Are you looking for something to read? Check out the phenomenal blog: Gathering Books. I’ve always been aware of this incredible resource, but I’ve never had much of a chance to explore its voluminous content. Until now. My one word summary is: “Wow!” I’m struck by the amount and quality of work the team at Gathering Books must devote to the blog. It’s mind-blowing.
The bloggers responsible are Myra Garces-Bacsal, an Assistant Professor and clinical psychologist who does extensive work with the gifted; Fats Suela, a B.A. in Psychology, “nomad at heart,” and fabulous book reviewer; and Iphigene Daradar, a managing consultant, pyschometrician (I had to look this up), and counselor-in-training. These three have reviewed and commented in depth on hundreds of books. Many kudos for that!
The blog is organized into sections consisting of book reviews of all types (with new reads on Mondays and Saturdays), Filipino Lit, Nonfiction for Adults, Picture Books, Young Adult Lit, and more… Visitors interested in finding a good read can navigate these sections, read the reviews, view scans of illustrations, and comment on the books after reading.
The blog’s content revolves around a series of bimonthly themes. In March and April, Gathering Books has been posting daily as part of a multicultural reading theme called: “Rainbow Colors of Diversity: Voices of the Silenced.” Book/poetry reviews and author bios selected for this theme are geared toward celebrating uniqueness, featuring “voices of the silenced” (including immigrant voices), and encompassing lifestyles and cultural beliefs of as many children as possible. Check out, for instance, Iphigene Daradar’s insanely comprehensive review of Aristotle and Dante Discover Secrets of the Universe, and Myra Garces-Bacsal’s review of “I Dreamt… A Book about Hope,” which is a beautifully illustrated book that I had never heard of, cast in the midst of Mexico’s war on drugs.
In addition to the blog, Gathering Books also houses a “Behind the Books” resource, which includes the following unique resources:
- Poet’s Sanctum: Focused exclusively on poets who move sensibilities and enrich consciousness
- Academic Nook: “Quirky space” for educators, lecturers, librarians, guidance counselors, etc, to share insights about books that move them. Guest posts are accepted
- Illustrator’s Sketchpad: Featuring interviews with various talented illustrators
- Meet the Storyteller: Author interview and background information space – Here, the relentless team at Gathering Books synthesizes the works of its favorite authors, conducting interviews, “stalk[ing] websites,” and reporting findings
I can’t compliment this blog enough. It’s great place to find discussion on reading and education, multiculturalism, and the value of diverse viewpoints. It’s also a great place to locate author/illustrator bios and interviews and a perfect starting point for constructing a summer reading list. If you’re interested, follow the links above and consider entering Gathering Books “Check off Your Reading List 2014” challenge.