Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Book Awards - ALA Carnegie Medals

With so many books to read, more espresso is what we need.
(With apologies to the poets out there)

One of the useful things about book awards is that they serve as a reminder to dig into your stack of to-be-read books. The authors of two books in my stack were recently awarded the American Library Association (ALA) Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction: Jennifer Egan for Manhattan Beach (fiction) and Sherman Alexie for You Don't Have to Say You Love Me (nonfiction). I'm looking forward to reading both of these books.

Egan previously won a Pulitzer Prize for A Visit from the Goon Squad. Alexie has won many awards, including the National Book Award for The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian. That book was also the most challenged book of 2014 according to the ALA's Office of Intellectual Freedom, which annually compiles a list of books that people attempt to ban from schools, libraries and our communities. Making the ALA's banned book list is a resounding recommendation for a book, in my opinion. I read and greatly enjoyed The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian a few years ago. You may want to check it out, too.

Lots to read. Let's go!

Friday, February 9, 2018


Early morning in the wine country. Beaune, France

After looking over the finalists for the 2018 Minnesota Book Awards, I plan to dip into Alice in France: The World War I Letters of Alice M. O’Brien by Nancy O’Brien Wagner. My dad's stepfather, Carl Waack, served in France during World War I. It must have been quite a shock for him to go from rural Wisconsin to fighting in the fields of France. He was nothing like Alice O'Brien, who was the daughter of a wealthy family. I never asked Carl about his military service -  my childhood memory of him is of someone who was very old and who didn't feel well - so it will be interesting to read about Ms. O'Brien.


Tuesday, February 6, 2018

St. Valentine's Day: Add a Children's Book to that Chocolate Heart

Reading: It's magical!

If you are planning to give something sweet to a special child next week, why not add a book to your gift? Check out these five children's books recently recommended by the amazing Maria Popova at brainpickings.org:

Big Wolf & Little Wolf by Nadine Brun-Cosme and illustrator Olivier Tallec


The Paper-Flower Tree by Jacqueline Ayer

On a Magical Do-Nothing Day by Beatrice Alemagna

Here We Are by Oliver Jeffers

The Blue Songbird by Vern Kousky

Friday, February 2, 2018

What's Your Weekend Read?

Celine, by Peter Heller, has been in my to-be-read pile for a while now. Heller is the author of one of my all time favorite books, The Dog Stars (review here). Because I found The Dog Stars to be so amazing, I've set aside Celine to let the anticipation grow. But now the time to read it has come at last - hooray!

Also, did I mention how much I enjoyed The Dog Stars? Check it out if you need a weekend read.