Monthly Archives: August 2012
Dak Smyth leads a pretty boring, he actually prefers to spend most of his time in the past, digging through history books and spouting out facts much to his parents embarrassment and his classmates delight to ridicule him. His best friend Sera Frosts however gets him… in fact, if someone to ask Dak, he would tell you that she is an even bigger nerd than he is.
When Sera finds the final piece to Dak’s parents secret attempt at creating a time machine called the Infinity Ring, Daks life gets a whole lot more interesting. After all, how much cooler is it to go back and experience history first hand then read about it hundreds of years later? When Dak and Sera go back in time with Dak’s parents things go terribly wrong… for one thing, when they return Dak and Sera are alone, somehow Dak’s parents are lost in time. And when Dak and Sera are taken away by people who want and need what the Infinity Ring can do… things go from bad to worse.
Now Dak and Sera, and a Historian named Riq are on a mission to go back in time and not only fix what is called a “break” in time, but hopefully find Dak’s parents along the way. First stop… Spain, 1492…. and a meeting with Christopher Columbus!
Why did I want to read this book? I met James Dashner in New York this past June and thought he was hilarious. I enjoyed his quick whit and while I have two of his books on my shelves, I have yet to read them. When he showed us a sample of what was coming up with Infinity Ring and the on line game that goes with it.. I ( a recovering gamer myself…) was sold.
Infinity Ring is a middle grade style read. In the beginning it gave me memories of Narnia, kids traveling to another world, in this case, another time. Yet Infinity Ring is going to speak to todays young teens. The book is fun and moves quickly and holds your attention. Within the book the main characters (all in their teens) solve word and picture puzzles to know what they are supposed to do. I found this highly engaging as I love puzzles and wanted to figure out the clues right along with them!
While the 8-14 year old will enjoy this book, parents can be thrilled that they are getting in a little history as well. Dashner as sprinkled this story with historical facts about the places they visit. When the book is done, the front flap of the book has a secret panel that the reader is to open only after they have finished the book. I can not tell you what is behind the flap… I can tell you that it is super cool.
And finally, I think what is also going to excite the readers is the online game that goes with the book(s) where you can go and work the puzzles out yourself and solve the breaks, just like the characters do in the book!
Not only did I really enjoy the multi dimensions of the book, I love the fact that this will be a series of books that will be written by different authors and continue the story. The book was fairly short but I think that is a good length for the age of the reader and it will leave them wanting more.
Recommended! Can’t wait to read more of Dashner!
**Note I received an ARC of this book while in New York and I am offering that book up for giveaway at this time. Leave a comment here letting me know if you were to go back in time, where would you like to go and why? What historical event would you like to witness? I will choose a winner on Tuesday, Sept. 4
I received my ARC of this book from Scholastic and I
bought my copy from Amazon
Greetings from the North Shore. More pointedly for those of you who know I do not have internet at the cabin *shudder*, greeting from the Finland Library.
I arrived yesterday afternoon at the cabin after traveling the 3 1/2 hours in the jeep filled with my luggage, groceries, a new board game, two lawn chairs, a blanket, towels, books for the book shelf, movies, and two dogs… Bailey and Sam. Yes…. this was a very FULL vehicle.
So what does a person do at a cabin before everyone else gets there? Well… first unpack, store food, and put the books on the shelf. Then I walked the yard for firewood for our campfires this weekend. I watched a movie, read a book and started another one. I talked to the neighbor, walked the dogs and think I was in bed by 10. Late tonight the first of our friends who are staying with us this weekend will arrive. More will come tomorrow afternoon. I am so excited!
I drove the 6 miles into town today to pick up eggs, milk, and a few things for our dinners over the next few days. I stopped at the library to check emails, write a review and hang out in civilization for a bit before I head back for the day. Today I will do a little cleaning, a little reading, and maybe watch another movie. I cant remember the last time I was able to just sit down and read an entire book or watch an entire movie.
Ruth Saunders is 23 and the writer and creator of The Next Best Thing tv show. When the phone call comes in that the studio is interested in picking up her show (insert SSSQQQUUUEEEEE’s here), she hauls herself and her 70-year-old grandmother cross-country to start production.
