Thursday, June 1, 2023

Librarian clothing rules

We were talking on Facebook about others handing down rules about what library workers should wear and this memory popped up. 

The library board of the library where I worked in Maryland handed down uniform requirements for working in the library and it included these: 

shirts and dresses must have sleeves. Can NOT be sleeveless. Nobody wants to look at floppy underarms. (I looked at our muscular arms and then remembered the board consisted of older men and women who probably had floppy arms.) 

The other thing I remember is that librarians must wear heels of at least 2 inches high. I immediately told my branch manager that I couldn't wait to see the male librarians wearing their two or three inch heels. HA! 

They then revised it to say that tie shoes were okay - for men. But if any women wanted to NOT wear heels, they had to get a doctor's note proving they had foot problems. My friends with bunions and other problems had been wearing sandals, nice sturdy ones. My own sneaker/ tennis/ walking shoes were because of my own foot problems. No shoes like that were allowed, so I had to jump from $60 expensive walking shoes to $200 sturdy/ supportive tie shoes. I did mention that I wanted the board to PAY for the extra expense they forced us to wear, but that was a no-go.

Thursday, May 11, 2023

Adventures leaving a Writing Retreat

 In the =It's always something category. I didn't worry about Kindling Words staff not giving us lunches to take with us, because I thought I'd get some food at the airport or on the plane. But when I got to the airport, all the food places were using computer screen ordering instead of people, so - not wanting to touch something that thousands of others had touched, I decided to wait to eat on the plane. A few minutes before the plane was to let us get on, we all got messages that there would be no food or snacks or anything on the plane because that service was on strike. (and the closest food place to the plane was about a half mile back into the airport, so we didn't have time to go buy food) Luckily, they offered us water bottles on the plane, so I survived on bottled water until I got home. 

Despite not having eaten for hours, when I weighed myself at home, it turns out that I may have gained about 5 pounds at Kindling Words. Wonderful time, great food, and got a draft of my book done.

Tuesday, May 2, 2023

Banned books experiences

 Speaking of banned books:

I was refused access to books several times.
1- in second grade I was reading my way through the Wizard of Oz series (I loved the illustrations, too) and when I tried to check out the fourth or fifth of the series, the volunteer running our tiny public library in our tiny town took it away from me. This is a fourth grade book. If YOU take it, you'll be denying someone who has the right to read it.  
2. Elementary schools didn't have school libraries or librarians in the 1940s, so no access there.
3. In fifth grade, my father had a meeting of his astronomy club (only adult men attending) in the public library, so he took be along so that I could browse the children's department and find books for me to read while I waited for him. But the children's librarian didn't work that evening so THE CHILDREN'S DEPARTMENT WAS CLOSED. The librarian (or circulation person) that was there grudgingly let me read a magazine, but only one that she picked out, not the more interesting one that I wanted to read.

Wednesday, April 19, 2023

Adventures with washing machines

 I had my old Maytag washer for over 40 years.  Of course it helped that my husband had been a washing machine repairman in college.  But when I moved across the country, I decided to get a new one when I bought a new home.  So I bought a Whirlpool.

It wasn't as good as my old machine, but no washers are these days what with using so many plastic parts instead of the old, sturdy metal ones.  And over the years it got louder and louder.  Plus, since I live in a one level, small house, the washer is right there in the middle of the house.

I had it fixed once, but recently the noise of the spin cycle was so loud that I wanted to leave the house while it ran.  So I called the repairman.  Repairman said the cost of a temporary fix would be over $700 and buying a new one would also be about that much so he recommended buying new.

So, I went down to Lowe's and examined the new machines.  Too many were digital. The Whirlpool in my price range had a removable agitator (???? why?) and was semi-digital and the activating buttons weren't buttons at all.  So I wandered around.  (mainly because it took a half hour before I could flag down a sales person.)

It's probably a good thing that I had to wait so long for service, because in my wandering I found a Maytag that worked on analog with clicking controls, easy to use.  Since Maytag is made by Whirlpool these days, that's the one I bought.

It was delivered today (one day delivery!) and I discovered that my previous washer/ dryer set was the extra large set, but this new Maytag was the smaller version.  But, I'm okay with it, because I had been doing mostly small washes anyway. (We'll see just how well it handles a towel load, though.)

What I have to mainly watch out for now, is the fact that there now is a wide gap between the washer/ dryer and things might drop there.  But being a wide gap, it should be easy to get anything that falls with my grabber.

So, now I can't wait to try out my new washer!

Saturday, April 8, 2023

How long does it take to write a picture book?

 I love telling how long it took to write my first published picture book. It took 20 minutes. 

(and my husband tried to tell me something and I kept saying, wait. just wait. I've got to get it down. When I finished it, he said, "Did you know that eggs will explode in the microwave?" yes, then I had to go clean up the microwave.)  

But wait -- it then took several years of REVISiON. So , did it take 20 minutes, or 3-4 years?

Wednesday, April 5, 2023

How long does it take to write a picture book?

 I love telling how long it took to write my first published picture book.

 It took 20 minutes. (and my husband tried to tell me something and I kept saying, wait. just wait. I've got to get it down. When I finished it, he said, "Did you know that eggs will explode in the microwave?" yes, then I had to go clean up the microwave.) 

But wait -- it then took several years of REVISiON. So , did it take 20 minutes, or 3-4 years? 

Monday, March 27, 2023

Boys and books - memories

We were talking on FaceBook about boys and books and it kicked off a memory:

When I spent a week doing author presentations about writing books (featuring my books) to various Chicago Libraries as part of their Summer Reading program in the early 2000s, at one library the audience was full of boys from a summer camp. Boy Scout or some other camp.

  As usual, after discussing my other books, when I got to discussing picture books I began by reading Busy Toes which was created by three of us - Mary Bowman-Kruhm, Claudine Wirths, and me under the pen name of C.W. Bowie.  (Yes, I'm the W part.)  Then I talked about how we discussed what to write next and began thinking of things we could do with our fingers. At this point in my presentation I always ask the children in the audience to think of things we could do with our fingers.

Well!  Those boys kept coming up with outrageous suggestions.  I kept my face serious and receptive (while giggling inside) and kept saying, "Ya know, we just didn't think of that one."  Meanwhile the librarian at that branch in the back of the room had turned around to face the back wall -- she was either so embarrassed, or was also giggling.  She worried I'd be offended by their suggestions.   :)

Not to worry.  I'd been a Children's Librarian too long not to be aware of the things boys can think up.

Friday, March 10, 2023

Memories of snow

 With all the snow (and rain) hitting the west coast, I was remembering when we were hit with lots of snow in Maryland:  

We got over 5 feet of snow once just outside of Baltimore, Maryland. It was not fun shoveling out. My husband would wake up every few hours to start up the snow blower to make a path to get the latest layer off the sidewalk from the driveway to our house. But when daylight came, we had to use hand shovels to clear off the driveway all the way up a small hill to the road. Then the snowplow would come by and block our driveway entrance with ice and snow and we had to break through that - several times during the day. 

Not to mention that my boss kept calling, trying to convince me to get to work, but it went to the recording because we were outside shoveling. When we took a break, we listened to her messages, most of which were her YELLING -- Wendie! Pick up! Pick up the phone! Stupid lady had some strange idea that we could hear her telephone recording (which we couldn't - it was being recorded) and were purposefully ignoring her. She had made it to work because she lived near the bay and the branch library where I worked was near the bay and had gotten much less snow. 

Thursday, February 2, 2023

Wednesday, January 25, 2023

Random thoughts about getting old

Sent to me from a friend:

Just once, I want a username and password prompt to say, "Close enough."

Retirement to-do list:  Wake up.        -- Nailed it!

People who wonder if the glass is half empty or half full miss the point -- the glass is refillable.

I don't have grey hair.  I have wisdom highlights.

Sometimes it takes me all day to get nothing done.

I'd grow my own food if only I could find bacon seeds.

Common sense is not a gift.  It's a punishment because you have to deal with everyone who doesn't have it.

I came, I saw. I forgot what I was doing. Retraced my steps. Got lost on the way back. Now I have no idea what's going on.

If you can't think of a word, say, "I forgot the English word for it." That way people will think you're bilingual. instead of an idiot.

I don't always go the extra mile, but when I do it's because I missed my exit.

Having plans sounds like a good idea until you have to put on clothes and leave the house.

It's weird being the same age as old people.

When I was a kid, I wanted to be older...  This is not what I expected.

Life is like a helicopter.  I don't know how to operate a helicopter, either.

It's probably my age that tricks people into thinking I'm and adult.

Never sing in the shower!  Singing leads to dancing/ dancing leads to slipping/ and slipping leads to paramedics seeing you naked.  So, remember ... don't sing in the shower!

We all get heavier as we get older, because there's a lot more information in our heads. 

That's my story anyway.

Saturday, January 21, 2023

 Remember the old library book checkout cards? A post on FB reminded me that I lived through the library conversion from those cards to computers. The Library System Director came to every branch to talk about the new computerized Circulation System. I don't know about in the other branches, but as soon as I learned about it I could see how helpful it would be to us librarians and I told him so. 

Soon thereafter, we all were being trained in how librarians could use it to find books quickly and be able to see what's checked out or was available, here or in other branches. 

Then My husband became head of the new department called IT and he was writing instruction manuals. How did he know that the librarians and circulation people could understand the manual? He gave it to me to read and I would point out things I didn't understand. Once it had been "Wendie Proofed," he sent it out to everyone and then groups of people from all departments formed to help instruct the patrons how to use this new catalogue.

I was embarrassed to learn that he actually told his staff that what he wrote had been "Wendie Proofed."

Sunday, January 15, 2023

Adult books read during 2022

 And here are the Adult books I read during 2022 - with comments.  :) 



Brooks, Terry. Magic Kingdom For Sale-SOLD. NY: Del Rey/ Ballantine books, 1986.

Clinton, Hillary Rodham and Louise Penny. State of Terror. NY: Simon & Schuster/ St. Martin’s 

            Press, 2020.  (Drawing upon Clinton’s experience as Secretary of State, this is

            Seat-of-the pants suspense she the searches for nuclear bombs hidden in the USA)

            (This inspired me to read the books by Louise Penny. See below)

Davidson, Diane Mott. The whole enchilada. NY: Avon/ HarperCollins, 2013.

            (so much better written than those by Fluke, plus this also includes recipes)

Deveraux, Jude. Wishes. NY: Simon & Schuster, 1989. (Every so often she writes a tale with a 

            little bit of magic included – this time magic goes awry.) 

    ….   The Summerhouse. NY: Pocket Books, 2001. (I love her time travel books)

    ….   The girl from Summer Hill. NY: Ballantine Books, 2016.

    ….   As you wishBook 2 of the Summer Hill stories. NY: Mira/ Harlequin, 2018. 

                        (and here comes the time travel lady again, as used in the Summerhouse.)

    ….   Met her matchBook 3 of the Summer Hill stories. NY: Mira/ Harlequin, 2019. 

    ….   A Relative Murder, a Medlar mystery. NY: Mira/ Harlequin, 2022.

Deveraux, Jude and Tara Sheets. An impossible promise, a Providence Falls novel. Book 2. 

Toronto, CA: Mira, 2021.  (Angels time-travel a man to change fate)

   ….    Thief of Fate, a Providence Falls novel. Book 3. Toronto, CA: Mira, 2022. 

            (Angels time-travel a man to change fate)

Fluke, Joanne. Coconut Layer Cake Murder, a Hannah Swensen mystery with recipes

            NY: Kensington books, 2020. (more of a cook book with a slight story.)

    ….   Christmas cupcake murder, a Hannah Swensen mystery with recipes

            NY: Kensington books, 2020. (more of a cook book with a slight story.)

    ….   Triple Chocolate cheesecake murder, a Hannah Swensen mystery with recipes!

            NY: Kensington books, 2021. (more of a cook book with a slight story.)

Gallico, Paul. Mrs. ‘Arris goes to Paris. NY: Doubleday & Company, 1958.

            (I remember reading this when it first came out, so when people talked it up because of 

the movie, I reserved it to read, again. Still good.  Side note:  My daughter, Jennifer, 

played with Gallico’s children at the Science Fiction convention – Balticon in 1970s when he was on a panel. I sat beside his wife. He was one of my favorite SF writers, too.) 

Hall, N. John. Bibliophilia, a novel. Boston, MA:  David R. Godine, 2016.

Hoffman, Alice. Practical Magic. NY:  G.P.Putnam Sons, 1995.

Jordan, Robert. The Eye of the World, Book one of the Wheel of Time. NY: Tor, 1990.

            (Boring. Too long and drawn out. Not my cup of tea. Won’t read the rest of the series.)

Knight, Eliza. The Mayfair Bookshop, a novel of Nancy Mitford and the pursuit of happiness

NY: William Morrow/ HarperCollins, 2022. 

(Recommended for those who love books, love history, and love a good story.) 

Lackey, Mercedes. Winds of Fate, Book one of The Mage Winds. Illus. Larry Dixon.

            NY: DAW books, 1991.

    ….   Winds of chanceBook two of The Mage Winds. Illus. Larry Dixon. 

            NY: DAW books, 1992.

    ….   Winds of FuryBook three of The Mage Winds.  Illus. Larry Dixon. 

            NY: DAW books, 1993.

    ….   Robin & the Kestrel: Bardic voices, Book II. NY: Baen, 1993. 

(Things grew so anti-women in this tale, similar to how they are getting here in the USA,

 that I feared for Robin’s life)

    ….   The Eagle & the Nightingales: Bardic voices, Book III. NY: Baen, 1995.

    ….   Four & twenty blackbirdsBardic voices, Book IV. NY: Baen, 1997.

    ….   Storm Warning, Book one of the Mage Storms.  Illus. Larry Dixon. 

            NY: DAW books, 1994.

    ….   Storm Rising, Book two of the Mage Storms.  Illus. Larry Dixon. 

            NY: DAW books, 1995.

    ….   Storm Breaking, Book three of the Mage Storms.  Illus. Larry Dixon. 

            NY: DAW books, 1996.

    ….   Firebird. NY: Tom Doherty Asso., Tor, 1996. 

    ….   Brightly Burning the legendary story of Herald Lavan Firestorm. NY: DAW books, 


    ….   Exile’s Honor, a Novel of Valdemar. NY: DAW books, 2002.

    ….   Exile’s Valora Novel of Valdemar. NY: DAW books, 2003.

    ….   The Sleeping Beauty, a tale of the Five Hundred Kingdoms. NY: Luna, 2010.

            (one of my favorite five hundred kingdoms books)

    ….   Trio of Sorcery, Diana Tregarde returns! NY: Tor, 2010. 

    ….   Dragon’s Teeth. NY: Baen, 2013. (short stories)  (Includes some  Diana Tregarde stories

             that I hadn’t read before. Also the first part of the Alberich Exile story.) 

    ….   The silver bullets of Annie Oakley. NY: DAW books, 2022.

Lackey, Mercedes and Ellen Guon. Bedlam’s Bard. NY:  Baen, 1990 and 1992.

            (Contains two books: Knight of Ghosts and Shadows & Summoned to Tourney)

Lackey, Mercedes and Larry Dixon. 

    ….   The White Gryphon. Book two of the Mage Wars.  NY: DAW books, 1995.

    ….   The Silver Gryphon. Book two of the Mage Wars.  NY: DAW books, 1996.

                        (Haven’t been able to find a copy of Book one, The Black Gryphon)

    ….   Owlflight. NY: DAW books, 1997.

    ….   Owlsight. NY: DAW books, 1998. 

    ….   Owlknight. NY: DAW books, 1999.

             I read this series twice this year. The first time, it was a good story. The second time,

 after I had read the books about history that came before this story happens, everything 

 made much more sense. The books of the Madge storms take place before these do.

Maxwell, Edith. ‘Til dirt do us part, a local foods mystery. NY: Kensington Books, 2014.

    ….   Farmed and Dangerousa local foods mystery. NY: Kensington Books, 2015.

    ….   Murder most Fowla local foods mystery. NY: Kensington Books, 2016.

            (my father also raised chickens, so I caught myself nodding as the main character

 interacted with hers.  She also calls them ‘little dinosaurs.’)

    ….   Mulch ado about murder, a local foods mystery. NY: Kensington Books, 2017.

    ….   Delivering the truth, a Quaker midwife mystery. Woodbury, MN: Midnight Ink/

Llewellyn Worldwide Ltd., 2016.

