Friday, April 29, 2016

crickets on the book front.

I know, it has been a good while since I posted a book review! That was supposed to be my new direction here, right? So, where are all the book reviews?

Well, life has been a little hectic, and I've been a little bit all over the place with my reading. here's a quick update to prove I'm still reading--

///I just finished reading the Origami Yoda series by Tom Angleberger for my library book club for kids! The whole series was hilarious, light, silly, nerdy, and I would totally recommend it to adults as well as kids--especially nerdy, Star Wars-loving adults. It was written for kids, but it was written by one of US, and that makes it a super fun read.

Oh, also? I posted about my most recent installment of my Origami Yoda book club on Instagram, and guess what? The author, Tom Angleberger, commented on my post!! Squeeeee!!!

How cool is that?!?

///I'm currently reading: Armada by Ernest Cline. I *loved* his book Ready, Player One, and I'm looking forward to making some progress with this one (I just started it) and getting into the story. I'll post a review as soon as I can manage to finish it!

///I must admit that a portion of my time lately has also been spent watching a tv show: the SyFy adaptation of one of my favorite book series ever, The Magicians (by Lev Grossman). It's all kinds of good and all kinds of not at the same time. Adaptations are always a mixed bag for something you love this hard. I plan to post some more detailed thoughts on this one soon.

On that note, there's also the new season of Game of Thrones to monopolize more of my time. But, sorry-not-sorry, I'm diving head-first into this season. I can't wait to see where this story goes now that the book readers and tv-only folks are on the same page, so to speak.

Well, I guess that's it for now. I'm off to hopefully squeeze in more reading time!

Friday, April 15, 2016

avy's faves: board books | april 2016.

Time for another installment of Avy's Faves! This girl is loving books more than ever. However, in true toddler fashion, she likes to read many of the same greatest hits repeatedly. So, it's a quality-over-quantity post this month.

Here are Avery's current favorite board books:

The Going to Bed Book by Sandra Boynton

We love all things Sandra Boynton in our house. (Well, most things. There are a couple of her books that don't quite click with us, but most of her stuff is pure gold.) This one is Avery's favorite. We've been reading it to her before bed most nights (Baby Beluga got a little old). The story is sing-song-y with a nice, soothing bedtime cadence, and the animals are cute and silly.

Where is Baby's Belly Button? (and others) by Karen Katz

Avery loves anything by Karen Katz, too. She seems to especially connect with the babies in the illustrations, because she has to wave at every one, every time. And she loves lifting the flaps in this one to see baby's hidden belly button / hands / feet / mouth / etc.

Hello, Animals! by Smriti Prasadam & Emily Bolam

This one's another waver. Avy loves the simple black-and-white animal illustrations, which she waves at every time, and the short and sweet text. It's a good, brief book for bedtime, too.

So, that's the second edition of Avy's Faves on the books. I'll post another batch when she gets hooked on some other good reads!

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

books: my favorites to re-read.

I have a confession to make. I may be The Library Faerie, I may love books with a passion, I may work in a library where I have aspirations for my own books to be on the shelves one day, but...

I am not the voracious reader I could be.

Sometimes it's because I let life get in the way of carving out much time to read. Which is a huge sin for someone who claims to be a bookworm, I know!

Sometimes it's because I have the tendency to read many books very slowly and languorously, savoring and digesting the story to make sure I don't miss a single detail. Not very efficient, I know.

And sometimes it's because a NOTORIOUS re-reader. I re-read the crap out of my favorite books. And frequently, when I'm paralyzed by the inability to choose my next read, it's often due in part to the fact that I keep circling back in my mind to books I'm wanting to re-read.

I just can't help it. When I was younger, I used to devote a lot more time to plowing through new books, but I also was just as guilty of frequent rereading back then as I am now. There's just something so comforting about returning to an old friend of a well-loved book from my reading history. I'm very attuned to the mood and atmosphere of books, and so there are many times when I recall and seek out returning to a particular mood by rereading a certain book that provided it. Plus, I just love reliving a great story that made a big impact on me the first time through.

So, without further ado, I'm sharing with you today my favorite books to re-read.
((To make this list, I have to have re-read these books at least once or twice.))

