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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Book Review: Tortall: A Spy’s Guide by Tamora Pierce

Book also by Julie Holderman, Timothy Liebe, and Megan Messinger

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Summary

This book takes place after the events of all of Tamora Pierce’s Tortall books so far. If you haven’t read them yet, you should! They’re all like my favorite books ever. The series are Song of the Lioness, The Immortals, Protector of the Small, and The Daughter of the Lioness. (affiliate links) It is a collection of papers found in George Cooper’s trunk, which means there are a lot of cool things in this book such as:

  • Details on how the spy system of Tortall is set up
  • Letters from Ali and Thom’s childhood
  • Bios of characters throughout the series
  • Accounts of the food served at feasts
  • Killing machine reports
  • How Lord Sir Wyldon of Cavall became training master
  • Daine’s immortal notes
  • Dimplomat’s Guide to Tortall (including holidays celebrated in the country)
  • Nealan of Queenscove’s poetry
  • A timeline of Tortall up to 463 H.E.

What I Liked

  • Tortall is probably my favorite fictional land ever. So I loved every second I spent reading this book. It was great to see a lot of the behind-the-scenes stuff that happened during the different series.
  • This book is beautiful. It’s put together like a collection of papers, so some of them have cup rings or ink splots or (images of) wax seals and lots of other cool stuff. I love books like this that are in a slightly different format, or appear to be more of a hand-written collection than a book.
  • The timeline was fantastic – now I finally know the ages of each character at any given point in time, which was always sort of an estimate for me. If you haven’t read the series yet, I wouldn’t read this book though, because the timeline includes everything.
  • I loved the sections with sketches – the bios of different side characters, and Daine’s notes on immortals.

What I Didn’t Like

  • The thing that Alanna reveals at the very beginning of the book isn’t discussed at all for the rest of the book. 😦 The timeline doesn’t go that far either, so I guess we’ll just have to hope that Tamora Pierce writes about it in another series? 😀 😀
  • Because this is more or less a reference to Tortall, it could be a little dry at times. I loved it because I love all of Tortall, but if you’re not as big of a fan, maybe it wouldn’t hold your attention.

In Conclusion

Someone buy this book for me? 😀 If you’re a fan of Tamora Pierce’s Tortall, you’ll love this book. And if you’re not a fan of Tortall, you clearly haven’t read her books – so go read them!

Find it on: Goodreads | Amazon (affiliate link)

(affiliate link)

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

DIY I Spy Bottle

In honor of children’s book week, I’ve got a craft based on Jean Marzollo and Walter Wick’s I Spy books. The craft itself isn’t unique (I’ve seen in everywhere on Pinterest), but I thought it’d be fun to try making one of my own!

Materials:

Clear bottle or jar with lid or cap
Uncooked rice
Assorted miniature items
Funnel
Glue

  • You will want to clean out your bottle or jar a couple days ahead of time to give it a chance to dry. I recommend plastic since the toy is for children and plastic is more durable. However, glass does look prettier, so it’s really up to you. I used a Pepsi bottle because it was clear and didn’t have extra indentations on it.
  • There are a lot of great ways to find miniature items. Keep in mind you want them to fit through the neck of the bottle! I found alphabet beads and pony beads at the craft store, which is where I got fun shapes/items like a turtle, dog, cat, fish, etc. I also had pieces from disassembled jewelry I found at a rummage sale (that’s where the peppers came from), as well as some fun shaped buttons. You could also use objects like pencil toppers.

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Directions:

  1. Choose everything you are going to put in the bottle (sans rice) and lay it out nicely. Take a picture. If you are giving this to a child who can’t read, they will want a picture of items they can find in the bottle. If the child can read you can reference the picture to type up a list of what is in the bottle.
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  2. Stick a funnel in the top of your bottle. If you don’t have a funnel, you can cut the lid off of a soda bottle and use that. I taped mine on so I didn’t have to hold it.

    IMG_7945
    You can see all the escaped rice from when I tried to do this without a funnel…
  3. Pour a little bit of rice (3/4-1 inch) into the bottle.
  4. Add a couple of trinkets/miniatures.
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  5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 until the bottle is filled, doing your best to space the miniatures throughout the bottle.
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  6. Place the cap on the bottle and try shaking it to see if you can uncover any items. If this is difficult, pour out a little rice to allow the objects to move more freely. Repeat until the bottle is fun to play with.
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  7. I highly suggest gluing the cap on. Because mine was going to a house with toddlers, I wanted to ensure that the cap couldn’t come off and the choking hazards (the miniatures) would not become available.
  8. Print out your picture of the items, or list of the items, and include it with the I Spy bottle.

