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Top 10 Goblin Mode Things You Can’t Live Without

So you’re looking to go goblin mode, but you’re not sure where to start. Maybe you’ve been trying to get more into nature, or embrace your cozier sensibilities. Maybe you’ve realized your personal style is only a little weird, and you want it to be way, way weirder. Maybe you’re just trying to find a group of people to play the homebrew D&D game you’ve been working on for months. No matter what brought you to the goblincore lifestyle, you’re welcome here. The only thing better than being a goblin is being a goblin in a big, wonderful community of goblins.

As the author of Goblin Mode, I feel uniquely suited to help people go goblin mode. My book goes in-depth into the different ways we can all bring more dirt, moss, and clutter into our lives, but here I’ll narrow things down to a few of my favorite goblin things. Goblincore is all about getting cozy, embracing imperfection, and thriving in the muck. Here are ten things that will help you do just that.

Posted by McKayla Coyle

Flora Ahn on Food, Family, and Middle Grade Book Recs for AAPI Month

Looking for great middle grade book recs for Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month and beyond? We caught up with A Spoonful of Time author Flora Ahn and talked favorite foods, writing, family, and Flora’s middle grade book recs by AAPI authors, so you’ll have some great reads to add to your list. Grab your favorite snack and enjoy the Q&A!

Posted by Quirk Books Staff

Hanging with Vampires: Resources for Middle-Grade Readers and Mythology Fans

Do you have a middle-grade reader in your life who loves all things spooky? They’ll love Hanging with Vampires: A Totally Factual Field Guide to the Supernatural written by Insha Fitzpatrick and illustrated by Lilla Bölecz, on sale March 28, 2023! Read on for a resource roundup to get the most out of your reading experience.

Posted by Quirk Books Staff

5 Easy Exercises to Do When All You Feel Like Doing is Lying Down (While You’re Lying Down)

Exercise can be a great way to help manage your mood and make the prospect of getting out of the bed feel a little less impossible. Even a small amount of movement done regularly enough for long enough can make an improvement in symptoms of depression, anxiety, and the general blahs and make the world outside of your bed seem a little less awful.


The problem is that most forms of exercise require you to get out of bed to do them.

Posted by Sarah Kurchak

Top 5 Reasons to Unplug and Play!

If you’re a parent like me, or simply someone who cares deeply about today’s youth (not to mention the future of the world), you’ve probably wondered whether we will someday look back on this period in history and conclude: smartphones in the hands of children and teenagers did more harm than good. We don’t know what the scientific fields will ultimately conclude on this topic, but early research suggests that we need to be listening closely to the cautions about screen-use in kids. That means reducing kids’ screen time—and our own. But rules, consequences, bargains, and willpower aren’t enough. One of the best ways to get kids (and adults) off screens is to engage them in something more exciting—like play! In our forthcoming book, Unplug and Play, Dr. Lawrence Cohen and I explore how physical play between parent and child not only reduces screen use, but also carries a host of benefits for everyone.

Here are 5 big reasons to unplug from screens and play:


  1. Adults need to play, too. For adults, playtime is when we feel mentally and emotionally carefree. When we are playing, we aren’t tied to the demands of our schedules or our countless responsibilities. True adult play—or kidulting as some have recently called it—is free from worry about how we look or feel. It’s free from the pressures of productivity, results, and competition. All of this is how play recharges our souls, helping us be better parents, partners, friends, and colleagues. Perhaps most important, when we adults put down our screens and play, we model for children a way of living that prioritizes the people who are with us, the natural world that surrounds us, and the moments in front of us.
  2. Play is the language of childhood. It’s how children naturally interact with their worlds. Through play, children learn how to regulate their emotions, relate to others, take risks, and make sense of complex things, like winning and losing, loyalty, and teamwork. There are many types of play that children engage in, all with varying developmental benefits. I’m partial to rough-and-tumble play or roughhousing because it has such wide-ranging benefits. A bold claim that Larry and I have shared in our writings over the years is that roughhousing helps kids become more intelligent, lovable, ethical, physically fit, and joyful. It’s true!
  3. Play together. For parents and children, playing together helps build bonds that last a lifetime. When you play with your child—especially in a physical way—you send a strong message to them: your power is welcome here; this is a space where you can feel strong and confident; and we will be more connected than ever before.
  4. Get moving. Play has plenty of physical benefits, too. These are pretty obvious to most of us. Active, physical play helps keep our brains sharp and fresh as we get older, promoting healthy cognitive functioning. Of course active play also improves our cardiovascular health. The keys here are to not get overly preoccupied with the health benefits of play when we’re playing and to also avoid allowing our competitive juices to overpower us. This helps keep our playtime in a healthy space and positions us to experience all of the benefits that time can afford.
  5. Play is the road to cooperation and connection. Play helps us live more cooperatively. In our increasingly competitive world, play reminds us that it’s important to work together, helping and complementing one another with our different skill sets whenever we can. One of the secrets of building great teams is making sure that everyone realizes how both leadership and followership skills are important to nurture. Play helps us do this because when we are truly in a state of fluid play, we instinctually realize that to keep the play flowing, we must sometimes hold back our strengths, reverse our roles, provide a new idea, or go along with someone else’s idea. This give-and-take is really what healthy play (and life) is all about.


Unplug and Play: The Ultimate Illustrated Guide to Roughhousing with Your Kids goes on sale March 7 wherever you find your books. I hope you’ll check it out.

Posted by Anthony T. DeBenedet

Flora Ahn Talks Lunar New Year, Food Memories, and Inspiration for A SPOONFUL OF TIME

The beginnings of A Spoonful of Time were hatched over the heat of a grill and amid aromas of beef, garlic, and onions. There was the idea for a story but it needed more details of Seoul from the past. So I turned my regular meals with my parents into research trips. Sometimes we would meet for lunch at a restaurant to eat steaming bowls of gomtang (beef bone soup) or bubbling jjigae (stew) in scalding hot stone pots. But most of the time we’d have barbecue at my parents’ house.

Posted by Flora Ahn