My Tiny Kingdom
Home About Contact Blogs I Adore

Archive for the 'Book Reviews' Category

April 28, 2008

Drew and Porter Recommend

The boys have discovered some popular new books and toys I thought I’d pass along in case you’re looking for ideas.

If you’d told me both of my third-graders would be devouring Beowulf, I’d have told you that my boys are not child prodigies, and that you had us confused with another family. Maybe one that home-schools.

Kick me in the rear and call me crazy. While Finn was at drums, Bill and the twins spent an hour at the bookstore, where he let each of them pick out a book. Porter was immediately captivated by the cover of Beowulf, which features Grendel looking suitably green and menacing.

Bill tried everything he could to dissuade him, including, “I think it’s written in Ye Olde Englysh” and “I didn’t read that until college, and even then I only made it through because it was required,” but Porter was steadfast in his desire to read “the monster book.”

And he did, in two nights. Then Drew picked it up, and was equally entranced by “the oldest surviving epic in English literature” (yo– Harvard, Yale– are you digging this? Reading Beowulf and scrambling their own eggs!)

I did some detective work and discovered that Kingfisher Epics has a few other works translated for kids at this reading level, and their covers are also eye catching:

I ordered all of them and once the twins stopped fighting over the Trojan horse the house grew silent except for the sound of turning pages.

It turned out that The Iliad was too violent for Porter, our pacifist, as there were too many descriptions of swords severing limbs and decapitating soldiers. He shuddered the other night when Drew busted his head during a pillowfight (that confused me, too) and bled profusely from his room to ours. Skulls are just bleedy (or vascular in medical parlance); the actual wound was the size of a pencil eraser.

Anyway, Porter is now reading King Arthur and is much happier. So far there is less slaughter and bloodshed.

Last night he also confessed that he didn’t see why a woman was worth fighting an entire war over, and Drew agreed, but Finn said, “Guys, when you get into sixth grade you’ll understand it better.”

****************

I’m always plugging Legos and K’Nex and I’m still of the opinion that if you can’t think of anything else to buy a boy between the ages of five and ten, either of these will be a hit. Imagine the boys’ delight when they were confronted with the latest offering from K’Nex– a kit that makes toy cars complete with batteries.

They come in a box that looks like this:
knex

You can make all sorts of contraptions, from the mundane
knex3

knex4

to the more exotic,

knex5

knex6
and you can incorporate Legos in the designs as well.

But the toy wouldn’t be perfect unless it could also do this:

birdknex

Feathers seemed to enjoy the speed. I suppose you could describe this as a birdy dune buggy.

***********

One year ago in My Tiny Kingdom: Sergeant Mom Gets Mushy

Posted by Anne Glamore @ 7:22 pmBook Reviews,Inventions, Creations, Experiments19 comments  

January 29, 2008

Ch-Ch-Ch-Check It Out!

Imagine achieving a goal you’d worked toward for years. Satisfying, yes? But suppose what you’ve done is create something that must be promoted.

Some people would love that part, and others would abhor having to go out and chat it up with random strangers. There’s a third scenario, however, and that’s where Patry Francis who blogs at Simply Wait fits in.

Patry’s book The Liar’s Diary is out in paperback today, but she’s suffering some health problems and isn’t able to promote it herself. No matter– there are plenty of us in the blogosphere who are happy to help.

Here’s the scoop:

When new music teacher Ali Mather enters Jeanne Cross’s quiet suburban life, she brings a jolt of energy that Jeanne never expected. Ali has a magnetic personality and looks to match, drawing attention from all quarters. Nonetheless, Jeanne and Ali develop a friendship based on their mutual vulnerabilities. THE LIAR’S DIARY (Plume / February 2008 / ISBN 978-0-452-28915-4 / $14.00) is the story of Ali and Jeanne’s friendship, and the secrets they both keep.

