Let’s Talk Book-Inspired Parties!

Book-inspired parties! That’s what is on my mind today. This morning I was working on a project for a client—unfortunately not a plan for a book-inspired party, but it was New Year’s Eve related, so fairly festive. Along the trail of research I had the good fortune to stumble upon the InLiterature.net website. This site has fabulous ideas and information for planning a book-inspired party, everything from recipes to decorations plus crafts and activities for kids’ parties.

The books range from classic literature to favorite children’s stories and everything in between.

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A few of my copies, some a bit more tattered than others. I’m looking at you, HP. 

Just a few of the books included are:

  • A Christmas Carol
  • Coraline
  • Anna Karenina
  • Divergent
  • Dracula
  • Julie & Julia
  • Jurassic Park
  • Pride and Prejudice
  • Practical Magic
  • Sherlock Holmes
  • The Hobbit

And of course you can find pages on the site for Harry Potter party ideas.

Do you want to learn how to make a paper mache mandrake? Here you go. InLiterature.net has step-by-step directions.

How about whipping up a batch of Fizzing Whizbees to enjoy at your Harry Potter party? They have a three-ingredient recipe for that too. It looks so easy!

Several years ago I worked at a library and hosted the weekly reading programs for kids. It was a blast! For the preschoolers each week, it was always a program theme relating to our book of the week. I would have loved to have had access to a site like this. Now I’m actually considering a theme party somewhere down the road. But which book to choose?

So how about it? Do you have any good ideas for book-inspired parties? Share your ideas or links to cool sites in the comments below.

Christmas. Reading. Books.

“One can never have enough socks,” said Dumbledore. “Another Christmas has come and gone and I didn’t get a single pair. People will insist on giving me books.”

(“Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” by J. K. Rowling)

Sor. Stone compressed

As the Christmas holidays rapidly approach and the final days of 2017 wind down, I find myself wanting nothing more than to curl up with a good, familiar book. Maybe it’s the rush and hurry of the holiday season or the uncertainties that 2018 may bring. I don’t know. Whatever it is, I just know that I’m in the mood for something tried, true, and entertaining.

So I’m rereading the Harry Potter series.

HP compressed

I love to reread favorite books. It’s not uncommon for me to step up to my bookshelves and pull “Death on the Nile” by Agatha Christie or “Pride and Prejudice” by Jane Austen just to plop down on the floor, opening the book to a random page and reading a chapter or two. Usually during December I reread a series (or two). Last year, I reread the Gone series by Michael Grant and the Starcrossed trilogy by Josephine Angelini. This year it will be Harry Potter.

It’s been about two years since I’ve read the full Harry Potter series. Currently, I’m at a little more than half way through “Sorcerer’s Stone.” I’m enjoying it so much. It’s amazing that after reading this series more than 10 times through that I still get just as much enjoyment as I did when each word, chapter, and book was brand new to me. Crazy, right?

Rereading the Harry Potter series won’t be the only books I open. I plan to reread “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever” by Barbara Robinson.

Yes, it’s a kids book.

Yes, I’ve read it too many times to count, including reading it aloud to my son when he was little.

It’s a GREAT Christmas book and I never tire of it. If you haven’t read it or shared it with your kids, maybe this is the year to do that. Here’s a handy link to Harper Collins if you want to check it out.

How about you? What are you reading this holiday season?

#Amreading in December


I’m about 50 or so pages from completing my personal 2016 Goodreads reading challenge of 25 books. Once upon a time, reading 25 books in a year would not have been a challenge — I typically read twice that and often more. However, times change. Life changes. I write full time and some days after writing for clients and then adding words to my own WIP, I simply prefer to lose myself in a movie instead of a book. Still, I completed my Goodreads challenge, or I will later this week when I finish Chuck Sambuchino’s craft book “Get a Literary Agent” and 25 books in 2016 isn’t half bad.

That brings us to December. Now. I decided instead of continuing to work my way through my TBR pile this month, I would treat myself and indulge in a reread of a favorite series. Last year during the Christmas holidays I reread the Gone series by Michael Grant. The previous Christmas, I reread Harry Potter, although I usually do that reread in the summer.

This year, December 2016 I’m rereading Cassandra Clare’s Mortal Instruments series.

If you enjoy reading YA with a supernatural/fantasy theme, then I highly recommend The Mortal Instruments Series.


You can take a look at the different books here. Since the first book “City of Bones” was released in 2007, five more books were added plus a companion series called the Infernal Devices and a new sequel trilogy to the Mortal Instruments called The Dark Artifices, which begins with “Lady Midnight”. The next book after “Lady Midnight” is set to release in May 2017 and will be titled “Lord of Shadows”.

Currently, I’m on Chapter 20 of “City of Bones” and I’m enjoying it this time around as much as I did the first time I read it. I love the dialogue, especially the banter between Jace and Clary, even Simon’s commentary brings a grin while reading. I’m dreading the end of this book just a bit, because I do know what’s coming next and this particular end made me a bit growl-ly. However, it was a good end and fun way to lead into book 2 “City of Ashes”.

Whatever holiday you celebrate this time of year, I hope you’re experiencing peace and joy. And do I hope you’re making time for a good book or two or three.

Happy Reading!

If you have a spare moment, let me know in the comments below what you’re reading. I’m always looking to add title to my TBR list. Or which book(s) do you want Santa to bring?



Book Review: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child: Parts One and Two are based on an original new story by  J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany, and Jack Thorne.


This eighth story featuring J.K. Rowling’s character Harry Potter takes place almost two decades after the Battle of Hogwarts. Harry Potter is 37, Head of Magical Law Enforcement, and watching his children begin their journeys at Hogwarts.

How often as readers to we long for the chance to see familiar and beloved characters after that final “The End”? Even multi-book series have an end — but author J.K. Rowling has given fans the opportunity to see what happened to her famous characters years after the final curtain of The Deathly Hallows fell. In “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” we follow not only the struggles of an adult Harry who’s past won’t seem to stay, well, in the past. We also get to experience the ups and downs of young Albus Severus Potter, Harry and Ginny’s middle child .

I loved reading about Albus and I especially enjoyed his friendship with Scorpius, Draco Malfoy’s son. This story is much more than a glimpse into the continuing saga of Potters and Malfoys, it’s a story about family, friendship, loyalty, and legacies. Rowling gives readers chance to revisit favorite characters from the original series including Hermione, Ron, Minerva McGonagall, Draco Malfoy, and more — even a few unexpected characters show up.

Unlike the first seven books, “Harry Potter and Cursed Child: Parts One and Two” are presented in stageplay format or as a script. The Special Rehearsal Edition Script, which is widely available is based on the original new story from J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne, and John Tiffany. It’s the first Harry Potter story to be presented on stage. Its world premiere was July 30, 2016 in London.

Overall, I liked this story. However, I had two moments where as a reader I just shook my head and said, “Nope, that doesn’t work for me.” But that’s okay. As readers, we all bring our own personal expectations to a story like this, especially if we are long-time fans of these characters and J.K. Rowling’s magical world. Were these two moments deal breakers for me? Absolutely not. I’ll read the book again and enjoy it equally as much. I won’t/can’t tell you what two things bugged me because I don’t do spoilers.

If you’re a Harry Potter fan, then I definitely recommend picking up a copy of “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child: Parts One and Two.”

You can check out the website for “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” playing on stage in London here. There are some great pictures and lots of fun stuff to read. I’d love to be able to see this on stage!