Friday, December 27, 2013

Feature and Follow - Christmas Arrivals

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The Feature & Follow is hosted by TWO hosts, Parajunkee of Parajunkee’s View and Alison of Alison Can Read. Each host will have their own Feature Blog and this way it’ll allow us to show off more new blogs!

How does this work?

The goal is to increase blog followers and make friends. First you leave your name here on this post, (using the linky tools — keep scrolling!) then you create a post on your own blog that links back to this post (easiest way is to just grab the code under the #FF picture and put it in your post) and then you visit as many blogs as you can and tell them “hi” in their comments (on the post that has the #FF image). You follow them, they follow you. Win. Win. Just make sure to follow back if someone follows you! What sets this Hop apart from others, is our Feature. Each week we will showcase a Featured Blogger, from all different genres and areas. Who is our Feature today? Find out below. Just remember it is required, if you participate, to follow our Features and you must follow the hosts (Parajunkee & Alison Can Read) as a courtesy. How do you follow someone? Well, if you have a preference, state it in your #FF post. A lot of blogs are transitioning to WordPress in which they do not have the luxury of GFC, so an RSS subscription is appreciated or if you choose an email subscription. If you don’t have GFC please state in your post how you would like to be followed. All features are chosen randomly to be the feature. They are not chosen by content or name.

This week's Question:

Merry Christmas! Happy Holidays! What books did Santa stuff your stocking with this holiday season? Do a holiday book haul for us! If you don’t celebrate just show off your books that you got this week. Pictures!!!

  I only got one book this Christmas, but it fits me perfectly:

What about you?

Monday, December 16, 2013

Christmas Morning - a seasonal short story

Christmas morning

I had been dreaming. She was pretty and said all the right things and made all the right moves. But suddenly there was a screech from outside my dream and a weight crashed into my no longer sleeping chest.

“Daddy! Daddy! DaddY! Santa was here! Santa was here!” in two simultaneous voices, one directly over my head and one slightly to the left.

My eyes fluttered open to see Meghan, my 7-year-old, jumping up and down next to the bed, a huge smile on her face, and James, 5, with a similar smile hugging me.

James rolled off the bed and nearly onto his sister and they both grabbed my left hand which was outside the blankets, pulling hard.

“Come see!” they screeched in excited unison and I let myself be pulled out of the warm bed and into the early morning chill.

The kids alternately pulled my hand and ran ahead a few steps out the bedroom, down the hall, and into the living room. Under the small blue spruce decorated with a mixture of store-bought ornaments and pre-school/elementary art ornaments, was exactly what Meghan and James had asked Santa for – a gleaming red fire truck with flashing lights and a Molly Pitcher doll.

James immediately had to show me how the lights flashed as he pushed the truck across the floor toward the kitchen, making siren noises and terrifying the cat who was just trying to watch the festivities from a corner. Simultaneously Meghan was explaining how Molly was awake and ready to help “chase the Redcoats!”

I didn’t say anything; I didn’t have to. The two of them raced through their imaginary adventures, giving me a continuous, loud, and excited, minute by minute detail. I dutifully caught the eye of first one then the other and nodded and smiled as they raced through their events. A smile, much smaller than theirs, but with the wistful remembrances of Christmases long gone, played over my face.

Once the first burst of activity subsided both of them asked, hopefully, if they could open “just ONE more present?!”

The answer, as they knew it would be, was no, they had to wait, and wouldn’t they like some waffles?

After the obligatory, and momentary, vocalization of disappointment, both eagerly agreed to waffles. James raced into the kitchen first, yelling, “I’ll get the eggs!” while Meghan quickly pulled out the small stepstool while exclaiming, “I’ll get the mix!”

Moving more slowly, I cautioned James to be careful with the eggs and Meghan to be careful climbing and pulled the battered waffle maker from its perch high above the stove. It was a Christmas tradition, started with my first married Christmas, to have waffles before opening gifts. That memory, flashing through as I gripped the waffle iron, just me and Denise in our tiny first apartment, caused a hitch in my throat.

