Category Archives: Bookish News

Happy 10 Years to Me!

I just realized that I started this book blog 10 years ago! 10. Wow. I even found my inaugural post:

blog post

Oh, I had such lofty goals. 100 books in one year. I think I only accomplished that once in the lifetime of this site. I did get really close in 2008 though. 90 books. Not too shabby.

This blog has been such a wonderful outlet for me to ramble on about the books in my life, joining reading challenges and realizing just how large the reading community really is. It makes my little librarian heart swell with joy.

Its interesting scanning through my old posts, seeing the evolution of my reading tastes from year to year. I definitely am not monogamous with any single genre. I started with the classics, delved into sci-fi and fantasy, discovered teen lit, (Oh Gossip Girl…I still love you and your TV show counterpart). I’m trying to figure out just when exactly this turned into an ALL THINGS FRENCH blog. I think 2011 after I came back from Paris.

I’m not the best at updating this blog, but to have lasted a good, albeit somewhat spotty, 10 years. Maybe its time I give it some love and try to keep up with my updates again.

I discovered a love for audiobooks in 2015 and its been such a game-changer for me. I’m able to keep up with more stories and stay entertained on my commutes around town. I’ve even gotten my 5 year old hooked on audiobooks. We’re listening to the Mouse and the Motorcycle right now. Its such a joy to share the classics of my childhood with him in this way. I’m not sure he could sit still at home with me reading such a lengthy book without pictures. But in the car, he’s totally entranced by the tale.

Well, what is a blog post without lists? Lets see how well I can sum my last 10 years with this blog with some of my favorite discoveries.

Favorite Series: 

Maisie Dobbs (Maisie Dobbs, #1) Bloodsucking Fiends: A Love Story

Maisie Dobbs by Jacqueline Winspear

Bloodsucking Fiends by Christopher Moore

*I’m not really a series fan. I get about 3 books in, and then move on.

Countries Most Frequently Read About: 

Paris, England, US

*In that order…

Go to Authors: 

  • Agatha Christie
  • Neil Gaiman
  • Cecila Ahern
  • AJ Jacobs
  • William Alexander

Favorite Fiction Novels: 

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry (Harold Fry, #1) A Tree Grows in Brooklyn The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell The Namesake The President's Hat

Guilty Pleasure Genres: 

Self-Help books. I probably shouldn’t admit this to the wide world of the Internet, but I love self-help books. I love their optimism, their encouraging voices, their checklists, charts and lists of To-do’s that I never, ever do. There is something special about these helping hands on the bookshelves.

Real Housewives Style Literature. A good guilty pleasure should be something fun, frivolous and just plain extraordinary. I would classify The Last Mrs. Parrish, Gossip Girl, and even The Swans of 5th Avenue in this category. I don’t watch The Real Housewives of any city. But I still appreciate a retreat into the completely ridiculous every now and then.

Social Science. I love studies. I love lives. I love studies about the lives of people. I love social science because I’m constantly trying to figure out how our world works and why people do the things they do. Things that I can relate to, things that I absolutely cannot understand.

Favorite Memoirs:

Paris Was Ours The Art of Eating In: How I Learned to Stop Spending and Love the Stove Laughing Without an Accent: Adventures of an Iranian American, at Home and Abroad Season to Taste: How I Lost My Sense of Smell and Found My Way

*you’d think this would be a lengthier list with all the dozens of Paris travel memoirs that I’ve read. But none really stand out as original or super insightful.

Favorite Nonfiction: 

Thirty Million Words: Building a Child's Brain Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things Nurture Shock: New Thinking About Children All Joy and No Fun: The Paradox of Modern Parenthood When Everything Changed: The Amazing Journey of American Women from 1960 to the Present

How Paris Became Paris: The Invention of the Modern City Unprocessed: My City-Dwelling Year of Reclaiming Real Food



5 Gifts for your favorite bibliophile (me!)

Some awesomely awesome gifts for your favorite bibliophile. As much as we all love receiving books, these novelties (pun!) are also welcomed.

1. Spineless Classics Book posters (UK) &

2. Poster Text (US)

Pride and Prejudice
3. Literary Clocks (DIY instructions)
Literary Clock

5. Bookmark Pads (Guilty Pleasure/Yes I’m Actually Reading This/You Are Here

Gennifer Choldenko Bay Area Visit

Gennifer CholdenkoFor anyone and everyone living in the Bay Area, Gennifer Choldenko will be making the rounds in the Peninsula. If you’re as much of a fan of her work as I am, definitely try to make it to one of these events.

