Category Archives: BBAW

BBAW: ANd so… the time has come…

 

Wow did that week go by fast or what?  I am sitting here with COFFEE CUP looking at the books I was giving away this week – I still have one more – and well… wow.  This is it.

Todays questions was what did we get out of the week.  This was the first week, yesterday actually – where I was able to actually just sit down and enjoy blogs and blogging.  Usually I am squeezing in a few minutes here, half a post there, drafting when I can..but yesterday I had my first lay low day in a long time and I took full advantage of hanging out with Laptop and pounding out a couple posts and a lot of visits, and you know what?

It felt good.

Today will be a bit the same.  The crew is finally coming today to start my book shelves and I am going to take laptop and the dogs downstairs and do a little reading and writing and stay out of the construction.  (Unless I sneak up to get a picture or two….)

Have a great rest of BBAW everyone.  Be sure to check out the BBAW site and see the giveaways and the posts – and maybe meet a new blogger or two along the way. :D

My last giveaway is Night Road by Kristin Hannah.  I have two copies of this book.  I have not read it yet but have heard good things.  Leave me a comment today sharing with me what you enjoy most about book blogs. :D  I will choose a winner and announce tomorrow winner along with my other giveaways going on this blog this week.

 

Happy Friday! :D

BBAW: Pimp That Book

Good morning.  Yesterday totally got away from me… I started writing a poem for yesterdays BBAW post and then I had to go to work… it was a big day – annual meeting day and I am in charge of special events so between working, texting my son in Florida who has gull bladder surgery yesterday, and then finally coming home last night at 9 pm from work… I was exhausted and was hardly on-line at all.. let alone write a post.

However – here we are on Thursday the sun is shining and due to my busy work hours this past week, I have a bonus day off – today!  SO… you are getting me chatting for BBAW and let me warn you… I know how to pimp a book.  :razz:

I have two books that came to mind right away… both are YA, and there was a time (and there still might be) where I was going to write a post called “I am Patrick Ness’ Baby Mama.”  Ok, ok… totally not true and probably border line inappropriate, but you have to admit… that post title would catch your attention.  :razz:  My point is – have you read his Chaos Walking Series?  If not… you must!  They are The Knife Of Never Letting Go, The Ask and The Answer, and Monsters Of Men and yes all three are available and yes, you do want them all at once because when one ends you will be all like “HOLY COW!!!!!  WHA???????” and you will want to jump into the next book right away. :D

(Oh and look how nice of me to link those titles to my reviews….. ahhhh. Sheila.  So thoughtful.  LOL :lol: )

When I first was drawn to the books Monsters Of Men had just hit the shelves.  People told me I needed to have all three at once so I ordered all three at once. 

Then… I worried about that.

I thought that was a bit extreme, what if I am into book one and I am thinking “ugh” and not I have a beautiful “ugh” set?  Well, no worries there, awesome awesome awesome series that I have pimped out to all my friends – told them not to get scared about the talking dog in the early pages…. its different, but you will find out it works. :D

Ok…I, am not finished.

The Fault In Our Stars by John Green led to perhaps my only 2012 (so far) book melt down where I loved that book so much I have been pushing John Green like crack – and I guess, devouring his books in much the same manner.  (No, no-no, I am not a crack user, I just play one on this blog.  :razz:)

So there is my input on today’s topic. 

 

 

In other news, I wrote a post on Community on the BBAW site.  It sums up my past three years on book blogging and how it is the community of awesome book bloggers that keeps me going. :D

Be sure to check out my BBAW giveaways if you have not already.  I have this one going, and a giveaway for Gods Of Gotham as well as another one coming up in my review later today. :D

I have a nice fairly lazy day planned of reading blogs, writing a review and reading. I have a birthday dinner tonight and will be making cupcakes later but for the next few hours… I think I will be right here in this chair. :D

BBAW: Introducing Benji The Non Reluctant Reader

Today I am thrilled to participate once again in the BBAW Interview Swap.  Amy from My Friend Amy has put my name in with a bunch of other book bloggers mixed us all up and drew out someone for me to interview.

