Sunday, June 27, 2010

Whatcha Reading this Summer?

(photo by KOMUnews)

Summer has just begun according to the calendar. Remember the lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer?

So far mine have been only hazy! Still, it's time for summer reading, vacation reading, beach reading--whatever you want to call it.

So far, my summer reading plan is to read new novels I have on hold at the library as they come in interspersed with books friends loaned to me months ago. One new book is Sandra Dallas' newest, Whiter Than Snow. Billed as a story of a deadly avalanche in a turn-of-the-century Colorado mining town, it is really the story of the townfolks' lives and how tragedy causes them to cast aside grudges and prejudices. This isn't my favorite book by Dallas (Tallgrass is), but it's worth the while.

One of the books loaned to me is Shoot the Moon by Billie Letts. This interview tells more about the book and Letts. Though some extreme coincidences propel the plot, this mystery of a California veterinarian seeking his birth mother in Oklahoma leads to vengeance, danger, and love, making this a fast, entertaining read.

Across the country, official library Summer Reading programs are underway for all ages. This year's Collaborative Summer Library Program theme for kids is "Make a Splash! Read!, for teens is "Make Waves at Your Library," and for adults is "Water Your Mind--Read!"

What books are watering your mind this summer? Let me know books you recommend!

PS Notice the title of the book in the introductory photo? It's become a contemporary classic. Look for it at the library or bookstore, no matter what your age is.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The Power of Books by Wonderlane

Those of us who love books feel most comfortable when surrounded by them. I did not feel at home in my new home until my books were unpacked and on shelves. Opening the packing boxes was like liberating dear friends.

Now a new report links being surrounded by books to a child's educational attainment. The child doesn't even have to read them! The study says that simply having books in one's home will improve children's education level--by as much as 2 years! More important than a father's educational level, parental politics, or socioeconomic background, filling the home with books makes a dramatic difference.

We did have books in our home as I grew up--and magazines and newspapers, too. What a privilege! How about you?

Read more details on the report here. Then run out to your nearest library or bookstore and stock up!

(It doesn't hurt to read them, either!)