Monday, June 30, 2014

Everything you wanted to know about soccer but was afraid to ask...

Fascinating book of both the history and rules of football, or soccer as it is known in the states. Sophia Grace untangles the mysteries to the uninitiated with neat explanations and beautiful pictures. Short, concise, and to the point, the author examines the roots with juicy tidbits of information to peak anybody's curiosity. She delves into the how's and why's of the game, describes FIFA, which this reader had just a basic notion about. Finally, she explains who is playing and how the whole women's division has developed to become a recognized sport. Interesting, informative, and a real help for those who need to know more, this is a great book to use as an introduction to learn about a sport.

Happy Reading!
Carole P. Roman

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Wonderful story about taking the time to heal

Thoughtful story about a squirrel who is somewhat depressed. He flat and unresponsive, no matter who is trying to talk to him. "Excellent was a word the young squirrel used to love. He longed to think it again, use it, and feel again." Soon I will," the young squirrel said softly to himself." Sometimes we just don't feel like participating. Deb J. Allen does not say specifically why the squirrel is "so flat". The reason is not important. But, in his own time, in his own way, the squirrel comes down off his perch to rejoin the creatures in the forest and enjoy life again. This is a book with a great message that is okay to feel "flat" sometimes. We have to find something to reengage us back to society, and once we chose, "He knew that he was one step closer to being part of the great big world around him.He just needed a little more time... time to think, time to heal, time to be." Sometimes, that's all you need. Jenn Okubo's adorable illustrations compliment the wonderful story.

Happy Reading!
Carole P. Roman

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Check Out My Latest Interview!

Check Out Pop Culture Podcasts at Blog Talk Radio with BennetPomerantz on BlogTalkRadio

Setting the bar for bedtime with wonderfully rich stories

Delightful trip into the land of make believe, Neil Roy McFarlane has created a collection of wonderful, creative, and silly trips into the imagination. Each story is about 20 to 30 minutes long, filled with humor for the adults and just the right amount of absurdity for any child to enjoy. Reminiscent of the If You Give a Mouse a Cookie type of tale, each one starts with remembering a mundane occurrence that happened during the day, like eating bangers and mash ( sausage and potatoes), that led to something strange, which cause another thing to happen and on and on, deeper into the land of cause and effect, leading to a whopping story brilliantly relayed of how the reader ended back in bed. Written with a great love of vocabulary, with a musical style, I thing this book is not a month of bedtime stories, but a lifetime of them.

Happy Reading!
Carole P. Roman

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Deep, raw and emotional

Brilliant collection of essays and poems that expose the unvarnished emotions of being human. Rachel Thompson writes without apology, holding nothing back as she reveals her true self in layers, flaying the skin from her bones without mercy. As raw and visceral as it it, each story shares a lesson in learning to not be victimized. Whether threatened by a lover, co worker, or the sexual predator next door, Rachel Thompson looks deeply into her own soul trying to find a way to glue her broken self together to survive another day. Her stories touched me, and although our experiences were different, I recognized and identified with her emotions. I recognized a soul sister, one who has been to hell and danced with the devil, but had the courage to take back her spirit and find her way to redeem both her ravaged heart and find peace. This is a woman who knows her true self and is unafraid to explore and expose it.

Happy Reading!
Carole P. Roman

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Happy Father's Day!!!

My father was an elegant man, some people thought him distant, condescending, but I always knew better.  He was quiet.  As the war had interrupted his education, he felt insecure among my more educated uncles. He read the paper, watched news show and could explain the most complex aspects of politic science better than most of my teachers.  I think, perhaps, he was the reason I became a teacher.  The love of history, culture and customs was born with the many discussions we shared.  He had a wealth of stored knowledge that was awesome in its depth, but I don't think he ever realized it.

I have several memories of my Dad that stand out like color pictures among a lifetime of black and white stills.  Seemingly meaningless snippets of events that pop up now and then to remind me that all I am and have today is because of his influence.

My very first memory of my father is so old, that some would think it's a piece of imagination, but I remember so clearly.  I was still in my crib and needed to go to the bathroom.  Calling out urgently, I can hear his voice first, "Hold your horses..." he kept repeating.  He arrived in the nick of time, saved me from disappointment and embarrassment and began a lifetime of trust that he would always be there for me, no matter what the circumstances.

He was not a Dad who played games, or even read with us.  An avid sports fan, we watched television together, and he laughed with genuine tears when I parroted back every beer commercial ditty at three years old.  He worked so hard, traveling to cities in the most remote parts of  the country to return  exhausted that all  he could do was watch his sports every weekend.  It was our time, my mother and grandmother were in the kitchen preparing food, or chatting.  Stretching out his legs, my brothers and I would hold on to them as he moved them, pretending to be pirate's hanging from the masts.  His very round head made a perfect steering wheel, and I recall using his ears to steer our course on wind swept seas.  Perhaps Captain No Beard was born then, to be called back into into action with my own grandchildren from the dim recess of my childhood memories.

The night before I married, we sat together watching "All in the Family",  Gloria, Archie Bunker's daughter was about to leave the nest and marry as well.  I don't remember what Archie said, something about this will always be your home, it was sentimental, but I can see my Dad's blue eyes look at me and nod telling me what his words couldn't.

My father was a hard working, moral and kind man. He never set a standard for his children that he didn't do first.  Dependable, honorable, and honest, I am richer for having been his daughter as well as his friend.

Happy Father's Day!

Carole P. Roman

Saturday, June 14, 2014

The Ice Cream Truck: Memories From My Childhood

"As for memories, I had a wonderful childhood filled with loving parents who gave us everything they could. They worked hard, sacrificed, but always filled our days with love and attention. I am close with my brothers and one memory that stands out is of my brother who is three years younger. The ice cream truck was a special treat. There was very little extra money, so we didn’t get it often. My brother was three, so that made me six. Ice cream is just about my favorite thing on the planet and everybody knows that. We were given a nickel for a cone, and on that sultry, hot day, my brother Kevin got vanilla and I got chocolate. We sat on the stoop to eat, but the heat got to my cone, and it slid gracefully to the concrete. I looked in numb horror as it melted into puddle. The truck was at the corner, but I wouldn’t ask for more money. That was our treat, it was done, and I knew they had nothing extra. Kevin looked at the brown mess on the ground and held out his cone. “Take mine,” he piped.
“No.” Ice cream from a truck was a big deal. I simply wouldn’t take his. Kevin looked at me. He stared at my mess on the floor. “Well, I don’t want it if you don’t have it. You love ice cream.”
I told him, I was fine; there was no reason for both of us to miss out. Kevin shook his blonde, three-year-old head and tossed his ice cream next to mine on the dirty floor. “What did you do that for!!?” I looked at another wasted cone. “If you don’t have it, then I don’t want it.” He stated. “I can’t eat mine, if you don’t have any!” It was a profound moment of true love, honor, and sacrifice. My three-year-old brother taught me what being a sibling really meant. I never loved anyone more at that moment and it set the bar for the rest of my life. It taught a six-year-old girl that pleasure is only enjoyable when it is shared."

Read the complete interview at:

Friday, June 13, 2014

Everything you wanted to know about Elizabethan England

Terrific and comprehensive book describing every aspect of life in Elizabethan England. Ian Mortimer leaves no stone unturned, discussing every aspect of life, from one's diet, to transportation, clothing, jobs- you name it. Jam packed with interesting information, the reader takes away the sights and smells of living in the 16th century. Each chapter is filled with little gems, nuggets to keep the reader interested and compelled to learn more. I came out of this book learning that the Elizabethan age was a turning point, where new discoveries, and knowledge gave the world a nudge to grow into the modern age. Mortimer states "It is often said of Shakespeare that he is "not of an age but for all time"- a line originally penned by Ben Johnston. But Shakespeare is of an age-Elizabethan England. It makes him. It gives him a stage, a language, and an audience. If Shakespeare is "for all time," then so too is Elizabethan England."

Happy Reading!
Carole P. Roman

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

A classic is born

Lovingly written, beautifully illustrated, Bear and Bunny Go to Dreamland takes the reader on a wonderfully, relaxing, gentle trip. Perfect for that last book, the one before the final tuck, the last kiss goodnight, this book goes through all the different ways to travel to mythical, magical dreamland. Patiently, Bear tells Bunny each of his suggestion will not work. Finally, tucked safely in their beds, they learn the best way to dream land is to close your eyes. "There's nothing to pack and you don't need a map." Delightful, sweet, and peaceful, Bunny and Bear will accompany you and your child to dreamland for years to come.

Happy Reading!
Carole P. Roman

Monday, June 9, 2014

A Little Infinity

The Fault in Our Stars is the memorable and moving story about a group of teens in a cancer discussion group and their valiant goal to leave a mark in this earth. Hazel's father tells her "I believe the universe wants to be noticed. I believe the universe is improbably biased towards consciousness, that it rewards intelligence in part because the universe enjoys its elegance being observed." Simply put, this is a book about the meaning and purpose of life, it is about the impact of our existence, our footprint in time. When Dick Clark of American Bandstand spoke about death, he said he wanted to live as long as he was relevant. This book is about the teens staring death in the face, knowing of it's impending arrival and the question of what was it all for. Both Hazel and Augustus suffer with some form of cancer, they have been robbed a joyous childhood, fun and games replaced by painful treatments and operations. Their lives revolve around the hard work of staying alive and the constant cheerleading from heart broken parents. They are bright and cynical, and understand each other. They fall in love and I don't want to say more, but the depth of their passion, the deep communion of their hearts made the characters come alive. This was a great book. I was not fond of the beginning,but Augustus tenacity won me over and the reader will fall in love with Gus's loyalty and companionship as deeply as Hazel. The ageless yearning of the characters made me forget that they were teens.

Hazel wishes for "a little infinity", the time to savor her budding love with Augustus, knowing instinctively it will end too soon. The dehumanizing treatments strip the patients of their humanity, healthy people distancing from them, remembering only the person who existed before the treatments changed them. Together, Hazel and Augustus carve out a pocket of time to discover the sweet perfection of loving a person so much life seems meaningless with out them. Augustus complained, " I always thought my obituary would be in all the newspapers, that I'd have a story worth telling. I always had this suspicion that I was special." The Fault in Our Stars give a face to the victims of cancer. The story so insightful, the characters moving, yet without pity. This book reminds us that we are all here for a reason, no matter how much time we have, or what we accomplish, rich or poor, successful or not, that a rut in the road of life has been created with a lasting impression that will be there forever.

Happy Reading!
Carole P. Roman