Top Ten Tuesday: Authors I Can’t Believe I Met at SEYA Fest

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

SEYAThe Southeastern Young Adult Book Festival has become one of my favorite festivals in just two years. The event is super well-run and the authors have been amazing. Even with 2-3 days of events, they have been (almost) unfailingly friendly, funny, and and really inspiring. I’ve enjoyed meeting all of them, but here are a few stand-outs!

Maggie StiefvaterIMG_0101

There are not words for how cool Maggie Stiefvater is. She has rockstar style, writes swoon-worthy words, creates haunting music, raises a farm, and fixes/drives/decorates growlly cars. I was in complete shock about getting to meet her at the inaugural SEYA Fest. (I almost cried. But I didn’t. I did fangirl a lot.) She was hilarious and insightful and amazing.

Lauren Oliver

I read Before I Fall in high school, long before it became a huge movie, so meeting Lauren Oliver was a very cool feeling. She intro’d Replica at a panel and I just Continue reading

Top Ten TBR Books from SEYA Fest 2017

This weekend, I attended the free community day of Southeastern Young Adult Book Festival in Murfreesboro, TN. I attended the inaugural festival last year and was so delighted to go back this year! I talked to nearly all of the authors, who were all very kind. Here are the books that I’ve now added to my TBR! [Note: I’m not counting the authors I already follow–the new Adam Silvera & Becky Albertalli books have been on my TBR for ages. :D]

In no particular order:

 How to be Brave & The Best Possible Answer by E. Katherine Kottaras

Bravery felt like a bit of a theme at this festival. Both of these books address how teenage girls handle difficult circumstances–a mother’s death and a nude photo scandal. Both ideas are very real-to-life and I’m curious to see how Kottaras handles them.

Suffer Love by Ashley Herring Blake

What happens if the children of parents who are unfaithful together fall in love? (Ashley did a better job explaining that idea…) Supposedly this is sort of a Romeo/Juliet type tale, but I’m most interested in watching two teenagers navigate the effects of infidelity together.

The Secret Horses of Briar Hill by Megan Shepherd

It’s about horses and all of the authors keep gushing about how sweet and beautiful it is, so I definitely want to read this soon. 🙂

None of the Above by I. W. Gregorio

I’ve heard great things about this book for a long time, but I never paid much attention. I’ll admit, as Ilene complained at SE-YA, that like most people I had no idea what intersex was and assumed Continue reading

Top Ten Tuesday: Classics I Love

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

This week is a freebie week, so I chose to talk about my favorite classics! As I’ve explained before, I’m using the term “classic” loosely to mean anything in the recommended canon of literature (what you might read in English class).


Ben-Hur is one of the first classics I read (6th grade, I think) and it was a good introduction. It’s a bit heavy on the history and description, but also contains lots of intrigue and romance, so I didn’t mind too much.

The Count of Monte-Cristo

Read this back to back with Ben-Hur on a dare from my now-husband. The juxtaposition made an interesting study in revenge stories. Continue reading

Top Ten Tuesday: Recently Added to My TBR list

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

I’m not sure this is a good topic for me, because I tend to use my TBR list for more obscure stuff. I’ve addressed this before, but I’m normally so close to the YA or fantasy genres that I don’t need a list to remember what I want to read. So my TBR list is just the stuff I wouldn’t remember.

So I’m mixing this one – 5 from my actual TBR list and 5 from the TBR stacks sitting around my house. It seems fair.

When Breath Becomes Air – Paul Kalanithi

This was a recommendation from Brain Pickings, the thought-provoking weekly email from Maria Popova. Full of ruminations on death, life, literature, and biology, it promises to be a deep read.

How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Power of Character – Paul Tough

Read an article about this book in….Farnam Street, I think. Based on the title, I think I already agree with him, so maybe his book will give me some scientific arguments for what I already think. Continue reading

Top Ten Tuesday: Gateway Books/Authors

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. I didn’t like this week’s topic, so I picked an old one. Basically, these are some of the books/authors that hooked me on reading or particular genres. Frankly, I don’t remember a lot about when I started reading (around 7, I’m told), so these are just books I remember really enjoying as a child.

Lloyd Alexander

My dad is actually the one who recommended Lloyd Alexander to me, thereby introducing me to my favorite author (I did name my blog after his character….). From Prydain to Westmark to the Gawgon, Alexander’s writing entranced me, his characters spoke to me, and his stories lifted me up. Most of his books are written for children, but not at children. They are smart, funny, and aware in the innocently skeptical way kids are. And his female characters are….real. They are not “strong female characters.” They are dynamic, intelligent, inquisitive, hurt, annoying, fierce girls who felt like someone I would want to be.


A Little Princess

This is the first book I remember loving. I don’t know how many times I’ve read it. I’ve watched countless movie versions in much frustration. And I have no idea how many hours I spent recreating and fantasizing about this book in daydreams. It remains one of my favorite children’s classics, and one I ought to revisit. If you’re wondering, my absolute favorite adaptation is the 1986 film series.

Critically thinking, the story is somewhat unrealistic and certainly moralistic, but I refuse to allow analysis to remove the magic.

Marguerite Henry

If you don’t know, Marguerite Henry authored a multitude of horse books, including Misty of Chincoteague and King of the Wind. I read every single book of hers in our library. My favorites were King of the Wind, Guadenzia, Pride of the Palio, White Stallion of Lipizza, Mustang, Wild Spirit of the West, San Domingo, the Medicine Hat Stallion, and One Man’s Horse. Her books are very educational about horses, history, and geography. For a crazy horse girl (as most middle school girls seem to be), her books were perfect.

Asimov’s Robot stories (sci-fi)

What better introduction to science fiction than one of the top 3 authors from the Golden Age of Science Fiction? Asimov’s Robot stories were a particularly good beginning for me. I love psychology and logic, so his combination of the two created an irresistible style and world. Asimov was a genius and everyone should read some of his work. (The Robot world is introduced in short stories, mostly, making it a good place to start.)

Agatha Christie (mystery)

I’ll admit, I haven’t read much Christie. But I made the effort to acquaint myself with Murder on the Orient Express and And Then There Were None (arguably her most notable works) and Continue reading

Top Ten Books I Read This Year!

This is a Broke & Bookish topic from a few weeks ago, but I waited, since I wasn’t done with 2015 reading yet!

My booklist spreadsheet says I’ve read 80 books this year, but I didn’t keep good track during the summer and early fall, so it’s an estimation. For a year in which I graduated, got married, moved 3 times, started a new job, and completed a semester of grad school, I think that’s a respectable number, if a little lower than usual.

In no specific order….

Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton

I didn’t know Jurassic Park was a book until a friend told me and I was fascinated. My school library actually had it and let me tell you, I spent 48 hours in breathless terror, Continue reading

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Wouldn’t Mind Santa Leaving Under My Tree This Year

This is a difficult tag for me to do, since I just buy all the books I want 😛

Ok, not all. But I have bought a ton of books recently. Here are a few that would be lovely for Christmas. [List is not in order of want/importance. That’s too hard.] Continue reading