UP!–My First Book of 2017


I’m not sure if I’ve ever mentioned here that I don’t really place much significance on the shifting from one year to the next other than prepping a new datebook and having to remember to change the number when filling out documents like bank checks. Now, if you’ve followed this blog for a while, you are well aware of what an organizational nerd I can be, so you can imagine what I do to a datebook with all the color-coding and reminders and such. It’s a project, for sure, so it’s not like it’s something I actually look forward to, but over the past few years the ONE thing I do look forward to as a new year begins is the annual meme that Sheila at Book Journey hosts: “First Book of the Year.”

Not only does it push me to pick my next book to read and be sure I’m reading it as the date changes over, but it’s SO much fun getting to see all the pics Sheila’s blog followers send in of them with their “first book” picks. I’m glad I blog about it, too ’cause I get to look back at my previous picks from 2014, 2015 and 2016 😎 😀 .

You may recall that at the 2016 Princeton Book Festival in September, I very selectively chose to purchase a few novels—all of them worth owning, for sure! They stand at my bedside waiting their turn so whenever I glance their way and they see that “Who’s next?” look in my eyes, aching to read all of them, they wave their pages frantically and scream “Pick me! ME this time!” only to settle down as I pick up the book I’m already reading.

Last week when I knew I had to choose, you should’ve heard the ruckus as I sat there deliberating. Their pleas were deafening and I was sure a cover or two would escape their bindings to flap in my face like runway flags to gain my attention. The decision was a tough one, but it seems that one book in particular, just as it had grabbed me the first time I heard its title and lay my eyes on its mesmerizing cover—grabbed me again. I found it irresistible, and even more so when I’d read its first chapter, having been captured by the story and was completely smitten by its voice. Reading Kelly Barnhill‘s The Girl Who Drank the Moon is a wonderful way to start 2017 😀 Seriously, is this stunning or what?…



So, tell me—since I’d LOVE to know—what will you be reading as 2017 begins?…





rocket-ship-for-blog-postIn the movie “The Martian,” (based on the novel by Andy Weir), the Mars base of a 6-man crew of astronauts is about to be hit by a super-storm* which threatens to breach the Hab** (their living space) and tip the MAV*** (small rocket ship). If the Hab ruptures, they die. If the MAV tips, they can’t launch and, you guessed it — they die. Their most important goal is to return to Earth safely, so they are forced to scrub their exploratory mission and escape the red planet. Something happens Continue reading

UP!–Princeton Children’s Book Festival 2016!


Poster Art by Greg Pizzoli

It may have been a drizzly morning, but it didn’t dampen the mood and prep for what would be yet another abundantly successful 2016 Princeton Children’s Book Festival. This being my fourth year attending, with each festival I’ve become a more seasoned veteran, leading to my being that much more organized.

Last year was the first year I’d figured out, before hand, which books I was going to buy because there’s a “pocketbook problem” when you “buy on the fly.” If I hadn’t narrowed it down, I would’ve given into purchasing ALL the books I wanted! Having had that color-coded (tents), numbered (tables) strategy in place, I executed the same thing this year, only this time my charts were even more refined to help the day go as smoothly as possible. And, yes, I know how persnickety I am with such things  😉 . Also, I have to include my standard apology for the “less than clear” photos. There are only a few! 🙂 Continue reading

UP!–Winners of My Blogversary Giveaway


Well, it’s been quite a whirlwind of activity for me lately, but largely joyful stuff, I must say, so I’m not complaining 🙂  I’ve just been BUSY! Between prepping for the Princeton Book Festival and actually attending it, unexpectedly going to Books of Wonder the following day (I’ll be blogging about both!), various appointments and family visiting, my “dance card” had been full 😎

I’m really looking forward to sharing the two big events with you, which also means two big blog posts, but before I dig into composing them, I wanted to announce the random winners of my little “Blogversary” giveaway 🙂 Continue reading

UP!–It’s Int’l #DotDay 2016, everyone! :D

Peter&Paul-YouTube-DEN Dot Day

Well, gang, it’s one of my favorite times of year again 😀 Yep, as you can plainly see — unless, of course, the post title and this little image of Peter and Paul Reynolds somehow escaped you  😉 — it’s International Dot Day!

Once I launched my blog, I was able to participate in this worthwhile event, so I made dots—most gleefully—in 2014 and 2015. Since I first learned about it, having interviewed Terry Shay, the creator of the celebration, I was compelled to make my mark, so here I am, my third year in, with another dot  😎 Continue reading