Monthly Archives: November 2008

Holiday Book Giveaway


I used to randomly pick 5 winners, and they are…

Tina T
Lydia H
Mel K.

Congratulations! I will E-mail you for your shipping address today so that Hachette Book Group can get your prize packages sent to you ASAP! Thanks to all who participated! – Tee (Update posted 12/12/08)

Hachette Book Group has set me up with another amazing giveaway just in time for the holidays. Win it for yourself, or if money is tight, give them away as gifts! … If you win, you will be able to select one of the following gift packs containing 5 books to be shipped to you at no cost!

The Christmas Gift Pack:

1. Engaging Father Christmas By Robin Gunn
2. The Paper Bag Christmas By Kevin Milne
3. Christmas Around the World By Chuck Fischer
4. The Physics of Christmas By Roger Highfield
5. The Christmas Train By David Baldacci

The Hanukkah Gift Pack:

1. In the Beginning By Chuck Fischer
2. Jewtopia By Bryan Fogel , Sam Wolfson
3. Be Still and Get Going By Alan Lew
4. Life Is a Test By Esther Jungreis
5. To Life! by Harold Kushner

The Kwanzaa Gift Pack:

1. The American Journey of Barack Obama by The Editors of LIFE Magazine
2. How Strong Women Pray By Bonnie St. John
3. Not Easily Broken By T. D. Jakes
4. Stand the Storm By Breena Clarke
5. Claim Your Victory Today by Creflo Dollar

Here’s what you need to know:

1. Open to residents of U.S. and Canada only. I will select five winners.

2. Winners will be announced on this blog post and by E-mail – (so you must leave a valid E-mail when you comment.)

3. If notified as a winner you must provide a shipping address (No P.O. Boxes)

4. You may not mix or substitute gift packs. You must choose one set, (Either Christmas, Hanukkah or Kwanzaa.)

5. Winners will be announced on this blog post on Friday, December 12th, 2008.

6. To enter, leave a comment and tell me your favorite thing about the winter holidays. (It can be any holiday: Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Eid ul-Adha, Winter Solstice, Chrismukkah, Festivus – whatever!)



Filed under books, contest

Old-School Ways to Remember Stuff

ibeforee There is so much to love about this book by Judy Parkinson. It’s called i before e (except after c) – old-school ways to remember stuff
. First let me say, I know you’re not supposed to judge a book by its cover, but as a book lover, I love the design of this book. It has an old fashioned feel to it, and it looks gorgeous on the book shelf, (though you’ll constantly be pulling it down to read.)

As someone with a poor memory, I am a sucker for mnemonic devices. I love them and without them I would be lost. How can I remember the cardinal directions without my teacher’s voice echoing in my mind “Never, Eat, Shredded, Wheat.” (North, East, South, West.) … Or the order of the planets without, “My Very Educated Mother Just Served Us Nine Pizzas” (Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto… except I learned this back in the 1980’s. I don’t know what Pluto’s status is these days.)

What about in music class? “Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge” helped me to memorize the notes. In 7th grade when I kept misspelling desert as dessert, a classmate told me, “Remember it this way – You would only want to walk through a desert once, so one ‘s’ – but dessert you would want to eat twice, so two ‘s’s.”

My father taught me how to use a screw driver when I was a kid, saying “Lefty Loose-y, Righty Tight-y”, (and I still say this to myself before I turn a screw.)

These little tricks were invaluable to me, and they still are. I often make them up for various things I want to remember. I do it with neigbbor’s names, mental lists of things I need to do, and I use them when I help my kids with their homework.

Needless to say – I absolutely love this book, and I learned a lot of new tricks. This book would make a great gift for anyone who loves words or facts, or needs help remembering things. It also makes a very nice gift for older kids all the way up to adults.


Filed under About me, books, helpful hints, kids, nostalgia, opinion

Holidays On Ice

onice You’re looking for the perfect book to read between wrapping presents and baking cookies. (I’m sorry, that time of year is upon us!) It has to be something that doesn’t take too much mental power, (such as an epic novel with a dozen different characters.) It has to be something funny so you can de-stress,  something small so it can accompany you to long layaway and post office lines, and if the book was about the holidays – well that would be just perfect.

Thank you David Sedaris, for writing that perfect holiday book, for those of us who are one fruit cake short of losing it.


Filed under books, humor, opinion

The Global Achievement Gap

08_global_achievement_gap The Global Achievement Gap by Tony Wagner brings attention to a problem that will greatly affect future generations of Americans, and has already begun to affect us now. That problem is that our children are not being prepared to compete in the global market. Jobs are being shipped overseas, and not just blue collar jobs such as manufacturing, but at a staggering rate we are seeing our white collar jobs disappear, too.

This is because our children, from low income school districts to the top schools in the nation, are being taught to the test as a result of No Child Left Behind. There is no room in the curriculum for teaching students how to be critical thinkers and problem solvers. Our children will not learn how to lead by influence, they will not learn adaptability. Their oral and written skills will be sub par and their curiosity, creativity and imagination will not be encouraged. They will learn about government but not how to be a good citizen. Instead, they are rewarded for memorizing facts to be regurgitated on multiple choice standardized tests. No wonder we’re falling behind.

The next President has a great challenge ahead. Tossing NCLB into the rubbish bin will not suffice. This is a must read for educators, government officials and parents.


Filed under books, change, kids, opinion