Monday, June 8, 2020

I put out seed for the birds

I think the birds are on to me.  
In my housecleaning I discovered a jar of seeds from who knows when, so I filled the seed dispenser and put it outside for the birds. They are ignoring it. I guess the seeds are too old.  
Two birds are sitting on my patio wall right now - with their backs to my seed dispenser - in distain.
Oh. Look!  
One of them just flew up to the seed sock and sampled it. Will s/he go spread the word about it? Will the report be good or will s/he tell everyone to not bother?
Oh the suspense.
(note to self -- buy new seed)

Sunday, June 7, 2020

Quarantine Reading of favorite books

I'm working my way through my set of Pern books by Anne McCaffrey during quarantine and go to the set of teen books that show the life of harpers while referring to happenings in the first three books. When I took the third one off my shelves - Dragondrums - I realized that this was a book my sister gave to me which she had gotten Anne McCaffrey to autograph. Wonderful!  
Not so wonderful is the fact that this book was produced during the time when publishers were experimenting with other types of glue and this one was one of their failures. The pages are falling out.  I remember this happening to lots of library books when I was a librarian. We had to replace so many books during this time.
I wonder if there's a bindery here in San Diego? Or have they all gone out of business? I'm usually not fond of re-bound books because they usually make the pages tight and difficult to lay flat for reading. But for a favorite book, I might make an exception. Maybe they've managed to improve their system.

Saturday, May 30, 2020

Do you like ebooks? I don't/

I'm not a fan of ebooks, especially if an author or publisher wants me to read and review a picture book sent as an ebook.  Elizabeth Bird writes about this on her blog, and it explains exactly how I feel about this.

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

My typewriter history

Ah typewriters. Let me count the ways. 
One at home. (a Royal?) 
One Smith Corona portable at college. 
Had a job at college working on a MTST machine (first word processor, Selectric typewriter attached to a basic floor unit computer). 
Still using the portable Smith Corona in grad school. 
Got an electric one one with replaceable ribbon/ white out ribbon in cartridges for home use and first journalism job. (husband used it to write long antique MG T series articles) 
Bought another one when husband destroyed the first because his article wasn't working out and he had to retype pages and pages of it. 
Then our first computer -- Comodore 64 with dot matrix printer. Wrote many stories and my first published book on it.
Then the First Apple computer. (my husband would carry it back and forth to work) 
Then the first iMac (green) with the first laser printer and after that it's been iMacs all the way. 
Okay, that's the history of typing/ computing.

Monday, April 20, 2020

Why I love Fantasy

Mercedes Lackey says:
To write or enjoy fantasy requires an open mind and heart, and the ability to believe that things are not always what they seem.
There are fantasy romances, fantasy mysteries, heroic fantasy, modern-urban fantasy, historical fantasy, dark or horror fantasy, alternative-history fantasy, political fantasy and even Western fantasy.
Fantasy is one of the last bastions of 'moral fiction.'
Good triumphs over evil, the wrongdoers get their just deserts, and all ends well.
(Can you tell that fantasy books are one of my favorites to read? And she is one of my favorite authors.)

Saturday, April 11, 2020

Back to baking again - Banana Bread

Yesterday I made quarantine banana bread.
This may not seem like an achievement to you, but I haven't done much baking for a long time. (with a kid who has celiac disease who can't eat gluten, you just don't bake much)
I got out my old recipe for banana cake which I used when I was first married.
Threw out the 4-5 year old flour in my flour canister and filled it up with brand new flour.
And began to mix.
Oops, the shortening in my cabinet had expired in 2015 and looked funny, so I threw it out and substituted butter.
Creamed the butter and sugar.  Added the egg. (was only doing half a recipe)
Then noticed the next ingredient was bananas and MILK!  Well, with the kid off to college, I hadn't bought milk for ages.  What could I substitute?  Then I remembered you could substitute fruit for the liquid in recipes.  Usually applesauce.  Thought that applesauce would give it a different flavor so I simply added an extra banana.
Threw in the flower and baking soda. (the recipe suggested adding baking powder, too, so threw in a bit of that too because the extra banana might make the finished product a bit heavy.)
And some chopped up almonds, because I didn't have any pecans or walnuts on hand.


It turned out delicious!

Friday, April 3, 2020

Quarantine thoughts

Good morning it’s April (whatever), 2020 and folks are going crazy about being in lockdown.
I’ve been talking about this with the microwave and toaster while drinking coffee. We all agreed things are not looking good
I didn’t mention anything to the washing machine as she puts a different spin on things and certainly not to the fridge as he is acting cold and distant.
I did discuss it with the Hoover he said the whole thing sucks.
Meanwhile, the blender has mixed feelings and the taps kept running hot and cold about the idea. The whisk refused to talk about it because she didn’t want to whip things into a frenzy. The eggs kept quiet, they didn’t want to get a beating.
I didn’t check with the oven because she’s far too hot headed.
The trash bin just spouted a whole load of rubbish about the situation and the freezer just gave me a frosty reception.
In the end, the iron calmed me down: she said everything will be fine - no situation is too pressing.
The tin at the back of the cupboard with no label on thinks it’s a total mystery.
The knife made some very cutting remarks.
The squash was very cordial about it all. Unlike the lemon who was very bitter

( borrowed from a friend who stole it from another friend) 

