Posted in About me, Confessions of a bookaholic, Monday Mania

Monday Mania#19: Favorite Childrens Books

Everyone has books they loved growing up.  Below is a list of some of my favorite children’s books.  This list is far from complete, so if you feel that a book should be added to this list please add your book’s name and author in the comment section below.

Adult readers remember that reading out loud with a child, even if they already know how to read, is a great way to encourage them to read on their own AND is a great bonding experience.

  1. The Mare On The Hill by Thomas Locker
  2. Where The Wild Things Are story and pictures by Maurice Sendak
  3. The Story of Barbar by D E Burnhoff
  4. Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown art by Clement Hurd
  5. Everything by Dr. Seuss
  6. I Just Forgot by Mercer Mayer
  7. Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans
  8. Berenstain Bears series created by Stan and Jan Berenstain
  9. Curios George by H.A. Rey
  10. The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
  11. The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams
  12. Where The Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein
  13. The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein
  14. Corduroy by Don Freeman
  15. If You Give A Mouse A Cookie story by Laura Numeroff, illustrated by Felicia Bond
  16. Winnie the Pooh by A.A. Milne
  17. Love You Forever written by Robert, illustrated by Sheila McGraw
  18. The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales by Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith
  19. James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
  20. The Little Prince by Antone De Saint-Exupery
  21. Harold and The Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson
  22. I’ll Always Love You by Hans Wilhelm
  23. Charlotte’s Webb by E.B. White
  24. The Giver by Lois Lowery
  25. A Girl of The Limberlost by Gene Stratton-Porter
  26. Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery
  27. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Bety Smith
  28. Island of Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell
  29. Nancy Drew series by Carolyn Keene
  30. Hardy Boys series by Franklin W Dixon

Happy Reading!!!!


Posted in About me, Fun tidbits, Helpful information, interview

Talking with Tom Starita

Hello everyone, meet Tom Starita.  He has recently released his second fiction book.  For those of you who don’t know already I like to get to know the authors behind the stories I am reading.  Today we are meeting American writer Tom Starita.

Author’s Bio:  Tom Starita is the author of two novels, “Two Ways to Sunday” and “Growth and Change Are Highly Overrated” and makes an impact on everyone he encounters. When asked for her thoughts about him, Oprah Winfrey said, “Who?” Tom Hanks refused to respond to an email asking for a quote and former Mets great Mookie Wilson once waved to him from a passing taxi.

Originally from Staten Island, NY Starita has now found a home in the beautiful beach community of Stratford, Connecticut where he remains a loyal fan of the New York Mets.


1.      What/Who inspired you to write “Growth and Change Are Highly Overrated”?

When the historians look back on the town of Weehawken, NJ they’re going to note two tragedies that resulted in a creative tsunami of epic proportions. The first involved Alexander Hamilton, and led to the play, “Hamilton.” The second involved me, Tom Starita and resulted in, “Growth and Change Are Highly Overrated.”

Back in February of 2013 I was living in Weehawken and if my life was a rock band I would have been Dire Straits. The week of Valentine’s Day I was diagnosed with approximately 9 strains of the flu. This presented somewhat of a challenge since I was living alone so I decided to hibernate and not die.

That’s exactly what happened.

Come late Friday night I woke up and I was starving. Starving isn’t even the word for it. I was, “alone on an island and don’t know how to fish” hungry. I made my way to the kitchen and remembered I hadn’t gone food shopping in at least a week and a half. I must have opened every door and drawer and my options were baking soda and ice tea. All right, not ideal but I’m in New Jersey, there are diners every five feet, I’ll just drive to one.

That’s when I looked out the window and noticed ten inches of snow.

I was snowed in with no food, no options, no prospects, no hope and that’s when Lucas James came peeking out of my imagination to introduce himself. I ran to the computer and started typing, and I kept typing every day until I finished telling his story.

2. Do you feel you have a personal connection with any of the characters?

People often ask me if Lucas James is really me, which makes me wonder if they think I’m a psychopath! Lucas James was literally the only reason why I got out of bed for a long time, so I’ll always be thankful he showed up. He’s also the ultimate cautionary tale of what happens when a person allows his Id to run rampant.

