Book Addicts Calendar of Events
January 6 – January 19

One Time Events:
Second Annual “Writers in the Attic” Competition: Now through Friday, Feb 22, submissions will be accepted for the second annual Writers in the Attic writing competition. This year’s theme is “detour”. Stories will be blind judged by a local literary notable and be published as par tof the Writers in the Attic 2013 anthology. Competition guidelines and submission forms can be found at http://www.TheCabinIdaho.org

Boise’s Novel Orchard: Is seeking submissions for its zine NIBBLES. Appearing monthly, NIBBLES will give a glimpse of what writers in the Treasure Valley and beyond are doing. They’re looking for prose under 4,000 words, poetry is 22 lines or less, and black and white original artwork. Email Megan Justice (Megan.Justice@BoiseNovelOrchard.org) for more info or to submit your work

Hillview Book Club: Monday, Jan 7, 9:30 a.m., Grab your morning coffee or tea and a snack, get cozy and chat about this month’s book choice, Barnes & Noble in Boise

Pre-School Story Time: Tuesday, Jan 8, 2 – 2:30 p.m., Storytime with puppets and lots of fun for children ages 3 – 5, Sagebrush Room of the Library! at Cole & Ustick in Boise

Idaho Screenwriters Association: Tuesday, Jan 8, 6:30 p.m., Idaho Pizza, 7100 W Fairview in Boise at 6:30. Everyone is welcome. For more information, contact Sherry Cann at Sherry.ae@hotmail.com or visit their website at http://www.IdahoScreenwriters.blogspot.com

Partners in Crime Writing Group: Tuesday, Jan 8, 7 p.m., Interested in reading, writing, or publishing mystery, suspense, or true crime? Stop by the Partners in Crime writing group. New members always welcome! Barnes & Noble in Boise

Classics Club Book Club: Tuesday, Jan 8, 7 – 8:30 p.m., This month’s book is Hannah Coulter by Wendell Berry, Hyde Park Books in Boise

Bloomin’ Babies Story Time: Wednesday, Jan 9, 10:30 – 11 a.m., Contact the Main Library! branch for more information, YS Storwell room, Main Library! Boise

Toddle Tales Story Time: Wednesday, Jan 9, 10:30 – 11 a.m., Toddler storytime for ages 2-4. Big books, flannel stories, songs, ABCs, and counting for toddlers. Lemhi Room at the Library! at Hillcrest

Preschool Story Time: Wednesday, Jan 9, 10:30 – 11 a.m., A special story time for children ages 3-5, Sycamore Room at the Library! at Collister and in the Hayes Auditorium at the Main Library!

Become a Mad Scientist: Wednesday, Jan 9, 4 p.m., Come and do fun science experiments. Kids ages 6-12 are welcome. Sycamore Room of the Library! at Collister

Covering Idaho Kids!: Wednesday, Jan 9, 6 – 8 p.m., Are you struggling to provide health insurance for your children? Get the facts about the Children’s Health Insurance Plan (CHIP). A bilingual outreach worker will be available to answer questions. Bitterbrush Room at the Library! at Cole & Ustick

Night Owl Story Time: Wednesday, Jan 9, 7 – 7:30 p.m., YS Storywell room at the Main Library! Call for more information, Main Library! in Boise

Early Literacy Story Time: Thursday, Jan 10, 10:30 – 11:15 a.m., This fun storytime for preschool-age children is also a workshop for parents to learn ways to help their children develop early literacy and math skills that will help them be successful in Kindergarten and beyond. This series of storytimes runs on an 8-week cycle and focuses on a different skill each week. No registration is required. This week focuses on telling stories. Lemhi Room in the Library! at Hillcrest in Boise

Bloomin’ Babies Story Time: Thursday, Jan 10, 10:30 – 11 a.m., Contact the Main Library! branch for more information, YS Storwell room, Main Library! Boise

Preschool Story Time: Wednesday, Jan 10, 10:30 – 11 a.m., A special story time for children ages 3-5, Sycamore Room at the Library! at Collister and in the Hayes Auditorium at the Main Library!

Pre-K Korner: Thursday, Jan 10, 10:30 – 11 a.m., story time for children ages 3-5, Sagebrush Room at the Library! at Cole & Ustick in Boise

Toddle Tales Story Time: Wednesday, Jan 10, 10:30 – 11 a.m., Toddler storytime for ages 18 months – 3 years. Sycamore Room at the Library! at Collister

After School Fun: Thursday, Jan 10, 4 – 5 p.m., Fun programs for children ages 6-12, Hayes Auditorium at the Main Library!

