The Writing’s On The Wall: Summer Lovin’

The Writing’s On The Wall is a regular feature on Pop! Goes The Reader in which I create desktop wallpapers inspired by some of my favourite novels, authors, and literary quotes.

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I would like to say a big ‘thank you’ to Darumo Shop and Tasiania whose clipart and/or fonts I purchased, edited and used in the creation of this wallpaper!

Now it’s your turn! What would you like to see made into a desktop wallpaper next? Let me know in the comments – I would love to hear from you!

Between The Lines with Kaitlyn Sage Patterson

Between The Lines is a sporadic feature on Pop! Goes The Reader in which authors and other industry professionals provide further insight into the writing and publishing process in the form of interviews, guest posts, etc. So, sit back, relax, and enjoy as we read between the lines.

Hi everyone! We’re doing something a little different for today’s Between The Lines feature here on Pop! Goes The Reader and I couldn’t be more excited! A couple of weeks ago, HarlequinTEEN revealed the cover of the first book in debut author Kaitlyn Sage Patterson’s untitled duology, The Diminished. To celebrate this exciting milestone and the book’s upcoming publication on April 10th 2018, Kaitlyn approached me with a fun idea for a guest post and I’m so thrilled I finally have an opportunity to share it with you. The Diminished is set in a world where nearly everyone is born with a twin and few are forced to navigate the world alone. With this in mind, Kaitlyn recently sat down with her best friend, Thalia Beaty, who is both a journalist and a twin, for a fascinating interview about The Diminished, dinner parties and much, much more!

About Kaitlyn Sage Patterson

Kaitlyn Sage Patterson grew up with her nose in a book outside the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. After completing her M.F.A., she moved to South Korea, where she taught English and started writing her debut novel. The Diminished will be published by HarlequinTEEN in February 2018, followed by its sequel in 2019.

When she’s not staring off into space and trying to untangle some particularly troublesome plot point, she can be found in her kitchen, perfecting the art of the macaron; or at the barn, where she rides and trains dressage horses; or with her husband, spoiling their sweet rescue dogs.

Find Kaitlyn On… WebsiteTwitterFacebookInstagramGoodreads

About Thalia Beaty

Brooklyn-based journalist for Storyful, Thalia Beaty was a Fulbright journalism fellow in Berlin, Germany in 2016-2017 and has published with outlets like Quartz, Coda., the BBC, Al Jazeera America, and OZY. Previously, she worked as a part-time producer for The Takeaway, a daily national public radio program based at WNYC in New York. An Arabic speaker, Thalia has reported for print and radio from Morocco, Tunisia, Germany, Poland, and Egypt.

Find Thalia on… WebsiteTwitter

You’re having your two main characters Vi and Bo over for dinner. What do you make and why?

I love this question!

(Haha I know)

Food and the way we use it in both gathering people we love together and performing wealth fascinates me. I tend to use food and meals a lot in my worldbuilding. Bo and Vi together are a tricky case because they come from such different backgrounds.

Bo grew up with royalty, so he’s used to dinners with five different glasses and six forks, and complicated food and manners. He also loves trying new recipes and foods. Vi, on the other hand, grew up as a temple and has never learned the etiquette around food in Alskad. But she loves good food and will try anything once.

So, I’d do away with the fancy place settings and any menu item that might make Vi feel out of place. I think I’d start the meal off with dates stuffed with blue cheese and wrapped in bacon. Then an arugula and pear salad with pickled mustard seeds. The main course would be fettuccine with beet pesto and seared duck breast. Then a cheese board. And finally, Baked Alaska with cardamom and coffee ice cream.

You know everything that I love. I can see that beet pesto now, and smell the duck.

Okay. Second question: I am a twin. And I am dying to read your rendering of twindom in this book. Is this a classic opposites of some kind like Artemis and Apollo, or more like two peas in a pod, or what are the ways you play with this relationship?

Your relationship with your twin and several other twin pairs I talked to was really inspiring to me while I was working on The Diminished. So much of literature has twins falling into one of those two patterns, but what I see in reality is something much more complicated. Each relationship in the book is unique, and each pair has its own bond that presents challenges and has the potential to make each person in the world better.

