March 25 is Tolkien Reading Day, a day dedicated to reading the works of the genius that is J.R.R. Tolkien. As I thought back on my previous readings of the epic adventure Lord of the Rings and, of course, my favorite Tolkien book, The Hobbit, I realized that everything I need to know in life, I learned from reading Tolkien.
It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door…You step into the road and if you don’t keep your feet, there is no knowing where you might be swept off to. (The Fellowship of the Ring)—Any day can become an adventure. Continue reading
With a spring thaw on the horizon and holidays out of the way, it’s time to start holding ourselves accountable for all of those 2020 travel plans we pinned to our vision boards back in January. That’s right, readers. It’s time to pack your suitcases and, with any luck, make it to the airport in time to grab an overpriced coffee and get a head start on a good book. But where to, you ask? Ireland, of course. It is March, after all. In this month’s edition of Have Books, Will Travel, we take you to the Emerald Isle with novels that feature the historic country’s lush setting and plots that are sure to keep your interest until the next pint arrives.
In The Woods by Tana French
The Land of Saints and Scholars has mystical wonders galore…or so we’ve heard. In any case, what better way to enjoy a view of the mist rising from the sea among moss-covered stones than with a cup of Irish breakfast tea and a good mystery? Continue reading
Name: Santa Claus, Kris Kringle, Father Christmas, Papa Noel, etc.
Job Title: CEO
Office Location: North Pole
The big guy in the red suit is a booklover, too! Who knew? (We did.) From films to cookies, we got the scoop on a few of Santa’s favorite things as he took a little time away from the workshop to have a fireside chat. Enjoy!
What’s your favorite part of the job, you know, being the world’s best gift giver?
Spreading joy. They say it’s better to give than to receive and, you know, it really is true! Knowing that I can help add a bit of cheer to someone’s day, even if just for a moment, even if it’s just once a year, that makes the frequent flyer miles worth it.
As someone who loves to celebrate strange, but wonderful holidays, I was excited to come across a “holiday” dedicated to making you feel better by allowing you to voice your frustrations about the Holiday season. That’s right. December 21st is Humbug Day, when you can have 12 humbugs to vent your holiday frustrations.
The creators of this holiday also encourage the reading of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol to learn more about the man that inspired this day, Mr. Ebenezer Scrooge. Of course, Scrooge only says “Humbug” nine times in the book, and only two of them include the interjection “Bah!” Still, if we’re given 12 humbugs on Humbug Day, I say we take them. So here are my 12 Humbugs for the Holidays.
Humbug 1—The décor that goes on sale before Halloween.
Humbug 2—The lights on your neighbor’s house that seem a bit extreme.
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the 1969 TV special Frosty the Snowman. It may not be as beloved as some other classic holiday shows, but Frosty (unlike its melt-prone title character) has proven its staying power. To celebrate, here are 50 facts, tidbits, observations and tangents about this animated TV classic.
‘Tis the season of cheesy Christmas romance movies! You know the ones.
A strictly business New Yorker type gets an assignment to go shut down a small town, family-owned bakery to make way for a big box store and finds herself unexpectedly charmed by Chris K., the gorgeous local bank owner who never reveals what his last initial stands for. He eats breakfast at the bakery every morning and allows it to continue to operate in spite of the fact that the rent has been late for the past 15 years because he knows the family and they’re good people. There’s at least one puppy with a red bow and there’s always a shot of someone’s grandma clasping her hands while watching snow fall from the front window of her home. Good stuff.
Anyway, in honor of all films that mention “The Christmas Spirit” 42 times, we bring you a holly jolly list of romance novels set in the season of joy and peace; perfect for reading while curled up in front of a fully trimmed tree with a cup of hot cocoa.
It’s the holidays, and we all know what that means—lots of fun, quality family time that you’ve been craving! Just kidding; it’s the worst. If, like me, you’re also looking to hide from Uncle Joe’s long, boring rants about how he used to walk up hill both ways to school (“IN A BLIZZARD”) or Aunt Margery’s alcohol-fueled desire to know the intimate details of your family planning (“WHEN ARE YOU HAVING KIDS?!”), I have just the thing for you. Books! Glorious books! The rather annoying aspects of family obligations absolutely disappear as I stick my nose into a book. Read on to discover which books are sure to help you escape from family this holiday season. Best of luck, and God speed.
Books That People Claim to Have Read, But Are Afraid to Discuss
These kinds of books are the ones that people like to have claimed to have read to appear intelligent. Books under this category include Crime and Punishment, Dune, Lord of the Rings, War and Peace, Outliers, A Brief History of Time, The Da Vinci Code and Ulysses. These are the tried and true, a mix of non-fiction and fiction, just to give you a variety to choose from. These are the books that help you grow, are highly entertaining or educational and, as an added bonus, they are great to tick off that must-read list.
Pros: Your obnoxious cousin who is always trying to seem better than you will not want to talk about any of these books if they haven’t read them or have lied about having read them and will leave you alone. Also, you could be expanding your mind and exploring a masterpiece of literature that takes time and BOY— do you have time to waste this holiday by not talking to family!
Cons: Your obnoxious cousin who is always trying to seem better than you might have actually picked up one of these thicc books and will proceed to talk at you about how quickly they read it and how slow you are at reading, “right Grandma?”
Halloween is upon us, and we’ve got just the thing for those of you who love books that have a little tingle in the spine. Ah, yes. If you love a good ghoulish read, then this list is right up your dark alley. Should you be brave enough to embrace the terror, take a look as we guide you through our great, ghastly list of horror books perfect for reading in the dead of night with a flashlight held to your chin just so. This edition of Have Books, Will Travel? To Hell & Back. MUAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAAAA…ahem. Let’s get started!
Arthur’s Halloween by Marc Brown
We get it. Not everyone takes an interest in terror. Some of you enjoy an adorable dose of silly spookiness and that’s all you can handle. As an honorable mention, we look no further than our favorite nearsighted aardvark, Arthur. In the Halloween installment of Marc Brown’s beloved children’s series, Arthur must face his fears (and he has a lot of them) and find the courage to save his little sister after she wanders aimlessly into the scariest house on the block. Is D.W. doomed to spend the rest of her days in Elwood City’s most haunted house? Something tells us her brother has what it takes to set the scary things aside and save the day.
Number of lights you’ll need to leave on: A single night light if you must, but you should sleep just fine. Continue reading
Oddball, crackpot, nutcase, misfit or weirdo, no matter what you call them, they are the wacky, original characters that help us think outside the box, be true to ourselves and let’s face it, make life and literature so much fun. Since September 9 is Wonderful Weirdos Day, I have chosen some of my favorite weirdos from books and movies. Continue reading
We love story time picture books. And crafts. And the only thing we love more than storytime or crafts is a storytime craft. We’re also total suckers for anything involving animals. So in honor of Children’s Book Week, my daughters Jane and Rose (four and three years old respectively) and I decided to tackle some crafts inspired by a few of our favorite animal picture books. Continue reading