I bring you: some Friday book recs from the @rileyandjohannareadstuff Instagram account.Today's list includes marathon runners, hockey players who make a lot of pie, and eighteenth century rakes. What's everyone else reading right now? I have a library trip coming up, and suggestions are always appreciated. :)
Here come a few more book suggestions from the @rileyandjohannareadstuff Instagram account. We've covered poetry, some nonfiction, and a few serious 80s throwback covers. My big rec right now is actually a movie--the Netflix movie of Jenny Han's book TO ALL THE BOYS I'VE LOVED BEFORE, which just came out this past weekend. Lana Condor is amazing in it, and if you are also a rom-com lover you cannot possibly be disappointed by this film. You're welcome in advance.
I give you: a few book suggestions from the @rileyandjohannareadstuff Instagram account. I cannot recommend ALL'S FAIRE IN MIDDLE SCHOOL by Victoria Jamieson and FAR FROM THE TREE by Robin Benway enough. Both books kept me up until one in the morning. I suspect THE SUN IS ALSO A STAR will do the same, so maybe I'll try to start reading that one at a more normal hour.
If you follow this blog, you've probably noticed by now that my friend Riley and I love to talk about all things books. We had a great time re-reading some of the Baby-Sitters' Club books from our childhood, and we decided we wanted to keep doing some type of online book chat together. So we've taken our weekly book chats to Instagram. Follow @rileyandjohannareadstuff to see what we’re reading, what we recommend, and how many times we can squeeze pictures of Winnie (Riley's pug) and Ra (my very sedate cat) into our book photos. I'll also be cross-posting some of our Instagram posts and conversations here.
Uh...better late than never? Riley and I talked about the Ann M. Martin classic Mary Anne Saves the Day and the Baby-Sitters' Club Club podcast about it a while ago...but somehow I never got around to posting our conversation. Huge apologies, team baby-sitter nostalgics. (That may not be a real word. But I like it, so it's staying.)
I'm not sure if Riley and I are going to keep this series going in this same fashion or change things up. We definitely had big dreams about hitting up the BSC Super Specials next. But life, the universe, and everything keep happening, and lately I've been cheating on Ann with Judy Blume. So we'll see.
This blog and website will likely be offline for a bit while they get some much-needed sprucing, but during that time Riley and I will reform our plans and maybe even catch up on Dawn Schafer's life. Watch this space, as they say.
In case all six of you blog readers were wondering when the heck Riley and I were going to get around to reading book 3 in our Baby-Sitters Club marathon, my apologies. We actually read and discussed the book weeks ago, but then I went to Europe and kind of forgot about Stacey while I was standing around in the Louvre.
Anyway, Stacey! She was great, the podcast was great, we continue to worship at the feet of Ann M. Martin. This despite the fact that we, like the BSC podcasters, have no idea why "don't call me late for dinner" is supposed to be a funny joke.
Some fun facts about this text discussion:
1. Riley kept detailed notes about her reading in a dedicated Baby-Sitters Club notebook. Meanwhile, since I was visiting my parents, I dug my old copy of the book out of their attic and admired the one note I took when I was nine: my name in the front cover.
2. This entire conversation happened while I was traveling on a bus from Vermont to Boston. I spent some serious time trying not to guffaw out loud. For the record, it's very difficult to guffaw in one's head.
3. "Jack, it can't always be about the patriarchy," is hands-out down the winning line from The Truth About Stacey podcast. No contest.
4. Naturally this conversation resulted in Riley and I taking "Which baby sitter are you?" quizzes. JOIN US. Here's the Buzzfeed quiz and here's the Zimbio quiz. We anxiously await your results.
Oh hey, we finally got around to book 2 in our epic re-read of all The Baby-Sitters Club books. And since I'm in Vermont visiting my parents, I dug out the actual dog-eared copy I first read circa 1991. Pictures below, of course.
A few things Riley and I discussed in our text message convo of this book and subsequent Baby-Sitters Club Club podcast:
-Small business ownership in the 7th grade
-Why X never equals the same thing twice
-Everything that is wrong with education in America
-The Claudia Kishi School for Kids Who Can't Find Adverbs Good
-The brilliance of Ann M. Martin (I suspect we will discuss this after reading every book)
-The brilliance of Janine Kishi
-The brilliance of The Baby-Sitters Club Club podcast
-Power struggles in seventh grade relationships of the 1990s era versus now
-My text messaging issues
-Root beer barrels
(P.S. I have zero idea why the first photo in this slideshow is so much smaller than all the rest. Zero. Sorry, team.)
