Jim Lawson, a writer/illustrator/comic book artist for The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles for over 20 years, will pay a visit to the Wellesley Free Library’s Children’s Room on Saturday, Jan. 23 from 1-2pm for a talk and demonstration.
His latest book is Paleo: The Complete Collection. Find out more about Jim, who lives and works in western Massachusetts, and his work at http://jimlawsonart.com/index.html.
This is a program for all ages.
Wellesley mom Keri Boyle has always managed to keep herself career-minded and plenty active. But once one has conquered the presidencies of both the Hardy School PTO and the Wellesley Mother’s Forum, yet one’s salaried job plus the busy-ness of mothering/managing three kids seems hardly enough to fill the the gaping chasms of time in one’s day, one starts to cast about for the next project. In this case, children’s book author seemed about right to Boyle.
Her book Teddy the Dog — Be Your Own Dog, scheduled to hit bookstores in late May, introduces readers to a feisty, witty, canine who always wears sunglasses and is often described as “attitude with fur.” Teddy is an alpha dog who struts around town doing as he pleases and generally creating mischief, until one day a package shows up at his door. Inside the box is a cat, ready to teach Teddy the startling truth that it’s no longer a dog’s world! Can Teddy learn to accommodate the ways of his new friend while remaining true to who he is? Geared for kids ages 0 – 10, you can click here to pre-order Teddy the Dog — Be Your Own Dog.
Until the book comes out, keep up with Teddy’s adventures on Facebook.
Also of interest…
Check out meteorologist and Wellesley mom Mish Michaels’ book Ms. G’s Shadowy Road to Fame, the true story of the Massachusetts state groundhog.
Our family loves books, and our family loves Christmas. During the years when picture books and story time ruled our house, we never missed a December visit out to the Concord Museum in historic Concord, MA to see how volunteers had filled the museum’s galleries with over 35 trees as tremendous as a towering specimen in the front entryway to trees so tiny they can fit on a windowsill. All are decorated with original ornaments inspired by the storyline, illustrations, and characters or setting of a particular contemporary or classic children’s story book. If we happened to absorb some American history as we wandered from tree to shining tree, so much the better.
Here are some pictures of some of this year’s trees:
Admission to The Concord Museum is $15 adults, $10 seniors, $6 children (4–18); children under 4 and Members Free. Family Trees admission includes all of the Museum galleries and special exhibitions. The Museum is open Monday-Saturday from 9:00 – 5:00 and Sunday from 12:00 – 5:00 (winter hours begin January 4); the Museum will close at 1:00 on December 24 and will be closed all day November 26 and December 25.
More about my visit to Concord here:
I always feel so at home in Concord, and it’s no wonder. I counted 9 shops there that have locations in Wellesley: Irresistibles, J. McLaughlin, French Lessons, Comina, Sara Campbell, Lyn Evans, Winston Flowers, Comellas, and [Read more…]
Okay, we’re not really suggesting that you will want to pick the updated Rte. 9 Enhancement & Study plan produced for the Wellesley Planning Board as your next book group read, but this online publication actually is a serious page-turner. It’s a mystery-nonfiction-futuristic-fantasy-illustrated tome all rolled into one and even comes with a related activity page — an interactive survey that you’re still urged to take.
“I think this may be a bigger (and potentially more positive) deal than is being talked about.”
***** Five stars: Rte. 9 dweller who wrote to us
In reading this report, you’ll laugh at the signs to nowhere, such as one for a traffic signal that no longer exists near St. James the Great Church (the building for which no longer exists). You’ll cry over the stats on crashes (901 between 2011 and 2013) and traffic. Your blood will boil over photographs of signs obscured by vegetation overgrowth. You’ll hold your breath reading about breaks in the median that encourage unsafe crossings by pedestrians.
And you’ll puzzle over sights like this:
You’ll also be excited to know that the highly anticipated second book in the series is on the way.
According to the Planning Board: “Moving forward, it is anticipated that the next deliverable, Summary of Identified Issues and Opportunities, will be ready for review in the early part of the week of Mon., December 21-Fri., December 25.”
