Sunday, January 23, 2011

A Passion for Reading

I have loved books and reading my entire life. I honestly can not remember a time in my life that books were not near at hand. With a kindergarten teacher mother and a librarian father, literacy and reading always played a vital role in my growth and development. This love of reading and books has grown over the years. at times I feel like all I want to do is read. It is almost like an obsession.

Last year, as soon as they were available at the store, my husband and I drove to Barnes & Noble to buy him a Nook. I say him, but we were supposed to share it. That didn't work out so well. It didn't take long for me to go and buy my own Nook. This was my opportunity to carry all kinds of different books with me and never feel like I would be without something to read.

Since that time I have gotten a new android phone (with the Nook app), an iTouch (with the Nook app), and an iPad (yes, with the Nook app).  Now, no matter where I am, I will always have my books! I know it is a little bit of an overkill (okay, a lot of an overkill) but I don't want to be bored! I love to go to the library and find new books to read. In fact my favorite thing to do is go with my husband to his job (as a librarian), find best sellers on the shelf, then find the most comfortable chair in the library and read all day.  I never get bored of these days. In fact, I have told him many times that I would love to go to work with him every day in order to read in my favorite chair. He does not seem to fond of this, not because he doesn't want me to go to work with him, but because he seems to enjoy the paycheck I bring home at the end of the month. I guess sitting in the library reading does not pay as well as being a children's librarian.

When I started this blog, three years ago, it was to complete a Web 2.0 course. Over the years I have become more comfortable with sharing my passion online. I have created various profiles, lists, tweets, and posts sharing my beliefs on a plethora of topics. I have also written, on and off, blog posts (under a different topic). While updating that blog the other day I decided to begin writing about the books I am reading, have read, or want to share with others passionate about books. I actually had forgotten about this blog. In fact when I went to create the Texas Library Lady book blog, I discovered I already had it set up!

If no one reads this blog, that is fine. It is really more for me to express my feelings about books and to help me remember the books I have read. Yes, I keep a record of the books I have read over the years (in fact three a book next to my chair, on Shelfari, and on on this blog). Yes, you may  have guessed, I am extremely OCD, but that is okay with me!

Reading calms me, makes me happy, and allows me to go places I couldn't go in any other manner. If you like what you read here, let me know. If you are reading something wonderful, leave me a comment. I am constantly building my list of books to read!

Happy Reading!
Texas Library Lady

Texas 2x2 Reading List Announced

I am so very excited! I was able to announce the 2011 Texas 2x2 Reading List today. My committee and I selected the list last week during two days of discussions and debate. It took this entire week to hear back from all of the publishers guaranteeing availability of the titles.

I have been an advocate of the Texas 2x2 Reading List since the very beginning in 2000. I have been on the committee for selecting the list since 2008. I hope you enjoy the books on the list and share them with children from age 2 to 2nd grade (you can also share them with newborns, moms that are pregnant - it's never too early to start reading to a baby, and anyone else you want).

