Kait's Bookshelf

Book Reviews and Literary Services


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August Wrap-Up!

The Witch Ways

Well August turned out to be a very busy month for me, as I suspected it would be. But I’m not complaining. Quite the opposite actually. I’m very thankful for all of the writing and editing opportunities that have come my way recently, though I’m also looking forward to stepping back a bit and having time to read and relax again. I wrote three posts in August (four if you count my July wrap-up!) and here’s the recap in case you missed any of them.

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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 First 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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An Appreciation of Libraries

Library BooksI love libraries! I love visiting libraries, especially old ones. I love the old buildings and the history they represent. I love the familiar smell of books that makes me feel at home even if it’s a library I’ve never visited before.

I visit my local library regularly, at least once a month, and I have for years. On my most recent visit to the library, I started thinking about all the ways libraries bring value to our communities. As e-readers, computers, and technology continue to grow and dominate, I do get concerned sometimes about the future of libraries. But I don’t think they will ever go away completely. Below I will share some reasons why I think that is and some reasons why I have developed a true appreciation for libraries.
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Friday Firsts: Frog and Toad

20170818_173027I have decided to start a new blog series called Friday Firsts. Each post will feature a first book-related experience like my first mystery read, my first scary book, the first time I really fell in love with reading, etc. For my first Friday First post, I would like to talk about the first book I remember reading by myself.

The Adventures of Frog and Toad! 

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Treasure Hunting! My Favorite Online Bookstores

Stack of BooksIf you’re book-obsessed like myself, then you find yourself continuously buying books even though your “To Be Read” pile just keeps getting bigger and bigger. I do love and utilize my local library, but there are certain books that I tend to buy instead of borrow. For instance, if an author I have consistently loved puts out something new, then sure, I’ll pick it up. It’s likely to be another great read, one that I can save and re-read again (yes, I do re-read books!) or read and then pass along to my mom or a friend. It’s really a win-win situation for everyone involved.

Then there are books that I buy because of sentimental value. These tend to be books that I have already read and that mean a lot to me. Usually it’s because of the time in my life when I read them. For example, I first met Harry Potter while I was homeless in an Atlanta bus station. Needless to say, Harry will always have a special place in my heart, and if you’d like to read the story of our acquaintance, you can read it here. Harry Potter will always have a prominent place on my bookshelf!

The problem I often find is that many of my favorite books from childhood and adolescence, books that helped me find my love of reading, are out of print and hard to find…

Enter some amazing online retailers!

I have been so pleased to find rare and out of print books in excellent condition, and for very reasonable prices, through a couple of online bookstores that you may not have heard of. Or maybe you have but you were hesitating to give them a try. Well, here you go, my go-to list of online book sellers!

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BookExpo and BookCon 2017

book-heart2If you are anything like me (and I’m assuming you are because, hey, you’re reading my book blog!) when you hear things like BookExpo or BookCon, you immediately conjure images of rows upon rows of books, authors, authors signing books, people standing in clusters discussing their favorite books and new and upcoming books…basically you picture book heaven. With this year’s BookExpo and BookCon over, I have seen a lot of highlights popping up in my social media feeds. What I have found interesting is that while many people have heard of BookExpo and BookCon, there is still a lot of confusion around just what they are. Are they the same thing or two different events? Are they open to everyone? Where is it held? And the ultimate question…when will the next one be and can I go? I tackle these questions and more in this post dedicated to the annual BookExpo/ BookCon.

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