has some of my all-time favorites, such as Jane Eyre, From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, and The Island of the Blue Dolphins.  I was a bit disappointed that Phillip Pullman's His Dark Materials wasn't on there, because Lyra is one of the strongest and most defiant female characters I have ever read about, but I guess there are plenty others that didn't make the list, too.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier

I haven't read Daphne du Maurier's Rebecca recently, but I've been thinking of rereading it.  The 13-year-old I nanny for read it not too long ago, and Anne Rice has been posting about it a lot of Facebook.  It's one of my favorite women's classics and one I go back to from time to time.  I even have a first edition copy.

Anne Rice posted this article recently, which I thought was very good:

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Barnes & Noble's summer reading program

In previous years, I've encouraged the kids I nanny for to do the Barnes & Noble reading challenge, as well as the one with the local library.  From B&N, they earn a free book, and from the library they earn a series of three prizes, usually a reusable book bag, a book, and a choice of either a book or a ticket to Elitch Gardens (our local amusement park).

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Are libraries still useful or necessary?

NPR ran a story today that made my heart skip a beat: Do We Really Need Libraries?

Yes, yes, yes, of course we do!

If anything, I think, over the years libraries have evolved to fill more needs in the communities they serve.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Free e-book of All the Light We Cannot See

Does this show up as free for you?

All the Light We Cannot See

It was free for me, so I downloaded it, and it appears to be the entire book, not just a sample.  Perhaps it's to celebrate the Pulitzer Prize the book won for 2015.  In any case, if you're interested I suggest downloading it as soon as possible, as there is no telling how long the sale will last!

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Reflections on reading habits, skipped grades, and gifted kids

I read very early as a kid, my parents say by the time I turned 3.  As a result, when I started kindergarten and everyone was just learning to write individual letters, I was bored.

My school in Tennessee started out by putting me in the first grade reading group every day, but eventually (I don't actually know how long it took) they moved me up into first grade entirely.  I stayed a grade ahead from then onward, even when we moved to Colorado the summer before second grade.

So I have a vested interest in articles like this one:

Skip A Grade? Start Kindergarten Early? It's Not So Easy

Free ebooks for poor kids

There's a new plan afoot: to give free ebooks to poor kids.  It's part of the Obama administration's newest plan to get more books into the hands of underprivileged kids.

"Children should not be unable to get reading materials because their parents don't have money," says Carolyn Reidy, president and CEO of Simon & Schuster, which has offered up all of its titles for kids from 4 to 14.

Candlewick Press, publisher of the popular Judy Moody series, is also opening its catalog.

"We really, really care about getting books to all kids," says Candlewick CEO Karen Lotz. "Kids who can't afford them. Kids who are in rural areas and not near bookstores."
As the article points out, the biggest hitch in the plan is how to deliver the books to the kids.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Happy Independent Bookstore Day!

Today is Independent Bookstore Day.

From the official site:

Independent bookstores are not just stores, they’re community centers and local anchors run by passionate readers. They are entire universes of ideas that contain the possibility of real serendipity. They are lively performance spaces and quiet places where aimless perusal is a day well spent.
So true, isn't it?  I love spending time at bookstores, whether I'm browsing the shelves, sitting and reading, or even just hanging out and working on my laptop.