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DBR Notes

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Yon Walls Interview with author of Seeing Colette

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The Reader’s Journal Book review: Little Women and Me by Lauren Baratz-Logsted

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What we’re reading now...

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DBR’s WishList

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David Kalish Interview with author of The Opposite of Everything

Book Sale! Our Bestsellers... Reading Challenge 2014

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DBR Books

The Books Magazine 2

July | August 2014


With

thoughts of surf, sea, and sand, let us not forget about our summer reading list. Whether vacationing by the ocean, lounging by a pool, or taking a rest in our hammocks under the shade of a big tree, add a couple of good books to the equation to fully enjoy your respite. Let your retreat be memorable; and to help you achieve that, we have a suggestive list of great books for you and your family to choose from:       

Beatrice and Virgil by Yan Martel (author of Life of Pi) Ninja Librarians: The Accidental Keyhand by Jen Swann Downey The Battle of Darcy Lane by Tara Altebrando The Widow‘s Walk by Robert Barclay The Apple Orchard by Susan Wiggs The Postmistress by Sarah Blake Charlie Brown and Friends by Charles M. Schulz

Feel free to add to our list. Soon your book collection will grow too! Happy Reading! More of our reader’s journal entries, reviews, plus author interviews, can be found on our Blog and on Examiner! Do you have a recently published children’s or YA fiction book you would like us to review or promote? Then, write to dbrdesigns1@gmail.com

Read our weekly newspaper, DBR Book News Weekly! DBR Books would like to hear all about your reading experience; share with us on Examiner, our Blog, and on Twitter! 3


author interview Seeing Colette by Yon Walls Book on Createspace

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Tell us a little about yourself. Firstly, I‘m really glad to have completed this book [Seeing Colette] and to be talking to you about it. It has been a labor of love and has renewed my faith in the power of creative writing to connect with others. I‘ve been writing since age 13 and didn‘t consider myself a serious writer until entering graduate school to complete a program in English and Creative Writing. The program didn‘t make me a writer--- (the early writing did even when I didn‘t know it), but it made me responsible for what I write and more reflective about what I want to say. It also equipped me with some craft. I love books. I believe that books and writing are just opposite sides of each other. I love compelling beautiful fiction and I‘ve had the opportunity to teach compelling beautiful fiction. I also think writing can be hard and doing it is as much about craft as what your heart and mind really want to say. I believe that I have lots more to say and there are lots more wonderful books out there by other authors that I want to read. 2. Congratulations on your new novel, Seeing Colette. This is your first novel; what is the book about? It‘s a book about people who decided that they can‘t stay in a place and must leave. Sometimes because they‘re forced to, yet in the book, it‘s mostly by choice. It‘s about a time in our country when a great migration from the South was happening and many of them migrating were African-Americans. They were coming to big cities like Chicago and New York for a better life. It‘s a book about passionate love; finding it and losing it. It‘s also a book about the struggles of the poor from almost every walk of life who just want equity, justice and dignity. Finally, it‘s about transformational art and about a war that changed America and precedes the Harlem Renaissance. 4


