Jan 28, 2014 - Uncategorized    Comments Off on Of Maxed Library Cards and Good Ideas

Of Maxed Library Cards and Good Ideas

Is it bad that all three library cards currently in use by this household are maxed out?  Should I be concerned?  And if so, should I be more concerned about keeping track of the NINETY LIBRARY BOOKS that are currently floating around this house, or about when I’m going to find the time to read all of them?

Don’t answer that.

They’re not all for me, mind you.  Not by a long shot.  We currently have all of the Ladybug Girl books, most of the Harold and the Purple Crayon books, most of the Library Mouse books, and the next book in AT LEAST 10 different series (I counted in my head but didn’t go into my sleeping daughter’s bedroom to check) that my 7-year-old is reading.  We also have a myriad of other children’s books that we just renew until we can’t anymore…Wombat Walkabout (see below), The Day the Crayons Quit, etc.  (These have recently started including books that focus on pictures of wheeled vehicles, since my 18-month-old son can look through an entire book about farm animals with a very serious face before pointing delightedly to the tractor on the very last page.)    I must admit, however, that close to 30 of them are mine.  What can I say?  I have a stash of mass markets, mostly romance, that I read on the treadmill to take my mind off of the fact that I loathe exercise, I have a stack of non-fiction that I really want to read but keep putting off because the kiddos make it hard to muster the necessary concentration, and then I have the collection of fiction that accumulates faster than I can actually read it.  I was so excited to realize that our county library’s new computer system allows MORE than 10 holds at a time that I wrote about it in my first-ever letter to my missionary nephew.

This sounds sad, I know, and yet I’m ok with this about myself.

(If you’re interested, by the way, his name is Zach and he’s currently in Asuncion, Paraguay, serving a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.  Yes, we’re both Mormons.  And yes, I know there’s supposed to be an accent over the “o” in Asuncion.  I’m currently too lazy to walk downstairs and ask my husband how to make that happen.)

Anyway, after I maxed out all three cards today at our favorite local library, we stopped at the grocery store (for the second time in two days) to pick up French bread and pepperoni, because my husband had A DINNER IDEA.  This is noteworthy, you understand, because while he thinks about computers AT LEAST as much as I think about food, he probably thinks about food about as much as I think about computers (in a “I’d really miss it if it weren’t there, but how much is there really to think about?” kind of way).  At any rate, he suggested we try French bread pizzas this week, and they were really pretty tasty.  I’d post the recipe, but we completely made it up as we went along, although I did use this post as a starting point.  We even managed to get in a couple of rounds of this cool marble game he found for his iPad–good fun for the whole family, even if I lost tonight.  (I completely blame the fact that I was keeping the 18-month-old from jumping on the iPad during the game.)

And now the question awaits–after I finish All-of-a-Kind Family Uptown, which is part of a very cute period series I completely missed as a child, what do I read next?  How to choose?  I did pick up two of yesterday’s Newbery winners at the library today, although I can tell you right now that Doll Bones looks too creepy for tonight.  I’m sure you’ll be on tenterhooks as you await my decision…


Wombat Walkabout

New From: $10.69 USD In Stock

Jan 27, 2014 - Uncategorized    Comments Off on My Newbery Madness (with links to today’s winners!)

My Newbery Madness (with links to today’s winners!)

Have you ever just decided, in an offhand, I-really-haven’t-given-this-any-thought sort of way, to DO something?  Something specific?  Well–I have.  Once upon a time, in my salad days (or something), I decided to “read the Newberys.”  ALL of them.  Not just the medal winners, you understand, but the Honor books as well.  The whole shebang.  I didn’t consider trifling details, such as, say, the number of books involved (398 as of today), or how difficult it might be to get my hands on some of the older titles (QUITE difficult, even with an amazing inter-library loan system), or the time commitment it might involve (I’m still not really thinking about that one), or even the obvious catch (if I don’t die BETWEEN finishing the previous year’s winners and the announcement of the next year’s winners, the goal is unattainable).  Nope.  In a VERY uncharacteristic “why think too hard about this?” kind of way, I just jumped in.  I’ve learned a few things since then, such as…

1)There is ONE “R” in Newbery.  ONE.  Spell check does not like this, but it’s true.  And with every book I read, seeing the word misspelled in, say, a NEWSPAPER ARTICLE becomes more painful to see. Many people have no reason to know how to spell it, and that’s totally cool. A journalist, though? Really?

2)Almost none of the (considerable) time spent in pursuit of this goal has been wasted. I’m 280 books into this by now, and I can count on one hand the number of books I’ve actively disliked. Some have been forgettable, but I’ve loved a goodly number of them. I’ve also discovered quite a few of my favorite authors this way.

3)As a parent, I now have a much longer list of books to give my kids to try.

4)I’m never out of ideas for books to read. I don’t read ONLY Newberys, not by a long shot, but if I don’t have anything else I’ve been thinking about, there’s always my (dog-eared) list to browse.

5)Who am I kidding? I worked at Borders for TEN YEARS. I have a to-read list a mile long. Still, if I’m undecided, the list helps.

Are you interested in my brand of insanity? The 2014 Youth Media Awards were announced today (at 8 am Eastern, which means I missed it because I refused to get up at 6, which STILL means I’m a geek for knowing and thinking about it!), and the Newbery winners are not the only good books on that list by a long shot. (I’m just too chicken to expand my goal to include the rest of the awards that interest me!) Look here  for this year’s winners and here  for the complete Newbery list.

I will start reviewing past Newberys this week (I have all the new ones on hold at the library, but even the always awesome Salt Lake County library system isn’t THAT fast). I will also probably talk a lot about food (something that occupies my thoughts to a disturbing degree) and my family (that’ll cover my three passions right there!), which is, of course, the reason I named my blog what I did. If you’re interested–stick around!