Saturday, November 30, 2013

If You Must Shop

You never know what you will find at
Salmagundi!  Sometimes there is even
Do it today!  It is Small Business Saturday and you won't find people punching each other or trampling each other at your local small businesses.  What will you find?  Smiles, neighbors, hand-picked items, your favorite authors selling books, holiday music, a little peace on earth.  Why would you even bother with those big box bullies?

I won't be shopping today but that is because I am in small town America, where there isn't a store for about 20 miles from where I am currently sitting. However I will be having brunch with a friend at a local breakfast place. Here is a list of places I would be shopping if I were back home in Boston.  Happy holidays!!

Gather Here: a small craft shop that not only has all the supplies for you to make your own gifts, but they offer classes and gatherings, such as Pints & Pearls.

Porter Square Books: Lovely little bookstore in Porter Square (Cambridge/Somerville line) with Cafe Zing for all your coffee and pastry needs. Today, these authors will be selling the books! Elin Hilderbrand, Jill Lepore, Anita Silvey, Mameve Medwed, Dave Cullen, Aaron Becker. Want to know how I know?  Check out this link!

The Children's Bookshop: Only the best of the best make it here to this itty-bitty children's bookstore in Brookline.  The owner knows everyone in the children's book world and they all respect her greatly.  Plus it is about as cozy as it can be there!

Salmagundi: Hats, hats, hats!  Also, they have amazing accessories, dresses, and the finest team of hatters you will ever meet. Word to the wise, get on their mailing list!! This lovely store is right in the heart of Jamaica Plain.  While you are there you can also hit up Centre Street Cafe for the best brunch ever or Boomerangs for some thrifty finds.

There you have it folks, now I am off to support some local restaurants!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!

This is my first Thanksgiving home in 5 years and I am thankful for so much this year.  I'm going to go join my family upstairs for some coffee and love.  I hope wherever you are, you are finding a bit of that as well.  (Coffee is optional!)  And Happy Hanukkah!!!

The roommate/sis/soulmate and I head out from Boston
To travel through this...
To wake up to this..

And this...

And we are so thankful to be here!!!
(Yes, this is morning hair for both Nikolas and I!)

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Here's What's Up in My Book World

So, it would seem I have not yet decided to abandon Alice, Ever After.  However, my apologies for never really posting.  Here are the things I am currently loving in the world of books.

1. Have you seen this viral video about a guy who wants to date a reader?  (Written and performed by Mark Grist) Winner!  Where is this guy?? (Although my sister would like to point out that the girl still needs to be attractive and sweet so this video isn't perfect.)

2. Next Saturday, November 30, is Small Business Saturday.  This is your day to make up for all the big box support you gave on Black Friday and show the small business owners in your neighborhood just how much you like them.  Sherman Alexie has beefed up Small Business Saturday with Indies First, a way to promote small booksellers.  All over the country, on Saturday, you can go to your local bookstore and buy books from your favorite authors!  Sherman Alexie, Jon Scieszka, and Anita Silvey will all become booksellers for a day.  Check out the map on IndieBound to find out who will be selling books in your neighborhood!

3. The National Council of Teachers of English was held in Boston this week.  Boy oh boy did I miss out!  Due to a lack of funds, an over abundance of sneezing, and in general nonstop work, I was unable to attend.  My friend Rachel is there though! Twitter is bursting with tweets that make me jealous!  Did you go?  Let me know how it went!

4. Battle Bunny by Jon Scieszka and Mac Barnett (fo' realz, yo) and pictures by Matthew Myers.  I sincerely apologize for not telling you about this book earlier.  I have had it in my possession for nearly a month and there is just no excuse for neglecting to share it.  Battle Bunny is a book of many layers.  First, there is the layer that is the "real" book.  One of those old fashion books like The Whispering Rabbit by Margaret Wise Brown.  The "real" book is actually called Birthday Bunny and it is owned by Alex.  Alex, a character we never ever see, has done to Birthday Bunny what I imagine most young boys want to do with a book just like it.  That would be the second layer.  I guess there are only two layers.  Anyway, check it out below.  Then, go buy a copy for everybody you know including yourself. (And do it at an independent bookstore on Saturday!  Some of you might be able to buy it from Jon Scieszka!)

The fake note from Alex's Gran-Gran

5. I saw this on the internet and I liked it.  I got it from

6.  I just saw The Hunger Games Catching Fire!!  Did you see it???  What did you think? Also, my sister and I were the Hunger Games for Halloween.  Didn't see that one coming did you?

