Category Archives: Book Stuff
Hi all! Recently Jill from Rhapsody In Books and I were discussing a way for book bloggers going to New York for BEA to connect, plan meet ups, see who else is going they may know etc… She was saying that Bloggers did this in D.C. at the National Book Fest and it worked great.
By doing this you can see who else will be in New York and possibly get a chance to meet them face to face. For those of us who do wish to connect I am creating the form below for BEA attendees to fill out. Most of the questions are optional so if there is something you do not wish to share, just leave it blank. The week before BEA a spreadsheet will be emailed to all of you who have filled out the form so you can see who is going and perhaps connect with them if you wish to do so.
This will be my 4th time going to the Book Expo and I have to tell you that meeting some of the bloggers that you chat with on twitter and frequent their blogs is such a blast and honestly one of the highlights of attending! Every book blogger I have met has been exactly as they are online. Something about us readers…. we keep it real.
If you are going to BEA this year please let us know – and please pass this post’s information on to others you know who are going to BEA. Lets create a great spreadsheet of attendees!
Please feel free to take the button and link back to here to let others know about connecting for BEA 2013!
Last night my friend Gail and I drove the 2 1/5 hours to the Minneapolis Hilton Hotel where we were attending the Minnesota Book awards. The carefully planned spring dress with swirls of rose and powder blue was cast out of my mind once we were 6 inches deep in snow again and the warning that we were in for up to 10 inches more in the next 4 days.
Instead I wore black dress pants and a fun flowy shirt. Gail and I both smartly brought along our winter boots…. no questions asked as being smart Minnesota girls – you want to be prepared for anything and walking through snow in the 2″ heals I had on did not sound appealing at all.
We arrived early as planned so we could park, know where we needed to be, and then go and find something to eat. We found a Hell’s Kitchen close by and laughed that neither of us had ever eaten there so why not give it a try. As we entered we discovered that we had to (appropriately) go downstairs to enter… errr…. Hell.
We shared pulled beef nachos which sounded interesting and had pickles on it. (Don’t judge…. ) Neither of us were very hungry but we did not know what the gala would have so thought we should eat something.
We then went to the Gala at around 10 to 7 for the 7:00 pm start of the gala…
and we waited until 8 am before they opened the doors.
It wasn’t a bad wait, there was plenty to do out in the open area outside the event. Books, of course of the authors who were up for awards were available.
Coffee and drinks were available as well so Gail and I sat and chatted (seems like we never run out of things to talk about) until they opened the doors.
We walked into a beautifully set area. As a waitress walked back we asked her how many people were there tonight and she promptly told us 800. We had little plates at out place settings of cheese and grapes and crackers. I can not believe I forgot to take a picture of the lovely plate – but I did.
I did however get a picture of the event before they got started:
The emcee was Lorna Landvik and she was a delight. She had party poppers for all the winners and instantly decided that what would make the evening even more fun event would be if we all took a drink of our champagne whenever someone said the word, “book.”
The categories are as follows and the winners were….
Novel and Short Story: The Round House by Louise Eldrich. (* fun note, Last night Louise became the first ever Minnesota author to win a Minnesota book award 5 times)
Award For Books About Minnesota: Mni Sota Makoce: The Land Of The Dakota by Gwen Westerman and Bruce White
Award For Young People’s Literature: Nothing Special by Geoff Herbach
Award For Poetry: Odessa by Patricia Kirkpatrick
Award For Children’s Literature: It’s a Tiger! by David LaRochelle
Award for general non fiction: Rez Life: An Indian’s Journey Through Reservation Life by David Treuer
Award For Memoir and Creative Non Fiction: Turn Here Sweet Corn by Atina Diffley
Award for general fiction: Curse Of The Jade Lilly by David Housewright
One of the fun things I learned last night was that Minnesota is the 8th largest book buying state. We also seem to churn out some pretty amazing authors who support one another through workshops at The Loft and The Anderson Center.
It really was a fun evening of seeing authors and afterwards they had a reception where outside the large room we were in had now transformed to coffees and basil lemonade (which I had to try) and tiny desserts while you mingled with the authors and scoped out the books. We didn’t stay long as we still were heading back to Brainerd and arrived back home around 1:00 am. Both of us still excited about the evening and already talking about plans for next year.
For more information on the Minnesota Book Awards, you can check it out here.
Good morning! Finally I am able to share news with you that I am soooo exited to share and I hope you will just be excited for me… for us… for our area…. ok you get the picture.
Since last fall I have been stewing around with an idea that stemmed off a larger event that is held in the cities. During a Literary session myself and two other wonderful ladies were working on for a grant for our Local Library, we were having a session on Fundraising. “Ugh” I though… as I really do dislike fundraising…..
Yet little did I know what this man was about to talk of would get my creative juices flowing…
I learned about an event that has went on for now ten years right here in my own state that I had never heard of. It is called Opus and Olives and it is a HUGE literary event that is held as a fundraiser every October for the ST Paul Library.
Well… color me interested.
At that moment I knew I wanted to do something similar on a smaller scale here in Brainerd. So…. (and this is where the sssqqqquuuuueeeeee comes in) I have been working since probably last October on ideas of what to call it, where to have it, what it is, etc… and I can now say out loud the BIG piece fell into place on Tuesday of this week.
Our event will be called Wine and Words and it will be held at a beautiful venue in the Brainerd Lakes area on August 23rd at the Arrowwood Lodge. Not only have they offered us a wonderful venue and price for our event tickets, they have sponsored 5 rooms for us to be able to give to our authors who travel to speak.
So…. basic layout is, I have the wine being donated during our social time at 5:30 by Cash Wise Liquor (Mark, you rock!) During that time guests will be able to browse the wonderful silent auction (I already have several signed books donated!) At 6:30 a lovely sit down dinner will be had, and at 7:15 we will have 4 authors (this is what I am now starting to work on) will speak a little on their latest book and afterwards they will be available for book purchases and signing. At the end we will have a few giveaway for our attendees including an IPAD.
A good friend of mine who owns Brown Design in Brainerd *waves to Christy!* is donating her amazing skills to designing our logo and brochure. As of last night, Insty Prints in Brainerd (thank you Ron!) has offered to sponsor our printing.
Last night I was up until 2:00 in the morning working on a website for the event. I am new to this whole website stuff but I was having sooooo much fun that I really forgot to go to bed.
So that is the news. Wine and Words has went from an idea on paper to a reality and people are coming forward and helping. I do hope that if you live anywhere near me you consider attending. All proceeds will go to our local library which does so much good for our community.
Website should be for the most part completed over the next week and go live after that. Tickets will be available hopefully at the end of next week as well.
There it is. The news.
I can’t stop smiling….
As book bloggers, book reviewers, book chatters… whatever you want to call us, it seems if you do this any amount of time you will get book pitches. A book pitch is when an author or publisher or book tour company emails you and gives you the synopsis of the book hoping that you will like what you see and agree to read and review it.
Oh…. if only it were that easy! I have a separate email for all my book related email due to the fact that at times it can really be overwhelming when you are receiving many pitches in a day and you are trying to pick out what you would like to read and then review.
Lately, I have seen a new type of book coming through my email and I curious about what you think about these. What I am referring to is a book that starts out sounding interesting, say the book is about a college graduate, (ok, so far so good) and she is on her way to intern as an assassin under her uncles care (ummm… ok, different but I am still reading)… she is taking with her the household pet, a duck named Killer, and hopefully leaving behind the guy who makes her heart skip a beat, Jamal the tap dancing Eskimo who only speaks in haiku (and… I’m out.)
It is like they start out sounding like they have potential and by the time I am done reading the synopsis my eyes are wide in disbelief and I can not believe how far-fetched the book being pitched has become. I mean, seriously??? Does this sell? Is it just me who can’t stretch that far? I mean, I don’t know maybe I am missing out, these are not all coming from self published authors either but Publishing houses.
I wouldn’t even bring this up if it was a one time email but I have had a few of these recently… good start to the book synopsis and then it is like they went all Jerry Springer on me and I am wondering if there is a “baby daddy” involved and looking over my shoulder for tattooed tutu wearing midget’s playing banjo’s.
My point here…. is it me? Are you receiving these as well?
Thoughts? Please share.
February to me felt a little quick and not as awesome as my January was. It seemed between the back to back retreats in the beginning of the month, my new re-dedication to the gym, taking care of college son and his broken foot for a long weekend and handling all household things while Al (hubby) was gone for three weeks… took a toll on my reading.
Still… thankfully to the awesomeness of audio books, I can report something fairly decent:
That’s my month of reading. I think March will be better, it already feels like it is. Maybe it is the sunlight and melting snow that is making me optimistic.
SO how are you doing so far this year? Are you ahead of last year? Behind? Do you feel your reading style has changed over the past year?
In 2007 Catherine Bailey is afraid. She is afraid to leave her home. She is afraid to be in public. She double checks door locks. Locked in her own world of OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) her inner fears have completely taken over her life. (If you have ever seen the movie Copy Cat – and I highly recommend you do – it is something like that).
But things were not always this way for Catherine Bailey. Flash back 4 years to 2003 and you find Catherine was a bright confident business woman. She has a great group of friends and enjoys the company of men. One man in particular has her captivated and really… this is where Catherine’s life starts to unwind in a way that seems to spiral faster and faster out of control….
Written in a “then and now” sort of style, readers slowly see what happened to cause Catherine’s world to collapse as the past connects to the present and beyond… and things really are not over… until they are OVER.
Holy creepfest batman.
As I prepared to write this review I am still dealing with a multiple of thoughts running through my head. One thought thinks, “this felt a little like Gone Girl… crazy twists and turns!” Another thought is going “I want to watch Copy Cat again… this book reminded me of the beginning of that movie!” But as I write… I know saying either of these things (even though I did) does not give the book its own identity and I can tell you, Into The Darkness deserves its own identity.
Is it flawless? Of course not. There was a section that felt a little long-winded to me while I waited to get to something… something… more. (Fear not dear reader, MORE is exactly what I got.
Overall… the word “IMPRESSED” seems to really sum it up. Well written, exciting, and a warning that there are a couple harsh moments (gory? graphic?) that I feel I should mention, but I must say that they are again, well written, and dare I say necessary to give you the full reality of what is happening.
Looking for a good evening curl up and say “NO WAY!” read? Grab a copy of Into The Darkness.
Thank you to the AMAZING team at TLC Book Tours
that placed a copy of this thought provoking read in my hot little hands.
When you think of this worlds “super runners” Scott Jurek’s name has a good chance of being on that list. He came on the radar in 1999 when he took first place in a 100 mile run over the old Gold Rush Trails in California and continued to take first in that run for the next seven years. Scott had broke records, twice won the Badwater 135 mile Ultramarathon, and set an American record of 165.7 miles in 24 hours.
So who is Scott and what makes him run?
Scott grew up in a “meat and potatoes family” with a desire to run – but not always a passion for it. In fact he hated running. As he grew to adult he went to an all plant-based diet and worked his way to ultra running. Scott’s story is an inspiration to anyone who has a dream to better themselves and for whatever reason felt it was impossible to reach their goals.
For the last year I have had this desire to learn how to run. I don’t know why or where it came from other than the fact that runners have great stamina, I admire their dedication and dare I say it looks like fun? Scott’s story was really impressive to listen to. His story is engaging, he is down to earth and funny. You do not need to be some sort of fitness guru to enjoy this book and come out the other side with a lot of knowledge on running and a bit of inspiration to boot.
At the end of the audio he shares some yummy sounding vegan recipes that I plan to try.
1. In a medium-size pot, bring 2 1/4 cups of water to a boil, then add 1 cup dried green lentils, 1 teaspoon dried parsley, 1 minced garlic clove, and 1/4 c up chopped onions. Simmer for 35 to 40 minutes.
2. Combine 3/4 cup chopped walnuts, 2 cups bread crumbs, and 1/2 cup ground flax seeds in a small bowl and set aside.
3. In a separate pan greased with olive oil, sauté 1 cup chopped onion, 2 minced garlic cloves, 3 cups finely chopped mushrooms, and 1 1/2 cups finely chopped kale or other winter greens for 8 to 10 minutes. Set aside to cool slightly.
4. Remove lentils from heat, add 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard and 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, and mash ingredients together.
5. In a large bowl, combine lentils, sautéed vegetables, and bread-crumb mixture. Cool in a refrigerator.
6. Using your hands, form patties and fry or grill until lightly browned and crispy on both sides, about 3 to 5 minutes each side. Serve on a toasted bun or on their own.
Makes 12 four-inch burgers.
Holy Moly Guacomole
- 1 (15-ounce) can early or young peas, drained
- 1/2 cup mashed avocado (about 1 medium avocado’s worth)
- 1/4 cup fat-free plain Greek yogurt
- 4 teaspoons lime juice
- 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic (about 1/2 clove)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt, plus more, optional
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper, plus more, optional
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/8 teaspoon chile powder
- 1/3 cup chopped cherry or grape tomatoes
- 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
- Chopped fresh cilantro, optional
- Chopped jarred jalapeno, optional
- Serving suggestion: cut veggies
Per serving (1/3 cup): Calories 83; Total Fat 3.5 grams; Saturated Fat 0.5 grams; Protein 3 grams; Total Carbohydrate 9 grams; Sugar: 4 grams; Fiber 4 grams; Cholesterol 0 milligrams; Sodium 308 milligrams
January was a great month here at Book Journey for books and audio. It has been a long time since I have had such a good month. I end with this last day of January with 12 reads completed and reviewed, Here is what they were:
For best of the month, I would say do not pass on Gods In Alabama, The Gilly Salt Sisters and Level 2.
Here is my WHERE I have been reading so far this year. If you are participating in the WHERE Are You Reading Challenge, please add your recap post to the linky below:
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Have you read any of these books? What was your best reads of January?
Good morning! These bonus days off have been AWESOME! Yesterday I had a couple of meetings and a couple of errands in the morning and then the rest of the day was mine – *insert mwwwwaaaaa haaaa haaa laugh here* . I updated my sidebar, wrote a review, cleaned up some tabs and yes – I ever read.
I have missed books.
Then last night after setting up the rest of my 2013 WHERE Are You Reading Challenge, I stared looking for other challenges I wanted to be a part of…. and here is what I came up with:
The audio book challenge is always a fun one and really, not a big challenge for me as I am constantly listening to audio every day. Still… I like to play. Here is how she sets it up:
There are five levels to the challenge
- Flirting-Listen to 6 Audio Books
- Going Steady- Listen to 12 Audio Books
- Lover- Listen to 25 Audio Books
- Married-Listen to more than 25 Audio Books
- You Define the Relationship- Create your own challenge (choose your own name and level starting as low or going as high as you’d like)This is a fairly laid back challenge and I want it to be as enjoyable as possible.
Audio Books can be any genre
You can cross challenges
You don’t have to be a blogger to participate. You can tell us about what you are listening to in the comments of the monthly link up.
So using Teresa’s guidelines, I am going to up the level and say I will go for a goal of 40 audio books this year and I will call it the ADDICT Level
And Lori is having an A to Z Challenge that looks like fun so I thought I would try that too:
This challenge is simply to read a book that has a title that starts with each letter of the alphabet.
I think that is about it. Last year I had signed up for about 7 and just couldn’t keep up with them and honestly I don’t know how I did on them. They are fun though, so here I go again . It feels good to be getting back on track.
Today on my day off one of the things I will be doing is reading Lenore Appelhan’s debut book, Level 2. Lenore is awesome, a book reviewer and someone I have had the privilege of meeting in New York. You can find Lenore at Presenting Lenore, stop by and congratulate her on release day!
I am probably revealing a level of geek about myself that I shouldn’t… but…
Every year – long before I was blogging, probably since I was a kid…. I have always made the first book of the year a big deal. The first book for me had to be one I had been wanting to read for a while, one that I couldn’t wait to dig into, even with blogging – that first book excitement each year has not changed.
It is a book I really want to read – not (necessarily) a review book, a book club book or any other book that is on my TBR shelf. This one may have been purchased by me for the occasion…
Here is what I have on the possibility list:
Since meeting James Dashner this past summer and finding him to be smart and funny… I want to read him. This book has been on my shelf for probably the 3 years it has been out. Is this the time?
Can you believe I havent read The Twelve yet? Did you know this is the one book I wanted to leave New York with this past June and I did… and I have passed it around my book club but still have not read it myself? What is wrong with me????
Or Wild? Because this book makes me think of hiking and maybe someday I will go hiking for a long long time… maybe… who knows… I should read the book….
Or…. back to Gillian Flynn? She rocked my world in Gone Girl. Is it time to try another one?
I would love to hear what you are considering for the new year! What is your first book going to be?