Author Archives: Sheila (Book Journey)
Good morning! Happy Friday. I am thrilled to be at the end of another week with no major “to do’s” over the next few days.
Earlier this week I was looking at my blog dashboard at the posts that have received the most comments. I randomly chose a book discussion from 2010 and clicked on the links to those who had left comments. I was pleased to see that many of them were still active bloggers. Sure there were several that were no longer blogging, and if you are a long term blogger you probably know at least one or two that you used to read that no longer are active.
I think what I enjoyed most about this little “travel back in blog time” was how many blogs I was able to revisit years later and find them still talking books. It made me realize that we are still a strong force of book lovers. I love knowing that. It re energizes me to see us out there doing what we love… talking books.
I may get a little shopping done this weekend for Christmas, I need to spend a little time in the book room too doing a little reorganizing. Maybe those pics will be my Saturday post.
I hope everyone has a wonderful Friday and you are all taking this holiday time with stride and joy!
Below are a few challenges I am hosting going into the New Year. Click the picture to check them out.
Sylvia Plath, a name you may recognize as the author of The Bell Jar, and as the young woman who was on her way to a wonderful career only to commit suicide at the age of 32.
But before these invents, in 1953 a 23 year old Sylvia Plath was a young beautiful girl with the world at her fingertips. She was a guest editor for the fashion magazine Mademoiselle and was given a month in New York. Besides working with the magazine, Sylvia was also able to attend lavish parties, plays, ballet and more.
Sylvia was on her way. This time in New York helped shape Sylvia’s writing in good ways, but also created in her an anxiety that would play out for the rest of her life. Told in part by those who knew her then, Pain, Parties, Work is a captivating story of a girl who could have left an entirely different legacy than the one we know her for.
Since my book club read The Bell Jar, I have had an interest in Sylvia Plath’s life. It is hard to look at the girl that is talked about in this book as self assured, almost ahead of her time; and then see how it all ended just 9 years later.
I listened to this book on audio and found it to be very engaging. I enjoyed hearing what those who knew her thought of her then… no one seen what was to come.
It was nice to actually listen to this “before” story. I take comfort in knowing that Sylvia was not always battling her anxiety and depression to such a level that paralyzed her. While The Bell Jar is the last published work of Sylvia’s, published shortly before her death, it carries with it an entirely different feel than this book. Pain Parties Work is a book I would recommend to those who are curious about Sylvia Plath’s days as a young girl with big dreams. I found this book to be well done.
Good morning! This post was supposed to go up yesterday morning but I over slept, missed my morning work out and by the time I prepped the pictures it was time for me to get read for work.
Ahhhh… the best laid plans…
Tuesday was our Annual Christmas party for the Bookies. Along with our review of The Christmas Grandma Ran Away From Home by Nancy Warren, we had a fun home made gift exchange.
Review first…. “meh”. I will not be doing a full review here as I did not read it. We accidentally chose a book that was an e read only and when I heard it was only 45 pages I thought I would read it a few days before our meeting… and then…. life happened, busy with other things and I did not get it done. Shortest book in Bookies 12 year history and I do not finish. :shock: For those that did read it they said it had many holes and felt unfinished. It wasn’t a bad read, just not great although those with busy loves like me were grateful that it was such a quick book.
The gift exchange was a lot of fun. We have always done a gift exchange but this year we added the twist of it having to be homemade. Insert *gulp* here. While not a crafty person really, I did come through in a inch with the Christmas bulbs filled with snowflakes from the Same Sweet Girls book and my first attempt at homemade caramels which came out AWESOME!
Below you will see what everyone wound up with:
The pic of me is me wearing my gift (SCORE!) It is a nice thick knitted head band that covers my head and ears – great for outdoors. LOVE IT!!!!
IN fact… I love it so much…. I wore it to work on Wednesday:
Cath and Wren, twin sisters, grew up on the Simon Snow books (think Harry Potter fandom). Through the rough times the girls had the books to fall into. As they went through high school and upon entering college, Wren outgrew the obsession with the books, but Cath never did.
Wren is excited for the college life. She plans to live it and experience it to the fullest. Cath just wants to write fan fiction, which she has done for years now, creating a story line around the now household character names of the Simon Snow books. Simon Snow and the world she has created keeps Cath feeling safe in a world that she has no control over. Her many followers of her writing keep her motivated to keep on writing, encouraged by this fictional world she can call the shots in.
