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All Aboard the Dinotrain by Deb Lund
Are You Afraid Yet? by Stephen James O'Meara
Bailey's Day by Robert Haggerty
A Brief History of Time by Shaindel Beers
Cat Heaven by Cynthia Rylant
Chronicle of a Death Foretold by Gabriel García Márquez
A Dark, Dark Tale by Ruth Brown
Dead End by Helen R. Myers
Dreamstone by D. A. Hendrickson
The Electric Church by Jeff Somers
The Essential Basho by Basho and translated by Sam Hamill
Excuse Me... Are You a Witch? by Emily Horn
Farewell Atlantis by Terry Bisson
Freckle Juice by Judy Blume
Grampa's Zombie BBQ by Kirk Scraggs
The Great Kapok Tree by Lynne Cherry
How to Host a Killer Party by Penny Warner
The Kayla Chroincles by Sherri Winston
The Ladies' Paradise by Émile Zola
Little (Grrl) Lost by Charles de Lint
Little Quack's Hide and Seek by Lauren Thompson
The Man Who Did Something About It by Harvey Jacobs
Owly Volume 1: The Way Home and The Bittersweet Summer by Andy Runton
Princess Ben by Catherine Gilbert Murdock
Revolutionary War on Wednesday (Magic Tree House #22) by Mary Pope Osborne
The Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan
The Soul of the Rhino by Hemanta Mishra
Spot Visits His Grandparents by Eric Hill
The Texicans by Nina Vida
The Thanksgiving Door by Debby Atwell
Twister on Tuesday (Magic Tree House #23) by Mary Pope Osborne
Two Little Trains by Margaret Wise Brown and Leo Dillon
The Wolves in the Walls by Neil Gaiman
Veracity by Laura Bynum

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A Brief History of Time: 06/13/10

cover art

I am drawn to books for any number of reasons: familiarity with the author, familiarity with the location, a love of the title, a love of the cover art and so forth. For A Brief History of Time it was location, title and cover and having "met" the author via twitter. In fact, she's the first author I've asked up front for a chance to review.

The title, bringing to mind instantly the Stephen Hawking book, combined with a typically American windmill on against an expansive blue sky and rolling golden hills made me think of all the road trips I've taken across California and surrounding states. We live on the border between urban and rural, so the farmlands come up quickly and take most of time driving whenever we go anywhere by car outside of the Bay Area. Tucked among the active farms are the old barns and other structures slowly falling down hinting at the passage of time as they fly by our car window. So that's what the book made me think of before even opening it up. The passage of time, the demands of rural life and how both affect a person are all there in Beers' poetry.

Shaindel is currently located in Pendleton Oregon, a place we visited on our last big family road trip. It was the turning around point, the halfway marker of our adventure. So that added personal connection with the location inspired me to take the plunge and ask for a review copy.

I admit that I struggle with reading poetry and even more so with reviewing it. That being said, those connections made the process much easier. The poems drew me right in: sparking all my senses and stirring up emotions. These aren't picturesque vignettes of simpler times; they are heart wrenching, politically charged commentaries on the best and worst parts of rural living.

I received my copy for review from the author. To learn more about her, please read the links below. Most of them are interviews where she discusses her life and her craft.

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Comment #1: Monday, June, 14, 2010 at 19:26:46


I enjoy poetry, but it is hard for me to find that voice that's going to move me and make me want to read them. Great recommendation. It does make a difference when the poet seems to speak to you on a personal level too. Have a great week!

Comment #2: Wednesday, June 16, 2010 at 18:47:29


I'm not much of a poetry reader, but I'm trying to read more. I connected with this one though.

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