Back to my bookshelf

Where was I? I left off with Liars and Losers. Let’s take a look at the books and authors I love from M-Q.

M for Middle Grade novels.

I have shelves full of them. I love so many of them, it’s impossible to list them all. Some of my favorites include Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling, The False Prince by Jennifer Nielsen, Wonder by R.J. Palacio, and Sixth Grade Secrets by Louis Sachar. Middle grade books, in general, thrill me. These are the books that hook our kids, the ones that push those almost readers into yes-please readers. Like young adult and adult novels, middle grade books have to hook the audience, but they’re competing with a different set of challenges– the boy who would rather be playing Xbox, the girl who thinks she can’t connect to the main character. These are the books that turn our children into life long readers. If you want to see more of my thoughts on great books in this age range, check out

N for Nora Roberts.

14 years ago, we were having a garage sale and I was selling some romance novels– at the time, I’d read as many Carly Phillips and Linda Lael Miller as I could find. An older woman came by, looked through them and asked me if I’d ever read any Nora. I asked, Nora who? She told me that was her favorite author. I thanked her for the recommendation and hesitantly tried one– I didn’t think this woman and I would have the same taste. And thus began my Nora Roberts adulation. Nora Roberts is the master. Of everything. She is my idol and my favorite. Every single book I write is influenced, in part, by the power of Nora’s words. I keep quotes from her on my writing wall. It is best that I never meet her because I’m quite positive I would invade her personal space. As to my top reads from her? Angels Fall, The Search, The Witness, and The Bride Quartet. I’ll stop now before I embarrass myself.

O for October Fest by Jess Lourey.

Have you read any of the Murder by Month series? They’re awesome. I was going through a nothing to read phase a few years ago and stumbled upon October Fest. I loved the quirky main character and the circle of friends she created when she settled into a town she’d only meant to visit. And Johnny. Oh my. Can you say ideal book boyfriend?

P for Playing Dirty by Susan Andersen.

This is a fun one I haven’t read in a while, but would definitely re-read. A classic enemies to lovers tale, the heat and the chemistry in this book are wickedly enjoyable. Cade told everyone in high school that he slept with Ava, the “fat girl” on a bet. Now she’s older, successful, and hot as hell. And Cade has some serious grovelling to do if he hopes to get Ava’s cooperation on something that could change his career. Fun, flirty, and cute. (So are all of the other Susan Andersen I’ve read, FYI).

Q for Quindlen, Anna

There are some books that stay with you long after you close them. I read One True Thing a very long time ago, around its release date. It’s a story of a daughter who cares for her dying mother. Sometimes I wish I could still read books like this– books that feel so real they have the power to turn you inside out. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve gravitated toward more lighthearted reads that I know will end happily because I tend to lose myself if I don’t…I fall so far into the story that I can’t pull myself out. Ms. Quindlen has many books and each one of them has a gripping hook. If you’re tougher than me (as most people are), check them out.


So? What’s on your shelf with these letters? Have you read any of the above? Next bookshelf post will be my last one. Let me know if you have any recommendations.