SpReAd the Love Book Challenge 2015

This post is part of the SpReAd the Love movement started in the Richard Armitage fandom by JazzBaby1 and Obscura. It has included all sorts of giving with this time being an annual event of book giving in honor of Dr. Seuss’s birthday. In that interest, I’ve decided to give some books to my “local” children’s hospital. I put local in quotes because the hospital is four hours from where I am, but I consider it my local children’s hospital, and it also holds a special place for SO and me.

During the weeks after SO received his transplant, he and I stayed at a hotel across the street from the children’s hospital and came to know many parents and grandparents of patients, also got to know their stories, and in some cases made some good friends. One of the recurring comments among these family members was the desire to not only see their children or grandchildren get well but also to see them smile and be lighthearted. When this challenge came around a couple of years ago, I knew immediately what I wanted to do, and this year I’m finally doing it! Later this month, we will be giving the hospital several copies of three of our favorite children’s books. Each of these has a hardcover and a library binding which hopefully means they will last awhile.


An autobiographical picture book celebrates dePaola’s childhood relationship with his grandfather–“We’re named after each other, Tommy. That’s why I want you to call me Tom instead of Grandpa.” Together they read the Sunday comics, share stories, or tend to the butcher section of Tom’s store. While the actual story line is minimal–Tommy gets in trouble for scaring classmates with a chicken-foot prank Tom taught him–the fans who cherish these reminiscences (adults as well as children) will welcome this skillful evocation of an all-important intergenerational bond. Touches of old-world humor and wisdom add sparkle to the tale, in which dePaola’s idiosyncratic, apple-cheeked characters are rendered in bright, sunny colors. The sepia-toned portraits, simulating pictures from a scrapbook, that adorn the jacket and title page enhance the book’s nostalgic tone. Ages 4-8.




Children definitely will not keep straight faces. — “Kirkus Reviews”
Ages 3-8.







Miss Nelson is Missing


Miss Nelson can’t control her crazy classroom because she’s just too nice. But when she disappears, her replacement is the hard-as-nails, detention-loving, recess-canceling, homework-overloading substitute teacher Viola Swamp! With the Big Test approaching, the kids suddenly realize how much they miss Miss Nelson and they’ll do anything — including hiring a private eye — to solve the mystery of her disappearance and bring her back. Ages 4-8.


If you would like to join the Challenge, there is more information here.

“…A Girl Who Reads”

I’m reblogging this from Reading, Writing, Ranting and Raving, but obviously I’m not using the the WP reblog function, which sucks. But enough about that. Go over and see what Kym Lucas, who runs the blog, has posted from the English poet, Mark Grist. Here, and just know there is some graphic language, but it’s still worth a listen.

Death by Facebook – Free from Amazon Kindle Store

[note: this is me monkeying around with code :D]

This is one of the blogs I love and read religiously. I'm reading this book now. I laughed at the name of it and many of you can guess why. What a great blog title that would be! :D

Do I have mixed emotions about reading free books? I did, but I've bought more books in the last few years when I started following this blog than the ten before. The kindle has prompted me to buy many more hardcopy new books as well where I seldom did that before unless it was a gift to someone. So no worries that I'm not supporting authors.

And if you don't have a kindle, it's possible to download some of these books to a PC or even a smart phone with free apps available to do so. But as with all Amazon transactions, read the fine print. Some books can be downloaded to the Kindle permanently, and some are temporary ala borrowing a book from the library.


edit: I'm putting the Richard Armitage tag on this 'cause he's a reader. LOL!

Also, Nook has free books too. More on that later -- maybe.

Free Kindle Books and Tips

Death by Facebook by Everett Peacocl is free today from the Amazon Kindle store, and has received an average user rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars based on 12 customer reviews.  You can pick up your free copy by clicking here or typing in http://amzn.to/yRdlpL into your computer’s web browser.

Category: Horror

Here is the book’s description from the Amazon website:

A vacationing soldier in Hawaii…
Earth’s most active volcano, anxious to repeat itself…
Two murders involving love, madness, friendship, hippies, tsunamis, and the great hereafter…

DEATH BY FACEBOOK by Everett Peacock
Be careful what you say online

Want to have this blog sent wirelessly to your Kindle vs. reading it on your computer? Try out the free two-week subscription!  Click here for the Amazon page for Free Kindle Books Plus a Few Other Tipsor type in http://www.tinyurl.com/fkblog into your computer’s web browser.

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The Mind

Please click to see list of participating bloggers

Richard Armitage is the epitome of tall, dark and handsome. Probably most reading this heartily agree, and some who have no clue about him would agree if they watched him. What did the interview referenced in my last FanstRA piece say?

