Summer time…

…and the reading is easy.

Great year, guys! We had some very strong months, attendance-wise. Some of our best ever. We’ll be sad to see Camden and Will and the rest of the fifth graders go. But I’m sure Riley and Trevor and the rest of the soon-to-be fifth graders will do a great job taking over the reins.

Congrats to John, blogger of the year!

No one ever gave me any titles to vote on for next year, so I guess I get to pick them all! I don’t mind, but I’ll try to get that going better next time.

And, um. There won’t be any new blog posts over the summer (unless I discover something particularly cool and guyish), but you can use this post to comment about anything summer time: Great books read, camping adventures, video games beaten, snakes captured, etc. I’ll pop in from time to time to let you know what I’ve been reading. You should, too! And of course, all posts are open for comments, and recommendations and reviews are always welcome. I might even give a small prize to the guy who comments most during the summer.

See you next time!


May Book Post – The Fear Place

Well, this is it! The last book of the year. It’s been a great one; probably the best attended we’ve had.

Our last book is The Fear Place, by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor. We’ve read this book in two past Guys Reads, and it was certainly a guy favorite.

This month, of course, we’re joining forces with the Mother/Daughter group for a mega book club BBQ party! Should be a blast!

Lots of things winding down. You’ve got a few weeks left to push yourself up the charts in the Blogger of the Year rankings. Earn points for comments, recommendations, and reviews!

Don’t forget to send me the name of a book you think might be good for Guys Read. I’d like to put a poll up soon, to give us time to vote on a choice. What do you think we should read next year?

See you soon!

Meeting: Thursday, May 27, 6:00 pm

April Book Post – The Magician’s Nephew

Our penultimate book of the year! This month we move from “realistic” fantasy (is there really such a thing?) to high fantasy. Our second-to-last book is The Magician’s Nephew, by C.S. Lewis. This book is part of the Chronicles of Narnia, sometimes listed as Book 1, sometimes as Book 2, and sometimes as Book 6. In any case, it takes place before The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. If you’ve read that one, you’ll probably make lots of connections as you read. Many questions are answered.

We saw four different covers when we passed out books last week. Here’s another one to ponder.

We might have a special guest this month. But maybe not. I’m not promising anything.

Also, I’d like to have this year’s guys help pick one book for next year. Be thinking of a book or two, and we’ll discuss the choices at our meeting. Then I’ll throw a poll up here on the blog.

See you soon! Keep reading!

Meeting: Thursday, April 29, 6:30-7:30 pm

March Book Post – Tuck Everlasting

Yo, guys. How goes it? Great meeting last week, eh? This is shaping up to be the strongest Guys Read group ever!

Our next book is my favorite children’s book (Which it’s hard to choose, right? I know!). Tuck Everlasting, by Natalie Babbitt. It’s a book that is beautifully written, with crazy excellent descriptions and details. Sometimes it’s a little slow, but there’s some solid action and excitement in there, too.

It was made into a movie a few years ago. It was not too bad. I thought it stuck to the book pretty well.

I have to go to a certain soccer game on the last Thursday of the month, so the meeting will slide back a day. Hope that works for everyone most of us.

Meeting: Wednesday, March 24, 6:30-7:30pm

February Book Post – Ben Franklin’s Almanac

Hi-yahs, guy-yahs! I’m having a great time this year with Guys Read. Thanks for being a part of it.

Our book for February is our first (and only) nonfiction of the year. It is also the first time we have read a biography for Guys Read. I had to find the right one to start us off, and I think this is it.

The man guy is Benjamin Franklin, and the book is Ben Franklin’s Almanac, by Candace Fleming. I was lucky enough to hear Ms. Fleming speak a couple of years ago (she was hilarious), and I’ve been stockpiling this book ever since, waiting to bust it out for Guys Read. The book is very interesting to read because of the way it’s presented, and is chock full of odd anecdotes and clever tidbits from Franklin’s life.

Can anyone beat Mr. F’s ridiculously awesome commenting? He sets a high standard for the rest of us. Why not join the conversation?

I’ll leave you with Franklin’s advice for parents (page 16):

Pray let [children] have everything they like; I think it of great consequence while the features are forming. It gives them a pleasant air, and that being once…fixed…the face is handsomer for it.

So, keep those kids happy and their faces will form to a more pleasant look; but make them grouchy or grumpy and well…their faces are liable to get stuck that way.

What interesting tidbits can you find in Ben Franklin’s Almanac?

Meeting: February 25, 6:30-7:30pm

December/January Book Post – Al Capone Does My Shirts

Howdy-doody, dudes!

Well, we’ve had six guys come to our two meetings this year, but only four at a time. We’re having fun, though. Maybe all six of us will make it to the next one. And more!

Our next book is a Newbery Honor-winning, historical fistion, Al Capone Does My Shirts, by Gennifer Cholodenko. I’ve read it a few times and I really like it. Can you imagine living right next to a prison full of hardened criminals?

You’ve got plenty of time to read this one, we won’t meet until the last week of January.

OK, guys! Have a great month, winter break, and keep reading!

Meeting: January 28, 6:30-7:30

The Sky King!

I was reading a magazine this weekend (magazines count as reading!), and found this. From Time magazine’s “The 50 Best Inventions of 2009”:

In early April, Takuo Toda, chairman of the Japan Origami Airplane Association, set the world record for the longest flight by a paper airplane: he bested the previous record of 27.6 sec. by 0.3 sec. Toda’s record-breaking design, called the Sky King, was made from a single sheet of paper, with no cuts and no gluing. He aspires to launch his planes one day from space — and then retrieve them once they’ve sailed to Earth.

It was wild that a paper airplane was considered one of the best inventions. You’d think it would be some crazy machine or cure or something. I followed the plans in the magazine and made it. It’s easy except for some steps near the end that are a little tricky. It flies pretty well!

I found a YouTube video of the record-breaking flight, and another great video of how to make it. Give it a try!