Older children may want to find specific items in the jar (find all the letters in their name, find the alphabet in order, find the orange dog, etc.), and younger children may just want to shake it to see what they uncover. Either way it should be a good boredom buster. It’s also a fun activity to match with the I Spy books. I have yet to meet a child who doesn’t like reading them! (My favorite was I Spy School Days [affiliate link])

Have you made an I Spy bottle? How did it go? What kind of objects did you use?

❤ Annette

ispy jar (1)

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

DIY Hungry Caterpillar Bracelet

In honor of children’s book week, I’ve got a craft based on Eric Carle’s The Very Hungry Caterpillar. It was one of my favorites growing up and now my nephews love it too.

Materials:

10 mm ceramic red beads
10 mm green beads
.5 mm elastic thread
Yellow puff paint
Black puff paint
Scissors
Super glue (optional)

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Directions:

Making the Caterpillar’s Head

(I would suggest making two or three, then choosing the best one for your bracelet. These are hard because they’re so small! It’s also useful to keep tissues or paper towels on hand, so you can wipe the puff paint off if you make a mistake.)

  1. Use yellow puff paint to add two large eyes to a ceramic red bead.
    IMG_7862
  2. Use black puff paint to add a pupil to each eye. I found this easier when the yellow was still wet.
  3. Use black puff paint to add antennae.

    IMG_7869
    This wasn’t the final one – his expression is pretty wonky 😛
  4. Place bead hole-down so it doesn’t roll. Let dry.

Making the Bracelet

  1. Determine how big you want your bracelet to be. I used the size chart here.
  2. Measure a length of your elastic that is twice as long as the desired bracelet, plus a few inches. So if you want to make a toddler bracelet that’s 5 inches around, measure 13 inches. ((5*2)+3=13) Cut the elastic at this length.
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  3. String one green bead on to the elastic and slide it so it is exactly in the middle. You can do this by holding both ends of the elastic together.
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  4. Now, string the next green bead through both ends of the elastic. Repeat for all green beads, until you reach the desired length. Don’t forget to save a spot for the red bead!
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  5. When the head bead is dry, string it on both strings of the elastic as well.
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  6. String one end of the elastic back through the original bead.
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  7. Tie both ends of the elastic together, two or three times.
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  8. I don’t trust elastic to hold, so I always add a dab of super glue to the knot.
  9. Trim the ends of the elastic.

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Voila! Now you have an adorable Hungry Caterpillar bracelet!

I do want to note that the beads can be a choking hazard, so be careful who you give these to.

If your child loves The Very Hungry Caterpillar, they also may like: (affiliate links)

 

 

 

❤ Annette

caterpillar bracelet

May 2018 TBR

So I read 9 books in April… think I can do the same in May? Here are the ones I hope to read:

(Clicking on a picture will take you to Amazon through an affiliate link. Links are affiliate links as well.)

More Than We Can Tell by Brigid Kemmerer

Sooo excited to read this one! I loved the first book, Letters to the Lost, and I love anything by this author in general.

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot

This has been on my TBR for a while and I was able to check it out as an eBook from my local library.

Never Split the Difference by Chris Voss

This was highly recommended by a friend and it looks awesome.


Will & Whit by Laura Gulledge

I found this graphic novel while wandering through the library.

The Beginner’s Guide to Dog Agility by Laurie Leach

My dog needs the exercise and certainly has the energy and bounciness to do agility. Enter this book. 😛

Changeless by Gail Carriger

Book two in the Parasol Protectorate series.

Blameless by Gail Carriger

Book three in the Parasol Protectorate series.


Rules of Attraction by Simone Elkeles

Sequel to Perfect Chemistry, which I read ages ago.

All Summer Long by Melody Carlson

Another sequel. Also, it’s hot enough outside that I feel like I need a good summer read.

What do you plan on reading this month?

❤ Annette

April 2018 TBR (1)

Month in Review – April 2018

I read quite a bit this month, yay! At the beginning of this month I made it my goal to read 100 pages a day for a week, and that got me out of my slump. And now I’m back on the reading track! Here’s a summary of my bookish activity for this month. I will be linking up to bookdate.blogspot.com.

April MIR

Total Books Read: 9

Books Read

(The links below are affiliate links to Amazon.)

