Oh My Awesome Authors! DBF12 Rocked!

This weekend was the Decatur Book Festival. It is an amazing celebration of authors, books, and those who love them!

DBF12

I hung out there all weekend (yup, me outside for two days straight…that should tell you how great of an event it is!!). Schmoopy, Ash, from Smash Attack Reads, and I had a blast in Decatur. My girlfriends, the ever entertaining & super adorable Laura & Anne,  joined us on Saturday, too, YAY!
For me, it was fangirling and author staking at its best!

Here’s the quick rundown on my DBF experience:

Saturday morning we grabbed Ash and headed out. We walked around for a bit and then met up with Laura & Anne. I was super psyched to see Meg Cabot, David Levithan, Kenneth Oppel, & Neal Shusterman.

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Meg Cabot!

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David Levithan!

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Kenneth Oppel

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Neal Shusterman!

Sunday we were back for more! We hung out at J. Christopher’s for an author/blogger breakfast. I got to talk homemade yogurt with Susan Dennard. I’m so excited about the yogurt & I cannot wait to read her book!! Schmoopy pointed out (several times) that I’m the only book lover he knows that sits at a table full of authors & talks about yogurt. Haha!

I saw Tom Angleberger in the hotel lobby. I got the courage to go say hello. He really is the best. The. Best!! I adore his books & totally love his Star Wars humor! Meeting him was totally EPIC! I showed him the picture he emailed me for my students last year and he promised to draw me a new one at the signing. FANGIRL OVERLOAD!

We walked around a bit & found some great 3 for $5 books. Then we met some authors & illustrators in the booths. I grabbed several great books for my class and an awesome book called The Fart Fairy for my nephews. Their mom, my BFF Amy, is going to kill me, but I had to do it! Thankfully they live far enough away that she can’t really smack me!!

We headed back to the teen stage & got to see Barry Lyga. He wrote the super awesome Fanboy and Gothgirl (among other fantastic works) and the mega creepy, yet super brilliant book I Hunt Killers. I read on his blog that the first person to say, “Billy Dent Was Framed” would win a t-shirt. I was all over that! I wrote it on the back of my fan (it was sooooo hot that they were handing out fans!!) & ran over to the signing line. He made me yell it with conviction (get it, conviction…haha)! So fun! He even autographed my sign! Wicked Awesome!!

The brilliantly talented VLC Photos snapped a great pic of me & my new shirt:

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Billy Dent was Framed!

Barry was so much fun. I mean, who doesn’t want to hang out & talk about serial killers, right?!

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Barry Lyga!

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My signage!

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Getting autographed!

We got to see Maureen Johnson, too! She is hysterical! I love her books, adore her on Twitter, and she was even more freaking brilliant in person. Love!! That!! Woman!! She told us how she puts us in jars & takes really good care of us (we are a lot of work)! And she confirmed that she is, in fact, my spirit animal. Yay!

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She is so hysterical!

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Signing!

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Maureen Johnson!

The most epic part of DBF12 was Origami Yoda! He really is totally super fun. We may have been the only ones there without kids, but it didn’t bother me at all. I folded my very own Origami Yoda & waited in a long & rainy line to meet him. He drew a picture for my students, gave me some Fortune Wookiee tattoos for them, and (sit down for this one!) handed Schmoopy his phone when my camera wouldn’t work!! Then he tweeted the pic to my class Twitter. Talk about me getting rock star status with my students!! What an amazing guy!

YAY! Origami Yoda!!

Best. Day. EVER!!

YAY READING!!

5 Blings! for Charlie Joe Jackson’s Guide to NOT Reading by @TommyGreenwald

Charlie Joe Jackson Bling!

Oh, Charlie Joe Jackson! You are a funny guy! I really enjoyed your guide to NOT reading!

What a great book! I love that it had elements of some of my favorite Middle Grade reads: The touching voice of The Wednesday Wars, the comedy of Diary of a Wimpy Kid, the silliness of Big Nate, and the cleverness of Origami Yoda! That’s quite a combo of awesome right there! 

