I’ve gotten away from posting these, but I shouldn’t have. If you’re in the area, be sure to swing by Half Price Books Humble on Saturdays to check out local authors.
As much a book review as a book club assessment.
Author: Martin W. Sandler
Genre: History / True Adventure
Length: 320 pages
Put a seafaring image on the front cover, talk of adventure and exploration, make reference to ghosts… I’m sold.
We read Sandler’s “epic search for the Northwest Passage” for the Half Price Books Humble Book Club and discussed it the first Monday of December.
It’s an exciting read, I enjoyed it quite a bit, and I’ll be holding onto my hardback copy for years to come. I’d love to see this made into a film, as it was I found myself re-watching National Treasure: Book of Secrets just for the Resolute references I was craving post reading.
Although this is largely about the Arctic and the British, a good chunk of our discussion at book club revolved around arrogance and fictional characters we’ve read through out this year:
One comparison would be the personal pride exhibited by the people across all 3 books [A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, A Question of Upbringing, and Resolute].
For example in ‘A Tree Grows in Brooklyn’, on the 3rd page of chapter 38 Evy says: “Well, there’s always the Catholic Charities”. To which Katie replied “When the time comes that we have to take charity baskets, I’ll plug up the doors and windows and wait until the children are sound asleep and then turn on every gas jet in the house.”
In Resolute, the British Naval captains were too arrogant to ask the Inuits how to survive in a place they have never been.
And the title ‘A Question of Upbringing’ speaks for itself.
– Glenn Ray
We carry much of our discussions over into later months and often end up talking about books we love repeatedly. There aren’t many of us. Two in person on the regular, one by phone on the regular, and various stragglers that pop in periodically (3 recurring stragglers, to be exact). But we enjoy our talks thoroughly and are always hopeful of new members.
Like the worldwide search for John Franklin, our little club keeps on keeping on.
Here’s our dated roster, what we’ve read and what we plan to read:
Mon 12/3/2012 ‘Old Curiosity Shop’ by Charles Dickens
Mon 1/7/2013 ‘A Homemade Life’ by Wizenberg; and ‘Julie and Julia’ by Julie Powell
Mon 2/4/2013 ‘March’ by Geraldine Brooks
Mon 3/4/2013 ‘The Lords of Finance’ by Liaquat Ahamed
Mon 4/1/2013 ‘Atonement’ by Ian McEwan
Mon 5/6/2013 ‘The Heart is a Lonely Hunter’ by Carson McCullers
Mon 6/3/2013 ‘Princess Bride’ by William Goldman
Mon 7/1/2013 ‘John Adams’ by McCullough; some also read Abigail Adams by Woody Holton
Mon 8/5/2013 ‘The Color Purple’ by Alice Walker; alternate ‘A Passage to India’ by Forster
Mon 9/2/2013 ‘My Antonia’ by Willa Cather
Mon 10/7/2013 ‘Thomas Jefferson, the Art of Power’ by Jon Meacham
Mon 11/4/2013 ‘Player Piano’ by Kurt Vonnegut
Mon 12/2/2013 ‘The Sparrow’ by Mary Doria Russell
Mon 1/6/2014 ‘The Lacuna’ by Barbara Kingsolver
Mon 2/3/2014 ‘The Bridge Of San Luis Rey’ by Thornton Wilder
Mon 3/3/2014 ‘The Histories’ by Herodotus
Mon 4/7/2014 ‘A Tree Grows in Brooklyn’ by Betty Smith
Mon 5/5/2014 ‘Wings of the Dove’ by Henry James
Mon 6/2/2014 ‘Shadow of the Wind’ by Ruiz
Mon 7/7/2014 ‘Benjamin Franklin’ bio by David Freeman Hawke
Mon 8/4/2014 ‘The 13th Tale’ by Diane Setterfield
Mon 9/1/2014 ‘One Hundred Years of Solitude’ by Gabriel García Márquez
Mon 10/6/2014 ‘Professor and the Madman’ by Simon Winchester
Mon 11/3/2014 ‘A Question of Upbringing’ by Anthony Powell
Mon 12/1/2014 ‘Resolute’ by Martin W. Sandler
Mon 1/5/2015 ‘The Beekeeper’s Apprentice’ by Laurie R. King
Mon 2/2/2015 ‘The World is Flat’ by Thomas L. Friedman
Mon 3/2/2015 ‘Conspiracy of Paper’ by David Liss
Mon 4/?/2015 ‘Hunger Games’ by Suzanne Collins
I think we’re a pretty well rounded, well read group. If you’d like to join us, we meet at Half Price Books Humble the first Monday of every month at 7:30 pm. Year round. If you want to discuss something we’ve already read, something we’re currently reading, or something else altogether – that’s fine, we’ll chat.
One of the coolest things I get to do as a part time Event Coordinator, is host parties! And not the sit in someone’s living room and sell products parties – but the kind that involve books, exciting authors, food, live music, and art.
As of September 2014, Half Price Books has had an Humble location for 12 years. This is the third birthday/anniversary celebration I’ve organized for them.
We had a blast!
This next Saturday, I’ll be at the 2nd Annual Good Books in the Woods Fall Festival (September 20th), it should be equally awesome. I love bookstore events, they are my favorite way to spend a Saturday afternoon.
