Wednesday, April 23, 2014

World Book Night 2014

World Book Night 2014

I am a first time participant in World Book Night 2014.  I signed up to give away 20 copies of Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein.  Unofficially I have given away books to my students on this day for a couple of years to mark the International Day of the Book.  Today it was great to give away an official book and get in the World Book Night book lover tradition.  I am feel so important and blessed to be able to share my love of reading with students.

I chose to giveaway Code Name Verity for a variety of reasons.  First, I wanted a YA title to give away to 9th graders.  Second I wanted a super good book that would appeal to the guys and the girls in class that was based in history (because I am a history teacher).  Third, Code Name Verity was given the Printz Honor award and that is my favorite book award so I knew students would LOVE it.

I gave away lots of books in my class today (including Code Name Verity).  Each person in my class and some who came from other classes, chose a book they wanted to read from my front table. It is so fun to give away good books and books you love.  I had several kids ask me what the best book on the table was and my answer was always Code Name Verity.

I can't wait till next year.
Happy Reading!!

Sunday, April 20, 2014

The Guest House: Poem in My Post

Poem in My Post.
The Guest House by Jelaluddin Rumi, translation by Coleman Barks.

I chose this week's poem because I saw an article on Buzzfeed called 36 Life Changing Poems
Everyone Should Read.  You need to go to the link and read some of the poems.  Many of which I hadn't read before.  Here is the link:

There are so many great poems out there and it sometimes hard to choose just one to share with you.  I chose this one because I love Rumi and also because today is Easter and with guests coming over and families getting together, I thought the poem was a good metaphor for living our lives and entertaining.


This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice.
meet them at the door laughing and invite them in.

Be grateful for whatever comes.
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

-- Jelaluddin Rumi,
    translation by Coleman Barks

Happy Easter!!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Stupid Fast Trilogy Giveaway

Stupid Fast Trilogy Giveaway

Geoff Herbach is the April Author in the Spotlight here on BookSnob and he has graciously decided to giveaway one set of his Stupid Fast trilogy to one BookSnob follower who lives in the U.S./Canada.  That is 3 awesome books in one giveaway people!

1.  Stupid Fast
2.  Nothing Special
3.  I'm With Stupid

Here is the synopsis from Goodreads:
Stupid Fast:
I, Felton Reinstein, am Stupid Fast. Seriously. The upper classmen used to call me Squirrel Nut, because I was little and jumpy. Then, during sophomore year, I got tall and huge and so fast the gym teachers in their tight shorts fell all over themselves. During summer, three things happened all at once. First, the pee-smelling jocks in my grade got me to work out for football, even though I had no intention of playing. Second, on my paper route the most beautiful girl I have ever seen moved in and played piano at 6 a.m. Third, my mom, who never drinks, had some wine, slept in her car, stopped weeding the garden, then took my TV and put it in her room and decided she wouldn’t get out of bed.

Listen, I have not had much success in my life. But suddenly I’m riding around in a jock’s pick-up truck? Suddenly I’m invited to go on walks with beautiful girls? So, it’s understandable that when my little brother stopped playing piano and began to dress like a pirate I didn’t pay much attention. That I didn’t want to deal with my mom coming apart.

Nothing Special:

Hey Aleah,
I miss you. Because there's some serious donkey crap going on right now. I'm supposed to be at football camp, but noooo ... Andrew had to go missing! So because of my stupid little brother, I'll probably lose my chance at a scholarship and end up being nothing special.

I'm pretty sure Andrew ran away to Florida, and now Gus and I have to drive cross-country to get him. Did you know Gus used to think
Miss Piggy was hot? Anyway, Andrew once told me I needed to get my head out of my butt. So that's what I'm trying to do. How about a kiss for luck?

"Readers looking for a genuinely memorable first-person narrator--in the vein of Sherman Alexie's Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian or Pete Hautman's Godless-- should really catch up to Stupid Fast."--StarTribune

I'm With Stupid:

Felton Reinstein has never been good with stress. Which is why he's seriously freaking out. Revealing his college choice on national TV? It's a heart attack waiting to happen. Deciding on a major for the next four years of his life? Ridiculous. He barely even knows who he is outside of football. And so...he embarks on The Epic Quest to Be Meaningful.

Which leads to:

1. Mentoring a freshman called Pig Boy.

2. The state of Wisconsin hating him.

3. His track coach suspending him.

4. The funniest viral video the world has ever seen.

5. A whole new appreciation for his family, his friends, and what's really important in life.

Contest Rules:
Fill out the Form
U.S./Canada residents only
Ends April 30 at midnight.
Good Luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Look Here: Poem in My Post

Poem in My Post:  Look Here by Pamela Alexander

I chose today's poem because we read it in my poetry class this week and frankly I think it is amazing.   I love the metaphors.  You can find today's poem in the book Inland.

