My name is Mary Lavers, aka Beatnik Mary. I am a writer, a poet, a performer and a teacher. More than anything, I am a reader. I started Cozy Little Book Journal as an actual journal--a little spiral notebook next to my bed in which I recorded my thoughts on books I was reading--as a way of keeping track of authors I liked and ones I wanted to avoid in the future. In 2010 I decided it might be easier to keep track of my reviews if I put them online in a blog. It was several months before I realized that other people were actually reading them!
Most of the books I review on this site are ones I've borrowed from the library or own myself, but I'm more than happy to review advanced copies of books from publishers. When I do, I always make sure to say so in my review (in the form of a disclaimer at the bottom of the post) and I always give my honest opinion, even if I've received the book for free (and even if I didn't like the book).
If you're looking specifically for family-friendly reads (including cookbooks!), check out my secondary blog, The Bookish Elf. You'll find reviews of books that are aimed at children, teens, families and educators. You'll also find artwork and opinions from my own personal guest blogger, my three-year-old, Magda (she has a lot of opinions).