Monday, March 23, 2020

Adventures with famous people

We got to talking on FB about famous people we've met and this was my story:
I was waiting in a small airport a few years ago and realized that Garrison Keillor was going to be on the same plane! So when I passed him, I ever so casually said, "Hi."   This was after I had spent a week at a writer's retreat with Bruce Coville and lots of other well-known writers. I had been sitting with Bruce at the airport and he pointed Garrison out to me.  
In the 1990s one of my co-workers was a huge Moody Blues fan and she won some backstage tickets and we got photographs with the band. It was run very quickly. group of four. stand by one of the four band members. picture taken. move along please for the next four. Well, since I also was a local newspaper journalist, I tried to come up with one comment or question for each member as I passed him. And they graciously responded.  
(and one summer we went on a Moody Blues field trip and attended four or five concerts, following them from near Washington, DC, to the Taj Mahal casino (where we exited the venue behind Trump's wife, her daughter Tiffany) and on to the venue near Philadelphia. At which point I had to go back home and go back to work. The others followed the band to some other venues.  
That was a fun time being groupies.)

Sunday, March 8, 2020

Adventures as a Children's Librarian

Insects in the library.
One day I brought a praying mantis cocoon into the library and left it - in a jar- on the Information Desk for patrons to observe. But when I arrived one afternoon for my evening shift, I found it gone and the staff in hysterics. Bugs! Bugs! all over the library. Hmmmm. evidently it had hatched and the babies were small enough to crawl out of the holes I had punched in the lid. oops.
And then there was the ant farm I put on display -- also a failure -- I used wild ants from around the library and they crawled out the holes. Should have tried to find larger ants.
Trials of a children's librarian.

Saturday, March 7, 2020

Adventures with Hummingbirds

I finally set up my hummingbird feeder.
After a few days, one hummingbird discovered it and seemed to like it.
Then her spouse showed up.
Gradually other hummingbirds discovered it and suddenly there was a big hummingbird fight. Much spreading of tail feathers and slowing down of their wings so they can be seen, in order to seem larger than the others. Much ducking in and out.  The first hummingbirds tried to defend the feeder doing the same.
Much twittering.
Much shaking of my head.  Stupid birds.  There are four feeding access points.  You all could share.  But NO.  Duck. Twitter. Defend.
Nowadays, the usual hummingbirds come, settle down on the perch and feed, occasionally backing up to check for danger around them.
I can tell when it's not a 'usual' hummingbird because that bird doesn't perch and take its time. It will keep its wings fluttering almost invisible, ducking in and out of the feeding area, keeping lookout for other hummingbirds and other danger.
This feeder is right outside my kitchen window and I can watch them while I eat in the dining nook.

Tuesday, March 3, 2020


I voted.
Did you?

Friday, February 28, 2020

11 kittens and two moms

In our old house with leaky walls, mice would come visit during the winter months to keep warm. (besides, there was food in our kitchen, so...)  Therefore, we always had cats.  They were working cats as well as cuddle cats.
We once had two mama cats and 11 kittens.  Now That was fun.  We set up two nursing boxes for them after the kittens were born.  Came downstairs the next morning and discovered them all jammed together in One box with no idea which kittens belonged to which mom.  So we set up one huge box for the families and both moms shared the nursing chores.
The vet called them - Dolly Parton Cats, because their teats developed so very large.
Once the kittens became teenage cats, it was up to our kids to find homes for them -- which they actually managed to do.  Naturally we kept a few for ourselves.
Because -- kittens.  (love)

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Will I come do a free presentation about writing books? Probably not.

People say to me - This couldn't have taken very long to write.  
It's true.  
It only took me a half hour to write this 200 word picture book.
But it took 3-5 years to revise/ submit/ revise/ submit/ revise/ etc. etc. etc. (and some picture books take even longer to "write.")  
And then there's the 5-year wait for the illustrator and art director to polish up the book.Plus revisions to support the art.  
And now books are being delayed because most picture books are printed in China and there's an epidemic over there.  
Eventually, after the Advance has been paid off, the writer begins to get royalties from each book sold. (I get 2% for two of my books because I share the royalties with a co-writer, 4% on all of the others. Famous writers get 5% to 10%.)
(don't get me started about requests for free school visits or lecture for adults with no compensation except sometimes they buy ONE of my books for their library, which means eventually I'll get about $0.87 [cents] six months later when my royalties arrive. For that all day/ 4 or more group sessions, plus that 40 miles away drive to get there - and to get back, exhausted.

Monday, February 17, 2020

Minor characters in your story

What do you do with a walk on (walk off. probably never seen again) character?
Patricia Wrede has a good discussion about creating various characters at her blog.
Click on over and learn lots.

Friday, February 7, 2020

Thought for the times

WILL ROGERS FAMOUSLY once said this: "I'm not a member of an organized political party. I am a Democrat." 

HE WAS A HUMORIST, so he was joking. 
But his words ring pretty true today." --Politico Playbook LOL!

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Remembering my 5-year-old

Memories, Memories

One day, long ago, I overheard my 5 year old daughter playing house/ family with the neighborhood kids.  She was the mom.  She hopped onto her tricycle, waved goodbye to her 'husband' and kids, yelling -- "Good-bye.  I'm off to work."  And down the sidewalk she went.
I guess she had noticed that I was a working mother.

