Author Archives: Sheila (Book Journey)

Morning Meanderings… The Post I Was Planning To Post has been…. ummm… postponed.

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Good morning!

Snap Crackle… P’o’d.

Ok.. that seems strong for an innocent Tuesday morning when I really have been up for a little over an hour and I can not take certain THINGS out on the day….

or can I?

This is the weather forecast for Minnesota as of last night…

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That’s Brainerd upper left at 3.6 inches.  And yes… its happening right now. 

My post was going to be about this guy that walks outside my office window spring though fall and sings.  All the time.  Always singing, always loud… and I love his free spirit.. but that post will wait…

because of the s____.

I can think of another 4 letter “s” word that comes to mind.

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Have a super day :)

Morning Meanderings… It’s Time To Move It Move It!

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Good morning Tuesday!  Wow.  It’s still cold here in Minnesota *shakes fist at air*, however sitting inside the house this morning looking outside… it looks nice – and after this LONG winter… I can accept the fact that it looks like spring.. even if it doesn’t feel like it yet.  (Yes…. this mornings run on sentence is brought to you by…. me apparently. ;)

I have been in such a long winter funk I think my energy has been zapped unlike anything I have dealt with in a long time.  I come home and I want to do pretty much nothing… and its driving me bananas. :)

The good thing is there are AMAZING things to be looking forward to.  Yesterday evening we had a great first team meeting to our Wine and Words event this fall.  It is always energizing to see others get excited about what is planned.

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Also – in a couple of weeks there is a 10K I am participating in with my friend Amy… and that same weekend… a Zombie event in my home town that… well, honestly… I just want to be a zombie for a few hours.  (Episode after episode on The Walking Dead has prepared me for this role…)

In May – College son graduates AND I am in charge of a BIG garage sale for a movie campaign…. then… the Book Expo in New York is the last week of May followed immediately by a run in the cities on June 1.

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Armchair BEA registration is now open as well – we had a brain storming session yesterday afternoon with the team and this is going to be a great year… if you are not going to BEA – be sure to register for this, it is going to be awesome!  (More on Armchair BEA to come in future posts!)

Armchair BEA

Holy smokes… things are going to take off fast here. :)

Just writing all that down is helping.  Think I need a little video jam to go with this post.

 

Oh and I am reading To Rise Again At A Decent Hour by Joshua Ferris and it is fun.  This may be the book for Bloggers Recommended, May edition out later this month.  I am listening to Rob Lowe’s new book that just came out (loved his first one on audio) and I just really enjoy listening to him… the boy has a lot of talent, narrating included.

Dance it up people.  It’s Tuesday!  I like to move it move it! :)

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

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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 has been a pretty AWESOME week and weekend here… lots of bookish happenings between Friends Of The Library Meeting, Book Club, and a great weekend at the cabin with a pretty much ” all books all day” day.  :D  That never happens.

Here is what I posted this past week:

Read It Before You See It – New Library Window :D

 

Bookies Book Club Review – A Constellation Of Vital Phenomena (and food!)

 

The Divorce Papers by Susan Rieger

 

 

Not a whole lot posted but this week should be different… I finished two books and two audio while I was away this weekend (that 3 and a half hours each way makes for great audio time!) The books are both May releases so I may hold off on reviewing them for a bit but the audio is coming your way soon – and hopefully more to come as spring inches me away from my nasty tv habit at night and back into books on the deck :)

 

Here is what is on deck (oh I hope so!) for this week:

 

 

For my Ears

 

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Mild-mannered sheep farmer Albert Stark is fed up with the harsh life of the American frontier, where it seems everything and anything can kill you: Duels at high noon. Barroom brawls. Poisonous snakes. Cholera-infected drinking water. Tumbleweed abrasion. Something called “toe-foot.” Even a trip to the outhouse. Yes, there are a million ways to die in the wild, wild West, and Albert plans to avoid them all. Some people think that makes him a coward. Albert calls it common sense. But when his girlfriend dumps him for the most insufferable guy in town, Albert decides to fight back—even though he can’t shoot, ride, or throw a punch. Fortunately, he teams up with a beautiful gunslinger who’s tough enough for the both of them. Unfortunately, she’s married to the biggest, meanest, most jealous badass on the frontier. Turns out Albert has just discovered a million and one ways to die in the West.

