Wednesday, April 25, 2012


 I started reading Zone One by Colson Whitehead just so I could post a link to this. Although his description of a post-pandemic city is fascinating, I had to tear my own eyes off the page after reading one too many descriptions of infected humans eating their loved ones. Maybe I should have stuck with it. Now I'm left wondering what happens in the end.


Wednesday, April 11, 2012

hello goodbye

Traveling always requires a good book.

I started my trip with The Paris Correspondent by Alan S. Cowell. Nostalgic for reports filed from the battlefield on a telex, two veteran reporters must deal with the politics and speed of modern reporting. Fascinating characters and back story love affairs keep the story moving even for those not interested in the history of journalism.

Once I got to Kansas City, I turned to The Cat's Table by Michael Ondaatje. Always one of my favorite writers, Ondaatje doesn't disappoint in this tale of a young boy's journey by sea from Sri Lanka to England. Along with an acrobatic troupe, a jazz musician, a Baron thief, and a pigeon fancier, a group of ragtag boys form friendships and find mischief.

On my way back to Michigan from Texas, I picked up Emily Chenoweth's novel hello goodbye somewhere outside of Baltimore. Elliott and his wife Helen travel with their college-aged daughter Abby to a hotel resort in New Hampshire. The trip is a chance for Helen, who has been diagnosed with a brain tumor, to say goodbye to old friends. Not as weepy as it sounds, this novel is actually perfect for traveling. It's easy to drift in and out of, especially for an eavesdropper like me.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Books for a Windy Day

Disclaimer: I actually composed this and scheduled it last Saturday. Little did I know the Dallas area would have a very windy day yesterday...Hopefully these books emphasize the benevolent aspects of the wind.

Flora's Very Windy Day by Jeanne Birdsall/illustrated by Matt Phelan

Flora's having a fit. Little brother Crispin's sitting in a pile of spilled paint. And the frazzled mother, looking up wearily from her laptop, sends the whole lot outside. However, Flora and Crispin are soon swept up by the swirling wind, that at first is scary, but then is like "riding along on a squishy flying chair." After turning down several offers to get rid of her little brother, Flora decides it might be best to go home. And what has that frazzled mother been doing this whole time? Why baking chocolate chip cookies, of course.

It's Too Windy! by Hans Wilhelm

A complaining puppy has a chance to save a runaway stroller and is richly rewarded. So will the beginning reader as he makes his way through this page turner for the pajama set.

Sophie's Window by Holly Keller

The first graders in 1B were surprised that this book was not about Sophie, but Caruso, a pigeon who is afraid of flying. One night, awakened by the wind, Caruso is whooshed away. Luckily he lands at Sophie's window. She helps him slowly hop his way home. A few days later, motivated by wanting to visit his new friend, Caruso finally flaps his wings and, as the first graders guessed, "was flying!"

The Windy Day by Anna Milbourne/illustrated by Elena Temporin/designed by Laura Parker

Brightly clothed kids wonder. What makes kites fly, sailboats go, and sycamore trees grow? From clotheslines to windmills, this comfortingly puffy book outlines the various ways wind works.