    ….   Called to Justice, a Quaker midwife mystery. Woodbury, MN: Midnight Ink/ 

Llewellyn Worldwide Ltd., 2017.

    ….   Charity’s Burden, a Quaker midwife mystery. Woodbury, MN: Midnight Ink/ 

Llewellyn Worldwide Ltd., 2019.

McCaffrey, Anne & Mercedes Lackey & Margaret Ball. Brain ships. NY: Baen, 2003.

            (contains two brain ship stories: The Ship who Searched and PartnerShip)

Moon, Elizabeth. Remnant Population. NY:  Baen, 1996.

            (Elderly lady left on a planet becomes a nest-guardian to the inhabitants there – a 

            powerful position in their society)

Penny, Louise. Still Life, a novel. NY: St. Martin’s Press, 2005. (first published in Great Britain)

    ….   Fatal Grace, a Three Pines Mystery. NY:  St. Martin’s Minotaur, 2006.

    ….   The Cruelest Month, a novel. NY:  St. Martin’s Minotaur, 2007.

    ….   A rule against murder. NY:  St. Martin’s Minotaur, 2008.

    ….   The Brutal Telling, a Chief Inspector Gamache novel. NY:  St. Martin’s Minotaur, 2009.

    ….   Bury your deada Chief Inspector Gamache novel. NY:  St. Martin’s Minotaur, 2010.

    ….   A Trick of the lighta Chief Inspector Gamache novel. NY:  St. Martin’s Minotaur, 2011.

    ….   The Hangman. Canada: Grass Roots Press, 2010.  (a short story in book form)

    ….   The beautiful mystery, a Chief Inspector Gamache novel. NY:  St. Martin’s Minotaur, 

2012.  (takes place in a monastery)

    ….   How the light gets in. a Chief Inspector Gamache novel. NY: St. Martin’s Minotaur, 2013

    ….   The Long way Home, a Chief Inspector Gamache novel. NY: St. Martin’s Minotaur, 2014

    ….   The nature of the beasta Chief Inspector Gamache novel. NY:  St. Martin’s Minotaur, 


    ….   Glass Houses, a novel. NY:  St. Martin’s Minotaur, 2015.

    ….   A great reckoning, a novel. NY:  Three Pines creations/ St. Martin’s Minotaur. 2016.

    ….   Kingdom of the blind, a novel. NY:  St. Martin’s Minotaur, 2017.

    ….   A Better Man, a novel. NY:  St. Martin’s Minotaur, 2019.

    ….   All the devils are here, a novel. NY:  St. Martin’s Minotaur, 2020.

    ….   The Madness of Crowds, a novel. NY:  St. Martin’s Minotaur, 2021.

            (written during the pandemic, but refers to it as being done and gone.)

    ….   A world of curiosities, a novel. NY:  St. Martin’s Minotaur, 2022.

Quinn, Julia. The Viscount who loved me. Book 2 Bridgerton series. NY: Avon/ HarperCollins, 

2000.  (My granddaughter has my copy of the first of this series. I hope she enjoys it.)

    ….   An offer from a gentleman. Book 3 of the Bridgerton series. NY: Avon/ HarperCollins, 


    ….   Romancing Mister Bridgerton.  Book 4 of the Bridgerton series. NY: Avon/ 

HarperCollins, 2002. (I’m not sure why this book is in hardback. All my other Julia 

Quinn books are in paperback. I must have gotten it from a Little Lending Library.)

    ….   To Sir Phillip, with love. Book 5 of the Bridgerton series. NY: Avon/ 

HarperCollins, 2003.

    ….   When he was wickedBook 6 of the Bridgerton series. NY: Avon/ HarperCollins, 2004.

    ….   It’s in his kissBook 7 of the Bridgerton series. NY: Avon/ HarperCollins, 2005.

    ….   On the way to the wedding Book 8 of the Bridgerton series. NY: Avon/

HarperCollins, 2006.

    ….   Just like heaven. (a Smythe-Smith novel) NY: Avon/ HarperCollins, 2011.

    ….   A night like this. (a Smythe-Smith novel) NY: Avon/ HarperCollins, 2012.

    ….   The sum of all kisses. (a Smythe-Smith novel) NY: Avon/ HarperCollins, 2013.

    ….   The secrets of Sir Richard Kenworthy. (a Smythe-Smith novel) NY: Avon/ 

HarperCollins, 2015.

    ….   The girl with the make-believe husband, a Bridgerton Prequel. Book 2. NY: Avon/ 

HarperCollins, 2017.

    ….   The other Miss Bridgertona Bridgerton Prequel. Book 3.NY: Avon/ HarperCollins,


    ….   First comes scandal, a Bridgerton Prequel. Book 4.NY: Avon/ HarperCollins, 2020.

Sayer, Dorothy. Whose Body?  A Lord Peter Wimsey Novel. NY: Harper & Row, 1923.

Scalzi, John. Redshirts, they were expendable … until they started comparing notes

            NY: Tor/ a Tom Doherty Asso. Book, 2012. 

            (written by a script writer for Stargate: Universe, but is such a take-off of Star Trek. And 

then it goes even wilder.) 

Sonneborn, Julia. By the book, a novel. NY: Gallery Books/ Simon & Schuster, 2018. 

Springer, Nancy.  The Oddling Prince. San Francisco, CA: Tachyon, 2018.

            (Publishers weekly top-ten spring science fiction and fantasy Pick.)

