Nothing says summer like baseball. The crack of the bat, the smell of hot dogs, the roar of the crowd, and the turn of the page. That’s right, the turn of the page. Books about baseball are almost as fun as the game itself. After all, you can’t spend the whole day on the pitcher’s mound. So here’s a book or two to get you through those summer hours when you’re not rooting for the home team. continue reading >>
Lately I’ve been working my way through that list of “Best Novels of the Last 20 Years” that I mentioned a couple of months ago. I finished A Visit From the Goon Squad last week, and I’ve been trying to decide what I think. I understand why the good folks at the Independent Bath Literature Festival chose this book as the best of 2011—after all, it won the National Book Critics Circle Award and a Pulitzer, so it’s obviously got merit. (Kudos to Jennifer Egan on those big coups.) I was and continue to be blown away by the structure of this novel. It shouldn’t have worked—readers should have found it to be confusing, with too many characters to keep track of and too much jumping between times and places without enough hints to let you know where you are at any given moment. And yet somehow Egan pulled it off brilliantly. As someone who appreciates moments of genius in plot structure, I have a lingering desire to say to her, “That was inspired!” continue reading >>
Congratulations to the Oregon men and women’s track and field teams! They triumphed at the Pac-12 championships and are headed to the NCAA West Preliminary Round. We will be rooting for them as they run their way to even greater track and field glory.
Oregon has a long and proud track and field history. The modern culture of running found its home at the University of Oregon with Bill Bowerman, Steve Prefontaine, and Nike. Whether you are an avid runner, a fan of the Ducks, or just want to learn more about the history of running in Oregon, check out one of these great reads: continue reading >>
Have you even noticed that you go on a spree of reading the same type of book? Maybe it’s all murder mysteries set in the Renaissance, maybe you read a string of romances about bird watchers in the Pacific Northwest, maybe you’re drawn to home canning guides from the 1970s. Certain books call out to us at certain times in our lives, and we get into a reading pattern.
This month, Andy was drawn to tales of ordinary people whose everyday lives are transformed into the extraordinary by the skills of talented authors. Nathan was drawn to books about dogs, which means you’ll want to break out the tissue box. Never was there a book about dogs that did not leave the reader in tears. Perhaps among May’s staff favorites, you will find a book that will spark your next reading spree. continue reading >>
There is such controversy about Young Adult novels. A real genre war over them. There are those who say YA novels should only be read by actual young adults. Anyone who doesn’t have the word “teen” in their age is not allowed to read them. If they do dare read them, they are to be shamed.
We disagree. We think YA is for anyone who wants to read it. Young Adult novels have depth, meaning, and provide just as much literary inspiration as their Adult counterparts. There is such a delicious crop of magical young adult novels that have come out recently…and a few more treats are coming our way in May and June! So whether you are a teen, a teen at heart, or contededly middle aged, snap one of these up. They are engrossing, fun, literary, and just what anyone would be proud to read! continue reading >>
Alas, for us adults, the best time to learn a new language is in childhood. Kids’ brains are little sponges, soaking up every new tidbit of information that comes their way. In fact, 90% of brain growth occurs by the age of five. Kids who are read to at least three times a week are twice as likely to score in the top percentiles on reading tests when they enter elementary school. Consider capitalizing on the importance of reading and the sponginess of those young brains by spending part of your story times reading a book in another language.
Whether you and your child are already multilingual or if you are looking to learn a new language, there is no better way to practice than by reading together. These classic books are tried and true favorites of many children. The familiar pictures and plotlines of books by beloved authors such as Eric Carle, Maurice Sendak and Mo Willems will help reinforce foreign language knowledge while delighting both of you. continue reading >>
Sunday, May 10th is Mother’s Day. Let’s repeat that: Sunday, May 10th is Mother’s Day. Write that down. Tell Siri to remind you. You don’t want to forget because Mother’s Day is a wonderful holiday! A whole day set aside to honor the women who fill your life with joy. Mother’s Day isn’t just about honoring mothers. It’s about the mothers, aunts, grandmothers, sisters, wives, and friends whose generosity, kindness, laughter, and strength inspire us every day of the year.
The founder of Mother’s Day never intended it to be a gift-giving holiday; she thought a heartfelt letter of gratitude and love would be the best way to honor mothers. However, if you would like to give one of the loving ladies in your life a gift, perhaps you could inscribe that heartfelt letter on the flyleaf of a book. continue reading >>
It’s almost May, which means it’s almost summer, which means it’s almost the most fun time of the year to read. We aren’t too strict about the definition of a beach read around here. We’d even accept Nietzsche as a beach read just so long as you like to read him outside with a cool drink in your hand.
These May new releases will meet all of your warm weather/cool drink book requirements. There’s a lot of magic in May, dark fairy tales to sweep you into mysterious worlds far away. If that’s not your literary cup of tea, there’s also suspense, futuristic dystopian scifi, cowboy mysteries, motorcycle love stories, celebrity tell-alls, and even a cupcake lifestyle guide! So dive into one of these early summer reads that are so good, you might be tempted to play hooky to finish them. We promise not to tell. continue reading >>