Armchair BEA Kick-off! Meet Not For Lunch!

Welcome to Not For Lunch . . .

This week, I’m participating in the Armchair BEA, which is an online forum being held in conjunction with the actual Book Expo America in New York. I’ll be participating in several of the posting challenges and hopefully a Twitter event or two. A huge shout out of thanks to all of the organizers and sponsors of this BEA Armchair event. It should be a great week of sharing and learning! A special thanks to Nina, at Nina Reads, for creating and sharing the Armchair BEA logo above and button found in my sidebar!

Today, I kick-off the Armchair BEA week with my answers to some of the interview questions . . . thanks for visiting!


Please tell us a little bit about yourself: Who are you? How long have you been blogging? Why did you get into blogging?


I’m a wife and mother to two girls (almost!) 8 and 10. And I write about that sometimes crazy world. For the time being, I’m staying at home, though in reality, I’m really not home very much between volunteering at their school and keeping up with all their comings and goings. In my previous life, I had a second career as an elementary teacher, and prior to that I worked as a business consultant, a peddler of sheets and towels, and even an ice cream scooper.


I always loved to read as a kid, and teaching confirmed my love of children’s literature. Now, raising our girls, I have a whole new appreciation for the amazing world of “kid lit” and am enjoying so many new books and things I missed along the way.


I’m an avid home cook, and always experimenting and sharing some of those family-friendly food finds here.


Blogging is a newer venture to me, but this blog is a place for me to reflect on what I’m reading and eating, as well as the occasional musing on parenting.

Why Blog?

I LOVE READING and I’m one of those people who doesn’t always restrain myself from recommending books to complete strangers at the bookstore, the library, or a PTA meeting. While I’m not teaching anymore, I still have a deep love of reading, and especially children’s literature. Books have a powerful ability to entertain, transport, console, and teach. I’ve read too many great books to not share them, and hence this blog has become a depository for my reflections and recommendations. Most of my reviews are for children’s literature, with a focus on picture books and books for middle grade kids (grade 3 – 7). In addition to sharing great book finds, I also love to share what’s working (or not working!) as I vie to guide my family to a life of good health and memories through food. Some of the recipes I share here are my creation, and others are recipes that are just working at our house. I’ve blogged here, for about a year, and at another retired site, for a couple of years. Honestly, this blog has been a great outlet for me, but I’m excited to share it with more people.


What is your favorite feature on your blog (i.e. author interviews, memes, something specific to your blog)?

I love the meme that I’ve posted to over the last few months: It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? From Picture Books to YA,  hosted by Jen and Kellee at Teach Mentor Texts. It’s a great one-stop look at what I’ve read and what I’m looking forward to in the to-be-read pile. I also love checking in with other teacher/parent/book bloggers to see what they’ve enjoyed, or to get different perspectives on books that I’ve already read.


What are you currently reading, or what is your favorite book you have read so far in 2012?

Click here to see what’s on my bedside table right now, but the book I’ve read in 2012 that I’m most excited to tell you about is The Lions of Little Rock, by Kristin Levine. Check back here tomorrow for my review and to be a part of my giveaway for this terrific 2012 historical fiction book for readers in upper grade school and middle school.


Which is your favorite post that you have written that you want everyone to read?

The fall of 2011 was a stressful time for our family. In January of this year, I wrote about it and share my goal to get back on track. Several months past this posting, I’m happy to report, we are Bringing it Into Focus, with the help of time and of course books.


Have your reading tastes changed since you started blogging? How?

  • I’m reading more. I find I’m purposefully setting aside time in my week to devote to reading and reflecting on what I’ve read. Participating in last summer’s Book-A-Day Challenge (#bookaday on Twitter), I really saw the amount of reading I did take off as I made reading a priority.
  • My eyes are bigger than my reading stomach. I’ve received so many great recommendations from the community of teacher/educator/librarian/parents that I follow on Twitter and Goodreads. My t0-be-read (TBR) list is over 800 books long. Ridiculous, I know, but nice to know I have so many great books from which to choose.
  • I’m striving to read more widely through the genres. My favorites tend to be realistic fiction and historical fiction, but I’m challenging myself to try recommended titles in genre areas like fantasy. With two grade school aged children, my focus tends to be on picture books and middle grade fiction, as that’s what they’re reading, but I’m also branching out to read young adult works, as I know that’s coming ’round the bend at our house!
  • I’m trying to get to the highly touted new releases, but I’m also steadily going back to read titles I may have missed over the last few decades. With reading challenges like The Newbery Challenge (#nerdbery on Twitter) and The Caldecott Challenge (#nerdcott on Twitter), I am even stepping further back in time to the 1920s and 1930s. I’m trying to rotate new titles with back-listed and truly old titles.


