Ree Drummond began blogging in 2006, and her blog www.thepioneerwoman.com showcases her photography, and documents her transition from city life to ranch wife on a working cattle ranch near Pawhuska, OK. She shares recipes on her website and has written a book called The Pioneer Woman Cooks. I have followed her blog for some time now, and find it interesting (some posts more than others) and I always love the pictures she posts. This book just fills you in on how she met her "Marlboro Man" (her name for her husband) and the early days of her transition from city woman to farm woman, which eventually led to her metamorphosis into her Pioneer Woman persona. It is an opposites-attract love story told with Ree's self-deprecating humor. It reminds us that love really is a heart-thumping, blood-pumping, passionate roller coaster ride when you are lucky enough to meet your soul mate and pursue the beautiful dance of commitment and honor and, yes, adjustment that is involved in blending two disparate personalities into one happy entity. I found it to be a funny diversion, an easy uncomplicated read. Ree Drummond is a hoot, and I've never read so many pages written in so many different ways about just... making out. Nobody's perfect--neither Ree, nor her cowboy--but the love they shared always seemed to triumph...and who doesn't like to read a good love story?
Rachael Ashe is an emerging, self-taught artist who also sees the beauty in books. The Vancouver-based artist creates lovely works that all have a nature element to them. "I live in Vancouver, BC, a city surrounded by mountains, forests, and the ocean. Nature is ever present within the city, but I also don’t have to go far in order to immerse myself fully in natural surroundings. I think incorporating imagery of birds, trees, and even using found objects from nature in my artwork is a natural byproduct of the environment in which I live." Her work is truly beautiful.
This story is told in the voice of Katniss Everdeen, a 16 year old, who lives in the country of Panem in a post-apocalyptic world. The Capitol, a highly advanced Metropolis, has political and military dominance over the rest of the nation where the country of North America once existed. The Games are an annual event in which one boy and one girl (aged 12-18) from each of the twelve districts surrounding the Capitol are selected by lottery to compete in a televised outdoor arena until only one person is left. District 12, where the story begins, is located in the coal rich region that was formerly Appalachia. Katniss volunteers for the Hunger Games in place of her younger sister, Primrose, who was drawn in the lottery. Also selected from District 12 is Peeta Mellark, the Baker's Son, who has a crush on Katniss and actually saved her from starving once.
They are taken to the Capitol where they are groomed for the Game (along with the other Tributes)
and publicly displayed to the audience along with an interviewer who conducts interviews with them both. Audience members are encouraged to send gifts and become sponsors. Katniss has hunting and outdoor skills that help her and Peeta survive. Due to Katniss and Peeta's image in the mind of the audience as "star-crossed lovers", Katniss plays up this angle to win the sympathy of the audience. The rest of the book is devoted to how the Games play out.
The book tackles issues like severe poverty, starvation, oppression, etc. The choices they make and the stragegies they use are often morally complex and the themes of power and the down-trodden add to the complexity of the book. There is also the theme of self-sacrifice and hope that is played out in the story. An enjoyable read, despite the grim nature of the story.
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- )