That said, I did play with the idea of that twin bond a bit. There’s a subtle suggestion throughout that some twins share a kind of low-key psychic bond and that the further they are from one another geographically, the more their judgement is clouded.

That is really interesting. from my perspective, being a twin for a long time in my life, gave me a very clear sense of what was most important to me, my twin. And then as we started to live farther and farther apart, that clarity diminished.

Another question I wanted to ask you was about how you deal with the uncertainty that young people face. this last year I spent a lot of time with 17, 18 and 19 year olds in Germany. I loved being with them for their energy and sweetness, but I was struck also by the deep uncertainty that hangs over their lives – they were asking themselves, will I be okay? will I live a life that I want? I was moved obviously to reassure them, but also to recognize that their anxiety had a basis in reality. Does that resonate with your work and how do you walk that line with your characters?

Absolutely. A lot of what I write about is, at its core, about grief and uncertainty and feeling like you’re outside a group, looking in. I’ve never wanted to sugarcoat what it was and is to be a teen. They deal with so much, and I feel like the books I connected with when I was a teen were the ones that were honest about the world we face, even if it was done through a fantasy lens. I try to write characters that teens in the real world can relate to, and I think that young people today are facing a far bleaker future than we imagined when we were in high school.

Vi’s whole journey revolves around the fact that she’s known, her whole life, that she will eventually be overwhelmed by grief and lose herself. She has the knowledge of her own violence and loss of self hanging over her head all the time, and she has to cope with the uncertainty of not knowing how much time she has left. She knows that she’s NOT going to be okay, and a lot of her choices reflect that.

Bo, on the other hand, doesn’t get a choice. He’s the heir to the throne of Alskad, and everything in his life is working to prepare him for that future. His life was laid out before him when he was a baby, and he’s not sure that he’s up to the task, or that he really wants it. At his core, Bo is extraordinarily sweet and trusting, and he has to develop a pretty tough exterior to cope with the life that’s been set before him.

Without giving away the ending, can you say if Vi’s conviction that she will lose herself is born out?

I’ll say that both characters think of themselves really differently at the end of the book than they do at the beginning.

That is, of course, good news.

Okay, for me as a high school student, I read Brave New World, Fahrenheit 451, 1984, just every imagining of humanity’s twisted future that I could get my hands on. What is the best case you can make for why American publishers and editors today should publish dystopias for young adults?

I love dystopias too! And I HATE seeing people say that they are dead. I think that teens crave stories that show them hope, especially in the worst case scenario. Dystopias take a logical path to a future that seems really possible (if horrifying). Often, these stories center teens who are able to make their world better, giving them agency. I would love to see more dystopias that break away from the traps we got stuck in during the early aughts (love triangles, societies splintered into groups, etc.), and do something really inventive and new with the genre.

If you could be reborn, in which time period would you choose and why?

Ooooh. Because I’m a huge history nerd, I’m going to choose a time period that’s always fascinated me, but we know very little about: 7th Century Scotland among the Celts.

But, the height of the Library of Alexandria in Egypt is a CLOSE SECOND.

I was putting my money on Scotland but yes, that is earlier than I expected. And yes – I would probably end up in the Mediterranean, early Byzantine / late Roman empire – though I assume life would be short and harsh, so many of our current imaginings come from around then.

Do you remember your dreams? if so, would you share a recent one?

Yes! I took a poetry workshop in college that forced us to write down every single dream, every day, and I’ve remembered them ever since. My hair is really long right now, and I keep having dreams that my hair is choking me and force-feeding me beans. (Beans and I do not get along.)

Oh no! What a specific Kaitlyn horror – bad food nightmares.

Should popcorn ever be sweet? or should it always be savory?

HA! I make popcorn almost every night with butter, honey, hot sauce, salt, and nutritional yeast. I want everything to be spicy/savory/sweet/cheesy.


