Monthly Archives: September 2012

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

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.

Since I was out of town last weekend I never got the previous winner posted so this is the two week ago winner and this past weeks winner using random.org (because that is how I roll!)

Last weeks winner: Lisa from Lisa’s World Of Books!!!

Congratulations!  Please choose a book or bookish item from the Reading Cafe!  And for those of you waiting on a win, the book room as you will see below is now done so I can find the books to mail you :D

What a great and crazy week!  The construction finished on Wednesday for the book room, I set up and had a family reunion at my house on Saturday and I am tired but now geared up for Banned Book Week!

Here are the posts worth checking out from this past week:

 

We Need To Talk About Kevin – book and movie reviews – I read this book so long ago but it still haunts me

 

There And Back Again by Sean Astin - an interesting take on being a hobbit and the working behind the scenes of the Lord Of The Rings

 

Defending Jacob by William Landay - OOOHHHHHH lets just say….oooooohhhhh!!!!

 

Back Seat Saints by Joshilyn Jackson – wow!  I think I found another author to wacth!

 

SSSQQUUEEEE  The book shelves are finished!!!!  Here are the pics and the final room look!

 

PREP by Curtis Senterfield - my first banned book review and a giveaway of a gift card!  (OOH – everyone likes gift cards!)

 

Banned Book Blog Hop is going on and I am doing a giveaway as well as many MANY more blogs check it out – its a good week to win some great books!

 

Banned Book Week kicked off on Sept 30 and I will be hosting blogs and giveaways all week long!  Here is the first post and amazing book giveaways you will not want to miss!

 

 

It was a great week but thank goodness for audio because I have been not getting any book time lately.  I set the book room, cleaned the house and garage all to audio.  Because of this I am ahead for banned book week with two more banned audio books to review and a third being listened to right now.

So as I said, it is banned book week and if you know me – you know I love chatting Banned Books!  Here is what I will be reading/listening to this week:

 

In a world with no poverty, no crime, no sickness and no unemployment, and where every family is happy, 12-year-old Jonas is chosen to be the community’s Receiver of Memories. Under the tutelage of the Elders and an old man known as the Giver, he discovers the disturbing truth about his utopian world and struggles against the weight of its hypocrisy. With echoes of Brave New World, in this 1994 Newbery Medal winner, Lowry examines the idea that people might freely choose to give up their humanity in order to create a more stable society. Gradually Jonas learns just how costly this ordered and pain-free society can be, and boldly decides he cannot pay the price.

A banned book and one that has graced me shelf way too long unread.

 

 

 

Long before saving the earth became a global concern, Dr. Seuss, speaking through his character the Lorax, warned against mindless progress and the danger it posed to the earth’s natural beauty.

One of the funnier banned books – I want to review book and movie.

 

 

 

On the night of October 6, 1998, a gay twenty-one-year-old college student named Matthew Shepard was lured from a Wyoming bar by two young men, savagely beaten, tied to a remote fence, and left to die. Gay Awareness Week was beginning at the University of Wyoming, and the keynote speaker was Lesléa Newman, discussing her book Heather Has Two Mommies. Shaken, the author addressed the large audience that gathered, but she remained haunted by Matthew’s murder. October Mourning, a novel in verse, is her deeply felt response to the events of that tragic day. Using her poetic imagination, the author creates fictitious monologues from various points of view, including the fence Matthew was tied to, the stars that watched over him, the deer that kept him company, and Matthew himself. More than a decade later, this stunning cycle of sixty-eight poems serves as an illumination for readers too young to remember, and as a powerful, enduring tribute to Matthew Shepard’s life.

On October 6 I am going to break away from the banned books to review this sad book about Matthew Shephard on the anniversary ate of his brutal murder.

 

Ok I plan to fit in more banned books but we will see how this week goes.  Now I am so excited to see what you are reading!  Please add your link below where it says click here.  :D

 

 

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and those of you who read mainly children’s through YA reads – please ALSO link your post here:

PREP by Curtis Sentenfield (Celebrating Banned book Week and a Giveaway!)

