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Mailbox Monday #419

Mailbox Monday, created by Marcia at To Be Continued, formerly The Printed Page, has a permanent home at its own blog.

To check out what everyone has received over the last week, visit the blog and check out the links. Leave yours too.

Also, each week, Leslie, Martha, and I will share the Books that Caught Our Eye from everyone’s weekly links.

Here’s what I received:

The Usborne Outdoor Book, which we purchased for my daughter’s birthday.

Inspiring ideas for discovering and exploring outdoors, whether that’s a city park, a beach, deep in the woods or even in a garden. Activities for all weathers include building a shelter, stargazing, marking a trail, catching crabs and listening for creatures at night. With tips for identifying wildlife and advice throughout on staying safe.

The Usborne Fairy Palaces Magic Painting Book, also purchased for my daughter’s birthday.

Explore the enchanting world of Fairy Palaces with this incredible magic painting book. Sweep carefully over the wonderful black and white patterns and drawings with the paintbrush provided, and watch the colours magically appear. With clear instruction on the front, this book couldn’t be easier for children and adults to use. Each delicate illustration is so intricate that every page conceals a palette of colours waiting to be discovered. A therapeutic and satisfying activity book children will enjoy painting and showing to their friends. Completed paintings can be kept as a keepsake.

Ada Twist, Scientist by Andrea Beaty, illustrated by David Roberts, also purchased for our daughter but from her Scholastic February order form.

Like her classmates, builder Iggy and inventor Rosie, scientist Ada, a character of color, has a boundless imagination and has always been hopelessly curious. Why are there pointy things stuck to a rose? Why are there hairs growing inside your nose? When her house fills with a horrific, toe-curling smell, Ada knows it’s up to her to find the source. What would you do with a problem like this? Not afraid of failure, Ada embarks on a fact-finding mission and conducts scientific experiments, all in the name of discovery. But, this time, her experiments lead to even more stink and get her into trouble!

Inspired by real-life makers such as Ada Lovelace and Marie Curie, Ada Twist, Scientist champions girl power and women scientists, and brings welcome diversity to picture books about girls in science. Touching on themes of never giving up and problem solving, Ada comes to learn that her questions might not always lead to answers, but rather to more questions. She may never find the source of the stink, but with a supportive family and the space to figure it out, she’ll be able to feed her curiosity in the ways a young scientist should.

Freedom Over Me: Eleven Slaves, Their Lives and Dreams Brought to Life by Ashley Bryan, also purchased from the February Scholastic sheet for our daughter.

Using original slave auction and plantation estate documents, Ashley Bryan offers a moving and powerful picture book that contrasts the monetary value of a slave with the priceless value of life experiences and dreams that a slave owner could never take away.

Imagine being looked up and down and being valued as less than chair. Less than an ox. Less than a dress. Maybe about the same as…a lantern.

You, an object. An object to sell.

In his gentle yet deeply powerful way, Ashley Bryan goes to the heart of how a slave is given a monetary value by the slave owner, tempering this with the one thing that CAN’T be bought or sold—dreams. Inspired by the actual will of a plantation owner that lists the worth of each and every one of his “workers”, Bryan has created collages around that document, and others like it. Through fierce paintings and expansive poetry he imagines and interprets each person’s life on the plantation, as well as the life their owner knew nothing about—their dreams and pride in knowing that they were worth far more than an Overseer or Madam ever would guess. Visually epic, and never before done, this stunning picture book is unlike anything you’ve seen.

Wildly into the Dark: Typewriter Poems and the Rattlings of a Curious Mind by Tyler Knott Gregson for review.

Tyler’s third collection includes more of his popular Typewriter Series poems (featured in his first book, Chasers of the Light) as well as never-before-published scenes that paint the world as only Tyler sees and experiences it. Filled with vivid photographs and even more vivid emotions, Wildly Into the Dark is a must-have for longtime fans as well as newcomers to Tyler’s unique brand of passionate, intimate, and playful words and images.


The Jane Austen Project by Kathleen A. Flynn for review.