Almost before I noticed the catch in my throat my attention was drawn to the drama near the fridge as James struggled to pull the egg carton out without toppling the  container of leftover rice  that rested above. He, of course, despite his best effort, toppled the rice onto the floor. Fortunately the lid stayed tight and his grip on the eggs was true. Triumphantly he handed me the eggs and raced back out of the kitchen to snatch up the fire truck once again. I stooped to put the rice back in the fridge and close the door while Meghan jumped off the stool and showered me with a light dusting of waffle mix shaken from the box with her impact with the floor.

She carefully placed the box on the counter next to the waffle maker and followed her brother into the living room, to swoop Molly Pitcher up in her arms and carry her swiftly to meet “everybody” in her room.

Cancer had taken Denise physically from us, but I still saw her every day, in Meghan and James and the traditions we had made in the few years we had had together. A tear formed in my eye, as it did every year, and I turned to the task at hand, hearing the squeals of joy from the other rooms, sad for what I/we had lost yet overwhelmingly happy for what I had.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Feature and Follow - Bookselling Time

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The sixth book from the left on the second shelf from the top of my biggest book shelf is... Unless Victory Comes by Gene Garrison with Patrick Gilbert. I have not yet read this one. I bought it for 50 cents in a going out of business sale a couple of years ago. It is a first person account of an infantryman in the U. S. army in France in 1944-45. It is one of those histories which have been coming out recently as the last veterans of Word War II get their memoirs published before they pass on. As their numbers thin every year these issues get fewer and fewer. Soon there will be no more. These histories have the advantage that the basic story is well told; they need not provide the background detail that was necessary early on. They have the distinct disadvantage of extreme distance from the events they portray. Garrison uses narrative, with conversations presented as if they had happened yesterday. Although the story may be as he remembers it, the exact details are likely to be, shall we say, shaded. One other thing that seems to be different in these late memoirs compared to the early ones is that they often lack some of the political correctness of the early ones. I look forward to reading it.


Throwback Thursday - Christmas Stories

Throwback Thursday is a weekly meme hosted by The Housework Can Wait and Never to fond of Books.

It's the nature of book blogging to focus mainly on new releases, but there are thousands of great books out there that haven't seen the "New Releases" shelf in years. We hope to be able to bring attention to some older titles that may or not be at the top of the current bestseller list, but still deserve a spot in your To-Be-Read pile.

You don't have to be a book blogger to participate! You can put up a Throwback Thursday post on your non-bookish blog; or if you don't have a blog at all you can use the comments to tell us about a book your remember fondly.
My Throwback this week is my two favorite Christmas stories. Neither should be a big surprise as they are both classics and both emphasize the spirit of the season in a relatively secular way. I am speaking, of course, about Dickens' A Christmas Carol and O Henry's Gift of the Magi.

Dickens story is everywhere this time of year - TV, theater, radio, etc. The story is justifiably a classic. However, to me, Henry's story is the stronger since it has no reliance on external forces (ghosts) to drive its message. The selfless giving is a lesson that is timeless.

Honorable mention goes to Jan Brett's The Mitten, a children's tale that also captures the spirit of the season.

What do you think?

Monday, December 9, 2013


Inspired by all the recent discoveries and re-theorizing in the field of hominins.


Laid carefully down
So very long ago
Holding their secrets
Under the tropical sun.
Laid down in a cave
By a grassy plain
Unearthed in that cave
Now near the desert.
Bones so gently,
Reverently handled.
Asked, in a whisper,
To tell their story.
Aged and dusty
They whisper back
Telling the history
Of humans before.
Before there was writing
Or cities or wheat.
Answering the questions
Fitfully, slowly.
One species or many
From trees or from plains,
What of australopithecines?
Ancient bones
Telling stories
To those who will listen.
To those who can hear
Their whispers.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Feature and Follow - Something New or Unusual

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Taking my queue from our hosts, my new/unusual "something" is that I became a soccer referee. After years of complaining about calls and being upset because the referee crew was short one or two (there are supposed to be three), I put my money where my mouth is and took the class and got my certification. I've now done over 100 games and have to admit to learning something new every game and making my share of mistakes, though I don't think I repeat many. All in all it is fun and I am giving kids the opportunity to play.

