Sunday, May 31, 2009

Summer Reading!

Summer reading is underway! I passed a yard where a girl sat in a tree reading a book. "Beach reads" some call novels released during the summer, as if any of my landlubber friends or I will likely loll by a beach anytime soon. Or loll at all, for that matter. Still, the idea of more time to read in the summer persists, the activity squeezed in between yard work, house work, and oh, yes, the job.

Here are some suggestions for your beach, mountain, back deck, recliner, whatever reads this summer:


Nevada Barr's latest national park mystery, Borderline, is set in Big Bend National Park, on the border of Texas and Mexico. This time, ranger Anna Pigeon and her husband are on a rafting vacation that quickly turns deadly. It's up to Anna to figure things out--if she can get anyone to listen. In the meantime, she must also keep a newborn baby alive. Balancing border issues, park politics, and Texas politics keep Anna busy and the plot suspenseful.

Diane Mott Davidson, creator of the Goldy Schulz caterer mysteries, has Goldy contend with catering a Bridezilla's reception and embedding herself and her friends at a spa whose owner seems up to no-good in her latest, Fatally Flawed. In addition to the usual cast of characters, Goldy's godfather is a main character. When he has an induced heart attack, the search for the killer becomes personal.

Sandra Dallas once again mines Colorado's history and hits the mother lode with her historical tale of the strength of women, their friendships and secrets in a high-mountain mining town. In Prayers for Sale, elderly Hennie befriends young Nit and helps her (and us) learn mining camp ways. They and their quilter friends share life stories until one last secret is revealed at the end.

Alexander McCall Smith is back with another "No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency" book. This series set in Africa is catagorized as mystery, but the books are much more about life and human nature than suspense of any sort. Teatime for the Traditionally Built is another gentle addition, where Mma Ramotswe gets involved in a potential football (soccer) scandal, her assistant fears her fiance's potential unfaithfulness, and her husband replaces her beloved little white van.

A really hot day may be the best time to read The Children's Blizzard by David Laskin. A sad episode in history, the blizzard of 1888 suddenly blasted the upper Plains states, killing hundreds, including many school children trapped by the storm. Laskin's excellent writing and meticulous research show the dramatic, devastating effects of the storm as well its weather and societal causes.

The animal lovers among you will appreciate Merle's Door: Lessons from a Freethinking Dog by outdoor writer Ted Kerasote. Merle found Ted when Merle was about 10 months old and Ted was hiking and camping in Utah. Ted documents what is actually a love story between him and Merle and gives evidence for dogs' higher cognitive powers than science admits to.

I hope some of these interest you, and I hope you will share some of your latest favorites with me. Happy reading!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Lemonade Stand

Hey, my friend/fellow writer/blogger/scrapbooker, Jane (love the name), bestowed upon me the Lemonade Stand Award for my blog. Ta Da!

Here's what it means:
The Lemonade Stand Blog Award

The rules of this award:
*comment on this blog
*cut and paste the award logo and use it on your own blog
*nominate 5 to 10 blogs you feel show great attitude and gratitude
*link to your nominees within your blog post
*comment on their blogs to let them know they received the award
*link back to the person who gave you the award to show your appreciation

Thanks, Jane!

And the award goes from ME to YOU special bloggers who show great attitude and gratitude. Thanks for lifting me up!






Monday, May 11, 2009

Looking for Robert Sabuda...

...and finding David Small!

Our outdoor plans in Omaha foiled by rain, we made our way to the Joslyn Art Museum. Publicity had led us to believe they were featuring an exhibit of pop-up book artist, Robert Sabuda. But, alas, the publicity was in error. Sabuda's work will be shown this fall, according to the man at the desk.

Our disappointment was soothed by the building itself, one of the finest examples of art deco in the country, built of Georgia rose marble in 1931. We saw two galleries of early Western artists, Alfred Jacob Miller and Thomas L. McKenney.

And we lovers of children's book illustrations were delighted by the exhibit featuring the works of David Small, Caldecott Medal winner in 2001. Not a household name, at least not in our household, we enjoyed realizing that we recognized his style and did know his work after all.

Who knows what we will find the next time we're in Omaha on a rainy day? Click on the links to see more about the art museum and the artists. Then let me know what great art exhibits you've seen lately, especially children's book art.

Happy National Children's Book Week!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Results of Poem in Your Pocket Day

(photo by Eddi 07

Did you particpate? How many poems did you put in others'pockets? Did you keep a poem in your own pocket and pull it out every now and then? Or was the poem one you'd memorized so you could recite snatches of it in your mind--or to others?

Honestly, handing poems to strangers could be seen as odd. But the responses I got were pure delight. "Oh," the grocery checker exclaimed,"I love stuff like this!" She put it in her pocket to read later. "I have a drawer full of this kind of thing. You never know, I might use it some day!" We smiled at each other, and I went on to my hair dresser.

"Oh, what's this?" she asked as I handed her a poem. I explained that it was Put a Poem in Your Pocket Day. "How neat!" And she read it then and there.

I'm thinking I might like to keep a stash of poems in my pocket and hand them out now and then, whether it's Poem in Your Pocket Day or not. I dare you to do the same--and let me know the results.