Saturday, February 2, 2013

Books On Film | Flipped

The first time she saw him, she flipped. 
The first time he saw her, he ran.

Flipped by Wendelin Van Draanen tells the story of two eighth graders that start to develop feelings for one another.

The writing of the book is unconventional. The story is told from a first-person perspective, but instead of telling the story from a single character's point of view the book flips between the two main characters. 

So, you get to see what they both think of each other from the moment they meet in the second grade. Their views of each other wildly differ and it make for a fun read.
The book was adapted into a film by Rob Reiner (Sleepless in Seattle, The Story of Us) in 2010. The movie differs from the book right off the bat. It's set in the 1950/60s, whereas the book is set in modern day. The feeling behind the story is the same though, so give it a try.

Just a reminder for the teens out there...
Warm Bodies is out in theaters now! If you haven't read it, do it now! 

For more 2013 book to movie releases, check out the 2013 adaptations post.

Covers courtesy of LibraryThing
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Friday, February 1, 2013

Food, Food, Food | A Post Flu World

So, I had the flu.  Sure, I had a flu shot.  The doctor I saw essentially told me that they guess what the strains will be and make the shot.  I suspect they guessed wrong.  I have Kaiser and that place was a crazy place when I went in Monday for follow up.  My lab technician said that in particular children are really sick.  Please make sure that if you have kids you are giving them a healthy diet and lots of fluids.

I say all of this because I lost 6 pounds in 4 days.  I can afford to lose them, but that's because I weigh more than 56 pounds.  I realize that they won't stay away, sadly, but I felt terrific about the number on the scale. 

I also got some blood work results.  I am, apparently, the only person who can lose weight while carb-o loading.  I wish I could just eat fruit and carbs, but the doctor has asked me not to.  (Probably because I want dairy with either of them.  A LOT of dairy.)

Thursday, January 31, 2013

The Wanderlust Librarian | Adventure Time!

The new year always brings out the possibility of getting some new adventures planned. Some trips are annual ventures (San Diego Comic-Con) while others will require extensive planning and saving up some funds.

All I can do is plan well enough to make these things happen.

Usually around this time of year, I'm torn between buying a physical thing (a new television) or getting some plane tickets. This year is no different. I've always been the kind of person that is all about the experience. I love the concept of living life in a positive and thoughtful way. I sometimes think that a television will help me to enjoy my home time....but then again, wouldn't traveling somewhere be a better use of my hard earned dollars?

*sigh* the agony of choosing. It's driving me batty!

I apologize in advance for the short post, but there is an epic blog post in the works for my next trip!!

Adventure is out there!!

Book Bucket List | No Easy Day

The film Zero Dark Thirty is killing it at the box office right now.  It will probably win a million Academy Awards, (Go Jessica Chastain!) and is called one of the most controversial movies ever made.  The film is based on the true story of the CIA agent that ultimately found the compound that was housing "UBL".

The book No Easy Day: The Firsthand Account of the Mission that Killed Osama Bin Laden not only covers that same final mission, but all the others that came before it.  Seal Team Six member Mark Owen gives a detailed account of his experiences as a Navy Seal in a post 9/11 world. His memoir is a rare first hand account of highly publicized events and missions that no one ever knew about.  If you have any interest in current events, this is a must read and should certainly be added to your book bucket list!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Short Attention Span Challenge | Sick Kids!

My apologies! This week's Short Attention Span Challenge has been postponed.  

I have been spending most of my time taking care of sick kiddos.  

I could write a post about how to effectively flush out an infant's nose, but I'll do you a favor and spare you any further details...

See you next week---with a double challenge!


Learning | Ducks

Melvin the Muscovy
One of my brothers spent most of his free time exploring the wildlife in our neighborhood. He was always bringing home snakes, frogs and other critters.  In fact, my mother learned to check his pockets carefully before doing the laundry--she nearly washed a small turtle with his clothes. One day, he was fishing in a canal, and found a fluffy yellow duckling. He looked around for its mother, but there were no other ducks around. He brought it home and named it Melvin.  

Muscovy duck and her ducklings. Photo by northdevonfarmer via Some rights reserved.
Melvin was very friendly, but he was, if you will pardon the cliché, an odd duck.  

He never quacked, not even once. He made a sort of musical trilling noise. He followed me around while I played in the yard; it was almost like having a dog.  As Melvin's yellow downy feathers were replaced by white feathers, red caruncles started to form around his bill. That's when we were able to use a book to identify him as a muscovy duck--the kind that don't quack.