Lee Fiora knew from a young age she wanted out.  Out of her hum drum life in South Bend Indiana, out from under her parents smothering thumbs….  she dreamed of being a boarding school student but her family did not have the means or the desire to see her attend such a place.  Lee knew is she wanted to make that dream come true, she would have to work for it.  When Lee earns a scholarship to Ault, her family is shocked but accepts that their daughter is going away.

What Lee finds at school is mostly money kids who have always had access to money and never have known what it is like to live on a budget.  These students were raised as privileged and Lee finds herself feeling insecure in her placement at Ault, while few know she is on scholarship, she fears she reeks of inadequacy. 

Between hot girls and cute boys (enter the likes of super hotty Cross Sugarman), Lee stumbles along always feeling like an outsider.  She works hard to earn every tiny step she makes towards feeling good about herself and if making slow but steady progress when she makes a major lack of good judgement and destroys all that she has worked so hard to earn.

Prep, is Lee’s story.  She narrates this as being 24 years old looking back at her days in Ault, reliving each feeling and what, now in hind site, she could have done differently.

Why did I want to read PREP?  I actually started reading PREP over a year ago.  At no fault of the book, life became busy, I sat it down and just did not get the time to finish it.  This year, I found the audio version at a sale and could nor resist giving it another go.  I was pleasantly surprised to find out this book was also a Banned Book, so it fit right into my Banned book Week planning. 
PREP is Lee’s story.  Narrated by Julie Dretzin this 17 hour+ audio can feel long at times, and yet author Curtis Sittenfield keeps it  engaging.  As Lee retells her prep school adventures you can feel for her… trying to find a good roommate, avoiding the girls that others pick on so she can up her status, meeting the guy, thinking about the guy, dreaming of the guy… and then getting the guy…

sort of.

It’s hard to review this book because it really is day-to-day life at Ault and while as I mentioned above, there are periods in Lee’s retelling that seem to be drawn out… in reality, life is not one big moment after another… but times of small moments… with occasional big ones. :D  All in all, while PREP wasn’t over the top engaging, it did hold my interest and I am glad I had this opportunity to listen to it. 

Why was PREP challenged/banned?

In 2008 and in 2009 Pulled from the accelerated reading program in the Heritage Oak School in Yorba Linda (CA). A parent complained that the book was “pornographic.”

My thoughts:  PREP has a few sex scenes, but they are not anything detailed and I have read much more detailed scenes in books that are not banned. 

Amazon Rating

Goodreads Review

Check out other banned book reviews and giveaways here

 

 

For this giveaway – A $10 Amazon gift card will be given away at the end of Banned Book Week.  To enter, let me know in a comment what book on the banned book list really surprises you.  Click here for a list of these books.

Banned Book Week Kick Off! Seven Days of Books, Reviews, and MANY Giveaways!

It’s here!  It’s finally here! Today officially kicks off  Banned Book Week

and I am going to ask you to bookmark my blog this week and keep on stopping by because many awesome book bloggers have signed up to celebrate these books with me!  They (as well as myself) will be doing this by posting about banned and challenged books, as well as many will be having a giveaway.  Each morning I will list which blogs on participating on that day and I hope you will stop by their blogs and show them some comment love.  :D

I will be putting together a banned book package that will be given away to one of the commenters on these posts – that means that I will be counting all the posts that I link this week as well as my own banned book posts and entering those who comment in a drawing for the package.  The more posts you comment on, the more times you will be in the drawing.  The package will include several banned books as well as a gift card.  Winner will be announced at the end of the banned book event, next Sunday morning here. 

So let’s get this party started right?

Elida at My First, My Last, My Everything is posting about Bridehead Revisited and she giving away a copy of the book!

Shelena at Writer Quirk is talking about Killing Mr. Griffin by Lois Duncan and she has not one, but TWO prize packages she is giving away!

Kelly at The Well-Read Redhead is chatting up One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest and offering up a giveaway copy as well.

Bex at An Armchair By The Sea is talking about banned books and offering a giveaway for a choice of a Banned Book!

Charity at The Bookworm Fairy is reviewing The Hunger Games Today as well as offering up a copy of the book giveaway!

Elisha Of Rainy Day Reviews is discussing The Adventured Of Huckleberry Finn.

