Dr. Seuss?!

So, remember how I totally and completely freaked out about the news that Harper Lee’s sequel to “To Kill a Mockingbird” was finally getting published?

Well, now there’s THIS.

They found another manuscript by Dr. Seuss written somewhere between 1958 and 1962. It’s called “What Pet Should I Get” and it’s coming out July 28th.

Excuse me while I go scoop my brains off the floor because my head just EXPLODED.

SERIOUSLY? In a matter of WEEKS, two of my all-time favorite authors are coming out with NEW BOOKS?!

Is this even real?!

I’m not sure I know how to process this information… The book nerd side of me is all…

OH MY GAAAAAAAWWWWWWWWSSSSSSSSHHHHHHHH!

THIS IS NOT HAPPENING….

DO YOU REALIZE HOW MUCH I ADORE DR. SEUSS?!

This has seriously been the BEST MONTH EV-ER for the literary world.

Just.

No words.

Just….

Squeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!

This sort of visceral reaction is just further confirmation that I’m the nerdiest geek of all time.

Admit it, you love me.

Gif Sources: www.reddit.com, toxicjammer.tumblr.com

Lessons from Miss Rumphius

"MissRumphiusBookCover" by Source. Licensed under Fair use via Wikipedia - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:MissRumphiusBookCover.jpg#mediaviewer/File:MissRumphiusBookCover.jpg

“MissRumphiusBookCover” by Source. Licensed under Fair use via Wikipedia – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:MissRumphiusBookCover.jpg#mediaviewer/File:MissRumphiusBookCover.jpg

In the 3rd grade, my beloved, very British school teacher introduced the class to the storybook, Miss Rumphius.

I immediately became enamored with the story of “The Lupine Lady” and in fact, Miss Rumphius will forever remain my favorite picture book. Not only is it beautifully written and illustrated, but the message woven into the story is one that every child should hear – that no matter what you accomplish or where you go in life, you must do something to make the world a more beautiful place.

The message within the story resonated so much with me that I went home contemplating what I could do, at the tender age of 8, to make the world a more beautiful place. In fact, this children’s book was such an inspiration that I’ve long since taken its message as a personal motto of sorts. If there is one thing I want to do in my life, it’s to make the world a more beautiful place. The tricky part is (just as it was for Miss Alice Rumphius) finding out what will make the world a more beautiful place.

For as long as I can remember I have said that my dream, my heart’s desire, my passion was to make a difference in the world – to make a difference in the lives of people – to help people, to teach people, to give them a hand up. Perhaps I do this to a small extent as a teacher, and to a miniscule extent as a writer, but the catch is this: Am I doing enough? Part of the dream is to have a big impact, to make a big difference, to offer substantial help and hope to hurting people. And if that’s part of the dream then… I know I’m not doing enough.

Nothing in life gives me more pleasure than helping others – whether it’s packing boxes for Operation Christmas Child or making donations to the Salvation Army, or offering love and support to a hurting child, or giving words of encouragement to those who need to hear it. But the thing is… I always want to do… more. I want to help more, I want to give more – and the problem is, I don’t know how. Short of whipping out my imaginary bottomless checkbook or volunteering copious amounts of time and energy I don’t have… how does one do more?

Maybe that’s not the point. Maybe the point isn’t to do more… but just to do what you can. But if that’s the point, then why can’t I shake the feeling that I have more to do and more to give? How does one make the world a more beautiful place on a wider scale?

“You must do something to make the world more beautiful…”

But I do not yet know what that can be.

HARPER LEE’S SECOND NOVEL?!

Um… WHAT?

So, I leave to go have coffee with a dear friend of mine, and while I’m away the whole literary world explodes with the biggest news in a very, VERY long time? What is that about?

My inner book nerd is TOTALLY freaking out about this.

This. Is. Epic.

HARPER LEE IS COMING OUT WITH HER SECOND NOVEL.

You know… the author of To Kill a Mockingbird? My favorite book of all time?

Her second novel. Finally.

WHY ARE YOU NOT FREAKING OUT WITH ME?!

This is HUGE.

On the outside I’m all totally normal.

But inside? I’m all…

If you have not read To Kill a Mockingbird, I’m pretty much ordering you to get it from the library, the local bookstore, or Amazon RIGHT NOW. (Here. I’m even providing a link for you. That’s how awesome this book is.) It is the most exquisitely crafted story of childhood and social justice and race relations and the loss of innocence… and it’s funny and the characters are complicated and… simply put… It. Is. Brilliant.

