Saturday, July 31, 2010

Secrets, socks, and more blueberry pie.

I finally finished reading The Name of This Book is Secret by Pseudonymous Bosch (2007) which I started some time ago and set aside while I went on vacation for the 4th of July. Then I got distracted by listening to Nation and some other things. But I did get back to it and finished it just a few minutes ago. I liked this book, it had a very Snickety feel to it in the way the author breaks the "fourth wall" rule and addresses the reader directly to warn us that reading this book can put us in danger. Though it feels Snickety, it doesn't read like a Snicket knock-off. The story involves an 11 year old girl named Cassandra, a self-proclaimed survivalist, and her collaborator 11 year old Max-Ernest. They stumble upon a mystery, Scooby-doo style, involving a magician, his brother and an ancient society seeking the secret to... well, I don't want to give away too much of the plot. I'll just say that you will need to keep your dictionary nearby because this book will expand your vocabulary. This actually is the first in a series of five books, each one focuses on one of the five senses. This one revolves around the sense of smell. The characters are likable and quirky, just like the storytelling. I'd say this book is suitable for grades 4 and up.
I'm working on another pair of socks, I started them while listening to Nation, this picture is of the first one, which is actually already finished but this is the only picture I have at this moment. I'm making these for Mr. Richards but he doesn't like the color. Frankly, neither do I but I'm hoping they'll be so cozy that he won't actually mind the color.
Today I baked another blueberry pie. I really love blueberries. They are really plentiful this time of year so I think I'm going to buy more and freeze them so I can have blueberry pie in the winter!

Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog. Leave me a comment, tell me what you've been reading or listening to, or watching, or playing. Is there anything that you think I should check out? Let me know! Or tell me a story, I like stories.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Some Things to Look Forward To.

These are the books in the July delivery from Junior Library Guild that will be waiting for me when school starts:

Saxby Smart, a young detective, helps people in his community by solving mysteries for them.

The story of how American Air Force Lieutenant Gail Halvorsen dropped candy to children as he flew over West Berlin during the Berlin Airlift.

The life of Henry Ford, from his childhood on a Michigan farm to his success with the Ford Motor Company, and how his Model T changed life for the working class and the American landscape.

Throughout the seasons the workers at the Village Garage are busy taking care of the town and its residents.

Meat-eating dinosaurs face plant-eating dinosaurs in a baseball game.

A girl in a large family is looking forward to her first “double digit” birthday but soon discovers that growing up brings some unwanted changes.

A look at animal symbiosis.

In the 1880s, Emma Lazarus, a writer and poet from a wealthy background, helped immigrants newly arrived in New York City. Her 1883 poem.

As graduation day approaches, Isabel tries to convince her teacher that she and Walter, both porcupines, should receive balloons on the big day just like the other children.

After Troth chooses to stay at a convent as the nuns’ infirmarian, Crispin continues to try to find his way from France to Iceland, traveling with a family whose intentions are dubious.

These pictures and summaries come from the Junior Library Guild website.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Nation, Dalek, and Blueberry Pie

I just finished listening to Nation by Sir Terry Pratchett on audiobook. What a wonderful story! This book was nominated for the Carnegie Medal this year, which is the highest honor a children's book can be awarded in England, like the Newbery Medal here, but was beaten out by the wonderful Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman. (That guy wins all the awards!) Anyway, we don't have Nation in our library at Marshall Lane ... yet! I plan to rectify that immediately. The story takes place in a parallel universe version of Earth on a tiny island that is part of a group of islands called the Mothering Sunday Islands, so named by a colonial empire much like the 19th century british. A boy named Mau is sent to The Boy's Island as part of a ritual to mark his passage into manhood but on his way back to his home island, a tsunami washes through the chain of tiny islands and washes away his entire village, known as the Nation. The same wave shipwrecks the daughter of the colonial Governor of the Mothering Sunday Islands. Together, the two young people rebuild the Nation with the help of the survivors from the surrounding islands. In the process, Mau challenges the wisdom of his people's gods for allowing such a disaster to occur. A very thoughtful and thought provoking novel. I would say this book is good for grades 5 and up.

So have you checked out Doctor Who yet? I finished my Dalek. And look! It's sneaking up on my poodle! Roxy! Look out! If you haven't seen Doctor Who yet, I know this cuddly little monster (and I don't mean my poodle!) is making you curious.