The advice is great…only read books with short chapters, reading won’t help you succeed in life, never buy a book by someone whose name you can’t pronounce (and many more awesome tips!). I also love your excellent taste in music & your keen observations of those around you: Don’t call girls hot, because they, according to CJJ’s Mom, “think it’s insulting, “degrading” . . .  or “shallow.”” But giving them a theme song is pretty OK: “Hurrican Eliza comin’ in, the hottest hurricane in town” or “The thing about dogs is, they pretty much reflect the mood in the house.”

You are a smart guy, too, Charlie Joe. And I can’t blame you for hating to read. Your dad really did ruin it for you when you were little. I feel your pain, dude!  I, too, was jailed on a book-related infraction! I remember, with a shudder, all these years later, being locked on the porch one Sunday afternoon and not being allowed to enter the house until I finished some Little House book that I TOTALLY HATED for a book report due Monday (I think I was allowed in to pee, but I’m not 100% sure).

But guess what! I love reading now! I even became a teacher so I could get others excited about good books! What do you think about that, Charlie Joe?

If you don’t know Charlie Joe Jackson, you’re going to want to meet him right away! I’m SO ready for his next book, Charlie Joe Jackson’s Guide to Extra Credit! September seems too far away!

5 Blings!

 

The Dirty Cowboy by Amy Timberlake Illustrated by Adam Rex

I am in love with The Dirty Cowboy! Just WOW!

The Dirty Cowboy Gets 5 Blings!

Hysterical, beautiful, and endearing, The Dirty Cowboy was fun and engaging! I’ll surely be buying this for all the little beasts and monsters in my life-those who will take a bath and those who refuse! I have a feeling that we’ll just be calling it the naked book for a while, but that’s OK!

Thank you Amy Timberlake & Adam Rex for a sure to be classic (even though some crazy people want it banned!).

A Few of My Faves Bling! TOMS, Books, Giving Back, & Bling!

Start Something That Matters by Blake Mycoskie

This has Win-Win written all over it!

I bought a pair of Carpe Diem TOMS (which are totally adorable & comfy!), they give a pair of shoes to a kid who needs them, I get amazing shoes, AND they send me a book!

Oh. My. AWESOME!

How is that not the most fab thing EVER!

Get a pair of awesome TOMS here! 

Buy the book (they donate a book & 50% of the proceeds) 

 

What I’ve Been Reading & Loving or The End of My Reading Slump!

I was in a reading slump this summer. I don’t know why–I usually read like crazy all summer.  It was hard to book blog when I wasn’t reading (duh!).

Thankfully, that is behind me now! I’ve been reading some amazing books (and a few that were just ok). Here’s a quick pic post of what I’ve been reading and loving lately! Check them out, they are all 5 Bling Books (well, not the WordPress Books).

Quite possibly the reason why I quit reading good books! Not too many Blings here!

5 Bling Book!

5 Bling Book!

5 Bling Book!

More Blings Than Possible to Measure!

5 Bling Series! LOVE!!

5 Bling Stack!

5 Bling Book!

5 Bling Book!

5 Bling Book!

5 Bling Book!

5 Bling Book!

5 Bling Book!

5 Bling Books!

The MIS-Adventures of Phillip Isaac Penn

The MIS-Adventures of Phillip Isaac PennThe MIS-Adventures of Phillip Isaac Penn by Donna L. Peterson

Loving this adorable story of Pip!

Today I am thankful

Today I am thankful that my parents let me read banned books, old books, over my age limit books, books that I should have outgrown, books that nobody else let their kids read, silly books, awful and trashy and horrible books, really just any books.

I am so thankful for their reading! My mom reads anything she can her hands on (and I was proud to be able to put a Kindle in her hands this year). My dad read magazines and trade publications and loved audio books on long car trips (he usually got the gist of it, but he never really paid much attention to the details).

They were readers. Now I am a reader. I get to inspire others to read.

THAT TOTALLY ROCKS!

Today I am thankful for my awesome parents and their love of reading. That is a feeling that is better than all the Bling in the World!