Tag Archive | creativity

Magical books to read with your ears as AudioSYNC summer ends

Our magnificent summer of free audiobooks from AudioSYNC and publishers ends with with a magical pair of stories to read with your ears!

Click on the title for the free download page before late-night Wednesday July 31, 2019. You can keep these free audiobooks on your device and listen whenever you want.

Thanks again to the publishers who’ve provided over 2 dozen free professionally produced audiobooks this summer through AudioSYNC!

CD cover of Akata Witch,  by Nnedi Okorafor | Read by Yetide Badaki Published by Tantor Audio | recommended on BooksYALove.com

Akata Witch, by Nnedi Okorafor Read by Yetide Badaki Published by Tantor Audio

Sunny is mocked in her parents’ Nigerian town for being born American, albino, a girl who loves soccer. The 12 year old discovers that she’s a “free agent” born to non-magical parents and becomes part of a quartet of young people studying magic seen and unseen. Soon it’s up to them to catch an evil criminal, ready or not!

CD cover of All the Crooked Saints,  by Maggie Stiefvater | Read by Thom Rivera Published by Scholastic Audiobooks | recommended on BooksYALove.com

All the Crooked Saints, by Maggie Stiefvater Read by Thom Rivera Published by Scholastic Audiobooks

Under the Colorado desert stars, miracles are waiting to happen in Bicho Raro, where the Soria family lives. Cousins Beatriz, Daniel, and Joaquin can see the love, happiness, peace that others need – but their own lives and thoughts are not so clear. Two strangers arriving bring changes, perhaps even for the cousins whose help they seek.

What magical tales and audiobooks are your favorites?

Meow meets wow in photos – Men & Cats, by Marie-Eva Gatuingt and Alice Chaygneaud

book cover of Men & Cats by Marie-Eva Gatuingt and Alice Chaygneaud published by Perigee | recommended on BooksYALove.comIf kitty pix make you go “Awwww” and photos of gorgeous guys make you go “Rawr!” then this is your book!

Add it to your favorite indie bookstore wishlist (search here for a great bookstore near you: http://indiebound.org) or just go buy it now as a gift for the person who appreciates cat cute and masculine musculature.

And, yes, the French photographers are adding more fellow and feline picture-pairs to their tumblr!


Book info: Men & Cats /Marie-Eva Gatuingt and Alice Chaygneaud. Perigee Books, 2015.  [authors’ tumblr]  [publisher site]  Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.

My book talk: Photos of men and cats in matching poses prove that no words are needed to communicate the concepts of “cute plus captivating” as the creators of the wildly popular Des Hommes et des Chatons tumblr have created 50 new combos for this book.

Whether shirtlessly lounging in the sunshine or dually dapper in bowties, each pair of pix has a particular shared visual element (the one with blue eyes!).

Praying and yawning, serene and playful – enjoy men, enjoy cats, enjoy this preview of the book:

U is Universal car competition for Lowriders in Space, by Cathy Camper; illustrated by Raul the Third (book review)

book cover of Lowriders in Space by Cathy Camper, art by Raul the Third, published by Chronicle BooksThree friends with a dream,
ready to work hard
to drive their lowrider into orbit!

Enjoy cool cars, playful science, Spanglish conversation (and lots of glossary notes about both), and the pride of lowrider creators as Lowriders in Space takes off.

The publisher provides a free preview of the first pages here  so you can see Raul the Third’s art as you meet Lupe, Flapjack, and Elirio.

Ask for this fun graphic novel at your local library or local independent bookstore and head for the Universal Car Competition to ride “bajito y suavecito!”

Working together on a special project – share your story in the comments, please!

Book info: Lowriders in Space /Cathy Camper; illustrations by Raul the Third. Chronicle Books, 2014. [author site]  [illustrator site]  [publisher site]  [book trailer] Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.

My book talk: Three friends who love custom cars work together to build the best lowrider in the galaxy so they can win enough money to open their own garage.

Lupe, Flapjack, and Elirio admire lowriders that zoom and drift, but they love cars that drive low and slow – bajito y suavecito.

This girl mechanic, expert car-washing octopus, and mosquito car-painter are so tired of working for others in the barrio. If they can win the Universal Car Contest, they will be able to open their own garage!

