I just realized, when I tore my calendar page off today, that my first blogoversary passed in April completely unnoticed. I had quite a bit going on at the time, and I completely forgot about it!

It’s hard to believe I’ve been writing for over a year. I’ve had blogs before, about food mostly, restaurant reviews, travel. All of them fell by the wayside. I lacked motivation and inspiration, subject matter, audience. I knew I wanted to write, but I just didn’t know what to put out there.

When I started I Lay Reading, it was part of my Happiness Project. I wanted to read more, read harder, read better. Part of that goal was to interact with other people about what I was reading, and write more in depth about what I was learning. And so, this blog was born. I never expected to write every day, or for very many people to see it. I certainly didn’t expect for any of my posts to go viral on Reddit or Pinterest. But those things have happened. And every time they do I sit here and just stare at my computer in wonder. People like me, they really really like me! It’s such a joy to share my love of reading with each and every one of you. Thank you, for joining me in this journey.

A little bit about me, for those who have found the blog along the way:

I’m a recent transplant to Dallas, by way of Indianapolis. We’ve been here just under a year now, and are learning to love this big, hot metropolis. I’ve been reading since before I can remember–and I read EVERYTHING I can get my hands on. Seriously, everything. My TBR is in the thousands, so I am not always reading the most current books (although I try to keep up), but I’m constantly cycling through to read what I think is most interesting. I am also trying to complete the Boxall’s 1000 Books to Read Before you Die, so you’ll see me reference that quite often. I love recommendations, so if you see me read something and think of something I should read next, let me know in the comments! I do read every comment, guys, and I love chatting with you. Twitter is my favorite mode of communication, but Instagram and Tumblr are great places too!

Again, I just want to thank all of my followers, and all of the bookish friends I have made in the last year. You make reading and blogging so much fun!


The Hogwarts Library

I touched a bit on my excitement for expanded series when I reviewed Four recently. JK Rowling is the master of pleasing her fandom with Pottermore. She also put out The Hogwarts Library, as a nod to Hermoine. These three short books raise proceeds for Comic Relief and Lumos. None of the books take long to read, but are a marvelous edition to the original series. For us die hard fans–they definitely tickle our need for everything magical.

Quidditch Through the Ages


To be honest…Quidditch was my least favorite part of Harry Potter. I think it is mostly because no matter what happened Griffindor ALWAYS won (or almost always). Kind of takes the fun out of the sport, doesn’t it? I mean, high school sports are always full of drama, but there was always so much nastiness in it.

Still, reading about the history of Quidditch was pretty interesting. I have a better grasp on the teams now, when they go to the big cup game, and I am firmly against baskets! My favorite part was reading about the cranky old witch who wrote the first game down in her diary. Damn idiot boys throwing leather balls into her garden!

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them


The middle book in the set is pretty much just an encyclopedia of the different creatures in the wizarding world. While the descriptions of some of the beasts are interesting, there’s really not much to it. (Although someone’s been up to some mischief with a quill…) I am curious to see how they will turn this A-Z reference guide into a movie, and how many of the critters will make it!

The Tales of Beedle the Bard


Being the great lover of fairy tales that I am, this book was my favorite of the three. How amusing to read stories where the witches are the protagonist, instead of the evil ones like in the fable we grew up with! Of course, The Tale of the Three Brothers was familiar, but The Fountain of Fair Fortune was the one I loved the most. It was such an uplifting story.

The commentary by Dumbledore added so much more to the book too. Like all the others in The Hogwarts Library–it’s sometimes easy to forget that these aren’t genuine nonfiction. More than once, out of habit, I started to add one of the notated books to my Goodreads, only to blink into reality and facepalm myself. Those aren’t real reference books! For hardcore Harry Potter fans like myself, the Library only extends our world just a bit further…and our madness too. It just can’t be helped.

I would encourage any fan of the original series to pick these up. They are cute, look great on a shelf, and support great charities for kids in need. And that’s something Dumbledore would have been pretty proud of.


WWW Wednesday 4/29/2015




What are you currently reading?

The Turn of the Screw, The Aspern Papers and Two Stories by Henry James

Roots by Alex Haley


What did you just finish reading?

Bring Up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel

The Fangirl’s Guide to the Galaxy:  A Handbook for Geeks by Sam Maggs

Life on the Mississippi by Mark Twain


What do you think you’ll read next?

The Prince and the Pauper by Mark Twain

Five Night Stand by Richard Alley

Washington by Ron Chernow


Bring Up the Bodies

Henry VIII. No matter your opinion of the man, no one can deny that he and his court are immensely fascinating and dramatic. If only there were reality TV in the 1500s–could you imagine the Real Housewives of The Tower? THAT would be worth watching. (Hey spoofers…someone please do this. Please!)

I fell in love with Henry’s court when I first watched The Tudors on Netflix several years ago, and while there were several dramatic liberties taken, it let me down a rabbit hole of information hoarding. I started reading everything I could get my hands on about the period.