Straub, Emma.  This time tomorrow. NY: Riverhead books, 2022. (time travel)

Sutanto, Jesse. Four aunties and a wedding.  NY:  Berkley, 2022. (sequel to Dial A for Aunties -

which was clever, but this one just seemed to be a repeat of the actions in the first one.)

Weir, Andy.  Project Hail Mary. NY: Ballantine books/ Random House, 2021.

            (by the author of The Martian.  With the same attention to day-by-day detail on a foreign

 planet – except this takes place on a space ship in a different solar system – with an 

alien. With flashbacks to the lead up to his trip in space. The ending made me cry – can’t

 decide happy tears or sad tears.) 

Weisberger, Lauren.  The devil wears Prada, a novel. NY: Doubleday/ Random, 2003.

    ….   Revenge wears Prada, the devil returns. NY: Simon & Schuster, 2013.

            (hmmm. I wonder why Doubleday/Random didn’t publish the second one?)

    ….   When life gives you Lululemons. NY:  Simon&Schuster, 2018.

Weiss, Kirsten. The perfectly proper paranormal museum mystery. Woodbury  

MN:  Midnight Ink, 2016.

    ….   Pressed to death, a perfectly proper paranormal museum mystery. Woodbury MN: 

Midnight Ink, 2017.

    ….   Deja’ MOO, for whom the cowbells toll, a perfectly proper paranormal museum mystery

Woodbury MN:  Midnight Ink, 2018.  

    ….   Chocolate a la murder a perfectly proper paranormal museum mystery.

Woodbury MN:  Midnight Ink, 2019.  

    ….   Bleeding Tarts, a Pie Town Mystery. NY: Kensington Books, 2018.

Westerson, Jeri.  Veil of Lies, a Medieval noir. NY:  Minotaur books/ St. Martin’s Press, 2009.

            (as a history major in college who loved her Medieval history classes, and who loved the

             Brother Cadfael mysteries by Ellis Peters - the pen name of Edith Pargeter - you can bet 

            that I love this series, too.)

    ….   Serpent in the Thornsa Medieval noir. NY:  Minotaur books/ St. Martin’s Press, 2009

    ….   The Demon’s parchmenta Medieval noir. NY:  Minotaur books/ St. Martin’s Press, 


    ….   Troubled bones, a Medieval noir. NY:  Minotaur books/ St. Martin’s Press, 2011.

    ….   Blood Lance, a Medieval noir. NY:  Minotaur books/ St. Martin’s Press, 2012.

    ….   Shadow of the Alchemista Medieval noir. NY:  Minotaur books/ St. Martin’s Press, 


    ….   Cup of Blooda Chrispin Guest Medieval noir. Menifee, CA: Old London Press, 2014.

            (evidently she self-published the prequel to her Chrispin Guest series.)

    ….   The Silence of Stonesa Chrispin Guest Medieval Mystery.   Surrey, England: Severn

             House publishers, Ltd, 2015.   

    …..  A Maiden Weeping, a Chrispin Guest Medieval Mystery.   Surrey, England: Severn

             House publishers, Ltd, 2016.   

    ….   Season of blood, a Chrispin Guest Medieval Mystery.   Surrey, England: Severn

             House publishers, Ltd, 2016.  

    ….   The Deepest Gravea Chrispin Guest Medieval noir Mystery. Surrey, England: Severn

             House publishers, Ltd, 2018.   

    ….   Traitor’s Codex, a Chrispin Guest Medieval noir Mystery. Surrey, England: Severn

             House publishers, Ltd, 2019.   

    ….   Sword of Shadows, a Chrispin Guest Medieval noir Mystery. Surrey, England: Severn

             House publishers, Ltd, 2020. 

     ….  Spiteful Bones, a Chrispin Guest Medieval noir Mystery. Surrey, England: Severn

             House publishers, Ltd, 2020.

    ….   The Deadliest Sina Chrispin Guest Medieval noir Mystery. Surrey, England: Severn

             House publishers, Ltd, 2021.  (The last book of the series)

Whelan, Julia. My Oxford Year. A novel. NY: William Morrow/ HarperCollins, 2018.

    ….   Thank you for listening a novel. NY:  Avon/ HarperCollins, 2022.

            (Includes fascinating information about the making of audiobooks)


Multiple author series:  The Witches of Karres series

Schmitz, James H. The Witches of Karres. NY: Ace Books, 1966.

Lackey, Mercedes and Eric Flint and Dave Freer. The Wizard of Karres. NY:  Baen, 2004.

            (Continuation of Witches of Karres tales, originally by James H. Schmitz and Eric Flint)

Eric Flint and Dave Freer. The Shaman of Karres. NY:  Baen, 2020. 

(more continuation, but this time not written Mercedes Lackey or James H. Schmitz.)






Andrews, Julie, with Emma Walton Hamilton. (her daughter)  Home Work, a memoir of my 

Hollywood years. NY: Hachette books, 2019.

(Her books are always an excellent read.)

Couric, Katie  Going There. NY: Little, Brown and company, 2021. 

            (autobiography of one of my favorite TV personalities)

Howard, Ron and Clint Howard. The Boys, a memoir of Hollywood and family. NY: William

             Morrow/ HarperCollins, 2021.  (autobiography)

Rodgers     Rodgers, Mary and Jesse Green. Shy, the alarmingly outspoken memoirs of Mary

 Rodgers. NY: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2022.

(The life of the composer for Once Upon a Mattress and other Broadway hits who is the

 daughter of Richard Rodgers, composer of many, many Broadway hits.)

Roosevelt, Eleanor.     Michaelis, David. Eleanor. NY: Simon & Schuster, 2020.

Ross    Thurber, James, The years with Ross. Boston, MA: Little Brown & Co, 1957-59.

