Happy Mother’s Day & Books My Mom Loves

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First of all, Happy Mother’s Day to all the Moms out there!

I wanted to do a special Mother’s Day post; a list of books for moms, that moms loved, about moms… Something along those lines. But all I could find was gift lists. Or lists full of self help books and let’s face it, giving Mom a self help book for Mother’s Day is right up there with giving her a vacuum. So, I figured I’d just go to the source, my mama.

I attribute my love for books and reading to her influence. She took us to the bookstore all the time as kids, and while she wouldn’t always say yes when we asked her to buy us a toy, she very rarely ever said no when I asked for a book. So, I asked her for her top five favorite books to share here, most of which I’ve read based on her recommendation. This is the list she gave me, including her top five faves and two alternates. Happy Reading Moms!


Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
“Sixty years after REBECCA was first published, Daphne du Maurier’s unsurpassed masterpiece continues to enthrall readers with romance and suspense, as the second Mrs. de Winter narrates the haunting events surrounding her marriage to Maxim de Winter and her growing obsession with his first wife, the beautiful, now dead Rebecca. Includes excerpts from the author’s personal notes and essays, exclusive to this edition.”
Paperback, 410 pages, Published November 1st 1997 by Harper Paperbacks (first published 1938), ISBN13: 9780380730407


Water For Elephants by Sara Gruen
“Though he may not speak of them, the memories still dwell inside Jacob Jankowski’s ninety-something-year-old mind. Memories of himself as a young man, tossed by fate onto a rickety train that was home to the Benzini Brothers Most Spectacular Show on Earth. Memories of a world filled with freaks and clowns, with wonder and pain and anger and passion; a world with its own narrow, irrational rules, its own way of life, and its own way of death. The world of the circus: to Jacob it was both salvation and a living hell.”
Paperback, 331 pages, Published April 9th 2006 by Algonquin Books, ISBN13: 9781565125605, Book Sense Book of the Year Award for Adult Fiction (2007), ALA Alex Award (2007), Quill Award Nominee for General Fiction (2006)


Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
“Sometimes only remembered for the epic motion picture and “Frankly … I don’t give a damn,” Gone with the Wind was initially a compelling and entertaining novel. It was the sweeping story of tangled passions and the rare courage of a group of people in Atlanta during the time of Civil War that brought those cinematic scenes to life. The reason the movie became so popular was the strength of its characters–Scarlett O’Hara, Rhett Butler, and Ashley Wilkes–all created here by the deft hand of Margaret Mitchell, in this, her first novel. A monumental classic considered by many to be not only the greatest love story ever written, but also the greatest Civil War saga.”
Paperback, 1011 pages, Published September 20th 1991 by Pan (first published September 1st 1936), ISBN13: 9780330323499, Pulitzer Prize for Novel (1937)


The Illustrated Man by Ray Bradbury
“That The Illustrated Man has remained in print since being published in 1951 is fair testimony to the universal appeal of Ray Bradbury’s work. Only his second collection (the first was Dark Carnival, later reworked into The October Country), it is a marvelous, if mostly dark, quilt of science fiction, fantasy, and horror. In an ingenious framework to open and close the book, Bradbury presents himself as a nameless narrator who meets the Illustrated Man–a wanderer whose entire body is a living canvas of exotic tattoos. The tattooed man moves, and in the arcane designs scrawled upon his skin swirled tales beyond imagining: tales of love and laughter darkness and death, of mankind’s glowing, golden past and its dim, haunted future. Here are eighteen incomparable stories that blend magic and truth in a kaleidoscope tapestry of wonder–woven by the matchless imagination of Ray Bradbury.”
Paperback, 186 pages, Published June 1967 by Bantam Books (first published 1951), Pulitzer Prize Special Citation: (2007)


Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes
“Flowers for Algernon is a science fiction short story and subsequent novel written by Daniel Keyes. The short story, written in 1958 and first published in the April 1959 issue of The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, won the Hugo Award for Best Short Story in 1960. The novel was published in 1966 and was joint winner of that year’s Nebula Award for Best Novel (with Babel-17). The titular Algernon is a laboratory mouse who has undergone surgery to increase his intelligence by artificial means. The story is told as a series of progress reports written by Charlie, the first human test subject for the surgery, and touches upon many different ethical and moral themes such as the treatment of the mentally disabled. Although the book has often been challenged for removal from libraries in the US and Canada, sometimes successfully, it is regularly taught in schools around the world and has been adapted numerous times for television, theatre, radio and as the Academy Award-winning film Charly.”
Paperback, 224 pages, Published December 31st 1984 by Bantam (first published 1959), ISBN13: 9780553274509, Hugo Award for Short Fiction (1960), Nebula Award for Best Novel (1966)


