Inspiration From The Distant Past

Inspiration From The Distant Past
Found note in an old book... warms the cockles of my bookish heart...

Monday, May 30, 2011

Bargain Book Bonanza (13): Scholastic Book Fair Edition

 Welcome to Bargain Book Bonanza!

A book haul linky party for bargain loving bookworms!

BBB is the place to showcase all the great books (new, used, vintage, electronic, audio) that you have scored on sale.

Each Monday through Thursday, all book lovers are invited to carouse, make merry and revel with bargain book abandon!

Want to join the party? Just visit the Bargain Book Bonanza page for the particulars.

Lesa is hosting this week!

Hi, friends! Remember the colorful Scholastic Book Fair truck from two months awhile back? 

Have you been waiting with bated breath to see what I bought? 

Well, don't pass out! Breathe, book peeps, breathe! 

  You may not have noticed this but I frequently fall into serendipitous BBB  adventures that demand immediate feature status.  Oh, you did notice.  Well, not to worry-- all bargain books will get a turn in the spotlight.     

 The Scholastic Book Fair always offers an interesting selection but this time I  settled on only four bargain books...

May Bird and The Ever After by Jodi Lynn Anderson
May Bird Among The Stars by Jodi Lynn Anderson
(A girl who is different discovers a land of ghosts, ghouls and creepy things.  Can she find a  way out?)

The Anybodies by N.E. Bode   
(Fern is happy to learn that she was swapped at birth and isn't really a boring Drudger. What happens when she spends the summer with her birth father?   The synopsis promises suspense, intrigue, mystery, fairies and magic so I overlooked the ripped cover-- besides it was only fifty cents.)

Katie Loves the Kittens by John Himmelman
(Such a cute picture book and the illustrations are so funny. Look for this one in a future Storytime post.)

Have you read any of these?

If you have a bargain book, please share. We love to brag on bargains!


The next two aren't bargains but that is okay since buying books helps the school get free library books from Scholastic.

My little boy, Talon, always gets to buy his own book from the book fair. This time he chose an easy reader picture book, Hotwheels Volcano Blast. Considering how many times we've read it at bedtime, I'd say he is very pleased with his purchase.  

In secret, I chose Spongebob Comic Crazy for Talon's Easter basket. It has eleven funny stories and is a big hit. (And it is so much better than our hand me down Lightning McQueen comic book that has stories to nowhere)

Don't forget to check out your local school's fall and spring Scholastic Book Fairs-- especially if you prefer giving books as gifts. And there are bookmarks, pens, erasers, posters, gadgets, games and adult books too... 

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Friday, May 27, 2011

Mrs. Baja's Gift Shop: Pride & Prejudice Inspired Gifts

Wedding season begins soon. And what does that mean? Eternal love? Beautiful memories? A happy couple? 


It means it is bridal shower time...and THAT, my friends, means GIFTS!  The more thoughtful, the better.

And if your friend just so happens to be an ardent admirer of Jane Austen's Pride & Prejudice, then perhaps we shall come up with something quite agreeable.

Whether the bride-to-be fancies herself the beautiful and demure Jane, or playful Lizzie, with her sharp tongue and fine eyes, you can easily put together a gift that will quite suit her fancy! (If she thinks she is one of the other sisters...hmm. Then skip this and get her a make over.)

A trademark of Jane and Lizzie's relationship are their letters. What P & P devotee wouldn't love some lovely stationery?

So cheerful, don't you think?

And when writing about their chance encounters with Mr. Bingley or Mr. Darcy, dearest Jane and Lizzy likely drank a cup of tea. And so should the bride as she writes her thank you notes.

Chamomile, to calm the nerves....lavender is always good too.

Perhaps a few biscuits with her tea, if she is famished.

And what blushing bride doesn't need a P&P inspired nightgown? I am quite sure the Bennett sisters would find this acceptable.

Doesn't that look soooo comfy?

 The sun can be such an enemy to genteel ladies. They might freckle! That will never do! A sunblock that protects the skin, regardless of their shade, is a must! Especially when touring castles and mansions!

Take care of that gorgeous face!

Now, the honeymoon will be over soon enough. And what will fill her days (after work, cleaning the house, and paying bills)? Your dearest friend will need a book, of course! Because after all, there is no enjoyment like reading!

And not just any book! Only the complete works of Jane Austen will do!

The fairer sex may need help holding this book!

Jane and Lizzie carried their dried flowers in baskets. But what a lovely way to present your gift, don't you think?

A lovely gift in itself.
Upon my word, I do think these ideas must be acceptable to you, especially when tempered with a thorough reading of Pride and Prejudice, which these suggestions will inevitably interest.

