Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Kind of Kin by Rilla Askew

The Eastern Oklahoma District Library System is hosting an annual event called "Read On Eastern Oklahoma" to encourage and celebrate reading for fun and education.  The book chosen for this year's read is Kind of Kin by Rilla Askew, an Oklahoma author writing about people in Oklahoma.  You know this is one of my favorite kinds of books!

There will be a photo contest themed What I Love About My Community and patrons are invited to submit recipes for  a cookbook titled Kin Cookin'.  Each library has posted a map for patrons to mark where their own kin lives or originates from.  The deadline for the photo contest and recipes is April 1 so if you live in Eastern Oklahoma, I suggest you hurry down to your local library and get involved today!

Whew!  Now that I got all that awesome information out there for you, let's talk about the book!  Our adult book club got some of the first copies so that we could read it and get our friends excited about it, too.  So, friends, I must tell you that I really enjoyed reading this book!  I wasn't sure at first, but then I'm always a little skeptical of book club books for some reason.  Maybe because I didn't enjoy our very first book?  I'm not sure, I've liked everything since then, I should stop being so skeptical.

Inspired by new laws in Oklahoma and Alabama, Kind of Kin is about an Oklahoma family that is impacted very strongly and unexpectedly by immigration and the changing laws that surround it.  Bob Brown is a God-fearing Christian man who is raising his late daughter's son Dustin.  One night he gets a call from a preacher friend asking if a trailer load of illegal Mexican immigrants can stay in his barn just long enough to get the broke-down trailer back on the road.  Since Jesus instructs His people to take care of each other and help those in need, Bob agrees.  When Bob Brown is busted and goes to jail, his other daughter, Sweet, ends up with Dustin and the real trouble starts!

As this story unfolds, Askew reveals the point of view of self-serving lawmakers, a community of people who think they are doing the right thing, and families that are torn apart by this very real issue.  The story is both heart-breaking and hopeful while showing how big political issues effect everyday people in earth-shaking ways.

My final thoughts:  Read it!  It may open your eyes to something new.  It may impact your opinions on major issues in our country.  It may just entertain you for a while.  No matter, I say read it!

Friday, February 19, 2016

BBAW Day 5: Avoiding Burnout

The theme of today's BBAW post is how to avoid burnout in blogging.  Ha!  I'd like to know how to avoid burnout in life in general so I'm looking forward to seeing some tips and tricks from my fellow book bloggers.  Between a busy week at the office and 5 whole posts this week, I'm already on overload!  Hopefully I'll get some reviews done this weekend so you guys know what I've been reading.  I have a few things in the works in my personal life, too, but I've been to busy doing stuff and haven't had time to blog about it.  I guess this is a good problem to have!

In other news, my hair looks fantastic today!
And I have the coolest pirate giraffe riding a shark phone case!

How do you keep from being burned out of life?

Do you follow me on GoodReads?  You should!  I'd love to see what books we have in common.  We could be soul mates.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

BBAW Day 4: Staying Connected

Welcome back!  Are you enjoying BBAW?  I know I am!  Today is:

Day 4 Tell us about your favorite ways to stay connected to the community!

In 2015 I finally got connected on Instagram.  I was a skeptic, but Leah loved it, so I gave it a try.  I love it more than Facebook!  I don't have to read all the junk!  I can just see the cool pictures and follow cool people without feeling like I HAVE to follow every family member and classmate from elementary school.  I have connected to fellow bloggers on Instagram, when I don't have time to read every post, I feel like I'm still connected when I see all the fun pictures.

I must admit that I don't always comment on blog posts even when I want to comment.  I follow so many great blogs that I just don't have the time!  I will try harder to do this in the future.  I always make time to read all of your comments, though!  Tell me about fun people you follow on Instagram!

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

BBAW Day 3

Day 3 What have you read and loved because of a fellow blogger?

I read Leaving Time by Jodi Picoult because Mom practically forced me too, but it turned out to be a really good story!  It took a little bit of a Sixth Sense turn that I wasn't expecting and the ending blew my mind.  I'm so glad that I read it.  I'm not forcing everyone I see to read it like she did, but I would suggest it to all of you!

While she doesn't blog as much as I would like, I'm glad to see her branching out and trying the blog.  Send her some encouragement.  She always has great suggestions for me and for all the patrons at the library.

What new blogger have you discovered thanks to BBAW?

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

BBAW Day 2: Interview Day!

Okay, I totally dropped the ball on this one.  For BBAW we were supposed to interview a fellow book blogger.  I didn't sign up to be put in the mix with other book bloggers because my interview skills are lacking.  I thought I may interview Lori or my runner/blogger friend, but then I actually forgot about doing this for a while.  I'm much better at talking about myself and to myself.  I'd welcome all of your questions though!  Ask me anything!  I'll answer to the best of my ability or make something up!  Go!

