Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Ten most popular posts and taking a break

Hello, dear readers.  I haven't posted too much lately and have decided to take a break from the blog for a while.  I know!  So sad, right?  I started the blog in October 2009 with a lot of ideas and a lot of zeal to post odd ball lists of books.  I still love the lists and have zeal, but have moved on to other projects.  So for the moment, Just Ten Books will still exist online, but I won't be updating it.  Maybe I will in the future or maybe I will figure out how to archive it.  TBD.

So for my last post (for now), here are the ten most popular posts based on page views.  It is like my greatest hits post!  I am a little confused by the popularity of the Triangle Shirtwaist fire books, but whatever, it makes the list interesting! 

So TTFN and perhaps we will meet again.

1. Ten fictional books based on paintings or painters

2. Ten books about the French Revolution

3. Ten books based on Shakespeare's plays

4. Ten children's books about chickens

5. Ten steampunk books

6. Ten awesome audiobooks

7. Ten teen angel books

8. Ten epistolary novels for teens written with IM's, blogs and emails 

9. Ten books written by football players

10. Ten books about the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire 

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Ten children's books that deal with modern issues

When I worked as a children's librarian, parents regularly asked me to help them find books that could be good teaching tools for their children.  Generally they had an issue in mind like preparing for a move, going to the dentist or the death of a pet.  These books make it a little easier to tell something to a child that can be painful or hard to understand.

Finding books about the first day of school or using the potty is very easy.  There must be billions of them.  Books that deal with modern issues such as gender identity and PTSD are much harder to come by, but they are out there!  I was pleased to see that my local library had a bunch of holds on their copy of Elmer and the Big Bird which deals with bullying.  Maybe that popularity will spawn more titles of the same ilk.

10. Why Are You So Scared?: A Child's Book about Parents with PTSD by Beth Andrews (parents with PTSD)

9. The Night Dad Went to Jail; What to Expect When Someone You Love Goes to Jail by Melissa Higgins (parents in prison)

8. Cooper's Tale by Ralph da Costa Nunez (homelessness)

7. Elmer and the Big Bird by David McKee (bullying)

6. Since We're Friends: an Autism Picture Book by Celeste Shally (austism)

5. The Sissy Duckling by Harvey Fierstein (gender identity)

4. Mommy, Mama and Me by Leslea Newman (same sex parents)

3. And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson (same sex parents)

2. The Boy in the Dress by David Williams (gender identity)

1. My Princess Boy: a mom's story about a young boy who loves to dress up by Cheryl Kilodavis (gender identity)

Monday, December 31, 2012

Ten new books with lame titles that just might be awesome

The jury is still out for some of these new books.  While the stories told may just be spectacular, the titles don't do them any favors...

10. Juan Makes Lemonade by Giovanni Rosario - This is an adult title

9. Never Seduce a Scoundrel by Heather Grothaus

8. Underwater Dogs by Seth Casteel - Pictures of dogs underwater.  Simple.

7. The Hockey Hall of Fame Book of Jerseys by Steve Milton

6. Self-Hypnosis And Subliminal Technology: A How-to Guide for Personal-Empowerment Tools You Can Use Anywhere! by Eldon Taylor - The exclamation point makes it seem legit.

5. Sinner's Creed by Scott Stapp

4. Smoke Gets in Your Eyes (and Other Lessons from the Crematory) By Caitlin Doughty

3. Does This Church Make Me Look Fat?: A Mennonite Finds Faith, Meets Mr. Right, and Solves Her Lady Problems by Rhoda Janzen

2. Fifty Shades of Chicken: A Parody in a Cookbook by FL Fowler- sample recipe: Learning-to-Truss-You Chicken

1. Interview with a Vampire - Claudia's Story by Anne Rice,  Art and Adaptation by Ashley Marie Witter  - This is an illustrated retelling of the original Interview with a Vampire by Anne Rice, but told through young Claudia's eyes.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Ten books my book club read in 2012

Actually I read more than ten books for my book club this year because I am in two different ones.  I know what you are thinking and yes, I am an overachiever. This list is a selection of the titles that lead to good discussions.  Anyone who has been in a book club knows that sometimes a book just doesn't spark conversations and people start talking about ordering shoes online or that one recipe for dip that was "to die for."  Rest assured, these titles are book club tested and reader approved.

10.  Untold Tales by William Brook

9.  Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer

8.  The Night Circus by Erin Morganstern

7.  Rules by Cynthia Lord

6.  The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot

5.  Divergent by Veronica Roth

4.  The Help by Kathryn Stockett

3.  Sarah's Key by Tatiana De Rosnay

2.  The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

1.  A Tale Dark and Grimm by Adam Gidwitz

Friday, December 21, 2012

Ten books inspired by the Great Gatsby

Who hasn't read The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald?  I think anyone who has been to high school in the United States has read it.  High schools are crazy for those classic American Dream books.  My book club just read it for this month's selection as a way to revisit an oldie and get ready for the new movie.  Come to find out, the movie release has been pushed until the summer.  Whatever!  Like I will remember the plot details 6 months from now!