SQUEEEEEEE!!!!

Best. News. Ever.

Gif source: www.absolutepunk.net

Fiction or Non-Fiction?

Have you ever heard of someone being an avid fan of non-fiction? Because, it turns out, I totally am. The only kinds of books I find myself gravitating towards in the bookstore, in the library, or on Amazon, are in the non-fiction section. What’s up with that? Seriously, who reads non-fiction books besides intellectual, pompous ass professor types with an affinity for tweed suits and elbow patches? Is this what I have become?!

I used to read a lot more fiction than I do now. I still occasionally pick up a good thriller from time to time. But, the older I get the less able I am to suspend my disbelief while reading fiction books. Even when it’s realistic fiction… I just can’t get emotionally involved with the characters… because they’re not real… and I don’t care. Even the books I formerly adored I can no longer get through because, quite frankly, Jane Eyre, I’m just not buying it.

What is wrong with me? Who doesn’t like to get lost in the fanciful adventures of far away lands? Who doesn’t like to engage in a little old fashioned make-believe from time to time?

Me, apparently.

I’m much more likely to get swept up in the memoirs,biographies, historical accounts, celebrity tell-alls, and journalistic expose´s that are found in non-fiction than I am to get suckered into the latest tales of vampires, elves, alternate realities, corrupt make-believe politicians and everyday heroes found in fiction.

I just don’t buy into it. Plus, it’s much more fun to read about real people, real events, real places and real ideas. There’s still so much to learn! Why waste a good time reading on make-believe bologna?

*GASP!*

Oh, no she didn’t! (Oh, yes I did…) I kid. No matter what type of reading you prefer, it’s never bologna. But surely there must be people out there like me… non-fiction geeks? Yes?

So which do you prefer? Fiction or non-fiction? Why? And which genres do you enjoy? Curious minds want to know…

Now, if you’ll excuse me I have to get back to my Scientology book – “The story of America’s most secretive religion”. Dun, dun, DUN! (It’s just starting to get good…)

So… how ’bout that winter, huh?

Um… I don’t want to freak anybody out but there’s a good possibility that the winter doldrums are just now hitting me full-force and… IT’S NOT EVEN FEBRUARY.

This is not good. Seeing as winter typically lasts through mid-April around here (and sometimes longer), the fact that the doldrums are hitting me this early does not bode well.

Maybe it’s the fact that we just got another 4 inches of snow and it’s still snowing. Maybe it’s because I didn’t have a subbing job at ALL last week (which is nobody’s fault but my own), and I’m starting to go a bit stir crazy. Maybe it’s due to the fact that on weeks when I don’t have subbing jobs, my social interactions are limited to coffee dates once a week and cuddles with my cat. But whatever the reason, I’m “this close” (you can’t see me, but I’m holding my thumb and pointer finger precariously close to one another in order to illustrate my point) to completely flipping out.

So, in order to prevent myself from hurling my body off a really tall building, I’ve decided to make a list of the things that are going to help me get through this winter. Because… you know… without them, I may just hurl my body off a really tall building.

Here they are, in no particular order:

  • The Good Wife. If I haven’t made myself clear before, let me do so now. There are times when The Good Wife is the only thing I look forward to all week. Sometimes, it’s the one thing I live for. My love for this show burns hotter than a thousand burning suns. Because it is fantastic. And funny. And brilliantly written. And Cary is hot.

  • The new Twitter account for Kensington Palace. Squeeeee! (Why yes, I did just make the sound a thirteen year old girl makes when One Direction is mentioned. Thank you for noticing.) I realize Will, Kate and Harry are not all huddled around the palace laptop trying to come up with funny and creative things to tweet, but in my head, they totally are. And isn’t that what matters? Seriously, don’t ruin the fantasy for me, okay?
  • The Mentalist. Unlike The Good Wife, this show is not nearly as fantastic, funny, or brilliantly written. But Patrick is just so dang pretty that it doesn’t even matter. Plus, the new story line between Lisbon and Jane is nearly as epic as Ross and Rachel.

