From the Book Expo America Armchair: My Introduction

Welcome to Armchair Book Expo America!

ArmchairBEA LogoExample

Armchair BEA is for those who can’t make it to New York for BEA, but still want to participate in all the book blogger fun. Please go check out their page if you are interested!

Bloggers get to choose 5 questions to answer for our introductory post:

1. Please tell us a little bit about yourself: Who are you? How long have you been blogging? Why did you get into blogging? Where in the world are you blogging from? 

I’m Catherine, but I go by Katie—and I am a thirty something recent PhD who isn’t ashamed of harboring too many books, and loves to write, dance, and bake (sometimes at the same time). I travel often, both through stories and outside of them. I studied as an undergraduate and graduate student in London, and I can’t help but still think of myself as a Londoner…in multiple ways. I’ve been blogging since summer 2012, and I slipped into the blogging world after recognizing (with a friend) that blogging about literature and spirituality was just something I needed to stop talking about, and actually do. I am blogging from Northern California at the moment, but before that, I was blogging from North Carolina.

2. Describe your blog in just one sentence. Then, list your social details — Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc. — so we can connect more online. 

At Spirit of Children’s Literature, I invite you to explore the spiritual landscapes of children’s and young adult literature, and reflect on how the spiritual lives of readers (including you!) are engaged through stories.

Twitter: KatePoseyPhd

Instagram: WhatKatieRead

Pinterest: What Katie Reads

GoodReads: Catherine

3. What genre do you read the most?

This is a toss up between historical fiction and fantasy.

I love to read historical fiction (in children’s, young adult, and adult genres) because as a reader, it’s as if you are vicariously experiencing life in another historical period. It’s the closest thing to time travel I’ve discovered (so far).


4. What was your favorite book read last year? What’s your favorite book so far this year? 

Last year, one of my favorite books was Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson. I love reworkings or revisionings of children’s classics, so this story focusing on Tiger Lily and her relationship with Peter Pan was fantastic. Really. In fact, I’m getting ready to re-read that book—so if you haven’t read it and want to join me for a read-along, that could be absolutely lovely!

tiger lily

My favorite book so far this year is A Snicker of Magic by Natalie Lloyd. This is one of my new favorites, and is joining the ranks of The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane, Hope is a Ferris Wheel, and When You Reach Me. There are so many quotes from this book that resonate with me, so I’ve been a bit liberal with posting them recently. And I’m glad about that.


5. Share your favorite book or reading related quote. 

A favorite children’s middle grade fantasy is The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane. This was actually one of two books I used in my Ph.D. research so I have read its pages and basked in the beauty of its illustrations for many hours. This story is close to my heart.


“You must be filled with expectancy. You must be awash in hope. You must wonder who will love you, whom you will love next.”
Kate DiCamillo, The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane

My discussion of the BEA Literature Question will follow later in the day!

Are you taking part in BEA this year? What are you most excited about?!?


37 thoughts on “From the Book Expo America Armchair: My Introduction

  1. I love your thoughts on historical fiction and it being as close to time travel as you can get. I never really thought about it that way, but it definitely fits. I love how when I fall into a book, I am transported to all kinds of places and times and I get to vicariously experience so many different things. It is an amazing feeling.

    Lisa @Just Another Rabid Reader

  2. 1. Please tell us a little bit about yourself: Who are you? How long have you been blogging? Why did you get into blogging? Where in the world are you blogging from?

    I’m Donna and I’ve been TRYing to blog since Nov. 2012 : / As an aspiring author/illustrator, for years I’ve known I need to become more active with social media. From past experience (from way back in the late 90s when I first got online), I know that social activity online can really eat up a lot of time—something I don’t have much of to concentrate on my goals as it is—so it took several years to jump in to the social media pool. For that same reason, I’ve only been able to concentrate on them (yes, TWO blogs now) in spurts. Once I finish some artwork I’m doing, my plan is to FINALLY concentrate on them enough to see them through to launch 🙂

    2. Describe your blog in just one sentence. Then, list your social details — Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc. — so we can connect more online.