Travels with Charley: In Search of America by John Steinbeck
“Travels with Charley: In Search of America is a travelogue written by American author John Steinbeck. It recounts tales of a 1960 road trip with his French standard poodle, Charley, around the United States. He wrote that he was moved by a desire to see his country on a personal level, since he made his living writing about it. He wrote of having many questions going into his journey, the main one being, “What are Americans like today?” However, he found that the “new America” did not live up to his expectations.
Steinbeck tells of travelling throughout the United States in a specially-made camper he named Rocinante, after the horse of Don Quixote. His travels start in Long Island, New York, and roughly follow the outer border of the United States, from Maine to the Pacific Northwest, down into his native Salinas Valley in California, across to Texas, up through the Deep South, and then back to New York. Such a trip encompasses nearly 10,000 miles.”
Paperback, 214 pages, Published February 5th 2002 by Penguin (first published 1962), ISBN13: 9780142000700


The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane
“Following its initial appearance in serial form, Stephen Crane’s The Red Badge of Courage was published as a complete work in 1895 and quickly became the benchmark for modern anti-war literature. Although the exact battle is never identified, Crane based this story of a soldier’s experiences during the American Civil War on the 1863 Battle of Chancellorsville. Many veterans, both Union and Confederate, praised the book’s accurate representation of war, and critics consider its stylistic strength the mark of a literary classic.”
Paperback, 152 pages, Published September 2004 by Prestwick House Inc. (first published 1895), ISBN13: 9781580495868

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Happy Star Wars Day! May the Fourth be with you!

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Come to the Dark Side, embrace your inner geek. May the Fourth be with you!

Personally, I’ve never read any of the Star Wars books. I guess I knew in some vague part of my brain that there were Stars Wars books out there, but I never realized quite how extensive the series really is. There are literally HUNDREDS of books in multiple series.

I am a self-admitted Star Wars geek so now I’ve started to add the books to my to-read list, which already contains over 3,000 titles. *sigh* So many books, so little time.

So here is a list of series and books to help all you secret (and not so secret) Star Wars geeks out there. I’m including only novels here, no comics or graphic novels — not that I have anything against comics and graphic novels but really, this post is going to be long enough as it is.

Old Galactic Republic Era (The Sith Era)
Lost Tribe of the Sith

Precipice by John Jackson Miller
Skyborn by John Jackson Miller
Paragon by John Jackson Miller
Savior by John Jackson Miller

The Old Republic
Fatal Alliance by Sean Williams
Deceived by Paul S. Kemp

Darth Bane
Darth Bane: Path of Destruction by Drew Karpyshyn
Darth Bane: Rule of Two by Drew Karpyshyn
Darth Bane: Dynasty of Evil by Drew Karpyshyn

Rise of the Empire Era
Legacy of the Jedi

Legacy of the Jedi by Jude Watson

Jedi Apprentice
The Rising Force by Dave Wolverton
The Dark Rival by Jude Watson
The Hidden Past by Jude Watson
The Mark of the Crown by Jude Watson
The Defenders of the Dead by Jude Watson
The Uncertain Path by Jude Watson
The Captive Temple by Jude Watson
The Day of Reckoning by Jude Watson
The Fight for Truth by Jude Watson
The Shattered Peace by Jude Watson
The Deadly Hunter by Jude Watson
The Evil Experiment by Jude Watson
The Dangerous Rescue by Jude Watson
The Ties That Bind by Jude Watson
The Death of Hope by Jude Watson
The Call to Vengeance by Jude Watson
The Only Witness by Jude Watson
The Threat Within by Jude Watson
Deceptions by Jude Watson
The Followers by Jude Watson

The Life and Legend of Obi-Wan Kenobi
Life and Legend of Obi-Wan Kenobi by Ryder Windham

Secrets of the Jedi
Secrets of the Jedi by Jude Watson

The Rise and Fall of Darth Vader
The Rise and Fall of Darth Vader by Ryder Windham

Cloak of Deception
Cloak of Deception by James Luceno

Darth Maul
Darth Maul: Saboteur by James Luceno
Darth Maul: Shadow Hunter by Michael Reaves

The Phantom Menace (Episode I)
The Phantom Menace by Terry Brooks
Star Wars Episode I: The Queen’s Amulet by Julianne Balmain