2011 Texas 2 x 2 Reading List
Alter, Anna. Disappearing Desmond. Knopf Books for Young Readers. ISBN-13: 978-0-37-586684-5. $17.99. Ages 4-8. Desmond is so skilled at disappearing that sometimes even his teacher cannot find him, but when he meets Gloria, a new student at school, his attitude slowly changes.
Baker, Keith. LMNO Peas. Beach Lane Books. ISBN-13: 978-1-41-699141-0. $16.99. Ages 4-8. Busy little peas introduce their favorite occupations, from astronaut to zoologist.
Barry, Frances. Let’s Save the Animals: A Flip-the-Flap Book. Candlewick. ISBN-13: 978-0-76-364501-4. $12.99. Ages 4-8. Through large, colorful illustrations and flip-the-flap pages readers are introduced to ten endangered animals and how they can help protect and save them.
Barton, Chris. Shark vs. Train. Illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld. Little, Brown Books for Young Readers. ISBN-13: 978-0-31-600762-7. $16.99. Ages 4-8. A shark and a train compete in a series of contests on a seesaw, in hot air balloons, bowling, shooting baskets, playing hide-and-seek, and more
Chall, Marsha Wilson. One Pup’s Up. Illustrated by Henry Cole. Margaret K. McElderry. ISBN-13: 978-1-41-697960-9. $16.99. Ages 4-8. Rhyming text counts off ten puppies as they awaken one by one, case and bounce around the house, eat kibble and get washed, then fall back to sleep.
Craig, Lindsey. Dancing Feet. Illustrated by Marc Brown. Knopf Books for Young Readers. ISBN-13: 978-0-37-586181-9. $16.99. Ages 2-5. Easy-to-read, rhyming text depicts different animals dancing.
Elliott, David. In the Wild. Illustrated by Holly Meade. Candlewick. ISBN-13: 978-0-76-364497-0. $16.99. Ages 4-8. In beautiful woodcut and watercolor illustrations poems of animals in the wild are brought to life.
Elya, Susan Middleton. Rubia and the Three Osos. Illustrated by Melissa Sweet.Hyperion Books. ISBN-13: 978-1-42-311252-5. $15.99. Ages 4-8. A new twist on a classic tale mixing English and Spanish along with a surprise ending.
Graves, Keith. Chicken Big. Chronicle Books. ISBN-13: 978-0-81-187237-9. $16.99. Ages 4-8. This unique twist on the classic Chicken Little, will have you laughing out loud and cheering for the unlikely hero.
Hacohen, Dean. Tuck Me In! Illustrated by Sherry Scharschmidt. Candlewick. ISBN-13: 978-0-76-364728-5. $9.99. Ages 2-5. The reader helps tuck in baby animals at bedtime using pages with flaps to serve as blankets.
Isadora, Rachel. Say Hello. Putnam Juvenile. ISBN-13: 978-0-39-625230-3. $16.99.Ages 4-8. A little girl greets people in her neighborhood in many different languages.
LaRochelle, David. 1+1=5: and Other Unlikely Additions. Illustrated by Brenda Sexton. Sterling. ISBN-13: 978-1-40-275995-6. $14.95. Ages 4-8. 1+1 does not always equal 2 in this playful approach to addition requiring readers to think outside the box.
Lerch. Swim! Swim! Scholastic Press. ISBN-13: 978-0-54-509419-1. $16.99. Ages 4-8. Lerch the fish is lonely, and after trying to befriend some unreceptive - and inanimate – objects, he finally succeeds in finding a friend.
Lin, Grace. Ling & Ting: Not Exactly the Same! Little, Brown Books for Young Readers. ISBN-13: 978-0-31-602452-5. $14.99. Ages 4-8. Ling and Ting are identical twins that people think are exactly the same, but time and again they prove to be different.
Mayor, Salley. Pocketful of Posies: A Treasury of Nursery Rhymes. Houghton Mifflin Books for Children. ISBN-13: 978-0-61-873740-6. $21.99. Ages 4-8. An illustrated collection of sixty-four traditional nursery rhymes.
Ruddell, Deborah. Who Said Coo? Illustrated by Robin Luebs. Beach Lane Books.ISBN-13: 978-1-416-98510-5. $16.99. Ages 4-8. Lulu is a sleepy pig whose friends try to keep her from sleeping.
Thomson, Bill. Chalk. Marshall Cavendish Children’s Books. ISBN-13: 978-0-76-145526-4. $15.99. Ages 4-8. A wordless picture book about three children who go to a park on a rainy day, find some chalk, and draw pictures that come to life.
Underwood, Deborah. A Balloon for Isabel. Illustrated by Laura Rankin. Greenwillow Books. ISBN-13: 978-0-06-177987-9. $16.99. Ages 4-8. As graduation approaches, Isabel tries to convince her teacher that she and Walter, both porcupines, should receive balloons on the big day just like the other children.
Williams, Karen Lynn. A Beach Tail. Illustrated by Floyd Cooper. Boyds Mills Press.ISBN-13: 978-1-59-078712-0. $17.95. Ages 4-8. When his father tells him not to leave the lion he is drawing on the beach, a little boy starts making a very, very long tail – and a trail to follow back.
Willems, Mo. Cat the Cat Who is That? Balzer+Bray. ISBN-13: 978-0-06-172840-2. $10.99. Ages 4-8. An exuberant cat introduces readers to her friends.

Blackout & All Clear by Connie Willis

I am currently reading All Clear by Connie Willis. It is the conclusion to the time travel novel Blackout which begins in 2060. Historians allowed to go back in time to research various events from the past. In Blackout a group of historians travel back to different events during World War II in London and the surrounding areas. The historians are not always together and the chapters jump from character to character and year to year. At times it can be a little frustrating to follow, but if you keep trudging through the storyline makes sense and is completely engrossing. I did not know a great deal about World War II (especially in London) but find myself constantly thinking about the well developed characters and storyline.

A Tale Dark & Grimm

I have completed my first book of 2011...reading it that is, not writing it.

Granted it was a YA (young adult) book, but it was, like the author says, "Awesome". I was totally engrossed in the story from the first page. This is a wonderful debut novel by Adam Gidwitz. In nine chapters he tells of Hansel and Gretel in a way I have never before seen or heard. This is not your typical Disney-fied version of a fairy tale. In fact it is far from it! This story is grim, bloody, dark, and AWESOME! The reviews suggest this book for grades 3 and up. I have asked three of my young reader friends to read the book (if they were interested) and let me know what they think of it. One of them, D.D., read the blurb and the first chapter and was so taken by the story she took my copy away from me. Another of my friends, D. R., went to get her library card from her mother so I could put the book on hold for her at the nearby branch of the public library. They both seemed very excited, which thrilled me beyond belief. I LOVE connecting readers and books!