A few days have gone by without a Newbery or Printz contender review because, quite frankly, the last book I read was just not worthy. Watch it win now. Somehow I find it difficult to review books that I really didn’t like. Since I’ve met a bunch of authors at one point or another, I realize that they are real people with feelings, and I know I wouldn’t want some ignorant critic to stab me in the heart by trashing my cherished creation, especially if the critic had never written a book and therefore had no room to talk. Most writers are much more artistic and poetic than I am, so I always assume that I just don’t understand some earth-shattering insight that they have. On the other hand, it may just be a dreadful book, and in that case, why should I make you think you should read it? So, if you read a review on my blog, you can be assured that I believe that at least some of my readers would enjoy it. Otherwise, you’ll never hear about it from me. I am still reading madly, of course, and I plan to do another round-up article after just a few more reviews. My list has gotten longer, and I’ll share my updated predictions.
Shopping the Amazon Carts
My sister and I discovered recently that we both have a hobby that helps us to deal with being broke. We shop the Amazon carts. This is how it goes: You think of something you need or would like to have, and then log onto Amazon, which sells everything. You spend hours researching the very best product or deal, and then you put that item into your cart. Sometimes, I put my three favorite pairs of shoes into the cart, and then come back days later to compare them and look for more. We can move items into the “save for later” cart and rejoice that we’ve saved some money! Other needs come up, and we research those, sometimes putting them ahead of the items currently in the cart. We realize that our cart is too expensive, so we make choices about what to put in the current cart, what to put in the later cart, and even (ouch!) what to delete. Sometimes, in an extreme fit of hopefulness, we put things on our wish list so that other people can buy them for us. My sister confessed that she keeps a copy of her wish list on her hard drive, as well, just in case she forgets anything. Unbeknownst to one another, we found that we both do this at least once a week. This way, we can have all the satisfaction of shopping—finding nice things, comparing items, making choices—without ever spending a dime!
Wilbur, RIP; Long Live Wilbur II
Our robot died. This is not as life-changing as having the rabbit die, but it does mean that our floors are not getting cleaned. When our Neato robot vacuum started making pitiful chirping sounds and telling us “My vision is blocked,” we tried all kinds of things to help. David cleaned every crevice he could, and we ordered new filters, but he remained helpless. Wilbur was blind. The good news is that when David called the Neato company and told them about it, they sent us a new one. Free. Postage paid. Good thing, because I had forgotten how to sweep with a broom, and David never even considered vacuuming by hand. We’ve decided to call the new robot Wilbur II, even though we felt downright heartless about it, as if you could just get rid of the robot you’ve known and loved and just get a new one. As if they were interchangeable. Actually, they are. We really need a dog.