Monday, December 2, 2013

A Morning in a Life - short story

A Morning in a Life

The cobwebs clung to my eyes as I struggled to identify the alarm clock on the cluttered night stand. My right arm, still stiff from sleep, snaked out from the blanket and hit the snooze. In the sudden quiet my brain fluttered to functional. Morning. Time to get up. 

I disentangled myself from the covers and wandered into the bathroom. Ten minutes later, skin still flushed from the hot water and the rough towel, all my parts had awakened. My eyes saw the laundry piled high in the corner, my nose smelled the dog who now waited expectantly, my ears heard the city stirring outside in the lightening dark of the early winter morning.

First things first, walk the dog. He’s  a pretty tolerant mutt, with the appearance of a collie but God knows what mixed in. But he needs to get out by 8.

I slipped on a pair of torn jeans and an almost-clean flannel shirt and struggled into my walking shoes, clipped on the leash and we were off. George waited with the impatient patience of a big dog until the door was open when he immediately pulled me out the door.  I managed to swing the door shut as we launched down the steps and up the street.

George’s morning walks are all very similar. He races from one checkpoint to the next, always sniffing the same items, always relieving himself in the same place. He spends 10-30 seconds at each stopping place, I think depending on whether the smell has changed since the day before or not. Weather doesn’t matter to George. The routine is the same rain or shine, hot or cold.

Of course, for me, some days the walk is interminable and others it ends all too soon. Today is nothing special. The wind sliding down the street is cool but brings with it the smell of the city waking up and the promise of a dry, sunny day.

George bounds back up the steps to the landing and waits as I follow more slowly to reopen the door. His tail wags happily as it always does after the morning walk. It’s good to be George.

Time for breakfast.  George sits quietly by his bowls, his eyes watching my every move as I putter around the small kitchen. I fire up the coffee pot and drop a bagel in the toaster before opening the cabinet and scooping out a goodly portion of Dog Chow. George tosses his head a little when the scoop goes in – he knows breakfast is on its way – but he doesn’t otherwise move until the food is safely in the bowl and the scoop is on its way back under the cabinet.

I get out plate, knife and coffee mug as George happily (and noisily) munches his breakfast. He is finished by the time the toaster pops out the bagel and the coffeepot clicks indicating the brewing cycle is done. He trots off to lie down on the as yet unmade bed leaving me alone to ponder the sunlight filtering through the small window.

This is the loneliest part of the morning for me, alone with my coffee and my thoughts sitting at my battered 1970s table on its matching metal and foam chair. Sometimes I savor the quiet, others I hasten through wishing to be anywhere but here.

George is oblivious to this, my morning crisis, the first of many such small crises over the course of the day. He is happily snoring almost from the time he hits the bed, thinking dog thoughts, probably about the smells he just encountered, piecing together the story of the night based on his data-gathering. He shows no signs of loneliness, no sign of ever wanting to be somewhere else. Some days I envy him.

Today is a good day. The bagel tastes fresh; the coffee has the sharp edge I like, no heavy thoughts intrude. A bird even drops by near the small window to sing to me.  Not bad.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Book Spotlight - Chasing the Storm

Chasing the Storm is Martin Molsted's debut novel, although he has been actively engaged in writing shorter fiction, as well as screenplays since 2009. When he is not working as an Archivist in a Fortune 500 engineering company, he writes fiction and non-fiction.

He enjoys playing music, singing, travelling, nice food, great wine, tasty beer, hot rods and awesome custom built motorcycles.

Martin Molsted lives in Asker, a small town between the greater cities Oslo and Drammen, in eastern Norway. He lives together with his French wife and their two daughters. No cats. No dogs.

He is currently working on the storylines for a trio of further Rygg & Marin thrillers, so stay tuned for more compelling and intriguing action.

Find out more about Martin Molsted and his works of fiction at , ,  , or Twitter @molsted.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Out of Print Books

In this day of electronic books and Google scanning thousands of books to be available free online, I still think there is a place for the paper out-of-print book. Actually several places.

First there is the old book that one remembers from one's childhood, either a personal favorite (mine is The Little Toy Soldier - NOT the Hans Christian Andersen tale) or something the adults were reading and you weren't allowed (Colleen McCullough's The Thorn Birds).