Saturday Storytime: Saturday, Jan 12, 11 a.m., This week’s theme: noise, noise, NOISE! Join us as we read stories all about sounds and noises. Barnes & Noble in Boise

Story Time with Justeen!: Saturday, Jan 12, 11 – 12 p.m., Hyde Park Books, Boise

Idaho Writers Guild Luncheon: Tuesday, Jan 15, This is an opportunity to network with other writers and find out whats happening in your literary community. Bruce DeLaney will be the featured guest at this luncheon. Smoky Mountain Pizza and Pasta, 415 E. Parkcenter Blvd. in Boise, Visit http://www.IdahoWritersGuild.com for more details

Taproot Book Club: Tuesday, Jan 15, 6:30 – 8 p.m., in conjunction with Boise Novel Orchard, Dive into a different type of book club where we discover well-loved and not-yet-found books, Hyde Park Books, downtown Boise

Super School Agers: Wednesday, Jan 16, 4 – 4:45 p.m., Games and activities for kids age 6-12, Sagebrush Room at the Library! at Cole & Ustick

Books to Film Movie Nights: Wednesday, Jan 16, 6:15 – 8:15 p.m., Lauren Hillenbrand’s Seabiscuit, Light snacks are permitted. The movie is rated PG-13. The movie starts promptly at6:14 p.m. due to its length. Call the Library! at Collister for more information

Early Literacy Storytime: Thursday, Jan 17, 10:30 – 11:15 a.m., This week’s skill is writing your ABCs, Lemhi Room at the Library! at Hillcrest

Author Event: Thursday, Jan 17, Richard Rodriguez will be in Sun Valley as part of the Sun Valley Center for the Arts 2012-13 Lecture Series and Performing Arts Series. Rodriguez is a contributing editor at News America Media in San Francisco as well as the author of several books on class, ethnicity, and race in America. Visit http://www.SunValleyCenter.org for details and to purchase tickets

After School Fun: Thursday, Jan 17, 4 – 5 p.m., Fun programs for children ages 6-12, Hayes Auditorium at the Main Library!

Idaho Writer’s League, Caldwell Chapter: Thursday, Jan 17, 7 – 9 p.m., If your dream is to become a writer, regardless of your genre, be it novel, short stories, fiction, non-fiction, poetry, autobiography, or other, we are here to share information about contests, publishers, agents, and to give you support, opportunity for growth, and provide the tools necessary to help fulfill your goal as a writer. Caldwell Public Library 1010 Dearborn St., Caldwell, ID 83605, For more information or directions call (208)-459-6119, or (208)-859-4206 or email caldwell@idahowriterleague.com

Saturday Storytime: Saturday, Jan 19, 11 a.m., This weeks’ theme: Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Celebrating the memory of a very important man featuring books about his life. Barnes & Noble in Boise

Story Time with Justeen!: Saturday, Jan 19, 11 – 12 p.m., Hyde Park Books, Boise

Family Story Time: Saturday, Jan 19, 10:30 – 11 a.m., Main Library! Call for more information

 

Reoccurring Events:

Writers’ Block: Tuesdays, Noon – 1p.m., Boise Community Radio, KRBX 89.9. Hosted by Jennifer Sanders Peterson and Amanda Turner

Poet’s and Writer’s Open Mic: Every first Thursday, 7 p.m., Barnes & Noble, Idaho Falls

Nook Tablet Class: Saturdays, 10 a.m., Barnes & Noble, Boise

Nook HD/HD+ Class: Saturdays, 11 a.m., Thursdays, 6 p.m., Barnes & Noble, Boise

 

Writing Groups:

Boise’s Novel Orchard: This group meets the first Tuesday of every month at Hyde Park Books in downtown Boise. Visit their website for more information including cost. http://www.BoiseNovelOrchard.org

Idaho Author Association: Idaho authors coming together to support and help each other achieve success in the world of publishing. All published Idaho authors are welcome to join us as well as writers seeking help and advice. More info at http://www.facebook.com/groups/idahoauthorsassociation & http://www.facebook.com/idahoauthorsassociation

Idaho Falls Writing Groups: Looking for critique groups in Idaho Falls? Check out the Idaho Writer’s League website for more information. http://www.IdahoWritersLeague.com

