Categories
Young Adult

Re-visiting My Young Banjo Playing Friends Who Also Love BOOKS!

Do you love music? I have a real treat for you today! I have two young friends who are part of a banjo trio with their father called the Chiodi Trio.

chioditrio
photo courtesy chioditrio.com

I recently had the chance to interview them and talk about books, music, and how they got started.  At the end of the video we get to enjoy a mini music fest!

Check out my interview below:

 

Aren’t they great? I know what you’re thinking: banjos are supposed to be Bluegrass type music, right? Well the fact that they play 20’s jazz is EXACTLY why I love them. They are doing their own thing their own way; it’s unconventional!

You can follow the Chiodi Trio on FacebookTwitter, and their website.  These fellas are very busy and perform weekly down at Wholey’s on the Strip in Pittsburgh (my hometown!).

Have you read any of the books we chatted about?

Categories
Books Diversity Reading Challenge

Discover Black History Month with Toni Morrison

Discover Black History Month with Toni Morrison

Sula by Toni Morrison

 

You can’t have Black History Month without Toni Morrison, right?

After all, Oprah picked Sula as a book club choice in the 90s!!

Let the record show that I already knew about Ms Morrison by then. (smirk)

I think my first Morrison book must have been

The Bluest Eye

The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison

“Pecola prays for her eyes to turn blue so that she will be as beautiful and beloved as all the blond, blue-eyed children in America.”

It seemed to me that Pecola and I shared the same desire. How did Morrison know??

Because she’s Toni Friggin Morrison, that’s how.

Paradise by Toni Morrison

I can’t remember if I read this Jazz. I must have.

Jazz by Toni Morrison

I’m beginning to have one of my brilliant ideas.

Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison

I think I will take ALL of my Toni Morrison books (my Toni shrine)

on vacation this summer and have a little Tonithon.

A Toni re-reading marathon. A Tonithon.

Which is your fave Toni Morrison book?

Disclaimer:  while these books are for grown folks, I’m sure many teens will enjoy these as well.

There is violence, sexual violence and language in these books. It’s up to you to decide what’s right for YOUR child.

Happy discovery.

Qualifies for the Diversity Challenge too.

Categories
Young Adult

Banjos Plus Books Equals Mini Music Fest!

Do you love music? I have a real treat for you today! I have two young friends who are part of a banjo trio with their father called the Chiodi Trio.

chioditrio
photo courtesy chioditrio.com

I recently had the chance to interview them and talk about books, music, and how they got started.  At the end of the video we get to enjoy a mini music fest!

Check out my interview below:

 

Aren’t they great? I know what you’re thinking: banjos are supposed to be Bluegrass type music, right? Well the fact that they play 20’s jazz is EXACTLY why I love them. They are doing their own thing their own way; it’s unconventional!

You can follow the Chiodi Trio on FacebookTwitter, and their website.  These fellas are very busy and perform weekly down at Wholey’s on the Strip in Pittsburgh (my hometown!).

Have you read any of the books we chatted about? Do you play a musical instrument? Tell me what your special talent is in the comments.

Categories
Books Children

Celebrate Black History Month with Kadir Nelson Day 8

Celebrate Black History Month with Kadir Nelson

Black History Month is a great time to discover new authors and illustrators of color. I’ve been crushing on Kadir Nelson for some time now, and try as I might, he seems to allude me.  What better way to celebrate his beautifully moving illustrations by highlighting one book a day during Black History Month?

ellington

 

Ellington Was Not a Street

by Ntozake Shange, illustrated by Kadir Nelson

Categories
Adult Fiction Books

A Future Arrived by Phillip Rock a TLC Book Tour

So here we come to the final installment of the Passing Bells trilogy, with A Future Arrived.

A Future Arrived

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m sad to see the series end.  To be sure, I have mixed feelings about the trilogy.  Touted as a companion to Downton Abbey, it’s almost completely different from Downton Abbey in that there is less about the lives of the servants downstairs and more about the lives of the beautiful and rich upstairs.  But that alone, is not a reason to discount the trilogy.  If you yearn for the recent historical past, you’ll love this series too.

I love a writer who can keep up with all of the character’s lives, introduce new characters and not get too convoluted in the telling and merging of their stories.  I believe Rock has done this well.  Now, in book three, I am reminded of why I liked or hated the characters from book 1, but am still able to enjoy the lives of the newer characters as they struggle with the similar problems of war.  The grandson of Lord Greville is now a main character, as well as the young brother in law of our favorite reporter, American cousin Martin Rilke.  The Grevilles have stopped yearning for the Edwardian days and have accepted the future and the mixing of social classes. Not that they really had a choice.

During the course of the series I’ve learned the ins and outs that led up to World War I.  I feel as if I’ve become an expert.  I also feel like I was experiencing life in the trenches and on the streets of London.  Post WWI I feel as if I was taking a slight vacation and allowed to have a little fun and relax.  I was also aware that WWII would come and I wasn’t sure how Rock would introduce our characters to it.  Rock did not disappoint, he provided a thorough look at how life can be ruined by war.  Interestingly enough, given that I learned about war was from the American viewpoint, I feel as if I have a broader understanding of how ugly and devastating war is.

If you don’t like war stories or need a bit more of an emotional setting, this is not the book for you, but if you want to develop relationships with characters, this trilogy will satisfy you just fine.

I give this book 3 paws.

Unconventional Librarian 3 paws