What Famous Book Was Set in Your Home State?!?

Hello Readers!

I’m really into sharing some interesting links with you lately. And I figured that you, dear readers, are really interested in checking out what I’m interested in.


While browsing on Twitter this past week (yes, browsing since I’ve been so busy I’ve hardly posted)  I came across a tweet from the lovely Cecelia from The Adventures of Cecelia Bedelia  tweeted about a Business Insider article that outlines what famous books are set in which states. I thought this was AWESOME, and figured I’d share with you, dear readers! Check out the article here! And in case you were wondering, Drown by Junot Diaz is set in my home state (New Jersey)

Dirty Little Secrets may be a song by the All American Rejects, but this article here exposes the dirty secrets of us librarians! Thanks to my bestie for sharing this with me on Facebook. I wonder what she thinks my librarian secret is?! (Some of these are REALLY funny!)

A girls gotta fight for what she believes in. And that’s just what an 8-year-old girl did when she spotted two books which she felt were sexist. Today.com posted all about this outraged avid reader! 

Now I’m not a Dancing With the Stars fan. In all honesty I don’t think I’ve watched an entire episode. But as I was driving to work the other morning and listening to the radio (which is a rarity, I normally have my ipod playing, but alas it was completely and utterly dead) I heard a clip about Elizabeth Berkley’s (aka Jessie Spano) Saved By The Bell tribute. I’m So Excited, I’m so excited, I’m so … scared! (Don’t lie, you remember that episode just as vividly as I do. And if you don’t here’s a little reminder)

Calling all children os the ’80s! This one is for you!

And as a friendly reminder, if you’re a book blogger you should totally sign up for the Giving Thanks Secret Box Swap Miss Print and I are hosting! Or if your not a book blogger, but know one you should totally pass this information along to them!

Enjoy, readers!


Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books I Was “Forced” To Read


(Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. The above photo was taken and altered by me*)

We’ve all been “forced” to read books. In high school we had to read the classics. In college we had to read even more classics.  And in our book groups/circles we’re still “forced” to read books. Being forced to read any book isn’t necessarily a bad thing. I’ve read a lot of books because friends/family/teachers urged me to read. And you know what, some of those books I loved!

1. To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee – when I was a high school freshman my English teacher had assigned us to read a book. Any book so long as it wasn’t, as he termed it trash. He said if we couldn’t find a book he would give us one. At that point in time there wasn’t much in the way as “YA”, and I didn’t really want to read a boring classic. So I asked him, and from deep within a book closet he pulled out what would become my most favorite book – To Kill A Mockingbird.

2. The Crucible by Arthur Miller – Yet another book I had to read during my freshman English Class. I knew before the actually reading of this, that I would love, love, love this book. Why? Because I love everything and anything to do with the Salem Witch Trials.

3.  Liar by Justine Larbelestier – back when I had more time on my hands I participated in Miss Print’s Online Book Club.  One month Miss Print chose Liar to be discussed. It was a book I had on my shelf, one I was definitely curious about, but one I wasn’t one hundred percent certain I would enjoy. Miss Print definitely did not “force” me to read Liar, but she gave me the boost I needed to pick it up, and read it. I’m glad she did because in the end it was a book I really did enjoy.

4. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte – This is a book I was definitely FORCED to read. Once again I was in high school (I think I was a sophomore).  This was a book I had never had a real interest in reading, and when I did read I really did not enjoy.

5.  Hamlet by William Shakespeare – Every year in high school we focused on a specific Shakespearian work. My senior year we focused on Hamlet. We read the text. We watched the film – the Mel Gibson version of course. We wrote essays, took tests, and discussed passages over and over again. And as if all that wasn’t enough we had to memorize Hamlet’s third soliloquy and recite it to our teacher.

6.  Animal Farm by George Orwell – I was “forced” to read this in my freshman English class. This was one of those books that I really wanted to enjoy, but I didn’t. Why? Because I just didn’t get it. I thought it was a bunch of talking animals just running about the farm. I took it as silly instead of serious.

7. Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys – I was “forced” to read this for my women’s literature class in college. At the time I hadn’t a clue as to what the book was about. I wouldn’t say that this book became my most favorite book. But I didn’t hate it. In fact, at the time I really enjoyed it, and was glad that I was “forced” to read it.

8. My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult –  I read this while I was in grad school. I didn’t read it because a movie was about to be released.  I read it because I was doing my part in a group project. I honestly didn’t want to read this book, and as much as I resisted, I have to admit it wasn’t a terrible read.

9. One Evil Summer by R. L. Stine – every year when I was in grammar school we had to read one book as a whole class in “library”. Every year from about fourth grade onward my class always wanted to read a R.L. Stine book. And not just any book but a Fear Street book. But because we were young, and our school librarian (which looking back I’m not one hundred percent sure if she was an actual librarian – I don’t mean that as an insult, just putting it out there as an observation) wouldn’t let us read any. That is, until we were in seventh or eighth grade. As a class we chose One Evil Summer, and I LOVED it! To this very day, it’s still one of my most fave books. I even have it signed by R.L. Stine himself!

