Category Archives: Mostly About Reading

What’s going on at the movies? Star Wars Vll … Concussion …

This is an aside from my usual here. Please don’t hate me if you’re a Star Wars fan. I have been a fan too, and …

I ♥LOVE HARRISON FORD♥.  As he has matured and improved over the years I love him more. He is such a great actor, and so easy to admire.

Han Solo

Having said all that – I was glad to learn he was doing another Star Wars movie; I was happy to sit in the theatre to see him … uh, the newest Star Wars movie, to experience what thrilling thing was going to happen on the big screen … but, well, to be honest, I came away annoyed and disappointed, and miffed, asking … what was all the hype about? 

Yes, Harrison Ford was in it as Han Solo – older and still his usual great. In case you haven’t yet seen the movie I won’t say what I was disappointed in regarding his role. Also, I found this movie to be even more chopped up than the others before it. Fast and jumping from scene to scene, and a little stranger in a different way than I was ready for, perhaps.

All in all, I suppose it was a good movie. I don’t think it was worth the HUGE record-breaking amount of money it pulled in, though. The movie ended in such a way that it left room for another one to come after it with younger actors obviously willing to continue the saga.

In closing, never mind me. As you will recall, I have a little trouble with change .. and I’m working on that.  :)

Oh yes! PS:  What’s with Concussion starring Will Smith? I didn’t see the movie yet, just the previews/trailers and the Awards hype around it. Will Smith wasn’t nominated for an Oscar for his role as Dr. Omalu? Wow! I was sure he would … just from the little I’d seen of the movie.  Yep. Hollywood doesn’t make sense.  

Just my opinion.  What’s yours?

Also, I haven’t read Concussion or any of the Star Wars books. Have you? If so, which is better, the movie(s) or the book(s)?

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  :)

2015 in review

I didn’t think I did much blogging this year because I know my posts were fewer, however, according to WordPress it seems as if I’ve been quite busy here. I do enjoy blogging, so it’s rewarding to read a report like this one. If you’re interested in reading the whole thing you can follow the link included below.

Here is my 2015 blog report:

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 7,900 times in 2015. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 7 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Do you have any thoughts to share about Polilla Writes?

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  :)

What books did you get for Christmas?

Another Christmas is past and the clean-up has begun.  Where do we put all these new things? Another incentive to purge and declutter?

This year I received a variety of books from several of my loved family and friends. Here is a  picture (poor quality – sorry!):

Books I got for Christmas '15.1

 

 

 

 

You know I love books. :) 

Close ups:

Books I got for Christmas '15.5

 

 

 

 

Books I got for Christmas '15.3

 

 

 

 

 

Books I got for Christmas '15.4

 

 

 

 

Books I got for Christmas '15.2

 

 

 

 

You can see (I hope, despite the dark views) I received the following:

  • two adult colouring books with markers and coloured pencils. Have you tried colouring again now you may not be a child anymore?
  • a drawing instruction book. Do you love to draw?
  • a writers’ book. Do you doubt yourself or push on through?
  • a novel. Have you read any of Ken Follett’s series? If so, which is your favourite? or what are you reading?
  • a daily devotional and two different types of journals – one for notes of gratitude, one for recording of blessings. Do you refer to any kind of inspirational reading/writing?

These books remind me I am a creative – in a couple of ways. I also love to read so must read more. I have to get writing more, too, including from my Christian perspective.  Yes, 2016 is going to be a different kind of year for me, and I already have my word for 2016 which I’ll share in the new year. :)

Now, I’m eager to know: What books did you get for Christmas … or during the season, however you celebrate it?

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  :)

 

Scholastic shares: Kids tell why they read

Today on Twitter I read an inspiring tweet by Scholastic …. Open a world of possible. I love that thought. They posted a link to a series of very short video interviews with kids who love to read. I think you will enjoy it. 

Click HEREand see what kids share about why they read. Stay with it because it will move to the next videos on other topics, including sharing if they were a book what would be their title, what happens because they read, and Scholastic shares about their mission. It’s great information and encouraging to children’s book authors.

That leads me to ask you something I can’t decide yet for myself:

If you were a book, what would be your title?

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  :)

 

The 50 best children’s books of 2015, says PW

I like lists.

When it comes to books, I’m always interested in reading lists of what other people think are the best or worst, or the most highly acclaimed, and so on. Sometimes I make purchase decisions from those lists, usually after I’ve read reviews. (I’ve created a list for you HERE of the books I’ve reviewed.)

