bookish posts

Anniversary Guest Post: Katy Kramp from A Library Mama

Believe it or not, May marks 12 years since I started blogging here at By Singing Light! To mark the occasion, I asked a couple of friends to write a guest post for me about their favorite reads from 2006. The first one is Katy Kramp, who blogs at A Library Mama and is a pretty good egg. Enjoy her post!

It’s a tricky thing, tracking the history of a friendship, especially one that’s taken place almost entirely online.  I know that I know Maureen through book blogging; I don’t remember when I started following her blog, though I know that I was attracted by her also loving Tam Lin by Pamela Dean.  The first mention of Maureen on my blog is from 2014 , when I went to her city of residence for the Public Library Association Conference and met up with her for dinner.   I’ve lost count of how many books I’ve read on her recommendation at this point, and know that if she likes a book, I probably will, too (even if I haven’t yet worked up the courage to read Code Name Verity.)  You can read her guest post for my blog here:

In celebration of Maureen’s twelfth year of blogging, here are the fiction books I blogged about in 2006 that I still remember with fondness.


Bloody Jack  by L.A. Meyer. Read by Katherine Kellgren (teen) – This is the story of a young British street orphan who disguises herself as a boy and joins the Navy to escape a life of prostitution. There’s some sharp social commentary here, as well as a rollicking adventure.  The series carried on until L.A. Meyer’s death, with Jacky having increasingly far-flung and improbable adventures, meeting famous people and pretty boys all around the world. This was also the book that turned my love and I on to astonishing and tragically also recently deceased narrator Katherine Kellgren.  Her vocal range is on full display here, with accents from all over Britain and America, as well as folk songs sung with their proper tunes in different character’s voices. My love and I are both excited that our son, now a teen, is old enough to start listening to the series with us.


For Camelot’s Honor  by Sarah Zettel (adult) – This is the second of Zettel’s Paths to Camelot series, where Zettel very loosely reworks older Arthurian stories into a cohesive tale of the battle for Camelot in four books, each with a different heroine and the developing relationship with a different one of Arthur’s nephews.  This book stars Elen, the daughter of a Welsh king, and Sir Geraint. Although written for Harlequin’s Luna imprint, romance isn’t generally Zettel’s focus, so even though there is a developing relationship in each book, politics, character, and world building far outweigh the sexytimes here.  This is another series I’m due to reread.


The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall (middle grade) – Few and far between are the realistic fiction series that I keep up with, but I fell in love with the Penderwicks and their modern take on the old-fashioned large family adventure on the first reading.  In this book, four sisters, their father, and their pets travel to the summer house they’ve always rented, where they befriend a Boy, much to his mother’s disgust. I hear that the Penderwicks at Last, coming out this May, is the last in the series – but I can always hope they’re wrong.


His Majesty’s Dragon: a Novel of Temeraire  by Naomi Novik (adult) – It’s more British Navy at the height of its power, but with dragons. Really, how much more do you need to know?  I admit that I lost track of the series after about book 5, but those books have earned a place on our shelves at home. I still keep track of Novik’s writing and am very much looking forward to her new book, Spinning Silver, coming out this July.


Tintenherz by Cornelia Funke (middle grade) – 2006 was the year that a friend travelling to Germany for business was kind enough to bring me back the original version of Inkheart, which I’d read in translation.  My son was still small enough to be in my arms most of the time I was reading, and it turns out that this book has some pretty juicy vocabulary, enough to be challenging for my 10-years-out-of-Germany brain, especially since I didn’t have a free hand for a dictionary.  Funke, though, writes fantasy that’s darker and richer than a lot of middle grade fantasy. In this book, Meggie learns that her father has the power to read books to life when he reads the villain of the fantasy book they’re reading into their world. Her adventures cross back and forth between the real world and the book world.   Though Funke has written many other books, this is still my favorite of her novels. I’ve read it twice in English now, as well as the once in German, and look forward to listening to the audiobook again when my daughter is a bit older.


Thank you for the space, Maureen, and here’s to many more happy years of reading and blogging friendship!

Hooray! Thank you for sharing your favorites, Katy!

By Maureen LaFerney

My name is Maureen. I currently work as a library assistant in a public library in the Indianapolis area, and also just so happen to be a voracious reader. I frequently end up under a cat.

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