It's the moment you've all been waiting for: Riley and I finally finished reading and texting incessantly about the book and BSCC podcast for Kristy's Great Idea.
Yes, that's right. We read the book. We listened to the Baby-Sitters Club Club podcast. We discussed important topics such as the patriarchy, post-modernism, and whether or not "save it" is a phrase in definite need of revival. We also briefly conversed regarding whether sheep are "in."
I doubt all our re-reading conversations will be this long or this involved. But hey, it was the first book of the series. We had a lot of ground to cover. Lots of nostalgia was involved.
And so, without further adieu, I give you: the first installment of Riley and Johanna Re-Read Stuff, via slideshow., Here's our entire text conversation as we re-read the first book of the seminal classic series The Baby-Sitters Club, listened to the aforementioned podcast, and then basically texted both the book and podcast to death.
I like to think Billy Collins would be proud.
(P.S. There may be just the occasional tweet in here that has nothing to do with The Baby-Sitters Club. I.e. "Episode five will change your life" is in regards to something else entirely. Sorry; I suck at photo editing.)
(P.P.S. Points to anyone else who also tagged "sheep are in" as the most important line of this book. )
(P.P.P.S Because we all remember that the BSC loved to use the multiple post-scripts. If any of you have thoughts on the slideshow format, lemme know. I'm sure not married to it. I'm not married to anyone or anything except Travis Parkhurst, and everything else, including a slideshow of text messages, is up for immediate dismissal should said dismissal be deemed appropriate.)
Revisiting The Baby-Sitters Club Series, a Seminal Classic
Let me tell you about my friend Riley. First thing you should know: it's totally her fault that right now you're looking at a picture of Kristy's Great Idea, the seminal classic that launched a series so infamous it is often spoken of in hushed and reverent tones. Yes, that's right. The Baby-Sitters Club series.
Riley and I share many obsessions: Suits, BookBub, puppies. But the obsession we probably spend the most time bonding over is our mutual love of children’s and YA lit. We both spend hours of our educator-lives talking about it. I write it. Riley reads it with a voracity that sometimes makes me wonder when she has time to eat. And we’re not picky: picture books, middle grade, YA every-genre-you-can-imagine. If it’s out there, one of us probably either has read it or wants to read it.
So when Riley sent me a link to The Baby Sitters Club Club podcast, it seemed immediately clear what she was going to suggest we do: re-read the series together while listening to the podcast for each book.
Yup. I was all over that idea like Claudia Kishi on a neon-colored fedora.
I don’t claim to be an expert on many things, but if there was one thing I knew during the course of my childhood, it was The Baby-Sitters Club series. I had the board game. The videos. (Little-known fact: there wasn’t just movies. There were also television-length episodes, which I owned on VHS.) I recently unearthed my collection of the first sixty-odd books, complete with Super Specials, whilst going through my parent’s attic. I made frequent Kid-Kits for the approximately zero baby-sitting jobs I was ever hired for. (Little-known fact: I sucked at baby-sitting. Kids made me nervous. But I sure did like reading about it.)
These are, truly, the books that made me a reader. Ann M. Martin was my gateway drug into much harder stuff: Morrison and Chaucer. Taking a trip down memory lane with my most beloved author of all time and her experiments with tween handwriting? I cannot wait.
And because it seems a given that Riley and I will spend a majority of this adventure texting each other back and forth with every weirdo thought we have while reading/listening, it only seems fair we share a window into our utterly bizarro book communications. So whenever we have a particularly fun or irreverent text convo about our BSC adventure, I’ll post it here for your book loving enjoyment. Consider this the birth of the Johanna and Riley Re-Read Stuff Sub-Blog.
(Are sub-blogs an actual thing? If not, I’d like credit for creating them.)
Feel free to follow along as we join the men (yes, you read that correctly: two dudes make this podcast) of The Baby-Sitters Club Club and text each other relentlessly about how many times Stacy’s blonde hair gets mentioned per book or why Kristy and Bart have such a hard time admitting their feelings for one another. I hear someone on the podcast has discovered themes of great religious significance in Dawn’s storyline. I anxiously await that revelation.
So here we go. Personally, I can’t wait for us to relive our childhoods while I try to figure out why I ever identified with Mary Anne.