If you are a fan of Christopher Moore, chances are you will love Patrick Wensink. Recently Patrick decided there’s only one way to celebrate the release of his book, “Sex Dungeon for Sale!”. And that is by holding a coloring contest.
He had a series of illustrations created based on some of the book’s stories, including a Kindergartener who thinks he’s French, a puddle of ketchup shaped like Elvis and something called, “Chicken Soup for the Kidnapper’s Soul.”
While the coloring contest sounded like fun, Wensink added a little excitement by offering an autographed stack of his favorite books from 2009 to the winner.
Fool- By Christopher Moore Tales Designed to Thrizzle – by Michael Kupperman AM/PM – By Amelia Gray Help! A Bear is Eating Me! – By Mykle Hansen
The contest ends December 14. So, by all means, visit Patrick's website below, and enter the contest. Those free books could be yours. Somebody's got to win, might as well be you.
I first became aware of this book after hearing all the buzz about the movie that was made from it. The movie stars Mo'Nique and Mariah Carey and I saw a trailer from it that looked very interesting, and it got me interested in reading the book.
The book is a much anticipated first novel told from the point of view of an obese and illiterate 16 year old called Claireece "Precious" Jones. She lives in Harlem and is pregnant by her father (for the second time). She suffers from constant abuse both physical and mental from her mother. Her first child is called "Mongo"--short for Mongoloid--because it has Down's syndrome. This child is being taken care of by Precious's grandmother. When she becomes pregnant for the second time, she is suspended from school, but she does manage to get into an alternative school and it is here that she experiences confidence and hope for the first time, as she learns to read, starts writing in a journal, and even experiences something that has been missing from her life up till this point--love.
The graphic details in the book are very disturbing and the language is violent and vulgar. So this book will undoubtedly not be everybody's cup of tea. But it has compassion and poetic phrasing that makes your heart break for this fictional character, who does represent what some people unfortunately live.
The poem below is by Langston Hughes. Precious copies it into her journal as a tribute to him, and it does reflect her own life, as well as the underlying philosophy of the book:
Mother to Son
Well, son, I'll tell you: Life for me ain't been no crystal stair. It's had tacks in it, And splinters, And boards torn up, And places with no carpet on the floor— Bare. But all the time I'se been a-climbin' on, And reachin' landin's, And turnin' corners, And sometimes goin' in the dark Where there ain't been no light. So, boy, don't you turn back. Don't you set down on the steps. 'Cause you finds it's kinder hard. Don't you fall now— For I'se still goin', honey, I'se still climbin', And life for me ain't been no crystal stair.
The author, Sapphire (born Ramona Lofton), is a performance poet. She wrote, performed and eventually published her poetry during the height of the Slam Poetry movement in New York. She took the name Sapphire because of its association at one time in African-American culture with the image of a "belligerent black woman" and because she could picture the name on a book cover more than her birth name.
The book is painful and relentless, but has been called "Dickensian" and inspirational and will surely garner a large following.
I know, I know, I'm behind because I've just now finished reading New Moon. Normally I would have zipped right through a series like this. But since I saw the movie Twilight before reading the book, I thought for the remaining books in the series I would just read each right before the movie was released.
In New Moon, Bella is approaching her 18th birthday. She and Edward attend a party at the Cullen's mansion, where a minor papercut Bella receives in opening one of her gifts turns the party into a disaster and leads Edward to reconfirm a decision he has made that Bella does not belong in his world. To protect her, he leaves her. His leaving, sends Bella into a deep depression/tailspin, from which she barely survives...and she manages to pull out of it only with the help of her friend Jacob Black. He is the person who will always be there for her. Jacob has changed in a lot of ways from the first book. He has gotten a lot bigger and stronger. His physicallity comes across loud and clear in New Moon. And as they spend more and more time together, the heat starts building between the two of them. Bella is already in love with a vampire, and then she finds out that Jacob has a secret too.
New Moon is a more complicated book than Twilight was. Most of this second book concentrates on Bella and Jacob, and Edward only puts in an appearance near the end. But what a grand appearance he does make, which is written very well in the book, and portrayed quite nicely by the two young stars of the movie (Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart). I don't want to give away too many of the details in case there is that rare somebody out there who has not read the book yet. But there are many parallels to the Romeo and Juliet saga interwoven through New Moon, and Stephenie Meyer manages to do a good job continuing the story of young love and conflicted allegiances with intensity. The film adaptation can only add to the mania for the book.
Leonardo da Vinci observed that "The eye is the chief means whereby the understanding may most fully and abundantly appreciate the infinite works of nature." This book is a feast for the eyes and a real treat to anyone who is interested in natural history. David Attenborough is one of the pioneers of the nature documentary and this publication is the result of a collaboration between the Royal Collection and Sir David, who assisted the curators of the Collection in their choice of work for the exhibition. He also wrote the introductory essay and detailed comments on many of the works that were included.
The book contains 87 watercolors that date from a 250 year period between the late fifteenth and early eighteenth centuries, and 160 full color illustrations. The artwork is breathtakingly beautiful and perfectly captures the profound joy that all feel who observe the natural world with devotion and intensity.
This is a book you will want to curl up in a chair and linger over. It is a lovely history of the human desire to illustrate the natural world.
Publishers Weekly has designated November 7, 2009, as National Bookstore Day--A day devoted to celebrating bookselling and the vibrant culture of bookstores.
One of my favorite places to go (besides a library) is a bookstore. I have always loved hanging out there. When I lived in the Chicago area, and worked at the U of C (in the Hyde Park area), there was a used bookstore on every other corner. It was my favorite lunch-time activity, to browse the used bookstores. I could always find a treasure there.