The author of Al Capone Does My Laundry, Al Capone Shines My Shoes, & If A Tree Falls as Lunch Period will be making the following appearances starting Monday Oct 3rd:

If a Tree Falls at Lunch Period   Al Capone Shines My Shoes by Gennifer Choldenko: Book Cover

  • Monday Oct 3rd – Menlo Park Public Library 7pm
  • Tuesday Oct 4th – Daly City Public Library 3:30pm
  • Tuesday Oct 4th – Redwood City Public Library 7pm
  • Thursday Oct 6th – South San Francisco Public Library 4:00pm

Happy Birthday Charles Dickens!

One of England’s most celebrated (and wordy) authors would be celebrating his 200th’s birthday today.

The Guardian is celebrating this occasion with a really cool interactive Wallchart of Dickens and some of his most famous characters. Miss Havisham is my standout favorite. Who is yours?

She had a long white veil dependent from her hair, and she had bridal flowers in her hair, but her hair was white. Some bright jewels sparkled on her neck and on her hands, and some other jewels lay sparkling on the table. Dresses, less splendid than the dress she wore, and half-packed trunks, were scattered about.



                                                             The Guardian is working with The Observer to promote a 6-week celebration called Book Season:

Here on the books desk the season of reading never ends, but we’ll be running our Books Season for six weeks. Inspired by the folks atBookcrossingReadItSwapIt and Book Swaps for Londonwe’re planting 15,000 books around the country between now and mid-October as part of a nationwide Book Swap. The first drop happened on Saturday, and as the weekend went on news spread around the world, with tweeters from as far apart as NigeriaCanada and Hanoi wondering how to get involved.

The Bookswap mentioned in the quote above is referring to a nation-wide book drop off program that took began last weekend on Saturday. The Guardian acquired 15,000 books from various publishers and authors and will be leaving the books all over the place in parks, restaurants, subway stations, for anyone to pick up and peruse.

Also, check out the Guardian’s Book Power 100 list to see who’s-who’s in the influential world of literacy, publishing, and bookselling. JK Rowling is the #2 most influential person in the book industry, who is number one? The answer might not really surprise you…but it should.

Book Blogger Appreciation Week

Today is Day 2 of the 4th annual Book Blogger Appreciation Week. I remember when the first one began in 2008, only 9 months after I first started blogging. Now look at it. Its grown up into a highly anticipated aspect of the blogging community. I’m proud to have seen many of the blogs nominated grow and change over time. Many of the bloggers rightfully deserve these awards for all the time and effort they have put not only into their own blogs, but into the community as a whole.

Current Winners

Happy St. Patrick’s Day

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The one day of the year where all of the United States decides it wants to be Irish. Afterall, who can turn down green beer, green festivities and the age-old tradition of pinching anyone who isn’t wearing green? You know out-grow the last tradition.

Since I haven’t been able to compile a list myself, I’ll link you to some great Irish Authors Booklists around the web to help further the celebration!

NYPL – Irish Authors Booklist

Chicago Public Library – St. Patrick’s Day Booklist (for kids)

MyShelf – St. Patrick’s Day Fiction

Irish Writers Online A-Z Index

ALA announces youth media award winners

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The 2010 youth media awards have been announced by the American Librarian Association. These books are chosen for their outstanding writing, context and influence on teens and children.

Recognized worldwide for the high quality they represent, ALA awards guide parents, educators, librarians and others in selecting the best materials for youth.  Selected by judging committees of librarians and other children’s and young adult experts, the awards encourage original and creative work.  For more information on the ALA youth media awards and notables, please visit the ALA website at

A list of all the 2011 award winners follows:
John Newbery Medal
Moon over Manifest
“Moon over Manifest,” written by Clare Vanderpool, is the 2011 Newbery Medal winner. The book is published by Delacorte Press, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books, a division of Random House, Inc.
Randolph Caldecott Medal
for the most distinguished American picture book for children
A sick day for Amos McGee

“A Sick Day for Amos McGee,” illustrated by Erin E. Stead, is the 2011 Caldecott Medal winner. The book was written by Philip C. Stead, and is a Neal Porter Book, published by Roaring Brook Press, a division of Holtzbrinck Publishing.
Coretta Scott King (Author) Book Award
recognizing an African American author of outstanding books for children and young adults
One crazy summer
“One Crazy Summer,” written by Rita Williams-Garcia is the 2011 King Author Book winner. The book is published by Amistad, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.
Alex Awards for the 10 best adult books that appeal to teen audiences
  • “The Reapers Are the Angels: A Novel,” by Alden Bell, published by Holt Paperbacks, a division of Henry Holt and Company, LLC
  • “The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake: A Novel,” by Aimee Bender, published by Doubleday, a division of Random House, Inc.
  • “The House of Tomorrow,” by Peter Bognanni, published by Amy Einhorn Books, an imprint of G.P. Putnam’s Sons, a division of the Penguin Group
  • “Room: A Novel,” by Emma Donoghue, published by Little, Brown and Company a division of Hachette Book Group, Inc.
  • “The Vanishing of Katharina Linden: A Novel,” by Helen Grant, published by Delacorte, an imprint of The Random House Publishing Group, a division of Random House, Inc.
  • “The Radleys,” by Matt Haig, published by Free Press, a division of Simon & Schuster, Inc.
  • “The Lock Artist,” by Steve Hamilton, published by Thomas Dunne Books for Minotaur Books, an imprint of St. Martin’s Press
  • “Girl in Translation,” by Jean Kwok, published by Riverhead Books, an imprint of the Penguin Group
  • “Breaking Night: A Memoir of Forgiveness, Survival, and My Journey from Homeless to Harvard,” by Liz Murray, published by Hyperion
  • “The Boy Who Couldn’t Sleep and Never Had To,” by DC Pierson, published by Vintage Books, a division of Random House, Inc.
  • Follow the link to see the winners and honorees of the remaining awards.