Meet Benji!

Now to start out let me confess that I did not know Benji or his blog until this swap and isn’t that just the beauty of this?  I truly was missing out because if you go over and look at this beautiful blog you would never guess that Benji is twelve years old AND has been quoted in several books (see his about me page).  Shoot, at twelve, I was still watching MTV and trying to learn the dance moves to Thriller by Michael Jackson.  :shock:
So with no further jibber jabber….  welcome Benji!!!!

1.  When did you start book blogging and how did it all begin?

Benji:  I started book blogging back in January of 2011, though it took me a couple months to get into it. The reason I started book blogging? In a nutshell: my friends were bored of me rambling about books to them. 

Benji’s hamster Tris, and a few of those amazing books!

 

2.  What do you enjoy most about Book Blogging?

Benji:  Definitely all the awesome people. I’ve had the pleasure to meet a lot of them in person, and those times are the best.

Benji with authors Lish McBride, Marissa Meyer, Jennifer Bosworth, Leigh Bardugo, Anna Banks, and Emmy Laybourne at The Fierce Reads tour stop in Seattle

 

3.  Where do you enjoy reading?  

Benji: My favorite reading spot is this one chair that is super comfy and within a 10 second walk of the kitchen (for reading food).

 

 

4.  If you were to make a guess, how many books are in your home right now?

Benji:  I live in a family of readers, so all together I’d say at least 3,000.

 

 

5.  Whoa.  Pause for a moment of awe after that last question!   Where do you keep your books (or most of them)?  

Benji:  They’re all so cluttered! We’re remodeling where I keep the bulk of them, so they’re all in boxes right now.

 

 

 

6.  If I had a magic wand (and who’s to say I dont?) and you could be any fictional character for a week – who would you be, what would you do, and why?

Benji:  That’s a toughie. Maybe Simon from The Mortal Instruments… he’s a pretty cool dude.

7.  What one book that you have read in the past 12 months would you recommend for me to read and why?

Benji:  I’m going to go with a book that isn’t so well know: Envy by Gregg Olsen is a fantastic read. One of the best mysteries out there.

 

 

8.  What do you enjoy doing with your time when you are not reading?

Benji:  I live in a seaport town, so I love to sail. I also am a huge soccer fan, so every game day I’ll be cheering loud and proud for my boys, Seattle Sounders FC.

Benji with authors Kendare Blake, Amanda Hocking, Marta Acosta, and Lisa Desrochers!

 

 

9.  What advice would you give to a new book blogger?

Benji:  Just be unique and don’t get involved in the drama. It’s pathetic and stupid. When the drama queens come out to play stay away!

 

 

Thank you Benji for hanging out with me today and sharing your blog story!  :D

Morning Meanderings… Late Start to BBAW, but a start :)

 

Good morning.   Mondays are always hard for me to post anything beyond the Monday What Are You Reading meme because I really want that one to hold for the day… however there are occasional exceptions. :D 

My plan was that when I came home yesterday afternoon I was going to write-up my Appreciation post.  Instead… I was at the library from 11- 2 building the Banned Book Week display, then I had a few errands to run, picked up my dog from the groomers, started making my dessert for book club that is tonight, whipped up a quick dinner for Al and went to a Friends Of The Library meeting. 

I never did get that post done.

This morning, I thought I would touch on it as my post this afternoon will be my interview swap with a new (and impressive!) book blogger to me, Benji from The Non Reluctant Reader (who in turn, is interviewing me and already has the post up!

 

So Appreciation.   It is always so hard to narrow down the blogs and bloggers I really appreciate.  For one, there are so many bloggers I love – they crack me up…. (Jill at Fizzy Thoughts, Trish from Love, Laughter, and a touch of Insanity, Jenners from Life With Books,… and those I like to read their thoughts on books ( and inevitably buy books off their recommendations) :  Kathy from Bermuda Onion, Alison from Alison’s BookMarks, Ryan from Wordsmithonia, Laurel from many book blogs :D, Reagan from Miss Remmers Review, Alyce from AT Home With Books

Of course, inevitably I will be driving into work today and do the hand to the forehead thing and realize someone else I surely should have added to this list and how did I forget and *sigh*  Know that you are ALL LOVE and ALL APPRECIATED.