When Wren lets Cath know that she does not want to be roommates, instead looking forward to breaking out of the “oh look twins” shell they have grown up in, Cath is shocked. Forced to room with a stranger named Reagan and her once boyfriend Levi who hangs around more and more when Reagan is not there…
How does one step up into the next level of life, when they are very happy with the fictional one they have created?
Syllabification: (fan·girl) Pronunciation: /ˈfanˌgərl/ noun
If I would have known that Fangirl was a bit in a way sort of kind of about Harry Potter in any way shape or form… I would have snatched it up forever ago. ~ Sheila
I listened to Fangirl on audio and in no time at all was completely immersed in the world of college and friendships and the undieing love of a book.. so much that you have went on to create your own stories involving the characters just to keep them alive. As much a huge “Potter Head” as I am … I never thought about creating fan fiction, writing these characters into other situations… the whole fan fiction thing is kind of brilliant (and yes borderline obsessive – but hey… who ya hurtin’? )
Strongly character driven Fan Girl had the essence of The Fault In Our Stars (John Green). Levi gave me an Augustus vibe and in a good way. Quick witted, snarky but not in a mean way….his placement with Cath as a more down to earth level protagonist was a great mix.
Narrators Rebecca Lowman and Maxwell Caulfield did a wonderful job and they really had their work cut out for them as dialogue is a huge part of the flow of this book – and it works.
Fangirl was a delight to read and I was excited to review it to share it with all of you. SO delighted in fact, I immediately upon finishing Fangirl downloaded Eleanor and Park by this same author. Diving into that one starting tonight.
Do not miss out on a fun read – Harry Potter fans, jump on board!
Grace Stanton is living the life. With her life style blog bringing in thousands of views a day and advertisers lining up to be a part of it, as well as a super hot husband… well, what more could she want?
Then one evening she catches that sweet husband with her so-called trusted assistant and the next thing you know Grace has driven his sports car into the pool. Seeking sanctuary at her mother’s house while she clears her head, Grace learns that hell hath no fury does not only apply to women….
Suddenly Grace finds her bank accounts closed, and her blog passwords changed. As Grace’s husbands name is on everything, he is shutting her life down one gold card at a time and now Grace is left with the clothes on her back and the change in her pocket.
Forced by the divorce judge to attend mandatory “divorce recovery” sessions weekly, Grace finds herself among a group of disgruntled women… surprisingly all sent to this same quirky divorce recovery by the same judge… something does not seem to be on the up and up. As the women in this group start to bond they find they have a lot in common and “Ladies Night” comes out of the ashes of their messy messed up lives and something new begins to grow…
is it hope?
I so enjoyed this read! Light and funny, Grace is a woman who has been wronged. As a blogger myself… I can only imagine what it would be like to lose my rights to my own site…. grrrr :razz:
Mary Kay Andrews writes Grace as a strong female character who gets knocked down, but finds her way back up. In a fun fast paced read that will have you laughing and cheering, Ladies Night is Women’s Chick Lit at its finest. Grab a glass of wine and pull up a chair!
The Bookies reviewed this book for our November read. We had a lot of fun setting up our food and drinks as the “Sandbox”, the name of Grace’s moms bar. For the most part, the girls really enjoyed the book giving it an above average score overall.
Good morning! How ya all doing this fine Tuesday? I have been up and at the gym and home to my coffee and a quick post to you. Tonight is our December book club meeting and Christmas party… always a good time!
This year, we decided for our gift exchange that we had to make home-made gifts. :shock: In true fashion, I have procrastinated on this until last night when I finally realized what I wanted to do was not going to happen so I went a completely different route. Instead I made these:
I took one of our book clubs favorite reads through the years Same Sweet Girls by Cassandra King, and snowflake punched several pages. I then put the flakes into the little Christmas bulbs here and decorated with ribbon. Same Sweet Girls is the book that created our July Queen event… plus, we as the Bookies, really are the same sweet girls. If time allows, I plan to try my hand later this afternoon at homemade caramels to “sweeten” the deal…. get it? Sweeten?
So hopefully none of the girls attending tonight read this post today as our gifts will be brown paper wrapped and we roll dice to see who gets what…. excited to see how it goes!
Are you in a book club?
If you are, do you do anything special for the holidays?
Hey there! Welcome to It’s Monday, What Are You Reading!
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. Fair warning… this meme tends to add to your reading list!
