Monday, October 29, 2012

Poncho Sanchez and his Latin Band

For more than three decades, conguero Poncho Sanchez has stirred up a fiery stew of jazz, gritty soul music, and infectious melodies and rhythms from a variety of Latin American and South American sources. His influences include two of the primary architects of Latin jazz – conga drummer and composer Chano Pozo and trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie. (Ordway website. picture from Poncho Sanchez website)

Poncho Sanchez: Click to Listen

Over the summer, I started an opportunity with the Ordway Theater in St. Paul, MN. This wonderful opportunity is called Blogger Night at the Ordway. Like reviewing books, I now get to see shows and review them. I've had the opportunity to see Fela! and Chicago. I was unfortunately away on vacation when Billy Elliot was in town.

I'm a huge fan of all things theater so when this continued I became even more excited with it all. Thinking it would be mostly for theatrical shows, Broadway, etc. , I was incredibly excited when I was offered a different chance to pick from three acts, all part of the Mascaras y Milagros: Mexican Arts in Minnesota program.

World music is one of my family's largest collections, next to Jazz and Pop/Rock. I owe this to my husband who has been a fan of this music since he was a teenager. He has opened my eyes to Cuban, African, and Latin music. I now consider it a favorite genre of mine. We have many favorite artists, some known, others not. Poncho Sanchez and his Latin Band were not on our list of musicians we were familiar with. We were shocked considering his success in the music business over the past few decades.

We jumped at this opportunity and had a wonderful date night.

The music was vibrant and passionate. My husband, being a drummer as well, critiqued and analyzed every beat, every style of which Poncho played his congas. The band had a camaraderie and sync that you could tell not only was the professionalism there but the also the immense talent. 

The songs were lengthy but weren't repetitive. I watched each member carefully and was so intrigued. Unfortunately, my husband is not a dancer so the wide open space of dance floor in front of the stage was filled with everyone else. Dancers, old and young, professional and amateur, confidently strutted their stuff. This intrigued me even more; the moves, the passion. Oh , the salsa!  Let's just say I danced in my seat.

What a different experience this was to try to review. I found myself paying attention to so many different aspects of the show; the musicianship, the banter, the lighting, the dancing. It was a perfect night to spend with the one you love.

My only issue would be the amount of people playing with their phones during the beautiful performances. Luckily the staff at the Ordway was all over that.

Happy listening and as always, thanks for stopping by!

red headed book child

Friday, October 26, 2012

To Kill A Mockingbird Contest! Movie Ticket and Book Giveaway

You’ve read the book…now see it come to life on movie screens nationwide!
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For one day only on Thursday, November 15th, select movie theaters nationwide will show the award-winning film version of Harper Lee’s classic novel To Kill a Mockingbird, in an event in honor of its 50th anniversary. 

In partnership with Fathom Events, Harper Perennial is offering YOU a chance to win 2 tickets for this event, plus a copy of the book!
PRIZE PACK: 2 tickets to the event at the movie theater nearest you and a copy of To Kill a Mockingbird

First: Click here for a list of participating theaters to confirm there is a screening of the event near you.
Second: Comment on this post and share it with your friends on your own blog/Facebook/Twitter! 

**A winner will be selected at random by end of day Sunday, October 28th
**To participate, first CONFIRM there is a movie theater in your area.

Thanks to Harper Perennial for giving me an opportunity to offer this wonderful prize pack to one of my readers!

Happy Reading and as always, thanks for stopping by!

red headed book child

Thursday, October 18, 2012

My Book Club Update

Oh, my dear sweet neglected book clubs, how I feel I've failed you. For those of you new to my blog, or just simply forgotten, I am a part of two book clubs. My Ladies Book Club is a group of my friends that I have known for many years and have been a part of previous book clubs as well. This one is a bit more laid back and we meet every month, usually at someone's house. We have loads of treats and drink really good wine. I originally started out posting very extensive posts about our meet ups; what we ate, what everyone thought, etc. That was going well until this summer. Basically our lives caught up with us. My posts fell by the way side a bit, as did my attendance. More about that later.

My second book club started last year with a former Borders co-worker and her circle of friends and colleagues. I now call these ladies friends and have really grown to love this group. This is a bit more organized. We meet every other month and had our list of books set for the year. Our official second year will begin in January. I posted about my struggles with this club earlier this summer when I was having a hard time getting in to the books picked. I left off stating that I had better get my butt into gear for September with Freedom by Jonathen Franzen. Well, it didn't happen. I was unable to attend and I didn't read it. I am not going to pressure myself with our last book for this year, Never Let me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro, though it seems like something I would really like. And it's short. I'm looking forward to finding out what our next year's books will be. We have broken them up into categories; Classics, Fiction, Mysteries, Young Adult and Memoir, in hopes to get more variety. We had so many hard, intense novels this past year. Yowza!

As for my first book club, our titles were good reads but didn't bring on much discussion. Over the summer we read Night Road by Kristin Hannah, Is everyone hanging out without me? by Mindy Kaling, Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout and The Girl who fell from the sky by Heidi Durrow. I missed two of those meet ups due to scheduling mishaps at work. Next month we are discussing Bossypants by Tina Fey. Atleast I have that one down! And Christmas time we will meet up again and eat lots of treats and maybe read and discuss a Christmas themed book.

Overall, I am grateful for my book clubs in my life. I know my readers have enjoyed being a part of that experience and for that, I feel bad for not keeping up with the posting. I am going to try to do my best next year. But after discussing it during our nights, it's hard to rush back to the computer to sum it all up again. 

I will keep a sidebar of the books we plan to read on my blog but I may or may not link an extensive post about each book.

Honestly, sometimes I just enjoy the damn wine. :)

Happy reading and as always, thanks for stopping by!

red headed book child

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

I'm back!

Whew! What a busy month it's been. Not so much in the blogging sense. After working at the Heartland Fall Forum earlier this month, I jumped on a plane and headed to Colorado for my brother-in-law's wedding.

We JUST got back. It was lovely! 

I didn't get much reading done because the giant chunkster I chose to bring with me was The Passage by Justin Cronin and even though I read over 100 pages, I don't feel like I got any where.

I'm sure a ton of you have read it? It's REALLY good. I am looking forward to having more time to read it once my schedule gets settled down.

As far listening pleasure, I didn't bring any audio books but I did get a new iphone so...i will have plenty of new fun things to figure out and download and listen to in the coming weeks.

Hope all is well out in blog land. I haven't stopped by ANY of your blogs at all this month and I know that. I suck. But I plan on it in the next coming weeks.


Happy Reading and as always, thanks for stopping by!

red headed book child

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Heartland Fall Forum

Once again I had the opportunity to work for the Midwest Booksellers Association Trade Show. This time MIBA was combined with the Great Lakes Booksellers Association and it was an even bigger, exciting show.

I was schlepping books again and meeting new authors and other wonderful literary folk. I really controlled myself in the book consumption this year, mainly focusing on children's books and new books I could donate for circulation to my library.

The highlight for me was meeting Sarah Stewart and David Small, two of my favorite children's authors/illustrators. Their new book, The Quiet Place is so beautiful.

I didn't get a picture of Justin Cronin but was able to be one of his many assistant book schleppers while he visited our book room. He had quite a bit of copies to sign of his new book, The Twelve, given to attendees of the Children's Author Breakfast.

I tried to take a bunch of other pictures but the schedule got too busy. All in all, I met so many wonderful people; authors, publishers, agents, editors. Whether it was from a big publisher or a small imprint, they were all passionate and delighted to be a part of this event.

Looking forward to many more years to come.

Happy reading and as always, thanks for stopping by!

 red headed book child