3. Why a period fiction piece set in the era of urban industrialization and World War I? Well, I think that period in American history is very interesting—a dynamic time that established much of what Americans became after Victorian England, and the Jim Crow South. Although the Jim Crow South still tainted much of American life in the early 1900‘s, society was changing and this change brought about in the 1920‘s, the Harlem Renaissance—a time fluid with Black Creativity and the earliest form of integration in the country. 4. Colette is quite the heroine - "fighting for the working poor and destitute, exposing corruption, and advocating for the arts". The era of urban industrialization screams male dominance. Why did you choose for the main character to be a woman? Is feminine empowerment a sub-theme in the book? Yes, feminine empowerment is a sub-theme. Colette Stonethrower, Anna Springfield, and Lisele Straus are all women who face situations fearlessly. Yet, it doesn‘t mean they don‘t feel. They feel all of their challenges deeply, but believe in themselves enough to try and fulfill their dreams of a good life as creative thinking women, despite economic, social and racial inequity. 5. The book Seeing Colette is written in 'prose'. What does this mean and why did you choose to write a novel in prose? I felt the story should appear in novel form. It felt much longer than a poem and the characters had more to say. I also thought that the novel form offered more opportunity for how the story could be told and how it could flow and discover itself. 6. What other books have you written? I‘ve adapted children‘s fairy tales based on African-American folktales. It was a project that I loved and also because I got to work with an illustrator I chose. It doesn‘t usually happen that way when a publisher hires you on, but I was given that opportunity. I learned much about how images can inform stories and how stories marry to images. 7. What advice do you have for first time writers? Well there‘s not any one thing I‘d say, but I think if you want to write, that‘s exactly what you should do. I also think learning to get comfortable with the sometimes unpredictable process of writing is important. Just because it may be hard to start or difficult to finish, the work is as much about the process as it is the outcome. Just keep writing and doing your best. Also, reach out to other writers that inspire you and get as much craft as you can, anywhere you can. 8. What's next for Yon Walls? What are you currently working on? I‘m working on my next novel. I like the way it feels and am enjoying the start process, although I feel in my gut that soon a wave of inspiration will happen as it usually does, and the writing process will speed up and I‘ll be on board with it until it‘s done. I‘m also feeling really glad to be writing for a readership and want to please them. Yet, I know the story will be what it‘s supposed to be. It‘s the part about this work, wonder and commitment that I love, and I am so glad that it‘s my job to do. 5


Little Women and Me by Lauren Baratz-Logsted Book Description: Emily is sick and tired of being a middle sister. So when she gets an assignment to describe what she'd change about a classic novel, Emily pounces on Little Women. After all, if she can't change things in her own family, maybe she can bring a little justice to the March sisters. (Kill off Beth? Have cute Laurie wind up with Amy instead of Jo? What was Louisa May Alcott thinking?!) But when Emily gets mysteriously transported into the 1860s world of the book, she discovers that righting fictional wrongs won't be easy. And after being immersed in a time and place so different from her own, it may be Emily--not the four March sisters--who undergoes the most surprising change of all. Product Specifications:        

Book Title & Author: Little Women and Me by Lauren Baratz-Logsted Age Range: 12 - 17 years Grade Level: 7 and up Paperback: 336 pages Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens; Reprint edition (July 23, 2013) Language: English ISBN-10: 1619630338 ISBN-13: 978-1619630338 6


O

ur 4th book for the Reading Journal is Little Women and Me by Lauren Baratz-Logsted.

So if you had a chance to change the details of a classic novel, what novel would you choose and what details would you change. In an English assignment, Emily March in Little Women and Me, written by Lauren Baratz-Logsted, decided that she would change the classic novel Little Women. Should she change the outcome of whom gets the boy, Jo or Amy, and what about the sad scene of Beth dying? But before she had the chance to decide what details about the novel she‘d fix, Emily is mysteriously transported into the world of Louisa May Alcott‘s characters, the March sisters. Here is Emily‘s chance to ‗right‘ fictional wrongs in her favorite book, but soon she realizes that it‘s not as easy as she thought it would be. Emily March was ‗sucked‘ into this imaginary world of the infamous ‗Little Women‘ of Alcott‘s book, and they were suddenly real and alive. Sounds bizarre and unbelievable, yet she found that her being there was quite ‗normal‘! There was a place for her; her existence in 1860‘s March world was as if she‘d always been there; Emily March, middle sister of the March sisters Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy. Author Lauren Baratz-Logsted, writes a novel within a novel. Placing Emily within the story of Little Women and carving out a place for her is ingenious. It‘s like a rewrite of the classic novel told in the way kids today can understand and relate to, with all the modern edge and flair to it, and Emily who seem to ‗have always existed‘ was in the middle of it! There was no surprise or shock by the sisters when Emily suddenly ‘showed up‘ in the story, and this is helpful to the plot because the transition was less taxing on the reader. It makes for an easy read. If you like period piece, where modern meets past, then you‘ll like Little Women and Me. Placing a modern character in the past is an experiment many writers like to explore. It provides intrigue for the reader and usually creates for the character a journey of discovery. This book has piqued our curiosity and we want to find out how this story will play out and how much details will change, now that there is an added character to the fiction Little Women. Visit DBR Books Blog for more journal entries on this book. [Review written for The Books Magazine] 7


What We’re Reading Now! This book is our current read for 2014 Reading Challenge, of which readers are challenged to read outside their usual genre! We hope that you will be able to reach your goal for the year! Thanks for participating!