Monday, January 20, 2020

Fun research expeditions

In a discussion on FB about writing techniques, I brought up research.
I often leave holes in my manuscript with notes to do more research about this or that.  
One day I abandoned my family, got into my car and drove down to Williamsburg, VA and spent the weekend there taking pictures and doing research. Yes, I found the answer to one of my editor's burning questions and to my relief was able to state it in one paragraph, not a whole chapter.
I took a day trip in December to Washington Crossing, PA to watch the reenactment of the crossing and take photographs for my biography of George Washington. In 10 degree weather. Taking photographs with insulated thin leather gloves. (They turned out great)  
I actually took THREE trips to Washington, DC to wander the Air and Space Museum so that I could explain flight so that everyone (including me) could understand the physics behind it.  
I got a lot of praise from readers and reviewers for that one point (plus a lot of awards for that book, so it was worth all the research.

Friday, January 17, 2020


I just completed reading Blacklisted by Larry Dane Brimner
Amazing background to an event that I witnessed on TV in the black and white days. Some of the hearings were telecast. 
It also explains why my mother could no longer keep in contact with our German relatives -- because they were unfortunately situated in the half of Germany that the Russians took over and put up a wall. 
I wasn't even to talk about them because my parents were afraid they'd be arrested and my father fired from his job because the authorities were still scouting to dig out anyone connected to Communists. (even though our relatives were not communists. They were just unfortunate about where they lived during and after WW2) So now I don't even know who they are or where exactly they live.

Thursday, January 9, 2020

Our Canadian Adventure

Once, after attending an antique car convention in New England, we decided to go home by way of Canada.  In those days you could go in and out on the spur of the moment, because the US government had very open borders in those days. (1960s)
Quebec was 'interesting' because neither of us knew any (or much) French and all the signs were in French. Also, their toll booths were different. We were just passing through Quebec (having entered Canada through New Hampshire) trying to get to Niagara Falls by the upper route.  
First toll booth, we handed in a Canadian dollar and got some change back. And drove on.  
Second toll booth we tossed one quarter into the change bin and drove on. We were aware of flashing lights at the toll booth behind us, but didn't think they had anything to do with us.  
At the third booth, there were officers of the law lined up to stop us.  
Evidently, the first toll booth had given us FOUR quarters and we had been supposed to toss one of them into the change bin. And so on. Therefore, we owed the turnpike authorities One Quarter.
Very embarrassed, we explained what we had done and they let us go when we had paid the missing quarter.
I miss that old VW bug we drove then. It was packed full of camping equipment and food to sustain us.
Of course we had no problem getting back into the United States at Niagara. Just had to show our Maryland driver's licenses.

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Bowling for Dragons

Another Patricia Wrede book writing story:

The published title on my own books was never the one I began with, so I consider 'my' original title as I write - a Draft title.  
Author Patricia Wrede titled the first drafts of each one of her 4 dragon books -- Bowling for Dragons.  
(Bowling for Dollars was a popular tv show during that time.) 
The actual published title wasn't finalized until very close to publication.  

Monday, January 6, 2020

Patricia Wrede had a writing problem

Well known author, Patricia Wrede hates to send book synopsis to her editors.
(Editors want to know what the next book will be about)
 So she'll make up something like. --The group gathers one by one in the city and are pursued so they escape the city and have various adventures in the countryside until they reach their goal. --  
Okay. No, not okay. 
She wrote and wrote and couldn't get out of the city. They'd be almost to the gate and suddenly one of the characters would suggest spending the night in an uncle's empty warehouse. They'd try again for the gate the next day, but it's guarded, so they go to ground elsewhere. etc. 
Now, I've read all of her books and one day I was reading one and This Book was the story where she had had so much trouble with her characters not wanting to leave the city. (can't remember the title right now, but I enjoyed it very much.)
I'd surmise that she's not a plotter; she's actually a pantser.
Do go to her link above and find more about her.
(she also has a good book about writing)

Saturday, January 4, 2020

Adult books read in 2019

In addition to the previous Children's books, I've read these adult books in 2019

