Introducing the Octopus… and Tolkien Week

September 23, 2013 at 11:42 pm (Education, Events, Reviews) (, , , , , , , , , , , , )

Weekly Low Down on Kids Books and Adventures in Homeschooling with an Octopus and Tolkien…

Squissy2-103x160Title: Squishy the Octopus

Author: Mary Reason Theriot

Illustrations: Zoie Mahaffey

The last few weeks have been exciting.  With the start of fall and the new school year and kiddo turning three in October, we’ve been diving more heavily into “school time.”  There was a video floating around on facebook, courtesy of the Libertarian Homeschooler or maybe Practical Homeschooling – not sure which, dealing with the camouflage abilities of the octopus.

The video we watched (Where is the Octopus?) is here:

Add in discussions of legs, all things regarding the prefix “oct,” and an a event where Mary Reason Theriot debuted her children’s books, we’ve had quite a big week!

Authors Mary Reason Theriot and Jennifer Theriot at Good Books in the Woods during their Fall Festival

Authors Mary Reason Theriot & Jennifer Theriot

Theriot is quite a popular novelist on Amazon.  Living in Louisiana with her husband and daughter, she avidly writes spooky thrillers with a southern twist that only the home of the Cajun seem to be able to offer.  But most recently, with the aid of her extremely enterprising daughter, she’s branched out and started writing children’s stories as well.

In Squishy the Octopus, a little octopus with a big anger management problem learns to control his temper with the help of his other sea creature friends.  On various pages, like in the video above, Squishy changes color.  My own little kiddo got really excited when this happened, “Let me see the picture!” she’d exclaim, “What color is he now?”

Unrelated to sea creatures, but highly related to our homeschooling life, is the fact that this week is Tolkien week.  September 21st was the 76th anniversary of the publication of The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien.  An day that was celebrated with the first annual Fall Festival at

Archie Rocks Acoustic, little Theriot and my own kiddo in the garden at GBITW.

Archie Rocks Acoustic, little Theriot and my own kiddo in the garden at GBITW.

Good Books in the Woods.  There was a costume contest, a toast to Tolkien, Mary Reason Theriot doing a book signing, Aoristos portraits being drawn and more.  It was a pretty neat event, which we wrapped up at home with the kiddo indulging in a long time favorite The Lord of the Rings cartoon (the 1978 one, we have it on VHS… and yes, we still use our VCR).

September 22nd (yesterday) was Bilbo and Frodo Baggins’ birthday! They were born in different years, but on the same day! Something, I suppose, only truly geeky Tolkien fans care about.  So this week is Tolkien week.

I may work for Half Price Books, a company I absolutely adore for so many reasons, but I spend a good chunk of my spare time at Good Books in the Woods.  It is definitely my home away from home these days.  My kid plays in the garden and with the toybox set up in the kids section while I absorb the ambiance of a house taken over by books.  If my husband ever let me, the inside of my house would look exactly like Good Books…


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Archie Every Friday!

May 25, 2012 at 4:39 pm (Events) (, , , , )

Last time Archie played at Half Price Books he totally rocked the house.  It was awesome.  He was awesome.  The customers were tapping their toes, buying vinyl, nodding their heads at the register, and clapping between book browsing.  People came up to me and asked me if he’d be here every week.  At the time, I had to say no, but now I’m proud to announce that from here on out – yes, Archie will be playing at Half Price Books in Humble every Friday night from 7:00 – 9:00 pm.  Come one, come all, every week!

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Archie Rocks Acoustic, Totally Rocked Half Price Books

April 21, 2012 at 5:26 am (Events, Interviews) (, , , , , , )

Booking musicians to serenade customers at a bookstore has been pretty fun so far.  Sure, it has ups and downs… a great musician, a no show musician, a nice musician, a quirky musician… but tonight it was all UP!  Archie Parks had the tips flowing, the book buying happening, and customers tapping their toes while they shopped LP’s, and applauding from the DVD aisles.  A couple came to find me to ask if he had cd’s for sale and why not.  So after the show, I took some time to pour over the calendar with him and conduct an interview for my blog.

Who are your biggest influences?

Bush, Gavin Rossdale, Cobain.  That dude from Seether, I can’t think of his name right now, but I’d know it when I see it.  90’s Grunge music mostly, you know STP.  I could go all day… Pearl Jam, Smashing Pumpkins, Shoe.

When did you start playing and why?

Jr. High.  My Dad had a guitar and a friend had a drum set.  Started writing our own songs because if we messed up nobody knew.  And then it snowballed.  So I guess the answer is boredom.

Where else are booked to play?

I’m trying to set up a show at Bohemeos.  It’s real chill there.

What made you decide playing in a bookstore would be right for you?

It’s chill.  My new style is perfect for a chilling bookstore.

Since we’re in a bookstore, who are your favorite authors?

Asimov, he’s the shit.  Herbert, I love science fiction, obviously.  I heard a new Dark Tower came out, Stephen King, but not Stephen King, I like  his alter ego Bachman.  But Asimov is number one.  I love robots, man.  And those dudes that came out with new Dune books, they weren’t Herbert, but they were still pretty sweet.  And I’m into Eastern Philosophy.  But it’s fucking lame.  I’m into it, but not to be a hipster.

Do you read much? Does your reading affect your lyric writing?

No, I don’t read much. It doesn’t affect my writing.  What does is school, I’m taking Creative Works.

What messages do you wish to convey through your music?

My number one theme is love.  I sing about it all the time because I love the ladies.  But my goal is to help people find the right path for them.  That’s why I like Eastern Philosophy and I’m not a hipster.  Help people find themselves, and feel stuff.

When do you think you’ll have cds or downloadable songs ready for sale?

I have enough material for a seven track album.  But I’m leery, I need moral support because I don’t want to rip people off just selling me and a guitar.  I have higher standards.  I don’t want to put my name on crap.

At which point, I had to tell him that I thought the idea of a cd with just him on a guitar wouldn’t be a rip off at all, it would actually be quite lovely.  He’s very humble, but not in a self degrading well.  He was genuinely pleased and surprised that customers were interested in buying his music if it was available.

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