Kate DiCamillo Returns: RAYMIE NIGHTINGALE

Kate DiCamillo Returns: RAYMIE NIGHTINGALERaymie Nightingale by Kate DiCamillo
Published by Candlewick Press on April 12th 2016
Genres: Middle Grade, Realistic
Pages: 272
Goodreads
five-stars

Raymie Clarke has come to realize that everything, absolutely everything, depends on her. And she has a plan. If Raymie can win the Little Miss Central Florida Tire competition, then her father, who left town two days ago with a dental hygienist, will see Raymie's picture in the paper and (maybe) come home. To win, not only does Raymie have to do good deeds and learn how to twirl a baton; she also has to contend with the wispy, frequently fainting Louisiana Elefante, who has a show-business background, and the fiery, stubborn Beverly Tapinski, who’s determined to sabotage the contest. But as the competition approaches, loneliness, loss, and unanswerable questions draw the three girls into an unlikely friendship — and challenge each of them to come to the rescue in unexpected ways.

It’s high time I shared my thoughts with you about the new Kate DiCamillo book. Let me say this—when I heard a new book by Kate was coming out, my level of excitement spiked! You know that I adore her books, including THE MIRACULOUS JOURNEY OF EDWARD TULANE, THE MAGICIAN’S ELEPHANT, and THE TALE OF DESPEREAUX, among others.

And now we have RAYMIE. RAYMIE NIGHTINGALE.

group excited

It’s true. Kate DiCamillo has created another endearing and delightful character that will remain in the hearts of readers for many days to come after they have turned the page of the newest book from Kate, published this past April.

I was lucky enough to borrow an ARC from Porter Square Books, and had to stop myself from devouring the book in one sitting. I wanted it to last so tried to take my time (I probably read it in three days!).

I can safely say, it’s wonderful! The story was everything I hoped it to be…and even more. Kate’s storytelling is masterful, and I would venture to say this is a strong contender for the Newbery…

The story is inspired by Kate’s own life, and though this is certainly a “made up” narrative as Kate says in the beginning of the book, it is “the absolutely true story of my heart.” In other words, this book gives us a glimpse even further into the author’s mind and heart, and I would say that the book carries a spiritual aspect for that very reason. In reading this book, I felt like I was connecting with Kate in a new way, and that can be a profound thing!

Quotes that Made Me Think

(Beverly) “I tell you what: Fear is a big waste of time. I’m not afraid of anything.”

“Just then, the sun managed to come around the corner of Isabelle’s window and throw itself into a small square of light on the floor. It was very bright. It shimmered. It looked like the window to another universe.”

“She could feel her soul. It was a tiny little spark somewhere deep inside of her. It was glowing.”

“For just a minute, she understood everything in the whole world.”

The story highlights the friendship among three girls—Raymie, Louisiana, and Beverly. Let me tell you: I love this trio! Beverly is snarky and interesting, Louisiana is surprising and persistent, and Raymie is seeking to fill up her soul. You can imagine that there are mishaps galore, but at the heart of it is a girl who wishes she could win a pageant so that her father will take note and return home. Along with this, though, and even more, is the desire of Raymie’s to fill up her soul. The language that Kate uses in the story to reflect what Raymie is thinking about and wondering reflects a spirituality that I found thought-provoking and authentic. I love the way Kate’s books get to the heart of the big questions in life, all through the window of these endearing child characters.

I don’t want to give away a lot from the story, because it’s just too much of a gem, so this review will be a bit short.

The fact is: you really need to buy a copy and read it. So…Tell me what you think when you do!

side eye dalmations

This one is worthy of all the STARS!

five-stars
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!!!

scared

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

Until then, HAPPY READING and HAPPY BOUT OF BOOKS 16!

What Katie Read

#TopTenTuesday: Ten Books I Love and Haven’t Talked about In Awhile…

TopTenTuesday5 Border

It’s the day to discuss the books we all adore but just haven’t chatted about enough lately…this isn’t hard to do and I hope you enjoy my post on ten books that are close to my heart…and now…not far from my mind.

This weekly meme is hosted by The Broke and Bookish—check out their blog and join in the TOP TEN TUESDAY FUN!

