10 Bookish Reasons My Mom is Awesome

Happy Mother’s Day to all you moms out there! Today I am outlining all the book-related ways my Mom is awesome. She’s awesome in many other ways, but since this is a book blog, you get book related things. 🙂 (A lot of these also apply to my Dad, but it’s not his day so…)

  1. She has recommended some great books to me.
    Did you know she’s the one who recommended Harry Potter to me? That alone should tell you how fantastic her book game is.
  2. She still recommends books for me to read.
    I wrote an entire post about it, which you can find here.
  3. She read books aloud to us when we were younger.
    The one I remember the most was The Trumpet of the Swan by E. B. White. She read it to us before we were old enough to read it ourselves, and it was a great book to read and think about as a family.
  4. She would read books while we read books, just so she could discuss them with us.
    She read the Harry Potter series side by side with me, so that we could discuss them once I finished.
  5. She taught us to be readers by being an example of a great reader.
    My mom still reads all the time, and she did the same when we were children. (If I remember correctly, we thought it was funny to try to distract her from reading, or to jump on her while she was reading, back when we were toddlers.)
  6. She would let us choose a book to purchase from Scholastic.
    There were usually two 99 cent books as part of the Scholastic book flyers. She often let us choose one of them to add to our collection. In kindergarten I got one about different kinds of apples (don’t remember the title though), and as I got older, this was how I added Santa Paws and The Dolphin Diaries to my collection.
  7. She took us to the library all the time.
    Even to this day, libraries are still a wonderful, magical place. When we were little we got to pick out picture books to take home. I’m fairly sure I pretty much always chose Mary Wore Her Red Dress. When we got older we got to participate in the library’s summer reading programs. She’d let us wander the kids area of the library on our own while she went to look for books for herself. We had an entire shelf at home dedicated to library books, since as a family we checked so much out and read so much. By the time I graduated I had my library card number memorized and I knew many of the librarians there.
  8. We grew up in a home filled with books.
    I can’t remember a time in my life when I didn’t have a bookshelf. We had a white cube-like one when we were younger, which was great for our large picture book collection. I had my own (!) night-stand size one when I was in elementary school, which was awesome – it gave me ownership for the care of my books. And while I don’t think we ever bought books new, we always seemed to be inheriting them or finding them for cheap. I was never in want of books growing up.
  9. She started a business selling books.
    If you’re not yet convinced that my mom is awesome, maybe this will convince you – she started her own business! Being the bookish family we are, it was natural for her to start a company selling books. My Dad left his job and joined her a couple years after she started it, and it’s still what they do to this day. (If you’re curious, links to their Amazon and eBay stores can be found here.)
  10. She worked hard to teach me how to read.
    I don’t remember much of the process of learning how to read. But I know my mom would sit with me on the couch almost everyday when I was in kindergarten, guiding me through a book. The one that I remember fulling reading myself was Richard Scarry’s Farmer Patrick Pig. Although there were plenty of other books in there, including Go Dog Go, Hop on Pop, and some book about a fat cat.

There you go! A short glimpse into why my Mom is awesome. In what bookish ways is your mom awesome? Let me know!

❤ Annette

awesome

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Books Recommended by My Mother

Mother’s Day is one week away! In honor of that, here are some books recommended by my mother.

(Contains affiliate links)

Ice Limit by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child

When I told my mom I was going to write the post, her first reaction was “It better contain Ice Limit!” So here it is as first. 🙂 It is marked as a thriller or an adventure novel, and, although I haven’t read it, it is definitely on my TBR!

Extra Virginity by Tom Mueller

Although the title sounds scandalous, this book is actually about olive oil. Apparently it is quite fascinating, and it’s another one I plan on picking up.

Ship of Gold in the Deep Blue Sea by Gary Kinder

have read this one and it was fascinating! It is about retrieving a sunken ship (the richest in the world, according to the book’s tagline), and all the different technological advances were required to make it happen. It’s a lot more interesting that I’m making it sound, I promise. 🙂

Beautiful Cruel Country by Eva Antonia Wilber-Cruce

My mom loves southwest history (which is great, considering we live there), and no doubt she enjoys this book for that reason.

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot

This book covers the story of the life (and continued presence) of Henrietta Lacks. While she died over 50 years ago, her cells are still around and have been essential in many modern medical advances.

Paradox of Choice by Barry Schwartz

This is another non-fiction that investigates the ramifications of having the ability to choose. Is it a good thing? How does it tie into freedom and our well-being?