Truly – If you stop by Book Journey and read my nonsense, comment on my reviews, share in my work out woe’s, give advice, play along in the read-a-longs, meme’s, challenges…. I adore you and I thank you – because without you stopping in and making me smile when I open up my laptop and I see your comment…. I dont know if I would do this.  Seriously, the readers, make the experience.

Thank you again – and Happy BBAW to everyone.  To celebrate – here is my giveaway for today:

 

I have not read it yet… I know I need too, but I have two copies so one lucky winner will walk away with this baby this week (winner announced on Friday morning.  To enter, leave me a comment here telling me either of a blog/blogger you really enjoy OR what you love about either being a book blogger or a book blog reader.  :D 

 

Also – don’t forget I have the all week giveaway going on as well.  Click here to see how to win an Amazon Gift Card just be popping in all week-long and chatting with me about…. mmmm…. books and bloggers!  :D

 

Book Blogger Appreciation Week: Sept 10 – 14

Welcome To Book Blogger Appreciation Week!  As part of this exciting week I will be offering a $15  gift card to Amazon to one lucky commenter this week.  To enter just comment on any post I write this week starting with the Monday What Are You Reading (and yes, including this post too) all the way through Fridays posts.  You will receive one entry per comment so if you comment on seven posts, you will have seven entries (note, the comment does need to be an actual comment that contributes to the discussion – not a one word “sweet” or “awesome”).  :D

Also continue to watch for other giveaways throughout the week – you will know when I post them but here is a sample of what I will be giving away throughout this week, just watch for the posts:

BBAW Day 5: Blogging… what works… what I’d like to try

I can not even believe that here we are on Day 5, the final day of BBAW.  It came… and then it went so quickly.  Todays topic is:

Today’s Topic
The world of blogging is continually changing. Share 3 things you are essential tried and true practices for every blogger and 1-3 new trends or tools you’ve adapted recently or would like to in the future.

This is exciting for me to discuss as I remember all the crazy things I did in my early days of book blogging just to get connected.  I created meme’s and features and let me just say this to those of you who are fairly new… do not do this unless you have thought it out well and know you are in it for the long-term.  Within the first couple of months these meme/features fizzled out by either lack of participation, my loss of interest or both.  :D  You can still find them in the archives of my blog…. Word Verification Balderdash…  Wednesday Feature Book Club

As far as tried and true practices here are the top three for me:

1.  I know time is of the essence, but comment.  Comment not only on other blogs (if you do not know where to begin, find a meme to participate in that links many blogs to the same topic…. great way to meet other bloggers and find blogs you enjoy reading.), but also comment back to those who comment on your blog. 

One of my favorite blogs when I started was J Kaye’s Book Blog.  I would visit her blog daily, but sadly she moved on with her writing and let her blogging days drop to the wayside.  J Kaye responded to every comment on her blog.  Now – before you panic, just do what works for you – but I loved going back to her blog several times a day just to follow the conversation.  It was not unusual for people to comment on the same post two or three times as the conversation continued.  I knew then, I wanted to do community like she did and model some of my blog practices today after how she did hers. 

2.  Post at least 3 -4 times per week.  Your blog, (my blog) should not go silent.  Maybe you can not read 3-4 books a week and review them…. I hear you there!  :razz:  There are other posts you could put up that make great discussions…. bookish topics, trends, questions on e readers, an author event or author interview, book store stories…. or like myself, I put in a morning discussion – not always bookish, but mainly just life that goes live 6 mornings a week.  I may not get a review or topic in on a certain day, but I almost always have my morning post and consistency build loyal readers.

3.  Keep a neat and organized looking blog.  I know I may catch some slack for this one, but if you read some of the comments going on my earlier post today, you will see that many of us (dare I say most of us?) visit blogs to read the main post.  Too many bells and whistles, pictures, and flashes on the side bars just distract from your posts.  I am guilty of this too in the past and hopefully have now what I believe is a tasteful looking blog where the main feature is the post and it draws your eye to it.  I love sidebars – they are awesome for other connections and I think as long as they match what you and your blog are about, they work.  Even as I type this, I know (and I have been meaning to) make some upgrades to my own.

