Book Buzz: Show Us Your Book

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Carrie Gabi
David L Boren
Robert Mills
Storytime Science
Storytime Rosie

Book Buzz: Show Us Your Book

By Lucie Smoker

When you want to know what people will be talking about in the next few months, find out what books they are reading now. This month, influential Oklahomans showed us their favorite books of the year. Next, it’s your turn. Take a selfie with your fav and send it to I’ll publish some of your choices in the February column.

From University of Oklahoma President David Boren

Our Kids by Robert Putnam

“I am reading it along with our students at the University of Oklahoma as a part of the One Campus One Book program through our Student Government Association,” said President Boren.

“It is especially fascinating to me, because it shows how a failure to have access to good schools handicaps an individual from achieving the American dream. Upward social mobility, which includes moving from the bottom quartile economically at birth to the top quartile economically through life is at an all-time low in America. Only 4% are able to experience that level of progress. The book clearly is a wakeup call. The American dream of equal opportunity is in danger.”

From The WONDERtorium Programs Coordinator Debbie Williams

The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt

“It is one of those rare books that is equally enjoyed by children and adults,” said Williams.
In this silly story, Duncan just wants to color, he opens his box of crayons to find only letters, all saying the same thing: His crayons have had enough! They quit! Beige Crayon is tired of playing second fiddle to Brown. Black wants to be used for more than just outlining. Blue needs a break from coloring water. And Orange and Yellow are no longer speaking—each believes he is the true color of the sun. What can Duncan possibly do?

“I could philosophize about the deeper meaning of the book but suffice it to say all of us should have the right to think outside of the box.”

Mrs. Claus’ Night Before Christmas by Oklahoma author, Carrie McKenzie

“One of our holiday traditions at the WONDERtorium is Cupcakes With Mrs. Claus. Carrie and I were both frustrated with the lack of quality holiday books available for children. In keeping with our theme, I suggested we create our own story based on what Mrs. Claus does when Santa leaves to make his deliveries. The next day Carrie had penned this wonderful rhyming story. Then we found Gabi Martin who made the words jump to life with her illustrations. The two of them have collaborated to create a fun and whimsical holiday story. It’s been great fun to watch the evolution of this story from the germ of an idea to a full-fledged book.”

From Oklahoma City Ballet Artistic Director, Robert Mills

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey

The mental ward, Nurse Ratched, Chief Bromden, McMurphy and the shocking climax still resonate today.

“As a young boy interested in the arts and studying ballet, I was naturally drawn to things counter-culture because at times when I was not interested in the Friday night football games, seasonal school dances, or many of the things other young people around me were interested in,” Mills said, “I felt counter culture myself. In Kesey’s novel, the idea of questioning conformity and societal norms set in the backdrop of a mental institution was a powerful and uplifting book that helped me understand how and why we have a need to define ourselves.”

From Annie Bewley, Storytime Science Coordinator, Science Museum Oklahoma

Rosie Revere, Engineer by Andrea Beaty

“This book, starring the great-great-grandniece of Rosie the Riveter, teaches children that it’s okay to fail because mistakes are nothing but a great first try. Only true failure can come if you quit.”
What an inspiration to find history, encouragement and humor all in one book!

From ionOklahoma Book Buzz columnist, Lucie Smoker

Second to Nun by Alice Loweecey

This is a charming, old-school mystery with snarky, new-school laughs. Giulia Falcone-Driscoll is a former nun turned private investigator with a knack for finding trouble. When her new client drags her to a tarot reader who advises that Fate wants Giulia to evict a ghost from her lighthouse B&B, things get interesting. When she finds out about the missing family gold coins and cut gas lines, Giulia takes her husband Frank on an unplanned vacation to the lighthouse. I enjoyed her attitude and relationship with Frank. How many books even depict happy couples anymore?”

A suspense author and freelance writer, Lucie is featured with Goldie Hawn, Piper Kerman, Elizabeth Gilbert, Weird Al, and others in The Best Advice in Six Words available as an e-book and hardcover gift book.

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