Allingham, Margery.  The Tiger in the Smoke. The 14th Albert Campion Mystery. NY:
             Doubleday, 1952.  (old fashioned British mystery)
Beverley Jo.  Devilish. NY: Signet/ Penguin, 2000. 
   (I’m re-reading her Malloren series, from last to first.)
    ….     Secrets of the Night. NY: Signet/ Penguin, 1999.
    ….     Something Wicked. NY: Signet/ Penguin, 1997.
    ….     Tempting Fortune. NY: Signet/ Penguin, 1995.
    ….     My Lady Notorious(The first Malloren book)   NY:  Signet/ Penguin, 1993.
    ….     Winter Fire.  (Malloren)  NY: Signet; New American Library, 2003.
    ….     A most unsuitable man.  (Malloren)  NY: Signet; New American Library, 2005.
    ….     A Lady’s Secret.  (Malloren- three friends)  NY: Signet; New American Library, 2008.
    ….     The Secret Wedding.   (Malloren- three friends)  NY: Signet; New American Library,
    ….     The Secret Duke. (Malloren-three friends)  NY: Signet; New American Library, 2010.
    ….     An Unlikely Countess. (a novel of the Malloren World) NY: Signet; New American
             Library, 2011.
    ….     Seduction in Silk (a novel of the Malloren World) NY: Signet; New American Library,
(and her Rogues series)
    ….     An Arranged Marriage (Company of Rogues – 1) NY: Zebra/ Kensington, 1991.
                        (The beginning of another series. This time I’m reading them first to last.)
    ….     An Unwilling Bride(Company of Rogues – 2) NY: Zebra/ Kensington, 1992.
    ….     Christmas Angel(Company of Rogues – 3) NY: Zebra/ Kensington, 1992.
    ….     Three Heroes.  (Company of Rogues – collection) NY: New American Library, 2004.
            Containing – The Demon’s Mistress
                        The Dragon’s Bride (Company of Rogues – 6)
                        The Devil’s Heiress. (Company of Rogues – 7)
    ….     Forbidden.  (Company of Rogues – 4) NY: Zebra books/ Kensington, 1994.
    ….     Dangerous Joy.  (Company of Rogues – 5) NY: Zebra books/ Kensington, 1995.
    ….     Skylark. (Company of Rogues – 10)  NY: New American Library, 2004.
    ….     To rescue a rogue  (Company of Rogues – 12)  NY: New American Library, 2006.
    ….     Lady Beware (Company of Rogues 13 – sequel to To Rescue a Rogue)  NY: New
             American Library, 2007.
    ….     The Rogue’s Return(Company of Rogues – 11  NY: New American Library, 2006.
    ….     Hazard. (Company of Rogues – 8 ) NY: New American Library, 2002.
    ….     St. Raven(Company of Rogues – 9)  NY: Signet; New American Library, 2003.
    ….     A Shocking Delight(Company of Rogues – 14) NY:  Signet; New American Library,
    ….     The Viscount needs a wife(Company of Rogues – 16)   NY:  Signet; New American
             Library,  2016.
    ….     Merely a Marriage(Company of Rogues – 17) NY:  Signet; New American Library,
Bujold, Lois McMaster. Cordella’s Honor. NY:  Baen, 1996.  (Includes two novels – Shards of
             Honor plus Barrayar -  and one short story,  plus an author’s Afterword which
             describes various versions of the two novels.)  
    ….     Young Miles.  NY:  Baen, 1996.   (Includes two noveles – The Warrior’s apprentice and
             The Vor game. Plus a short story – The Mountains of mourning and an author’s 
    …     Cetaganda. NY: Baen, 1996.
    ….     Borders of Infinity. Framingham, MA: The NESFA Press, 1989, 2007.  
            (A collection of three stories published by a Science Fiction group bound 
            together by Miles recollecting them while in a hospital recovering from 
            having his arm bones replaced. Includes The mountains of mourningLabyrinth, and
             The Borders of Infinity.)
    ….     Brothers in Arms. NY: Baen Books, 1989.
    ….     Mirror Dance.  NY:  Baen Books, 1994.
Deveraux, Jude. A willing murder, a Medlar mystery. NY: Mira, 2018.
            (although many of her romance books also include a mystery, it looks like she’s now
 writing true mysteries with a touch of romance, but no sex. Nicely done.)  
    ….     A Justified Murder, a Medlar mystery. NY: Mira, 2019.
    ….     Met Her Match.  (Summer Hill) NY:  Mira, 2019.
Kerstan, Lynn. Marry in Haste and Francesca’s Rake. NY: Signet, 2005. (double novel)
Kwan, Kevin.  Crazy Rich Asians, a novel.  NY: Random House, 2013.  (movie made of this)
    ….     China Rich Girlfriend, a novel. (2) NY: Random House, 2016. 
    ….     Rich People Problems, a novel. (3) NY:  Doubleday/Penguin Random House, 2017. 
Lackey, Mercedes.                   
    ….     Beauty and the Werewolf. NY: Luna/ Harlequin, 2011.
    ….     The Bartered Brides.  NY: Daw Books, 2018.
                        Collegium Chronicles list of books
    ….     Foundation, a Novel of Valdemar (book 1).  NY:  Daw Books, 2008.
    ….     Intrigues. Volume 2 of the Collegium Chronicles, a Novel of Valdemar. NY:  
            Daw Books, 2010.
    ….     Changes. Volume 3 of the Collegium Chronicles, a Novel of Valdemar. NY:  
            Daw Books, 2011.
    ….     Redoubt. Volume 4 of the Collegium Chronicles, a Novel of Valdemar. NY:  
            Daw Books, 2012.
    ….     Bastion.  Volume 5 of the Collegium Chronicles, a Novel of Valdemar. NY:  
            Daw Books, 2013.
    ….     Closer to Home. Book 1 of the Herald Spy.  NY:  Daw Books, 2014.
    ….     Closer to the Heart. Book 2 of the Herald Spy.  NY:  Daw Books, 2015.
    ….     Closer to the Chest.  Book 3 of the Herald Spy.  NY:  Daw Books, 2016.
    ….     The Hills Have Spies, Book one of Family Spies, a novel of Valdemar.  NY: Daw
             Books, 2018. 
            (continuation of the adventures of Herald Mags in Valdemar except this series will 
            feature his children.  Book one = Perry.  Too bad the jacket copy talks about an 
            entirely different story with an entirely different child’s name – not one of the three 
            mentioned in this story. Mercedes says, “P.s. if you own a copy with this mistake 
            keep it, it’ll be valuable some day.”) (unfortunately for me- this is a library book)
    ….     Eye Spy. Book two of Family Spies, a novel of Valdemar.  NY: Daw Books, 2019.  
                        (Diana Tregarde books)
    ….     Burning  Water. NY:  Tor Books, 1989.
    ….     Children of the Night.  NY:  Tor Books, 1990.
    ….     Jinx High.  NY:  Tor Books, 1991.
    ….     Sacred Ground.  NY:  Tom Doherty Associates Book, 1994.
Lipman, Laura. Lady in the Lake, a novel. NY: HarperCollins, 2019.  
            (Baltimore author using many Baltimore settings, most of which I remember.)
Novik, Naomi.  Spinning Silver. NY: Del Ray, 2018. 
(Uses multiple folk tale and Greek motifs.)
    ….     Uprooted. NY: Del Ray, 2015.
O’Brian, Patrick.  Master and commander.  NY: WW Norton &Co., 1970.
            (I was disappointed at how poorly it was written.  Kept getting confused as to 
            whose head were were in now.)
Quick, Amanda. The other lady vanishes. NY: Jove/ Berkley/ Penquin Random House, 2018.
                                    Beyond the Bridgerton family stories by Quinn
Quinn, Julia. Just like heaven. NY: Avon/ HarperCollins, 2011.
    ….     A Night like this.  NY: Avon/ HarperCollins, 2012.
    ….     The Sum of all kisses. NY: Avon/ HarperCollins, 2013.
    ….     Because of Miss Bridgerton.  NY: Avon/ HarperCollins, 2016.
    ….     The girl with the make-believe husband. NY: Avon/ HarperCollins, 2017.
    ….     The Other Miss Bridgerton. NY: Avon/ HarperCollins, 2018.
Smith, Alexander McCall.  The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency.  NY:  Random House, 1998.
    ….     Tears of the GiraffeThe No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency.   NY: Random House, 2000.
    ….     Morality for Beautiful GirlsThe No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency.  NY:  Random House, 
    ….     The Kalahari typing school for men. The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency.  NY:  Random
 House, 2002.
    ….     The colors of all the cattleThe No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency.  NY:  Pantheon Books/
 Penguin Random House, 2018.
Taylor, Jodi.  Just one damned thing after another – the Chronicles of St. Mary’s Book 1.  
            NY: Night Shade books, 2013.  (Time Travel !) 
    ….     A symphony of echoes - the Chronicles of St. Mary’s Book 2.  NY: Night Shade books,
    ….     A second chance - the Chronicles of St. Mary’s Book 3.  NY: Night Shade books,
    ….     A trail through time - the Chronicles of St. Mary’s Book 4.  NY: Night Shade books,
    ….     No time like the past - the Chronicles of St. Mary’s Book 5.  NY: Night Shade books,
    ….     What could possibly go wrong? - the Chronicles of St. Mary’s Book 6.  NY: Night Shade 
            books, 2017.  
    ….     Lies, damned lies, and History  - the Chronicles of St. Mary’s Book 7.  NY: Night Shade 
            books, 2017.  
   ….      And the rest is history - - the Chronicles of St. Mary’s Book 8.  NY: Night Shade 
            books, 2017.  
    ….     The long and short of it – Stories from the Chronicles of St. Mary’s Book 8.  
            NY: Night Shade books, 2017.   
            (This one is short stories that fill out and extend the tales in her books.)
    ….     Taylor, Jodi.  An argumentation of historians - the Chronicles of St. Mary’s Book 9.
.  NY: Night Shade books, 2017.  
Yolen, Jane. How to fracture a fairy tale.  San Francisco: Tachyon, 2018.
            (a collection of previously published tales and poems)
Winspear, Jacqueline. Maisie Dobbs, a novel. NY:  Soho Press, 2003.
            (female detective, ex- WWI nurse, solves mysteries – this one involving injured soldiers.)