It was a pretty great week! I worked, I volunteered, I got things done. :D I posted yesterday that we had our Holiday Open House at the Library on Saturday and I put together a book tree. I promised to post a pic earlier today and then I forgot so here it is now… Wala:
It was fun to put together but a lot more work (and books!) than I thought it would be.
I posted quite a few things this week too and that I feel is awesome… I so feel like i have my groove back! “Hello Stella!”
The 2014 Bucket List Challenge (something a little different that I am excited about!)
WHERE Are You Reading Challenge 2014 ( I have hosted this challenge since 2011, it seems like the appropriate challenge to go with our What are you reading meme.) Check it out!
What Alice Forgot by Alice Moriarty (WOW! I am loving this author!)
GONE by James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge (love this series!)
First Book Of The Year Group meme and YOU are invited!
The Coldest Girl In Cold Town by Holly Black (if there is a “meh” of the week… this is it.)
City Of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare (*sigh* LOVE!)
As for what I will be reading this week:
Cath is a Simon Snow fan. Okay, the whole world is a Simon Snow fan, but for Cath, being a fan is her life–and she’s really good at it. She and her twin sister, Wren, ensconced themselves in the Simon Snow series when they were just kids; it’s what got them through their mother leaving.
Reading. Rereading. Hanging out in Simon Snow forums, writing Simon Snow fan fiction, dressing up like the characters for every movie premiere.
Cath’s sister has mostly grown away from fandom, but Cath can’t let go. She doesn’t want to.
Now that they’re going to college, Wren has told Cath she doesn’t want to be roommates. Cath is on her own, completely outside of her comfort zone. She’s got a surly roommate with a charming, always-around boyfriend, a fiction-writing professor who thinks fan fiction is the end of the civilized world, a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words . . . And she can’t stop worrying about her dad, who’s loving and fragile and has never really been alone.
For Cath, the question is: Can she do this?
Can she make it without Wren holding her hand? Is she ready to start living her own life? Writing her own stories?
And does she even want to move on if it means leaving Simon Snow behind?
Ok, this one sounds a little different to me but people are raving so in I go. I started it today.
Brooke has been happily married to her college sweetheart for fifteen years. Even after the C-section, the dog poop, the stomach viruses and the coffee breath, Scott always winks at her in just the right moments. That is why, for her beloved, romantic, successful husband’s fortieth birthday, she is giving him pictures. Of herself. Naked.
Newlywed Samantha learns of her husband’s cheating heart when she finds the goods on his computer.
High-powered career woman Katherine works with heartbreaker Phillip, the man who hurt her early on in her career.
Brooke, Samantha, and Katherine don’t know each other, but their stories are about to intertwine in ways no one could have imagined.
And all three are about to discover the power of friendship to conquer adversity, the satisfaction of unexpected delights, the incredible difference one human being can have on other lives–and that they have all they could ask for, as long as they have each other.
Doesn’t this sound fun?
Four Days in November is an extraordinarily exciting, precise, and definitive narrative of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy on November 22, 1963, by Lee Harvey Oswald. It is drawn from Reclaiming History: The Assassination of President John F. Kennedy, a huge and historic account of the event and all the conspiracy theories it spawned, by Vincent Bugliosi, famed prosecutor of Charles Manson and author of Helter Skelter. For general readers, the carefully documented account presented in Four Days is utterly persuasive: Oswald did it and he acted alone.
OOh .. right?
I think that’s where I am at for the week. I am excited to see what you are reading and or listening to. Please add your It’s Monday What Are You Reading post to the link below where it says click here.
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For those of you that read mainly middle grade and childrens books, be sure to also link to the younger version of It’s Monday by using the link below!
*This review may inadvertently contain spoilers if you have not read the previous 4 books)
In City Of Lost Souls, Jace is just gone. After the battle of the last book and Lilith’s dark magic, Clary finds nothing but an empty room. Perhaps just as disturbing and if not even more so, Sebastians body is gone as well. It appears that Lilith has bound the two together – you can not harm one, without harming the other. Death for one, means death for both.
As the Clave is planning a search and destroy mission for Sebastien, Clary, Simon, Alec, Isabelle, and Magnus are trying to figure out how to find Jace and a way to separate the dark magic off of him before he is killed. When Clary discovers a way to get to where Jace is, she knows she is offering up her own life as well as Jace is not who he once was. Now under the control of a powerful magic, Jace has a new agenda that will with the manipulation of Sebastian, destroy everything.