The Postmistress by Sarah Blake Book Description: In 1940, Iris James is the postmistress in coastal Franklin, Massachusetts. Iris knows more about the townspeople than she will ever say, and believes her job is to deliver secrets. Yet one day she does the unthinkable: slips a letter into her pocket, reads it, and doesn't deliver it. Meanwhile, Frankie Bard broadcasts from overseas with Edward R. Murrow. Her dispatches beg listeners to pay heed as the Nazis bomb London nightly. Most of the townspeople of Franklin think the war can't touch them. But both Iris and Frankie know better... The Postmistress is a tale of two worlds-one shattered by violence, the other willfully naïve-and of two women whose job is to deliver the news, yet who find themselves unable to do so. Through their eyes, and the eyes of everyday people caught in history's tide, it examines how stories are told, and how the fact of war is borne even through everyday life. Product Specifications:  Book Title & Author: The Postmistress by Sarah Blake  Paperback: 384 pages  Publisher: Berkley Trade; Reprint edition (February 1, 2011)  Language: English  ISBN-10: 0425238695  ISBN-13: 978-0425238691 8


DBR’s WISHLIST books for July | August 2014!

Dragons Love Tacos by Adam Rubin

Gaston by Kelly DiPucchio

Five Trucks by Brian Floca

Bringing Down the Mouse by Ben Mezrich

Words with Wings by Nikki Grimes

Escape from Berlin by Irene N. Watts

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...bestsellers in our store! The Fault in Our Stars by John Green Regular Price: $12.99 Now: $8.55 Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel‘s story is about to be completely rewritten. Insightful, bold, irreverent, and raw, The Fault in Our Stars is award-winningauthor John Green‘s most ambitious and heartbreaking work yet, brilliantly exploring the funny, thrilling, and tragic business of being alive and in love.

The Julian Game by Adele Griffin Regular Price: $16.99 Now: $5.99 All new girl Raye Archer wants is a way into the in crowd, so when ice-queen Ella Parker picks her to get back at her ex, the gorgeous Julian Kilgarry, Raye is more than game. Even if it means creating a fake Facebook identity so she can learn enough about Julian to sabotage him. It's a fun and dangerous thrill at first, but Raye hadn't counted on falling for Julian herself-and igniting Ella's rage. As Raye works to reconcile the temptress Elizabeth with her real-life self, Ella serves up her own revenge, creating an online smear campaign of nasty rumors and trashy photographs. Suddenly notorious, Raye has to find a way out of the web of deceit that she's helped to build, and back to the relationships that matter. Adele Griffin's riveting novel explores the issues of generation Facebook: the desire to be someone else, real versus online friends, and the pitfalls and fallouts of posting your personal life online for all the world to judge.

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee Regular price: $8.99 Now: $5.95 The unforgettable novel of a childhood in a sleepy Southern town and the crisis of conscience that rocked it, To Kill A Mockingbird became both an instant bestseller and a critical success when it was first published in 1960. It went on to win the Pulitzer Prize in 1961 and was later made into an Academy Award-winning film, also a classic. Compassionate, dramatic, and deeply moving, To Kill A Mockingbird takes readers to the roots of human behavior - to innocence and experience, kindness and cruelty, love and hatred, humor and pathos. Now with over 18 million copies in print and translated into forty languages, this regional story by a young Alabama woman claims universal appeal. Harper Lee always considered her book to be a simple love story. Today it is 10


DBR Book News Weekly

The following book news clipping was featured on DBR Book News Weekly, from which the excerpt was taken from The Guardian. The article Women of the World (The Rise of the Female Diplomat) Book Review, was written by Susan Pedersen for The Guardian on Friday, June 27, 2014.