When I moved here to Kentucky, I was surprised that there were no bookstores in the town I lived in. The closest one was 27 miles away. That took some getting used to for me. So I'm glad to see Publishers Weekly giving the thumbs up to the culture of bookstores. I know that bookstores have had a hard time lately with the advent of e-books and the growth of on-line super stores like Amazon. I do think it's fitting to ponder the role that bookstores play in our society. So stop in to a local book shop and have a look around. You may like what you see.
Good books. Good times. Good stories. Good rhymes. Good beginnings. Good ends. Good people. Good friends. Good fiction. Good facts. Good adventures. Good acts. Good stories. Good rhymes. Good books. Good times.
Yeah, Reading is Sexy
A Whale for the Killing by Farley Mowat
All Over But the Shoutin' by Rick Bragg
American Gods by Neil Gaiman
At Play in the Fields of the Lord by Peter Matthiessen
Beach Music by Pat Conroy
Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser
How Now Shall We Live by Charles Colson
In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan
Life of Pi by Yann Martel
Parchment of Leaves by Silas House
River of Earth by James Still
Standing in the Rainbow by Fannie Flagg
The Cloister Walk by Kathleen Norris
The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
The Know-It-All: One Man's Humble Quest to Become the Smartest Person in the World by A. J. Jacobs
The Mitford series by Jan Karon
The Stand by Stephen King
This quote from Eudora Welty captures perfectly how I feel about books and reading
"I cannot remember a time when I was not in love with them -- with the books themselves, cover and binding and the paper they were printed on, with their smell and their weight and with their possession in my arms, captured and carried off to myself."
Get Caught Reading
Want to find time to read? Fall in book love. Seek out the books that fire your passions. Follow your intellect and your heart. Then time will find you. ...Steve Leveen
Stop thinking this is all there is...
Realize that for every ongoing war and religious outrage and environmental devastation, there are a thousand counter-balancing acts of staggering generosity and humanity and art and beauty happening all over the world, right now, on a breathtaking scale, from flower box to cathedral.
Resist the temptation to drown in fatalism, to shake your head and sigh and just throw in the karmic towel.
Realize that this is the perfect moment to change the energy of the world, to step right up and crank your personal volume; right when it all seems dark and bitter and offensive and acrimonious and conflicted and bilious...there's your opening!
And, finally, believe you are part of a groundswell, a resistance, a seemingly small but actually very, very large impending karmic overhaul, a great shift, the beginning of something important and potent and unstoppable.
...Mark Morford, Newspaper Columnist and Yoga Instructor
CONAN THE LIBRARIAN
I read as if time were running out, because technically it is. As I grow older, I find I'm increasingly impatient with mediocre entertainments: I want books that will take my breath away and realign my vision...Barbara Kingsolver
Books are the carriers of civilization. Without books, history is silent, literature dumb, science crippled, thought and speculation at a standstill...Barbara Techman (Writer)
Years may wrinkle the skin, but to give up enthusiasm wrinkles the soul...Samuel Ullman
Old minds are like old horses; you must exercise them if you wish to keep them in working order...John Adams, 2nd President of the U.S.
Every page allows me to live in the main character's thoughts and marvel at how all of us who grew up poor and female are bonded, regardless of where we were raised or who raised us. I not only feel I know this person, but I also recognize more of myself. That's just one of the great joys of reading. Insight, escape, information, knowledge, power. All that and more can come through a good book...If you're going to binge, literature is definitely the way to do it...Oprah Winfrey
"I'm of a fearsome mind to throw my arms around every living librarian who crosses my path, on behalf of the souls they never knew they saved."
Asking a Librarian her favorite book is like asking a Mother her favorite child
So you want to become a librarian? Welcome to a vibrant and exciting profession. Click here.
The best of all things is to learn. Money can be lost or stolen. Health and strength may fail. But what you have committed to your mind, is yours forever...Louis Lamour
You don't have to burn books to destroy a culture.Just get people to stop reading them. ..... Ray Bradbury
I LOVE NEIL GAIMAN
Do yourself a favor and read American Gods, Anansi Boys, Fragile Things, Smoke & Mirrors, The Graveyard Book, MirrorMask, or Good Omens
Love the Fantasy/SciFi genre
Many good authors to try, John Scalzi is one of the newer ones
Every man who knows how to read has it in his power to magnify himself, to multiply the ways in which he exists, to make his life full, significant, interesting...Aldous Huxley
The Chronicles of Narnia are an excellent read!
I was an adult before I read these books...how sad...
BOOKS: The Other Channel
My lifelong love affair with books and reading continues unaffected by automation, computers, and all other forms of the twentieth-century gadgetry. — Books in My Life Robert DOWNS (1903- )
A room without books is like a body without a soul. .....Marcus T. Cicero
To feel most beautifully alive means to be reading something beautiful, ready always to apprehend in the flow of language the sudden flash of poetry. ......Gaston Bachelard
The library connects us with the insight and knowledge, painfully extracted from Nature, of the greatest minds that ever were, with the best teachers, drawn from the entire planet and from all our history, to instruct us without tiring, and to inspire us to make our own contribution to the collective knowledge of the human species. I think the health of our civilization, the depth of our awareness about the underpinnings of our culture and our concern for the future can all be tested by how well we support our libraries. — Cosmos Carl SAGAN
The library is not a shrine for the worship of books. It is not a temple where literary incense must be burned or where one's devotion to the bound book is expressed in ritual. A library, to modify the famous metaphor of Socrates, should be the delivery room for the birth of ideas - a place where history comes to life. — Cited in ALA Bulletin, Oct. 1954, p.475 Norman COUSINS (1915- )