Category: Blogging

Oct 10

Raise a Glass to Blog Friends

BEA 2016, Blogging, Friendship, Personal 11

Happy Monday, Bookworms!

I trust you all had excellent weekends. I know I did. ADVENTURE was in the air. I drove up to the Chicago Suburbs to attend a little BEA buddies reunion with three of my favorite ladies- Julie, Marisa, and Stacey. Since I live in the middle of Illinois (more or less) this shindig necessitated a bit of a road trip, which necessitated an audio book, which is easily the biggest perk of the solo road trip. Don’t worry, I’ll fill you in on the audio book when I finish it. But let’s talk about the main event, shall we?


Photo Credit: Hubs of Julie AKA Shortman, AKA “Mr. Internet Anonymous”. Thank you so very much for being an excellent sport as we invaded your home.

FIRST: Julie’s house is impossibly bookish. She’s got a room dedicated to non fiction that makes me want to sip scotch and binge read F. Scott Fitzgerald. But she’s also got AN ACTUAL FREAKING LIBRARY. And her guest room is dedicated to Alice in Wonderland which is the epitome of whimsy. Of course, should I ever stay the night, I’ve already called dibs on sleeping in the bathtub in the Harry Potter bathroom. THAT IS A THING AND IT IS GLORIOUS! (If you click on those links you can creep on pics of Julie’s house via her blog posts. You won’t be sorry.)

SECOND: Julie makes delicious cocktails that do not taste alcoholic. It was fine because, you know, it was mid afternoon and I am a responsible adult, but I could have drained that punch bowl. Which ALSO would have been fine, probably, seeing as I already plan to sleep in the bathroom should I stay the night. Next time, perhaps.

THIRD: Stacey recently took a trip to Iceland. ICELAND! And she came back raving about how great skyr is, which caused me to demand that she read Burial Rites immediately, and then read an old post of mine in which I connected books based on yogurt. It was a weird and glorious time.

FOURTH: During BEA, Marisa had been talking about wanting to get back into teaching, and SHE DID! She’s now changing lives and molding minds. I’m exhausted just thinking about it. She’s a good egg, that one.

FIFTH: There is a limit to how often one should mention Lin-Manuel Miranda in casual conversation, and I exceeded it. Also, I shouldn’t rap. Ever.

SIXTH: Apparently I’ve been remiss in not yet having tackled Amor Towles’s A Gentleman in Moscow.

SEVENTH: I almost cried laughing when we discussed David Bowie’s costume in Labyrinth. It’s entirely Julie’s fault, though, because she is a TERRIBLE INFLUENCE. In the best way, of course.

As you can tell from the highlight reel, I had a blast hanging out with these ladies. I mean, I have people in my day to day life with whom I can discuss books and things, but there’s something magical about hanging out with book bloggers. There’s just this warm fuzzy feeling of knowing THESE ARE MY PEOPLE. Sigh. What a wonderful day. Huge thanks to Julie for hosting. Let’s do it again soon! 

*If you make a purchase through a link on this site, I will receive a small commission.*




Aug 12

4 Year Blogiversary?!

Blogging 30

Holy Smokes, Bookworms!

I have been writing this blog for FOUR YEARS. Like, an entirely different Summer Olympics was happening when this all began. I am more than halfway through an entirely new set of skin! (I think that’s how skin works, right? It cycles every 7 years? At least that’s what I remember from a Murphy Brown episode where she was dating a younger man…)

So hey. Thanks. Thank you for being my internet friends for 4 years. Thanks for reading the things I have to say and leaving comments and expanding my reading world. Y’all are the best. The traditional 4 year anniversary gifts are fruit, flowers, or appliances, and since all of those seem weird and inappropriate, I’m just going to give you all a big fat internet hug and a penguin gif full of love.



Feb 19

BBAW: Fighting Blogger Burnout (Revised)

Blogging, Book Blogger Appreciation Week 51

Happy Friday, Bookworms!

We’ve reached the end of Book Blogger Appreciation Week *tear*. Our final topic is Fighting Blogger Burnout, which is something that every blogger I know has struggled with at one time or another. I am prone to existential crises, so periodically I get a case of the “does anybody even read my blog”s and “I am never going to get blog famous why do I even bother?”s and “this blogger is so intense- I am much too lazy that is probably why nobody reads my blog”s. It’s like having a case of the Mondays, only weirdly specific.


I’ve rewritten this particular blog post four different times because I kept going off topic or whining or just vomiting words all over the place. I’m going to try to distill my thoughts into a highlight reel. This is the sort of stuff I try to remember when it all feels like too much and that I suck at everything ever. And if you’re feeling lazy and don’t want to read it, it boils down to Amy Poehler’s brilliant mantra “Good for you. Not for me.”

  1. You do NOT have to read every buzz book and award winner. It’s OKAY just to read what you want.
  2. It’s okay not to LIKE every buzz book and award winner. I have a horrendous track record with Pulitzer Prize winners.
  3. You do NOT have to accept for a review a book that sounds boring. If it doesn’t sound like your thing, pass. If you’re too busy, pass. If they’re offering you an unholy sum of money probably pass too, because that is not a thing that happens and you’ll probably end up having your identity stolen.
  4. Just because some bloggers offer insightful political and social commentary doesn’t mean you have to. If you don’t feel up to the inevitable debate, it’s okay to opt out of it. If you’d rather absorb things, learn quietly, and form thoughtful opinions in the privacy of your own head, that’s fine too. (That said, if you HAVE THINGS TO SAY, then SAY THEM, by all means!)
  5. It’s okay if you don’t totally know what you want out of blogging. (Don’t let Ryan Gosling tell you otherwise.)
  6. goslingIf whatever you’re doing makes you miserable, it’s probably not worth it. If you really hate a book, put it down. If you need a break from the blogosphere, take it.
  7. Avoid the comparison trap. Nothing good ever came from constantly comparing yourself to other people. You have no idea what goes on behind their scenes. You only see what they choose to present to the world.
  8. Embrace the friendships you make in blogging. Your blog friends will probably relate to your struggles and can help you out of the inevitable slump.
  9. Even though the friendships you make on the internet are real, the negativity doesn’t have to be. Do you even KNOW the person behind that tweet or comment? Will you EVER have to avoid eye contact with them in the grocery store? The real world is a thing too. Remember that. Live in it.
  10. Have a little fun. Blogging doesn’t have to be a serious business full of how-to lists. Being serious all the time is really, really boring. Own your quirks. Do what you like. Take selfies in penguin sweaters. You’re more interesting that you think.

That’s right, kids. Until you fully mature into the superpowers I have no doubt you will someday develop (and I REALLY hope mine will be teleportation!) just admit you’re not a superhero. When you hit the blog wall, remember my sage wisdom… Or don’t. I mean, I just told you to ignore how-to lists and do you own thing, so who am I to judge? Just… Be kind to yourself.

Now come on in, here, Bookworms. Give me a big old weird internet group hug. There’s room. Squeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeze! Any whispers of insight you’d like to share are welcomed.



Dec 01

Jibber Jabber

Blogging, Holidays, Personal 15

Well Hello Bookworms!

And just like that it was CHRISTMASTIME! Holy macaroni. I hope all of you in the US had a delicious Thanksgiving and that everyone not in the US had an opportunity to eat too much and nap this weekend. I’m still trying to get my brain back in the game post holiday weekend stupor, so I hope you’ll forgive me as I jibber jabber for a bit.Christmas Katoo

1. I’m closing my PO Box. I opened it because I thought it would be a bad idea to give out my address to strangers (it still is) with regard to blogging things. That said, I never did get famous enough for legit strangers (let alone stalker types) to send me anything. Plus, most publishers refuse to send books to PO Boxes, so it’s just a giant waste of money. If you desperately need to send me snail mail for some reason, email me and we’ll chat. 99% of you I consider actual friends anyway, so yeah.

2. The final installment of The Lunar Chronicles (everyone’s favorite fractured fairy tale series) was recently released, and I totally read it. However. I feel like I should talk about Fairest before I talk about Winter because I never discussed it. Since Fairest is technically a Lunar Chronicles prequel and fairly short, it didn’t seem to warrant a full review. Suffice it to say that despite my best efforts I found myself feeling sorry for Levana. I like a well rounded villain and all, but I didn’t want to feel sorry for the woman. She was so eeeeeeevil. Girl lost her shiz (for REASONS) BUT she easily could have made better choices. GET IT TOGETHER, MOON QUEEN. Gah!

3. I’ve been doing a ton of my holiday shopping online. I don’t know why it’s taken me so long to shop almost entirely online… I do like to peruse brick and mortar stores and find the perfect thing by chance, but I have a LOT of people to shop for and it gets pretty stressful. Sorry, serendipity, pragmatism wins the day.

4. If Hallmark holiday movies are to be believed, Europe is positively littered with tiny countries whose monarchies are teeming with extraordinarily attractive, unattached, and rebellious heirs. I get that the Cinderella story is appealing and all, but… Ah well. I’m pleased that Lacey Chabert has found a vehicle to showcase her talents at least. Not that I’ve been watching Hallmark holiday movies or anything…

5. As you know, the minute the clocks turn back, the only thing I want to do is eat and sleep, leading me to the obvious conclusion that I am part bear. Naturally, Thanksgiving is the best holiday for those similarly afflicted, as all one is expected (nay, encouraged!) to do is eat mass quantities and nap.

6. I say “y’all” in my writing constantly in spite of the fact that I NEVER say it in real life. Midwestern folk like myself tend to use phrases like “you guys” instead, but it lacks a certain cache in print… I’m a fraud.

Talk to me, Bookworms! Have y’all started your holiday shopping? Are you in-person shoppers or online types?

*If you make a purchase through a link on this site- like, say, you want to do some holiday shopping and just happen to do to Amazon via the little search bar on the right?- I will receive a small commission.*


Sep 15

Excuses, Excuses: Top Ten Tuesday

Blogging, Personal, Top Ten Tuesday 39

Howdy Bookworms,

It’s been a while since I’ve made a Top Ten List for the Broke and the Bookish. This week’s prompt is a freebie so I’m going to tell y’all a little about WHY I have been such a terrible blogger lately. I haven’t been keeping up with anyone else’s blog, I’ve barely been keeping up with writing mine, and I figure you all deserve to know the reasons. Even if they’re terrible reasons.

  1. I’m extremely lazy. Sometimes I’d rather lie on the couch in a semi-comatose state and watch terrible television than read or blog.
  2. Adult coloring. It’s super fun, and when I think “I should treat myself to not blogging” it usually ends in me coloring for hours and hours during blogging time. It’s addictive.
  3. I’ve been pretty bummed out. For reasons. Of course, those reasons seem worse thanks to crappy brain chemistry. In any case, I keep cutting myself slack when I don’t feel like doing anything, which is a bad idea because doing nothing always makes me feel much worse. R&R is apparently not the cure for what ails me. (Seriously, don’t worry. This too shall pass.)
  4. I’ve been exercising a lot. It’s is a good and healthy thing to do, especially for the chronic mopeys. However, by the time I get home from work and the gym and shower and eat it’s kind of late. Then coloring happens.
  5. Hair bows. My Sister-in-Law and Brother-in-Law just had a baby girl. I was feeling crafty, and now I’m obsessed with Pinterest and ribbons and hot glue. I don’t even know myself anymore. Crafting? ME?!
  6. YouTube. My husband has become obsessed with watching The Tim Tracker. They’re a husband and wife daily vlogging team who live in Orlando. They go to theme parks a ton which we love because Disney World and Universal are made of magic. They also have two really cute dogs and have somehow managed to make dull daily chores entertaining. Plus, Tim has the jauntiest mustache in the history of ever. They’re like imaginary friends, who are real, only we don’t know them and they have no idea we exist. Hi Tim and Jenn! We love you in the least creepy way!
  7. Work. It’s busy there.

That’s it, you only get 7 excuses. Par for the course, really. At least you know what I’ve been doing while being a half-assed blogger. Sorry, y’all. You deserve better. I’ll try harder, really I will.

Tell me something, bookworms. What’s the best excuse you’ve ever used for being unproductive? 


Aug 12

Three Year Blogiversary Giveaway!

Blogging, Giveaways 43

Holy Smokes, Bookworms!

It’s been THREE YEARS since I started Words for Worms. THREE YEARS! They’ve been years full of books, reviews, and zillions of weird lists. Also penguins. Oh my gosh I love this corner of the internet so so so so so much! To thank all of you awesome readers I’m going to do a giveaway so you can win cool stuff. I thought about compiling a box of weird fun things (socks with donuts on them, random excellent books, miscellaneous weirdness) but I realized that would discourage international readers because shipping miscellaneous weirdness overseas is very expensive. So. I’m going to give the winner an option. They can choose $25 to spend at Amazon (or other book retailer of winner’s choice because I am sensitive to the fact that not everyone is on board with Amazon) OR if the winner is a US resident and decides they want a box of crazy, I will compile something exceptionally fun and SURPRISE-Y for the winner worth at least $25. (I tend to go overboard with oddball merch if that influences your decision.) So, enter below. And thank you for three fun and fabulous years. High five!


a Rafflecopter giveaway




May 28

My Dysfunctional Relationship With Social Media

Blogging 52

Good Day, Bookworms!

It’s still Armchair BEA time and today we’re talking about social media. I have FEELINGS on the subject. Firstly, I am BEYOND grateful that I grew up before Facebook because having a record of every stupid thing I did or said while I was busy being a tween/teen would be highly upsetting. I’ve made enough faux pas in the social media world as a grown-ass woman. Sheesh. From a blogging perspective, I am pretty awful at social media. I thought I’d give you a glimpse of my social media profiles in case you have no desire to ever look at them. Behold!


Twitter: It’s complicated. Like, if Twitter and I were dating, I’d be the mixed signal sending ex. Twitter and I will have a mind-blowing weekend of 140 character glory and then I won’t call. For weeks. Poor Twitter subsists on auto tweeted fluff until I get bored and decide to take it out for a spin again. I’m such a jerk, Twitter. I’m sorry. Not sorry enough to change my behavior, but sorry. Ish.

Instagram: Hey look! A selfie! Virtually all I ever post are selfies, and a shocking number of them are of my headless (fully clothed) torso. I don’t have easy access to a full length mirror in a room with good lighting, so any shots of cute outfits or accessories tend to be of, well, my boobs. Eh.

Facebook: I’m not talking about my personal page here, because lord knows I’m all up in that mug, but my blog page? Facebook made it nearly impossible for anybody who likes my blog page to actually see anything. I’ll put something up when I have a new blog post, but I’ve stopped bothering with anything else. Who even cares? Nobody sees it!

Pinterest: I don’t get it. I mean, I get it if you’re super crafty or like to cook or create amazing things, but I am not one of those people. On the rare occasion I do something crafty, I check out what Pinterest has to offer but I do virtually nothing blog-wise with it. Because I don’t get it, I’ve decided that Pinterest is responsible for all the world’s ills. Bento boxes and extravagently themed birthday parties were sent by aliens to destroy the planet. I’m cool with diaper cakes, though, because that is the only craft I can pull off with aplomb.

Goodreads: I literally only use this to track the books I’ve read. Seriously. I do absolutely nothing else on Goodreads. My star ratings are completely arbitrary and mean nothing. I’m the worst.

Talk to me Bookworms. What are your favorite social media platforms? Any bloggers out there using these things successfully? 


May 22

Flattered and Flummoxed: How I Became a Resource

Blogging, Personal, Uncategorized 20

Hidey Ho, Bookworms.

By some internet witchery, it seems I have become an expert resource on all essay questions regarding Lois Lowry’s The Giver Quartet as well as an opponent of book banning worthy of quotation. My search terms recently have included an awful lot of “what is the symbolism of XYZ in The Giver/Gathering Blue/Messenger/Son” and “why was XYZ book banned?” I can only assume these searches are being performed by students, because I’ve yet to meet another casual reader who is overly concerned with the underlying themes of middle-grade novels, though, in fairness, I’ve been known to google the reasons for book banning. Sometimes they’re hilarious. People are weird.

I’m both flattered and flummoxed. I’m stoked to think that my blog has managed to gain so much traction as to come up in searches like this, but I have some concerns. First, it seems to me that kids who are googling essay questions are kids who haven’t read the book. I’m having serious guilt over the idea that I might be helping some kid out there skate out of doing their reading. It’s the stuff of nightmares, I assure you. Kids, if you’re reading this, READ THE BOOK. Especially if it’s anything written by Lois Lowry. She’s awesome. (If it’s Moby Dick, you have my permission to use Cliff’s Notes. Shhhh, don’t tell you mom. Or your teacher.)


A few months ago, I got an email from a student asking my permission to quote my blog in a research paper regarding banned books. I suppose an opinion piece is simply that, opinion, so it’s not entirely necessary to have credentials to be quoted, but it all seems so weird to me! When I was a wee one writing research papers (particularly in middle school and high school) the internet wasn’t typically an accepted resource. I was expected to sift through encyclopedias and scholarly journals. Made of paper! You know, stuff written by PHD’s, not random weirdos. I have zero credentials that qualify me to write literary criticism. None! I’ve only got a Bachelor’s degree, and it sure as heck isn’t in English Literature. I’m literate and enthusiastic. That’s it. And yet. I’m now a source! This is some Twilight Zone level weirdness, y’all. I can’t even.

What do you think, Bookworms? Has my blog turned into a cheat sheet helping kids ditch their reading, or am I just THAT awesome? (Don’t answer that honestly. I probably can’t handle the truth.)

*If you make a purchase through a link on this site, I will receive a small commission. Since I’m an expert and all, I’ll use the proceeds to buy more books. Because that’s not what I already do with all my proceeds or anything. Wait…*



Mar 27

It Ain’t Easy (Not) Being Green: A Day In the Life

Blogging, Personal 54

Top O’ the Morning to You Bookworms!

One of my favorite bloggers, Trish of Love, Laughter, and a Touch of Insanity, announced an event recently encouraging bloggers to document a day in their lives. It’s an opportunity for book bloggers to show that there’s more to us than just reading. How much more, I can’t really say, but definitely a little bit more. Like, I don’t know, 11% more. Or something. Lucky for y’all, I decided to document St. Patrick’s Day, and it turned out to be the most eventful ordinary day I’ve had in a good long time. Are you ready?!


7:18 am: Woke up after 2 dalliances with snooze button.

7:27 am: Got in shower. I may or may not have fallen asleep on the toilet. Judge lest not ye be judged!

7:45 am: Left for work.

7:47 am: Realized it was St. Patrick’s Day and I had forgotten to wear green. Seriously, Katie? Your last name is Kelly! What kind of an impostor Irish woman are you?

8:16 am: Arrived at work.

8:20 am: I was shamed by co-worker for lack of green. I deserved it.

9:01 am: I drank some #ToffeeCoffee (ie, coffee with Heath flavored creamer, which is my current obsession. Mostly because it rhymes and I made a fun hashtag.)

9:58 am: Compared new art in boss’s office to the Eye of Horus. Had to explain to boss that I had Egypt on the brain thanks to having just finished reading Cleopatra: A Life by Stacy Schiff (review). It could be worse. I could be my husband who refers to the AT&T building in Nashville as “The Eye of Sauron.” (I think Sauron might be somehow responsible for the God awful traffic we were stuck in for 2 hours when we drove through last time. Boo.)

Okay, he may have a point. (Image Source)

Okay, he may have a point. (Image Source)

11:00 am: I ate some butter toffee flavored almonds because I am all about the toffee and protein-rich snacks that curb the desire to gnaw off my own arm. I basically want to eat everything all the time. I’m still in winter mode where I become bearlike and want to do nothing more than eat all the things and hibernate.

12:05 pm: Left to pick up co-worker/pal/mother-of-dragons (Kathy) for lunch date from other office location. (Kidding, not mother of dragons. I mean, unless you think dragons RULE, which I kind of do. Her kidlets own my heart. #CrazyAuntKatie loves you!)

12:20 pm: Had lunch with Kathy at Noodles & Company because we both had coupons for free lunch. Holla! It’s the perk of the two of us both having March birthdays. I ate the Med Salad with Chicken, obvi. I simply cannot get enough olives and feta in my life. ALL THE SALTY!

12:50 pm: Stopped at Target so Kathy could pick up diaper rash ointment for my goddaughter’s tushie. While there, I purchased a cheap green scarf to allay my St. Pat’s guilt. I also bought a small bag of Cadbury Mini Eggs because I am a bear and those things are friggin delicious.

1:05 pm: Returned Kathy to her office. Visited Office Beagle. I’ve been missing him terribly since I moved into the new building. Just look at that face!


2:36 pm: Vending machine maintenance guy came for repair. He sought me out and bought me a soda because he saw the email I sent to my boss explaining the broken machine (and the fact that the Diet Dr. Pepper was taunting me.) I can only assume he found my personification of soda amusing enough to warrant a freebie.

6:00 pm: Worked a bit late as I took a long lunch to visit Office Beagle. Changed for gym.

6:35 pm: Went to Body Combat class. Punching and kicking the air for an hour makes me feel like a badass. I know I would never get into a fight, let alone win one, but it’s excellent cardio and fools me into feeling powerful for an hour. Plus, it feels AWESOME to fake punch and kick things. Sometimes I imagine I am beating up annoying fictional characters…

7:35 pm: Left gym a sweaty, stinking mess. I sweat more than normal, dainty ladies. It’s pretty gross.

7:50 pm: Arrived home a sweaty, stinking mess. Talked to hubs, who was gentlemanly enough (for once) not to mention the stench.

8:00 pm: Shower. Because I am a SWEATY, STINKING MESS. Sing “I Can’t Get Next to You” in the shower loudly and badly. The Temptations, you guys. This song makes me way too happy.

8:30 pm: Microwaved Steamfresh noodles and veggies for dinner. I was way too lazy to cook actual food at this point.

9:00 pm: Blogged while drinking a hard cider and watching bad television.

10:00 pm: Went to bed. Read Hausfrau until eyelids were good and droopy.

11:15 pm: ZZZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzZZZZZZZ… (Sorry. I snore. Part of the whole being a bear thing, I think.)

Nary a green beer to be found this year, I’m afraid. That’s what happens when you’re old and boring, I guess. My day-to-day life is pretty much like this, only a bit less interesting. And you wonder why I read so much. Living vicariously is the best.

What do your days look like, Bookworms? I don’t need minute by minute assessments, but I must admit I’m terribly curious. Fill me in!

*If you make a purchase through a link on this site, I will receive a small commission. If any of those purchases are Cadbury Mini Eggs, I expect you to share with me.*


Mar 13

It’s An Honor Just to be Nominated…

Blogging 39

Greetings Bookworms,

I’m bursting with excitement, y’all. While I was away on vacation, I was notified that I am a FINALIST in this year’s Annual Weblog Awards. That’s right, kids, Words for Worms is up for Best Book Weblog! I am completely honored (and a little flabbergasted) by the nomination. I’m in a category with some really fantastic blogs (Book Riot, The Novel Life, My Little Book Blog, and Coffee and a Book Chick) but I sure would appreciate your vote if you happen to enjoy my corner of the internet.

bloggienomineeIf you click riiiiight HERE you can go to cast your ballot. And while you’re there, I’ve got some pals who are nominated as well who’d be tickled pink if you’d check out their offerings! Pocketful of Joules is nominated for Best Kept Secret Weblog, That Ash Girl is up for Best Canadian Weblog, It’s a Dome Life is nominated for Best Art, Craft, or Design Weblog,  and Quirky Chrissy is up for Best-Designed Weblog. It is an honor just to be nominated, but as Amy Poehler says, I WANT THE PUDDING!

Thank you my darling Bookworms! You make this crazy blog journey worthwhile. I love each and every one of your brilliantly nerdy brains!