Apologies and Where I’ve Been…

by Tom B.

Building a Library

Um, yeah, I have no good excuse for taking so much time off…

So, as some of you may have noticed – if anyone reads this blog anymore – that I haven’t posted in a long time. A very, very long time. Like the whole summer, practically.

And you may be asking yourself, “Tom, have you forsaken us? Have you recommended all of the books you care to recommend? Are your suggestions for ‘building a home library’ now complete”?

The answers are – yes, I did forsake you a little bit and, no, I’m not done recommending kids’ books.

In fact, I have lots more recommendations coming in the next few weeks, even though you have NO reason to believe that claim, based on this past summer.

My excuses are extremely mundane. It’s been a weird summer. Work has been hectic, life has been hectic – but that’s pretty normal. Mostly, I’ve been dealing with the most selective form of writer’s block I’ve ever experienced.

During this summer, I’ve actually written quite a few things, including seven chapters of a young adult novel I’m working on that I’m convinced (today, at least) will never, EVER be done.

But, whenever I’ve sat down to write for this blog, I’ve been blocked. Blocked entirely.  I would try to write a glowing review of a book we just discovered at the library and… nothing.  Just nothing and a blank brain and anxiety and excuses for going to sleep early and/or watching Game of Thrones on HBOGo again. So… yeah… I’m a bad, bad kids’ book blogger.

However, I think I’ve turned the corner. In fact, I didn’t even let myself post this mea culpa until I had four subsequent book posts written and in the hopper, so I can guarantee that some new content IS coming.

So, if you stuck with this blog, thanks a ton. If you bailed during the doldrums, hopefully, I can win you back someday. But new stuff is coming and I can’t wait to share some new recommendations with you and steal some suggestions from you guys as well.

Thanks for listening,


PS – I just read Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time for the first time last week. Oh my god, how good is that book, guys? I mean, seriously, I tossed it onto the “Books My Kid Will Read in the Future” shelf as soon as I was done. Just a gorgeous book that made me want to give fictional Meg Murray a hug for at least a week.

A Wrinkle in Time

What a seriously cool book… I even love the ’70s-looking, Zardoz-esque cover of this old paperback.

PPS – The Hope Larson graphic novel adaptation of A Wrinkle in Time is similarly amazing. A brilliant work of adaptation. I know me liking a comic book isn’t a huge surprise, but… wow. It’s seriously good.

A Wrinkle in Time Graphic Novel

One of the best graphic novel adaptations I’ve ever read…

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Michele August 22, 2013 at 7:00 pm

We haven’t left! And I even ported over your feed from Google Reader. :)


Rebecca August 22, 2013 at 2:43 pm

Taking a break is healthy. I always feel guilty and put a ton of stress on myself when I haven’t posted for a long period, but it turns out that people that enjoy reading your blog are always there when you come back around. Like me!

(After much encouragement) my husband read A Wrinkle in Time for the first time last year and had the same reaction. It’s one of those “must read in your lifetime” books. And now that you’ve read it, I highly recommend reading When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead. Trust me. It’s a whole lot of wonderful.


Tom B. August 22, 2013 at 2:47 pm

Thanks so much, Rebecca. And When You Reach Me is totally going on my vacation reading list now.


Kate August 22, 2013 at 1:59 pm

How on EARTH was that the first time you’ve read A Wrinkle in Time??? Next you’re going to tell me you’ve never read the Dark Is Rising sequence.


Tom B. August 22, 2013 at 2:03 pm

Kate – You are TERRIFYING. I literally just checked out the first Dark Is Rising book to take with me on vacation THIS MORNING.

Are you stalking me? :)


Kate August 22, 2013 at 2:21 pm

Honestly, that is how my life goes. A serious of “coincidences” (that clearly aren’t). And you will LOVE them!!! I may have to go reread them now, too…


Tom B. August 22, 2013 at 2:48 pm

I can’t wait to read them. We’ve been flipping between Harry Potter, Percy Jackson, and the Spiderwick Chronicles with Charley for WEEKS now and I need to read something new.


Kathleen | Becoming Peculiar August 22, 2013 at 1:34 pm

I’m still here, Tom, and excited to hear that more recommendations are on their way!

I read Wrinkle in Time in the fifth grade. It was my first encounter with science fiction and it blew my little 10-year-old mind. Now you’ve inspired me to re-read it as a new mother — I wonder how different the experience will be? I didn’t know there was a graphic adaptation — I will definitely have to check it out. It sounds like the perfect book for such an adaptation.


Tom B. August 22, 2013 at 1:39 pm

Thanks so much, Kathleen!

Wrinkle in Time seriously knocked me on my butt. It’s so packed with ideas and emotions and it trusts its young readers so implicitly. I loved it. And I’m not a huge fan of adaptations – my daughter is working in the graphic novel version of the first Percy Jackson book, which is fairly pedestrian – but Hope Larson’s version of Wrinkle in Time is BRILLIANT. Visually and emotionally so perfectly done.


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