Monday, February 25, 2013

It's Monday- What Are You Reading?

It's Monday- What Are You Reading is a weekly meme hosted by Book Journey.  It's a great way to find out about wonderful books and add to your TBR List!

This week I am reading:

Wild Things by Clay Carmichael

a novel for ages 9 & up

From Amazon:
Stubborn, self-reliant eleven-year-old Zoe, recently orphaned, is forced to move to the country to live with her strange and bad-tempered uncle. In this moving coming-of-age novel, an ALA Notable Children's Book and Kirkus Reviews Best Children's Book of the Year, Zoe and her uncle learn about love, trust and the strength of family ties.



Miss Dreamsville and the Collier County Women's Literary Society

by: Amy Hill Hearth

 From Amazon:
Eighty-year-old Dora, the narrator of a story that began a half century earlier, is bonding with an unlikely set of friends, including Jackie Hart, a restless middle-aged wife and mother from Boston, who gets into all sorts of trouble when her family moves to a small, sleepy town in Collier County, Florida, circa 1962.

With humor and insight the novel chronicles the awkward North-South cultural divide as Jackie, this hapless but charming “Yankee,” looks for some excitement in her life by accepting an opportunity to host a local radio show where she creates a mysterious, late-night persona, “Miss Dreamsville,” and by launching a reading group—the Collier County Women’s Literary Society—thus sending the conservative and racially segregated town into uproar. The only townspeople who venture to join are regarded as outsiders at best—a young gay man, a divorced woman, a poet, and a young black woman who dreams of going to college.

This brilliant fiction debut by Amy Hill Hearth, a New York Times bestselling author, brings to life unforgettable characters who found the one thing that eluded them as individuals:a place in the world. Inspired by a real person, Miss Dreamsville and the Collier County Women’s Literary Society will touch the heart of anyone and everyone who has ever felt like an outsider longing to fit in.

It's Monday- What are you reading???

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Library Books Challenge 2013- February Wrap Up

It's time for my February Wrap Up in the Library Books Reading Challenge hosted by Dragon's Lair.

 These are the books I've read so far:

1.What Happened to My Sister

2.The Year the Colored Sisters Came to Town

I know that's a lousy start, but hopefully I'll pick up my momentum for  March.

If you haven't joined yet, it's not too late to sign up!

Happy Reading!

Beth =D

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

TBR Challenge 2013 -February Wrap Up

I can't believe it's time for the February Wrap up! If you haven't joined the TBR Challenge, it's not too late!

I didn't read as much this month as I normally do. It's been a busy, crazy month and I won't be sad to see it GO....

That being said, here are the books I've read so far in February....

1. What Happened to My Sister by: Elizabeth Flock
2. One Crazy Summer by: Rita Williams-Garcia
3.The Year the Colored Sisters Came to Town by: Jacqueline Guidry

Waiting On Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine. It is a great way to tell others what book releases you are eagerly awaiting, and a great way to find out about upcoming releases from others.

This week I am featuring:

Looking for Me by Beth Hoffman

release date:  May 28, 2013

From Amazon:

A Southern novel of family and antiques from the bestselling author of the beloved Saving CeeCee Honeycutt

Beth Hoffman’s bestselling debut, Saving CeeCee Honeycutt, won admirers and acclaim with its heartwarming story and cast of unforgettable characters. Now her unique flair for evocative settings and richly drawn Southern personalities shines in her compelling new novel, Looking for Me.

Teddi Overman found her life’s passion for furniture in a broken-down chair left on the side of the road in rural Kentucky. She learns to turn other people’s castoffs into beautifully restored antiques, and eventually finds a way to open her own shop in Charleston. There, Teddi builds a life for herself as unexpected and quirky as the customers who visit her shop. Though Teddi is surrounded by remarkable friends and finds love in the most surprising way, nothing can alleviate the haunting uncertainty she’s felt in the years since her brother Josh’s mysterious disappearance. When signs emerge that Josh might still be alive, Teddi is drawn home to Kentucky. It’s a journey that could help her come to terms with her shattered family—and to find herself at last. But first she must decide what to let go of and what to keep.

