How to find a Read-A-Like

Dear Fellow Journalers,

If you read series books, I have mentioned my favorites in the past (Murder She Wrote, Cosy Mystery series from Joanne Fluke and Miranda James) when you’re either waiting for the author’s next book or just wanting to find a read-a-like, where do you find it?  This article from the Cheshire Library Blog may help you.


New post on The Cheshire Library Blog

How to Find a Read-alike by Mary

If you are like me, when I find a series I love I burn through it in record time and then am left mourning that I have finished the series. Finding a new series can be difficult, so invariably I turn to NoveList for help.

NoveList is an online database that offers recommended reading lists. You can sort by age and genre and even by topics such as “fast-paced and amusing” or “moving and haunting” and even “snarky and compelling”. However my favorite part of NoveList is the Read-alike links.

If you type in a book title or author, NoveList will produce a list of results that include three very handy links: Title Read-alikes, Author Read-Alikes and Series Read-alikes.

What is a Read-alike?

A read-alike is a book, author, or series that shares some of the basic characteristics of another book, author, or series. It means that if you enjoy, say, author Marcia Muller, you may also like books by Laurie R. King, Kate Wilhelm, or Iain Pears,

For example, type in Lord Peter Wimsey (one of my favorite British mystery sleuths), click on Series Read-alikes, and you will get a list of recommendations that include the Phryne Fisher mysteries by Kerry Greenwood (stories that have also been turned into a wonderful BBC drama: Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries) and the Adam Dalgliesh mysteries by P.D. James, among many others.

Bingo! Two more series just waiting to be devoured.

Try NoveList. It works!


Backyard Camping Adventure

When we adults think of journaling about traveling we normally think of touring another country or visiting another state. If you’re a camper than journaling can encompass nature, animals, New cuisine etc. What if you’re a parent with lots of kids and camping is out of the question? Could you still share that experience with your family in your own backyard?

When you first broach the subject they will be extremely hesitant.(Ours were!) Visions of lost video games and texts dance in their heads. You have a daunting task ahead of you, but you can get them excited about cooking outdoors, Story-telling, glow-in-the-dark games, s’mores, and sleeping in a tent.

The steps to do this are not complicated. To get started, mow your lawn and get rid of ant hills. If you don’t want to invest in a tent, try  tarp and fence posts. Sleeping bags or an air mattress is a no-brainer.

Pack your cooler with foods you can cook outdoors. If you have a grill that is perfect for hot dogs, hamburgers, marshmallows etc.

The fun starts after you eat with spooky stories, flashlight tag, glow-in-the-dark balloons. For some reason, our older children throughout it would be fun to have a hula hoop contest and yes, I did do “a number” on my back!






When you can’t find the sunshine, be the sunshine!

4th of July


July 4th

Dear Fellow Journalers,

We wanted our children to understand that the 4th of July was not just fireworks and barbecues. Our neighborhood hosted a block party every year complete with a parade of decorated bikes. The children’s bikes got more and more sophisticated as the years went by. Some were decorated with red, white and blue balloons, streamers and glitter! While we knew that the excitement level was really high, we hoped to find activities for our children that were both fun and educational.

Fireworks are an important part of the festivities but we decided to make firework confetti balloons for the little ones. You’ll need festive balloons (try Dollar Store), a funnel, air pump and confetti. Carefully secure a balloon under the funnel. Gently pour confetti down the funnel and into each balloon. Using the air pump fill balloons with air. Tie off and you’ll have a POP instead of a BANG!

To help educate them on our country’s history, we checked out a tv series called Liberty’s Kids which lets children explore dates, people, and events and the American Revolution. We checked out our library’s video section and rented Johnny Tremain and Drums along the Mohawk and made red, white and blue popcorn.

Celebrating the 4th of July can be fun and educational along with traditional celebrations. Let us know about your family’s celebrations.




“With everything that has happened to you, you can either feel sorry for yourself or treat what has happened as a gift. Everything is either an opportunity to grow or an obstacle to keep you from growing. You get to choose.”

Wayne Dyer

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