Here’s what they have to say about Top Ten Tuesday: “Top Ten Tuesday is a fun weekly link-up in the community where we provide a prompt and other lovers of listmaking join in on it with their own top ten list. Feel free to have less than 10 or more if you need to at times and put a spin on the topic if you need to! Just please link back to us if you are participating :)”

The Book Thief

THE BOOK THIEF

When this book came out, I purchased a copy from The Strand in NYC, and I’ve never looked back. I fell in love with this book hard and I went on to make it required reading for my Freshman Composition course I taught for many years. My students loved it, as I suspected they would. I adore Liesel and this story makes me laugh and cry every time. I’ll never stop having it as a favorite. It celebrates the power of words and the redemption of story and the price of courage.

cover when you reach me

WHEN YOU REACH ME

It is no surprise to me that Rebecca Stead’s Middle Grade novel won the Newbery Award, and if you haven’t read WHEN YOU REACH ME, you’re in for a treat. This is a lovely story that qualifies as both historical fiction and fantasy! But I won’t say more–it’s just too good.

queenie4,203,200_

THE LOVE SONG OF MISS QUEENIE HENNESSY

I actually read an e-ARC of this on my kindle while in Jerusalem a few summers ago and it was such a delightful experience to be reading it while abroad. I adored THE UNLIKELY PILGRIMAGE OF HAROLD FRYE, and this represented a companion novel of sorts. I loved it just as much, perhaps even more, and than HAROLD FRYE.

meaning

THE MEANING OF NIGHT

You probably know I love the British author, Wilkie Collins. Well, THE MEANING OF NIGHT is by a contemporary author who created an absolutely fabulous mystery with a flavor similar to Collins’ work. I was swept up into this book, and the good news is that there is a sequel (which I’ve started but haven’t finished yet!).

code03,200_

CODE NAME VERITY

There’s too much to say about this book, and this story brings up all the emotions! And it’s so GOOD! I really need to re-read this because the first time I read it, I just couldn’t stop thinking about it afterwards. These characters will stick with you for awhile. And that’s a good thing.

rose-under-fire-1

ROSE UNDER FIRE

This is a companion novel to CODE NAME VERITY, and I loved this one just as much. Maybe even more. Elizabeth Wein’s historical fiction is top notch, and I can’t get enough of it.

five children and it9780571314768-us

FIVE CHILDREN AND IT

This classic fantasy was a childhood favorite, and I still adore it today. This one needs a re-read, especially because I’m getting ready to dive into my ARC of FIVE CHILDREN ON THE WESTERN FRONT, which you’ll find, is related to Nesbit’s classic. A sand fairy that grants wishes?!?! Yes, please!

love affair england

MY LOVE AFFAIR WITH ENGLAND

The first time I read this book, I was getting ready to travel to England myself, and I truly fell in love with the story. I have a used copy and it is well read and worn…and I love it! I often pull this one off the bookshelf just to gaze at the cover and flip through it, remembering all my favorite parts. This charts the journey of the author during her first visit to England, and her subsequent travels there. She fell in love with England (as many of us do) and she never looked back!

without reservations

WITHOUT RESERVATIONS

This is another travel memoir that I loved–and this author travels to Europe, sharing her adventures and experiences as a solo woman journeying abroad. It’s fantastic, and there’s a sequel as well.

the-night-circus1

THE NIGHT CIRCUS

I need to re-read this adult fantasy soon–I loved THE NIGHT CIRCUS so much, and it was such a unique story. I hadn’t really encountered anything quite like it before. There’s fantasy and romance in this one, and the world of this story is one you can get lost in– I would love for this author to write something else–I guarantee it would be a highly anticipated novel.

What are some of your favorite book that you haven’t talked about in awhile? Are any of mine on your list?

What Katie Read

A Dream Come True: Kate Morton Visits BOSTON!!

I know I’m a bit late on telling you about this BUT:

December 2015 was an epic month because….THE KATE MORTON BOOK SIGNING IN BOSTON!!

excited-gifs

Can you believe that at the end of last year I heard Kate Morton speak, spoke to her, and had four of my books signed!?!?!

It was an epic evening—Kate’s last North American tour stop just happened to be in Boston so you can bet I cleared my schedule in order to arrive at Brookline Booksmith early in order to secure a good seat for the talk.

I hadn’t been able to unpack all of my Kate Morton books in time for the big evening, but I bought a paperback of The Forgotten Garden at the store that night and skipped in with my hardbacks of The Lake House and The Secret Keeper and my paperback of The House at Riverton.

I was on pins and needles as we waited quietly for Kate to show up. At around 4:30pm I heard an accented female voice on the stairs and was certain that Kate was descending. Sure enough, I turned around to see a smiling Kate making her way down the stairs with several other people and soon they disappeared into a back room until the 5pm show.

That first sighting of Kate had me feeling like this:

amazed

It seemed as if I was so close to a life complete…hearing and meeting in person one of my favorite authors of all time….

celebrate

Then…5pm was upon us, and the person responsible for the bookstore’s events took the microphone to introduce the one and only Kate Morton. Kate stood just behind our row until it was time for her to step up and introduce herself.