  •  My ongoing love affair with these:

Converse_Chuck_Taylor_All_Star_Low_Top_Claret_Red_Canvas_Shoes

And the realization that in just a few short months, I will be reunited with them as we stroll along familiar lanes that are not snow-packed and covered with murderous ice. (Yes, I know the ice isn’t out to get me… even though it is. IT TOTALLY IS.) Don’t tell the other two pairs that I’m in the market for two more pairs. They’re easily offended and quite jealous. I suppose I should stop at two pairs but… the heart wants what it wants. Don’t judge me.

  • This book:

index

Because if you know anything about me, you know I will be totally geeking out as I read this under the covers with my flashlight on all winter long.

Sooo… yeah. I don’t know what any of this means, but if my above selections are any indication, I should just get it over with and hurl myself off a tall building now.

I swear I’m not as lame as I seem…

Except that I totally am.

And I’m totally nailing it.

You so want to be me when you grow up.

Things that made me go Hmm… Week 10

Okay, here we go. I’m just going to jump right in.

  • This post by the always awesome Lisa Arends about being blamed for your divorce. (Not her being blamed for your divorce. You being blamed for your divorce. When it wasn’t your fault. You pickin’ up what I’m puttin’ down? Or did I just confuse you further?)
  • This… because you know it’s true.
  • And finally, this. Because these are my thought-processes after every single social interaction I have. I may have a smidgen of OCD.

That’s all for this week, peeps. Enjoy the weekend. Catch you on the flip side… whatever that means…

Annie’s Top Children’s Books

So, a while ago I came across this blogger who’s not only witty and thoughtful, but she loves children’s books as much as I do. So, she made a list of her favorite ones.

Because I loved this idea so much and because I’m a big ol’ unoriginal copy cat, I’m stealing her idea and making a list of my own. Because that’s how I roll. I suggest you all make a list too because… well, because it’s fun. And children’s books are awesome.

Here we go… In no particular order…

The Story of FerdinandThe Story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf: Oh, how I adore this story. A bull who would rather wander through meadows and smell the flowers than fight? Adorable. Plus, the black and white illustrations are top notch.

The Little HouseThe Little House by Virginia Lee Burton: Hi. Have you not read this? What is the matter with you? Best. Book. Ever. It tells the story of a little house (who knew) nestled quietly in the country-side, who is soon over-taken by big-city progress. Don’t worry, it has a happy ending.

The Day the Crayons QuitThe Day the Crayons Quit By Drew Daywalt: This? Is a ridiculously fun book. The crayons, feeling under-appreciated and under-utilized go on strike. It perfectly captures the personality and attitude of each of the crayons.

Big PlansBig Plans by Bob Shea, illustrated by Lane Smith: Okay, so it’s pretty much a given that I will love any book that Lane Smith is associated with. As a teacher, I love reading this to my kiddos to teach them that it’s okay to dream big. Plus, the line, “I got big plans, big plans I say!” will become your classroom mantra for the entirety of the year.

It's a BookIt’s a Book by Lane Smith: Did I mention I love Lane Smith? Because I do. I adore him. Before we go any further… here’s a disclaimer:  DISCLAIMER: This is NOT a children’s book. See what I did there? So, when you bring this to class to read to your kiddos, don’t say I didn’t warn you. A commentary on the digital age, it has a delightfully funny twist at the end that isn’t exactly appropriate for kids. Because they will go home and tell their parents that you said a bad word. However, the word isn’t so bad that it wouldn’t be a terrifically fun book to read to your high school students to teach them the significance of print in the digital age. Or heck, just buy it to read to yourself. That’s what I did.

How the Grinch Stole Christmas

How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss: Seriously, who doesn’t love Dr. Seuss? (If you say you don’t love Dr. Seuss, I will hunt you down. That’s like a crime against humanity. You know that, right?) Best Christmas book ever. Not only is it funny and super fun to read, but it truly captures what Christmas is all about.

The LoraxThe Lorax by Dr. Seuss: Again, Dr. Seuss. Because I love him. I loooooove this book mainly because it is terrifically fun to read aloud with the rhyming schemes and made up words. Plus is had a good message. What’s not to love?

Okay, what is that… seven? Okay, so because I’m getting lazy, I’m just going to list the other ones… complete with links to the Barne’s & Nobel website where you can find them. (The pictures of the books above will bring you there too. You’re welcome.)

And about a zillion more I don’t have the energy to list right now. So, what do you think? What did I miss? What are your favorites? Let me know.