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Mailbox Monday #228 and Library Loot #9

Mailbox Monday (click the icon to check out the new blog) has gone on tour since Marcia at To Be Continued, formerly The Printed Page passed the torch.  July’s host is Book Obsessed.

The meme allows bloggers to share what books they receive in the mail or through other means over the past week.

Just be warned that these posts can increase your TBR piles and wish lists.

Here’s what Wiggles got at the library sale:

1.  The Runaway Bunny by Margaret Wise Brown

The Runaway Bunny begins with a young bunny who decides to run away: “‘If you run away,’ said his mother, ‘I will run after you. For you are my little bunny.'” And so begins a delightful, imaginary game of chase. No matter how many forms the little bunny takes–a fish in a stream, a crocus in a hidden garden, a rock on a mountain–his steadfast, adoring, protective mother finds a way of retrieving him. The soothing rhythm of the bunny banter–along with the surreal, dream-like pictures–never fail to infuse young readers with a complete sense of security and peace. For any small child who has toyed with the idea of running away or testing the strength of Mom’s love, this old favorite will comfort and reassure.

2.  My Potty Chair by Ruth Young

In My Potty Chair, a girl matter-of-factly discusses the use of her potty chair.

 

3.  Opposites by Sandra Boynton

Serious silliness for all ages. Artist Sandra Boynton is back and better than ever with completely redrawn versions of her multi-million selling board books. These whimsical and hilarious books, featuring nontraditional texts and her famous animal characters, have been printed on thick board pages, and are sure to educate and entertain children of all ages.

4.  Doggies: A Counting and Barking Book by Sandra Boynton

Serious silliness for all ages. Artist Sandra Boynton is back and better than ever with completely redrawn versions of her multi-million selling board books. These whimsical and hilarious books, featuring nontraditional texts and her famous animal characters, have been printed on thick board pages, and are sure to educate and entertain children of all ages.

5.  I am a Train by Ace Landers

Simple train facts in a board book shaped like a train!

I am a train.
I travel on railroad tracks.

All aboard for this fun and sturdy board book shaped like a train. Read along as trains travel from town to town delivering passengers and important cargo to train stations across the country.  Little engineers will love seeing these big machines in action. It’s a book and a toy in one!

What did you receive?

Library Loot is a weekly event co-hosted by Claire from The Captive Reader and Marg from The Adventures of an Intrepid Reader that encourages bloggers to share the books they’ve checked out from the library. If you’d like to participate, just write up your post-feel free to steal the button-and link it using the Mr. Linky any time during the week. And of course check out what other participants are getting from their libraries.

1.  Timmy Time Hide and Seek for Wiggles

2.  Shaun the Sheep: Spring Shena-a-anigans

She has a slight addiction to these sheep adventures, and we’ve been snagging them from the library on a pretty regular basis.  Have you watched these? or Wallace & Gromit?

 

3.  The Real Jane Austen by Paula Byrne because my ARC did not include the photos and images that are talked about in the text, making it harder for me to read the review copy.

In The Real Jane Austen, acclaimed literary biographer Paula Byrne provides the most intimate and revealing portrait yet of a beloved but complex novelist.

Just as letters and tokens in Jane Austen’s novels often signal key turning points in the narrative, Byrne explores the small things – a scrap of paper, a gold chain, an ivory miniature – that held significance in Austen’s personal and creative life.

Byrne transports us to different worlds, from the East Indies to revolutionary Paris, and to different events, from a high society scandal to a case of petty shoplifting. In this ground-breaking biography,  Austen is set on a wider stage than ever before, revealing a well-traveled and politically aware writer – important aspects of her artistic development that have long been overlooked.

4.  Queen of America by Luis Alberto Urrea

After the bloody Tomochic rebellion, Teresita Urrea, beloved healer and “Saint of Cabora,” flees with her father to Arizona. But their plans are derailed when she once again is claimed as the spiritual leader of the Mexican Revolution. Besieged by pilgrims and pursued by assassins, Teresita embarks on a journey through turn-of-the-century industrial America-New York, San Francisco, St. Louis. She meets immigrants and tycoons, European royalty and Cuban poets, all waking to the new American century. And as she decides what her own role in this modern future will be, she must ask herself: can a saint fall in love?

Have you visited your library?

D.C. Literature Examiner Goodies

I know we’ve all be busy with the holidays and reading our new books.

I’ve been busily interview poets and authors on D.C. Literature Examiner again.  You knew I couldn’t resist.

Please check out my latest interview with Poet and Musician John Amen!  We talk about his writing habits, his thoughts on how music and poetry are similar, and what poets he recommends.  Check out the interview here and here.

One of his books, More of Me Disappears, made my 2009 top poetry books list.

I’ve also had the pleasure of talking about John Shors’, author of Dragon House, charity efforts in providing books to street children in Vietnam.  If you’d like to see how well his project has gone or how his book sales are connected to the charity, please go here.

Finally, I had the pleasure of interviewing Into the Beautiful North author Luis Alberto Urrea.  We discuss how movies influenced him, particularly with this novel, his writing, his playlists, and more.  Don’t forget his recommended reading.  Check out the interview here and here.

Urrea’s book made my best of audiobooks for 2009!

I hope you’ll be checking these interviews out in your down time.

Into the Beautiful North by Luis Alberto Urrea (Audio)

Into the Beautiful North by Luis Alberto Urrea on audio was a delight, especially with the voice and passion of Susan Ericksen.  Nayeli is a young girl working in a taco shop in Tres Camarones, who continues to idolize her father that left her and her mother many years ago.

Her home is under attack from bandits and drug dealers, but many residents have been abandoned by other men seeking the opportunities found in America.  While watching The Magnificent Seven with Yul Brynner, Nayeli and her friends — Tacho, Yolo, and Vampi — decide they are going to make a trek to America to bring back the seven they need to save their town.

The audio brings to life the accents, the culture, the beauty of each scene and the playful sparring between these characters and their new surroundings.  Ericksen’s passion for these characters and this story is clear, illuminating the innocence of Nayeli and her friends and the hardships they face.

From the colorful personalities of Nayeli’s gay boss, Tacho, to her vampire/Goth girlfriend Vampi and perky and whiny Yolo to the matriarch of the village Nayeli’s Aunt Irma, Urrea paints a mosaic of Mexico and the struggles of illegal immigrants and those seeking a better life.  Readers will by far enjoy the quirky Atomico a warrior from the dump outside Tijuana the most as he seeks to defend the four from the ills of the world.

My husband and I were riveted when the audio rolled us to work every morning.  Atomico was my husband’s favorite character because he was like a comic book character; “I AM ATOMICO.”  While the border crossings were the most exciting aspects of the novel for my husband, the end of the novel fell flat; he considered it an open ending as if there were more to come — that the journey had not ended.  Urrea’s writing is passionate and tangible, capturing the reader instantly and weaving a tale that envelops them completely.

Into the Beautiful North is one of the best novels I’ve read in 2009, but I plan to read this in hard copy as well.  As an aside, Anna of Diary of an Eccentric and I were able to meet Luis Alberto Urrea and Susan Eriksen at Book Expo America in May, thanks to the kind dragging of Kathy of Bermudaonion, Julie of Booking Mama, Amy from My Friend Amy, Miriam of Hachette Book Group.  Thanks gals!