(This meshes nicely with the children’s book I’m also reading – Some Writer by Melissa Sweet where she talks about E.B White and his wife, Katharine, working on The New Yorker magazine with Thurber and Ross.)

Smith, Will (with Mark Manson). WILL.  NY: Penguin Press, 2021.

            (Nice of him to recognize his ghost writer on the Title page of the book. Not many do.)





027.479           Orlean, Susan. The Library Book. NY: Simon & Schuster, 2018.

            (The huge fire at the Lost Angeles main library inspired her to write a history of it)

320.973           Martin, Johathan and Alexander Burns. This will not pass – Trump, Biden, and 

the battle for America’s future. NY: Simon & Schuster, 2022.

339.22             Hill, Fiona. There is nothing for you here, finding opportunity in the 21st century.

            NY:  Mariner Books/ HarperColins, 2021.  (An excellent read. Includes her experience as

             a public servant during the Trump years. She’s back at the Brookings Institute now and

             I’d love to hear her thoughts about what Russia is doing these days.)

363.283           Goodavage, Maria. Secret service dogs. NY: Dutton/ Penguin Random House,


363.3498         Mooallem, Jon. This is Chance! The shaking of an all-American city, a voice that 

held it together. NY: Random House, 2020.  

(The 1964 earthquake that hit Anchorage, Alaska.)

791.43             Liu, Simu. We were dreamers., an immigrant superhero origin story

            NY: William Morrow/ HarperCollins, 2022.

792.7               Rainbow, Randy.  Playing with myself. NY: St. Martin’s Press, 2022.

973.7               Horwitz, Tony.  Confederates in the Attic, Dispatches from the Unfinished Civil 

War.  NY: Pantheon Books, 1998.  (NY journalist follows reenactors from first shot to

 last battle, with side trips talking to modern (1990s) people in the South.)

973.933           Schiff, Adam. Midnight in Washington, how we almost lost our democracy and

             still could.  NY: Random House, 2021. (Behind the scenes of two impeachments.)

Children's books Read 2022

 The next two posts will be my list of the books I've read during the year. 

This first one is Children's Books:

Picture Books


Archer, Micha. Wonder Walkers. NY: Nancy Paulsen Books/ Penguin Random House, 2021.

            (2022 Caldecott honor book)

Beer, Sophie.  Love makes a family. NY: Dial books for young readers, 2018. (board book)

Bishop, Jack. Peyton Picks the Perfect Pie, a Thanksgiving Celebration. Illus. Michelle Mee

 Nutter.  Boston, MA:  America’s Test Kitchen, 2020.

Celenza, Anna Harwell.  Duke Ellington’s Nutcracker Suite.  Watertown, MA: Charlesbridge,

2011.  (I’m jealous.  When I wrote a biography of Duke Ellington I tried to get my publisher to put a CD of Ellington’s music in the back of the book, but they wouldn’t. 

Charlesbridge does have a CD of his jazzy Nutcracker Suite in the back of this book.)

Doyen, Denise. The Pomegranate witch. Illus. Eliza Wheeler.  San Francisco, Chronicle 

books, 2017. 

Harris, Shawn. Have you ever seen a flower? San Francisco: Chronicle books, 2021.

            (2022 Caldecott honor book)

Hale, Shannon. Pretty perfect kitty corn. Illus Leuyen Pham. NY: Abrams books for young

             readers, 2022. 

Herz, Henry. I am Smoke. Illus. Merce’ Lo’pez. Thomaston, MA: Tilbury House Publishers, 

            2021. (2022 – ALA Notable Children’s Books award)

Ho, Joanna. Eyes that kiss in the corners. Illus. Dung Ho. NY: HarperCollins, 2021.

            (2022 Golden Kite winner)

Lichtenheld, Tom and Amy Krouse Rosenthal. Moo-Moo I love you. NY: Abrams books, 2020.

McAnulty, Stacy. LOVE. Illus. Joanne Lew-Vriethoff. Philadelphia: RP Kids, 2018.

Meyers, Susan. Everywhere Babies. Illus. Marla Frazee. NY/San Diego: Harcourt, 2001.

Rau’l the third. !Vamos!  Let’s cross the bridge. Illus. Elaine Bay. Boston, MA:

 Versify/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2021.   (2022 Pura Belpre Illustrator Award.) 

Rowland, Kelly and Jessica McKay. Always with you , always with me. Illus. Fanny Liem. 

            NY: Viking/ PenguinRandom/ Hightree, 2022

Scanlon, Liz Garton.  All the World.  Illus. Marla Frazee. NY, San Diego: Beach Lane Books,

 2009.  (2010 Caldecott Honor book)

Wang, Andrea.  Watercress. Illus. Jason Chin.  NY: Holiday House/ Neal Porter Books, 2021.

            (2022 awards =  Caldecott Medal, Newbery Honor, Asian Pacific American Librarians’

 Association Award)

Williams, Sienna. All we need is love. Illus. Julia Seal. Cottage Farm, UK: Igloo books, 2021.


I Can Read


Cepeda, Joe.  I Hop. NY: Holiday House, 2021. (2022 Pura Belpre’ Honoree)

Fenske, Jonathan. Nothing fits a Dinosaur. NY: Simon Spotlight Ready to Read, 2021.

            (2022 Geisel Honor Book)

Tabor, Corey R.  Fox at night. My first I can read. NY: Balzer & Bray/ HarperCollins, 2021.

            (2022 Geisel Award)





Barnhill, Kelly. The Ogress and the Orphans. Chapel Hill, NC: Algonquin, 2022.

