The Whimsical Mama

<3 Such is the life of a stay at home mommy and Army wife (:

A Bookish Tour June 13, 2016

Filed under: Books — Maura @ 12:01 am
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Not sure if I have ever done a bookshelf tour post before, but I thought I would do one today. My bookcases are currently stuffed to the gills and will probably be redone or added to in the coming year, but I thought I would give you a glimpse into my organisation. Keep in mind this is strictly my YA books. My children’s, middle grade, and adult bookcases are super hot messes. We recently attempted to reorganise my children’s bookcase, but there are so many that it is still super stuffed and messy haha. The kiddos also need a new bookcase, but hubby isn’t wanting to budge on more bookcases until we remodel downstairs. *sigh* Anyway! Welcome to my shelves!

The first two bookcases are actually small bookcases in my bedroom at the foot of my bed. They were empty for a while until I reorganised my books back in early spring. I decided to move favourite series and oversized books to these bookcases to free up some space on my main YA bookcase. It helped, for like a week until I reorganised that bookcase! haha. Left picture: Top shelf: JK Rowling/Robert Galbraith’s books and Cassandra Clare’s Shadowhunter books. Bottom shelf: Sarah J Maas, Melissa de la Cruz, and two of the Eragon books that wouldn’t fit anywhere else. Right picture: Top shelf: the rest of  my Harry Potter collection. Companion guides and more foreign editions (German, Spanish, and French). Also Jodi Meadows collection. Still on the hunt for an Incarnate ARC if you can help a girl out! (This shelf is also precarious now. I went to put Mirror King on the bookshelf and it collapsed. I couldn’t find all of the pins to put the shelf back up! Not that the bookcase is in the best of shape anyway haha) Middle shelf (which is laying on the books on the bottom shelf!) is full of oversized books. I just kinda have them shoved on here for this picture because The 5th Wave trilogy is in my June TBR. Bottom shelf: A combo of oversized books and my Maggie Stiefvater collection. Ballad is also in th stack, but I just realised from this angle you can’t see it. Oops!

Now my main YA bookcase in our office/den. We have three big bookcases in our office/den. The first is my Adult/School books. The second is overflow adult with my middle grade collection. The third, above, is my YA. The fourth is the kiddos’ bookcase stuffed full with picture books. If you notice, there are books with flags on them. Those are all unread books. I finally gave up on keeping my TBR books from my read books separate, but wanted a system to ID unread books. This system is not completely foolproof. The kiddos like stealing my flags on books they can reach, like the Ruta Sepetys books in the last picture. Everything easily fit on my bookcase for maybe a month. I’ve been promised floor to ceiling bookcases in my office when we remodel, but I need more space now! I’m thinking I might pick up another bookcase soon. Not sure where I’ll put it yet though! haha. Most of these, excluding the majority of my Melissa de la Cruz, JK Rowling, and Stephenie Meyer books have been accrued in the last four or so years. The bulk coming in since right around when I started blogging. Pretty sure Hubs thinks I have a book hoarding problem. I do not think so!

Anyway, that’s my organisational system. All books on the YA case are alphabetical except a few that have been displaced, but I didn’t feel like completely overhauling my bookcase for one or two books. How do you organise your books? I love the idea of by colour, but I HAVE to have all of my books together by author haha. It bothers me if they’re not!

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Goodbye May – September, Hello October! October 1, 2015

