My Auto-Buy Authors

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature/meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s topic is my Top Ten Auto-Buy Authors.

This post is a bit shorter than usual, and it may be a bit quieter around this site for a few weeks for very happy reasons.  I just got a new job as an elementary school library media specialist (yay!!) and am working to write lesson plans and build truffala trees (totally doing it). I will be posting, just not with my normal speed, as I prepare the the madness (the school year) begins.

Here they are, in no particular order.  All of the links lead directly to their goodreads author pages.

1.  Jasper Fforde

2.  Khaled Hosseini

3.  Jhumpa Lahiri

4.  Brandon Sanderson

5.  Hugh Howey

6.  Chris Cleave

7.  Lois Lowry

8.  Sara Gruen

9.  George R. R. Martin

10.  Neil Gaiman

Who are your auto-buy authors?  Do you agree with any of mine?


Past Top Ten Tuesdays

5 Reasons Why Bookworms Love Tea

Tea shelf

I love tea.

Sure, I am not exclusively obsessed with tea.  I love coffee and all of the wonderful caffeine it brings with it as well.  But if I want to feel happy, calm, and in a state of complete comfort, tea is my beverage of choice.

I love tea so much that it has become a regular theme in the gifts that I receive, because no matter how much tea paraphernalia I have, I can always use more.  I keep a teapot on my desk at work.  I am obsessed with my hair salon for many reasons, one of those being that they provide me with tea and cookies.  My bridal shower was Alice in Wonderland tea-party themed and I could not have been more ecstatic.  I travel, see some sort of local tea, and I cannot resist buying it even though I have an entire cupboard devoted to tea.  My husband got me a china teapot as my wedding present.  I even own cookbooks devoted to making goodies to go with my tea.  And, let’s not get me started on my collection of teacups.

Basically, I have a problem.  But, it is not a problem that needs fixing.

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Top-Ten Tuesday: Most-Read Authors

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature/meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s topic is Top Ten Authors I’ve Read The Most Books From.  This one was difficult because if we were going on the percentage of books by an author I’ve read, I’ve read 100% of some author’s work.  However, I am interpreting this question as which authors I have read the greatest number of books from.

Here they are, in no particular order.

Diana Wynne JonesDiana Wynne Jones

I have read every. single. book. this lovely lady has written.  From 7th grade on, once I discovered the Chronicles of the Chrestomanci, Jones was my auto-buy author.  This is before the world of Amazon, and I would race into the bookstore to her part of the fiction section (I knew right where it was), to see if a new book was there.  Some of my favorites from her are:

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Musing Mondays: On Reading Slumps


Sometimes, reading just takes a back seat to other life happenings.  It could be because of amazing life adventures, or because too much is going on for me to escape into another world.  Sometimes, my world needs tending to instead.  Sometimes, it is the books in my pile.  It may not be fair to blame the books, but if I end up stalling on a book, I might never finish it, and it will be hard to pick up the next one.

All of these circumstances collided in the past week or so, making it so I am returning almost all of my books to the library unread, and my kindle keeps alerting me that my digital library loans are expiring, generally on books I haven’t even opened.

The book that I ended up stalling on was Geek Love by Katherine Dunn.  It was a fine book for the first half or so, with a great premise, but my problems with it fell under Questions 2 and 9 from my “Should You Break Up With A Book?” questions.

At the very least, the world seems to be settling down and I always have my books on my pile.

Have you gotten yourself into a reading slump?  What would you recommend to get out of reading slumps?   What are you reading this week?


Musing Mondays is a meme hosted by A Daily Rhythm. If you join in head over there to leave your link!

The 68 Best Picture Books to Teach Art

One of my lovely friends is starting work this year as an Elementary School Art Teacher.  Yay for her!!  She asked me if I could suggest some picture books that might be helpful for teaching art to young children.  I may have gone a bit overboard here, but what can I say?  I’m a librarian.  Enjoy!

 *All italicized book descriptions from their Amazon pages and all links to Amazon are Amazon Affiliate Links.

Books The Introduce Artists


Journey on a Cloud
Journey on a Cloud: A Children’s Book Inspired by Marc Chagall
by Veronique Massenot and Elise Mansot

 Inspired by Chagall’s masterpiece, a world of color and imagination awaits the readers of this book. Paintings based on Chagall’s striking palette and elegant lines help tell a simple yet poetic story. The book includes a gorgeous reproduction of Chagall’s masterpiece “Les Mariés de la Tour Eiffel” (“The Brideand Groom of the Eiffel Tower”), illustrating a journey of words and pictures, and introducing young readers to the work of one of the most popular artists of the twentieth century.

Henri RousseauThe Fantastic Jungles of Henri Rousseau by Michelle Markel

Henri Rousseau wanted to be an artist. But he had no formal training. Instead, he taught himself to paint. He painted until the jungles and animals and distant lands in his head came alive on the space of his canvases. Henri Rousseau endured the harsh critics of his day and created the brilliant paintings that now hang in museums around the world. Michelle Markel’s vivid text, complemented by the vibrant illustrations of Amanda Hall, artfully introduces young readers to the beloved painter and encourages all readers to persevere despite all odds.

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Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

FangirlIn Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl, Cath is a Simon Snow fan. Okay, the whole world is a Simon Snow fan, but for Cath, being a fan is her life–and she’s really good at it. She and her twin sister, Wren, ensconced themselves in the Simon Snow series when they were just kids; it’s what got them through their mother leaving. Reading. Rereading. Hanging out in Simon Snow forums, writing Simon Snow fan fiction, dressing up like the characters for every movie premiere.
Now that they’re going to college, Wren has told Cath she doesn’t want to be roommates. Cath is on her own, completely outside of her comfort zone. She’s got a surly roommate with a charming, always-around boyfriend, a fiction-writing professor who thinks fan fiction is the end of the civilized world, a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words . . . And she can’t stop worrying about her dad, who’s loving and fragile and has never really been alone.
For Cath, the question is: Can she do this? Can she make it without Wren holding her hand? Is she ready to start living her own life? Writing her own stories? And does she even want to move on if it means leaving Simon Snow behind?

The Facts

  • Page Number: 448 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
  • Language: English
  • Date Published: 2013
  • Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Realistic Fiction
  • Awards: Milwaukee County Teen Book Award Nominee (2015), The Inky Awards Nominee for Silver Inky (2015), Goodreads Choice Nominee for Young Adult Fiction (2013)

My Thoughts

First off, at some point, I must have read an typo or something of the author’s name, because in my mind, she will always be Rainbow Powell (instead of Rainbow Rowell).

I had already read one book by this lovely lady, Landline.  I devoured it within one or maybe two days and then added all of Rainbow P(R)owell’s books to my to-read list on GoodreadsFangirl ended up being the first book that my library was able to get in for me.

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Best Current and Anticipated Fairy Tale Retellings

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature/meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s topic is Fairy Tale Retellings I want to be read/see or retellings that I hope will happen someday.  I happen to love fairy tales (as in I wrote my English and French theses about fairy tales) so it was not difficult to come up with a list of retellings on my TBR list, or retellings I would love to see happen.  A future post detailing all of the retellings I have read is officially in the works.

To Read

CinderDorothy Must Die

Boy Snow Bird

The Sleeper and the Spindle


The Darkest Part of the Forest

Court of Thorns and Roses

To Watch

  • The new live-action Beauty and the Beast with Emma Watson as Belle.  I cannot wait!
  • Once Upon a Time
  • Grimm


  • I would love to see a retelling of Bluebeard, potentially into some type of horror movie.  I’m not even a horror movie type of person, but Bluebeard is one of my favorite characters and I’d love to see a retelling of that story.
  • A version Alice in Wonderland told from the point of view of the Cheshire cat.  I would love to see the Cheshire Cat’s origins and his adventures in Wonderland.

