What’s Going On?

Some quick hits today:

* “Ritual” would be too big a word for it, too religious; “tradition” doesn’t feel quite right either. But when I begin a new book, I go to my local CVS and buy one of these bad boys:

Which I did yesterday. It’s more than a little daunting. I don’t know what this book will be about, exactly. I mean, yes, I have some notions, a few seeds, but mostly: a boatload of blank pages and a world of possibilities. Exciting, to venture out into that snow.

* I’m really happy that my fifth-grade son, Gavin, just read and enjoyed this book:

I discovered it over at Literate Lives and the book sounded interesting. So I went to the library and picked up a copy, hoping that it might pass Gavin’s sniff test. I think the baseball on the cover helped. As some sort of boy’s defense mechanism against poetry,  Gavin still contends that the book — written in free verse — “wasn’t really poetry so much.” He identified with the main character, who plays piano and baseball; but the book also stretched him in new directions, in terms of format and content. You can read some reviews here and here. Congratulations to first-time author, Ann Burg. You did good.

* I’m plotting a long conversation with author Lewis Buzbee. I just finished reading (and loving!) this book . . .

and I intend to read this one, too . . .

Sometimes you read an author, or a blog, and you just simply like that person. Which is not at all a requirement for liking a book, mind you. Anyway, I’m excited about getting to spend time with Lewis, and I know my Nation of Readers will enjoy him, too.

* I get it, nobody really thinks they have thirty minutes to waste spend watching a video. But think about it. If the time invested inspires you, gives you ideas, colors the way you look at the world, entertains you, than thirty minutes is a low, low price to pay. That is: You do, you really do. I found this over at Talkworthy and all I can say is, make the time. The video is titled “The Art of Possibility” and features a talk given by Benjamin Zander. It will inspire you. And as a parent with three kids who take piano lessons, in a house where music is important and valued, I found it especially relevant. Check. It. Out.

* The next book I’m reading:

* Let me send you away with this great cover of “What’s Going On” by Los Lobos. Silky cool, like the other side of the pillow on a warm summer night.

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One comment

  1. Liz S says:

    JP, wow, what a collection of great things — all of which I like, too. The b&w comp book (I use ’em at work and just cracked a new one from Staples — 59 cents!!!); Lewis Buzbee (whether writing for adults or young readers); and Los Lobos — never saw that before and love it — those guys are super-cool. Thanks for the hit of inspiration on a Tues afternoon….LS

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