Here is the synopsis of Inland from Goodreads:

Pamela Alexander's poetry is characterized by inventive language, scrupulous accuracy of imagery, and a winning fusion of the comic and the deeply serious. Her subjects vary as widely as her settings, which range from the New Hampshire woods to the Arizona desert. A family life eccentric to the point of chaos, close observations of wildlife, and coastal sailing are among the poet's topics.

Despite this variety, Inland has an emerging organization that suggests a kind of plot. The family is left behind in the way that families of origin always are, revealed fully only in perspective: “foghorns / in the harbor, two different pitches / at different intervals / repeating so often I didn't hear them / and their accidental harmonies / until I'd left town.” Shifting toward the subject of new relationships, in her diatribe against a past (and passing) lover Alexander gives a new twist to the fact that this subject has been fair game for poets for centuries: “ could say hello, you canoe-footed fur-faced / musk ox, pockets full of cheese and acorns / and live fish and four-headed winds and sky...”

James Merrill, praising Alexander's first book, called it “a wonderful achievement. Her language is now simple, now playful, now extremely poignant.” This is an apt description of Inland as well, a book that shows Alexander in witty yet serious engagement with the world. The longest poem here, “Swallowing the Anchor” (the title is the sailors' term for giving up the sea), is also the most directly personal. It closes the section of the book in which the poet comes to terms with losses, including the death of the loved one. She does this with grace—and her wit is not jokes, her poignancy is not sentimentality.

Look Here by Pamela Alexander

Next time you walk by my place
in your bearcoat and mooseboots,
your hair all sticks and leaves
like an osprey's nest on a piling,
next time you walk across my shadow
with those swamp-stumping galoshes
below that grizzly coat and your own whiskers
that look rumpled as if something's
been in them already this morning
mussing and growling and kissing--
next time you pole the raft of you downriver
down River Street past my place
you could say hello, you canoe-footed fur-faced
musk ox, pockets full of cheese and acorns
and live fish and four-headed winds and sky, hello
is what human beings say when they meet each other
--if you can't say hello like a human don't
come down this street again and when you do don't
bring that she-bear, and if you do I'll know
even if I'm not on the steps putting my shadow
down like a welcome mat, I'll know.

Crater XV Giveaway Winner!

Crater XV Giveaway Winner!

I am pleased to announce the winner of Kevin Cannon's graphic novel, Crater XV.  Kevin was the March Author in the Spotlight and is giving away one copy of his awesome graphic novel to a lucky BookSnob follower.

And the winner is.....

Tif from the blog Tif Talks Books

Congratulations Tif!!
I hope you enjoy your new book.

Here is an excerpt from my book review:

Crater XV picks up right where Far Arden left off.  Cannon has created a lovable main character in Army Shanks.  He is a super hero, a savior of girls and women, a friend to the orphans, he risks life and limb to fight for what he believes in, he is like no other, and most importantly, he is fun to read about and follow on his misadventures.  You're in for a wild ride to the moon and back or at least to Crater XV and back.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Incendiary Girls Giveaway

Incendiary Girls Giveaway

TLC Book Tours along with Kodi Scheer and her publisher are giving away one copy of Incendiary Girls to a BookSnob follower who lives in the United States.  Yay!

Here is the synopsis from Goodreads:

Incendiary Girls explores our baser instincts with vivid imagination and humor. In these stories, our bodies become strange and unfamiliar terrain, a medium for transformation. In “Fundamental Laws of Nature,” a doctor considers her legacy, both good and bad, when she discovers that her mother has been reincarnated as a thoroughbred mare. In the title story, a mischievous angel chronicles the remarkable life of a girl just beyond death’s reach.In Scheer’s hands, empathy and attachment are illuminated by the absurdity of life. When our bodies betray us, when we begin to feel our minds slip, how much can we embrace without going insane? How much can we detach ourselves before losing our humanity? Scheer’s stories grapple with these questions in each throbbing, choking, heartbreaking moment.

Contest Rules.
Fill out the form
End April 26th at midnight.
U.S. residents only
Good Luck.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Incendiary Girls by Kodi Scheer

Incendiary Girls.  Stories by Kodi Scheer

Incendiary Girls is a collection of short stories that are unforgettable and non-traditional.  Many of the stories have the thread of medicine running through them as well as some magical or fantastical elements.  Sometimes the stories are disturbing yet for every story I was intrigued and wanted to find out where the author was leading me and how the story would end.

My favorite story is the title story because it is based in Turkey during the Armenian genocide.  When a Camel Breaks Your Heart is odd and funny and was super entertaining.  I also really liked the story Gross Anatomy.  There are eleven beautiful, unsettling, unique and strange stories in this collection.  Give yourself permission to laugh at the oddities and imagine the absurd and just go with it.

