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Wondrous Words Wednesday

January 7, 2015

Wondrous Words Wednesday is a weekly meme where you can share new words that you’ve encountered or spotlight words you love.  Feel free to get creative!   If you want to play along, grab the button, write a post and come back and add your link to Mr. Linky!

We haven’t quite gotten over holiday mode so things aren’t back to normal here, which means I haven’t gotten a lot of reading done.  Thank heavens for my Word-a-Day calendar!

1. clerisy – “The book’s author claims that a successful society must have both a strong commitment to democratic ideals and a well-established clerisy.”

Clerisy is a noun that means intelligentsia.

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2. conn – “The captain successfully conned his ship through the ice-packed waters.”

Conn is a verb that means to conduct or direct the steering of (as a ship).

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3. cybrarian – “The university’s cybrarians maintain libraries of websites pertaining to specific fields of study.”

A cybrarian is a person whose job is to find, collect, and manage information that is available on the World Wide Web.

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What words do you want to celebrate today?

Review: The World of PostSecret

January 6, 2015

The World of PostSecret

In 2004, Frank Warren handed out postcards and invited people to send in their secrets anonymously.  He had hoped to receive 365 secrets but, ten years later, he’s received over a million of them.  Warren publishes many of the secrets he receives on his PostSecret site which I find to be a fascinating peek into humanity.  In his latest book, The World of PostSecret, Warren shares some background on the projects, answers a few questions, tells a couple of stories, and, most importantly shares people’s deepest, darkest secrets.

The secrets in the book are grouped by category and are shared the way they came.  Sometimes the postcard or artwork chosen is just as telling as the secret is.  I’m sure letting go of these secrets is very  cathartic for those who write them and, somehow, it’s also freeing for those who read them because it makes you realize how alike we all really are.  Many of the secrets moved me – some of them made me laugh and others brought tears to my eyes.

The World of PostSecret isn’t a novel – it’s the type of book you dip in and out of – but I found it so fascinating I read it in a couple of days.  I thoroughly enjoyed my time with this book and highly recommend it.

Review copy provided by Harper Collins.  I am an Indiebound Affiliate.

Mailbox Monday

January 5, 2015

Mailbox Monday January 5

Welcome to Mailbox Monday, a meme started by Marcia of To Be Continued, and now hosted on its own blog.   Happy New Year!  I feel like a broken record, but it was another slow week in books and reading.  Hopefully things will change now that the holidays are over.  I found these books in my mailbox last week:

Monday

What did you find in your mailbox last week?

Review: The Meaning of Maggie

January 3, 2015

The Meaning of Maggie

Maggie Mayfield is doing what any other responsible future President of the United States would do, writing her memoir.  She’s got plenty to write about, too.  She’s a star student who loves school and has two annoying older sisters.  Plus, there are lots of changes going on at home – her mom has gone to work because her dad had to quit his job for health reasons.

Maggie’s got a lot on her mind as she starts middle school.  She meets a new boy who makes her feel nervous, has to come up with a great project to defend her Science Fair title, and figure out what’s going on at home.  Her dad’s in a wheelchair now and his legs are “asleep” all the time.

The Meaning of Maggie by Megan Jean Sovern is a fantastic coming of age story!  I adored Maggie – she’s heartfelt and sincere and just a little self-absorbed in the way most kids are.  She’s set some great goals and is serious about meeting them.   She can’t understand why her mom isn’t doing as much for her as she used to and thinks her older sisters are shallow.  A few things happen during the year that help Maggie realize what’s going on with her dad and how her family is coming together.

The family dynamics in this book are so true to life.  The sisters squabble but deep down inside they love each other.  When the chips are down, they all pull together.

Sovern tells Maggie’s story with humor and grace and lots of 70’s references that I adored.  Young readers won’t understand some of the humor but they’ll understand the heartfelt lessons Maggie learns.  I can’t tell you how much I loved The Meaning of Maggie – I recommend it to everyone from middle school on up!

kid konnection newI will link this up to Booking Mama’s Saturday feature, Kid Konnection. If you’d like to participate in Kid Konnection and share a post about anything related to children’s books (picture, middle grade, or young adult) from the past week, leave a comment as well as a link on her site tomorrow.

Review copy provided by Chronicle Books. I am an Indiebound Affiliate.

Author event and giveaway: Wiley Cash

January 2, 2015

Wiley Cash 2

Wiley Cash was here a few months ago and I knew I had to go see him.  I’d met him a couple of times before and knew he’s a great speaker with a self-deprecating sense of humor so his events are always fun.   Wiley’s a great author, too, though, and that’s the real reason I went.

There was a full house at Fiction Addiction when Wiley came to promote the paperback release of his second book, This Dark Road to Mercy (my review).  It’s obvious he has a lot of fans around here and, if you’ve read his books, you know why.

Wiley likes to read and write stories where the tension comes from a bad decision one of the characters make and the plot comes from a character’s desire being thwarted.  He generally knows the plot before he starts a book but doesn’t always know the structure.  Wiley’s first two books were told from three points of view but he’s not using that plot device in the book he’s currently writing – a book about Ella May Wiggins and the Loray Mill Strike in Gastonia, North Carolina in 1929.  It’s obvious he’s done a lot of research on the subject and has become passionate about it.

Besides writing, Wiley stays busy teaching in a low residency MFA program.  He has a contract to write two more books for William Morrow.  He and his wife are new parents to a baby girl.

This Dark Road to MercyI got Wiley to autograph a copy of This Dark Road to Mercy for one lucky reader.  To enter to win an autographed copy of THIS DARK ROAD TO MERCY, simply fill out the entry form.  Contest is open worldwide – one entry per person, please.  I will use random.org to determine the winner.  Contest ends at midnight EDT Sunday, January 11, 2015.    Comments are welcome (and appreciated) but will not get you an entry in the contest.

My Favorite Books of 2014

January 1, 2015
tags:

The Best of 2014

2014 was a pretty hectic year so I didn’t read as many books as I usually do.  My numbers might have suffered, but the quality certainly did not.  After much deliberation, I’ve narrowed my list of favorites for the year down to eleven.  These are books that resonated with me for one reason or another.  They weren’t necessarily published in 2014 – I just read them then.

Nonfiction:

Fiction:

Middle Grade and Young Adult:

What were some of your favorite books of the year?

 

Wondrous Words Wednesday

December 31, 2014

Wondrous Words Wednesday is a weekly meme where you can share new words that you’ve encountered or spotlight words you love.  Feel free to get creative!   If you want to play along, grab the button, write a post and come back and add your link to Mr. Linky!

With all the holiday stuff going on, there hasn’t been much reading happening here.  I did find one word in a galley of The Story Hour by Thrity Umrigar.  I thought I had a sense of the word’s meaning but I wasn’t sure so I looked it up and discovered the meaning is a little more complicated than I thought.

1. epigraph – “Epigraph to come.”

An epigraph is a short quotation or saying at the beginning of a book or chapter, intended to suggest its theme.

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What words do you want to celebrate today?

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