Friday, February 25, 2011

Show me your... bookshelves? (Week 7)

This week I have the pleasure of showcasing the bookshelves of my friend and fellow Literary Lonestar Cari from Cari Blogs! I first met Cari online last year and have gotten to know her better and have been able to meet her a couple of times at various Texas events. It's been great becoming your friend, Cari! Let's see what Cari has to say about her bookshelves, and we'll see if they're up to snuff or not. ;)

Hey Y'all

If you follow me on twitter or visit my blog then you probably know I spend a lot of time buying books. I don't participate in memes so you really don't see the amount of books I buy until you look at my bookshelves. See I'm the kind of girl who solves a bad day by browsing 1/2 price books or hitting up Borders during lunch. A few years ago my mom decided I needed a bookshelf so for Christmas she got one for me and she even help me put it together. I am at the point where I need a second one but I still remember the nightmare of building it so I have been putting it off. Before I started reading YA I had about 100 books so I had plenty of pictures and personal items on the shelf but now well the books barely fit so the ones I have read and don't love either go to charity or I use them as giveaways.

I sort of have a system. Everything is organized by author last name.

Side A - This is my favorite side. The first two and 1/2 rows are Autographed Books A - Z and ARCs, then YA (A-Me)

Side B - YA(Me - Z), General Fiction (Mostly organized A-Z)

Random Books I couldn't fit on the bookcase

I have either read recently, purchased, received for review, and have been to signings they just need to be put back on the shelf. As you can see I'm avoiding it.

So there you have it my bookshelves and hopefully soon there will be another one just like it so I'll have to go shopping to fill it up.

Cari I love your double-sided bookshelf! Thank you for sharing your books with us this week. Want your bookshelves featured on my blog? Email me at with pictures and about your bookshelves, what you like to read, etc. Happy reading!

Also an FYI- I'll be out of town next week, so I may or may not have the bookshelf feature next week.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

YA Authors & Bloggers Open Their Hearts

Friday was The Big Day for my partner in crime Jen Bigheart and myself: We were finally taking all the donations we've been collecting to the Austin Children's Shelter. (Read previous posts here and here and here if you've missed them.) We were so excited that the day had finally come. We, along with our friend Jennifer, met at the shelter bright and early on Friday. I stopped at Krispy Kreme on the way and was expecting to be done by lunch. Boy how wrong I was...

Jen's car load

My poor little Bug was nearly dragging the ground

Let me start off by saying we met our 500 book goal, which is amazing, we never thought we'd have such a response. Hearing 500 and seeing 500 are two completely different things.

Me and Jennifer about to put our organizational skills to the test

So first we must organize all the books into various categories: YA, YA Paranormal, MG, etc. After a while plot-lines began to blur and we got a little giggly, I think it was all the donuts.

We're about halfway through organizing the donations at this point...

Me and Jen trying to create some shelf-space. I am literally sitting on a mound of books. Sorry if my butt was on your book! ;)

So we work. And organize. A few hours somehow turn into seven. Yes, it took us seven hours to get everything finished, but the end results brought tears to my eyes.

This is what the YA/MG section of their library looked like before:

Are you ready to have your mind blown? Here are our after pictures:

View from the doorway of the library

Pictures books and chapter books

The MG shelves, left and middle are contemporary MG, right is Paranormal MG

The YA shelves, left is a Classics shelf, middle is Contemporary YA, and right is Paranormal YA

How amazing is that? Seriously, if that doesn't make your heart squee there is something wrong with you. I am so thankful we had this opportunity to share our love of reading and books with kids who are struggling to find their way in this scary world. Now they can pick up their favorite book (who knows, it could have been one you donated!) and always be home.

Thank you to everyone who opened their hearts, wallets, and cleaned off their bookshelves. Thank you for entrusting your books with us as we gave them shelter before sending them off to their final homes. Thank you for being amazing. Here is a list of everyone who donated to us. If we've forgotten you, please forgive us and know we're very sorry, things got hard to keep up with after a while!