As for the future… yes, I am always planning things I want to do with the blog…. always thinking of ways to connect others to great reads and genres near and dear to my heart.  I have a big project I want to take on in 2012 but have some homework to do first on it.  One hint… it would require me setting up a second blog to man it.  (**Note on stuff like this…. when you are thinking of ideas and reading challenges, try googling them first.. sometimes you may discover it is already being done by someone else). 

Another thing I am putting back on is the Word Shakers on-line book club.  I had great responses to this in the past, but the way I was running it was too time consuming and I was putting too much of the discussion on me, and not enough on the participants.  If you look at my right sidebar you will see I have a book in place for the group read, I just need to  post the details and time frame.  (*when starting things like an online book discussion, check out other blogs who are doing it and see what you like about their style and what you do not… it’s a great way to build on how you will do your own.)

I think that is it for now.  BBAW was awesome this year and I hope everyone had a great time discovering new blogs and/or maybe discovering for the first time how big, and how tight knit this community can be. 

**Note:  Comments on this post will be entered into my BBAW giveaway for today a hard copy of The Night Circus.  (for an additional entry, comment on my morning post as well). Winner will be announced tomorrow morning.

Morning Meanderings… A CRAZY Week and let’s give away another copy of The Night Circus


I can’t believe I made it…. holy smokes what a big week…

It wasnt just work, although that was busy too… it was several days of big evening plans with little gap between work and other commitments.  Pretty much I dragged myself home after 9:00 pm three times this week and my body feels it.  Workouts went to the wayside… no time for that, laundry has been washed but not dried and put away, and books…. have not been read.

BUT…

today is Friday and I am off (off off off…. it echo’s nicely don’t you agree?) I have no plans today, no commitments… and there is a real good chance I may not leave my house.  (Probably not true… I do want to mail some books today and maybe stop at the library….)

Mostly though… I am hanging out.  I am writing a couple of reviews, I am making plans for Banned Books Week, and I am reading.  Ahhh… such a great word.  :razz:

In other random news…. Audible.com is having an AMAZING sale on their audio with over 200 titles now at $4.95 each.   Oh my goodness, I am so excited and found several great titles for myself and I bet if you pop in, you will too.  I picked up The Kitchen House, Outlander, Night Road… all for $4.95 each.  If you want to check out the sale the link is on this banner below.

AND – this is uber exciting!  I also seen that The NIght Circus on audible is being read by …… wait for it…. wait for it….. Jim Dale!  Yes, Jim Dale who narrated for the Harry Potter books… Jim who is totally totally totally scream worthy….. (did I say totally?)

Anyway because I am sooooooo excited about The Night Circus, and because I see so many of you are as well… I am going to offer up another hard cover copy today for the last day of #BBAW.  To enter you just need to be anywhere Amazon delivers, and answer this question:  (*when I put my BBAW post up later today you can get a second entry by commenting on that one as well)

Todays BBAW topic is about blogging.  As a book blogger yourself, or as a reader of blogs, what do you like to see the most on blogs.  Or in other words, what keeps you coming back to certain blogs (layout, memes, book topics, variety, the writing, giveaways, etc…)

 

And finally – my winners of the last two days of giveaways…

Vicki (I’d Rather Be Reading At The Beach)

 

Alexia’s Books and Such

 

Yay to both winners!!!  Now don’t forget to enter todays for The Night Circus!!!!!

Morning Meanderings… Burning the Candle at both ends (and a giveaway!)

 

Why why why did BBAW have to fall on such a  busy busy busy week?

Uhhh…. I mean….

good morning!  :razz:

Really though, I had to laugh last night when I finally was able to sit down with New Laptop (Asus) and do a little Twitter, and a read the comments on my post about Community.  How funny that I put the fun and importance of commenting, when I was way too tired to do it myself.

