Gary Gulman has long been one of my favorite stand-up comedians. He is witty and insightful. If you are not familiar with his work, I urge you to take a minute and check him out. What if there had been a committee assigned to create the two letter abbreviations for each state? Just Google: Gary Gulman State Abbreviations. I promise you it will be worth your while. I’ll wait…….………………………………………………………….. Was I right? I thought it was pretty hilarious.
When we talk about “the humanities,” we’re talking about areas of study like literature, art, music, and philosophy that deal with what it means to be human– what is essential to the human experience, what do humans need and what do they value, what is unique about the human spirit? Exploring these questions is one of the primary reasons I love to read, especially when a book can offer me a new kind of window into the depth and complexity of humanity.
Shark Heart by Emily Habeck offers such a unique and poignant reflection on what it means to be human with a touch of magical realism, a kaleidoscopic structure of vignettes, a multifaceted study of love and loss over multiple generations. But, brace yourself, because it is a weird little book. Yet it feels so deeply human in every scene, and I would love to see more people pick it up and discuss it.
The Inkwell Chronicles: The Ink of Elspet by JD Peabody
Review by Luanne Clark and the Kids of Yakima!
A Pacific Northwest author, JD Peabody from Federal Way, WA, has written an intriguing fantasy/mystery for readers aged 9-12. It takes place in post-WWII England where a widowed father is raising his 2 children. Everett and Bea are thrown into the mystery when their father is kidnapped and they set out to rescue him, aided by members of the original group of English authors of that time known as the Inklings.
Well, Inklings Bookshop couldn’t pass up a fortuitous coincidence like that! This summer we presented an opportunity to our middle grades readers and they responded enthusiastically. Any young readers who read the book and replied with a short written review were entered into a drawing for a free copy of the second book of Everett and Bea’s adventures, which comes out this month: The Inkwell Chronicles: Race to Krakatoa. Also, some of the reviews were to be published in the Yakima Herald Republic–and here they are!
My Thoughts About the Inkwell Chronicles
In the book, The Inkwell Chronicles: The Ink of Elspet, the author did a great job of introducing the characters and setting the scene in the first chapter. I like how the author said in the first chapter, ”It’s far more meaningful to be interestED than to try to be interestING”. I also like how the author said, “You have greater influence than you know.” The middle had so much suspense and adventure I couldn’t stop reading it! The end was so breathtaking it was awesome! I like the part when Everett didn’t think he was courageous but then, after all he went through trying to find his dad, he was, in fact, courageous like Max Courageous in the comic books his dad wrote. The author did a great job detailing the whole book! I felt like I was in every scene! How cool would it be to hold that pen and find an inkwell? I am super excited to read the second book!
Abby–I’m also excited for the second book! And I also loved the part where Everett recognized his courage. You wrote a great review! Adding quotations from a book really helps to bring it to life–and you picked great quotations that are very
The Endangered Species Act was signed into law by President Richard M. Nixon on December 28, 1973. Nixon wrote that the act provided the Federal government with the needed authority to "protect an irreplaceable part of our natural heritage--threatened wildlife. And, nothing is more worthy of preservation than the rich array of animal life with which our country has been blessed."
It has been 50 years since the Endangered Species Act's inception and there has been a gradual erosion of the act. Just a few examples are: In 1970 the tiny perch known as the Snail Darter took on the Tennessee Valley Authority's construction of the Tellico Dam., and in the 1990's the Pacific Northwest's wholesale clearcuts versus the Spotted Owl. The rights of the federal government versus the rights of private land owners sometimes conflict, for example the Bundy standoff at the Matheur National Wildlife Refuge in 2014. But, the Act of 1973 still endures.
In case you are in need of a big hug, “You Could Make This Place Beautiful” has you covered…
If you’ve ever sat with your best friend in a parked car while they told you about their problems, heartaches, and hilarious moments and thought to yourself, “This is what living is for”, then you’re sure to love Maggie Smith’s memoir, “You Could Make This Place Beautiful”.
When Tracey Lange publishes a book, there’s a high chance I’m reading it. Although I’m usually more of a romance, horror fiction fan, her compelling family dramas are something I can never get quite enough of.
The stories she writes are usually highlighted by big Irish-Catholic families who are as irritated with each other as they are loyal to each other. It’s that aspect that gets woven so well throughout her novels that I love. The idea that, no matter how upset you might be with someone, you’ll always have their back because “family” means everything.
This book falls right in line with that very idea.
Rachel Van Dyken will tear your heart out and slowly but surely give you hope and put the pieces back together.
The Godparent Trap tells the story of two Godparents that got the worst news of their lives and became instant parents to two wild but lovely kids.
Colby is leaving her best life, completely and 100% carefree. She is a popular food blogger and gets to travel around the world and experience new things constantly. Her world comes crashing down when her best friend passes away leaving her to co-parent her two kids with her brother. She will have to learn to settle for the sake of the kids. And she will have to learn to get along with her friend's brother Rip, another momentous task since the two have never been able to get along. Colby is a hurricane, a force of nature. Rip is the exact opposite.
A Review by review by Alicia McClintic, a friend of Inklings
In the current age of “cancel culture,” Claire Dederer explores the age-old question: “Can we
separate art from artist?”
What do we do with beautiful art made by terrible people? What do we do with the music or
books or films we love when we cannot love the maker? What do we do with important classics
that have made eternal impacts on their field when the personal impact of the artist is horrific?
Can we continue to be a fan of that album, or cherish that book, or appreciate that film, or
admire that painting? Or are those artistic creations forever stained by the bad character and
bad actions of the creator? Are we allowed to be fans of things made by monsters– or does that
fandom make us monsters too?
With the middle of July comes longer days, fuller lakes and more time for lounging. For many people, it’s the best time of year as it is also one of the most nostalgic. Remembering good memories from the past while creating more is the perfect representation of summer. Personally, when I’m in the mood for a good book during the hot summer days, I’m always looking for one that embodies that energy.
The quintessential beach read is one that touches on many of those summer themes we hold dearly to our hearts and most importantly doesn’t let us down too hard. A good beach read doesn’t make you want to go back inside the house to cry, but it can pull at your heartstrings every now and then.