I Had a Baby

I haven’t been around the blogging world at all for the last two months, but I have a good excuse… I had a baby!

Lydia Joan was born March 20 at 5:16pm. She was an itty bitty 5lbs, 8oz and 18.5 inches.  And life hasn’t slowed down for one second since she got here!

One Day Old

One Day Old

Being a mom is awesome.  I’m still sneaking in some reading time, but I’m not sure that reviewing books will happen again any time soon.  My internet time is mostly limited to checking Twitter on my phone!  I want to post some things about my experiences with a newborn and plan on just using this blog to do so… so stay tuned for that.  We’ll see if/when I can get back into reviewing once Lydia gets a little older.  Until then, I hope you don’t mind if I post sporadically and on a more personal level.  I miss all you blogging friends!

My smiley girl at 7 weeks old

My smiley girl at 7 weeks old

They say it’s my blogoversary…

Today, February 1, marks an entire year of posts here on Don’t Take My Books Away.  So happy blogoversary to me!

I had no idea what to expect going into blogging, but this has been a pretty fun adventure and I am really thankful to have had the opportunity to share books with all sorts of people I’d have never met otherwise.  I want to thank you all for putting up with my sporadic posting schedule and eclectic tastes and for directing me to many great books over the past year.  I look forward to sharing another great year of books and opinions with all of you!


Ok, so this isn’t entirely book-related, but I’m unable to contain my excitement any more and some of you might be wondering why I’m doing crazy things like giving up caffeine or crying when football players get injured…

I’m pregnant!  The husband and I are expecting our first child in April!

I’m so so so very excited!

And here’s where I bring it back to books… parents, grandparents, aunts/uncles, children’s librarians, readers who haven’t touched a children’s book in 20+ years… please share your favorite children’s books in the comments.  We all know that this kid is going to have a well-stocked library and I would love some help in knowing where to start!  Also, if you have any parenting or pregnancy books that I should look into, please share.  (I’m skimming through What to Expect When You’re Expecting, of course, but wasn’t really sure if there was anything else worth my time.)

I know this will mean some changes in my blog and I thank you all for your patience as my blog adjusts to pregnant life and, eventually, to mommy life!


Hello friends!  I am not really back in action yet, but I figured I should explain why I’ve sort of disappeared off the face of the internet lately.

Work has sort of taken over my life and devoured all my energy lately.  We are in the middle of our summer camp and whoa-boy is that a lot of work!  The craziness ends on Friday and I am hoping that I’ll be able to do a little catching up on blog stuff (as well as life stuff) over the weekend.  Hopefully I will be fully back in the game by the beginning of July!

So, expect some very very late comments on your posts and look forward to my yet-to-be-written review of Insurgent!  Thanks for sticking with me through my descent into the horrific depths of workaholism!



In response to the fact that my personal life is busy with non-stop family/travel time (a family wedding, my birthday, and my anniversary are all in the next two weeks) and the fact that my job is going to be non-stop stress and craziness in the month of June, I think I need to make a few adjustments to my blogging life.

  • I plan on reducing my postings to a Monday, Wednesday, Friday schedule.  Expect reviews on Mondays and Wednesdays and the TGIF meme or other discussion post on Fridays (will depend on topic/inspiration).  I am hoping having a more firm posting schedule will allow me more free time for non-book-related pursuits, as well as for reading and writing.
  • I am eliminating the Top Ten Tuesday meme for the most part (though I may do it when a future topic strikes my fancy) because those posts were diminishing in quality and I was having a really hard time checking out and commenting on other people’s posts.  It lost some of its fun and I definitely need a break from that, so I am giving myself one.
  • I have already started varying up the genres I read and review.  I like reading a variety, so I will be reviewing a variety.  I hope that we can all expand what we read this way.

I know that several of these items will affect the number of people who read this blog (some already have) and THAT IS OK.  I firmly believe that I blog for the fun of it, not for the popularity, so I gotta do what makes me happy.  Hopefully, the changes will be for the best– both in terms of my sanity and the quality of this blog!

The Hunger Games Movie

I, like many others, braved an incredibly crowded movie theater to watch The Hunger Games this weekend  Here’s my rundown of the experience.

The movie did these things really well:

  • Illustrating the material differences between the Capitol and District 12.  The Capitol was as opulent and over-the-top and District 12 was as poor and coal-mining as I had imagined when reading the book.  I think this is one of those points that is far easier to show in pictures than in words.
  • Showing the manipulation of the Games by the Officials and government.  The war room where they conjured up fires, muttations, and more was a really great way to demonstrate both how the Games were a television show manufactured for entertainment and how the government had a direct role in manipulating the tributes into using violence against one another.
  • Rue’s death.  I was sobbing at this point of both the book and the movie and I think the movie did an excellent job portraying one of the most heartbreaking scenes of the book.
  • Effie Trinket.  She was a surprising source of comic relief throughout the early part of the film and in the books she annoyed me.  It was really necessary to have her moments of lightness in a movie that was so dark and heavy.

What the movie did not do so well:

  • The romance.  I will say that it must have been very difficult to try to show Katniss’s complex feelings for Peeta.  However, they didn’t do a very convincing job on the romance front at all.  I did not get the impression that Katniss was faking it with Peeta.  In fact, I didn’t feel like Peeta was even that into Katniss.  The overall chemistry between Katniss and Peeta fell flat, for sure.  I didn’t walk away rooting for them to work it out, like I did in the book.
  • The girl on fire dresses.  Ok, I admit that going into this movie I knew I would probably be disappointed by the special effects for these dresses because fake fire is notoriously bad.  This movie proved no exception.  Those dresses are best left for the imagination, I think.

Some side notes:

  • My husband refused to believe me that this movie was hyped to the nines and that even on Sunday at 10am, in the Bible Belt it would be crowded.  We ended up sitting three rows from the front and his sore neck will be like me constantly whispering in his ear “I told you so.”
  • Some of the scenes were nauseating.  Especially the tracker-jacker hallucinations.  If I had wanted to pay money to feel nauseated, I’d have bought a plane ticket or a ticket to Six Flags.
  • I joked to my husband that we needed to make some Team Peeta shirts for the movie. He, just to be contrary, claims he is Team Snow and tells me not to hate the player, hate the Games.
  • Gale is hotter than Peeta.  I was all Peeta all the way in the books.  But Gale’s good looks might change my mind where the movies are concerned.
  • I lent my copy of The Hunger Games to my sister.  So excited to convert her!
  • Overall, I liked the movie and thought it represented the book pretty well.  The pacing was a bit problematic, but that’s why the book is always better than the movie 🙂

So, tell me, how was your movie-going experience?  What did you like/dislike about the movie?

Government Documents and Gargoyles

My husband, Zack, and I had a goofy book/government-related conversation over breakfast the other day that I thought would be fun to share…

I had a couple of books stacked on the table (A Monster Calls and The Magician’s Nephew) and when Zack looked at the titles together he somehow read “Monster Carta” and so we started coming up with monster-filled government documents in the manner of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.

Here’s what we came up with:

  • Magna Carta and Monsters
  • The Constitution and Cthulhu
  • Ghosts in the Gettysburg Address
  • The Declaration of Independence and Demons

Zack is a government professor and we have a professor-friend who actually is teaching a government+zombies course this semester.  (She recommends Theories of International Politics and Zombies and Zombie Economics).

Can you come up with any more docs+monster titles?