I Want My Hat Back (Jon Klassen)

4.5 out of 5 stars

This is a simple, clever book with non-flashy illustrations and an interesting punchline/conclusion.

There’s a bear, and he’s lost his hat, and he wants it back.

He goes around asking various animals if they’ve seen his hat… and eventually realizes that one of the many animals he asked (a turtle, a rabbit, a snake, an armadillo…) was lying to him, and…

(spoiler alert… yes, I know it’s a kid’s book)…

Continue reading

Best Friends-Before-Lovers or We’ve-Always-Known Each-Other Historical Romance

When you read historical romance novels, you already know what you’re in for to a certain degree: you know they’re going to get together by the end of the novel, and there’ll probably be at least… kissing.

As a reader, I know that sometimes I am in the mood for a certain type of story: the friend-before-lovers arc, or the ugly-duckling trope, or the managing-female-meets-her-match line… but I don’t want to read just ANY example of that trope, so below are lists of best-of, organized by trope!

Continue reading

What to Read, What Not to Read: Julia Quinn


Dialogue, Dialogue, Dialogue: Quinn’s ability to write witty banter is truly amazing. Whether she’s having her characters invent and argue over imaginary words or laughing at debutantes who think that “inclement” weather means weather “in Clement” she’s just fun, and entertaining. When the dialogue works, it truly sparkles, with back-and-forth quickness that carries you along.

The Un-pretty Heroine: While none of Quinn’s heroines are described as being ugly, Quinn’s best protagonists are pretty, or comely-enough, without being the belle of the ball. They’re women you’d have a good time hanging out with, who feel real and interesting and not overly-dramatic.

Connected Worlds: Quinn’s great at creating characters that are memorable, and that float from book to book. Lady Whistledown’s writings hold many of the Bridgertons books together (and were kind of a brilliant invention), but there are also details like the Smythe-Smith musicals (which start as a joke and later become their own spin-off series) and, of course, Lady Danbury. When you read a Quinn book, you know that you’re stepping firmly into her universe, and that we’ll be revisiting many familiar landmarks.

Good, Lighthearted Fun: With Quinn, you rarely have any dangerous kidnappings (meaning even when there are kidnappings, or highway robberies, nothing ever feels truly dangerous in a someone-might-die way), or terrible villains. Instead, you have people who might be nice or not nice, and might or might not mean well, but basically, you have semi-villains alongside your heros and heroines. There are quick, light, escapist reads and you don’t really have to worry that something terrible is lurking around the corner.

Continue reading