Faith and challenge – stories true & terrible on free audiobooks

Time to download this week’s free audiobooks from SYNC so you can read with your ears!

Remember that although these complete audiobooks are only available from Thursday through Wednesday, you have free use of them as long as you keep them on your computer or electronic device

Click on a title, download a book, enter into another’s life:

CD cover of Echoes of an Angel  by Aquanetta Gordon, Chris Macias | Read by Robin Miles Published by Christian Audio Echoes of an Angel
by Aquanetta Gordon, Chris Macias

Read by Robin Miles
Published by Christian Audio

A true story of faith as blind Ben masters echolocation to ‘see’ with sound, and his family sees God’s hand at work.
Buddha BoyCD cover of Buddha Boy by Kathe Koja | Read by Spencer Murphy Published by Full Cast Audio
by Kathe Koja
Read by Spencer Murphy
Published by Full Cast Audio

Justin must decide whether to bully the new Buddhist student like everyone else at his high school or learn how differences can bring harmony.

Faith in the face of unfair situations – where else have you seen this?

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We did it! Blogathon2015 is in the books

clipart of Fireworks by rduris from

Fireworks by rduris via

If you are reading this, that means that I conquered the Blogathon2015 challenge and posted every day in June! [cue the fireworks!]

And it means that I’m smackdab in the middle of the International Association of School Librarianship‘s annual conference. This year IASL2015 is in lovely Maastricht, Netherlands (near the borders of Belgium and Germany), so I hope to post pictures here soon.

It also means that I am leading a workshop today on IASL’s GiggleIT Project for global student writing through school libraries. If you know/are a librarian or teacher, check out this fun and free way for your students to share their personal knowledge and sense of humor with the world: GiggleIT Project.

See y’all soon, and thanks for enjoying Blogathon2015 along with me!

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Almost to the Blogathon 2015 finish line!

FLX blogathon2015 logoI did it!

Blogathon2015 ends today!

Thirty posts in thirty days, despite technology problems (happens during every blog challenge), being away from home for half the month, and all the just plain crazy things that get in the way when there’s a deadline looming.

Thanks to the folks at Freelance Success for shepherding me and my blogging buddies through June!

And now, back to our regularly scheduled programming – but with a break, so I can enjoy the IASL2015 conference in Maastricht, Netherlands!

Thanks for visiting BooksYALove – grab a great book and read, read, read!

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A beautiful Dutch bookstore beckons in former church

Photo of Domincaen Bookstore in Maastricht, NetherlandsLarge or small,
New or old,
A bookstore or library can take you anywhere.

Greetings from the Dominicaen Bookstore in Maastricht, Netherlands – named one of the world’s loveliest bookstores by Architectural Digest!

What’s your favorite bookshop?

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Slowdown Sunday with wordcloud – visual learners, unite!

A favorite Blogathon activity is creating a wordcloud based on your blog.

The more often that a word appears in your chosen text, the larger it appears in your wordcloud.

I’ve used Wordle and other tools, but have the most fun with the shapes and ‘spin color’ options on Tagxedo.

Here’s how Tagxedo “sees” BooksYALove posts over the past few weeks:

BooksYALove 2015 Tagxedo wordcloud in LOVE shape

Have you wordclouded lately?

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Diversity Reading Challenge check-in

One of my reading resolutions for 2015 was to tackle the Reading Diversity Challenge posted here.

With the year nearly half gone, let’s see how I’ve done with the first 6 categories.

1. A book written by an author of color: several, including Gabi, a Girl in Pieces, by Isabel Quinteros, recommended recently.

2. A book with a person of color on the cover: look at Girl in Reverse, by Barbara Stuber here.

3.  A book about coming out: Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli captured Simon’s conflict about going public so well.

4. A book in which the main character or strong supporting character has a disability: in graphic novel of the same name, Nimona is sidekick to a guy gone bad because he lost an arm.

5. A book containing bullying: look again at The Disappearance of Emily H.  by Barrie Summy.

6. Nonfiction or biography about a person of color: beyond the @AudioSYNC free audiobooks that I’ve recommended this summer, none.  I don’t hit biography much on BooksYALove..

All in all, not too bad. In some categories, I’ve read many.

How would you score yourself on this half of the challenge?

wandering around diverse Amsterdam,


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So many stories

Looking through oval window into gallery at Rembrandt's house in AmsterdamGaze out?
Peer inward?
Focus on something unseen?

Art, music, and books can help us do all these things.