            (So much better written than her 2017 Newbery Award book, HE GIRL WHO DRANK 

THE MOON, Which seemed as if it were several different books mooshed together. I’m 

hoping she gets another Newbery for this one.)

DiCamillo, Kate. The Beatryce prophecy.  Illus. Sophie Blackall. Somerville, MA: Candlewick

             Press, 2021.      

Higuera, Donna Barba. The Last Cuentista. NY: Levine Querido, 2021.

            (2022 ALA Pura Belpre’ honor book)  (Science fiction with mix of English & Spanish)

Holm, Jennifer. The Lion of Mars. NY:  Random House, 2021.  

Lukoff, Kyle. Too bright to see. NY: Dial BFYR, 2012. (2022 Newbery Award)

            (This book should have info on the flap so that transgender kids can find this.

            A review says “raises the familiar within the unfamiliar in its ghostly story of 

            recognition. Kyle Lukoff patiently reveals Bug’s growing discomfort with scripts

            of girlhood and reflects the process of self-knowledge. Introspective narration

            murmurs of Bug’s transgender identity. This welcome coming-out story will haunt us 

            far into the future.”   Includes a haunted house and the death of a gay uncle.) 

Moses, Rucker and Theo Gangi. Kingston and the magician’s lost and found. Book one.

            NY: GP Putnam, 2021. (Urban fantasy) 

   ….    Kingston and the echoes of magic. Book two. NY: GP Putnam, 2021.

Reedy, Trent.  Racing storm mountain. NY: WW Norton &Co., 2022.

            (sequel to Hunter’s Choice.)

Rex, Adam. The true meaning of Smekday.  Hyperian books for children, 2007.

            (The 2015 Movie HOME was based on this book, but the movie changed the ending.        and other parts.)

Selfors, Suzanne. Wedgie & Gizmo. NY: Katherine Tegen Books/ HarperCollins, 2017.

            (the first book of a funny series about a guinea pig who thinks he’s an ‘evil genius’ and a 

bouncy, yappy dog (squirrel!) living in a blended family.)

Shang, Wendy Wan-Long.  The Secret battle of Evan Pao. NY: Scholastic Press, 2022.

Vernon, Ursula.  Nurk, the strange, surprising adventures of a (somewhat) brave shrew

            San Diego, CA: Harcourt, Inc./ HMH, 2008.

Werlin, Nancy.  Healer & Witch.  Somerville, MA: Candlewick, 2022.

Wrede, Patricia. Dealing with Dragons.  Book 1 of the Enchanted Forest Chronicles.

            San Diego, CA:  Jane Yolen Books/ Harcourt Brace & Company, 1990.

    ….   Searching for Dragons. Book 2 of the Enchanted Forest Chronicles.

            San Diego, CA:  Jane Yolen Books/ Harcourt Brace & Company, 1991.

    ….   Calling on Dragons, Book 3 of the Enchanted Forest Chronicles.

            San Diego, CA:  Jane Yolen Books/ Harcourt Brace & Company, 1993.

    ….   Talking to Dragons,  Book 4 of the Enchanted Forest Chronicles.

            San Diego, CA:  Jane Yolen Books/ Harcourt Brace & Company, 1985.

            (This last book was actually written as a stand-alone, but Editor Yolen asked Pat to write

 prequels – resulting in this series.) 

            (both Jane Yolen and Patricia Wrede mentored me when I was a beginning writer.)

            (I was able to watch online discussions about these books as they were being produced –

            Fun Fact:  Pat kept using the Temporary name of “Bowling for Dragons” for each of

 these when they were in draft form and going through the editing process. Bowling for

 Dollars was a popular TV show at that time.)

Yee, Lisa. Maizy Chen’s Last Chance. NY: Random House, 2022.

            (I predict many awards for this amazing book. It celebrates the power of food, family,

             understanding our roots, and stepping up to help others when it matters the most.)

            (Prediction came true – it was on the short list for the National Book Award!)



YA Fiction:


Anderson, M.T.  Feed.  Cambridge MA: Candlewick Press, 2002.

            (I sat next to MT when we both received the 2003 Boston Globe/ Horn Book Awards.

His award was for this book.  Mine was for To Fly)

Collins, Suzanne.  The ballad of songbirds and snakes. NY: Scholastic, 2020.

            (In case you wanted a fictional biography of Coriolanus Snow and how the Hunger 

Games became to be. What a twisted tale.)

Dessen, Sarah.  Once and for all.  NYL /Viking, 2017. 

(I had heard she wrote good stories and they were right -- this is a good read. Includes lots about the job of Wedding planners – much better than the Jesse Sutanto books.) 

Durst, Sarah Beth. The Shelterings. NY: Clarion, 2022

Jones, Diana Wynne.  A tale of time city. NY: Greenwillow books, 1987.

Kingfisher, T.  A wizard’s guide to defensive baking. Dallas, TX: Argyll, 2020. 

            (self published or small press published, I can’t tell which), but very good fantasy by

             author, Ursula Vernon.  I’d place it in middle grade, myself instead of YA. Although 

            she writes YA horror under this name, I hope she does more like this one, and gets a

             traditional publisher who will place it solidly in middle grade)

Lackey, Mercedes and Rosemary Edghill. Legacies, a Shadow Grail Novel. NY: Tor/ Tom

 Doherty Asso. Book, 2010. 

    ….   Conspiracies, a Shadow Grail Novel 2. NY: Tor/ Tom Doherty Asso. Book, 2011. 

    ….   Sacrifices, a Shadow Grail Novel 3. NY: Tor/ Tom Doherty Asso. Book, 2013.