Jeanne’s secrets are kept to herself; like her son’s poor report card and husband’s lack of interest in their marriage. Ali’s secrets are kept in her diary, which holds the key to something dark: her fear that someone has been entering her house when she is not at home. While their secrets bring Jeanne and Ali together, it is this secret that will drive them apart. Jeanne finds herself torn between her family and her dear friend in order to protect the people she loves.

A chilling tour of troubled minds, THE LIAR’S DIARY questions just how far you’ll go for your family and what dark truths you’d be willing to admit—even to yourself.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Patry Francis is a three-time nominee for the Pushcart Prize whose work has appeared in the Tampa Review, Colorado Review, Ontario Review, and the American Poetry Review. She is also the author of the popular blogs, simplywait.blogspot.com and waitresspoems.blogspot.com. This is her first novel. Please visit her website at www.patryfrancis.com.

Praise for THE LIAR’S DIARY:

“Twists and turns but never lets go.”—Jacquelyn Mitchard, bestselling author of The Deep End of the Ocean

“A quirky, well-written and well-constructed mystery with an edge.”—Publishers Weekly

“Outright chilling.”—New York Daily News

“Genuinely creepy…The unlikely friendship between a small-town school secretary and a flamboyant teacher proves deadly in this psychological murder mystery.”—Kirkus Reviews

“A twisting ride full of dangerous curves and jaw-dropping surprises. This is one of my favorite reads of the year!”—Tess Gerristen, bestselling author of The Mephisto Club

“Francis draws and tense and moody picture of the perfect home and family being peeled back secret by secret…Four Stars.”—Romantic Times

*******************************

If this sounds like a book you’d enjoy, head over to Amazon and grab a copy!

For even more information about the book and the bloggers* who are helping Patry promote it, go here and have a look around!

**********************************

Hey- Happy Birthday to Legos, which turned 50 yesterday. Did you know that the Lego bricks sold in one year would circle the world 5 times?

It’s my belief that of those Legos, at least 200 end up in our septic tank each year.

Are you a Lego lover?

*****************************

I found a list of the bloggers joining in the effort, and it’s inspiring:

