Tag Archive | reading

That’s a wrap – another April AtoZ Challenge in the books!

logo of April AtoZ blog challenge 2016I did it!

26 posts – A to Z – in April, on schedule.

That’s 22 new, no-spoiler book recommendations, plus 3 library-celebration posts and a look ahead to free audiobooks all summer.

Thanks again to the April AtoZ Challenge organizers! This is all free, a labor of love to help bloggers build up their blogging muscles and gain readership.

Since I signed up so late (#1532 on the list), I didn’t get many new followers or comments, but it was certainly worth it for me to get back in my writing groove – so many great books from debut authors and smaller presses to tell y’all about! (not enough hours in the day for me to consider covering self-published works, as my policies state)

So if you want to find your voice in blogging or just have a super list of blogs to visit and follow, look into the April AtoZ Challenge – I’ll remind you next March!

Got a favorite, unheralded YA title to recommend?
**kmm

R is for Reading Rainbow!!

Reading Rainbow Kickstarter graphic from https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/readingrainbow/bring-reading-rainbow-back-for-every-child-everywh/description

from https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/readingrainbow

I got to hear LeVar Burton speak yesterday at the Texas Library Association conference – yay!

His Kickstarter to revive and add to the classic kids’ TV show Reading Rainbow was a phenomenal success, as this photo shows.

On the new Reading Rainbow site, you can find your favorite Reading Rainbow episodes on Netflix, DVD, or iTunes, check out the subscription-based Skybrary Family online kids’ reading library of videos and books, and the new Skybrary School which offers the same for elementary classrooms and kids.

Meeting authors and discovering upcoming books is such a great part of TxLA – hearing literary luminaries speak is a huge bonus!

What was your favorite Reading Rainbow-introduced book? (and I bet that you are humming the theme song right now like I am…)
**kmm

L is for Library – Happy National Library Week!

Logo for National Library Week 2016 featuring Gene Luen Yang | BooksYALove.comHappy National Library Week!

Thanks for cartooning yourself for the celebration, Gene Luen Yang – love your Boxers and Saints  graphic novel pair (my recommendation here), plus your reimagining of the Green Turtle vintage comic (read more here).

Share how libraries have changed your life or community with the #LibrariesTransform hashtag all year long.

During #NLW16 or any week, this particular long-time librarian would love to hear your favorite library story.

**kmm

 

Literacy = a lifelong gift on #givingTuesday & every day

If you’re reading this blog post, you’re part of the literate majority, those who can navigate the modern world and all its written commands, warnings, and enjoyments.

But too many adults, worldwide and in the USA, cannot read or read well enough to fill out employment applications, understand official notices, or help their own children with homework.

On #GivingTuesday, or any day, you can donate to many worthy causes, including those working to reduce illiteracy and increase literacy. I’m a big fan of First Book (FirstBook.org) and Reading Is Fundamental (www.rif.org), which get books into kids’ hands so they can become better readers for life.

The fine folks at Grammarly.com made this infographic on global literacy and the impacts of illiteracy:Global Literacy 2015 graphic from https://dkru86weszx9t.cloudfront.net/blog/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/LD@-1.jpg

Please support literacy causes locally and globally by volunteering or donating – literacy is for everyone, forever.
**kmm

Indie bookstores for Small Business Saturday & every day!

Small Business Saturday image, borrowed from ModernSalon.com

image borrowed from ModernSalon.com

It’s Saturday,
Small Business Saturday,
buy books from small business day!

You’ve seen the numbers – dollars spent at local businesses recirculate in your community much more than what goes into chain-stores’ coffers. While Small Business Saturday was started by a credit card company, it’s a great reminder of the wonderful resources in own neighborhoods and towns.

Our independent booksellers are near and dear to my heart, as they curate collections of local interest, find just the right book for that just-right gift, and bring in authors/illustrators to speak, meet, and mingle with avid fans and soon-to-be enthusiasts.

And, of course, they choose books beyond the bestsellers mass-marketed by the big-box stores – like the titles I recommend here!

Search for your local indie bookstore at IndieBound here: http://www.indiebound.org/indie-store-finder

So how can you #shopsmall if you don’t have an indie bookstore in your town?  Most indies will ship to you gladly. Two of my favorites are Powell’s Books in Portland, Oregon (powells.com) and Quail Ridge Books in Raleigh, NC (www.quailridgebooks.com) – please note, these are not affiliate links, just pointers for your convenience.

