A Fantastical First Line Friday

Growing up, I devoured most any fantasy books I could get my hands on. It almost certainly started with picture books—anything involving witches or magic immediately caught my attention. Soon I was moving on to Bruce Coville and his Goblins in the Castle and later to Terry Pratchett's Discworld series and beyond. After high school,... Continue Reading →

Remembering Beverly Cleary

There are few writers quite like Beverly Cleary. A librarian during the 1940s, she noted that publishing companies weren't producing books that highlighted the children who were reading them. Her response? Write them herself. Ultimately, she produced over forty books and introduced readers of all ages to characters like Ramona Quimby, Ellen Tebbits, and Ralph... Continue Reading →

A First Line Friday with Too Much Spice

It's remarkable how certain smells have the ability to sometimes transport us into our pasts. A scent tickles the receptors in our noses and, almost without warning, our brains are slammed back in time to memories often assumed long-forgotten. Several weeks ago, after popping open a metal cannister, the tinny smell suddenly reminded me of... Continue Reading →

A First Line Friday … in Space!

Designing book covers is an art. Not only do they have to immediately capture a passing reader's attention, but they also must showcase the overall feeling of the book while remaining aesthetically pleasing ... or unappealing, if that's their thing. So long as it's eye-catching. This week I stumbled across a book that definitely ranks... Continue Reading →

A Recent First Line Friday

Becoming Duchess Goldblatt was one of the best reviewed books of 2020, and looking back over my review, I had nothing but good things to say about it. Both heartwarming and heartbreaking, it's a book I devoured every page in one sitting. The memoir of an anonymous woman who masquerades as a literary duchess on... Continue Reading →

A Valentime-y First Line Friday

Growing up, Valentine's Day was always one of my favorite holidays, and a lot of that stems from books. Throughout elementary school, I was treated to teachers who pulled out all the crepe paper and glitter stops: from elaborate Valentine mailboxes to embellished construction paper hearts, every February my classroom was an explosion of reds,... Continue Reading →

This First Line Friday is for the Birds

There are a few authors I immediately click with, but Alice Hoffman is one of them. Since stumbling across Practical Magic at my university's library, I've had an almost decade-long love of her work. And while I connect with some characters more than others and have a greater appreciation for certain plots, the one thing... Continue Reading →

A Parent-Approved First Line Friday

Where would half the heroines in romance novels be if not for meddling parents and a constant stream of pressure to find their perfect match? Certainly not living in the ever-alluring Happily-Ever-After. Usually quick with a quip and constantly reminding the lead of her singleness, they're a constant—and pushy—secondary presence in romance fiction. For this... Continue Reading →

An Optimistic First Line Friday

Even as someone who's glued to news and current events even during less tumultuous weeks, the recent onslaught of developments has been overwhelming. Yet I'm privileged enough to admit that part of my way of processing the chaos includes taking time—ten minutes here, an hour there—to sink into a good book. And while I've always... Continue Reading →

A Late First Line Friday

Well, it's the start of a new year and I am already running behind. Between a sudden snow storm and multiple power outages yesterday, the first First Line Friday of the year slipped away from me. That has to be a good omen for 2021 ... right? In other times, I might have strolled right... Continue Reading →

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