~~ Book Tag ~~

Book Stack

The always amazing Maureen Driscoll tagged and challenged me, after being challenged by the incredible Melanie Friedman at Bookworm2Bookworm.wordpress.com.  I love these questions, especially since it National Reading Month, so I’m playing along.

What book has been on your shelf the longest?

Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye. I will never tire of that book. It was my first non-kid book, and the subject matter truly hit home.

What is your current read, your last read and the book you’ll read next?

My easily distracted mind leads me to read 3-4 books at a time. Just starting Ben Burgess, Jr’s Daddy’s Girl, half-way through Petra Durst-Benning’s The Glassblower, and finishing up M.L. Wilder’s The Vampire Mafia, and Uvi Poznanski’s The Music of Us. I highly recommend them all.

I have no clue what I’ll read next.

What book did everyone like but you hated?

50 Shades of Grey.  I can’t figure out the allure. I never saw a romance…or even a relationship. He was a bully and she was a doormat. No…just no.

What book do you keep telling yourself you’ll read but you probably won’t?

Betty Smith’s A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. I saw the Dorothy McGuire-movie DECADES ago and loved it. I fully intended to read the book, but of the thousands of books I’ve read, I’ve never gotten around to that one… and probably won’t.

What book are you saving for retirement?

I’m not saving anything. My TBR is so big I’ve forgotten what’s on it. Any book I choose after I reach retirement age will be great… and a surprise!

Last page:  read it first or save til the end?

I love a story’s buildup and anticipation. The last page… remains the last page.

Acknowledgement:  waste of paper and ink or interesting aside?

Definitely an interesting aside!

Which book character would you switch places with?

None! Maureen already chose Rosalind, Liam Kellington’s wife in Never Deny Your Heart, book 5 of her Kellington series. So I’ll just pout!

Do you have a book that reminds you of something specific in your life?

Vincent Bugliosi’s Helter Skelter – the true story of the 1969 Tate-LaBianca murders committed by followers of Charles Manson. The book came out five or six years after the murders and subsequent trials. I was in my mid-teens, and even though the story scared me senseless, I couldn’t stop reading it. I started high school that fall and quickly learned the story scared most people. Just seeing the book or hearing the name ‘Manson’ created a stir.

So… I carried the book, making sure the title was visible, for most of the fall semester – then my mom got wind of it and took my book.

But it was fun while it lasted!

*Name a book that you acquired in an interesting way.

A retiring teacher gave me his copy of Tolkien’s The Hobbit. I had absolutely no interest in Tolkien but grudgingly read it so I could tell him I did. The rest is history! I’ve wanted to move to The Shire ever since. I’m pretty sure my teacher knew what the end result would be when he gave me that book. Well played.

Have you ever given a book away for a special reason to a special person?

I gave every student in my niece’s first-grade class a copy of Dr. Seuss’ Oh, The Places You’ll Go! for her sixth birthday so they could all read the book together. She’s eighteen now and still talks about it.

Which has been with you most places?

The Bluest Eye.

Any required reading that you hated in high school that wasn’t so bad two years later?

Beowulf.

Used or band new?

New… always!

Have you ever read a Dan Brown book?

Nope! I tried, I really tried. The DaVinci Code bored me. Even the movie bored me.

Have you ever seen a movie you liked more than the book?

Hasn’t happened yet!

Have you ever read a book that’s made you hungry, cookbooks included?

Anything and everything written by the Barefoot Contessa – Ina Garten! (Except her pork dishes…Ew!)

Who is the person whose book advice you’ll always take?

Author A.C. Melody!

*Is there a book outside your comfort zone you ended up loving?

Tolkien’s The Hobbit. While it may not be ‘outside of my comfort zone’, it was definitely WAY outside of my interest zone. (See related * above!)

Okay, now I get to do the tagging….

A.C. Melody at https://acmelodyblog.wordpress.com

Kim from By Hook or by Book

Jordan Robinson from The Eternity Acts

Those are all terrific blogs.  Please check them out!

Quotable – Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou (born Marguerite Ann Johnson in 1928, died in 2014)  was an American author, poet, memoirist, and civil rights activist. She published seven autobiographies, three books of essays, several books of poetry, and was credited with a list of plays, movies, and television shows spanning over 50 years. Image from Amazon.

 

“Any book that helps a child to form a habit of reading, to make reading one of his deep and continuing needs, is good for him.” — Maya Angelou

A Helping Hand #ReadWithMe


I Heart Books

Image from Google


In my late teens and early twenties, I volunteered with a community literacy program that paired increasing literacy and diversity.  As such, I was partnered with a young Caucasian man I’ll call Mark.

A year younger than me and just a year out of high school, Mark was one of those unfortunate students ignored by the education system and pushed through school with passing grades. Coming from a home where reading wasn’t a priority, no one realized Mark could read, but only enough to get by, much like my own father. There were nearly seventy years between my father’s school days and Mark’s. My father had to quit school at age nine. Mark was handed a high school diploma. Both were functionally illiterate.

