Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Vocabulary and Turning Back Time..........

"Vocabulary, Vocabulary - how many words do you knooooow?" - Ever hear that song on PBS? 

Since the semester started at school, I am blown away by how many new words I've learned. The day my instructor rephrased what I was saying as "ambiguous" I thought, "I better step up my game, because I'm not sure what that means."

I found a new avenue for interesting words - turning back time. For one class, we studied a book written in the 1930's by a scholarly Native American. Not only did he use a Native voice in describing life, he also used a multitude of words that have grown out of fashion. Cravat?Treacle?Cosmograph?Cociferator? Some of these words don't even exist in my current Webster's online.  Another unexpected place I discovered a host of 1920's terminology used was in Arthur Spiderwick's Field Guide by Tonly DiTerlizzi and Holly Black.  When I read this to my son I had to start a list of 17 unfamiliar words they used to describe "Fey folk". Now in the modern world, most people don't speak "Fey" ;0) but in the literary world, it may just come in handy someday should I ever have the privilege to listen to a conversation between DiTerlizzi and Black on a "spate of nixies", read the secret second volume of Arthur's Field Guide, or maybe even meet Brandon Mull.......

What do you do with words you don't know????
Sunday, March 27, 2011

Spring Break in for your life!

Just in case you can't tell from my cheezy cell phone: it's a snowmonster devouring some snowmen!
Friday, March 25, 2011

Out of the Mouths of Babes.......

Wow! I saw another interview where he said we are all young in heaven. I love how he describes everything.

see it on Goodreads
Thursday, March 17, 2011

Book Review: Matched by Ally Condi

One look at the cover and I knew I had to read Matched!  The trailer sealed it for me (trailer link).What is the significance of the green dress?  What does the bubble mean? Matched to what or whom?

All these questions are answered in this fantastic dystopian romance. Ally Condie presents the perfect blend of coming-of-age, love triangle, and life in an alternate society.  The characters are pure of heart, respectable and the inclusion of the parents as intelligent, important characters made me love it even more.

Cassia lives in a world where everything is "optimal" - your meals provide optimal nutritional specifically designed for your body. Your job, and even your marriage are "matched".  While Cassia was excited that her childhood friend, Xander, was chosen as her match - something glitched when she reviewed his electronic profile. She sees another familiar face - Ky. How could this be? In their perfect society, nothing ever happens on accident. And that's just it - maybe it wasn't an accident?

I enjoyed the purity of the characters and their budding romance, but even more I enjoyed the aspects of the society. The way Ally Condie describes Cassia continually monitoring even her own thoughts to keep them in line with the society's standards just blew me away. The story reminded me of a modern, more appealing, flip-side of Aldous Huxley's Brave New World. I also enjoyed the present, first-person view - making it a quick read.

There were only a few things that bugged me about this story and they were just minor.  I felt that  after a lifetime of molding by society, Cassia was too quick to rebel and throw her emotions into someone she just realized is not who she thought he was. It was as if she could have had more interraction and more background and connection to the character before making these daring leaps. The other thing is that these characters' names are almost identical to the main characters in Firelight. Not that I think there's any copying or name-stealing, more likely these names are just popular right now, Xander and Cassia in Matched, Xander and Cassian in Firelight

Overall, I loved Matched! A clean, fun, fast read that will make you ponder societal control and make you want a shimmering green dress. While a few other books may rank a little higher in my all-time favorite list, for a strictly Young Adult recommendation, this one is absolutely the best! 
I give matched ***** 5 Shimmering Green Stars

Watch for the sequel Crossed this year and the third book in 2012. Now that the characters are truly matched- I have high hopes their story will be even deeper and  more adventurous in Crossed!
Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Look what's coming out...Vanish (Firelight sequel) by Sophie Jordan

I'm so excited to see this coming out already. Firelight  was one of my favorite books last year (review here).  So, who is this blonde on the cover? The face is the same, but her coloring is different. Is it Jacinda's sister Tamra, or could it be that Jacinda can manifest into a different human form?

Read the Goodreads preview hereVanish comes out September 6th, 2011.  Makes me want to re-read Firelight right now!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

New "Box" Store Open! The Spiderwick Store

My youngest son, Dakota, is the one I posted about a few months back being hooked on the Spiderwick Chronicles by Tony DiTerlizzi and Holly Black. See Post Here .  He's like me in that when he likes something, he REALLY likes it. I love that it has continually sparked his imagination like no video game could ever do.  This week he got the idea that he wanted to open a store and asked for the biggest cardboard box I could find. First, he started decorating it with little "Fantastical Field Guides" - the rectangles with the red crosses are actually the official guide as it's shown with the leather cover and red tie.   He says he's got a Spiderwick section and another section that I'm not sure about. Then, he put on his Jared clothes from Halloween to play the part.  He's selling us his toys and things for pennies and nickels - it's so cute! He's trying to earn enough money to buy a Field Guide that looks authentic. 
So far I am the proud owner of my very own Scooby-Doo hat, a Super Reader bookmark, Lego Club magazine, Grocery list tablet, Spiderman notepad and a FREE ducky necklace.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Borders Employees - We "get" them.

