April Literati Box

Adrian’s ninth Literati box arrived a few weeks ago (see boxes onetwo, threefourfivesix, seven, and eight). We kept all five again this month.

This month’s theme was Embrace the Wild. Look at all those gorgeous greens! In addition to the art and bookmark, it came with a Mad Libs and and an origami kit.

The origami kit has some really pretty colors. The directions seem to be pretty easy to follow. Quite a fun addition to the books.

The books this month were Very Bad People by Kit Frick, How to Pack for the End of the World by Michelle Falkoff, Gone Dark by Amanda Panitch, Hoot by Carl Hiaasen, and Forgotten City by Michael Ford.

March Literati Box

Adrian’s eighth Literati box arrived a few weeks ago (see boxes one, two, three, four, five, six, and seven). This was another keep all five month.

As usual the art was gorgeous. The colors are so nice. It also came with a constellation activity to do. Not sure which of the books is about space. There’s always something in a book or an overall theme that inspire the art.

Killing Time and Nine were easy yeses. When We Were Magic was a bit of a debate, but ultimately he decided it sounded good and he wanted to keep it.

Redemption Prep sounds quite interesting and didn’t require any debate, but The Dire Days of Willowweep Manor was a yes before I even read the synopsis to him. It’s a graphic novels and graphic novels are always a yes for Adrian.

February Literati Box

Adrian’s seventh Literati box arrived a couple weeks ago (see boxes one, two, three, four, five, and six). We only kept three of books this month.

The poster, bookmark, and bookplates were fun as usual. I love the colors in the poster. The bookmark’s colors are pretty nice, too.

These are the three books we’re keeping. The Initial Insult and Rule sound pretty great. When I read the synopsis of One of Us is Lying to Adrian he responded “wow!” I was pretty excited about that one because it was on my Amazon wishlist. This month’s yeses require no debate at all.

These are the two books we sent back. We have both on Kindle already. I read Be More Chill in January and it was pretty much horrible. I offered to let Adrian keep The Fowl Twins in paper form if he wanted but he decided against it. Be More Chill was going back no matter what, that’s how bad it is.

January Literati Box

Adrian’s got his sixth Literati box a few weeks ago (see boxes one, two, three, four, and five). I can’t believe we’ve been getting these awesome books for half a year now! We kept all five books again this time.

The artwork packet came with some fun color-in postcards. The poster was fun to look at. So much going on. Of course the bookplates immediately went inside the books.

The cover of Leviathan made him want to keep that one. A Study in Charlotte sounds intriguing since it’s a take on a Sherlock book. Five Total Strangers sounds really good, too.

He wasn’t totally sure about Cut Off but ultimately decided to keep it. The blurb dared to use the word romance and, well, he’s a 13-year-old boy. Long Way Down is a graphic novel so of course that was an immediate yes. I read it. It is absolutely AMAZING.

December’s Literati Box

Last week we got Adrian’s fourth Literati box (see boxes one, two, three, and four). The artwork, as usual, is beautiful. Can’t wait to find out what book holds the reason why they used that particular art this month.

This month there was a folder labeled Kids Pack. That’s where the poster, bookmark, and bookplates were. I like that folder. It kept the things neater for shipping (the return label and price sheet and what not were in the bottom under the books).

Look at that fun picture and bookplate images! As always the bookmark is absolutely beautiful. The winter pictures make me want to just cuddle up under a blanket and read all day (even though temperatures here in south Texas have definitely not been cuddled up under a blanket weather).

This month there was a bonus gift. Even though snow is not likely (we’re gonna just pretend last February never happened), Adrian can build his very own (paper) snowman this year.

So the books. This month brought us five selections that all sound fabulous. Black Brother, Black Brother by Jewell Park Rhodes explores the racism and challenges related to colorism when one brother is dark-skinned while the other is light-skinned. Dry by Neal and Jarrod Shusterman looks at what happens to friends and neighbors when a drought causes the taps to run dry. Let Me Hear a Rhyme by Tiffany D. Jackson wonders if it’s possible to bring a friend back from the dead, at least through his music. Influence by Sara Shepard and Lilia Buckingham reveals what life is really like for those in the spotlight where not all is as it seems. 1789: Twelve Authors Explore a Year of Rebellion, Revolution, and Change looks at one year in the life of our country (sure to be a hit with my Hamilton-loving son).

December’s selections sound fabulous don’t they? They made the decision to click keep all 5 super easy. I can’t wait to dive into them myself!

(If you want to subscribe to Literati Kids – any of their many age group boxes, not just Club Titan – use my link and you’ll get $25 in Book Bucks and so will I!)


This has been a busy year for us. I simultaneously can’t figure out how the time has gone by so fast and how we fit so much into just twelve months. Tomorrow will be 2022 and the start of twelve more months of adventures.

In January Fritz and Adrian got their first semester report cards for 7th and 9th grades and both did amazing for their first time in public school since kindergarten and second grade. We also continued trying to figure out just how much food to make to feed our small army (spoiler alert: it’s always too much or too little).

