Sunday, October 31, 2010

Living inside that hope

"The very least you can do in your life is to figure out what you hope for.  The most you can do is live inside that hope, running down its hallways, touching the walls on both sides."

-- from Barbara Kingsolver's Animal Dreams

Saturday, October 30, 2010

A heart-shaped Caturday

Bonnie came home this afternoon saying she has a new heart.  I thought she got her heart fixed last year, when she left me alone forever and ever, that time when my friend Donna came twice a day so I wouldn't starve.  Donna was so good to me that I gave her the Feline's Favorite Friend Award of Excellence for feeding me and giving me treats every day.

It turns out Donna is the one who gave Bonnie the new heart.  See it in the picture?  Bonnie thought she was being funny when she said she "hearts" me, but she won't let me eat any of that marshmallow Halloween heart.

I think I'll go hide under the bed and pout.

Kiki, signing off

Friday, October 29, 2010

Just walked in the door

Hummingbirds by Joshua Gaylord (2003) walked in my door today. Okay, you technical folks, it walked in the door using my feet.  At any rate it arrived in today's mail and made my TGIF even better than it already was.  After the week I've had at school, it was delightful to get a book without even going shopping.  I was the winner in Helen's drawing at Helen's Book Blog.

Helen took part today in a meme I've never heard of until now.  It's called Book Beginnings on Fridays.  It seems only appropriate, on the day her book arrived, that I should share the beginning of it.  So here it is, the opening paragraph of Hummingbirds:
"September means pressed white shirts. New socks. School shoes. Rigidly pleated skirts. "Those pleats. That's what morality looks like," one of the history teachers said once in class. He was young and exciting, and he was talking about the Inquisition, which seemed to give him a particular thrill. "That pleat right there," he said with an arch smile, pointing to one of the girls' freshly pressed skirts. "That's morality for you." No one knew exactly what he meant. But all of the girls laughed and shifted a little sideways in their seats."
Sounds a bit creepy, huh? Makes me wonder what comes next. Yes, it's true, that's exactly how far I've read in the book so far -- one paragraph.  In spite of my curiosity, I won't start reading this one just yet because I am a mere 34 pages into Barbara Kingsolver's 2009 novel The Lacuna.  This is the book chosen by my Book Buddies for our online discussion in November -- and November is upon us!  It's hard to believe Monday is the start of a new month.

Click this link to see what others say about the books they are reading this week.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Teaser with a question

Grammar Moves: Shaping Who You Are by Lawrence Weinstein and Thomas Finn has a copyright date of 2011. Here's the start of the Introduction:
"If you had to choose a punctuation mark as a symbol of yourself, which mark would it be?

"Are you a person who's inquisitive? Curious about other people? About life in general? Then maybe a question mark would be a good choice.

"Are you someone who takes chances, who's a doer, who craves excitement? That sounds like an exclamation point.

"Or perhaps you're steadfast and deliberate in your approach to life. You like things orderly and on an even keel. You might dub yourself Ms. or Mr. Period" (page 1).
Oh, I have no doubt which punctuation mark represents me!  Years ago I was so impressed with Robert Fulghum's thinking in his book Uh-Oh: Some Observations from Both Sides of the Refrigerator Door (1991). He calls a semicolon a "sign of continuing possibility" and ends the book with -- what else? -- a semicolon;
(Yes, just like that.)
This book -- Grammar Moves -- doesn't get to me (the semicolon, me, get it?) until Chapter 11.  Hey, guess what it says about semicolons:  "Grammar for Being Diplomatic."
Semicolon earrings
"Not only does the semicolon have multiple functions, but those functions also seem contradictory in nature; it can be both a divider and a uniter. ... The semicolon acts a lot like we do.  We, too, divide or unite, depending on the context in which we find ourselves.  Sometimes, for example, we need to keep people apart; sometimes we need to bring them together."
Yes!  A semicolon represents me.  Which punctuation mark would you pick?