Patti Abbott
Mario Acevedo
Susan Adrian
Samina Ali
Christa Allan
Anne-Marie
Joelle Anthony
Jorge Argueta
Vicki Arkoff – MAD Magazine, Nickelodeon, MW Book Review
Melanie Avila
Tricia Ares
Backspace
Backstory
Terry Bain
Gail Baker – The Debutante Ball
Anjali Banerjee
Lauren Baratz-Logsted
Elizabeth Bartasius
Carolyn Burns Bass
Brett Battles
Laura Benedict
Pinckney Benedict
Janet Berliner
William Bernhardt
Alexander Besher
Bev
Marcie Beyatte
Brenda Birch
Roberto Bonazzi
Bookfinds
Raven Bower
Laura Bowers
Beatrice Bowles
Tara Bradford
Gayle Brandeis
Stacy Brazalovich
Susan Breen – Gotham Writers Workshops
Heather Brewer
Eve Bridburg – Zachary Shuster Harmsworth
Sassy Brit
Heatheraynne Brooks
Debra Broughon
Josie Brown
Pat Brown
Ruth Brown
Ken Bruen
Rachel Kramer Bussel
Aldo Calcagno
Austin S. Camacho
Bill Cameron
Lorenzo Carcaterra
Vincent Carrella
Karen DeGroot Carter
Rosemary Carstens
Cynthia Clark – Futures Mysterious Anthology Magazine
Jon Clinch
Kamela Cody
Oline H. Cogdill – Sun-Sentinal
Tish Cohen
Eileen Cruz Coleman
Myfanwy Collins
Dan Conaway – Writers House
Laurie Connors – Penguin
Eileen Cook
Richard Cooper
David Corbett
Auria Cortes
Bill Crider – Pop Culture Magazine
Kim Cristofoli
Ann Mare Cummins
Sheila Curran
Kristie Cutter
Jordan Dane
Josephine Damian
Daryl Darko
A.J. Davis
Kelli Davis
Alyssa Day
Alma Hromic Deckert
Jim DeFelice
Mike Dellosso
Katrina Denza
Bella DePaulo
Karen Dionne
Felicia Donovan
Julie Doughty – Dutton
Gerry Doyle
Terri DuLong
Firoozeh Dumas
Christine Eldrin
J.T. Ellison – Killer Year
Sheila Clover English – Circle of Seven Productions
Kate Epstein – the Epstein Literary Agency
Kathryn Esplin
Rachel Fershleiser at SMITH Magazine
Ryan Field
Michael A. FitzGerald
William Floyd
Natasha Fondren
Jamie Ford
Connie May Fowler
Heather Fowler
Therese Fowler
Jenifer Fox
Thaisa Frank
Michelle Gable
Gary Gach
Leighton Gage
Neil Gaiman
Colin Galbraith
Jayson Gallaway
Jane Ganahl – Red Room
Erika-Marie S. Geiss
Linda Gerber
Shane Gericke
Tess Gerritsen
Karin Gillespie
Anne Glamore
Kathi Kamen Goldmark
Jewelle Gomez
Susan Helene Gottfried
Deborah Grabien
Elizabeth Graham
Caroline Grant
Robin Grantham
Bob Gray – Shelf Awareness
Nancy O. Greene
Robert Grudin
Lisa Guidarini
David Habbin
Jim Hanas
Lynette Hart
Melanie Harvey
Michael Haskins
Melanie Lynn Hauser
Bill Hayes
Maria Dahvana Headley
Susan Henderson
Heidi the Hick
Georgia Hesse
Billie Hinton
Vicki Hinze
Lori Hope
Khaled Hosseini
Eileen Hutton – Brilliance Audio
Gina Hyams
International Thriller Writers
David Isaak
Susan Ito
Lisa Jackson
Arachne Jericho
Allison Johnson
Jen Jordan – Crimespree
Jungle Red Writers
Lesley Kagen
Polly Kahl
Jessica Keener
Charles Kelly
Lisa Kenny
Beth Kephart
Jackie Kessler
Merle Kessler
Kristy Kiernan – Southern Authors Blog
A.S. King
Jeff Kleinman – Folio Literary Management
Sandra Kring
Kyra
R.D. Laban
Rebecca Laffar-Smith – Writers Roundabout
Clair Lamb
Daphne Larkin
Larramie
Judy Merrill Larson
Caroline Leavitt
Leah
Virginia Lee
Leslie Levine
Mary Lewis
Richard Lewis
Liane
Sharon Linnea
Julie Anne Long
CJ Lyons
Jonathan Maberry
Amy MacKinnon – The Writers Group
Tim Maleeny
Ric Marion
Nancy Martin
Adrienne Mayor
L.C. McCabe
Damian McNicholl
Ellen Meister
Melba
Christa Miller
Kyle Minor
Jacquelyn Mitchard
P. A. Moed
Terri Molina
Pat Montandon
David Montgomery
Alexis Moore
Joe Moore – Inkspot
Amanda Morgan
Sarie Morrell
Murderati
Amy Nathan
Nathalie
National Post
Tia Nevitt
Nicole
Carolyn North
Aurelio O’Brien
Martha O’Connor
Andrea Okrentowich
Lori Oliva
Aimee Palooza
Pamela
Michael Palmer
Stephen Parrish
Marie Peck
Marcia Peterson – WOW! Women on Writing
Jason Pinter
Anthony S. Policastro
Douglas Preston
Publishers Marketplace
Terese Ramin
Jody Reale
Martha Reed
Janet Reid – FinePrint Literary Management
Kamilla Reid
Lance Reynald
Michelle Richmond
Maria Robinson
John Robison
James Rollins
M.J. Rose – Buzz, Balls & Hype
Renee Rosen
Jordan Rosenfeld
Russell Rowland
Anneli Rufus
Hank Ryan
Marcus Sakey
Harris Salat -Visual Thesaurus
Rachel Sarah
Maria Schneider – Writer’s Digest Magazine
Nina Schuyler
Dani Shapiro
Rochelle Shapiro
Charles Shaughnessy
Jessie Sholl
Robert Siegel
Clea Simon
Lynn Sinclair
Jen Singer
Shelley Singer
Sisters in Crime
Robin Slick
BPM Smith – Word & Bass
Bridget Smith
Claudia Smith
Kim Smith
Stephie Smith
Alexandra Sokoloff
Char Solomon
James Spring
Emilie Staat
Kim Stagliano
Maryanne Stahl
Bella Stander
Kelli Stanley
Marta Stephens
Bronwyn Storm
Jennifer Talty
Judith Tannenbaum
Mindy Tarquini
Alice Tasman – the Jean Naggar Literary Agency
Charles R. Temple
David Thayer
The Outfit
Theresa
Joyce Tremel
Danielle Trussoni
Louise Ure
N. L. Valler
Barbara Vey – Publishers Weekly
Bev Vincent
Brenda Wallace
Therese Walsh – Writer Unboxed
John Warner – Tow Books
Gary Wassner
Brenda Webster
Sarah Weinman
Kimberly M. Wetherell
Dan Wickett – Emerging Writers Network
Jennifer Weiner
Laura Wellner
Susan Wiggs
Liz Wolfe
Cheryl Wyatt
Stephen Wylder
Irvin Yalom
Belle Yang
Dawn Yun
Michele Zackheim
Victoria Zackheim
Ernie Zelinski
Crystal Zevon