Idaho Screenwriters association: Monthly meetings are the third Tuesday of the month and meet at Idaho Pizza, 7100 W Fairview in Boise at 6:30. Everyone is welcome. For more information, contact Sherry Cann at Sherry.ae@hotmail.com or visit their website at http://www.IdahoScreenwriters.blogspot.com

Idaho Writer’s League, Caldwell Chapter: The Caldwell Chapter of the Idaho Writer’s League is a unified support group for writers networking with other I.W.L. chapters throughout Idaho. If your dream is to become a writer, regardless of your genre we are here to share information about contests, publishers, agents, and to give you support, opportunity for growth, and provide the tools necessary to help fulfill your goal as a writer. For more info, call 208-459-6119 or 208-859-4206 or email Caldwell@Idahowriterleague.com

 

Reoccurring Contact Information:

• Library!! At Collister: 4724 W State St, Boise 83703, (208) 377-4995

• Library! Main: 715 S Capitol Blvd, Boise 83702, (208) 384-4076

• Library! At Cole: 7557 W Ustick, Boise 83704, (208) 570-6900

• Library! At Hillcrest: 5246 Overland Rd, Boise 83705, (208) 562-4996

• Barnes & Noble: 1315 N Milwaukee Rd, Boise 83704, (208) 375-4454

• Rediscovered Books: 180 N 8th St, Boise 83702, (208) 376-4229

• Hyde Park Books: 1507 N 13th St, Boise 83702, (208) 429-8220

• The Cabin: 801 S Capitol Blvd, Boise 83702, (208) 331-8000

The Christmas eReader battle: Nook vs. Kindle

It took me a LONG time before I finally caved and bought myself an ereader. I was being stubborn and indignant about technology’s progress when it came to books. By golly, I would hold a physical book in my hand and read it or not read it at all!

That was silly.

When Pam was deciding whether to get a Nook or a Kindle, I helped do the research. That’s when I realized they weren’t so bad after all. And they aren’t, they’re really quite remarkable with everything that’s been pumped into them. From HD streaming movies, to full color games, internet, social media, email, and of course, books.

So, with Christmas coming around, and Santa’s list beckoning to you from your purse or wallet, an ereader just may be on your mind. The next question is, which one should you get? Especially with the introduction of the HD models and all the tablets available, which one is truly best?

I’m going to try and help you with that. Please know, I’m not a tech-savvy guru by any means, nor do I know everything there is to know, but I have done a bit of research and have personal experience with my Nook, so that is what I’m going to enlighten you with.

I’m going to focus my info on the two main ereaders on the market: Barnes & Noble’s Nook and Kindle’s Fire. I’m not going to touch the tablets or the mini tablets because they’re tablets that can be used as ereaders. Their first function isn’t reading. Plus, that would be way too much for me to tackle. So, here we go. There’s a lot of information.

Nook Family

Kindle Family

Back when I purchased my ereader, I chose Nook for a couple of reasons:

1)      The Silk browser on Kindle really wasn’t any faster than the Nook’s browser

2)      I could side-load apps and the Nook had external storage

3)      There was a brick and mortar store I could walk into and get help with my Nook and

4)      My Nook could accept almost any format of ebook imaginable, whereas Kindle can only do only a couple

Looking at the new ereaders available now, and going off of what I’ve been using my Nook Tablet for (which they don’t offer anymore. I think the closest thing would be the HD+), and what I wish I could do with it, I would be tempted by the Kindle.

I feel dirty saying that.

Here’s why I’d be tempted:

1)      The selection of books and music and movies via Amazon is, undoubtedly far superior to that of B&N. There are millions of self-published authors you have access to

2)       The pricing tends to be more competitive, especially if it is a self-published author

3)      The 4G capability, a true tablet-esque feature

4)      The app store has FAR MORE choices and there are more free apps here than with B&N (not that I really use that many apps on my reader)

5)      I like the classic look of the Kindle over the new Nook HD

But in the end, I’d still go with my Nook. I haven’t had any real problems with my Nook that going into the store didn’t fix. And the extended warranty I purchased was painless when I had to implement it the day my Nook decided to go for a swim in a mug-full of coffee at the bottom of my purse.

So why buy the Nook over the $600 Kindle when it seems there are so many more reasons to pump out a hefty price? If you’re going to spend that much money on something that’s “close to” a tablet, throw in a couple hundred more dollars and buy an actual tablet. That way, you can do everything under the sun on it, and not pay a tablet price for a fancy ereader.