And there you have it folks.  Just a few things in the book world.  Have a lovely Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Puttin' on the Ritz

My family.  Puttin' on the Ritz. HOWE we do!
I have a whole lotta book updates for you... later.  Tonight is Dance Friday and my little not-so-little brother has jumped on the dance bandwagon and actually sent me a video that I can post for Dance Friday!  I consider this a major success in my mission to get people to get down. (Side note: Another friend sent a dance video late this afternoon and I will post it next week.  I love the love!)

Zachary James Joseph Francis Howe is my littlest sibling.  He was born when I was 6 years old and I think I basically swapped whatever Cabbage Patch Dolls I had to pretend that Zach was my new baby.  (Really, he used to call me Little Mom. I mostly blame this for why I don't feel pressure to have my own kids now.) While I acknowledge my parents did a fantastic job, I would like to officially take credit for all the good his sense of style and dance moves.

Here is Zach putting on his ritz followed by the dance video. Go on...get down!!!

Zach and his BFF, Richie...keeping it classy since 2005!

Zach and my nephew Josh gettin' down with their bad selves

Ok, I had to sneak this one in there!  This is me, all "ritz-ed" up
at the Eric Carle Gala.  They just sent me pictures from the official
photographer.  Thanks Johnny Wolf Photography!

Friday, November 8, 2013


It might be my extreme amount of work, or the energy I put into my job every day, but the happy tears have been flowing a lot easier recently.  A couple of weeks ago I heard an interview with Katy Perry on NPR and listened to her song "Roar."  I cried.  Yesterday, I read the chapter in Wonder that gets everyone, and if you have read it you know what I mean, and I couldn't finish.  I had to have a student read the chapter for me.  Last night, I saw a shared link from a dear friend in LA (go Stacey!) and the happy tears flowed again.

I realize this dance video is going viral and you probably have already seen it.  But if you haven't, well, here you go.  And if you had, you know that you can watch it over and over again and get that feeling of hope and joy and goosebumps and butterflies and love over and over again.

Dance Friday folks.  It is here because dancing helps.  Can you imagine our world if we all faced adversity like this woman? Damn.  Now THAT would be a world.  (P.S. Here is a link to an article with the back story.  This woman, in the OR, on her way to a double mastectomy, got her docs to dance with her.  Brilliant.)

Sunday, November 3, 2013

November Events

Here ya go!  As quickly as I could get them posted, here are the events for November! I'm sorry I missed a couple of days.


November 10
* Author Chris Van Allsburg joins the Eric Carle Museum for a conversation, 1 pm

November 16
* Co-authors Karen Leggett Abouraya and Susan L. Roth present their book Hands Around the Library: Protecting Egypt’s Treasured Books, at the Eric Carle Museum, 1 pm

November 17
* Caldecott award-wining author David Wiesner appears at the Eric Carle Museum, 1 pm

November 18
* Children's author Dara Goldman presents her book Boris & Stella and the Perfect Gift, Wellesley Books, 7 pm

November 21
* YA author, and author of The Silver Linings Playbook, presents his latest book at the Cambridge Central Library, 7 pm

November 22
* Middle Grade author Tommy Greenwald presents his new book, Jack Strong Takes a Stand, at Cambridge Central Public Library, 10 am

November 24
* YA panel including authors Beth Revis, Myra McEntire, Jerry Smith-Ready & Alan Gratz appear at Welleley Books, 2 pm

November 30
* Anita Silvey and Jill Lepore become booksellers for a day as part of Indies First, at Porter Square books, 11 am - 4 pm

Los Angeles
November 4
* YA Panel, including authors Tamara Ireland Stone, Leila Howard, and Lauren Mirrell, Mrs. Nelson's, 6 pm
November 5
* Jeff Kinney, author of the popular Diary of a Wimpy Kid series, presents his latest in the series at Vroman's, 6 pm
* Nikki Giovanni will present her new book of poetry at the South Pasadena Library, 7 pm.  This is a ticketed event.  Click here for more information.

November 6
* Author David Shannon will appear to present his new book Bugs in My Hair, Once Upon a Time Bookstore, 7:00 pm

November 7
* Author David Shannon will appear to present his new book Bugs in My Hair, Children's Book World, 10:30 am

November 9
* Picture book author/illustrator Fran Vischer, Children's Book World, 10:30 am

November 12
* Picture book author/illustrator Fran Vischer, Mrs. Nelson's, 5 pm

November 16
* Author Elisa Kleven will appear at Children's Book World, 10:30 am
November 18
* Author Elisa Kleven will appear at Mrs. Nelson's, 5 pm

November 20
* Author David Shannon will appear to present his new book Bugs in My Hair, Vroman's 6:30 pm

November 23
* Author Lin Oliver will present her books at the Los Angeles Public Central Library, 4 pm