As a book that looms huge in the collective knowledge of the country, it isn't surprising that The Great Gatsby has inspired so many other works.  By "inspired" I mean that the books on this list either barrow characters directly from the story or use the actual book as a plot device.  Personally I am curious about number 1, Nick and Jake: an Epistolary Novel because it uses characters from Fitzgerald's and Ernest Hemingway's work.  And it is a book of letters which I just love.  Daisy Buchanan may say, "Gatsby? What Gatsby?" but the rest of us know exactly which one.

10. Lucky Fools by Coert Voorhees

9. The Legacy by Dudley Buffa

8. One of Our Thursdays is Missing by Jasper Fford

7. The Summer We Read Gatsby by Danielle Ganek

6. Jake, Reinvented by Gordan Korman

5. The Gold Coast by Nelson DeMille

4. Bound by Guilt by C.J. Darlington

3. Gatsby's Girl by Caroline Preston

2. The Double Bind by Chris Bohjalian

1. Nick and Jake: An Epistolary Novel by Jonathan Richards

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Ten Sesame Street Books for Adults

I have a toddler at home which means I watch A LOT of Sesame Street.  If I wanted to learn more about the program, there are plenty of books out there that spill the secrets of the street to adults.  It isn't just for kids! They also come with ironically tough names like Street Gang and Sesame Street Unpaved.

Did I mention that I have a toddler?  Oh, yes.  He is the reason that I haven't actually read any of these books, but I bet they have some juicy bits about the show.  Instead I get to read an Elmo book that is missing 50% of the pages.  A large portion of the book lost during the "let's teach the boy how to turn pages" efforts earlier this year.

As a bonus I have included a video to one of the weirdest clips I have seen on the show.  Seriously, what is going on there?  Is it the 1920's but in outer space?  Are mice our new leaders? and by leaders I mean bandleaders.  Why are the robots so weird looking?  I'm befuddled!

10. "G" is for Growing: Thirty Years of Research on Children and Sesame Street by Shalom M. Fisch and Rosemarie T. Truglio   

9. Quilting with the Muppets: 15 Fun and Creative Patterns by the Jim Henson Company in association with the Sesame Workshop

8. Children and Television: Lessons from Sesame Street by Gerald S. Lesser

7. Sesame Street: a Celebration: 40 years of Life on the Street by Louise Gikow

6. My Life as a Furry Red Monster: What Being Elmo Has Taught Me about Life, Love and Laughing out Loud by Kevin Clash

5. Sesame Street Dad: Evolution of an Actor by Roscoe Orman

4. Sesame Street and the Reform of Children's Television by Robert Morrow

3. Sesame Street Unpaved: Scripts, Stories, Secrets and Songs by David Borgenicht

2. The Wisdom of Big Bird (and the Dark Genius of Oscar the Grouch): Lessons from a Life in Feathers by Carroll Spinney

1. Street Gang: the Complete History of Sesame Street by Michael Davis

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Ten Poltical Thrillers to liven up this election season

Election time is getting close.  This is evident by the great number of political ads on TV and boy, are they fun to endure!  I would really pay attention if one of them started off by saying, "I'm Johnny Candidate and I DON'T approve this message."  You know something good is about to follow.

Let's be frank here.  Mud slinging and law making can be a little dull; wouldn't it be a lot more fun if super spies and intricate conspiracies took center stage during campaign season?  Fiscal cliffs and firing Big Bird?  Ho hum.  A stealthy CIA agent who took out the Soviets and the IRA gets elected president?  Heck yeah!  I'd vote for him!  (That would be Jack Ryan in Tom Clancy's Executive Orders)  Here is a list of political thrillers that can put a little fantasy into this year's big election. It doesn't matter which way you lean, both parties can enjoy a little government flavored suspense.

Thanks to my co-worker, Jim for the great list suggestion!

10. Term Limits by Vince Flynn

9.The Last Patriot by Brad Thor

8. The Enemy Within by Noel Hynd

7. Mounting Fears by Stuart Woods

6. The Constant Gardener by John Le Carre

5. House Divided by Mike Lawson

4. First Family by David Baldacci

3. The Man with the Baltic Stare by James Church

2. The Race by Richard North Patterson

1. Executive Orders by Tom Clancy

Here is a bonus video that is only tangentially related to the topic at hand.  SNL and undecided voters = hilarious: