Library Book Haul

When my daughter-in-law introduced me to the Cedar Rapids library last week, I felt like I’d stepped into a sort of literary heaven; such a spacious, beautiful environment, and so many books!  Those of you who have worked in a library will understand what I mean when I say I occasionally experience “library lust.”  Yes, as a director of a small Iowa library, I do lust after the large libraries’ vast array of space and books. I concentrated on the aisles of non-fiction, though I did take note of a couple of fiction titles I expect to add to our Winthrop Library collection. I will admit to ordering the majority of the fiction I want to read, unless it is older fiction or something I know my patrons won’t enjoy. But I’ve had to tone down my non-fiction choices as we don’t have many non-fiction readers. That said, I left with a nice stack of titles for my own perusal.

cat and books 011The left-side pile is from the Cedar Rapids trip, while the right is from my own library, and yes, that is a fiction title at the top of the stack, which I’ve since read, A Window Opens by Elisabeth Egan. I rated it four out of five stars on my Goodreads account.

cat and books 012While in Cedar Rapids we also visited a Half Price bookstore, where I picked up a couple back issues of Plough Quarterly for twenty-five cents each, two classics to add to my bookshelves, and a “Do-it-All Planner,” which begins in August and will come in handy for keeping track of upcoming “Mary & Me” events.


Open Letter from MJH: Releasing My Feelings the Day Before the Release

Monday, September 7, 2015

Dear family, friends, and other supporters,

What feelings are going through me today, the day before the official release of my first book?  What emotions can I capture in mere words to convey what’s going through my heart, mind, and soul while my dear friend and coauthor Mary and I await tomorrow’s release of Mary & Me: A Lasting Link Through Ink?

I must let you know how much it’s meant to me to have such great support and encouragement from every single person who’s checked out our blog, looked at our Mary & Me Facebook page, visited our individual author pages, and offered prayers and good wishes along the way.  Many of you have been there from the beginning. Others have joined at other points along the way. I know many, many of you now wait with us for the official release date tomorrow, Sept. 8, and will continue to be with us in the weeks ahead as we present programs, workshops, and presentations.

I can’t tell you enough how much all this has meant to me. Thank you from the depth of my heart. Yes, it’s been a lot of work, sweat, and toil, but it’s been a great joy to experience the realization of a dream. Thank you to every single person who has helped in any way, whether you’ve been in my life for decades or for just a few weeks.

And, special love and thanks go to my dear friend and co-writer, Mary. What a joyous journey it’s been to be coauthors!  What a blessing!

Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you!


Mary Jedlicka Humston

Mary pic 2

Little Libraries

The Marys now share another commonality; they both have a Little Free Library in their front yard. Jim and Mary Humston have been stewards of theirs since 2013, when Jim and his brother built one.

IMG_0922Now Mary Kenyon joins the movement with a library built by a Maquoketa Valley High School shop class.

cat and books 014Mary K has ordered her special “steward’s packet” with a charter sign and number and will register on the world map after it arrives. In the meantime, she is pondering exactly how she will personalize the new addition to her yard. Stay tuned for updates~

Did you know there is a book all about the Little Free Library movement?

little free libraryThe Marys will be meeting Margret Aldrich, the author of The Little Free Library Book, along with Little Free Library founder Todd Bol at the Iowa City Book Festival in October.We will also be conducting a reading as part of the festival. You can find us at Java House, 211½ E. Washington St., Iowa City at 10:00 am on Saturday, October 3.

For a limited time, if you purchase the book from the Little Free Library website, you can get $150 worth of brand new books from Coffee House Press included with the purchase.

Book Review: NIV Bible for Teen Girls

Both Marys are avid readers, but I (Mary K) am the one who maintains a Goodreads log of the books I read and review. You can click on this link, if you’d like to take a look at what other books I read outside of the ones I blogs about. As an author, I am well aware of how important book reviews and ratings are on Goodreads and Amazon. If you have either accounts, we do hope you will consider rating Mary & Me: A Lasting Link Through Ink after you’ve read it.

As a book reviewer I will occasionally review books on this blog that have nothing to do with either friendship or letter-writing, but I promise you they will likely have something to do with another topic that weaves itself through Mary & Me: A Lasting Link Through Ink, and that is faith.

I was eager to review the NIV Bible for Teen Girls: Growing in Faith, Hope, Love, by Zondervan, for two reasons.

NIV Bible#1) I’d previously written devotions for a Zondervan Bible, The Hope in the Mourning Bible, and have a particular fondness for their topical Bibles.

#2) I have a 12-year-old daughter who will be joining a youth group soon, and will need a nice Bible.

This one is definitely nice, with a lovely appealing cover and pink accents on the daily readings pages. I love the reading selections.

If there is any complaint, it is that the typeface is too small, but I don’t think a young girl would mind, considering the book would be much to heavy and big with larger type. I think a ribbon marker would have also been a nice touch.

Overall, this Bible rates five out of five stars on my Goodreads account.

*I was given a copy of this Bible from BookLook Bloggers, for a fair and honest review