Blog Hop: Starting on Books


Today’s Book Blogger Hop question is: How young do you think children should be when they start reading?

I don’t think you can start too early with reading to children.  I started reading picture books to my baby when he was probably less than a month old.  He’s almost six months now, and we read a few books almost every day.  He was five months before he started appearing to notice the book much – up until that point I think he just liked hearing my voice, and it was easier for me to read than come up with a monologue.  But I figure if we start the habit of reading to him now, we can just keep going.

I don’t expect him to start being able to actually read himself for years – that’s usually a kindergarten thing, right?  But I think it’s important to start reading to children long before they learn how to read.

Blog Hop: Signed Editions


Today’s Book Blogger Hop question is: Have you ever gotten a book signed by the author?

I’m fortunate to know several great authors personally, and so I have an entire shelf of books signed by them: K. D. Blakely, R. A. Gates, Kelly Haworth, Elizabeth Garner, Dennis Mahoney, A. G. Stewart and Magnus Victor.  I’ve been to two book readings where I got a book signed – a little surprising that it hasn’t been more, actually!  I got signed copies of The Art Lesson by Tomie de Paola, and Better Than Before by Gretchen Rubin.  Two very different authors and books!

I have also bought a couple of signed books, without meeting the authors.  I have a copy of Beauty signed by Robin McKinley, and Terrier signed by Tamora Pierce.  I’d love signed copies of books (any books) by L. M. Montgomery (way, way too expensive) or J. M. Barrie (surprisingly less expensive, but pricey) but haven’t made that happen!

A Brief Announcement

You may have noticed that things have been a little quiet around here for the past few months.  After years of posting three times a week, this slid down to two, then eventually to one or even less.  Like many (most?) people, 2020 was a very strange year for me, and living through a pandemic definitely affected my creativity and engagement with a number of aspects of life, including this blog.

Additionally, I had another, much more positive distraction, as I got pregnant last summer!  My baby was born at the beginning of March, and is a healthy, adorable, very distracting new part of my life.

All pregnancy, I hoped I might find the time and the energy to come back to more regular blogging.  Now that I have a newborn, I’m accepting the inevitable.  I’m not closing down this blog, and I still intend to be here more regularly some time in the future – but I am stepping away officially for the next while as I adjust to the new normal in my life.

Thank you for ALL the wonderful support over the past ten years, and I expect to be “seeing” you again soon – perhaps with some new ideas and new features, as I create a new normal for Tales of the Marvelous too! ❤

2020 Reading Round-Up

We are (finally!) at the beginning of 2021, making it time to look back at the best, the worst and the sometimes weird of my 2020 reading. I read 134 books this year, including finally picking up a lot of very good ones that had been languishing on my To Be Read list for years – and a few that turned out to be terrible too!

1) Best of…
I’ve been splitting my “Best of” books for the past several years, so that I can highlight the ones that were best in very specific ways.

1A) Best Premise: Incarnate by Jodi Meadows – I loved this concept of a society where everyone reincarnates and remembers their past lives.  So fascinating to explore what that makes the world look like.  The sequel went some odder directions, but I’ll probably pick up the third one eventually.

1B) Best World Building: The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet by Becky Chambers – I thoroughly enjoyed this sci fi adventure.  The characters and plot were good, but I especially liked the world (galaxy) they were in.  A little bit Star Trek (a galactic alliance of species), a little bit Star Wars (those species are really, really different from each other), and quite a bit Firefly (a ragamuffin crew with a Wild West feel), it still felt totally unique.  Humans aren’t very important in the galaxy, there’s a lot of exploration of the very different alien cultures, and by and large everyone is really accepting of those differences.  Very cool place to explore.

1C) Best Romance: One True Loves by Taylor Jenkins Reid – I’m not usually a fan of love triangles, but I really enjoyed this one.  I liked how the heroine’s character was explored through her choice between the two men, and her romance with each was convincing and powerful – but I was still happy with how it wound up!

1D) Best Hero: Elliott from In Other Lands by Sarah Rees Brennan – This was a wonderful, satirical take on magical school stories, and the hero, Elliott, was everything I wanted him to be: sarcastic, irritable, bad-tempered but totally on the ball.  Doesn’t sound appealing, but he was wonderful!  He brings a backpack stuffed with pens and highlighters to magic school (complaining loudly about quill pens) and has serious questions about why fourteen year olds are being sent into battles.  He’s awesome. Continue reading “2020 Reading Round-Up”

2020 Reading Challenges – End of Year Update

Welcome to 2021!  The start of a new year means time to look back at my reading from 2020.  It was a very strange year…but at least my reading went well!  My overarching goal was to read more, aiming for 125 books.  I passed that goal, with a total 134 books.  I guess staying home for most of the year was at least good for reading!

Here are my monthly totals:

January: 14 books
February: 11 books
March: 7 books
April: 12 books
May: 9 books
June: 9 books
July: 11 books
August: 14 books
September: 10 books
October: 15 books
November: 10 books
December: 12 books

Now onto the specific challenges…

The Phantom of the Opera Reading & Viewing Challenge
Host: Tales of the Marvelous
Goal: Lon Chaney Level

I posted the update for this challenge yesterday (share your updates if you have them!)  I met my goal, reading one book, watching one filmed play, and watching one movie.

Continue reading “2020 Reading Challenges – End of Year Update”