August 30, 2011

Teaser Tuesday August 30: Oink: My Life with Minipigs by Matt Whyman

Posted in Uncategorized at 9:03 am by The Word Jar

Teaser Tuesdays asks you to:

* Grab your current read.
* Let the book fall open to a random page.
* Share with us two “teaser” sentences from that page.

You also need to share the title and author of the book that you’re getting your teaser from…that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you’ve given!

As always, please avoid spoilers!

*   *   *   *   *

From the dog’s point of view, a light pork snack had just offered itself up on a plate. I could only think that Sesi was too stunned to act, for Roxi calmly trotted through the space between her forelegs.

To clear things up, Sesi is a white wolf-like dog and Roxi is a minipig. Roxi definitely has moxie, and when the large canine comes to observe the minipigs behind a protective baby gate, Roxi saunters right through the bars and proves she has just as much a right to be in the house as Sesi.

Oink: My Life with Minipigs is an entertaining account of how chaotic life becomes for author Matt Whyman when his wife decides that two minipigs would be a great addition to their already abundant family (four kids, one dog, one cat, and some chickens). I’ve been looking forward to this lighthearted book after some of the heavier psychological thrillers I’ve been reading this summer.

What are you reading this week?

(Teaser Tuesday is hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading. Check it out for more teasers!)

May 24, 2011

Teaser Tuesday May 24: The Two Deaths of Daniel Hayes by Marcus Sakey

Posted in Uncategorized at 9:23 am by The Word Jar

Teaser Tuesdays asks you to:

* Grab your current read.
* Let the book fall open to a random page.
* Share with us two “teaser” sentences from that page.

You also need to share the title and author of the book that you’re getting your teaser from…that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you’ve given!

As always, please avoid spoilers!

*   *   *   *   *

He had started the day fighting for his life, and since then he had found clothing, shelter, food. He knew where he was, and had a name that might well be his.

The Two Deaths of Daniel Hayes begins with a man regaining consciousness on a desolate beach in Maine. He has no idea who he is or why he is there. He soon finds out that he’s wanted by the police, and he has no idea why. So, he runs. I’m only a few chapters in, but it’s already an exciting book. There are some dark characters and quick pacing. Should be an entertaining read for the summer. 

What are you reading this week?

(Teaser Tuesday is hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading. Check it out for more teasers!)

April 23, 2009

For the Love (or Hate) of Typeface

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , at 2:12 pm by The Word Jar

HelveticaIt amazes me how much fervor can be built up over something as seemingly innocuous as a typeface. I do admit to a love affair with typeface in general. I love the different designs and how messages can be conveyed, both subtly and blatantly, with a good choice of typeface. I also love when I finish a book that had a particularly unique typeface, and the publisher includes the history of the typeface at the end of the book.

But apparently, not everyone feels the love. Some people have made it their mission in life to eradicate a certain typeface. Perhaps you’ve seen this typeface on a flyer your child brought home from school. Maybe you’ve even seen it around your office. It’s Comic Sans.

The Wall Street Journal recently ran an article about Ban Comic Sans, a website that is the go-to resource for those wishing to join the fight against this most vile typeface (their sentiments, not mine). This site offers picture upon heinous picture of various instances where some poor schlub of a graphic designer chose to use Comic Sans instead of a more upstanding typeface. Visitors are even offered three free downloadable comic fonts that are more suitable to everyday use than Comic Sans.

I personally feel no ill will toward Comic Sans. It’s certainly not my first choice of font, but I wouldn’t criticize anyone for using it. I would much rather take part in a typeface love fest, and for that, I suggest viewing Helvetica.

Helvetica is a documentary that celebrates the design and usage of the Helvetica typeface. This typeface is used in so many different places, you will be surprised at all the examples they show. Again, I have no feelings of love or hate for Helvetica itself, but the documentary as a whole does a great job in explaining how typefaces are designed and how/why designers choose certain typefaces for projects.

What about you? Are you a Comic Sans hater? Do you have a favorite typeface?

March 27, 2009

David Sedaris Talks Author Tours

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , , at 9:54 pm by The Word Jar

In the March 30 New Yorker, David Sedaris muses over author tours and book signings. (You can read the abstract here, though it’s not nearly as funny; registration is required for the full essay.) He describes his latest book tour and his dismay over it beginning and ending in Costco stores.

Even though I’m an avid reader, I’ve only been to one book signing. Perhaps even more tragic, that signing was for Patricia Heaton’s book. I’ve never been a reader who’s felt that I must meet the authors of books I love. In my crazy mind, I think meeting the author might take away a little of the magic.  The authors would no longer be the mythical beings who created the works of art I love so much; they would be mere mortals, subject to schedules, hand cramps, and bad days just like the rest of us.

Sedaris’s essay may have changed my views on book signings. Maybe I’ll try to attend some this summer. There is a wonderful independent bookstore in town, and they always get the hot authors to stop by. Or maybe I just want to go to a David Sedaris book signing. He interacts (and seems to enjoy interacting) with his readers.

I guess I’d have to read a David Sedaris book first. He’s been on my “To Read” list for several years now, but I’ve never gotten around to him. Judging by the number of times his essay made me laugh, I think it’s time to move his name up the list.

What was your favorite book signing? Have you, as either author or reader, had any memorable experiences at a book signing?

February 3, 2009

New Year’s Resolutions

Posted in Uncategorized at 1:09 pm by The Word Jar

I made two New Year’s resolutions this year, and both of them led me to starting this blog. Resolution #1: Read more. Resolution #2: Write more. If I was going to write consistently, I knew I had to write about something I loved. I thought of a book review blog.

I know there are plenty of book review blogs out there, but I also know there is always room for more. With the major newspapers decreasing book review space (or getting rid of it) and an endless stream of new books hitting the bookshelves, the responsibility falls to book lovers to spread the word about worthy books or warn fellow readers not to waste their time.

I did not set specific goals for my resolutions, although I’ve always thought that finishing one book a week is an admirable goal. I’m already behind that rate, having read only two books in January, but I’m not worried. The same goes for writing. In a perfect world, I’d like to post one entry a day. That won’t always happen. But now I have a venue for my thoughts and writing, so I have taken the first step to keeping my resolutions.

So, for Resolution #1: Read More, I’ll grade myself with a half check mark at this point. The same for Resolution #2: Write More.

Now that February is here, how are you doing with your resolutions?

A few words…

Posted in Uncategorized at 3:33 am by The Word Jar

Welcome to The Word Jar! As an avid reader and freelance editor and writer, I am surrounded by words. I love them! I read them, I put them in their correct places, and I attempt to string them together.

My purpose for starting this blog is to have a place to discuss all things “wordy.” My posts will mainly consist of thoughts on the books I’m currently reading, reviews of books I have read, and my opinions of publishing trends. Maybe I’ll share some random word-related information along the way, too.

If you love words as I do, I hope you’ll share in this adventure with me. I’d love to hear your book suggestions and interesting word factoids. And what would a Word Jar be without words, so feel free to share your favorites!

Thank you for stopping by, and visit The Word Jar often.