Friday, October 22, 2010

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Female characters

Gender Across Borders posted this fantastic flowchart that shows the usual stereotypes of female characters.  (You should be able to enlarge the image by clicking on it.)  The original focus was on film and television characters, but I'm curious about books.  See if you can trace a particular female character from a novel you've read across this chart, and then tell me about it.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Two more library books

The History of Love ~ by Nicole Krauss, 2005
Synopsis:  A long-lost book reappears, mysteriously connecting an old man searching for his son and a girl seeking a cure for her widowed mother's loneliness.
I like books about books.  I'm thinking about People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks, a 2008 book I read with my online Book Buddies discussion group.

The Classic Guide to Better Writing: Step-by-Step Techniques and Exercises to Write Simply, Clearly and Correctly ~ by Rudolf Flesch and A. H. Lass, 1996

This is the most recent incarnation of the book published in 1947.  The titles have changed, but this 50th anniversary edition is basically the same as the small 1963 paperback I've had for decades, with one small addition:  a three-page chapter on "Bias-Free Language."  The cost has risen, though.
The Way to Write (1947), the original title, cost $3.95 in hardback.
A New Guide to Better Writing (1963), a small paperback version, cost 75 cents.
The Classic Guide to Better Writing (1996), the 50th anniversary paperback, cost $9.95 then, and $13.95 now.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Write It Right ~ peaked, peeked, piqued

Three times in as many days, I've run across a word I haven't seen (or maybe haven't noticed) in years.  Two of the three times it was misspelled.
  • "His curiosity was peaked by the mysterious lady."
  • "That peeked my interest."
  • "I was both piqued and relieved to find that my little peccadillo had caused my siblings so much mirth."

A peak is the pointed top of something, like Mount Fuji (above).  It's the high point, as in a machine running at peak performance. To peek at something is to take a quick look, as when we play peek-a-boo with a baby or peek from behind a newspaper.

The word the writers of the first two examples above wanted was "piqued."  To pique can mean to excite, as in arousing curiosity, interest, or resentment.  These children have definitely become curious about the ... whatever it is.

If I've piqued your interest, click this link to read a clever post about these three words.  You may also want to peek here to see a photo of President Barack Obama playing peek-a-boo with a baby.

This Write It Right post is part of my new series about words and writing.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Kiki's day! (I mean, Caturday!)

Bonnie kept the computer busy last week during the 24-Hour Readathon, so I did my Caturday thing within her long-long-long post.  My thing was posing for this awesome picture of me reading my Dewey book.

Today, instead of telling you more about Dewey, I want to share a wonderful idea.  I found that picture (above) in something Susan Gregg Gilmore wrote about her visit to Malaprop's Bookstore in Asheville, North Carolina (wherever that is).  I don't know what espresso is, but isn't it a great idea to give kittens to children?  That's so nice!  I hope the owner gives kittens only to well-behaved children who will love them and take care of them.  That reminds me ... I need to go find Bonnie and let her know I really, really need some treats after all my hard work posting this for you, my adoring readers.

Kiki Cat, signing off


Not even being tired can slow down my interest in playing with words.  (I'm thinking about yesterday, when I was so exhausted I fell asleep.)  I love that somebody came up with a whole sentence in the word EXHAUSTED:  "Haste has exhausted us."

Friday, October 15, 2010

Two library books this week ~ and trees in Brooklyn

I ran over to the library to return two books and pick up two others I'd put on hold:  Rain Is Not My Indian Name by Cynthia Leitich Smith (2001) and The Sledding Hill by Chris Crutcher (2005).  But I'm most likely to start reading A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith (1943), which I need to read so I can provide questions for my online Book Buddies.  I did manage to finish -- and review! -- the other two books I had out (Sophomore Switch and Dream When You're Feeling Blue), and now with a long weekend because of Fall Break at Chattanooga State, I hope to catch up on both reading and sleep.  It's time.