Filed under: Books,Hello Goodbye Monthly Review — Maura @ 12:05 am
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I really can’t believe how quickly this year is flying by! It’s really kinda ridiculous. Totally meant to update May in June. That didn’t happen. Summer was HECTIC. Hoping autumn will be a bit more forgiving and laid back haha. I had a great summer and got a good amount of reading done. For a quick summer recap: In May, I did a down and back trip to Nashville with my friend Lauren to see Sarah J Maas on her ACOTAR tour. AMAZING. Talked publishing and books for hours with the incredible Lizzy Mason. One of hubby’s cousins got married and it was super awesome to get to see part of his family! In June, our English Mastiff, Maggie, was diagnosed with degenerative myelopathy. Her back left leg is limp and drags. She has good days and bad days. There’s no treatment or cure. She’s learned to compensate for the weakness. We’re enjoying her every minute that we can. We know that sooner, rather than later, that we’re going to have to put her down. She’s super excited to be an indoor dog again though! June also brought hubby’s Annual Training with the National Guard. Maggie got sick THE DAY BEFORE he had to leave. It’s always something, I’m telling ya! July brought two beach trips. The kiddos and I went to Northern VA to visit hubby’s side of the family for the Fourth of July at the family cottage on the Potomac. SO MUCH FUN! Bug kept trying to figure out a way to get the newest baby in the family home. HER BABY. Haha. I celebrated my second book blogging anniversary, without actually doing anything. Oops! We also went to the beach with my mom and step-dad. The kiddos love the beach. I am super proud that I made the 6 1/2 hour and 8 hour beach drives solo with the kiddos. We also said goodbye to my 94 year old great-grandmother in July. It was hard. August brought Hubby’s 30th birthday! We also went to the fair with my (ex)step-dad. The kids had such a blast. Bug wanted to ride the BIG rides so bad and was quite upset she was too young. She loved the carousel and the pony rides though. Punk loved the animal exhibits. Punk also started pre-k this year. It hit me hard that I now have a school age kid! He’s loving it and I love that he’s loving it. I’m really enjoying the chance to have some one on one time with Bug. There are some days that she cries and doesn’t want to take Bubby to school. There are others that she cries because she doesn’t want to go pick him up! She’s sitting in my lap now as I work on this post haha. September was a bit more relaxed. Hubby’s unit had family day and we also went to an MTSU home game. That was a looooong day! Five hour drive down and back after a full day of fun! Now it’s on to October! I love October. Autumn is in full swing. My birthday is this month and so is HALLOWE’EN! How was your summer?

affiliate links used

Books I read in May-September (in order of completion)
The Whitechapel Fiend by Cassandra Clare
A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas
Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead
Revenge of the Witch by Joseph Delaney
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
White Hot Kiss by Jennifer Armentrout
The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter
The Goddess Hunt (Goddess Test) by Aimee Carter
Goddess Interrupted (Goddess Test Book 2) by Aimee Carter
The Goddess Inheritance (A Goddess Test Novel) by Aimee Carter
The Goddess Legacy (The Goddess Queen / The Lovestruck Goddess / Goddess of the Underworld / God of Thieves / God of Darkness (Goddess Test) by Aimee Carter
The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh
The Heir (The Selection) by Kiera Cass
A Darker Shade of Magic: A Novel by VE Schwab
Nothing but Shadows (Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy Book 4) by Cassandra Clare
An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir
A Curious Tale of the In-Between by Lauren DeStefano
The Hidden Prince (Orphan Queen Novella 1) by Jodi Meadows
The Queen: A Novella by Kiera Cass
The Evil We Love (Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy Book 5) by Cassandra Clare
The Archived by Victoria Schwab
Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood
Vicious by VE Schwab
Most Likely to Succeed (The Superlatives) by Jennifer Echols
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Marley & Me: Life and Love with the World’s Worst Dog
The Isle of the Lost: A Descendants Novel by Melissa de la Cruz
Pale Kings and Princes (Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy Book 6) by Cassandra Clare
The Assassin and the Pirate Lord: A Throne of Glass Novella by Sarah J Maas
Pete the Cat’s Groovy Guide to Life by James Dean
The Assassin’s Blade: The Throne of Glass Novellas by Sarah J Maas
Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass series Book 1) by Sarah J Maas
Crown of Midnight (Throne of Glass series Book 2) by Sarah J Maas
Heir of Fire (Throne of Glass series Book 3) by Sarah J Maas
Queen of Shadows (Throne of Glass series) by Sarah J Maas
Snow Like Ashes (Snow Like Ashes Series) by Sara Raasch
Bitter of Tongue (Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy Book 7) by Cassandra Clare
Shadow and Bone (The Grisha Trilogy) by Leigh Bardugo
Siege and Storm (The Grisha Trilogy) by Leigh Bardugo
Ruin and Rising (The Grisha Trilogy) by Leigh Bardugo
The Demon in the Wood: A Darkling Prequel Story (The Grisha Trilogy) by Leigh Bardugo
The Glowing Knight (Orphan Queen Book 2) by Jodi Meadows

Coming up in October:

My birthday!

