Top Ten Fun Events in 2014 for Katie!

toptentuesday2This weekly meme is hosted by The Broke and Bookish, as usual. If you participate, do include your link on their page, so other bookish people can find you!

This week we’re meant to post our Top Ten Resolutions for 2015—bookish or otherwise.

I have plenty of resolutions I could post, but I started to think it would actually be much better for me to post ten fun things/accomplishments from 2014—they weren’t all necessarily resolutions, but I’m sensing the need to look back on the year and note what I did accomplish so I can be thankful for that before I jump into my resolutions for 2015.

So I hope you enjoy hearing a little more about my year! Some of these ARE bookish, so I was excited to share.

  1. I attended my first Writer’s Conference in Portland Oregon in March. It was fantastic! I normally only attend academic or children’s literature conferences, so this was a treat. I even met with an editor to get feedback on a nonfiction book idea.


  1. I stayed for the first time at a LITERARY BED AND BREAKFAST on the Oregon coast! I was in the Emily Dickinson room and there was a library on the 4th floor with a view of the ocean. It was divine!


  1. I started an online art class with Kelly Rae Roberts—one of my favorite mixed media artists. I’m still working on paintings I started in the course, but I was really excited to jump into something new that I found out I LOVE!


  1. I spent two weeks on Cape Code with one of my best friends in June/July. Even though I was teaching online, I had an amazing time enjoying the beauty of the cape.



  1. I went to Disneyland three times! Ok, part of that is because I have a cousin who works there, and my other cousin lives down the road from Disneyland. It’s one of my favorite places, so this definitely made my year a brighter one…and being able to hang out with family made it even more special.

  1. Even though I didn’t get funding to go to Athens, Greece for the Child and the Book conference in April, someone graciously presented my paper for me, which was on time travel and spirituality in children’s and young adult literature. I was bummed I couldn’t be there because my grad school advisor and several friends were there, but maybe next year!


  1. I did get to go back to London in September and stay with my very dear friends for a little over a week. You may know that I lived in the UK before and there are so many people there I love to visit. It was perfect.


  1. I taught THREE classes in the summer. It was a lot, but it was helpful financially. I still can’t believe I’m alive and able to tell the tale of teaching that many classes in the summer, but here I am.


  1. Because I taught those three classes, I presented a paper at an Education Conference in Jerusalem after my stopover in London. It was a conference about early childhood education, children’s spirituality, and creativity. It was amazing! I spent almost three weeks in Israel—mostly in Jerusalem. It was my second trip to Israel—earlier in the year I had no idea I would be able to make a second trip that soon.


  1. The Over 30 Book Bloggers Group was born!! I have loved chatting over e-mail and twitter with the ten or so ladies over 30 who love all things bookish. They are all encouraging and beautiful, inside and out, and their friendship is a great source of community for me in the book blogging world.


  1. I must add one more—I put all my stuff in storage and after traveling abroad temporarily moved to Cape Cod to focus on writing (Also job searching!). I was able to stay with some wonderful people I met through my best friend, and had a ball spending time with them. I taught one less class so I could focus on revising a book I’ve been trying to finish. Still working on that, but was able to get a lot of writing done, and hopefully 2015 will see the conclusion of that.

Let’s be honest—I could add more, but just writing these eleven has been a good move for me as I take stock of the year and think about 2015…I think it’s always a good idea to look back and consider all that we did accomplish even if it feels like we didn’t get to the things we thought we would. I know I can think of a handful of resolutions I didn’t get to, but that’s ok. That’s what New Years are for!

What are some of your fun accomplishments for 2014? I would love to hear!



Top Ten Books I Read in 2014 (Top Ten Tuesday)


This weekly meme is hosted by The Broke and Bookish—check out their blog and join in the TOP TEN TUESDAY FUN!

This week, we’re sharing our Top Ten Books Read in 2014—a perfect Top Ten Tuesday for this 16th of December. I can’t believe it’s almost the end of 2014. I don’t know about you, but I love the Christmas season—time to bake, relax by the fire, spend time with family and friends, celebrate, give gifts, and especially…read! I have grading to finish up for a literature course I teach online, and I’m going to appreciate the time off I as soon as the term is officially over.

Then, it’s time for me to squeeze in a few more 2014 reads…

So here’s my list of my very favorite books read in 2014. I’m not going to overlap titles from New to Me Authors Read in 2014, so you will see some of my favorites missing from this list to make room for others—simply because I already mentioned them in another post.

Code Name Verity

By Elizabeth Wein code03,200_

So I had owned this book for awhile and read it while on holiday this summer at the ocean and oh my goodness….THIS BOOK! It’s amazing historical fiction, researched beautifully, and depicts an amazing female friendship that may leave you weeping by the end of the book, but let me tell you, it’s worth it! This is one of those books I will recommend to EVERY PERSON I MEET!

Rose Under Fire

By Elizabeth Wein


I just read this book on a cross-country flight and I never put it down the whole five hours—except to maybe eat something. It’s a companion novel to CODE NAME VERITY, and this book is just as fantastic and may be even better than CNV. I love all of Elizabeth Wein’s books, and I cannot wait for her 2015 release! I need to read a book by her at least once a month! This one sees its protagonist caught by the Germans and sent to the concentration camp, Ravensbruck.

The Winner’s Curse

By Marie Rutkoski winner-curse1-624x936

If you read my review of this gorgeous fantasy, you will understand why I love it so much and why I can’t wait for the sequel to be released. These characters are dear to my heart and I love Rutkoski’s world building.

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Frye

By Rachel Joyce harold frye

This book has been out for awhile and I can’t believe I waited so long to read it. It is worth all the awards it has won, and here is yet another story that I think every adult reader needs to know about.

Dorothy Must Die

By Danielle Paige


Again, with this one, all you need to do is review my thoughts about it. Love the Oz reworking, and am so excited about what is in store in the sequel!

Flora and Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures

By Kate DiCamillo flora

It was no surprise to me that this most recent book of DiCamillo’s won the Newbery. You can find my review here to see why this humorous and heartwarming story was so chock full of moments that engaged my heart on many different levels.

The Assassin’s Blade

By Sarah J. Maas


I discovered Sarah J. Maas for the first time in 2014, and though a lot of readers have chosen Heir of Fire (because they started reading the series before 2014), I’m going to have to go with the first book I read of hers—The Assassin’s Blade. I loved all the novellas in this collection, and they really stirred my interest in the story of Celaena, the young assassin who is center stage in The Throne of Glass books. These novellas serve as a prequel to Throne of Glass and I was so glad I read these first!

The 5th Wave

By Rick Yancey

5th wave

This was one of my first reads of 2014, and let me tell you—I was on the edge of my seat with this one. All I have to say is…the Aliens are coming

The Madman’s Daughter

By Megan Shepherd

madman's daughter

This was another early read in 2014 and this book solidified my love of Shepherd’s series and now I am avidly awaiting the third book! You can read my review here.

The Tragedy Paper

By Elizabeth Laban TRAGEDY PAPER cover

Finally, another early read in 2014 that I still think about from time to time. Thought provoking and a story that wasn’t predictable. I was invested in the characters, and would have loved a sequel, but my feeling is that we probably won’t see one.

Are any of these books on your top ten list for 2014? Which 2014 reads should I make sure to jump into before the year is out??

#TopTenTuesday: Top Ten Books I’m Looking Forward To In 2015


This weekly meme is hosted by The Broke and Bookish—check out their blog and join in the TOP TEN TUESDAY FUN!

This week, we’re sharing the Top Ten Books We’re Looking Forward To in 2015. A few weeks back we shared sequels we’re looking forward to, so I’m not going to include all of those on this list, but I have to mention a few I’m REALLY EXCITED about.

These are a mixture of middle grade, young adult, and adult. It was difficult to narrow it down to ten, but we’ll be sharing our Top Ten Debut Authors for 2015 in the near future, so stay tuned.

fortuneA Desperate Fortune by Susanna Kearsley: April, 2015

I discovered Susanna Kearsley’s beautiful historical fiction several years ago when one of her books was recommended to me by a friend. I’m so excited to see she has a new book coming out—and this one looks like it has plenty of adventure, intrigue, and romance!

courtA Court of Thorns and Roses: May, 2015

Sarah Maas has a new series releasing next year!! If you loved Throne of Glass, you probably have this on your radar, and I expect it’s going to end up on a lot of TTT lists today.

cage The Cage by Megan Shepherd: May, 2015

So Megan Shepherd has a new series releasing in 2015!! Don’t despair since The Madman’s Daughter trilogy is finishing. Something new is just around the cover. This has got a desert setting, a character named Cora, black widow spiders, and an “otherworldly zoo”!!


Vanishing Girls by Lauren Oliver: March, 2015

Lauren Oliver is one of my favorites—ever since I read Before I Fall. What I’ve read so far about Vanishing Girls means I’ll be eagerly waiting for its release next year.


The War That Saved My Life by

Kimberley Brubaker Bradley: January, 2015

She wrote the award-winning Jefferson’s Sons, and middle grade historical fiction is always going to be a genre I read a lot of—I won’t have to wait long for this one. It’s set during World War II and suggested for fans of Number the Stars.


Rook by Sharon Cameron: April, 2015

How cool is that cover? Read the GoodReads blurb, and tell me you’re not interested!

blood and smokeConspiracy of Blood and Smoke by Anne Blankman: 

April 2015

Yep. You know the first book in this series is one of my faves for 2014, so I have to include this one on the list as well.

cold legacyA Cold Legacy: January, 2015

If you read my review of The Madman’s Daughter, you will know that I love this series. Set in Victorian era Scotland, this conclusion to the series is sure to be thrilling with its Frankenstein bent!

winner's crimeThe Winner’s Crime (Winner’s Curse #2): March, 2015

How many times have I said how much I LOVE The Winner’s Curse?? Need I say more?? Just look at that cover!

red queenRed Queen by Victoria Aveyard: February, 2015

So here’s another high fantasy coming out from Harper in the new year, and I’m glad it’s going to be out in early 2015. From the GoodReads reviews, it sounds like a fantastic and gripping first book in a trilogy. Steph from Cuddlebuggery Book Blog said, “It’s like an X-Men dystopia stuck in a high fantasy world on crack.” Sounds good to me.

Are any of these on your list of Anticipated Reads for 2015?? There’s a lot of splendid-looking titles getting published in 2015. One challenge I have is that there are still many books I need to read from 2014…What’s one to do?!? So many books and so little time!

Happy December!

#TopTenTuesday: Top Ten Books To Read for Winter

Who thinks that cold weather, tea, maybe a piece of chocolate cake, a fire, and a good book is the perfect combo?? That’s why we’re all probably going to get a lot of reading done this winter. I’m EXCITED!

anigif_enhanced-buzz-5175-1390795268-5This week, we’re sharing the Top Ten Books on My Winter To Be Read List. I’ve got a mixture of new releases as well as some books that have been on my TBR for awhile.




Fairest: January, 2015

As you read in my list for last week–I’m really excited about Fairest!

red queen

Red Queen: February, 2015

There’s already a lot of talk about Red Queen, so February can’t arrive fast enough. This cover is definitely intriguing.

cold legacy

A Cold Legacy: January, 2015

I loved The Madman’s Daughter and I’m currently reading Her Dark Curiosity. In my opinion, Megan Shepherd can do no wrong, so I’m quite excited about the third book in the trilogy.

last time

The Last Time We Say Goodbye: February, 2015

This story looks like it will be a bit sad, but from what I have read on GoodReads, I think this story, though about loss and grief, will be one I definitely pick up.

winner's crime

The Winner’s Crime (Winner’s Curse #2): March, 2015

As you know, this book was on my list for last week, so OF COURSE it’s on my Winter TBR!!



Undertow by K.R. Conway

I just met this author last week, and though I don’t always pick up YA paranormal on my own, the reviews on GoodReads as well as what K.R. Conway said about her book, means that I have to read this! The second book is also out, which is fantastic, and the third will be out soon. I’m excited! One reviewer said that this is “Dawson’s Creek meets Jaws and The Goonies…” 

So, that’s a pretty cool combo, wouldn’t you say?




Twinmaker by Sean Williams

This is the first in a series, and I own this book, so it’s going on my Winter TBR–especially because the second one is now out. A good science fiction YA is not to be passed up for the winter.

we are not ourselves

We Are Not Ourselves by Matthew Thomas

Sure, this is 620 pages, but an epic story of the American Century?? You know how much I LOVE historical fiction, so I really want to tackle this one. Maybe in the midst of a snow storm….

i shall be near paperback-coverI Shall Be Near to You by Erin Lindsay McCabe

This is another book I own that is historical fiction that I am dying to read, and it’s by an author from Northern California. And that makes me excited. So on the Winter TBR it goes.

green glass house4,203,200_

Greenglass House by Kate Milford

This looks like an enchanting middle grade novel that I just discovered on GoodReads. Donalyn Miller, author of The Book Whisperer, gave it 5 stars, and I take note of that…

What’s on your Winter TBR?? Which of these do you think I should begin first?? So many choices…it’s almost too much!!


This weekly meme is hosted by The Broke and Bookish—check out their blog and join in the TOP TEN TUESDAY FUN!

Here’s what they have to say about Top Ten Tuesday: “Top Ten Tuesday is a fun weekly link-up in the community where we provide a prompt and other lovers of listmaking join in on it with their own top ten list. Feel free to have less than 10 or more if you need to at times and put a spin on the topic if you need to! Just please link back to us if you are participating :)”