Pam at Unconventional Librarian is posting about To Kill A Mockingbird and hosting a giveaway for that book as well.

Jennifer Of The Bookie Nook is talking about SPEAK today (love that one!) and giving away a copy of it as well.

Laura at Owl Tell You About It is reviewing The Perks Of Being A Wallflower and offering up a giveaway copy as well (SQQQUUUEEEE!  I don’t have that one in book format!) 

I am also participating in The Banned Book Hop – lots and lots more of banned book giveaways :D

and I will be posting my review of Prep later today with a giveaway :D

Some of these books I have read, some are new to me and I want to read them!  If you already own any of the books listed above, enter anyway because you can always give these great books to another reader.  :D

Are you reading any banned/challenged books this week?

Saturday Snapshot: The Unveiling Of The New Bookshelves! SSSQQQUUUEEE!!!!

 

Good morning!  :D  It is the morning of my family gathering here at the house and I am feeling really good!  I have worked hard the last couple of days prepping the house, the deck (which looks awesome!), the garage and yes, the finishing of the book room. 

Now I know a lot of people who would not get excited about book shelves…. but I believe you, fellow book lovers, know how exciting it is to have room to put your books where you can find them and enjoy them.  They look fantastic!  So before I post the pictures know that most of these books are my private collection I have accumulated through the years.  Library book sales, garage sales, ordered on-line and from my local Indy store… these are books that I have either read and loved, want to read, love the author so picked up others by the author… and yes, I admit some are unread and chosen because I love the cover or have heard good things about the book/author.

Ok…. ready?

 

This is the outside of the book room. I pulled two of my cases to the outside and really like the look.

 

Ok before we move into the room I need to explain how we came to have such a space unclaimed in the house.  Originally, this space was two bedrooms.  When we moved here, we added on a master bedroom off the back of the house and finished off the basement and put a bedroom down there as well.  Then Al (buddy) made this space his office for our business.  After a couple of years we put an office at the business which is, quite literally, out behind our house.  Al moved all his office things to the new space and I was left with a big space and wondering what to do with it….

for the past 4 years it has held book shelves and my writing tools…

and now…

 

If you open the doors and look immediately to the left, this is what you see.

This is the left corner – these are review books, giveaways, and ll my food related books – cook books, memoirs, etc…

This is the left side – right corner if that makes sense and these are all alphabetized by author – upper shelf starts with “A”. These are all my personal books.

 

 

Ok. Standing in that left side and turning completely around – this is the right side of the room. I know, I know… I am so good with descriptions…LOL  Oh yeah, and as I took the picture – Mater walked in.  Hello Mater!

 

This is the close up of the right side and this is the continuation of the alphabet from M – Z.

 

 

This is the right side, right corner. Yes, that is ET. This space currently is used for books I have two of so I remember to do a giveaway when I review them It also hold my Bookies years in Reviews since 2002 and books that have come in this week for the Sunday Salon mention.

This is the right side of the room, left corner. This is where my current reads are, books I am using for research – anything I need to get my hands on quickly. Yes my long suffering copy of Jane Eyre is in this grouping.

This is the 5 remaining book shelves (there is on to the far left as well) in the room that you see when you enter the doors and look directly across the room. They have not been organized yet because I don’t want to eliminate them and need to think of their purpose. Eventually I may try to narrow in down so I can fit in a comfy chair again.

Ok… there it is.  While working on this project 3 bags of books were donated to the library.  4 more bags will be going to my book club for first pick in October and those they do not want I will take and donate to the Friends Of The Library sale.

Thanks you Alyce for hosting Saturday Snapshot where we can post the pictures of our lives.  Stop by Alyce’s spot at At Home With Books and see what other things people are taking pictures of. :D

I am about to enjoy a beautiful fall day with my relatives.  Maybe, those will be next weeks pictures… :D

Backseat Saints by Joshilyn Jackson (oh my!)

