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Category Archives: Book Recommendation

Row Row Row Your Boat (encore from April 2014)

How can I link a rainy Saturday in Seattle, (yes, hard to distinguish given so many similar days. . .)  to the achievement of an American gold medal in the Olympics?

Well, I can start by mentioning a book.  The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics by Daniel James Brown published in June 2013. The book, describes the stories of the varsity crew members for the University of Washington.  This is the gold medal part of the post.

In April 2013,  I attended my daughter’s regatta held at the University of Washington. The morning started with a brief springlike moment of sun, and within minutes the skies became kitten gray and began to pour torrents of rain. Buckets. Puddles. The teams waited for their turn to row through the Montlake Cut.  The kids were terrific. Cold, soggy, fun.

The clouds poured

This is the rainy Saturday part of the post.

Parents were invited into the UW Conibear Shellhouse to warm up as the boats came in.  My jacket was dripping and my jeans were saturated up to the knee.  And I was faring well compared to the rowers. Conibear 2Nestled on Lake Washington, I had a few moments to myself in the dining room out of the rain.UW CREW the BOAT 3

As I waited for my munchkin’s boat to make its way back to the dock,  I looked up to see an old racing shell hanging from the ceiling. Things made of wood are my kind of things. (In our entry, I have a vintage pair of skis, an 8′ toboggan, and a carved antique door panel.)

Wood seats, metal riggers, leather shoes, a polished honey glow.  The shell was beautiful.

UW CREW the BOAT 1I scampered back outside when the team arrived back to the dock.

Raining again

Getting rained on a second time. Brrrr

In 2014, my rower and I went to hear author Daniel James Brown speak and read from The Boys in the Boat. He was joined by Judy Willman, the daughter of one the boys.  As they shared details about this amazing story about the boys, and the journey researching and writing the book, they also mentioned the boat.

http://www.huskycrew.com/193614.jpg

1936 team from Husky Crew Foundation huskycrew.com

1936 postcard with the Olympic course on Lake Grunau. Husky Crew Foundation www.huskycrew.com

(Listen to coxswain Bob Moch describe the gold medal race.)

Mr. Brown stated that the Husky Clipper racing shell used by the 1936 UW Olympic Champions now hangs from the ceiling of the dining hall in the Conibear Shellhouse.

OMG, I had pictures of it! I gasped as I realized I’d been so close to a piece of history. (Yes, I welled up too)

This IS the boat. The Boys were in This Boat.UW CREW the BOAT 2

And I sat under it on a rainy Saturday.

Completely changed the meaning of ‘cool’ when I now remember that regatta.

row 3 UW IZ

The girls in the boat.

More scoop:

Boys in the Boat  book excerpt, interview with author Daniel James Brown, and video of the Olympic race.

Have I read the book? Yes! Twice.

If you’re in Seattle, the Conibear Shellhouse is open 9-5 M-F, and there’s a Boys of 1936 Tour

Oh, how are the Husky men’s varsity crew doing? 2015 was their fifth national championship in a row.

What’s For Dinner Charlie Brown?

Let’s check out these mod Peanuts collectibles for menu ideas.

1965 Peanuts Recipe Tin and 1970 Peanuts Cookbook

I’d eat at Snoopy’s Pizza Place. He has a flair, plus he’s well traveled. Linus shared his favorite recipe,

Great Pumpkin Cookies Recipe 1970

For while you’re waiting in the pumpkin patch. (I’d use craisins vs raisins.)

***My new go-to recipe for Pumpkin Bread

Mix together one 15 oz. can pumpkin with one spice cake mix.

Spread in a pan. Bake at 350° for 20-25 mins.

This easy-peasy recipe an also be made as loaf or as drop cookies. I recommend using a pie or tart pan. It cooks evenly, smells heavenly and is Tasty with a capital T. Kids want to lick the bowl? Go for it! No eggs = no problem.  Done in less than 30 minutes.  (Thank you Pinterest.) TRY IT!

Great Pumpkin Comic 1970

This 1970 Scholastic publication with comics and recipes (what a great kids cookbook!) the original price was 60¢.  The well-worn, splattered, yet still vivid hot pink & and lime green pages are a library discard found for a quarter.

1965 Peanuts Recipe Tin Detail 2

Can’t hit every one out of the park.

Something for everyone in the household. Woof!

An abundance of Peanuts personality is packed on to this Hallmark recipe tin from 1965. I have a hankering to call someone “My Sweet Babboo”, however Sally didn’t use the term of endearment for Linus that until 1977.

1965 Peanuts Recipe Tin Detail 3

(Not sure when this 2’x 1′ poster is from, but it is a key recipe for life.)