First, an update on A Tree Grows in Brooklyn.  I taught my two writing classes at Chattanooga State this morning, came home tired, ate lunch, and stretched out to start reading.  The book was published in 1943, but Anna Quindlen's Foreword was copyrighted in 2001.  I flipped the pages, deciding I could read Quindlen's five pages plus the six short chapters of Book One, a mere 54 pages, but I fell asleep before finishing the first page, which has only two paragraphs!  Must be tired, huh?  I'd say so, since I napped a solid six hours.  I made supper and read all the way to the second page of the Foreword, where I found Quindlen's remarks about the tree, the one that grows in Brooklyn:
"All of this takes place in the life of Francie Nolan, who is eleven years old when her story opens in the summer of 1912, in a third-floor walk-up apartment in the shadow of the hardy urban ailanthus tree..." (page viii).
I stopped to get online and look it up.  The ailanthus tree, also known as the Tree of Heaven, is "native to Asia and northern Australia.  It was introduced into England from China in the mid-18th century as an ornamental, migrating to the United States in 1874."  I found pictures of the tree and decided to get online to share them with everybuddy (especially my Book Buddies).  So here I am at almost 8:00 in the evening, and I've managed to read a whole three-and-a-half paragraphs of the book.  The Foreword, actually.  I haven't even gotten to Francie yet.  With just under 500 pages to go, I'd better finish this post and start reading!

What about the two library books?  Never mind them.  I'll tell you about those when I start reading them.  Maybe I'll tell you after reading only a paragraph or two.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Dream When You're Feeling Blue ~ by Elizabeth Berg, 2007

I've read several books by Elizabeth Berg, though only one other since I've been reviewing books here on my blog:  The Pull of the Moon (1996).  My favorite of Berg's books is still Talk Before Sleep (1994). 

Dream When You're Feeling Blue (2007) is not one of my favorites, though it did help me understand what it was like to have a loved one fighting in World War Two.  The overall mood seemed to be boredom, which is also the feeling I had while reading over and over and over that the three sisters -- Kitty and Louise and Tish -- sat down every night to write to their men.

Before I'd read twenty pages, I was reminded of two other books.  This quote (from page 10) made me think of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith (1943):
"Louise needed to stop thinking about herself.  She could think about her job as teacher's aide, or her friends, or their three little brothers, only eight, eleven, and thirteen but out almost every day with their wagon, collecting for the metal drive.  They got a penny a pound, and they'd raised more money for war bonds than any other kids in their Chicago neighborhood -- they'd even had their pictures in the newspaper."
Edward R. Murrow
The children in A Tree Grows in Brooklyn also collected scrap metal.  This quote (from page 19) reminded me of Frankie Bard, a character in The Postmistress by Sarah Blake (2010), who worked with Murrow:
"She [Margaret] went into the parlor to sit with her husband and listen to the radio.  Edward R. Murrow was a must for both of them."
I finished the book, so I guess I'll rate it 6/10, above average.

Sophomore Switch ~ by Abby McDonald, 2009

In Sophomore Switch, party girl Tasha gets to spend a semester abroad at staid Oxford University in Britain, while studious Emily leaves Oxford for Tasha's UC Santa Barbara in California.  Here are photos of the two schools, neither of which I've ever seen.  Do you think you could guess which is which?

I don't always look up photos of a book's setting, but Marg at The Adventures of an Intrepid Reader hosted a mini-challenge during the 24-hour Readathon last Saturday "to write a post sharing some of the sites from your books, or some facts about the place where your books are set."  Thanks, Marg!  This actually made reading the book more fun.  By the way, I set that view of Oxford as my desktop background this week, and it's been fun seeing it every time I boot up my laptop.  Maybe now I should use the photo of UC Santa Barbara for five days, just to be fair.  (Helen, is this a good photo of your school?  It was Helen's review that made me want to read this book.)