I love how the cover is represented in stark black and white and how it reflects the stories inside.   Medicine, illness, sickness is so often portrayed in black and white circumstances.  Either your sick or your not sick but humans and their bodies are anything but ordinary and Scheer explores the human body with a little bit of wonder and a lot of intensity.

I love short stories and try to read at least one a week.  With Incendiary Girls, I read one a day.  I couldn't stop.  Scheer does an excellent job juxtaposing reality with fantasy and having her patients (I mean stories) exhibit fundamental psychological symptoms of the creative variety.  She is a great storyteller.

One word:  Unforgettable.

Monday, April 7, 2014

March Author in the Spotlight Wrap-Up

March Author in the Spotlight Wrap-Up + Giveaway

The giveaway for Crater XV ends at midnight tonight!!  Hurry and Enter!  Find the link below.

I'm a little late in saying goodbye to March.  It has been a busy month for me with a teacher/student trip to NYC and the end of the 3rd quarter and grades due all at the same time.  So I decided to put off this post for a week and finish my book reviews and other things I needed to do.

Now March is officially over for me so please join me in saying adieu to March's author in the spotlight, Kevin Cannon.

If you would like to win a copy of Kevin's graphic novel, Crater XV please enter here:  Crater XV Giveaway

Please read my book review of Far Arden.  Far Arden is a page turning, karate kicking, stomach punching, thought provoking, kick ass graphic novel that will keep you guessing.  There are plenty of surprises thrown in that will make you laugh and pull your heart strings. Far Arden is skillfully drawn in black and white with intricate detail.  Kevin is a well known cartoonist and cartographer and is artwork is drawn with heart and humor and will keep the reader coming back for more.

Far Arden Book Review

Please read my book review of Crater XV.  Crater XV picks up right where Far Arden left off.  Cannon has created a lovable main character in Army Shanks.  He is a super hero, a savior of girls and women, a friend to the orphans, he risks life and limb to fight for what he believes in, he is like no other, and most importantly, he is fun to read about and follow on his misadventures.  You're in for a wild ride to the moon and back or at least to Crater XV and back.

Crater XV Book Review

Check out this awesome Guest Post by Kevin.  It is definitely the best guest post ever written for BookSnob in my opinion.  It is a definite must read, especially if you are interested in graphic novels or comics.

Kevin Cannon Guest Post

Check out the author interview with Kevin.  In this interview, Kevin talks about his writing process, his favorite cartoonists and he includes links and websites for further investigation.

Kevin Cannon Author Interview

It has been my pleasure to work with Kevin Cannon this month and I would like to thank him for being the March Minnesota Author in the Spotlight.  I met Kevin at the Twin Cities Book Festival and admire his work as a cartoonist and I am so glad I was able to feature two of books here on Book Snob.  He has written a lot of books and comics as well as creates maps and so much more.  You need to seriously check out his website and read his books.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Crater XV by Kevin Cannon

Crater XV by Kevin Cannon

Time for the space race.  Army Shanks is still depressed and grieving when decides to pack it all up and leave Devon Island in the Canadian Arctic for Antartica.  As Army is sailing away, the Siberians pirates arrive with a space rocket on their ship.  Then a cute little runaway named Wendy appears to fulfill her dream of going to outer space and Shanks gets sucked into the melodrama.  When he sees his childhood sweetheart from the orphanage and she doesn't remember him, he knows he must do whatever he can to save her.

Crater XV picks up right where Far Arden left off.  Cannon has created a lovable main character in Army Shanks.  He is a super hero, a savior of girls and women, a friend to the orphans, he risks life and limb to fight for what he believes in, he is like no other, and most importantly, he is fun to read about and follow on his misadventures.  You're in for a wild ride to the moon and back or at least to Crater XV and back.

A lot of Crater XV is based on the real race to space by the Soviets and the Americans.  Cannon's graphic novel called T-Minus: The Race to the Moon, inspired some of the plot of Crater XV.  I love a graphic novel that is not only fun and entertaining to read but one that also teaches me a little history and this one does both.  Canadians in the space race, who knew?

If you like graphic novels, you will love Crater XV.  Crater XV is well drawn, well written and it is enjoyable to read.  Cannon is an excellent cartoonist and well known for his detailed drawings.  The artwork in Crater XV is similar to Far Arden, and done in black and white with intricate detail.

Fortune: Poem in Your Post

Poem in Your Post:  Fortune by Dobby Gibson

Every Sunday in April, I will highlight a poem or poet during National Poetry Month.

I love poetry and finding new poets is so much fun.  Dobby Gibson is a new poet for me.  I hope to read his book of poems soon.

I stumbled across this poem when researching the winners of the Minnesota Book Award.  Dobby Gibson's book, It Becomes You, was shortlisted for the prize.

To read the poem in my post today, you will need to watch the video.
Let me know what you think.