There you have it. A bit of info and my two cents to help you make your decision. Whichever way you go, though, they’re all pretty comparable and you’re going to get a good product with great customer service. If you know someone with either reader (or any ereader, actually; Kindle and Nook aren’t your only options), ask to play with it a bit and get a feel for it. See which setup you prefer and why. Then, make your purchase and help make a very merry Christmas.

Book burning and other such crazy talk

I’m glad the controversial reading list for Nampa High School has come up (Life Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquirel). It brings to light something that I’ve been working on blogging about, and it’s this: Content in YA books is not inocent.

Gone are the days of The Babysitter’s Club, Madeleine L’engle, and the Redwall series. Today is the day of Beautiful Disaster, Speak, and the Hunger Games. And the sooner that everyone realizes that, the better.

I’m not saying that EVERY young adult book out there is like that, but the majority of them have some sort of real-world issue happening. Dating, violence, love, sex, drugs. Life. That’s what it comes down to. Books are about life.

Often times, these books may seem ridiculous and over the top to us, but to a teen whose life is filled with life or death moments and earth-shattering-I’ll-never-survive-this! events, it’s not hard to believe why they consume books of this nature so voraciously. The story unfolding between the covers may not be your life or mine, but to a teen, feeling like they’re facing the same situation, it’s 100% relatable and real. Don’t downplay that for them.

I don’t believe that parents–or students–should be forced to read that content if it violates their moral/ethical codes. By all means, speak your mind, choose something else. But to act shocked that those books are out there–accessable to yor children–is an incredibly naive stance for today’s parents to assume. In fact, just the other day, I was at Costco and saw an eleven-year-old girl pick up a copy of 50 Shades of Grey, flip it open and start reading it. It’s a scary truth we live with.

Like I said, this controversy over reading material is not new but since it came up, I have been inspired to write this post.

  • Parents should know what their kids are reading and what’s available in the market today. Oh, a book about faeries? How sweet. Open up that cover to see just how sweet those faeries are. Do you want your child reading what the author has to say? It’s your decision and responsibility to choose what your kids are exposed to and when they are mature enough to handle it. You know better than anyone else what’s apporpriate.
  • Instead of taking the easy path and simply saying yes or no without doing your research is an injustice to yourself, your children, and the school system. Read it for yourself instead of jumping on the nearest bandwagon. Understand the environment and the culture from which the story and/or the author is coming from. Read, in context, the “questionable” scenes that come up. Comprehend the underlying theme of what the story’s saying. THEN make your decision, and sit down and explain to your kids why, so they can understand.
Here are the top ten most frequently challenged books of 2011 according to the ALA (American Library Association):
  1. ttyl; ttfn; l8r, g8r by Lauren Myracle
  2. The Color of Earth by Kim Dong Hwa
  3. The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins (A best selling series, VERY successful movie, and one of my favorite books)
  4. My Mom’s Having a Baby! A Kid’s Month-by-Month Guide to Pregnancy by Dori Hillestad Butler
  5. The Absolutley True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Serman Alexie (I should mention that this book has received quite a bit of recognition and praise and was voted as one of the top YA books for the summer in NPR’s poll)
  6. Alice by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
  7. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
  8. What My Mother Doesn’t Know by Sonya Sones
  9. Gossip Girl by Cecily Von Ziegesar (popular television series on the CW)
  10. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

But what abou you? What are your thoughts with the books that are in question? What are your thoughts with the content of YA books in general? or the access kids have to them? What role should the schools play in this? What rolls should the parents and/or kids play, if any?

Calling Idaho authors

Do we have news for you!  Book Addicts has been so popular that the paper has agreed to give us two columns a month.  Beginning in September, our column will print the first and third Sundays in the Life section. And to show our appreciation to all our readers, we are devoting the first Sunday column each month exclusively to Idaho authors.

 Idaho has many gifted writers. We’ve been inundated with so many of your books that we realized to do your talent justice; we needed a column just for you. This means if you were born in Idaho, were raised in Idaho, or went to college in Idaho, we’re interested in profiling your book. On the other hand, if you great-aunt had a farm in Emmett you visited once a year, I’m afraid you’re out for this column. But don’t write us off, send your book anyway and it may make it in the second monthly column or onto our blog.

As you know, Book Addicts is devoted to fun reads.  Books you can simply kick back and enjoy. But we will make exceptions for our Idaho column. If you wrote a book in any genre and would like us to consider it, go ahead and send it.  We are so interested in highlighting Idaho authors we’ll expand our platform just for you.