I'm more like studious Emily, though not nearly as organized.  I can't imagine ever being caught on a hidden camera in a hot tub with a hot guy, as Tasha was.  Otherwise, I could see myself working hard to fit into a suddenly very different lifestyle, if I were in the shoes of either girl.  On the other hand, I'm teaching writing in a college this semester, and most of my students are like those the author portrays in the California setting.  I teach a lot of non-achieving students who don't need encouragement to skip classes and homework, so I can't condone the part of the book where Emily is learning "to blend into the California crowds" (to quote from page 168).  Here's part of Emily's list that made me cringe:
  • Lectures skipped: 5
  • Grades I've dropped as a result of missing said lectures:  0
  • ...
  • New average time I arrive for events:  5 minutes late
  • Amount of guilt I feel at turning up late:  Minimal
When people saunter into class five minutes late, they interrupt the lesson.  Everyone's attention goes to them, and I usually have to repeat myself to get them back on track.  Several times, since often more than one arrives late.  I'm still working on this problem.

For another Readathon mini-challenge, I was supposed to "grab a nonfiction book."  I responded by saying, "I can do this.  I can totally do this!"  Realizing how unlike me that sounds -- er, how TOTALLY unlike me that sounds -- I added, "Do I sound like the teens in the book I've been reading?"  The answer is yes!  Here's just one example from the book of how a college girl is thinking:
"Em waits for the cross light to turn green, oblivious to the group of college boys who are totally checking her out" (p. 281).
The book isn't as shallow as I've made it sound.  Each girl learned a few things about herself (that isn't a spoiler).  This conversation (p. 235) gives an idea of how it feels to find yourself in a strange situation for a semester:
She sniffs.  "You're the only one who understands what I'm going through, trying to be somebody else."

"Trying to be a different part of yourself," I correct, but she doesn't seem to hear me.
Overall, I enjoyed the book in spite of comparing some of the book's students to mine.  Rated:  8 of 10, a very good book.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Dewey's 24-hour Readathon


Pages read:
277 + 107 + 132 = 516
Time spent reading:
(lost track, but who cares?)
Titles I'm trying to read:
  1. Dream When You're Feeling Blue ~ by Elizabeth Berg, 2007 ~ 277 pages read ~ one book completed
  2. Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World ~ by Vicki Myron, 2008 ~ 107 pages read ~ one book partly read
  3. Sophomore Switch ~ by Abby McDonald, 2009 ~ 132 pages read ~ one book partly read
  4. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn ~ by Betty Smith, 1943
Mini-challenges completed:
  1. Back-in-the-Day Children's Books
  2. Six-Word Celebration
  3. Indie Pride
  4. Show Me the Books
  5. Armchair Travelling
  6. Pet Pics
  7. Title Word Scramble
  8. Nonfiction Book
  9. Make It Up!


MAKE IT UP:  mini-challenge

Lu of Lu's Raves and Rants has the final challenge of the Readathon.  "Take the letters of the title of a book that you read during  the readathon.  Using at least HALF of them, rearrange the letters to create a  word that DOESN’T exist. Make up a definition for your new word.  Be creative and have fun!"
From Sophomore Switch by Abby McDonald comes swooshicopter, a spiral-shaped leaf that falls from its tree in a twirling motion until it almost reaches the ground and then rises to fall repeatedly before coming to rest.
By the way, my spellcheck confirms that swooshicopter is NOT a word by putting that swiggly red line under it in both places!  Yes, I used it twice:  in the definition above and here in this explanatory paragraph.


