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Little Willow [userpic]

Poetry Friday: Unwind by Guy Garvey

December 8th, 2017 (06:00 am)
hopeful

Current Mood: hopeful
Current Song: Unwind by Guy Garvey

Can I picture us in skyline scene
Can I see your face like a waking dream
Can I hear your heart
Can I hang my hat
Can you risk your time on a whim like that

Could you take my hand
Could you leave your phone
Could you let me lead you away from home
Can I hear your heart
Can I hang my hat
Can you risk your time on a whim like that

Can I see my years folding into yours
Can I see myself walking in your door
Can I hear your heart
Can I hang my hat
Can you risk your time on a whim like that

Could you take my hand
Could you leave your phone
Could you let me lead you away from home
Can I hear your heart
Can I hang my hat
Can you risk your time on a whim like that

Can I picture us in skyline scene
Can I see your face like a waking dream
Can I see my years folding into yours
Can I see myself walking in your door

- lyrics from the song Unwind by Guy Garvey

View all posts tagged as Poetry Friday at Bildungsroman.

View the roundup schedule at A Year of Reading.

Learn more about Poetry Friday.

Little Willow [userpic]

Books to Read (Forthcoming Releases)

December 1st, 2017 (07:00 am)
thoughtful

Current Mood: thoughtful
Current Song: Without a Trace theme song

January 2018
Runaways by Christopher Golden

April 2018
Atomic Frenchie by Tom Sniegoski and Tom McWeeney
Sam & Ilsa's Last Hurrah by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan

June 2018
Not the Girls You're Looking For by Aminah Mae Safi

July 2018
Lovely, Dark, and Deep by Justina Chen

Fall 2018
A Blade So Black by L.L. McKinney
Magic Camper by Courtney Sheinmel and Bianca Turetsky ‏

Sometime in 2018
Dear Miss Sweetie by Stacey Lee
Solutions and Other Problems by Allie Brosh

Little Willow [userpic]

Poetry Friday: This Is Just To Say by William Carlos Williams

December 1st, 2017 (06:00 am)
hungry

Current Mood: hungry
Current Song: Knock Knock by Twice

I have eaten
the plums
that were in
the icebox

and which
you were probably
saving
for breakfast

Forgive me
they were delicious
so sweet
and so cold

- This Is Just To Say by William Carlos Williams

View all posts tagged as Poetry Friday at Bildungsroman.

View the roundup schedule at A Year of Reading.

Learn more about Poetry Friday.

Little Willow [userpic]

Best Books of November 2017

November 30th, 2017 (09:12 pm)
Current Song: Bethany by Hayley Reardon

November: 10 books and scripts read

Every story I read this month is currently unpublished, so I can't comment on any of them in detail - but I can tell you that I finally have The Book of Dust: La Belle Sauvage by Philip Pullman, the first volume in long-awaited companion series to His Dark Materials, in my possession. If it's anything like the previous stories, you might just see it on my best books of the month list next month. Visit Bildungsroman circa New Year's Eve to see my best books of the year post as well.

Little Willow [userpic]

Poetry Friday: A Letter in October by Ted Kooser

November 24th, 2017 (06:00 am)
sleepy

Current Mood: sleepy
Current Song: One Day Like This by Elbow

Dawn comes later and later now,
and I, who only a month ago
could sit with coffee every morning
watching the light walk down the hill
to the edge of the pond and place
a doe there, shyly drinking,

then see the light step out upon
the water, sowing reflections
to either side - a garden
of trees that grew as if by magic -
now see no more than my face,
mirrored by darkness, pale and odd,

startled by time. While I slept,
night in its thick winter jacket
bridled the doe with a twist
of wet leaves and led her away,
then brought its black horse with harness
that creaked like a cricket, and turned

the water garden under. I woke,
and at the waiting window found
the curtains open to my open face;
beyond me, darkness. And I,
who only wished to keep looking out,
must now keep looking in.

- A Letter in October by Ted Kooser

(It's a shame I didn't find this last month, isn't it?)

