Eight Life Lessons from The Hunger Games Series


  1. Pretty isn’t everything: “I am not pretty. I am not beautiful. I am as radiant as the sun.”
  1. Surround yourself with kind people: “Kind people have a way of working their way inside me and rooting there.”
  1. Winter, both literally and metaphorically, doesn’t last forever: “What I need is the dandelion in the spring. The bright yellow that means rebirth instead of destruction. The promise that life can go on, no matter how bad our losses. That it can be good again.”

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Book Boyfriends

Screen Shot 2017-03-09 at 9.40.15 AMMy friend Jackie Lea Sommers wrote about some of her newer book boyfriends yesterday on her blog. Obviously, I’m obsessed with this idea which you can see documented through my many, many games of Marry, Date or Dump. My OG book boyfriends are well established: Prince Char from Ella Enchanted, Calvin from A Wrinkle in TimeMarcus Flutie from Sloppy Firstsand eventually, of course Mr. Darcy. There are probably more of them (bah Gilbert Blythe!) but these seem like the most important ones. I literally spent a good portion of seventh grade planning to name my first-born son Gilbert (seriously how did I forget him?).  Continue reading

Keep YA Kind ?

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Hi friends! Top Ten Tuesday is still on a hiatus, but I’ve been thinking about writing this post for a long time. Almost two years ago, I wrote about author attacks on John Green, Cassandra Clare, Maggie Stiefvater, and Andrew Smith. The hashtag #KeepYA Kind had just popped up related to some controversy around Andrew Smith discussing why he had a hard time writing female characters. It was a confusing issue for me. I respected a lot of the people who had a problem with Smith’s comments. I respected a lot of the people defending Smith. I’d just read Grasshopper Jungle – a book that blew me away. And I liked the fact that he’d been honest about saying he struggled with female characters instead of just saying he was the best at everything. I also felt confused about so many people admitting they hadn’t read any of Smith’s books before commenting on them.  Continue reading

My Favorite Bookstagrams

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Bart’s Books – A New Favorite Bookstore

img_7575Happy Friday, friends! I have journeyed from New York City to Ojai, California for family holiday celebrations. It is warm during the day, dark at night, and always quiet and beautiful. Basically, I’m in love with Ojai. I’m even more in love with the local bookstore: Bart’s Books. I’ve been hearing about this bookstore for years from my sister and soon-to-be Brother-in-Law, but I didn’t expect to love this store as much as I did. We visited yesterday afternoon, and it was magical.

From the moment I saw this sign at the front of the store, I knew it would be love. Closing at sunset? Having bookshelves line the outside walls of the store? Just throw in some coins after hours?

I was utterly and completely charmed. And I hadn’t even been inside yet!  Continue reading

Reading More Middle Grade

In July, I wrote about reading more “adult” books. Recently, I’ve been reading a lot of middle grade – and not just because I’m behind in my goal to read 100 books this year. Young Adult is definitely my one true love in the book category world. But I can muster up some serious feelings for middle grade as well. I mean, Harry Potter... Need I say more? I will admit that sometimes when I’m reading MG I crave a little more  little more excitement or romance moving the story forward. Other times, reading about middle school kids is exactly the zone I want to be in. Here are a few middle grade books I’ve been reading and loving in the last two/three weeks. All are fantastic stories and approach diversity in interesting and important ways. Continue reading

Ten Life Lessons from Harry Potter

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Hi friends! It’s been a long time (over a year) since I searched through a book for some life lessons. In the post-election days, I saw several friends turning to Harry Potter for comfort. I understand why. These books and their characters feel like good friends and great teachers at the same time. They also portray a world where great evil exists but good triumphs in the end. There are too many life lessons to gain from this book to write into a single post, or even glean in a single reading. Here are ten of my favorites: Continue reading