 

 

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We weren’t always like this. We used to be average New York City high school sophomores. Until our homeroom went for flu shots. We were prepared for some side effects. Maybe a headache. Maybe a sore arm. We definitely didn’t expect to get telepathic powers. But suddenly we could hear what everyone was thinking. Our friends. Our parents. Our crushes. Now we all know that Tess is in love with her best friend, Teddy. That Mackenzie cheated on Cooper. That, um, Nurse Carmichael used to be a stripper.

Since we’ve kept our freakish skill a secret, we can sit next to the class brainiac and ace our tests. We can dump our boyfriends right before they dump us. We know what our friends really think of our jeans, our breath, our new bangs. We always know what’s coming. Some of us will thrive. Some of us will crack. None of us will ever be the same.
So stop obsessing about your ex. We’re always listening.

 

 

For my Eyes

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Paul O’Rourke is a man made of contradictions: he loves the world, but doesn’t know how to live in it. He’s a Luddite addicted to his iPhone, a dentist with a nicotine habit, a rabid Red Sox fan devastated by their victories, and an atheist not quite willing to let go of God.

Then someone begins to impersonate Paul online, and he watches in horror as a website, a Facebook page, and a Twitter account are created in his name. What begins as an outrageous violation of his privacy soon becomes something more soul-frightening: the possibility that the online “Paul” might be a better version of the real thing. As Paul’s quest to learn why his identity has been stolen deepens, he is forced to confront his troubled past and his uncertain future in a life disturbingly split between the real and the virtual.

 

 

 

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It’s summer, and after ten years away, Allie Beckett has returned to her family’s cabin beside tranquil Butternut Lake, where as a teenager she spent so many carefree days. She’s promised her five-year-old son, Wyatt, they will be happy there. She’s promised herself this is the place to begin again after her husband’s death in Afghanistan. The cabin holds so many wonderful memories, but from the moment she crosses its threshold Allie is seized with doubts. Has she done the right thing uprooting her little boy from the only home he’s ever known?

Allie and her son are embraced by the townsfolk, and her reunions with old acquaintances—her friend Jax, now a young mother of three with one more on the way, and Caroline, the owner of the local coffee shop—are joyous ones. And then there are newcomers like Walker Ford, who mostly keeps to himself—until he takes a shine to Wyatt . . . and to Allie.

Everyone knows that moving forward is never easy, and as the long, lazy days of summer take hold, Allie must learn to unlock the hidden longings of her heart, and to accept that in order to face the future she must also confront—and understand—what has come before.

 

 

 

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Flight attendant Summer Benson lives by two rules: Don’t stay with the same man for too long and never stay in one place. She’s about to break rule number one by considering accepting her boyfriend’s proposal—then disaster strikes and her world is shattered in an instant.
 
Summer heads to Black Dog Bay, where the locals welcome her. Even Hattie Huntington, the town’s oldest, richest, and meanest resident, likes her enough to give her a job. Then there’s Dutch Jansen, the rugged, stoic mayor, who’s the opposite of her type. She probably shouldn’t be kissing him. She definitely shouldn’t be falling in love.
 
After a lifetime of globe-trotting, Summer has finally found a home. But Hattie has old scores to settle and a hidden agenda for her newest employee. Summer finds herself faced with an impossible choice: Leave Black Dog Bay behind forever, or stay with the ones she loves and cost them everything…

 

That’s the week! Hope you had a great one and have some good reading /listening coming up!  Please add your link to It’s Monday!  What Are You Reading below where it says click here.

 

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For those of you that read mainly middle grade and children’s books, be sure to also link to the younger version of It’s Monday by using the link below!

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The Divorce Papers by Susan Rieger

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Sophie Diehl is very happy at her pace in a New England Law Firm as a Criminal Law Associate.  And… if she does say so herself, she is a pretty darn good one too.  One weekend when everyone is out of the office either on other business or on vacation, Sophie is tasked with doing an intake interview for divorce proceedings for a daughter of a high-profile client. 

It is just the intake interview, Sophie is assured, but Mia Meiklejohn Durkheim likes Sophie’s “take no prisoner” attitude and decides that Sophie is who she wants to represent her.  So much in fact, that she is willing to pay double to secure her services.  While Sophie does everything she can to politely pass, the partners of the firm assure her that is she is who Mia wants…. then she is who Mia will get.

*gulp*

With the help of a couple of the divorce lawyers in the firm, and facing the wrath of the female partner who is actually a divorce lawyer who would have received this case had she not been on vacation, Fiona McGregor, Sophie struggles through using her skills as a criminal lawyer to create an interesting divorce case.