London, 1815: Two travelers—Rachel Katzman and Liam Finucane—arrive in a field in rural England, disheveled and weighed down with hidden money. Turned away at a nearby inn, they are forced to travel by coach all night to London. They are not what they seem, but rather colleagues who have come back in time from a technologically advanced future, posing as wealthy West Indies planters—a doctor and his spinster sister. While Rachel and Liam aren’t the first team from the future to “go back,” their mission is by far the most audacious: meet, befriend, and steal from Jane Austen herself.

Carefully selected and rigorously trained by The Royal Institute for Special Topics in Physics, disaster-relief doctor Rachel and actor-turned-scholar Liam have little in common besides the extraordinary circumstances they find themselves in. Circumstances that call for Rachel to stifle her independent nature and let Liam take the lead as they infiltrate Austen’s circle via her favorite brother, Henry.

But diagnosing Jane’s fatal illness and obtaining an unpublished novel hinted at in her letters pose enough of a challenge without the continuous convolutions of living a lie. While her friendship with Jane deepens and her relationship with Liam grows complicated, Rachel fights to reconcile the woman she is with the proper lady nineteenth-century society expects her to be. As their portal to the future prepares to close, Rachel and Liam struggle with their directive to leave history intact and exactly as they found it…however heartbreaking that may prove.

What did you receive?

All the Words Are Yours: Haiku on Love by Tyler Knott Gregson

Source: Penguin Random House
Hardcover, 144 pgs.
I am an Amazon Affiliate

All the Words Are Yours: Haiku on Love by Tyler Knott Gregson is a collection of haiku poems — though not all of them include references to nature — about love and all of its manifestations. This small collection, however, is just a taste of what love can mean, bring, and be to many of us. These verse reveal a poet who is romantic and optimistic, as these poems espouse not only how passionate love can be but also how transformative and consuming it is.

I am broken down
and shattered into pieces
You are still barefoot
Your soul knew my soul
long before we needed skin
to spend a life in.
Lay down your roots now, 
let them wrap tight around mine,
sink deep in the soil.

In each of these short haiku, readers will get a glimpse of the form and its power to punctuate a feeling or a moment, so that they can stop and listen to their own feelings and thoughts, compare their own past and present loves, and be more introspective. Gregson lays his heart out and is unafraid of those who would poke fun at his cheesy lines or his unabashed love expressed in intimate ways. It’s like peering into his life, watching how he forms attachments, reveres them, and carries them forward.

All the Words Are Yours: Haiku on Love by Tyler Knott Gregson could be a romantic gift for your spouse, boyfriend, girlfriend on an anniversary, as an every day gift, or something special for Valentine’s Day, that most commercial of holidays.  However, Gregson’s haiku also challenges the traditional use of the form, driven by nature imagery, to consider more abstract things as natural because we are aware of them — such as love or the soul.  Some of these haiku also leave you breathless.

Mailbox Monday #343

Mailbox Monday, created by Marcia at To Be Continued, formerly The Printed Page, has a permanent home at its own blog.

To check out what everyone has received over the last week, visit the blog and check out the links.  Leave yours too.

Also, each week, Leslie, Vicki, and I will share the Books that Caught Our Eye from everyone’s weekly links.

Here’s what I received:

All the Words Are Yours: Haiku on Love by Tyler Knott Gregson for review from Literary & Lifestyle Publicity.

Every day for the past six years, Tyler Knott Gregson has written a simple haiku about love, and posted it online. These heartfelt poems have attracted a large and loyal following around the world. 

This highly anticipated follow-up to Chasers of the Light, presents Tyler’s favorites, some previously unpublished, accompanied by his signature photographs, which capture the rich texture of daily life.

This vibrant collection reveals the intimate reflections of one of poetry’s most popular new voices — honest, vulnerable, generous, and truly present in the gift that is each moment.

What did you receive?