Punk’s class’s field trip to the corn maze

Hallowe’en!

Punk’s school’s fall festival

Goals for October

Stay ahead of schedule

Learn to successfully juggle two blogs

Spend time focused on the kiddos

Catch up on review writing

BALANCE

October releases I’m excited for:
Ice Like Fire (Snow Like Ashes Series) by Sara Raasch
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone: The Illustrated Edition (Harry Potter, Book 1) by JK Rowling
The White Rose (Jewel) by Amy Ewing
The Rose Society (A Young Elites Novel) by Marie Lu

October TBR:
Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
Ice Like Fire (Snow Like Ashes Series) by Sara Raasch
The White Rose (Jewel) by Amy Ewing
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone: The Illustrated Edition (Harry Potter, Book 1) by JK Rowling
Fairest: The Lunar Chronicles: Levana’s Story by Marissa Meyer
The Fulfillment (The Fulfillment Series) by Erin Rhew

Challenge Update:

2015 PopSugar Reading Challenge books completed:
A book with 500+ pages: Brazen by Katherine Longshore
A book turned into a movie: Vampire Academy (Vampire Academy, Book 1)
A book published in 2015: Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard
A book with a number in the title: The 5th Wave: The First Book of the 5th Wave Series
An author under thirty: Vicious by VE Schwab
A book with non-human characters: This Shattered World: A Starbound Novel
A funny book: Most Likely to Succeed (The Superlatives) by Jennifer Echols
A book by a female author: The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh
A book with a one word title: Forged (Taken) by Erin Bowman
A book of short stories: The Assassin’s Blade: The Throne of Glass Novellas
A book set in a different country: The Girl in the Steel Corset by Kady Cross
A popular author’s first book: The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson
A book a friend recommended: The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter
A Pulitzer Prize book: To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
A book based on a true story: Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood
A book that scares you: The Fault in Our Stars
A memoir: Marley & Me: Life and Love with the World’s Worst Dog
A book read in one day: A Curious Tale of the In-Between
A book set somewhere you want to visit: A Cold Legacy (Madman’s Daughter) by Megan Shepherd
A book with bad reviews: (either love or hate this one!) The Heir (The Selection) by Kiera Cass
A trilogy: The Hunger Games Trilogy
A book from your childhood: Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer
A book with a love triangle: White Hot Kiss (The Dark Elements)
A book set in high school: The Start of Me and You by Emery Lord
A book with a colour in the title: The Red Tent: A Novel
A book that made you cry: The Assassin and the Empire: A Throne of Glass Novella (Throne of Glass series Book 1)
A book with magic: A Darker Shade of Magic by VE Schwab
A graphic novel: Artemis Fowl: The Graphic Novel
A book by an author you’ve never read: An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir
A book set in your (college’s) hometown: Catching Jordan by Miranda Kenneally
A banned book: The Giver by Lois Lowry
A book turned into a TV show: Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

How was your summer? What’s up for October?

