A Starlight Trip To the Library by Andrew Katz

5 stars Children’s Picture Book

Such a sweet story.  A young girl, a forest of friends, and a trip to the library, what more do you need?  The illustrations are colorful and bright and they just pop, right off the page.  This would make an excellent bedtime story. 

As Julia settles into the forest with her friends, they’re getting cozy for the night awaiting the “night’s most eagerly awaited event.”   They love how Julia reads to them; she does such an excellent job.  Freida, the skunk enjoys how she shows them the pictures, Abigail, the   loves how softly she reads the ending and her friend Scotty Squirrel thinks she does an excellent job with all the different voices inside the books the chooses for them.  Her friends eagerly wait for Julia to take tonight’s book out of her bag.  But wait……there is no book inside the bag.  Disappointment settles in as they realize that Julia left the book at home. 

Bertrand, just so happens, to be floating down the river and is headed to the library. Julia and her friends accept Bertrand offer and join him on his journey, hoping to find a bedtime story for tonight.  It’s quite an adventure for these friends as they make their way on the water until they finally arrive at the “library rising majestically in the moonlight.”   What a beautiful sight.   Box upon box, Julia and her friends search, looking for the perfect bedtime story.  Bertrand is busy searching through the stacks also looking for his own stack of page-turners.  Will they find what they are looking for before the night is over?

I adore the relationship that Julia has with her forest friends.  They are so caring and considerate to one each other. They had such a great adventure.  What a fun book  5 stars.   

I’d Rather Be Reading by Anne Bogel

4 stars Nonfiction

This was a quick read and I found that I could relate to many of the topics that the author covered.   I’m an individual who loves to read and I can get wrapped up inside a good novel, like I can a good blanket so when Anne discussed how getting hooked inside a good book and how a book seems to just fall into your lap when you need it, I knew exactly what she was talking about.  Anne doesn’t try to navigate her way into your bookshelf nor into your reading world, Anne explains her own world and if you look closely enough, you just find might find some similarities with her world.

Anne has her own pile of TBR books but somehow that “perfect” book lands in her lap just when she needs it.  When I read this part of the book, I took a few minutes to think how many times that has happened in my own life.  How many times I needed an escape and the perfect book was there? How many times I needed a good laugh and the book I was reading provided that?  This past month, I read We Spread by Iain Reid.  I won this book on Goodreads but I can’t tell you what made me immediately pick it up and start reading it.  I have so many other books that I needed my attention first but let me tell you, I needed that book!  In We Spread, the main character started to have some issues which were also starting to occur with someone in my own family.  I couldn’t believe how similar this felt.  To have won this book, received it, and immediately feel the need to read it – this book fell right into my lap.


This was a comfortable book, one that reminds me why I like reading so much.  4 stars.

Reading Beauty by Deborah Underwood

4.5 stars Childrens

Princess Lex read morning, noon, and night, surrounded by book lovers.  Where is this place? Sounds like a great place to live. I found this book at the library and after this opening page, I was sold and I had to check it out.  With a bedroom full of books, Lex would speed read through them, enlisting her trained dog to help fetch her reading material for her.  This all changes on her 15th birthday though.  When she awoke on her birthday, all of her books were gone!  Craziness!!

Lex runs to parents and they sit her down and explain.  When Lex was little, her parents had a party.  An irritated fairy crashed the party, made a scene because she thought she wasn’t invited.   That night at the party, the fairy put a curse on Lex.  The curse stated that when Lex turned 15, she would receive a paper cut.  This cut would be the result of reading a book.  The cut would put her in a deep sleep which could only be cured by a kiss from one’s true love.  Hence, her parents were the ones who took all of her books away.  They saved her from a paper cut which would put her in a deep sleep.

Now, Lex’s world became dark and sad.  She didn’t have any books to read. Lex couldn’t let this go on any longer and she decides to pay the fairy a visit to see about undoing the curse. Needing information to get this accomplished, Lex gets the help from a bot. The fairy has been keeping tabs on Lex and she was prepared for Lex when she arrives.  It’s a princess vs. a fairy as they battle out this curse and the ending was great. I enjoyed this book.  I thought the illustrations were fun and full of energy and the storyline was fast-paced and entertaining. It has a good message too.  I highly recommend this cute book.  4.5 stars

Bibliophile Diverse Spines by Jamise Harper

5 stars Nonfiction


It’s time to diversify your reading list.

