Happy Haul-idays Giveaway from Chronicle Books

Dear TGBTS friends,

I love books.

You love books.

We love charities and they love books.

So let’s try to win this thing, shall we?


Here’s how it works.

I post my my whole list favorite Chronicle Books here.

I tell you about the charity I’d like to donate to and why.

You comment, we tweet, we (hopefully) win.


My charity is my favorite branch of the Sacramento Public Library – Ella K. McClatchy.

I choose this branch because it is my home away from home and could always use more new books. McClatchy truly serves as a community meeting place and I hope to help it grow its collection.

Is this a good time to tell you ONE LUCKY COMMENTER also wins my book list?

Say whaa?

Yep, one of YOU wins the whole lot.

Plus my charity wins $500 in books of their choice.

Sounds good, huh?


A select few BOOKS!

The complete list is HERE.


In order to be eligible to win my haul of books, please click on the whole list above and leave a comment about which book is your favorite and why.

Are you on Twitter? Please tweet about my our list using the hashtag #happyhaulidays and we get an extra entry per day. So be sure to tweet away every day!

Good luck to all of us!

Celebrate National Library Week! Books I Love: Tales from the Yoga Studio {A Giveaway!}

It’s National Library Week and as part of that I’ve committed to sharing my favorite book, album and movie titles with my readers this week.

What a better way to start off the week than with a giveaway?

{Now you will have a chance to WIN THIS BOOK!}

{click the book to read about the book and more importantly to learn more about the author}

Title:  Tales from the Yoga Studio

Author: Rain Mitchell

Genre: Novel

Synopsis: A low-key local yoga teacher with a special gift for reaching people is targeted as the “Next Big Thing” by a high-powered company.

My thoughts: I made a connection right away. It reminded me of some of my gifted yoga teacher friends and what might happen if suddenly someone wanted to pay them a lot of money and make them famous. Would they sell out and become part of the yoga machine or would they stay true to themselves?

Being a part of a small studio that flies under the radar for most people, but totally changes lives, I identified with this story. How would I react if suddenly our studio became overrun with the rich and famous?  Or worse, if the teachers suddenly became like unattainable rock stars?

So are you ready to read this book yet?

A super quick read with some very likeable characters that clearly struck a nerve for me. I recommend reading it especially if you have a beloved teacher who (you hope) isn’t ever going to be on the cover of a yoga magazine.

Want to win my (advanced readers) copy of this book ?

Mandatory Entry is:

1. Leave a comment and tell me what you think makes a great yoga teacher.
Options for Extra Entries:
  • Subscribe to My Blog Via Email & Confirm Subscription (upper right hand corner)
  • Tweet this post or share it on Facebook.
  • In order to ensure I see all your entries – please leave a separate comment for each entry.
Am I eligible to win?
Anyone with a valid e-mail and a U.S. mailing address is eligible.

When do I find out if I am the winner?

Contest is open from Sunday, April 1o, 2011 – noon (PST), Sunday, April 17th.

The winner will be chosen the old-fashioned way: names in a hat.

The winner will be announced on Monday, April 18th. You will have 1 week to e-mail us back with your home address so we can mail the prize.


This giveaway is now CLOSED.

And the winner is… Elizabeth!

Books I Love: The Help – WIN THIS BOOK!

I love reading. In fact, I spend most of my time reading: non-fiction work or yoga-related mostly. And blogs. Lots and lots of blogs.

Part of the reason I became a teacher is so I could get paid to read. Seriously, I don’t get people who don’t read. It’s weird.

Anyway, lately I’ve been so busy reading for work, yoga teacher training, and keeping up with all the blogs I follow, I had forgotten how much I enjoy reading fiction. The feeling of falling into a world that is nothing like your own and developing real feelings for characters that only exist in the imagination of the author and cheering for your favorites to overcome the obstacles in their lives.

I decided to revisit this long-lost love while I was traveling and had some good old-fashioned uninterrupted reading time flying across the Atlantic.

Remember earlier this summer I wrote about the adult summer reading program through the Sacramento Public Library?  In order to win prizes (!) you must fill in a bingo cardI chose the line where you get to choose 3 books of your choice and a biography.

I went on vacation without my laptop and very limited access to the internet. I brought 3 fiction books and breezed through them in the first 5 days of our trip.

This is the first in a series about the books I read while I was on vacation. {You will have a chance to WIN THIS BOOK!}

Title:  The Help

Author: Kathryn Stockett

Genre: Fiction

Setting: 1962 in Jackson, Mississippi

Characters: Abileen, Minny and Miss Skeeter

Synopsis: Abileen and Minny are domestics and Miss Skeeter is a young, white frustrated budding writer that has just graduated from college. Over time, the women develop a secret friendship and decide they are going to tell the truth about what it is like to work for the white families in Jackson. Risky at best and potentially deadly at worst and yet they risk everything to tell their stories.

