Tag Archives: elise

On Our Nightstand, July 6th-12th

Here’s what we’re reading this week at Diesel!

Anna in Brentwood
The Hole We’re In
By Gabrielle Zevin
A fascinating and brutal look at the financial crisis through the story of one family. Zevin’s unflinching characterization and dark humor make this book hard to read—and at the same time, impossible to put down.

Elise in Oakland
The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle
By Haruki Murakami
My previous encounters with Murakami didn’t leave me a fan, so I was reluctant to read this. But it’s amazing—dreamy, but still rooted in reality. There are a lot of storylines but they’re not hard to follow because I’m interested in every single one of the characters.

Geo in Brentwood
God’s Lunatics
By Michael Largo
An A-Z reference guide about the funnier, stranger side of religion. Entertaining, eerie, and a tad bit disturbing!

John Peck in Oakland
The Return
By Roberto Bolano
After reading the 900+ page epic 2666, this book of Bolano’s short fiction is like dessert.

Kim in Malibu
The Laws of Simplicity
By John Maeda
The annoyingly multitalented John Maeda (MIT professor! RISD president! Graphic design superstar!) examines the idea that less can actually be more—or at least, more meaningful—in relation to design, technology, business, and life in general. Seeing as how Maeda’s ideas often blossom into iconic, why-didn’t-we-think-of-this-sooner epiphanies, I expect to learn a lot from this slim volume.

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On Our Nightstand, May 18th-24th

Here’s what we’re reading this week at Diesel!

Anna in Brentwood
The Literary Conference
By Cesar Aira
A hilarious and bizarre novella about a writer–named Cesar Aira–who attends a literary conference in Venezuela for the purpose of stealing the genetic material of Mexican novelist Carlos Fuentes in order to clone an army of geniuses.

Diane in Brentwood
The Surrendered
By Chang-rae Lee
This novel presents the Korean War in a way you’ve never thought of before.

Elise in Oakland
Boom!
By Mark Haddon
A cute, imaginative, and relatable kids’ book by the author of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, in which the protagonist and his best friend discover that their teachers are aliens.

Geo in Brentwood
Kissing the Mask
By William T. Vollmann
Vollmann’s sincere interest in an obscure art form–Japanese Noh theater–is inspiring and fascinating.

Kim in Malibu
Pedro Paramo
By Juan Rulfo
Simple and evocative magical realism said to have influenced Gabriel Garcia Marquez.

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And the Children Shall Lead

Elise in Oakland reports:

For those of you out on the interwebz who don’t know much about me, let me start this post by telling you that I have two jobs. My primary job, simply put, is teaching elementary school students how to read. On a daily basis I will see 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th graders. I love my job and am borderline obsessed with trying to get these kids into reading.

My second job is at a certain bookstore. I also love this job. I get to spend my weekends talking about and selling books (lots of kids lit!) and making displays.

Can you sense a common thread here?

In an effort to develop professionally and sell more books, I have embarked upon a self-motivated, self-created challenge. That challenge is to read at least one of the Newbery Medal winners or Newbery Honor Books awarded each year for the past 15 years, as well as the same number of Caldecott Medal winners. While I may derive some personal pleasure and satisfaction from this, I swear it is strictly about professional development.

I keep a record of my adventures in kids’ lit on my blog, so you can follow along with me through Newbery and Caldecott winners past. Most recently I empathized with the work of Kevin Henkes and enjoyed The Best Week Ever with Marla Frazee.

You can keep expanding your horizons with Jon Stich in Oakland’s reading of Eric Baus‘ “Dead Birds, There Is No Natural Light in Here”:

Check out the full archive of poetry videos here!

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