View all posts tagged as Poetry Friday at Bildungsroman.

View the roundup schedule at A Year of Reading.

Learn more about Poetry Friday.

Little Willow [userpic]

Booklist: Tough Issues for Teens

November 22nd, 2017 (09:00 am)
hopeful

Current Mood: hopeful
Current Song: Just Enough by Aslyn

One afternoon in the bookstore, a young woman in her late teens approached me and said, "Excuse me. Can you help me? I want some books like . . . " She named a few teen fiction titles that dealt with drug abuse and anorexia. She looked slightly uncomfortable but mostly excited. I told her that I could recommend many good books. Within minutes, she was sitting on the floor in the teen fiction section, a plastic basket full to the brim with books, with additional titles in her hand and next to her knees and her feet.

We had a great discussion. I was happy on any levels: happy that she felt comfortable enough to come to me, happy that she was open-minded, happy that I got some realistic, well-written books in her hand. This urged me to make a list of books dealing tough issues - eating disorders, loss and grieving, addiction, abuse, and so forth.

Due to subject matter, many of these books are recommended for older teens as well as adults, be they parents, teachers, librarians, or simply avid readers.

I've read every title on this list, and have given each book a rating according to the United States movie rating guide - G, PG, PG-13, or R - based on content, and a number of stars - four being the best - based on quality (my personal opinion).

PARENTAL ABUSE OR NEGLECT - Physical or emotional abuse, alcoholism, etc.
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ABUSE BY OTHERS - physical or emotional abuse; date or acquaintance rape; accusations, secrets and lies
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TEACHER/STUDENT RELATIONSHIPS - be they romantic relationships or rumors or no romance, but a definite abuse of power
Read more...Collapse )

POSITIVE & PLATONIC TEACHER/STUDENT RELATIONSHIPS - teachers positively influencing and educating their pupils
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PARENT/CHILD RELATIONSHIPS - reconnecting with or distancing oneself from absentee parents, dealing with restrictions and expectations
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LONG-LOST SIBLINGS - reconnecting with siblings, or meeting them for the first time
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ORIENTATION AND/OR GENDER ROLES
Read more...Collapse )

VIOLENCE AT SCHOOL
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EATING DISORDERS
Read more...Collapse )

PHYSICAL DISORDERS/INJURIES/SPECIAL NEEDS - protagonist, siblings, friends
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BODY CHANGES - growing up and dealing with natural physical changes (as opposed to health, weight, or body image issues; disorders/injuries are in a separate list above this one)
Read more...Collapse )

TEENAGE PREGNANCY - may also deal with adoption and/or abortion
Read more...Collapse )

TEENAGE ALCOHOLISM
Read more...Collapse )

MENTAL ILLNESS OF A PARENT, RELATIVE, OR PEER
Read more...Collapse )

DEPRESSION
Read more...Collapse )

RECOVERY/SUPPORT GROUPS
Read more...Collapse )

CUTTING
Read more...Collapse )

STEALING
Read more...Collapse )

DIVORCE, SEPARATION, AND/OR STEPFAMILIES - parents dating, getting remarried, etc
Read more...Collapse )

LOSS OR PHYSICAL ILLNESS OF A PARENT
Read more...Collapse )

LOSS OR ILLNESS OF A SIBLING
Read more...Collapse )

LOSS OR ILLNESS OF A FRIEND OR PEER
Read more...Collapse )

LOSS OR ILLNESS OF A GRANDPARENT
Read more...Collapse )

LOSS OR ILLNESS OF ANOTHER CLOSE RELATIVE AND/OR ADULT
Read more...Collapse )

PROTAGONIST WITH AN ILLNESS
Read more...Collapse )

DRUG ADDICTION
Read more...Collapse )

CAR ACCIDENTS (and similar accidents)
Read more...Collapse )

INCARCERATION OF A RELATIVE
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ADOPTION - Also foster care, group homes, and counseling
Read more...Collapse )

KIDNAPPING
Read more...Collapse )

CULTURAL IDENTITY
Read more...Collapse )

SUICIDE OR SUICIDAL TENDENCIES
Read more...Collapse )

ACADEMICS - cheating, excelling, or otherwise dealing with academic pressure
Read more...Collapse )

SOCIAL STATUS - at school or otherwise with peers; popularity, bullying, et al.
Read more...Collapse )

PEER PRESSURE
Read more...Collapse )

RELIGION
Read more...Collapse )

POLITICS
Read more...Collapse )

ACTIVISM
Read more...Collapse )

INTERNET SAFETY - and/or cyberbullying
Read more...Collapse )

SEEKING SHELTER - family shelters, homelessness, runaways
Read more...Collapse )

I hope that this list helps readers of all ages find books they may be too shy to openly discuss with a bookseller or librarian. I want those readers to know they may leave a comment here and tell me which books they have found valuable. Most of all, I want them to know they can talk to their friends or adults they know in order to get the answers and help they may need.

If you would like for me to add more titles about a certain subject, or if you want more information about any of the books on the list, please leave a comment.

Special thanks to those who have shown their support of this list by offering me links, comments, and compliments, such as Jen Robinson, Bookseller Chick, Robin Brande, Sassymonkey at BlogHer, Daisy Whitney, Caroline, Bookstore People, and Jennifer R. Hubbard.

Little Willow [userpic]

Poetry Friday: The Giant Slide by Ted Kooser

November 17th, 2017 (06:00 am)
contemplative

Current Mood: contemplative
Current Song: One Day Like This by Elbow

Beside the highway, the Giant Slide
with its rusty undulations lifts
out of the weeds. It hasn't been used
for a generation. The ticket booth
tilts to that side where the nickels shifted
over the years. A chain link fence keeps out
the children and drunks. Blue morning glories
climb halfway up the stairs, bright clusters
of laughter. Call it a passing fancy,
this slide that nobody slides down now.
Those screams have all gone east
on a wind that will never stop blowing
down from the Rockies and over the plains,
where things catch on for a little while,
bright leaves in a fence, and then are gone.

- The Giant Slide by Ted Kooser

View all posts tagged as Poetry Friday at Bildungsroman.

View the roundup schedule at A Year of Reading.

Learn more about Poetry Friday.

Little Willow [userpic]

Collected Brevity: Anthologies and Short Story Collections

November 17th, 2017 (05:00 am)
sleepy

Current Mood: sleepy
Current Song: The Bones of You by Elbow

When my friend Christopher Golden announced the forthcoming The Twisted Book of Shadows anthology - which will start accepting submissions in February 2018, so mark your calendars! - I started considering what I could write and submit. That led to thinking about my favorite short stories, which is a pretty short list (no pun intended) as I tend to gravitate towards longer stories, full-length novels and serialized television. I started asking friends, colleagues, and patrons of all ages about their favorite anthologies and short story collections, and here's what we've got!

Jules, who runs the fantastic blog Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast, loves Naomi Shihab Nye's Honeybee, which offers both poems and prose. She calls it "a rewarding read" - "the results are both striking and moving, yet she manages to throw some humor in there, too." Check out her review of the collection, which includes quotes from the text, with the author's permission. (I love this note from the author: "If I see a lone bee hovering in a flower, I wish it well.")

Allison seconds the recommendation for Naomi Shihab Nye, saying her work is "off all charts. I’ve never read anything by her that didn't have at least a touch of honeyed language. One of my other favorite short story/essayists is Bailey White who used to read her short stories and essays on All Things Considered. Her first book was Mama Makes Up Her Mind. Barbara Kingsolver and bell hooks are two others I love."

Author and artist Sarah Jamila Stevenson, whose novels include The Truth Against the World and The Latte Rebellion, enjoyed the anthology Slasher Boys and Monster Girls edited by April Tucholke. "This 2015 anthology featuring some big names in YA literature brings a fresh perspective to classic horror tropes - and it's not for the faint-hearted. I'll never think of the Mad Tea Party in the same way again, that's for sure..."

