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Traveling with (e)Books

May 17, 2011

My sister and I are off to Italy today!

We’re bringing some books for the long plane and train rides, and venturing into new reading territory… ebooks. I bought a Kindle and filled it with free classics I’ve never read, and we also downloaded some books to read on my mom’s iPad, which we’re borrowing. We’re bringing one paperback and some audiobooks as well. With my new Kindle I get two free books from Audible, so I downloaded this:

My uncle, who travels often and was in Venice this past year, recommended The City of Falling Angels, a nonfiction account of Venice.

I’ll try to send a few picture updates while we’re gone, and when we get back, expect a reading on the road report. How do you read when you travel?

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20 (or so) Books for Your Summer Reading List

May 16, 2011

Looking for something to read this summer? Here are some of my go-to recommendations and some others I read this year and really enjoyed. I recommend them all, so don’t judge them by their order in this list, their covers, or their movie tie-ins. Just read them and let me know what you think, or if you have others to recommend!

Little Bee
Chris Cleave

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows

The Help
Kathryn Stockett

The Little Stranger
Sarah Waters

Affinity
Sarah Waters

Her Fearful Symmetry
Audrey Niffenegger

The Golden Compass (young adult high fantasy)
Phillip Pullman

Ender’s Game (middle grade/young adult science fiction)
Orson Scott Card

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Stieg Larsson

The House of the Spirits (magical realism)
Isabelle Allende

The Things They Carried
Tim O’Brien

The Road
Cormac McCarthy

Water for Elephants
Sara Gruen

Atonement
Ian McEwan

The Time Traveler’s Wife
Audrey Niffenegger

A Prayer for Owen Meany
John Irving

Peace Like a River
Leif Enger

Gilead (maybe my favorite book ever)
Marilynne Robinson

I’m building my own summer list – what do you recommend?

Happy Children’s Book Week!

May 7, 2011

Since 1919, Children’s Book Week has been celebrated countrywide with author & illustrator appearances, parties, storytelling, and other book-related events in schools, libraries, bookstores, clubs — anywhere where kids and books connect. www.bookweekonline.com

Thinking about some of my favorite books growing up, these three come to mind:

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These are all books that my fifth-grade teacher read out loud to our class. Reading out loud to and with children is so important for literacy and for establishing a community of readers and book lovers. Though I was a crazy reader a long time before fifth grade, I’ll always be thankful to Mr. Johnson for the importance he placed on reading and for showing us his love of reading as well.

I’ve come a long way since then, but I’m still reading children’s books! Right now I’m looking at 20th-century retellings of the 15th-century romance, The Weddyng of Syr Gawen and Dame Ragnell. Here are two of the books I’m using at:

 

Why do we continue to tell this medieval story? What parts of the original do the retellings keep or change, and how do those choices reflect contemporary culture? We shall see…

Newest Harry Potter Trailer!

April 28, 2011

cannot. wait.

Succumbing to Kindle

April 27, 2011

Big news: I bought a Kindle.

It arrives on Friday (fingers crossed). Despite conflicting feelings about e-readers, I decided to get one because I’m going to be traveling in May/June (in Italy! with my sister!) and want to read on the trains without having to haul a bunch of heavy books around, including travel guidebooks.

So, why a Kindle? a) it’s cheaper than the other e-readers (the new version is $114) and b) I had a gift certificate to Amazon. Color would be fun, but it’s not worth +$100 more.

Do you have an e-reader? Has it changed your reading or book-buying habits?

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Greetings from San Antonio!

April 22, 2011

I’m down south for the Southwest Texas Popular Culture / Popular Culture Association / American Culture Association Conference (how’s that for a name?). Finishing up my presentation on violence against women in Twilight. Been to some great Twilight, children’s/young adult, and composition/writing pedagogy panels so far, and looking forward to tomorrow (though nervous!).

Cereal Box Brilliance

April 13, 2011

What if your child sat down to a bowl of cereal in the morning, turned to the box and, instead of reading some stupid maze or game, got a bit of The BFG or Matilda?

British supermarket chain ASDA and Puffin have teamed up to put excerpts of Dahl books on the back of cereal boxes, in an attempt to inspire kids to read and to reach kids who may never pick up a book outside of school. ASDA is also sponsoring a contest (or opportunity, rather) for kids to get their own creative writing published on the back of select cereal boxes. Those under age 14 are encouraged to respond to prompts such as:

images (c) your.asda.com

What a fantastic idea. I wish the U.S. was a part of this effort as well.

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