B Andrews.  Andrews, Julie. (with her daughter, Emma Walton Hamilton) Home Work, a
             memoir of my Hollywood years.  NY: Hachette books, 2019.
B Buttigieg     Buttigieg, Pete. Shortest way home, one mayor’s challenge and a model for
             America’s Future.  NY:  Liveright publishing/ WW Norton, 2019. 
            (Democratic candidate for president 2019 writes about being a mayor and gay)         
B Field            Field, Sally.  In Pieces, a memoir. NY: Grand Central Publishing, 2018. 
B Idle.              Idle, Eric. Always look on the bright side of life, a sortabiography.  NY: Crown 
            Archetype, 2018.  (In case you don’t recognize him – he’s an important part of the
             Monty Python group who wrote and performed in SpamaLot.)
B Israel           Israel, Lee.  Can you ever forgive me?  Memoirs of a Literary forger.  
            NY: Simon & Schuster, 2008.    
B Key  Leepson, Marc. What so proudly we hailed. NY: Macmillan, 2014. 
B Krosoczka   Krosoczka, Jarrett. Hey Kiddo. NY: Graphix/Scholastic, 2018. (drug addict
             mom/ no father/ raised by grandparents/ developed into an artist)
B Mulgrew     Mulgrew, Kate.  Born with Teeth, a memoir.  NY: Little Brown and Company, 
2015.  (Autobiography of the actress who became my favorite Star Trek character, 
Captain Janeway.)
B Mulgrew     Mulgrew, Kate.  How to forget, a daughter’s memoir.  NY: Wiliam Morrow/
             HarperCollins, 2019.   (both death of father and later mother Alzheimer’s, sad) 
B Noah            Noah, Trevor. Born a crime, stories from a South African childhood.  NY:  
            Spiegel & Grau/ Random House, 2016.  
            (childhood adventures of famous nighttime comedian.)
B Obama         Obama, Michelle.  Becoming.  NY:  Crown, 2018. (FLOTUS)
B Rice             Rice, Susan. Tough Love – My story of the things worth fighting for.   
            NY: Simon and Schuster, 2019.  
            (Ambassador to the UN, Assistant Secretary of State,  and Head of National Security)


