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Blogging from A to Z Challenge Diversity Reading Challenge

Bad Girls Book Club Letter I #atozchallenge The impossible knife of Memory and I am Malala

Welcome to the Blogging from A to Z Challenge

Today’s letter is

I

I have 2 kick ass bad girl books to share today!

The Impossible Knife of Memory

The Impossible Knife of Memory

in which young Hayley tries to grow up while caring for a father suffering from PTSD.

and

malala

I am Malala

Need I say more?

Malala spoke to me so hard I donned my salwar kameez in honor of her.

IAMMALA2

If you haven’t read I am Malala do it NOW.

You won’t regret it.

 

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Blogging from A to Z Challenge

Bad Girls Book Club Letter E #atozchallenge

Welcome to the Blogging from A to Z Challenge

Today’s letter is

E

The Book

An Ember in Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

An Ember in Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

An Ember (letter E) is our pick for today. This book brought out all the feels in me! I loved it and I was also repulsed by it at the same time. I love the feel of this book. It’s located in a country that has a Middle Eastern feel to it and also a turn of the century, historical fiction feel. I’m not sure which century, but still. Points for diversity. Our heroine, Laia, is a slave and lives with her poor family. Everyone is poor and they must do what they can to survive and not get killed or arrested. Laia’s brother is arrested for treason and she must become a spy to help save him. And of course, like many YA books there is a romance, but who cares about that? I love coming of age tales, and much like Tris, Laia discovers that she has abilities she didn’t think she had. I must warn you, I found the book to be extremely violent and there is a cliffhanger ending. I’ve talked about this book nonstop with my bookish friends. This was the MUST READ title of 2015. I hope she finishes the sequel soon.

Have you read An Ember in the Ashes?

How’s the challenge going for you? Still excited?

Good. Onward to letter F!

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Blogging from A to Z Challenge

Bad Girls Book Club Letter A #atozchallenge

Welcome to the Blogging from A to Z Challenge!

During the challenge I’ll keep posts short and quickly readable
to allow you time to visit as many blogs as possible.

Ready?

Let’s go!!

Today’s letter is

A

The Book

The Aftermath by Jen Alexander

The Aftermath by Jen Alexander

Our first bad girl is Claudia.
She lives in a post apocalyptic Nashville in which survival is difficult. Predictably,
she discovers that her survival is part of a game called The Aftermath. I know, it sounds a
bit like a combo of Hunger Games and Divergent. But I like the idea of girl survivors so
let’s hope Bad Girl Claudia survives.

What will she do to survive?

Come back tomorrow for our next Bad Girls Book Club.

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2015 Diversity Reading Challenge Blogging from A to Z Challenge

Blogging from A to Z Theme Reveal Party

Welcome to the Blogging from A to Z Theme Reveal Party!

atoz-theme-reveal-2015

Today is the day we announce what our theme is for the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge.

Theme Reveal

My theme?

DIVERSITY!

Every book I will highlight will have a diverse or multicultural hero as a main or first tier supporting role.

The additional punch?

Look closer at the pic.

Look at the books.

Can you guess?

They are books for kids!

Mostly middle grade if I can find them.

Wish me luck.

What’s your theme?

Tell me and leave a link so I can visit!

Don’t have a theme? That’s ok too!

Click this link if you have FINALLY decided to do the April Challenge!

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Blogging from A to Z Challenge Books Children

S is for SURVIVOR #AtoZ Challenge

S

If you’ve made it this far, you are a SURVIVOR!! Yes it’s true, I have a book for you with the word survivor in it. Do you know it?

STRANDED (1)

STRANDED 3 SURVIVORS by Jeff Probst

Ok so it’s not the first word in the title. Whatever.  Still for the kiddies who love this sort of thing here it is!

Next up for an S book?  The title contains a number. Guess?

SEVEN WONDERS

 

Did you guess 6 or 7?  Seven for Seven Wonders: Lost in Babylon! Don’t you love that cover image?

You know the drill. Give me a title with an S word.  Should be easy right?

 

 

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Blogging from A to Z Challenge Books Children

H is for Humphrey! #AtoZ Challenge

H

 

Hey how are ya? I couldn’t let today go by without sharing another book with you today! Today’s book is about a hamster. EEEEK!! I know I know, if small critters freak you out then you’re in good company.