How do you think it would be to live in a world where everyone is a twin? How would day to day lives be affected? Would it change the way you think about yourself?

Yes, I think it would profoundly challenge networks of loyalty and our family arrangements. Your work and your friends and your parents would have to allow you time to spend with this other person (your twin), who is not your primary love relationship. And then may be also it would impact what that love relationship means in your life, can you drop everything for one person? Would you want to? Would we see people as more than the commitment they have made to one person? Instead, they are more in a network of commitments and maybe we see them weirdly more as themselves that way.

Title The Diminished
Author Kaitlyn Sage Patterson
Pages 384 pages
Intended Target Audience Young Adult
Genre & Keywords Fantasy
To Be Published April 10th 2018 by Harlequin Teen
Find It On GoodreadsAmazon.comChaptersThe Book Depository

In the Alskad Empire, nearly all are born with a twin, two halves to form one whole…yet some face the world alone.

The Singleborn
A rare few are singleborn in each generation, and therefore given the right to rule by the gods and goddesses. Bo Trousillion is one of these few, born into the royal line and destined to rule. Though he has been chosen to succeed his great-aunt, Queen Runa, as the leader of the Alskad Empire, Bo has never felt equal to the grand future before him.

The Diminished
When one twin dies, the other usually follows, unable to face the world without their other half. Those who survive are considered diminished, doomed to succumb to the violent grief that inevitably destroys everyone whose twin has died. Such is the fate of Vi Abernathy, whose twin sister died in infancy. Raised by the anchorites of the temple after her family cast her off, Vi has spent her whole life scheming for a way to escape and live out what’s left of her life in peace.

As their sixteenth birthdays approach, Bo and Vi face very different futures — one a life of luxury as the heir to the throne, the other years of backbreaking work as a temple servant. But a long-held secret and the fate of the empire are destined to bring them together in a way they never could have imagined.

Top Eight Books For Readers Who Run

Top Ten Tuesday is a regular feature on Pop! Goes The Reader in which I count down my top ten choices on a particular theme. This weekly event is hosted by Jamie at The Broke and the Bookish.

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday topic is: Top Eight Books For Readers Who Run.

I don’t know if this is true for anyone else, but when I’m passionate about something, my first instinct is to read about it. I love to learn more about this thing that I love, particularly when it’s explored from the perspective of someone different from myself whose experience with it might differ wildly from my own. Whether I’m reading books about books (i.e. books about other people’s reading habits, books about literary theory or the origin of words, etc.) or books about the historical context and deeper thematic elements of TV shows I adore like The Wire and Mad Men (As you can tell, I’m clearly a Super Fun Person), books allows me to gain even greater enjoyment from something that already brings me joy.

As those who follow me on social media might know, I love to run. It helps me better manage my anxiety and insomnia and generally helps me be a better and more balanced version of myself. So, it’s only natural that I am perpetually on the search for books on and about this topic. Today’s list is a collection of both fiction and non-fiction titles I’ve discovered along the way, some of which I’ve read and recommend (What I Talk About When I Talk About Running, Shut Up and Run, Running Like A Girl) and others which I haven’t yet read but am very much looking forward to (Breathe, Annie, Breathe, The Long Run, The Heartbeats of Wing Jones).

Publication Date: July 29th 2008 by Knopf Publishing Group
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An intimate look at writing, running, and the incredible way they intersect, from the incomparable, bestselling author Haruki Murakami.While simply training for New York City Marathon would be enough for most people, Haruki Murakami’s decided to write about it as well. The result is a beautiful memoir about his intertwined obsessions with running and writing, full of vivid memories and insights, including the eureka moment when he decided to become a writer. By turns funny and sobering, playful and philosophical, What I Talk About When I Talk About Running is rich and revelatory, both for fans of this masterful yet guardedly private writer and for the exploding population of athletes who find similar satisfaction in athletic pursuit.

Publication Date: July 15th 2014 by Sourcebooks Fire
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Annie is running from her past and from grief, but is she ready to move on?