10. Twilight by Stephanie Meyer – I wasn’t necessarily “forced” to read Twilight by any one person or class. Instead, because I was studying to become a librarian, and because of all the hype and media buzz surround it, I felt like I had no choice but to cave and find out what this book was all about.

(* The above photo was taken and altered by me. Please do not take it!)

We’re Off To See ….


The Wizard, as in The Wizard of Oz, of course!


Last weekend myself and two of my bestest friends piled into my car, with 90s hits blasting loud and proud from the radio (thanks to Slacker Radio!) and headed southbound on I-95 towards the lovely state of North Carolina.

This wasn’t just a weekend getaway, it was a weekend in Oz. Yes, you read that correctly, Oz. I went to Oz. Traveled, not by twister, but by Honda Fit to the land that’s paved with yellow bricks. And boy was it a whole lot of fun!

A few months back, which I was browsing SLJ’s website, I clicked one of the many SLJ blogs, not because I’m an avid follower, but because something caught my attention, and sparked an interest.  So I clicked, and inside I found a small blurb, a reposting of a Huffington Post article (found here) about an abandoned Wizard of Oz theme park that has been closed for quite some time, but open every single year for only two days for an event called Autumn At Oz.

Now, before I continue on I want you to understand something: one of my friends is Oz obsessed. I’m not lying about this. Her collection is vast, her love for all things Oz runs deep and true. So when I heard about this, I knew I had to tell her. I felt a moral obligation to, not only my friend, but to our friendship, inform her about this event.

Being the fan(atic) she is I figured she already knew about this. I mean, how could she not!? So I told her, fully expecting a bored expression as a response.

Now, let’s be shocked readers! My wizard of Oz loving friend did NOT know about this! Yes, readers this was a proud moment for me! The Wizard of Oz fan imparted some wisdom on the Wizard of Oz fan(atic).

So from the moment this information passed my lips I knew we’d be off on our own Oz adventure.

This past weekend I went to Autumn At Oz in Beech Mountain, NC with my aunt and two bestest friends in tow.  For any Wizard of Oz Fan  fanatics this is a dream come true! Even for us regular fans it was pretty awesome!

It was a whirlwind of weekend, with us driving down to my aunt’s house in North Carolina (which took close to 10 hours give or take) on Friday, us driving just over three hours to get to Beech Mountain, NC to attend Autumn at Oz on Saturday, and then driving another 10 plus hours to come back home to NJ.

Crazy? Yes? Worth it? Most definitely. We had the chance to visit a place we were once only able to visit in our imaginations! We had the chance to see a part of Americana history.

So after many hours spent in a car, driving up and spiraling into the mountains of North Carolina, we arrived at Oz. Or well, the parking lot that would eventually lead us to the Emerald City. We had to park and then take a bus further up the mountain to the actual theme park (a very rickety, often herky-jerky ride up a steep mountain).

This is where the fun begins ….


He still hasn’t given Dorothy’s picture of Aunt Em back!

We may have been on our way to Oz but we certainly weren’t there just yet. We made a brief pit stop in Kansas, and visited Dorothy’s house  – pre – twister!


Dorothy, Aunt Em, and Uncle Henry were out, but little Toto was home!




That chair right there, in the left corner of the room. That there chair is Uncle Henry’s chair. (imagine I said that with a thick Southern accent)


And this is Dorothy’s room. She even has a picture of her idol, Judy Garland, on the wall.

After touring the pre-twister house we made our way through the black lit basement. Man it was a twister!

“The wind began to switch – the house to pitch – and suddenly the hinges started to unhitch. Just then the Witch


to satisfy an itch went flying on her broomstick, thumbing for a hitch.”

Things got topsy – turvy on the other side of the twister!


Boy it was a real doozy walking through that twisted house.

A terrible accident happened while we visited Oz. Someone dropped a house on a ….


Ruby-Slipper Wearing Witch!

Greetings! And Welcome to the Land of Oz …


Follow The Yellow Brick Road? Follow the Yellow Brick Road!

Follow, Follow, Follow the Yellow Brick Road


As we made our way through Munchkin Land

DSCN1619We spotted Glinda’s bubble (which is a lot smaller than it appears)

We stumbled upon the Tin Woodsman and his tiny tin house. Cozy, isn’t it?!


 We followed the Yellow Brick Road, and it led us to one of the greatest thinkers of all time

DSCN1635“With the thoughts I’d be thinkin’ I could be another Lincoln, if I only had a …. “

I could tell you why, the ocean’s by the shore, but I can’t tell you which way to go


And neither can he


So through the haunted forest, where lions, tigers, and bears roam freely we stumbled upon the Green Faced Witch’s castle.