The Harry Potter series.

I mean, need I say more? The Harry Potter books are the ULTIMATE re-read if you are a fan. I love them more every time I read them. I can't wait to read them to Avery for the first time.

The Hobbit.

I loved the LoTR movies, and loved the books, too, but I probably won't go back and reread them. On the other hand, I thought the Hobbit movies were a big bummer, but I think The Hobbit wins as my number one most re-read book. I am not sure how many times I've read it,'s been several. If you've never gotten around to giving it a try, and if the movies have made you even more wary, take my advice and READ IT.

Pride & Prejudice.

The first time I read P&P, I re-read it again within the same year. And I've re-read it again since then, too. It's just that good. I had some pretty big reservations before reading this one the first time, too--I didn't expect to love it like I do. There is a good reason why it's such a classic.

A Wrinkle in Time.

I read this book for the first time when I was in the 4th grade, and I fell in love with it. I've revisited Meg, Charles Wallace, Calvin, and the mysterious Mrs. Ws several times since. I've also read all its follow-ups...but this first adventure will always be my favorite.

The Enchanted Forest Chronicles by Patricia C. Wrede. (Dealing with Dragons, Searching for Dragons, Calling on Dragons, Talking to Dragons)

By chance, I grabbed the first book from this series in a free book giveaway at my school in the 7th grade. I devoured it quickly, and found the following three books in the series at my local library. I've since bought books 2-4, and love to revisit them. This series has it all--humor, magic, fairy tale elements, feminism, adventure, drama, tragedy, and lots of cherries jubilee.

Anne of Green Gables.

I've read several of the Anne books (not the whole series), but honestly I love the first book so much I'd just rather re-read it then read the rest of the books! I can really relate as a fellow red-haired, book-loving kindred spirit.

Ender's Game.

Either you love this book, or you can't even finish it--I'm in the first camp. I am not typically a huge sci-fi book fan--I love sci-fi t.v. shows and movies, but don't often enjoy sci-fi books--but this is far and away my favorite book in the genre. I love that it's so focused on the characters, particularly Ender, and their struggles, rather than being a dry space military story with not enough human element. This one's far from that.

The Snapper by Roddy Doyle.

Best dialogue I've ever read. This short book takes me no time to read, it's hilarious and heart-wrenching all at the same time, and I just can't help but return to it. I also can't help but imagine the dad as Colm Meaney, who played him in the movie version. Which makes it even more awesome.

Anna and Her Daughters by D.E. Stevenson.

My great-aunt June gave me her copy of this book before she passed away, years and years ago when I was a little girl. This 1950s coming-of-age story was a bit ahead of me at that time, but after a few years I picked it up and read it...and have re-read it several times since. I don't remember much about my Aunt June, but I'll always be grateful she passed this priceless book along to me! You just can't not see yourself in Jane, the protagonist of the story and backbone of the family.

So...what are YOUR favorite books to re-read? Or are you staunchly against re-reading?

Friday, April 1, 2016

book review: the illustrated compendium of amazing animal facts by maja säfström.

Oh, my goodness. I love. This. Book. The Illustrated Compendium of Amazing Animal Facts by Maja Säfström combines three things I love: animals, seemingly random facts, and whimsical, quirky illustrations. I knew as soon as I spotted this baby, it had to be mine.

This book is simple and sweet. It is what it says it is--a collection of animal illustrations and facts. Some are odd. Some are surprising. They're all great. I've included a few snaps of some of my favorites below, but you'll have to check the book out yourself to get the full effect!

Aww. How cute is ^ that?!

Whoa. Never would have guessed it.

Heh! The mob! I love it.

Yer a wizard, armadillo!

The illustrations in this book are exactly what I had hoped they'd be--beautiful, cute, and quirky all at the same time. And the text is never boring--the amazing animal facts suck you in, and the funny animal commentary and little jokes are icing on the cake! This book is geared toward people of any age, but I can totally foresee curling up with my daughter and this baby (when she's old enough not to rip paper pages) and spending lots of time poring over the pictures and fascinating tidbits.

I highly recommend checking out Maja's Instagram, which I'm sharing below along with some other handy dandy links:

**Disclaimer: I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review. However, all opinions are my own!