One More Page Books

2200 N. Westmoreland Street, Arlington, VA 22213 * 703-300-9746 * Mon-Sat: 10 am - 8 pm; Sun: noon - 5 pm

Saturday, January 30, 2010

The Power of Half

At the NAIBA show last fall, I picked up an advance reading copy of The Power of Half by Kevin Salwen and his fourteen year old daughter, Hannah Salwen. I picked it up because I am constantly trying to simplify my life and somehow divest myself of the many things I have. But that's not really what this book is about:

"It all started when 14-year old Hannah Salwen...had a eureka moment when a homeless man in her neighborhood was juxtaposed against a glistening Mercedes coupe. "You know, Dad," she said, pointing, "If that man had a less nice car, that man there could have a meal."

This glaring disparity led the Salwen family of four, caught up like so many other Americans in this age of consumption and waste, to follow Hannah's urge to do something...And so they embarked on an incredible journey together from which there would be no turning back. They decided to sell their Atlanta mansion, downsize to a house half its size, and give half of their profits to a worthy charity...Each week they met over dinner to discuss their plan. It would transport them across the globe and well out of their comfort zone. Along the way they would inspire so many others wrestling with the same questions: Do I give enough? How much is enough? How can I make an impact in the world?"

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Good thing Jessi recommended these books because...

I'm not sure I would have read ones where the main character is called "Armpit."

Thankfully, she is more open and really enjoyed these two books by Louis Sachar: Holes and Small Steps.

Holes, published in 1998 and subsequently made into a hit movie (starring pre-Transformers Shia LeBeouf), has won more awards than I have room for in this posting.  I will mention that among its many honors, it won the prestigious National Book Award and the Newbery Medal.

"Stanley Yelnats was given a choice. The judge said, "You may go to jail, or you may go to Camp Green Lake." Stanley was from a poor family. He had never been to camp before....At Camp Green Lake,the warden makes the boys "build character" by spending all day, every day, digging holes...It doesn't take long for Stanley to realize there's more than character improvement going on at Camp Green Lake. The boys are digging holes because the treacherous warden is searching for something, and before long Stanley begins his own search—for the truth."

It was eight long years until the much anticipated Small Steps was published. A lot of love for this book, not quite at the level of "Holes" but very highly rated.

"Two years after being released from Camp Green Lake, Armpit is home in Austin, Texas, trying to turn his life around. But it’s hard when you have a record, and everyone expects the worst from you. The only person who believes in him is Ginny, his 10-year old disabled neighbor. Together, they are learning to take small steps. And he seems to be on the right path, until X-Ray, a buddy from Camp Green Lake, comes up with a get-rich-quick scheme. This leads to a chance encounter with teen pop sensation, Kaira DeLeon, and suddenly his life spins out of control, with only one thing for certain. He’ll never be the same again."

Monday, January 18, 2010

ALA announces the Newbery & Caldecott winners

drum roll...and the winners are:

Newbery Winner: When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead
"By sixth grade, Miranda and her best friend, Sal, know how to navigate their New York City neighborhood...But things start to unravel. Sal gets punched by a new kid for what seems like no reason, and he shuts Miranda out of his life. The apartment key that Miranda’s mom keeps hidden for emergencies is stolen. And then Miranda finds a mysterious note scrawled on a tiny slip of paper.

The notes keep coming, and Miranda slowly realizes that whoever is leaving them knows all about her, including things that have not even happened yet. Each message brings her closer to believing that only she can prevent a tragic death. Until the final note makes her think she’s too late."

Caldecott winner: The Lion & the Mouse by Jerry Pinkney
"In award-winning artist Jerry Pinkney's wordless adaptation of one of Aesop's most beloved fables, an unlikely pair learn that no act of kindness is ever wasted. After a ferocious lion spares a cowering mouse that he'd planned to eat, the mouse later comes to his rescue, freeing him from a poacher's trap. With vivid depictions of the landscape of the African Serengeti and expressively-drawn characters, Pinkney makes this a truly special retelling, and his stunning pictures speak volumes."

Friday, January 15, 2010

Looking for something to read? December's Bestselling Mystery Books

The following were the bestselling books at member bookstores of the Independent Mystery Booksellers Association in December:

1. U Is for Undertow by Sue Grafton (Putnam)
2. Talking About Detective Fiction by P.D. James (Knopf)
3. 9 Dragons by Michael Connelly (Little, Brown)
3. Trial by Fire by J.A. Jance (Touchstone)
5. The End of the Road by Sue Henry (Obsidian)
6. The Paris Vendetta by Steve Berry (Ballantine)
7. The Professional by Robert B. Parker (Putnam)
8. The Girl Who Played with Fire by Stieg Larsson (Knopf)
9. Fired Up by Jayne Ann Krentz (Putnam)
9. The Price of Malice by Archer Mayor (St. Martin's)
9. Alone by Loren D. Estleman (Forge)

1. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson (Vintage) - LOVE THIS ONE
2. The Private Patient by P.D. James (Vintage)
3. Eggs Benedict Arnold by Laura Childs (Berkley)
4. Dog on It by Spencer Quinn (Atria)
5. The Price of Butcher's Meat by Reginald Hill (Harper)
6. Beat the Reaper by Josh Bazell (Back Bay)
7. Tower by Ken Bruen and Reed Farrel Coleman (Busted Flush)
8. Among the Mad by Jacqueline Winspear (Picador)
8. Mrs. Malory and Any Man's Death by Hazel Holt (Berkley)
8. Thai Die by Monica Ferris (Berkley)

Thursday, January 14, 2010

I don't often say this, but do NOT read this book

Julie Powell, author of the lovely book Julie and Julia, has a new book:  Cleaving.  Yep, it's about what you think it is. 

