Shabby Sunday: Bittersweet – Stories and Poems from Scholastic Writing Awards 1926-1960 – Jerome Brondfield – 1962

Shabby Sunday

I have a lot of old vintage books and one of my plans when I first started blogging was to do a post every week or so that shared one of my cherished vintage books. Then I thought there might be other book bloggers out there that have some vintage books, heirlooms, or maybe some old books from childhood that they might want to share. I decided to start a weekly meme titled ‘Shabby Sunday’ for those who would like to participate and share some of their old vintage books. Do you have some shabby books you’d like to share? If so, please feel free to participate as anyone can join. Feel free to use the picture I’ve provided if you’d like to. If you decide to do this meme, please consider linking back to me so that I can see the book you’re sharing.


Today’s Shabby Share is:

Bittersweet: Stories and Poems from Scholastic Writing Awards, 1926-1960

by: Jerome Brondfield

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This is a book from my childhood that I know I’ve mentioned before on tags, but haven’t shared for Shabby Sunday. I’ve had this book since I was in 5th grade. Continue reading “Shabby Sunday: Bittersweet – Stories and Poems from Scholastic Writing Awards 1926-1960 – Jerome Brondfield – 1962”

Blog Tour & Book Review: As Good As Gold: A Dog’s Life in Poems by Patricia Furstenberg #AsGoodAsGold

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As Good As Gold: A dog’s life in poems

Author: Patricia Furstenberg

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Synopsis:

As engaging as a tail wag

Celebrating the simple things in life as seen through the eyes of our old time favourite furry friends, “As Good as Gold” is a volume of poetry revealing the talent and humour we always knew our dogs possessed.

Dogs are full of questions, yet they are famed sellers of innocence especially when it comes to explaining their mishaps and often foolish effervescence through ponderings such as “Why IS a Cat Not Like a Dog”, “As Brown as Chocolate”, “Silver Stars and Puppy Tail” or, best yet, “Dog or Book?”

A book with an enormous heart for readers of all ages, it includes 35 poems and haiku accompanied by expressive portraits of our canine friends. Continue reading “Blog Tour & Book Review: As Good As Gold: A Dog’s Life in Poems by Patricia Furstenberg #AsGoodAsGold”

Shabby Sunday: Witch Poems by Daisy Wallace and Trina Schart Hyman – 1976

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To see all the Shabby Sunday books that I’ve chosen, please click on ‘Shabby Sunday’ under categories.


Shabby Sunday Meme

I have a lot of old vintage books and one of my plans when I first started blogging was to do a post every week or so that shared one of my cherished vintage books. Then, I thought that maybe there might be other book bloggers out there that have some vintage books, heirlooms, or maybe some old books from childhood that they might want to share. I decided to start a weekly meme titled ‘Shabby Sunday’ for those who would like to participate and share some of their old vintage books. Do you have some shabby books you’d like to share? Please feel free to participate. Feel free to use the picture I’ve provided if you’d like to. If you decide to do this meme, please consider linking back to me so that I can see the book you’re sharing.


Today’s shabby share is:

Witch Poems

by Daisy Wallace (Editor)Trina Schart Hyman (Illustrator)

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Blurb: Small, tall, nasty, nice, old, and young witches by prominent poets. Eighteen poems about witches by L. Frank Baum, E.E. Cummings, Eleanor Farjeon, and others.

I chose this book because it’s a childhood favorite from 1976 and definitely in shabby shape. My edition is very worn and a previous library book with stickers and markings. This is another book that my dog Winston got to when he was a puppy. He ate the corner and I had to do a duct tape repair on it.


My Thoughts:

This book is one of our favorites to read around Halloween time. There are witch poems from multiple poets including Shakespeare, L.Frank Baum, Myra Cohn Livingston and a few anonymous.

One of our favorites is written by Myra Cohn Livingston. It’s titled “Lazy Witch.”

Lazy Witch

Lazy witch
What’s wrong with you?
Get up and stir your magic brew.
Here’s candlelight to chase the gloom.
Jump up and mount your flying broom
And muster up your charms and spells
And wicked grins and piercing yells.
It’s Halloween! There’s work to do!
Lazy witch,
What’s wrong with you?

–Myra Cohn Livingston

What makes this book so atmospheric are the illustrations. They’re all black and white and remind me of Pam Smy’s illustrations in Thornhill.

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It sets the mood and makes this a perfect book for Halloween. There is actually one semi-nude illustration in the beginning of the book, but the book is labeled for children ages 3 and up. We enjoy all eighteen poems.

My rating on this one is 5-stars.

5 Sterne


Add it on Goodreads or find this edition on Amazon

  • Age Range: 3 and up
  • Hardcover: 30 pages
  • Publisher: Holiday House; First Edition edition (December 1976)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0823402819
  • ISBN-13: 978-0823402816

 


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Continue reading “Shabby Sunday: Witch Poems by Daisy Wallace and Trina Schart Hyman – 1976”

Shabby Sunday: A Child’s Garden of Delights – 1987

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Today is my 7th Shabby Sunday! To see all the Shabby Sunday books that I’ve chosen, please click on ‘Shabby Sunday’ under categories.


Shabby Sunday Meme

I have a lot of old vintage books and one of my plans when I first started blogging was to do a post every week or so that shared one of my cherished vintage books. Then, I thought that maybe there might be other book bloggers out there that have some vintage books, heirlooms, or maybe some old books from childhood that they might want to share. I decided to start a weekly meme titled ‘Shabby Sunday’ for those who would like to participate and share some of their old vintage books. Do you have some shabby books you’d like to share? Please feel free to participate. Feel free to use the picture I’ve provided if you’d like to. If you decide to do this meme, please consider linking back to me so that I can see the book you’re sharing.


Today’s shabby share is:

A Child’s Garden of Delights

by Bernard McTigue

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Blurb: Eighty-five selections from the collections of the New York Public Library. Includes Mother Goose, “Wind in the Willows,” Pinocchio, fairy tales, Mark Twain, Tolstoy, Blakely, and other treasures.

I chose this book because it’s a childhood favorite from 1987. It seems to be quite rare and not very popular. I think anyone who has children around or who are interested in children’s literature would enjoy this book.


My Thoughts

A Child’s Garden of Delights: Pictures, Poems, and Stories for Children is an anthology of children’s stories and more from the collections of the New York Public Library.

“The Charm of the anonymous early English and American selections proves that in the field of children’s literature there was a genius shared by all its practitioners, from the humblest to the most illustrious. To browse through this collection will be a voyage of discovery for young readers and a happy voyage of rediscovery of beloved favorites for older ones.”

This treasure trove has over 80 stories, poems, fables, and nursery rhymes with original illustrations. The illustrations are a mix of color and black and white. It’s an enchanting book. I love that it begins with selections for the youngest readers and progresses on to more difficult readings for older children.

There are tons of authors and great artists including: Rudyard Kipling, Alexander Calder, Charles Kingsley, Leo Tolstoy, Oscar Wilde, Mark Twain, Nathanial Hawthorne, Clement Clark Moore, Louisa May Alcott, William Blake, Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, Pushkin, and many more.

Stories include some of our favorites like: Pinocchio, Old Mother Hubbard, Humpty Dumpty, The Elephants Child, The Ugly Little Duck, Millions of Cats, Aesop’s Fables, A Visit from St. Nicholas, The Wolf and the Dog, The Lion and the Puppy, The Selfish Giant, The Woodcutters Dog, and so many more.

I know well that only the rarest kind of best can be good enough for the young. – Walter De La Mare

This is a book I’ll never part with. It’s such a gem. I feel so lucky to have it!

My rating on this book is 5*****


 

Add it on Goodreads or find this edition on Amazon

  • Hardcover: 271 pages
  • Publisher: Harry N Abrams; First Edition edition (September 1987)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0810907917
  • ISBN-13: 978-0810907911

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Continue reading “Shabby Sunday: A Child’s Garden of Delights – 1987”

Please Excuse This Poem: 100 New Poets for the Next Generation – Book Review

Please Excuse This Poem: 100 New Poets for the Next Generation

by: Brett Fletcher Lauer (Author)Lynn Melnick (Author)Carolyn Forché (Introduction)

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I picked this up from my local library a while back after there was some controversy with a few parents over the book being considered YA due to the content. They felt that it was inappropriate and came in complaining about the book after their kids brought it home. At the age of 11, my oldest daughter is starting to read some YA and I thought I’d like to check this one out to see what the fuss was all about and if it’s something she could read. Plus, I love poetry.

The book is a compilation of about one hundred poems from different authors on various topics including racism, drug use, sexual orientation, sexual abuse, common problems that teens experience with friends and family, and others. It does contain some profanity. It’s a good mix of poems and I loved some and didn’t like others. A few of my favorites are:

“Richer Than Anyone in Heaven,”

“Boyishly”

“High-School Picture Re-Take Day”

“That’s Everything Inevitable”

“Sonnet”

“Second Summer”

“The Wait for Cake”

My absolute favorite was:
“Concerning the Land to the South of Our Neighbors to the North.”

I enjoyed the book, but I’m not sure about this being used in classrooms and feel that it might be best for upper high school due to some of the content. YA can mean different ages from twelve all the way up to twenty-five and I noticed that School Library Journal lists this as tenth grade and up, but I don’t think it’s appropriate for all tenth graders. Some of these poems are intense and a few can be offensive. It’s books like these that make me wish (even more) that there was a rating system in place for books just like movies, then parents and teachers could decide right away whether a book is or isn’t appropriate for their readers. I’m no expert, but in my opinion, even as an adult you really have to go into this book with an open mind.

I was pleasantly surprised to find the afterward which contains information about the poets and some short Q&A’s for each. What I didn’t like was that the questions asked were about favorite foods. artists, and mottos. I would’ve liked to learn why they wrote the poem that was featured in the book and what inspired them to write these poems in the first place.

