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After several wonderful years of recommending books to you all, we regret to inform you that we will be shutting down Please Don't Read This Book. In the last year, due to family responsibilities and increased workloads, it's become harder and harder for Julie and me to put together these blog posts. So rather than leave this page up dormant for weeks/months we will be closing up shop. Once again THANK YOU for joining us over these last years, and you can continue to follow us via our personal websites and blogs. You can follow Julie and all her publishing... Continue reading
Posted Aug 26, 2013 at Please Don't Read This Book
Mia’s Adventures at Comic-Con International (in which Mia talks about Comic-Con in a weird stream of consciousness sort of way that possibly makes no sense, but go with it, OK? OK.) As stated in my previous “Adventures at BEA” post, I love Comic-Con. I do. I love it as an exhibitor and as a … non-exhibitor (regular Joe?) And I also hate it. If you’ve been to Comic-Con (any Comic Convention really), you know what I mean. There’s just a little bit of hate in all that love. Either you hate the lines (lines to the bathroom, lines to get... Continue reading
Posted Jul 31, 2013 at Please Don't Read This Book
Dreamhunter & Dreamquake by Elizabeth Knox Julie: I shouldn't be starting our conversation about Elizabeth Knox's DREAMHUNTER and DREAMQUAKE (together, the DREAMHUNTER duet) right now, because I don't have the books nearby. I'm usually obsessive about flipping through the books we're recommending when I write my parts of our reviews, making sure I have facts right and doing my best to convey the tone and other qualities of the books. But in a way it's perfect that I don't have DREAMHUNTER and DREAMQUAKE at hand. Because what I love most about them is how powerfully their story has stayed with... Continue reading
Posted Jun 19, 2013 at Please Don't Read This Book
Wind In the Willows by Kennith Greene Sylvie Larsen: Nothing made me more desperate for summer than reading THE WIND IN THE WILLOWS. Kennith Greene’s pastoral novel about anthropomorphic animals “messing about in boats” and running around in the woods made me long for that idea of summer, friendships and adventure. It also made me long to see an otter consulting a pocket watch, but I just don’t live in Greene’s world; and I have to come to terms with that. Rather than one cohesive story the book is composed of several snippets from the lives of some of the... Continue reading
Posted Jun 10, 2013 at Please Don't Read This Book
A (half) day at BEA (Book Expo America) Marirosa Mia: I’m going to be honest. I’m not a huge BEA fan. This doesn’t mean I dislike it; it just doesn’t cause the same happy thoughts that Comic-Con International and New York Comic Con cause. It’s probably because I’m not very involved in the planning of BEA, unlike SDCC and NYCC. Usually I pop in at BEA for an hour and I pop out, which you can’t really do at NYCC because of the dangerous number of people. So this year I was happy to tag along with my good friend... Continue reading
Posted Jun 3, 2013 at Please Don't Read This Book
Diana Wynne Jones Now this edition of Author You Should Be Reading is as much for myself as it is for you, dear reader. This is because, though I’ve read and re-read and re-read HOWL’S MOVING CASTLE (read our review here), THE GAME, and FIRE AND HEMLOCK, I have yet to delve into her other books! Of which there are 40! So may this edition of AYSBR serve as a reminder to all of us to get our butts in gear! First, a bit on Diana Wynne Jones, plucked from her website: Diana Wynne Jones was born in London, where... Continue reading
Posted May 1, 2013 at Please Don't Read This Book
Matilda - Roald Dahl Marirosa Mia: Once again please welcome the lovely Sylvie Larsen in another edition of Classically Challenged! Sylvie: MATILDA, by Roald Dahl is a book for bookish children. An ode to the bookworm. It’s a treat for those of us who love to read and see that as something that sets us apart from the rest of the herd. The story is about a small girl who love, love, loves to read. Her family, unfortunately, loves to do droll things like watch TV, swindle people and play bingo. They hate reading; they don’t particularly like Matilda either.... Continue reading
Posted Apr 15, 2013 at Please Don't Read This Book
The House of the Scorpion – Nancy Farmer Marirosa Mia: I confess I had never heard of Nancy Farmer’s THE HOUSE OF THE SCORPION until about a year ago, when a fellow publishing person called it her favorite science fiction novel. I grew up in Puerto Rico, where most of the English language novels I read were either for school or part of the HARRY POTTER series. My education in English language science fiction didn't come until much later, and frankly I'm still not as fluent as I'd like to be! So I was quite happy to discover that Julie... Continue reading
