Bill and I have been so busy with the Royal Wedding we haven’t had time to post.
So I want to get this in before the weekend so you can celebrate with the Friends of Libraries in Oklahoma at the Oklahoma Literary Landmark presentation honoring Wilson Rawls. The dedication will occur during The Red Fern Festival April 29 and 30 in Tahlequah. The festival offers a good time for the whole family and features hound dog trials, food and craft vendors, music, and special activities for children.
The Friends of Libraries in Oklahoma (FOLIO) will honor Wilson Rawls’ hometown, Tahlequah, as the 10th Oklahoma Literary Landmark. Rawls wrote two very popular children’s books, Where the Red Fern Grows and Summer of the Monkeys. The dedication, is free and open to the public, and will take place in the Carnegie Room at the Tahlequah Public Library, 120 S. College Ave. Join Master of Ceremonies, Rob McClendon, on Saturday, April 30, at 1:30 p.m. as Oklahomans celebrate the life and writing of Wilson Rawls.
Think you know who writes Romance Novels, think again. Eloisa James, bestselling historical romance writer, is actually Mary Bly, Shakespearean professor at Fordham University. She trails a long list of degrees by such prestigious institutions as Harvard, Oxford and Yale. She has recently given an interesting interview on writing about sex in the context of a historical romance.
Here’s the gist of the interview:
What I’m saying is that although eroticism is culturally, geographically and historically specific, we writers of historical romance sexualize history without regard for the specific epoch in which we set a novel.
No matter how historically accurate the details and language in our novels might be (and mine, in case you’re wondering, are pretty accurate), we write sex from the point of view of our own contemporary attitudes and mores.
So whether or not the sex is historically accurate, all I know is Eloisa James is vastly popular. And for all the romance snobs out there, it’s also amusing to note that my next romantic read is penned by a Ph.D.
It’s time for me to get back in blogging mode! Young Bill Young here. It’s been crazy busy at the Oklahoma Department of Libraries, but now that the Oklahoma Almanac has been sent to the printer, I can move on to other important things.
First up: some photos from the 22nd Annual Oklahoma Book Award event that was held on April 9 in Oklahoma City. It was such a special night. Medalists were thrilled and gave heartfelt thank yous. Our MC, Jari Askins, was stellar, and the night’s Lifetime Achievement honoree, Rilla Askew, inspired everyone with her speech. Kitty’s already given you a round-up of the night’s winners, so here are some pics from the festivities.
Honorees at the 22nd Annual Oklahoma Book Awards, back row: fiction medalist David Gerard; Director’s Award recipients from the Oklahoma Historical Society, Linda Wilson, Jon May, Larry O’Dell and Diana Everett; front row: Young Adult medalist M.J. Alexander, children’s medalist Tammi Sauer; poetry winner Benjamin Myers; Lifetime Achievement recipient Rilla Askew, and book design medalist Carol Haralson. Non-fiction medalist S.C. Gwynne was unable to attend the event.
Fiction finalists David Gerard and Carla Stewart were on hand to sign books and visit with readers at the ceremony. (Check out Carla’s blog about the evening. It includes more photos of a special night.)
Lifetime Achievement Recipient Rilla Askew, right, visited with longtime Friends board member M.J. Van Deventer during the reception and booksigning.
Former Lt. Governor Jari Askins was an MC Extraordinairee, and librarian Kitty Pittman was a surprised librarian. (Yes! This is Okie Reads’ Kitty! ) She was honored with the Distinguished Service Award for her support of the Book Award Program and her work to create and maintain the Oklahoma author database.
It was a special moment when Rilla Askew’s husband, theater actor and director Paul Austin, presented her with the Arrell Gibson Lifetime Achievement Award.
So there you have it! Some terrific scenes from a terrific night. It seems odd that we are moving up on the 25th anniversary of the Oklahoma Book Award program. It’s mission is to celebrate Oklahoma authors and books about the state, and in the process it has helped create a literary legacy for our young state; a legacy that highlights notable and exemplary books that future generations of Oklahomans will investigate and discover.
Literary Kittie has been searching for just the right website and lo, and behold, here’s one with a name that is very suitable. GALLEYCAT This site is the Word on the book publishing industry. It must be because I just read that somewhere. When I stopped by for a peek today, it had Jennifer Egan’s Pulitzer Prize win in fiction.
It has a story about Jon Krakauer outing Greg Mortenson and his books Three Cups of Tea and Stones into Schools. Here’s some excerpts from the Byliner website, you can download for free for a couple of days. Make up your own mind about Mortenson.
60 Minutes reports.
Very timely for my colleagues who just saw him speak at Texas Library Association. It makes you wonder why we read memoirs. Maybe we should just think of them as fiction.
GalleyCat has a New book section, which takes up life in Facebook.
They also have Galley Cat Reviews (my favorite part).
The site has lots and lots of book publishing news, which publishing house bought what new book from which “hot” new or successful author. News about booksellers, some depressing like the recent closings of Borders.
And for all the want-to-be writers out there, a blog of Writer Resources, with relevant information, not some stagnant bibliography.
So Literary Kittie says get on over to GalleyCat, support your feline bloggers.
I can’t believe I beat Young Bill to the post about the Oklahoma Book Awards.
This year the Oklahoma Book Awards sponsored by the Oklahoma Center for the Book, and the Friends of the Center, was held at the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame and Jim Thorpe Museum. This was a great venue to celebrate Oklahoma’s thriving literary community and give awards to outstanding works in five categories. Master of Ceremonies, Jari Askins welcomed eager finalists, readers, Friends and family. Good company, good food and good conversation was the agenda for Saturday evening.
So let’s get on with it…. And The winners are:
Poetry: Benjamin Myers for Elegy for Trains. Published by Village Books Press, Cheyenne, OK. “Myers poetry is intimately connected to the landscape of Oklahoma, while honoring the spiritual that connects all things.”
Design /Illustration: Carol Haralson for Building One Fire. Published by the Cherokee Nation, Tahlequah, OK. “Haralson taps this book’s inspiration–the Four Directions concept of the Keetoowahs of the Cherokees–to graphically present 200 artworks, which speak to what it means to be Cherokee.”
In Children/Young Adult the judges decided to award in both categories:
Young Adult: M. J. Alexander for Portrait of a Generation–The Children of Oklahoma: Sons and Daughters of the Red Earth. Southwestern Publishing , Oklahoma City, OK. “From Boise City to Broken Bow, Alexander chronicles the faces and words of more than 230 young Oklahomans in this ‘ode to the land and its people, the sons and daughters of the red earth.’ ”
Children: Tammi Sauer for Mostly Monsterly. Simon & Schuster, New York, NY. “Bernadette is mostly monsterly, but she’s also a sweetie. She likes to pick flowers, pet kittens, and bake goodies. This is a big, big problem because monsters just don’t do those kinds of things, and her monster friends are good at reminding her of this. Our little Bernadette must find a way to be true to herself and still be part of her monster crew!”
Non-Fiction winner is: S. C. Gwynne for Empire of the Summer Moon: Quanah Parker and the Rise and Fall of the Comanches, the Most Powerful Indian Tribe in American History. Published by Scribner, New York, NY. “Gwynne’s New York Times best seller spans two great stories of the continent: the rise and fall of the Comanches, the powerful Indain tribe that delayed America’s expansion west; and the epic saga of pioneer woman Cynthia Ann Parker and her mixed-blood son Quanah, who became the last and greatest chief of the Comanches. ”
And the winner in Fiction: David Gerard for God’s Acres. Pen Ultimate Press, St. Louis, MO. ” Gerard draws on his real-life experiences to tell this story of a family whose dreams of rural living outside St. Joseph, Missouri, turn to grief. Told from the perspective of six-year old Bud, each chapter is prefaced by a psalm and the voice of an adult Bud, closing the circle on a complex tale of family relationships. ”
My friend Adrienne has introduced me to lots of great reading from the Young Adult side of the book world. Without her and the other youth librarians in the state (Cathie Sue, Emily, Karl), I might never have discovered the wonderful Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins, or found myself in the nail-biting world of Incarceron, Catherine Fisher’s extraordinary tale that stands up with some of the best of adult science fiction.
Protagonist Amy has joined her parents on the starship Godspeed. She is frozen along with hundreds of others for a 300-year trip to a new planet. Other shipmates remain awake, living out their lives in space, their descendants keeping Godspeed functioning through the generations. When Amy is thawed too early, in what appears to be a murder attempt, the stage is set for the reader to discover this strange ship and its unusual history through her eyes. For things, of course, have gone awry during the journey, and they have much to say about the issues of our own world.
So far, so good. Amy is a strong character, and a good mouth piece for the values that have been corrupted on the ship. Elder, the young man who will soon assume the mantle of Eldest (leader of the ship), is also believable as a teenager struggling to understand his role, and as a love interest for Amy. There is mystery, suspense, and conspiracy—all typical elements in sci-fi thrillers.
It’s a good book. And yet… something was missing for me. It’s been a couple of weeks since I finished the book, and I’m posting now because I think I know what I found lacking: true, terrifying, danger. Is this because I was never really able to put myself in Amy’s shoes? Is it because I was expecting something as hair-raising as in The Hunger Games or Incarceron? I don’t know. I just know I was left a little disappointed.
I’d still give the book 2 1/2 stars out of 4, or 3 stars out of 5. Like I said, it’s a good book. And I expect some great work from this new author in the future. I will say it’s been hella busy at work, and maybe I wasn’t able to give my all to Across the Universe.
I need some help here. Have you read it? If so, what did you think?
Tour Godspeed and find out more about the book at the official site.
And how cool is this trailer!
Young Bill Young is really behind the times. And really unhip. My sister and brother-in-law bought my grandnephew,Tyler, a four-volume set of the first four books in The Magic Tree House series. Tyler says other kids in his class are reading the book. And I’m, like, “so this is the hot, new series for kids just getting into chapter books.”
Not so. Turns out, Mary Pope Osborne wrote the first Magic Tree House book way back in 1992, which, of course, is ancient history to today’s seven-year-olds. The series has been delighting young readers for almost two decades.
The great thing about the books, is that they promote the adventure of reading. The magic tree house is filled with books that take Jack and Annie on adventures around the world and across time. Crack open one of the books and you’re off to wondrous new places.
Tyler definitely gives them a thumbs up. A couple of weekends ago, the family was trying to get out the door to dinner. Tyler said, “Just let me finish this page!” This was agravating, because we were cutting it close to make our 6:30 p.m. reservation. And it was priceless, because he was so into the story, he didn’t want to stop reading. Looks like The Magic Tree House‘s mission has been accomplished with the young boy in our family.
Have the young people in your family discovered The Magic Tree House? If so, let me know what they thought about the books, and tell me if they made a difference in the child’s enthusiasm for reading.
By the way, The Magic Tree House website looks almost as fun as the books!