Imagination doesn't just mean making things up. It means thinking things through, solving [problems] or hoping to do so, and being just distant enough to be able to laugh at things that are normally painful. [Some people] would call this escapism, but they would be be entirely wrong. I would call fantasy the most serious, and the most useful branch of writing there is.
--Diana Wynne Jones

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Free books and why yesterday's poem was stupid

I almost let the month slip away without giving away free books.

I like books. I also like giving books away. Especially really fine books, with good stories and beautiful sentences. I try not to give away crappy books on my blog. I try not to give away books I didn't enjoy myself. They aren't always hot sellers. They are always books I have read, books I know you'll like, if you love words as much as I do.

This month's picks:

1. Smiles to Go, by Jerry Spinelli, who's one of my favorite authors.

2. Savvy, Ingrid Law, which I've offered before and nobody has snatched up yet, strangely. Probably because they don't know how great it is. (Newbery winner, folks!)

3. The Chronicles of Chrestomanci, Vol. I, by Diana Wynne Jones. This is actually two books in one. It's also my new favorite fantasy series for kids. If you haven't discovered Jones yet, you must. Neil Gaiman is a fan, too. He says Jones is "...always perfectly magical." I agree. Just delightful fun.

 The free book drawing goes until Friday (April 30) at midnight.
Winners choose their books.
This is always a small contest. If you enter, you have excellent odds of winning, so don't get discouraged if you haven't won yet. It's probably only a matter of time if you keep entering.
Same rules as usual apply:
To enter,
1. Become a) a new follower of my blog or b) already be a follower
2. Comment on my blog and tell me that you follow
3. Be eighteen or get parent's permission to enter.

Tres simple!

My teenage daughter read yesterday's poem.

Her (voice dripping sarcasm): How is that a poem? Because the words are all lined up in columns?(eye-roll here)

 Me: (shrugging) Uh, I thought it was funny. I liked the word-play. You know: Hat/Hate?

Her: Look of scorn.

I forgot how stupid everything is when you're that age.

So today's poem has imagery and rhythm you can feel, like a drum-beat. And is short, because long is stupid.

Note: I also decided not to give away a poetry book, even though it is National Poetry Month, because apparently, nobody but me likes poetry.

This is just for torture purposes:

by Langston Hughes

We have tomorrow
Bright before us
Like a flame.

A night-gone thing,
A sun-down name.

And dawn-today
Broad arch above the road we came.

We march!


  1. As you know I am a follower! I also love free books! I want you to know--I don't hate poetry, I just haven't written or read it in a long time.

  2. Super Pi: Oh, good! I'm glad you don't hate poetry. That makes probably two of us. I'll enter you into the book drawing again. :) Thanks for coming back!

  3. p.s. The quote from T.S. Elliot at the top...divine!

  4. "A night-gone thing,
    A sun-down name"

    That is anything but stupid. And I ADORE POETRY! Offer up the book and I will steal it! (Gwa ha ha!)

    I hope that by now you know I'm a follower. If not...I'm a follower! I'd truly follow you anyway, Elena. With words like your, I'd be a fool not to.

  5. L.T.: Three of us! I know you like poetry. Your writing is too poetic to doubt it. I'll enter you. And I have just the poetry book for you. :)

  6. I used to dabble in writing poetry. I haven't for a long time. I thought of myself as a poet once or twice. Then reality hit. :) I'm in and I'm eighteen.

  7. I'm a follower, of course, and I thought the hat poem was funny.

  8. I want to enter! I'll blog about the contest tomorrow....

  9. What's the poetic equivalent of a "social drinker?" Where you drink because others are doing so too? That's about where I'm at. On the other hand, I love to read.

  10. Alyosha sent me over, said that you were worth checking I am a follower! I've always wanted to write poetry, maybe I should give it a try. As for your book recomendations, I'm adding them to my library hold list! Thank you!

  11. Alyosha did indeed blog about this! I'm here because of her:) And if I win, I would definitely choose Savvy, I love newberry books

  12. Princesa: I don't believe in reality; only fantasy. Don't stop!

    Kim: I'll tell my daughter I'm not alone.:)

    Alyosha: I owe you big time. By the way, every time I see your blog name I think how much I love Bros. Karamazov, and especially Alexei. My husband is reading it for the first time.

    Maria: They say, sometimes a single drink is all it takes to make a person an alcoholic. :) On the other hand, I suppose you don't have to get fall-down drunk to savor the poetic wine. Me, I don't sip. I imbibe. Other people's poetry, that is. My own is just what I can't stop from spewing into the air.

    Jeff Ann: Welcome! If you've always wanted to write poetry, definitely you should try. And happy reading--I know you'll like these.

    Katie: I'm happy to have you, too! I'll enter you, but even if you don't win, be sure to check out Savvy. It's a great book.

  13. I want to enter! I love words! Especially ones that are put together beautifully.


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