 

Top Ten Tuesday #89: Series I Haven’t Finished September 8, 2015

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Each week, the girls over at The Broke and the Bookish think up a fun theme for the week and participating bloggers around the net join in. The theme for this week is:

Series I Haven’t Finished

affiliate links used

The Taming of the Queen (The Tudor Court) by Philippa Gregory


Artemis Fowl Series by Eoin Colfer


Daughter of Smoke & Bone Trilogy by Laini Taylor


Vampire Academy Series by Richelle Mead


A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket


Steampunk Chronicles by Kady Cross


Maids of Honor Trilogy by Jennifer McGowan


The Giver Quartet by Lois Lowry


Left Behind: A Novel of the Earth’s Last Days by Tim LaHaye & Jerry B Jenkins


Chronicles of Faerie by OR Melling


Defiance Trilogy by CJ Redwine

What’s on your list this week? I’m usually pretty good about finishing a series. I think all of these are complete series. You never can tell with Philippa Gregory though! (:

 

Please Be Kind, Rewind: 12 – 18 April 2015 April 18, 2015

I am so happy to be back in the swing of blogging! It feels so great! I’m doing some work on a Read It Before You See It type post. I know it’s not original by any means. Just something I’d like to do. Maybe have some guest posts? I have a list drawn up and some recent ones to whip up into posts as I get through the planning stage. I think I may do a giveaway or two with it if there’s some interest! I’m pretty excited about it. (: I had a lot of great input for recommendations this week! Thank you to everyone who made suggestions! I appreciate them!

I’m super excited/sad about Forged (Taken) by Erin Bowman releasing this week. I’m excited cause I’m binge rereading the first two and I can’t wait to see how things end. I’m also sad cause I DON’T WANT IT TO END!!!! I NEEEEEEEEED more Gray in my life. This can’t be the end!

affiliate links used

Completed:
These Broken Stars (Starbound)by Aime Kaufman and Megan Spooner
The Giver by Lois Lowry
Taken by Erin Bowman

Currently Reading:
Maid of Secrets (Maids of Honor)
Pirates Past Noon (Magic Tree House, No. 4)
Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
Frozen (Taken) by Erin Bowman

Read with the Kiddos:

 we were bad again this week. /:

New to My Shelf:
Forged (Taken) by Erin Bowman
ARC Landry Park by Bethany HagenThanks for the trade Emma! (:

From the Library:

lots of audiobooks to start on my Read It Before You See It feature (just a sampling!)
The Giver by Lois Lowry
Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen
Winter’s Bone by Daniel Woodrell
Persuasion by Jane Austen
Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
Then They Came for Me: A Family’s Story of Love, Captivity, and Survival (Hardcover) by Maziar Bahari
The Maze Runner by James Dashner
The Maze Runner by James Dashner
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle
The Great Gatsby by F Scott Fitzgerald
Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card

 

Please Be Kind, Rewind: 27 July – 10 August 2014 August 10, 2014

Sooooo…. I haven’t posted in ages and I kinda explained in my last Tot Time Thursday why that’s been the case. I’m spending today getting this week’s posts up and ready at the same time prepping for our first week of home preschool. I intended to start last week, but printer mishaps didn’t let that happen. So, instead of being a week ahead of our school system, we’ll be roughly on the same page with them. I think they start Wednesday, but we’ll be starting tomorrow. Needless to say, it’s been super busy around the house in the last few weeks with me deciding to buckle down and get things organised. Punk’s shown an increase in wanting to read and asking to learn to read. So, we’re giving home preschooling a go! I’ve also been super busy with reading. While working on ALL THE THINGS, I’ve also been listening to audiobooks. I figured why not kill two birds with one stone? I’ve been sitting at the computer lining things up and instead of music, I listened to audiobooks. Hopefully things will be going much more smoothly now or at least soon once we get in a rhythm for working throughout the day. I’ve also decided since I haven’t stayed on top of watching entries and revealing prizes, I’m going to extend my blogoversary giveaway by two weeks so the word has time to get around about the new prizes. Of course, I’m upstairs while I’m working on this and my prize list is written downstairs, so, I’ll add that ASAP later today. So, check back after around 2PM EST to see the list. I’m aiming to have it up after church around the kiddos’ naptime! (: Before I give the lowdown on what we’ve been reading, tell me, how have YOU been? I feel like I haven’t really talked to anyone lately! What are some great things you’ve read lately? What are you looking forward to? (Yes, I will have my Hello, Goodbye post fixed this week as well.) Time, I need more of it!