Chasers of the Light: Poems from the Typewriter Series by Tyler Knott Gregson

Source: Perigee/Penguin Random House
Hardcover, 144 pages
I am an Amazon Affiliate

Chasers of the Light: Poems from the Typewriter Series by Tyler Knott Gregson is a collection of poems written on a typewriter Gregson found in an antique store in Montana.  He wrote the first poem in this collection in the store on a page from a broken book he was buying for $2.  A chance find in a store turned into a mission to bring light to readers and viewers of photography alike.  In the introduction, he says, “In all I write and all I say, I am trying to chase the light that I cannot help but see around me.  This book, in the simplest of terms, is a map my wandering feet have taken in that pursuit.  It is simple words on random pieces of paper that snuck into my along the way.  There will always be light, and I will never stop chasing it.”

"The oars and the compass, the anchor and the wheel,
have long since abandoned me.
Can you hear what I've longed to tell you,
that I go where the waves wish to deliver me
and you, my love, are the tide."

Many of these poems are about love and love that is lost.  There are poems in which he asks to be haunted by his lost love and that he wishes to love every scrap of her that remains.  In a poem early in the collection, he compares himself to a ship without a rudder and the lover is compared to a hurricane.  In undulating rhythm, Gregson is a ship at sea carried away by waves — the waves of the tide, his lover.  It is an unnamed poem, like all of them, that is beautiful in its simplicity.  The love experienced in this poem is grand and overpowering.  Each of these poems are typed on scraps of paper, pieces of books, napkins, and receipts.   He also includes some gorgeous photographs, with accompanying poems.

In one gorgeous compilation piece, Gregson pairs a poem about being broken and healed with a photo of a dilapidated roof through which one shaft of bright light shines through.  Like many of the poems in this collection, they are beautiful in their simplicity.  He sheds light on the smallest of moments, like a flowering weed growing out of a bullet shell.  We carry our loves and losses inside each of us, and they become part of who we are.  What would we be without those past emotions and experiences.  Chasers of the Light: Poems from the Typewriter Series by Tyler Knott Gregson is gorgeous from cover to cover,

About the Poet:

Tyler Knott Gregson is a poet, author, professional photographer, and artist who lives in the mountains of Helena, Montana. When he is not writing, he operates his photography company, Treehouse Photography, with his talented partner, Sarah Linden.  Visit him on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.  Check out his Website.

 

 

Book 20 for the Dive Into Poetry Reading Challenge 2014.

 

 

 

52nd book for 2014 New Author Challenge.

Mailbox Monday #283

Mailbox Monday, created by Marcia at To Be Continued, formerly The Printed Page, has a permanent home at its own blog.

To check out what everyone has received over the last week, visit the blog and check out the links.  Leave yours too.

Also, each week, Leslie, Vicki, and I will share the Books that Caught Our Eye from everyone’s weekly links.

Here’s what I received:

1.  The Paradise Tree by Elena Maria Vidal for review in October for Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours.

The year is 1887 in Leeds County, Ontario. The O’Connor clan is gathering to mourn the loss of its patriarch Daniel O’Connor, an Irish immigrant. The story of Daniel and his wife Brigit is one of great hardships, including illness, ill-starred romances, war and political upheavals, as well as undying love and persevering faith. As Daniel is laid to rest, his grandson Fergus receives a piercing insight into what his own calling in life will be.

2. Giggle Poetry Reading Lessons: A Successful Reading-Fluency Program Parents and Teachers Can Use to Dramatically Improve Reading Skills and Scores by Amy Buswell and Bruce Lansky, illustrated by Stephen Carpenter from LibraryThing Early Reviewers.