Second there is the old book about something or by someone who interests you and with whom you feel closer because of the physical paper. I have a friend who loves Frances Parkinson Keyes' historical novels. For me, it is the feel of the paper when I read a classic - like Edgar Allan Poe or Henry David Thoreau.

Finally there are those books which are too recently out of print to have electronic versions. This includes a huge amount of popular fiction, from serial romances to westerns, science fiction, mysteries, and thrillers.

Literally millions of these books (in paper form) are available online for reasonable prices. I have featured a couple sellers on this blog. I, also, have little online business with books that primarily fit the criteria above. It also has some classics and some books that have been published electronically - some Nora Roberts titles and the works of Dickens, Austen, Shakespeare, etc. for example.

My little enterprise has recently reduced prices on over 8,000 titles for the holiday season. It also features free shipping and coupons for multi-book purchases (all at the landing page). So if you, or someone on your holiday shopping list, is a bibliophile and is interested in paper books out of print in all media, I encourage you to take a look at the many online sellers, and start :-) with mine.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Feature and Follow TAG

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You Are It! We are playing #FF tag this week. Comment on as many blogs as you can, even if they aren’t participating in #FF. Just say Happy #FF! At the end of your comment. Keep a running total if you want and update your post with it. The bigger the number the more impressed we will be!

photo sparkles effect

We'll see...

15 #FF

Monday, November 18, 2013

Liebster Award Nominee!!

I've been nominated for a Liebster Award!!

I have been nominated for a Liebster Award by Ericka at highway-Y.A. Thank you!
For more information on the Liebster Award go to Adrienne's Blog. I copied the rules from Ericka.

Rules for accepting the award:
• Link back to the blog that nominated you.
• Answer the questions they set for the blogs they nominated.
• Nominate 10 blogs, be sure to let them know with a link to your post!
• Ask 10 questions for the blogs you nominate to answer in their post.

 Questions from highway-Y.A.How long have you been blogging? I made my first post 12/6/2010, so am closing in on three years.

What inspiration do you get from blogging? Blogging is the release for me. The inspiration comes from all of the bloggers I follow and read. There is such diversity and interest and passion.

What is your favorite book series? My favorite series is still The Lord of the Rings. Tolkien created a world complete with languages, traditions, and history. Notice the plurals.

If you could meet one author which one would it be? Piers Anthony. He is much more than an author. His intelligent observations of the world and his life as a part of the world he lives in, connected, would make for a fascinating conversation.

While you are reading which is better: Coffee or Tea? As with my reading my beverage of choice is eclectic. Sometimes coffee, sometimes tea, sometimes beer or water.

Besides blogging what other things are you passionate about? I love to write. I have three thin volumes of poetry published as well as nonfiction articles and historical fiction shorts.

What book would you like to see turned into a movie? None. I am so often disappointed by the movie.

Paranormal Romance or Science Fiction? Science Fiction.

What is considered to be the perfect day to just cuddle up with a good book? Any day with no other responsibilities.

What is your favorite genre of books? Favorite depends on mood. History, Western, Science Fiction, Fantasy, Mystery, Poetry, General Fiction, Classics can all fit the bill at different times.

Questions for my nominees:

Paper or ebook?
Where do you prefer to read?
What is your favorite book?
What is the first book you remember reading?
How have your reading habits changed over time?
Who (character or author) would you most like to meet?
Who is the best new author you've read this year?
What is your favorite thing about blogging?
Why did you start blogging?
How much time do you spend on your blog?


My nominees:


Friday, November 15, 2013

Feature and Follow - Movie Better That the Book?

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Definitely. The ORIGINAL Star Wars movie was better than the book. After that, not so much. A lot of the follow-on books are better than any of the follow-on movies. But the first...ah, the movie hands down.

I would have to also throw into that Clear and Present Danger by Tom Clancy and the Harry Potter movies, mostly, in all of these cases, because the books were too dense for me to dig through. The movies simplified the plot and tore away many of the subplots. The story lost some of its richness but gained a lot in "readability".

Looking forward to comments!!

Friday, November 8, 2013

Review - Who's Bigger?

Who's Bigger by Steven Skiena and Charles B. Ward. Published by Cambridge University Press. Available at most retailers.