Dreams of making it big are not always as they seem as Ruth soon finds the demands of finding actors who fit her vision for the show is not as glamorous as one would think… the actors are opinionated and hard to keep track of, executives are trying to change what made the show what Ruth envisioned, her Grandma has up and decided she is getting married (MARRIED???) and well… of course there is that one hot and unreachable guy…
Seriously… why didn’t Ruth just take up a safer career path, like ski diving?
Why did I want to read this book? I have followed Jennifer Weiner’s books in a sort of offhand way. It seems that while I do not necessarily seek them out, they do find their way into my hands or into my book club. She is the author of In Her Shoes (enjoyed that one!) and Good In Bed (have not read it) I also seen Jennifer in New York this year, she was one of the speakers.
The Next Best Thing is an ok read. It seems I have read several books this year that deal with mid twenties women and their grandmothers. I think that is interesting… and wonder why that seems to be a theme. Is writing about a young woman tamed down by pairing her close to her grandmother? I am not saying the idea is a bad one… just curious that several books like that have found their way to me.
While The Next Best Thing is funny, quirky and enjoyable, that is about where I would leave it. There was no big “OH! NO WAY!” moment, just a few… speed bumps along the way. I enjoyed the narration and the storyline to the end, there are some great laughs and as I can imagine, a little insight as what it must really be like to work with actors on a set… things I did not think about like how they need to maintain a certain weight, stay sober, not make drastic changes to their bodies… The grandma of course is funny and wise and Ruth’s rock.
A good easy summer read.
Good morning! Anyone else have or having a whirlwind summer? I think this is the busiest summer I have had…. maybe ever! I have been bike riding for miles and miles and running and mud ruckusing (my word), I have been hanging our with friends, at the cabin, in New York, I have been to a week long camp, the state fair… and now this weekend back to our cabin up North with friends.
I am so looking forward to this.
I am actually leaving this afternoon, two days before anyone else. Mater is going to a kennel, the other two small dogs are going with me. I am almost packed, have a meeting at work this morning and then I am off…. 3+ hours to the cabin means audio all the way I am going to read, write, and watch movies.
When our friends and Al trickle in we will enjoy board games, camp fires, exploring the north shore, biking and probably more reading. I really am excited as most of my activities throughout the summer have been highly active in the DOING mode. This week I get to just BE. I will be on line off and on throughout the weekend. I have to drive to internet service but I have reviews lined up and will pop in with the meandering when I can.
September doesn’t really slow down much… the first weekend I am in charge of a tailgate party for about 250-300 people, 2nd weeekend is Al’s birthday and I am meeting author Sandra Brannan for dinner in the cities on the 15th (SSQQQUUUEEE), 3rd weekend I am doing a scavenger hunt in the cities with my friend Amy, and the 4th weekend I am having a family reunion here at our house.
Hmmmmm…. I should enjoy this quiet weeekend…LOL
Have a super rest of your week!
Good Morning. Wow, it feels nice just to sit at my own kitchen table and type this. It has been a while since I wrote a morning post from this spot.
So on Sunday evening when I posted the It’s Monday What Are You Reading post, I posted that I was going to listen to Dean Koontz’ What The Night Knows. I was in the mood for a little mystery and as I looked at my audio books yet to listen to that one called to me. Yesterday afternoon while digging through my book piles for a book (yes digging because I emptied the room that holds my books for the new shelves and the shelves are not here yet *sigh*) I started listening to it and the creep factor was just right….
While listening they got to a part where the detective keeps turning his ring on his finger. How odd, I thought… I have read that before where someone is turning their ring on their finger. Then I went to my laptop… to this site and types in the title. Sure enough… I had listened to this in April of this year.
W O W.
I used to do that all the time many years ago, start reading something and discovering I had already read it. It is exactly what lead me to start journals of what I read which eventually lead to online journaling which was… the creation of Book Journey.
So tell me, have you done that? Started reading something only to discover you already had?
Now I have switched it up to There And Back Again by Sean Astin. Sean is the actor who played Samwise (Frodo’s very good friend) in The Lord Of The Rings. I am enjoying it.
Today I work and then have some errands to run. I am heading up to the cabin in the morning. I am going a couple days earlier than the rest of the group going for a little down time and to prepare the groceries, etc. More on that… tomorrow morning.
Welcome to It’s Monday! What Are You Reading! This is a great way to plan out your reading week and see what others are currently reading as well… you never know where that next “must read” book will come from!