The easiest way is to have your publicist or publisher email us an epub file to BookaddictsIDS@gmail.com.  If you wish to send a hard copy, mail it to: Book Addicts, c/o Idaho Statesman, PO Box 40, Boise, ID 83707.

Top 100 teen reads for the summer. Do you agree?

I ran across a pretty interesting article today on Twitter from @NPRBooks: Your Favorites: 100 Best-Ever Teen Novels. Well, with a title like that, I had to go and check it out. The list (below) was a result of teens voting, more than 1,200 nominations.

What I thought was most interesting about this article was the eclectic array of books that showed up in the spread. Since the voting was left up to the people, I was quite surprised when I saw books like The Catcher in the Rye (#6), The Princess Bride (#17), and Flowers for Algernon (#23), and not so surprised when I saw (in my opinion) brain cell wasting books like the House of Night series (#68) and the Fallen series ( #67).

It didn’t come as a shock when the Harry Potter series was listed as number one and The Hunger Games series as number two, but I was a tad surprised when I saw that the Twilight series was listed as #27  (not that I thought it that great of a series, but there is a huge fan base–both young and old–that think it’s the greatest thing since sliced bread). I also found it interesting that several authors were duplicated on this list (meaning different books made the cut), like Cassandra Clare (#21 & #29), John Green (#4, #9, #20, #22, & #34), and several others. Could it be that the YA audience is actually starting to demand substance and good writing as well as an intriguing read in their books? Let’s hope so. But if the top 10 are any kind of indicator, then I think our youth are on the right path to good reading.

But what about the Chronicles of Narnia Series by C.S. Lewis or the Iron Fey Series by Julie Kagawa or the Redwall Series by Brian Jacques? Those are AMAZING.

I’ve read 25 books on NPR’s list while owning another 11 that I’ll be getting to soon.

And now, for some fun numbers regarding genre:

  • 22% are fantasy
  • 12% are dystopian
  • 14% are classics
  • 37% are contemporary/literary
  • 15% are paranormal

What about you? How many have you read? Do you agree with the list? Which book(s) should be on there that didn’t make it? Which should be taken off?

  1. Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling
  2. The Hunger Games Series by Suzanne Collins
  3. To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  4. The Fault In Our Stars by John Green
  5. The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
  6. The Catcher In The Rye by J.D. Salinger
  7. The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
  8. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
  9. Looking For Alaska by John Green
  10. The Book Theif by Markus Zusak
  11. The Giver Series by Lois Lowry
  12. The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy Series by Douglas Adams
  13. The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
  14. Anne of Green Gables Series by L.M. Montgomery
  15. His Dark Materials Series by Philip Pullman
  16. The Perks of Being A Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
  17. The Princess Bride by William Goldman
  18. Lord Of The Flies by William Golding
  19. Divergent Series by Veronica Roth
  20. Paper Towns by John Green
  21. The Mortal Instruments Series by Cassandra Clare
  22. An Abundance Of Katherines by John Green
  23. Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes
  24. Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
  25. The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time by Mark Haddon
  26. Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
  27. Twilight Series by Stephenie Meyer
  28. Uglies Series by Scott Westerfield
  29. The Infernal Devices Series by Cassandra Clare
  30. Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt
  31. The Absolutely True Diary Of A Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
  32. The Sisterhood Of The Traveling Pants Series by Ann Brasheres
  33. The Call Of The Wild by Jack London
  34. Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green & David Levithan
  35. Go Ask Alice by Anonymous
  36. Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones
  37. Stargirl by Jerry Apinelli
  38. A Separate Peace by John Knowles
  39. Vampire Academy Series by Richelle Mead
  40. Abhorsen Trilogy by Garth Nix
  41. Dune by Frank Herbert
  42. Discworld/Tiffany Aching Series by Terry Pratchett
  43. My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult
  44. The Dark Is Rising Sequence by Susan Cooper
  45. Gracelng Series by Kristin Cashore
  46. Forever… by Judy Blume
  47. Earthsea Series by Ursula K. Le Guin
  48. The Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolini
  49. The Princess Diaries Series by Meg Cabot
  50. Song of the Lioness Series by Tamora Pierce
  51. Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson
  52. Delirium Series by Lauren Oliver
  53. Anna And The French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
  54. Hush, Hush Saga by Becca Fitzpatrick
  55. 13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson
  56. It’s Kind Of A Funny Story by Ned Vizzini
  57. The Gemma Doyle Trilogy by Libba Bray
  58. Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
  59. The House On Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros
  60. Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury
  61. The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier
  62. Just Listen by Sarah Dessen
  63. A Ring Of Endless Light by Madeleine L’Engle
  64. The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen
  65. The Bartimaeus Trilogy by Jonathan Stroud
  66. Bloodlines Series by Richelle Mead
  67. Fallen Series by Lauren Kate
  68. House of Night Series by P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast
  69. I Capture The Castle by Dodie Smith
  70. Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist by Rachel Cohn & David Levithan
  71. Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver
  72. Unwind by Neal Shusterman
  73. The Last Unicorn by Peter Beagle
  74. The Maze Runner Series by James Sashner
  75. If I Stay by Gayle Forman
  76. The Blue Sword by Robn McKinley
  77. Crank Series by Ellen Hopkins
  78. Matched Series by Ally Condie
  79. Gallagher Girls Series by Ally Carter
  80. The Goose Girl by Shannon Hlae
  81. Daughter Of the Lioness / Tricksters Series by Tamora Pierce
  82. I Am The Messenger by Markus Zusak
  83. The Immortals Series by Tamora Pierce
  84. The Enchanted Forest Chronicles
  85. Chaos Walking Series by Patrick Ness
  86. Circle Of Magic Series by Tamora Pierce
  87. Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor
  88. Feed by M.T. Anderson
  89. Weetzie Bat Series by Francesca Lia Block
  90. Along For The Ride by Sarah Dessen
  91. Confessions Of Georgia Nicolson Series by Louise Rennison
  92. Leviathan Series by Scott Westerfield
  93. The House Of The Scorpion by Nancy farmer
  94. The Chronicles Of Chrestomanci by Diana Wynne Jones
  95. This Lullaby by Sarah Dessen
  96. Gone Series by Michael Grant
  97. Shiver Trilogy by Maggie Stiefvater
  98. The Hero And The Crown by Robin McKinley
  99. Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson
  100. Betsy-Tacy Books by Maud Hart Lovelace

