Dewey’s 24 Hour Read-a-Thon: Mid Event Survey


Well, Hello There!

It’s Hour 12 of Dewey’s 24 Hour Read-a-thon, and though I won’t be able to stay up for all 24 hours, I at least am making the most of what I can stay up for, and decided to share with you my Mid Event Survey. The day has been fantastic so far and I’m looking forward to more books, tea, and chocolate for the remainder of the evening!


  1. What are you reading right now?

I’m nearly finished with Empire of Storms, and I’m about to start a mystery, Buried in a Book.

  1. How many books have you read so far?

I’ve read FOUR books so far! The Poet’s Dog, Mighty Jack, Moo, and Heartsong

  1. What book are you most looking forward to for the second half of the Read-a-thon?

I’m looking forward to finishing Empire of Storms, though it will be kind of painful since I have to wait so long for the next installment. But I sense some things are going to happen that are going to be shocking and surprising. I’m also really looking forward to this mystery I picked up at the library–it’s the perfect evening for a read-a-thon–the wind is blowing and the scent of homemade applesauce is filling the house!


  1. Have you had many interruptions? How did you deal with those?

I’ve had other tasks I needed to accomplish, but during my reading, I haven’t had any interruptions, so it’s been relatively smooth.

  1. What surprises you most about the Read-a-thon, so far?

What surprises me is that I don’t do this more often because I enjoy it so much, and it often helps me to unwind and just give myself time to relax and have no other agenda but drink coffee, tea, and read….


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What Katie Read

Read-a-thon Alert!! #BoutofBooks 16: May 9th-15th

bout of books 16

HEY THERE! I know I’ve been MIA lately because of: busy School Librarian job, moving, going to Library School at the same time, moving, and trying to remain sane! But here I am, and I have been reading loads of books. The challenge is keeping up with the blog, but I’ve got some wonderful posts planned and lots of mini reviews in the future. And….I’m going to jump into BOUT OF BOOKS 16!! I have no choice–I simply must participate!!

you go girl sherlock

So, here are the details, and guess what?!? There still time to sign up!

“The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, May 9th and runs through Sunday, May 15th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 16 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. – From the Bout of Books team”

I’m planning to share my stack of Bout of Books titles soon, but in the meantime, know that one book I’ll be finishing up is THE MIRROR KING by Jodi Meadows. I am loving this sequel, and have been reading it on the train to and from work. I figure that I’ll finish it in the next day as things are getting pretty exciting, but also scary…The wraith!!!


But even the scary bits won’t keep me from reading onwards to find out if the Orphan Queen and the Mirror King will be reunited….

I’ll be sharing more of my reading plans soon so stay tuned! And I’m happy to be back in the blogging world with you all where I plan to share my thoughts on some absolutely wonderful books. Think…Raymie Nightingale and Traitor Angels….

belle and books


What Katie Read



When I heard about a project involving reading a book, making notes in it, and then passing it along to another blogger (after receiving it from several bloggers before me), I jumped at the chance to participate!

I was so happy when Alicia at A KERNEL OF NONSENSE contacted me about the project. Alicia and Rachel at CONFESSIONS OF A BOOK GEEK are hosting this grand event, and they have managed to put together an organized and fun traveling book extravaganza!

So, here’s what’s happening. There are 10 bloggers, 2 books, and one project. 5 Bloggers are in the US and 5 are in the UK, but we’ll all be reading both books. Each blogger gets to annotate the book and then send it along to the next blogger.


So….Cristina at Girl in the Pages sent me Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, and she included some wonderful goodies I’ll show you below.

I was so excited to jump in and leave stickies, highlightings, and notes in the margins, but I had to get used to the idea of writing in a book!

To be honest, it didn’t take me long to get used to that, maybe because of all that writing and highlighting in books for grad school! Once I saw Harry Potter as a text that required annotating, it was easy to read actively and to share some of my thoughts as I soared through the story.


I absolutely loved reading the notes of the bloggers before me, and I often wrote a comment in response to a note from an earlier reader. It was fun, and even sometimes it was just one word. I hadn’t read HP & the Philosopher’s Stone in awhile, and I think I enjoyed the story more this time around. Now, having read the entire series, looking back at the first book was a richer experience. I noticed more and was also looking for more details, I think.


I can imagine that once the last person receives the book, it really will be a unique artifact, because it will reflect all these different readers’ perspectives of the text, in a way. We all might have similar or different responses to certain parts in the story, and that can be physically reflected in the book at the end of our exchange!


Isn’t that cool?

I’m excited for the second book, The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender, to make the rounds, so stay tuned!

