I Got to See John & Hank Green (aka the oddest book event I’ve ever been to)

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I’ve written a little bit (okay a lot) about John Green and how the vlogbrothers Youtube series is an important part of my life. I love John’s books, but more I love listening to him and his brother talk about writing, about mental illness, about family and life and everything from llamas to angler fish (more on angler fish in a moment). I don’t want to be too mushy gushy, but I think watching their conversation has helped me tremendously in the weird process of figuring out how to adult and how to deal with hard things instead of avoiding them. It’s not as big a part of my life right now as it always has been, but this is all to say I was VERY EXCITED about John’s new book and the fact I’d get to see John and Hank live at Town Hall in Manhattan last week.  Continue reading “I Got to See John & Hank Green (aka the oddest book event I’ve ever been to)”

Friends with Books!

The Forest QueenThrough blogging and grad school, I’ve collected a few friends who are now published authors (some are even a few books deep). While I’m still waiting … waiting … waiting for my writing career to advance, I’ve been delighted by a lot of good news in the last few months for my friends and their books. Two pieces of good – no great – news are still unannounced, so I’ll keep those to myself for now. But in the meantime, here’s some book news that’s keeping me extra happy!

My friend from Smith/the Internet, Betsy Cornwell’s cover for her feminist Robin Hood retelling was revealed on Book Riot revealed on Book Riot today! Tides, Mechanica, and Venturess have all been instant favorites for me, but I’ve never read a Robin Hood retelling and The Forest Queen one sounds like it might be the best one yet. Also with a cover this beautiful, how could it not be amazing? I particularly love the owl at the top!  Continue reading “Friends with Books!”

Seven Life Lessons from Sense and Sensibility


1. Dating (or courting if you prefer) is so hard: “The more I know of the world, the more I am convinced that I shall never see a man whom I can really love. I require so much!”

2. Sometimes shyness is interpreted as rudeness (and visa versa): “I never wish to offend, but I am so foolishly shy, that I often seem negligent, when I am only kept back by my natural awkwardness.”

3. Alone time is important, especially when you’re feeling all the feels: “Eleanor went to her room where she was free to think and be wretched.”

4. Get you a man, who can appreciate the autumn foliage: “It is not everyone,’ said Elinor, ‘who has your passion for dead leaves.”

5. Happiness means different things to different people: “I wish, as well as everybody else, to be perfectly happy; but, like everybody else, it must be in my own way.”

6. Just to reiterate, dating is really really really hard: “If I could but know his heart, everything would become easy.”

7. For god’s sake, listen to your sister when she says it’s going to rain: 

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But for serious, this book has so many important lessons about love and sisters being THE BEST and not living too much in your logical mind or emotional mind. There are so many things about Elinor and Marianne that feel scarily relevant to life now. 

Happy Labor Day!


Hi friends and happy Labor Day! This year is my first Labor Day as a union member, so that feels kind of extra special. I’m the only person I know (outside of my family) who gets excited about this holiday. In fact, it is one of my favorites! Why? Because we had a visitor in the night. A long standing family tradition of the Great Samuel Gompers bringing books in the night. And, as you can see, he came again last night (with a little help from my mom). My roommates aren’t home yet, but tune in later today to find out what books Gompers brought to us all! Continue reading “Happy Labor Day!”

Nine Life Lessons from Jane Eyre

160315_BOOKS_Charlotte-Brontë.jpg.CROP.promo-xlarge21. Maintain your freedom: “I am no bird; and no net ensnares me: I am a free human being with an independent will.”

2. How you feel is more important than looking respectable: “I would always rather be happy than dignified.”  

3. Ugly people have feelings too: “Do you think, because I am poor, obscure, plain, and little, I am soulless and heartless? You think wrong! — I have as much soul as you — and full as much heart! And if God had gifted me with some beauty and much wealth, I should have made it as hard for you to leave me, as it is now for me to leave you.

4. Loving yourself is important: “If all the world hated you and believed you wicked, while your own conscience approved of you and absolved you from guilt, you would not be without friends.”

5. Like it’s really really really important: care for myself. The more solitary, the more friendless, the more unsustained I am, the more I will respect myself.”

6. You don’t have to listen to people because they are older: “I do not think, sir, you have any right to command me, merely because you are older than I, or because you have seen more of the world than I have; your claim to superiority depends on the use you have made of your time and experience.”

7. Something isn’t right just because everyone else is doing it: “Conventionality is not morality. Self-righteousness is not religion. To attack the first is not to assail the last.”

8. Try not to hold grudges: “Life appears to me too short to be spent in nursing animosity or registering wrongs.”

9. When it comes to flirting, use it or lose it: “Flirting is a woman’s trade, one must keep in practice.”


Sarah Dessen & Jenny Han & Jennifer E. Smith … Oh my!

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A very happy book blogger, at Books of Wonder last night!

Did you see what I was trying to do there in the title with the Wizard of Oz reference? No? Oh well, moving on with my geeky self. Last night, was like nonsexual YA orgy of amazingness. I got to go to my favorite bookstore and see/meet three favorite authors. The crowd and energy in the room was nuts. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen more folks come out to Books of Wonder before. I got their half an hour early and was apparently the 70th person there … bananas! Continue reading “Sarah Dessen & Jenny Han & Jennifer E. Smith … Oh my!”

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.”

Continue reading “Eight Life Lessons from The Hunger Games Series”

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 “Book Boyfriends”

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 “Keep YA Kind ?”