    Noteworthy Links #8

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    Starting off the new year with a fresh batch of links for all your clicking pleasures.

    The Good

    • Download a free e-novella by Prix Medicis award winning author David Vann – author of Caribou’s Island. The award winning e-novella, SUKKWAN ISLAND, is part of a larger compilation of stories, entitled LEGEND OF A SUICIDE.

    You can read it for free online, or download to an e-reader. If you don’t have a reader, then you can download the necessary software from Amazon, Sony, etc to read the novella.




    It is also available in the iBookstore for Apple products, and should be available for the Nook shortly.

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    The Fun

    • Best of 2010 with Neil Gaiman – The Golden Age of Comics

    Anthology editor Neil Gaiman describes the joy and challenge of selecting The Best American Comics 2010. “It’s like the golden age,” he says of the increasingly diverse and prolific genre. – More at

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    The Ugly

    This announcement has sparked a twit-war on Twitter under the trending topic of “Huckleberry Finn.”

    I have a few questions and concerns on this note.

    1. Who decides what the offensive words are?

    2. What will be the offenders be? – According to the article, the N word will be changed to “slave.” But will it stop there? Will there be more re-writes in this book’s future changing other words, phrases and even meanings and intentions of the story?

    3. There is no guarantee that this sort of move will result in the unbanning of the book and I would like to argue that this is undermining the integrity of the book.

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    The Random

    • Daniel Handler, aka Lemony Snicket, defends poetry in a wonderfully written op-ed for the Poetry Foundation. As one of my favorite authors, both for children and adults, I think everyone should read this statement and go out and find a book of poetry to read right away. I think I’ll start with Pablo Neruda…

    Noteworthy Links #7

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    Find out what’s going on @ Your Library from this really awesome and informative website. Recommended books, music, library resources, and fun how-tos. A must-see for every library fan!

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    A very, very funny interview with Samantha Bee of the Daily Show on NPR’s Fresh Air. She is promoting her new book I Know I Am, but What Are You?

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    Photographic proof, that hot guys read!

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    Featherproof is a great website for short story fans. Download free mini-books, read through a collection of thousands of short stories and stumble upon some new and wonderful creations.

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    Die hard fans of Mark Twain have probably been counting down the months, days and minutes to the 100 expiration date set by Twain to have his autiobiography published. He didn’t want it published until 100 years after his death. The first of 3 volumes will be published in November. The original is being held in a vault at UC Berkeley.

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    Fans of Lauren Mechling and Laura Mosser can now read their collaborated novel, My Darkling online at Slate Magazine. I reviewed Mechling’s novels, Dream Girl and Dream Life earlier this year. Both are very fun YA lit.

    Noteworthy Links #6

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    If  you ever needed an excuse to read Neil Gaiman, here it is! American Gods has been selected as the One Book, One Twitter selection for 2010!

    I for one, am psyched that American Gods is the selection. I loved this book and am probably due for a reread.

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    Paper or plastic for those books you just checked out at the library? Baltimore is piloting a new program where you can purchase your groceries at the library.

    patrons can order groceries online and pay with cash, credit or food stamps. The orders are filled by Santoni’s supermarket, a longtime Baltimore grocer. They deliver the items to the library the next day.

    Talk about a great way to bring healthy habits into the library!

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    Never one to fall out of the digital media rat race, Google will be coming out with its own Ebook store this summer. All you need a Google account because the service will work across a bevy of devices.

    The company says the ebooks will work across multiple devices, and, unlike the ebooks of iPad and Kindle, any device with a browser will be able to view the books. Customers with a Google account will be able to access the service.

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    The role of the graphic novel and comics in the literary lives of children today, one woman’s take. Jennifer de Guzman, one of the judges for the San Jose Public Library’s first annual Graphic Novel Contest discusses the role of comics and what she learned about life reading them.

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