I dont even know how to explain this craziness but thought it might be fun to try…. I will start with Tuesday:

Tuesday 6:00 am up

have coffee, write a morning post

work by 7:30

work like crazy getting ready for a weekend group fair

leave work at 2:45 to return cotton candy machine from this past weekend event

at 3:15 stop in to Best Buy just to “look” at flat screen wall mount tvs as a possible gift for hubbys birthday (which was Wednesday)

3:45 leave Best Buy with (you guessed it!) flat screen tv and mount and an appointment with a dud to come out to house on Wednesday afternoon and hang it on wall for me.  (YAY!!!)  (BEST Wife ever award I am sure!  :razz:)

4:00 make stop at grocery store for a few items I need for book club

4:20 home, tv unloaded and hidden in spare bedroom, now vac house for book club

4:50 start cooking my 1940′s style food for review of Postmistress ( post will be up for this event yet this week)

5:30 downstairs setting up chairs, now looking for my review notes… which I do not find until the next day and they were in my car the whole time

6:10 first Bookie arrives and helps cut up oranges and lemon for the water.

6:20 second Bookie arrives and helps me cut rye bread into squares for finger sandwiches

6:30 – 6:45 the rest of the Bookies arrive with food and books as it is our annual book sale for charity

6:45 – 7:00 we drool over books, “shop”, grab food and head downstairs

7:00 – 9:00 have an awesome discussion about the book and WWII

9:10 pm the last Bookie leaves

9:10 – 10 Try to read posts, try to leave comments….. TIRED.

10 – BED

5:15 am – (Now it is Wednesday) I went to bed earlier than I usually do so now I am up early.  Start coffee, write morning post after checking out BBAW topic

6:30 am – pull myself away from laptop and get ready for work

7:30 am I am at work and start my day

work consisted of two meetings, creating check ins for evening event, phone calls, prepping paperwork for students, copies, more class schedules…

at 2:40 pm the tv dude calls and I hurry home to let him in and so he can put the tv on the wall (it is Al’s birthday!!!)

3:00 – 4:30 pm the dude hangs the tv, relocates the cable, while I rearrange the room by stitching out the couch for the recliner, a little table for Al to put his work magazines and relax in style.

4:45 – on my way back to work to finish up what I was working on and prep for a meeting at 6:30 the same time I am due to help the students check in, then I need to pop back upstairs to talk about an upcoming Honduras opportunity.

7:30 pm – I am still at meeting when hubby Al texts me and says he is home… GAH!  He beat me home!  Friend Wendy offers to take Chance home for me at 8 so I can go now…. thank you Wendy!!!

7:40 arrive home, thankfully he is still going through mail and has not seen said “AWESOME BIRTHDAY GIFT!”

Now I show him the living room which in my typical husband fashion, comments on how he likes how I arranged the room…. does not notice tv.  I assist in the observation.

Wala!!!!  He sees it.  Hubby happy – he watches TV until 9 and then goes to bed. 

I again try to read posts and blog.  Not happening.

Bed by 10 pm.

 

I know… right?

Today will be much the same… work (soon actually) until 3:30, grab hubby something for dinner and at 5:30 I have dinner with friends for Sandi’s birthday.  *Note to self – do not forget gift!*

Briefly – I know  have to pick a winner yet for yesterdays giveaway and I will post that tomorrow morning as I have run myself out of time… in the meantime… NEW giveaway starts right now for today in honor of BBAW.

This one is a book yet to be released – but it is one that is creating BUZZ:

Serious…. cover crush here… this book is released on September 27th and II will have this shipped to you directly from Amazon.  SO – anyone who access to an Amazon delivery is welcome to enter for this one.

Here is how…

Respond in a few sentences an answer to todays BBAW topic…

Book bloggers blog because we love reading. Has book blogging changed the way you read? Have you discovered books you never would have apart from book blogging? How has book blogging affected your book acquisition habits? Have you made new connections with other readers because of book blogging? Choose any one of these and share your thoughts today!

Winner will be announced tomorrow along with the winner from yesterdays giveaway as well.  :D 

BBAW – How Do I Do Community?