Looking for Me brilliantly melds together themes of family, hope, loss, and a mature once-in-a-lifetime kind of love. The result is a tremendously moving story that is destined to make bestselling author Beth Hoffman a novelist to whom readers will return again and again as they have with Adriana Trigiani, Fannie Flagg, and Joshilyn Jackson.           

    Saving CeeCee Honeycutt was one of the best southern novels I've ever read.  I loved every page!  I know this one will be just as wonderful! Can't wait to read it!   Beth :o)

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

What Happened to My Sister

Title: What Happened to My Sister Author: Elizabeth Flock Publisher: Ballentine Books Pages: 276

I borrowed this book from my local library.

From Amazon:

From the author of Me &; Emma comes a dazzling novel of two unforgettable families bound together by their deepest secrets and haunted pasts—perfect for fans of The Secret Life of CeeCee Wilkes and The Book of Bright Ideas.

Nine-year-old Carrie Parker and her mother, Libby, are making a fresh start in the small town of Hartsville, North Carolina, ready to put their turbulent past behind them. Violence has shattered their family and left Libby nearly unable to cope. And while Carrie once took comfort in her beloved sister, Emma, her mother has now forbidden even the mention of her name.

When Carrie meets Ruth, Honor, and Cricket Chaplin, these three generations of warmhearted women seem to have the loving home Carrie has always dreamed of. But as Carrie and Cricket become fast friends, neither can escape the pull of their families’ secrets—and uncovering the truth will transform the Chaplins and the Parkers forever.

I was surprised to find this sequel to Me & Emma. Although it had been a while since I had read Me & Emma, it was one of those books that stayed with me. I couldn't wait to read this one, and it did not disappoint! I was taken in from the first page and could NOT put it down! I will try not to include spoilers.

 Carrie is the victim of terrible abuse but, sadly, doesn't know it.  It is all she has ever known. When she and her mother flee Hendersonville, NC in an old beat up car they are hoping for a new start. Sadly, bad luck seems to follow them wherever they go.  When car trouble strands them in a flea bag hotel, nine-year-old Carrie has to fend for herself for food while her alcoholic mother is out "working". She is haunted by the memory of her baby sister, Emma, whom her mom swears never really existed. However, Carrie is certain that she did once have a baby sister. What happened to Emma? Why won't her mother, who used to talk about her also, admit that she once existed?

Honor Chaplin is trying to start a new life with her young daughter. Having just lost a daughter to cancer, and having recently separated from her husband, she moves back in with her mother and struggles to begin again. When Honor and her daughter, Cricket, run into Carrie at the local Wendy's they are struck by her resemblance to Caroline, Honor's recently deceased daughter.  They are drawn to the pitiful Carrie and an odd friendship begins.

Will the Chaplin's find out the secrets Carrie is hiding? Will they find out the real reason she and her mother are fleeing Hendersonville? And will they finally unravel the truth about Emma?

this one will keep you on the edge of your set. You won't be able to put it down!

Read this one if you...

*read Me &; Emma and want to know the rest of the story

*love southern fiction

*love a good mystery


Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday

It's Waiting on Wednesday again! Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine.

What books are you eagerly awaiting?

I am waiting on

 Lowcountry Spirit by: Ann Hite

release date: August 12, 2013

From Amazon:

A haunting historical eNovella about three slave girls with mystical powers living on an eerie island off the coast of Georgia, whose lives intertwine in their quest for freedom.

Meet Emmaline, Celestia, and Liza, three slave girls on a haunted barrier island in Georgia lowcountry.

Emmaline is a mouthy, stubborn young woman who has magic in her blood and conjures the strongest spells with hardly any effort. Celestia was ten when her mother was sold and taken from the island. She’s never stopped longing for her, even when the talking chain—a verbal underground railroad—sends word that her mother has been taken to a plantation in North Carolina. By the time she turns sixteen, she can no longer bring her mother’s face to mind, but she can still hear her urging Celestia to be thankful and keep safe. Liza was a birthday gift to the plantation’s mistress. Her mama was killed for throwing a spell on her master. Before she died she gave Liza her book of conjures, so she could protect herself. And when Liza hatches a plan for all three of them to escape, the three girls’ lives collide. What they don’t realize is that their chances of successfully escaping are slim, and the possibility that all three will die before they leave the island is more likely...