    Since I have 2 blogs, I’ll have 2 sentences 🙂 This blog will focus on virtually anything book-related (mostly KidLit), whether it be about reading, writing, illustrating or the journey of pursuing publication.

    and This blog is about ALL kinds of creativity (not cooking, though cooking will have a page, too!), from BEING creative to DISCUSSing and enjoying all forms of creative venues.

    Twitter: @writersideup

    GoodReads: :Donna Marie —

    3. What genre do you read the most?

    My reading time is spread across the entire spectrum of KidLit, from Board Books through Young Adult 

    4. What was your favorite book read last year? What’s your favorite book so far this year?

    As is with most things I enjoy, I can never pick just one! I also forget which year I read which books lol There’s also the question of category! I read hundreds of picture books every year (adore ones like FLORA & THE FLAMINGO, JOURNEY, THIS IS NOT MY HAT, NOT YET,ROSE,) and not nearly as many novels as I’d like *sigh* A couple popping to mind that I “think” were read last year are: BECAUSE OF WINN-DIXIE (MG) and THIS SONG WILL SAVE YOUR LIFE (YA).

    This year I’ve read some great ones so far, too, like ONE FOR THE MURPHYS, FLORA & ULYSSES, and am presently REALLY enjoying THE MYSTERIOUS BENEDICT SOCIETY. My most recent PB love is SLEEPYHEADS 🙂 I will only attempt to mention a FEW on my TBR *sigh* In queue: A SNICKER OF MAGIC, “TULANE,” THE ROOFTOPPERS, THE FAULT IN YOUR STARS, PRIVATEERS, FORTUNATELY,the MILK, THE REAL BOY and so on…

    5. Share your favorite book or reading related quote.

    Again—just ONE?! lol (Btw, Kate DiCamillo’s books are FILLED with quotable passages! 😀 )

    OK, I’ll pick just ONE:

    “All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”

    Great post, Catherine! I was compelled to spend the time actually doing it! lol

    • I’m so glad you shared this, Donna! It’s wonderful to get to know you a bit more. 🙂 I have the book, This Song Will Save Your Life, and need to move it to the top of my TBR list. I’ve been hearing so many wonderful things about it. I’m also interested in looking at your other blog–that’s fantastic that you have two! I do agree with the many quotes in Kate DiCaillo’s books worth sharing–they are lovely! Also, love the quote from Fellowship of the Ring–another trilogy I just ate up…Oh, and it is on my list to purchase and read ROOFTOPPERS!

      • …and it was nice getting to know you better, too 🙂 (And I still don’t know if you prefer Kate or Catherine 😉 )

        I purchased THE ROOFTOPPERS after having read the first chapter. Totally drawn into it, loved the writing. AND, just recently my neighbor (well, her parents still are neighbors) mentioned to me that someone she knew got published. I looked into it and lo and behold—yep, traditionally published so I was rightly impressed and curious! I got it through our library system here (only one copy in the 70+ branches, but I hope that changes!) and only just yesterday decided just to see what her writing was like. I’m SO glad I did! I was immediately drawn in by the writing, characters, setting, etc. It is now definitely on my TBR list! It’s called THE PRIVATEER’S APPRENTICE by Susan Verrico. I’m hoping the plot holds out as the first chapter has me expecting 🙂

  3. Ok both A Snicker of Magic and Edward Tulane are being added to my TBR immediately. I know I can totally trust your judgment on these issues!! I loved Wonderstruck – didn’t you suggest that one or am I losing it?

  4. I’m participating, and I’m most excited about finding other blogs to love — and I hope a few people will find mine. I’m SO excited to find yours, as this subject is one that I’ve been thinking about all alone for years! I look forward to delving more into your past and future posts.

    • Lory–so glad you stopped by! I’m really excited about this event for this very reason–connecting with other bloggers. I’m really looking forward to checking out your blog, and can’t wait to “chat” more. 😀

  5. Great intro, Katie! I’ve got a trip planned to England for September, so I love knowing someone who lived in London.

  6. Hi Katie, I’ve not read that much children’s literature but was intrigued to learn there is a category of historical fiction for children. It was something I loved as a teenager though I don’t think it had earned the label of genre at that time

    • I think the children’s books in this genre today are incredibly powerful! Some of the texts I love (and have also used with young readers) include The Devil’s Arithmetic, Elijah of Buxton, and Crossing Stones.

      • The new generation of writers do seem willing to write about more challenging topic than those I remember from my own childhood. Nothing wrong with that in my view

  7. I love reading any type of historical fiction, too!! I’m lucky enough to be going to BEA for all the days this year as I live just outside of NYC. I am liking reading people’s Armchair intros, though. Tiger Lily sounds really good. I may add it to my toppling shelf.

    Happy reading!


  8. Dancing and baking goes together surprisingly well, don’t you think? I absolutely wanted to read Tiger Lily and somehow managed to forget about it (how?!), but I definitely want to read it now! A read-along sounds lovely 🙂 as does your quote, absolutely beautiful! I hope you enjoy ABEA and that we’ll run into each other again during this week!
    My BEA Intro
    Juli @ Universe in Words

  9. Hello Katie.

    I haven’t read the books you mentioned but participating in ArmchairBEA is really expanding my reading horizon. I’ll put the books on my TBR list.

  10. FINALLY, someone else who reads children’s literature! I’ve met a lot of new people who read YA and adult books, but very few that I didn’t already know who read children’s. (Or middle grade, as it’s starting to be known.) I can’t say that I think at all about the spirituality in the books I read– it’s not something that comes into the conversation when students are asking me for book recommendations! Have fun with Armchair BEA!

  11. Hallo, Hallo! 🙂

    *waves!* I am a #cheerREADER via Team4 of #ArmChairBEA! 🙂 Congratulations on your accomplishments in your University studies! Whilst I was browsing over your page here, I noticed that I fancy the wallpaper & that your categories of books you regularly read are ones that I am gravitating towards myself! What fun! 🙂 I would have loved to have lived in London for an age myself — I dreamt of crossing the Pond so many times, and I know one day I shall arrive on her shores! London has this wicked pulse of its own; like all the lovely cities do, of course! But, is it me, or does London just seem to fit that ideal city of adventure & of being away from our own country just far enough to feel as though we’re independent & off someplace radically new!? 🙂

    Love the premise of your blog’s theme as reflected through your one liner to describe it! I oft muse about spirituality on my own blog, as I do like to pick out those moments when a character or a writer takes their audience a bit deeper than regular faire. I also read mainstream & inspirational markets of literature, and on the latter I get to explore spirituality a bit more frequently. Although I am one who can find spirituality in any context of story where the writer has left behind a piece of light to find! 🙂

    I have marked down your blog to return back too after the event because I can tell that I would love to drop by & chat with you on your blog posts! I too, am drawn into historical fiction irregardless of the age the book is written for as well! 🙂 Reaching into the historical past and drawing out a measure of empathy for those who lived can never go out of fashion!

    Such a lovely blog! I am thankful I found you!! 🙂

    Jorie’s #ArmChairBEA Intro

    • Jorie, I think you’re right about London! It is one of my very favorite places! I think you will definitely get there one day, and you will love the literary landscape of the city. I am excited to hear that some of the books I have mentioned are ones you were gravitating towards. I can’t wait to check out your blog–this Armchair BEA is wonderful in that I have met some many fantastic bloggers and have discovered many more blogs. I think I’m going to take some extra days to click on more blogs in the link ups. I think you are right about being able to find spirituality in many contexts in stories. I think there is a lot more to explore in terms of a spirituality of a story than we may think at first glance. I also read some occasional inspirational books as well!
      That would be fantastic to have you drop by again and chat. I think you are exactly right about historical fiction–the idea surrounding these books will never go out of fashion, as you mentioned! Thank you for stopping by and looking forward to future conversations! 😀

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