I've also been knitting iPhone cozies..

And baking blueberry pies.

I'm ready to go back to school!

In the mean time, here is a terrific story about a kid who wanted to help his local library.
Also, books are being delivered to the library during the summer so next blog, I will tell you what new books you can expect to find when the library opens in the fall. Isn't that exciting? Yes, yes it is.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Socks and Beasties

I finished the socks! I tend not to finish things that come in pairs but lately I'm on a roll! While I was finishing my cozy socks, I listened to The Beasts of Clawstone Castle by Eva Ibbotson. A few years ago, I read Island of the Aunts by Eva Ibbotson and enjoyed it very much. I thought it was clever and fun. Beasts is also clever and fun. When Madlyn and Rollo are sent to their Great-Aunt Emily and Great-Uncle George at Clawstone Castle for the summer, they find themselves in the position of rescuing Clawstone's legendary wild herd of white cattle from a terrible fate. They also help their Great-Aunt and Great-Uncle increase tourist traffic to the castle by employing some ghosts to haunt the place. If you like ghost stories, animals, and mysteries, this book is for you!

I'm trying to decide on my next project and I think I'm going to try making a Dalek. If you don't know what that is, I suggest you start watching Doctor Who. Get the first 4 seasons from Netflix and then watch season 5 on BBC America. I have house guests for the next week so I probably won't get much reading/listening done but I will try. I hope everyone had a wonderful 4th of July and that summer is going well. I've been mostly puttering so far and I'm anxious to get back to work. Not just because I'm running out of money already, but because I love my job! Also, I left a lot of things unfinished and it makes me a little angsty, a word which here means unfocused dread or nervousness.

Happy reading to you all!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Of Duct Tape and Turtles

Okay, so, in my last post, I said I had some projects to finish and that I would be reading The Doom Machine by Mark Teague. Well, I finished two of projects plus another thing, and I started The Doom Machine but couldn't get into it, so I set it aside and picked up The Name of This Book is Secret by Pseudonymous Bosch. This book hooked me but, unfortunately, half-way through it, I started an audio book called The Neddiad: How Neddie Took the Train, Went to Hollywood, and Saved Civilization by Daniel Pinkwater, read by the author. Well, this was so good I couldn't stop listening to it and since I can get other things done while listening to books, that is what I did and I finished it this morning.
The story starts out simply enough, it takes place in a very nostalgic early fifties. Neddie's eccentric shoe-lace magnate father decides to move the family from Chicago to Los Angeles so they can eat at the Brown Derby restaurant. But when Neddie mistakenly gets off the train at the wrong stop and is left behind, his adventure begins to get very strange. He meets a shaman named Melvin who gives him a small, stone turtle and tells him that it's important and to take good care of it. He makes friends with a ghost and the son of a movie star who offer to drive him the rest of the way to Los Angeles. Once in Los Angeles, he meets more ghosts, a girl named Yggdrasil - which is the name of the world tree from norse mythology - and finds out that the turtle he's been given is the key to saving the world from devolution. The characters that Neddie meets on his journey are all quirky in their own special way, especially Melvin the shaman. Neddie's description of his childhood in Chicago and 1950's Los Angeles are romanticized. There is great humor in the telling of this story and it moves along at a very fast pace. My only complaint about the audiobook is that the author reads too fast. I would highly recommend this book.

And I promised pictures of my finished knitting projects, I finished these before listening to the Neddiad but I'm kind of in between projects at the moment.

These fingerless gloves go up past my elbows, very dramatic! It's the first time I've knitted something with fingers in it, even though there's no fingertips, the extra work in separating for fingers is the same. It was fun though, I'd like to make a shorter pair with full fingers.

This the sweater that needed buttons, and as you can see, the buttons are on, so that is done. Also, the duct tape in the title of this blog comes in to play here. That thing that my sweater is being displayed on is a duct tape dress form. It's a 3-d representation of me in duct tape. Pretty awesome, huh? Have you ever seen what the Mythbusters do with duct tape? I love the stuff! Truly a miracle product! As for the sock I mentioned last time, it's still waiting for a mate.

So that is all for now. Tomorrow I'm off to my parent's house in Tehachapi for 4th of July celebrations and that is sure to be a good time. I hope you all have a great time, too!