 

Rose Mae Lolley knew the power she had over men… they looked at her and they liked what they seen.  As a  teenager and as a young woman Rose Mae knew how to get what she wanted with a bat of an eye…

But now, that wild flirty girl Rose Mae is buried down deep, and Ro, as she now goes by, is quiet, patronizing, shy, and trapped in a marriage to Tom Grandee filled with both love and abuse.  No longer does Rose wear the frilly sleeveless shirts of her youth, traded instead for Ro’s wardrobe of long sleeves and pants that cover the bruises…

Then one day Ro crosses paths with a gypsy who shares with her the cards that spell out Ro’s future… that if she does not escape her current path she is going to die, killed at the hands of her husband… unless…. she kills him first.
Bubbling beneath Ro’s quiet and scared demeanor, Rose Mae makes her way back to the surface working on taking back her life, and while she’s at it, Fat Gretal her dog as well.  But Tom does not let go easy and Rose has to make sure she knows how far she is willing to go to live again.

 

 

Why did I want to listen to this audio?  I have seen Joshilyn Jacksons books around and have heard good things.  This one had a fun title and narrated by the author, I thought this would be the way to go.  If you listened to the YouTube video above you hear Joshlyn’s voice and that accent makes this listen so much fun!

 

Pack yourself up for a fun southern spin on this one!  Rose Mae is a fun little southern number who’s mama left a long time ago and her dad was as quick with his fists as her husbands.  It seems like Rose Mae has never had the chance to experience what it was like to be loved by a good, kind, man. 

Author and Narrator Joshilyn Jackson makes this audio book a fun journey.  She really breathes life into her creation, Rose “Ro” Mae with a kickin attitude and a way of making things work…. eventually.  The more I listened the more I wanted to know what was going to happen.  While dealing with a heavy topic, it never feels that way…. mixed in with some lighthearted fun, I actually hope Rose Mae shows up in a future story because I really wouldn’t mind knowing more about a group of offbeat characters that hold a soft spot now in my heart. 

I will be looking for more from this author.

Amazon Rating

Goodreads Review

 

Banned Book Hop!

Banned Book Week is coming and if you have been around here at all you know I am hosting a Big Banned Book Week Party with giveaways and reviews of Banned Books and Banned Book topics.  This is my third year hosting a banned book event!

This time I am also participating in the Banned Book Hop as well hosted by the awesome I Am A Reader, Not A Writer!  There are so many Banned Books I love:  To Kill a Mockingbird, SPEAK, The Perks Of Being A Wallflower, Hunger Games, all the Harry Potter books and more!  For a list of banned/challenged books check it out here.

My giveaway is for a $15 Amazon Gift card for hopefully a Banned/Challenged Book!  To enter, simply leave a comment here letting me know which banned book you would purchase if you were to win.  For one bonus entry, subscribe to Bookjourney by email – see upper right sidebar and let me know you did in a comment.  If you already subscribe, let me know and I will count you as well. :D

Check out all the other participants here!

Morning Meanderings… Bloggiesta Start up, Banned Book Hop, and An EPIC Meryl Streep fail

Good morning!  Today is the official starting day to Bloggiesta Fall 2012!  Bloggiesta is an awesome time to out and do a little blog maintenance, learn some new tips (yes, even us long time bloggers can learn something new!) and just overall come out the other side feeling awesome about out GREAT blogging community and our blogs.  I love being a part of Bloggiesta!

For me this time around Bloggiesta is going to be surrounded by major going ons in my life and on the blog but I am going to do whatever I can to participate as much as I can.  I am hosting a mini challenge and a gift card giveaway for the event.  I am also hosting a huge Banned Book Party for Banned Book Week that starts Sunday and I am organizing that and participating in the banned book hop (I know, I know….I have said yes to too many things…. :D ) with a giveaway as well as the daily giveaways and awesome Banned Book posts that will start up here on Sunday and go through next Saturday.

Did I mention that tomorrow I am hosting a family reunion here at my home for about 50 people?  :shock:

Life….

is never dull.  :razz:
For my hopes and dreams of Bloggiesta this time around here is my to do list:

1.  Catch up on the reviews I need to write (currently that is 4)

2.  Visit at least 10 new blogs a day throughout the weekend.  (I love visiting blogs!)

3.  Update my side bar to my current reads

4.  Participate in as many of the mini challenges as I can.

That’s it for now – due to obvious reasons (see above) I am going to keep it small and if I can add to this, which I suppose as I look at the mini challenges I will)….

