Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Learn Me Good by John Pearson

Jack Woodson was a thermal design engineer for four years until he was laid off from his job. Now, as a teacher, he faces new challenges. Conference calls have been replaced with parent conferences. Product testing has given way to standardized testing. Instead of business cards, Jack now passes out report cards. The only thing that hasn't changed noticeably is the maturity level of the people surrounding him all day. Learn Me Good is a hilarious first-person account, inspired by real life experiences. Through a series of emails to Fred Bommerson, his buddy who still works at Heat Pumps Unlimited, Jack chronicles a year-in-the-life of a brand new teacher. With subject lines such as "Irritable Vowel Syndrome," "In math class, no one can hear you scream," and "I love the smell of Lysol in the morning," Jack writes each email with a dash of sarcasm and plenty of irreverent wit.

Q&A with John Pearson
What prompted you to write this book?
I had gone to private school all my life and then worked in an isolated engineering desk job. I had led a VERY sheltered life, which became even more readily apparent after my first year of teaching. The things those kids said and did, the way some parents acted, etc -- I just HAD to put it down on paper.
Was this your first book?
Yes, Learn Me Good is my first, and so far, only, book. I have a lot of ideas rattling around inside my head, I've just proven to lack the motivation to take any of them much farther.
Do you ever wonder if any of your students will read the book some day and recognize themselves in your stories? I do wonder that sometimes, and then the cynical side of me wonders if SOME of my kids would be able to read the words even if they came across the book. However, I don't think anyone would be offended, as the stories are not mocking in nature.
Can we expect a sequel? I AM working on one, tentatively titled Learn Me Gooder, but then we fall into that whole "lack of motivation" thing I mentioned.
What are you working on right now?
I am on summer vacation, so I alternate between putting off writing, and spending WAY too much time on the internet.
Do you have a favorite book/author?
I have several. My 3 favorite books of all time are The Stand by Stephen King, Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton, and The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, by Douglas Adams. I would say King is probably my favorite writer.

Freado - Free Preview
John's Blog
John's Spreadshirt T-shirt Store

About the Author:
John Pearson has engineering degrees from Duke University and Texas A&M University. He worked as a project engineer in Dallas for four years before being laid off. He then joined the ranks of public school educators, teaching third-grade math and science.

Dawn's Review:
Having been a mother of three, a room parent, and a girl scout leader, I thought I had heard it all and seen it all when it came to the antics of small children. That thought couldn't have been farther from the truth. The comical tales described in the pages of this book had me literally laughing out loud. John keeps the whole thing light-hearted and fun, and his quick wit and roll-with-the-punches attitude only add to the reader's amusement. Teachers and parents, both, would enjoy Learn Me Good, all the while nodding their heads in agreement and understanding.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Color Me Grey by J.C. Phelps

HELP WANTED - Person wanted with specialized training. Exciting and highly paid position...
Meet Alexis Stanton, a 5'4" petite young woman with a yen for adventure. She grew up as a tomboy wishing she could have all the adventures boys could have. She has since decided that being a boy instead of a girl has it's advantages, but being a woman is much better. Raised in a family with money, she was able to pick and choose her education. She has been schooled in everything from being a lady to courses with Special Forces instructors. Her desire for adventure and her boredom with her current employment make her answer a strange 'HELP WANTED' ad. She finds that job she could "just die for"... and it looks like she just might!

ISBN: 978-0981769004

NewPub Binding website

About the Author:
J.C. Phelps has been writing since she can remember. She was told she could do anything she wanted to; choose any career. However, she learned at an early age that she couldn't do anything she wanted to. She has no idea how people can ski (water or snow). And, it's not just skiing, it's a great many athletic pursuits that she has NO ability in. At present, she is unable to name any sport she is any good at and she has even tried her hand at darts.
She could read music at an early age and took piano lessons regularly. Because of this, her grade school music teacher recruited her to play the French Horn in 5th grade. From what she's been told, the French Horn is apparently one of the hardest instruments to play. All J.C. knows about the French Horn is: Yes, it is an instrument. They are quite heavy and cumbersome. And, she does not know how to play one. Also, she absolutely should not sing. So, check NO next to the musical career option.
As she gets closer to middle-age... She won't admit that she's already there. She's found there are many many things she could never have been but continued with her writing through thick and thin.
One thing she thought she might do well was become a lawyer because she can talk and write. However, she rarely wins an argument. Therefore she chose to focus on the writing.

Dawn's Review:
This is an exciting story of a girl looking for adventure. When she applies for a mysterious job, she gets a little more adventure than she bargained for. I found this story exciting from beginning to end. The attention to detail was refreshing; not too wordy. I enjoyed tagging along on Alex's adventures and look forward to continuing them in Shades of Grey.

This week's featured author: Susanne Lambdin

Susanne's love for Star Trek took her to Los Angles in the late '80s. She is best known for her 'based in part' contribut...