Rogue Planet
Star Wars: Rogue Planet by Greg Bear

Jedi Quest Series
Path to Truth by Jude Watson
The Way of the Apprentice by Jude Watson
The Trail of the Jedi by Jude Watson
The Dangerous Games by Jude Watson
The Master of Disguise by Jude Watson
The School of Fear by Jude Watson
The Shadow Trap by Jude Watson
The Moment of Truth by Jude Watson
The Changing of the Guard by Jude Watson
The False Peace by Jude Watson
The Final Showdown by Jude Watson

Outbound Flight
Outbound Flight by Timothy Zahn

The Approaching Storm
The Approaching Storm by Alan Dean Foster

Attack of the Clones (Episode II)
Attack of the Clones by R.A. Salvatore

Boba Fett Series
The Fight to Survive by Terry Bisson
Crossfire by Terry Bisson
Maze Of Deception by Elizabeth Hand
Hunted by Elizabeth Hand
A New Threat by Elizabeth Hand
Pursuit by Elizabeth Hand

Republic Commando Series
Hard Contact by Karen Traviss
Triple Zero by Karen Traviss
True Colors by Karen Traviss
Order 66 by Karen Traviss
501st by Karen Traviss

Clone Wars Series
Shatterpoint by Matthew Stover
The Cestus Deception by Steven Barnes
Medstar I: Battle Surgeons by Michael Reaves & Steve Perry
Medstar II: Jedi Healer by Michael Reaves & Steve Perry
Jedi Trial by David Sherman & Dan Cragg
Yoda: Dark Rendezvous by Sean Stewart

Star Wars: The Clone Wars
The Clone Wars by Karen Traviss
Wild Space by Karen Miller
No Prisoners by Karen Traviss
Gambit: Stealth by Karen Miller
Gambit: Siege by Karen Miller

Revenge of the Sith (Episode III)
Labyrinth of Evil by James Luceno
Revenge of the Sith by Matthew Stover
Dark Lord: The Rise of Darth Vader by James Luceno

Coruscant Nights
Jedi Twilight by Michael Reaves
Street of Shadows by Michael Reaves
Patterns of Force by Michael Reaves

Last of The Jedi
The Desperate Mission by Jude Watson
Dark Warning by Jude Watson
Underworld by Jude Watson
Death on Naboo by Jude Watson
A Tangled Web by Jude Watson
Return of the Dark Side by Jude Watson
Secret Weapon by Jude Watson
Against the Empire by Jude Watson
Master of Deception by Jude Watson
Reckoning by Jude Watson

The Han Solo Trilogy
The Paradise Snare by A.C. Crispin
The Hutt Gambit by A.C. Crispin
Rebel Dawn by A.C. Crispin

The Adventures of Lando Calrissian
Lando Calrissian and the Mindharp of Sharu by L. Neil Smith
Lando Calrissian and the Flamewind of Oseon by L. Neil Smith
Lando Calrissian and the StarCave of ThonBoka by L. Neil Smith

The Force Unleashed
The Force Unleashed by Sean Williams
The Force Unleashed II by Sean Williams

The Han Solo Adventures
Han Solo At Star’s End by Brian Daley
Han Solo’s Revenge by Brian Daley
Han Solo and the Lost Legacy by Brian Daley

Death Troopers
Death Troopers by Joe Schreiber

Death Star
Death Star by Michael Reaves & Steve Perry

Dark Forces
Soldier for the Empire by William C. Dietz
Rebel Agent by William C. Dietz
Jedi Knight by William C. Dietz

Rebellion Era
A New Hope (Episode IV)

A New Hope by Alan Dean Foster & George Lucas

Allegiance
Allegiance by Timothy Zahn

Galaxy of Fear
Eaten Alive by John Whitman
City of the Dead by John Whitman
Planet Plague by John Whitman
The Nightmare Machine by John Whitman
Ghost of the Jedi by John Whitman
Army of Terror by John Whitman
The Brain Spiders by John Whitman
The Swarm by John Whitman
Spore by John Whitman
The Doomsday Ship by John Whitman
Clones by John Whitman
The Hunger by John Whitman

Star Wars Galaxies
The Ruins of Dantooine by Voronica Whitney-Robinson & Haden Blackman

Splinter of the Mind’s Eye
Splinter of the Mind’s Eye by Alan Dean Foster

Rebel Force
Target by Alex Wheeler
Hostage by Alex Wheeler
Renegade by Alex Wheeler
Firefight by Alex Wheeler
Trapped by Alex Wheeler
Uprising by Alex Wheeler