With that I leave you, dear ones. Please enjoy the gift-giving and those warm summer weddings.  And don't forget your gloves!

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Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Storytime Challenge: Meet the Dinosaurs by Dino Don Lessem

First, let me apologize at the very BOYISH ongoing theme. Although I do have a little girl, she is only two, and her tastes are formed very much by her boisterous older brothers! They are interested in dinosaurs and Legos and...well...things that smell...

I am amazed at the interest given to dinosaurs and the memory they have for dino-details. Use soap when you wash your hands, not oft remembered, but use the word "pterodactyl" and listen to a ten minute lecture on why that's not really the right word.

My dad got several in the series of dinosaurs by Don Lessem for my kiddos. He got these books for my older son, but they are being read to my younger son too. Every night. Each and every night. Sigh.

They are pretty interesting, actually. Enough fighting, poop commentary, and pictures to keep kids (boys) interested, and enough interesting facts to keep me from banging my head against the wall the 20th time I read it.

Of course, with dinosaurs, so much is theory and even since these were printed more discoveries have come to light that slightly outdates these books. The books do explain some of the past theories that were incorrect. I use that as a springboard to discuss experimenting, theories, research, etc. 

I read this to my 6 year old, but my 10 year old still likes to listen and look at the pictures occasionally. In the front of the book it lists the dinosaurs in the book, how to pronounce the name, its size, and time and location. At the back of the book is a glossary of unfamiliar words. Most of the names have their origins or meanings explained in the book.

This is not a story book, but the author does put the dinosaurs in likely situations and describes what may have happened and what they may have looked like. 

This is also not an early reader. Young children will definitely need to be read to or helped with the vocabulary. BUT if you want to motivate young paleontologists to read on their own, this is a good series to dangle in front of them.

I would say it is good for ages seven to nine to read on their own, five or six being read to. Much younger and it may be too difficult to understand, much older and it may a bit boring for more than an occasional read.

All in all, a nice series. Informative and entertaining. 

Please click to vote for Mrs. BG at the free-ranked blog directory Picket Fence Blogs!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Bargain Book Bonanza (12): Surprise at the Mall Edition

 Welcome to Bargain Book Bonanza!

A book haul linky party for bargain loving bookworms!

BBB is the place to showcase all the great books (new, used, vintage, electronic, audio) that you have scored on sale.

Each Monday through Thursday, all book lovers are invited to carouse, make merry and revel with bargain book abandon!

Want to join the party? Just visit the Bargain Book Bonanza page for the particulars.

Lesa is hosting this week!

Last summer, I was saddened to see gaping holes where the Waldenbooks used to be in all the malls around here.

  And last October, the costume store set up shop in the empty space at one mall. Too sad seeing the bookstore signs still up on the wall but no books...  

Malls aren't really my thing anymore but yesterday I just happened to be strolling through the Arrowhead Mall in Muskogee seeking in vain for a particular pair of sandals (and missing the bookstore) when I spotted a most wondrous sight!!! 
Thousands of books! And all thoughts of footwear fled my mind...

Could the mall be getting a new bookstore? A Half-Price Books perhaps?  Aw, no such luck but something just as good albeit of short duration. Can you guess?
A library book sale!! In the mall! Isn't that funny-- and so wonderfully serendipitous. Thanks, Serendipity Fairy!

The prices:
Hardbacks $1
Paperbacks .25

And another Bargain Book Bonanza was born...

Here is what I scored:

From the children's section:

Katie John by Mary Calhoun

Hound-Dog Man by Fred Gipson (author of Old Yeller and I sure hope no hounds bite the dust!)

Caddie Woodlawn by Carol Ryrie Brink

Yes, another Caddie but this one is a hardback and it has illustrations! And owning multiple copies of the same book is perfectly okay, isn't it Jillian. ;o)

From the adult section:

Kingsblood Royal by Sinclair Lewis (there is a reason I want to read Sinclair and I hope to post about that sometime)

Showboat by Edna Ferber (Yep, the novel the musical was adapted from. Love the dustjacket cover and the price tag reads: $2.95. Don't you wish new hardbacks still sold at such low prices? The back cover promotes a completely different  author... funny.)

The Collected Stories of Katherine Anne Porter

Pigeon Feathers and Other Stories by John Updike

Never read works by either of these authors but I do like to dabble...

Have you read any by these two?

Oooo, sci-fi!

Gibbon's Decline and Fall by Sheri S. Tepper
Shadow's End by Sheri S. Tepper
 I've been wanting to read more of Sheri S. Tepper's clever and thought provoking books.

Starfarers by Poul Anderson

Metamorphosis by David Saperstein (a sequel to Cocoon!)

And the grand finale....

One of the best science thrillers of all time!! Jillian's recent enthusiastic Jurassic Park post made me all nostalgic so of course I nabbed this paperback.

Twelve books for-- $11.25? Nope, halfway through my perusing a librarian announced all books were half off!  Yippee! My haul ended up only costing $5 since the librarian rounded down in my favor.

Love those librarians and love library book sales!

 If you have a bargain book, please share. We love to brag on bargains!


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Monday, May 16, 2011

Bargain Book Bonanza (11): Jane Austen Edition

 Welcome to Bargain Book Bonanza!

A book haul linky party for bargain loving bookworms!

BBB is the place to showcase all the great books (new, used, vintage, electronic, audio) that you have scored on sale.

Each Monday through Thursday, all book lovers are invited to carouse, make merry and revel with bargain book abandon!

Want to join the party? Just visit the Bargain Book Bonanza page for the particulars.

Lesa is hosting this week!

Oh, brave bargain book lovers, don't wince! 

After last week's marathon BBB, I wouldn't blame you for being gun-shy but I promise to be brief... brevity is the soul of wit, after all.  Ha! If that is true,  I must appear a real lackwit on a regular basis! 

So a promise is a promise, this BBB consists solely of one single solitary book. Yep, one. But there is a catch...  

This book is a three-fer! Three Jane Austen novels in one volume! Just can't quit my cheating ways, eh Leslie? 

So where did I find this hefty little jewel?

At an actual antique store with antique store prices. 

We are such hooligans in antique stores that I always try to purchase at least a small something--- thank goodness, I spotted this inexpensive book!  

Typically, I would never pay $4.50 for a used book at my usual thrifty haunts but this one appears unread and divvied up between three novels--not bad.

The selection of novels is ideal! I owned none of these and I've never read Northanger Abbey (saw the 2007 film).

Don't you just love the cameo on the cover?

 And this book is delightfully illustrated-- you know how I love picture books!

Both of these illustrations come from Sense and Sensibility.

Look at that lush garden-- This gardener has no business lamenting!
I am so pleased to find this book. Now I only have to hunt for Mansfield Park.

Do you own all the Jane Austen novels?

Thanks for reading!

If you have a bargain book, please share. We love to brag on bargains!

If you enjoyed your visit, please click to vote for Mrs. BG.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Independent Bookstores: Copperfield Books

(Repost of a missing post as yet unrestored by Blogger)

When people go to drink wine in California, most of the time they think of Napa County, an area just north northeast of San Francisco, but given a choice, I'm going to go where most people aren't, in this case, that place is Sonoma County, which lies due north of San Francisco, one imaginary line away from it's "sexier" neighbor.  

I love Napa County, and Sonoma County isn't exactly deserted but when I see limousines pull into a grape farm, I get the distinct feeling the experience is more Hollywood than Healdsburg, and I'll take Healdsburg over Hollywood anyday.
Hollywood and Vine:::::::Matheson and West
 Healdsburg is Andy and Aunt Bee's Mayberry with good restaurants, cute shoes and a Copperfield Book Store, one of the reasons I fell in love with this small Sonoma county town.  

The lovely thing about opening your own chain of book stores as Barney Brown and Paul Jaffe have done, is that you can make each one an experience unique to its surroundings, not that there's anything wrong with comforting homogeneity, but when you have to leave a bookstore to go see what town you're in, maybe a little shakeup is in order.

 Bovolo is one such shakeup.

There are any number of bookstores where you can get Corporate Coffee at five bucks a pop, but how many book stores will sell you a salted caramel affogato at 9am.  

The unbelievably good restaurant attached to the bookstore, Bovolo will do so.  They also offer things like hot apple fritters served with a maple crème fraiche dipping sauce, but I was shocked to find there are limits to how much sugar I can eat before noon.
Healdsburg is also in an area that smart rich authors flock to for its physical beauty and for the short hour drive from San Francisco so you're likely to get a signed book like the one my husband picked up, though in the case of his book, I doubt the physicists who signed his copy of ? are rich.  

They may be famous, just not to me.  

Have I mentioned my husband is an extreme geek? 

 In fact, I'd give you the title of the book, but he's not here right now and neither is the book.  He carries it with him in his briefcase.  I'm not sure why. It's not very helpful in his job but maybe the laugh factor is.  

There's a chapter on why the government insists your wine be radioactive or you can't buy it.  Turns out radioactivity is the only way the government knows how to tell your wine was made from grapes instead of crude oil, which suggest government employees should drink more wine.  

I think the DMV experience would be vastly improved should they decide to take up my suggestion.  I know mine would if I was drinking.

By the time I write my own bargain book adventure for Bargain Book Bonanza, I'll try to get it away from him long enough to share it with you, but until then, if you're wandering around north of San Francisco, stop in at one of the Copperfield Book stores and hug someone.

If you stop in at the one in Healdsburg, have an affogato while you're there.

The nice smart people who make it for you will even explain to you what you're drinking, unless it was just my clueless facial expression which led to this largess.

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Monday, May 9, 2011

Guilt, guilt, guilt

We are changing banks. I won't go into all the details, but basically, my current bank is a jerk. If you want me to rant to you, please feel free to email me. My family is sick of hearing about it. I can also do a really good imitation of how stupid my bank sounds, if you want to call me.

Anyway. I am changing banks. And we get to choose our debit card design. So, what does this have to do with books? Bear with me. I'll get there.

So, as I was deciding between the tropical paradise scene and the bright sunflower, the gentleman helping me mentions that the ones on the back of the info card contribute to charity. Huh. Well, I am sure I will pay for it, so I tune him out.

I chose the sunflower.

But then I heard, "...and so it's totally free to you. This bank pays it to the charity of your choice."

Yep, that is a pretty sunflower. But then guilt set in. Totally free to me? Who wouldn't do that?

I looked over the charities. I'd need to read over them. Make a good choice. But I was hungry and it was almost time to pick up my kids. Plus, he was waiting for me. Yeah. I'll stick to the sunflower.

"I'm not a bad person! I give to charity. But...I'd need to check all these out. I am not a bad person. Really." He just smiled. I almost teared up.

Then, "Uh. Can I change my design?" Of course I could. "I feel so guilty. I should choose one."

I flipped the card info over. Uh...Now which one? They were all so noble: Curing cancer for children, March of Dimes, juvenile diabetes. Ugh. What a choice.

Hey! Reading is Fundamental. That's it. Yes. That one. If I couldn't choose between those three, I'll choose one I can relate to. (To which I can relate? That to which I can relate? I need to go get my handbook of Well English.)

"Ok, the reading one. But I still feel so guilty." I mean, if my little one had one of these diseases, I'd prefer a cure to books. But then, maybe if some underprivileged family got some books, maybe their child would grow up to be some brilliant scientist that discovered a cure. Because of books. Right?

My banker smiled. (I am beginning to think he thinks I am an idiot!) "That's the one I chose," he tells me.
Ah. Much better. I felt much better. Unless...
Well, when my dear hubby opens his business account, I will make him choose one of the other ones. Maybe I will just open accounts to assuage my guilt....

I had never heard of this organization before. It sounds fantastic. Taken from their website:  

RIF is putting books in the hands of readers, nurturing youngsters hungry for knowledge and passionate about learning. RIF is everywhere you are—thanks to countless volunteers in schools, libraries, childcare centers, Head Start programs, parks, community centers, health clinics, migrant camps, and domestic shelters.

In fact, RIF’s passion for literacy creates a unique method of distribution: Dozens of books are displayed, allowing children to explore their interests and make their own choices. The books are free but the moments are priceless, as excited readers show off their selections, pose for pictures, and ask in wide-eyed amazement: “I really don’t have to bring this book back to the library?”

RIF makes a difference:

  • A nation of readers become productive people who help create strong communities.
  • Reading ignites the imagination and inspires learningbasic tools for success in school.
  • Reading improves child development, leading to better grades and higher graduation rates.
Wherever, whenever, however you look at it—Reading Is Fundamental and always makes a difference. 

Wow. Impressive.

Bargain Book Bonanza (10): School Library Discard Edition!

 Welcome to Bargain Book Bonanza!

A book haul linky party for bargain loving bookworms!

BBB is the place to showcase all the great books (new, used, vintage, electronic, audio) that you have scored on sale.

Each Monday through Thursday, all book lovers are invited to carouse, make merry and revel with bargain book abandon!

Want to join the party? Just visit the Bargain Book Bonanza page for the particulars.

Lesa is hosting this week!

 Squee! Hold on to your hats, bargain lovin' friends, because you will not believe the bountiful bonanza of books that fell into my life last Tuesday!

For free!!

 Yep, free thanks to the lovely generous school librarian, Mrs. K, who said:  Lesa, take any books you want from the discard boxes.  

Ka-ching! Is that like winning a bookworm jackpot or what?!  

