Monday, April 28, 2008

The Fortunes of Indigo Skye by Deb Caletti

Indigo Skye is a senior in high school. She has delayed entry so works as a breakfast waitress in a deli. Her sprightly personality makes a difference in a customer's life and he gives her a $2.5 million tip.
How she and the people around her deal with this windfall makes for a tear-inducing read.
I love Deb Caletti's writing. It's rich in cool metaphors and similes and her descriptions are to die for. I wish I had her talent!
I'm definitely going to recommend this book to all my students.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Sunday Salon

I woke up early again this week to read and I love it!

Here in NH it's cloudy and rainy and that just makes it seem cozier to sit in my flannel pajamas.

Ten Big Ones is a perfect name for this book because I laughed out loud at least ten times! A couple of them were honest-to-god guffaws, too!

I keep thinking that there is no way I can be surprised again by these books but I am every time. The characters just tickle me so!

Stephanie Plum is an inept bounty hunter whose reactions to events are real and honest and funny.

Her Grandma Mazur is the funniest old lady with her wisecracks and innocent knowledge.

Lula, Stepanie's sidekick, a former ho turned file clerk, never lets a murder get in the way of her self-absorption. Here's an example:

Ranger's man blasted a three-foot hole in the ceiling over Rodriguez and plaster flew everywhere.

"Hey," Lula said to Ranger's man. "You want to watch it? I just had my hair done. I don't need no plaster in it. Next time just shoot a hole in this punk-ass loser, will you?"

I've already bought the eleventh book in this series but I like to let a couple months go by in between reads. Something to look forward to.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

My First Ever Meme

I've been tagged by Paula Weston to participate in this "Page 123" meme. At first I thought it was going to be like the BTT entry a couple weeks ago, but this one is different even though it uses the same page number. The rules are pretty simple:

1. Grab any nearby book and open to page 123.
2. Find the fifth sentence.
3. Post the next three sentences.
4. Tag five people
5. Acknowledge who tagged you.

The book I picked is Pablo Neruda: Absence and Presence. (I'm still reading Ten Big Ones but forgot it upstairs next to my bed and my husband is still sleeping and I don't want to take a chance of waking him up!) This is a gorgeous book of poetry, photos, and remembrances. Page 123 is a photo so I turned the page to a remembrance of Pablo written by Julio Cortazar.

On my first visit two years before, he had embraced me with a "See you soon," which had taken place in France. Now, he looked at us for a moment, his hands in ours, and said, "Better not to say good-bye, right?", his tired eyes already far away.

That was it.

I'm not sure how I feel about these memes. They kind of remind me of chain letters and I've always hated those. On the other hand, it's interesting to read the sentences and maybe be intrigued enough to buy the book. Also, it's a fairly painless way of meeting new people and since I've only had my reading blog for about a month, I could definitely use new "friends." So, I'll reluctantly tag five people.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Finally, Some Reading Time

I started Ten Big Ones this afternoon. It was in the mid 60's so I sat on the porch in the sun and started the book.

It was probably not a good idea to sit outside, though, because I was laughing out loud at the book and the neighbors must have thought I was losing it.

Here's an excerpt:

My Grandma Mazur was at the front door, waiting for me. Grandma Mazur rooms with my parents now that Grandpa Mazur is living la vida loca everlasting. Grandma Mazur has a body like a soup chicken and a mind that defies description. She keeps her steel gray hair cut short and tightly permed. She prefers pastel polyester pantsuits and white tennis shoes. And she watches wrestling. Grandma doesn't care if wrestling's fake or real. Grandma likes to look at big men in little spandex panties.

"Hurry up," Grandma said. "Your mother won't start serving drinks until you're at the table, and I need one real bad. I had the day from heck. I traipsed all the way over to Stiva's Funeral Parlor for Lorraine Schnaigle's viewing, and she turned out to have a closed casket. I heard she looked real bad at the end, but that's still no reason to deprive people from seeing the deceased. People count on getting a look. I made an effort to get there, dressing up and everything. And now I'm not going to have anything to talk about when I get my hair done tomorrow. I was counting on Lorraine Schnaigle.

"You didn't try to open the casket, did you?"

"Me? Of course not. I wouldn't do such a thing. And, anyway, it was locked up real tight."

I just love this series! Reading each book is like visiting family. You love them but they embarrass the heck out of you.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Booking Through Thursday

Springing April 24, 2008

Do your reading habits change in the Spring? Do you read gardening books? Even if you don’t have a garden? More light fiction than during the Winter? Less? Travel books? Light paperbacks you can stick in a knapsack?
Or do you pretty much read the same kinds of things in the Spring as you do the rest of the year?

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

My reading choices don't change as much as the amount of reading I do. Here I am on vacation this week and I haven't read anything since Sunday. The weather has been in the 70's and 80's and I just want to be outdoors. I've even done some spring cleaning!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Maisy, Maisy, and More Maisy

My granddaughter, Kylie, came to visit overnight and she loves to read just like her Grandma. I am thrilled!