My thoughts: I had vaguely heard about this book. I had no idea what it was about so when I came upon it in the only English bookshop in Munich I immediately picked it up.

I was intrigued. A Southern white woman writing from the perspective of  pre-Civil Rights African-American women? The author herself had grown up with a domestic and I was definitely curious to find out more about this author and her first novel.

I was hooked from the first chapter and despite my best efforts to pace myself I finished reading the entire novel the day before our endless travel back across the Atlantic. I just couldn’t put it down!

Want to win this book*?

Mandatory Entry is:
1. Leave a comment and tell me why you want to win this giveaway! 
Options for Extra Entries:
2. Recommend a biography to read to complete my bingo card.
3. Subscribe to My Blog Via Email & Confirm Subscription (upper right hand corner)
4. If you use GoogleReader or another RSS Feed Service, put my blog in it (and send me a message you subscribed)
5. Add my Blog to your Blogroll (and send me a message)
6. Follow Me @tamihackbarth –  on Twitter
7. “Like” Teacher Goes Back to School on Facebook.
8. Tweet this post or share it on Facebook.
Am I eligible to win?
Anyone with a valid e-mail and a U.S. mailing address is eligible.

When do I find out if I am the winner?
The winner will be announced on August 13th, 2010. You will have 2 weeks to e-mail us back with your home address so we can mail the prize.

*The prize is the actual paperback copy I bought and read while in Munich.


Contest is now closed.

Thanks to all that entered.

The winner is AMANDA B!

Yoga+Music365 (day34) – Human Like a House by The Finches – My First Class Edition

Monday night I taught my very first solo yoga class.

Despite all my hand wringing nervousness before the class, I absolutely loved it!

It finally clicked why I wanted to do this in the first place: to share something I love with people.

The following is from Start Where You Are: A Guide to Compassionate Living by Pema Chodron:

We already have everything we need. There is no need for self-improvement.

These words sum up why I love yoga.

Oh yeah, I also really like the laying down with your eyes closed part too!


Don’t forget FREE Fridays at 4:30 with the new It’s All Yoga teachers (21st and X in Sacramento) – you’ve got to sign up online www.itsallyoga.com

I’m teaching 3/5/10 – so mark your calendar.

For the month of February, I’m teaching a Level 1/2 on Mondays at 5:45. Come join me.

Yoga+Music365 (day26) – We Started Nothing by The Ting Tings – Books Edition!

I really do heart books. I make it a point to read for pleasure every day. I also read to my students every day.

So naturally when the idea of a yoga studio book club came along, I jumped on it.  It’s All Yoga is starting up the studio book club again and Amanda (mama/yoga teacher extraordinaire) and I are in charge.

The first book is:

The Art of Happiness: A Handbook for Living by the Dalai Lama and Dr. Howard Cutler (10th Anniversary Edition)

We meet the 4th Sunday at 4pm at 21st and X Streets in Sacramento – at the studio. Unless there is another workshop or event going on. Our other location is Temple Fine Coffee at 28th and S Streets.  Please join us!

If you can’t join us in person, feel free to leave comments here.

Please let me know if you read the book and what you think.

Also tell me what you like and want to hear more about. I’m always looking for post ideas.

Today’s yoga brought to you by Kim of Yoga for Scoliosis fame at It’s All Yoga in Sacramento. If you are interested in a Yoga for Scoliosis workshop – 2/6&7 at It’s All Yoga.

Today’s music is We Started Nothing by The Ting Tings

Don’t forget FREE Fridays at 4:30 with the new It’s All Yoga teachers (21st and X in Sacramento) – you’ve got to sign up online www.itsallyoga.com

I’m teaching 3/5/10 – so mark your calendar.

For the month of February, I’m teaching a Level 1/2 on Mondays at 5:45. Come join me.

Yoga+Music365 (day24) – Self-Titled by Killed By Bears

Self-care Tested

My self-care challenge was truly put to the test this week.  Bad adoption news kicked my butt.

In order to best care for myself, I took some time off work and tried really hard not to feel guilty about it. I know it was the best thing for me and I got a lot of support from everyone to do it, but I still felt a bit weird about it.

I wasn’t sick, but I definitely felt incapable of functioning. Fuzzy brain, spontaneous crying, and overall body fatigue and aches/pains.


No bueno.

I turned to a trusted source for self-care: The Woman’s Comfort Book – A Self-Nurturing Guide for Restoring Balance in Your Life by Jennifer Louden.

Chapters are written like self-care recipes.  You find out what the assignment is, what it isn’t, what you need and when to do it leaving you no excuse not to take care of yourself.

Some of my favorites:

A Day Off – It sounds a lot like Pajama Day with excellent ideas like: making a picnic, a bliss list, being a tourist for the day, reconnecting with someone special, just being day, and silent day. I highly recommend this.