What Katie Read

#loveathon Mini Challenge #4: Tea Break with Epic Reads!!


  • It’s time for a tea break! In this post, you’ll share which fictional character, book blogger OR BookTuber OR Bookstagrammer, and author you’d want to have a tea party with and why. Feel free to go above and beyond by including more details about your dream tea party!



epic reads margot and aubrey

Do you remember the days when Epic Reads Tea Time [You can watch the first ever Tea Time at that link!] was live and included the fabulous duo: Margot and Aubrey?!?  Well, I do, and those times were legendary!

So I’m choosing to create my Dream Tea Break with the Tea Time Ladies: Margot & Aubrey! Because…is there any way to have a bookish tea break without them?!? I think not!

First of all, Margot and Aubrey are passionate about books, and understand the importance of getting excited about our favorite reads! They’ve got their priorities straight: Books, Donuts, & Tea!

Some of my favorite afternoons have been spent tuning into live Tea Time on my laptop (one time when I was housesitting for my parents, I used their huge TV screen to watch) and chatting with the larger bookish community as we listened to Margot and Aubrey fangirl over books and tell us about the latest releases.

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It was a dream! Every Wednesday afternoon all the bookish and teatime excitement was almost overwhelming.


When Aubrey announced that she was moving to Chicago and the Epic Reads teatime duo was splitting up, I was devastated! But Aubrey must have had a pretty good reason to move, and Margot is carrying on the Epic Reads traditions so everything is actually OK in the end. And there’s always the possibility of Tea Time reunions and Book Shimmying.

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Another reason why I would love to have tea with Margot and Aubrey is because I think we’re not too far apart in age and I imagine they would understand my love of Strawberry Shortcake and the Care Bears.

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I also know Margot recently traveled to Scotland and loved it, so I am looking forward to sharing my own obsession with the Scottish highlands at the tea party!

We can also chat about Calvin in A WRINKLE IN TIME…Margot recently talked about Calvin as her first boy crush in a book in the Valentine’s Day book tag video!


This tea will feature many different kinds of doughnuts, but I think cake must be present as well. How about a Tiger Lily cake?!

tiger lily cake

Here’s a box of donuts from Voodoo Doughnuts in Portland, but I think this tea party might have to be catered by DOUGH, which I visited last year in NYC–those donuts were just too good.


Then again, here in Boston, there’s Kane’s Donuts, which I have to admit, I also enjoy…

And of course, there will be gallons and gallons of tea of all different kinds—in English teapots! I could go on further about the details of my tea party with Epic Reads, but I’m afraid you’ll probably just see more photos of cake and links to doughnut shops! For now, we’ll adjourn, and I hope that one day my dream tea with Margot and Aubrey (and doughnuts and books!) can take place.

Until then, HAPPY TEATIME!


What Katie Read

2016 #loveathon: Intro Questionnaire


I participated in the the Blogger Love-A-Thon two years ago with Alexa Loves Books, and I’m jumping in again! This year it’s hosted by Alexa and Cee, Hazel, and Mel, so it’s going to be delightful!


First things first: We have the Questionnaire!

Name: Katie–However, I’m on Twitter as LibrarianKatie_

Where in the world are you blogging from? Boston, MA!

How did you get into Blogging? I’ve spent the majority of my education reading and talking about books, so it just made sense after I finished Grad School to start a blog where I could share my thoughts about what I was reading.

How did you come up with your blog name? At first, it was Spirit of Children’s Literature, because I’m really interested in the spirituality of children’s books. But…I read and talk about a lot of young adult and adult books so I wanted a broader name, and Bookish Illuminations still implied that whole notion of multiple layers and meanings in books.

Genre you read the most and review on your blog? That might be a tie between fantasy and historical fiction….


Other types of posts besides reviews? Probably Special Feature posts like Top Ten Tuesday and other blogging events…

Favorite thing about blogging community? Talking about books and getting excited about them!

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Five Books You’re excited for in 2016?






What food are you obsessed with?


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Did you read MAYBE IN ANOTHER LIFE? That protagonist loves cinnamon rolls!

maybe in another life

Other hobbies besides reading?

Writing, Cooking, Baking, Traveling, Mixed Media Art, Making Collages, Exploring the Natural World, Ballet…

That’s all for now, folks!

So, Loveathon Participants, leave me the link to your blog posts with your questionnaires! I’m looking forward to visiting your blogs! 😀


What Katie Read

Bout of Books 15: I’m In! (January 4-10th, 2016)

bout of books jan 2015

It’s one of my favorite bookish events next week: BOUT OF BOOKS! Even though I’m headed back to the School Library on Monday and ALA Midwinter starts on January 8th, I’m still planning to join and intend to read as much as possible during the week (and maybe play a few challenges as well along the way!).