The best recipe

Peanuts wisdom. 

True!

True!

Bon Appétit!

PS. Just read that A Charlie Brown Christmas will be 50 (!) this year. 

November 24

Just for fun, let’s see what today might have been like more than seventy years ago.

Here are pages from two perpetual resource books, both published in 1942.

1942 Picture Almanac 1

The almanac is filled with a page a day of interesting facts, and a place for boys & girls to record the daily weather report.

November 24th is the birth date of  “Old Rough and Ready”, the 12th US President Zachary Taylor.  An adventurous tidbit is that his father fought along side George Washington.

And the tip of the day,

1942 American Bomber guide 1 It’s difficult to imagine a number of children learning to identify bombers overhead. ***

 American Bomber guide 2This guide would be helpful anytime if reading a novel set in WWII. (Need a suggestion? Code Name Verity, by Elizabeth Wein) The Boeing B-17, the Flying Fortress, is huge. I wonder if this is to scale?

None of the pages in the almanac have been completed, but the cover is well-worn and many pages smudged. I know as a child I would have read it cover to cover.1942 Picture Almanac 2All of this learning makes for a ravenous student.

So, what’s for dinner?

 Let’s check the menu for in the Modern Meal Maker.Modern Meal Maker Menus 1942 1Perpetual recipes for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Modern Meal Maker Menus 1942 November 1

Fried Apples & Bacon as potential as a tasty November dish, Spinach Balls, not so much.

Modern Meal Maker Menus 1942 2The cookbook also has timely tips for the month and season.

Modern Meal Maker Menus 1942 3

Would be fun to recreate a day of menus.

Modern Meal Makers 1942 3

Happy November 24th

***Note:  After some additional pondering, I realize I was wrong. (Some may now want to bookmark this post.) On November 24, 1942, children mostly likely were acutely aware of aircraft overhead.  So then I Googled. The Aircraft Warning Service was a civilian service of instated in 1941 to keep watch for enemy planes entering American airspace.  Many citizens learned to identify aircraft for both American and foreign airplanes. (One system is WEFT: Wing, Engine, Fuselage, Tail)

Vintage Navy CufflinkLink to the experience of one Ground Observer.

Thank You Mr. Watterson

Now, I’ll let you in on a little maternal secret. Sometimes one of the munchkins may need a little pick me up or mood buster. My tip is to rotate a book into the upstairs ‘library’.  (Also known as the kids bathroom.)   A book with the task of eliciting a smile. Subtle parenting, lightly sly but must say pretty darn effective. A twinkle in their eyes returns after a few pages of Foxtrot, Zits or Baby Blues, or a Chicken Soup title for Kids, Teens, Pet Lovers, and/or People with Crazy Mothers. Maybe a blast from the past like vintage Readers Digest magazine is the ticket. (No, I do not leave Mommy and Daddy’s yearbooks, even though they are oh-so-good for a laugh. . .)

The Book of Awesome is awesome, as are the books in the Worst Case Scenario series. Another option to lighten any day is the latest edition in the National Geographic Weird But True series.  I know it’s working when I hear, “Did you know that hippos lips are about two feet wide?”

But there is one series that makes the trip from ‘the library’ back to the kids rooms, and is read and re-read cover to cover.

I caught a glimpse in a magazine this spring.

5/5/95 in Norwegian

Norwegian

  Whenever I fish with these books, they’re hooked. Here is our collection of Calvin and Hobbes.

Bill Watterson

The illustrations radiate personality

The illustrations radiate personality

Calvin and Hobbes ran from November 18, 1985, to December 31, 1995

Dogeared, witha few loose pages. We'll keep using it until it's falling a part

Dogeared, with a few loose pages. We’ll keep using it until it’s falling apart

We are but six of the many, many Calvin and Hobbes fans, as this 2013 documentary highlights.  As popular as the strip was, and is, there are no Calvin and Hobbes toys or t-shirts, pens or pillowcases. (Any auto decal you may have seen is not authorized. Whew.)  To say Mr. Bill Watterson is reluctant to give interviews is an understatement

dear_mr_watterson

A documentary film about the impact of the best comic strip in the history of the universe: Calvin & Hobbes. www.dearmrwatterson.com.

Bill Watterson 1986 AP photo of the illusive Bill Watterson

This cartoon for the documentary about comics, STRIPPED, was Mr. Watterson’s first in 19 years.

 www.strippedfilm.com/

Open a can of tuna for Hobbes and enjoy the May 1995 strip from above in English.