4. The book’s description ends with “Is ‘growing up’ just another way of saying ‘selling out’ “.  Is this something you have believed?

Nope. When I started writing this book I had no idea of a plot, or an ending or anything else except I knew his voice. I also knew that I wanted to write someone irredeemable and be out front about that and see if I can still convince the reader to like him/root for him. That tag line expressed his viewpoint on life perfectly and should be a red flag for anyone wondering what kind of person/character this is!

I knew I had something when my mom emailed me to say that she didn’t want to like this book but she did. Mission accomplished.

5. So, what is your plan after this book? Will you continue to focus on writing fiction books?

I’m actually shopping my third book now. It’s called, “Total BS (bedtime stories)” and it’s exactly what it sounds like. Quick and easy stories for adults to read before bed, or in the bathroom or while commuting on the Staten Island Ferry. They’re weird and funny, and sometimes a little dark as well! And I think there are at least ten of them that could be developed into a movie—but that’s a different conversation!

6. Tell me something random about yourself

I once heckled Paul Anka at the blackjack table at Foxwoods casino. I think the line that cut the deepest was, “you’re no Billy Joel.”

For the record I’m not a Billy Joel fan—although “Downeastern Alexa” is a fun song to sing to.

7. If you were in a life and death karaoke contest what song would you sing?

Great question! Either Bryan Adams, “Summer of 69” or Journey, “Any Way You Want It”

8. Should I buy your book?

Another great question. After careful consideration I’d have to say yes, yes you should.

9. Does this mean that, “Growth and Change Are Highly Overrated” is the best book ever written by a guy from Staten Island, NY who now resides somewhere else?

Admittedly I might be a little biased but yes it is.

10. Worst owners in professional sports?

That’s easy, the Wilpons.

Let’s Go Mets!


Book info:

  • ISBN-10: 1520705816
  • ISBN-13: 978-1520705811

Find this author at:

Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are all @TomStarita

Happy reading!!!


Posted in About me, Confessions of a bookaholic, Tag

The Nope Tag

Thank you to @WordsWithLara for tagging me for this tag.  The Nope Book Tag was created by A Booktube Book.

1. NOPE. Ending:a book ending that made you go NOPE either in denial, rage or simply because the ending was crappy.

Kingdom of Ash and Soot by C. S. Johnson.  The book ends with the main character unconscious.  This ending didn’t make me read book two, it enraged me too much.

2. NOPE.  Protagonist:a main character you dislike and drives you crazy.

3. NOPE. Pairing:a “ship” you don’t support.

I don’t like fiction books that romantasize abusive relationships.  Books that do this allow society to continue to rationalize away this behavior. When, in reality, abuse shouldn’t be tolerated no matter how minor it may seem.

4. NOPE. Plot twist:a twist you didn’t see coming and liked.

The ending of The Diary by Julia Derek.

5. NOPE. Genre: a genre you will never read.

I am willing to read all genres of books, but I don’t like to discuss political or religious books with most people because of the issues that can arise.

6. NOPE. Book format: book formatting you hate and avoid buying until it comes out in a different edition

Audio books.  I have tried listening to them but my hands get fidgety causing me to lose focus on the book.

7. NOPE. Trope: a trope that makes you go Nope.

I not fond of books that romanticize Stockholm syndrome by having a woman get kidnapped for sexual pleasure.

8. NOPE. Recommendation: a book recommendation that is constantly pushed at you, that you simply refuse to read.

The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger.  I know this book is a classic but I don’t like Salinger’s writing style, so I don’t see the point.

9. NOPE. Cliché: a cliché or writing pet peeve that always makes you roll your eyes.

I hate when authors end with “and they lived happily ever after”.  Come on there are other ways of conveying a positive ending.

10. NOPE. Love interest: the love interest that’s not worthy of being one.

In my opinion most love interests aren’t worthy no matter how incredible they are.

11. NOPE. Book: a book that shouldn’t have existed and made you say NOPE.

I can’t answer this question.  Yes there are quit a few books I don’t like, but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t exist.  Just because I didn’t like a book doesn’t mean others wont like it.

