Monday, August 22, 2016

Monday Malarkey - A book festival, a pretty stack, and a marvelous reading week

Happy Monday! I hope your weekend was as amazing as mine. I went to our local book festival, this weekend, and got to meet my blog friend Brittanie for the first time. It's crazy that it's taken us this long to meet in person. We only live about 30 miles from each other and we've known each other for at least 8 years via blogging. So exciting to finally meet her! We sat together for "A Conversation with Kate DiCamillo". This is a terrible phone photo but here's Kate during the book signing, after she spoke:

After I took this photo (and a few others that are even worse), my phone camera gave me an error message so I was unable to take any other pics but I also got to sit in on the short story panel (which included author Rick Bass) and a bit of a conversation with Jacqueline Woodson. I had to duck out of the Jacqueline Woodson event early to meet my husband because he'd dropped me off at the festival and we were meeting at a pre-arranged time but all the sessions I attended were wonderful.

New arrivals (top to bottom):

  • Wonder Women: 25 Innovators, Inventors, and Trailblazers Who Changed History by Sam Maggs - from Quirk Books for review
  • Kid Artists: True Tales of Childhood from Creative Legends by David Stabler and Doogie Horner, and
  • Warren the 13th and the All-Seeing Eye by Tania Del Rio and Will Staehle - both also from Quirk for review
  • How We Lived Then: A History of Everyday Life during the Second World War by Norman Longmate - purchased 
  • Searching for Fannie Quigley by Jane G. Haigh - purchased
  • Mary Had a Little Glam by Tammy Sauer and Vanessa Brantley-Newton and
  • If a T-Rex Crashes Your Birthday Party by Jill Esbaum and Dasha Tolstikova - both from Sterling Children's Books for review
Not pictured:
  • Flora and Ulysses and Raymie Nightingale by Kate DiCamillo - purchased
  • Maybe a Fox by Kathi Appelt and Alison McGhee - purchased (Kathi Appelt was also at the book festival but I did not get to see her)

So, clearly I wasn't kidding when I recently mentioned that I'd accepted a few books for review and that I was craving children's reads. I've discovered children's books are especially important as mental break books for me when I'm having a slumpy month or year -- and this has been a terrible reading year for me. Between these exciting arrivals and the book festival, I'm suddenly enjoying my reading, again. I sat down immediately to read the Sterling books when they arrived; and then read them a second time. I've also already read one of the Kate DiCamillo books I bought, Flora and Ulysses.

How We Lived Then is a book author Lissa Evans described as the book that first stimulated her interest in WWII (in the extra info at the back of the American edition of Crooked Heart). It's just the kind of book I've been hoping to find for years. I'm ridiculously thrilled to have it. Searching for Fannie Quigley is a book about a remarkable woman who lived alone in the Alaskan wilderness; it was on my PBS wishlist for years. I occasionally choose one of the titles I've desired to read the longest and can't acquire locally from that list and order it. Fannie Quigley was on my wishlist for about 8 years. Huh, that makes me appear either very cheap or extremely patient, doesn't it?

Books finished since last Malarkey:

  • Crooked Heart by Lissa Evans - I started to write about my F2F discussion on Thursday but last week was one of those weeks that I couldn't find myself coming or going, I was so busy. Hopefully, I'll get that finished, soon. It was a fun discussion.
  • Mary Had a Little Glam by T. Sauer and V. Brantley-Newton
  • If a T-Rex Crashes Your Birthday Party by J. Esbaum and D. Tolstikova
  • The Woman in the Photo by Mary Hogan
  • Flora and Ulysses by Kate DiCamillo

Such a fun reading week.

Currently reading:

  • 14 Seconds to Hell by Nick Carter - Pulp fiction sent to me by my friend Bob, a few years back. I came across the titles he sent when I was looking for my copy of Brooklyn by Colm Toibin, my F2F group's September read. 14 Seconds is billed as a spy novel (likened to James Bond) but it's really male fantasy. Agent Nick Carter is working with a female Russian agent to stop a Chinese scientist from detonating bombs around the globe. Within moments of meeting her, he addresses Alexi as "honey" and somehow turns her into a sex fiend, poor girl (and, yes, he refers to her as a "girl" agent). Since then, he's fallen into bed with her two more times in 3 chapters, also called her "sweetie" and "doll" and "patted her firm little fanny". Then he wonders to himself, might the Russians have sent a nymphomaniac to work with him? Ohmygosh. We've come a long way since the 1960s. 
  • A Square Meal by Coe and Ziegelman - Yep. Still reading it. I should finish it by late October, at this rate. 

Last week's posts:

Not a big posting week because I was so busy. Hopefully, I'll find more time to write, this week, although my calendar is looking pretty crammed. Eh, whatever. I'll post when I can. On the plus side, I'm excited about reading, again, for the first time in months. Hopefully, that will continue!

©2016 Nancy Horner. All rights reserved. If you are reading this post at a site other than Bookfoolery  or its RSS feed, you are reading a stolen feed. Email for written permission to reproduce text or photos.


  1. I wish I could find my secret to get me back to reading. I think I just need to let go of books that aren't engaging me. If I did that...yeah.

    1. Yes, I do that. It helps, Jenny. While it's not a panacea, it is also helpful to know what kind of books tend to be good for breaking your slumps. That's changed for me, over the years but generally speaking, the lighter the better.

  2. I am glad you had a fun reading week! That is much better than some weeks for you lately!

    1. Thanks! Yes, it's a huge departure from the rest of the year. I usually read 2-3 books per week but this year . . . ugh, nowhere near. It's nice to have finally had a great week!!!

  3. Sounds like you had a fun weekend to say the very least. How cool it is that you got to meet a fellow blogger and friend, and they're so close! Perhaps the start of an off line book club? Happy reading!

    1. I had a great weekend! It was super cool to finally meet Brittanie. We've decided we have to meet up for lunch, some time, so we can have more time to chat, since we got separated at lunch. Happy reading, Gina!

  4. Sounds like the best kind of weekend - friends & books! Have fun with your new books :)

    1. Thanks, Iliana! I'm enjoying my new pile!! :)


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