All of the above (except the one’s I’ve read) are definitely on my TBR. Are you adding any of them to yours as well? What books would your mom recommend?

❤ Annette

mother

15+ Crochet Patterns Based on Children’s Books

I really enjoy crocheting, even if I don’t get around to it as much as I should. So today, in honor of Children’s Book Week, I have a collection of crochet patterns based on children’s books. One of my favorite toddler/child gifts is to give a book along with a crocheted plush that matches that book. As of me writing this post, all of the linked-to patterns are free! Yay!

Because I haven’t made most of these, there aren’t many pictures of the projects themselves. Click on each link to head to each site to check them out! The books each project is based on (or that I associated them with) is next to each link. Clicking on that will take you to Amazon via an affiliate link.

Thing 1 and Thing 2 Crochet Hats by Repeat Crafter Me

Cat In the Hat Pencil Topper by Paper, Needles, n Sweets

Green Eggs and Ham by NyanPon



Star Bellied Sneetch by CraftyIsCool



Hungry Caterpillar Plush by Britteny’s Boutique (I’ve made this one! Check out my post about it here.)

Ballerina Mouse by Heart and Sew

Lowly Worm Plush by Little Black Marker (I’ve made this one too! Check out my post about it here.)


Little Red Riding Hood Doll by My Backyard Monsters

Little Red Riding Hood Cape by Repeat Crafter Me

Eeyore Plush by Skestes


Where the Wild Things Are Monster by Amigurumi To Go



Crayon Blanket by Interweave

Crayon Box Kawaii Cuddler by 3 am Grace Designs

Monkey Plush by Chimu Hamada



Fancy Goldfish Plush by Kate Wood



Mouse and Cookie Plush by Chaleur Life



Clifford the Dog Kid’s Hat by Crafter Chick

 

 

Do you have any patterns to add to this list? Which one are you most excited to make?

Happy crafting! ❤ Annette

crochet kids books

Children’s Book Week

Children’s Book Week starts today! You can find all the official information here.

This week I will try to post about children’s books. We’ll see how well I do at that! 😛 For today, I wanted to kick off the week by providing you with links to all of the children’s book related posts I’ve already done. Click on each image to go to the post!

12 awesome picture books

My favorite childhood picture books.

never fade

Why it’s important to introduce books to children, even at a young age.

10 Books I Want My Future Children to Read

Books I want my future children to read, based mainly on how much I enjoyed the books as a child.

caterpillar

A couple years ago I crocheted a Hungry Caterpillar as a Christmas gift.

worm

I also crocheted a Lowly Worm. 🙂

Bookish christmas gift guides (1)

Items (that aren’t books) that still foster a love for reading.

Bookish christmas gift guides

Bookish gifts for elementary aged children.

Elementary Books

My favorite authors from my childhood.

Last but not least, my children’s chapter book reviews (only two so far). Click on the images to go to the review.

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Happy reading!

❤ Annette

Books to Read for Spring

So I don’t have a ton of books to share today, but I wanted to give you some ideas of books that are perfect for spring! (Although in Arizona our seasons are “hot” and “hotter”, so “spring” doesn’t quite apply. :P)

(Links and images are affiliate links)

Wings Series by Aprilynne Pike

I picked up the second one in a Walmart bargain bin and I was hooked! I don’t know if reading the series out of order (2, 1, 3, 4) affected how much I love the series, but this series is tied with Julie Kagawa’s Iron Fey series for my favorite fairie novels. The fairies in these books each represent a season, so they’re not specifically “spring”, but when I think of fairies I think of gardens and flowers and that makes me think of spring. 🌷

   

The $64 Dollar Tomato by William Alexander

If you only ever read one book about gardening, this should be the one. It’s told in a style similar to that of Freakonomics – non-fiction through stories. You follow the author as he tries to have the perfect garden… which ends up being a lot harder than he had anticipated. It’s also written with humor, which hooked me. I read this when I was in junior high (per my mother’s reccommendation) and loved it. It also imparted some wisdom that I still think about today. They meant it to apply to gardening, but it can definitely be applied elsewhere. “When in doubt, do nothing. Either the problem will get so bad you know what to do, or it will resolve itself.” (Not an exact quote, just from my memory.) (Also, it’s not advocating for apathy or inaction. They just point out that sometimes it’s better to wait to make a clear decision.)

