Saturday, April 30, 2016

The Sleep Revolution, by Arianna Huffington

I ordered Arianna Huffington's new book, The Sleep Revolution because I, like all moms, am interested in anything that protects the health and well-being of my children.  I was surprised however, by all of the data on how important sleep is at all stages of life, and that all of us could probably use a little (or a lot of) improvement in that area.
Sleep enhances performance in all aspects of life, no matter the age group.  Particularly surprising were the statistics on sleep and sports.  The book cites a study involving the Stanford basketball team. When these elite athletes increased their sleep average to eight and a half hours, their "sprint times were .7 seconds faster, free-throw shooting went up by 9 percent and three-point shooting increased by 9.2 percent." According to the book, "LeBron James swears by twelve hours a day when practicing."  No wonder Fitbits include sleep trackers!
You would think that a book on sleep would be a sleep aid in itself, but it wasn't. It was pretty interesting.  If you have a loved one you are trying to help sleep better, or if you want to improve your own sleep, try some of the tips in this book.

Happy reading (and sleeping),

Friday, April 29, 2016

Arbor Day Books

Happy Arbor Day!

For some light-hearted reading, why not share Pie in the Sky, by Lois Ehlert with your children or students.  In this celebration of nature's seasons, a father explains that the tree is a pie tree.  The child witnesses all stages of the tree's development through to the harvest when the family makes pie.

For some deeper discussion about relationships, why not revisit the classic, The Giving Tree, by Shel Silverstein.  Is this book a parable about the joys of giving?  Is it about a parent-child relationship?  Does it exemplify an emotionally abusive relationship in which one partner is doing all of the giving, making all of the effort, and the other partner is doing all of the taking?  You decide.  And for some Friday music, here is the Plain White T's allusion to The Giving Tree:

Happy reading,

Thursday, April 28, 2016

More About Shining Sea

Here is  more info about Mimi's new book, Shining Sea, available next month:

A Novel
By Mimi Cross  

Falling in love shouldn’t feel like drowning.

 **Grammy award–winning artist Rosanne Cash has described Cross’s writing and singing as “Fusing delicacy and power, heart and gut. Inspiring, evocative, and refreshing.” **
Mimi Cross, an award-winning and celebrated singer-songwriter, mesmerized us with her raw and heart-wrenching YA debut Before Goodbye which The Toronto Star called “a book to set your heart aflutter.” She delivers another enthralling and edgy novel—this time with a fantasy bent. SHINING SEA (Skyscape, May 24, 2016) is a gripping, thoughtful, and enchanting story about a young woman confronting the harsh realities of both love and tragedy for the first time.

Seventeen-year-old Arion Rush has always played the obedient sidekick to her older sister’s flashy femme fatale—until a mysterious boating accident leaves Lilah a silent, traumatized stranger. As her sister awaits medical treatment with their mother, Arion and their father head to his hometown in Maine to prepare a new life for them all. Surrounded by the vast Atlantic, songwriting is Arion’s only solace, her solid ground.

Unexpectedly, Arion blossoms in the tiny coastal town. Friends flock to her, and Logan Delaine, a volatile heartthrob, seems downright smitten. But it’s Bo Summers—a solitary surfer, as alluring as he is aloof—that Arion can’t shake. Meanwhile, Lilah’s worsening condition, a string of local fatalities, and Arion’s own recent brushes with death seem ominously linked…to Bo’s otherworldly family. As Arion’s feelings for Bo intensify and his affections turn possessive, she must make a choice. How will Arion learn to listen to her own voice when Bo’s siren song won’t stop ringing in her ears?

Perfect for fans of Cassandra Clare and Maggie Stiefvater, SHINING SEA weaves Cross’s musical magic into yet another haunting and powerful story. Arion’s world is an ethereal soundtrack of first love and the stormy drama that sometimes unexpectedly comes along with it.

SHINING SEA by Mimi Cross * On-Sale Date: May 24, 2016

Price: $9.99 paperback, $5.99 eBook * Skyscape

Monday, April 25, 2016

New Book - Shining Sea

I met Mimi Cross at a writing conference and she, another writer and I formed our own little writing group, encouraging each other and offering revision suggestions.  It thrills me to share that her new book, Shining Sea will be released next month.  You can order it on Amazon.

Happy reading,

Friday, April 22, 2016

Earth Day

Happy Earth Day!

In honor of Earth Day and National Poetry Month, here is a little Shel Silverstein to share with your children or students:

Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout 
Would not take the garbage out! 
She'd scour the pots and scrape the pans, 
Candy the yams and spice the hams, 
And though her daddy would scream and shout, 
She simply would not take the garbage out. 
And so it piled up to the ceilings: 
Coffee grounds, potato peelings, 
Brown bananas, rotten peas, 
Chunks of sour cottage cheese. 
It filled the can, it covered the floor, 
It cracked the window and blocked the door 
With bacon rinds and chicken bones, 
Drippy ends of ice cream cones, 
Prune pits, peach pits, orange peel, 
Gloppy glumps of cold oatmeal, 
Pizza crusts and withered greens, 
Soggy beans and tangerines, 
Crusts of black burned buttered toast, 
Gristly bits of beefy roasts. . . 
The garbage rolled on down the hall, 
It raised the roof, it broke the wall. . . 
Greasy napkins, cookie crumbs, 
Globs of gooey bubble gum, 
Cellophane from green baloney, 
Rubbery blubbery macaroni, 
Peanut butter, caked and dry, 
Curdled milk and crusts of pie, 
Moldy melons, dried-up mustard, 
Eggshells mixed with lemon custard, 
Cold french fries and rancid meat, 
Yellow lumps of Cream of Wheat. 
At last the garbage reached so high 
That it finally touched the sky. 
And all the neighbors moved away, 
And none of her friends would come to play. 
And finally Sarah Cynthia Stout said, 
"OK, I'll take the garbage out!" 
But then, of course, it was too late. . . 
The garbage reached across the state, 
From New York to the Golden Gate. 
And there, in the garbage she did hate, 
Poor Sarah met an awful fate, 
That I cannot now relate 
Because the hour is much too late. 
But children, remember Sarah Stout 
And always take the garbage out!

Happy Earth Day reading,

Monday, April 11, 2016

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Lesson More Important than Testing

With the first week of state testing behind us, here is the real lesson I hope my students learn:

Happy reading,