I love being a part of this and I hope you do too! As part of this weekly meme I love to encourage you all to go and visit the others participating in this meme. I offer a weekly contest for those who visit 10 or more of the Monday Meme participants and leave a comment telling me how many you visited. **You do not have to have a blog to participate! You receive one entry for every 10 comments, just come back here and tell me how many in the comment area.
Jennifer from The Relentless Reader!!!
Congratulations! Please email me your book choice out of the Reading Cafe at email@example.com. **And note, once I get the new shelves in there will be a lot of additions to the giveaway shelves.
I was out of town all week and weekend and missed my morning Sunday Salon so here is a little recap of my week here. Camp was a great time… beautiful weather, new friends and old ones, an awesome week. This weekend Al (hubby, hubster…) took me to the State Fair. I was tired and wiped out from the week at camp but really who can turn down the opportunity for strange and fried foods on a stick? Al tried the breaded meatball surrounding a hard boiled egg on a stick. He said it was good… I am just going to take his word for that.
Last night we stayed at the Mystic Lake Casino Hotel in Prior Lake MN and that was an experience. Our room was amazing with a jacuzzi and a little living room area. We are at the casino buffet but unfortunately we were too full from the greasy stuff we tried at the State Fair to really enjoy the dinner.
We got back in town early afternoon and I have been relaxing and catching up on a little post writing. Here is what was posted here this past week:
Not too bad considering the week I just had! I am on the verge of finishing my audio in the car and in the CD player in the kitchen and will have some good audio time in the car this week when I head up to our cabin on Wednesday morning for the Labor Day weekend. I am heading to the cabin two days before Al and our friends to get in a little down time before I gear up again for the fun weekend! This will also mean some reading time (YAY!) so here is my plan for this week:
History is broken, and three kids must travel back in time to set it right!
When best friends Dak Smyth and Sera Froste stumble upon the secret of time travel — a hand-held device known as the Infinity Ring — they’re swept up in a centuries-long secret war for the fate of mankind. Recruited by the Hystorians, a secret society that dates back to Aristotle, the kids learn that history has gone disastrously off course.
Now it’s up to Dak, Sera, and teenage Hystorian-in-training Riq to travel back in time to fix the Great Breaks . . . and to save Dak’s missing parents while they’re at it. First stop: Spain, 1492, where a sailor named Christopher Columbus is about to be thrown overboard in a deadly mutiny!
This will be my first James Dashner. He made such an impression on me at BEA this year I am excited to read this book that will be released this week!
James Nealy is haunted by irrational fears and inescapable compulsions. A successful software developer, he’s thrown himself into a new goal—to finally conquer the noise in his mind. And he has a plan. He’ll confront his darkest fears and build something beautiful: a garden. When he meets Tilly Silverberg, he knows she holds the key…even if she doesn’t think so.
After her husband’s death, gardening became Tilly’s livelihood and her salvation. Her thriving North Carolina business and her young son, Isaac, are the excuses she needs to hide from the world. So when oddly attractive, incredibly tenacious James demands that she take him on as a client, her answer is a flat no.
When a family emergency lures Tilly back to England, she’s secretly glad. With Isaac in tow, she retreats to her childhood village, which has always stayed obligingly the same. Until now. Her best friend is keeping secrets. Her mother is plotting. Her first love is unexpectedly, temptingly available. And then James appears on her doorstep.
Away from home, James and Tilly forge an unlikely bond, tenuous at first but taking root every day. And as they work to build a garden together, something begins to blossom between them—despite all the reasons against it.
I am on tour with this one for this coming Thursday!
Callie loves theater. And while she would totally try out for her middle school’s production of Moon Over Mississippi, she’s a terrible singer. Instead she’s the set designer for the stage crew, and this year she’s determined to create a set worthy of Broadway on a middle-school budget. But how can she, when she doesn’t know much about carpentry, ticket sales are down, and the crew members are having trouble working together? Not to mention the onstage AND offstage drama that occurs once the actors are chosen, and when two cute brothers enter the picture, things get even crazier! Following the success of SMILE, Raina Telgemeier brings us another graphic novel featuring a diverse set of characters that humorously explores friendship, crushes, and all-around drama!