Posted by Anne Glamore @ 9:55 amBook Reviews3 comments  

November 29, 2007

Gift Guide For Good Kids (Or Even Merely Tolerable)

Herewith, gift ideas for the kids.  I’ve tried not to duplicate the ideas I put in last year’s gift guide for boys, so if you need more thoughts, click here and see what I recommended last year.

If you’ve missed the other installments, the gift guide for teachers, babies and toddlers is here.  Part Deux, including suggestions for people who are hard to buy for, is here.

READING

All three of my boys are on the fifth Harry Potter book at the moment.  Last night we’d stuck Porter in the bed, but he popped out and came in our room to inform us that “all the house elves except Dobby are drinking lots of butter-beer, and it’s very strong for house elves.  I’m worried about what will happen.”

For those of you who haven’t been hooked by these books yet, they are a gift to this generation of up-and-coming readers, and are responsible for my younger boys making huge leaps in their reading ability this year.  I haven’t been able to snap a picture of the boys running in the driveway riding brooms and chasing a tennis ball and a basketball simultaneously in an Alabama version of Quidditch, but I assure you it happens.

quiddich

Drew practices his broom-riding technique inside

I’d do anything to encourage an eight or nine-year old to read the Harry Potter books.  They get longer as the series progresses.  Consequently, we’ve purchased the paperbacks so the boys can lug them to school without chiropractic assistance.

I received a magazine in the mail that features expensive Harry Potter paraphernalia, including a replica of the sorcerer’s stone ($95) and a pewter Gryffindor mug ($55) but the Hogwarts bookmarks aren’t quite as pricey. ($20)

All of the books I recommended in last year’s Boy Toy gift guide are still popular, especially Little Lit.  Other hits this year for the twins included Roald Dahl’s books (James and the Giant Peach and The BFG were clear favorites), Andrew Clements’s books (especially The Landry News and Lunch Money), Diary of a Wimpy Kid(the graphic format and honesty captivated them), and a copy of The Dangerous Book for Boys
together with some of the supplies called for in the book, such as a compass, rope, a knife, and so forth.  Aunt Su gets credit for this genius idea.

(Although, I should point out that they didn’t need a book to learn how to be dangerous.  Finn told me that earlier this year when I raced to the store for forgotten dinner ingredients, he and his brothers collected twigs, sticks and leaves, mounded them in the
driveway, set them on fire and enjoyed the spectacle.  When I called to say I was on my way home, they extinguished the fire, swept all traces from the driveway, changed their clothes and resumed their homework as I drove into the garage.)