Annie hates running. No matter how far she jogs, she can’t escape the guilt that if she hadn’t broken up with Kyle, he might still be alive. So to honor his memory, she starts preparing for the marathon he intended to race.

But the training is even more grueling than Annie could have imagined. Despite her coaching, she’s at war with her body, her mind ― and her heart. With every mile that athletic Jeremiah cheers her on, she grows more conflicted. She wants to run into his arms…and sprint in the opposite direction. For Annie, opening up to love again may be even more of a challenge than crossing the finish line.

Publication Date: May 23rd 2017 by Crown Publishing Group
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An unlikely marathoner finds her way through grief and into the untold history of women and running.

Thirty-year-old Catriona Menzies-Pike defined herself in many ways: voracious reader, pub crawler, feminist, backpacker, and, since her parents’ deaths a decade earlier, orphan. “Runner” was nowhere near the list. Yet when she began training for a half marathon on a whim, she found herself an instant convert. Soon she realized that running, “a pace suited to the precarious labor of memory,” was helping her to grieve the loss of her parents in ways that she had been, for ten messy years, running away from.

As Catriona excavates her own past, she also grows curious about other women drawn to running. What she finds is a history of repression and denial — running was thought to endanger childbearing, and as late as 1967 the organizer of the Boston Marathon tried to drag a woman off the course, telling her to “get the hell out of my race” — but also of incredible courage and achievement. As she brings to life the stories of pioneering athletes and analyzes the figure of the woman runner in pop culture, literature, and myth, she comes to the heart of why she’s running, and why any of us do.

Publication Date: March 14th 2017 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers
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Wing Jones, like everyone else in her town, has worshipped her older brother, Marcus, for as long as she can remember. Good-looking, popular, and the star of the football team, Marcus is everything his sister is not.

Until the night everything changes when Marcus, drunk at the wheel after a party, kills two people and barely survives himself. With Marcus now in a coma, Wing is crushed, confused, and angry. She is tormented at school for Marcus’s mistake, haunted at home by her mother and grandmothers’ grief. In addition to all this, Wing is scared that the bank is going to repossess her home because her family can’t afford Marcus’s mounting medical bills.

Every night, unable to sleep, Wing finds herself sneaking out to go to the school’s empty track. When Aaron, Marcus’s best friend, sees her running one night, he recognizes that her speed, skill, and agility could get her spot on the track team. And better still, an opportunity at a coveted sponsorship from a major athletic gear company. Wing can’t pass up the opportunity to train with her longtime crush and to help her struggling family, but can she handle being thrust out of Marcus’s shadow and into the spotlight?

Publication Date: June 21st 2016 by Harper Design
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An ultra marathoner and running coach captures the energy and joy of running in this illustrated, full-color motivational interactive fitness guide and journal that will inspire every type of runner — from beginner to experienced marathoner — to shut up and run.

Running isn’t just an activity, it’s a lifestyle that connects runners with the world around them, whether they’re pounding the pavement of crowded big city streets or traversing trails through quiet woods and fields. Reflecting the excitement, color, and focus of the running experience, Shut Up and Run offers tips, tricks, and visual motivation to help every runner cultivate miles of sweat, laughter, swagger, and friendship. Combining a fitness manual, training program, and self-help advice book in one, this gorgeous, four-color book — filled with anecdotes and stunning action imagery, and supported by graphic inspirational quotes — contains essential training tips for every level, including meditation and visualization techniques, that address a runner’s body and mind.

Robin Arzon offers unique style tips and practical gear recommendations to help you show off your best stuff mile after mile, and tells you everything you need to know, from how to pick the best running shoes to how to get off that sofa and go. No detail is left to chance; Shut Up and Run is loaded with information on every aspect of the runner’s world, from gear and music to training for a half marathon and post-race recovery tips. Robin includes space at the end of each chapter to track your progress as you build up to your first marathon or other running goals.

Designed to help readers find the information quickly and easily, loaded with practical advice, style, and attitude, this practical guide — written by a runner for runners — makes it clear that to succeed, all you need to do is shut up and run!

