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text 2020-01-04 18:44
My Interview with Author Melissa Hart

If you love books (and if you don’t, I’m not really sure what you’re doing here), you might want to check out the Luna’s Reading Corner interview I did for New Moon Girls with author Melissa Hart.


Melissa wrote Better with Books: 500 Diverse Books to Ignite Empathy and Encourage Self-Acceptance in Teens and Tweens. She is also a columnist for The Writer magazine.


I read Melissa’s book in November, and its focus on diversity was a great “prologue” to get me in the mood for my Year of Expanded Reading.


I had SO much fun flagging all the books I want to read from Melissa’s booklist, and taking out a red colored pencil to make notes in the margins of my copy.




If you’re interested in other author interviews I’ve done for the Luna’s Reading Corner podcast, you can find them here. All of them contain great kernels of writing wisdom.

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text 2018-03-11 00:58
Still Reading
1001 Children's Books You Must Read Before You Grow Up - Julia Eccleshare

So, I stopped posting reviews here after #70 last year. I did manage to read 100 books in 2017, but getting them reviewed, let alone posting the reviews in two places, proved to be too much for me. I knew that "something would have to give" when I became a mom in July, but it's still hard to actually make those choices and decide what to let go.


I am not letting go of this blog, but I will no longer cross-post all my Goodreads reviews here. You can still read them on my Goodreads page, of course.


Although I am writing less about books these days, I am still pursuing various book-ish projects. They include --


  • The 2018 PopSugar Reading Challenge - Just for fun; I am not going to be crushed if I don't manage to complete it.
  • The Into the Forest Reading Challenge - Into the Forest is a Goodreads group I belong to for fairy tale/mythology enthusiasts. They do a 12-item challenge every year within the genre that is fun to keep me reading widely within one of my favorite book categories.
  • 1001 Books to You Must Read Before You Grow Up - I am working my way through the recommended books in this tome with my son. Right now we are just focusing on the age 0-3 chapter. I am really surprised by how many of these books are NOT in my public library! My plan is to buy my son a big box of any of the books we weren't able to find in the library at the end of the chapter. In the meantime, I've also begun scouring used booksales to help fill in the gap.
  • The cookbook project - In an attempt to actually USE more of my cookbooks, feed my family well, and save money on eating out, I've been marking recipes I want to try since I was pregnant. I rate every recipe I try, and eventually hope to pare down my cookbook collection by getting rid of the books with only a handful of intriguing recipes after I have tried them.


I am also working on a "book adjacent" project, which is listening to all 150 albums on NPR's women's music canon. The reason I consider this to be a book-adjacent project is because a) I am getting most of these albums from my local library and b) I am listening to a lot more music these days because my son is more content on drives with music than audiobooks. I am sad to have fewer audiobooks in this season of my life, but I am excited to start exploring music again, and to, you know, have a baby.

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review 2016-04-10 17:20
Review: Panther Magic (The Projects #5) Doris O'Connor
Panther Magic (The Projects Book 5) - Doris O'Connor

Kate believes that using animals in a magic act is downright cruel, but she seems to have fallen head over heels in lust with the twins Arran and Zeb Harris anyway in this riveting paranormal romance. I was quite enamored of Arran, Zeb and Kate as they worked toward their happily ever after, their characters complimented each other and Kate’s submissive but feisty attitude added quite a bit of spice to the story and made this quick story a delight to read.


“Copyright Night Owl Reviews”©


See my full review at:

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review 2016-02-24 15:18
The Manhattan Projects Deluxe Edition Book 2 - Jonathan Hickman,Nick Pitarra

Crazy crazy stuff.  Recommended.

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review 2014-06-17 00:00
1980s Bumper Activity Book: 52 Grown-Up Projects that Look Back to the Future
1980s Bumper Activity Book: 52 Grown-Up Projects that Look Back to the Future - Mel Elliott Bwahahahaha!
Ok, I didn't exactly take this seriously but that doesn't make it any less radical than it is. Also, it is wicked. And awesome.