Thank you:

Cynthia Leitich Smith
Greg Leitich Smith
Heather Brewer
Cindy Pon
Sophie Jordan
Susane Colasanti
Ellen Hopkins
Jill S. Alexander
Jessica Anderson
Daisy Whitney
Lisa & Laura Roecker
Sara Zarr
Jon Skovron
Joy Preble
Valerie Kemp
Jessica Riggles
Melissa Walker
Shannon Messenger
Holly Green
Patricia Osei
Nikki Lofton
Jo Whittemore
Jenny Moss
Shelli Cornelison
Sybil Nelson
Jane Lebak
Whitney Bates
Amanda Crocker
Stacey Jay
Angela Morrison
Girls In The Stacks
Cari Blogs
A Good Addiction
The Elliott Review
A Blog About Nothing
Between the Covers
Addicted to Novels
Mundie Moms
Fictionally Yours
Reading Or Breathing
Chick Lit Cafe

If you didn't donate and would like to (or want to donate again!), this will be a continuing project for us, we plan on taking books every few months as the kids cycle through them. We'll take anything but have a particular need for YA books. The following are series books that we need:

Ballad by Maggie Stiefvater
The Immortals series by Alyson Noel (we only have Blue Moon)
Last Sacrifice by Richelle Mead
A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray

The Sweet Far Thing by Libba Bray
Radiant Shadows by Melissa Marr
Darkest Mercy by Melissa Marr
Vampire Diaries by LJ Smith (only have The Awakening and The Struggle)
Night World 2 by LJ Smith
Thirst by Christopher Pike (only have #1)
Hunger by Michael Grant

Ironside by Holly Black
Catching Fire and Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
Blue Bloods series by Melissa De La Cruz (only have #1)
House of Night series by PC and Kirsten Cast (only have Chosen Untamed& Burned)
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by JK Rowling
Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer
Dreaming Anastasia by Joy Preble

Thank you again for all of your support and for following us on our wild and crazy journey. And thank you to Jen for taking this journey with me, I couldn't have done it without you.

*edit* People are already donating the things we need, THANK YOU! I'll be crossing out the books we've been promised as people get in touch with us, but if you still want to donate a particular book that's been crossed out, please do so! They may need multiple copies.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Show me your... bookshelves? (Week 6)

This week I'm pleased to show you the bookshelves of fellow Texas blogger and Literary Lonestar Ginger from GReads. I was able to meet Ginger when I went to Houston for the Montgomery County Teen Book Festival and she is such a sweetheart! Be sure to stop by her blog and say hello. Here's what Ginger has to say about her bookshelves:

My father built this bookshelf for me last summer, for my 29th birthday. I'm not sure I could have received a more perfect gift at the time! He knew that my books were beginning to pile all over my apartment & that I was looking for something to keep them all in. Him being the handy man that he is, he offered to build me one. Who would pass up a custom made bookshelf?! Plus I knew his talents surpassed anything I would find at Ikea, Target, or Home Depot. This shelf holds some of my most favorite possessions. My books are more than just bound pages, they are stories that take me away to another place.. another time. Each book is like an art piece to me. I love having them on display to look at when ever I want to.

I had the letters 'READ' custom made for this bookshelf too. I found a very crafty girl on who made custom letters for things such as this. I love the letters so much! They add some personal touch to the shelves (if there wasn't enough already!).

This shelf in particular holds my favorite books. It's the top shelf (and I probably keep them there b/c they do hold the "top shelf" in my mind, hehe). Most of these books were ones that I first read when I began my obsession with reading YA books. As most people know.. I owe it all to Twilight! And no, there is not actual vampire blood in that bottle! Though I wish? is that weird?! haha It was just a cute accessory I picked up somewhere, that I just had to have!

So there's my bookshelf! The bottom shelf currently holds my "TBR" books. I'm slowly making my way through them, yet adding to them too! I guess I need to ask my dad to make another shelf soon! Almost running out of room!!!

And now let's look at Ginger's shelves!

Thank you so much for letting me share your bookshelves this week, Ginger! They're amazing and I have to say I'm a little jealous! Want your bookshelves featured on my blog? Email me at with pictures and about your bookshelves, what you like to read, etc. Happy reading!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Borders files for bankruptcy, closes stores, and my thougths on the publishing industry

The writing has been on the wall for Borders for a few years now, I think. We all knew it was eventually going to happen, it was just a matter of when and how. For those who have been reading my blog for a while you know I worked for "a bookstore" (I never named it) off and on for the past three years. Those who know me personally know that the bookstore I worked for was Borders. I woke up yesterday to see news of the bankruptcy filing, this wasn't too surprising. What was surprising was seeing that a list of the closing stores had been leaked to the Wall Street Journal before employees were even told. I read the list to see that all three Austin area Borders stores will be closing. I cried. I cried for my friends who have lost their jobs. I cried because it seems like bookstores, one of my favorite places in the world, seem to be an archaic thing of the past. I cried because a part of my life is, literally, closing. I cried because I was angry.