 

 

 

I have this in book format and I downloaded it on Audible as well.  I went audio due to wanting to get to the book, but not having the time to sit and read. 

At first as I started listening to this audio, I was surprised to pick up on the fact that this book was going to be told in correspondence… IE. emails, letters, post it notes….  (In hindsight I really do not know why I was surprised… after all it is called DIVORCE PAPERS).  :oops:  I was really hoping that there would be more of the story told out of the context of written communications…

Then…

I got into the rhythm of the book, finding myself looking forward to correspondence with certain people, such as Sophie’s communications with David, her boss who was working on the case as support to her lack of divorce law knowledge. I enjoyed his voice and when I would hear his narration start I would get excited to hear what he had to say.

Yes there is a lot of law speak.  It did become a bit tedious that almost all of  the correspondence started with a date, an address, who the correspondence was too, who it was copied too, and what attachments there were to go along with said correspondence.  For this, I think the audio served me well as I imagine that with all this information I would skim if I had read the book.  For that matter, correspondence that did not interest me I probably would have skimmed as well, and again the audio does not allow for that so I probably did the book more justice by listening to it.

I enjoyed The Divorce Papers.  I actually learned a few things that take place in such proceedings, and the knowledge seeker in me enjoyed that.  To me, the story was a bit over the top with both parties of the divorce either having money at the ready, or high dollar property in their name as well as collections such as paintings…  this however did not dampen my enjoyment of the read. 

 

 

 

Bookies Review: A Constellation Of Vital Phenomena by Anthony Marra

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A Constellation of Vital Phenomena was our book clubs April 2014 read.  Amazon describes this book as:

In a small rural village in Chechnya, eight-year-old Havaa watches from the woods as Russian soldiers abduct her father in the middle of the night and then set fire to her home. When their lifelong neighbor Akhmed finds Havaa hiding in the forest with a strange blue suitcase, he makes a decision that will forever change their lives. He will seek refuge at the abandoned hospital where the sole remaining doctor, Sonja Rabina, treats the wounded.

For Sonja, the arrival of Akhmed and Havaa is an unwelcome surprise. Weary and overburdened, she has no desire to take on additional risk and responsibility. But over the course of five extraordinary days, Sonja’s world will shift on its axis and reveal the intricate pattern of connections that weaves together the pasts of these three unlikely companions and unexpectedly decides their fate. A story of the transcendent power of love in wartime, A Constellation of Vital Phenomena is a work of sweeping breadth, profound compassion, and lasting significance.

This book was a bit heavier than anything we have read recently.  Some of us stumbled through a deeper read with names (like Ahkmed, Khassan Akim, Maali,) and words that caused your mind pause as you sorted through the sound and meaning.  Admittedly, several Bookies were lost along the way and stopped early on in the read not finding their way around the words or the drawn out nature of the authors way of writing. 

On the flip of that – a few Bookies loved the challenge of the language and wholeheartedly embraced this fictional and historical read based around the Chechnya war.

“At the kitchen table she examined the glass of ice. Each cube was rounded by room temperature, dissolving in its own remains, and belatedly she understood that this was how a loved one disappeared. Despite the shock wave of walking into an empty flat, the absence isn’t immediate, more a fade from the present tense you shared, a melting into the mast, not an erasure but a conversion in form, from presence to memory, from solid to liquid, and the person you once touched runs over your skin, now in sheets down your back, and you may bathe, may sink, may drown in the memory, but your fingers cannot hold it.”
Anthony Marra, A Constellation of Vital Phenomena

Whatever side of the book you fell on, yay or nay – we all had to admit it made for an interesting and engaging discussion.  Usually when I bring up a discussion question during the group’s time together one or two of us will respond with our thoughts and we move on, but this time,this book, brought out more discussion, some heated, some pained, much filled with facts,mixed with the facts of this war and the historic beauty as well.  I found myself as the “note taker” of the group, just sitting back and listening to the conversations of what each person found within this books pages.  Their discussion and enthusiasm made me want to dig in more.

We were, for the most part, touched that the books events actually happened in our lifetime… and in the end we were able to pull out themes in the books such as connectedness and the importance of it, humor within a dark world, author Anthony Marra pulls a deep passionate look at a war-torn country in this debut novel.