This week I read the lists compiled by Publishers Weekly of their opinion of the best children’s books of 2015. They selected fifty books: 17 Picture Books, 15 Middle Grade, and 18 Young Adult. I received permission from them to share those lists with you here, then if you want to read up on any of them yourself you can go THERE and read the full review of each book. Some even have Q & A with the author, or other interesting information.

The best PICTURE BOOKS:

  1. The Princess and the Pony – by Kate Beaton (Scholastic/Levine)
  2. The Day the Crayons Came Home – by Drew Daywalt, illus. by Oliver Jeffers (Philomel)
  3. Last Stop on Market Street – by Matt de la Peña, illus. by Christian Robinson (Putnam)
  4. This Bridge Will Not Be Gray – by Dave Eggers, illus. by Tucker Nichols (McSweeney’s)
  5. Home – by Carson Ellis (Candlewick)
  6. The Night World – by Mordicai Gerstein (Little, Brown)
  7. The Only Child – by Guojing (Random/Schwartz & Wade)
  8. Waiting – by Kevin Henkes (Greenwillow)
  9. The King and the Sea – by Heinz Janisch, illus. by Wolf Erlbruch (Gecko Press USA)
  10. Toys Meet Snow – by Emily Jenkins, illus. by Paul O. Zelinsky (Random/Schwartz & Wade)
  11. Sidewalk Flowers – by JonArno Lawson, illus. by Sydney Smith (Groundwood)
  12. Finding Winnie: The True Story of the World’s Most Famous Bear – by Lindsay Mattick, illus. by Sophie Blackall (Little, Brown)
  13. Thank You and Good Night – by Patrick McDonnell (Little, Brown)
  14. Flutter and Hum: Animal Poems/Aleteo y Zumbido: Poemas de Animales – by Julie Paschkis (Holt)
  15. Lenny & Lucy – by Philip C. Stead, illus. by Erin E. Stead (Roaring Brook/Porter)
  16. The Dog That Nino Didn’t Have – by Edward van de Vendel, illus. by Anton Van Hertbruggen (Eerdmans)
  17. Leo: A Ghost Story – by Mac Barnett, illus. by Christian Robinson (Chronicle)

The best MIDDLE GRADE BOOKS: 

  1. My Diary from the Edge of the World – by Jodi Lynn Anderson (S&S/Aladdin)
  2. The Thing About Jellyfish – by Ali Benjamin (Little, Brown)
  3. The War That Saved My Life – by Kim Brubaker Bradley (Dial)
  4. George – by Alex Gino (Scholastic Press)
  5. Lost in the Sun – by Lisa Graff (Philomel)
  6. Roller Girl – by Victoria Jamieson (Dial)
  7. Listen, Slowly – by Thanhhà Lai (Harper)
  8. Friends for Life – by Andrew Norriss (Scholastic/Fickling)
  9. The Nest – by Kenneth Oppel, illus. by Jon Klassen (Simon & Schuster)
  10. Echo – by Pam Muñoz Ryan (Scholastic Press)
  11. Most Dangerous: Daniel Ellsberg and the Secret History of the Vietnam War – by Steve Sheinkin (Roaring Brook)
  12. Orbiting Jupiter – by Gary D. Schmidt (Clarion)
  13. The Marvels – by Brian Selznick (Scholastic Press)
  14. Goodbye Stranger – by Rebecca Stead (Random/Lamb)
  15. Harriet the Invincible – by Ursula Vernon (Dial)

The best YOUNG ADULT BOOKS:

  1. Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda – by Becky Albertalli (HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray)
  2. Becky Albertalli (HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray)
  3. A Song for Ella Grey- by David Almond (Delacorte)
  4. Symphony for the City of the Dead: Dmitri Shostakovich and the Siege of Leningrad -byM.T. Anderson (Candlewick)
  5. The Game of Love and Death – by Martha Brockenbrough (Scholastic/Levine)
  6. Drowned City: Hurricane Katrina and New Orleans – by Don Brown (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
  7. Saint Anything – by Sarah Dessen (Viking)
  8. Magonia – by Maria Dahvana Headley (Harper)
  9. All the Bright Places – by Jennifer Niven (Knopf)
  10. Shadowshaper – by Daniel José Older (Scholastic/Levine)
  11. The Shepherd’s Crown – by Terry Pratchett (Harper)
  12. All American Boys – by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely (S&S/Atheneum/Dlouhy)
  13. Bone Gap – by Laura Ruby (HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray)
  14. The Hired Girl – by Laura Amy Schlitz (Candlewick)
  15. X: A Novel – by Ilyasah Shabazz, with Kekla Magoon (Candlewick)
  16. Challenger Deep – by Neal Shusterman (HarperTeen)
  17. Nimona – by Noelle Stevenson (HarperTeen)
  18. Trouble Is a Friend of Mine – by Stephanie Tromly (Penguin/Dawson)
  19. MARTians – by Blythe Woolston (Candlewick)

I hope these lists help make your book buying a little easier … or, if you’re anything like me, they’ll just make you aware of even more books you simply must have!