My rating on this is 3.5***

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  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Viking Books for Young Readers (March 10, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0670014796
  • ISBN-13: 978-0670014798

Blurb: One hundred poems. One hundred voices. One hundred different points of view.

Here is a cross-section of American poetry as it is right now—full of grit and love, sparkling with humor, searing the heart, smashing through boundaries on every page. Please Excuse This Poem features one hundred acclaimed younger poets from truly diverse backgrounds and points of view, whose work has appeared everywhere from The New Yorker to Twitter, tackling a startling range of subjects in a startling range of poetic forms. Dealing with the aftermath of war; unpacking the meaning of “the rape joke”; sharing the tender moments at the start of a love affair: these poems tell the world as they see it.

Editors Brett Fletcher Lauer and Lynn Melnick have crafted a book that is a must-read for those wanting to know the future of poetry. With an introduction from award-winning poet, editor, and translator Carolyn Forché, Please Excuse This Poem has the power to change the way you look at the world. It is The Best American Nonrequired Reading—in poetry form.

Find it on Amazon and Goodreads


 

Here you can see the authors introduce the book and also hear some of the poems.

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About the Authors:

Brett Fletcher Lauer

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Brett Fletcher Lauer is the deputy director of the Poetry Society of America and the poetry editor of A Public Space, and the author of memoir Fake Missed Connections: Divorce, Online Dating, and Other Failures, and the poetry collection A Hotel In Belgium. In addition to co-editing several anthologies, including Please Excuse this Poem: 100 News Poets for the Next Generation and Isn’t It Romantic: 100 Love Poems by Younger American Poets, he is the poetry co-chair for the Brooklyn Book Festival. – Goodreads

Find Brett Fletcher Lauer on:

Goodreads | Website | Amazon


Lynn Melnick

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Lynn Melnick is the author of the poetry collections Landscape with Sex and Violence (forthcoming, 2017) and If I Should Say I Have Hope (2012), both with YesYes Books, and the co-editor of Please Excuse This Poem: 100 Poets for the Next Generation (Viking, 2015). Her poetry has appeared in APR, The New Republic, The New Yorker, The Paris Review, A Public Space, and elsewhere, and she has written essays and book reviews for Boston Review, LA Review of Books, and Poetry Daily, among others. A 2017-2018 fellow at the New York Public Library’s Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers, she also teaches poetry at the 92Y and serves on the Executive Board of VIDA: Women in Literary Arts. Born in Indianapolis, she grew up in Los Angeles and currently lives in Brooklyn. – Goodreads

Find Lynn Melnick on:

Goodreads | Website | Amazon

 

Continue reading “Please Excuse This Poem: 100 New Poets for the Next Generation – Book Review”

TAG: This-Is-My-Truth-Now

I was tagged by Claire@bookscoffeeandrepeat for the This-Is-My-Truth-Now Tag. I’m really late getting to this one and I apologize for that. Check out Claire’s blog for book reviews, memes, and Creepy Fridays!

  Please check out Claire’s original post for this tag and read her answers to the challenge questions by clicking HERE

This tag was created by Jay@thisismytruthnow.com

THIS-IS-MY-TRUTH-NOW TAG

The Rules

  1. Create your own new post and call it “Tag: This-Is-My-Truth-Now” and be sure to include in your tags the words — without quotes — “ThisIsMyTruthNow Tag”
  2. Include these rules when you copy/paste to your own post.
  3. Be sure to thank the person that tagged you and include their responses at the bottom of your post, so someone can get to know them too. Tell everyone something interesting about the person who tagged you.
  4. Include a link to my original post mentioning this blog so we can see how many people choose to play along. Link to cut/paste is:  ThisIsMyTruthNow
  5. Choose 12 bloggers to tag and include a link to their latest post, so others can check them out and meet new people.
  6. Answer all 12 questions in The Challenge Questions section, but replace the 12th question with your own new one around telling the truth or revealing something interesting about yourself — you can leave the existing if you can’t think of something.
  7. Be sure to copy/paste the “Truth or Dare” section at the end of this post. It’s important to the challenge — so you better carefully read it!
  8. If you’ve haven’t been tagged, but you want to play along, you can totally jump on in and post responses to the tag on your blog.

TRUTH:

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Answer the challenge questions as truthful as possible!

QUESTION 1You’re on your way to a birthday dinner that your friends have thrown for you. When you arrive, your favorite author is having dinner by himself or herself and asks you to sit with them, before you even see your friends or they see you. You have two choices: (1) You can sit with the author but can’t tell your friends that you’ve abandoned them for three hours, or (2) Meet your friends and lose the only chance you’ll ever have to talk with the author. Pick one or the other — no exceptions or communication to your friends to tell them about the author — and explain why.

QUESTION 2You’ve got an opportunity to spend a few hours alone “in your bedroom” with a character from any book you’ve previously read. The character tells you that (s)he would like to lock the door and spend some alone time with you. What book and character is it, and do you decide to enter the room and lock the door, or tell them you aren’t interested?