Secrets According to Humphrey

 

To be sure, little scurrying creatures give me the willies, but you hafta admit, this little guy looks adorbs in his Egyptian garb.  Here’s a blurb about this lovable title:

So many secrets are flying around Room 26 that Humphrey can barely keep track. Mrs. Brisbane knows a student is leaving, but Humphrey can’t figure out which one. (Even more confusing, Mrs. Brisbane seems unsqueakably happy about it.) The class is studying the Ancient Egyptians, and some of the kids have made up secret clubs and secret codes. Even Aldo is holding back news from Humphrey.

Humphrey’s job as classroom pet is to help his humans solve their problems, but all these secrets are making it HARD-HARD-HARD!

I know, right?  Perfect for the middle grade reader who’s fairly new to longer chapter books.

Tell me; did you have a class pet?

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Adult Fiction Blogging from A to Z Challenge

Get to Know my #atozchallenge Bookish Friends. Introducing Arlee!

Arlee in the Library

Well, you know PammyPam likes to make new friends and also to learn about new books! I’ve invited my friends from the Blogging from A to Z Challenge to come over and chat about a book they love. Never one to back down from a challenge, Arlee didn’t want to be left out. Let’s see what book he’s chatting about today.  This should be good.

Flannery O’Connor’s “Everything That Rises Must Converge”

 

Everything That Rises Must Converge
Everything That Rises Must Converge (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Aside from the Little Golden Books that were a part of my life from my earliest memories, the first book that I could call my very own was a book about insects that my parents gave me at Easter when I was five.  I have no idea why they gave me that book, but this was the beginning of my passion for collecting books.

For many years my home library primarily consisted of Hardy Boys mysteries and the Tom Swift science fiction series.  In adolescence I joined the Doubleday Book Club and began acquiring a broad selection of novels, short story collections, and non-fiction.  An eclectic reading interest flourished in me as I avidly consumed book after book.

In my college years at the University of Tennessee I majored in English.  A new world of Southern Literature was introduced to me.  I began reading William Faulkner, James Dickey, Eudora Welty, Cormac McCarthy and a host of others.  It was unlike most of what I had read in the past.

The author I’m here to proselytize about is Flannery O’Connor.  Her body of work is relatively small in comparison to many authors, but her stature and influence has been pervasive.  She only published two novels and three short story collections.  The short story is where she excels.  Her stories are strange, mystical, and sometimes rather frightful.

The collection I would most recommend to readers is Everything That Rises Must Converge.   This book is filled with some of the strangest characters you will ever meet in some of the most outlandish stories you may ever read.   Keep in mind that this is literature from the 1950’s with characters who reflect some of the racist attitudes of that time.  O’Connor’s intent was not to offend, but to accurately portray what the people she writes about were like.

Everything That Rises Must Converge is at times creepy, scary, and oftentimes funny.   O’Connor writes in a simple straight-forward style that makes her work highly readable.   Yet the profound nature of her themes will make you think and give you stories that may stick in your craw and haunt you long after you’ve read them.

If you’re interested in unique American literature with depth that is fluid and readable, I highly recommend starting with Everything That Rises Must Converge.  No matter where you start in Flannery’s work, you will be rewarded with a memorable reading experience.  She is one of the greatest American female authors and a giant of Southern Literature.

One of my favorites for sure!

   Arlee Bird is the originator of the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge.  More from Arlee can be found at his blogs Tossing It Out, Wrote By Rote, A Faraway View, and A Few Words.

Thanks Arlee! I’ve totally avoided O’Connor but I sure love Faulkner.  I think I’ll put this on my TBR list for summer!
Categories
Books

Get to Know my #atozchallenge Bookish Friends. Introducing MJ!

M. J. Joachim in the Library

Well, you know PammyPam likes to make new friends and also to learn about new books! I’ve invited my friends from the Blogging from A to Z Challenge to come over and chat about a book they love.  My first victim is the sweet MJ Joachim of M.J. Joachim’s Writing Tips.

Thank you, Pam for inviting me to share one of my favorite children’s stories and talk about my love of libraries with your audience today.

giving tree

One of my favorite children’s books is The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein. No matter how old I get, I will never outgrow the beautiful message shared in this book. I’m sure fond memories of reading this story to library children during Story Hour, students I taught over the years and my own children have made it all the more sentimental for me.

