A more accurate title for this post might be “Finding My Way Back to the Blogging World…. ”

It has been a very long time since I last posted here on Readerly Musings, in the middle of my blogiversary celebration.

Unfortunately life got in the way of my reading life for a few months and has stayed in the way of my blogging life for even longer. It is my hope that Bout of Books 13.0 will be my way back into the world of blogging, though I will be starting out very slow!

Bout of Books Read-a-Thon 13.0

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, May 11th and runs through Sunday, May 17th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 13 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. – From the Bout of Books team

My true goal for this read-a-thon is to not only read but also get back into blogging, though I do have a tentative TBR. If I manage to follow it and not read a book off the list, I will be very shocked! And, as always, I am being highly optimistic about how many books I will read…


Miss Mayhem by Rachel Hawkins
Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin
The Underground Labyrinth by Louella Dizon San Juan
Echo by Pam Muñoz Ryan
Every Day by David Levithan
The Cult of Kronos by Amy Leigh Strickland

Happy reading, everyone!

Musing Mondays is an event brought to you by Should Be Reading.

Musing Mondays asks you to muse about one of the following each week…

• Describe one of your reading habits.
• Tell us what book(s) you recently bought for yourself or someone else, and why you chose that/those book(s).
• What book are you currently desperate to get your hands on? Tell us about it!
• Tell us what you’re reading right now — what you think of it, so far; why you chose it; what you are (or, aren’t) enjoying it.
• Do you have a bookish rant? Something about books or reading (or the industry) that gets your ire up? Share it with us!
• Instead of the above questions, maybe you just want to ramble on about something else pertaining to books — let’s hear it, then!

November 25’s musing asked…

Do you know of any local authors in your area, and –if so– have you met any of them?

My Musings

I honestly haven’t ever given any thought to ‘local authors,’ mostly because it brings up the question of what exactly local is. For instance, New York City is about half an hour away from me. Does that count as local? If so, then I know of quite a few given all the times I have looked at the back of a book to read about the author and read ‘lives in New York City.’ Closer than about a half hour away from me (by car), however, no, I’m not really aware of any published authors. Though I may have to do some research on this after the holidays are over!

As far as authors who live in or around (or have it down as one of their ‘divide their time between’ locations) New York City and/or New Jersey, I have met Meg Cabot (TWICE! :D), David Levithan, Tao Lin, Louella Dizon San Juan, and Pink Maxwell! All of them I met at the Brooklyn Book Festival this past September. Alas, prior to that I had never really gone to many bookish events but I’m really hoping to make up for that in the coming year. And I’d also like to give a shout-out to Kit Grindstaff who drove two hours from her home in Pennsylvania to an event on a Friday afternoon a few weeks ago where I was able to meet her!

The Crowded Kingdom by Louella Dizon San Juan
Series: The Crowded Kingdom #1
Published by Self-Published Genres: Adventure, Fantasy, Middle Grade
Source: Purchased

The Crowded Kingdom

Book: The Crowded Kingdom
Author: Louella Dizon San Juan
Series: The Crowded Kingdom
Publisher: Self-published
Type: Fiction
Genre: Middle Grade, Fantasy, Adventure
Rating: 4 stars

Acquired: Purchased

Official Synopsis: The last thing Jada and Jinny remember before blacking out was playing in Central Park. But when they wake up, they are shocked to find they’ve been shrunk to the size of dandelions. Fear quickly turns to curiosity as the two sisters discover the magical world beneath the hustle and bustle of The Big Apple’s busy streets, encountering creepy gargoyles and beagle-riding brownies as they weave through areas of the city invisible to the human eye. Together with their elfin friends – plus a rebellious purple fairy with a penchant for power tools — Jada and Jinny soar through the air and scurry silently through dark tunnels en route to discovering who or what transformed them. But they soon discover the magical world has declared war on mankind, and that they may be the key to restoring the balance between good and evil. Will the curious girls ever find a way back to their families, or will they be forever trapped in this wondrous world?

My Thoughts: The Crowded Kingdom is the story of two sisters, Jada and Jinny, who find themselves shrunk to the size of dandelions and immersed in a world of fairies, elves, brownies, and other small folk in New York City. With their two new friends Aress and Kiwi, they embark on a journey to find out how to return to their normal size – and get caught up in a magical war instead.

I bought this book at the Brooklyn Book Festival, where I had a chance to talk to Louella Dizon San Juan herself about the book before committing to buy it. Her enthusiasm for the story, as well as the story’s premise, and the wonderful illustrations she drew to go along with the story, convinced me to buy it, and I am so very glad I did. I have always been interested in stories featuring the “wee folk,” and grew up watching the animated movies Thumbelina and FernGully, so I am no stranger to the idea of a small person doing incredible things, or a human being shrunk down to the same size as a fairy.

Read more…


WWW Wednesdays is an event brought to you by Should Be Reading.

Whew, I found this with less than two hours to go before it’s Thursday!

What are you currently reading? Right now I am about halfway done with the second installment of Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials: The Subtle Knife. I am also working my way through Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, a collection of Tao Lin’s poetry – albeit rather slowly so as to really absorb his poems.

What did you recently finish reading? Early Sunday morning I finished reading Peter Pan and Wendy by J.M. Barrie for the very first time.

What do you think you’ll read next? I’m really enjoying the His Dark Materials trilogy and can’t wait to see how it will end, so my next read will definitely be the conclusion, The Amber Spyglass. After that I’m debating between Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld or The Crowded Kingdom by Louella Dizon San Juan, a fantasy novel I picked up Sunday at the Brooklyn Book Festival.

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