Publication Date: June 10th 2014 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
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On New Year’s Day, Alice Davis goes for a run. Her first ever. It’s painful and embarrassing, but so was getting denied by the only college she cares about. Alice knows she has to stop sitting around and complaining to her best friend, Jenni, and her pet rat, Walter, about what a loser she is. But what she doesn’t know is that by taking those first steps out the door, she is setting off down a road filled with new challenges ― including vicious side stitches, chafing in unmentionable places, and race-paced first love – and strengthening herself to endure when the going suddenly gets tougher than she ever imagined, in On The Road To Find Out by Rachel Toor.

Publication Date: August 9th 2016 by Rodale Books
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From world-class marathoner and 4-time Olympian Shalane Flanagan and chef Elyse Kopecky comes a whole foods, flavor-forward cookbook ― and New York Times bestseller ― that proves food can be indulgent and nourishing at the same time. Finally here’s a cookbook for runners that shows fat is essential for flavor and performance and that counting calories, obsessing over protein, and restrictive dieting does more harm than good.

Packed with more than 100 recipes for every part of your day, mind-blowing nutritional wisdom, and inspiring stories from two fitness-crazed women that became fast friends over 15 years ago, Run Fast. Eat Slow. has all the bases covered. You’ll find no shortage of delicious meals, satisfying snacks, thirst-quenching drinks, and wholesome treats ― all made without refined sugar and flour. Fan favorites include Can’t Beet Me Smoothie, Arugula Cashew Pesto, High-Altitude Bison Meatballs, Superhero Muffins, Kale Radicchio Salad with Farro, and Double Chocolate Teff Cookies.

Publication Date: June 10th 2014 by Scribner
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The inspiring, hilarious memoir of a “Bridget Jones-like writer” (The Washington Post) who transforms her life by learning to run, with stories of miserable defeat, complete victory, and learning to choose the right shoes.

When Alexandra Heminsley decided to take up running, she had hopes for a blissful runner’s high and immediate physical transformation. After eating three slices of toast with honey and spending ninety minutes creating the perfect playlist, she hit the streets — and failed spectacularly. The stories of her first runs turn on its head the common notion that we are all “born to run” — and exposes the truth about starting to run: it can be brutal.

Running Like A Girl tells the story of getting beyond the brutal part, how Alexandra makes running a part of her life, and reaps the rewards: not just the obvious things, like weight loss, health, and glowing skin; but self-confidence and immeasurable daily pleasure, along with a new closeness to her father — a marathon runner — and her brother, with whom she ultimately runs her first marathon.

But before her first marathon, she has to figure out the logistics of running: the intimidating questions from a young and arrogant sales assistant when she goes to buy her first running shoes, where to get decent bras for the larger bust, how not to freeze or get sunstroke, and what (and when) to eat before a run. She’s figured out what’s important (pockets) and what isn’t (appearance), and more.

For any woman who has ever run, wanted to run, tried to run, or failed to run (even if just around the block), Heminsley’s funny, warm, and motivational personal journey from nonathlete extraordinaire to someone who has completed five marathons is inspiring, entertaining, practical, and fun.

Now it’s YOUR turn! Are there any books that feature running – or any sport – that you love? Let me know in the comments – I would love to hear from you!

Do! Judge A Book By Its Cover Issue 80: Middle Grade (Part 19)

Do! Judge A Book By Its Cover is a regular feature on Pop! Goes The Reader in which I pay tribute to some of the best and brightest the publishing world has to offer in the way of book cover design. This feature is inspired by Katie’s feature Cover Love on her blog One Page At A Time. The idea is being used with her gracious permission.

Some of my favourite covers this week include The Serpent’s Secret by Sayantani DasGupta, Goldeline by Jimmy Cajoleas, The War I Finally Won by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley, Nutcracked by Susan Adrian, Snow & Rose by Emily Winfield Martin, The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street by Karina Yan Glaser and Rooting For Rafael Rosales by Kurtis Scaletta.