Somewhere in there, Hilary Mantel published Wolf Hall, her first book from the perspective of the formidable Thomas Cromwell. I was completely enthralled. Cromwell is like all of the Lannister’s in one brain. Jaime’s weary eye, Tywin’s crazy intelligence, Cersei’s power hungry ambition, and Tyron’s book sharpened wit. Not to mention Littlefinger and Varys’ connections and abilities to find out really just about anything about anybody.

In Wolf Hall, you see Anne Boleyn’s utter domination over Henry and his court…and Katherine’s subsequent demise. And now in Bring on the Bodies, Hilary Mantel’s second Thomas Cromwell book, you get the same sneaky ambition as we watch Anne Boleyn’s scheming come to a bitter end.

Mantel’s second book is just as well written as the first. Cromwell has always been an intriguing character to me. Not quite villainous, but definitely Slytherin in nature. He is out for his own skin, furthering his own cause, even using his son to do so. He is normally a background character in every other rendition of this court’s history, but Mantel brings him to life. I love the stream of consciousness narration that she gives him–not quite third person, but it’s all in his head, talking to himself.

If you like Game of Thrones, you will like this book. As I’ve mentioned, I draw a lot of parallells in the court and Cromwell to Martin’s characters (although I have read that he wrote it about the War of the Roses, which was before this period). Also, if you like Philippa Gregory, then you probably already know this storyline, as told by the women. You’ll really like this book, if you’re interested in a different perspective. Just be sure to read Wolf Hall first. There are some nicknames in Bring on the Bodies that will make more sense if you do.

I really hope Mantel continues this series! I look forward to reading them!


Fulfills PopSugar #46:  A book written by an author with your same initials


The Fangirl’s Guide to the Galaxy: A Handbook for Geeks





*phew* Ok. I’m tired now. Sometimes being that enthusiastic can be exhausting, but this book gave me ALL THE FEELS. Because ladies, it is all about us! And it’s amaaaaazing. I’m not kidding, I was internally screaming the whole time I was reading, like FINALLY someone stood up and said HEY! We need this. We deserve this. This is ours.

I basically want to post myself at the doorway of every high school and just hand out copies of this book. Because girls need to read it. It would change so many young girls’ attitudes about so many things.

I should probably tell you about it, huh? *deep breath* Ok. Calming down. Just a little bit though.

Sam Maggs is a fan girl. And like many of us, she’s gotten all of the resistance from the patriarchy about being a “fake geek girl.” What even is that anyway? Ugh. So, she’s written a book about how to fly our fan girl flag so high that the guys can have absolutely nothing to say about us being fake. Because we are pretty freaking awesome, ladies, and we should show it.

This book covers all the bases of geek–from cosplay to Tumblr, cons to YA lit. But the real underlying theme is confidence and feminism. It’s time to believe in ourselves and stop letting the world outside tear us down and stop us from being who we really want to be. The most wonderful thing about being a geek is that we love something with everything we have, which makes us different than anybody else. Why not show everyone what that one thing is?

If you couldn’t tell, I really loved this book. It’s coming out on May 12, and you bet I’m going to have this one on my shelf. Are you a fan girl? FLY THAT FLAG!


Fulfills PopSugar #24:  A book based entirely on its cover

NetGalley provided this ARC for an unbiased review.


Life on the Mississippi

Sometimes you find a book so old and beautiful that it demands to be read. That is how I feel about the beautiful set of 1920s Mark Twains I found recently. They were a steal at $8 a piece and while the leather spines are a bit roughened, it is obvious these have been tucked away on a shelf for a very long time.



They have that perfect old book smell–wood, dust, and yellowed pages. And though I have to be very gentle not to crease or tear the stiff paper, I could not get as much joy out of reading these books on a Kindle. I considered it–to save the brittle book, but I’m glad I proceeded. It has been much more of a pleasure this way.

Life on the Mississippi is the memoir of Mark Twain’s time as a cub pilot on a Mississippi River Steamboat. He looks back (for the most part) fondly on all he had to learn and the adventures he found traipsing up and down the big brown river. Then, later, while making his career as a journalist, he returns under the name “Smith” to see how much has changed since the Civil War.

The only other book I’ve read by Mark Twain is Huckleberry Finn, and the dialect in that one is so hard to follow–which is why I haven’t yet read Tom Sawyer. This book is so much different than that. It’s heartfelt, and funny. You get a ton of different voices from all the different people young Samuel Clemens met in his travels. You’ll even find out exactly where his pen name was borne and what it means. This is a lovely, old-fashioned (though it was quite modern at the time–the first manuscript submitted to a publisher that was typewritten) memoir from one of our best American story-tellers. I’m glad I read it, as it will set the stage for his other books.


WWW Wednesday 4/22/2015



What are you currently reading?

The Turn of the Screw, The Aspern Papers and Two Stories by Henry James

Life on the Mississippi by Mark Twain


What did you just finish reading?

The True American by Anand Giridharadas

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

Good Girl by Sarah Tomlinson


What do you think you’ll read next?

The Fan Girl’s Guide to the Galaxy by Sam Maggs

Bring Up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel

Roots by Alex Haley