Tue, August 19, 2014

A Stephanie Perkins Tour Guide


To celebrate the release of Isla and the Happily Ever After, I’m joining in on the #IslaIsComing blog tour and taking you on a tour of my own — to the settings of the books. I’ve been blessed to visit each of the major cities our beloved characters visit and thought it’d be fun to share some tips, some pictures, some quotes…enjoy!


“The only French word I know is oui, which means “yes,” and only recently did I learn it’s spelled o-​u-​i and not w-​e-​e.”
― Stephanie Perkins, Anna and the French Kiss

“The serpentine river and crumbling cathedrals and sprawling palaces and everything, yes, everything is visible from here.”
― Stephanie Perkins, Isla and the Happily Ever After

Eiffel Sprawling

What to eat

Coffee — there’s no better way to people watch than to sit in a Parisian cafe, where the chairs face out to the streets and it’s completely expected for you to stare as crowds go by.


What to see

The view of the city from the top of the Arc de Triomphe.


What to do

Download some Rick Steves, plug your headphones in, and let him take you on a private tour of some of the world’s best museums.


“I am trying really hard not to use the word ‘fabulous’ right now.”
― Stephanie Perkins, Lola and the Boy Next Door


What to eat

Ghiradelli Chocolate, of course. But you’ve also gotta have an In-N-Out burger, animal style.

SF Full House

What to see

The neighborhoods. And, okay, the Full House house. As Lola taught us, SF is full of quirk. Explore that quirk for yourself!


What to do

Hike! Okay, so my own hike failed because I’m a flatland city girl and my heels couldn’t handle the incline. But still! Next time! So here’s a view from Coit Tower instead.



What to eat

Pizza. Pizzapizzapizzapizza. Pizza so big you have to fold it in half to fit it in your mouth.


What to see

Everything. Drinks on a rooftop — Manhattan or the boroughs — is always a good way to take in the view.


What to do

See a Broadway show. Go shopping. Traipse around Central Park. Visit some museums. Pick an neighborhood and explore the shops.


“The jumble of the city stretches to every corner of the horizon, sharp rectangles of brown and gray and yellow and red. Towering above it all are the spires and construction cranes of Sagrada Familia, but directly below us, there’s a seemingly endless path winding its way down through a landscape of Mediterranean greens.”
― Stephanie Perkins, Isla and the Happily Ever After


What to eat

Haha! More like what to DRINK! Sangria, sangria, sangria.


What to see

Sagrada Família, a gorgeous Roman Catholic church designed by Gaudí. Actually, the more Gaudí you see in Barcelona, the better.


What to do

Wander. Are you starting to see a pattern here?

My favorite thing to do when I travel is to explore. Immerse yourself in the city and let yourself get lost. That’s why I love these books so much — Stephanie Perkins has a beautiful way of immersing us in her settings. Gorgeous, gorgeous stuff.


(Me, lost in Paris.)

Happy wandering, happy reading.


PS: Click the links below to read my reviews of the books…
Anna and the French Kiss
Lola and the Boy Next Door
Isla and the Happily Ever After

Tour Schedule:
Anna and the French Kiss
7/31 – Paper Riot (Anna Readalong Kick-Off)
8/01 – Novel Sounds
8/04 – The Book Addict’s Guide
8/05 – Alexa Loves Books
8/06 – A Bookish Sinister Kid

Lola and the Boy Next Door
8/07 – Cuddlebuggery (Lola Readalong Kick-Off)
8/07 – GReads!
8/09 – Book Revels
8/12 – Rather Be Reading
8/13 – Finding Bliss in Books

Isla and the Happily Ever After
8/14 – The Perpetual Page-Turner (Isla Readalong Kick-Off)
8/15 – AndiABCs
8/18 – Writer of Wrongs
8/19 – Anna Reads
8/20 – Good Books and Good Wine

Posted by: Anna   •   In: me yes me, stephanie perkins

Mon, August 18, 2014

Four Years of Anna Reads

In the scale of life’s dramas, it’s nothing. But, let’s be honest: It can be damn hard to run a blog.

There are technical glitches and jealousy (no matter how silly that is) and stats to watch and overcommitments and books you just plain hate and creativity blocks and paranoia that zero comments means no one likes you. It can feel like you’re putting a piece of yourself out there for the world to see…but no one is noticing.

But today, in reflecting on four years of AnnaReads.com, I’m making a commitment to forget all of that and focus on my overwhelming gratitude for what this journey has brought me.

There’s a quote I think about often: “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” My battles my be small, but your kindness has a huge impact on them. I hope you know how much every comment, tweet, email and follow brightens up my days.

Thank you for four years of books, friendship and support. It’s staggering the people, joy, amazement and opportunity this silly little book blog has brought into my life. To everyone reading this: Thank you.


Posted by: Anna   •   In: me yes me

Tue, July 15, 2014

Shopping My Own Shelves

Friends, I need your help! I realized there are some books that have just been sitting on my shelves for ages and I need to straight up decide: Read or give away?

So I’m hoping you can help me. From the pile below, would you recommend any of these?


What do you think? Have you tried any of these? Thanks in advance for your help!


Posted by: Anna   •   In: me yes me

Wed, June 25, 2014

Visit Me on Ginger’s Blog Today


Today, I’m posting over on my friend Ginger’s blog GReads! as part of her “Sweet Summertime Reads Roadtrip” series. She asked me to share one of my favorite rest/relaxation/recreation and most of all READING retreats and play tour guide for the area near my family’s cottage in Wisconsin.

Check it out!


Posted by: Anna   •   In: me yes me

Tue, June 24, 2014

A Reading Room Update

Things a really starting to come together for me in the design of my Reading Room, and I wanted to share the progress!

The biggest addition is a birthday present I got from my mom over the weekend: She made me gorgeous curtains out the fabric she used for the table runners at our wedding. I think it makes a huge difference and brings a lot of color to the room.

Here’s a little tour:

photo 1 copy 2

This is the entrance from my husband’s office — I love that I can close it off from the rest of the house to truly get some silence.

photo 2 copy

These are the new curtains for the window surrounding my “to-read” shelf.

photo 1

This is the view of my couch that has my silly fake deer head, which I showed you for the last update.

photo 2

In this corner, I am thinking of hanging a chandelier, like this blue one from Pottery Barn:


I also need to consider what throw pillows to get for the couch. The ones you see there now are just temporary and WAY too much of the same fabric. Not sure what color I should get? Just white? The “A” pillow here is cute.

photo 2 copy 2

Over in the other corner, I’ve got my workout gear and jewelry box set up.

photo 5

I just hung this old mirror I had from my very-first apartment so I can see how my jewelry looks before I head out for the day. I was thinking of putting a chair over here, but worry it might look too cluttered?

photo 3 copy

For the shelves themselves, I’ve finally got them alphabetized by author which is LIFE CHANGING.

photo 4

And I’ve got a bunch of cute little personal items interspersed, like this candle Ginger just got me that is “Trashy Romance Novel”-scented!

photo 3

Last but not least, this is my desk stand-in, which basically houses my laptop and all the new books I get or my to-read pile.

So! What do you think? I would love your thoughts on lighting, pillows, whether I should have a chair — and more! Any ideas are welcome!


Posted by: Anna   •   In: me yes me