The Jerk Magnet by Melody Carlson
It Had to Be Him by Tamra Baumann
It Had to Be Love by Tamra Baumann
It Had to Be Fate by Tamra Baumann
It Had to Be Them by Tamra Baumann
Tortall: A Spy’s Guide by Tamora Pierce, et al.
Not Quite Dating by Catherine Bybee
Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser (this was the oldest on my TBR!!!)
Soulless by Gail Carriger

Book Formats

Hardcover – 1
eBook – 8

Book Genres

Young Adult – 2
Romance – 5
Fantasy – 1
Non-fiction – 1

New to Me Authors

Eric Schlosser

Top Book for April

Tortall: A Spy’s Guide by Tamora Pierce, et al.

I hope your April was as book-filled as mine! Let me know how it went!

❤ Annette

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

New on the Stack April 2018

I got a library card this month! 🎉🎉 I also feel like I read more than usual, so you’ll see a lot of books added to my stack this month!

Next to each book I give a short explanation why I chose to pick up that particular book. (Clicking on the picture of each book will take you to the book’s Amazon page, through an affiliate link.)

Borrowed from Friends

Parasol Protectorate series by Gail Carriger, books 3-5
I read book one, so naturally I need the next in the series!

The Custard Protocol series by Gail Carriger, books 1 and 2
This is the series after the Parasol Protectorate, so my friend lent me these as well.

More Than We Can Tell by Brigid Kemmerer
I loved loved loved the first book in this series, Letters to the Lost. So I am sooo excited to read this one! Plus, pretty much everything Brigid Kemmerer writes is awesome.

Purchased eBook

Bandwidth by Eliot Peper
I don’t remember why I have this one. Is it an Amazon First read for the month?

The Best Friend by Melody Carlson
This is a series I started years ago that I’m trying to tackle. This is book two.

1984 by George Orwell
This was tied with Fast Food Nation and Hitchiker’s Guide to the Galaxy for oldest on my TBR. I’ve tackled those, so it’s time to tackle this one as well!

Understanding Dog Language by Aude Yvanes
Because I know nothing about dogs and now that I have one, I want to know everything.

Quirk Books Entertains Your Kids by Raising Quirk
It was free and looked cute?

 

Borrowed eBook Through Kindle Unlimited

It Had to Be… series by Tamra Baumann
Another series I wanted to finish.

Not Quite series by Catherine Bybee (books 1 and 2)
This looked cute and I liked some of Catherine Bybee’s other novels.

Remedial Rocked Science by Susannah Nix
This looks super cute and totally up my alley. (A nerd romance, as far as I can tell.)

Not Nice by Dr. Aziz Gazipura
Caught my eye while I was wandering Amazon, so I downloaded it.

Insane Energy for Lazy People by Andrii Sedniev
This is another one that caught my eye.

The Homemade Dog Biscuits Cookbook by Martha Stephenson
It might be fun to make dog biscuits for my schnoodle. But then again, I don’t cook for myself, so we’ll see how this works out…

Ella’s Twisted Senior Year by Amy Sparling
This looked cute too? Apparently I’ve spent too much time wandering around Amazon this month. 😛

Ms. Marvel Volume 1: No normal by G. Wilson, Adrian Alphona, and Sara Pichelli
This one has been on my TBR for a while. I’m trying to mix up different reading formats, so a graphic novel definitely fills that.

Borrowed eBook Through cloudLibrary

Soulless by Gail Carriger
I loved her Finishing School series, so it was time for me to pick this one up!


The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
This was reccommended to me forever ago, and now I’m finally picking it up.

Hello Sunshine by Laura Dave
I thought it might be fun to read this for a summery sort of feel, but I don’t think I’m going to get to it with everything else I have.

Borrowed Physical Book from Library

All Summer Long by Melody Carlson
Another series I’m trying to finish.

Tortall: A Spy’s Guide by Tamora Pierce
Have I mentioned that Tamora Pierce is one of my favorite authors? This was the first book I picked up and checked out with my brand new library card. And I read it within a day. ❤

Perfect Scoundrels by Ally Carter
This, and the next three, are all for series that I’m trying to finish

Rules of Attraction by Simon Elkeles


See How They Run by Ally Carter


Goddess Boot Camp by Tara Childs


Never Split the Difference by Chris Voss
A friend of mine recommends this one highly, and I’ve seen how it helps her negotiate. I can’t wait to read this one!

 

What books did you pick up this month?

❤ Annette

March NOS (1)