This is a fascinating book with an extremely interesting concept. The authors use the incredible power of the internet, Wikipedia, and Google's Ngrams to create a mathematical rating system (significance) for people, both current and historical. They then use these data to compare people in many areas, professions, and times. They explain their processes and calculation very well and then provide comparisons with "experts" and "Top 100" lists, etc. to validate that what they measure is actually doing the job.

Then they delve into literally scores of categories to compare the most significant figures. Was Thomas Edison more significant than Alexander Graham Bell or Eli Whitney? Who was the most significant world leader between the world wars? Which King or Pope had the most long-term significance? They do admit that the data in Anglo-centric, all of the data is in English, and they have made a correction for recency.

All in all it is fascinating to wander through their tables and graphs and see where my personal favorites fell. One criticism I have is that there is really too much data and too many categories and too many comparisons. It would have been better to focus in more depth on fewer categories and dive deeper into the data, leaving the more esoteric areas to another volume or to the internet (they have a very nice companion website).

For everyone interested in history and interested in numerical comparisons (for any area - baseball, business, the arts, etc.) the book is highly recommended.

This blogger received a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Feature and Follow - Bookgram

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Just to the right, the two white volumes are Fuller's Military History of the Western World. A very innocuous place for military books to be in the greenhouse!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Throwback Thursday - Anne McCaffrey

Anne McCaffrey is best known for her Pern series of fantasy novels. She melded wonderful characters inside a fantasy planet that had elements of science fiction. In Pern the dragons were used to protect the inhabitants from the deadly Threads that would fall from the skies periodically. McCaffrey's novels were poignant stories of human emotion and frailty, often expressed in the protagonist's relationship with her dragon.

Although McCaffrey wrote other novels it was her Pern universe that attracted me and held me. I never read one I didn't like and would not recommend.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Throwback Thursday - Washington Irving and Poe

Some things are timeless. They are called classics. Washington Irving wrote the classic tale, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow almost 200 years ago. Just this year the story has been revamped and reworked for a modern TV show on Fox. The fact that the inspiration and basis of the plot is 193 years old is a tribute to Irving.

Irving's classic was one of the stories my friends and I would reenact as small boys as the night came earlier and Halloween approached.

A little later on my favorite scary stories were those written by Edgar Allan Poe. A true master, his stories are a little harder to read these days as much of the plots and settings were very period-specific. If the reader can pick up the jargon from an earlier century and enjoy the writing for its tight-knit suspense, Poe is a very enjoyable read.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Review - This is (Not) Your Grandmothers Poetry

This is (Not) Your Grandmothers Poetry by Marshall Armstrong

Marshall writes clearly on a variety of topics, all with an earthy, realistic, and slightly cynical bent. His ideas are clear and the presentation flows smoothly. The reader feels the emotion in the stories and the poems. One feels the sun, smells the dog, and hears the fury of the storm. My personal favorite poem is Real? I feel like that often. My favorite of his short prose works is My Dog Eats Frogs. It is exactly about what it says - the dog's perspective is superbly captured!

Marshall says in his introduction that the title was an attempt to "tell people this is not the kind of poetry you were force fed in high school." That is apt. Dry, hard to understand pentameter is NOT here. The poetry is clear, the prose even clearer and all with a refreshing voice.

This is (Not) Your Grandmothers Poetry is available at

About the author:

Marshall Armstrong lives, works, and writes in small town Minnesota. He found he "enjoyed poetry if it wasn't flowery and rhyming." He also found that he could write about anything.

He is happily married with children, grandchildren, and a dog, Sophie, who is both companion and featured in many of his stories and poems.

Find more of Marshall's work and the work he does on his website The Window.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Feature and Follow - Feature Your Own Favorite

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There are so many wonderful bloggers... But I am highlighting Never Too Fond of Books because of the weekly feature Mandy hosts, Throwback Thursday. It is relatively unique in looking back at something one enjoyed a few years ago instead of forward to what's next. The feature provides a perspective as to how we got where we are and how things are changed, for better or not.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Throwback Thursday - Back When We Were Grownups

I read this book many moons ago and it is not the type of novel I normally read, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. Tyler writes very well and you feel the emotions of the main character as she rebuilds parts of her life that she had lost through the simple, normal attrition we all go through. Her journey of rediscovery is a common theme but exceptionally well done by Tyler. Although the book was made into a movie (Hallmark Hall of Fame), I have not seen it.


