#32DaysInMyCar Has Begun!

Day one is done, and I’ve covered three states!

I’ll admit, about an hour into my drive this morning, I had that rush of worried feeling.  All the talking and planning was suddenly doing, and the reality of roadtripping for 32 days felt ridiculous.  I’m an introvert!  Why am I staying with friends and strangers every night for over a month??  The good thing about over-hyping something is that the humiliation of quitting publicly is enough to get you through those panicky moments.  And I’m glad it did, because the rest of the day went great.


Well, kind of.  I’d planned to stop in Indianapolis and picnic on the Funky Bones exhibit (as made popular by The Fault in Our Stars) at the Indianapolis Museum of Art.  After four hours of driving, I discovered the museum is closed on Mondays!!  Agh.  Determined to fulfill my plan, at least partially, I picnicked on some colorful tables underneath weird sculptures, trying to ignore the yard workers passing by with weed-eaters and leaf-blowers.   Continue reading

Living in the Midwest

I grew up in central Illinois.  My parents always wanted us out in the country with at least a couple acres of land separating us from the neighbors.  Every time houses or shopping complexes appeared within two miles of our house, complaints were made about increased traffic.  I reacted to this like every normal teenager:  by rebelling against everything they stood for and declaring myself a fan of big cities.

After living in Dallas for three years, I can officially say that I do like big cities.  The availability of unique and fantastic food and entertainment cannot be beat.  However, now that I’m back in Illinois, I can admit that there are some solid reasons to love the Midwest.  Continue reading

Book Pages: UPDATE

For those who haven’t explored my site thoroughly (shame on you, what are you doing with your life?), you may not know that when you let your mouse hover over the “Books” page at the top of the site, four more options appear.

The first two, “Title Archive” and “Author Archive,” are self-explanatory and remain unchanged.

The third, “Illinois Awards,” is a great place to go if you want recommendations on Middle Grade or Young Adult books.  Each year, librarians and teachers in Illinois compile a list of around twenty books for middle and high school students to vote on to determine the states’ favorite.  I just added the Lincoln Award list (for 9th-12th graders), and it has several of my favorite books on it!  I added links to my reviews, and I hope to add more as I make my way through the lists.

The fourth, “Recommended,” is my one-stop-shop for your book-related needs.  Rather than creating lists based upon genre or age level, I decided to sort my recommendations by type of Reading Need.  For instance, my “Give Me a Series So Engrossing I’ll Start Thinking It’s Real Life” is perfect for the summer, when you have a lot of time on your hands and you want to trick your brain into believing that elves live just beyond your vacation cabin in the woods.  I’ve just updated this page to include the books I’ve read most recently.  Check it out, and let me know if you agree or find something intriguing!