Monday, February 15, 2016

BBAW Day 1: Introduction

Welcome!  I stumbled on a group of bloggers who celebrate Book Bloggers Appreciation Week and guess what, it starts today!  I jumped right on that bandwagon!  I LOVE to talk about books!

Be sure to check out other bloggers who love books.  Who knows, maybe we'll all add some new friends to our blog rolls!

Day 1 Introduce yourself by telling us about five books that represent you as a person or your interests/lifestyle.

(1)  Interview with a Vampire by Anne Rice was the book started my obsession with reading as an adult.  I was about 13 or 14 and I skipped YA altogether and went from Goosebumps and Babysitters Club to Adult novels.  Through my teen years and early 20s I read most of Rice's vampire series and all of the Mayfair witches.

Only in my thirties did I learn that YA is actually an impressive genre and suddenly I wasn't too old to read those books.  Last year I found (2) Laini Taylor's Daughter of Smoke & Bone series and it  became one of my most favorite series ever.  I recommended this series to all readers.

Confession time:  I'm a total zombiephile.  I look forward to Walking Dead each week, Zombieland is my favorite movie and I have an ebook of Max Brooks' Zombie Survival Guide on my phone and Kindle, just in case.  After watching the movie, I had to check out (3)  Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion.  While it's very different from the movie (as they almost always are), I loved the book and movie equally. I loved the prequel, The New Hunger, just as much and I'm very excited about the new installment coming later this year.  I'm hoping I can score an advanced copy somewhere, if you see one, snatch it up for me.  I don't keep many books because it's rare that I will reread them, but I own copies of both these books.

Being an Oklahoma girl and a fan of vampires, I naturally gravitated to PC Cast.  I must confess that I haven't actually read her House of Night series, which is what drew me to her in the first place, but I did read and love (4) Divine by Mistake.  I started the next in the series but got overwhelmed with my TBR pile and it got lost in the shuffle.  I've been told that I will love her Goddess series even more than this series and I hope to have a month or so of just PC Cast later this year.  We'll see how it goes...

A book that I have loved for years is (5) Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll.  I've read this short book at various stages of my life and always see something different than the last time.  If you haven't read it as an adult, I strongly suggest it.  Read it to your kids, read it to your parents, read it to your grandparents.  Everyone read Alice!

Be sure to come back later this week and check out what's going on in BBAW and check out all the other wonderful book bloggers who are celebrating this week.  I would love to read your comments!  Let me know what's on your mind!

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Until We Meet Again by Michael Korenblit

Remember that I signed up for the book club at the local library so that I could broaden my reading horizons, right?  Sometimes I have to remind myself of this.  Almost all the books we have read so far have been books I never would have read if left to my own devices and January is no exception.  This book had three things working against it:

1. Non-fiction
2. World History
3. Sad story

Just like with a few others we have read in book club, I'm so glad that I have read this book!  This is the true story of Manya and Meyer Korenblit's experience during the holocaust.  The book is written by Michael Korenblit, son of the survivors, and co-author Kathleen Janger.

I won't lie, there were times when this book got so sad that I almost walked away, but I knew it was written by the son of the main characters and he wasn't alive yet at that point in the story.  That hope made me press on and finish the book.  The young couple and their families go from successful citizens to people in hiding and worse in such a short time period.  The holocaust was only able to happen because liberties were stripped away a little at a time.  Jews couldn't own a business, could work in certain professions, couldn't own certain properties, etc, until even the Jews weren't sure if they were second rate citizens.  This is how Hitler was able to do such horrific things with little push back from the people he was persecuting.  This is something we need to remember as American citizens, world citizens and members of the human race.  With faith, perseverance, and respect, we can endure anything.  Stand up for what is right or someone else will take everything.

You can check out Michael Korenblit's foundation and mission at RespectDiversity and I highly recommend you check out the tab about his parent's vision.  My mother heard Michael speak at a library conference and was so inspired she purchased his book and has recommended it to everyone she talks to ever since.  I hope to catch Mr. Korenblit speaking somewhere soon myself.

Get this book.  Check out the website. Seriously.  I hate to use the term  'life-changing' but it will definitely make you think a little deeper about the world.

What books have you read that opened your eyes about the world we live in? 

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Books Pile Up Fast

Remember the pile of books on the nightstand that was threatening to crush me in my sleep?  I have great news!  I've read several of those books.  Yet, the pile isn't getting shorter.  I keep adding books!  Physical paper books, ebooks on my Kindle, audiobooks from Overdrive.  The pile is growing!  You other avid readers know my pain here.
I'll review the top book soon. Spoiler:  I loved it.

I'm getting better at prioritizing what I want to read, I just need to learn to read faster.  I did cheat a little and find an audio for one of the books in the pile.  Funny thing is, Princess listened to a little of it with me in the car and now she has the paper book in her TBR pile!  I'm glad she's as nerdy as I am.

Have you read Kind of Kin or Sound of Gravel yet?  What should I expect?