QUESTION 3: If you could turn any male character from one of your favorite books into a female character (or change a female into a male) in the book or book series, which one and why?

QUESTION 4What blogger currently on your follower’s list (meaning they follow you too) do you admire the most and why?

QUESTION 5If you could change any one decision your favorite book character made, what would it be and why?

QUESTION 6If you could pick 1 character from a book and 1 character from a TV show you watch (that is NOT based on a book) to be in a relationship together, who would you choose, and why?

QUESTION 7It’s your last day on Earth. As you are about to cross that final finish line, a mysterious shadow appears, giving you a choice: (1) You can go move forward to whatever comes next for you [based on your own spiritual or religious beliefs], or (2) you can become a character in a book series and exist permanently doing whatever that author chooses to do with you in the book. Which do you choose, and if it’s option 2, reveal the book and author.

QUESTION 8If you could steal a pet from someone in any book you’ve read, but had to replace it with a friend’s pet (meaning they wouldn’t ever see their pet again), would you do it?  If so, explain the who and why.

QUESTION 9If you could turn someone from your real life into a character from a book, who from your life, who in the book and why?

QUESTION 10Post a picture of the cover of a book you read in 2000 and the book you are currently reading now. (Note: if you weren’t alive in 2000, pick the first book you ever read and tell everyone what year it was from).

QUESTION 11Your favorite character (under 18) needs a place to stay for 3 months and asks you if (s)he could stay in your spare room (yes, you have one for the sake of this question). Who is it and what is the reason (s)he needs to stay with you?

QUESTION 12What are qualities that a favorite character of yours has that you wish you had as well? What character, what qualities and why? Pick a book you’ve read this year (you can change this question when added to your blog, but please let me know your answer to this question in the comments below)

–OR–

DARE:

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If you choose not to accept the tag, you have to follow through on whatever dare the person who tags you chooses.

My dare was to write a Haiku poem about a book I hated.

I chose the dare. It takes a lot for me to hate a book and I don’t even like using the word, but one book stands out and I nearly hated it- It’s titled, The Happiest Mommy You Know. I’m not an author and don’t like book bashing, but I simply didn’t like this book. I understood her point, but it got out of hand in my opinion. I won’t get into that now. If you’re interested, you can see my review for it HERE.

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Here’s my poem…

 My children come first.
Really ♡ my yoga pants-
Happy family…

 

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Continue to see who I tagged!

Continue reading “TAG: This-Is-My-Truth-Now”

Q&A with Lew Watts – Author of Marcel Malone – Book Review – SIGNED PAPERBACK GIVEAWAY

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I’ve had Marcel Malone on my TBR list since the beginning of the year and finally read it this past week. In addition to reviewing below, you can read my Q&A with author Lew Watts and learn a little more about him.

Marcel Malone by Lew Watts

31298354Blurb: Dr Vera Lewis has a difficult but intriguing patient, Marcel, whose symptoms result from multiple levels of rejection—from family, colleagues, relationships, and those journals that receive his poetry submissions. Desperate to achieve a breakthrough, Vera prescribes a very unusual treatment that begins to desensitize Marcel to rejection, albeit with unexpected side-effects. It is only when Vera brings poetry into their therapy sessions that Marcel begins to reveal his deeper problems, and is able to confront the demons of his past. As for Vera, she has her own problems…
Set mostly in Washington, DC, Marcel Malone is a story of how the love of poetry can lead to personal transformation.

 

  • Paperback: 282 pages
  • Publisher: Red Mountain Press (October 23, 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0997310227
  • ISBN-13: 978-0997310221

 

You can find this book on:

Goodreads | Amazon

 

My review

I had no idea what to expect when I started reading this book. Marcel Malone is a first novel for Lew Watts and one that is definitely unique.

Vera and Raymond are a married couple living in DC. Vera is a psychiatrist who lacks attention from her husband as he places more importance on his job as a lobbyist. Raymond worries about his reputation more than anything and lacks the ability to pick up on Vera’s needs.

The focus in the story is mainly Vera and her life with her patients. A particular patient that she becomes almost dependent on is Marcel. Marcel enjoys reading and writing poetry which is something he and Vera have in common. They share their thoughts with each other and Vera looks forward to these conversations. The result of this relationship and Vera’s own curiosity results in a story with interlaced poetry which I thought was unique, and the poetry just might be what they both need to unleash the past.

“Near this rose, in this grove of sun-parched, wind-warped madronas,
Among the half-dead trees, I came upon the true ease of myself,
As if another man appeared out of the depths of my being,
And I stood outside myself,” lines from The Rose by Theodore Roethke

As Vera learns more about Marcel, she learns that he’s had a hard time with rejection in the past and Vera prescribes a new experiment of paradoxical intervention and journal writing to see if it might help him as a sort of “rejection therapy.” This becomes comical at times, but the outcome she receives from this is unexpected and Vera finds that her own demons and life choices need to be addressed.

The story kept me interested enough to finish it and the ending was quite emotional for me. There were a few times where I became bored with the story as there wasn’t a lot of excitement, but then something would happen or a mystery would be introduced which would yank me right back in again. I’ve always enjoyed poetry, especially Haiku, and I think that anyone who has an appreciation for it will enjoy this book. Even those that don’t particularly care for poetry will more than likely enjoy it. I have a goodly amount of authors and books to add to my list now after reading it and I’d like to thank the author for sharing a complimentary copy of this book with me.

Star_rating_4_of_5

 

Continue reading “Q&A with Lew Watts – Author of Marcel Malone – Book Review – SIGNED PAPERBACK GIVEAWAY”

Wednesday’s Breakfast and a Book – Warm Rice Cereal – Please Excuse This Poem

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This week I’m playing catch up with my reading due to the 4th of July holiday and the fact that I started reading an epic fantasy last week that demanded my full attention. So, I only have one ‘new’ book to share with you that I just started a few days ago. Let’s get to the breakfast first.

I’m excited to share with you an amazingly easy breakfast cereal that can be partially prepared the night before. It’s a simple rice cereal recipe and reminds me of my childhood. As a child, my grandfather would occasionally take us to this amazing Greek restaurant that was a hop, skip, and a jump from our home. I loved that restaurant because after my meal I knew that I was going to get a delicious cup of rice pudding afterward. It was always served with real cream and an extra dollop of whipped cream on top. I literally think this restaurant is where my addiction to rice pudding started. I’ve made rice pudding at home since, and this breakfast cereal is similar in taste, but fairly healthy.

Warm Rice Cereal –

This is actually a quite common recipe. What makes it a little different for me now is that I use almond milk with it and I prepare it in my Vitaclay cooker the night before. Here’s my recipe…

Ingredients:

1 cup of rice (I used Jasmine)

1 1/2 to 2 cups of almond milk (or cow’s milk)

1 – 2 TB Butter (Make it dairy free by using oil)

1/8 Cup Honey (Use 1/4 cup sugar if you don’t have honey)

A few dashes of cinnamon

You can make this in a pan very easily just like rice. I used my Vitaclay. I’m also doubling the recipe to feed more people. I added all the ingredients in and stirred.

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I used the regular RICE cooking mode, covered it, and set the clock to start at 5am. This way I could wake up and breakfast would already be waiting for everyone. That’s always nice!

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Here’s what it looked like this morning after cooking.

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I seemed to be a little on the dry side, so I added a little more almond milk and stirred it up.

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After adding to my bowl, I added some fresh organic cherries with a little extra almond milk added and an extra dash of cinnamon. It came out perfect and it’s a very filling breakfast!

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Continue for this week’s books…

Continue reading “Wednesday’s Breakfast and a Book – Warm Rice Cereal – Please Excuse This Poem”

Q&A with Author Andy Carrington – Plus Book reviews for S.O.P.H.I.E & Self Service Check-Outs Have No Soul

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*Warning – This Post Contains Explicit Language*

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I’ve been wanting to read some of Andy Carrington’s work for some time now. I’ll admit I haven’t read much Satire or Punk Poetry and became intrigued just by the titles of these two books. I recently read Self Service Check-Outs Have No Soul and S.O.P.H.I.E. Please see my reviews for both books below and the Q&A with Andy Carrington as well. Add these books on Goodreads by clicking the covers.

Self Service Check-Outs Have No Soul

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Blurb: Human anxiety / disillusionment in the machine age.

My review

I had an idea what the subject of this poetry would be just after reading the title, but what I got was more than I anticipated. Andy Carrington flat-out tells it how it is when it comes to technology and our world today. The writing covers real world scenarios and I found myself more than once saying, “Exactly!” There’s so much truth here and we have to admit it folks. It makes me think back to when I was a kid and life was more simple. Now our kids are growing up in a very different world with multiple electronic devices.

One of my favorite poems in the book is #Twits. Andy mentions Twitter and how everyone say’s what they want on the computer, but never face to face. There’s no fear behind the screen. Effective communication is out the window with social media in my opinion. I’m one of the those people who thinks social media isn’t social at all, but yeah, I finally succumbed to Twitter and so would my grandpa if he were here.

Another one that really caught my attention was “There’s an APP for a that.” I like this part…

     -we’re taken in by the waves

with our fate

being determined by the furious tap-

tap tapping

of our

fingers.

I really hope a machine won’t take my postman’s place. I love that guy! Plus, privacy? There’s no such thing anymore. I’m amazed with all the thought-provoking and valid points here.

I enjoyed the film references and especially the links to the news articles pertaining to each poem. I’m glad to have read this. Technology is scary and effects everything about the way we think and act. We don’t even realize it.  I think everyone will agree.

Star_rating_4_of_5

You can pick up a copy of Self Service Check-Outs Have No Soul for only £2.00 on Andy’s website by clicking HERE. 