How far do you go for love? And if there is a line… where is it?
Holy twinkies this was good reading! I fell right into page one and hid from the world until I could finish this amazing book. Cassandra Clare does not weaken in her writing as the books go on, if anything, like any good series, they become even better, more powerful and ugh….. what am I going to do until that 6th and final book comes out in May????
If you are looking for an amazing series that I could honestly say can enter into my “books that come close to my love of the Harry Potter books”… this is your series. If you know my total love and obsession for all things Harry Potter, you know that these are words I do not take lightly. WOW oh WOW.
This week, the first book in this series, City Of Bones, came out in DVD. The movie is fantastic! My advice… it is winter and at least in my area of the world… winter is LONG. Pick up these books…. enjoy that first movie and please please please, join me in the world of The Immortal Instruments.
Previous books in this series and the reviews:
City Of Bones (the only one I listened to on audio)
Good Morning! I have not put together one of these posts in a while but each week I admire the way at Kim at Sophisticated Dorkiness writes up her Sunday post so thought I would take a bit of direction from her.
Time: 8:33 am
Place: The comfy recliner in our living room with my favorite blanket
Consuming: So far just coffee but an egg white omelet is calling my name
Watching: I am deeply involved (ADDICTED!) to The Walking Dead. I know.. I know… I never dreamed I would like such a show. My friends have raved about it to the point that I picked up the first three seasons on the Thanksgiving weekend sales. Now, half way through season two.. I have to say it is keeping me up at night watching.
Reading: ugh… I am just starting a book, All That You Could Ask For, that I meant to start yesterday but time did not allow. What I should be reading is our book club book that we will discuss on Tuesday.
Listening to… an array of “OK” audio. The new Ann Rule in my car just did not engage me, and while Killing Jesus is interesting (wow… does that sounds wrong…) I am not finding myself as fully invested as I was in Killing Kennedy and Killing Lincoln and I think I know why. It will make for an interesting review.
Making: Today I need to create something for Book Club. We decided this year our gift exchange would be homemade gifts. I have an idea… just need to get it done. Also – tonight I will be making dinner for Brad and Al…. Thai chicken is calling my name and a great butternut squash… (LOVE squash).
Blogging: This week seemed to have been the week for me to put up posts to engage others in. I put up two 2014 challenges -
and I put up a New Years 1st Book Of The Year event
Anticipating: This afternoon I am going to Catching Fire (again!) with my friend Amy. Her first time seeing it, my second. It is her birthday and we were supposed to go opening night and she was unable to go. Cant wait to see it with her!
Also, looking forward to a semi quiet day. This weekend was a whirlwind of activity. I spent most of the day Friday and half the day Saturday helping at the Library. Last night we had a Christmas party to attend and a birthday party. I came home around midnight, great stuff…. but I hate overbooked schedules, they wipe me out.
Which, is probably a good description of me at this time… wiped out. I just need a few hours to re-energize. Today is the perfect day to do it. I little blog visiting, a little reading… I will be back up and moving before you know it.
How is your Sunday shaping up? Is Sunday a “gear” up for Monday day, or is it a soak up the last of the weekend day and take it easy day?
Tana lives in a futuristic world. There are humans, like Tana, and their are the dead… vampires, that live in walled cities called Coldtown. The Coldtown occupants are safe from others and can live as normal a life as possible surrounded by their kind, the undead.
One morning, after a crazy happening party with her friends, Tana wakes up to find everyone dead. Among the massacre she finds her ex boyfriend in the throws of being turned into a vampire, and another strange quiet boy hiding in a room. The three of them set off for Coldtown in hopes that Tana may be able to save them.
Eep. I really was thinking I would like this one a lot and that turned out not to be true. I found as I listened to this one on audio that I could not get a good feel for any of the characters. There was no one I wanted to say “I got your back!” to. It just left me feeling kind of ….
As I thought through this I think I have come to the conclusion that I like my vampire books more like Twilight. I know some of you just groaned and that’s ok. :razz: I admit it, I like my vampires to be just like us, looking like us, and still remaining cute and sociable and the whole “I like blood” thing takes a back seat. When you make the blood and gore the center of the story…. I lose interest… (and quite possibly my lunch).
So that is my take on the book, or in this case, audio – but I know others have loved it so look for other opinions on this one. My squeam level just couldn’t handle it.
Check out these other thoughts on the book: