Monthly Archives: May 2012
A graphic novel that’s more Neil Gaiman-y fable than superhero story, it tells the story of a world where time had stopped existing. Machines live above, and children live below, rarely meeting except for a young boy named Ayden and a robot girl named Zoe, who have forged a friendship.
Then, one day, 314 Dapper Men fall from the sky and all this order, artificial as it may seem, comes apart. With that, I will cease explaining lest I spoil something, which would be a tragedy as this story is incredibly engrossing right to the very end.
Another smash from the people at Archaia, “Return of the Dapper Men” also boasts an introduction from Tim Gunn, the ultimate dapper man.
This book is gorgeously done. Each page should be framed and hung on a wall, as Janet Lee’s art is amazing. For a preview of the loveliness, check out Archaia’s great site.
One last thing. The below image is from the forward to the book. Isn’t it lovely?
“How and Why to teach your kids at home” by Rebecca Rupp, and what I learned about seeking books on homeschooling.
My husband and I are thinking about homeschooling our son when he reaches school age. At present, he’s seven months old and more interested than pulling himself to standing than a classical education, if you can imagine, so we’ve still got some time to figure it out.
We’re not religious people, so it has nothing to do with that.
We simply think we can probably give him as good, if not better, of an education (and a childhood) than he’d get by being stuffed into a world of standardized testing and stifled curiosity.
(Teachers are the bomb, though. Please don’t think I’m down on teachers. Why they make a pittance while athletes and movie stars make boatloads of moolah is an abomination. The end.)
Being a booknerd, I took to my local library to get some books about homeschooling to learn more.
Here’s a hint: If you’re homeschooling for non-religious reasons, make sure you’re looking for “secular homeschooling” information. The first book I checked out and brought home had almost no indication of it’s religious leanings on the front or back cover, but once I opened it I realized it was a collection of essays on why religious people should homeschool their kids. Which is fine, but it’s not for me.
Of the books I found, Rebecca Rupp’s “Getting Started on Home Learning: How and Why to teach your kids at home” is, in my opinion, the best I’ve read so far. Rupp, a mom who actually homeschools her three kids, is frank and funny and willing to admit that any idyllic visions she may have once had about teaching her kids at home have gone out the window. She talks in depth about things like the laws around homeschooling, socialization, and includes parts of her homeschooling journal to give the reader an idea what the day to day life might be like. She also provides addresses to a bunch of resources for parents considering this path. It’s a fast and informative read, and Rupp’s voice is one that’s relatable and human.
(I haven’t been reading a lot of books for pleasure lately, but I thought I’d share what I actually am spending my time reading. I promise this blog won’t become purely parenting books. Pinky swear.)
Release Date: December 25, 2012
What do you think?
It’s almost here, friends. The Chicago Tribune’s big ol’ annual booknerd block party, Printer’s Row. Held this year on June 9th and 10th, there will be author events, and there will be readers, and oh geez there will be so many good books at amazing prices from Chicago’s fantastic assortment of bookstores.
I’m very excited.
Indeed. Last year, very pregnant, I left with bags of books and got to hear some wonderful authors speak.
For more information, and (FYI!) to get tickets for any of the indoor events, go to the site.
If you’re interested in volunteering, here’s your chance.
There’s a used book store a few blocks from my house. I’ve passed it a million times, and yesterday morning I thought – “I’m out, I’ll stop in.”
Then, it occurred to me that despite the hundreds (maybe even thousands) of times I’ve seen the place, the name of it was a complete mystery to me. I’ve been there before, and purchased books, and yet… no idea what it was called.
Thanks to Google and yelp, I am able to tell you that this unassuming storefront on the corner of Clark and Wellington is, in fact, called Bookman’s Corner. Makes sense.
Look, it’s not a fancy place. The inside looks a bit like someone backed a truck of books up and unloaded them. (My friend Amanda has a theory that the owners actually live in the store, since they can’t physically get out of the stacks.) It’s real cramped and not the cleanest of places, so the claustrophobic and germophobic would do well to stay away.
However, they’ve certainly got books. And they’re cheap, too. You’re almost guaranteed to find something you’ll like for only a few bucks.
Also, there’s often a box of free books outside the store during closed hours. I’ve seen this box, yet never partaken of it. The yelp commenters seem to like it.
I love the Lonely Planet travel guides/magazine/website. Their writing is great, their information spot-on, and I can’t even find an adjective strong enough to describe their photography.
Here’s a sneak peek at their hot fall releases.
Admittedly, my posting this is a teeny bit of my being a shill — because two of the ladies behind the Focal Point Theatre Company are my homegirls. That said, I’m a big fan of Strindberg’s timeless play “Miss Julie” and Patrick Marber’s play, “Closer,” so I’m very excited to see how the two things mesh together into this new work — “After Miss Julie.”
Chicago’s storefront theater scene is as vibrant as ever, and this show is sure to be hot.
My husband surprised me with a whole night’s sleep, breakfast in bed, and a glittery Jane Austen Mother’s Day card this morning. Yeah, he’s awesome.
Happy Mother’s Day to all of you out there, whether mothers or stepmothers or grandmothers or those who act as mothers, or (as Neil Gaiman might say) “othermothers.” You’re appreciated. You really are.
Yeah, it was pretty perfect.
Much like this book.
One of three finalists for the Pulitzer, “Swamplandia!” is one of the hype books of the year. Literally, everyone everywhere has been telling me to read it. Having finished it, I can honestly say all the hype is worth it.
It’s a swampy tale of down-trodden people with murky secrets and goals. It’s the story of the Bigtree family, who run a tourist attraction called “Swamplandia!” which has fallen on hard times since the family matriarch has died. When the son goes off to save the family from the debt they’re under, and the father goes off to handle some business, teenage Osceola and pre-teen Ava are left to fend for themselves. Osceola, however, is in love with a ghost. This complicates things and soon all these well-written characters, and some others, are whirling toward a strangely beautiful conclusion that leaves things to the imagination and doesn’t wrap things up with an easy and colorful bow.
Ava is a great little heroine, who brings to mind a combination of Huck Finn, Scout Finch, Jo March and even the more recent Katniss Everdeen. She’s an alligator wrestler in training with an adventurous spirit and fierce family loyalty. Not everything that happens to her is pleasant, but she gets done what needs to be done and perseveres through it all. I won’t soon forget her.
Read it, people. This book deserves your time.
Word is that HBO has bought “Swamplandia!” to turn it into something — and I’m not surprised. Much like the sensational “True Blood,” this book is populated with swamp people and (potentially mystical) mysteries. It seems a logical choice to be filmed in some way, shape, or form.