100 Flowers to Knit and Crochet by Leslie Stanfield

I mentioned this one in my post 5 Awesome Crochet Books and 5 More I Want to Read, but it’s definitely worth mentioning here as well. If you’re a knitter or crocheter and you want to decorate your home with lots of springy, floral touches, this book will help you out! So far I’ve only made four or five of the patterns, but they all turned out beautiful. 🙂

Sleeping Naked is Green by Vanessa Farquharson

The author decided to change one aspect of her life to be more “green”, every day for an entire year. This book follows her as she tries to do this, and pushes herself out of her comfort zone, to unplug her fridge, sell her car, join eco-groups, and much more. She also discusses a bit about after her experiment – what did she go back to, and what was it that it turned out she didn’t really miss?

What books remind you of spring? I’d love to hear about them. 🙂

❤ Annette

spring

Authors I Loved in Elementary School

For a large portion of my childhood I would find an author I loved, and then read every book they ever wrote. So a lot of these authors I have read a large majority of their books, except those that came out after elementary school. 🙂 Looking back I’m not sure if I would like all of their styles now, but I certainly enjoyed them when I was reading them.

I put the authors in alphabetical order (by last name), so I don’t have to try and put them in order from least favorite to most favorite. I’ve included pictures to four of my favorites from each author.

(Links and pictures are affiliate links)

Andrew Clements

If you haven’t read any of his books, you should, even if you’re an adult. They’re great! Frindle is probably his most famous, but The Report Card is my favorite. (The Janitor’s Boy comes in at a close second.)

   

Sharon Creech

Her books are quirky, and often told in uncommon formats. For example, Love That Dog is written in poems.
   

Roald Dahl

How can you make it through childhood without reading at least one of his books? They were so unique and fantastical. The only book of his I didn’t enjoy was his auto-biography. My favorites of his are The BFG and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
   

Gordon Korman

His Dive series is the first series I remember eagerly anticipating the release of the next book. Each of his books were short, but detailed, and kept me on the edge of my seat. As a child I read his Everest, Dive, Island, and On the Run series. When I got older I read Son of the Mob, and now as an adult I’m trying to catch up on the other books of his that I missed.

   

Ann M. Martin

The Babysitter’s Little Sister series were the first chapter books I ever read. I know I read at least the first 100 in the series before I got too old for it. Then I just moved on to The Babysitter’s Club.

   
Donald Sobol

His Encyclopedia Brown series is another favorite of mine. They contain short little mysteries that you as the reader can solve. I swear I remember a non-Encyclopedia Brown book of his too, but I can’t for the life of me find it. 😦

What were your favorite authors in elementary school? I loved taking a trip down memory lane, and I’m very tempted to pick up more books by these authors.

❤ AnnetteElementary Books

5 Awesome Crochet Books and 5 More I Want to Read

I haven’t been doing very much of it lately (no need for scarves in Phoenix), but I enjoy crocheting. Here are five great crochet books. If you’re an expert or have never crocheted before, you’ll like at least one of these.

(Pictures are affiliate links to Amazon)

Awesome Crochet Books


The Chicks with Sticks Guide to Crochet by Nancy Queen and Mary Ellen O’Connell

While my grandmother originally taught me to crochet, I forgot much of what she taught me, so this book is really what got me into the craft. They have great directions and projects for learning almost every stitch. I still keep it as a reference, and I’ve loved everything I’ve made from the book so far.

crochet4
Sheep I made using their pattern.


Crochet by DK 

This is a beautiful book. Even non-crocheters have enjoyed browsing through it (I keep it as a coffee table book). There are so many projects in here that I’m looking forward to completing. It is also more or less an encyclopedia for everything crochet, so that’s awesome.

Tasty Crochet by Rose Langlitz

This book has a ton of really cute foods you can make, from pop-tarts to ice cream cones to bacon. I made a bunch of them for my nephews’ kitchen set. The instructions are easy to follow. And did  mention the food turns out really cute?

A couple of foods I’ve made from this book. 🙂

100 Flowers to Knit and Crochet by Leslie Stanfield

It’s fun to make these flowers because they’re pretty quick and turn out quite beautiful. You can use these as appliques or in other applications. (There are 60 crochet patterns and 40 knit.)

Crochet1
A couple of the flowers


The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Amigurumi by June Gilbank

This is also a great crochet reference book. It goes through how to make many different 3-D shapes, and how to use that to create any amigurumi of your choice. It also goes through many different options like how to do fur/hair, how to do eyes, etc.

Crochet Books I Want to Read


Super-Super Cute Crochet by Brigitte Read

I own this book but haven’t made anything from it yet. Every thing in this book is as described – super, super cute.

Crobots by Nelly Pailloux

These crochet robots also look super cute and super creative.