What fairy tale retellings would you like to see happen?  What is your favorite fairy tale?

Musing Mondays: Reader Questionnaire

I decided, in an effort to always learn new things, to “take” WordPress’ Blogging101 course, just to hone my skills and think about all aspects of my blog.  Today’s prompt is to introduce ourselves to the world and the consider what our mission is in blogging.  In my About Me page, I think I already answer that pretty well, but I saw a reading questionnaire over at Literary Lollipop, and I thought that it might be fun to answer those questions too.

As she says, feel free to cut and paste the questionnaire onto your own blogs, or if you would like to add a question, please do so! If you decide to complete the questionnaire yourself, let me know by linking back.  I’d love to see it!

So, without further ado:

  1. Favourite childhood book: Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster

  2. What are you reading right now? Geek Love by Katherine Dunn

  3. What books do you have on request at the library? Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel , Go Set A Watchman by Harper Lee, Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss, Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins, and a bunch more, but those are the ones I’ll be getting next.

  4. Bad book habit:Reading too many books at the same time and getting the plots confused so then I have to go back and re-read.

  5. What do you currently have checked out at the library? Shadow Scale by Rachel Hartman, The Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford, 100 Essays I Don’t Have Time To Write by Sarah Ruhl, and Lock In by John Scalzi.  

  6. Do you have an e-reader? Yes.  I use it mainly for travel, or when an ebook is available before I can get my hands on a print book.  

  7. Do you prefer to read one book at a time, or several at once? I am always working on 4 or 5 books at the same time.  There might be my “main” book, but I tend to have another one on my night stand, at the coffee table, in the kitchen, etc., that I might read snippets of as I can.  Those auxiliary books tend to be more light/quick like PostSecret or Humans or New York.  

  8. Have your reading habits changed since starting a blog? Yes! My TBR pile is definitely much larger since I am always getting fantastic recommendations.  I find that because I am blogging about my books, I haven’t had quite as much time to read those books.  #bookbloggerproblems

9.Least favorite book you read this year: It might be the book I’m reading right now (Geek Love).  I had really high hopes for it and I am having trouble getting into it at all.

10.Favorite book I’ve read this year: The Martian by Andy Weir. Absolutely phenomenal. 

11.How often do you read out of your comfort zone? I try to keep myself reading a number of different genres at any given time.  I’d say about 30% of the time, I try to pick up a book that I heard was awesome, but I might not have picked up on my own.

12.What is your reading comfort zone? Fiction and Memoir.  I admit that nonfiction or poetry can make me a little nervous.

13.Can you read on the bus? Yes, but if it is too bumpy, no.

14.Favorite place to read: By a pool, on a beach, or under a blanket when it is snowing or raining outside.

15.What’s your policy on book lending? I don’t tend to lend books I haven’t already read, but once I lend it, I’m OK if it takes forever to get it back…or never get it back.

16.Do you dogear your books? ….Yeshides in shame

17.Do you write notes in the margins of your books? Only if I’m reading it for academic purposes.

18.Do you break/crack the spine of your books? I avoid it at all costs.

19.What is your favourite language to read? I will always prefer English, although I can and have read a bunch of books in French.

20.What makes you love a book? If I love the characters.  If I don’t care about the characters, I may like the book, but I’ll never love it. 

21.What will inspire you to recommend a book? Being a librarian, I like to make personal recommendations.  I know what types of books my friends and family like, so if I read something that I think will resonate with someone, I make a mental note to pass it on to them. 

22.Favorite genre: Fantasy.

23.Genre you rarely read (but wish you did): Poetry

24.Favorite Memoir: Wild by Cheryl Strayed

25.Have you ever read a self-help book? (And, was it actually helpful?) Hmmmm, I’m not sure I actually have.  Really all books for me are a bit self-help, because they make me think about life in ways that I might not have before, giving me perspective. 

26.Favorite Cookbook: That is a really difficult question.  I probably turn to the America’s Test Kitchen cookbook most often. 