12. NOPE. Villain: a villain you would hate to cross.

Hannibal Lector.  He scares me because a cannibal with a high IQ and a degree in psychology is someone who could actually exist in the real world.

13. NOPE. Death: a character death that still haunts you. 

Dobby from the Harry Potter universe

14. NOPE. Author: an author you had a bad experience reading before and have decided to quit.

E. Thomas Joseph.  I tried to read Winter Eternal: The River That Flows Two Ways but after two weeks I had only gotten 33% through the book and decide to stop.


Happy Reading!!!


Posted in About me, Confessions of a bookaholic

Books I Should Have Read Already, But Haven’t

Everyone has those books that they say they are going to read by they continually put them off for some reason or another.

Here is my list of books that I have been putting of.  I have marked which ones I own but still haven’t read.

  1. The Color of Water by James McBride
  2. Beloved by Toni Morrison (own)
  3. Life of Pi by Yann Martel
  4. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
  5. The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan (own)
  6. Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris
  7. The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
  8. Misery by Stephen King (own)
  9. Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
  10. Helter Skelter by Vincent Bugliosi
  11. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
  12. War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
  13. Murder On The Orient Express by Agatha Christie
  14. 1984 by George Orwell
  15. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
  16. One Flew over The Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey
  17. Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert (own)
  18. Moby Dick by Herman Melville
  19. A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
  20. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy (own)
  21. The Lord of The Rings Trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien
  22. The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
  23. The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
  24. The Last of The Mohicans by James Fenimore Cooper
  25. The Jungle by Upton Sinclair (own)
Posted in About me, Confessions of a bookaholic, Fun tidbits

My Pottermore Sortings

I am a huge Harry Potter fan so, when I saw a post about Pottermore sorting on The Little Contemporary Corner I just had to write a similar post.  I’m not sure who wrote the original post, but thank you to whoever you are.  Pottermore is a website created by J.K. Rowling relating to Harry Potter and his world.

The moment I started reading Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone I was hooked.  I read the first book in one sitting.  For full disclosure I did not start reading the series until  <a href=”http://Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire“>Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire was released.  But, I did read all four books in less than a week.  I had some serious withdrawals waiting for book five to come out.

Since early on I have identified as a Ravenclaw.  Not wanting to be sorted into another house stopped me from going to this section, temporarily.  When I finally did go I was happy to be placed into Ravenclaw.


My wand would be made of Cyprus wood with a dragon heartstring core.  It would be 12 3/4 inches long with unyielding flexibility.  The cypress wood was the most surprising trait to me because it often finds its soul mate among the brave and self-sacrificing, which are not the best words to describe me.  But, all  the wands traits (wood, core, length and flexibility), the owner’s life experiences and style of magic all combine to make a wand unique from all others.

My patronis would be a Grey Squirrel.  This shocked me at first, not sure why it shocked my but it did.  Once I did a little digging into Grey Squirrels I became prouder of my patronis.

Learning my Ilvermorny house was the most fun.  For those of you who don’t know Ilvermorny is the wizardry school in America, located in Massachusetts.  It was founded in 1627 (that’s 637 years after Hogwarts).  At Ilvermorny there are four houses, each one named after a founder’s favorite magical creature.  I was placed in house Pukwudgie.


A Pukwudgie is a short, grey faced, large eared creature native to America.  They are distantly related to the European Goblin and possess magical powers of their own.  They are fiercely independent and hunt with deadly poisoness arrows.  They are not fond of humans (whether magical or muggle) and enjoy playing tricks on them.

Well those are my Pottermore sorting details.  I would love to know where all of you were sorted, so please share in the comments.  If you haven’t visited Pottermore yet, click here to learn your sorting.

Happy reading,


Posted in About me, Fun tidbits

What I’m Reading This Week

This week I am reading the book <a href="http://The Heart of Everything That Is: The Untold Story of Red Cloud, An American Legend” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener”>The Heart of Everything That Is by Bob Drury and Tom Clavin.  This book has been sitting on my shelf for a few years and I have been putting it off because I usually spend more time on nonfiction books than I do fiction books.  I love nonfiction books but choose to space them out because I know I spend more time on them.