So yes, a possible stocking stuffer!
What’s more, another stakeholder meeting will likely take place in early January, with expected further discussion at a Planning Board meeting that month, then onto Phase 2 for developing the actual plan (stay up to date here). One Rte. 9 resident told us that promising outcomes, if locals get involved, could include beautification and regular maintenance where the state highway meets the town line, as well as changes to improve crosswalk safety at locations such as Grantland Extension where cars exit Rte. 9 to get to Washington Street.
With paving projects already on the schedule and big plans to be determined, 2016 promises to be a significant year for what will inevitably be renamed Hunnewell Highway.
The Friends of the Wellesley Free Libraries is having a Holiday Book Sale on Saturday December 5 from 10:00AM-4:00PM and Sunday December 6 from 1:00-4:30PM in the lobby of the Wellesley Main Library. This pop up sale will feature a great selection of books that are in exceptional condition and perfect for gift giving. There will be many holiday themed books for children and adults, as well as an assortments of cookbooks, books on crafts and hobbies, coffee table books and much more. Stop by to find the perfect gifts for those on your list. All proceeds help to support our fantastic libraries.
A perfect add-on to any book is a gift membership to Friends of the Wellesley Free Libraries. Your tax deductible joining
Mark your calendar book lovers: Award-winning author James Dashner is coming to The Rivers School in Weston, sponsored by Wellesley Books. The best-selling author of the Maze Runner series will be there to share The Game of Lives, the final book of his new cyber-adventure trilogy in The Mortality Doctrine series.
I recently spoke to Dashner who, when he isn’t spending all his time on The New York Times children’s series best seller list (Maze Runner has been camped out there for over 160 weeks), lives in Utah with his wife and two sons. Dashner may be a life-long self-described geek who is in awe of Stephen King and who loves the TV series The Walking Dead. And true, my literary tastes bend more toward Geraldine Brooks, and I do rather prefer Downton Abbey on my telly. Still, somehow the geeky author and this Swellesley Report blogger had no trouble forging a meeting of the minds as we chatted about his latest book and his work in general.
Dashner is officially on tour to promote Game of Lives, out on Tuesday, Nov. 17. Inspired by the 1999 science fiction action film The Matrix as well as the heist thriller Inception, he says the book “deals with psychological issues as well as the concept of a dream within a dream within a dream” through a very plot-driven literary experience. In true Dashner style, his characters are as psychologically complex as his story line, with plenty of good, bad, loyalty, evil, steadfastness, and treachery mixed up in all of them, just to keep it all real. The plot revolves around Michael, gamer and hacker extraodinaire, whom the government wants to tap for a special project. If Michael agrees, he’d better choose his friends and helpers carefully because if they don’t all come through in a big way, it looks like nothing less than worldwide cyber domination will be the outcome. Those are some important ifs, so look out, Michael, your writer hasn’t exactly made this easy for you. Can’t say if this one will be optioned for film, but it wouldn’t surprise anyone if that came to be.
MORE BOOKISHNESS: Sir Salman Rushdie graces Wellesley stage
Dashner has always loved popular culture, with a special place in his heart for Star Wars, and indeed, his tickets are already in hand for the The Force Awakens, out Dec. 18. He was a Storm Trooper for Halloween, while one of his four kids was Kylo Ren, and the another was a Jedi. He’s that kind of guy, and it obviously works for him. The Stephen King fan has of course read King’s latest book, Bazaar of Bad Dreams, a collection of short stories. Although he’s never met the master, he has heard through reliable sources that “Stephen King’s grandkids have read my books,” so there’s that. Breaking news here, he’s also seen every episode of The Walking Dead.
Dashner says that growing up, he was always writing stories and reading voraciously. Writing was certainly in his heart, but reality, if not his dreams, called him over to the practical side. “I always wanted to be a writer, but I studied accounting, of all things” while at Brigham Young University. It was his backup plan, and indeed, accounting had his back for seven years until finally, he crunched the numbers and realized that could go over to the creative side and become a full-time writer. Doesn’t miss accounting a bit. Go figure.
While in college, Dashner says that beyond the basic requirements of an art history course and some required English Department classes here and there, he didn’t take a single writing course. But that didn’t stop him from writing. He wrote his first book in his spare time. A small publisher took him on, and his book The Door in the Woods (The Jimmy Fincher Saga), the first in a four-part series, hit the shelves right around the time he graduated. New fans, hungry for more after they plow through his most popular work, keep it in print.
Throughout his own personal life series, Dashner says that “Reading was my education, and was what helped me develop as a story teller.”
As for what comes next, Dashner has been working on a prequel to the Maze Runner series, titled The Fever Code. Due out in late 2016, he just got his first draft in to his publisher. I mentioned that his fans are absolutely obsessed with the idea of how the [Read more…]
Partway through his appearance at Wellesley College Thursday night Sir Salman Rushdie, without necessarily knowing it, hit on a very Wellesley issue: Whether you can go home again.
Every time we write about big changes in town, such as housing tear downs or the loss of an old school or town building, we receive comments from people who grew up here or longtime residents lamenting the loss of what they knew as Wellesley. But as the Bombay-born Rushdie said, citing what’s currently known as Mumbai, you can go home again — it’s just not going to be the same place.
Even for those who long for the old days of Wellesley, there are surely many new things to love about the town. The very fact that Wellesley College brings someone like Rushdie to campus as part of its Distinguished Thinkers series and invites the public to show up for free is a good case in point.
A grateful packed house at Diana Chapman Walsh Alumnae Hall made the Man Booker Prize-winning author feel right at home on a drizzly Thursday night as he read from his latest book and entertained questions from a professor of French and a handful of students. Rushdie didn’t disappoint, coming off as humorous and peaceful (“I’m from the 60’s…”), much like his writings.
But isn’t this the guy who wrote the notorious 1988 book The Satanic Verses that earned him a fatwa from Iran’s Ayatollah in 1989 that sent the author into hiding? Indeed, but as Rushdie alluded to several times last night, those with the loudest complaints about books are often those who haven’t actually taken the time to read them.
In the case of The Satanic Verses, he said a “deliberate attempt to decontextualize it” — to pick out the parts that could be taken offense to and play them up — resulted in widespread misconceptions about the book that have taken years to erase. He said critics of James Joyce’s Ulysses, those who called it pornographic, obviously never read that book. Inciting sexual arousal “was not one of James Joyce’s great gifts,” Rushdie quipped.
The fact that people still read and study The Satanic Verses, though, vindicates its publication, Rushdie said. If it was just a scandal piece, it would have gone away by now.
The author said it amuses him when people say how they are surprised his writings are so humorous, and his latest book, Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights, has been touted for its humor and quirky cultural references. At the age of 68, Rushdie said, “I’ve finally become a comic writer.” (I’m about one-third through the book, and while I’m not exactly slapping my knee while reading it, it is clearly a fairy tale with much lightness and a bit of darkness mixed in, too.) Rushdie the comedian did pander to the largely female audience and got some easy yucks by reading a passage from his One Thousand and One Nights-inspired new book that poked fun at the human male’s lack of imagination upon being offered wishes by a jinni (i.e., genie).
Rushdie also shared insights into his writing process, which involves trial-and-error and discovery along the way. “A lot of it is just instinct,” he said.
His books tend to be heavier on fantasy than reality. Rushdie said one reason for this is that sticking to realism is tough in a time when — and I paraphrase here — “ideas about what’s real are very fractured.” I’ll leave it up to you whether my account of his visit to Wellesley delivers the truth.
Salman Rushdie, the prolific author of The Satanic Verses, Booker Prize-winning Midnight’s Children and many other books and writings, will be visiting Wellesley College’s Alumnae Hall on Thursday, Nov. 12, 6:30pm, at an event that’s free and open to the public.
Rushdie will be on a speaking tour that promotes his new novel, titled Two Years Eight Months Twenty-Eight Nights, which debuted in September.
Rushdie’s visit is part of Wellesley College’s Susan and Donald Newhouse Center for the Humanities Distinguished Thinkers Series, which has brought dozens of influential writers and thinkers to the school over the years for readings and discussions.