While members of the literacy program would meet together to brainstorm and strategize on how best to help the program’s students, we were not teachers or educators. We were students, retirees, stay-at-home moms, moms employed outside the home, and professionals in other areas. Sometimes, teachers would join the program and write outlines for us and give us benchmarks to aim for, but most of the time we were just a group of ordinary folks who wanted to help others.

After determining Mark’s reading level, I gave him two books, a writing pad, and a dictionary. He was one read one chapter, look up and write down the definition of any word he didn’t understand, and write one paragraph in his own words what the chapter was about.

With an eight or twelve-week learning plan, most students completed the course with increased reading skills. Mark signed up for the twelve-week session and was determined to finish…because he wanted to join the military. Our program worked for people like Mark because we didn’t work on fixed times and locations like the larger better-funded organizations. Working nights with a restaurant clean-up crew and picking up odd jobs in construction meant Mark’s schedule could change daily. There were times he did miss one or both of our twice weekly sessions. But I have to confess I was near tears when he did show up…he always had his words and his paragraph.

Circumstances led to my having to relocate before completing the sessions with Mark. I wish I could say I knew what happened with him, but life isn’t that easy.

However, through friends connected with the literacy program I do know 1) Mark completed the program; 2) he never made it to the military; 3) He DID enroll in college.

That’s enough for me.

 

GIVEAWAY!
During the month of March, four random commenters – one each week – will win ebooks copies of some of my favorite books from authors like Toni Morrison, Terry Dean, and Walter Mosley!


March is National Reading Month and I invite you to #ReadwithMe by sharing a story about your love of reading.

Click on the Linky Tools link below to share a post from your blog/website about reading! (New browser opens) The join links are open until March 31st. Beginning April 1st, no more links can be added, but the Linky Tool and the links posted to it will remain active indefinitely!

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Click here to enter your link and view this Linky Tools list…

Thank you, Daddy! #ReadwithMe

hands


I feel as though I’ve been reading all my life. While I come close to the mark, I’m still a few years short.

I was reading on my own before my fifth birthday. My father taught me. The memories of this are even more special to me because my father was a functional illiterate.

Born in June of 1914, daddy had to quit school three years after he began to help work the fields of his sharecropping grandparents. Having a natural curiosity about the world, daddy always wanted to return to the classroom, but it wasn’t meant to be. Formal education simply wasn’t a priority for most people in rural Mississippi in those times, and definitely not for African-Americans.

My father taught himself many things over the years, but reading wasn’t one of them. By the time World War II began he was already a married man with a family. Being a good provider meant everything to men like my father, and work was always the priority. Again, in those times, learning was discouraged for African-Americans and ‘making their mark’ on legal documents sufficed.

His first marriage ended in divorce, and by this time, my father’s lack of reading skills embarrassed him. He wanted to better himself and have more in life. While searching for someone to help him, a friend introduced him to her sister – my mother.

Despite the differences in their ages (he in his 40s, she in her 20s), my parents’ friendly dating soon led to marriage. Daddy readily admitted to hiding the extent of his inability to read from my mother, and she admits to taking it for granted that he could. Doesn’t everyone know how to read?

Needless to say, by the time mom did find out – class was in session! Working fourteen to sixteen hours a day left little time for reading practice, but by the time I was born three years later, daddy had more than mastered the basics. I can first remember sounding out words with him…from the sports page! Daddy was a baseball fanatic and loved being able to read the team stories and standings for himself, so that was my first learning material.

As each of my younger siblings came along, daddy was a man on a mission. He demanded our best effort in everything we did, but reading and spelling were the priorities, and the first subjects he looked at on our report cards. Daddy wore the biggest grin when my fourth-grade teacher suggested he take me to the public library because I was already reading the sixth-grade books from the school’s small library.

My lifelong love affair with reading continued through school and into marriage and parenthood. My husband reads, but he’s one of those leisurely readers. I can devour six books by the time he finishes one. We read to our three children (and made up stories and songs) and they all entered school reading.

During their school years, I was involved in parent leadership and PTA and never passed up an opportunity to emphasize to parents how important reading to children AND having them read aloud was. I shared my love of reading also by volunteering with literacy programs for children and adults and reading to residents in nursing homes.

That’s how important reading is to me.

Perhaps it’s because I started reading so young, or maybe it’s the materials I choose to read…but probably not. I know it’s important to me because it’s the single greatest gift my father ever gave me. It was something he spent half his life striving for and once he got it – he gave it to me.

Even now, more than fifty years later, when I come to the end of an especially good book, I close my eyes, smile, and say, “Thank you, daddy.”

GIVEAWAY!
During the month of March, four random commenters – one each week – will win ebooks copies of some of my favorite books from authors like Toni Morrison, Terry Dean, and Walter Mosley!


March is National Reading Month and I invite you to #ReadwithMe by sharing a story about your love of reading.

Click on the Linky Tools link below to share a post from your blog/website about reading! (New browser opens) The join links are open until March 31st. Beginning April 1st, no more links can be added, but the Linky Tool and the links posted to it will remain active indefinitely!

 

Powered by Linky Tools

Click here to enter your link and view this Linky Tools list…