I wrote some of this post yesterday but realized I was blinded by my anger and needed a while to cool down and let my thoughts become more rational. Today I think I'm more sad than angry. I still have very close friends who work for the company and will now be jobless. There's rumors of employees not getting severance packages or being able to use employee discounts anymore and other things. I'm not sure what of this is true and what isn't, but it makes me sad. I know people who have worked for this company for 10+ years and they get... nothing? Maybe a thank you on the last day? It breaks my heart. Yes, Borders had its problems and truth be told wasn't the best company to work for (I was a manager for a while, trust me, I KNOW this wasn't the company's only problem), but I keep thinking about what I (we) could have done differently. Next time you order from Amazon or pirate an ebook, remember that thousands of booksellers and book-loving people lost their jobs yesterday and will probably continue to lose their jobs if we, as a society, continue down this path. No, this was not the only reason Borders had to close stores, but I do think it had a lot to do with it. I think Indy bookstores will (hopefully) be here to stay, but the day of the Big Mega Book Mart is gone and it's only a matter of time before other chain book stores follow Borders in filing for Chapter 11 or simply closing all together.

From a writer's point of view, the news of Borders going under scared me. So many people were talking about how publishing is dead and I got sucked in to their beliefs. I spent most of the day yesterday wallowing in self-pity and doubt and second guessing my choice to stay home and write full time. But you know what? Publishing will never be dead. True, times may be changing, but the need for writers and new, original stories will always be there. There will always be people who love to read and people who need to write down the crazy ideas in their head to stay sane. This alone give me hope that I'm doing the right thing. I have stories that need to be told, so I'm telling them, simple as that. I may be wrong, the whole publishing world may crumble to its knees tomorrow and I may never get a book published, but you know what? Somewhere out there someone will be interested in the stories I tell and the words I weave on paper and for now that's good enough for me. Is it good enough for you?

Friday, February 11, 2011

Show me your... bookshelves? (Week 5)

First off, you might notice things are a little different around here! I'm trying to spruce up the blog a bit so I have a new background and made myself a blog button (look to your right!). Big thanks to Cari from Cari Blogs for making me my super cute new banner! Thanks, Cari!

I'm very excited to show you the bookshelves I chose to spotlight this week. I'd like you all to meet Jessica, a 10 year reader and book lover. I wonder where she got her love of books? I imagine it has something to do with her mom Jenn, who runs the Hush, Hush fan-site Fallen Archangel. Here's what Jessica has to say about her bookshelves:

I’m Jessica, an almost 11 year old book lover! I am a HUGE fan of the HARRY POTTER book series and have read each book about 5 times! A few months ago we went to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, it was GREAT and Butterbeer is awesome!

I like either Fantasy books or books about people a little older than me in the real world. Some of my favorite book series are ALICE by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor; MAXIMUM RIDE by James Patterson; PERCY JACKSON by Rick Riordan; and 39 CLUES by various authors. Some of my favorite books I have read lately that I don’t think are from a series are THE KNEEBONE BOY by Ellen Potter; IT’S RAINING CUPCAKES by Lisa Schroeder and THE LIMIT by Kristen Landon.

There are a lot of books that my Mom has that I want to read too, when I am old enough, like TWILIGHT by Stephenie Meyer; The HUSH HUSH Saga by Becca Fitzpatrick and THE HUNGER GAMES by Suzanne Collins.

My Mom took me to Philadelphia once to meet some authors, Holly Black and Cassandra Clare (we had to sit in the car for a long time after we met them because my dad and brother wasted the battery and we had to wait for a man to come fix it). I bought THE SPIDERWICK CHRONICLES (Book 1 The Field Guide) by Holly Black before the event and read the whole thing while the authors were talking. She signed my copy and I am proud to have it on my bookshelf. I also have a signed copy of 39 CLUES by Linda Sue Park. I would like to get more signed books in the future.

Thank you to my Mom’s friend for sharing my bookshelf on her blog “Stephanie, A History”. I LOVE the pictures of Stephanie’s bookshelves and I am inspired to get lots of bookshelves and fill them up!