The Empire Strikes Back (Episode V)
The Empire Strikes Back by Donald F. Glut

Shadows of The Empire
Shadows of the Empire by Steve Perry

Return of the Jedi
Return of the Jedi by James Kahn

The Bounty Hunter Wars
The Mandalorian Armor by K.W. Jeter
Slave Ship by K.W. Jeter
Hard Merchandise by K.W. Jeter

The Truce at Bakura
The Truce at Bakura by Kathy Tyers

New Republic Era
Luke Skywalker and the Shadows of Mindor

Luke Skywalker and the Shadows of Mindor by Matthew Stover

X-wing Series
Rogue Squadron by Michael Stackpole
Wedge’s Gamble by Michael Stackpole
The Krytos Trap by Michael Stackpole
The Bacta War by Michael Stackpole
Wraith Squadron by Aaron Allston
Iron Fist by Aaron Allston
Solo Command by Aaron Allston
Isard’s Revenge by Michael Stackpole
Starfighters of Adumar by Aaron Allston

The Courtship of Princess Leia
The Courtship of Princess Leia by Dave Wolverton

A Forest Apart
A Forest Apart by Troy Denning

Tatooine Ghost
Tatooine Ghost by Troy Denning

The Thrawn Trilogy
Heir to the Empire by Timothy Zahn
Dark Force Rising by Timothy Zahn
The Last Command by Timothy Zahn

The Jedi Academy Trilogy
Jedi Search by Kevin J. Anderson
Dark Apprentice by Kevin J. Anderson
Champions of the Force by Kevin J. Anderson

I, Jedi
I, Jedi by Michael Stackpole

Callista Trilogy
Children of the Jedi by Barbara Hambly
Darksaber by Kevin J. Anderson
Planet of Twilight by Barbara Hambly

The Crystal Star
The Crystal Star by Vonda McIntyre

The Black Fleet Crisis Trilogy
Before the Storm by Michael P. Kube-McDowell
Shield of Lies by Michael P. Kube-McDowell
Tyrant’s Test by Michael P. Kube-McDowell

The New Rebellion
The New Rebellion by Kristine Rusch

The Corellian Trilogy
Ambush at Corellia by Roger MacBride Allen
Assault at Selonia by Roger MacBride Allen
Showdown at Centerpoint by Roger MacBride Allen

The Hand of Thrawn Duology
Specter of the Past by Timothy Zahn
Vision of the Future by Timothy Zahn

Survivor’s Quest
Survivor’s Quest (with Fool’s Bargain) by Timothy Zahn

Junior Jedi Knights Series
The Golden Globe by Nancy Richardson
Lyric’s World by Nancy Richardson
Promises by Nancy Richardson
Anakin’s Quest by Rebecca Moesta
Vader’s Fortress by Rebecca Moesta
Kenobi’s Blade by Rebecca Moesta

Young Jedi Knights Series
Heirs of the Force by Kevin J. Anderson & Rebecca Moesta
The Shadow Academy by Kevin J. Anderson & Rebecca Moesta
The Lost Ones by Kevin J. Anderson & Rebecca Moesta
Lightsabers by Kevin J. Anderson & Rebecca Moesta
Darkest Knight by Kevin J. Anderson & Rebecca Moesta
Jedi Under Siege by Kevin J. Anderson & Rebecca Moesta
Shards of Alderaan by Kevin J. Anderson & Rebecca Moesta
Diversity Alliance by Kevin J. Anderson & Rebecca Moesta
Delusions of Grandeur by Kevin J. Anderson & Rebecca Moesta
Jedi Bounty by Kevin J. Anderson & Rebecca Moesta
The Emperor’s Plague by Kevin J. Anderson & Rebecca Moesta
Return to Ord Mantell by Kevin J. Anderson & Rebecca Moesta
Trouble on Cloud City by Kevin J. Anderson & Rebecca Moesta
Crisis at Crystal Reef by Kevin J. Anderson & Rebecca Moesta
Jedi Sunrise by Kevin J. Anderson & Rebecca Moesta