Other books that they’ve loved: The Indispensable Calvin And Hobbes, Nate The Great , and the Junie B. Jones books.

There’s another series of books including Wizardology and Pirateology that Drew and Porter both adore.  It’s a lot like a scrapbook style story, as if you discovered a sailor’s journal of his quest to find a pirate, with maps and drawings.

Often I’ll see large coffee table books on the bargain shelves at the bookstore.  I’ve picked up one about the Titanic and one about the Civil War, and the boys have been fascinated by the pictures.  That’s been another good way to sneak in some learning.  Tuesday Morning also had some of these.

Porter has been stealing my printer paper and making all sorts of paper airplanes.  If I didn’t already have plenty of ideas for him, I’d buy him his own sheaf of paper and The Klutz Book of Paper Airplanes.  Or if I felt guilty about destroying trees, I’d get the Encylopedia of Immaturity (Klutz) which contains tons of funny activities, like instructions for taking a picture where it looks like you’re holding your tiny friends on your thumbs.

For the older crowd, I’m high on three new books.  Alabama Moon is by Watt Key, a Mobile native I got to know last winter.  He’s a hoot, and has spent so much time in the wilderness that he’s eaten armadillo just to survive, and then discovered that chewing pine bark cured the horrific halitosis caused by the armadillo.  Let me hasten to add that he’s gotten rave reviews for his book, and you don’t have to love armadillo or be from the South to enjoy it.

armadillo

Watt Key’s Idea of Dinner

longleaf

What Watt Key Uses Instead of Colgate

The Chicken Dance was being promoted at BEA last spring, and I got to meet the charming author, Jacques Couvillon, who kindly inscribed a copy for Finn: “You can fly!”  The author photo shows him feeding chickens while wearing a tux, and if that isn’t a kick-ass picture,  I don’t know what is.  I’m going to start this book as soon as I finish the damn John Rosemond book over in the right sidebar, the one about fostering responsible decision making in your teen.  Or hell, that book doesn’t seem to be working, so maybe I’ll start The Chicken Dance tonight.  I could use a break from the parenting grind.

I’m also eager to read The Night Tourist by Katherine Marsh in which a boy goes under Grand Central Station and discovers another world.  I always suspected there were ghosts under the subways!

NON-BOOK GIFTS

How about the way I’ve organized everything so neatly into Books and Not Books?

One of the best suggestions I received this year would be good for anyone, but especially younger drivers: gas gift cards.  Here is a site where you can order Shell gift cards.  I just Googled it; I’m sure you can do the same for your nearby station.

Kids with iPods (or hell– anyone with an iPod) can always use an iTunes gift card.

Art supplies are always a good bet- as Drew got older we got him special sketching pencil and sketch paper.  In last year’s gift guide I described other popular art supplies.   But wait!  What if you’ve been there, done that?  Then it’s time to move on to those office supplies the kids are always snatching from you – Post-It notes, large paper clips, different kinds of tape, staplers, index cards, fancy pens and pencils, pads of paper and notebooks, and so forth.  You know who would love this?  Zoot.  She goes ballistic over office supplies.

Speaking of office and school supplies, my reliable friend Margaret, who should have just written this damn guide herself – THAT’S how many great ideas she had– has alerted me that there’s a segment of the elementary school population that’s wild about Pencil Petz erasers.  The kids stack them on pencils or make bracelets out of them.  There’s no denying that collecting erasers is much more edifying than fighting over Soulja Boy.

If you’re purchasing for hangman or tic-tac-toe lovers, Horchow makes a set of three pads, one preprinted for each game and one for drawing.  You can personalize them, too.

Remote controlled items are still extremely popular, and Porter says Air Hogs are the way to go.  You might consider the Air Hogs Remote Controlled Reflex Helix or the Air Hogs Mini Storm Launcher.