Thanks to Publishers Weekly for permission to share their lists for you to see.

I almost am embarrassed to admit I’ve not read any of the above books yet. How about you? Which ones have you read? Which ones do you now want to read, or gift to someone?

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  :)

 

 

Last day to vote & help this high-needs school get books!

My post today will be short and …. pleading.

On September 26 I told you about the challenge to get books for the little elementary school – Gaspereau Valley Elementary – all my children attended, and now my grandson goes there.

This school – grades P-5 – has 130 children, which means the goal is to reach is 130 books. Currently we only have 76! That puts us a long way off from reaching the mark and the opportunity to win so much more. Will you help us?

Chapters Indigo is generously committed to this challenge and is contributing the books donated at no cost to you. PLEASE HELP! It’s the last day to give this high-needs school the books it needs; you only have to go here and VOTE

clip_art_illustration_of_a_happy_bear_reading_a_number_book_0521-1101-1321-5803_TN

Of course, there is the option to actually contribute $12 to purchase one book which also equals 10 votes! Would you consider that? No worries if not, but Please vote today. That costs you nothing but a few minutes. And if you do decide to buy a book (using paypal or credit card on their secure server) then please vote first and donate second. That allows one more vote than if you were to do it the other way around.

Thank you so much … and please urge your friends to vote as well. This is the last day of the challenge, and you can vote from anywhere and anonymously if you prefer.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  :)

27 most famous banned, censored, or challenged books (Banned Books Week)

Today is the last day of Banned Books Week.  I didn’t want to let it slip by without mention, so here is a list of some of the most famous books that have been banned, censored, or challenged at some time.

  1. Adventures of Huckleberry Finn – by Mark Twain
  2. Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl – by Anne Frank
  3. The Arabian Nights – by Mahsin Mahdi
  4. Awakening – by Kate Chopin
  5. Bell Jar – by Sylvia Plath
  6. Brave New World – by Aldous Huxley
  7. Call of the Wild – by Jack London
  8. The Color Purple – by Alice Walker
  9. Candide – by Voltaire
  10. Catcher in the Rye – by J.D. Salinger
  11. Fahrenheit 451 – by Ray Bradbury
  12. Grapes of Wrath – by John Steinbeck
  13. Gulliver’s Travels – by Jonathan Swift
  14. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings – by Maya Angelou
  15. James and the Giant Peach – by Roald Dahl
  16. Lady Chatterley’s Lover – by D.H. Lawrence
  17. A Light in the Attic – by Shel Silverstein
  18. Lord of the Flies – by William Golding
  19. Madame Bovary – by Gustave Flaubert
  20. Moll Flanders – by Daniel Defoe
  21. Of Mice and Men – by John Steinbeck
  22. The Scarlet Letter – by Nathaniel Hawthorne
  23. Song of Solomon – by Toni Morrison
  24. To Kill a Mockingbird – by Harper Lee
  25. Ulysses – by James Joyce
  26. Uncle Tom’s Cabin – by Harriet Beecher Stowe
  27. A Wrinkle in Time – by Madeleine D’Engle
banned books
Now, confession time:
I have not read 21 of the books on this list, but 6 of those 21 are in my TBR stash. Of the ones “to be read” I have read part of 2 books (and will complete them). This means so far I have read completely only 6 of the 27 listed here.
 
It’s hard to accept why some books are banned, or censored, or challenged. It’s hard to avoid life, the natural way of some things, and shared expression.
 
Here are three of the above books on which I’ll comment.
  • I loved Madeleine D’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time, regardless of the “objectionable” things she included in her fantasy novel.
  • I loved the movie To Kill a Mockingbird and equally enjoyed the book, even though there are racial issues. But that was the way of the time, the same as in Gone With the Wind (not included in this list but also challenged); it doesn’t mean I feel that way. I will not read Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee, though, as it will undoubtedly spoil To Kill the Mockingbird for me in revealing more racial issues than I care to read for entertainment.
  • It is fully understandable why there was an outcry (and still is) about Catcher in the Rye, due to the constant use of profanity of Salinger’s main character. Some people are not bothered by that.

Now, it’s your turn.

  • What do you want to share about the list of 27 books?
  • Do you purposely search out books that have been banned or censored or challenged?

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  :)