Of course we had food…

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The pudding, while quite to the point of the book – was pretty impressive.  I made the upper right hand corner Chechnya spicy chicken from the culture and the 4th picture down of the wheat pasta to tone done the strong taste of the chicken.  Lemon rice (2nd picture down) was mentioned in the book, the Gnocchi Salad (3rd picture down) was culturally correct, and the yummy desert on the bottom… well… yummy. :)

What will book clubs like about this book?

A Constellation Of Vital Phenomena will bring up some all so real discussion of what this was war must have been like to live through.  Discussion can lead to just what a fragile society we are, by removing resources we could just as easily experience something like this.  This is a book that caused conversation and emotion to flow freely -for our group, I barely needed to ask questions to stimulate conversation, we were talking about the book from the moment we walked in the door. 

While not a light fun read or discussion, it is one that will cause your group feel that they just read something very important and most likely come out the other side knowing a little more about our world. 

Personal note:  as of this writing, I sadly admit I have not thoroughly read this book myself.  In a busy month and finding the book more work to get into than some, I skimmed the pages getting the feel for the discussion.  I would also like to note after listening to my group share their thoughts on this book, I know I will be going back and reading it properly because hard read or not… I think this one is important for me to get a strong feel for this book…. something tells me, this one may move on  to something more and I do love being ahead of the media. :)  ~Sheila

Morning Meanderings… End Of A Really Good Week

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Good morning!  It is Friday and the sun is shining.  No kidding… in Minnesota… it is true, check this out:

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Yes.  That is my back deck this morning… finally warming up for future hang outs with ice tea, friends, and books.

This week was such a good one.  Monday was our Friends Of The Public Library meetings, Tuesday was book club, and last night I went with friends to a wine tasting, secured 50 donated bottles of wine for the Wine and Words auction, and went to Divergent with a few friends. 

Today as soon as I wrap up a couple emails I am heading off to the cabin for the weekend to check on things up North, get in a little reading, writing, and R and R before I come back on Sunday and hit it again.

Here are the books and audio I am taking with me – not because I think I am a speed reader/listener – but because I do not know what I will want to read or what will grab me.  The drive is over 3 hours there and the audio I am currently listening to, Divorce Papers, will end before I get there today. :)  I like options.

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I do plan to pop in over the weekend, however North shore internet is iffy so we will see….

Enjoy the weekend – read something AMAZING!

 

Morning Meanderings… Read It Before You See It!

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Good morning! Happy Wednesday already!  Lots of fun things happening here… book club last night (more on that later) and earlier this week I changed out the library window to books that will or are movies with in a two-year span.  It was a fun project:

 

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I used books from my own stash and those that I did not own I printed out covers for. 

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It was hard to get a great pic – I was picking off a glare on the window but this gives you an idea. 

What an exciting time with so many wonderful books becoming movies!  I really get excited about that!  And yay to Gillian Flynn with both Gone Girl and Dark Places hitting the big screen! 

Is there a particular book that you are excited to see become a movie?  What one are you waiting for? 

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

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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!

Its been a pretty good week, I had quite a few opportunities to get in some good audio time and have apparently made some good choices lately as I am on a good streak of enjoying everything I have been reading and listening to.  Here is what I posted this week:

The Weight Of Blood by Laura McHugh

 

Panic By Lauren Oliver (Oliver has done it again!)

 

The Troop by Nick Cutter (looking for a good scare?  The troop is spooky good!)

 

Armchair BEA and BEA – they are coming - learn more about them here :)

 

Missing You by Harlan Coben (if you are looking for a great thriller author that is not over the top, fun to read and great story lines… Harlan is that author)

 

 

A pretty good week!  This week I will be listening to and reading:

 

 

For my Ears:

 

1bbOn the midnight shift at a hospital in rural St. Andrew, Maine, Dr. Luke Findley is expecting a quiet evening. Until a mysterious woman arrives in his ER, escorted by police—Lanore McIlvrae is a murder suspect—and Luke is inexplicably drawn to her. As Lanny tells him her story, an impassioned account of love and betrayal that transcends time and mortality, she changes his life forever. . . . At the turn of the nineteenth century, when St. Andrew was a Puritan settlement, Lanny was consumed as a child by her love for the son of the town’s founder, and she will do anything to be with him forever. But the price she pays is steep—an immortal bond that chains her to a terrible fate for eternity.