Supersize Crochet by Sarah Shrimpton

I haven’t yet ventured into the chunky crochet realm, but book looks like it would be a great way to get into it.

Yummi ‘Gurumi by Christen Haden and Mariarosa Sala

Crocheting treats? Count me in! This book sounds like Tasty Crochet, but perhaps with slightly yummier options?

Twinkie Chan’s Crocheted Abode A La Mode by Twinkie Chan

While not always practical, everything Twinkie Chan makes is adorable. This book focuses on crocheted foods to use around your house!

Do you have any crochet book recommendations?

❤ Annette

Crochet Books

Romance Novel Recommendations

It’s almost Valentine’s Day! Romance is one of my favorite genres (young adult being the other), so this topic is right up my alley. If you’re a fan of romance novels, here are some of my favorites. I’ve also tried to rate their adult content to the best of my recollection.

Clicking on a picture will take you to Amazon through an affiliate link.

❤️🍰❤️ For Those with a Sweet Tooth ❤️🍰❤️

Bachelors of Buttermilk Falls series by Robyn Neely
Lots of sweets and a little bit of magic. (On screen adult content)

 

 

 

 

Love and Chocolate series by Beverly Farr
This series follows couple associated with a large chocolate corporation. (Implied adult content)
  

❤️🌟❤️ For Fairy Tale Fans ❤️🌟❤️

Cinder and Ella series by Kelly Oram
One of my all time favorite books ever. Even if you’re not a romance person, if you like young adult, you will probably enjoy these! (First book is clean, second focuses on adult theme but is still PG-13)
 

Once Upon a Marigold by Jean Farris
I’ve only read the first one, but it was a very cute fantasy romance. (Clean)

❤️💖❤️ Contemporary Romances ❤️💖❤️

Meet Your Match series by Rachael Anderson
I don’t know how to describe this series, except that it was super cute and very engaging. (Clean)
  

Sterling Canyon series by Jamie Beck
A series that takes place in ski country in Colorado. (On screen adult content)
   

Summer Wedding series by Beverly Farr
Another cute series with marriages of unusual circumstances. (Clean)
 

Weekday Brides series by Catherine Bybee
This series is full of adventure and extreme situations, which I found fun. (On screen adult content)
   

  

❤️💕❤️ Young Adult Romances ❤️💕❤️

Anna and the French Kiss series by Stephanie Perkins
A super cute series that follows American girls who go to school in France. (On screen adult content)
  

Jessica’s Guide to Dating on the Dark Side series by Beth Fantaskey
A paranormal romance for fans of Twilight. (Clean)
 

Letters to the Lost by Brigid Kemmerer
Another one of my all-time favorite books! (Clean)

Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles
I’ve only read the first one, but it was a great romance. School cheerleader meets gang member. (On screen adult content)

Significance by Shelly Crane
A paranormal romance. The main character meets her soulmate at the beginning of the series – the rest is them getting to know each other and fall in love. I loved it! There are many grammatical mistakes though, so if that’s going to bother you, be warned. (Clean)
     

❤️🕇❤️ Christian Romances ❤️🕇❤️

Lowcountry Romance series by Rachel Hauck
Probably some of the first romance novels I read. (Clean)
  
Maya Davis series by Erynn Mangum
The main character of this series is a coffee-aholic, choc-aholic, which is fantastic! (Clean)
  

Lauren Holbrook series by Erynn Mangum
The main character gets herself into all sorts of trouble trying to set up other couples. (Clean)
  

❤️🕯️❤️ Historical Romances❤️🕯️❤️

Archer Brothers by Karen Witemeyer
This Christian romance series takes place in the Old West. (Clean)
  
Warrior Maids of Rivenloch by Glynnis Campbell
This series follows a set of strong-willed sisters in medieval Scotland. (On screen adult content)
  

What are your favorite romances? I’d love some recommendations!

❤ Annette

Romance Recommendations

Guide to 2018 Book Challenges

I know we’re a month and a half in to 2018, but I still thought it’d be cool to share some of the reading challenges available this year. I’m only doing two myself,  Beat the Backlist! and Finishing the Series Challenge. (<–These links will take you to my posts for the challenges.) Even so, it’s a fun way to get ideas for books to read, or books to push you outside your comfort zone. Here are the links to the challenges I’ve found, as well as a brief description.

Around the Year in 52 Books on Goodreads

52 unique challenges, one for each week of the year.

Book Date Full House Reading Challenge

A five-by-five bingo board with fun challenges such as “new to you author from another country” and “non-fiction hobby book”.

