No Extra Words one person's search for story

Storytelling is one of those things that makes us human. It takes many forms in many places and times but the need to record our story, to preserve the memory that we were here, and to hear the stories of others, this is universal. I'm a writer, a librarian, a mom, and a person in this world in search of how we tell our stories and how we hear the stories of others. Season 1: Flash Fiction. The sharing of minimalist literature, saying much with few words. May 2015-January 2018. Season 2: Book Pairings. One reader's journey, two books at a time. Starts February 2, 2018.
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No Extra Words one person's search for story






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Mar 5, 2019

Today's Book Recommendation You Didn't Ask For is

Walking on Water by Madeleine L'Engle


Other books discussed today:

Ronit & Jamil by Pamela L. Laskin

No One Ever Asked by Katie Ganshert

Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

The Soul of Baseball: a road trip through Buck O'Neil's America by Joe Posanski

Called to Create by Jordan Raynor


My #theunreadshelfproject2019 picks (that I know about now):

February: Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake by Anna Quindlen

March On Writing: a memoir of the craft by Stephen King

April What is Poetry? the essential guide to reading and writing poems by Michael Rosen

May The Enchanted Places by Christopher Milne

June Imagined London by Anna Quindlen

July something from the Virago/Beacon Travelers series

October You Can't Win by Jack Black


Find #theundreadshelfproject2019 at

Feb 25, 2019

New style for a new phase of the show! Featuring a recap of nErDCamp Bellingham 2019 and today's Book Recommendation You Didn't Ask For: Goin' Someplace Special by Patricia McKissack.

Dec 23, 2018

Join the conversation on Instagramand Goodreads!

Today's books on the Advent theme of "Love" are:

Christmas in America by Nancy S. Grant. Crescent Books, 1991.

The Latke Who Couldn't Stop Screaming: a Christmas Story by Lemony Snicket, illustrated by Lisa Brown. McSweeney's Books, 2007.

Mince Pie and Mistletoe by Phyllis McKinley, illustrated by Harold Berson. J.B. Lippincott Company, 1959.

Come Let Us Adore Him by Robert J. Morgan. Thomas Nelson, 2005.

The Biggest, Most Beautiful Christmas Tree by Amye Rosenberg. Western Publishing Company, Inc., 1985.

The Twenty-four Days Before Christmas: an Austin family story by Madeline L'Engle, illustrated by Joe DeVelasco. Harold Shaw Publishers, 1984.


Dec 18, 2018

Join the book conversation over on Instagramand Goodreads!

Today's books on the Advent theme "Joy" are: 

It's Christmas, David! by David Shannon. The Blue Sky Press, 2010.

Merry Christmas Mom and Dad by Mercer Mayer. Western Publishing Company, Inc., 1993.

The Night Before Christmas by Clement C. Moore, illustrated by Janet Samuel. WorthyKids/Ideals, 2011.

The Littlest Angel by Charles Tazewell, illustrated by Sergio Leone. Watertower Books, 1962.

A Child is Born by Margaret Wise Brown, illustrated by Floyd Cooper. Jump at the Sun Hyperion Books for Children, 2003.

Merry Christmas, Big Hungry Bear! by Don and Audrey Wood. The Blue Sky Press, 2003.

Dec 10, 2018

The conversation continues on Goodreads and Instagram!

Today's books on the Christmas theme of peace are:

Santa Clauses: short poems from the North Pole by Bob Raczka, illustrated by Chuck Groenink. Carolrhoda Books, 2014.

Winter Lights: a season in poems and quilts by Anna Grossnickle Hines. Greenwillow Books, 2005.

Amazing Peace: a Christmas Poem by Maya Angelou. Random House, 2005.

A Different Kind of Christmas by Alex Haley. Doubleday, 1988.

The Christmas Day Kitten by James Herriot, illustrated by Ruth Brown. St. Martins Press, 1986.

Refuge by Anne Booth, illustrated by Sam Usher. Little Brown Books for Young Readers, 2015.


Dec 3, 2018

Today's books:

The Father Christmas Letters by J.R.R. Tolkien. George Allen & Unwin, 1976.

Santa's Crash-Bang Christmas by Steven Kroll, illustrated by Tomie DePaola. Xerox Education Publications, 1977.

Frosty the Snow Man retold by Annie North Bedford, illustrated by Corinne Malvern. Western Publishing, Inc., 1977 (28th Printing.)

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer by Barbara Shook Hazen, illustrated by Richard Scarry. Western Publishing, Inc., 1976.

Santa's Toy Shop, adapted by Al Dempster, illustrations by the Walt Disney Studio. Western Publishing, Inc., 1980 (22nd Printing.)

The Polar Express, written and illustrated by Chris van Allsburg. Houghton Mifflin Company, 1985.

Other Notes:

Hay-on-Wye, Wales's City of Books


Sep 30, 2018

Today's books are:

The Baby-Sitters Club (series) by Ann M. Martin. Scholastic, 1986-2000

Boy Meets Boy by David Levithan. Knopf Books for Young Readers, 2003.

Other books mentioned on today's episode:

Harry: a history by Melissa Anelli. Penguin Group, 2008.

Dear Genius: the letters of Ursula Nordstrom, edited by Leonard S. Marcus. HarperCollins, 2000. (my apologies for my mistake in the episode. Ursula Nordstrom was with Harper & Row, not Random House.)

I'll Get There. It Better be Worth the Trip by John Donovan. Harper & Row, 1969.

Annie on My Mind by Nancy Garden. Farrar Straus Giroux, 1982.

Geography Club by Brent Hartinger. HarperCollins, 2003.

Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan. Dutton Books, 2010.

Other Things Discussed Today:

Scholastic Book Orders

The Baby-Sitters Club Movie

Ann M. Martin

"The Gay YA" book recommendations website

Banned Books Week

Baby-Sitters Graphic Novels

Raina Telgemeier

The Bechdel Test

The Baby-Sitters Club Club Podcast

Please Find Me on Social Media!






Aug 8, 2018

Today's books are:

Rilla of Ingleside by L.M. Montgomery. McClelland and Stewart, 1921.

The Summer Before the War by Helen Simonson. Random House, 2016.

Other things discussed today:

Hardcore History podcast

The War Poets at Westminster Abbey

John McRae

The text of "The Piper" from The Blythes are Quoted


Jul 25, 2018

Today's books are:

Anne's House of Dreams by L.M. Montgomery. McClelland, Goodchild, and Stewart, 1917.

Betsy's Wedding by Maud Hart Lovelace. Thomas Y Crowell Co., 1955.

Other things discussed today:

Episode 112, when we first talked about Betsy

A list of the Betsy books

The "Anne With an E" TV series.

The 1980s Kevin Sullivan Anne miniseries

Nancy Pearl, rock star librarian

Tammy Duckworth and her newborn daughter in the U.S. Senate

Jul 11, 2018

Today's books are:

Anne of the Island by L.M. Montgomery. L.C. Page & Co., 1915.

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. Roberts Brothers, 1868-1869.

Other things discussed today:

#12daysofannestagram on Instagram

ProposalGate! Who copied who? Here's a blog post on the topic or skip right to the video (bad quality.)

Louisa May Alcott as covered by The History Chicks

Some wild speculation on the men in Louisa May Alcott's life.

Tune in next episode for Anne's House of Dreams with Betsy's Wedding by Maude Hart Lovelace.

Jun 26, 2018

Today's books are:

Anne of Avonlea by L.M. Montgomery. L.C. Page & Company, 1909.

What Looks Like Crazy on an Ordinary Day by Pearl Cleage. Avon Books, Inc., 1997.

Other things discussed today:


The history of Oprah's book club.

Camp Nanowrimo

Jun 12, 2018

Today's books are:

Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery. L.C. Page & Company, 1908

Emily of New Moon by L.M. Montgomery. Frederick A. Stokes, 1923.

Other things discussed today:


Instagram accounts @carrottoppapershop and @thebooksellersdaughter

The History Chicks episode on L.M. Montgomery

Anne movies: the 1919 silent film, the 1934 film (yes, that actress did change her name to "Anne Shirley" for the role, and the 1985 miniseries.

The Anne of Green Gables musical.

The newest graphic novel version.

The new TV series "Anne With an E"

The TV series "Road to Avonlea"

Is Emily in the public domain? It was published in 1923. If you can decipher this chart to tell, you're smarter than I am.

"The Alpine Path" and the poem that inspired both L.M. Montgomery and Emily.


Jun 6, 2018

A special episode in which I tell you the story of a guy named Dewey (or sometimes Dui,) some numbers, and the democratization of American libraries.

Here's an overview of all the categories and call numbers.

See you soon for the first of our Anne of Green Gables summer series. In the meantime, are you following the #12DaysofAnnestagram? You should be, because it is delicious...

May 29, 2018

Today's books are:

"B" is for Betsy by Carolyn Haywood. Harcourt, Brace, & Co., 1939.

Betsy-Tacy by Maud Hart Lovelace. HarperCollins, 1940.

Blog posts about Carolyn Haywood from the Free Library of Philadelphia:

Part 1

Part 2

Complete list of Betsy-Tacy books with synopses

Thank you for being here for this our 3rd anniversary episode.

Find our first anniversary episode here.

And our second anniversary episode here.

May 25, 2018

Watch the full 2 hour PBS launch special here.

Check out the full list of nominees.

Find me on Goodreads and join the conversation.

May 16, 2018

Today's books are:

The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats. Viking, 1962.

A Poem for Peter by Andrea Davis Pinkney. Viking, 2016.

Other things discussed in this episode:

Ezra Jack Keats's former collaborator talks about him.

Andrea Davis Pinkney's website.

Apr 27, 2018

Today's books are:

Gertrude is Gertrude is Gertrude is Gertrude by Jonah Winter. Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2009. (not pictured)

A River of Words: the story of William Carlos Williams by Jen Bryant. Eerdmans Books for Young Readers, 2008.

Pablo Neruda: poet of the people by Monica Brown. Henry Holt and Company, 2011.

Other links and notes from the show:

Some notes on the current Golden Age of Picture Books 


Horn Book's history of the picture book biography. 

The Sibert Medal, given by ALSC, awarding informational writing for children.

Booklist interview with Jonah Winter, in which he talks about the similarities between picture books and poetry

Jonah Winter's website

How to read Gertrude Stein from Boston University

Full text of "Sacred Emily" by Gertrude Stein.


Apr 20, 2018

Today's books are:

Hip Hop Speaks to Children: a celebration of poetry with a beat, edited by Nikki Giovanni. Sourcebooks, Inc., 2008

Out of Wonder: poems celebrating poets by Kwame Alexander. Candlewick Press, 2017.

Links to some of the things we talked about today: on National Poetry Month

Last year's Poetry Month conversation with poet Kelly Russell Agodon on No Extra Words

Poet James Berry, who was featured in Hip Hop Speaks to Children

Tupac as most profane hip hop artist

The Atlantic on what is a poem

NPR conversation on Out of Wonder


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