Throwback Thursday is a weekly meme hosted by Never Too Fond of Books!

Here’s how it works:
  1. Pick any media (or non-media item) released more than 5 years ago. Remember to keep it book-related!
  2. Write up a short summary (include the title, author, and cover art, if applicable) and an explanation of why you love it.
  3. Link up your post at Never Too Fond of Books.
  4. Visit as many blogs as you can, reminisce about books you loved, and discover some “new” books for your TBR list – or some other classic!
Thanks for participating, and we look forward to seeing what you choose to remember!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Sales for October!

This is my third book of poetry. It is now available, in multiple ebook formats, on Smashwords for only 99 cents for the month of October.

**** These poems are more than just a collection of words, they are a diorama of life. - Linda Rye

**** Transitions touched my soul. - R. S. Rowland

**** The author is connecting with his audience. - Marshall Armstrong

See the full reviews on Smashwords.

Front Cover  File:Koko (Peter Straub novel) cover.jpg  File:InterviewWithTheVampire.jpg

Preread (paper) books

For October on

Over 300 horror titles under $3.99 with FREE shipping!

Over 100 juvenile horror titles under $3.99 with FREE shipping!

Over 600 romantic suspense (Harlequin Intrigue) titles under $3.99 with FREE shipping!

All on our account, FindRomanceToRead.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Feature and Follow - What Am I Missing?

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This week's question: What book have you not read that seemingly everyone else has?

The Hunger Games. Something by James Patterson. Anything by Stephen King. The Great Gatsby.

I must admit, only the first is a TBR...

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Throwback Thursday - Tom Clancy

RIP Tom Clancy.

Tom Clancy passed away this week. He will be remembered as the writer of massive military thrillers that, despite their size. kept readers enthralled. He also wrote many nonfiction books on the modern military.

His books combine immense technical detail and tight plot lines with plenty of action. The technical detail is presented as matter of fact and in language that the general reader can understand. The combination took him to the top of the bestseller lists again and again.

The most famous character of the Clancy books was Jack Ryan a "regular guy" who somehow saves the day repeatedly with his wits and toughness. My personal favorite Jack Ryan was played by Harrison Ford.

Did you ever read Clancy's novels?

Throwback Thursday is a weekly meme hosted by Never Too Fond of Books!

Here’s how it works:
  1. Pick any media (or non-media item) released more than 5 years ago. Remember to keep it book-related!
  2. Write up a short summary (include the title, author, and cover art, if applicable) and an explanation of why you love it.
  3. Link up your post at Never Too Fond of Books.
  4. Visit as many blogs as you can, reminisce about books you loved, and discover some “new” books for your TBR list – or some other classic!
Thanks for participating, and we look forward to seeing what you choose to remember!

Friday, September 27, 2013

Feature and Follow - Favorite Reading Spot

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I read when I can these days, mostly in bed just before going to sleep. When I have free time I really like being outside.
Here's a photo I took recently from a perch where I sometimes catch a few chapters. I liked the cloud curling around the crescent moon in the bright sun.
What do you think?

Friday, September 20, 2013

Feature and Follow - Favorite Picture Book

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This is a fantastic question!

My favorite was The Little Engine That Could by Watty Piper:

My daughter's favorite was Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown:

And, of course, anything by Dr. Seuss:

What do you think?

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Throwback Thursday - Twilight

Five years ago the hottest selling books were Stephanie Meyer's Twilight series, with all three volumes in the top 20 for the year. Although no one can call any of them classic literature, they told a compelling classic story of young love with serious obstacles, from family to species. The story grew with each volume and the readers anticipated the next volume breathlessly. It was an excellent phenomenon and kept a lot of people reading.

Throwback Thursday is a weekly meme hosted by Never Too Fond of Books!