But please don’t let preference for favorites keep you from trying new genres and types of books!

Grab a graphic novel like Harlem Hellfighters by Max Brooks and Canaan White to go into WWI trenches with underappreciated African American heroes – these aren’t “just comic books” for sure.

Read books aimed at younger readers that can bring important issues and hard truths to light. Like Water on Stone by Dana Walrath gives voice to victims of the Armenian Holocaust.

If you think all novels about death are depressing, reconsider with funny yet realistic Finding Mr. Brightside by Jay Clark.

So, about my photo here: I visited Rembrandthuis to see how the great artist lived and worked, others were there for his paintings up close, a few were obviously dragged there by art-loving companions.

Standing in his recreated studio was decidedly worth climbing all the narrow, twisting stairways. But I was most pleased by seeing how the same etching looked when printed on different papers – the same story, with a slightly changed look.

How have you experienced different stories lately?

Staying off the tourist track in Amsterdam and meeting booklovers from all over (hi, Izzie and Mom and Dad!),

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Tales of crime and death on free audiobooks

This week’s free audiobooks from SYNC are ready for you to download now!

As long as you keep them on your computer or electronic device, you have free use of these complete audiobooks – but you must download that week’s featured titles before Wednesday night.

Pairing a current young adult book with a classic is brilliant, especially this week’s selections – click on title to download, free.

CD cover of Monster  by Walter Dean Myers | Read by A Full Cast Published by Listening Library Monster
by Walter Dean Myers
Read by A Full Cast
Published by Listening Library
As Steve awaits his trial for felony murder, the 16 year old writes a screenplay of the events to prove his innocence.


Lord of the FliesCD cover of Lord of the Flies by William Golding | Read by William Golding Published by Listening Library
by William Golding
Read by William Golding
Published by Listening Library

Schoolboys marooned alone develop a savage society in this classic, read by the author.

One decision, brutal consequences – have you read either of these acclaimed books before?

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Geography of You and Me, by Jennifer E. Smith (book review) – postcards from the road?

book cover of The Geography of Me and You by Jennifer E. Smith published by Little Brown Books for Young ReadersConversation while stranded in an elevator,
exploring the city as the blackout continues,
but having just met, they must travel in opposite directions!

This long-distance “wondering what if?” story should be at your local library or independent bookstore – if not, ask for it! Jennifer also wrote The Statistical Probability of Falling in Love (my no-spoiler recommendation here).

Read the first chapter here (thank you, Poppy Books!) for the stuck-in-elevator meeting that starts it all.

Surprise someone by sending them a postcard today!

Book info: The Geography of You and Me / Jennifer E. Smith. Little Brown Books for Young Readers, 2014 (hardcover); Poppy Books, 2015 (paperback). [author site]  [publisher site]   Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.

My book talk: Stranded in an elevator during a blackout before moving away from New York City, Owen and Lucy send postcards from places they travel and think of each other more and more.

Owen wouldn’t even have been in the elevator if he and Dad hadn’t fled Pennsylvania after Mom died. Lucy had ridden this elevator for 16 years without getting stuck – why now, when her jetsetting parents are in Paris and her brothers away at college?

Lucy’s dad accepts a position in Scotland, not exactly the London job that her British mom had hoped for. Owen’s dad decides that they should head west, find a job somewhere away from NYC where they cannot see the stars.

No smartphone or email for Owen, by choice – he sends Lucy postcards from the road. He meets a beautiful girl at Lake Tahoe, and yet…

Each postcard spurs a lengthy email from Lucy, full of her life in Scotland, excluding mention of the handsome rugby player who’s interested in her, however…

When Lucy’s family gathers for a wedding near San Francisco where Owen’s dad is trying to get a job, the pair will get to see each other after all these months, but what if…

Does absence truly make the heart grow fonder?
Is “wish you were here?” ever enough?

A tale of travel, love, and learning from the author of The Statistical Probability of Falling in Love.  (One of 6,000 books recommended on

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Yawn! European Blogathonning….

sketch of book on computer screen by boxfordlibrary on openclipart.orgIf all is going according to plan, I’ve made it to the Netherlands (with my luggage), found my B&B and the tour company office, and am headed for canal tour, foodie walking tour of the Jordaan district, and will be seeing windmills, wooden clogs, and cheese a-plenty this week…

If not, y’all really don’t want to hear from me!

Pictures if I get onto internet as planned – otherwise, you get this pre-arranged post.

Blogathonning from the Netherlands – I hope!


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