NONFICTION BOOK:  mini-challenge

I'm supposed to "grab a nonfiction book."  I can do this.  I can totally do this!  (Do I sound like the teens in the book I've been reading?)  The reason I can read a nonfiction book right now is that I already have one on my list (above) and on my reading stack beside me:  Dewey, of course!  Hosting this challenge is Susan of Scraps of Life.  Here's my first comment about Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World by Vicki Myron, 2008:
From what I've read so far, I'm far more interested in the parts about Dewey the cat than anything else.  So is my cat, Kiki.  Scroll down two mini-challenges to see the photo of Kiki reading the book.  All she writes about on her Kiki Caturdays is what the library cat -- Dewey Readmore Books -- does in the book.

That's Dewey in the photo, along with Vicki Myron, the librarian who wrote the book about him.

TITLE WORD SCRAMBLE:  mini-challenge

This challenge is hosted by Sheery at Sheery's Place.  She wants us to unscramble these twenty book titles, adding, "The book titles are all fiction (just to make it a little easier).  They are a mix of modern, classic and children's titles."  Okay, here goes nothing!

1. yfferil enal = Firefly Lane
2. aste fo eend = East of Eden
3. retwa orf pntshleea = Water for Elephants
4. ot lkli a ckomgnrbdii = To Kill a Mockingbird
5. het gtaer ysbtag = The Great Gatsby
6. yrhra tetrpo dna eth lyhdtea wollsah = Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
7. ht e rat fo nrgcai ni eht nair = The Art of Racing in the Rain
8. eth mite reslveart efwi = The Time Traveler's Wife
9. eht rlig ithw eht gnodar ooattt = The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
10. ydira fo a mypiw idk = Diary of a Wimpy Kid
11. a kwrlnei ni emit = A Wrinkle in Time

12. het rpoal sxprese = The Polar Express
13. vole dewlak ni = Love Walked In
14. reehw eth dwli hingts rea = Where the Wild Things Are
15. eht ginnhsi = The Shining
16. dnohogigt oonm = Goodnight Moon
17. vwtienrie hwti a pvmarie = Interview with a Vampire
18. eht cretse file fo eesb = The Secret Life of Bees
19. eht raesch = The Search
20. het pelh = The Help

I did it!  Now that I see the titles, I can add that I've read eleven of these 20 books.  They're the ones in red.


PET PICS: mini-challenge

This mini-challenge is hosted by Lynne of Lynne's Book Reviews, who asks for a photo of my pet and the title of my favorite animal book.  She also wants a sentence written using words starting with the first letter of the main character's name.  What a coincidence!  My cat Kiki and I have been reading Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World by Vicki Myron.  Here's a Dewey sentence:

Dewey didn't dig dating dogs.
Oops!  Sorry, Lynne, I just noticed the heading of your blog shows a dog with the book Why Dogs Are Better than Cats.  I'm sure Dewey would say you simply don't know the right cats -- and he still wouldn't have dreamed of dating a dog.

Kiki says posing for a picture with the book is enough of a Caturday post for today.  After all, posing for half a second is just so tiring.  Her words must wait until next week.



Marg at The Adventures of an Intrepid Reader is hosting this one.  Her challenge is "to write a post sharing some of the sites from your books, or some facts about the place where your books are set."  In Sophomore Switch, party girl Tasha gets to spend a semester abroad at staid Oxford University in Britain, while studious Emily leaves Oxford for Tasha's UC Santa Barbara in California.  Here are photos of the two schools, neither of which I've ever seen.  Do you think you could guess which is which?

Thanks, Marg!  This actually makes reading the book more fun.  I hadn't thought about looking up photographs of the actual places, even though the characters are in real places.


SHOW ME THE BOOKS: mini-challenge

Crystal at My Reading Room is hosting this challenge:  "I want a picture of books - show me a book shelf, your tbr pile, your nightstand piled with books, your prized ARCs, whatever, just post a picture of some books ..."

Here's a photo of one small section of one bookshelf.  I have seven tall bookcases with six wide shelves each, and that doesn't count the millions of books stacked on every flat surface in my house!

Note:  The book from the earlier mini-challenge (below) is standing face-forward on the bottom shelf in this photo.  Aren't I creative?