 

Continue reading “Q&A with Author Andy Carrington – Plus Book reviews for S.O.P.H.I.E & Self Service Check-Outs Have No Soul”

This Week’s Children’s Books – Despicable Me 3 – Out of Wonder Poems – Luna’s Red Hat – Sleep Like a Tiger and more…

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I have a handful of children’s books to share with you this week and hope you’ll enjoy my reviews for them below. As always, if you’d like to add them on Goodreads, just click the cover to be redirected.


Despicable Me 3 – Agnes Loves Unicorns by Universal

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Blurb: The Minions are back! Join your favorite yellow friends, along with Agnes, Edith, and Margo, on a new, hilarious adventure in this beautiful hardcover picture book that is based on the highly anticipated blockbuster movie Despicable Me 3!

Agnes has two lifelong dreams:
One is to be adopted into a loving family (completed!) and the other is to have a pet unicorn. Explore Agnes’s love of unicorns inside this lovely picture book–and join her as she goes on her biggest adventure yet–to capture a unicorn!

  • Age Range: 5 – 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool – 3
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: LB Kids; Mti edition (May 23, 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316507474
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316507479

My review

I was surprised when we first started reading Agnes Loves Unicorns because the story goes all the way back to the beginning of the first “Despicable Me” movie with the girls still in their orphan home. Agnes dreams of having a family and a pet unicorn too.

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Her first dream comes true and she’s adopted by Gru. Then, she gets her very own stuffed unicorn, but soon learns that she must make a sacrifice for her family. She decides its time to find a real life unicorn and the adventure begins.

We loved the full color pages in this picture book. It’s easy to read and perfect for all children because it’s told in chronological order from the first movie. I’m going with 4 stars on this one because it felt choppy at times.

Star_rating_4_of_5


Luna’s Red Hat by Emmi Smid

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Blurb: It is a beautiful spring day, and Luna is having a picnic in the park with her family, wearing her Mum’s red hat. Luna’s Mum died one year ago and she still finds it difficult to understand why. She feels that it may have been her fault and worries that her Dad might leave her in the same way. Her Dad talks to her to explain what happened and together they think about all the happy memories they have of Mum.

This beautifully-illustrated storybook is designed as a tool to be read with children aged 6+ who have experienced the loss of a loved one by suicide. Suicide always causes shock, not just for the family members but for everyone around them, and children also have to deal with these feelings. The book approaches the subject sensitively and includes a guide for parents and professionals by bereavement expert, Dr Riet Fiddelaers-Jaspers. It will be of interest to anyone working with, or caring for, children bereaved by suicide, including bereavement counsellors, social workers and school staff, as well as parents, carers and other family members.

  • Age Range: 6 – 9 years
  • Grade Level: 1 – 4
  • Hardcover: 34 pages
  • Publisher: Jessica Kingsley Publishers; Ill edition (April 21, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1849056293
  • ISBN-13: 978-1849056298

My review

This story begins with Luna, a little girl who lost her mother to suicide a year ago and is still dealing with anger and sadness. Her dad tries to help her understand that her mother’s suicide wasn’t anybody’s fault, and it wasn’t her mother’s fault either. She has lots of questions she needs answered and her dad is there to help her through.

Suicide is something you hear about often and many have experienced first hand with a family member or friend. It’s never easy and explaining it to children can be challenge as they have many questions in their little heads.  Why? How? Didn’t they love me? It’s never easy to explain or understand, even as an adult.

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In the past, I lost a friend to suicide. Recently, the death of Chris Cornell became known to my family. I’ve been listening to Chris since I was a young teen and his death hit me hard. My kids, knowing who he is, had questions as well. They didn’t understand. It’s hard to explain to them, especially when they start asking questions about how he did it. Help for parents is found in the back of the book as a bereavement specialist writes to briefly explain how to handle these questions from children.

I found the book very helpful. I thought the illustrations were powerful with showing the emotions of the characters and I believe this book would be good for many parents, teachers, counselors, and children dealing with a loss due to suicide.

5-start

Continue reading “This Week’s Children’s Books – Despicable Me 3 – Out of Wonder Poems – Luna’s Red Hat – Sleep Like a Tiger and more…”

When The Moon Takes Over the Dream by Stjepan Cobets + Author Q&A

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I recently read Stjepan Cobet’s poem book The Child of Happiness and was glad to learn that he had written another book of poetry. When The Moon Takes Over the Dream is a poetry book containing heartfelt, romantic, and often thought-provoking poems relating to love, which made me enjoy it even more. I took pleasure reading the entire book out loud and taking in all the poems one at a time.

One of my favorite poems from this book is titled “Leave Us To This Night.” Here it is below…

Leave us to love music which reaches from our souls,
Let it be spread in all hidden corners,
In every part of our body.
Feel the vibrations of strings what wakes up our
soul,
Let’s be one,
Be crazy with love.

I noticed only a few minor grammatical errors in the text which were easily overlooked. I’m assuming it’s due to the translation. As I was reading I began to think about how this would be a perfect outdoor or beach read as it’s peaceful and relaxing. I’m happy to have it as part of my collection and I’d like to thank the author, who is very kind, for unexpectedly gifting me with a copy.