Hiding Under the Covers – Doesn’t really need any further explanation, does it? This is exactly what Mary Paffard advocated for us to do – REST.

When I Think of Comfort I Think of Food – permission to eat what you want without feeling guilty about it. I’d argue most American women could stand to read this chapter.


It wasn’t until Saturday morning during my half-marathon training that I really felt the physical effects of our bad news. During my warmup I felt like I was trudging through oatmeal. My legs were heavy and slow and my brain was foggy.

Although about halfway through my walk/run the cobwebs finally lifted and I felt my mood lift and I felt like I’ll eventually feel good again.

I’m so glad for this new found awareness of how a little self-care goes a long way.


Today’s yoga brought to you by Deborah at It’s All Yoga in Sacramento.

Today’s music is Killed by Bears – Self Titled.

Don’t forget FREE Fridays at 4:30 with the new It’s All Yoga teachers (21st and X in Sacramento) – you’ve got to sign up online www.itsallyoga.com

NEW!!!! Mondays at 5:45 in February I’ll be teaching a Level 1/2 at It’s All Yoga – come join me.

Book(s) #best09

December 4th’s prompt:

 Book. What book – fiction or non – touched you? Where were you when you read it? Have you bought and given away multiple copies?

The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane touched my heart this year. Although it wasn’t published in 2009, I read it this year. I picked this book up from the McClatchy Library because I had loved Kate DiCamillo’s other books: especially Because of Winn Dixie and The Tiger Rising.

I needed a book to use to teach my class about story structure, a book that would clearly spell out the story’s problem and resolution. My plan was to find a read aloud book to my class that we could analyze and enjoy the book together. My search for the perfect book was over when I found Edward Tulane.

As usual, I always pre-read books that I read to my class. I want to make sure I know what is coming, what I’ll need to explain and so that I can practice my read aloud voice. I don’t remember the details of my solo read, but I do remember thinking this is one of the best children’s books I’d ever read.

As I sat on my chair in the front of my classroom, kids sitting on the floor at my knee, I began the read aloud by showing them the cover of the book. Like the good readers they are becoming they began asking questions and making predictions about the story just by looking at the cover.

The kids asked what miraculous meant and wondered who was that little rabbit in the red pajamas in the picture? They decided that this book must be fantasy because rabbits don’t really wear pajamas.

Sharing a chapter a day, the kids sat on the carpet criss-cross-apple-sauce, leaning forward listening intently. They were immediately entranced with the story of this China doll rabbit.

When asked about the story’s problem, one of my students explained that the story’s problem was really Edward’s problem: “It’s all about love, Ms. Hackbarth. Although many loved him, Edward himself was not able to love.”

Nothing warms a teacher’s heart more than an eight year old so clearly articulating the problem! The main character’s inability to love is the problem in this story. The other students correctly predicted that by the end of the story he would come around to loving those who had loved him longest.

Some may say that makes Edward Tulane a predictable story, but I would argue there is so much suffering in this story that the resolution leaves you feeling like love really is possible. This book is absolutely heartbreaking and in the end so redeeming that I can’t wait to share it with my class this year.


I am a very lucky woman. I get to read to kids and they pay me. So in order to earn my keep, I read kid’s books more  than most.

The Dirty Cowboy by Amy Timberlake made my class laugh so much that they made me read it to them more than once. They even made me read it out loud in front of one of our parent helpers because they said I read it so well.

This book was a particularly good pick for this class because many in my class were reluctant readers, especially my boys. By the time I had returned The Dirty Cowboy to the library, the book had been well-loved and reread by many in my class.

Make Way for Ducklings

In third grade we read a story called Make Way for Duckings by Robert McCloskey. MWFD is the story of the Mallard family. The Mallards are trying to find a safe place to raise their babies in the Public Garden in Boston. A friendly policeman named Michael stops traffic to help the family cross the busy city street. The big lesson I teach my class about this story is that people have a responsiblity to protect wildlife.

Recently I have been thinking about a different part of the story.

Once the Mallards find a suitable home, Mr. Mallard takes a weeklong trip up the river leaving Mrs. Mallard on her own with their eight ducklings. During this time, Mrs Mallard teaches her babies all about life. The ducklings learned to swim, come when they are called and walk in a single file line.

Essentially Mrs. Mallard taught her ducklings how to be ducks.

My students are very much like the ducklings in the story.

They watch their parents’  every move and learn how to be in the world. Even when it seems like they aren’t paying attention, they are. 

Trust me.

They come to school and tell me that your family has moved into an apartment because your mortgage got too expensive. They also tell me when you’ve been arguing with your spouse. And they even tell me when you are in jail.

It makes me sad that my students and their families are having a rough go of it.