 

Dictionaries are for amateurs

I come from a family of avid readers. When other families gather, they play ball or watch sports on TV. We’re confused. Why would they waste precious time doing that? Our get togethers consist of exchanging stacks of books with other siblings. We keep lists of recommended authors on us in case we pass a used-book store and have ten minutes to stop and browse. However we’re not purists who insist on holding an actual paper book, all of us have embraced eBooks. I have the cachet of being the first sib to discover how to check out books on them through the Public Library.

Despite our fear an eReader wouldn’t give the intrinsic pleasure of holding an actual book, the prospect of never being without a book outweighed any misgivings. I now carry, to date, 382 books in my purse on my Kindle. Thus far we’re one hundred percent in the Kindle camp, but we wouldn’t sneer at a Nook user; we would just warn them that if they do buy a Nook, it won’t be compatible and therefore they won’t be able to borrow from us.

However, our prolific reading has an embarrassing downside. It makes us assume we are more knowledgeable than we are. For example, when we happen upon an unknown word we don’t immediately pick up the dictionary – dictionaries are for amateurs. The context of the sentence gives us the meaning of the word. For instance, when I read “Her vermillion handbag, matched her scarlet shoes,” I know that vermillion is a synonym for scarlet and my mind paints it a brilliant tomato red. We look good on paper because we can spell the word and use it correctly and thus continue on in our ignorance.

Our shortsightedness shows up when we have occasion to introduce these new words into our conversation. For example, I was in college before I realized that a false front was not a fuh-kade as I always said in my mind when I read it, it was a fuh-sod. And chaos, pronounced chay-ose in my mind, turned out to be kay-oss. This one is a bummer because I actually like my pronunciation better. The ignorance continued because I became enamored with foe-kuh-chee-uh bread, and scowled when the salesperson didn’t understand what I wanted. She had to gently explain that it was foe-kay-sha bread.

Our most humorous – and David, I hope you’re still in Rwanda and won’t read this – happened at supper when we were teens. Sitting around the table, talking about a supposed friend who had suddenly become stuck-up, David muttered, “He’s so pee-us.” In our conservative God-fearing, Bible-reading home we’d never heard such profanity. Then it clicked. “It’s pious, David, pious.” As in the way of all good stories, it’s become our word for holier-than-thou individuals ever since.

Surely the Brueggemann’s aren’t the only family who suffer from malapropism. Share yours and let us laugh at someone besides ourselves.