27.Most inspirational book you’ve read this year (fiction or non-fiction): The Martian by Andy Weir

28.Favorite reading snack: peanut butter filled pretzels from Trader Joes and tea, of course.

29.Name a case in which hype ruined your reading experience: The second and third books of the Divergent series

30.How often do you agree with the critics about about a book? Rarely. A lot of times, I’m actually much more forgiving of a book than critics are, but them sometimes, I will put my foot down over something that the critics don’t seem to care about. 

31.How do you feel about giving bad/negative reviews? If it’s my honest opinion, I’m okay with it, though I have absolutely no intention of being malicious. Honesty is just very important to me.

32.If you could read in a foreign language, which language would you choose? Italian or German. 

33.Most intimidating book I’ve read: Ulysses by James Joyce

34.Most intimidating book I’m too nervous to begin: Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie

35.Favorite Poet: Shel Silverstein

36.How many books do you usually have checked out from the library at any given time? At least 10

37.How often do you return books to the library unread? About a third will go back unread

38.Favorite fictional character: Emma from Emma by Jane Austen

39.Favorite fictional villain: Big Brother in 1984

40.Books I’m most likely to bring on vacation: I actually answered that over here!

41.The longest I’ve gone without reading: Every now and then, I’ll take a week or two off from reading a book.  I might move to magazines, blogs, etc, but sometimes my brain is just fried. 

42.Name a book you could/would not finish: 1Q84.  I really want to finish it, but I keep stalling mid-book.

43.What distracts you easily when you’re reading? I can read through a house burning down, the Superbowl, or massive turbulence on a plane.  If I’m hungry though, focus is gone.

44.Favorite film adaptation of a novel: Hugo

45.Most disappointing film adaptation: Percy Jackson.  What happened?

46.Most money I’ve ever spent in a bookstore at one time: $200. Yeah, it’s happened.

47.How often do you skim a book before reading it? Never.  No spoilers for me!

48.What would cause you to stop reading a book halfway through? If the plot feels like its not going anywhere and if the characters are horrifically offensive. I just get bored.

49.Do you like to keep your books organized? Absolutely!  I often change my organizational system just for fun.  I’m a librarian. 

50.Do you prefer to keep books or give them away once they’ve been read? Depends on the book. I’ll keep a really nice classic, or a book that I LOVED, but often I like to share.  Sharing is caring!


Do you want to take the quiz? Go ahead and post the questionnaire on your blog! Or, feel free to add questions in the comments! This is all in good fun, but I’m always curious to hear about the quirks and habits of other readers!


Musing Mondays is a meme hosted by A Daily Rhythm. If you join in head over there to leave your link!

Weekend Cooking: Kir Cupcakes

I first discovered Kir when I spent the summer studying in Paris.  On one of my last nights there, my friends and I went to this little fondue place called le Refuge des Fondues in Montmartre.  A friend had heard of it and insisted we try it.  The interior is so tiny that upon entering, I literally had to climb on top of the table to get to my seat on the other side.  The walls are plastered with art work and signatures, and you sit so close to other parties that you are bound to make friends.  They served us aperatifs (kir) and then we chose meat or cheese fondue.  I, of course, elected for cheese.  I only had a few nights left in Paris.  I needed to get the cheese in while I could!  The hallmark of the place is that they serve wine in baby bottles, supposedly so that they don’t have to pay the tax of serving wine out of wine glasses.

Either way, this evening was memorable and I have returned to le Refuge des Fondues on other trips.

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Good Reads: July 30, 2015


We are in the full swing of Summer now, and I am already seeing advertisements for back-to-school shopping.  What the heck, Amazon?  Here is some reading material for you as you sit around the fire toasting marshmallows, or lay on the beach evening out your tan.


Any time that I lose faith in the world, I am just going to have to think of this story to feel better.

This blog entry about when to unfollow a blog got a lot of attention and fantastic comments.

Interested in reading an inspiring book that has influenced other successful people?  Try this list!

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