Can't wait!
Beth :)

Monday, February 11, 2013

One Crazy Summer

Title: One Crazy Summer Author: Rita Williams-Garcia Publisher: Amistad Pages: 215

I checked this book out from my school library.

From Amazon:
Set during one of the most tumultuous years in recent American history, One Crazy Summer is the heartbreaking, funny tale of three girls who travel to Oakland, California, in 1968 in search of the mother who abandoned them. It's an unforgettable story told by a distinguished author of books for children and teens, Rita Williams-Garcia.

This was an amazing book. Told through the eyes of eleven-year-old Delphine, One Crazy Summer tells the story of three sisters traveling to California to spend a month with the mother who abandoned them on the day of the youngest sister's birth. They had never met her and knew nothing about her, other than what Big Ma, their grandmother, had told them. And none of it was good.
From the time they get off the plane, they find that their California fantasies of beach trips and visits to Disneyland are just that- fantasies. Their mother, Cecile is a poet and activist. On the first day of vacation, she sends the girls to a day camp run by the Black Panthers. Their education begins that day. Oakland, California is a far cry from their Brooklyn neighborhood, in more ways than one. Delphine, Vonetta, and Fern must navigate their way from the way of life they've been taught by Big Ma, through the new and uncharted waters of the Black Panther movement in 1968 Oakland.
Cecile is distant, brusque, and refuses to allow the girls to enter her kitchen, making them eat take-out on the floor. Strangers visit her at night. Who is this mysterious woman who birthed them? What goes on behind her kitchen door?
Rita Williams-Garcia paints a historically accurate picture of 1968 California, of the civil rights movement as seen through the eyes of a young girl.

Read this book if.......
*you are interested in racial issues and the Civil Rights Movement
*you enjoy stories about sisters
*stories about meeting birth parents for the first time

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

Welcome to It's Monday! What Are You Reading? A weekly meme hosted by Book Journey.

This is a great way to add books to your Wish List and TBR pile. What a wonderful way to find out about all great books you never knew existed!

There is also a great prize for those who visit 10 or more participating blogs.

Guess who won last week's prize?

I am currently reading:
On Folly Beach by Karen White.

From Amazon: To most people, Folly Beach is simply the last barrier island before reaching the great Atlantic. To some, it's a sanctuary for lost souls, which is why Emmy Hamilton's mother encourages her to buy the local book store, Folly's Finds, hoping it will distract Emmy from the loss of her husband.

Emmy is at first resistant. So much has already changed. But after finding love letters and an image of a beautiful bottle tree in a box of used books from Folly's Finds, she decides to take the plunge. But the seller insists on one condition: Emmy must allow Lulu, the late owner's difficult sister, to continue selling her bottle trees from its back yard.

For the most part Emmy ignores Lulu as she sifts through the love letters, wanting to learn more. But the more she discovers about the letters, the more she understands Lulu. As details of a possible murder and a mysterious disappearance during WWII are revealed, the two women discover that circumstances beyond their control, sixty years apart, have brought them together, here on Folly Beach. And it is here that their war-ravaged hearts can find hope for a second chance...


From Amazon:

Left with Aunt Mattie and Uncle (sheriff) Cade in the North Carolina mountains, nine-year-old June becomes “Mattie’s Girl” when Cade is killed at the home of her best friend PeeDee. In stories deeply rooted in 1940s Appalachia, June chronicles the years between meeting the irrepressible PeeDee and losing her. She struggles to understand her mother’s indifference, her father’s divided love, her grandmother’s sudden death, her grandfather’s being institutionalized. Three years later, PeeDee, riding the rails west, brings a final gift and the truth about Cade’s murder. In this world forever gone, June survives and triumphs through the grace of family and friendship.

It's Monday! So...What are your reading?

Make-A-List Monday #2

This is the second week of a little meme I started last Monday. Each week I make a list of 5 books. Last week's list was 5 Books That Made Me Cry.  This week- 5 Books that I could NOT put down.

