Julieverse Reads: Characters with Incredible Acts of Courage and Bravery A fabulous list of Young Adult books that adults should add to their reading lists

Young woman is lying on the sofa and reading book

In November, award-winning author Jennifer Handford curated one of my favorite Julieverse Reads posts, highlighting modern literature that focus on internal character development and celebrating one's self. This week, Ms. Handford brings us a second installment of the same topic, recommending Young Adult novels -- books written for tweens and teens that are beloved by readers of ages well beyond.  [This post contains affiliate links. Thank you.] From Jennifer's original Julieverse Reads … [Read more...]

Julieverse Reads: When a Cover Says “Read it!” ...and the book proves the cover's worth

Author Elizabeth LaBan celebrates favorite books that she picked up just because of the covers

They say to not judge a book by it's cover, but author Elizabeth LaBan, whose new novel, The Restaurant Critic's Wife, published today, has found that, sometimes, when you like the cover, you'll love the book. As we bring the Julieverse Reads series into 2016, Elizabeth shares three books she bought based on their covers and ended up loving. (As with all Julieverse Reads series posts, Click the book title affiliate link to learn more about the book and purchase on Amazon.)   We … [Read more...]

In Your Face! Or in My Face. Here’s Our Pie Face Game Video

This is the ultimate family game night activity. Pie Face Game guarantees laughter and smiles -- add it to your family wish list!

Ever since he challenged me to the Bamboozled Challenge last spring, Big and I have been looking for new video challenges. Neither of us is shy to engage in a fun, safe activity that will continue to form our mother/son bond and share with our friends. So, when I first saw that Hasbro was re-releasing the Pie Face Game, I announced "game on!" And not only did Big jump at the challenge, but Middle joined in giving us an afternoon of not only fun, but memories to last. While Pie Face is … [Read more...]

5 Gifts for Under $25 Your Secret Santa Will Render Instagram-Worthy Creative Gifts for Everyone That Will Keep You Under Budget

5 gifts for nearly everyone, each under $25

The Secret Santa gift exchange has become my favorite gift exchange of the year. I started looking forward to it in October and couldn't wait to find out my giftee's name this year. Social media makes gift exchanges so much more exciting -- the big secret, the silent shop, the big unwrap and reveal. In fact, today, Iconosquare counts over 378,653 photos with the hashtag #SecretSanta. Whether it's an anonymous gift, a Secret Santa, a White Elephant, a Chinese Christmas, or your looking to give … [Read more...]

Julieverse Reads: An Inspirational Look at Life Curated by author Tia Shurina

An author-curated lit of books to inspire a change in your life

Author Tia Shurina made significant changes in her life, and recounts them in her memoir, Everything and a Happy Ending. In today's Julieverse Reads post, Tia shares books that helped her create her "new life." (post contains affiliate links.)  My memoir, Everything and a Happy Ending, is a tribute to the babysteps I took to some new choices, a thank you to my dad on the other side, and a wink & nod of respect to the Plan Bs the Universe helped to unfold when I finally relinquished … [Read more...]

A Stack of Books Your Fourth, Fifth or Sixth Grader Will Love

Julieverse Reads: A selection of books perfect for kids ages 10-13

I walked into Middle's room a few days ago to find a stack of books on his nightstand, wobbling and tobbling as it was getting a bit too high. "What's this about?" I asked. "Are you reading all of them?" "I like to have choices!" he responded with a smile. A few nights before, we'd raided Big's bookshelves, looking for books that did one of two things: offered adventure or feeling. Middle's growing pile of books shows a fair representation of some classics novels mixed in with modern … [Read more...]

Julieverse Reads: 5 Hopeful Books about Mortality

Julieverse Reads: Books about living and being hopeful about life and death

This week, Kate McGovern, whose first novel Rules for 50/50 Chances is new in bookstores today, curated a list of books about the reality of life and mortality. This is another list of books that are all new to me -- lots to add to my list. All titles are linked through an affiliate link. Click on the title to go directly to Amazon where I'll receive a small commission. Thank you. I know, this sounds like a miserable list. "Hey, it's getting cold out! Let's curl up with a steaming cup of tea … [Read more...]

Subscription Boxes You’ll Want to Gift (or Receive) This Holiday

the best subscription boxes to gift

Subscription boxes are growing in popularity and, therefore, growing in availability. A quick Google Search for "Subscription Boxes" overwhelms you with choices. Here are 5 of our favorite boxes (some with discounts) to make your holiday shopping easier. Click on either the links or the images to take advantage of the listed discounts. (Links are affililate or promotional links. Thanks!) Love Goodly What will you find in your LOVE GOODLY Box? Every other month receive 5-7 full-size … [Read more...]

Julieverse Reads: Books with Courageous Characters Who Learn to Celebrate Who Their Selves

A list of books with characters who learn courage, bravery and celebrate themselves - another great list of books for book club

This week's installment of Julieverse Reads shares some of author Jennifer Handford's favorite books that celebrate the process of learning who you are, and celebrating your self. The Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award winning author of Daughters for a Time published her third novel, The Light of Hidden Flowers, today, November 10, 2015. Congratulations, Jennifer!  [This post contains affiliate links. Thank you.] There’s no hiding my personality when it comes to the types of books I read. I … [Read more...]

Julieverse Reads: A Collection of Favorites for Food Lovers (Great books for you or as a gift!)

A list of books a food-lover needs on her bookshelf -- fiction and non-fiction and (surprse!) no cookbooks

This week's Julieverse Reads post was written by Jessica Tom, who gets huge kudos and congratulations for debuting her first novel, Food Whore, today. (Yay Jessica!) A food lover herself, and former restaurant critic for the Yale Daily News Magazine, Jessica is sharing a list of books for food lovers. These books may be great for you, or someone on your holiday gift list. What a great time to learn about the restaurant world. You have TV shows, chef memoirs, splashy magazine spreads, … [Read more...]