We even stumbled upon the Witch herself!


(who slipped in and out of a British Accent. I thought I was in Oz, not back in London!?!)

But she’s wasn’t nearly as scary as these guys


But we made it out of the evil clutches of the Wicked Witch of the West’s lair, and before reaching the Gates of the Emerald City, met the whole motley crew!


It was a long, tiresome journey. But finally we reached the gates of the Emerald City


It was through this long journey that I learned that Dorothy was right: THERE’S NO PLACE LIKE HOME!


The Four Friends Wave Goodbye!


Hauntingly Great Reads: A Horror/Halloween Themed Booklist

Hello, Readers!

It’s that time of year! Time to break out the hoodies and horror flicks. So in honor of one of my most favorite times of the year, I figured I’d write up a themed booklist, featuring titles (that I’ve read) that have haunted me in some way or shape.

Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake

The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff

Frost by Marianna Baer

Ashes by Ilsa J. Bick

The Monstrumologist by Rick Yancy

Possess by Gretchen McNeil

Misfit by Jon Skovron

The Dead & The Buried by Kim Harrington

By These Ten Bones by Clare B. Dunkle

The Near Witch by Victoria Schwab

The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan

Through Her Eyes by Jennifer Archer


A Bewitching Giveaway

Hello Readers!

If you tuned in last week, and read my review of The Misadventures of Salem Hyde than you already know how much I enjoyed it. But what you don’t know is this: I want to pass this great book off to some lucky reader out there!

That’s right, it’s giveaway time!


Not only am I giving away the ARC (advanced readers copy) of The Misadventures of Salem Hyde, but I’m also including two shades of green nail polish (that that I say matches the color of the book cover perfectly, and a sparkly light green), a neon greenish/yellow owl bracelet, and a witchy window cling set.

Now that you know what’s up for grabs, let me fill you in on the fine print.

Giveaway is open from today Wednesday October 2nd, 2013 at noon and will run for one week until Wednesday October 9th at 11:59 p.m. . Giveaway is open to U.S. residents only.

To enter simply leave a comment on THIS blog post (and THIS one only) telling me what your favorite halloween candy is (I’m a fan of candy corn, but I only seen to want it or to eat it around this time of year).  When leaving your comment please make sure to leave a valid e-mail address.

Winner will be contacted via e-mail sometime on October 9th, and will have two days (until October 11th)  to respond to e-mail with mailing/shipping information. If response is not recieved within the two days, a new winner will be selected and notified.  Prize will be shipped out via standard media mail.

Good Luck!


Giving Thanks Book Blogger Swap

Hello Readers!

Happy October!

You already know about my YouTube addiction, so it’s won’t surprise you that while I was a watching a video, I came up with a great idea. An idea that my real life bff and fellow blogger Miss Print helped bring to life.

After watching Sprinkle of Glitter’s Box Swap video, I posted on twitter that I too wanted to swap a box with someone, but alas didn’t vlog nor have anyone to actually swap with. Prompt to respond Miss Print said “we have all the same books anyway”. While this was true, and a point well taken, I wouldn’t be dismayed. I explained to her that a box swap didn’t necessarily need to include books, but rather other things that we love (we, as readers are multifaceted you know).  After that, Miss Print got it! Without even having to ask, I knew she’s was on board.

So we chatted both on and offline and decided that we wanted to host a box swap for book bloggers.

Introducing the Giving Thanks Book Blogger Box Swap hosted by myself (The BookBandit) and Miss Print!

Any book blogger located within the United States is free to sign up (use the sign up form below). Sign ups are open for the whole month of October, from October 1st (when this post goes live) and will run until 11:59 p.m. on October 31st. Please provide as much information as you possibly can. Please make sure to fill out all required fields (any confidential information will of course remain confidential).

Obviously this is a book blogger box swap, books are more than likely expected, but please feel free to include other non-book goodies in your box.  This isn’t only a chance to give and receive a great surprise, it’s also a chance to get to know others within the blogging community.  And (obviously) to give thanks to such a community.

Emma (Miss Print) and I will be busy matching participants the first week of November. You should receive your match during that first week, via e-mail,  no later than November 9th (ideally, we’re aiming for the 7th of November, but by November 9th at the latest).

Participants who are signing up, please be aware that there are some hard and fast guidelines. There is a fifteen dollar (1$15.00) spending limit. However,  if you want to give a little more, and spend a little extra, that is completely up to you as the buyer. Also, all packages MUST BE MAILED by NOVEMBER 16th! That is a firm deadline.

If you have any questions, comments, or concerns please feel free to e-mail both Emma and I at: GivingThanksBoxSwap@yahoo.com

Sign Up Form: