Current Reading List

  1. Paperback: Sidewalk Oracles: Playing with Signs, Symbols and Synchronicity in Everyday Life (book web connections to everything in life)
  2. Audio: The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend (book web connections to geneaology in Sweden)
  3. Audio: One Hundred Years of Solitude (book web connections to reading #1 as it has been mentioned in that book)
  4. Hardback (and for a reading club): The Sound of Glass (no book web connections at this time


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Should I merge or abandon?

I haven’t written in this blog for a long time. I think it’s because I have so many interests that I need to merge them into one, BUT, then where is the focus in each of the blogs to go.

I read so much that I would constantly be adding book topics to whatever the merge becomes.

Alas, I don’t know what to do.

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Reader Rant

Posted to Facebook:

READER RANT: I’m on a few reading forums and I tire of people making claims that “no one reads anymore.” The claim is that we are too technologically oriented to “read.” So define reading first. Is the definition of reading picking up a paper book ONLY and turning pages on fictional novels? I don’t believe that is a clear definition of reading. I believe that is an important PIECE of the reading puzzle. Fictional novels, perhaps even the traditional western canon of literature should be explored, yes,AND reading is also: non-fiction/literary non-fiction of any kind, manuals and educational papers, magazines (yes ANY magazine), and fan fiction graphic novels and comic books (which actually have higher level vocabulary and some require the reader to have a greater comprehension because there are fewer words) are ALL examples of how much we are reading as a society now.

Now let’s tackle HOW we read. 1. Paper book sales are actually on the rise (source NYTimes, June, 2015) 2. Millennials are out-reading their older counterparts (source The Atlantic, 2014) 3. OPINION: I read several books at a time BECAUSE of technology. Right now I have a 700 page print book sitting in front of me, a book on writing and technology that a friend wrote sitting beside the bed, an audio book that I listen to every time I drive, several magazines for perusing at my leisure, and several articles and fan fiction that I like on my reading queue on my Kindle app. OPINION: Some people have become readers OR better readers BECAUSE of the technology available.

So…before you judge someone who is always on their phone, iPad,tablet, etc. – know that they could be reading something that has them transfixed and they just can’t put down. And yes…they might be texting…which also requires reading In my case, I’m probably reading OR editing a photo (which is another rant that needs attention on another day).


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Caught in the Wizarding World of HP

I confess I am a Potter-phile. I can’t get enough of the wizarding world. I reread the books AND I watch the movies repeatedly (for the record I love the movies BECAUSE they play out differently).

Top five reasons:

1. Watching the wizards grow up in words is amazing. Their dialogue changes. Their attitudes change. Their basic character remains.

2. Relearning hat everyone is good and everyone has evil from the day we are born! It’s circumstance and decisions that determine who we are in the end. Everyone must choose.

3. Hogwarts is familiar. Like like it is safe and it’s not. Harry feels safer there than at the Dursley’s, but in reality he is in much more danger. Still it is home and he wants to be there. Even in his darkest hours at Hogwarts, his true family is there.

4. Fred and George! Who would not want to own a joke shop? These guys absolutely crack me up. The reality of losing one of them in the end is just that…reality. Sometimes people die and you have to go on.

5. Sirius Black. I wish there was more of him. J.K. needs to write a book about his life.

What do you reread?

Given the opportunity, would you ask the author of your favorite read to write something more about the subject? If yes, what would it be? If no, why not?

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Revival Part 2

Revivial is an amazing Stephen King book. SK never ceases to amaze me with the details in his writing. Revival’s main character, Jamie Morton, is one year older than I am currently. The story spans my 5 plus decades as they do Jamie’s and King hits the nail on the head with my generation. From Jamie’s 6 year old self playing in the dirt with plastic army men to his references to Joe Walsh and John Denver as part of his life time career, I was very taken by the story. The story’s religious overtones really speak to the tenor of the American political and social landscape too.

I did read Machen’s novella, The Great God Plan. The story line, eerily aligned with Revival, prompted me to check out some more horror stories of the late 1800’s. It’s a wonder to me how story lines repeat themselves.

Up next? Stephen King’s Duma Key. Already a few chapters in…and now I want to learn to draw. Read the book. That statement will make sense!

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I started reading Stephen King’s Revival last fall after it’s release. Unfortunately several life situations took me away from my read and it came due at the library. I immediately reserve it again, but being that it is a new book it has taken this long to make it’s way back to me. In the meantime I did something I rarely do – read reviews before I read the book.

The reviews led me to this quote, “” King has always been generous in acknowledging the inspiration for his fiction. With “Revival,” he names Arthur Machen’s “The Great God Pan” (1894), one of the greatest supernatural tales ever written.” Ah ha! I’ve never read that and, further, I don’t know Arthur Machen’s work. My research tells me that Machen was also followed by H.P. Lovecraft.

Time for me to delve further into the book web even though I’m a mere fifty pages into my current book. I’ve reserved it at the library.

Also, my supernatural phase is starting early this year. Usually I reserve it for fall!

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Brown Girl Dreaming and other YA Feminist Lit

Book Riot posted a list of children and young adult books with strong female and/or feminist themes. I’ve decided to read all of them. I started with reading the Year of Shadows by Clare Legrand and by listening to the audio version of Brown Girl Dreaming.

The Year of Shadows is coming along, but I am not quite finished so that is on hold.

Brown Girl Dreaming is another story. It’s a mere 4 cd’s so it was a quick listen. This fledgling Newberry Award Winner did not disappoint. Jacqueline Woodson’s memoire tells a story so compelling that I found myself sitting in the car wanting more words when the final track played. The book is full of her story. A story that starts right here in my own Columbus, Ohio then leads to the south in the early 1960’s and finally to Brooklyn during the turbulent 60’s and 70’s.

“Jackie” tells the tale of what it is like to be of my generation and of my humble beginnings so I can relate to the sights and sounds of the times. She also tells the tale of what it is like to remember her beginnings as a black child and, through the voice of her southern grandmother, mother, grandfather and other family members, a brown person in a turbulent times. She weaves the happiness and sadness of that era together like a song to be sung for the ages.

I want to read Langston Hughes while this book is still fresh in my mind. I want to find “Stevie” by Por John Steptoe and read it too. I want to relate.

I highly recommend the audio book. Listening to Ms Woodson’s story in her own voice is powerful. This will be with me for a long, long time.

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Starting New Focus

I recently saw an article about the best YA (Young Adult) books for young feminists. I’m reading them to see if they measure up to the hype. Some are actually for younger children and in picture book form. The first one is panning out quite well.

Where does this take me? Well, what I’m trying to discover is if these books are being marketed to all children rather than just young girls with feminist leanings and/or to young girls who may be outcast by nature of their outward being. What about boys who are being raised with sound feminist principles? How do we add characters to their books that compile them to look at the female protagonist or character differently? What about girls who are feminists, but also love fashion and everything “pink”? Seriously this is something that needs to be addressed.

Here is the resource (of this list I am reading Luz Sees the Light, The Year of Shadows, and Brown Girl Dreaming)

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Whoa…it’s been a long time

I’ve been so busy in the past year that this site has gone silent. I’ve read and reread a lot of books in the meantime. I’ve found that I just recently started hyper-reading again after a hiatus of sticking to one book, one subject for a while.

Right now I’m finishing up The Gift of Fear by Gavin De Becker. This is one of the most important books I’ve ever held in my hands. I had it out from the library, but have since decided to buy it and to recommend it to everyone who has ever been fearful or will ever be fearful. IN short, everyone should read this book.

Gavin De Becker is an expert on violent behaviors. He is called upon in big court cases (think O.J. and Judas Priest). He consults when violent acts occur. He is trained to spot violence and this book provides good, practical evidence and suggestions on how the rest of us can predict by relying on our intuition.

Where is it taking me? To revisit books like The Murder Room and The Poisoner’s Bible. It also just may be something that can finally help me to put my own pen to paper and being writing a short story with all of this in mind.

Mr. De Becker emphasized what I’ve always known. Listen to your inner-voice…your intuition. Make decisions based on that voice that help you stay safe. Report what you see. The good news is that he does it without an ounce of paranoiac rhetoric. Just facts. Just evidence. Just thoughtful insight.

Read this book. It’s important.

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Monarch Butterflies and Barbara Kingsolver

Monarch Butterflies and Barbara Kingsolver

I just finished the audio version of Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver. It never ceases to amaze me how she is able to weave fiction and non-fiction together to come up with the perfect novel for me. While I love her writing, I often find myself adrift for the first chapters of her books. Fortunately, after years of reading her, I do not give up because inevitably I do not want the books to end, I don’t want to let go of the characters, and I NEED more information about the subject behind the characters in each book. With Flight Behavior, it is the plight of the monarch butterfly and the floods of Angangueo, Mexico.

A particular passage that has my web spinning is how to really to talk to people about the environment (or any topic) given what their circumstances are in life. Dellarobia Tumbrow lives in a small town with people who seemingly have small minds and small lives. However, that assumption twists and turns (as often it does in a Kingsolver novel) up to and including a point where Dellarobia has a conversation with an environmentalist from the city. He wants her to sign a pledge to become more environmentally conscious and volunteers to read the pledge to her (assuming of course she won’t understand it). While Dellarobia clearly does understand, it becomes apparent that he doesn’t understand WHY the neighboring people do not care about computers (they don’t have them), saving electricity (they don’t use much because of their poverty), not buying bottled waters (they drink tap water), and other things we take for granted every day. It made me stop and ponder how exactly DO we help people understand the nature of environmental loss when their experiences are so far from ours/mine…except that they aren’t. I understand because I was there once. Something to chew on for me.

And the butterflies? Why do I not know about the butterflies (King Billies) and how the floods of Angangueo, Mexico impacted them and the citizens of that region.

Off to the library to get answers!! See you around the book web.

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2014/03/17 · 10:19 pm