Wednesday, June 29, 2011


Today’s RTW question from YA Highway: What's the best book you've read this month?

Well, that’s a tough question to answer because I’ve been very very pleased with the books I’ve read this month and I’d have to go with a three-way tie: I read Fire by Kristin Cashore for the first time, an ARC of Forever by Maggie Stiefvater which is a great conclusion to the trilogy, and I fell in love with Paris and St. Clair in Anna and the French Kiss. It says wonders for these books that I’m in love with them all even though they’re so different—fantasy, paranormal, contemporary! If I really had to pick one I’d go with Anna and the French Kiss. It was so cute and definitely made me want to go back to Europe. Stay tuned in the next week or so for my monthly Reading Roundup for mini reviews of all the books I’ve read this month!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Best of 2011…So Far

Today Amazon announced their “Best of 2011 So Far” books. Check out the picture book, middle grade, and teen lists. What a great collection! I’m happy to say that my boss’s book, When I Grow Up written by Al Yankovic and illustrated by Wes Hargis, and a team member’s book, Divergent by Veronica Roth, made the list! Yay! They’re both spectacular books.

I’ve already read Press Here by Hervé Tullet and Little White Rabbit by Kevin Henkes (have you seen the fantastic app for Nook?), The Emerald Atlas by John Stephens (review here), and  Delirium by Lauren Oliver (review here)…

…but this list is a great reminder that I’ve been meaning to check out The Loud Book! By Deborah Underwood (I loved The Quiet Book), Okay for Now by Gary Schmidt (everyone tells me it’s fantastic), The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of her Own Making by Catherynne M. Valente, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs, Where She Went by Gayle Forman (and for that matter, If I Stay), Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Septeys and a slew of others.

I need to stop reading book lists…they always make me add so many books to my to-be-read pile!

Are there any books that you feel Amazon left off the list? What have been your favorite books of 2011?

Friday, June 24, 2011

Books at a Bookstore

Tomorrow is Save Bookstores day. A very worthy event that I will be taking part in, and I hope you do, too! What book(s) will you purchase? 

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Five from the Fire

Today’s RTW question from YA Highway is: The house is on fire and you've only got time to grab five things. What are they?
1.    Computer/external hard drive. My life (literally) is on here: photos from the past six or so years (easy to print and replace the ones I’d lose since older photos aren’t at my apartment), WIPs and future story ideas, old classwork, important passwords, everything.
2.    A necklace. A special piece of jewelry I’d be very upset about losing.
3.    Purse. Because who wants to deal with replacing a driver’s license, credit cards, etc.? And since my bag is similar to Mary Poppins’ in all likelihood I’d have everything I need to get through the next few days: phone, snacks, a book, tissues, lip gloss, band aids, gum, pens, notebook, IPod, camera, umbrella, sunglasses, map of NYC. (Maybe I should clean out my purse…)
4.    Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. To make me feel better.
5.    Kitchenaid Mixer. Since this is hypothetical, I’ll pretend that I could run out of a burning building carrying this. I waited so long to get a mixer, I wouldn’t want to lose it. I need something to make all my delicious treats with!

Since I highly doubt this would all actually come with me if my apartment burnt down…neighbors, please be careful! What would you want to grab?

Monday, June 20, 2011


It’s almost the end of June and that means one thing: school’s out! The warm weather and melody of the ice cream truck that incessantly circles my block reminds me how much I loved and looked forward to my summer vacations when I was in school—especially those great elementary and middle school years when those lazy months were truly only about playing outside, barbecues and swimming. I may not have the same plans this summer, but that doesn’t mean I can’t reminisce with some of my favorite tween novels. (Oh, and have a sugary treat while you’re at it, too!)

Great summer reads:

Tuck Everlasting The Penderwicks at Point Mouette Waiting for Normal The Lemonade War

Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt
Waiting for Normal by Leslie Conner
The Lemonade War by Jacqueline Davies

Because of Winn-Dixie True (. . . Sort Of) Junonia Inside Out and Back Again

Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo
True (…Sort Of) by Katherine Hannigan
Junonia by Kevin Henkes
Savvy by Ingrid Law
Judy Moody series by Megan McDonald
Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell
A Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson

Savvy Judy Moody (Book #1) Island of the Blue Dolphins Bridge to Terabithia

Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls
Holes by Louis Sachar
Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli
One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia

Where the Red Fern Grows Holes by Louis Sachar Maniac Magee One Crazy Summer (Scott O'Dell Award for Historical Fiction (Awards))

And, I’m making these tonight. You should, too!

1 tsp finely grated lemon juice
½ c freshly squeezed lemon juice (from about 4 lemons)
½ c plus 2 tbsp superfine sugar
2 fresh or frozen strawberries, hulled
pinch of salt

In blender or food processor, combine the lemon zest and juice and the sugar. Pour 1¾ cups water. Add the strawberries and salt and blend until the mixture is smooth and pink. Divide the mixture into ice pop molds and freeze until solid, at least 4 hours or up to 3 days. Enjoy!

Feel like a kid yet?