IMG_8526

All I have to say: She is an amazing speaker, and her talk was interesting, engaging, and inspiring! She is definitely a kindred spirit, and the kind of person that would be a dear friend, I am certain. She shared an interesting and engaging talk about her writing process, her books, her inspiration, and the kind of books she grew up reading. One really interesting thing she talked about was the fact that she read British children’s literature growing up in Australia and when she traveled to England for the first time, she felt like she had been there before. It’s almost as if the books you read as a child become a part of your life geography, and I could completely relate because I had this same experience. I grew up reading a lot of British children’s literature, so that when I first journeyed to London as a college undergraduate to study abroad, I felt as if I had already been there….

london gif

Kate also shared snippets from her tour in the UK, including a journey on a train down to Cornwall (where The Lake House is set!) that gave her an idea for another story. She read a passage from The Lake House, a chapter set in the perspective of Theo, and it was absolutely wonderful to hear the story read aloud from the author herself.

Then, a handful of questions came from the crowd, and they were all graciously answered by Kate. I was a bit star-struck, to be honest. Not only was my favorite author an amazing and creative writer, but she seemed like one of the nicest people you could ever hope to meet!

At the end of the Q&A, we queued up for book signing, and we all happily and patiently waited while people chatted with Kate and had books signed. Kate is such a cheery and kind person–she took the time to talk with each person and it was delightful.

IMG_8528

Then my turn arrived! Here’s what we talked about–I told Kate I adored her books and that we have a fan club of hers (Morton Ladies) on Twitter. She said to say hello to all the gals in that club–Lindsey, Laura, Jess, and Morgan! I also told Kate I had studied for my M.A. in Children’s Literature in London and that I had read TOM’S MIDNIGHT GARDEN and THE CHILDREN OF GREEN KNOWE for the first time during that adventure. We chatted about those books and it was wonderful! She even listened to me share a little about my master’s thesis on the spirituality of children’s fantasy. Then of course I had a picture with Kate, and the evening was complete…

IMG_8531

What more could I ask for in the way of a wonderful December bookish event?!? Absolutely nothing!!

group excited

What Katie Read

#TopTenTuesday: Top Ten Books on My Spring TBR

TopTenTuesday5 Border

After my jaunt to ALA Midwinter here in Boston, you can imagine I acquired quite a few books publishing in Spring. In other words: I have a rich variety of books to read this spring…but that doesn’t mean I’m not reading backlist titles.

Without further ado, here is a shot of my Top Ten Reads for Spring 2016! This is not counting books I’m about to pick up imminently, such as THE MIRROR KING (Thanks, Andi, for loaning me your ARC!) and SUMMERLOST by Ally Condie.

top ten 2016 spring

THE WILD ROBOT

STARS ABOVE

THE SCHOOL FOR GOOD AND EVIL

WHEN WE COLLIDED

CUCKOO SONG

THE LIE TREE

MY LADY JANE

OUTRUN THE MOON

THIS SAVAGE SONG

THE BONE SEASON

So what’s on your Top Ten List for Spring 2016?! Are any of my books also on your TBR?

What Katie Read

Portals of History: ONCE WAS A TIME (2016) by Leila Sales

Portals of History: ONCE WAS A TIME (2016) by Leila SalesOnce Was a Time by Leila Sales
Published by Chronicle Books on April 5th 2016
Genres: Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Middle Grade
Pages: 272
Source: Netgalley
Goodreads
three-half-stars

In the war-ravaged England of 1940, Charlotte Bromley is sure of only one thing: Kitty McLaughlin is her best friend in the whole world. But when Charlotte's scientist father makes an astonishing discovery that the Germans will covet for themselves, Charlotte is faced with an impossible choice between danger and safety. Should she remain with her friend or journey to another time and place? Her split-second decision has huge consequences, and when she finds herself alone in the world, unsure of Kitty's fate, she knows that somehow, some way, she must find her way back to her friend. Written in the spirit of classic time-travel tales, this book is an imaginative and heartfelt tribute to the unbreakable ties of friendship.

Time travel! England during WWII! Tea! A British protagonist! Two bosom friends…all these elements and more are what drew me to read Leila Sales’ new Middle Grade book, ONCE WAS A TIME.

The Book:

Charlotte and Kitty are the two friends we focus on in the opening pages of the narrative, and it’s Charlotte’s father who is actually researching time travel. Charlotte is aware of the importance of her father’s work and is curious about what the ability to time travel might mean, but she is not prepared for the dangerous situation into which she, Kitty, and her father are thrust. Lives are at stake, and Charlotte has to make a split decision about whether to stay with Kitty or to leave. In other words, the opportunity for time travel presents itself, and Charlotte has to decide whether to make the leap…or not.

What I Loved:

Awhile back, I read one of Leila’s Young Adult books, and when I heard that she wrote a time travel middle grade, I was intrigued, especially since it featured a British protagonist and opened in the great country of England during WWII. If you keep up with me on Goodreads or even this blog, you’ll know that I am especially fond of children’s and young adult literature set during the WWII period—historical fiction is one of my favorite genres—in the world of children’s, young adult, and adult books. So it’s no surprise that I snatched this one up on Netgalley as soon as it was available!

Readers with a passion for children’s literature in general might appreciate the many references to different children’s books and even the large role that a library plays in the story. Spoiler: Charlotte does travel through time, but it’s forwards, and not backwards.

Charlotte’s friendship with a librarian is a highlight of the story, and the notion of libraries closing due to lack of funding is brought up, bringing in a real life (and sad!) connection. If you were an avid reader as a young person (or if you are now), you will be delighted at the many books referenced in the story due to Charlotte’s great appetite for reading as many volumes in the library as possible.

The celebration of friendship and its capacity to be enduring and weather trials is strong in this story, and readers certainly have room to discuss the nature of authentic relationship and connection. I loved the connection between Charlotte and Kitty–especially in the last part of the book, but I wanted to read even more with them on center stage!

Finally, I love that cover! Well-done Chronicle books for a unique and intriguing design!

What I Didn’t Expect:

If you glanced at my Goodreads review, you would have seen that I made a comment about this story was not quite what I expected. While I assumed certain characters would take center stage in the narrative, that was not actually the case.

Also, I was surprised at the direction of travel that the transporting took place! I won’t give anything away here, but there was an interesting twist with who traveled where, and for how long they stayed in that time period. There might be some readers who are a little incredulous at the way the story is resolved, but I didn’t have too many issues with the ending, due to the readership and the scope and length of the book.

Are you planning to read ONCE WAS A TIME when it is released in April? What are your thoughts on time travel in Middle Grade titles? Other favorites to share?

three-half-stars
What Katie Read

Transatlantic Book Project: HARRY POTTER AND THE PHILOSOPHER’S STONE

tabookprojectgraphic

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.

IMG_8813

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.

FullSizeRender-1

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.

FullSizeRender-2

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!

FullSizeRender

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

ARC Review: THE KEY TO EXTRAORDINARY by Natalie Lloyd

ARC Review: THE KEY TO EXTRAORDINARY by Natalie LloydThe Key to Extraordinary by Natalie Lloyd
Published by Scholastic Press on February 23rd 2016
Genres: Fantasy, Middle Grade
Pages: 240
Goodreads
five-stars

Everyone in Emma's family is special. Her ancestors include Revolutionary War spies, brilliant scientists, and famous musicians--every single one of which learned of their extraordinary destiny through a dream.
For Emma, her own dream can't come soon enough. Right before her mother died, Emma promised that she'd do whatever it took to fulfill her destiny, and she doesn't want to let her mother down.
But when Emma's dream finally arrives, it points her toward an impossible task--finding a legendary treasure hidden in her town's cemetery. If Emma fails, she'll let down generations of extraordinary ancestors . . . including her own mother. But how can she find something that's been missing for centuries and might be protected by a mysterious singing ghost?
With her signature blend of lyrical writing, quirky humor, and unforgettable characters, Natalie Lloyd's The Key to Extraordinary cements her status as one of the most original voices writing for children today.

First of all, this amazing book is out today and if you haven’t preordered a copy, you better run down to the bookstore ASAP and purchase one! I also have a Twitter giveaway going on for an ARC of the book as well!

“IT IS A KNOWN FACT THAT THE MOST EXTRAORDINARY MOMENTS IN A PERSON’S LIFE COME DISGUISED AS ORDINARY DAYS.”

What I Loved:

It was no surprise to me that I adored THE KEY TO EXTRAORDINARY just as much as I loved A SNICKER OF MAGIC.

This book is everything!

HOT CHOCOLATE, TREASURES, PEACH LAVENDER MUFFINS, FAMILY, FRIENDS, BLACKBIRD HOLLOW CEMETERY, LOVE, NURTURING THE HUMAN HEART: This book has it all! And Natalie Lloyd is the perfect author to pull it all together with her whimsical prose and her stunning style.