    ….   Victoriesa Shadow Grail Novel 4. NY: Tor/ Tom Doherty Asso. Book, 2014.

Little Badger, Darcie.  A Snake falls to Earth. Arthur A Levine/ Levine Querido, 2021. 

            (2022 John Newbery Honor book)  (Native American) 

Price, Tirzah.   Sense and Second-degree Murder.  NY: Harper Teen, 2022.  

Rosenbloom, Fiona.  You are so not invited to my Bat Mitzvah! NY: Hyperion, 2005. 





JB Bazalgette       Paeff, Colleen. The great stink – how Joseph Bazalgette solved London’s

             poop pollution problem. Illus. Nancy Carpenter.  NY: Margaret K. McElderry books,      Simon & Schuster, 2021.   (2022 Robert F. Sibert honor book)

JB Bly Hannigan, Kate. Nellie vs. Elizabeth, two daredevil journalists’ breakneck race around

             the world. Illus. Rebecca Gibbon.  NY: Calkins Creek/ Astra Books for Young Readers, 

            2022.   (uses quotes from newspapers of the time period.  Plus backmatter.)

JB Longworth. Kerley, Barbara. What to do about Alice? Illus. Edwin Fotheringham. 

            NY: Scholastic Press, 2008.

JB Shahn         Levinson, Cynthia. The People’s Painter, how Ben Shahn fought for justice

             with art.  Illus. Evan Turk. NY: Abrams Books for Young Readers, 2021.

            (2022 Robert F. Sibert Award. 2022 Sydney Taylor Notable book)

JB Simone       Todd, Traci N. Nina, a story of Nina Simone. Ills. Christian Robinson. 

            NY: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 2021. (2022 Coretta Scott King Honor award)





JB DePaola.  DePaola, Tomie. 26 Fairmont Avenue. NY: G.P. Putnam’s sons, 1999.

    ….   Here we all are, A 26 Fairmont Avenue Book. NY: G.P. Putnam’s sons, 2000.

    ….   On My Way, A 26 Fairmont Avenue Book. NY: G.P. Putnam’s sons, 2001.

    ….   What a year, A 26 Fairmont Avenue Book. NY: G.P. Putnam’s sons, 2002.

JB Roundtree  Roundtree Dovey Johnson and Katie McCabe. We wait for the sun, the story of

             young Dovey Johnson Roundtree and her grandmother’s enduring love. Illus. Raissa 

            Figueroa.  NY: Roaring Brook Press, 2021. (2022 Coretta Scott King Award)

            (This one probably was difficult to catalogue because the main ‘story’ is a picture book

             and the biography part is in the endnotes.  Is this a new trend?)

JB Tesla          Westergaard, Azadeh. A life electric the story of Nikola Tesla. Illus. Ju’lia Sarda.

             NY: Viking/ Penguin Random House, 2021. 

            (a more complete biography is in the backmatter than in the main ‘story.’)

JB White         Sweet, Melissa. Some Writer, the story of EB. White. NY: Houghton Mifflin

 Harcourt, 2016. 

(This meshes nicely with the adult book I’m also reading – The Years with Ross by James Thurber where he talks about working on The New Yorker magazine with E.B. (Andy) White and his Katharine.)





YA 323.1196  Magoon, Kekla. Revolution in our Time, the Black Panther Party’s promise to the

             people.  Somerville, MA: Candlewick Press, 2022. (National Book Award Honor book)

            (faculty at Vermont College of Fine Arts, Writing for Children and Young Adults)

J 629.13          Burleigh, Robert. Wilbur Wright meets lady liberty. Illus. Wendell Minor. 

NY: Henry Hold, 2021.

J 571.786        Steward, Melissa. Summertime Sleepers, Animals that hibernate Estivate

            Illus. Sarah S. Brannen. Watertown, MA: Charlesbridge, 2021. 

            (2022 Robert F. Sibert honor book)

J 972.91064    Sheinkin, Steve. Fallout: spies, superbombs, and the ultimate cold war 

            showdown. NY: Roaring Brook Press, 2021.  (2022 Sibert Medal)

J 973.04          Jarrow, Gail. Ambushed! The assassination plot against President Garfield

            NY: Boyds Mills and Kane/ Astra Publishing House, 2021.  (2022 Sibert Honor book)

J 972.0496      Zoboi, Ibi. The People Remember. Illus Loveis Wise. NY: Balzer + Bray/ 

            HarperCollins, 2021.   (2022 Coretta Scott King Honor award)

            (uses the principles of Kwanzaa to talk about the history of African Americans.)

J 973.0497      Sorell, Traci. We are still here! Native American truths everyone should know.

            Illus. Frane’ Lessac. Watertown, MA: Charlesbridge, 2021. 

            (2022 Robert F. Sibert honor book, 2022 American Indian youth honor book, 

            2022 ALA Notable book)

J 973.099        Leiner, Katherine. First children, Growing up in the white house. Illus. Katie 

Keller. NY: Tambourine Books, 1996.

J 973.099        Rhatigan, Joe. White House Kids, the perks, pleasures, problems, and pratfalls of 

the presidents’ children.   Watertown, MA:  Charlesbridge, 2012.

J 973.3            Our White House, looking in / looking out. Created by 108 renowned authors and 

illustrators and the national children’s book and literary alliance. Cambridge, MA: 

Candlewick, 2008. 

J 976.686        Weatherford, Carole Boston. Unspeakable – the Tulsa race massacre. Illus. Floyd

 Cooper. Minneapolis, MN: CarolRhoda Books, 2021. (2022 Caldecott medal)