INDIE PRIDE:  mini-challenge

This one is hosted by {Indie}pendent Books.  "I want to see pictures!!!  And of course since I focus on indie books, I want to see them represented!  What is an indie book?  A book that has been published by a non-big-six publishing house. These big-six houses include Macmillan, Random House, Simon and Schuster, Penguin Group, Harper Collins, Hachette Book Group. Any other houses are eligible!"

I'm reading Sophomore Switch by Abby McDonald, published by Candlewick Press in 2009.


SIX-WORD CELEBRATION: mini-challenge

Thanks to Andi at Estella's Revenge for this one: "Your challenge is to create a six-word celebration of Dewey's Read-a-Thon."  My six words:

Reading worldwide,
as we remember Dewey!


Thanks to Elizabeth at Miss Wisabus for hosting the first mini-challenge:

What were some of your favorite children’s books when you were younger?
When I was a child, one of my favorite books was Little Black Sambo (click to read my review).  He is one of the cleverest children in all of literature.

Do you have any new favorites now that you’re an adult?
I love Miss Rumphius! I didn't discover her until I was an adult -- actually, the book wasn't even written until my children were grown -- but I think it's one of the best books ever written.
Have you included any children’s or YA titles in your Read-A-Thon stack this year?
No, I don't have any children's books around this time.  Wait, I do have one YA book on my stack:  Sophomore Switch by Abby McDonald, 2009.  Does that count?

APRIL 2010 READ-A-THON.  The ten books pictured on the left were the ones I chose for the Readathon in April.  I recognize a couple of the books and must admit I still haven't read them!  That's okay, since I've read more than a hundred others since then, including some of those pictured.  I decided not to do the Readathon this time because I have so much I must do today for the classes I'm teaching -- like grading papers, creating lesson plans, and developing a PowerPoint presentation for next week -- but I couldn't help myself.  This morning, after the Readathon had already started, I signed up.  Yup, I'm officially crazy.


The last word (for me):  bookcation

I discovered a blog I'll have to check out.  It's about traveling in books, and it's called Kiki's Bookcation.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

It's questionable

Questions about "them"

Why do they put braille on the drive-through bank teller machines?

How do they get deer to cross the road only at those yellow road signs?

Questions about words

How is it possible to have a civil war?

Why do we drive on parkways and park on driveways?

Question authority (I mean, questions for authorities)

If you eat both pasta and antipasto, will you still be hungry?

Can vegetarians eat animal crackers?

Questionable questions

What if there were no hypothetical questions?

Would a fly without wings be called a walk?  (That's a hypothetical question.)

Last question (with an answer)

At the bookstore I asked the salesperson, "Where's the self-help section?"

She said, "If I tell you, it would defeat the purpose."

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Write it right ~ plural words

Why people can't spell

I've been teaching my writing classes why pronouns must agree with their antecedents.  While reading blogs this morning, I ran across this sentence:
"...some artist risk their lives to create and speak in a hostile environment."

artist = singular subject
their = plural pronoun
The pronoun their refers back to artist.  One or the other is incorrect.  I read the whole paragraph and know the writer intended the plural artists, yet she consistently used the singular word artist instead;
"We learn about many Haitian artist."

many = more than one
artist = singular
I think the problem is not about spelling, but about hearing.  It's hard to distinguish between the spoken words artist and artists, but they look different on a page.  A careful reader should notice that one word has an "s" on the end and the other does not.  People cannot spell correctly because they don't read and thus are unable to really hear what is said.  Here are other examples of writers having problems with plurals that I've run across today:
"I may be one of the rare person who has not read this book."
"I picked up seven novels and six DVD."
"...a countless amounts of dreams..." (The whole phrase is a mess.)
Cheating in class

I discovered another reason why students may be confused about plurals.  During yesterday's grammar test, one young man was looking up something on his large-screen cell phone, which I confiscated until the end of class.  I teach at a college, yet his screen showed me that he was looking up "PLURAL."  Could you tell me the plurals of bird and baby?  Those were two of the eight words on the test.  It occurred to me that he didn't know the meaning of the word plural.  Maybe I should start with vocabulary:
plural = more than one
antecedent = preceding
I told my early class yesterday their biggest writing problem was failing to listen to the instructions.  A few minutes later one young man said, "Would you repeat that?  I was working on something else."  No one seemed to notice the irony, and I am rapidly losing hope that I can get through to some of them.