Meryl Streep Movie Night – 1st night…

Quick update on last nights movie night at my home.  I had rented from Netflix the movie The Deer Hunter for our first Meryl Streep Movie night gathering.  You can catch all the details on that here.  So I prepared some cheese and grapes and crackers for my guests and when they arrived we proceded to go watch the movie. 

Except…

the movie wouldn’t load. 

I took it out of the DVD player and it was cracked on the bottom.  NO KIDDING!  :shock:  By the time we were deciding what to do it was 7:30 pm, we called out one local video store who did have a copy but when I looked on line I realized it was 3 hours long.  3 HOURS????  I didn’t even know they made movie that long in the 70′s!  SO…. instead we watched My Sisters Keeper as sadly I had no Meryl Streep movies that I own (s0 my bad!).  My plan is today to pick up the video store copy and I will watch it perhaps tonight or tomorrow night – but I will get it done and we will have our discussion… it may just now have to wait until after Banned Book Week.  :D

So that is what is happening here.  I would love to hear about your weekend plans.  Are you participating in Bloggiesta?  In banned book week? 

Bloggiesta Mini Challenge: Bring the Hits: Building a blog audience

Happy Bloggiesta!!!  (If you have not connected yet with Bloggiesta hurry over to the starting line now!)  This is going to be fun!  I hope everyone is ready to do some fun bloggish “to do’s” this weekend!  I know I am. 

My name is Sheila and I created this little world you are seeing here called Book Journey.  I started blogging in June of 2009 with a book review and no idea what I was doing.  For my Bloggiesta mini challenge I am going to give some tips I have learned along the way to help build an audience to your posts.

1.  So you have written what you believe to be an awesome post.  You hit publish and you excitedly await for people to visit and comment and join in your thoughts.  Everyone loves comments.  They are, as my friend Amanda said once, the bread and butter of a book blogger.  So knowing this, instead of waiting for people to find us, we should also be going out and finding them.  Set yourself goals – maybe visit 5 or 10 new blogs a day that you have not checked out before.  I find many new blogs to check out on the sidebars of the blogs I enjoy reading.  Visit.  Leave a real comment that would make that blogger want to see who you are and what you are about.  You may be surprised how many of those bloggers will come and see what you are blogging about right back.

In the early days of my book blogging, I visited and visited and visited… by doing this people knew I was out there, and many of my readers today have come from those early days.  Once you have them as regular readers, you tend to pick up some of their readers as well.

2.  So….. now you have people visiting, what are you showing them?  When the visitors come to your blog, you want to have your best post us front – after all, this is company!  :D  By saying the best post, I mean write posts that are informative or fun, whatever you are writing about.  Think about a first timer to your blog, is what you have written here going to cause them to follow you, or come back and visit again?   When I write a review that has a lot of passion for a book I really enjoyed or something crazy in my life, I want people to read it – laugh with me, share their thoughts with me – even be frustrated with me. 

3.  Blog layout.  Take a moment and look at your blog with an objective eye.  Does it have curb appeal?  Are the colors easy for visitors to read.  Is it easy to find where to comment?  Is the sidebar(s) if you have them, neat and current? 

The Mini Challenge

My Challenge for you , if you choose to accept it, is to go and visit 10 blogs today that are either new to you or you have not visited in a while.  Leave a good comment that contributes to the post.  Come back here and let me know in the comments that you did this and if you discovered a cool blog that you enjoyed and will probably check out again, let me know that as well.  You can enter this mini challenge once each day of Bloggiesta – in other words, you can visit 10 blogs or more each day of Bloggiesta and let me know each time here and I will enter you for each f the three days you participate.  Yes, up to three entries per person.  After Bloggiesta I will draw a winner using random.org for a $10 gift card to Amazon that will be emailed to you.  If the comments reach over 75, I will add a second winner of a $10 gift card. 

Throughout this weekend by doing the mini challenges you will find all sorts of awesome tips from some amazing bloggers!  Your blog can come out the other side of this weekend all shiny and new and tweaked to awesomeness!  Have fun! 