 

 

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 Love Life serves up another delicious selection of intimate stories and observations from Rob Lowe’s life, told with humor, warmth, and brutal honesty. After writing his acclaimed debut effort, Lowe felt he had more stories to share and many more friends to introduce. The result is a touching memoir about the business and craft of acting, the pitfalls of success, family, love, and much more.  

 

For My Eyes:

 

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Bay Singer has bigger secrets than most. She doesn’t know about them, though. Her mother, Nan, has made sure of that. But one phone call from the sheriff makes Nan realize that the past is catching up. Nan decides that she has to make things right, and invites over the two estranged friends who know the truth. Ruthie and Mavis arrive in a whirlwind of painful memories, offering Nan little hope of protecting Bay. But even the most ruined garden is resilient, and their curious reunion has powerful effects that none of them could imagine, least of all Bay.

 

That’s the week! Hope you had a great one and have some good reading /listening coming up!  Please add your link to It’s Monday!  What Are You Reading below where it says click here.

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For those of you that read mainly middle grade and children’s books, be sure to also link to the younger version of It’s Monday by using the link below!

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Missing You by Harlan Coben

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2nd generation Detective Kat Donovan knows what it is like to be on the losing end.  Eighteen years earlier her father was gunned down and his killer now sits at the end of his life sentence.  Shortly after, Kat’s fiance Jeff breaks their engagement with little explanation.  From that point on Kat buried herself in her work leaving little time for anything else.

When a friend signs Kat up for online dating service, Kat is skeptical, but one night starts looking through the men that the site has lined up for her as possible “connections”.  Kat freezes when she finds herself staring at the man who broke her heart all those years ago; apparently using a false name.  When she tries to message him he replies with a flat response giving no acknowledgement of their past at all… and as Kat digs deeper… what she discovers is enough to bring chills up her spine…

If Jeff caught up in a scam of luring women and men with money into false hopes of a relationship? 

With her personal life and her career all colliding at once, Kat starts investigating where it is clear that people on both sides of the law do not want her looking in to deeply.

 

 

Harlan Coben NEVER disappoints.  Every book that man writes is worth the wait.  I loved this book!  Kat was a great protagonist, she was strong and independent, but had a softer side as well. 

As you dig into what is really happening in this book it is enough to give you chills as it is such a real feeling scenario you can easily imagine reading about something like this in a newspaper. 

There is so much awesomeness in this book yet I do not want to give even a sample away as this is a book served better with you diving in and putting your seat belt on – you are in for a thrilling adventure!

DO not hesitate to pick this book up – I mark my reputation as a book reviewer that this is Harlan at his finest.  Awesome. Awesome. Awesome.

Morning Meandering… Let Me Introduce You To Armchair BEA 2014

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Good morning!  Yesterday was a pretty sweet day here in Central Minnesota…. it was warm (well 50 degrees makes me happy at this point) and looks to stay this way moving forward (*cartwheels* * back flip* *High fiving anyone and everyone*)  AND when it starts to feel like spring…

I start to think about BEA (Book Expo America).

I have been able to go every year since 2010 and I have been amazed every year.  If you are on the decision side of should I stay or should I go…. you should GO.  And over the next 7 or 8 weeks… you are probably going to see me chat about BEA a lot here…. however, before you think “Sheila, this totally does not apply to me, I will not be attending and I really do not want to hear about something I am not taking part in…”

Oh but wait my friend….

Have you heard of Armchair BEA?

Armchair BEA is a way for those who will not be attending to get the feel of the event from their very own homes.  Through this site you can participate with daily discussions, giveaways, and live videos and posts from the event itself. It will be like being there without the expense of the plane train or automobile to get there.

Armchair BEA

I a, super excited to be part of the On-Site Correspondents Team.  *SQQQUUUEEEE* What that means is that myself as well as 3 other awesome bloggers will be the eyes and ears on site for those participating from home.  We will take video of what we are seeing and doing.  We will do interviews and give you as much BEA as you handle.  I am SUPER excited to be a part of this team.

Registration will soon be open to sign up to be an Armchair BEA participant.  I do hope you will all sign up and hang out with my virtually for a week at the end of May.  I will keep you informed here when registration is open, in the mean time, please check out the site and grad the button I posted here for your side bar.

It’s going to be a good good time.

 

 

As far as books that came to my home this week… I am never short of reading material that’s for sure…

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Hope your Sunday plans are something fun or relaxing or both :D  I will be working on our book club read this afternoon and possibly going to the movie Noah with my hubby.

 

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