If Helen McCarthy hadn't found the inimitable Charles Howard Smith in the Foreign Office files, she would have had to invent him. Charged in 1933 with organizing an inquiry into whether the diplomatic and consular services should open up to women, Smith entirely understood that his real instructions were to keep women out. This would take some doing, for the Soviets and Americans had female diplomats, other branches of the British civil service had allowed women in without catastrophe, and Sir Warren Fisher, the maverick head of the civil service, favoured women's entry. Smith thus needed (as he told his chief, bluntly) "ammunition of a kind which will convince not only the civil servants ‌ but the cabinet and the general public" that the entry of women "would not be conducive to the public interest". What might that ammunition be? Advice from the men on the spot, of course. Smith dispatched letters to all British ambassadors asking whether they thought women could serve as efficiently as men. With a few exceptions, the responses that came winging back were gratifyingly negative. To allow female diplomats, most reported, was "inadvisable", "unthinkable" or, even, "criminal". Women's presence would destroy the efficiency of the British diplomatic establishment; it would "incontestably affect the prestige of His Majesty's government" around the world. Read more‌

Visit DBR Book News Weekly for more information and news on books and authors. 11


author interview The Opposite of Everything by David Kalish www.davidkalishwriter.com

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Who is David Kalish?

I am a novelist and playwright with a penchant for comedy. I wrote my first poem in kindergarten and never looked back. I wrote essays in public school, news articles as a journalist at The Associated Press, tons of short stories, and most recently, a novel that was just published. Of course I received lots of great encouragement along the way, especially from my professors at Bennington College, where I received my MFA in fiction writing in 2006. Today, I‘m lucky to have cleared space and time in my life to devote fulltime to my creative writing. 2. Your first novel The Opposite of Everything was inspired by your personal struggle with cancer. Tell us a little about the book. The Opposite of Everything is a comic twist on my rocky journey through cancer and divorce, to treatment and renewal. Though the book parallels my real-life struggles, I stretched the truth for dramatic effect, made characters do bizarre things their real-life counterparts would never consider, and played dark subjects for laughs. It‘s a world in which cancer tears apart relationships – and builds new ones. 3. In reading the book, readers are curious and are left wondering if, Writer David Kalish really did the opposite of what comes naturally in his life? 12


OK, let me get a couple of things off my chest. Unlike my main character Daniel Plotnick, I never wore a nose ring or pierced my skin for decorative purposes. I never went Gothic. My second wife and I never tried to conceive a baby at my father‘s home with his help. At my second wedding, I never cancelled the caterers, never corralled guests to help cook, and never replaced the priest with Buddhist monks. I hate heavy metal music. I could go on. Because in real life, I did not go to such extremes. However, in real life, I did go against my natural impulse many times, and much of my experience found its way into the novel. After my divorce from a Jewish woman from Brooklyn, I took a totally new romantic path, marrying a doctor from Colombia. After a first marriage held in a schmaltzy catering hall, I re-married in an 1800s house in the Waspy enclave of Southampton. And after my cancer spread to my lungs, I was indeed forced to reverse my career hopes, scuttling plans to move to Mexico City as a foreign correspondent and staying in the United States to undergo chemotherapy. So yes, the short answer is that I underwent some but not all of those bizarre reversals my main character goes through. 4. Your theme, the opposite of everything, runs as the main thread throughout the story. It's quite profound, because so many people would like the opportunity to change their lives in such a radical way but fear prevents it. Readers admire Daniel Plotnick for his courage. The chapter with Plotnick's wedding was hilarious and unbelievable! Readers wouldn't think that he'd apply this theory to his big day, but he did! What made you continue with his decision all the way through the story, even when it seemed so unnatural? A good question. During the revision process I‘d sometimes be taken aback by what I‘d written. Would readers think Plotnick too bizarre? But after rereading Catch 22 by Joseph Heller, who uses humor to satirize the insanity of war, I figured I could get away with humor to portray the insanity of cancer, divorce and remarriage. The wedding scene was clearly the most bizarre, but it seems to have withstood the test of time, with readers saying it was the funniest part of the book. And I sought to weave the ―opposite‖ thread through the whole book as a metaphor for the main character‘s eventual confrontation with his mortality. In the end he does the opposite of his initial impulse toward denial, and comes to embrace life through the birth of his daughter. 5. You ran the risk of your main character seeming crazy at times. In writing the book did you find yourself holding back on how much the opposite of everything should influence Plotnick's decisions? Yes. After Plotnick decides to reverse his career, move to Mexico, and have a baby in the United States, the opposite theme fades. He‘s no longer overtly reaching for the opposite – just trying to face his future like a man. At one point I was tempted to explain why he lessens his focus on doing the opposite, but I figured I‘d let the story speak for itself. 6. Writing raw emotion and creating complex relationships are successfully done in your book. Many writers struggle with this. What is your suggestion to writers who have this struggle? 13