Calvin and Hobbes 5/5/95

The hi-jinx of this duo live on in multiple books. Any we don’t own, we’ve checked out from the library. E-books can deliver a chuckle to your fingertips in moments.  Also www.gocomics.com/calvinandhobbes has Susie Derkins and her pesky neighbors.

My worthy assistant helped me collect these books, and selected this from The Essential Calvin and Hobbes to share.Lost with Calvin and Hobbes

A little additional comic magic from June 2014, http://stephanpastis.wordpress.com/2014/06/07/ever-wished-that-calvin-and-hobbes-creator-bill-watterson-would-return-to-the-comics-page-well-he-just-did/

Not Quite, The End All Calvin and Hobbes images © Bill Watterson

The ultra Calvin and Hobbes fan may want to test their knowledge on this Sporcle quiz:

Calvin’s teacher
Calvin’s neighbor and snowball target
Calvin’s favorite sport
The club started by Calvin and Hobbes
Calvin’s space explorer alter ego
Calvin’s invention that lets him become different animals and objects
Calvin’s babysitter
The bully at Calvin’s school
Calvin’s invention that lets him make copies of himself
Calvin’s private eye alter ego
Calvin’s favorite cereal
Calvin’s favorite bedtime story
Calvin’s superhero alter ego
Calvin’s uncle
Scientific Progress Goes ________
Attack of the Deranged Mutant Killer Monster __________

Fly Me To The Moon

To Celebrate 45th Anniversary of the Apollo 11 Mission, and Moon Landing on July 20, 1969.

Issued May 5, 1969

Issued May 5, 1969

Showing the Earth rising over the Moon, this stamp design was based on a photograph by William Anders, one of the Apollo 8 astronauts who took part in that historic December 1968 mission — the first manned lunar orbital flight.

The biblical quotation represents not a religious observation by the Post Office Department, but a famous Apollo 8 moment. Instructed by NASA to “say something appropriate” from space during a Christmas Eve transmission, the astronauts alternated reading verses from the Book of Genesis as viewers across the country watched the Earthrise on television.  USPSstamps.com

My parents (like many) kept quite a trove of newspapers and magazines with historic headlines.   I was fairly ruthless as there were reams of documents to go through, and the information is easily available. Plus may were stored in the basement, a less than archival environment.  (And yes, I cried too.) I gave away and donated many, and recycled most.  But like a good book, sometimes it is just nice to hold an item in your hand. This lovely stamp was tucked away in the stash of memorabilia with a card and envelope.  I may need to liberate it for a project.  These items below also reside in the 2″ stack remaining of the time capsule. (And yes I forgot about it until yesterday. But look what I found.)

Seattle Times 7,21,69

Detail from the front page article on July 21, 1969,

The word Groovy appears twice

The word ‘groovy’ appears twice in these 1st few inches of the article. What else was on the front page?

Luna 15 Landing

Luna?

This was a surprise to see on the front page. Of course I know about the race to the Moon with the Soviets. But if I’ve learned that the Russians landedan unmanned craft on the moon 500 miles away from Apollo 11, almost to the day, I certainly have not retained it.

The Seattle PI July 20, 1969

Seattle PI 7.20.69

I’m guessing the use of color, even on the front page, was a significant too.

 Summer reading program 1969.

KCLS Summer Reading Record 1969Kids across Seattle joined in the Astronaut’s Reading Club. Love the graphics.

Buzz, Neil and Michael weren’t the only ones to complete at trip to the Moon that summer. (See Buzz, I put you first.)

Buzz, Neil and Michael weren;t the only ones to complete at trip to the Moon.

For readers in this millennium , I recommend The Astronaut Wives Club: A True Story  by Lily Koppel.  Perfect 45th anniversary summer read.

In both 1969 and in 2014, July 20 fell on a Sunday. Cool. Or should I say groovy?

Fine, yes I realize it’s now been 45 years and two days, before I hit publish.

Speak To Me

Collection of foreign language dictionaries, guides and phrase books.

 Quelle surprise, I’ll start with French.

Jr Classic Dictionary English-French

Copyright 1932 and published in 1939. The oldest member of the collection

A wonderfully worn, yet still vibrant cover.

Some of the new words: talkie, television, and tank.

Italian, Portuguese and Norwegian dictionaries,

Detail from the Visual Italian Dictionary.Instruments in ItalianMaybe I can speak Italian! But not sure how often ‘la tuba’ may come up in conversation . . .

The most recent addition to the collection is this vintage dictionary.

Russian English Dictionary for the Foreign Student 1

1962 Moscow publication printed in the USSR.

Russian English Dictionary 3During the Cold War, at least one person must have had a sense of humor. . . .Russian English Dictionary 2

The acronym and the use of color on the cover made me laugh in the used book store.