Many struggling readers are embarrassed to read aloud. They are often intimidated or bored by texts that conventional programs require them to practice. So, instead of catching up, they fall further behind. Currently 67% of American fourth graders can’t read grade-level text. Reading specialist Amy Buswell has spent eight years looking for remediation methods that work. “What is needed,” Buswell explains, “is a program that improves the motivation of struggling readers, because that accounts for 90% of the problem.” Four years ago, Buswell came up with a brainstorm. She knew her best readers enjoyed reading Bruce Lansky’s poetry books for pleasure. The more poems they read, the better their reading got. Why not use Lansky’s kid-tested poems as texts struggling readers could practice on to improve their reading—using six research-based strategies: choral reading, echo reading, paired reading, repeated reading, sustained silent reading and “say it like the character” reading. — This book is the result of that brainstorm and the resulting collaboration between Buswell and Lansky. It gives teachers and parents everything they need to help children improve their reading: -35 kid-tested poems by Bruce Lansky -35 customized reading lessons by Amy Buswell -35 off-the-wall illustrations by Stephen Carpenter -35 sets of zany performance tips by Bruce Lansky …all of which is designed to make the process of reading improvement more like fun than work. Parents will enjoy Lansky’s funny poems and Stephen Carpenter’s delightful illustrations as much as their children.

3.  The Garden of Letters by Alyson Richman for review in September.

Portofino, Italy, 1943. A young woman steps off a boat in a scenic coastal village. Although she knows how to disappear in a crowd, Elodie is too terrified to slip by the German officers while carrying her poorly forged identity papers. She is frozen until a man she’s never met before claims to know her. In desperate need of shelter, Elodie follows him back to his home on the cliffs of Portofino.

Only months before, Elodie Bertolotti was a cello prodigy in Verona, unconcerned with world events. But when Mussolini’s Fascist regime strikes her family, Elodie is drawn into the burgeoning resistance movement by Luca, a young and impassioned bookseller. As the occupation looms, she discovers that her unique musical talents, and her courage, have the power to save lives.

4.  In Real Life: Love, Lies, & Identity in the Digital Age by Nev Schulman, a suprise review copy from Grand Central.

Now Nev takes his investigation to the page, providing readers with an essential roadmap to better connect their digital personas with their true selves. Woven throughout with Nev’s personal stories, this book explores relationships in the era of social media. Specifically the book tackles:

-what motivates catfish
-why people fall for catfish
-how one can avoid being deceived
-online accountability
-Nev’s rules for dating
-how to connect authentically with people over the internet
-how to turn an online relationship into a real life relationship, and much, much more.

Nev delves deeply into the complexities of dating in a digital age, and continues the cultural dialogue his show has begun about how we interact with each other through social media versus in person — specifically in relation to millennials, who have never known a world without Facebook.

5.  My Mother’s Secret: A Novel Based on a True Holocaust Story by J.L. Witterick for review in September.

Franciszka and her daughter, Helena, are unlikely heroines. They are simple people who mind their own business and don’t stand out from the crowd. Until 1939, when crisis strikes. The Nazis have invaded Poland and they are starting to persecute the Jews. Providing shelter to a Jew has become a death sentence. And yet, Franciszka and Helena decide to do just that. In their tiny, two-bedroom home in Sokal, Poland, they cleverly hide a Jewish family of two brothers and their wives in their pigsty out back, a Jewish doctor with his wife and son in a makeshift cellar under the kitchen floorboards, and a defecting German soldier in the attic–each group completely unbeknownst to the others. For everyone to survive, Franciszka will have to outsmart her neighbors and the German commanders standing guard right outside her yard.

6.  Chasers of the Light by Tyler Knott Gregson for review in September.

One day, while browsing an antique store in Helena, Montana, photographer Tyler Knott Gregson stumbled upon a vintage Remington typewriter for sale. Standing up and using a page from a broken book he was buying for $2, he typed a poem without thinking, without planning, and without the ability to revise anything.

He fell in love.

Three years and almost one thousand poems later, Tyler is now known as the creator of the Typewriter Series: a striking collection of poems typed onto found scraps of paper or created via blackout method. Chasers of the Light features some of his most insightful and beautifully worded pieces of work—poems that illuminate grand gestures and small glimpses, poems that celebrate the beauty of a life spent chasing the light.

7.  Pies & Peril by Janel Gradowski from my friend and the author.  Thank you!  Check out my review.

When Amy Ridley decided to compete in the Kellerton Summer Festival Pie Contest, the last thing she expected was to find the reigning pie queen, Mandy Jo, dead—a raspberry pie smashed on her face! Mandy Jo made fantastic pies, but she accumulated more enemies than baking trophies. But when Amy receives a note threatening her own life, she decides to do some investigating herself.

It seems that half the town has a reason to kill the mean pie queen, and Amy finds herself sifting through a list of suspects that’s longer than her list of recipes. Not to mention playing cupid for her love-shy best friend, fending off a baker intent on finding out her prize-winning culinary secrets, and ducking the deadly attentions of Mandy Jo’s killer. If Amy doesn’t find out who wanted the pie queen dead soon, her own goose may be cooked!

8.  One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez from the library sale for 50 cents.

The novel tells the story of the rise and fall of the mythical town of Macondo through the history of the family. It is a rich and brilliant chronicle of life and death, and the tragicomedy of humankind. In the noble, ridiculous, beautiful, and tawdry story of the family, one sees all of humanity, just as in the history, myths, growth, and decay of Macondo, one sees all of Latin America.

Love and lust, war and revolution, riches and poverty, youth and senility — the variety of life, the endlessness of death, the search for peace and truth — these universal themes dominate the novel. Whether he is describing an affair of passion or the voracity of capitalism and the corruption of government.

9.  The Best of Us by Sarah Pekkanen from the library sale for 50 cents.

Following a once-in-a-lifetime invitation, a group of old college friends leap at the chance to bring their husbands for a week’s vacation at a private villa in Jamaica to celebrate a former classmates’ thirty-fifth birthday.
All four women are desperate for a break and this seems like a perfect opportunity. Tina is drowning under the demands of mothering four young children. Allie needs to escape from the shattering news about an illness that runs in her family. Savannah is carrying the secret of her husband’s infidelity. And, finally, there’s Pauline, who spares no expense to throw her husband an unforgettable birthday celebration, hoping it will gloss over the cracks that have already formed in their new marriage.

The week begins idyllically, filled with languorous days and late nights of drinking and laughter. But as a hurricane approaches the island, turmoil builds, forcing each woman to re-evaluate everything she’s known about the others—and herself.

10.  The Best-Loved Poems of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis with an introduction by Caroline Kennedy from the library sale for $1.

Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis loved literature, especially poetry. Once you can express yourself, she wrote, you can tell the world what you want from it. Now, Caroline Kennedy shares her mothers favorite poems by such renowned authors as William Shakespeare, Emily Dickinson, e.e. cummings, and Robert Frost. The book also includes a poem written by Jacqueline Kennedy and is illustrated with photographs of the Kennedy clan. This is a wonderful volume for reading aloud or by yourself and a meaningful gift or keepsake for Mothers Day.

 

11.  Best-Loved Slow Cooker Recipes from the library sale for $1.

Crock Pot Best Loved Slow Cooker Recipes includes more than 100 recipes for your Crock Pot Slow Cooker. Whether you need to whip up main dish meals, party time appetizers or sweet tooth threats, the Crock Pot slow cooker helps to easy your busy day.

 

 

 

12.  The Winter Guest by Pam Jenoff from Anna at Diary of an Eccentric who had an extra copy.

Life is a constant struggle for the eighteen-year-old Nowak twins as they raise their three younger siblings in rural Poland under the shadow of the Nazi occupation. The constant threat of arrest has made everyone in their village a spy, and turned neighbor against neighbor. Though rugged, independent Helena and pretty, gentle Ruth couldn’t be more different, they are staunch allies in protecting their family from the threats the war brings closer to their doorstep with each passing day.

Then Helena discovers an American paratrooper stranded outside their small mountain village, wounded, but alive. Risking the safety of herself and her family, she hides Sam, a Jew, but Helena’s concern for the American grows into something much deeper. Defying the perils that render a future together all but impossible, Sam and Helena make plans for the family to flee. But Helena is forced to contend with the jealousy her choices have sparked in Ruth, culminating in a singular act of betrayal that endangers them all and setting in motion a chain of events that will reverberate across continents and decades.

What did you receive?