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Showing posts from 2014
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Sweet Reading with TheBookJeanie


If only I could be magically miniaturized and live in this delicious reading room. Gumdrop lamps, a library ladder made of cinnamon sticks, each book a tiny cake - a librarian's fantasy . . .


Man Booker Prize 2014
The Man Booker Prizeis awarded annually to the author of the best original novel written in the English language and published in the U.K.  Previously limited to U.K. authors, this year the short list included novelists from around the English-speaking world including the American writer Karen Joy Fowler.We Are All Completely Beside Ourselveswas reviewed in these pages last November and was described as "an exploration of a family, before and after a devastating loss: a time when decisions were made, rationalizations created, and relationships shattered." Congratulations to Karen Joy Fowler for being the first American writer to be nominated for the most prestigeous British literary prize. This year the finalist for the Man Book Pri…
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Summer Reading with THEBOOKJEANIE 
Always in pursuit of a shady spot to read in the summer, I discovered this little hideaway at the historic Hubbell Trading Post in the northeast corner of Arizona. A perfect place to pull out my book basket and browse through the selections that I picked up earlier in the day at the sale in the desert atrium of the Sedona Public Library.  By the time I completed my solo journey to Colorado, the front seat of my car was filled with novels by Isabel Allende (Island Beneath the Sea) andMarguerite Duras (The Lover), a memoir of Paris by Alex Karmel (A Corner of the Marais), as well as texts and pamphlets on Navajo code talkers, Canyon de Chelly, and the largest meteor crater in the U.S.




New and memorable reading . . .

After turning the last page of Andrea Barrett's book of short stories,ShipFever, I wanted to skip back to the beginning and start again. Short stories are not my favorite genre so this was an surprising reaction to a debut collection that…
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Seek the honey in life . . .
                    with THEBOOKJEANIE

April flew by too fast with all the events of National Poetry Month: attended a Robert Frost poetry discussion, sat in on a poetry reading at the UofA Poetry Center, and most importantly had almost 100 works of haiku by my elementary students accepted for publication in the Young American Poetry Digest.






Two weeks ago 234 girls were abducted from a boarding school in northwest Nigeria on the same day that a deadly attack in the capital Abuja killed 70 people. The next day the government released a statement claiming that all the girls but 8 had been freed. Sadly enough, these numbers were soon proven to be completely false. The BBC News Africa reported on April 28th that 187 girls were still missing after they were forced into a convoy of 11 military vehicles believed to be manned by the radical Islamist group Boko Haram. Despite tightened security by the largely ineffectual government of President Goodluck Jonathan, mili…
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Sunday Reading with  THEBOOKJEANIE
Just relaxing in the garden with a few titles picked up at the Tucson Book Festival. Once again it was an amazing event with the UofA campus filled with over 100,000 book lovers in attendance. Authors as diverse as Sandra Day O'Connor, Andrew Weil, and Scott Turow filled the lecture halls, classrooms, and tents on the vast lawn of the mall, accompanied by music, food, and festivities. Thank you to the UofA and the many local businesses and non-profit groups that sponsor this free event in Tucson each year, giving our community another reason to be proud of the richness of the old pueblo.

Vincent and the Berenstain Bears  Tucson Book Festival - 2014


“Books fall open, you fall in, delighted where you’ve never been;
hear voices not once heard before, reach world on world through door on door; find unexpected keys to things locked up beyond imaginings. What might you be, perhaps become, because one book is somewhere? Some wise delver into wisdom, wit, and where…
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Wishes, Lies, and DreamsREADING WITH THEBOOKJEANIEBorrowing the title of Kenneth Koch's book on teaching poetry to children and pairing it with Aimee Sicuro's delightfully whimsical painting - perhaps this is how a writer feels when setting free a finished book out into the world. As novelist Ann Patchett noted, "Once the book is written, its value is for the reader to decide."


With the passing of noted Southwest mystery writer Tony Hillerman,  I also sadly bid farewell to Leaphorn and Chee, the tribal policemen skilled in solving complex cases that often involved intimate knowledge and understanding of the traditional Navajo ways. I pulled out an old paperback copy of The Blessing Wayin which seasoned veteran, Joe Leaphorn, grudgingly takes on a new young recruit as a partner, Jim Chee. Leaphorn quickly learns that Chee has the right instincts to be a good policeman as well as being firmly rooted in the Navajo traditions. Over the many subsequent novels the two devel…