New Jedi Order Era
The New Jedi Order

Vector Prime by R.A. Salvatore
Dark Tide I: Onslaught by Michael Stackpole
Dark Tide II: Ruin by Michael Stackpole
Agents of Chaos I: Hero’s Trial by James Luceno
Agents of Chaos II: Jedi Eclipse by James Luceno
Balance Point by Kathy Tyers
Edge of Victory I: Conquest by Greg Keyes
Edge of Victory II: Rebirth by Greg Keyes
Star by Star by Troy Denning
Dark Journey by Elaine Cunningham
Enemy Lines I: Rebel Dream by Aaron Allston
Enemy Lines II: Rebel Stand by Aaron Allston
Traitor by Matthew Stover
Destiny’s Way by Walter Jon Williams
Force Heretic I: Remnant by Sean Williams & Shane Dix
Force Heretic II: Refugee by Sean Williams & Shane Dix
Force Heretic III: Reunion by Sean Williams & Shane Dix
The Final Prophecy by Greg Keyes
The Unifying Force by James Luceno

The Dark Nest Trilogy
The Joiner King by Troy Denning
The Unseen Queen by Troy Denning
The Swarm War by Troy Denning

Legacy Era
Legacy of the Force

Betrayal by Aaron Allston
Bloodlines by Karen Traviss
Tempest by Troy Denning
Exile by Aaron Allston
Sacrifice by Karen Traviss
Inferno by Troy Denning
Fury by Aaron Allston
Revelation by Karen Traviss
Invincible by Troy Denning

Crosscurrent
Crosscurrent by Paul S. Kemp

Millennium Falcon
Millennium Falcon by James Luceno

Fate of the Jedi
Outcast by Aaron Allston
Omen by Christie Golden
Abyss by Troy Denning
Backlash by Aaron Allston
Allies by Christie Golden
Vortex by Troy Denning
Conviction by Aaron Allston
Ascension by Christie Golden
Apocalypse by Troy Denning

Short Stories
Tales from Mos Eisley Cantina by Kevin J Anderson
Tales of the Bounty Hunters by Kevin J Anderson
Tales from Jabba’s Palace by Kevin J Anderson
Tales from the Empire by Peter Schweighofer
Tales from the New Republic by Peter Schweighofer and Craig Carey

Sources: Adino Online, Wookieepedia and Wikipedia

1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die

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1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die by Peter Boxall

“From Aesop’s Fables to Zeno’s Conscience and from Achebe to Zola, 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die offers concise critical insight into the books and the writers that have excited the world’s imagination. From Billy Bathgate, Billy Bud, and Billy Liar to Calvino, Camus, and Coetzee, here you’ll find the big ideas and the best-sellers. From the popular drama of Louisa May Alcott to the stomach-turning cult fiction of Chuck Palahniuk, you’ll find the writing that has made the world over and over again.”

Discover the stories behind the adjectives: Dickensian, Kafkaesque, Rabelaisian and the writers behind the stories. From the dark recesses of Marquis de Sade’s jail cell to Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, from The Awakening and Enigma of Arrival to The End of the Road and The End of the Story, explore the greatest novels of all time.

A must have for all book lovers. I’ve only read a fraction of the books listed here but I’m definitely planning to work my way through the list. The essays about the books and/or authors are also very interesting.

Hardcover
960 pages
Published March 7th 2006 by Universe (first published 2006)
ISBN13: 9780789313706

Happy Children’s Book Week!

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Children’s Book Week is the national celebration of books and reading for youth. Since 1919, Children’s Book Week has been celebrated nationwide in schools, libraries, bookstores — anywhere where kids and books connect.

It all started with the idea that children’s books could change lives. In 1913, Franklin K. Matthiews, the librarian of the Boy Scouts of America, began touring the country to promote higher standards in children’s book. He proposed creating a Children’s Book Week, which would be supported by all interested groups: publishers, booksellers, and librarians. In 1916, the American Booksellers Association and the American Library Association cooperated with the Boy Scouts in sponsoring a Good Book Week.

In 1944, the newly established Children’s Book Council assumed responsibility for administering Children’s Books Week. In 2008, Children’s Book Week was moved from November to May. At that time, responsibility for Children’s Book Week, including planning official events and creating original materials, was transferred to Every Child A Reader, the philanthropic arm of the children’s publishing industry.

The need for Children’s Book Week today is as essential as it was in 1919, and the task remains the realization of Frederic Melcher’s (co-founder of the Children’s Book Council) fundamental declaration, “A great nation is a reading nation.”

All information taken from bookweekonline.com. Check out the site for more information about Children’s Book Week, such as official events across the country, books lists for kids and teens, and to download your official Book Week bookmark designed by Jeff Kinney, author of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series. The 2011 Children’s Book Week poster was designed by Peter Brown, author and illustrator of several picture books, including The Purple Kangaroo and The Curious Garden. Copies can be ordered online for only the cost of shipping.

Read to your kids! It’s one of the things I most thank my parents for.