Even though it's hard to get excited about a book that describes butchering in detail, some folks took a chance because they enjoyed Julie and Julia so much.  They were not rewarded for their loyalty.  Here's one friend's reaction:

"HATED IT!! Sickening descriptions of hacking away at animal carcass and details of their inevitably cruel executions made it almost impossible to get through. Her bizarre marital and extra-marital relationships make the memoir all the more unbearable."

Yea, don't read it.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

In Rapt Attention...Part 2

We continue with Jess' book recommendations:

The Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan. "The adventures of Percy Jackson and his modern demigod friends as they fight mythological monsters and the forces of the titan lord Kronos."

The Weird School series by Dan Gutman.  "a silly series for beginning readers. At Ella Mentry School, all the grownups are quite weird in their own weird way. The main characters are A.J. (a boy who doesn't like school) and his arch-enemy Andrea Young (who loves school and everything else A.J. hates)."

The Winnie Books: Eleven, Twelve, and Thirteen by Lauren Myracle

The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart
"Are you a gifted child looking for Special Opportunities?" This curious newspaper ad catches the eye of orphan Reynie Muldoon. After taking exams that test both mind and spirit...The children soon learn they've been chosen by mysterious Mr. Benedict for an important infiltrate the isolated Learning Institute for the Very Enlightened, from which messages of distrust and compliance are being broadcast into the minds of the world's citizens." Ilene Cooper, Booklist.

The Pendragon series by DJ MacHale. "Imagine what it would be like to discover you aren't the person you thought you were. That's what happened to Bobby Pendragon. He was living the life of a normal 14 year old guy, until his Uncle Press came by one night to say: "I need your help." From that moment on, nothing was the same. He and his uncle were swept off on a series of adventures that would take them through both time and space. Their mission? To protect the territories of Halla from a demon named Saint Dane, a cold-blooded villian who wants nothing less than the destruction of all humanity. The only force standing in Saint Dane's way is a mysterious group of people called...Travelers."

Monday, January 11, 2010

In rapt attention...Part one

At a recent gathering of friends, I was thrilled and encouraged to find three of us listening in rapt attention to the 10-year daughter of our hostess as she rattled off a list of her favorite books.  To see such enthusiasm and joy of reading was wonderful and reminded me of how I have always felt about books.

We all feverishly took notes on her recommendations and I share them with you.  I hope that she and other readers I know will provide suggestions and reviews on favorite books to the store.

Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli - a Newberry Award winner
"...a folk story about a boy, a very excitable boy. One that can outrun dogs, hit a home run off the best pitcher in the neighborhood, tie a knot no one can undo. "Kid's gotta be a maniac," is what the folks in Two Mills say."

Eragon series by Christopher Paolini. I've read the first one and saw the movie, but have 2 more to catch up on.
"When Eragon finds a polished blue stone in the forest, he thinks it is the lucky discovery of a poor farm boy; perhaps it will buy his family meat for the winter. But when the stone brings a dragon hatchling, Eragon realizes he has stumbled upon a legacy nearly as old as the Empire itself."

The Doll People by Ann Martin and Laura Godwin. Looks like one in a series...
"Passed down from one generation to the next, the Doll family has lived in the same dollhouse...for 100 years. While the world outside has changed, their own lives have not changed...with two significant exceptions. First, Auntie Sarah Doll suddenly and mysteriously disappeared 45 years ago...More recently, the modern, plastic Funcraft family has moved into Kate's little sister's room...focusing on Annabelle's and Tiffany Funcraft's risky mission to find Auntie Sarah, the authors provide plenty of action and suspense." Publishers Weekly

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Google, e-books and independents

From Shelf Awareness - Jan 7, 2010

"The Wall Street Journal outlined threats to from Apple and Google. "Of the three, Amazon appears to be the most vulnerable to new competition, both because of the breadth of its business and e-commerce's increasing importance."

"These threats include Apple's forthcoming e-reader and Google's plans for an e-book store to be called Google Editions. An interesting aspect of Google Editions: "Google plans to let independent bookstores sell e-books through the service, buttressing their ability to compete with Amazon.' "

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

My mom always takes care of me

In so many ways.  The most immediate one as I look through my Christmas bounty is books that I really wanted (and marshmallow peeps...and the wine is nice too).  Thanks Mom!!