Kids also go nuts over Transformers.  Frankly, I find them creepy.  What mother would buy something that is described like this:

BONECRUSHER hates everything, and what BONECRUSHER hates, he destroys.  He hates this planet, and all its inhabitants. He hates the AUTOBOTS for getting in his way. He even hates MEGATRON and the other DECEPTICONS; the only reason he stays with them is because MEGATRON scares him. BONECRUSHER lives for the day when he’s the only one left standing atop a pile of smoking rubble and shattered robots.

I would, because  Bonecrusher is only $10, while other Transformers, like  Hasbro Transformers Ultimate Bumblebee Figure are $99.  You’ve got to be kidding– a bee that transforms?

Now that I look more closely, I see that it transforms from a Camaro into a scary yellow robot, and that’s pretty cool.  If there’s a boy on your list, you cannot go wrong with a Transformer.

transformer1    camaro

Porter received a METAL DETECTOR one year and it’s been extremely popular.  There are detectors made for kids, but this one is a little cheaper.  You can see other choices on that page.  Alabama is in a severe drought, and the lake is lower than it’s been in years.  We were there a couple of weekends ago and the boys had a fabulous time finding buried treasure such as broken deck chairs, a varied assortment of liquor bottles, a boathouse door, an original pop-top Tab can, and a pair of parachute pants.  We didn’t find tons of money or jewelry with the metal detector, but if it had been there, we would have.

drought

Here’s a picture of a dried-up lake that yielded many treasures.

u_cant_touch_this140x105

There’s a special place in my heart for the red parachute pants we found.  U Can’t Touch These!

Porter saw this set of huge maps U.S./World 2 for 1 Map at a bookstore and purchased it with his own money.  As soon as we got home he hung one over his bed and one on the opposite wall.  Then he stuck pushpins in the places he’d been.  The world map shows the flags of different countries at the bottom, which is riveting for a nine-year-old.  Both boys used the map of America when they were getting ready for their geography test.  This was the best money Porter’s ever spent.

Now that everyone’s old enough to play, board games are becoming more fun.  Hits and recommendations include Operation, Mousetrap, Blokus , Othello, Rush Hour, Monopoly and Life (although I still think the latter teaches the wrong lessons about life).

Readers have also suggested Settlers of Catan, which I’ve never heard of but which sounded intriguing on the web.  Defective Yeti speaks highly of it and appears knowledgeable about games, so this is on our list.

The boys are still captivated by Legos and I don’t think I mentioned Playmobil last year.  They spend hours with these figures, building stuff.  You can spend a little and get the Pirate Crew or spend more and get the Playmobil Pirate Ship, for example.  The possibilities are endless here.

Boys love cars– buy some Hot Wheels as a stocking stuffer or cars and a Racing Set.

What about outdoor activities?

Porter can bounce a basketball while jumping on his Flybar Pogo Stick and I’m getting him some balls so he can practice juggling while jumping.  Porter has his eye on the Flybar 800 Pogo Stick which promises to hurl the pogo-er over four feet into the air.  Too bad for him, as I have no intention of letting a $200 “toy” that propels your child into space onto my property, but if you purchase it, let me know how it turns out.  We achieve plenty of air and the resulting bruises without added pistons.

Instead, we’re going the Ripstik Caster Board route, which is probably no safer but prevents you from watching your child purposely soar into the air.  The Ripstik is a two-wheeled skateboard that lets the rider pretend he is snowboarding… on asphalt.  Don’t forget the helmet and pads.

You can use Roller Blades or Inline Skates to race, or you can play roller basketball in them.  Porter can even rollerblade into a Port-O-Potty, do his business, and rollerblade out without falling.  What are we going to do with all his non-marketable skillz?

The Skateboard is back as well.

TECHNOLOGY

You know my stance, or should, so no talk about Game Boys and Wii here.

Last year Porter got a simple HP camera for Christmas.  You may remember seeing his highly successful retrospective on Portugal.  He also discovered that the camera takes movies, and that’s how we created the irresistible Yo Mama!  Finn enjoyed filming the action, while Drew proved particularly adept at editing with the Movie Maker program that came with our computer.