5 Books That I Could Not Put Down

  1. Oral History by Lee Smith

  2. Saving CeCe Hunnicutt by: Beth Hoffman

  3. The Color Purple by: Alice Walker

  4. Their Eyes Were Watching God by: Zora Neale Hurston

  5. Divine Secrets of the YaYa Siterhood by: Rebecca Wells


What are 5 books you couldn't put down? Leave a link below!

Monday Memories

This is a meme hosted by Annette's Book Spot. Monday Memories is a place to post favorite books from the past. You can either link to an old review, or write something new about a favorite book from the past. What's important is what makes the book so memorable to you..

I am choosing Oral History by Lee Smith as my Monday Memory.

This is my favorite book EVER. The copy I own is my third copy because I kept lending it to people who loved it so much they refused to return it. (I finally learned my lesson.)  I don't loan my Lee Smith books.
The story begins when a college student returns to her family home in 1970's Appalachia. She intends to do an oral history project on how the family home place, an old cabin sitting high on a mountain, became so haunted that no one can live there. The story then reaches back to the early 1800's when Almarine Cantrell takes a wife, a witch known as Red Emmy, and lives with her in the cabin.  The story grabs you from page one.  EVERYONE I have ever recommended this book to has said they could NOT put it down.  It's just that kind of a book. Part ghost story, part historical fiction, part family saga...and ALL southern Appalachian fiction (my fave).
This is the book that placed Lee Smith as my all-time favorite author. I own many of her books, and she has her own special "Lee Smith" shelf in my living room.  I would love to meet her in person. She is an amazing writer.
Try this book. I PROMISE you won't be able to put it down, either. If you do try it, be sure and comment and let me know how you liked it.
Beth :)

Sunday, February 10, 2013

The Year the Colored Sisters Came to Town

Title: The Year the Colored Sisters Came to Town Author: Jacqueline Guidry Publisher: Welcome Rain Publishers Pages: 256

I borrowed this book from my local public library.

From the inside cover:
Southwestern Louisiana, rural Cajun country, 1957

Vivien Leigh Dubois, a precocious and curious ten-year-old girl, and her family lead a modest and contented life filled with age-old traditions such as picking figs and making preserves. Their black housekeeper, Aussie Arceneaux, has been their faithful friend since Vivien Leigh's mother was a child, and her daughter Marydale and Vivien Leigh's seven-year-old sister Mavis are practically inseparable. But when the town of Ville deAngelle is jolted by the arrival of two black nuns to teach at Holy Rosary, the all-white Catholic elementary school, Vivien Leigh and Mavis are exposed to a hatred and fear they never knew existed.

Their father leads a "Concerned Citizens" group to protest and challenge the new teachers, even their mother begins to reject the lifelong friendship with the Arceneaux family. For the first time in her young lfe, Vivien Leigh is obliged to consider the color of people's skin and the impact of race on the very fabric of society, from the most intimate to the most public.

This was a touching and thought-provoking story. Guidry touches on the many prejudices and ingrained beliefs of small town Louisiana in 1957- from the boldest to the most subtle. The relationships and realities of the black and white citizens of that town are seen through the eyes of Vivien Leigh and her family and friends. Vivien Leigh is a lovable young girl who always finds a way to listen in on adult conversations. Unfortunately, this brings forth much information that her ten-year-old mind is not necessarily ready to handle. Aussie and Vivien's mother have been lifelong friends. The effect of the nuns' arrival on that friendship, and the friendship of Mavis and Marydale is realistic, yet heartbreaking. Equally heartbreaking are the results of the hatred of the Concerned Citizens and the KKK. I won't include spoilers. This book is, in my opinion, and accurate picture of the realities of black/ white relationships in the 1957 South. 

Read this book if....
*you love southern fiction
*you have an interest in the racial issues of the South in the 1950's

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Liebster Blog Award

I want to thank Morgan at Castles Made of Books for nominating my blog. What an honor! Thank you!!!!

1. Thank your Liebster Blog Award presenter on your blog and link back to the blogger who presented this award to you.
2. Answer the 11 questions from the nominator, list 11 random facts about yourself, and create 11 questions for your nominees.3. Present the Liebster Blog Award to 11 blogs of 200 followers or less who you feel deserve to be noticed and leave a comment on their blog letting them know they have been chosen. (No tag backs)4. Copy and paste the blog award on your blog.