4-stars


 

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Q&A with author Stjepan Cobets

 

Q: What made you want to become a writer?

A: I loved leaving my thoughts on paper. Initially, it was poetry, but later I would have come up with ideas for stories so I began to write short stories and finally I went to write novels.

Q: Are you a pen & paper, typewriter, or computer person when it comes to writing?

A: I just don’t use the typing machine, I used it before, but now I have a computer and it is much easier to correct my mistakes. I write poems and some ideas on paper because my ideas come to mind when I do not have a computer all the time. Later, when I write on my computer, I am correcting and what I have written and it is easier to keep all document on the computer.

Q: Do you write alone or in public? Inside or outside?

A: When I write books I work at home, I wrote in public places, at work, on the train, and everywhere where the idea came to me. That’s why I always carry my paper notebook. When I start writing, I simply turn away from the world, which my wife sometimes gets angry because I do not hear what she is saying.

Q: What book have you read that has most influenced your life?

A: They had a lot of influence on my thoughts and attitudes, but life can sometimes be a lot different than writing in books. There were a lot of books that affected my life, and if I had to choose, say Victor Hugo Les Misérables and Jules Verne 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.

Q: Does writing poetry come easy for you?

A: It is honestly easy, I just let it go, and my thoughts lead me.

Q: Do you think that somebody who doesn’t feel emotions strongly can write poetry?

A: I do not know if that is possible, I think you need to feel the emotions if you want to cuddle in the poem. Sometimes it is good, and sometimes bad emotions, the one who has no emotion is sure to be dazed for many things.

Q: What’s the best way to market your books?

A: I don’t now. I really would love to know. I like to communicate with my readers and hear their opinions. For a great promotion, you need someone in publishing houses, and I’m an independent publisher because I could only publish my books in that way. I’m not really a marketing guy.

Q: About how much time do you spend writing poetry?

A: I do not have a special time to write poetry, I simply write when I feel I have to write something. Sometimes for months, I do not write a single poem, and sometimes I write a pretty number in a day.

Q: What are a few of your favorite books from childhood?

A: Fairytales, I loved fairy tales as a child.

Q: How do you construct your poetry books? Do you just write what comes to your mind, or are your poems written in a specific order?

A: I do not have a certain order, I just write.

Q: Were there any poems that you left out of this particular book?

A: I did not put a lot of poems in the collection, but it will certainly be in my next collection I’m currently working on.

Q: One of my favorite poems in this book is “Leave Us To This Night” and I noticed a few of the poems like this one have music references. Does music inspire you to write poetry? If so, what are some of your favorite artists or music genres?

A: Honestly when I write poetry, sometimes I hear some music with my text in my head. I love blues, rock n rolls, hard rocks and all other music while. I’m writing I love listening to Irish music, classics, and music from the movies. Some artists include: Bob Dylan, Led zeppelin, The Doors, Tom Waits, Sting, Bob Marley, etc.

Q: I’m very interested in learning about Croatia and what your life is like there as I’ve never been there. What’s a typical day like for you in Croatia?

A: Croatia is a small and beautiful country, has about four million inhabitants, and is a true tourist destination. Lately, a lot of films and television series are being recorded in Croatia. I even participated in the shooting of Game of Thrones. We have a lot of national parks and the beautiful seaside of the Adriatic Sea, a lot of old cities still from the Greek and Roman empires. Basically, everything is somewhat slow in our minds, people love to drink coffee in cafes for a few hours and enjoy it. There is no hurry anywhere. If we had a little smarter politician, this would be an ideal country to live.

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Q: What else do you enjoy doing besides writing?

A: I have a big garden around the house. I grow fruit and vegetables, sometimes with family, I go to nature and swimming in the sea when the summer comes, and the main obligation is my work at the factory.


Here’s a video of Stjepan Cobet’s singing the song “Christmas Is”

 

CHRISTMAS IS…

The Angel blessed voice carries,
over the sea and mountains.
Under the shining falling stars,
we got the son of God,
on a stable, small and quiet,
echoed the baby’s cries.

Angel coming to the shepherds,
announce him a happy time,
Tonight is born King and God,
with you bring your flock of sheep
and give your worship to him,
white lamb, let him be a gift.

Christmas is,
your name Jesus,
our hearts visit us.

Tonight everyone,
your birth we celebrate
and we humbly worship you.

Three King visit the child,
gold, myrrh, frankincense they wearing,
they knelt next to the manger
and they worship the true King,
to God’s Son, give a kiss
and promised him their loyalty.

Christmas is,
lit up the whole world,
Peace brought us.

Without you,
The soul would have wandered;
you are the light of God.

Christmas is
your name Jesus,
our hearts hikes.

Tonight, everyone
your birth celebrates
and humbly worships you.

Three King visit the child,
gold, myrrh, frankincense they wearing,
they knelt next to the manger
and they worship the true King,
to God’s Son, give a kiss
and promised him their loyalty.

Christmas is,
lit up the whole world,
Peace brought us.

Without you,
The soul would have wandered;
you are the light of God.