Another one coming out this week!
In the late summer of a long-ago year, a killer arrived in a small city. His name was Alton Turner Blackwood, and in the space of a few months he brutally murdered four families. His savage spree ended only when he himself was killed by the last survivor of the last family, a fourteen-year-old boy. Half a continent away and two decades later, someone is murdering families again, re-creating in detail Blackwood’s crimes. Homicide detective John Calvino is certain that his own family — his wife and three children — will be targets in the fourth crime, just as his parents and sisters were victims on that distant night when he was fourteen and killed their slayer. As a detective, John is a man of reason who deals in cold facts. But an extraordinary experience convinces him that sometimes death is not a one-way journey, that sometimes the dead return. Here is a ghost story like no other you have read.
I do love Dean Koontz…. have not read him in awhile!
That’s the plan for this week. How has this past week been for you? How is this coming week looking for books? I would love to see what you are reading! Please add your What Are You Reading link to the place where it says “click here” so we can come and see! Also be sure to use the hashtag #IMWAYR for your Twitter connections!
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It started in late June of this year. I was just back from BEA (Book Expo of America) for a few weeks and had been staring down that copy of The Fault In Our Stars for far too long. It was starting to feel like summer and I was in the mood to try this author I had heard so much about. I opted to go audio with this one as life was already getting active and audio works better for me in the busy summer days.
I will never forget that I finished listening to The Fault In Our Stars from the back on my husbands motor cycle on the fourth of July…. crying. Now before you say, “Uh no thanks Sheila, why would I put myself through a painful book about young people dying of cancer!”, let me remind you that you would also probably never wanted to read the Hunger Games, a book about kids killing kids. BUT – if you read Hunger Games, chances are you loved it (if you haven’t you are missing out – but that is a whole other post for a whole other day… ). What I am saying is that The Fault In Our Stars is blow you away good and one of the best audio books I have listened to this year and I am certain it would also be one of the best books.
And so, it was on the Fourth Of July that I finished The Fault In Our Stars, and began listening to Will Grayson, Will Grayson. While Will Grayson x 2 took a little longer for me to get the flow of, I was soon loving it as well… listening to it throughout my day and while mowing the lawn. I now knew that John Green was not a one hit wonder. He has a knack for creating characters that are smart, and witty, and bookish, and even a bit geeky and all things I LOVE. And so my book love affair with John Green grew….
Now on a John Green self-appointed read-a-thon I found my way to Looking For Alaska, and find myself in a college setting of characters alive and “college style daring” – pranks and rule breaking and I am now even more infatuated with these fun and flawed characters that have been brought to life through John Green’s imagination and created through his fingertips as they are written out on paper and tapped out on keyboards.
Then in August I finished up listening to Paper Towns and found that Margo reminded me a bit of Alaska, reckless…. but Margo even more so in a self-centered sort of way that fascinated and annoyed me all at once. Margo did not make the book for me but the other characters did and that is another brilliant thing about John Green’s characters… there may be a main character, but all of his other characters play big supporting roles and you see that throughout all his books but can really see it and feel it in this one.
An Abundance Of Katherine’s was an impracticable story (really… only dating girls names Katherine?) BUT – in John Greens way with words… this did not matter. I loved this one for the sheer joy of listening to the characters come alive, for laughing out loud about crazy scenes (really… a wild boar?) and just because John Green makes me smile. This is also my second encounter with John Green where he uses two characters who share a name and something about that… seems smart, like why would you do that? And more importantly… why wouldn’t you do that?
And so now here I am…. going Green… but I seem to be out of books. Yes, I know he has a Christmas read, but I can not read Christmas books when the temps outside remain in the 80′s. That one will have to wait. It’s hard to explain all the wonderfulness of John Green’s writing. He is extremely quote worthy. You will be reading along this funny YA read and suddenly something written will give you pause. You find yourself tucking it away in your brain files or writing it down on the scrap peace of mail that is closest to you so you can refer back to it later.
SO John Green, this message is to you. Are you writing something new? How long must I wait for this work of awesomeness? Is there anything I can do to help move this process along? Bring you coffee? Mow your lawn? Walk your dog? Send you manilla envelopes filled with gum wrappers with potential character names written on them? Talk to me.
This is my first morning since this past Monday that I will not be hearing “Good Morning Campers!”
