Links Galore

Some good links I’ve been saving:

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Actually Read (and Liked!) Because of a Recommendation

Confession: I’m the worst at getting book recommendations. My reading list is already so long and I read more by feel than by a particular order–if I finish a YA contemp, maybe I’ll feel like a sci-fi middle grade after it, who knows?! Plus I get weirdly obstinate when people tell I “need to write” a particular book. Even if I know I’ll like it and I trust the person who’s recommending it, I don’t want my reading habits to be tied to any particular person.

That said, there are some books I (eventually) read that I can remember someone specifically recommending to me. And I actually ended up really enjoying them! So I’m joining this week’s Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by the Broke and the Bookish, to share my list of ten books that I read because of a recommendation. In no particular order:

Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen
I never would have come across Garden Spells on my own, but a couple of librarian friends highly recommended it. Now I’ve read several of Addison Allen’s books and love them!

The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale
I can’t remember if a friend recommended this to me or actually gave me a copy, but either way, it was my introduction to Hale and her beautiful storytelling.

The Chosen by Chaim Potok
A friend in high school recommended this to me, and I adore this story of fathers and sons and love and letting go.

The Boy Detective Fails by Joe Meno
Walt found this quirky and sad book almost by chance, and passed it onto me afterward. We both ended up really enjoying Meno’s writing.

Daughter of Smoke & Bone by by Laini Taylor
I think I was the last person to read this. One of my crit partners let me borrow her copy, and I finished it over a weekend.

Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri
This is kind of a double recommendation, since a friend in high school recommended it to me after a teacher recommended it to her. Still one of my favorite short story collections.

Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt
I remember a friend in fifth grade mentioning Babbitt, and this ended up being one of my all-time favorites.

Lumberjanes by Noelle Stevenson, Grace Ellis, and Shannon Watters
I mostly get my graphic novel recommendations from librarian friends. This one is at the top of my favorites list!

The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
A friend bought a copy for me, which is good because I probably wouldn’t have thought to pick it up otherwise. Ended up loving it and rereading it a couple of times.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling
I know, right?! I remember seeing the hardcover at my local Barnes & Noble when I was in like 9th grade and thinking, Oh, that sounds interesting, but I only had money for one hardcover that day and basically forgot about the boy wizard. Then my mom got a copy when she was travelling, read it in a day, and brought it back for me. We devoured the next two, and the rest of the series as they came out.

What books have you read because of a recommendation? Comment below or share your own post for this week’s Top Ten Tuesday!

Links Galore

All the links I’ve been saving:

Friday Fifteen

Happy Friday, guys! This weekend I’m doing a writing retreat with my crit group, so I’m psyched for a weekend of fun and productivity (and not only wearing sweatshirts and yoga pants). Let’s get things started with a look at what I’ve been reading and writing in fifteen words or fewer.

ReadingWonder by R.J. Palacio
I’m like the last person to read this, but so sensitive and touching.

Writing: I’m running faster than I have in months and I could run forever.
Protagonist in the new draft is on the upswing.


Happy Birthday, E.B White!

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This is one of my all time favorite quotes, and it feels like a pretty appropriate one to share on E.B. White’s birthday. (He would have been 118!) Thanks to a writer who brought us such a thoughtful, compelling story, and possibly the only spider I will ever like.

(Original photo by dixieroadrash)

Summer Solstice Reading List


Photo: Sunset by Martin

“Do you ever wait for the longest day of the year and then miss it? I always wait for the longest day of the year and then miss it!”–F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

Happy Summer Solstice, everyone! In case you’re not up on your astronomy, this is when the northern hemisphere of the earth is most tilted toward the sun, giving us the most daylight of the year. (Summer hemisphere friends, this happens for you in December.) This year the solstice coincides with the Strawberry Moon, aka June’s full moon. Lots of cool stuff going on in the sky today!

 It also marks the beginning of summer, which feels like a great day to share some of my suggestions for summery reading. In ascending order of target age of reader:

  • The Penderwicks: A Summer Tale of Four Sisters, Two Rabbits, and a Very Interesting Boy by Jeanne Birdsall
    Cozy and clever story of sisters on summer vacation.
  • Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt
    Life and death and eternity, all on the hottest day of the year.
  • A Ring of Endless Light by Madeleine L’Engle
    The most famous of the Austin family novels, about grief and hope and dolphins.
  • Lumberjanes, Vol. 1: Beware the Kitten Holy by Noelle Stevenson, Grace Ellis, Shannon Watters, and Brooke A. Allen
    I never went to summer camp, but I want to sign up for  Miss Qiunzilla Thiskwin Penniquiqul Thistle Crumpet’s camp for hard-core lady-types.
  • The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Ann Brashares
    Fun and surprisingly moving story of family, love, and why you need your friends.
  • Breakfast Served Anytime by Sarah Combs
    Set at a summer program for gifted and talented students, Gloria is in my heart forever.
  • This One Summer by Mariko Tamaki and Jillian Tamaki
    Touching story about family and coming of age, paired with beautiful art.
  • 99 Days by Katie Cotugno
    When a summer at home means having to face your old loves and mistakes.
  • We Were Liars by E. Lockhart
    Old money and secrets and tragedy on a private island.
  • The Girl Who Chased the Moon by Sarah Addison Allen
    Magical lights and cakes and wallpaper feature in this summer story of coming home.
  • Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare
    The original summer love story.
  • The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
    Wild parties and the most self-destructive summer romance ever.
  • Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf
    Set on a day in June, a lyrical story of connection.

What are your favorite summery stories? Share them in the comments!