This Write It Right post is the first in my new series about words and writing.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

A lonely only ~ it's a teaser

This week I brought home only one library book -- A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith, 1943 -- and that only because I'm leading the discussion of it for my online Book Buddies.  Synopsis:
Francie Nolan learns early the meaning of hunger and the value of a penny. She is romantic and hungry for beauty, like her father.  She is also deeply practical and in constant need of truth, like her mother.  And like the Tree of Heaven that grows out of cement or through cellar gratings, Francie struggles against all odds to survive and thrive.
I haven't started reading it yet. First, I hope to finish a library book that's due back this week.  I've been so busy planning, teaching, and grading dozens of papers that I have been taking books back to the library unread.  Hmm, I wonder if I can do a teaser with this?  It will be a teaser for me as well as for you.  Opening the book at random, I'm reading this from page 123:
Johnny went back to thinking aloud.  "Married seven years and we've had three homes.  This will be my last home."

Francie didn't notice that he said my last home instead of our last home.
According to the back cover, Betty Smith was born Elisabeth Lillian Wehner on December 15, 1896, the same day (though five years earlier) as her fictional heroine Francie Nolan. The daughter of German immigrants, she grew up poor in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn, the very world she recreates with such meticulous detail in A Tree Grows in Brooklyn.

Have you read this book?  What did you think of it?

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Caturday ~ hide and seek

Sorry for running late today.  Bonnie's been fall cleaning, and that means I had to hide from the noisy vacuum cleaner under the big chair in the living room.

But never fear!  I've found a good part to share from the book about Dewey, the library cat.  Here's a picture of Dewey with Vicki Myron, who wrote the book -- and these words I found on pages 104 and 105:
Every night, he sat on top of the computer screen as I worked, lazily swiping his tail back and forth.  When I hit a wall, either from writer's block, fatigue, or stress, he jumped down into my lap or onto the keyboard.  No more, he told me.  Let's play.  Dewey had an amazing sense of timing.

"All right, Dewey," I told him.  "You go first."

Dewey's game was hide-and-seek, so as soon as I gave the word he would take off around the corner into the main part of the library.  Half the time I immediately spotted the back half of a long-haired orange cat.  For Dewey, hiding meant sticking your head in a bookshelf; he seemed to forget he had a tail.
We don't forget our tails!  How silly!  Dewey was trying to be helpful.  People don't see as well as cats, you know.  Anyway, there's more at the top of the next page:
"I wonder where Dewey is," I said out loud as I snuck up on him.  "Boo!" I yelled when I got within a few feet, sending Dewey running.
Sometimes Vicki couldn't find Dewey, but he always found her.  Cats are smart, you see, and Dewey would watch where she went -- and even follow her, if he needed to.  So he always won this game.

Bonnie has never played hide and seek with me.  On the other hand, she seems to know all my best hiding places, like under the big chair, under the bed, and at the end of her closet -- where she even put a fluffy soft thing for me to sleep on.  Oh, well, I guess I'll keep Bonnie anyway.  She's pretty good about feeding me.

Signing off,
Kiki Cat

Friday, October 1, 2010

An ad about the book Speak

Here's my review of Speak.  We are nearing the end of Banned Books Week (this weekend), but not the end of people trying to ban books. Have you read any banned books lately? Find links to several lists of challenged books on the sidebar of my Banned Books blog.