This richly illustrated and vastly inclusive collection uplifts the works of authors who are often underrepresented in the literary world. Using their keen knowledge and deep love for all things literary, coauthors Jamise Harper (founder of the Diverse Spines book community) and Jane Mount (author of Bibliophile) collaborated to create an essential volume filled with treasures for every reader:

• Dozens of themed illustrated book stacks—like Classics, Contemporary Fiction, Mysteries, Cookbooks, and more—all with an emphasis on authors of color and authors from diverse cultural backgrounds
• A look inside beloved bookstores owned by Black, Indigenous, and People of Color
• Reading recommendations from leading BIPOC literary influencers

Diversify your reading list to expand your world and shift your perspective. Kickstart your next literary adventure now!

EASY TO GIFT: This portable guide is packed with more than 150 colorful illustrations is a perfect gift for any booklover. The textured paper cover, gold foil, and ribbon marker make this book a special gift or self-purchase.

DISCOVER UNSUNG LITERARY HEROES: The authors dive deep into a wide variety of genres, such as Contemporary Fiction, Classics, Young Adult, Sci-Fi, and more to bring the works of authors of color to the fore.

ENDLESS READING INSPIRATION: Themed book stacks and reading suggestions from luminaries of the literary world provide curated book recommendations. Your to-read list will thank you.

Perfect for: bookish people; literary lovers; book club members; Mother’s Day shoppers; stocking stuffers; followers of #DiverseSpines; Jane Mount and Ideal Bookshelf fans; Reese’s Book Club and Oprah’s Book Club followers; people who use Goodreads.com; readers wanting to expand/decolonize their book collections; people interested in uplifting BIPOC voices; antiracist activists and educators; grads and students; librarians and library patrons wanting to expand/decolonize their book collections; people interested in uplifting BIPOC voices; antiracist activists and educators; grads and students; librarians and library patrons

My Review:

This book is going to get me into trouble.  I already know that my TBR pile is gigantic but how could I not, find some treasures inside this book.  It was definitely cover love that drew me to this book while I was volunteering at the library.  I realized while reading, that I needed to get my own copy of this book, as it’s a fantastic resource.

I’ve heard about these types of books before but this is the first one, that I have actually read.  I liked the concept but would I actually like the books that they featured and/or would I find their lists helpful? I wanted this to be a fun, entertaining book consisting of lists based on a variety of different ideas/concepts.  I was also hoping that the books that made the list were a mixed lot, some new titles for me and some familiar ones.

What makes this book unique? It’s diversity.   “The authors, illustrators, designers, store owners, and bookstagramumers highlighted in this book are all Black, Indigenous, and people of color.”  Furthermore, these individuals lived in “spaces where they were marginalized by a dominant white society.”   By reading the books mentioned inside, the author hopes that the reader walks away with a greater understanding and the desire for better communication.  We all desire a great life.

I liked the physical size of this book, for being a reference book, it fits perfectly in my hands.  I liked how bright and colorful the pages were.  I felt a renewed energy while reading it and I was excited to see what the other pages contained.  Printed on thick cardstock paper, I thought this was a huge bonus considering it’s a resource and how often I would flip through the book.  The number of categories surprised me, in a good way.  I enjoyed all the different concepts the author used to group individuals and the books.  From the one-line sentences attached to some of the books on the list, to the detailed descriptions of a few of the books on the list, I loved all the information that is packed inside this book. 

I had started off thinking that I would make a list of the books that I thought sounded great (ones I haven’t seen or read yet) but after reading a few more pages in this book, I realized that I wanted to retain some of the other information that this book revealed.  I knew then, I would have to purchase a copy of this book.  This book is a gem and I highly recommend you check out this title.   Warning: your TBR pile just might get longer. 

