Kait's Bookshelf

The website of author Kaitlin Scirri


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Bookstores and Libraries in a Post-Pandemic World

Like most people, my activities the last three months have consisted of working from home, weekly trips to the grocery store, and watching the news for signs of re-opening here in New York. I was beyond thrilled to finally get a haircut a couple of weeks ago and to see us moving into Phase 3 of re-opening this week, at least in my neck of the woods. The best part of Phase 3? Both my local library branch and my nearest Barnes and Noble have reopened! Bookstore hand sanitizer

There are some indie bookstores downtown that haven’t reopened yet, but I’ll take what I can get! While it was exciting to finally be in familiar and comforting surroundings, it was definitely a surreal experience. Today, I will share my experiences of visiting the library and bookstore in a post-pandemic world. If your local branches or bookstores haven’t reopened yet, you can probably get a good idea of what to expect based on what I observed at mine.

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My Interview with RhysKeller.com

If you’ve followed my blog for a while, you know that I’m not just a reader, I’m a writer. I love writing! I’ve authored several books for young readers with subjects ranging from biographies to world cultures to social media trends. Back in March, I had the privilege of being interviewed by Rhys Keller for his writing website, rhyskeller.com.

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Saying Goodbye and Reading Slumps

blanket monster croppedI think it’s fair to say that a blog post is overdue here. The truth is, I haven’t been reading much. I’ve been in a reading slump. If you’re not familiar with what a reading slump is then first of all, you’re lucky! Second of all, a reading slump is when you want to read but find that you can’t do it. You can’t concentrate and can’t get into any book that comes your way.

At the end of October, my hubby and I endured the sudden loss of one of our beloved fur babies, Wylie. He was a very special dog, more than just a pet. He was a member of the family for eleven years. He came to me at a point in my life when I was broken-hearted, and he truly healed my heart. I used to tell him that really he rescued me instead of the other way around. So in dealing with that loss, I’ve found it difficult to sit quietly and read. My mind kept wandering back to memories of him and when he would curl up with me while I read. I’ve found that keeping busy is better. It gives me less time to stop and think about the loss. But unfortunately, it also means less time for reading. Enter the reading slump.

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My Take on the Marie Kondo Book Controversy

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One of my bookshelves. Yes, there are over 30 books! 🙂

After kicking off the New Year with some unseasonable warmth in the northeast, Old Man Winter showed up with bells on! January brought two intense winter storms, most recently a full-blown blizzard with unbelievably cold temps. Thankfully, my family and friends are all safe and sound and the weather seems to be tipping back toward normal over the next week or so.

As inconvenient as they are, snowstorms really aren’t all bad. They mean time to snuggle up and read or catch up on some TV. For me, that meant enjoying more of Marie Kondo’s new series on Netflix about tidying up your home and sparking joy. It has become a show I look forward to watching, but it has also recently sparked some controversy…

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December Book Bucket List and 2018 Wrap-Up!

Kait's Bookshelf 2018 Wrap UpHappy New Year, fellow book readers and reviewers!

December took quite the unexpected turn for me. I ended up leaving the snowy northeast behind for a bit and heading to the sunny southwest to help take care of a family member who had an accident and needed unexpected surgery. Between traveling, work, and the chaos of the holidays, I’ve had little time for reading and blogging. But family comes first, the holidays were wonderful, and I plan to get back on track with reading in January.

I had planned on my next post being a list of bookish gift ideas for the holiday season, but now the holidays have come and gone. I do plan to share my list of gift ideas in an upcoming post. After all, bookish gift ideas can be useful year round for birthdays, anniversaries, or even to keep on reserve for the next holiday season. But for now, I’ll be sharing my 2018 wrap-up, my December book bucket list pick, and my reading plans for 2019.

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Friday Firsts: My First Scary Read

scary-reads.jpgWith the nights turning cool and the stores busting out the fall decorations, I thought it was a good time for a post about scary stories. Not only am I way overdue for a Friday Firsts post, but the scary season is almost upon us!

I have loved books from a young age. There were always books in our home growing up. We had story books and early readers, chapter books, teen books, and young adult books. I remember Frog and Toad, Nancy Drew, and The Babysitter’s Club. My mother loved to read and passed this trait down to me. She was always reading when I was growing up. Of course, her books were much thicker and much scarier looking. My mom is a huge fan of Stephen King. For a while there she had read everything he’d ever written, and perhaps that’s true today, though I think she has a little catching up to do. 😉

I wasn’t a fan of being scared when I was younger. Some kids love monster stories and creepy movies and look forward to Halloween because it’s a time to get scared. Not me. I didn’t like monsters or ghosts or creepy things. I remember a couple of creepy movies we watched as kids, but they were Disney movies, not Stephen King. I remember hearing titles like Misery and Thinner and wondering why in the world my mom would want to read something so scary. They must be good, I reasoned, if she kept reading them. I started thinking that maybe I wanted to try to read a scary book. Enter Mr. R.L. Stine.

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Why I Love Reading the Young Adult Genre

Recently, Goodreads dedicated an entire week to the young adult genre. I learned about it through their emails and social media posts, and I thought it was a great idea. One post in particular really grabbed my attention:

Goodreads

The post declared “Be proud of what you read” and featured a photo taken of a sign at a library granting adult readers “permission” to browse, read, and enjoy books from the teen section.

I loved this post because so much of what it highlighted is what I love about young adult/ teen books. So I decided to follow in Goodreads’ footsteps and dedicate a blog post to the young adult genre.

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Friday Firsts: My First Romantic Read

friday-firsts.jpgFor this Friday Firsts post, I’d like to talk about my first romantic read. Let me start by saying that I read a ton of romance novels in my twenties. Favorite authors included Danielle Steel and Nora Roberts. My first Danielle Steel novel was Star and I read it after I saw a Lifetime TV movie version of the film starring Jennie Garth (I know, I’m dating myself here) 🙂 The book was very different, as tends to be the case, but I loved it and I was hooked. From there, I progressed to Nora Roberts novels which I loved because, they not only had romance but usually quite a mystery as well. I would stay up reading into the early morning hours because I just had to find out whodunit and if the couple was really going to end up together – spoiler alert – yes, they always did! In trying to pinpoint which of these novels was my first real romance book, I found myself going back earlier than my twenties, or even my late teens. I found myself remembering a book I read in my early teens, a time of just discovering boys and really not even understanding what romance was. Continue reading


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Friday Firsts: Cozy Christmas Mysteries by Barbara Early

death-of-a-toy-soldier.jpgIt’s been a while since I wrote a Friday Firsts post. And yes, I realize it’s Saturday. But with the holiday this week, my days are mixed up! I intended to post this on Friday, and since today feels like Friday, here you go – a Friday Firsts! This month, I read my first cozy Christmas mystery, Death of a Toy Soldier by Barbara Early. I liked it so much that I immediately read the sequel, Murder on the Toy Town Express. Before I get into the books, let me answer the question you’re probably asking yourself…what is a cozy Christmas mystery?

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Friday Firsts: Nancy Drew

Nancy DrewFor this Friday Firsts post, I’d like to talk about my first mystery book. I learned about mysteries from my mom, who introduced me to a young woman named…

Nancy Drew!

My mom read Nancy Drew books growing up. She loved them! So of course she decided to share these books with me when I was growing up. I think I was around ten or eleven when I started reading Nancy Drew books. Up to that point, books had been pretty straightforward stories for me. There was usually a “good guy,” a “bad guy,” a lesson to be learned, and it was pretty clear who was who. I had never read a story in which I had to figure out who was who and what was really going on. The idea of a mystery was something new and exciting.
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