She adores Maisy and this one is her favorite. She knows some of it by heart. "Ooops! Wake up little black cat. This is the last stop."

When I was taking her home, we stopped first at Wonderland Bookstore and she asked the owner, "Can I have a new Maisy book?" Unfortunately, they were all out so we got Goodnight Moon 123 instead. She has memorized the original so was able to "read" this one just from looking at the pictures.

Then we went to the park, as you can see here. So much fun!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

A Must Read

Woke up early and sat in bed to finish Crank by Ellen Hopkins.

All teenagers should read this book! It will scare them shitless!

Kristina is a shy 16-year old who goes to visit her father during summer vacation. He's a loser who doesn't keep track of her. She meets a guy who offers her drugs and she gets addicted. It chronicles her attempts to buy drugs and the lengths she would go to to get them once she gets home where her mom and stepdad try to hold her accountable.

Written in lively verse, it's a quick read but the images will stay with me for a long time.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Prose + Poetry = A Winner!

This little book shines!

Baron Wormser wrote ten stories about ordinary people who each have a favorite poet and how the poetry affects their lives.

There's a waitress who finds validation in Sylvia Plath.

A grown orphan who lives each day with the joy of William Blake.

A high school junior who connects with Elinor Wylie.

A retired pharmacist who finds poetry in the simple things because of William Carlos Williams.

Wormser's prose is as poetic as the poems. This is a book I'll return to again and again.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Booking Through Thursday

Suggested by Nithin:
I’ve always wondered what other people do when they come across a word/phrase that they’ve never heard before. I mean, do they jot it down on paper so they can look it up later, or do they stop reading to look it up on the dictionary/google it or do they just continue reading and forget about the word?

Most of the time I google it if my computer is handy. I've learned so many new things this way. I remember reading The Eiger Sanction years ago and having to keep a dictionary nearby.

Of course, sometimes I'm too lazy or the book is so good that I just don't want to stop reading.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Sunday Salon

Perfect Match by Jodi Picoult

I woke up about 7 this morning and sat and finished this book. While not my favorite of hers, I really enjoyed it and my laundry just had to wait until I was done.

I like how she tells the story from different points of view and how each character has his or her own distinctive voice. Even five-year-old Nathaniel sounds like a kid. The guys are guys and the females think like women. She really is so talented.

I also love her writing style. It is so poetic and that is my first love. Her metaphors and similes are brilliant. They make the story so much easier to picture.

I read my first Picoult last summer and have a few more to go before I get caught up. That will be a sad day, indeed!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Booking Through Thursday

Writing Challenge April 10, 2008
Filed under: Wordpress — --Deb @ 1:07 am

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!)

I'm reading Perfect Match. Page 123 was blank so I went to the next page.

In the moments after, Patrick wonders how he could know that Nina's favorite number is 13, that the scar on her chin came from a sledding crash, that she wished for a pet alligator for three Christmases straight--yet not know that inside her, all this time, was a grenade waiting to explode. And then immediately afterward: Oh, God, what has she done?

I like the way this came out. Very cool!

Forgot This One

This is another book I bought at Borders last week. Just forgot to post it before. I've read several books by Caletti and they are very poetic. My kind of book!

I'm still reading Perfect Match and enjoying it but have been too darn busy this week to read as much as I'd like.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Bookstore Fun

It's always a treat to go to a big bookstore since we live at least 2 hours away from one.

This weekend I had a chance to go to Borders in Portland, Maine. It was Teacher Appreciation Week so everything was 25% off.

I got the following books for $58.00:


I started reading this and it's absolutely beautiful. The poems and pictures complement each other so well.

This one looks perfect for an English teacher because he writes about ten poets who have impacted his life and how their poetry can be relevant to anyone.

I read a book by him before and really liked it.

I've seen so many kids at school reading this book so figured I should, too. It's written in poetry and the first couple pages really grabbed my attention.

I always like to buy books for my two-year-old granddaughter, Kylie, because she just loves them so much. My sister recommended this one and she bought it for her two grandsons.

It contains funny poems about things that kids can relate to.


This is in the Myron Bolitar series. I've read all the others and I think this is the last one.

I hope this series never ends! I just love Grandma Mazur and Lula and the rest!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008


I love this book! The free verse is exquisite! Simple words that pack a wallop!
Lakshmi is a heroine we can all learn so much from.
The sad part about this book is that it happens all too often. Hard for me to even imagine.
I give it 5/5!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008


I forgot my poetry book at home this morning. Normally that wouldn't be a problem because on Tuesdays and Thursdays my kids write in thier journals instead of read.

Unfortunately, this is my week for detention and I've got to have a book to read while babysitting. I've just got to! So I started freaking.

Then I decided to check in our high school library for something to read. Our nice librarian suggested Sold by Patricia McCormick. It sounded interesting: about a young girl from Nepal sold into prostitution.

And the best part? It's written in verse! (Be still my heart!)

Once the detention kids arrived, I took attendance then never looked up from the book for the whole 50 minutes. It's absolutely beautiful!