Here’s how it works:
  1. Pick any media (or non-media item) released more than 5 years ago. Remember to keep it book-related!
  2. Write up a short summary (include the title, author, and cover art, if applicable) and an explanation of why you love it.
  3. Link up your post at Never Too Fond of Books.
  4. Visit as many blogs as you can, reminisce about books you loved, and discover some “new” books for your TBR list – or some other classic!
Thanks for participating, and we look forward to seeing what you choose to remember!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Guest Review - Transitions

Today, I am very pleased to share Dr. Sheri Lindner's review of my most recent short collection of poetry. I have been privileged to make Dr. Lindner's acquaintance at poetry readings on Long Island.


Schroeder’s book of poems, Transitions, catalogues many types of transitions—those that occur in nature, in the growing up of a child, in the parent-child relationship, and in the shifting perspective of the author.  In each of these types of transitions, Schroeder reflects facets that sometimes stand in opposition to one another.  A poem describing the destructiveness of Storm Sandy is juxtaposed with one detailing the almost unnoticed shift of summer into fall.  Wistfulness of one season’s ending is off-set by eager anticipation of the next season’s appearance.  The  parental desire to protect is counterbalanced by the parental desire for one’s child to be able to bear the knocks that might come his way.  Schroeder’s impulse is always to pull us beyond the focused worries that consume us and out into the world where beauty and significance exist.  He never belittles one over the other, but holds both in tension, understanding that that is the real reflection of our lives.  This is captured most exquisitely in the lines from his poem “Winter Dusk”:  “Grim gray clouds streak by in tatters/a few brown birds snag what matters.”

                                                                         -Sheri Lindner, Ph.D.

                                                                Author of Opening Eden’s Gate
Transitions is available at for $0.99 for Kindle, Nook, Kobo, and many other formats.

Dr. Sheri Lindner, a former teacher of English, is currently a clinical psychologist, and is also a poet and essayist interested in the processes of development and maturation as they are reflected in Biblical stories and children’s literature.  Her writings have appeared in Jewish Currents, The Reconstructionist, Reconstructionism Today, Kerem, Jewish Women's Literary Annual, Poetica, Performance Poets Association Literary Review, Matzoh Ball Soup, Soul-Lit, The Ritual Well, and The New York Times. Dr. Lindner was awarded First Place in the 2013 Nassau County Poet Laureate Society poetry contest for her poem "Return." Opening Eden's Gate is available on Amazon.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Feature and Follow - Casting My Favorite Book

8474595901 873f4993f4 Feature & Follow #137

I would cast relative unknowns, someone quirky enough to be able to get into the character without needing to fit into any kind of "history" they had in other films. And, I think, the story is the important part - that is why I would be making it into a movie, because I liked the book!

Oh, what book, you ask? I'm thinking one of Piers Anthony's Xanth books would make for a very entertaining movie. Plenty of multi-faceted fantastic creatures with attitude with enough of a plot to string the story along with just enough realism to give teeth to the fantasy.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Throwback Thursday - Phyllis A Whtney

Throwback Thursday is a weekly meme hosted by The Housework Can Wait and Never Too Fond of Books!
Here’s how it works:
  1. Pick any media (or non-media item) released more than 5 years ago. Remember to keep it book-related!
  2. Write up a short summary (include the title, author, and cover art, if applicable) and an explanation of why you love it.
  3. Link up your post at The Housework Can Wait or Never Too Fond of Books.
  4. Visit as many blogs as you can, reminisce about books you loved, and discover some “new” books for your TBR list – or some other classic!
Thanks for participating, and we look forward to seeing what you choose to remember!

Mystery on the Isle of Skye

One of my favorite authors growing up was Phyllis A Whitney. I read all of her Juvenile Mysteries but my favorite was Mystery on the Isle of Skye. An orphan travels with relatives to Scotland where distant relatives and new surprises await her.

The book mixes the deep history of Scotland, including clan feuds and Bonnie Prince Charlie, modern (for then, it was written in 1955) influences, and a rich landscape as Cathy and her two Scottish cousins track down mysteries old and new.

The book is well-written and has many levels of plot and subplot carefully intertwined. It was/is a marvelous read.

Have you read any of Ms. Whitney's books?

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Feature and Follow - Bookshelf Tour

8474595901 873f4993f4 Feature & Follow #137

Here are two of my 5 shelves. Of course there are the thousands of books I have as part of my online used bookselling business; sometimes I pull one of those to read. Organization? The ones for sale are carefully organized; my "personal" books, not so much.