That is my box on the left before it was filled plumb full
     I went through the discards with a fine toothed comb, overfilling an entire box with 36 books. And I'm not a bit embarrassed at my bookhoggishness. Nope, I'm a member of the bookhog tribe and proud of it! 

Mrs. K was thrilled for so many books to go to a good home. Like any booklover, it distresses her to dispose of books or to imagine donated books remaining unadopted or trashed.  

So thanks to me, there are now less books for Mrs. K to worry with so I'm not just a bookhog-- I'm a bookish good deed doer!  

But please, no accolades. I'm sure all y'all bookhogs bookworms would've done a good turn for Mrs. K too. 

So what did I choose?
Seven darling vintage picture books. Or would that be retro? No matter, they will be well-loved at my house. And they are all hardbacks in perfect albeit dingy condition with sewn bindings-- Wow! 

The Elephant's Child by Rudard Kipling 1969
The Apple Strudel Soldier by Tom McGowen 1968
Little Pest Pico by Ellis Credle 1969
The Elegant Pelican by Mildred Whatley Wright 1968
The Twin Witches of Fingle Fu by Iri Phillips 1969
The Princess Book stories by multiple authors 1974
The Knight of the Golden Plain by Mollie Hunter 1983

Seven hardback young adult (maybe middle grade?) fiction and memoirs mainly all initially published in the early 1970s-- these are late 70s editions.  A bit scarred on the outside but fine on the inside.

My Sister Mike by Amelia Elizabeth Walden 1979 (first published in 1956)

I Am The Cheese by Robert Cormier 1979

The Meat In The Sandwich by Alice Bach 1979

Bless the Beasts and Children by Gideon Swarthout 1970 

Summer of My German Soldier by Bette Green 1979

Dove by Robin Lee Graham 1978

A Walk Across America by Peter Jenkins 1979
Six middle grade/children's hardback books with sewn bindings and in superduper condition.

Maggie's Caravan by Henry R. Fea 1965

The Covered Bridge by Cornelia Meigs 1964 (first published in 1936)

The Mystery of Secret Town by Virginia Nielson 1969

Gone-Away Lake by Elizabeth Enright 1957

White Witch of Kynance by Mary Calhoun 1970

Carnival in Paris by Natalie Carlson 1962

Three children's or middle grade hardback books featuring animals. Again, sewn bindings and excellent condition-- except for a torn dustcover.

My Lives and How I Lost Them by Christopher Cat in collaboration with Countee Cullen 1970 (first published 1942)

Rutgers and the Water-Snouts by Barbara Dana 1969

The New Boy by Doreen Tovey 1970 (non-fiction)

Miscellaneous children's books. Two hardbacks  in excellent condition with sewn bindings. One raggedy modern paperback

Sprockets: A Little Robot by Alexander Key 1969 chapter book and too cute!

Dirk Lives in Holland text by Astrid Lindgren-- reprint 1967  nonfiction picture/photo book

Spongebob  picture book 2004

Miscellaneous middle grade and young adult:

The Taylor Street Irregulars by Bill Knotts 1970 (mystery) hardback

Angry Waters by Walt Morey 1969 hardback

The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane 1987 paperback edition

Witch House by Evangeline Walton 1979 paperback edition (first published in 1945)

Three hardback nonfiction books:

An Illustrated Outline History of Mankind 1959 edition; two book set

The Boys Life of Abraham Lincoln by Helen Nicolay 1906-- this one featured in a Tuesday Treasure post-- and now it is mine, all mine!!!

Pardon me while I swoon in paroxysms of bookish delight!

Ok, onward with this trek traipse though bookhog heaven... we are nearing the end, I promise.

And now for the piece de resistance: Newbery's!!  Woohoo! Remember my goal to read all the Newbery winner and honor books

Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH by Robert C. O'Brien  (1972 Newbery winner) 1971 hardback (Was that a huzzah! from Shredded Cheddar?)

Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O'Dell (1962 Newberry winner) 1978 paperback edition- cover is falling off but I don't care.

Blue Willow by Doris Gates (1942 Newbery Honor) 1976 hardback

Wow! I'm freakin' and buzzin' all over again just going through my big box o'books! 

All new to me books too that I can't wait to read  over the summer!

Well, except for The Red Badge of Courage:  I read that in high school. Not a fave but it deserves a reread with my more mature mind...  someday...  and no snickers from the cheap seats!

Have you read or heard of any of these books?

Please join in the fun!

Don't be intimidated by this awesome, out of this world, bodacious Bargain Book Bonanza! 

 Link up your bargain haul...  large or small...  We love them all!

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