Title: Mosey’s Field
Author: Barbara Lockhart
Illustrator: Heather Crow
Publisher: Schiffer Publishing
Genre: Picture Book
As a homeschool mom, a story time host, and a book blogger, I can’t just can’t get enough of Schiffer books. They are educational, riveting to crowds, and just plain gorgeous.
Recently we read, reviewed, and enjoyed Song for Papa Crow. We even got to interview the author! This week, we’ve been blessed with a copy of Mosey’s Field and the kiddos today loved it. We read it twice and no one who had sat through the first reading complained or got antsy.
Mosey’s Field tells the story of a corn farm and walks children through all the seasons of field corn from the eyes of a dog. Mosey watches the seeds get planted and notes how “the stalks grew tall and the leaves crisscrossed each other, green upon green, so there were only tiny patches of sky.”
It’s not surprising to discover that both the illustrator and the author of this book are teachers. Barbara Lockhart is a retired kindergarten teacher and Heather Crow is a teacher and freelance artist. Kids respond well to the story, want to follow the adventures of Mosey, love the illustrations, and know a little bit more about where food comes from by the time they are done hearing the story.
Designed for booklovers ages 0-6, it is a lengthier picture book and you’ll want to be aware of your audience’s attention spans before you tackle it. Great for kids who are used to being read to, if you’re just introducing your child to the world of books I’d start with a few shorter titles with the intention of working up to this. Our kiddos at the bookstore today did great!
At one point in the story Mosey is on the opposite side of the corn field, near town, away from home. Mosey can’t see home and the family is out wondering where their pup has gone. My kiddo in particular was very relieved by the ending and asked me to tell the author that she’s “glad Mosey found his family” but will have you know that page 22 was a moment of great contention in her little soul.
If you’re in the Humble area, join us at Half Price Books for story time on Wednesdays, 10:30 am. To the right we are reading Marit Menzen’s Song for Papa Crow, which has become quite a household and store favorite. Join us next week and we’ll revisit Mosey’s Field.
Every Wednesday during the summer I make an appearance at Half Price Books Humble, 10:30 am sharp. I make an announcement over the intercom – NOT my forte – place snacks on the children’s table, and pick out stories to read out loud to whoever arrives.
Sometimes I have crowds! Sometimes it’s just me and Kiddo hanging out reading as we would at home. Sometimes I have authors come and read their books to the kids. But ALWAYS it is a little bit magical.
How appropriate then that Edward Castro joined us for a second time with his book Hanna’s Magic Light.
Not available yet in a physical copy, Castro read to the kids from a bound manuscript while his agent showed the pictures on her tablet. The kids were riveted by the story about Hanna and her Daddy and the magical dome light in the car, turned lesson on finding your own inner light.
At the end, each kid received a cupcake and/or cookie as well as a “magic light” of their own to take home – Glow Sticks made into a necklace.
Tomorrow is Wednesday again. We won’t have Castro back this soon, but we will be featuring Song for Papa Crow, compliments of Schiffer Publishing.
Castro will return later in July. For those who cannot make middle of the week events, this will allow you to meet the author and purchase a hard copy of his picture book, as he hopes to have some in print by then:
Title: Song for Papa Crow
Author: Marit Menzin
Publisher: Schiffer Publishing
Genre: Children’s Picture Book
I was delighted to have Schiffer Publishing contact me to review a selection of their picture books. There can never be too many children’s books here in the Klemm household, as kiddo devours them for breakfast, elevenses, lunch, dinner, and bedtime. We’re readers. We read. We’re also artists and we love admiring quality picture books.
As a homeschool mom of an aspiring birder, I couldn’t find Song for Papa Crow any more perfect.
This is a lovely story about how Little Crow loves to sing. He sings his heart out and in the course of teaching children what birds of North America make what sounds, we also follow Little Crow on a a journey of self-discovery and why it’s a beautiful thing to be yourself.
Menzin’s collage art is gorgeous. Kiddo and I adore all the rich colors. We spend a good deal of time outdoors and it’s wonderful to see nature portrayed with so much texture even while confined to the pages of a book.
Of course, after every book, I ask kiddo what she thinks. My three year old smiled broadly and responded, “I think it’s ridiculous.” Ridiculous, naturally, being pronounced ridicooooolous and said for the sheer enjoyment of using the word. Proven by the fact that she has asked for me to read “the Papa Crow one” at least twice a day since our first reading.
Now, a week later, I ask kiddo:
“Would you like to say anything about Papa Crow to our readers?”
“Yes,” she says decisively.
“What would you like to say?”
“Nothing at all, I just want it to be SEEN.”
Powerful words from a three year old, I think. She’s right, we could talk about how awesome Papa Crow is all day, but when all is said and done, Menzin’s collages simply must be seen.
Songs for Papa Crow will accompany us to Story Time at Half Price Books Humble for the next two weeks (July 2nd & 9th). We meet every Wednesday, all summer, at 10:30 am. Though we typically read multiple titles, we tend to choose a favorite to feature each week. We will also have a few Schiffer Kids Spring 2014 Catalogs for patrons of Story Time to peruse. Snacks are provided.
I look forward to reading more from Schiffer Books as well as Marit Menzin. The Klemms are officially fans for life.