The first Berlitz Language School opened in Rhode Island in 1878. This Russian language book is from 1951. It has handwritten notes throughout the first half. Love it.

Berlitz Self Teacher Russian

I’ve now learned that Russian uses three noun genders, feminine, masculine and neutral.

Not too long ago a pocket guide like the one below was a key travelers tool.  While “I’d like a room with a view of the garden next Tuesday” might not be the most practical phrase to practice, it is imperative to learn please, thank you, and pardon me.  A woman at a shop in Victoria, B.C., mentioned she was originally from Hungary, so I thanked her by saying “Köszönöm”. It made her so happy it truly surprised me. Of course, that is 100% of my Hungarian vocabulary.

1953

Turns out to be a well regarded program. The most recent positive review for a 1989 edition was posted today (19.7.14)

I picked up this book on a whim. Even if left unopened by the Spanish students in the house, it has a terrific cover and title. It may turn out to be quite a find. I didn’t notice until today, but the career of then 25 year-old illustrator turned out pretty well too.

He went on to illustrate Amy Vanderbilt's  Complete Cookbook in 1961

He went on to illustrate Amy Vanderbilt’s Complete Cookbook in 1961, and a few additional projects. . .

And hey, not only can I speak Italian (only) if percussion instruments are discussed, but I might be able to draw (stick figures) as well as Andy Warhol.

OK, maybe just for this example.

Gosh this was fun. Thanks!Madgrial's Magic Key to Spanish

Note: Sorry if visually shouting, my options for image sizes used to be a %  & now more of S-M-L.  Ends up huge or mini. Working on it. Would welcome any tips. Thanks

Row Row Row Your Boat

How can I link a rainy Saturday in Seattle, (yes, hard to distinguish given so many similar days. . .)  to the achievement of an American gold medal in the Olympics?

Well, I can start by mentioning a book.  The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics by Daniel James Brown. The book, describes the stories of the varsity crew members for the University of Washington.  This is the gold medal part of the post.

Last year I attended a regatta held at the University of Washington. The morning started with a brief springlike moment of sun, and within minutes the skies became kitten gray and began to pour torrents of rain. Buckets. Puddles. The teams waited for their turn to row through the Montlake Cut.  The kids were terrific. Cold, soggy, fun.

The clouds poured

This is the rainy Saturday part of the post.

Parents were invited into the UW shellhouse to warm up as the boats came in.  My jacket was dripping and my jeans were saturated up to the knee.  And I was faring well compared to the rowers.  Conibear 2Nestled on Lake Washington, this building has been home to UW crews since 1949 with the last renovation completed in 2005. I had a few moments to myself in the dining room out of the rain. UW CREW the BOAT 3

As I waited for my munchkin’s boat to make its way back to the dock,  I looked up to see an old racing shell hanging from the ceiling. Things made of wood are my kind of things. (In just our entry, I have a vintage pair of skis, an 8′ toboggan, and a carved antique door panel.)

Wood seats, metal riggers, leather shoes, a polished honey glow.  The shell was beautiful.

UW CREW the BOAT 1I scampered back outside when the team arrived back to the dock.

Raining again

Getting rained on a second time. Brrrr

This year, my rower and I went to hear author Daniel James Brown speak and read from The Boys in the Boat. He was joined by Judy Willman, the daughter of one the boys.  As they shared details about this amazing story about the boys, and the journey researching and writing the book, they also mentioned the boat.

http://www.huskycrew.com/193614.jpg

1936 team from huskycrew.com

1936 postcard with the Olympic course on Lake Grunau. www.huskycrew.com

Listen to coxswain Bob Moch describe the gold medal race.

Mr. Brown stated that the Husky Clipper racing shell used by the 1936 UW Olympic Champions now hangs from the ceiling of the dining hall in the Conibear Shellhouse.  OMG. I had pictures of it already! I gasped as I realized I’d been so close to a piece of history. (Yes, I welled up too)

This IS the boat. The Boys were in This Boat. UW CREW the BOAT 2

And I sat under it on a rainy Saturday last spring.

Completely changed the meaning of ‘cool’ when I now remember that regatta.

row 3 UW IZ

The girls in the boat.

More scoop:

Boys in the Boat  book excerpt, interview with author Daniel James Brown, and video of the Olympic race.

Pocock Racing Shells

Oh, how are the Husky mens varsity crew doing? 2015 was their fifth national championship in a row.