Make Your Own E-Reader Cover

Have you priced the covers for eReaders? While they are down from the astronomical prices a few years ago, it’s still not uncommon to pay $50 to $100 for a cover. So chances are you only have one. As usual, creative folk have ways to avoid paying those costs, plus make them personalized. A co-worker, Charla, has made several covers for her Kindle, and she allowed me to photograph them and include her instructions for inspiration. Her first one grew out of her childhood love for Nancy Drew. She purchased a book from a thrift shop to use as her cover. It was so darling she grew more adventuresome and now has them created from other books and journals.
Image
Here are the instructions. You will need:
1. Something to turn into a cover: Think books, journals, and notebooks with stiff covers. Remove the pages from inside so you just have a shell.
2. A piece of felt in a coordinating color that is 1/2” larger than the height and width of the cover laid flat.
3. 12” of ¼” sewing elastic – any color you prefer, cut into 4 equal sections.
4. Elmer’s or Tacky glue.
5. Piece of thin cardboard such as a cereal box.
6. Sewing machine – needle & threat would work, machine stitching is more secure

Instructions:
1. Place your reader on the cardboard, trace around it and cut two shapes.

2. Lay your felt on the table below your opened cover and position the two pieces of cardboard in the center of the left-hand and right-hand sides of the felt. Glue the cardboard pieces to the felt, then pull the extra felt around the top and sides, gluing them around the edges. When finished you will have 2 semi-firm sides of a book liner with the spine free. For additional hold while the glue dries, use paperclips to hold edges.

3. Place it right-side up (cardboard hidden) on the table. Using the illustration above, cut four slits in your cover alongside the spine. The slits are approximately 1.5” from the bottom and top of the liner. Insert ½” of one piece of elastic in the slit and sew it to the felt and cardboard, making sure not to stitch the 2 ½ “ that is free.
4. Bring the free edge of the elastic to the bottom of the felt, 1.5” from left-hand corner, curve under the edge, pulling it tight enough so it will be able to hold a corner of your eReader securely in place. Sew the second end through the felt and cardboard.

5. Turn the liner over and cover the left and right sides completely with glue, being careful not to get any on the spine section, and secure to the book back. When dry, you can place the eReader in the loops and it will be secure.

I have included several photos of Charla’s three covers. In one you will notice that her eReader loops are on the left-hand side. She created this one for church, so the reader is on the left and a pad is secured on the right for note taking. If you decide to make one of your own, we’d love to see it and share it on the blog. So send us pictures.

67 Books Every Geek Should Read to Their Kids Before Age 10

67 Books Every Geek Should Read to Their Kids Before Age 10 from  http://www.wired.com/geekdad/ (Raising Geek Generation 2.0) has listed 67 books they think are important enough that they should be  read aloud to your kids. As a public service, I have listed the Geek’s list of 67 books below.

Keep in mind that it’s a subjective assessment of literature, which has kept me from yelling Why isn’t The Velveteen Rabbit on here? As I perused the list, positive that had probably read each and every one of them, I began to wonder where I’ve been because I’d never heard of several of them.  Like Hugo Cabret. Now that I’ve seen the movie I’m definitely going to read the book.

Some of the picks surprised me like Half Magic. I remember it from my childhood and while enjoyable at 10, not sure it would be memorable enough to make the list. But nostalgia kicked in and I journeyed onto E-bay and discovered that I could get a copy for $4.99. So I ordered it.

If nothing else, the list gives you a jumping off point to find books to enjoy with your children.