In February we put up a baby urinal in our bathroom and it’s been the best thing we could have done. There was more figuring out how to feed our small army (we’ve pretty much got it down now). We got a playground put up in our backyard. We ended up with COVID in the house and had to quarantine at the same time pretty much the entire state of Texas shut down due to a freak snowstorm and crazy cold (we got lucky and never lost power).

In March I started getting more creative with Mayci’s hair. All the adults in the house got vaccinated for COVID. Zeke turned six on Pi Day. The next day Noah had surgery to remove his tonsils and adenoids and have tubes put in his ears. We got brave and took all six kids to HEB for the first time.

In April I sprained my foot when I gracefully fell down the stairs of The Beast. We also discovered Zeke has hair like Fritz’s: It grows SO fast!

In May our six-year-old officially changed his name to Zeke. School got out and so Mayci finished pre-k, Zeke finished kindergarten, Adrian finished 7th grade, and Fritz finished 9th grade.

In June the kids were bored of their 11-week summer vacation within about 30 seconds so we started our summer schedule which continued the entire summer and worked great. We got Fritz’s end of course results (all three passed). We entered Birthday Season when Adrian turned 13 on Juneteenth. The end of the month the twins turned two.

In July we got Adrian’s STAAR test results (he did great especially because it was his first time taking that sort of test). On the 6th Nicholas turned 3. And then on the 11th Fritz turned 15. Adrian saved all year and enlisted the help of a few other people in order to give Fritz an Oculus Quest 2 for his birthday. On the 18th Anthony turned 4 ending our intense streak of five birthdays in less than three weeks. Fritz got all registered for the virtual school for 10th grade.

In August we finished birthday season on the 2nd when Mayci turned 5. Zeke and Mayci both took off in their reading (best decision ever to work on teaching them how to read over the summer). We found out who the three elementary schoolers’ teachers would be (they’ve all been the perfect teacher for each kid, especially Zeke’s). In the middle of the month it was time for four of the kids to be off to pre-k, kindergarten, 1st, and 8th grades (and Nicky moved to a new room at preschool). A week later Fritz started 10th grade. Just before the end of the month my beautiful mother turned three-quarters of a century old.

In September we started getting monthly boxes of Young Adult books from Literati for Adrian (love those books). Dance classes started up for Zeke and Mayci. I did the most complicated and beautiful hairstyle on Mayci that I’ve done so far (53 twists). The twins moved out of their cribs and into their big boy beds. We took four of the kids to the movies for the first time. Mayci went to dance camp at the high school and got to perform at halftime at a football game.

In October we pulled Nicholas out of preschool. We got the four littlest boys new church clothes. I did some fancy hair on both Mayci and Haley. We had some really cute costumed kids on Halloween.

In November Jamie and I went to see The Beach Boys again. Lola moved in with Cameron and Tami and it’s helped Nicky’s eczema so much (he’s allergic to dogs). We celebrated Jamie’s 46th birthday and one year since we adopted the kids by playing at a trampoline park. We got our family pictures taken. I started having more time to read again thanks to Haley playing with the twinplets six hours a week and the kids getting a little older and more independent.

In December Nicky suddenly started looking much older and bigger than his little brothers. Anthony’s dreams came true when we put a Christmas tree in our living room. My Daddy turned 77 on Christmas Eve.

And now here we are on New Year’s Eve looking forward to what 2022 will bring us. We know a few things like Trek for the big boys, Fritz being ordained to the office of Priest, Birthday Season ending with us having 3, 3, 4, 5, 6, 14 and 16-year-olds, Ani turning 22 in February, Zeke turning 7 in March, me turning 44 in April, Cameron turning 21 in October, and Jamie turning 47 in November the same day we hit two years since the kids were adopted, and having kids starting pre-k, kindergarten, 1st, 2nd, 9th, and 11th grades in August. Whatever else 2022 has in store for us, I know it will be awesome!

Literati, Box 4

Last week we got Adrian’s fourth Literati box (see boxes one, two, and three). The artwork was absolutely beautiful (just look at that incredible bookmark!).

The five books this time were Aftershocks by Marisa Reichardt, Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson, The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater, Burn After Writing Teen, and Ranger’s Apprentice: The Ruins of Gorlan by John Flanagan.

Adrian opted to keep Aftershocks, The Scorpio Races, and Burn After Writing. I was surprised he wanted Burn After Writing since he has dysgraphia so writing is not easy for him, but he is really excited about that book and I think his future self will thank him for writing in it.

He chose to send Truly Devious back because we have it in ebook and The Ruins of Gorlan because we have it in ebook and audiobook and he’s already listened to the audiobook.

(If you want to subscribe to Literati Kids (any of their many age group boxes, not just Club Titan), if you use my link you’ll get $25 in Book Bucks and so will I!)

Third Literati Box

Adrian’s first and second Literati boxes were so great, we were really looking forward to receiving the third on. It arrived about a week and a half ago. This month the box was a lot less plain.

The artwork was really fun to look at. Now we just need to read the books to find out what inspired it. There’s always something in one of the books. Adrian loves the bookplates he gets every month. That might be his favorite part.