Melvin had one more surprise for us.  When he matured, he started laying eggs. He was a she! We never successfully found a female name to call her. Melvina and Melvira just sounded wrong. So Melvin she remained, until the end of her days.

Books About Ducks
Some fiction books serve up information in the most delightful way.  Take, for example, Just Ducks!, a book by Nicola Davies, with pictures by Salvatore Rubbino.  

Just Ducks!
It tells the story of a young city girl. She describes her day, living close to a river inhabited by mallard ducks. Her descriptions include the ducks' activities and the sounds they make.  In a smaller font, there are facts about ducks and their behavior.  

The illustrations show such a beautiful place, that you'll want to imagine being there.  I could almost hear the ducks quacking, when I read this book. I wonder where the little girl lives. What city do you think this might be?

Bruce McMillan wrote a non-fiction book called Days of the Ducklings.  The story tells of Drifa, a young girl in Iceland, who raises eider ducklings to restore the population to her small island. Because this is a true story, we are able to see pictures of Drifa with the ducklings, and see how they grow.  

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

4 Kids | And the Oscar Goes To...

Ok, not the Oscar, but yesterday, the American Library Association did announce several awards I just have to talk about! Admittedly, we library types get a little over-excited about these awards. But when I heard two of the winners, I simply had to write about them.

First of all, the Caldecott Award. This is awarded each year to the artist of the most distinguished American picture book for children. (It's like Best Actor Award at the Academy Awards.) This year -- drum roll, please -- the award goes to Jon Klassen for his book This is Not My Hat. You may recall I was singing the praises of this great picture book not too very long ago in this very blog! So I guess that means I picked the winner! 
And if you missed my praise earlier, I will repeat. This is a GREAT book! Aside from its good moral about how it's wrong to steal, the pictures really, really help tell the story. In fact, the reader who is paying attention will know more about what's going on in the story than the poor little narrator. Well, perhaps the "poor little narrator" doesn't deserve all our sympathy.
It's a great book....great for all ages....and my hat's off to Jon Klassen for being awarded this very prestigious honor!
And the other big award yesterday was the Newbery Award. Now this goes to the author of the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children. And this year, the Newbery goes to The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate. This is one of the most beautiful stories I've ever read. It's told from the point of view of Ivan, a gorilla at a run-down mall circus. He's funny, very smart, and really, really knows the value of true friendship. Full disclosure: this one might make you tear up just a little. But it's ok. You'll come away feeling pretty darn good.
And just so you know, SSJCPL will be buying lots of copies of this great book very soon, so stay tuned!
That's all for today. Happy Reading to you all!

Monday, January 28, 2013

LIFE & STYLE | Let There Be No More War

As you already know, I am not very brave.

So imagine not being brave and be forced to live through a war.

I was only 8-years-old when the Iran-Iraq war started.

The war was mainly concentrated on the borders between the two countries but there were numerous raids on the capital Tehran (my hometown) and other major cities during that long war.

Some of the war refugees were place inside a hotel not far from my house in Tehran. My heart broke every time we passed in front of that hotel.

I still have horrible flash backs from that horrible war.

Whenever I hear the emergency response test on the television, I feel a chill. That siren brings back horrific memories.

The Bomb raids were horrible. Most of the time, the alert came after the bombs were already hitting Tehran.

At night, the sky was glowing with anti-aircraft missiles that were trying to shoot down Iraqi airplanes.

It was nightly fireworks from HELL.

The entire city of Tehran shook from the impact of those bombs. Sometimes we rushed to our basement. Sometimes we just stayed in the hallway of our house and prayed.

After the bombing, we frantically called our family to see if they were still alive.

During the non-stop bombing, schools were closed for days. Then my parents would send me and my younger brother to stay with relatives in other safer cities.

Since my mom was in the Air Force, she wasn't allowed to leave and my dad always stayed behind with her.

With war came the shortage of lifes' basic necessities.

Food was rationed. I remember waiting in line for hours just to buy milk. Buying food on the black market became a fact of life.

At beginning of the war, we lived on an Air Force base.

Later on, we lived in a two story house that we shared with my grandparents.

When the bombings got really bad, we would end up sleeping in my grandparents house on the first floor, hoping that if a bomb hits, then there would be an extra layer of protection between us and the bomb. 

When the war ended in 1988, I was 16 years old.

I was one of the lucky ones. Some of my family members fought in the war and some of them got injured. But they all came back. Other people were less fortunate. My friend Zari Javanshir lost her dad in the war. My mom lost numerous friends and co-workers in that war.

In the end, countless lives were lost and two countries were ruined.

Signing off until next Monday- Panteha