 

Completed:

The Queen’s Vow by C.W. Gortner (audiobook)

Open Road Summer by Emery Lord (OMG THIS BOOK!)

If I Stay by Gayle Forman (audiobook)

Where She Went by Gayle Forman (audiobook, not as good as I hoped)

Salvage by Alexandra Duncan (audiobook, also not as good as I hoped)

 

Currently Reading:

The Everything Mother Goose Book by June Rifkin (yes, we’re still working on it!)

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by JK Rowling (audiobook)

The Jewel by Amy Ewing

 

 

Read to the Kiddos:
Read to Tiger by S.J. Fore

Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons, Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes, Pete the Cat: Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star, and Pete the Cat: Pete at the Beach by James Dean & Eric Litwin

The Octonauts and the Great Ghost Reef by Meomi (Punk squealed with joy when I found this in the new books!)

 


New to my shelf:

 

From the library:

as usual, more audiobooks! (:

Something Strange and Deadly and A Darkness Strange and Lovely by Susan Dennard

The Giver quartet by Lois Lowry *swoons*

Number the Stars by Lois Lowry (audiobook)

A TON of books for the kiddos!

 

Top Ten Tuesday #36: If You Like X, Try These Ten Books April 29, 2014

 

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Each week, the girls over at The Broke and the Bookish think up a fun theme for the week and participating bloggers around the net join in. The theme for this week is:

Top Ten Books to Read if You Like Pearl Harbor/WWII Movies

Night by Elie Wiesel. This is one of the best books to read from a Holocaust survivor. I read it in high school for a class. It’s such a powerful book and I think it should be a required reading.

Prisoner of Night and Fog by Anne Blankman. A great read from inside Hitler’s inner circle. It has fictional characters as well as historical figures in it so tread lightly if you’re looking for a purist portrayal of history.

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. Another great read. I’d never read (that I recall) from the German perspective before this. It’s also in the view of an unique narrator – Death. It’s a great look in WWII poor Germany.

The Diary of Anne Frank by Anne Frank. It’s been ages since I read this, but it was so fantastic that I have to recommend it. I’m sure almost everyone has heard of Anne Frank, but I think more people should read her diary. Such an inspirational young woman who would’ve grown to do great things if her life hadn’t been cut short.

Number the Stars by Lois Lowry. I remember reading this when I did a paper on Lois Lowry in junior high. I should reread it soon because it was a good short read. Annemarie is such a strong young woman who shows great courage in a greatly troubled time.

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein. Um. Wow. This book is great. The first half can be a bit of an info dump, but it’s what the character is supposed to do.The second half is beyond incredible. Both narrators are extremely courageous and it’s beautifully written. I laughed, I cried, I hugged my copy close.


Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein. The companion to Code Name Verity, it’s even more powerful than the first. It’s an inside view of the Ravensbruck women’s work camp. It’s hauntingly beautiful. Another one I think should be a required reading! (:

A Separate Peace by John Knowles. Another high school read. I don’t remember much, but it was a good read.

American Girls Molly & Kit by Valerie Tripp. These might appeal to the younger crowd. I read the Molly books as a young girl and have read a few of the Kit books as I got older once they came out. I plan on sharing them with my kiddos!

Dear America there are a couple of good ones in the series. A few that I’ve read are One Eye Laughing, the Other Eye Weeping, My Secret War. Christmas After All, and Early Sunday Morning. These are also good for the younger side.


Those are my top WWII/Pearl Harbor (movie) era books! So some of them are series and the other books aren’t listed.  (: Tell me, what are your favourite WWII era books that you’ve read? What did you pick for your topic this week? Feel free to leave a link to your page and I’ll come visit!

 

Top Ten Tuesday #35: Characters Who X April 22, 2014

 

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Each week, the girls over at The Broke and the Bookish think up a fun theme for the week and participating bloggers around the net join in. The theme for this week is:

Top Ten Characters Who Inspire

Maddie Brodatt from Code Name Verity and Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein. Maddie was absolutely incredible. Such courage and determination. Kiss me, Hardy!