I cam home yesterday from my week at Camp Benedict, a camp for adults, children, and families dealing with AIDS. Camp Benedict is in the bar just underneath my blog header year around. If you click on that link, it will tell you my background story and connections to the camp. This year was my second year at camp and I didn’t think I could be even more impressed on than last year…. but I was. This week for the Saturday Snapshot (check out Saturday Snapshot at Alyce’s At Home With Books) , I am going to share with you a few pictures from this weeks camp experience:
The camp brings in people from around the state (occasionally beyond) for a week of connecting, sharing, and education. My friend Connie who organizes the camp offers this week to the campers for free. You read that right. She does not want the cost to be a burden to anyone so the money we raise at the spring benefit dinner and then the summer CCB ride, all goes to support the camp and pay for the week. And… it is a nice week.
The camp is beautiful – right on the lake with education each morning and evening, and afternoon free time activities like horse back riding, swimming, pontoon rides, tubing, and more.
On Tuesday morning we were all lead in a group exercise session using the ball. This was a lot of fun and it was exciting to see everyone give it a try. Some of the moves were basic stretches and some more advanced. We ended the session with a time of meditation, relaxing laying back and reflecting. Many people mentioned how much they enjoyed this. I personally love working out on the ball and I picked up a few new tips to try at home.
Before every meal we are led by Camp Staff (and occasionally a few bonus people) in a prayer. The prayers are always set to a theme song… this one is said to the Superman tune.
The education classes are wonderful, a speaker came in and talked to us about stigma, an emotional talk where people could share their stories. We also had a repeat speaker, Bill, who does a wonderful job of sharing the latest information on medication, up and coming information, and the importance of being consistent on the meds. Another speaker spoke on the companies that can assist you with getting the medication you need, and yet another doctor was there to answer any questions. There may….. have been a few camp pranks played….. I am not at liberty to say.
It is always a roller coaster of emotions during the week. Some moments are sad, and other time we are laughing and on a pontoon on our way to get ice cream at the Dairy Queen. It is definitely a week I will reflect on throughout the year. Some of the people have been there before, and some are new… and for the new ones, it is amazing to watch them blossom throughout the week as they feel the acceptance of the camp and make connections to keep themselves healthy and to new friends as well. In the past two years that I have went to this camp I have left with old friendships being stronger, and new ones being developed.
Mid week we have a tailgate party where people who live around the lake and the camp come and grill for us. Our weather this week was perfect!
Of course… the final day is bitter-sweet. It is always hard to say good-bye hoping you will see people next year. The people who go to camp are amazing people. If you want to know more about this amazing camp, please check out the website here: Camp Benedict.org and my original connection to the camp is posted here: My connection to Camp Benedict.
Today hubby and I are heading to the Minnesota State Fair. We have not been there in years so this should be an experience.
From grade school on, Colin Singleton has had a thing for girl’s names Katherine. And it would seem that Katherine’s have a thing for Colin as well – except…
he always winds up getting dumped.
After the 19th Katherine (henceforth known as “K19″) drops Colin, he and his best friend Hassan (picture a quite overweight high school graduate who LOVES Judge Judy) decide to take a little road trip to anywhere, just a chance to get away one summer. They find themselves in Tennessee in a town called Gunshot where they meet a girl names Lindsey and wind up getting jobs from her mother.
While Colin works on a mathematical theory on who will be the dumpy in any relationship, he encounters another Colin (henceforth known as the “other Colin”), a wild boar, and many interesting characters that keep this book moving forward to a place where Colin finally finds his way through the enigma that is a Katherine.
Why did I read this book? I listened to this on audio as I have been doing all summer with John Green’s books. I have found him to be such a an interesting author and I am loving his stories…. An Abundance Of Katherine’s was next on my list .
An Abundance Of Katherine’s was a typical smartly worded read by John Green. I find that this characters are usually a smarter than the average bear breed, and usually borderline geeky as well. (These are the characters I love). Colin in this book is a child prodigy, he is word smart and makes anagrams constantly out of names and places. Author John Green I have notices has a way of taking his characters and giving them brains and fun facts that are sprinkled casually throughout the books he writes so by the last page you actually come out having learned something. I also love that his characters are usually bookish and book references really… make my day.
