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Kimberly Lopez

The Anglophile’s Guide to (Bloody Brilliant) Historical Fiction

Dear Reader, there is nothing that brings me such unbridled joy as what I consider to be a richly-written, atmospheric historical fiction novel. I have never been one to wish for times past, because I am a modern lady who enjoys modern amenities such as public works systems, vaccinations, and air conditioning units. However, I certainly do take delight in visiting other times and places, whether they be drab or fab. Historical fiction is an all-encompassing genre that features a variety of cultures and time periods and locations – to narrow the scope, I’ve come up with three titles that are linked by their country, some general themes, and ones that are best when paired with a cup of tea. Read More..

Cozy Reads to Get You Through the Endless Night

It’s that time of year again! The ground is covered in leaves, the holiday lights are on, the heater is cranked all the way up, and snow is imminent. You look outside one minute, and the sun is shining, and the world is like a gorgeously illustrated picture book, and then one minute later you look again, and suddenly the world is now made of darkness. Your body is all “what is happening?!” and your brain is like “but it’s only 5pm!” Winter has (almost) come.

The sudden weather change is discombobulating, and sometimes even a little disturbing when you manage to miss those few hours of sunlight, and your mood levels plummet*. At times like these, I find it most comforting to try and embrace the season by cuddling up with a fuzzy blanket, baking some of these fabulous scones (suggestion: use coconut sugar and coconut milk instead, and double or even triple the blueberries!), and topping it all off by grabbing a cozy book. Read More..

There Is No Such Thing As “Guilty Pleasure”

Not too long ago, I was having a discussion with my book club members, and one of them mentioned that she wanted to place an item on interlibrary loan, but she was embarrassed and worried that anyone who saw the book would judge her.

I laughed and exclaimed to the entire group (we are a rowdy and colorful bunch of people) that there is no need to be embarrassed of anything she ever requests from another library, because at one point in the near past I have checked out every available season of Kate Plus 8 through ILL.

You know, that one terrible but highly entertaining TLC reality TV show about an obsessive compulsive mother, her eight children (one set of twins and one set of sextuplets), and her at-the-time husband who every now and again does an interview with E! to make a quick buck? You know, the Gosselins? Yeah, THAT show.

Now that revelation was so “embarrassing” that the entire room laughed, and someone even made the joke that I should never be willing to admit that kind of information in public. The thing of it is – I make revelations like that almost on a weekly basis. Feel free to ask me my opinion on every single one of the Kardashians. I could talk for DAYS about them. There is no shame in my game. I will happily watch trashy reality TV series with a smile on my face and an overly produced pop song in my heart.

That experience with my group got me thinking, though. How many of us don’t want to talk about the things we love, because they are consider “lesser” and “bad taste”? The type of content I’m talking about is often marketed by that phrase I absolutely detest: “guilty pleasure.” I resent that phrase because it implies that enjoyment is somehow wrong because of the perceived social stigma or overall “quality” of the work. It’s okay to love something, even though it’s considered terrible by the smartypants you encounter on the bus who won’t stop rolling their eyes at your werewolf erotica. Read More..

Three Favorite Books I Am Dying to Reread

Okay, so “dying” is quite an exaggeration, but sometimes hyperbolic language is necessary when you’re really really excited to crack open one of your favorites. Lately, more and more, I have been inspired to revisit some old friends of mine, rather than discovering new books. There is something ultimately comforting about starting a book already knowing how much you love it.

The types of books I am talking about are the ones that whenever I see them on display for my Staff Picks, I want to selfishly snatch them up and check them out before anyone else gets a chance to read them. I just can’t help myself – these books are so good. Here are three of my all-time favorites that are all at the top of my “To Read Again” pile. Read More..

Tips and Tricks for Overcoming a Reading Slump

It’s no secret that I love books and that reading and exploring new stories is a major part of who I am as a person. Consequently, when I encounter a particularly brutal reading slump, it’s like a part of me is missing.

It’s hard not to take it personally, when so much of my life revolves around spreading the joy of reading and introducing new people to books that might change their life or perhaps even make their day that much better.

For whatever reason, the past few months I haven’t been able to enjoy much reading at all. Nothing seems to call out to me, and when I do manage to pick up a book, there is a pattern to them – they’re non-fiction books that a) cover important topics, but are also b) incredibly depressing. Occasionally I have picked up a fiction book only to quit in frustration after only a few pages. I can’t seem to shake this literary black cloud that’s been hovering over my head. Read More..

Summer Beach Reads 2017

Last year, we put together a list of some of our most anticipated summer releases to enjoy whether you’re vacationing in the Caribbean or in your own living room. This year, we have even more unconventional beach reads that will transport you to exotic locales and will introduce you to interesting new characters. All you’ll need is a library card, and your adventure awaits.  Read More..

Audiobooks You Should Be Listening to on Hoopla

Sure, that title has a clickbait quality to it, but I’m pretty serious and vocal about my love for all things Hoopla. I’ve sung its praises in the past (mostly because the graphic novel selection is pretty darn great), but only recently have I really delved into the audiobook section.

Mostly because, until recently, I wasn’t exactly a fan of listening to books. Lugging around CDs is always a pain, and I’m still not sure what those MP3 thingies are all about, but listening to a book on your phone while multi-tasking or taking a walk? You mean I can read all the time if I want to?! Read More..

Embracing Your Inner Unicorn, No Matter What Age

After my most recent birthday, I discovered something new about my body: occasionally when I squat down, my knees will give a little pop. That didn’t happen before. What’s also new are the little lines and crinkles underneath my eyes that definitely weren’t there before. I’ve always been a fan of sleeping, but now if I don’t get plenty of rest, my eyes become so bloodshot, I start to look a little like those white rabbits with the red eyes. I sound like I’m complaining, but I find this to be super exciting! I’m not being sarcastic. No, really. Read More..

It’s a Mystery! Three Picks You Are Sure to Love

When I was a little girl, I lived in a very small town with a very small library, but I had a very big appetite for reading books. I devoured everything at my public library and, wanting more, my mother made the excellent parenting decision to allow me to purchase one book per week at the nearest now-defunct entertainment store (spoiler alert: it was Hastings). I resented her for making me make such a difficult decision (only one?!), but I took it on as a challenge to find the best book, and for the first time, I was completely overwhelmed by choices. Read More..

Everyone’s Favorite TV Mom: Lauren Graham (aka, Lorelai Gilmore)

When I was in high school, my mom and I had a tradition of watching every marathon and every new episode of Gilmore Girls together, without fail. Growing up, all of my siblings had left the house once I was a teenager, and it was just my mom and I. We were pretty close, and related to the mother-daughter duo in Gilmore Girls (even though my mom hated Lorelai–which is pretty shameful, I know).

I thought this was unique to my mom and I, and it wasn’t until college that I encountered scores of people (women and men) who had this same tradition of sitting down every week with their mom to enjoy a show about a fast-talking pair of blue-eyed brunettes. Read More..