27 June 2008
It’s official! Caldecott Award books are not just for young children anymore. This year’s winner, The Invention of Hugo Cabret, by Brian Selznick is over 500 pages while most Caldecott winners average only 40 pages. And this is not the only unusual aspect of this year’s winner. The work is a unique mix of words and illustrations that feel much like a black and white movie. On Amazon the author writes, “I’ve used the lessons I learned from Remy Charlip [his favorite childhood author and illustrator] and other masters of the picture book to create something that is not a exactly a novel, not quite a picture book, not really a graphic novel, or a flip book or a movie, but a combination of all these things.” You almost have to see it to believe it.
Here is a sample of the illustrations. This is one illustration that the author did not include in the final edition of the book, but shows the intricate details to be found in the book. The story is about a twelve year old boy, Hugo Cabret, who lives alone in the walls of a Parisian train station. He tends to the clocks in the station while working to repair a mechanical man his father found in an old museum warehouse. Through this quest, the young boy gets involved with an old man and a young girl. You will have to read and see the book to learn the rest. Because so much of the story is told through pictures, this is a quick read and open to pure imaginations! I loved it!
The author's website dedicated to this book is wonderful with all sorts of magical properties.
TITLE: The Invention of Hugo Cabret
AUTHOR: Brian Selznik
RECOMMEND: Caldecott Winner, delightfully different
AUTHOR: Jane Austen
RECOMMEND: Another wonderful classic, everyone should read
25 June 2008
17 June 2008
The most popular book in my library is Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. I have read it many, many times. I think it was the first Austen novel that I ever read and I fell in love with it. I also read Sense and Sensibility which I liked almost as much. Then instead of reading other works by Miss Austen, I reread these two over and over. Interestingly enough, after my book club chose and read Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskell, who wrote similarly to Austen, I decided to go back and read some of Austen's other works. In a great convergence of the stars, I noticed a link to DailyLit on a Tuesday Thinger post and visited and started Emma which I have just completed and hope to post a review later today.
Without looking, I am sure that the most popular books that I do not have are the Harry Potter books. My children have read them all, but I just could not get into it, then I saw the movies and (knowing better) thought, What's the point? Almost always, the book is better than the movie, so I should have pushed forward.
I am a fairly equal opportunity reader - I will read almost anything. If I am concerned that I will not like a book, I usually look for reviews in hopes of bolstering my intent to like it. However, even if all of the reviews are negative, I will still continue with my reading and usually complete the book. So I guess I am not really guided by rankings. If I really like a book, I am always amazed at the reviews of others - things I missed, things I did not care about, things I loved that others did not include. Really, I guess for me, what other people think about books is just more reading!
The librarian in me thinks the most wonderful thing about books is that there is a book out there for everyone and a person for every book. Working in an academic library in Circulation (previous job), we used to love to see what people were checking out and thought, Isn't it wonderful that someone out there cares about the dotted snail enough to check out three books on them? And who knew there were three books to begin with? No offense to snail lovers, btw!
Have a great Tuesday!
10 June 2008
Early Reviewers (4)
02 June 2008
I only have 86 books cataloged in Library Thing, but I am adding them slowly but surely. So many of my books are in boxes that I have been slow pulling them down to add. I also like to try and post a review, even if fairly brief, so it is time consuming - as you all already know!
As to what I catalog - books that I own, books that I borrow, and generally anything that I read. I absolutely love Library Thing and could get lost in it forever!
Thank you for posting our weekly topic - I am trying diligently to get caught up with reading everyone's post. I had to have a fairly intensive medical procedure today so I am a little loopy today! See you all next Tuesday.
01 June 2008
Absolutely wonderful. I have always been a huge fan of Jane Austen and writer's of her era. This book was originally published in installments in 1853 as a result of a request by Charles Dickens. This wonderful story of the small town of Cranford - with almost everyone who is anyone being female - introduces us to Miss Mattie, who is constantly striving to behave in a Proper manner. The women in Miss Mattie's world are brought to life through the eyes of a frequent visitor to the small English town. My favorite qoute concerns "the mouldy smell of aristocracy" which surprisingly enough is the most cherished memory of these women for whom the charade of aristocracy is the norm. In the end, the friendships and love take over the novel and leave the reader hoping to learn more about this small hamlet. Happily this is possible, because the author continues (or adds to) the story in The Chronicles of Cranford. PBS recently aired the combined stories in their Masterpiece Theatre.
If you enjoy this work by Elizabeth Gaskell, you can read three of her other works at Daily Lit. You can also read this entire work from Google Books.
AUTHOR: Elizabeth Gaskell
RECOMMEND: Wonderful classic, everyone should read
I must admit that I have no idea how I feel about this book. It was written as a play which made it a little different. The play tells the story of a pre-Civil War estate owner, his daughters, and his slaves. In an interesting twist, the wife divorces the estate owner because she is against slavery, while he is happy to be a slave owner. Unfortunately, he has gambling debts to pay and is forced to sell his slaves. Actually, this part of the story is based in a true auction. The author provides the historical background at the end of the book.
So far, so good. Having studied both the pre and post Civil War South, I found this book to contain every opinion or angle ever expressed about slavery. If one were to use this book as a stepping stone for a lesson on slavery (as it occured throughout the United States) perhaps that would be the greatest value. And perhaps that was the author's intent.
TITLE: Day of Tears
AUTHOR: Julius Lester
RECOMMEND: Not really my favorite, but interesting perspectives
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