My point is that while there are digital cameras made especially for kids, like the Fisher Price Kid-Tough Digital Camera for Boys (they make a girls’ version also), you can spend a bit more and get a real camera.  The plastic ones would be good for the younger crowd, but an eight-year-old would enjoy having the features of Porter’s camera.  This HP Photosmart M447 5MP Digital Camera is still just under $100 if you purchase it with a 1G memory card.  Here’s a Kodak EasyShare C533 5MP Digital Camera.  I can’t believe the megapixels on these things.  Porter’s Portugal pictures were outstanding, and his camera has 5 MP.

We have NO videos of our children as babies, or toddlers, or at all.  That’s because early on, I told Bill that I could be in charge of raising children and taking still photos, or raising kids and shooting video, but not both.  He said he’d handle the videos, but remember those tiny cassettes?  The big black bag you had to lug around?  The way the battery was never charged?  It was a big pain in the ass.

The digital camcorders of today have changed all that, and we’re outsourcing our video requirements to Drew, who always has two free hands.
I saw the Aiptek DV5900 5MP Pocket Digital Camcorderat Target the other day.  Easy as pie, and tiny!

This Flip Video Camcorder: 60-Minutes (Black) is precious and apparently easy to use.  It doesn’t have a slot for extra memory, though.

Yeesh.  That’s a lot of ideas for one column, and I have to go make some Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Peanut Butter Brownies.  Hope this helps you finish your holiday list for the small fry.

Other helpful resources:

Terry White’s Gadget Gift Guide

The Men’s Gift Guide

Reid My Blog

Green Kids Gift Guide

RookieMoms

Design*Sponge ($25 and under)

In The Trenches Of Motherhood

HGTV

Cooking With Amy

Gratitude 365

Posted by Anne Glamore @ 5:11 pmBook Reviews,Festivities & Celebrations19 comments  

July 30, 2007

Freak Show: Boys Who Read

I’m feeling smug because although we’ve packed bathing suits, sunscreen, bikes, tennis rackets and thousands of board games to ward off rain, my boys have realized that packing beach books is as necessary as packing underwear. 

For a while Drew was stuck on the Magic Treehouse books and he steadily read through the series until he had tackled the last one.  Now he’s turned his attention to Lunch Money by Andrew Clements, along with his other books, such as The Report Card and Frindle

Honestly, I’ve spent so long restricting their TV viewing and banning video games that he could be reading Playboy and I’d be equally excited.

Meanwhile, Porter, having made his way through the silly adventures of Captain Underpants(apparently that’s where he learned that “starch is the enemy of underwear!”) is now engrossed in James and the Giant Peach and has packed Matilda and The BFG for further reading.  Aunt Lulu loved the latter book so much that she named her pet fish “BFG” for “Big Friendly Goldfish,” of course, and so I always forget that the BF in the book is actually a Giant and not a fish at all.

(I have the same problem with a popular type of sportswear, called Under Armour, but which I persist in referring to as ArmorAll , which is a car-cleaning product that’s been around since I was a child.  Everytime I ask the boys about their ArmorAll shirts they look at me as if were hopelessly uncool, which I suppose I am.)

Currently I have a stack of five magazines and eleven books (I’m trying to whittle it down to five), set out to hide in the crevices of the minivan.  The stack includes A Thousand Splendid Suns which has gotten rave reviews. 

I have missed Several Virtual Book Clubs but since I’m heading to the beach, why don’t you re-read numbers one, two, three, four, five, six and seven and then laugh when I tell you that Bill has set out The Alienist for his beach reading?

Leave a comment– will this be the vacation where he finishes it?  What books SHOULD we all be reading, or avoiding?

Also: pray for our trip down.  The latest sound emitted by the van is reminiscent of the feedback produced by Jimi Hendrix during “The Star Spangled Banner.”  Apparently starting the car and putting it into gear makes it long for Woodstock.  Despite the cracked windshield and orange dents, it’s not nearly that old.  I think it’s just caught up in all the hoopla about the Summer of Love.