Just like A SNICKER OF MAGIC, this book made me laugh and it made me cry. The way Emma did everything she could to save her family’s bakery made me root for her throughout the entire story. The way she longed for her “Destiny Dream” to happen filled me with hope, and the way she reached out to Earl with friendship moved me with compassion as I thought about how there are many people I encounter like Earl all the time, that perhaps, I just pass right by. And the fact that Emma lost her mother years earlier made me imagine how unbelievably painful it must be for a child to lose a parent.

Do you remember in A SNICKER OF MAGIC how certain ice cream flavors made you feel a certain emotion? Well, that very cool and almost magical concept is kind of in KEY TO EXTRAORDINARY with the hot chocolate, known as BONEYARD BREW. AND I LOVE IT! What I would give to pop into the Boneyard Café, and sit down with Emma and Cody Belle and Earl…

“AS NEAR AS I CAN DESCRIBE IT, BONEYARD BREW IS LIKE HOT CHOCOLATE WITH A HEAVENLY TWIST.”

That’s an aspect of this book I loved—the depiction of the friendships (and family relationships) among the characters. Emma and Cody Belle are best friends, and while Emma is waiting to have her Destiny Dream, Cody Belle does nothing but encourage her. This duo is super, and I’d love to read more stories with them on stage. Then there’s Earl. He’s got some issues, and he doesn’t talk, but that doesn’t mean Emma and Cody Belle won’t be there for him and reach out to him in friendship. And his friendship ends up meaning a lot to Emma, especially as she grapples with getting to the bottom of her Destiny Dream. All the women in her family have had a “Destiny Dream”—and this dream has always meant something significant for each of those women. But what does Emma’s mean, and how will it help her to keep the family bakery in the family?

Well, you’ll just have to read the book to find out!

Who Should Read This Book:

If you love delightful Middle Grade fiction with colorful and humorous characters facing real life problems and challenges, and perhaps even a dash of magic, then you will most likely love THE KEY TO EXTRAORDINARY. Like hot chocolate and freshly baked muffins? Treasure? New friendships?

GO AHEAD THEN!

“SOMETIMES EVEN DOING THE RIGHT THING WILL LEAVE YOU WITH SCARS. BUT BEAUTY COMES FROM ASHES, TOO. AND I KNOW THAT TO BE TRUE.”

The Final Illumination:

I was incredibly lucky to finally meet Natalie at an event hosted by New Leaf Literary at this past January’s ALA Midwinter Meeting. When my friend Helen and I stepped into this lovely room at a Boston hotel for a dessert reception, you can imagine my delight when I spied the one and only Natalie! I just had to wait for my turn to approach her and let her know she is one of my favorite Middle Grade Authors and I think her writing is just spindiddly splendid!

It was no surprise to me that Natalie turned out to be just as lovely and delightful in person as I suspected and I hope our paths cross again. I also hope to meet her dog Biscuit one day. It’s possible Biscuit might even write a book—I wouldn’t be surprised at that either!

Melanie Conklin, Author of Counting Thyme, Natalie Lloyd, Me, & Helen Swinyard (School Librarian from London!)

Yes, I remember the delicious crepe filled with white chocolate, milk chocolate, and strawberries I devoured that night as well as the divine glass of red wine I drank, but I shall never forget meeting the author of A SNICKER OF MAGIC as well and THE KEY TO EXTRAORDINARY in person…

I hope you have the pleasure of meeting Natalie one day as well! And I intend for my kids at the school library to meet her, even virtually!

Thank you New Leaf and also Scholastic for making it possible for Natalie’s books to become a part of our world! I’m forever grateful and would like to lift a virtual cup of BONEYARD BREW to you as well as offer you a PEACH LAVENDER MUFFIN from the BONEYARD CAFE.

YOU ARE LIVING AN EXTRAORDINARY LIFE….

five-stars
What Katie Read

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

loveathon

  • 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!

TEA TIME WITH EPIC READS:

MARGOT & AUBREY

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.

Screen Shot 2016-02-21 at 6.33.03 PM

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

flailing

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.

down 1

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.

care bear cousins1rdmw45o1_500

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!

IMG_4513

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.

IMG_3623

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

loveathon

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!

celebrate

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….

101-dalmations-books

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!

belle and books

Five Books You’re excited for in 2016?

TRAITOR ANGELS BY ANNE BLANKMAN

RAYMIE NIGHTINGALE BY KATE DICAMILLO

THIS SAVAGE SONG BY VICTORIA SCHWAB

LADY JANE BY CYNTHIA HAND, BRODI ASHTON, JODI MEADOWS

THE MIRROR KING BY JODI MEADOWS

What food are you obsessed with?

DOUGHNUTS!

side eye dalmations

But also: CINNAMON ROLLS!

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