Check independent bookstores for autographed editions, wishlist-building, special sales, and shipping deals for the holidays – and year-round. And if you ever need ideas on books to buy, you know that you’ll find them here!

Happy book-buying and happy reading – what’s on your book wishlist?
**kmm

Plotted, by Andrew DeGraff (book review) – mapping literary landscapes

book cover of Plotted by Andrew DeGraff published by Zest Books | http://BooksYALove.com reviewBefore and after of Robinson Crusoe‘s island,
Moby Dick and the ship chasing him,
Huckleberry Finn‘s meandering voyage down the Mississippi with Jim…

Happy book birthday this week to Plotted: A Literary Atlas!

I liked it so much that I almost posted this recommendation well before its publication date, but rescheduled so as not to whet your appetite for these uniquely visualized story-maps before you could actually acquire this fascinating book.

Enjoy literary maps of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol  and of Richard Adams’ Watership Down  in this free preview from the publisher, then go get this book to see all the intricately detailed maps, so evocative of each of the 19 books selected while using no quotations at all.

Do you create mental (or actual) maps as you read a book?
**kmm

Book info: Plotted: A Literary Atlas / art by Andrew DeGraff, essays by Daniel Harmon. Zest Books, 2015.  [artist’s site]  [publisher site]  [time-lapse artist’s video] Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.

My book talk: Mental maps created by reading stories blossom into intricately designed maps on the page in this “literary atlas” covering 19 selections from ancient days to the present, as seen through one artist’s eyes.

Whether mapping the movements of selected characters (as in his panels for A Wrinkle in Time) or conveying a wider sense of the book’s narrative (like the Kafka story, “A Report to the Academy”), DeGraff includes numerous details from each work in his hand-painted maps.

Says the artist, “These are maps for people who seek to travel beyond the lives and places that they already know (or think they know). The goal here isn’t to become found, but only to become more lost. Like a poorly informed but over-confident urbanite, I seek to help you get more lost.” (Introduction)

Wander through Elsinore act by act with the many characters of Hamlet, travel the Mediterranean with Odysseus, and trace the complicated path of true love in Pride and Prejudice. Essays by Daniel Harmon accompany each nearly wordless map-set which brings fresh views of stories for readers to consider and appreciate.

Teens’ Top Ten – vote now!

logo of YALSA's Teens' Top Ten book programTime is running short for Teens’ Top Ten voting!

Teens ages 12-18 get to choose 3 of the 24 nominated books, but you must vote by October 24, 2015 (the end of Teen Read Week).

Here are four great books that might have flown under the publicity radar. Click on the title to read my no-spoilers recommendation:

Since You’ve Been Gone, by Morgan Matson

Kiss of Deception, by Mary Pearson

The Winner’s Curse, by Marie Rutkoski

The Geography of You and Me, by Jennifer E. Smith

Head to http://www.ala.org/yalsa/reads4teens/ to see individual book trailers for each title and VOTE!

Tell your friends, talk about books, vote so that this Top Ten list is yours!
**kmm

It’s Teens’ Top Ten time – vote now!

logo of YALSA's Teens' Top Ten book programA wonderful selection of recent fiction makes choosing just 3 titles from this year’s Teens’ Top Ten list difficult, but you can do it!

Of the 24 nominated books,  I’ve recommended several here on BooksYALove (remember, I look for the less-publicized great books). Click on the title to read my no-spoilers recommendation:

Since You’ve Been Gone,  by Morgan Matson

Kiss of Deception,  by Mary Pearson

The Winner’s Curse,  by Marie Rutkoski

The Geography of You and Me,  by Jennifer E. Smith

Voting is open until October 2015 and is limited to teens ages 12-18, so head to http://www.ala.org/yalsa/reads4teens/ when you’ve made your final selections. You can also see individual book trailers for each title on that YALSA page; plot summaries are here.

Here’s a video introducing all 24 nominees, so you can choose more great books to read before voting:

Read, share, discuss, vote – it’s your turn to choose!

**kmm

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!
**kmm

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?
**kmm