It‘s not easy turning painful struggles – especially those based on one‘s own life, like mine -- into entertaining fiction. My first attempts to write about my experience with divorce and cancer felt stiff and distant, as I imagine others might feel about their own efforts. Turns out the format -- first-person memoir – didn‘t work for me. I was hesitant to express my emotions in a story I starred in. Eventually, after years of revisions, I decided not to be a slave to the facts. I made up characters, letting the story play out through their conflicts. Over years my book turned into a comedy that plays pain for comedy and drama. So my suggestion would be that writers struggling over this same issue unshackle themselves from the facts of their struggle. Once you‘ve isolated the essential conflicts between characters, go to town with your material. Have fun with it. Don‘t be afraid to stretch truths for dramatic and comedic effect. More generally, don‘t be afraid to make mistakes, and keep writing. Always try to improve your writing. Most of all, don‘t give up. It‘s a tough business, so it‘s supposed to be tough. If you‘re passionate enough about writing, you‘ll persevere long enough to succeed. 7. What's next for David Kalish? What are you currently working on? I have several projects on my plate. One, I‘m converting The Opposite of Everything into a screenplay. Two, I‘m revising a second novel, Stoner Hero, to send out to a literary agent interested in it. Three, I‘m refining my script for a musical comedy, The Gringo Who Stole Christmas, that will be performed at Proctors Theatre in Schenectady, N.Y. in December. Amid all this craziness, I‘m in the thick of my book tour for The Opposite of Everything, and helping to raise funds for Gringo. So lots and lots to keep me busy. Links to The Opposite of Everything: Author‘s website: www.davidkalishwriter.com Book on Amazon: http://amzn.to/IEvXtn Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/dekalish Book on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7171274.David_Kalish

“...after rereading Catch 22 by Joseph Heller, who uses humor to satirize the insanity of war, I figured I could get away with humor to portray the insanity of cancer, divorce and remarriage.”

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Press Release | Book Launch events at RiverRead Books in July

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lan on visiting Binghamton, New York for the month of July? Then be sure to stop by RiverRead Books situated Downtown at 5 Court Street. There is an incredible line up of authors visits, book reading and signings, and other author events.

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Here are the events: 1. Tuesday, July 1 @6:30pm - Book Launch - Shattering the Ley by local and nationally acclaimed author Joshua Palmatier. According to Kirkus Reviews, this new fantasy series will appeal to ―Fantasy regulars looking for a fresh series with real bite should find it worth a try‖. There will be an author‘s reading, followed by conversation with Joshua. Wednesday, July 2 @6:30pm - Book Event and Reading with Lynne M. Hinkey, author of Broome County Native Chases the Chupacabra! ―Is the chupacabra real or myth? Dog only knows‖. Find out at the event! Tuesday, July 8 @6:30 pm - Book Launch - Dry Bones in the Valley by local and nationally acclaimed author Tom Bouman. ―When an elderly recluse discovers a corpse on his land, Officer Henry Farrell follows the investigation to strange places in the countryside, and into the depths of his own frayed soul‖ – RiverRead. ―Bouman‘s debut shows rural noir at its finest: a poetically written mystery about a man struggling with his inner demons and an area of great natural beauty few had heard of before the natural gas boom.‖ - Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review Thursday, July 10 @6:30pm - Discussion and Q&A led by Rabbi Aaron and Rivkah Slonim. ―Who was the most Influential Rabbi in modern history? This discussion will cover the New York Times bestseller REBBE, a new book by Joseph Telushkin.‖ – RiverRead. Thursday, July 18 @6:30pm - Brian Beattie and Valerie Fowler present Ivy and the Wicker Suitcase. Ivy and the Wicker Suitcase - http://www.ivyandthewickersuitcase.com - is a 74 minute mythic musical audio drama on disc that comes with a fully illustrated 62 page book. ― ‗Ivy‘; is set in Austin Texas in 1938, and it‘s about a 10 year old girl who falls into the underworld. (it‘s a depression era musical for the new depression.) Its primary audience is young parents and their children. The presentation includes an Epic Poem (The Backstory Ballad of Ivy Wire), a few tunes from the musical, and our Crankie Show , which is a 30 foot long illustration cranked along on a home made box, revealing about 42 inches of the drawing at a time. It functions as a primitive video, a low tech immersive multimedia marvel. – RiverRead. Monday, July 21 @6:30pm - Downtown Bookclub. This month‘s book reading choice is Going After Cacciato by Tim O‘Brien. Note: All bookclub books are available at 15% discount to bookclub members. Friday, July 25 @7:00pm - Open Mike Night - Facilitated by Roadpoet J. Barrett Wolf. Links: http://www.jbarrettwolf.com and http://poetrybinghamton.com