Bunny Book Club by Annie Silvestro

5 stars Children’s

This is a super cute book about reading, sharing and loving books.   The book is about a bunny who loves books.  He secretly listened to individuals reading to their children in the park and he listened along with the children outside the library as the librarian read, rabbit hid in the bushes.  Problems arose when the summer program ended and all the activities moved back inside the library, leaving rabbit outside without his stories.  He could watch them through the window but bunny couldn’t hear about the adventures that were inside those pages. 

Bunny couldn’t handle life without books so he decided to sneak into the library.  Wow, so many books awaited him!  After creating a huge pile, Bunny found his way out of the library with his books and he hurried home to start reading.  Bunny was so happy!  

What a happy, positive story about reading and the love of sharing this with others. I thought it was funny how bunny’s house was getting full of books and I loved how bunny gathered a variety of books.  As his friends joined in on his adventure, I liked the titles that they were looking into and I loved that they all got together to share this common activity.  The illustrations were adorable!  This book is a treasure.  I see that there is a sequel to this book, I’m going to have to grab that.  5 stars!!

The Plot by Jean Hanff Korelitz

4 stars Fiction

I actually am in awe with this book.  I liked how the author made me think about different stories and how they’re all kinda the same, yet somewhat different.  I believe it was in the middle of the book, that Jacob talks about how some plots are all the same but it depends on how the author tries to make them unique.  I realize this but what would happen if authors can’t piggyback on one another’s plots?  Would we lose great authors or pieces of great fiction? 

As I listened to this novel on audio, Jacob claimed he wasn’t stealing Evan’s story because he hadn’t read the whole book, but had he?  I contemplated this thought as I read further into the novel.  There were lots of little facts that kept popping up that I enjoyed but were scaring Jacob.  I loved how Jacob stated he was enjoying the stardom of being a successful writer yet he actually wasn’t, as it seemed that he was constantly looking over his shoulder.  His investigation into Evan Parker sure was extensive and I was impressed at how far Jacob’s pursuit went.  He could become an investigator if being a writer doesn’t work out for him. 

I thought there was a big lull in the middle of the book.  Jacob’s investigation was getting boring for me.  His love life was getting interesting, almost too cozy but he doesn’t seem to give her too much attention, as all his thoughts are focused on Jacob.  I’m glad that I stuck it out to the end of the book as it was really good.  The audio was good on this book and I highly recommend it.   4 stars (middle is so-so)

The Paris Library by Janet Skeslien Charles

5 stars Historical

The year is 1939, WWII is on everyone’s mind as the war is moving closer to home.  Impressed with the American’s Dewey Decimal System, Odile decides that an American library is where she wants to works and lands a position at the American Library in Paris. Odile loves her new position: being surrounded by individuals who care and enjoy reading.  This truly becomes her second home and her refuge.  

We move to the year 1983.  Lily has heard that this woman in her neighborhood was a war bride yet to Lily, she didn’t match what Lily envisioned.  For school, Lily interviews this neighbor and discovers what a treasure Odile really is.  While Lily feels like her own life is crumbling apart, she finds a true friend in Odile and someone that she can confine in. Although they are generations apart, Odile finds that being with Lily, she’s able to share the story of her life and her talents, which brings her tremendous joy.  

I enjoyed how the author alternated the stories throughout the book. As I read, I had to keep reminding myself that this was a true account, that this story actually took place.  Although at times, I didn’t want one story to end, I was excited to get back into the lives of all the characters.  I had a hard time in the beginning chapters getting settled into the book but after those few chapters, I enjoyed it. I loved how everyone who was a part of the library tried so desperately to make sure their subscribers had access to the materials that they wanted. It wasn’t just making sure that the books were safe during the war but getting them out and into the hands of the individuals who really needed them, during this difficult time.  Doesn’t this sound like what we are going through now, to a point?  Is your own library meeting the needs of the people that it serves during this uncertain period in our history?  

By Plemasson – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=36874402

Odile’s relationships had me up at 3:30 in the morning as I couldn’t sleep thinking how things were going to work out.  Between her father, her brother, her girlfriends and her romance, it’s a wonder I slept at all the past couple nights.  I appreciate the author’s research in putting this book together as it was a fantastic read and one that I highly enjoyed.

Thank you Atria Books and NetGalley for providing me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.      