<a href="http://The Heart of Everything That Is: The Untold Story of Red Cloud, An American Legend” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener”>The Heart of Everything That Is is about Red Cloud, an Oglala Sioux who lived in the 1800’s.  I have read the introduction and believe that I am going to find this book very informative and well researched.

If I finish this book before I leave for vacation on Friday I will read as many H.P. Lovecraft stories as I can.

What is everyone else reading this week?  Tell me in the comment section, I could use some recommendations for next week.

Happy reading!!


Posted in About me, Fun tidbits, Tag

A – Z Book Tag

I saw this book tag while I was on YouTube and I thought it looked like a fun way to introduce new titles to everyone.  I’m not sure who created this tag, but whoever you are thank you, I love it.  This tag is a series of 26 questions that begin with the letters of the alphabet.

A – Author you’ve read the most books from

      Nora Roberts/JD Robb

B – Best sequel ever.

      Bed of Roses (Bride Quartet #2)  by Nora Roberts

C – Currently Reading.

      So Much Owed: An Irish World War 2 Story by Jean Grainger

D – Drink of choice.

      Ice tea

E – eReader or physical book?

      I prefer physical books but have been reading my Kindle lately because of price.

F – Fictional character you probably would have dated in high school?

     In high school I was really shy I didn’t date anyone and can’t imagine dating anyone.

G – Glad you gave this book a chance.

      Mask of Duplicity by Julia Brannan

H – Hidden gem.

1421: The Year China Discovered America by Gavin Menzies

I – Important moment in your reading life.

     In second grade I received an award for the most books read in my class.

J – Just finished.

     Festive in Death by JD Robb

K – Kind of book you wont read.

      Young Adult Romance

L – Longest book you’ve read.

      Les Miserable by Victor Hugo

M – Major book hangover because of.

      Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows by J K Rowlings

N – Number of bookshelves you own.

      Two, but I also have books on every surface and in every drawer I own.

O – One book you’ve read multiple times.

      The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley

P – Preferred place to read.

     My bed

Q – Quote that inspires you.

       As my story came to a close I realized that I was the villain all along.

R – Reading regrets.

      My biggest regret is not reading nonfiction books earlier in life.

S – Series you have started and need to finish.

     Avalon series by Marion Zimmer Bradley

T – Three of your all time favorite books.

  1. The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley.
  2. Guns, Germs and Steel by Jared Diamond.
  3. Cleopatra: A Life by Stacy Schiff 

U – Unapologetic fangirl.

       Harry Potter by J K Rowling

V – Very excited for this release more than others.


       This question is like asking a parent to pick a favorite child but for the sake of the Tag I will list Of Blood and Bone (Chronicles of The One #2) by Nora Roberts

W – Worst bookish habit.

        I often eat snacks (salty or sweet) as I read.

X – X marks the spot: Pick the 27th book from the top left shelf.

       The Call by John Hershey

Y – Your latest purchase.

      The Complete Fiction of HP Lovecraft

Z – Z snatcher (book that kept you up way to late.

      The Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher

Posted in About me, Fun tidbits

My 2018 TBR List

Every reader has a list of books they want to read.  My list is humongous, so I have it broken into two categories.  Category one is books that I will get to eventually (mostly classics) and category two is for books for the next year.  Below is my TBR list for 2018, if you would like to see my complete TBR list please visit me on Goodreads 

  1. Beloved by Toni Morrison
  2. From Sand and Ash by Amy Harmon
  3. Under Heaven’s Shining Stars By Jean Grainger
  4. The Girl in the Picture by Kerri Barrett
  5. So Much Owed by Jean Grainger
  6. The Gathering Storm (The Jacobite Chronicles #3) by Julia Brannan
  7. The Storm Breaks (The Jacobite Chronicles #4) by Julia Brannan
  8. Pursuit of Princes (The Jacobite Chronicles #5) by Juli Brannan
  9. Y is for Yesterday by Sue Grafton
  10. The Witches by Stacy Schiff
  11. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

I am sure I will be adding more to this list as 2018 progresses and I hear about new books.  If anyone has read the books on my list, let me know what you thought of them.  If you have any recommendations for me let me know in the comments.