Monthly Archives: January 2010

Kathy’s review of Making Toast: A Family Story

This was a GoodReads First-Reads Selection…and what an excellent book! I don’t know where to begin raving about it. It’s a memoir of Roger Rosenblatt’s 38-year old daughter, Amy, who died suddenly from a heart problem. Roger and his wife move in with Amy’s husband, and their three young children. What special people Roger and his wife Ginny were to not even hesitate to come to the aid of their son-in-law! I cried in so many parts of the book. Roger shares his family’s life and celebrates Amy’s life and her legacy. Roger would post a “Word of the Day” for the two older grandchildren in the morning. What a smart way to introduce words and how they could relate to the grandchildren. One of their family customs was to always say, “Love you” at the end of a phone conversation. I was so touched by this because it is one of our family traditions as well that we have passed onto our three daughters. Lastly, on Amy’s twenty-first birthday, Ginny wrote her a letter. Again I was brought to tears by her wish for her daughter. I thought of my three daughters as well. “I wish you work that matters. I wish you the joy of great love in marriage. I wish you the beauty and fulfillment that comes from being a mother.” Please pick up this wonderful, heartfelt book!

See the review on GoodReads, too.



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“Sarah’s Key” book review

Our group read and discussed, Sarah’s Key, by Tatiana de Rosnay.

She intertwines two stories, the past, which is the Vel’ d’Hiv’s , roundup of the Jews in 1942 that took place in France on orders from the German military. The story is based on historical information. In particular we follow the tragic story of Sarah as she tells us her tale. The other part of the story, the present, is about Julia Jermond, an American journalist, who discoveries the atrocities of the roundup. The past and the present eventually come together.

Our book club thought Tatiana did a beautiful job of bringing history to life. It entangled the past with the present which we felt made the message of the story so powerful. De Rosnay informed and enlightened us since we didn’t know this particular event of history concerning the Holocaust.

The parts which affected us the most were the secret (I won’t give it away!), the round up, and how Julia’s husband treated her.

We agreed on two central themes and morals of the story, one being secrets. Secrets become heavy weights and they are kept to protect someone. We felt in this story, secrets are best if they are NOT kept. Too many bad events occurred because secrets were kept.

If something is happening which is bad, such as the round up of the Jews by the French, and let it happen, you are still contributing to it. It doesn’t absolve anyone.

"The Best Book Club Ever"


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“The Best Book Club Ever,” “Sarah’s Key,” “Scaredy Squirrel” and more…

I’ve been part of an amazing book club for several years. While not the most creative name, we formed a strong bond that goes beyond our book discussions. We’re “The Best Book Club Ever!” and we meet monthly.  Our next book is Sarah’s Key, by Tatiana de Rosnay. Ms. de Rosnay is also on Twitter. You can follow her at @yansor.  She is currently on tour for her new book, Boomerang.  COMING SOON: Sarah’s Key discussion and a picture of our group!

Each week on the blog, I’ll share my Pre-K thru 3rd Grade Read-Alouds. These are the books I select for one of my favorite age groups. This week we read Scaredy Squirrel, by Melanie Watt. The children loved it! It draws a parallel between Scaredy and the safety he feels in his nut tree (i.e. home). Scaredy Squirrel is also crafty as he devises plans for all sorts of emergencies…like those involving: killer bees, sharks, poison ivy, germs, and green martians.

See you back here tomorrow. Happy reading!

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Kindle tip for educators #1

If you purchase 6 Kindles for your school, you can buy 1 book title and it will go onto all 6 of your Kindles – and it will only cost you the price of the one title.  Pretty cost effective for schools.

Do you have a Kindle tip for educators? Tweet me @marianslibrary.

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What’s your favorite quote or saying about reading?

Here’s mine:

“I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading! How much sooner one tires of any thing than of a book! — When I have a house of my own, I shall be miserable if I have not an excellent library.”
Jane Austen (Pride and Prejudice)

Feel free to share yours in the comments, below.

p.s. Don’t forget to share what you’re reading this week on Twitter. Use hashtag #whatareyoureadingweek.


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What I’m reading at school today

As a k-12 librarian I have the pleasure of selecting, sharing and reading great books with our youth. Here’s what I’m reading today to second and third grade students, The Gingerbread Girl, by Lisa Campbell Ernst.

The little old woman and the little old man decide to bake a gingerbread girl this time since they had such bad luck with a boy.  Let’s just say The Gingerbread Girl is “one smart cookie!!”

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The follow-up to Honeymoon with My Brother is out in paperback today

I just received a message from author Franz Wisner, one of the authors of the book, Honeymoon with My Brother.  Our book club read and discussed this book a few years ago. It was intriguing because it was true – he was jilted at the altar, but since the honeymoon was already paid for, he took his brother instead! His new book, How the World Makes Love ( is available in paperback today. Authors Kurt and Franz Wisner are unable to do a traditional book tour, so they’re reaching out to their online networks. If you’re a fan of the Wisner brothers, please help spread the word about the book.

Here’s the message I received from Franz today:

To all our readers, a sincere thanks for a fun ride.  We’ve had a blast talking with your book clubs, swapping emails, meeting you on the road. My brother and I are unable to do a national tour for the paperback release, so we need just a couple minutes of help to spread the word.


  1. Forward this note to your contact lists
  2. Post a note on your Twitter, Facebook and MySpace pages
  3. Um, purchase a copy or two.  Or 20.  Like the rest of you, we plan to donate a portion of all earnings to humanitarian relief in Haiti.  Here’s a link to Amazon as well as our neighborhood bookstore in LA for those who prefer to support the independents.
  4. Suggest How the World Makes Love for your book club.  Then send us an email so that we can join the festivities.

If you haven’t read How the World Makes Love already, I think you’ll enjoy it.  Redbook picked it as their book club selection, saying: “This quirky and charming book not only gives you insight into the male mind but also makes you want to explore your own notions of what means.”

A toast to you all.  And to love.

Muchos gracias,

Franz and Kurt

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