Morning Meanderings… A Little Bit Of JK In My Life

Mmmmmmm morning. 

It is fall so Wednesdays are back and in full force.  I work on Wednesdays until 3:00 pm, run home, let dogs out grab something to eat and go back to work with students from 5 – 8 pm.  It wipes me out.  :shock:

But this morning I got up and as I sit here with my coffee reading the morning emails I remember that today is the release of JK Rowling’s new book The Casual Vacancy. 

SSQQQQUUUEEE!!!!!

As I preordered that baby should be on my doorstep at some point today (thank you UPS!) and since the book room is done!  SQQQQQUUUEEEE again!  They finished the shelves yesterday, it will be going in there.  :D 

In Shelf Awareness today JK Rowling says that she feels she will go back to writing for children, maybe younger than the Harry Potter crowd – BUT (and I love this but!) she has not ruled out that if an idea stemmed off the original Harry Potter series and she could enter that world again in a new and refreshing way – she would.

“That’s all I need to hear you say JK!  That is all, that there is a possibility!”
So this morning I am humming Mambo #5 which makes no sense at all except that I am singing “A Little bit Of J K in my life….” in place of a little bit of Monica…. and really thats all I know of the song so I keep repeating that same line :D.

 

 

Today will be WILD.  I am going to work until noon – come home and put together the book room.  SSSQQQUUUEEEE!  ANd Ia lso need to write up my Bloggiesta mini challenge post, my Banned Book Week blog hop giveaway post, a review, and an article for Her Voice Magazine.  Tonight is the first Meryl Streep Movie Club night at my house and I will be serving wine and cheese in honor of the book room – which, you will see pics of Saturday morning. :D 

Ok – must get moving.  Did you pre-order the new JK book?  Put a hold on it at the library?  Do you plan to read it?  Skip it?  Wait to see what people are saying?

Defending Jacob by William Landay

Andy Barber has become known as someone not to go up against court rooms of Massachusetts, New England. He is well respected in his community and has been a pillar for about twenty some years.  Andy’s home is a happy one where he lives with his lovely wife Laurie and their 14 year old son Jacob.  If Andy were to be asked what he wished for, he would say all his wishes had come true already.

When a classmate of Jacob’s is killed, Andy is one of the first ones to investigate this unthinkable crime.  When talking with other students he is lead to start watching social networking sites and what he finds there is disturbing, the trail is leading to his son Jacob.  When Jacob becomes a suspect, Andy is removed from the case and even accused of interfering with the clues.  When Jacob is charged with the murder, Andy and Laura are tossed into a new world of accusations every where they turn. 

As Andy and Laura work at defending their son more and more information comes out including a past pattern of Jacob being cruel to animals as well as some unmentionable activity on a website Andy had never even heard of.  Yet Jacob swears he is innocent and Andy believes him, now with his hands tied, all he can do is sit back and watch the trail play out, hoping that the real killer is found.

 

Why did I want to read this book?  From the moment I heard about this one on line I was interested.  Court cases have always kind of sucked me in (years ago it was John Grisham, more recently Jodi Piccoult…).  A story about a young boy accused of murdering a classmate was something I wanted to know more about.

Defending Jacob was a phenomenal listen.   Grover Gardner did an excellent job of Narrating, distinguishing clearly between the many male voices in this tale of crime and accusation. 

Imagine if your child was accused of a murder.  Yes, your child who you tuck in at night, watch him play sports, pull in decent grades, and has a nice network of friends.  He is not a loaner.  He is not a dark distant child.  He is a typical teenage boy…. you can not fathom this accusation. 

That is the feeling that grabbed me as I listened to this novel.  I imagined as a parent what that would feel like and how you would hold it together.  As you listen you will see two parents trying to hold it together as their world around them falls apart.  Really, a story line that reads true, like anything you could read in the paper. 

I thoroughly enjoyed Defending Jacob and I am so glad I finally made time to experience it.  As I listened I could not decide it…. did Jacob do it?  Is he innocent?  If not Jacob, then who?

There’s only one way for you to find out…

READ THIS BOOK.  :D

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