He is tall (tick), dark (tick) and handsome (tick), with piercing blue eyes (double tick). Ladies, your swoons have not been wasted.

Oh, I know they’re well placed, but not for the obvious reasons. There are so many good looking actors to swoon over. Legions whose looks are worthy of the description above. Take a trip to Hollywood and you will literally see them everywhere you go. But they’re visual cotton candy. There is nothing that inspires beyond a few moments because beautiful as they are, they never get beyond the viscera of your thinking. Even many of the thoughtful actors rarely get much beyond it. Or maybe that’s just me. Maybe it’s just me who seldom repeatedly examines even an actor’s great performances beyond the event in order to mine something more profound. Sometimes I might examine the lighting or the body language or any number of practical aspects to determine what it was that was effective in conveying the message, and I might relive the performance repeatedly in my imagination in order to feel the thrill of it again. But to find the message enigmatic and compelling because of the actor’s portrayal and forcing me to go beyond the obvious to try to root out what is deeply embedded in my brain? To make me examine something about myself and why I was really so struck by it? No, that seldom happens with performances. Maybe with books, but usually with performances I know why I’m affected. I know immediately and can often verbalize it.

And then there’s the actor himself. Very few when interviewed or when speaking for any length of time really hold my interest. It’s almost always a let down. But enter Richard Armitage, who has made me question countless things with his portrayals, and I can’t stop doing it. The fact I’ve done this has puzzled me to no end. Yes, I’m still puzzled, but I love this. I love being puzzled, being in a continual state of curiosity, and the irony of him is that the more he speaks, the more I’m curious. Wow. I think of the artists who are generally considered enigmatic, and much of it was effected by the fact they weren’t talking. They only let their art do the talking, and probably wisely kept their mouths shut to maintain the mystique. But let this guy talk, and he becomes more interesting and makes me wonder what I’ve been missing. Case in point:

I have not been a fan of fantasy although I’ve read some science fiction and some classical fantasy novels. Mostly done to ensure my education was not lacking. But I am rethinking that interest and was rethinking it long before I knew Richard Armitage would be in ‘The Hobbit.’ It’s been coming to me for a long time now that I almost killed my imagination in the pursuit of control. I’m so sorry about that, but I’m not dead, so it’s not too late for me to regain what was such a rich part of my childhood. Richard Amitage has definitely been inspirational. I’ve also always loved words but was never encouraged to really play with them or learn how to shape things with them. My talents so obviously lay in another area, and that is where I was continually directed, but it never satisfied. Armitage gets credit for rekindling my interest in words to the degree that I’m now doing something about it! I mean how can I listen to something like this on the heels of listening to his audio books and not be inspired?

I said in one of my diary entries that a beautiful voice is not enough. The person must have something interesting to say. That’s where writers come in. But with Richard Armitage, he brings something to it I’ve rarely witnessed. He has a rich mind, keeps it well nourished and applies it to his craft. That is a great part of his ability to hold us all in thrall even if only using his voice. Much more than a pretty boy. He’s a thinker and we benefit from it.

And one of my favorite thinkers shares her reactions to his performances:

Servetus and I have had many discussions offline that have been such an enjoyment and encouragement to me. Although we bring our own observations and don’t always agree, we do have some things in common and have a mutual respect.

Photo courtesy of the Russian Richard Armitage Fan site. You can check out the rest by clicking on the photo.

Tangent — Sassy Librarians

sassy librarianI’m always surfing around for ideas, and I have a blast doing it. I run across all kinds of interesting things of which most will never see the light of day on this blog. But some demand I give them attention. So I can’t ignore any longer what I’ve come across almost daily for years — a set of people who have me curious about how they really are face to face. On the Net they’re pretty up front. Demuring is not their thing, and there’s a downright fiery nature about some of them. To the point that I’ve found myself asking: where did all these sassy librarians come from? Have librarians always been this way and I had them in a boring box but didn’t realize it? If so, my humble apology.

Even if I did pigeon hole them, I’ve almost always had a fondness for librarians. It started when I was ten years old. My friend, Debbie and I used to venture out on our bikes every Saturday morning to parts unknown — meaning we never knew where we were going to end up. One Saturday we ended up at the library, and this was not a common occurrence for me since I hated to sit still long enough to read a book. To go to the place that was teeming with them? No, I rarely darkened their doors unless my mother dragged me there.

That particular morning I was on a mission to read something about Fred Demara. Unfortunately, the library had no books about him, and I was about to leave when a lady asked me if I needed help. She had such a sweet face, and yes, she wore glasses. I was reluctant because the library ladies represented confinement to me. If she was going to help me find a book, certainly it was going to be something dull and dry, and I would have to endure it whereas I was on a lark to find out about The Great Impostor. But being respectful, I answered her question truthfully. She looked again in the card catalogue as I had done, and I remember wondering why she had to do what I had just done. I know now that all librarians do their thinking and everyone else’s too. I was pleased when she hit a wall as I had.

