Thursday, December 3, 2020

Bart's Books

During one of our food stops in Ojai, California, we found this gem of a bookstore: Bart's Books. I was immediately captivated by its uniqueness. The outside of the store had bookshelves filled with books on its walls. My hubby and I were a little stunned to see how available these books were to any passerby and were surprised to see how trusting the store was of its books. We had to go inside. And boy, were we delighted!

Bart's Books was pretty much an open air bookstore. There were bookcases and bookcases of books all around. There was either sheet metal or a piece of wood covering above the bookcases to protect the book from the elements. There were so many books that we, in fact, felt a bit overwhelmed. Every time we finished browsing down a row of books, we noticed that there was another row just around the corner. 

Monday, November 30, 2020

Little Free Library Adventures #13

 The hubby and I decided to take a much needed break in nature last week. While going in to the city to get food, we've encountered these gems (and a bookstore, which I'll post on another day):


This cute LFL was next to the cafe we got our lunch from. I wonder if it stays outside like this, rain or shine. Or do they bring it in during the rain?

Friday, November 20, 2020

Audiobook: Paola Santiago and the River of Tears

By Tehlor Kay Mejia
Narrated by Frankie Corzo

Space-obsessed 12-year-old Paola Santiago and her two best friends, Emma and Dante, know the rule: Stay away from the river. It’s all they’ve heard since a schoolmate of theirs drowned a year ago. Pao is embarrassed to admit that she has been told to stay away for even longer than that, because her mother is constantly warning her about La Llorona, the wailing ghost woman who wanders the banks of the Gila at night, looking for young people to drag into its murky depths.

Hating her mother’s humiliating superstitions and knowing that she and her friends would never venture into the water, Pao organizes a meet-up to test out her new telescope near the Gila, since it’s the best stargazing spot. But when Emma never arrives and Pao sees a shadowy figure in the reeds, it seems like maybe her mom was right. . . .

Pao has always relied on hard science to make sense of the world, but to find her friend she will have to enter the world of her nightmares, which includes unnatural mist, mind-bending monsters, and relentless spirits controlled by a terrifying force that defies both logic and legend.

Sunday, November 15, 2020

The Princess Bride Adventure Book Game


What can you do when you're trying to limit your contact with the outside world yet not go crazy at home during this pandemic? Why, play a board game! And not just any board game, The Princess Bride Adventure Book Game!

The hubby and I saw this while shopping and we knew we had to get it. We both highly enjoy movie and I had fun reading the original novel (the old version before the added chapter on Buttercup's Baby). Though this board game is based off the movie, I will still count it as a literary game since the movie was based off the book. :D

So what is this board game all about? 

It's a collaborative game that could be played by 1 to 4 players. Players have to work together to make the plot run smoothly between the six chapters (6 different board games together in a book) without getting interrupted by the sick grandson.

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Review: Music to My Years

A Mixtape Memoir of Growing Up and Standing Up 

by Cristela Alonzo

In this memoir full of humor and heart, comedian, writer, and producer Cristela Alonzo shares personal stories of growing up as a first-generation Mexican-American in Texas and following her dreams to pursue a career in comedy.

When Cristela Alonzo and her family lived as squatters in an abandoned diner, they only had two luxuries: a television and a radio, which became her pop cultural touchstone and a guiding light.

Cristela shares her experiences and struggles of being a first-generation American, her dreams of becoming a comedian, and how it feels to be a creator in a world that often minimizes people of color and women. Her stories range from the ridiculous—like the time she made her own tap shoes out of bottle caps or how the theme song of The Golden Girls landed her in the principal’s office—to the sobering moments, like how she turned to stand-up comedy to grieve the heartbreaking loss of her mother and how, years later, she’s committed to giving back to the community that helped make her.

Each significant moment of the book relates to a song, and the resulting playlist is deeply moving, resonant, and unforgettable. Music to My Years will make you laugh, cry, and even inspire you to make a playlist of your own.

Saturday, October 24, 2020

Audiobook Review: On the Come Up

 A little late on this review...but hey, better late than never. :)

By Angie Thomas

Read by Bahni Turpin

Duration: 11.7 hours

Sixteen-year-old Bri wants to be one of the greatest rappers of all time. Or at least win her first battle. As the daughter of an underground hip hop legend who died right before he hit big, Bri’s got massive shoes to fill.

But it’s hard to get your come up when you’re labeled a hoodlum at school, and your fridge at home is empty after your mom loses her job. So Bri pours her anger and frustration into her first song, which goes viral…for all the wrong reasons.

Bri soon finds herself at the center of a controversy, portrayed by the media as more menace than MC. But with an eviction notice staring her family down, Bri doesn’t just want to make it—she has to. Even if it means becoming the very thing the public has made her out to be.

Insightful, unflinching, and full of heart, On the Come Up is an ode to hip hop from one of the most influential literary voices of a generation. It is the story of fighting for your dreams, even as the odds are stacked against you; and about how, especially for young black people, freedom of speech isn’t always free.

Sunday, September 20, 2020

Author Event: Made in Mexico

I participated in my first library online event this past Thursday. In celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, the LA County Library is holding weekly events that showcase Latino authors and/or Latino people (i.e. chefs, teachers...). 

For their first event, they held an author talk with Luis I. Reyes, author of Made in Mexico. In his book, Reyes gave various facts of movies that were filmed in Mexico, which he presented in this online event. He talked about films like Titanic, The Magnificent Seven, Romancing the Stone, and The Night of the Iguana

My favorite part was when Reyes talked about the film, The Life of General Vida. It was a docufiction shot during the Mexican Revolution with Pancho Villa portraying himself. Sadly, this film was lost and only fragments of it still exist today.