Book Reviews

In My Book Bag: Grace of Camp Patton

I mentioned a few weeks ago that one of things I wanted for 2014 was more reading and more talk of books, books, books here on my blog.

So as part of that, I’m doing a series this year (taking the place of last year’s Whirlwind Weekend series) called “In My Book Bag” where some of my favorite bloggers share the books they love (and. . .because I can never get enough of hearing what books people hate, their not-favorite books too).

Grace from Camp Patton is kicking it off for me, and really, there’s no one I like more on the Internet. She’s so funny I end up reading her posts aloud to Bart (my all-time favorite are the “Simon Says” posts chronicling the ridiculously funny things her husband says), and I blatantly stole the idea for the All Ella posts from her (this recent one of things her three-year-old said is the very best).

She has three children, all younger than Ella, and is expecting her fourth early this summer (on Bart’s birthday, in fact). And she doesn’t sugar-coat the truth of parenting very small children.

She’ll respond to your comments, visit your blog, and basically make you feel like her best friend. In fact, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen people on Twitter or on their blogs mention that they’re pretty sure Grace likes them more than anyone else. She is just that nice.

And, she loves Anne of Green Gables. How could I not love her?

As a child I loved to read and devoured the majority of the books I could get my hands on. English was always my favorite subject in school and so it made sense to major in English in college. I don’t read nearly as much as I’d like to now (unless dramatic repeated readings of The Very Hungry Caterpillar count) but I hate not being in the middle of at least one book because doesn’t everyone love having that little escape-to-another-world feeling waiting for them just behind the cover of their current book?

Childhood Favorite: The entire Anne of Green Gables series. I was obsessed. I read the entire series before my 10th birthday and then immediately read it all over again as soon as I finished the last book. A relative visited Prince Edward Island and brought back a little heart shaped basket for me at the height of my affair with Anne and Gilbert and I could NOT get over the fact that it was from thee P.E.I. – I sort of still can’t.

Currently Reading: Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell … I’m trusting multiple sources that it gets better but right now I’m a little disenchanted and hoping I don’t get stoned for saying so.

Comfort Reading: Elin Hildebrand. Hallie told me about her and she is my total guilty and mindless pleasure (Elin, not Hallie – although Hallie IS pretty great).

A Book Everyone Else Seemed to Love, But I Don’t Like: All things Harry Potter. I know – I’m the worst. I’m missing any sort of fantasy fiction loving brain chip.

A Book on My To-Read List: The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton (because Janssen recommended it a few months ago and it sounds right up my alley)

The Book I’m Most Likely to Recommend to Someone Else: Kayla wrote about reading Gone with the Wind a looong time ago and so I read it and loved it more than I ever thought possible. It’s sort of lengthy but I think if the majority of people gave it a chance they would love it to. Or maybe I’m crazy.

Thanks, Grace! Off to request some Elin Hildebrand books. . . . and we can still be friends even if you aren’t a Harry Potter fan. 

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  • Reply Ash January 16, 2014 at 1:39 pm

    Love that Grace. And yes, read The Secret Keeper! It will blow your mind to pieces!

  • Reply Mrs Gray January 16, 2014 at 2:10 pm

    She was in my Happy Mommy magazine this month, and I've YET to make it to her blog! I'm going, I'm going! 😉

  • Reply RA January 16, 2014 at 2:27 pm

    Great idea for a new series! Annnd now I must reread all of the Anne books.

  • Reply Kate Rogge January 16, 2014 at 3:12 pm

    LOVE THIS SERIES! I squealed in my office. And then promptly created a new "tag" in my feedly for all the books this is going to make me want to read. Also, Grace, don't give up on Fangirl! I literally just finished it yesterday and haven't been able to start a new book yet because the characters still feel too real.

  • Reply Audrey January 16, 2014 at 3:27 pm

    How fun ~ I like this new series. The Secret Keeper is so great. I actually bought a copy when I was traveling and it's now being passed around amongst my friends. Every single person comes back and says how much they loved this book….which is really kind of unusual. I'm actually reading the first Harry Potter out loud with my 7 year old and I'm loving it all over again. But I understand that it can't be everyone's cup of tea. Looking forward to checking out your blog, Grace!

  • Reply Melanie January 16, 2014 at 3:59 pm

    I agree with RA, this will be a great series! I also love Grace's blog; I laugh so hard I cry with every one of her Julie Styles posts. Fangirl was my first Rainbow Rowell book and I didn't like it, but a Goodreads friend persuaded me to give Attachments a try, which I plan to do sometime in the future.

  • Reply Melanie January 16, 2014 at 4:00 pm

    ooops, that should have been "Julia Styles posts"

  • Reply NGS January 16, 2014 at 4:01 pm

    I, too, love this idea for a series! Yay!!

    I loved Anne when I was growing up, too. Maybe not as much as Jo March, but it was nice to have multiple girlfriends in my books!

  • Reply kylie January 16, 2014 at 4:07 pm

    Great series idea!! Super excited for it!!

  • Reply Anne @ Modern Mrs Darcy January 16, 2014 at 5:53 pm

    What a fun series! Love it, and love hearing Grace's picks here.

    Grace: Fangirl gets better, but it's not my favorite. Have you read Attachments? I think you might like it. 🙂 And YES X 1000 to The Secret Keeper. And Anne! (Okay, I'm done now.)

  • Reply Tina's Blog January 16, 2014 at 5:55 pm

    Love this series, Janssen! Can't wait to read recommendations from other bloggers, too!

  • Reply Feisty Harriet January 16, 2014 at 6:05 pm

    Yesss!!!! I love this series already! (And if I can volunteer for a future post I'm doing that right now.)


  • Reply Vanessa January 16, 2014 at 6:08 pm

    Ahh this is awesome! And you couldn't have picked a better first guest than Grace. I've read Gone with the Wind a few times and love it, but for whatever reason, the last time i read it i was punged into a deep depression by the ending (?? not like I didn't know what was going to happen…). So grab ya Kleenex!

  • Reply Jacks Lorraine January 16, 2014 at 6:42 pm

    Grace is the bestest. I love this feature! Looking forward to more!

  • Reply Katrina Rose January 16, 2014 at 6:47 pm

    Absolutely love this series! Great idea, Janssen.

  • Reply GingerLand January 16, 2014 at 7:52 pm

    Pointed over your way by Modern Mrs. Darcy… I'm so glad to find a kindred spirit (or, for the Anne of Green Gables obsessed, a bosom buddy) who doesn't get the Harry Potter thing. I have tried. I have tried again and again. I am still trying to make it through them, but I think over the course of 10 years or so, I'm only on number four? I just don't get it. I kinda maybe get it for kids, but there is SO much better kid lit out there! To each his own…

    This is the second time in the last month or so I've heard of Kate Morton though, so I it's on my "To Read" list now!

  • Reply alyssa zech January 16, 2014 at 7:54 pm

    This is a great series idea.
    I never read Anne of Green Gables but want to as my baby girl grows up. And definitely some HP! 🙂

  • Reply Amy January 16, 2014 at 8:11 pm

    Love Grace too. And this series sounds so fun. Anne of Green Gables was my favorite as a kid too. My oldest daughter is almost old enough for it and I'm counting the days until she can read it because then I will reread it again. She has to learn to read first though. Also love, love Gone with the Wind.

  • Reply Amy January 16, 2014 at 8:34 pm

    Words cannot begin to express my excitement over this new series! I'm looking forward to all the great ideas it is sure to generate. I loved the Whirlwind Weekend series, but the truth is, I do very little traveling. But reading? Well, I do that every day. 🙂

  • Reply Breanne January 16, 2014 at 9:07 pm

    What a fun series! I love it. And I love Grace. I only read HP last year for the first time, before that I was kind of meh over it.

  • Reply Jennie January 16, 2014 at 11:41 pm

    Love this series! Let me know if you need new participants. 🙂

  • Reply Little Gray Pixel January 17, 2014 at 12:36 am

    I adore this series! And I'd love to be a guest someday if you'll have me. 😉 Gah, do I like to talk about books.

  • Reply ellen January 17, 2014 at 6:07 pm

    I just read Fangirl last week. I was ready to give up but there was a twist and turn and I got re-hooked and finished quickly. Eleanor & Park is definitely my favorite book of hers. I absolutely loved it.

  • Reply Stephanie • My Orange Chair January 21, 2014 at 2:31 pm

    This is great Janssen! Grace–everyone loves Harry Potter, right? But I just can't get past book 5 and I've tried. Twice. …glad to here there's another weirdo out there.

  • Reply JoLee January 28, 2014 at 7:24 pm

    Great idea for a new series. And I can see how Fangirl might be a little dicey if you aren't a fantasy fiction fan!

  • Reply Betsy January 30, 2014 at 4:09 pm

    I'm actually listening to an Elin Hilderbrand audiobook right now. Janssen, you turned me onto audiobooks….they just weren't even on my radar, but I LOVE being read to, and this has made my commute so much more pleasant. So far, Silver Girl is two thumbs up!!

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