I know, I know, I need to get over this Borders closing...I'm working on it, but they are still teasing me with all their email and the store is still discounting and my son is still asking me to take him there and if the building will disappear.  I did make one last trip in there to buy a copy of Matched by Allie Condie since I didn't get it for Christmas. 
Borders is not the only one closing, we are also losing Old Navy. Why is it losing Old Navy is just a disappointment, but losing Borders is like having your best friend move away? I ran across this heartfelt letter written by an ex-Borders employee.   I think this sums up why we connect with them and why closing the only bookstore within 15 miles of our little town is such a pity....

Letter to the editor: It was rare privilege to work at Borders
I am one of the 27 about-to-be-displaced employees of the Borders Bookstore. I simply want to say that my coworkers and I loved our jobs at Borders, and have always appreciated the opportunity to share our devotion to books and music with you, our extraordinary customers.

Naturally I am as distressed as any of my Borders friends at the closure of this store. It is difficult to think we will no longer be here for you. It is a rare privilege to work at something you love so much! Whether conversing with others about books, authors or subject matter, or recommending reading or music that we hoped would give you some enjoyment, our job has been incomparable!

I want to thank the many customers who have supported us all these years, enabling us to pursue this love of ours. I must also add huge appreciation for the emotional support, the commiseration, and especially the suggestions of local businesses that are hiring, in this anxious time. I am luckier than some of my coworkers; I am already employed elsewhere. But many intelligent, hardworking and dedicated individuals, for whom customer service is never just lip service, are less fortunate. I would ask that if a resume from one of the Borders folks comes your way, you give it some consideration. I can't express enough how any employer would benefit from one of these fine folks in your employ.

I did take a quick look at the alternative indie store Country Bookshelf downtown, but as I expected on that sub-zero, windy day - no parking spaces available for blocks!

Click Here for Entire Letter
Friday, March 11, 2011

Diary of a Wimpy Kid 2: Rodrick Rules Trailer 2011 HD

Diary of a Wimpy Mom.....

For those of you who are a fan of Greg Heffley and his big brother Rodrick, you are in for a treat March 25, 2011 when the new movie comes out.  You can watch one version of the trailer here.

 One preview showed a clip of when Rodrick sneaks an unwrapped candy bar under Greg's seat on the way to church - alas, "poop!" is screamed in church and all eyes are on Greg.

So, last night I'm getting ready for my shift and I load my pockets with all the necessary items to keep me going until break: keys, candy,gum, loose change. I'm set.  At the end of my shift, a friend gives me a few new pieces of candy and I stuff them in there too.  What do I find when I get home and unload 5 hours worth of front- pocket junk?  Something akin to this......

I'm pretty sure I'm related to Greg. After all, we once shared the same last name...distant cousins maybe? 
Monday, March 7, 2011

Fearless, Foolish, or Right on Target?

Last week,  my mild-mannered 5th grader tells me, "I went to the principal today." I ask, "what for? " He replies, "I can't be on the swings until April 10th. I did a back-flip off it."

.......gulp!......Searching my mind for the proper "parental" response......I'm tempted to reply, "Man! You've got GUTS! I could never bring myself to do that," but of course it had to be, "You know why they sent you to the principal, right? You could have broken your neck...blah, blah, blah....paralyzed for life....we love you and don't want you to be hurt.......

Maybe he really does have the making to be a pilot like he dreams of....Mach2 and a roll in a fighter jet just might be his calling!
Thursday, March 3, 2011

Alternative Careers for TSA agents.....

.......Special Collections Librarians! The first time I had a Library tour at the college, I was entirely curious just what was behind that secure door? It's tucked away like a secret access, upstairs flat against a wall that is blocked from view. I mean, you have to have a code or be buzzed in. Twice now I've had to use a newly released book in the Special Collections room. I think this particular book is really there so that the class has access to it without taking it home.   So I go in there, sign the register, sign the paper requesting the  book I need and wait. I noticed that the books are behind two layers of glass and room looks like the librarian has the "big desk" and the students sit at tables like kindergarteners - closest to the librarian so they can keep an eye on you. Don't make the mistake of using a pen to take notes - they will be on you like stink on a sweatsock!  Don't dare put your backpack within 5 feet of where you are sitting either - apparently it goes to backpack jail until you are done. 

A little evil part of me wants to sit in there and let my hand hover over a pen every five minutes or so....or maybe I could ask for pieces of the collection starting with the call number 1.0 , 1.001, 1.002....etc., a little each day place my backpack closer and closer - maybe leave all the zippers undone with gaping sections looking like they are ready to swallow their treasures. 

I know, I'm supposed to be on their side - I am studying to be a librarian after all, but I think I need a little more convincing before I'm sure they really DO want to share their books!
Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Did Anyone Watch Parenthood Last Night? An Aspiring Writer's Dream!

Wow!  I must have missed an episode because I had no idea that Lauren Graham's character, Sarah, was an aspiring writer!  Apparently she snuck a copy of her work into an English Professor's house expecting he would hate it. After watching the 38 year-old character Sarah struggle to find her career path this season, it was so exciting to see her work validated by the professor.  Having missed the parts portraying her writing, I was blown away by this scene. One minute she's interviewing for a bar manager position, the next - a playwrite!  Now we can all look forward to Sarah finishing the second part of her play. I can't think of  many modern characters that are portrayed as writers in a way that viewers can relate like this one. Did anyone else catch this?

Click to watch episodes  (Usually current episodes are available a week after airing)