Then she pulled a rabbit out of a hat and said, “Maybe you could read a magazine article about him.” Wait! I didn’t have to read a book to find out about him? Hmmm, this was sounding good. Then she threw water on it by saying, “Or perhaps you could borrow a book through Interlibrary Loan.” Huh? No, the magazine was proffered, and I jumped on the suggestion. Besides I didn’t know what Interlibrary Loan was, and it sounded scary.

It was a little disappointing when she led me over to a shelf full of some of the dullest looking books in the reference section, and that’s saying something since almost every book in the reference section was dull looking. Dang! I knew I was going to have to read a book. She laid one of the dark green books open and began to explain how to use The Readers’ Guide to Periodical Literature. It surely didn’t sound like anything about magazines, and if a librarian hadn’t shown me those books, I doubt I ever would have opened one. Little did I know at the time this was going to be a pivotal event in my life. Although I was aware it was an epiphany even if I didn’t know the word epiphany yet. When I realized I could look up almost anything in those books and get not a book but a magazine to read, my heart could barely stand it. Fred Demara was just the beginning!

I’m sorry to say I don’t remember that woman’s name. She was not at that library on a regular basis but was a floater. I found this out the next time I went to the library, and I was so bummed. I think she was at that branch perhaps one other time when I was there. But I never got to talk to her again. Lately I’ve been wondering if she was as sassy as some of these others I’ve encountered. Was she as intrigued by Fred Demara as I was? What happened when she left the library at night? If I were a writer, I would write a story about that.

Whatever she did, surely all of that information in her head and passion to share it went somewhere besides helping people find books and periodicals to read. Surely. And now I know it did.

Below are just a handful of the many librarians I’ve run across in my travels around the Net, and if any of them come around here to look, yes, I’m a subscriber to your blog.

Stiletto Storytime — Courtney makes it sound very hip to be a librarian. By the way, she has a book on her 2010 reading list, “Recent Reads,” that you will find of interest. I think she’s one of us. :D

Lipstick Librarian — Diary of a Library Fashionista — Librarian angst with humor which is definitely designed to take the mickey out of the rest of us who aren’t librarians. Enter at your own risk.

Librarians are Weird — No argument there, but I’ve always liked weird people.

Laughing Librarian — Home of the Zen Librarian. Aren’t they all a bit Zen?

Free Range Librarian — They let her out of Georgia. I would explain. Just read the blog.

Low Rider Librarian — Max is on a mission.

Warrior Librarian — What it says on the tin.

Meg Wood — One of the sassiest of them all, and I’m sure I’m not the first to say that. Some of you may recognize her name from “Boyfriend of the Week” fame, and yes, before you ask, RA made the list, and he had one of the highest scores ever. Did you doubt it? The real question is when is he going to make the list again? All I know is that he better make the list again if he actually comes to America. Meg owes us that. ;-)

Our own Phylly3 — what can I say? I’ve already made it plain how much I think of Phylly with my Do Wah Diddy Diddy award.

One more:

Under the Mad Hat The Madhatter doesn’t blog there much anymore. She’s started a Children’s book blog. You can check that out for yourself if you like. But what’s left of this blog is well worth reading, so here it is on my list! Maybe a little traffic over there might cure her ennui and get her to write again. I know I would love to see that, and I hope she still has some of those hundreds of posts she removed.

Oh, and as I was surfing around trying to find a free picture of a librarian with glasses (see the one above), I ran across this —–>

Is he cute or what? No, he’s not a librarian, but if he had been when I was single, I would have tried to live at the library.

And to be fair to him since we’re ogling his picture, here’s his website. The link to the blog entry with him in glasses is here. His blog has absolutely nothing to do with librarians or RA so this is a bona fide tangent. I just thought you might appreciate an attractive picture, and yes, he looks like someone famous. It should be pretty obvious amongst this crowd, so I’m going to be shocked if someone doesn’t jump up and say it quickly. I mean these guys look like they were separated at birth. Bet people tell him he looks like, uh, that other guy.

While I was on his site, I actually read several blog pieces and downloaded a book called Thrivability, which I’m currently reading. It’s found here. I also went on to download the book that inspired Thrivability. Its called What Matters Now, and it’s found here. See I can really go on a tangent. I was just messing around until now, and hey, I figured since this is a piece about librarians, I should at least read a book or two while I’m at it. Plus, most librarians I know love segues, so they ought to love this post.

And if Leif ever comes over to read this piece, yes, I’ve read the Utne Reader, and read it when you were probably too young to write for it. Uh oh, did I just give something away?