Rachel's favorite anthology is The Best Science Fiction of the Year 3 edited by Terry Carr. "This anthology got me hooked on science fiction and fantasy when I was around 12 or 13, and I have been hooked ever since," she said. It contains two of her favorite short stories, Of Mist, Grass and Sand by Vonda N. McIntyre and The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas by Ursula K. LeGuin, both of which she considers "still incredibly relevant today." Prompted by our conversation, she looked up the full table of contents and added, "One of the ones I'd forgotten about, that hits me in a completely different way now, is The Women Men Don’t See, written by Alice Bradley Sheldon under the pseudonym James Tiptree, Jr."

When I asked the aforementioned Christopher Golden to list some of his favorite anthologies, he included "all of Charles L. Grant's legendary Shadows volumes and Kirby McAuley's Dark Forces, which were all hugely influential on me as a teenager and into my twenties. The horror stories in those books inspired me as a writer and as a reader…and later as an anthologist in my own right."

As for collections, he said, "The easiest and truest answer is that Stephen King set the bar with Night Shift and Different Seasons. If you go back and read those today - the former a collection of short stories and the latter a quartet of novellas - you'll see the master at work. King didn’t realize it at the time, but those were STATEMENTS, establishing the benchmark for weird fiction. Years later, I wrote the introduction for Joe Hill's 20th Century Ghosts and I had no idea of his parentage. I should have known, reading those stories, because that set a bar for a new generation. Others that should absolutely be on your weird or horror fiction collection list include all six volumes of Clive Barker's groundbreaking Books of Blood, Shirley Jackson's The Lottery and Other Stories, and Robert Shearman's Remember Why You Fear Me. On the fantasy side, Robert Holdstock's The Bone Forest is an overlooked marvel, and Kelly Link's Stranger Things Happen is remarkable."

Thanks to Chris for giving us so many recommendations -- and for giving me a segue to share my own! I really enjoyed Golden's fantastic short story collections The Secret Backs of Things and Tell My Sorrows to the Stones. The titles are fantastic and the collections fully deliver. He recently released Don't Go Alone, a collection of collaborations, which includes Joe Golem and the Copper Girl (co-written with Mike Mignola and part of their series of Joe Golem novels and comics), Ghosts of Albion animated films and books), and Wellness Check (co-written with Thomas E. Sniegoski and part of their fantastic dark fantasy series The Menagerie, which I really love).

Looking for books for younger readers and/or more classic fare? As a kid, there were collections of myths and scary stories that I read multiple times. Check out my booklist packed with short story collections and quick reads for elementary through high school readers. Have fun adding titles to your to-read pile!

This article was cross-posted at GuysLitWire.

Little Willow [userpic]

Poetry Friday: Screech Owl by Ted Kooser

November 10th, 2017 (06:00 am)
awake

Current Mood: awake
Current Song: One Day Like This by Elbow

All night each reedy whinny
From a bird no bigger than a heart
Flies out of a tall black pine
And, in a breath, is taken away
By the stars. Yet, with small hope
From the center of darkness
It calls out again and again.

- Screech Owl by Ted Kooser

View all posts tagged as Poetry Friday at Bildungsroman.

View the roundup schedule at A Year of Reading.

Learn more about Poetry Friday.

Little Willow [userpic]

Poetry Friday: A Map of the World by Ted Kooser

November 3rd, 2017 (06:00 am)
happy

Current Mood: happy
Current Song: One Day Like This by Elbow

One of the ancient maps of the world
Is heart-shaped, carefully drawn
And once washed with bright colors,
Though the colors have faded
As you might expect feelings to fade
From a fragile old heart, the brown map
Of a life. But feeling is indelible,
And longing infinite, a starburst compass
Pointing in all the directions
Two lovers might go, a fresh breeze
Swelling their sails, the future uncharted,
Still far from the edge
Where the sea pours into the stars.

- A Map of the World by Ted Kooser

View all posts tagged as Poetry Friday at Bildungsroman.

View the roundup schedule at A Year of Reading.

Learn more about Poetry Friday.

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