302.302          McNamee, Roger. Zucked – waking up to the facebook catastrophe
            NY: Penguin Press, 2019. (very repetitive. Must be duplicates of various articles)
362.88             De Becker, Gavin. The Gift of Fear – survival signals that protect us from
             violence.  NY:  Little Brown and company, 1997.
800     Paul, Ann Whitford.  Writing picture books, a hands-on guide from story creation to
             publication.   IL: Writer’s Digest Books, 2018.
808.3  Cron, Lisa.  Story Genius, how to use brain science to go beyond outlining and write
a riveting novel (before you waste three years writing 327 pages that go nowhere) 
 Berkeley, CA:  Ten Speed Press, 2016. 
818.602.   Guisewite, Cathy. Fifty things that aren’t My Fault, essays from the grown-up years.
              NY: G.P. Putnam & sons, 2019.  (The creator of the CATHY comic strip)
909.825    Hoffman, David. The dead hand – the untold story of the cold war arms race and its
 dangerous legacy.  NY:Doubleday, 2009.  (Biological agents as well as nuclear bombs!)
973.933 Leamer, Laurence. Mar-a-Lago, inside the gates of power at Donald Trump’s 
            presidential palace.  NY:  Flatiron books, 2019. 
            (shows that Trump has always been the awful person he has proven himself to be.)
973.933   Reid, Joy-Ann.  The Man who sold America. NY: William Morrow/HarperCollins,
             2019.   (more info about the criminal who is the president.)
973.933   Reilly, Rick.  Commander in Cheat, how golf explains Trump.  NY: Hachette 
            Books, 2019.  (the guy who cheats at golf, cheats at everything else because it’s all 
            about winning and he must be the winner. & his caddies cheat for him, too.)
973.933  Sims, Cliff.  Team of Vipers, my 500 extraordinary days in the Trump white house
 NY: St. Martin’s Press, 2019. (written by a ‘Christian” member of Trump’s first year
 in the White House.  Interesting to see his viewpoint, although he completely
 ignores the appalling things that T said and did that we have video proof of. He 
brags about the speeches and tweets he wrote for T to present and tries to present T as a reasonable person, while admitting that T is NOT reasonable.) 
973.933  Ward, Vicky. Kushner, Inc.  Greed. Ambition. Corruption. – the Extraordinary story of
 Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump. NY: St. Martin’s Press, 2019. 
973.933  Wilson, Rick.  Everything Trump touches dies, a Republican strategist gets real
 about the worst president ever.  NY: Free press/ Simon & Schuster, 2018.
(again – it’s a Republican writing about how Trump has failed as a president)

Children's books read in 2019

This year I've read over 100 books.
These are the children's books:
Booklist of Books Read in 2019