1. Who is your favorite character from a book and why? The first that comes to mind is Ivorie in The Good Dream by Donna Vanliere. She is strong willed, brave, and not afraid to do the right thing even if others stand against her. She was an awesome woman.
2. What books do you love so much you would read again? Oral History by Lee Smith is my all-time favorite. Others I have read time and again are The Color Purple by Alice Walker, Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston, and Fair and Tender Ladies by Lee Smith. Oh, and Devil's Dream by Lee Smith.
3. Do you judge a book by it's cover? Sometimes a cover grabs my attention, but I have to read the blurb also. Sometimes a book has a great cover and then, after you read the blurb, you think,"" I've read some great books that had boring covers, too.
4.What does your blog title mean/ why did you choose it? I chose Free Spirit because that's what I am, in several respects. I tend to do my own thing. With respect to books, I love Southern Fiction, non-fiction paranormal, women's fiction, but I tend to shy away from books the general pubic flocks to in droves. I hate formula fiction, can't stand most of those authors you see on the Walmart shelf. Harry Potter was OK, but I only read a couple (sorry). Never bothered with Twilight. I do my own thing. I can't help it. I learned log ago, if you're different, you're that way for a reason. Best embrace it...
5. What's the worst book you've ever read? I hated The Giver. Sorry to all you dystopia fans, but I just hated it. I downloaded 50 Shades to my kindle because everyone raved about it. I never finished it. I couldn't believe I wasted good money on that book. Just not my thing....
6. What is your favorite place to get books from? Amazon is great, because I can search and find almost anything. I also love browsing used book stores. I visit my local library a lot, too.
7. If you were stuck on a desert island and could have only one book, which book would you choose? Oral History, because it never gets old. However, I must admit, I need time between re-reads. If I'm on that island a long time, Oral History might even get old...
8. What are the last two books that you've read? I just put away two that were two insanely boring to finish (ha!). I am almost finished with The Year the Colored Sisters Came to Town by Jacqueline Guidry.the last two I finshed were Turtle in Paradise  by Jennifer Holm and The Cottage at Glass Beach  by Heather Barbieri.
9.What are two books you are dying to read?The River Witch by Kimberly Brock and The Storycatcher by Ann Hite.
10. If you could meet any author, who would you choose? Lee Smith, Alice Walker, many....!!!
11. What was your favorite book as a child? I loves the Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder. When I got older I fell in love with the Nancy Drew series.

1. I am a Media Specialist/ librarian at an elementary school. Before that I was a classroom teacher.
2. I love writing, although I'm not published yet. I keep working and keep believing. Writing makes me happy!
3. I love country living! I am an outdoor person. My other blog is Life On Devil's Hollow . I'm definitely a nature person.
4. I love to cook (when I'm not exhausted)! I post recipes on my other blog.
5. I love to garden! See my other blog to follow my gardening adventures...and misadventures.
6. My favorite place on earth is Sanibel Island, Florida. I wish I could have a home there.
7. I love seafood, sushi, Mexican food, and anything spicy or with cheese on it.
8. I have one daughter, age 5,  whom I love more than life itself. She is the shining star of my life, my everything. 
9.I love to go camping, especially in the Great Smoky Mountains (my other favorite place).
10. I am the most "nothing fancy", bluejeans and barefoot person on earth. I hate crowds, hate hoopla...I love to just kick back...and read...

1. Who is your favorite author?
2. What is the best book you've ever read and why?
3. What book got you hooked on reading?
4. What is the worst book you've ever read?
5. Why did you choose your blog title/ what does it mean?
6. Do you finish a book if you hate it? Why or why not?
7. Have you ever written a book?
8. What is your favorite place to get books from?
9. Do you have any hobbies other than reading?
10. Do you have any other blogs?

Friday, February 8, 2013

Feature & Follow Friday #2

It's Feature and Follow Friday!

This is a great way to discover new blogs and gain followers for your blog.
Feature and Follow Friday is hosted by Parajunkee & Alison Can Read. You can sign up at either site. After that, visit as many FAF posts as possible. Follow their FAF posts. They will follow you back. (It helps to tell them if you are a "new follower" or and "old follower".)