Book Riot’s Read Harder Challenge

24 complex challenges such as “A children’s classic published before 1980” and “A book of genre fiction in translation.”

Caffeinated Book Reviewer’s Audiobook Challenge

A challenge designed to help you find audio books you love.

Celebrity Reader’s Finishing the Series

A fun, celebrity themed challenge to finish all those series you’ve started.

Cloak and Dagger Challenge at www.booksmoviesreviewsohmy.com

For those who enjoy reading mystery, thriller, crime, or suspense novels.

Library Love Challenge (hosted by Angel’s Guilty Pleasures and Brooke Blogs)

The goal is to read at least 12 books from you local library this year.

Melissa Hawkin’s Bada** Books Reading Challenge

18 books to read in 2018.

Modern Mrs. Darcy’s 2018 Reading Challenge

12 book challenges to meet the goal of reading amazing books.

Mommy Mannegren’s 2018 Reading Challenge

52 book challenges for the 52 weeks in the year.

Ms. NoseInABook’s Sword and Stars Reading Challenge

20 challenges specifically for those who love reading fantasy and science fiction.

Novel Night’s Beat the Backlist

The goal of this one is to read as many books published before 2018 as possible.

Popsugar’s 2018 Reading Challenge

This is a popular reading challenge designed to push you outside your comfort zone.

Read Along with Emilie Challenge

18 challenges (like “book set on the water” or “a family saga”) for 2018.

Socrates’ Book Reviews’ What an Animal Reading Challenge

A reading challenge for animal lovers.

Reading Challenges

50 Literary Dog Name Ideas

Back in November I adopted my first dog ever. Before I finally settled on her name (Daisy), I had a lot to contemplate. I thought it would be fun to put together a list of ideas for literary dog names! Most I came up with on my own, but I also used this article for some ideas. 🙂 The series or book it comes from is in parentheses if it isn’t immediately obvious from the name.

FullSizeRender (3)
Because I can, here’s a picture of my dog. Aren’t her eyebrows wild?

From Novels

  1. Fluffy (from Harry Potter)
  2. Fang (from Harry Potter)
  3. Bumbersnoot (from Finishing School)
  4. Lassie
  5. Toto (from Wizard of Oz)
  6. Tock (from The Phantom Toll Booth)
  7. Shiloh
  8. Old Yeller
  9. Winn-Dixie
  10. Marley
  11. Achoo (from Beka Cooper)
  12. Tahoi (from Beka Cooper)

From Children’s Books

  1. Scooby Doo
  2. Spot
  3. Clifford
  4. Biscuit
  5. Poky
  6. Snoopy
  7. Santa Paws
  8. Harry (from Harry the Dirty Dog)
  9. Skippyjon Jones (he’s actually a cat, but he thinks he’s a dog…)
  10. Mudge (from Henry and Mudge)

Names of Other Creatures in Books

  1. Pookie Bear (from Penryn and the End of Days)
  2. Faithful (from Song of the Lioness)
  3. Anatole
  4. Charlotte (from Charlotte’s Web)
  5. Wilbur (from Charlotte’s Web)
  6. Stewart (from Stewart Little)
  7. Hedwig (from Harry Potter)
  8. Pete (from Pete the Cat)
  9. Pounce (from Beka Cooper)
  10. Nawat (from Daughter of the Lioness)
  11. Darkness (from Song of the Lioness)
  12. Spots (from Immortals)
  13. Frostfur (from Immortals)
  14. Ren (from Tiger Saga)
  15. Kishan (from Tiger Saga)

Other Literary Name Ideas

  1. Rogue (from Talon)
  2. Ember (from Talon)
  3. Tula (from Tin Star)
  4. Storm (from Elementals)
  5. Spirit (from Elementals)
  6. Secret (from Elementals)
  7. Lola (from Lola and the Boy Next Door)
  8. Cricket (from Lola and the Boy Next Door)
  9. Ruff… er… Raffe (from Penryn and the End of Days)
  10. Ash (from Iron Fey)
  11. Puck (from Midsummer Night’s Dream)
  12. Laurel (from Wings)
  13. Harry Pawter (or Harry Pupper) 😀

Bonus! Name from the TV Show Friends

(This isn’t related at all, but I thought it was fun. :D)

  1. Muttsarella
  2. LaPooh
  3. Chi Chi
  4. Clunkers
  5. Chappy

What literary dog names did I miss? What’s your favorite from this list?

❤ Annette

Dog Names