―Come, listen and be heard! Every month brings new and returning poets - and listeners.‖ – RiverRead. The book store is located at 5 Court Street, Binghamton NY 13901. Summer hours are effective June 1st through Labor Day: Sunday - 12 PM - 5 PM; Monday through Wednesday - 12 PM - 6 PM; Thursday & Friday - 12 PM - 8 PM; Saturday - 10 AM - 6 PM Please note that exceptions are made for group meetings and scheduled events. More details regarding the events can be found at http://riverreadbooks.com [Press Release by Binghamton Book Examiner] 15


2014 Reading Challenge Join in the FUN!

b00k r3vi3ws invites you to participate in its 2014 Reading Book Challenge! So you want to read books by authors you’ve never read before? Well here’s your chance to do it!

Here's what you need to know about b00k r3vi3ws 2014 Reading Challenge: 1. Read as many books as possible, by authors that YOU haven't read before. 2. You do not have to be a blogger to participate. 3. Books read may be in any form (audio, print, e-book). 4. The books can overlap with other reading challenges. 5. Post your links to your reviews each month to share with other participants. 6. The challenge runs from January 1, 2014 to December 1, 2014. It‘s never too late to Join In! Challenge Levels are: Amateur : Choose to read 1 - 25 New Authors Lover : Choose to read 26 - 50 New Authors Expert : Choose to read 51 - 75 New Authors Fanatic : Choose to read 76 or above New Authors To know more about this Reading Challenge and to join in with countless readers and authors, sign up for free on b00k r3vi3ws website and begin today! 16


Reading Challenge Books you might be interested in!

All Fall Down by Jennifer Weiner

Hard Choices by Hillary Rodham Clinton

Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man by Steve Harvey

The Heist (Gabriel Allon #14) By Daniel Silva 17


DBR recommends

Here

is a list of newly released books to keep your kids busy! These are now available in local libraries nationwide or anywhere books are sold:

For Ages 8 to 12: 1. Sisters by Raina Telgemeier 2. Snoopy Cowabunga! by Charles M. Schulz 3. Peanuts Happiness is a Warm Blanket, Charlie Brown by Charles M. Schulz 4. Diary of a Wimpy Kid The Long Haul by Jeff Kinney

DBR Books

The Books Magazine 18

July | August 2014


For Ages 3 to 7: 5. Ninja by Arree Chung 6. Giraffes Can’t Dance by Giles Andreae 7. If Animals Kissed Goodnight by Ann Whitford Paul

DBR Books

Trinity Lotion is a proprietary blend of compounds with (3) active ingredients: Beta 1, 3-D Glucan, MSM and Aloe Vera.

Packaged, two pack of 4 oz bottles each.

Healthy skin. Great first aid for burns, insect bites, bee stings and minor cuts.

The Books Magazine 19

July | August 2014


Celebrate Your Success! Promote your book with us in our next issue! Make 2014 your best year yet! For more info: The Books Magazine dbrdesigns1@gmail.com

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The Books Magazine July/August 2014  

A bi-monthly books magazine featuring helpful book reviews, author and illustrator interviews, and book sales.

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