 Todays Question-

If they were throwing the HOTTEST books of a Mardis Gras float, what would you do to have them throw to you?

Well....whether hottest means most popular with everyone else or just to me....I wouldn't do what most women do to get things thrown from a Mardis Gras float. I HOPE I'm beyond that...LOL. I guess I'd just act like an obnoxious fool and knock people out of the way to catch the ones I want. (I guess I'm not beyond that. Ha!)

Happy FAF Friday!
Be sure and leave a link if you're a new follower so I can follow you back!!

PS- Please click on the Facebook link and "like" my new page! I'm just getting it show a girl a little love, will ya?

Beth :o)

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

W.W.W. Wednesday


It's W.W.W. Wednesday, hosted by Should Be Reading.

Participants answer the following questions:
  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you recently finish reading?
  • What will you be reading next?

1. What are you currentl;y reading?

 I am currently reading One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams Garcia and The Year the Colored Sisters Came to Town by Jacqueline Guidry.

2. What did you recently finish reading?

I just gave up on two books that bored me to tears (sorry, life is too short for that mess).  I completed Turtle in Paradise by Jennifer Holm.

What do you plan on reading next?

I plan on reading either What Happened to My Sister: a novel by: Elizabeth Flock or Keeping Safe the Stars by: Sheila O'Connor.

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine.
What Books are you waiting on?

I am eagerly awaiting...
The Storycatcher by Ann Hite
expected release date: September 10, 2013

From Amazon:

Shelly Parker, a sixteen-year-old servant who works for the tyrannical Pastor Dobbins and his family, has had the gift of sight for as long as she can remember. She’s grown accustomed to coexisting with the spirits of the dead who roam Black Mountain, telling Shelly their stories and warning her of the dangers that surround her. When the ghost of Arleen Brown, a poor woman who died on the mountain during childbirth five years earlier, begins to pursue Pastor’s daughter Faith—hell-bent on revealing a terrible secret that she took to her grave—Shelly is the only person that can help her. The two young women soon find themselves tangled up in a web of secrets and lies that takes them from Black Mountain to the murky saltwater marshes of Georgia, uncovering long-hidden truths that put their own lives in danger.
Atmospheric and infused with supernatural elements, Hite’s novel is a rich and wonderfully eerie tale that will stay with you long after the story ends.

I can't wait to read this book! I loved Ghost on Black Mountain. Ann Hite is a great southern writer. This one is at the top of my wish list!

Here is my review of Ann Hite's Ghost on Black Mountain. I highliy recommend it!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday: Best Bookish Moments

This is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish each Tuesday.  Each week bloggers share a list of books based on the prompt given.

Today's Topic:

Top Ten Best Bookish Moments

1. My dad reading to me-

As far back as I can remember, my dad read to me every night.  I thought it was because he loved me soooo much! (Later mom told me it was to keep me out of her hair while she cooked dinner.) Nevertheless, it gave me a love for books that has lasted. For that I am thankful.

2. I received On the Banks of Plum Creek by Laura Ingalls Wilder for Christmas in third grade. (Or was it second?)

I fell in love with the Little House books. It was the first book I read over and over (and over) again...

3. I checked out Witch of the Cumberlands by Mary Jo Stephens from the library when I was in 6th grade.

I fell in love with southern fiction (especially Appalachian fiction) on that day. I was hooked!

4. Summer Reading Club

Each year I signed up for Summer Reading Club at the Chattooga County Library. I always went for top prize! My neighbor, Carol, often out-read me.  But that was cool- I had someone to discuss books with. It was from Carol that I first learned about The Boxcar Children (see below).

5. Pretending to be the Boxcar Children

My neighbor, Carol, her brothers, and I would pretend to be the Boxcar Children. We had just the right number (two girls, two boys) to be Jessie, Violet, Henry and Benny. 

6. The Chattooga County Library

Each week while my mom went grocery shopping she would drop me off at the Chattooga County Library.  I'd load up on books for the week.  My favorite librarian was Mrs. Floyd.  Her husband ran the dime store. Those were the days....

7. My high school librarian, Mrs. Rich

Ok, she was my dad's high school English teacher and I don't think they were exactly in each other's fan club...but she loved me and I loved her.  She knew I loved to read and I'd hang around that library all the time.  (Needless to say, in Library Science, I made an A. :)

8. Reading to my students

I was barely 20 years old when I graduated Shorter University (then Shorter College) and started teaching first grade. For 17 years I taught elementary students, and I read to them every single day. Many of my students had no books in their homes and had never had anyone read to them. Some had illiterate parents and had no idea what a book even was until they started school. Our class was full of books. We talked about books, we did art projects with books...I hope my babies remember those days.  I hope they grew up to love books as much as I did. 

9. Becoming an elementary school Media Specialist/ Librarian

Some people get ticky over that title. Not me. But I call my self a librarian.  This is heaven. Everyday I am surrounded by books! I get to read to kids. I teach them to do research and find information. I teach them to use the library and locate books they will love. My primary goal- help every child find a book he/she will love. It's like matchmaking- there is a book for everyone. I can't stand to hear someone say "I hate reading." Someone failed that child. Someone failed.

My philosophy-

Teaching a child to read is not enough-,

Teach a child to LOVE to read, and you have created a lifetime learner

. Their education will never end.

Their possibilities will be boundless.

10. Starting my writing and starting my blog

Some of the most hurtful words I have ever heard- "You know you will never write a book." It cut me to the core.  I love to write. I wrote my first "book" in seventh grade. I began my blogs and I have begun writing in earnest and submitting manuscripts.  Will I be successful? Who knows? It depends on how you define success.  Writing makes me happy. I love it. This blog gives me yet another way to celebrate good books in my life. My other (often neglected) blog Life on Devils Hollow is another way to keep up my writing practice and celebrate all that is good in my life. I call that success....

Teaser Tuesdays

Teaser Tuesdays is hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading.

Anyone can play along!
  • Grab your current read.
  • Open to a random page.
  • Share two "teaser" sentences from somewhere on that page. DO NOT include spoilers! (Don't use sentences that give too much away and ruin it for everyone else.
  • Share the title and author, too, so that other TT partivcipants can add the book to their TBR lists.

My teaser:
"You can't say stuff like that to a kid asking about her mother when it's snowing outside or raining. You can't say, "Your mother lives on the street, in a hole in the wall, sleeping on park benches next to winos." page 23
- One Crazy Summer by: Rita Williams- Garcia

Monday, February 4, 2013

Library Books Reading Challenge

This challenge is hosted by Dragon's Lair.
Since I'm already an avid library fan, this is great! I'm signing up for adult level- 36 books!
Here are the rules (from Dragon's Lair page).

Our love of reading can be expensive! Not only are we purchasing books but we also need space to keep them. I've started using the library (again) but couldn't find a challenge to help me. Here it is. There are a number of levels, for those who don't have a library card yet to those that live there. Enjoy!

  • choose a level - you may move up as needed, just not down.
  • check books out of the library
  • books may overlap with other challenges
  • any format allowed (print, ebook, audio)
  • reviews are not necessary but a list of books read is. (post with review linky)
  • a blog is not necessary, just comment that you want to join in

  • board book - 3
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It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

Welcome to It's Monday! What Are You Reading? Hosted by Book Journey.
This is a great way to add books to your Wish List and TBR pile. What a wonderful way to find out about all great books you never knew existed!
(Oh how I LOVE book blogs!!)
Book Journey also sponsors a great prize drawing for those that visit 10 or more blogs in the Meme.

I am currently reading

The Year the Colored Sisters Came to Town by: Jacqueline Guidry

 From Publisher's Weekly on Amazon:


The racial divisions of the 1950s South as seen through the eyes of a young girl achieved quintessential expression in To Kill a Mockingbird. Guidry, then, is courageous in exploring the same situation. In her first novel, she eloquently captures the reality of black and white relations in Louisiana before the civil rights movement. Her characterizations and insights into family life are strong and believable, and her young female narrator's voice is convincing. Narrator Vivien Leigh Dubois, like Harper Lee's Scout Finch, is coming of age in a changing world. A 10-year-old about to go into fifth grade, Vivien Leigh knows that there are differences between whites and "coloreds," unlike her younger sister Mavis, whose best friend Marydale Arceneaux is the daughter of the Dubois family's black housekeeper. When two "colored" nuns (the "sisters" of the title) arrive in Ville d'Angelle to teach at Holy Rosary, the all-white, private Catholic school that Vivien Leigh attends, she slowly begins to see these divisions in a different light. Guidry's characterization is nuanced; not everyone is portrayed as a hate-mongering racist, and she makes it clear that it required bravery to speak out against bigotry. Yet whereas Lee's classic pulled readers into its plot, Guidry allows her story to meander. Only in the last hundred pages does the story propel the reader toward a conclusion where there are no easy heroes, no easy compromises or truths. Though uneven, the novel is written in fluid, assured prose and gracefully drives home its message: that life is not black and white, but rather painted in shades of all colors. 



One Crazy Summer by: Rita Williams Garcia


From Amazon:

Set during one of the most tumultuous years in recent American history, One Crazy Summer is the heartbreaking, funny tale of three girls who travel to Oakland, California, in 1968 in search of the mother who abandoned them. It's an unforgettable story told by a distinguished author of books for children and teens, Rita Williams-Garcia.



What are you reading?

Make-A-List Monday #1

Happy Monday! 
Ok- lets start the week off with some fun!
Each Monday I am making a Book List. Today's List-

5 Books that Made Me Cry

  1. Thank You, Mr. Falker  by: Patricia Polacco

  2. The Good Dream  by: Donna VanLiere

  3. The Crowning Glory of Calla Lilly Ponder by: Rebecca Wells

  4. Bastard Out of Carolina by: Dorothy Allison

  5. Because You Are My Own by: Lauren Buongiovanni Hunt


SO...what books have made you cry? Be sure and post a link below so we can all see you list...and in your post please link back to this page. Thank you!

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Do You Finish A Book When You Hate It?

My coworker and I have had this conversation dozens of times.  We make our living with books.  We both work in an elementary school library. I am the Media Specialist. She is my assistant and my right arm. (I'd be lost without her.) We are both avid readers.  We LOVE books. But- what if you start reading a book and suddenly realize , sucks. Do you finish it?
This has happened to me twice in one week.  The first was an actual Newberry Award winner. I wanted to love it. I tried to love it. But... well, every time I picked it up it was with a sigh...more of the same. It was insanely boring to me. Notice I said to me. Obviously it was great to someone. (Lots of someones) But not to me. Finally I said, "I can't do this. I really hate this book." Her reply? "Girl, I never got past chapter three!"
The same happened with an adult fiction book.  I started it one week ago. It had promise. Great plot. But as the week wore on...well, let's just say I didn't sit up at night waiting to see what happened next. Earlier today I had to face the facts- I dont' give a rat's ass what happens next. (Sorry.)  What started out as an amazing book is now bogged down in a mire of endless, needless detail. I've given up on what happens next. There is no next- just more of the same, same, same...
So, what do you do with a book you hate? Do you optimistically keep reading, hoping it will pick up it's original momentum? Or do you give up and move on to better books?
 I won't review either of these books. I can't. I'm a witter. I know how much of a writer's heart and soul goes into his/ her writing. See my review policy. If I absolutely hate it I won't review it. Maybe the book is great. Maybe the problem is me.
So..what do you do with a book you hate?
I'd love to know? Can't wait to see your comments.
Happy Sunday
Beth :o)

Friday, February 1, 2013

Feature and Follow Friday

Greetings and Happy Friday!
This is my first Feature and Follow Friday! (So excited!)

Feature and Follow Friday is hosted by Parajunkee & Alison Can Read.
It's a great way to get your blog noticed and get new followers. Visit either of the above sites to sign up. After that, you can visit and join as many blogs as possible and leave a comment on their FAF post.  They will follow you back.

I prefer to be followed through Google or Networked Blogs, but Linky works as well.

This week's question: What would you do if you woke up in your favorite book?

Well, my favorite book ever is Oral History by Lee Smith.  I guess it depends on which part of the 150 year span I woke up in.... I think I'd fall in love with ALmarine Cantrell, though. I'm pretty sure I would....
Have a wonderful Friday!
Beth :o)