Posted by Anne Glamore @ 12:57 pmBook Reviews19 comments  

February 26, 2007

Writer’s Conference Links

FROM BLOGGING TO BOOK CONTRACT

1. WHAT IS A BLOG

Tales From My Tiny Kingdom to show elements

Probably the most well-known mommy-blogger (though she wasn’t a mommy when she started)

Dooce

Variety of bloggers

Some mommy and daddy bloggers – though they write about much more

Rice Daddies MetroDad Rockstar Mommy,
Motherhood Uncensored Girl’s Gone Child
2. HOW I STARTED BLOGGING

The article my friend emailed me that started it all.

Typepad hosted his friend’s blog.

Maybe Oprah would be surfing and laugh about “The Naked Baby Kidnapping Caper” and she’d show it to Stedman, and then Gayle, and next thing you know everyone in America would be tuned in.

Important to practice writing and also to read:

Book Reviews Virtual Book Club Meeting # 7

3. HOW TO START A BLOG – Things To Consider

Host

Simple DesignIndigo Girl

More Design: Waiter Rant A Little Pregnant
Laid Off Dad

Bitch Phd

Title: Funny and Self-explanatory

BusyMom

Breed ‘Em And Weep

Suburban Turmoil

Dad Gone Mad

Catchy but mysterious:

Defective Yeti Boing Boing

Address: Domain name – get yours

Marketing:

blogexplosion

technorati

Top Momma

Miss Doxie Julia

d) Respond to readers – either by email or in comments

George W. and Porter: BFF help from readers much appreciated
4. WRITING ON THE WEB VS WRITING IN REAL LIFE

a) Competing against a lot of blogs

100,000 created each day and Technorati tracks about 57 million, according to this article.

b) Importance of font – Compare Funny Mom with Tiny Kingdom.

c)Interactive- because of comments – Crime & Punishment

d) Can add pictures

What Not To Wear In Bed – one of most popular, but not adaptable to a piece in book

can be lazy Vague Remembrance of Things Past

e) Links

It’s Natural But It’s Rated “R” – “crotchety” a link in subsequent pieces

f) Stats!
5. HOW BLOGGING CAN HELP YOU WRITE ELSEWHERE

a) On The Web

LUCK – iVillage

PURSUE OPPORTUNITIES

Babble

Strollerderby

MetroDad, Sarah and the Goon Squad, The Zero Boss

Plenty of press coverage about it- Time Magazine article

Search “bloggers needed to write

b) Outside The Web

Lindsay of Suburban Turmoil now blogs and writes for The Nashville Scene (This is web site but is also a traditional paper and ink publication)

6. WHERE’S THE MONEY IN A BLOG

It’s hard to find

Porn!

Amalah

Adsense, Google Ads, Federated Media (Dooce) BlogHer (Busymom)

article how to count readers for ad purposes and how best to decide which are the most valuable to advertisers

ProBlogger

Anne Glamore’s Gife Guide To Boy Toys

7. Book Contract

Helps, Can hurt

Gawker article

Posted by Anne Glamore @ 9:20 amBook Reviews,Deep Thoughts2 comments  


Welcome to the Kingdom

Copy of Watkins2 032
I'm Anne Glamore, wife, mother, lawyer and blogger. I have three boys, and I'm desperately trying to train them to become Southern gentlemen, but that may be an unrealistic goal. At this point I'd be ecstatic if they'd quit farting at the dinner table. If you're new here, check out the Readers' Favorite Posts below or browse through the Categories. I write about my attempts to teach the boys about peckers and sex (which we call "making googly eyes"), my struggles with hepatitis C and spine surgery, the boys' adventures with fire and pets, my mom's death from ovarian cancer, my love of cooking (with plenty of recipes) and anything else that crosses my mind. Join me on Twitter or StumbleUpon or Email me. I'm happy to speak to your group or club.

Recent Posts

Subscribe

Categories

































































Meta

Credits:

Designed by Karen at Swank

Powered by

Readers' Favorite Posts