Keeping Up With The Times

Spring is around the corner and while the ‘tip to tail spring cleaning gene’ definitely skipped a generation, I do chug away on a reduce/reuse/recycle plan, with a perpetual list of things to do. Key for me is appreciating an item, and then letting it go. Many of the things I have blogged about are now gone (old items, not kids).

I was going through a small box for a ‘one last time’ decision. In it was this watch. Aha, I thought, I can let this go.  A good long life usually leaves a number of watches, and this Omega was one of my dad’s.   It has no band, no crystal, a mangled minute hand, and a splattered face.     Navy Omega 1

While holding it, I noticed it was pretty close to the actual time.  I gave the bent minute hand a nudge to the current time, and wound the watch.

Why was it tucked away?  Hard to find any reasons from the front, so I nonchalantly turned it over.

USN Omega  Detail

It was inscribed. It was a gift from a Navy Squadron in 1958.  A small piece of a much much larger history.

I’m currently reading Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption, about Lieutenant Louis Zamperini by Laura Hillenbrand.

Unbroken is a testament to the resilience of the human mind, body, and spirit.  laurahillenbrandbooks.com/

My dad’s birthday also would be this week, so spunky guys are on my mind.  But I was still in a let it go mode. Until I turned it back over.

Navy Omega 2Notice anything?

Look at the position of the second and minute hands. This little 56 year old watch was ticking away–it works! I was looking for a purging moment and found something that puts a new meaning on face value.

Wonder if Omega watches are cousins of Timex, because this watch has ‘taken a licking and kept on ticking’.

What a delightful surprise.  Happy Birthday to you too Dad. 

And yes, I’m keeping it.


Open A Book

It’s March 2nd, Read Across America Day.

A Collection of Books about Books, Clouds of Books, and Books Worth a Look, and one action figure.

And if you like reading about reading to find something to read, here’s a collection that we’ve used, to get inspired for a snuggle read-in. (Sometimes) our girls underline a title when read, & maybe put an initial, or a star, or just a √, + or .

Of course your interest might be to guide the journey of a fine young man try a Great Books for Boys or  www.guysread.com/  Or for find a book any teen, with a link to their current genre or interest. Or perhaps you would appreciate the input from an NPR/Seattle/Rock Star–your almost personal librarian–Nancy Pearl.

I mean she has an action figure and an impish global love of books that bubbles with each interview she gives and in each book she writes about more and more BOOKS!nancy pearl actions figureExamples: example 1

example 2If you might still be looking for a title to dive into, here are four books I would highly recommend.

10 Minutes till Bedtime by Peggy Rathmann. Graphics in saturated colors made for giggles. It’s more that just a lovely ‘tuck in time’ read. Take a moment to notice with your reading buddy the hamsters on each page, they each have a distinct role can you find them all? One always has his head stuck in something, another has a balloon, and another a camera, etc. What are those hamsters up to?  Also Peggy Rathmann works in characters from her other books (also fabulous) Goodnight Gorilla and Officer Buckle and Gloria.

Holes by Louis Sachar. So many wonderful ‘if this, and only this’, moments then become woven together in a story filled with a  curse, emotional and physical challenges, danger, and some laughs.

My Most Excellent Year: A Novel of Love, Mary Poppins, and Fenway Park by Steve Kluger.  In a house of readers, this has been reread many times.  A unique cast of characters we immediately started to root for. For our house, tuck it in your book bag at 12 or above. Could Julie Andrews be a guest star? Hmmm, you’ll have to read it to find out.

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein.  Engaging courageous historical fiction, with a keen surprise twist. A bit of a meander at the start but a suspense filled memorable adventure with a girl power vibe. (With four daughters, you knew that was coming,  right?)

And then . . . .Book Cloud

“A book is a gift you can open again and again.”

Garrison Keillor

cloud images from Tumblr

Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss!

National Education Association’s Read Across America Day is a nationwide reading celebration that takes place on March 2—Dr. Seuss’s birthday.I love reading!

Read Across America Day promotes reading, particularly for children and young adults.  Across the United States, schools, bookstores and libraries participate in the day by bringing people together to take part in reading books.

Need ideas? Here’s a checklist of Top 100 books by Scholastic, Green Eggs and Hams is #7.

Top_100_Childrens_Books_of_All_Time

Of course, a  Seuss Collection.

Joy in books

Whimsy and joy = Dr. Seuss

Happy Birthday By Dr. Seuss

Now go get a buddy and a book!

Hats off to Dr. Seuss

www.seussville.com

 Linking to:

By Stephanie Lynn

www.bystephanielynn.com/2014/02/sunday-showcase-party-235.html

http://www.iheartnaptime.net/link-party-palooza-30/#

http://www.somewhatsimple.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/link-party-palooza-banner.jpg