I have to say – I thought the idea of this book was a bit silly…. a boy who has dated only girls named Katherine? BUT – at the same time John Greens typical witty humor made me overlook the improbability of this book and just read it and enjoy. (Don’t judge me… you know you have overlooked realism a book or two just for the sheer fun of reading!)
In the end – while not a favorite John Green book, a worthy one that I did enjoy. John Green has a way of taking several characters and making them all 3D, so much you feel that you could pick them out of a line up and chat with them on the street.
My recommendation – if you have not read John Green, you are missing out. I would recommend, Will Grayson, Will Grayson (do this one on audio!) and The Fault In Our Stars ( a definite favorite read of this year!)
Purchased off audible.com
Irene and Nate Live a happy life in Illinois with their two children Bliss and Shep. When Nate is offered a job as a Deputy Sheriff in Oregon, he surprises the family by jumping at the offer and moving them. Irene is angry with her husband’s decision, but the family moves and as they start to get settled into their new life,
During what appears to be a robbery of their home, 15-year-old Shep is shot and killed during this event. The Stanleys fall apart in the wake of this tragedy. The man who shot Shep, Daniel Robbin, is caught and put away for life.
Many years later, Irene receives the letter she has both waited for and dreaded, the announcement of the date that Daniel Robbins will be put to death by lethal injection. Things are not as they once were for Irene and she is not sure that she still feels that Daniel should be executed, a thought she has kept to herself through the years.. .never sharing this with her husband Nate or her daughter, Bliss.
What secrets Irene carries are heavy… but Irene is not the only one to have secrets. The result being a head on crash of emotions and explosive opinions that will leave your head spinning to the very last page.
Why did I want to read this book? My friend and fellow Bookie Angie gave me a copy of this book after she read it and loved it. Angie’s tastes in books usually are god ones that I enjoy too so I was excited to read this book that she said led to great inner thought. Shortly after it was given to me, it was also chosen as our August book club read.
The Crying Tree was a book I picked up and instantly fell into the flow of the read. Told in alternating chapters, I started to understand the flow of the “that was then” and “this is now”. The Crying Tree was a beautiful story of deep family secrets that only build on one another as the story unfolds.
The secrets that can define us is a huge theme in this book and as The Crying Tree opens, page by page secrets are revealed to you, the reader, that are both shocking and thought-provoking at the same time. The deeper you travel within this book, the more you are let in on the secrets of The Crying Tree.
WOW. Oh WOW. That’s my take and I am sticking with it. What I thought I knew about The Crying Tree in the early part of the book was nothing compared to what was revealed as I became a part of the book. Sometimes I don’t know why I do not see what is going to happen next but int his book I did not see it coming and I am so glad I didn’t because the tight grip I had on this book as my mouth hung open in shock…
SO WORTH IT.
The Crying Tree is not a book for everyone, it does deal with hard subject matter, however… I think it is a book that should be read by everyone because it does make you think and look at yourself honestly and say “what would I have done?” A powerful read that will remain on my bookshelves as a reminder to myself as to how powerful the written word is.
The Bookies book club gathered in my home in August 2012 to review this book. I had twenty questions prepared for discussion and our questions brought up such good thoughtful discussion that I had to eliminate about half the questions or we probably would still be reviewing this book.
The discussion was phenomenal… it was hard, truthful, and passionate. We really wrapped ourselves around the idea of forgiveness and how much (if anything) is too big to forgive. Do you need faith in God to forgive? (This was a question due to the fact that Irene starts out as a strong Christian woman but as the book unfolds and a very poor example of a pastor is her “go to for faith” guy… she walks away from her faith.
We also spent time discussing how well in today’s world we know our kids… at the time the book was written (in the 80′s), Irene admits that she did not always know what her children were up too when she was at work or out running errands. She believed they came right home after school, but if she was honest… she did not know that for sure. Those of us in the discussion feel that even with the addition of cell phones, we still can not be sure we know what our kids are doing all the time – and lives if anything, have just become more cluttered with activity.
The overall thoughts from our book club was on a scale of 1-5 ( 5 being the highest), The Crying Tree rated a 4 average.
Of course… we brought food:
Not pictured: Our main dish – “Last Meal” Chicken Yellow Squash hotdish and The chocolate mint pie.
I received this book from my friend Angie