Tuesday, May 1, 2012

1st Edition, May 1, 2012

Madam Librarian Book Recommendation
Elizabeth /Librarian/Brigham City, Utah
The Berlin Boxing Club is a powerful story about Karl Stern’s journey through adolescence and self-discovery during a time when the social and political climate forced young people to hasten their journey to adulthood. Sharenow’s story engages readers quickly and readers will be eager to stay on Karl’s journey with him. I strongly recommend this book to anyone who loves a well-told tale, especially those who are interested in the history of the holocaust, World War II stories, art (including comics) and/or boxing history. A thoroughly enjoyable read! Although the Brooks' marriage is on the rocks, Peter and Anna attempt to survive in their country home with their family and Peter's lab assistant. No power, no food and the survival instinct of once friendly neighbors make it a life-or-death situation. The disease is spreading and winter's storms make survival unlikely. Especially when the illness hits home. I hope your readers will be drawn to this book. As I was preparing my blurb I found a review that didn't like the book. There were also good reviews. So. I stand by this book. I enjoyed it and found it very timely.
Author Spotlight--Robert Sharenow
Canyonland Press was unable to reach Mr. Sharenow for comment about his book recommendation. We've taken the liberty to add his bio and picture from his public web site. Robert Sharenow is an award-winning writer and television producer. His first novel, My Mother the Cheerleader, was chosen as a School Library Journal Best Book of the Year, an ALA Best Book for Young Adults, a New York Public Library Books for the Teen Age, and a VOYA Top Shelf Fiction for Middle School Readers. The book is currently being developed into a feature film by Julia Roberts’ production company, Red Om. His second novel, The Berlin Boxing Club, will be published by Harper Teen in 2011.

He currently serves as Senior Vice President of Non-fiction and Alternative Programming for A&E Network and Bio Channel. He is responsible for supervising the development and creation of all of A&E’s non-fiction programming including the network’s signature real-life series, justice franchises, critically-acclaimed documentary series, A&E IndieFilms, and lifestyle programming. He also oversees original program development for the Bio Channel.

He has developed and/or served as executive producer on several critically acclaimed and hit real life series, including Intervention, Storage Wars, Hoarders, Beyond Scared Straight, Steven Seagal: Lawman, Heavy, Dog the Bounty Hunter, Criss Angel Mindfreak, Gene Simmons Family Jewels, The First 48, Manhunters, and Growing Up Gotti. For the Bio Channel, he is responsible for developing Shatner’s Raw Nerve, I Survived, and Celebrity Ghost Stories. Under his leadership, A&E IndieFilms has produced and released several theatrical documentary features including award-winners, The September Issue, American Teen, Client 9: The Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer, and The Tillman Story.

Prior to A&E, Sharenow served as Executive Producer of The History Channel’s award-winning weekly series, This Week in History. While at The History Channel, he also co-created and launched the series, Extreme History with Roger Daltrey. In addition, he served as Senior Producer of a special commemorating the anniversary of 9/11, Relics From the Rubble. His other television writing credits include Michael Moore’s Emmy-award-winning TV Nation and the Emmy-award-winning children’s series Where in Time is Carmen Sandiego.

He is a graduate of Brandeis University. He received his Master’s degree from New York University where he held a fellowship in the American Studies department. He lives in New York with his wife, two daughters, and their dog, Lucy.

by Amy Durham
Readers are an interesting subset of the population. Sometimes a reader is a typical intellectual looking individual with glasses and a briefcase or tote bag full of books. Sometimes a reader is the big burly guy who rides a motorcycle and wears leather chaps. My point is this: Nowadays, so many people read so many different types of books that it’s difficult to tell by looking who’s a reader and who’s not.

However, I think many times the reader “stereotype” remains. And really, that’s not such a bad thing! As an avid reader, I don’t mind being thought of as a dreamer, an oddball, an introvert who’d rather read than interact, or an eccentric for my deep love of fictional characters. It’s part of the personality of a reader, and I take such labels as compliments!

As I thought about what it means to be a reader, how one might go about defining a reader, many ideas popped into my head. Some are dead-on true, and other are, well, humorous traits of voracious readers. Either way, if you love to read, you’ll likely find something on this list that describes you!

15.  While waiting to be seated at a restaurant, you pull out a book or an e-reader and start reading.
14.  You actually think seriously about getting up early on your day off because of all the reading you could get done.
13.  If you’re “to be read pile” gets below 10 books you start to panic.
12.  When you leave the house, you make sure you have your keys, wallet, and a copy of your current read or your e-Reader.
11. You consider naming your children after your favorite characters from a book.
10. Your bookstore’s phone number is on the speed dial of your cell phone.
9. You have Amazon.com and/or BN.com bookmarked on your computer.
8. You decide to learn about scuba-diving, antique sales, Navy SEALS, or any other random subject matter because you read a book with characters who did those things.
7. Before going to sleep at night, you say (either to yourself or your spouse), “Let me just finish this chapter.”
6. You feel compelled to try a new recipe because in the book you just finished, the characters enjoyed a food that sounded particularly interesting.
5. You really hope the fire marshal doesn’t make a surprise visit to your house, because the number of books you own constitute a fire hazard.
4. You’ve been known to put off cooking dinner, doing laundry or returning phone calls because you’re so caught up in the book you’re reading.
3. Some of your best friends are fictional characters.
2. Weeping, laughing out loud, and/or grinning like an idiot over words on a page are a regular occurrence for you.
1. Your life has been infinitely enriched by the books you’ve read, the lessons they’ve taught you, and the imagination and dreams they’ve inspired!

by Phyllis Campbell

When I first started reading over 17 years ago, I did not know the difference between an author who 'told' me a story, and an author who 'showed' me a story.  As I transitioned from a reader to a writer, I had this concept pounded in my brain...  WE MUST SHOW NOT TELL.  Yet as a reader, do you really know the difference?  Most don't know.  The ladies I work with hear all about my stories and the process of writing.  Many of them have told me they never realized the difference between 'telling' vs 'showing'...until I pointed it out to them.  Once I explained it, they went back to those memorable books they couldn't stop thinking about and realized it was because the author 'showed' the reader what was going on in the story instead of 'telling'.

One way of writing isn't necessarily better than the other.  It will all depend on what genre you like to read and what your tastes are.  Children's books, of course, is written in telling form. "Once upon a time Snow White lived..."  Author is telling you about Snow White and what happened to her.  When I first read Harry Potter, I didn't know it was more of a 'telling' kind of story until recently when I picked it up and skimmed through it.  Mystery and suspense stories are more like 'showing'.  Especially thrillers.  How else is the author going to scare the bejeezies out of you?  Or even keep you wanting to turn the page to see what happens next?

For those of you who don't understand what I'm talking about, let me give you some examples.
Telling - He was angry for the way she talked to him.
Showing - Anger poured through him like molten lava, hot and thick.  She had no reason to speak to him in such a way.

Telling When Nick looked at her, she felt flushed, and she shyly looked down at her hands.
Showing - Nick's gaze swept over her in a leisurely exploration.  Heat rushed to her face as her heart pounded out of control.  Embarrassed over experiencing such a strange, stirring emotion, she lowered her eyes to study her hands.

Now tell me...which one of these sentences do you like reading better?  For me...it would be the "showing" sentences because I MUST feel like I'm inside the character's whole body when I'm reading so I know their thoughts, feelings, and pain.

Don't forget to read the book recommendations on the side bar so you can vote in the Canyonland Press Readers Choice Awards.

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