You May NOT Read . . .

September 25, 2016 Book Talk, OHH! 12

Artwork courtesy of the American Library Association.

Artwork courtesy of the American Library Association.


The Fault in our Stars, The Kite Runner, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks or even For Every Child a Better World by Jim Henson {yes, THAT Jim Henson}.

Did you know that this year alone 45 books have been challenged and banned across the country from early childhood all the way through college-age children. This week we celebrate all books but especially those books which have been banned.

The rights and protections of the First Amendment extend to children and teens as well as adults. While parents have the right—and the responsibility—to guide their own children’s reading, that right does not extend to other people’s children. Similarly, each adult has the right to choose his or her own reading materials, along with the responsibility to acknowledge and respect the right of others to do the same.  When we speak up to protect the right to read, we not only defend our individual right to free expression, we demonstrate tolerance and respect for opposing points of view. -American Library Association

To give you a small taste of the literature you are being denied access, here’s a few quotes from challenged and banned books during this past year:

Challenged/Banned Meridian, Idaho; Wilmington, North Carolina and Highland Park, Texas

the absolutely true diary of a part-time indian

Challenged/Banned in Wesley Chapel, Florida

paper towns

Challenged/Banned in Cleveland, Texas


Challenged but retained in Waukesha, Wisconsin

looking for alaska


Challenged/Banned in Waukesha, Wisconsin

chinese handcuffs

Banned Wilson County, Tennessee

the curious incident of the dog in the night-time

Challenged/Banned in 2 Districts in California

the fault in our stars

Banned/Challenged in Lewes, Delaware

brave new world

Banned/Challenged in Pensacola, Florida

little brother
Artwork courtesy of the American Library Association.

Artwork courtesy of the American Library Association.


What are your thoughts on banned books? Have you ever had someone deny you access to a book you wanted to read?



A Story of Hope with The Feathered Bone

September 21, 2016 Book Review, reviews 0

A Story of Hope with The Feathered BoneThe Feathered Bone by Julie Cantrell
Published by Thomas Nelson on January 26th 2016
Genres: Fiction, Inspirational
Pages: 384
Source: purchased

So maybe a miracle is anything that gets us through another day when life gets too hard.

The Feathered Bone begins with a class field trip to the Big Easy: New Orleans on Halloween. Two best friends, Sarah and Ellie are twelve, best friends and middle schoolers. Since their moms are best friends they’ve grown up to be almost inseparable. When Ellie’s mom, Amanda, is left to chaperone the two girls so Beth, Sarah’s mom can return to her work as a pastor’s wife, the unspeakable happens. Sarah goes to the restroom but never returns to the group. With Sarah’s disappearance, Amanda and Ellie both fight the guilt demons plaguing them. The Feathered Bone is a look at how do you have faith and hope in the face of unspeakable horror? How do you survive the guilt? and as a victim, how do you get through each day, each awful happening and still remain true to yourself and your faith?

That’s what we have to remember. Light defeats darkness. Never the other way around.

The Feathered Bone is also a story of trusting our instincts and valuing our own worth. It’s a testament to *feminism, a story of hope and the power of God to carry us through. Julie Cantrell’s books tackle the worst of mankind yet reveals the hope of mankind as well. Depression, domestic violence and trafficking are all tackled with equal voracity. Honestly, I started crying half-way through and didn’t stop until I closed the book. It’s the story of your neighbor, a friend, a relative, or even one in which you see parts of yourself.

Favorite Passage

He said that the day he tried to kill himself, he sat in front of Walmart for three hours trying to talk himself out of it. He sat right there on the bench, almost in tears, and thought, If one person smiles at me, I won’t do it. That’ll be a good enough reason to live. But in those three hours, nobody did. You know how many people go in and out of Walmart in the span of three hours? But everybody walked right past him, looking down at their phones or off in the distance, pretending he wasn’t there at all. He felt invisible. As if he were already dead. So he figured, what’s the point? And he went home and he did it. And only by the grace of God did he live to tell us that story. So from that moment on, I decided I never want to be the one who walks by and doesn’t smile. I want to be the one who makes everybody feel glad to be alive. To let them know they matter.

Final Thoughts

It’s difficult to beat Julie Cantrell’s debut novel Into the Free. I fell in love with Millie’s character and strength and the Depression-era setting. When  Mountains Move carries forward Millie’s life into adulthood. Both books are historical fiction {one of my favorite genres}. The Feathered Bone is straight from the headlines of today. I could taste the gumbo, smell the wet, swampy marsh and feel the sweltering humid heat during Hurricane Katrina. The characters ring true: Amanda’s guilt, Ellie’s depression, and Beth’s faith. Once you close the pages you’ll have been rung out, but you will know the tremendous power of faith, hope and love.

*my definition: feminism is equality for men and women rather than a continued patriarchal society 

Julie CantrellAbout the Author

Julie Cantrell has got to be one of the nicest authors around! Here she is sharing a favorite recent read for the 30Authors annual event. To learn more about this lovely lady and her books visit her website | Twitter | Facebook.  If you’re a foodie like me, definitely check out some of these recipes for gumbo and jambalaya! AND, if you saw my recent post on authors who create playlists to accompany or inspire their books and characters then you may have seen The Feathered Bone and Julie Cantrell featured there as well!



25+ Mixtapes for Books

September 20, 2016 Book Talk 1

25 mixtapes for books

A few years ago I listened to Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly {review here}. Throughout the book there were numerous references to songs and bands both from the present and during the French Revolution. Of course, I had to find out if there was a list anywhere on the web with all of the titles mentioned which is when I discovered mixtapes for books! What an awesome idea!

Since that discovery about four years ago, I’ve made a habit of checking on books and authors I’m especially fond of to see if there’s a ‘mixtape.’ Below is a list of just a few I’ve been able to curate for you. I hope you enjoy!

Most of the links are to Spotify. No purchase necessary and these are not affiliate links {not even sure Spotify has those?}. You may have to open a free account if you do not have one already.

Mixtapes for Books

Carlos Ruiz Zafón The Shadow of the Wind | The Angel’s Game | The Prisoner of Heaven

Stephen King Dr. Sleep | The Dark Tower

Rainbow Rowell  Landline | Fangirl | Eleanor and Park

JoJo Moyes One Plus One | Me Before You

Deb Harkness   A Discovery of Witches | Shadow of Night | The Book of Life

Luanne Rice The Lemon Orchard | The Night Before

John Green Looking for Alaska | Paper Towns | All the Bright Places

Music for Book People created by Gayle Forman

The Feathered Bone by Julie Cantrell

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

A Brief History of Seven Killings by Marlon James

Sweetbitter by Stephanie Danler

A Little Life by Hanya

Wild by Cheryl Strayed

IQ84 by Haruki Murakami

Just Kids by Patti Smith

Sarah J. Maas has a playlist for each book written! this link takes you to her page with links to each book’s playlist {most of her books have multiple playlists}

Alexandra Bracken  also has a playlist for each book written! this link takes you to her page with links to each book’s playlist {most of her books have multiple playlists}

I’ve started a Pinterest board and would love to add any mixtape you’ve found for a book to this list. Leave me a link in the comments and I’ll put together a giant resource for us fanatical music AND book lovers 😉

*linking to The Broke and The Bookish Top Ten Tuesday









R.eaders I.mbibing P.eril XI

September 17, 2016 Book Talk 1



In its 11th year, one of the most popular online book events is now upon us ~ R.eaders I.mbibing P.eril hosted by Carl of Stainless Steel Droppings. A righteously grand time, especially for readers who love a good scare! Part of the fun in participating in R.I.P. is the planning and deciding which books to read, movies to view and seeing what other bloggers have in store!

R.I.P. officially begins September 1 and ends October 31.  Two full months of ghouls, goblins, ghosts, zombies, etc. etc.  For a suspense/thriller/mystery genre lover like myself, these two months are pure heaven! Although I am just a bit late joining the party. . .

There is one good thing about being late ~ I’m able to pull recommendations for books and movies from my fellow book bloggers!

This year I plan to complete Peril the First, Peril of the Short Story and Peril on the Screen.  What books and movies are in store for me {and you!}?

The reading lineup

The Elementals by Michael McDowell {recommended by Jenn’s Bookshelves}
The Letterbox by Layton Green
The Penguin Book of Witches by Katherine Howe
How to Hang a Witch by Adriana Mather {recommended by Bookish Things and More}

The movie lineup

Don’t Bother to Knock starring Marilyn Monroe {recommended by Coffee and a Book Chick}
The Maltese Falcon starring Humphrey Bogart

The short story lineup

The Reaper’s Game by Layton Green
Roald Dahl’s Book of Ghost Stories by authors curated by Dahl himself

Happy Reading Dear Friends!



Kidlit Review and Giveaway: Max at Night

September 16, 2016 Book Review, reviews 5

I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book nor the content of my review.

Kidlit Review and Giveaway: Max at NightMax at Night by Ed Vere
Published by Sourcebooks Jabberwocky on September 1st 2016
Genres: Children, Picture Books
Pages: 32
Source: complimentary review copy

In Max at Night we find Max getting ready for bed, but he can’t find the moon to say goodnight. Like most any young child, Max will not rest until he has completed his bedtime routine. With the moon nowhere to be found Max goes in search believing the higher he gets the closer to the moon he will be and the more likely it is he will see that errant moon.

The illustrations in Max at Night are sparse yet beautiful. The colors are darker, giving the impression of night while the stars and lettering are a bright white. The combination creates a calming scene. Max at Night is a good bedtime picture book for younger children, probably from ages zero to five. The words are simple enough that an older sibling with a reading level of 2 or 3 could read the bedtime story {giving the older sibling reading practice and the younger sibling the awe of the attention of the older sibling}.

My 5-year-old grandson and I read it a couple of times. He especially liked the part where Max gets frustrated and shouts “Mooooooooon! Where are yoooouu?” Of course it may have been because I startled him with the really loud shout and sound effects!  {I wouldn’t recommend doing that if read at bedtime}. 😉

There is a definite play on the classic Goodnight Moon as the story begins, and Max is saying goodnight to everything. Overall, we enjoyed Max at Night, but we did not love it. I am quite impressed by the incredible job the author/illustrator does of giving expressions to Max that are easily distinguished. The illustrations are the best part of the book.

Extra Credit

Download the pdf activity kit here. It is the cutest thing ever, starting off with “can you tell how Max is feeling based on his expressions?” What’s so cute about the activity is Max has no mouth, only eyes and a nose. The expressions Vere creates with just Max’s eyes are incredible. This type of activity can help build empathy and emotional intelligence in young children.

Author Links

Twitter: @ed_vere

Enter to Win

With thanks to Sourcebooks Jabberwocky enter to win an original sketch by author and illustrator Ed Vere
a Rafflecopter giveaway

linking to Saturday’s Kid Connection with Booking Mama

Many thanks to Sourcebooks Jabberwocky for a copy of Max at Night to review.