Saturday, July 21, 2018

Review: In here, out there! In här, ut där!: Children's Picture Book English-Swedish

In here, out there! In här, ut där!: Children's Picture Book English-Swedish In here, out there! In här, ut där!: Children's Picture Book English-Swedish by Sandra Hamer
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This adorable book would probably be effectively translated as "In one ear and out the other". It is a bilingual book with English on top and Swedish underneath and it is really cute. I am proud to say that I also understood on joke in it that is not directly translatable: the little boy's name is Jakob, but on this particular day, he is Nejkob. [Ja means "yes" and Nej means "no".] I have read this several times and I am starting to remember a few words. Ja, it is a bit hopeless; nej, I am not giving up.


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Saturday, July 14, 2018

Review: You're the Only One I Can Tell: Inside the Language of Women's Friendships

You're the Only One I Can Tell: Inside the Language of Women's Friendships You're the Only One I Can Tell: Inside the Language of Women's Friendships by Deborah Tannen
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I started this book a long while ago, but I read multiple books at a time and it got buried under the onslaught. I have finally finished it and I would now love to recommend it to friends for discussion purposes. And, I may have to read it again, just to consolidate my own thoughts about friendship and talking. The book has given me insight into some of the successes and failures of my own attempts to talk with friends. I usually feel that I am pretty good at understanding what others are feeling, but that hubris may be a bit misplaced, especially with attempts to connect with people of different backgrounds and experiences. Recommended for people who are interested in the connections between linguistics, sociology, and psychology - or people who are interested in talking to friends. It is not just for women, but in my experience women talk in this manner much more than men do.

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Monday, July 9, 2018

Review: Mission to Pluto: The First Visit to an Ice Dwarf and the Kuiper Belt

Mission to Pluto: The First Visit to an Ice Dwarf and the Kuiper Belt Mission to Pluto: The First Visit to an Ice Dwarf and the Kuiper Belt by Mary Kay Carson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is an amazing book. The text is readable and interesting. The people are presented in interesting ways. The information is solid. And the pictures and illustrations are fabulous. If I were still teaching, I would definitely include this in my personal classroom library. A magnificent book for older kids and interested adults.

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Review: The Length of a String

The Length of a String The Length of a String by Elissa Brent Weissman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

In spite of this fairly common trope - connecting the past to the present through a diary - I found this book engrossing and worthwhile. The characters are well-drawn and the story interesting. The connections between past and present are sometimes a bit tenuous, but, in a way, that only adds to the feeling that sometimes you just can't know everything and you must accept what you do know.

Aside: in this digital age, I wonder what will take the place of these olden-days, relatively ubiquitous diaries. Having recently needed to look for old photographs for an upcoming wedding, I discovered that digitized pictures aren't always as available as I thought. My current computer doesn't have a CD reader attached and I didn't upload all of the pictures from my first computer era. Interestingly, the most accessible, but most tedious to use, are the (hard copy) pictures in that I long ago placed in albums. I wonder how children generations from now will find out about their heritage.

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Review: The Length of a String

The Length of a String The Length of a String by Elissa Brent Weissman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

In spite of this fairly common trope - connecting the past to the present through a diary - I found this book engrossing and worthwhile. The characters are well-drawn and the story interesting. The connections between past and present are sometimes a bit tenuous, but, in a way, that only adds to the feeling that sometimes you just can't know everything and you must accept what you do know.

Aside: in this digital age, I wonder what will take the place of these olden-days, relatively ubiquitous diaries. Having recently needed to look for old photographs for an upcoming wedding, I recently discovered that digitized pictures aren't as available as I thought. My current computer doesn't have a CD reader attached and I didn't upload all of the pictures from my first computer era. Interestingly, the most accessible, but most tedious to use, are the (hard copy) pictures in that I long ago placed in albums. I wonder how children generations from now will find out about their heritage.

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Review: Dietland

Dietland Dietland by Sarai Walker
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

It is a bit too disturbing for my tastes. It makes some good points, but I had to skim over parts of it, because I am a chicken reader.

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Review: Middle School: Escape to Australia

Middle School: Escape to Australia Middle School: Escape to Australia by James Patterson
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

I am glad this book exists, so that middle school kids, usually boys, have something funny to read. The premise is beyond unlikely, so if they can swallow that, the rest of the book is ha ha hilarious. Or not. I am not the right demographic for this book. I don't think bullying or harassing people is funny. And puke and poop jokes just aren't for me either. Out of masochism, I did actually read the whole book, so there is that to be said for it. Other than that, I will pass.

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