I see from the comments when we talk about Young Adult/Teen books that there is a significant group reading these books. So I have one for you and we can meet back in about a week and discuss your thoughts.
Native Oklahoman, Maya Sloan has written her first novel, High Before Homeroom. It’s based on those frustrating hormone releasing, crummy job, mom making you crazy, sibling rivalry, teen angst years. Not to mention all the school drama, and who doesn’t want to be one of the cool kids, if only to impress your girl. I really think it’s a good one that would appeal to male as well as female readers. I’m not quite done with mine. So far it’s LOL funny, but it tackles some serious issues.
Will finish during my “snow day” tomorrow, and see you back sometime at the first of next week for your take. So especially you CYA book bloggers, give this Okie author your best shot.
What do you think about the book trailer?
Love the “tat”, perfect for an Oklahoma author reading binge.
I don’t usually like collections of short stories, but Eddie Chuculate’s book Cheyenne Madonna could change my mind. He uses the short story as the narrative of Jordan Coolwater’s life. A life of artistic talent and too much alcohol. “You can trace the progression of alcoholism in my family like a flying arrow and I’m the bull’s-eye.” Dear Shorty centers on his relationship with his father, and the tragedy of alcoholism, as they become more drinking partners than father/son.
The stories begin before his birth, with Old Bull, a Cheyenne Indian, going on an adventure with three of his friends, he survives a hurricane to return home alone, bringing his “dream tale” with him. The stories move through his upbringing by his Creek Indian grandparents, to his many problems with alcohol, incarceration and relationships with women. At the end of the book, Jordan hooks up with Lisa Old Bull, and all our stories become links.
My favorite is the story of his friend, Yolanda, a coming of age story amid the complex dance of race relations in Oklahoma. Then there’s the tale, A Famous Indian Artist, his in your face, drinking, and living life large, Uncle. Chuculate writes his realism with style and grace. All the stories ring true with no excuses, life is what it is, along with the good and bad relationships. Chuculate may be telling us we’re all just hanging on for the ride like Old Bull in the hurricane.
Give this Oklahoma author some of your time.
Eddie Chuculate is Creek and Cherokee Indian from Muskogee, Oklahoma. He has a degree in creative writing from the Institute of American Indian Arts. Cheyenne Madonna is his first book (hopefully not his last). He lives in Oklahoma.
This site has Hotlists, for the book list manics. It has Publishers Weekly, Booklist, Kirkus and Library Journal starred review lists. All these publications review books for the booksellers and librarians. The Featured Booklist features TrueGrit this month, which if our library is any indication is flying off bookselves again. It’s interesting how movies make for book buzz. So far our patrons think the new movie has been “true” to the grit.
For the twitters among us, there is Book Notes & Tweets, and to be totally weirded out check out the Huffpost-Weird Library! tweet, http://huff.to/i0bPEb
Coming Soon titles, for those ahead of the game. Come on by and see what Overbooked.org has in store.
Why do the vast majority of human beings believe in the supernatural? With the advance of science and the continuing discoveries about the natural processes behind human life, it would seem that we would be moving toward a more rational way of viewing our lives, our planet, our universe. But no. We still believe in the benevolent gods. We still attach superstitious qualities to inanimate objects and personal rituals. We still knock on wood. We still throw salt over our shoulder.
Experimental psychologist Bruce M. Hood believes our very mind construct leads to irrational beliefs, and he presents his hypothesis in a stunning and mind-bending book, SuperSense: Why We Believe in the Unbelievable.
Think you’re immune to superstition? Ask yourself these questions:
• Would you wear a sweater if you knew it had been worn by a serial killer? (Feel a little creepy?)
• How would you feel if you were able to try on a sweater that had been worn by Mr. Rogers? (Get all warm fuzzies inside?)
• If a person offered to give you $100 in exchange for your soul, would you take it? (If you believe we don’t have souls, why does this still make you feel a little fearful? If you believe you do have a soul, why do you believe this person could actually purchase it and own it?)
Hood shows us how the supersense develops early and independently as a child develops, before religious or cultural beliefs are passed on. He covers the nature of phobias, our attachments to objects (like a blankie), the question of mind-body dualism and the possible illusion of free will. He explains the difference between religion and secular superstition, considers our nature as psychological creatures who recognize sentience in others, talks about the influence of dopamine, and looks at the impact of brain disorders and injuries (like Capgras Syndrome) that may have something to tell us about the supersense.
The supersense comes from our intuitive reasoning systems and so is part of our makeup.”
In the end, Hood believes our intuitive senses will always play an essential role in our species. Indeed, it appears to have served us fairly well in our evolutionary history. He writes, “I think the supersense will persist even in a modern era because it makes possible our commitment to the idea that there are sacred values in the world.”
And that, perhaps, is what makes us special as human beings.
How strong is your supersense?
When my Aunt Lela was sent home with hospice several years ago, I was in charge of her initial care. One of the first items of business was gathering supplies so we could give her a proper sponge bath. I gave my nephew a list of items to pick up. My nephew looked at the list and asked, “What’s a dish pan?” I laughed.
My friend Ann told me a tale about her niece opening a cabinet filled with record albums. “What are these, Aunt Ann?” she asked. We laughed.
It’s always a little funny to me when a young person asks about a strange product or device from the past. Times do change, and we all remember asking our parents and grandparents about something we found in the kitchen drawer or out in the tool shed. But I get a rather odd feeling when I contemplate the fact that young people have never known a life without certain products or conveniences. I never knew life before television. Today’s young people have never known life before the Internet. And because they were born cyber babies, they have taken to this technology like the proverbial fish to water. My first phone was wired to the wall and confined to a room. Their first phone is a mobile texting device that can access a variety of social media websites. It’s a little unnerving for those of us who remember life before the triumph of personal technology.
While we love our modern devices and services, what kind of price do we pay for spending so much time with them? Susan Maushart wondered the same thing, and she decided her teenagers were spending way too much time connected to cyberspace. She decided to disconnect the family for six months, and tells the story in her new book, The Winter of Our Disconnect: How Three Totally Wired Teenagers (and a Mother Who Slept with Her iPhone) Pulled the Plug on Their Technology and Lived to Tell the Tale.
Not only did Maushart pull the plug on the Internet, she turned off the TVs and the video game box, and restricted use of cell phones. What followed is what the author calls an “immersion in RL (real life).” Saxophone was practiced, board games were played, books were read, grades improved, and face to face conversation became the norm. You can read more about the family’s experiment here, and how it changed their lives.
And now the big questions for those of you with children or grandchildren: How do you think technology is impacting your young ones’ lives for good or ill? Have you ever restricted a young person’s use of technology? What is family life like with today’s technology versus the family life you experienced while growing up?
Don’t have young people in your life? Then, tell us how your life pattern has changed with the advent of technology. Do you have fewer face-to-face get-togethers with friends? Or has cyberspace and social networking actually improved your social life?
All good questions. Let’s talk. Post your comments, thoughts and concerns below. Thanks!
OK, enough with all the children/YA titles, I’m ready for something for the Adult palate. Fortunately those library people have something to offer up. RUSA, (I know do we really need another acronym that no one knows what it means), is the Reference and User Services Association within the American Library Association. However despite the ridiculous acronym they have an amazing list of Top Genre Fiction for your 2011 Reading List.
Not only do they have their first choice in each category, they kindly give us “Read-Alikes” (librarian words for you might also like these titles, or as Amazon puts it “people also bought these titles’). We also get the short list, or finalists in the genre categories.
I’m reading Finch on the Fantasy short list. Have a Charles Todd mystery in my car. Like any romance by Julia Quinn, including The Viscount Who Loved Me”. I’m in genre heaven.
The American Library Association has just held its annual Mid-Winter meeting. The big news out of this yearly gathering is the announcement of the Newberry and Caldecott medalists, recognizing the outstanding works for children. So, without further ado, here we go…
John Newbery Medal for the most outstanding contribution to children’s literature:
• Moon over Manifest, written by Clare Vanderpool, published by Delacorte Press, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books, a division of Random House, Inc.
Four Newbery Honor Books also were named:
• Turtle in Paradise, by Jennifer L. Holm and published by Random House Children’s Books, a division of Random House, Inc.
• Heart of a Samurai, written by Margi Preus and published by Amulet Books, an imprint of ABRAMS.
• Dark Emperor and Other Poems of the Night, written by Joyce Sidman, illustrated by Rick Allen and published by Houghton Mifflin Books for Children, Houghton Mifflin Harcour.
• One Crazy Summer, by Rita Williams-Garcia and published by Amistad, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.
Randolph Caldecott Medal for the most distinguished American picture book for children:
• A Sick Day for Amos McGee, illustrated by Erin E. Stead. The book was written by Philip C. Stead, and is a Neal Porter Book, published by Roaring Brook Press, a division of Holtzbrinck Publishing.
Two Caldecott Honor Books also were named:
• Dave the Potter: Artist, Poet, Slave, illustrated by Bryan Collier, written by Laban Carrick Hill and published by Little, Brown and Company, a division of Hachette Book Group, Inc.
• Interrupting Chicken, written and illustrated by David Ezra Stein and published by Candlewick Press.
Mr Young can worry about the end of the world, while one of my colleagues and I worry about what new titles are coming out in 2011.
Coming to Amazon, February 1st is Swamplandia! by Karen Russell. Booklist gives it a Starred Review, Ravishing, elegiac, funny, and brilliantly inquisitive, Russell’s archetypal swamp saga tells a mystical yet rooted tale of three innocents who come of age through trials of water, fire, and air. –Donna Seaman
Then for those Jasper Fforde fans, I know there are lots and lots of those folks around, here comes One of Our Thursdays is Missing. This is a return to BookWorld and the Thursday Next series. I hate to admit I couldn’t get into Shades of Grey, it was just too much of a struggle to get my colors straight.
Looks like you’re going to have to wait until March for this one.
New York Times bestselling author Sarah Addison Allen is bringing us a new one, that will welcome you to her newest locale: Walls of Water, North Carolina, where the secrets are thicker than the fog from the town’s famous waterfalls, and the stuff of superstition is just as real as you want it to be. Titled Peach Keeper, this looks like another excellent work by Allen. To remember her Girl Who Chased the Moon, go back to this trailer.
One of my very favorite authors, Ian Rankin is coming out with a new one, The Complaints. I’m going to miss Rebus desperately. But I’ll have to give this new Inspector Fox a try. Any year with an Ian Rankin book in it, is going to be a good year.
So WHO are you waiting to read? I’ve gone on long enough, comment your authors in waiting, so we can all add them to our TBR (to be read) stacks. It’s going to be a chilly winter, so stack up and get started.
So, Kitty’s starting off the New Year in a hopeful mood. Not so much me. I had the misfortune of watching a fascinating show on the History Channel the other night that scared me witless. Now, I’ll be the first to admit there is a lot on that cable channel that is basically BS, created to pull in big ratings. (Ancient Aliens, anyone?) But Prophets of Doom, which aired on Wednesday, was both sobering and pretty much legit, based on the news and articles I’ve already read.
Check out their bios, plus any links I’ve provided to their written work:
Michael Rupert, a controversial investigative journalist, spells out the big picture, focusing on the collision of peak oil and the population explosion. He’s author of Confronting Collapse and Crossing the Rubicon.
Dr. Nathan Hagens, economist, sees an economic collapse in our future. He compares our current world economy to a “global ponzi scheme.” Hagens is also fascinated with humanity’s inability to confront long-range problems because of our built-in cognitive dissonance, which lets us “discount” dangers if they are not staring us in the face. (You can read Hangens’s ideas on human “discount rates” here.)
John Cronin, co-author (with Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.) of The Riverkeepers, reminds us that life itself is not possible without access to clean water, access that is dwindling rapidly as the world population grows and pollution increases. Time magazine named him a Hero of the Planet in 1999.
John Howard Kunstler is the author of The Long Emergency and Home From Nowhere, as well as other works that deal with the depletion and increasing costs of fossil fuels and other converging world crises that demand we transform the way we live if we are to survive.
Professor Hugo de Garis is a researcher in the field of Artificial Intelligence, and his concern is the eventual evolution of AI intelligence to the point where our machines will become hostile to humanity.
Following a round table discussion, the six gentlemen decide that the coming water and economic crises are the most pressing, although all admit that a large enough bit of nuclear terrorism could trump that. The threat of hostile AIs is considered the least eminent, since the other potential crises could slow down or even halt further technological development.
After all of this doom and gloom, I needed a pick-me up. Cue the video!
I was feeling so much better… until I saw the cover story in the recent National Geographic Magazine! Ugh!
The New Year always makes me want to be a kinder gentler person. Well, at least until February. I’ve been reading all your B&N Nook comments, and while I believe the more critical ones are justified, I’ve decided to give them a break. Hey, a million plus ebooks were downloaded Christmas Day! And all I was doing Christmas Day was sitting around in “fat” clothes & wondering why I had eaten so much the previous evening. So B & N, you’re off the hook with me, unless at a later opportunity all downloading goes awry and I’ve paid through my credit card (information which you extorted from me to get an ebook account) and my Nook doesn’t light up with reading material.
So along with my new attitude, I’ve also decided to accept (until proven wrong) that a book, is a book, is a book, and try all different ways to read this year, from Nook Books, to AudioBooks, to the Book Book. Just last week, while engaged in a tedious computer chore I put in the audiobook of Operation Mincemeat by Ben Macintyre and read by John Lee. First unlike with a BookBook, it is very important to have a good reader for your audiobook. John Lee does a nice job. The story is fascinating, I’m not very far along but I think this might be my way of “reading” more nonfiction, and I like spy stories, albeit this one is true.
Here’s the Audio Book Summary from Audio Book Store:
Agent Montagu tells the story as only an insider could, offering fascinating details of the difficulties involved – especially in creating a persona for a man who never was – and of his profession as a spy and the risks involved in mounting such a complex operation. Failure could have had devastating results. Success, however, brought a decided change in the course of the war.
Disclaimer: I am not affliated with the Audio Book Store, and have never purchased or used any of their products or services. The copy of Operation Mincemeat that I’m listening to came from the Oklahoma Department of Libraries.
So the year has begun, reading and readers continue no matter the format, I approve.