Picture Books

Blackall, Sophie. Hello Lighthouse. NY: Little Brown and Company, 2018. 
            (winner of the 2019 Randolph Caldecott award – her second one)
            (Excellent author note about lighthouses.  NOTE- she knows that librarians don’t
             like important information on the endpapers covered up by the book cover, so she
             left empty space there.  Yay!)
Campbell, Marcy. Adrian Simcox does not have a horse.  Illus. Corinna Luyken. NY: Dial
             Books fYR, 2018.
Choi, Susan.  Camp Tiger. Illus John Rocco.  NY: GP  Putnam’s Sons, 2019.
Clarke, Maxine Benega. The patchwork bike. Illlus. Van Thanh Rudd. Somerville, MA: 
Candlewick Press, 2018. (Illustrations of cobbled together not-quite bike parts
 painted on cardboard.)
Colleen, Marcie. Penguinaut!  Illus. Emma Yarlett. NY: Orchard Books/ Scholastic, 2018.
Cuevas, Michelle. The care and feeding of a pet black hole.  NY: Dial books for young 
            readers, 2017.  (mixture of science, fantasy, adapting to the death of a father.)
Denos, Julia. Windows. Illus. E.B. Goodale.  Sommerville, MA: Candlewick Press, 2017.
(nighttime walk looking at house windows from outside, imagining what’s
 happening inside.)
Henkes, Kevin.  A Parade of Elephants. NY:  Greenwillow books, 2018.
Holm, Jennifer L., vs. Matthew Holm. The evil princess vs. the brave knight. NY: Random
             House, 2019. (although Jennifer and her brother Matthew are white, Matthew
             created an Asian Princess and an African Knight for this story of sibling rivalry.)
James, LK. The Full House and the empty house.  Shelburne, VT: Ripple Grove Press, 2019.
Jenkins, Emily. All-of-a-Kind family Hanukkah, based on the classic books by Sydney Taylor.
             Illus. Paul O. Zelinsky.  NY: Swartz & Wade books, 2018.  
            (Sydney Taylor Book award winner for younger readers.)
Le, Minh. Drawn Together. Illus. Dan Santat. NY: Hyperion/ Disney, 2018.  
            (ALSC Notable children’s book and other awards)
Lies, Brian. The Rough Patch.  NY: HarperCollins, 2018.  (Caldecott Honor Book)
Lin, Grace. A big mooncake for little star.  NY: Little Brown and company, 2018.
            (the author says it is Not based on any Chinese folktales but is an original tale)
            (2019 Caldecott Honor Book – second one for her)
Love, Jessica.  Julia’n is a mermaid.  Somerville, MA: Candlewick Press, 2018. 
            (was the winner of the Stonewall Book award, honoring books important to the
             LGBTQ experience.)
Lyons, Kelly Starling. Going Down Home with Daddy. Illus Daniel Minter.  Atlanta, GA:
             Peachtree, 2019.  
Martinez-Neal, Juana. Alma and how she got her name. Somerville, MA: Candlewick Press,
             2018.  (she was named after various relatives who had talents that Alma has
             inherited.) (2019 Caldecott Honor book)
McClintock, Barbara.  Vroom! NY: Farrar Straus Giroux, 2019.
Mora, Oge. Thank you, Omu! NY: Little Brown and Company, 2018. 
            (Caldecott Honor book and Winner of the Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe New
             Talent Illustrator Award. A small author’s note included.)
Morales, Yuyi. Dreamers. NY: Greenwillow, 2018.  (2019 Pura Belpré Illustrator Award)
            (lovely book about an immigrant –herself- discovering USA free libraries with a long
             author’s note about her own experience as an immigrant becoming a permanent
             resident of USA.)
Newman, Leslea. Sparkle boy.  Illus. Maria Mola.  NY: Lee & Low, 2017. 
            (preschool boy wants sparkle skirt, bracelet, fingernails & parents are ok with it.)
Paul, Miranda. Nine Months, before a baby is born. Illus. Jason Chin. NY:  Holiday House, 
2019.   (Illustrations of the development of a baby on one side and illustrations of
 activities of the family on the other.)
Portis, Antoinette. Hey, Water!  NY: Neal Porter Books, Holiday House, 2019.
            (actually has lots of NF information and could easily be catalogued NF.  Actually,
             Library of Congress lists it as 553 nonfiction.  Don’t know why my library made it
             EASY BOOKS)
Quintero, Isabel. My Papi has a Motorcycle. Illus Zeke Pena. NY: Kokila/ Penguin Random,
             2019. (uses Spanish words with no explanation)
Reidy, Jean. Truman. Illus Lucy Ruth Cummins.  NY:  Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 
            2019.   (Triman is a turtle)
Seeger, Laura Vaccaro.  Why?  NY: Neal Porter Books/ Holiday House, 2019.
Sorell, Traci. We are Grateful, Otsaliheliga. Illus Frane’ Lessac. Watertown, MA: 
Charlesbridge, 2018. (Cherokee events around the year teaching Cherokee words.
ALA Sibert Honor)
Stemple, Heidi.  Counting Birds. Illus Clover Robin. Lake Forest, CA: Quarto/ Sea Grass, 
Teague, Mark.  Fly!  NY: Beachlane Books, 2019.  (wordless view of mama bird thoughts
             and baby bird’s thoughts – which often get ridiculous.)
Underwood, Deborah. Ogilvy. Illus T.L. McBeth. NY: Henry Holt and Company, 2019.
Wenzel, Brendan. A stone sat still.  San Francisco, Chronicle Books, 2019.
            (an illustrated tone poem)
Yolen, Jane and Heidi Stemple. Not all princesses dress in pink. Illus Anne-Sophie Languetin. 
            NY: Simon & Schuster BFYR, 2010.
Yolen, Jane and Adam Stemple. Crow not Crow. Illus Elizabeth Dulemba.  APEX, NC: Cornell Lab Publishing Group, 2018.
Yolen, Jane.  What to do with a box.  Illus Chris Sheban.  Mankato, MN: Creative Editions,
             2018.  (as you read, the board book takes the shape of a box)

I Can Read
Butler, Dori Hillestad.  King & Kayla and the case of the lost tooth.  Atlanta GA:  Peachtree 
            Publishers, 2018.  (2019 Theodor Seuss Geisel honor book)
Tabor, Corey. Fox and the Tiger.  NY: Balzer + Bray, 2018.  
            (2019 Theodor Seuss Geisel Award) 


Alexander, Zeno.  The Library of Ever.  Book 1. NY: Imprint/ Macmillan, 2019.
            (Pen name of VCFA grad, Stephen Messer.)
Auxier, Jonathan.       Sweep – the story of a girl and her monster. NY: Amulet Books, 2018.
            2019 Sydney Taylor Book Award Winner, Older Readers
            2019 NCTE Charlotte Huck Award Winner
            2018 National Jewish Book Award Finalist, Children's Literature
Barrett, Tracy.  Marabel and the book of fate.  NY: Little Brown, 2018.
Blake, Ashley Herring, The might heart of Sunny St. James. NY: Little Brown, 2019.
            (girl with replacement heart discovers she loves girls, not boys.) 
Coakley, Lena.      Wicked Nix.  NY: Amulet Books, 2018.
GN JC  Craft, Jerry.  New Kid.  NY: Harper, 2019.    (graphic novel)
GN JM Meconis, Dylan. Queen of the Sea. NY:  Walker Books, 2019. (graphic novel)
Medina, Meg.  Merci Suarez changes gears. Somerville, MA: Candlewick Press,
             2018.  (John Newbery Medal Winner, 2019)
Magoon, Kekla. The Seasons of Styx Malone. NY: Random House, 2018. 
Messer, Stephen.  Windblowne. NY: Random House, 2010.
Murdock, Catherine Gilbert. The Book of Boy.  NY: Greenwillow Books, 2018. 
            (John Newbery Honor Book, 2019)
Perl, Erica. All Three Stooges. NY: Alfred A. Knnoff, 2018. 
            (Sydney Taylor Book honor book for older readers.)
Reedy, Trent.  Gamer Army.  NY: Scholastic - Arthur A Levine Books, 2018.  
            (an updated version of Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card?)
Rodkey, Geoff. We’re not from here.  NY:  Crown Books FYR, 2019.
            (SF. The last humans land on a strange planet of giant mosquito-like beings where 
they are NOT accepted.)
Vallentine, Nicold. A time traveler’s theory of relativity. Minneapolis: Carolrhoda books,
Yang, Kelly. Front Desk. NY: Arthur A Levine Books/ Scholastic, 2018.
Yelchin, Eugene. Spy Runner. NY:  Henry Holt and Co, 2019. (1953 Communist scare)