Please Note: I’ve done my best to credit the designers and artists responsible for the beautiful covers below, but was unable to find this information for a number of those listed. If you know of an uncredited designer responsible for any of these book covers, please let me know and I would be happy to include proper attribution in this post. Their work is lovely and deserves to be credited.

01. The Explorer by Katherine Rundell
02. The Serpent’s Secret by Sayantani DasGupta (Cover illustrated by Vivienne To)

03. The Downward Spiral by Ridley Pearson
04. The Great Unravel by Kent Davis (Cover illustrated by Petur Atli Antonnson)

05. The Stolen Crown by Eva Howard
06. Aleca Zamm Is Ahead Of Her Time by Ginger Rue (Cover illustrated by Zoe Persico)

07. Goldeline by Jimmy Cajoleas (Cover illustrated by Matt Saunders)
08. The Great Shelby Holmes Meets Her Match by Elizabeth Eulberg (Cover illustrated by Erwin Madrid)

09. Marabel and The Book Of Fate by Tracy Barrett
10. The Changer’s Key by Kent Davis

11. The Night Garden by Polly Horvath
12. Mr. Gedrick and Me by Patrick Carman

13. Super Max and The Mystery Of Thornwood’s Revenge by Susan Vaught
14. The War I Finally Won by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley (Cover illustrated by Josie Portillo)

15. Lost Boys by Darcey Rosenblatt (Cover designed by Rich Dias)
16. A Babysitter’s Guide To Monster Hunting by Joe Ballarini (Cover illustrated by Vivienne To)

17. Nutcracked by Susan Adrian (Cover illustrated by Stevie Lewis)
18. Midnight Reynolds and The Spectral Transformer by Catherine Holt (Cover illustrated by Ayesha Lopez)

19. Snow & Rose by Emily Winfield Martin (Cover illustrated by Emily Winfield Martin)
20. The Glass Town Game by Catherynne M. Valente (Cover illustrated by Rebecca Green)

21. The Vanderbeekers Of 141st Street by Karina Yan Glaser (Cover illustrated by Karl James Mountford)
22. Rooting For Rafael Rosales by Kurtis Scaletta (Cover illustrated by Kelsey Garrity-Riley)

Now it’s your turn! What are some of your favourite Middle Grade covers? Did I list one of your favourites here or is there one I forgot that just has to be included? Let me know in the comments!

The Writing’s On The Wall: Attachments by Rainbow Rowell

The Writing’s On The Wall is a regular feature on Pop! Goes The Reader in which I create desktop wallpapers inspired by some of my favourite novels, authors, and literary quotes.

Title Attachments
Author Rainbow Rowell
Pages 323 Pages
Target Audience Adult
Genre & Keywords Contemporary, Realistic Fiction, Romance
Published April 14th 2011 by Dutton
Find It On GoodreadsAmazon.comChaptersThe Book Depository

“Hi, I’m the guy who reads your e-mail, and also, I love you…”

Beth Fremont and Jennifer Scribner-Snyder know that somebody is monitoring their work e-mail. (Everybody in the newsroom knows. It’s company policy.) But they can’t quite bring themselves to take it seriously. They go on sending each other endless and endlessly hilarious e-mails, discussing every aspect of their personal lives.

Meanwhile, Lincoln O’Neill can’t believe this is his job now – reading other people’s e-mail. When he applied to be “internet security officer,” he pictured himself building firewalls and crushing hackers- not writing up a report every time a sports reporter forwards a dirty joke.

When Lincoln comes across Beth’s and Jennifer’s messages, he knows he should turn them in. But he can’t help being entertained-and captivated-by their stories.

By the time Lincoln realizes he’s falling for Beth, it’s way too late to introduce himself.

What would he say…?

1280×800 » 1440×900 » 1680×1050 » 1920×1200 » 2560×1400 » iPhone 5 » iPhone 6 » iPad

I would like to say a big ‘thank you’ to Alexander Baidin and Connary Fagen Type Design whose clipart and/or fonts I purchased, edited and used in the creation of this wallpaper!

Now it’s your turn! What would you like to see made into a desktop wallpaper next? Let me know in the comments – I would love to hear from you!