There are 4 paper dolls you can make - Magnum PI (ok, Tom Sellek complete with fuzzy legs, arms, and chest, though the chest is way less fuzzy than you'd expect. Also this is drawn-on fuzz, not flocking though you could totally add the flocking yourself), no, you know what? I'm going to share the ToC (comments in parentheses are mine, not part of ToC):

1. Colour in '80s toys
2. Post-it note mural (8 bit Space Invaders! Thank god for colorful Post-its)
3. Colour in a VW Golf GTI (um, my brother still has one)
4. Magnum P.I. paper doll
5. Fancy dress costume (WTF? 99 Red Balloons for 2 people, 50 on one person, 49 on the other??)
6. 3-D paper Deloreon (I will probably make this because I can and it's cool. I mean RAD. It's rad)
7. Daniel-san headband
8. Micro cross-stitch Super Mario
9. Colour in Arnold from "Diff'rent Strokes"
10. Mega yummy Pacman cake
11. Slogan t'shirt
12. Print your skinny tie (yes, you read that correctly)
13. Easy guitar, Shaky!
14. Colour in "Risky Business"
15. '80s pop collage
16. LEGO protest picture (you have to use the old colors and bricks, not this newfandangled crap)
17. '80s commemorative plate
18. Eightify your shades and Mallet's mallet
19. Painting-by-numbers: Ferris Bueller (anyone?)
20. Band t-shirts
21. Pong duvet cover
22. Temporary tattoos (including one of Pat Benatar's face because why the hell not?)
23. Madonna wall stencil (oddly, this looks incredibly contemporary)
24. Draw like an Etch-A-Sketch! (I already do, thanks!)
25. Lamborghini wall stencil
26. Make a skinny tie (which should come before printing said tie in chapter 12 but doesn't)
27. Hard recorder: theme from "Fall Guy"
28. Wham! glove puppets
29. Stop-motion animation
30. Alexis Carrington paper doll
31. Colour in Run DMC & Aerosmith
32. More temporary tattoos
33. Tote bag transfer
34. 3-D paper yuppie toy (guess what it is! Guess! Guess! <--that's not a clue, btw. It's not something by Guess. I really want you to try to suss out what the yuppie toy is)<br/>35. '80s dinner party (um...no. Or dinner parties were vastly different in the '80s over in LondonTown)
36. Debbie Gibson paper doll
37. Colour in Neighbors (if you haven't figured it out already, this is not an American publication. It's from England. You figure this out much more quickly when you see the top hits of the charts at the bottom of each activity. I was all, "Who the HELL is THAT band? That never made it to the charts here!" However, this is probably the first really Britishy activity. Thank god for PBS or else I'd have no idea what this was all about)(ok, I would now but I wouldn't have prior to the set being released in America on DVD...or showing up on Netflix. Oh, and also if I didn't have English friends)(good grief, moving on)
38. Sequinned top
39. Guess the hair game! (Limahl is in this! OH. MY. GAWD, who remembers that pretty, pretty boy?)
40. Paper Pet Shop Boys
41. Draw your own 3-D picture
42. Make your own 3-D glasses (well done, putting these two items in order this time)
43. Finger-knit a snood (why? why is this an 80's thing? This seems way more 70's, doesn't it? I don't remember finger knitting anything except my hair and that was accidental)
44. Stitchin' by numbers
46. Michael J. Fox paper doll
47. Cassette greetings card
48. Slogan t-shirt: "Jim didn't fix it for me" (and this one is unfamiliar. British?)
49. Pop-up Valentine's card
50. Painting-by-numbers: Debbie Harry (my favorite activity in the book)
51: Colour in "Yes we know it's Christmas!"
52: End of the decade quiz
--The history bit
--What to buy, where to buy it
--Guess the hair game answers
--End of decade quiz answers
--Dedication's what you need
--About Mel

That pretty much sums up the book.

It is delightful, hilarious to oldsters like me, probably a wet-dream come true for hipster, and high recommended for rainy day crafts or for 80's themed parties.
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