YA Fiction:
Anderson, MT, et al. Fatal throne, the wives of Henry VIII tell all. NY:   Schwartz & Wade
 books, 2018.   (each wife written by a different person – Jennifer Donnelly, Candace
 Fleming, Stephanie Hemphill, Lisa Ann Sandell, Linda Sue Pak, Deborah Hopkinson,  
and MT Anderson wrote the Henry VIII parts.)
Berry, Julie. The scandalous sisterhood of Prickwillow Place. NY:  Roaring brook Press, 2014.
Brennan, Sarah Rees. In Other Lands. Easthampton, MA: Big Mouth House, 2017.
            (Fantasy/ bi-sexual hero)
Capetta, Amy Rose and Cori McCarthy. Once & Future – this time Excalibur chooses her
NY: Jimmy Patterson Books, 2019.  
(LGBTQ+ version of the King Arthur story, set in the future.)
Card, Orson Scott      Ender’s Game. NY: Tor, 1977, 1991.
Edwardson, Debby Dahl. My name is not easy.  Skyscape, 2011. 
            (National book Award Finalist) (Alaskan boarding school)
Khorram, Adib.  Darius the Great is not okay. NY:  Dial, 2018.
            (Persian/ American boy with depression visits family in Iran)
Lee, Mackenzi. The Gentleman’s guide to vice and virtue. NY: Katherine Tegen Books/
             HarperCollins publishers, 2017. 
            (homosexuals on their Grand Tour in Regency times)
Murphy, Jullie.           Dumplin’, go big or go home.  NYL Balzer + Bray, HarperCollins, 2015.
GN YA             Wang, Jen. The prince and the Dressmaker.  NY: First Second, 2018. 
            (graphic Novel)


JB Binney       Biebow, Natascha. The Crayon Man, the true story of the invention of Crayola
             crayons.  Illus Steven Salerno. NY: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2019.
JB Brown        Barnett, Mac. The important thing about Margaret Wise Brown. Illus. Sarah
             Jacoby.  NU: Balzer + Bray/ HarperColllins, 2019.
            (Clever use of titles of Brown’s books and using page number to match Brown’s age
             for events.  However, I’m sure that Ann Carroll More didn’t call her books TRUCK.
             She probably said, Druck or Dreck.  I suspect autocorrect messed that up.)
JB Burton       Rinker, Sherri. Big Machines: the story of Virginia Lee Burton. Illus John Rocco.
             Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2017.  (illustrated in Virginia Lee Burton’s style.
             Word placement is also in her style, not often seen these days. Plus constant 
            inclusion of her two boys and their appreciation of her big machine stories.)
JB Goldberg    Aronson, Sarah. Just like Rube Goldberg, the incredible true story of the man
 behind the machines.  Illus Robert Neubecker. NY:  Beach Lane Books, 2019.
JB Jordan        Barton, Chris. What do you do with a voice like that? The story of 
            extraordinary congresswoman Barbara Jordan. Illus. Ekua Holmes.  NY: Beach Lane
             Books, 2018.   (NCTE Orbis Pictus Honor Book for Outstanding Nonfiction)
            (wonderful backmater, including a time line giving much, much more info)
JB King            Meltzer, Brad. I am Billie Jean King. Illus Christopher Eliopoulos. NY: Penguin
             Young Readers, 2019.
JB LaMarr       Wallmark, Laurie. Hedy LaMarr’s double life, Hollywood legend and brilliant
             inventor. Illus Katy Wu. MY: Sterling Children’s Books, 2019.
JB Fletcher.     Nelson, Vaunda. Let ‘er buck! George Fletcher, the People’s Champion.  Illus Gordon C. James.  Minneapolis: Carolrhoda Books, 2019.
JB Newbery    Markel, Michelle. Balderdash! John Newbery and the boisterous birth of 
            children’s books.  Illus Nancy Carpenter. San Francisco: Chronicle books, 2017.
JB Tolkien. John Ronald’s Dragons – the story of J.R.R. Tolkien.  Illus. Eliza Wheeler. 
NY: Roaring Brook Press, 2017. 
JB Tyson.        Krull, Kathleen and Paul Brewer. Starstruck – the cosmic journey of Neil 
            DeGrasse Tyson. Illus. Frank Morrison. NY: Crown Books for Young Readers, 2018.



J 379.26          Boyce, Ann Allen and Debbie Levy. The promise of change, one girl’s story in
 the fight for school equality.  NY:  Bloomsbury Children’s Books, 2019.
(The desegregation of a high school in Tennessee told in blank verse)
J 641.822        Wang, Andrea. Magic Ramen, the story of Momofuku Ando. Illus Kana
             Urbanowicz. NY: Little Bee Books, 2019.
YA973.913     Sandler, Martin. 1919, the year that changed America.  NY: Bloomsbury, 2019.
YA973.933     Brockenbrough, Martha. Unpresidented, a Biography of Donald Trump.  NY:
             Feiwel and Friends, 2018.  (ends in the middle of 2018. Blue typeface – even the
             photographs.) (among the dedications are the words “And to the Parkland 
            generation: You know what to do.)