I have a stack of books I’ll be pulling from for my Bout of Books reading for the week, so you’ll have to let me know here on the blog or on Twitter which of these books you think I should dive into first.

I’ve tentatively chosen:

Anna and the Swallow Man

Cuckoo Song

The Babysitter’s Club #1 (Graphic Novel)

The Detective’s Assistant


Here’s the info on Bout of Books, if you want to join!

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, January 4th and runs through Sunday, January 10th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 15 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. – From the Bout of Books team

Are you participating in Bout of Books? What titles are you aiming to read? What are you most excited about reading?!?


What Katie Read

It Begins!! Bout of Books 14 Sign-Up & Goals

Be excited!! It’s time for another BOUT OF BOOKS!!

belle and books

bout of books 14

As many of you know, Bout of Books is a focused week of reading and you can set any or no goals at all! I’m finished with two of my three classes I ‘m teaching this summer, so I have a little more reading time freed up. I have some lofty goals, because I would rather they be lofty than low. I have several books to finish up this week (World After, Trixie Belden, and Maybe In Another Life) as well as a few from the library I want to tackle in addition to an ALA ARC. I have a long plane flight on Thursday and I’ve specifically set aside several books for that! Here’s my proposed stack that I will pull from:

bout of books 14 stack

If you’re not familiar with Bout of Books, here’s more info:

“The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, August 17th and runs through Sunday, August 23rd in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 14 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. – From the Bout of Books team.”

I’m hoping to participate in some challenges, as well as at least one of #boutofbooks chats. What about you? Are you taking part? What titles do you have planned to read?


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What Katie Read

ALA Recap! (Part I) Annual Convention 2015: San Francisco


The Illuminae Stairs!

Sit back and imagine. A visit to San Francisco. Sunny weather. Books. ARCs. Authors you love. Librarians. Blogging friends. Crepes. Blue Bottle Coffee.

It’s the perfect vacation, right? That’s what I thought! Welcome to my American Library Association Annual Convention 2015 recap!IMG_7651

ALA was fantastic! Traveling to San Francisco, meeting blogger friends, chatting with publicists, and meeting authors made it an absolutely wonderful extended weekend. I’m so glad I took the time to drive to San Francisco and see what the whole ALA Annual Convention experience was all about.

I’m going to have to divide up this recap into several parts because there’s just too much to talk about. First, let’s talk about those BOOKS and AUTHOR SIGNINGS!

Learning the Ropes of ALA & Author Signings:

I’d never been to ALA or BEA before, so this was a real treat visiting the booths of major publishers of children’s, young adult, and adult literature, as well as some of the smaller and independent ones. Saturday morning, some of us book bloggers were hanging out together near the front of the crowd, ready to go, and when those security guards stepped aside, we stormed them! Just kidding—we actually didn’t—but we did walk pretty quickly to the Bloomsbury booth, which ended up being a little too crowded so we sauntered down to Disney instead. At the Disney Booth, the publicists were extremely friendly, and though I was disappointed they didn’t have ARCs of Passenger, they did have some other titles that were on my list! Over the three days, these are the titles I acquired from Disney. Many thanks to their awesome publicists!!


Titles include: A Thousand Nights by E.K. Johnston, Black Widow by Margaret Stohl, Spinning Starlight by R.C. Lewis, Hunter by Mercedes Lackey, Out of Abation: The Wooden Prince by John Claude Bemis, Starflight by Melissa Landers, Hook’s Revenge: The Pirate Code by Heidi Schulz, Serafina and the Black Cloak by Robert Beatty, and Odd Aquaticum by Alistair Grim.

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The Harper booth became a place all of us book bloggers frequented often! Of course, Saturday morning included the RAE CARSON SIGNING and you know that this was one of the very events I attended ALA for. I was too star struck to get a photo but it was utterly fabulous to meet Rae, and have her sign my ARC of WALK ON EARTH A STRANGER. I’m happy to say I will gladly attend more book events where she’s signing and/or speaking.

Over the the next three days of the event, we returned to the Harper Booth for either signings or to chat with publicists about certain titles. I’m happy to say that I returned with a wonderful selection of books I’m super excited about reading and reviewing for the fall. Two titles that I had been hoping I would nab included A MADNESS SO DISCREET by Mindy McGinnis and THIS MONSTROUS THING by Mackenzie Lee.


There were two sides to the exhibit hall at Moscone and so we would hop back and forth for signings or for just browsing and chatting with people. Sometimes we stayed together in a group and sometimes we went our own separate ways.

That’s the beauty of ALA—you can always meet again later for lunch or coffee, or rendezvous for an author signing…such as the Leigh Bardugo Six of Crows signing on Saturday afternoon! That line was insanely long, but we managed to be near the beginning as we showed up pretty early. I had never seen Leigh before, and it was a joy to meet her and have her sign my ARC of Six of Crows. I am very excited about this one!


How can I not tell you about meeting Ann M. Martin, one of my favorite childhood authors, the beloved writer of THE BABYSITTER’S CLUB!?!?! Yes, she was at ALA signing several books, including RAIN, REIGN and also THE BABYSITTER’S CLUB Graphic Novel. I had seen her speak for the first time last fall at the Boston Book Festival, but this was the first time I actually met her in person, and it was FANTASTIC!! I think I read every single one of The Babysitter’s Club books as they were coming out, all of the Super Specials, and all of the Mystery editions as well.

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Since two of my favorites books (I have taught both of them in my college level Children’s Literature course) are the graphic novels of Brian Selznick, you can imagine I was pretty excited for the signing in the Scholastic Booth on Sunday. I showed up pretty early because I knew that line was going to be long. I had with me my hardback copy of THE INVENTION OF HUGO CABRET and I was given an ARC of THE MARVELS. It is AMAZING!! And Brian signed both my books. I also got to tell him about an article I wrote about Hugo Cabret that appeared in an issue of Bookbird, and so I was happy about that. I knew that someone with that level of talent and imagination just had to be a fabulous person, and I could tell he is! I have a few photos to share with you. The first photo is a bit blurry–sorry about that!

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Of course, I can’t end Part I of this recap without telling you how amazing it was to meet Anthony Doerr, author of the Pulitzer Prize winning novel, ALL THE LIGHT WE CANNOT SEE! I adore this book, and when I discovered that Anthony would be there signing finished hard copies, I was beyond excited. Sydney and Vanessa were awesome enough to get in line early, and I joined them soon after. The line grew to around 300 people and then they cut it off. Thankfully we were not too far back, so we didn’t have to wait a terribly long time, though we didn’t mind. Anthony spoke to each person and gave them a personalized signature! I chatted with him about being left-handed (I noticed he was) and I don’t think I’ll ever forget meeting this kind and sensitive author. I’m definitely due for a re-read of the novel. If you haven’t read it, get to your calendar/planner now, and plan to read this amazing book!


That’s all for Part I of my recap. Stay tuned for Part II, with topics ranging from the bookish friends I met in San Francisco to more books I picked up to other fun adventures!!



What Katie Read

Bout of Books 13: May 11th-17th!!

It’s time for BOUT OF BOOKS 13! A Week of Intentional Reading with loads of other readers!! What could be more enjoyable?? You know you want to join…and you can SIGN UP HERE.

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Here’s the info about the Bout of Books read-a-thon:

  • Bout of Books is a week long read-a-thon, usually from 12:01am on a Monday through 11:59pm on a Sunday in whatever time zone you are in.

  • It is low pressure, meaning participants are only asked to push themselves to read more than they normally would during any given week. There is no competition between readers.

  • How much time a reader wants, and can commit, to read, tweet, or network with fellow bloggers is left to individual preference. All challenges and giveaways are optional.

  • Networking with fellow bloggers is actively encouraged, though never required.

  • Use Twitter to post updates throughout the read-a-thon. Everyone will be tweeting with the #boutofbooks hashtag.

yes am excited

I’m really excited about reading this week. I’ll probably post some more info later about the books I’m planning to read (or finish). The week may start out a bit slow, as I am holiday-ing with a friend at the moment, but by the middle of the week, my reading pace will pick up. Regardless, I’ll be sneaking in some reading at every possible moment this week.

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What about you?? Are you joining Bout of Books 13? Have any lofty goals?

What Katie Read

Guest Post for Fairy Tale Fortnight at The Book Rat: Wild Girl (2015) by Kate Forsyth

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REMINDER! Hop on over to The Book Rat to see my Guest Post for Fairy Tale Fortnight–a wonderful event hosted by The Book Rat and A Backwards Story. There’s lots of fairy tale goodness going on, and you can find the schedule at either of those blogs.

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I’m sharing my review and quite a bit of background info on The Wild Girl by Kate Forsyth–a story about Dortchen Wild, the neighbor of the Brothers Grimm. There’s a video and even a recipe! I won’t say anything more–ENJOY!

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What Katie Read