Gretchen Mueller from Prisoner of Night and Fog by Anne Blankman. It was inspiring to watch her learn to think for herself.

Hermione Granger from the Harry Potter series by JK Rowling. I saw a lot of myself in Hermione growing up and reading the series. Fiercely intelligent and loyal. I loved watching her grow into all of her abilities and always being true to herself.

Annemarie Johansen from Number the Stars by Lois Lowry. I loved Number the Stars and Annemarie when I was younger. She was such a strong young girl in the face of danger in World War II.

Ana from Incarnate by Jodi Meadows. Oh, Ana. Born into a world that hates her because they do not remember their past or understand her. She’s determined to protect other newsouls. She comes into her own strength.

Anne Neville from The Kingmaker’s Daughter by Philippa Gregory. I loved learning about this little known queen. In this historical fiction portrayal, she goes from scared child to strong, determined Queen of England. The road wasn’t an easy one, but she rises to the occasion every step of the way.

Katniss from The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins. Immature and naive in many ways, she also is strong and determined to protect her family.

June Iparis from the Legend trilogy by Marie Lu. She goes from naive unquestioning soldier to strong young woman. Her journey is a difficult but rewarding one.

Davina Hamilton from the Uninvited duology by Sophie Jordan. Her entire world is torn apart and flipped upside down, but she refuses to abandon her true self and that speaks volumes to me.

The Little Prince from Le Petite Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery. Oh, the Prince. He really makes an adult stop and thinking about some of the ridiculous things we do. Children have an innocence that often gets stripped from them unnecessarily.

Those are my top inspirational characters! I could write volumes about each one. I really could. I love all of them. Who are your most inspirational characters? What did you pick for this week’s topic? Feel free to leave a link to your page and I’ll come visit!

 

Top Ten Tuesday #33: Gateway Books/Authors in My Reading Journey April 1, 2014

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Each week, the girls over at The Broke and the Bookish think up a fun theme for the week and participating bloggers around the net join in. The theme for this week is:

Top Ten Gateway Books/Authors in My Reading Journey

JK Rowling– JKR is one of the authors responsible for making me fall in love with reading on my own. As a kid, I loved being read to, but HATED reading on my own. JKR changed all of that with a little boy named Harry. (: 

Rachel Harris – Rachel has gotten me to venture into the world of New Adult. I loved Seven Day Fiance. New Adult is on my genre list of venturing into more. 

Lois Lowry – Opening my reading up to dystopian societies. It’s kinda funny, really. Tea Time talked about this on 26 March when discussing The Giver trailer. I already had this list sketched out on paper and had her down for dystopian. I love her other works too, but she really got me into dystopian before it was cool to be dystopian. 

The Royal Diaries series – This middle grade series is what got me hooked on history. I devoured these books like they were going out of style! I still need to finish the series and I hope my kiddos love them as much as I did/do!

Philippa Gregory – It started with Royal Diaries and matured when I discovered Philippa Gregory’s Tudor era writings. She only increased my obsession with mid15th-early17th century England! 

Carolyn Meyer – Another middle grade obsession. I love her Tudor era books!

Stephenie Meyer – Yes, she’s on my list. I will admit, Twilight launched me back into reading YA in college. I haven’t looked back on reading since then! 

Ann Rinaldi – There’s a real middle grade theme going on today! Rinaldi is another middle grade author who flamed my obsession with history.

Anne Frank – Dear Anne really sparked the flame on my love of reading about World War II. It was really a combination of her writing and wanting to know what my Grandaddy went through. 

American Girl series– This is THE series that really was the bridge between picture books and middle grade for me. I loved having people read these to me and I would occasionally sit and read them myself. I have four of the dolls that will be passed down to Bug and I have a bunch of the books! 

That’s it for Top Ten Tuesday today! What are your gateway books/authors? Feel free to comment and leave your link! (: 

 

 
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