Poetry Month

Here at the BYU Bookstore we plan to celebrate Poetry Month in April!

We will be doing many in-store activities, including an open mic night.

For those who can't come in to join us we will have staff, students, and guest writers share their favorite poems this upcoming month as well as creative ways to celebrate poetry on this blog.

So even if we can't all celebrate in one place, we hope you will be as excited as we are to celebrate Poetry Month collectively!

"He who draws noble delights from sentiments of poetry is a true poet, though he has never written a line in all his life."  -George Sand, 1851

Happy Birthday Robert Frost!

On this day 138 years ago, Robert Frost was born. 

As soon as I hear Robert Frost's name, the specific lines from his most famous poem "The Road Not Taken" come to my mind, 

"two roads diverged in a wood, and I—I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference."

My initial reaction to this poem is to ponder on my life and the decisions I've made, how I believe I have chosen a path "less traveled by," and how it's made all the difference in my life.

But when this poem gets a closer look, rather than just drawing a conclusion from the final stanza, it's clear that Frost doesn't imply that there's a way in life that is better and deviates us from the ordinary life. 

Instead Frost is simply stating that there are always points where we have to make one decision and let go of the other. Though they are different, one is not necessarily better. In stanza two he says, "Then took the other, as just as fair...Though as for that, the passing there / Had worn them really about the same."

Frost is contemplative on how different his life would have been if he chose another path instead of stating that he's proud of the road he chose. He's more reflective and questioning his original decision. Though it changed his entire life and "made all the difference," he contemplates  how the other path could have "made all the difference."

Either way, we wish Robert Frost a happy birthday!

Do you ever wonder how different life would be if you made a different choice earlier on in your life? Do you think it would have been for better or for worse?

Find Robert Frost's poems at the BYU Bookstore in general books.

The Hunger Games: A Book Designed for the Big Screen

March 23, 2012.

At midnight millions will crowd theaters for the opening of The Hunger Games.

Published just four years ago, Suzanne Collins wrote this thrilling book and it seemed inevitable that it was designed and destined for the big screen.

The reasoning for this?
Before Suzanne Collins wrote The Hunger Games, she worked in screenplay for children's television since 1991. Some of her previous work involved some stories for Little Bear, Clifford’s Puppy Years and Oswald.    

She began to shift to teenage novels and wrote The Underland Chronicles but The Hunger Games is her first publicly-acclaimed work since screenplay.

It seems that Collins has a niche for holding an audience’s attention in this novel with the following:

·        The book contains a consistent amount of action and romance.
·        It has just enough details so it intrigues the reader but doesn't slow down.
·        The plot goes fast.
·        A subject concerns media and an out-of-this-world dystopian society.

Its proof of success:

·        It’s been a major hit in bookstores (that’s probably a no-brainer).

·        Rotten Tomatoes gave it a 91% rating with a 98% want-to-see rating.

·        New York Times raved that the movie as a "Must-See Fever."

·        Deadline.com states that over a million pre-sale tickets have been sold.

Suzanne Collins assisted in writing the screenplay for the film. Perhaps her contribution in screenplay will make a huge difference because the themes in the book will carry through the movie. Often those who read a book that becomes a movie claim they think the book is better because it has more details, more depth and a greater personal value than the movie.

Perhaps Suzanne Collins’ themes of human nature and political criticisms will carry through the movie because she understands how movies work, but then again maybe it will simply translate to a great action movie.

What we know for sure is that this movie is the big talk of the month and something that shouldn’t be missed.

What do you think? Do you think the book will still be better than the movie? Will the themes carry through? Did Suzanne Collins launch a career in writing compelling teenage literature or making good movies?

Get a copy of The Hunger Games at BYUBookstore.com or in the store. 

The Very Hungry Caterpillar Day

March 20th marks the 40th anniversary of Eric Carle's The Very Hungry Caterpillar.

Published in 1969, this Eric-Carle classic continues to touch new generations of children, one after another, with his captivating art and his timeless stories. To have more fun on this special day, there are many ways you can celebrate The Very Hungry Caterpillar Day, here are just a few suggestions:
  • Go to a bookstore or the library, get the book, and read it to your children (or nieces and nephew, or to yourself)
  • Check out Penguin Group Books' Hungry Caterpillar activity book
  • Pull out some paper like Eric Carle and start painting your own caterpillar
  • Watch this video about Eric Carle's making of the book (via Penguin Books):

Reading holidays are wonderful chances to reminisce and remember the valuable children's literature we used to read and cherish. I know I will stop by and look at a copy of The Very Hungry Caterpillar as I start my day at work tomorrow at the BYU Bookstore. Thank you Eric Carle for continually producing wonderful art in your books and Happy 40th Anniversary to one of your most memorable masterpieces!


Obtain a copy of The Very Hungry Caterpillar at the BYU Bookstore's website

Wedding Tips from Store-Visiting Author Ann Peterson

Guest Author Ann Peterson

Any woman trying to plan a wedding knows the difficulty and stress associated with such an event. Everything from floral, food, location, dresses, and pictures has to be arranged in preparation for the big day. Ann Peterson recognized the need of an LDS wedding planning book while helping to plan her soon-to-be sister-in-law's wedding. After the encouragement from her family, she decided that she would write such a book. Being the incredibly talented and creative woman that she is she wrote, "Your LDS Wedding Planner," a guide to planning your perfect wedding. She was kind enough to answer some questions we had of our own about planning a wedding and in doing so we got to learn a little more about Ann herself. 

Tell us a little something about your self. 
I am a mother of five kids and love my family. I also love helping plan weddings. Writing this book has been so fun. I feel like I am living the dream. 

What should brides and their mothers NOT worry about when planning a wedding?

Don't stress about anything. When everything is said and done, you will still be married. There are very few things which are actually essential to a wedding. The rest is just frosting on the cake. 

What is an essential part of wedding planning?

Communication! Not only will communication affect how the wedding will go, such as flowers, how much to budget, and who is involved in the planning stage, but it will also affect how the marriage itself will be.

What makes your book different compared to other wedding planning books out there?

It is more comprehensive compared to other wedding planning books and is catered directly to an LDS audience. The style of the book is more upbeat than others out there and you actually feel like you are talking to the author instead of just reading a check list of things to do before you get married. There's a fun soap box section where I advise what you might want to do but the reader is still free to decide what they want to do for their own wedding.

Any advice you can give for future brides to be who are planning a wedding?

Calm down and have fun!

In Loving Memory of Jan Berenstain

Did you have a series of books you would read more than others as a kid?

Here at the BYU Bookstore we have shared some popular series  that we read back in the day like Clifford, Dr. Seuss, Toad and Frog, or the Magic School Bus.

My favorite series that I read most was the Berenstain Bears.

It was a popular one in my family of six kids. To this day my mom still refers to "The Berenstain Bears and Too Much Television," quoting the line, "In the past the Berenstains used to have many lively conversations but lately the bear family just sat around and chewed."

Perhaps there was a bias in children book selection by the time I came around in my family (I am the youngest), I recall receiving many hand-me-down books, and we mostly had the Berenstain Bears. This series did a lot for me, it taught me how to not fear the doctor, how to be a better friend, how to have a balanced lifestyle, how not to judge others, and eventually how to enjoy reading.

In third or fourth grade I had an issue transitioning from storybooks to chapter books. I was a competent reader, but I had a hard time enjoying reading until I pulled out a Berenstain Bears chapter book. It made it easier because I knew the Bear family well and came with the occasional picture. I don't remember what the book was about, but I do remember how the book helped me overcome my fear of chapter books and how it helped me catch up to my peers to the right reading level without embarrassment.

Jan and Stan Berenstain not only helped me deal with the concerns and troubles I had as a child, but they also taught many other people valuable lessons about life, family, and friendship. Although I don't read the Berenstain Bears for personal reasons anymore, I will always hold a place for Jan and Stan Berenstain in my heart and will remember how much I loved them as I read their books to my nieces, nephews, and children.

Stan Berenstain died in 2005 and Jan joined him a week ago. Thank you two for your great children series. May you rest in peace.

The BYU Bookstore carries the Berenstain Book series in the Children section located downstairs.