The Incredible Book Eating Boy by Oliver Jeffers

5 stars Children’s

Henry, everything must be done in moderation!

What a cute book! It was an accident really, the way this all started. Henry wasn’t paying attention when he took his first bite, it was one single word out of a book. Henry enjoyed it so much that he continued eating words until eventually, he was eating whole books! Henry got so good at eating books that instead of taking the books apart, Henry was swallowing the books whole! This part made me smile as I thought Henry must be related to the, “I know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a ….” as Henry was beginning to swallow some pretty big books!

This new talent that Henry had discovered was also beneficial for him too. He discovered a reward for all this eating and this is where he should have had some self-control! Henry should have enjoyed his new life and it’s perks but nope, Henry had to shoot for the stars.

Another great story by Oliver Jeffers!

The Last Book Party by Karen Dukess

3 stars Fiction

I liked how the author’s writes but I didn’t like how this book developed. The author had some great points in this book but her main character, I thought, was a mess.  The longer I read this book, the more irritated I became with her and I wanted to slap her.

Eve considered herself a writer, yet all her accomplishments amounted to, were a few small pieces that she’d written many years ago.  For years, Eve struggled to finish anything that she’d started to write. I’m thinking that she really needs to do is to talk to a few people about writing or move on, what is really going on here? Eve also worked as an editorial assistant for The New Yorker Magazine.  Growing up, Eve had wanted to become a writer and it’s as if, she can’t let go of this dream. 

Eve doesn’t get the promotion at The New Yorker but she hears about the possibility of a job back in her hometown.  If she heads back home, Eve realizes this position will not a step-up but it just might be what she’s looking for. 

Eve starts to fall in-and-out of love with just about everyone after she went back home. Perhaps she had relationships before then, I don’t know, but she flies through them now.  Her last love affair though pushed me over the edge.  Perhaps, she’s insecure or it’s some other issue but I just didn’t understand why her last guy?  Come on!

There were a few interesting reveals in the story and I did enjoy them. When Eve moves back home to start her new job, we learned about her family and her relationship with them. They had a great impact on her. 

Overall, it was an okay read, I just think that Eve’s social life needed to take a different direction. 

I want to thank MacMillan for providing me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

The Library Book by Susan Orlean

4.5 stars Nonfiction

I just have to say “wow!”  I never expected this book to be packed with so much information.  At times, it almost felt overwhelming.  Centered around the 1986 Los Angeles library fire which burned for more than 7 hours and consumed 400,000 books, this book is not just about that fire. This book is about books, fires, libraries, reading, patrons, individuals, writing, it’s about the love of reading.  If any of these subjects’ interest you, then this title should be on your list, but I warn you, this book is not one to be read quickly.  You could do what I did and listen to this book and take breaks digesting what the author read to you, because it’s a lot! 

I found the fire to be interesting as the circumstances surrounding it, were unique.  Being such a big structure, filled with flammable materials, I figured it would be a ball of flames quickly but there were other factors to take into account.  As the author takes off from this subject, she leads me into a multitude of many other subjects, before coming back to the fire many times.  I got to thinking that this book would be a great one to listen to and read at the same time.  I would have loved to make reference to some of the other subjects that she branched off on but that was hard to do while just listening to her.   

I feel that the author did some research before launching into her writing because of the statistical and elaborate facts that she presented in her book.  The author also gave some interesting details about specific individual books in her chapters which sounded like books that I might enjoy and I should look up in the future.  As the author talked about the fire, she talked about how books burn, the investigation on how it started, how they tried to stop the fire, who was affected, the damage, the rebuilding, and the years since.  When I first started listening to this audio, I couldn’t believe this book could be this long but as I continued listening, I wondered how she was going to finally wrap things up in the end.

There were a few times, I thought the book got a bit long and I had to take a break. I think it was “information overload” on my part.  I didn’t really like how the author included random books at the beginning of each chapter.  I think if I had been reading the book, I could have skipped over this but listening to the audio, I couldn’t. Listening to call numbers and titles of books for no particular reason just broke up the mood for the story.

Overall, it’s a great book that’s based on a true event.  The author takes us readers, on an incredible journey, enlightening us with fascinating facts and stories centered around a building, that many of us like to call our second home.