My first job was as a page in a library. It was my responsibility to sort and shelve the books. Oh, how I loved working in the Children’s Library, sifting through hundreds of picture books and entertaining stories, helping a child find just the right book for a book report or research project, and reading stories to all the little ones who would come to enjoy Story Hour. Sometimes they would ask me to read to them when no story time was scheduled. I always did what I could to oblige, often asking the Children’s Librarian on duty to claim me as needed extra help during those times. One particular librarian never even needed to be asked. She loved it when we worked together in the children’s section.

Libraries have always been one of my favorite places to hang out. As a child, I’d hike the mile walk down the bike trail, past the stream and across the highway, to eventually emerge at our local library, where I would lose myself in the stacks. I’d spend hours looking at books, choosing at least four or five to take home at once. One time, I lost track of time. The early hours of the morning turned to late hours in the afternoon. Mom was furious, as I strolled in, humped over and breathing hard with my heavy pack full of books on my back. I just looked at her and smiled. She sent me to my room, where I quickly immersed myself in my reading material, too tired to wander out at dinnertime.

Summer Read-a-thons were treasured by my own kids, especially when the heat reached well past 110 degrees Fahrenheit. We’d head on over to the library early when my kids were young, take our time finding most of the books on the list, check out a few movies before we left, and stay inside where it was cool, reading our books and watching movies well into the evening hours, when the sun went down and it was easier to play outside.

I still enjoy going to the library these days, though now it’s more to get ideas and do research for articles I’m writing. It seems every time I go, there are fewer and fewer books, more computers and conference areas and less staff to help find where they put things; our local library is almost always rearranged every time I go. Most of the books are online and checkout for the ones that aren’t is done at the self-service kiosk.

The library has changed a lot over the years, but the children and the stories we read to them never will. They’ll still climb into our laps or sit at our feet, begging to see the pictures and eager to see the words. Personal experience tells me, The Giving Tree is one of their favorites, and you already know it’s one of mine.

Thanks again for having me, Pam.

110 degrees F or 0 degrees F, The Giving Tree is ALWAYS the perfect book!

 

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Blogging from A to Z Challenge

Blogging from A to Z: I Need Allies like Katniss #atozchallenge

I need Allies!

Friends, I need your help. Actually, I need your alliances.  Just like Katniss makes alliances in Catching Fire, I need a team of allies on my side.  You might know, I’m a member of the Blogging from A to Z team, see the post here, and for this great challenge to be successful I will need some help to get the job done.

A2Z-BADGE-Alliance

Here’s the deal, like Catching Fire, we will be part of a team who will work together to get things done and to survive.  Unlike Catching Fire, there is no Quarter Quell, no one gets eaten by feral animals, gets electrocuted, or drowns.  As the Unconventional Alliance, you will help me keep up with my duties with the Blogging from A to Z Challenge, make a few friends (allies), and consume large quantities of cake.  I was a helper last year and it was incredibly fun to see the inner workings of a spaceship giant blog hop like Blogging from A to Z April Challenge.

Want to be part of the Unconventional Alliance? Here are the requirements:

  • Be willing to participate in the Challenge in April
  • Can carve out extra time to help with the Challenge late March through April
  • Know how to use Google + (or be super willing to learn, stat!)
  • Keen sense of humor and ability to take whatever comes without freaking out (unlike Katniss)

Well, whaddaya think?  Do you have what it takes to be on the Unconventional Alliance?

I bet you do!

Drop your questions and email below to be considered.

Woot!

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Blogging from A to Z Challenge Books Young Adult

X #atoz Challenge

X has got to be the trickiest letter in the alphabet to begin a book title with!

a-to-z-letters-x

…with which to begin a book…

whatever, you get my meaning.

I found two books for you today.  One is a book I used last year; it’s relatively little known so I thought it was worth repeating.

Orson Scott Card Unconventional Librarian

It’s Xenocide by Orson Scott Card.  For those of you unfamiliar, it’s part of the Ender’s Game series.

The next title took me a while to find.  It’s called X-It by Jane George

X-It by Jane George

Punk rock, 1980s, drugs, Manhattan:  Sounds like a fun read! Not sure this is YA so tread carefully.

Do you have any books that start with the letter X?