Thanks again for visiting and I look forward to jumping in to Armchair BEA throughout the week!


16 comments on “Armchair BEA Kick-off! Meet Not For Lunch!

  1. Tami says:

    What a beautiful post about your daughter’s injury and what an awful thing fot you all to deal with. I hope things have progressed well for her in 2012. I love that you have chosen to stay home with your girls. It’s not a commin choice these days, but worth every financial and personal sacrifice. Glad I found your blig through BEA?

  2. Amanda says:

    I second the earlier comment about the post to do with your daughter! I hope things are going well and continue to do so.

    My TBR shelf (yeah, I have this buying problem) is pretty massive. I think I may never finish them all!

  3. BooksDevoured says:

    I think it is great that you are trying to read various genres. I think I have always been a bit of an eclectic reader but since I started blogging I really read some of just about everything! My favorite thing has been getting my two children involved in the blog and sharing their thoughts on middle grade books that they are reading! I really like the idea of getting involved in the Newbery and Caldecott challenges! I might have to look into those for myself and my kids!

  4. Since you love to cook, have you tried checking out Pinterest? I have found so many amazing recipes over there – most of them have been huge successes!

  5. bibliosue says:

    I love that line “My eyes are bigger than my reading stomach”. It is so true!

  6. Laura says:

    I completely understand your eyes being bigger than your reading stomach! While my GR tbr only has almost 500 books on it, that’s mostly because there are lots of books I’ve forgotten to add! 🙂 I’m glad you joined ABEA! Tattooed Books

  7. Hi! Nice to meet you! I really love that you are interested in children’s books, as a large part of my reading revolves around that now with a 3 and 4yo. I’ll have to check out that Meme you mention and you now have a new follower. Enjoy Armchair BEA!

    My Armchair BEA Intro

  8. Lorna says:

    Hi Kaitlyn! Thanks for stopping by. Yes, I’m on Pinterest and loving it! I find I really like to browse for recipes in a visual format, and Pinterest is great for new ideas!

  9. Lorna says:

    I would LOVE to have a week where I read more books than I toss “virtually” on to my TBR. Oh, well, at least I’ll die with a great book in my hand!:)

  10. Lorna says:

    Debbie–thanks for stopping by! Yes, you should totally check out the What Are You Reading meme. Such a nice group of people, but they do terrible things for my TBR. I “found” you on Twitter, and have you linked in to Google Reader now, so I’m glad we’ll keep in touch.

  11. Lisa says:

    What a lovely introduction, isn’t blogging a great outlet for all the reading that’s hard to find a place to talk about in real life? I’m so sorry to hear about your daughter as well, such a heartbreaking thing!

  12. Yay – so glad things are getting back into focus for you and your family 🙂 And – gosh, my head starts to hurt sometimes when I see all the books I want to read – so I can totally relate 🙂

  13. heidenkind says:

    Really, there will never be enough time to read all the books we want to! I usually say my TBR pile is infinite. 🙂 It’s lovely to meet you and I hope you have fun during Armchair BEA.

  14. Maria says:

    Oh Lions of Little Rock. Wasn’t that wonderful? I like to think there are people so wonderfully accepting out there. My only complaint was I wanted to see those same girls a few years down the road. I think we need a sequel 😉

  15. Lorna says:

    Maria–I totally agree on it’s wonderfulness. Yes, probably a bit idealistic on some fronts, but I’m happy to dream of such a world. The teacher in me thinks it be a great post-reading activity for kids to write out an interview with Marlee and Liz!

  16. Wow – your daughter is a trooper. And good for you for pushing a little to find out what was truly going on with her health. So sorry to hear that it even happened, but I am sure with time things will get better. 🙂

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