Details about my shelves:
My bottom shelf is sort of random, there’s craft stuff, dictionaries, notebooks and other stuff like that. But in front of it you can see I have a trunk of the HARRY POTTER books.
The next shelf (going up) is some short chapter books, not really long books. Some of my favorite books from this shelf are the 39 CLUES books, books from the ALICE series and the MaryKate and Ashley books.
The next shelf has longer chapter books like DIARY OF A WIMPY KID and GREGOR the OVERLANDER series.
I have the next shelf for my jewelry and music – my iPod is there. I also have my favorite souvenirs from our trip to the HARRY POTTER Park, Dumbledore’s wand, my RON pin, my Pigmy Puff and a time turner necklace that my Aunt gave me a few years ago.
The top shelf has a little something from every shelf! It’s kind of a spot for things that just couldn’t fit on the right shelf.

Jessica thank you so much for letting me feature your bookshelves today! You say that I'm an inspiration to you, but know that you're an inspiration to me, too. I hope you're able to fill your shelves with even more books and that your mom is able to take you to many more book signings.

Would you like your bookshelves featured on my blog? Email your pictures, along with a description of yourself, your bookshelves, what you like to read, etc. to

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Austin Children's Shelter, Update 2

For those who have been living under a rock during the past month or so, Jen and I are taking up donations of YA and MG books to donate to the Austin Children's Shelter. For more info, click here and here to read my previous blog posts.

I just wanted to take the time to give y'all another quick update. While we don't have a final count yet, it looks like we will be meeting our 500 book goal. AMAZING! We never thought we'd make it. The outpouring of support in the YA and blogger community has been enormous, Jen and I cannot say thank you enough.

If you haven't donated yet but would like to, feel free to email me at As of right now Jen and I will be delivering the books on Friday February 18th so you still have a little while to get donations in. If you're a blogger in the Austin area and want to get a little more personally involved with this project, please email me.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Show me your... bookshelves? (Week 4)

Today I am featuring the bookshelves of the lovely Kristin Rae! I love her bookshelves. Her hubby is a handy-man and built it for her. I'm not going to lie, I kind of want one. Let's let Kristin tell us a little about her shelves and then we'll get on to the pictures.

Here is the lovely (and heavy!) bookshelf that Handy Hubs built for me that has yet to be painted. In the top section are books I read when I was younger--the Mandie series, Little House, etc. I also have a big box of old children's books in the closet. No reason to have those on a shelf anymore (or yet!). On the next level down there are a lot of classics--Pride and Prejudice, Emma, The Count of Monte Cristo, Fahrenheit 451, Animal Farm... and a lot of other books we read in HS along with Tolkien and Frank E. Peretti. The next couple of shelves are mostly filled with young adult novels. The Harry Potter series used to be stacked all fancy in the big square mid-right, but I wanted to see all of the books I still need to read together in one place... so that's in the square now--my daunting TBR Pile. Underneath that are books that happen to fit on that shelf, and a stack of books I plan on trading or giving away. The rest are mostly text books I couldn't get rid of (some weather and sociology studies), health and fitness books, Bible Studies from HS and college, HS yearbooks, language books (because I think I can teach myself Spanish and Italian apparently), and other odd sized books that fit in the bigger sections.

Thank you so much for letting me feature your bookshelves, Kristin! I think we're all guilty of having that huge TBR pile, hu?

If you want your bookshelves featured on my blog, email your pictures to and also include a paragraph telling me about your bookshelves, you, what books you like to read, etc. Happy reading!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Reading Recap- January

Some of you may remember I started doing this last year and stopped around the summer time. It was a busy summer for me, I was working a lot and not able to read as much as I wanted to (sometimes I had only read one book a month), and I was embarrassed to post how little I had read. Well this year I'm going to do my Reading Recap at the beginning of every month, no matter what. For those who aren't familiar with my Reading Recap, I will take a blog post and highlight all the books I've read for the month. No, I won't review them, I just list them.

January 2011

15 Books

Matched by Allie Condie

The Luxe by Anna Godbersen

The Giver by Lois Lowry

Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly

Sapphique by Catherine Fisher

13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson

Sweethearts by Sara Zarr

North of Beautiful by Justina Chen

Magic Under Glass by Jaclyn Dolamore

Once Was Lost by Sara Zarr

Number the Stars by Lois Lowry

Dash & Lily's Book of Dares by David Levithan and Rachel Cohn

Front Page Faceoff by Jo Whittemore

The Sweethearts of Prosper County by Jill S. Alexander

A Summer to Die by Lois Lowry