Posted Mar 11, 2013 at Please Don't Read This Book
Julie: It can take a while for Mia and me to find a book we both love. This is an obvious downside of our dialogue format for recommendations. (A huge upside, for me anyway, is that it's far more fun to talk about a good book with a friend than to ramble on all by my lonesome. But I digress.) To fill those quiet intervals, we thought we might start sharing a bit of our process for identifying the books that we think have potential. And so, here are some of my recent thoughts. I suggested HOKEY POKEY, by Jerry... Continue reading
Posted Jan 28, 2013 at Please Don't Read This Book
Sylvie Larsen: Did you know Oscar Wilde wrote fairy tales? I didn’t. It’s an interesting peek into Wilde, since most people only know DORIAN GREY or THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING ERNEST. There are nine “children’s” stories published in two volumes. I put children’s in quotes since I doubt most children know words like anodyne, even with a fancy British education. For this article, I read a little of both volumes for the sake of comparison. From The Happy Prince and Other Stories (1888), I read “The Happy Prince,” “The Nightingale and the Rose,” and “The Selfish Giant. From The House... Continue reading
Posted Jan 23, 2013 at Please Don't Read This Book
Marirosa Mia: There are thousands of books published each year, which makes me both incredibly happy and incredibly sad, because there’s simply not enough time to read every single one of them! 2012 was another great year for books in all genres and for all ages. Though I can say that I probably read close to 60 books in 2012 (half of which aren’t coming out until THIS year!), there are still many 2012 books I need to get to. Like: LIAR & SPY – Rebecca Stead: WHEN YOU REACH ME was the first book Julie and I reviewed on... Continue reading
Posted Jan 8, 2013 at Please Don't Read This Book
Marirosa Mia: Hello, everyone. For a while I've been tossing around the idea of a new segment called "An Author You Should be Reading." But thanks to life, the holidays, and NaNoWriMo, my first post got a bit delayed. Here it is, FINALLY. My first author you should be reading? The one and only Robin McKinley. Let me give a general overview of what I love about her; Julie and I have already reviewed two of her pieces, SUNSHINE and THE HERO AND THE CROWN, in more detail. I first discovered McKinley when my lovely friend, Annie, handed me a... Continue reading
Posted Dec 18, 2012 at Please Don't Read This Book
Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery Marirosa Mia: Once again the lovely Sylvie Larsen joins us for another edition of Classically Challenged, in which Sylvie dives into classic children’s books that she’s never read before! Sylvie: This month, I read Anne of Green Gables, by L. M. Montgomery. I got to know the story of Anne from a mini-series that aired on the Disney Channel in the early 90s, but I had never read the book until now. I was not surprised by how much I enjoyed it, as I was an overly dramatic youth. So Anne remains... Continue reading
Posted Dec 10, 2012 at Please Don't Read This Book
The Gift of Nothing – Patrick McDonell Julie: I have committed a cardinal sin for a children's book writer. I have, in my lifetime, read picture books like THE GIFT OF NOTHING and thought, So simple! So few words! How hard can it be? Several years and one master's degree later, let me tell you: To write a truly good picture book? Very, very hard. But Patrick McDonnell has done it. THE GIFT OF NOTHING is playful, timeless, meaningful, linguistically interesting, and full of heart. I wish I’d written it. Mia, did you like it as much as I did?... Continue reading
Posted Nov 21, 2012 at Please Don't Read This Book
Michael! As soon as it's finished I'll send it your way!
Toggle Commented Nov 14, 2012 on Blog Hop! at Please Don't Read This Book
Hey Everyone! Today Julie and I are part of a Blog Hop called “The Next Big Thing,” a way for writers to speak about their works-in-progress and spread the word about their fellow writers. Julie and I were tagged a couple of weeks ago by the lovely Jackie Resnick (you can read her post here) and were going to place our post up on Halloween, but Hurricane Sandy put a bit of a damper on our blogging. But now we are BACK and ready to answer questions. Here we go: What is the working title of your book?

 Marirosa Mia:... Continue reading
Posted Nov 12, 2012 at Please Don't Read This Book
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum Marirosa Mia: In a new segment I’m going to call “Classically Challenged,” I’ve brought along my lovely librarian friend Sylvie Larsen, who each month will talk about a classic children’s book she’s never read—until now. This month it’s THE WONDERFUL WIZARD OF OZ, by L. Frank Baum. But before we get started, I asked Sylvie to write a little bio for herself so you could get to know her a bit. Here’s what she sent me: “Sylvie grew up running wild in the woods of New England, reading books whilst sitting... Continue reading
Posted Nov 6, 2012 at Please Don't Read This Book
I'm bored. Written by Michael Ian Black and Illustrated by Debbie Ridpath Ohi Marirosa Mia: Yay, picture book time! I love it when Julie and I find a picture book we both enjoy. This time around we have I'M BORED, written by comedian Michael Ian Black and illustrated by Debbie Ridpath Ohi. Our story starts with a little girl - a very bored little girl. There's simply nothing for her to do except lament how boring everything is. I dread the day my niece enters this age. Soon the little girl meets a talking potato who is equally bored. (I... Continue reading
Posted Nov 1, 2012 at Please Don't Read This Book
Creepy Carrots by Aaron Reynolds. Illustrated by Peter Brown Marirosa Mia: Jasper Rabbit LOVES carrots. He loves them like I love Nutella, which is a lot, people. He plucks them from Crackenhopper Field on the way to school, a game, or back home. Then one day Jasper is sure that his favorite treat is following him. He sees creepy carrots in his bedroom! Creepy carrots following him to school! It's driving him mad. Is Jasper's favorite snack actually following him around, or has he had one (something or other) too many? Written by Aaron Reynolds and illustrated by the talented... Continue reading
Posted Oct 9, 2012 at Please Don't Read This Book
Marirosa Mia: This past weekend Julie and I had the honor of attending KidLitCon 2012! Julie attended the Pre-Conference on Friday, September 27th and I attended the Saturday events. And though I grumbled through my subway ride over (waking at 8 AM on a Saturday should not be allowed) to the New York Public Library (what a beaut!), once I was there I was in full swing. Particularly since I couldn't attend the full day's events due to prior commitments, I was determined to acquire all the information I could. Strangely enough the two panels I was slotted into discussed... Continue reading
Posted Oct 3, 2012 at Please Don't Read This Book
Congratulations to Laura Hartness who won a copy of FIRE and GRACELING by Kristin Cashore. Laura we will be emailing you soon to get your address! Thanks to everyone who entered and look out for more reviews and giveaways. Continue reading
Posted Oct 2, 2012 at Please Don't Read This Book
Julie: Libba Bray, fantastically successful author of books for young adults, recently wrote this list for Publisher's Weekly of books she loves: Books I love: Libba Bray. So worth a look! I've already ordered RATS SAW GOD and THE BOYS OF MY YOUTH. Oh boy! It's a little odd, how excited I get by promising book recommendations. Continue reading
Posted Sep 25, 2012 at Please Don't Read This Book
I would say the age range is 14+ since there is mention of sex (not explicit but it's there) and violence similar to the Hunger Games.
Graceling and Fire by Kristin Cashore Julie: Here's one of my flaws: Sometimes, when a book launches to a crazy good reception--a slew of starred reviews, even more raves in the blogosphere--I refuse to read it. Why? Silly reasons, most of them unflattering. But one, at least, can be cast as heroic. I am taking a stand for underdog books. I figure, this insanely popular book doesn't need me. It has enough attention. Other books need me. Only after much time has passed might I give the popular book a chance. If I see it standing alone on a shelf,... Continue reading
Posted Sep 20, 2012 at Please Don't Read This Book
The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker Marirosa Mia: I was struck by the beauty and sadness of Karen Thompson Walker's THE AGE OF MIRACLES the way I'm sometimes captivated by an old photograph. How it encapsulates only a specific time and place. We can imagine what has happened before or after, but we really don't know more than what we see in that picture. THE AGE OF MIRACLES gives us our narrator, Julia, who looks back in time to when the earth's rotation began to slow. The days and nights grew longer and longer; a ball didn't travel... Continue reading
Posted Aug 28, 2012 at Please Don't Read This Book