  1. Hugo Cabret by BrianSelznik
  2. The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame
  3. Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo
  4. Junie B Jones Is a Party Animal by Barbara Park
  5. Where the Sidewalk Ends, A Light in the Attic, and Falling Up by Shel Silverstein
  6. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K.  Rowling
  7. The Princess Bride by William Goldman
  8. Enders Game by Orson Scott Card
  9. The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
  10. Coraline by Neil Gaiman
  11. Half Magic by Edward Eager
  12. Arabel’s Rave by Joan Aiken
  13. Peter and the Starcatcher by Dave Barry & Ridley Pearson
  14. The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents by Terry Pratchett
  15. The Borrowers by Mary Norton
  16. The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
  17. The 13-1/2 Lives of Captain Bluebear by Walter Moers
  18. The Cartoon History of the Universe by Larry Gonick
  19. Danny Dunn and the Homework Machine by Raymond Abrashkin and Jay Williams
  20. Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney
  21. The Adventures of Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson
  22. The Mad Scientists’ Club by Bertrand R. Brinley
  23. The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan
  24. Savvy by Ingrid Law
  25. Shredderman Series by Wendelin Van Draanen
  26. The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo
  27. The Far Flung Adventures trilogy by Paul Stewart and Chris Riddell
  28. The Mouse and His Child by Russell Hoban
  29. Mrs. Frizby and the Rats of Nimh by Robert C. O’Brien
  30. The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall
  31. The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster
  32. Toys Go Out by Emily Jenkins
  33. Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin
  34. The Search for WonderLa by Tony Diterlizzi
  35. James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
  36. The House with a Clock in its Walls by John Bellairs
  37. Tales of aFourth Grade Nothing  by Judy Blume
  38. Charlotte’s Web by E.B.White
  39. The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein
  40. The Silver Crown by Robert O’Brien
  41. Holes by Louis Sachar
  42. The Big Orange Splot by **
  43. Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder
  44. Stuart Little by E.B.White
  45. The Railway Children by Jacqueline Wilson
  46. From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by e.l. konigsburg
  47. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl
  48. Septimus Heap series by Angie Sage
  49. The Mysterious Benedict Society series by Trenton Lee Stewart
  50. A Whole Nother Story by Dr. Cuthbert Soup
  51. The House of Dies Drea by Virginia Hamilton
  52. The Lorax by Dr. Seuss
  53. Tikki Tikki Tembo by Arlene Mosel
  54. Whinn-the-Pooh by A.A. Milner
  55. Little Bear books by Else Holmelund Minarik
  56. A Wrinkle in Tim by Madeleine L’Engle
  57. Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss
  58. Amelia Bedelia by Peggy Parish
  59. In the Night Kitchen by Maurice Sendak
  60. Curious George by H.A. Rey
  61. Frog and Toad Are Friends by Arnold Lobel
  62. Owl At Home by Arnold Lobel
  63. Henry and Mudge by Cynthia Ryland
  64. Clifford the Big Red Dog by Norman Bridwell
  65. Arthur Writes a Story by Marc Brown
  66. Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
  67. Narnia Series by C.S. Lewis, especially The Lion, Witch, and the Wardrobe

Think Only Kids Like to Be Read To? Think Again!

Readers are a snooty lot. We look down on others who ignore a book, and shudder at those who say they’ll wait for the movie to come out. In fact, we generally shun the movie, certain that it cannot equal the book. Readers cannot comprehend someone who admits “I haven’t read a book since high school.”  We’re so pretentious we have our own hierarchy.  The Only Classics readers claim top shelf, the middle ranks are the aficionados of non-fiction, mystery, biography and romance, while the bottom shelves are allotted to lovers of graphic novels.

As an avid reader, imagine my surprise to discover I married a non-reader. Let me clarify that statement: He is a non-recreational reader. He reads a lot in his job as a pastor. And what with sermon research and studying, reports and correspondence, when he gets home all he wants to do is relax in front of the TV. Coming belatedly to the understanding that he is an audio learner I now realize he chooses to relax watching TV because of the audio output.

But I still found myself wishing he read for leisure because there were books I’d like to discuss. One day on a long car trip he got bored and glancing at the book I was reading said, “Why don’t you read it to me?”  I did.  It was The Great Train Robbery by Crichton. We both enjoyed it so much that it started our book-sharing pastime.

I’ll let you in on a little secret of speed readers: We do not read every word.  In fact, we tend to go down the middle of a page, peripherally gathering the words along the edges. However, I discovered that when I read it aloud, I get every word – like a whole new story for me.

Since we began this pastime, we have met several other couples who also enjoy reading aloud. Archie reads to Verna each evening while she crochets, Cora reads to David while he fixes dinner, and Ty reads business/research books to her husband to free up his working hours for other responsibilities.

So if you’re a reader and despair of someone in your family not sharing your addiction. Maybe you can whet their appetite in another way: Read to them.

Three Books and A Desert Island

If you surf the web for any time you find all sorts of interesting ways to waste time.  Surveys and questionnaires abound. and I’m going to use one of them myself to ask: If you were going to a deserted island and could only pack three books, which three would you take?

Here are mine:

The Bible – King James version because the words are beautiful even if sometimes mystifying

Gone with the Wind, by Margaret  Mitchell – I loved it in the eighth grade, and it’s long — an important consideration for a deserted island

Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein – maybe I’ll finally have time to finish memorizing Sick — I’m up to “…my hip hurts when I move my chin.”

Okay, you’re up.  Which three would you take?