This month’s books were Knowledge Genius!, Peak by Roland Smith, The Gilded Ones by Namina Forna, This Is Why We Lie by Gabriella Lepore, and Nimona by Noelle Stevenson. Knowledge Genius! went back. He’s just not interested in that sort of thing. Peak almost didn’t make the cut but ultimately he decided to keep it. He’s most excited by Nimona. It’s a graphic novel from a web comic. He’s enjoying it very much.

(If you want to subscribe to Literati Kids (any of their many age group boxes, not just Club Titan), if you use my link you’ll get $25 in Book Bucks and so will I!)

Literati: The Second Box

We liked Adrian’s first Literati box so much that we were really looking forward to his second box arriving. It did not disappoint (even though we sent back one of the five books).

Adrian was excited to get another piece of art. He really likes the art prints and bookplates. He was super happy to get a bookmark, too.

The five books this month were Game Changer by Neal Shusterman, Set Fire to the Gods by Kristen Simmons and Sara Raasch, Skink: No Surrender by Carl Hiassen, The Weight of Our Sky by Hanna Alkaf, and What Kind of Quiz Book Are You? by Rachel McMahon.

Adrian debated about whether or not to keep the Skink book, ultimately deciding to. He chose to send back the quiz book. It’s just a book of silly BuzzFeed-type quizzes. Definitely not something he’s into. Sending it back was super easy, though. We just put it back in the box, sealed it, added the return label, and off to the post office.

If you want to subscribe to Literati Kids, if you use my link you’ll get $25 in Book Bucks and so will I.

Literati Club Titan

A few weeks ago we decided to sign Adrian up for Literati Club Titan. Each month he’ll get five curated young adult books ($9.95 a month) and we can keep some of them or all of them (prices vary based on the book). We have a lot of YA readers in this house so while it is for Adrian, it’s really for lots of us (Ani’s even got one from his first box at her apartment right now).

His first box arrived the middle of last month after a strange journey that took it from Austin up to Dallas for a couple days before coming back south to San Antonio. The box was pretty. I couldn’t wait to open it. (Yes, this is 100% for Adrian, why do you ask?)

Opening the lid I was greeted with a rather strange and confusing art poster. The colors were were bright, but there was no specific image that I could identify.

The next layer of the box presented me with a card and several bookplates, all custom printed with Adrian’s name (see, told you it was all for him!) plus the reason why the pictures didn’t make sense.

Included in that layer was a tri-color viewer thingy. And now the crazy pictures started to make sense. Each picture was really made up of lots of pictures.

Each color of the viewfinder allowed us to see a totally different picture from the other colors by filtering out certain colors. So cool!

Adrian and I spent a long time looking at the pictures through the viewfinder thingy and discovering the hidden pictures within the colors.

So clever and so very cool. I don’t really understand how it works, but I love that it does work. Such a neat bonus gift with his books.

Having enjoyed the pictures, it was time to move on to the books. We had already looked at the synopses of each of the books (using the online price list they provided after the box shipped) so we knew what was coming, but there’s something special about actually getting the books and touching them.

Pride by Ibi Zoboi

This one is a Pride and Prejudice remix. This one is probably the one Adrian is the least interested in, but I think he’ll enjoy it once he gets into it (and I know I will).

The Inheritance Games by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Reading the synopsis of this one made me think of The Westing Game, a book I first read in elementary school and have read many times since. Adrian was the most excited about this book and, really, I don’t blame him.

Opposite of Always by Justin A. Reynolds

This one just sounds weird. Like really weird. Also, very intriguing. Based on the synopsis I have no idea where it’s going to go or how it even happens. Should be an interesting read.

I Killed Zoe Spanos by Kit Frick

I think I read that every box has a theme to it. I’m pretty sure this box’s theme is death. This one sounds a bit creepier than I like, but it’s YA so it can’t be too creepy, right? That would be, like, breaking a Rule of Young Adult Books or something.

I Have a Bad Feeling About This by Jeff Strand

This one sounds like it’ll be right up Adrian’s alley. Humor, silly situations. I’m looking forward to reading this one, too. It might be a bit more of a mind vacation than the others.

So that’s all five of the books. They came with a sheet giving the prices. They also give the Amazon prices and I checked. They are accurate. You can keep any number of the books (or none of the books), but if you keep all five you get a 5% discount.

It comes with a return address label making it easy to return any you don’t want to keep (you have 7 days to decide). Bet you can’t guess how many we decided to keep. Yeah, this label just went in the trash.

Joel was really excited about the books, especially Pride. He claimed it as his own and carried it around “reading” it (sometimes upside-down).

After checking out the books, Adrian put the bookplates in his new books. It’s just extra fun to have something special marking your books as your own.

A little crooked, but still cool. The viewfinder thingy can even be used as a bookmark so the bookplate picture can be looked at any time.

Adrian was pretty happy with his pile of books. He insists he is smiling here. I guess he is. Sort of. Anyway, that’s a pretty nice book haul he’s got there.

He sat right down and started to read The Inheritance Games. In a couple weeks we’ll get our second box of five books. I’m excited to see what’s included.

(If you want to subscribe to Literati Kids (any of their many age group boxes, not just Club Titan), if you use my link you’ll get $25 in Book Bucks and so will I!)