Life as a book blogger is not always easy.

I have a job that while it is only 25 hours a week, I spend a night or two a week volunteering, I have a mandatory dinner date once a month with a group of girls I used to work with, I have an amazing book club of 14 strong that I meet with every month for in-depth book discussion, writing a book,  I try (TRY) to work out by bike riding rollerblading and classes at the gym, I am in a weekly study group, plan special events, spend the weekend with my hubby or traveling to nearby towns and festivals with friends… oh yeah…. and I read.  :razz:

 

Uhhh….. Sheila…. what does that have to do with the Book Blogging Community?

 

Well actually a lot.  By what I said above I think we can all agree I am a community girl.  I love love love getting in and trying new things, supporting great causes, meeting new people… and yeah – all of that takes time. 

Knowing all of this about me…. the Book Blogging Community is also so important to me.

 

But ummmm…. why?  You have so much going on?  Why care?  Why do it?

 

Well that is the beauty of the book blogging community.  Back when I felt like a lone reader (pre-blogging), I had people I could occasionally talk books with, but certainly not on a daily basis.  When I discovered book blogging, and that there are so many others like me…. seriously….. book lover heaven.  There is no other way to describe it. 

Yes – yes the early years were crazy (early years… ha!  Who am I kidding… I am three years in and it is still crazy!  :razz:)  I started out wanting to find book lovers who read what I liked to read, and yeah that worked…

BUT…

I think the real community began when I started reading blogs and bookish topics that were not necessarily my genre, but I liked what they were saying….  and suddenly all sorts of great book blogs entered into my life and I was reading books I would have never thought to read….   and loving them… I had to read every post these bloggers wrote and I loved “comment chatting” it up with them and boy… did my book tastes open up to a whole new world. 

 

 

How do I keep up with it?  Well…. I enjoy it so I make time.  I try to comment on at least 10 blogs a day.  That usually comes easy as I my wind down time is usually seeing what others are reading anyway…  I recommend that if you are still trying to find your “community piece” of the blog world make sure you are commenting.  Conversations begin, and by the time I went to BEA in 2010…. the book bloggers I had connected with on-line were already like friends.  Meeting them in person was not awkward at all.  Seems to me that from my experience, book bloggers are pretty real people and I did not meet anyone that seemed different than who they were on their blog and in the blogesphere. 

 

SO … three years in I can say I have slowed down on the commenting but certainly not because I want too… just lack of time.  I love meeting new book lovers and I really get my fix through the Monday What Are You Reading meme.  Chatting books is a passion of mine and you – all of you who read and comment… you make my day.  SERIOUSLY.  I come home to comments and they make me smile, and occasionally laugh out loud.

 

You stretch me.  I love it!  My life since June 9, 2009 … when I first discovered book blogging…. has never been the same and I do not regret a minute of it.  I look forward to my time to unwind and catch up on the book world.  Thank you…. thank you…. to me, you are what makes book blogging so pleasurable. 

(*Note comments on this post will be entered into my BBAW drawing for today discussed in my morning post directly below this one.  :D )

Thank you

 

Morning Meanderings… A Winner… A New Giveaway… And BBAW

Good morning! 

Last night was a wow wow wow book club meeting at my house…. it was a discussion over the book Postmistress, and I read this last fall  and found it to be an ok read, but not one I wanted to review again…. well… last nights discussion made me change my mind.  Later this week I will share the food, the discussion… did I mention the food?  :D

The winner of yesterdays BBAW giveaway of The Night Circus is: (using random.org)


ReviewsbyLola

GAH!!!  WOO HOO!!!  Congratulations.  Send me your address (no po boxes please) to journeythroughbooks@gmail.com

And now… another 24 hour giveaway of another smoking hot title that was released recently…

This beautiful new book is sitting on my kitchen table right now.  I have two copies – and one is about to go to one of your homes! 

To enter, leave a comment here telling me which book released (or yet to be released) in 2011 have you been most excited about.   (You can get in on a second entry for this book by commenting on my BBAW Community post that will go up yet today. )

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