I’d like to thank Stjepan Cobets for his time and consideration with completing this Q&A.

 

Continue reading “When The Moon Takes Over the Dream by Stjepan Cobets + Author Q&A”

Above Hallowed Ground: A Photographic Record of September 11th, 2001 Book Review & Poem

This book was given to me years ago by a family member and I’m happy to have it as part of my September 11th book collection. You can see my review below as well as a poem written by my son regarding the fireman who were lost that day.

My Review:

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Above Hallowed Ground: A Photographic Record of September 11, 2001 is a 192 page book containing hundreds of full color photographs in chronological order taken on September 11th, 2001, the days following the terrorist attacks, and the recovery efforts up until April 2002.

I think most people can remember exactly what they were doing the morning of September 11th, 2001, during the deadliest terrorist attacks in America. I can still remember watching television that morning and remember how helpless I felt. During this time police and fire personnel rushed to the scene of the attacks to save lives. Hundreds of fireman went up into the towers knowing that it was possible they’d never return. More than 400 police officers and firefighters were killed on this horrific day and this book captures the courage of those people who were willing to march into danger to save others.

The book is mainly comprised of photos taken by multiple members of the NYC Police Department and doesn’t contain much in the way of text past the photograph descriptions. This is by far one of the BEST photographic remembrance books which contains photographs from the morning of September 11th and beyond that hadn’t previously been published. I was personally touched by all the photographs of the medical personnel, fireman, workers, and police officers who stayed and spent day after day working with the recovery efforts. Some of these pictures are of the fireman who searched tirelessly for days in hopes of locating their fallen comrades.

Many of the most breathtaking photos were taken by an off duty detective by the name of Dave Fitzpatrick. That very morning, he boarded a helicopter after hearing about the first attack on the north tower and spent all day taking thousands of aerial photographs. Others took photos from the ground as they were engulfed in smoke, debris and dust.

This book is extremely emotional and reminds us that we must never forget this day. I’m very glad to have it as part of my September 11th book collection.

stars


Continue reading “Above Hallowed Ground: A Photographic Record of September 11th, 2001 Book Review & Poem”

Eater of Mushrooms by Scott Delaney

I won Eater of Mushrooms by Scott Delaney on Goodreads as a giveaway recently. You can see my review below:

My Review: 

34371859.jpgEater of Mushrooms by Scott Delaney is a poetic novel containing over thirty poems. There are roughly sixteen characters with descriptions at the beginning of the book.

This is an interesting little book of poetry! I ended up reading this twice because I was a little confused with the characters at first. I then chose to just examine and enjoy the poetry rather than figure everything else out and it eventually came together. I liked the poetry which is very dark and graphic at times. I loved the nature feel and essence of the poetry and all the emotions that go along with the painful journey. The cover art is very pretty too and fits well with the content.

My favorites were Sunflower of the Sky, Lagotto, Bipolar Days and Set Sail. I’m looking forward to reading more poetry by this author.

I won this in a Goodreads giveaway. I’d like to thank Goodreads, The author, and the publisher.

3.5 stars rounded up to 4****

4-stars Continue reading “Eater of Mushrooms by Scott Delaney”

T4 by Ann Clare Lezotte

I picked up this little book titled T4 by Ann Clare Lezotte at a book sale a while back and finally got a chance to read it. I wanted to see if it was age appropriate for a student as I wasn’t sure of the actual content provided considering the subject matter. T4 is a fiction novel in verse and is based on the truth about the T4 program during WWII.

You can read my review below and see some information about the author as well…

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Blurb: It is 1939. Paula Becker, thirteen years old and deaf, lives with her family in a rural German town. As rumors swirl of disabled children quietly disappearing, a priest comes to her family’s door with an offer to shield Paula from an uncertain fate. When the sanctuary he offers is fleeting, Paula needs to call upon all her strength to stay one step ahead of the Nazis. Continue reading “T4 by Ann Clare Lezotte”

The Child of Happiness by Stjepan Cobets

The Child of Happiness is a book of poems written by author Stjepan Varesevac Cobets.

It’s been awhile since I’ve taken the time to read good poetry, and this book was like a breath of fresh air. I felt a connection with many of the poems.

The poem layouts were simple and easy to read with good content. I really savored reading each poem out loud. A few of my favorites include “The Old Man,” and “I Kissed Her.” Here is one I feel would be wonderful to recite daily…

Be Happy

Endeavour to be happy every day
To look for beauty in dewy mornings, silent and early,
And when you see yourself in a mirror, wash your face with water
To take off the difficult moments and old hazes.

Think about love, for it is the beauty of your soul,
It will warm you up while the cold wind is blowing.
Through storms walk upright with a smile on your face
And that which you have for yourself, give to everybody freely.

Having written poetry in the past, I feel inspired to write again after reading this book of poems.

I’d like to thank Mr. Stjepan Cobets for sharing a copy of his book with me and I’m looking forward to reading more by this author. Continue reading “The Child of Happiness by Stjepan Cobets”