Can Lupe make the abandoned old junker run again?
Will Flapjack’s eight arms be enough to clean it up?
Does Elirio have time to paint their lowrider brighter than the stars?

A box of rocket parts and lots of determination add to Raul the Third’s ballpoint pen art with Sharpie accents and Cathy Camper’s mix of Spanish, English, and super science in this first book of a graphic novel pair.  (One of 6,000 books recommended on www.abookandahug.com)

Sticky Fingers, by Sophie Maletsky (book review) – duct tape DIY projects for all!

book cover of Sticky Fingers by Sophie Maletsky published by Zest BooksDuct tape in colors and patterns… check.
Nonstick scissors… check.
Great instructions for clever, creative items… get Sticky Fingers!

No, not your own fingers, but this step-by-step book of DIY (do it yourself) duct tape projects from craft blogger Sophie Maletsky.

Yes, there are the usual duct tape wallets and cute flowers to top your pencils, but you’ll also find clear instructions for an Earring Tree (I like the plastic dinosaur that she added), Spike Bracelet, and Smartphone Case with felt lining.

Summer boredom doesn’t stand a chance when you use your favorite duct tape with this “Easy to Pick Up, Hard to Put Down” book scheduled for July 1, 2014 publication – don’t miss the ideas for using up every teensy bit of those pricy patterned tape rolls.

What will you make next?

Book info:  Sticky Fingers: DIY Duct Tape Projects – Easy to Pick Up, Hard to Put Down / Sophie Maletsky. Zest Books, 2014. 240 pg paperback. [author site]  [publisher site]  Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher via NetGalley.

My book talk: Ah, so many colors and patterns of duct tape – and now Sticky Fingers collects the techniques and project ideas to make you a duct tape DIY whiz!

With just a few rolls of duct tape, proper work surface (many choices) and non-stick scissors, you can create durable items large and small, from the Support-Your-Cause Pin to Messenger Bag.

Your own color combo for the Woven Basket can take it from egg hunts to dresser organization, while the Pencil Case you make with duct tape will outlast any bought from the school supply store.

Of course, there are instructions for making Flowers, Neckties, and Bow Ties, so you’ll have all the corsages, boutonnieres, and neckwear needed for formal occasions.

Get gifty with the roll-and-go Checkerboard, Watermelon Purse, or Checkbook Keeper – the felt-lined Sunglasses Case is a great present, too.

Throughout this well-illustrated book, Sophie shares hints for strong duct tape fabric, clever closures, and using every last bit of your duct tape rolls (including the cardboard core). (One of 6,000 books recommended on www.abookandahug.com)

Guy in Real Life, by Steve Brezenoff (book review) – guy, girl, gaming

book cover of Guy in Real Life by Steve Brezenoff published by Balzer + BrayOnline MMOs,
tabletop RPGs,
never the twain shall meet?

His best friend says that every online game female character is a GIRL – guy in real life – but is it wrong for Lesh to spend time online as Svvetlana if he truly wants to be with the real Svetlana?

And why shouldn’t Svetlana prefer creating fantasy game scenarios to attending boring pro soccer games with her clueless parents?

After school, Lesh hangs out with the wrong crowd by habit, Svetlana only hangs out with her dungeon friends, yet somehow their worlds overlap in this fun read.


Book info: Guy in Real Life / Steve Brezenoff. Balzer + Bray, 2014.  [author site]  [publisher site] Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.

My book talk: A late-night sidewalk collision brings together 2 teens from very different circles as their roleplaying and online game lives somehow intersect.

Getting grounded finally gave Lesh time to play the MMO that Greg is hooked on. But he hates being a blundering orc and instead chooses to be an elf, whom he molds into the image of quirky Svetlana at school, the girl he met when her bike ran into him that rainy night.

Svetlana’s detailed roleplaying scenarios intrigue the Central High Gaming Club, but when one guy quits, the club could lose its official status. Maybe Lesh of the black trenchcoat would join? Decidedly better than being with her crazy Minneapolis soccer fan parents.

Game life connects this guy named after the Grateful Dead’s drummer and that dungeonmaster girl in skull-embroidered skirt, but real life is more than energy levels and 20-sided dice in this quirky maybe-romance told from their alternating points of view.   (One of 6,000 books recommended on www.abookandahug.com)