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Meredith Wiggins

Shut Up and Take My Money: Fancasting My Favorite Rom-Com Reads

Like many people, I love a good romantic comedy. I’m always in the mood for a meet-cute, a tale-of-friends-to-lovers, a happily-ever-after (or at least for now). Luckily, as a reader of romance, I usually have a stack of rom-coms sitting on my bedside table.

The only downside to my rom-com reading habit is that I would also like to watch many of these stories, and unfortunately, Hollywood no longer seems particularly interested in making these kinds of movies. Recently, though, fellow Book Squad member Kimberly sent me the trailer for Love, Simon, an adaptation of Becky Albertalli’s YA romantic comedy Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda. I cried watching the trailer, and I cried listening to the audiobook (it’s a comedy, I swear!), and then I almost cried again when I realized the movie won’t be released until March.

With nearly 6 weeks of time to kill before I can cry while actually watching Love, Simon (different trailer, equally worth watching), I decided to round up a few other rom-com reads I think would make amazing big-screen love stories.

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It’s Time for the 2018 Squad Goals Reading Challenge

In 2017, the Book Squad introduced the Squad Goals Reading Challenge, a collection of 13 prompts designed to get you reading more widely.

In 2018, by popular demand (really!), we’re back with 13 new prompts that we hope will intrigue, delight, and, yes, challenge you.

We’ll have hard-copy forms available at the library by January, and the same “rules” apply as last year:

  • Read along month-by-month, or read in any order you like.
  • Make a plan and stick with it, or pick books on a whim.
  • Start every book you finish, or stop reading anything you aren’t enjoying.

You do you, is what we’re saying.

Because I love making plans (and willfully discarding them), I’ve mapped out my choices below. Read More..

The Stages of Finding a New Favorite Author

This post was inspired by my binge-reading of the collected works of Mohsin Hamid, my (new) favorite author currently writing. Read More..

Three on a Theme: Bookish Podcasts

LPL’s Book Squad Podcast just celebrated its eleventh episode, and let me tell you: it has been on fire lately.

Recent episodes feature discussions of classics like The Catcher in the Rye and Their Eyes Were Watching God, shout-outs to great events like the KU Black Love Symposium, and even a couple of recommendations from yours truly (still haven’t read Public Relations? Fix that now).

I could listen to people talk about books all day, and the explosion of book-themed podcasts makes that pretty darn possible. Whether you’re in the mood for book recommendations, author interviews, or deep-dives into book culture, there’s a podcast out there for you. I’ve collected a few of my favorites below. Read More..

My Bookish Bucket List

I’m fascinated by the concept of bucket lists. Few things fascinate me more than hearing what other people consider to be must-have life experiences, mostly because the range of “must-have” encompasses so much.

I have a general life bucket list (see the Northern Lights; go sky-diving; walk the Camino De Santiago), but I also keep a more specifically bookish bucket list, stocked with book-related experiences I’d like to have during my lifetime – everything from reading specific books to getting more bookish body art to attending conventions.

Recently, I got to put a checkmark next to a huge item on my bookish bucket list: visiting The Ripped Bodice, an all-romance novel bookstore located in L.A. I discovered the store via their excellent Twitter last year and had been sadly pining away from afar. (You know that whine-and-paw-at-the-ground thing that dogs do when they’re sad? That was me, every time someone posted photos of The Ripped Bodice.) Read More..

Into the Woods: A Different Take on Beach Reads

When I was growing up, “going on vacation” was synonymous with “going to the beach.” Every summer, my parents loaded me and my brothers in our beat-up Ford Aerostar – books and Barbies in tow for yours truly – and trekked seven hours straight south from our house in Alabama to a condo in Florida, where we’d spend a week splashing in the pool and building sandcastles with our grandparents and cousins.

I know how fortunate we were to have access to vacations like that.  But growing up, even as I loved visiting our favorite beach haunts, I was also frustrated that we never took trips elsewhere. If my parents had vacation time, we went to the beach. The end.

I would love to say that I handled that preference with generosity of both spirit and manner, but alas, I was a human child, so instead I complained about it endlessly. Even today, when summer rolls around and I get the chance to do some traveling, I’m unlikely to head toward a coast. (I’m also so pale that I basically reflect the sun back on itself, but that’s neither here nor there.)

The result: I have a somewhat fraught relationship with so-called “beach reads.” Read More..

Whoa, We’re Halfway There: Squad Goals Progress Post

If you’ve stopped by LPL in the past few months, you may have noticed that the Book Squad has set up monthly rotating displays featuring potential reads for the Squad Goals Reading Challenge, our inaugural reading challenge featuring a baker’s dozen of prompts designed to help you find great new books.

We announced the Squad Goals Challenge on the Spotlight Blog last December, and I wrote about what I planned to read then. Since 2017 is almost halfway gone (eek!) and Summer Reading is upon us, I wanted to check in and update you all on how my personal Squad Goals Challenge is going.

Spoiler alert: It’s been a mixed bag so far. Read More..

A Book by Its Cover

We’ve all heard the old adage to never judge a book by its cover. The only time I don’t think you should follow that advice is when it comes to actual books.

On a purely literal level, when we’re talking about judging actual books by their actual covers, let’s face it: it’s impossible not to. If I’m being honest, being drawn to an interesting cover is probably the number-one way that I find new books to try; I spend way too much time walking the shelves of the Fiction Loop not to be drawn in by intriguing covers.

So recently, I decided to test myself: I grabbed three books that simply looked interesting and settled down to read them without knowing anything whatsoever about the plot. And to make it extra interesting, I jotted down a guess at the plot pre-read – a guess based purely on the cover design. Read More..

Let’s Not Go Home Again: Protecting the Things You Love

I’ve always been the kind of person who nurtures small obsessions. Case in point: there was a time in middle school when I was not infrequently introduced to people as “Meredith, that girl who likes Buffy.”

It was an extremely fair introduction. I discovered Buffy, the Vampire Slayer in the fourth or fifth grade, and I rapidly became obsessed. When my local cable affiliate dropped the WB, I spent two years getting up in the wee hours to watch new episodes when they re-aired on Fox at 3:30 a.m. (This was a pre-DVR era.) I delayed my fourteenth birthday party by more than three months so that the “theme” of the party could be “let’s get a group of 25 people together and watch the first episode of season 7 live.” Read More..

Hear Ye, Hear Ye: Introducing the Squad Goals Reading Challenge

As anyone who knows me can tell you, I love a reading challenge. Whether I’m searching for a book set in my home state or one with nonhuman characters, one with a color in the title or one that’s becoming a movie this year, if you give me a series of prompts and a checklist to mark off, I’m a happy woman.

In 2016, the Book Squad worked on Book Riot’s Read Harder Challenge, but in 2017, we’re trying something new. Read More..