Good morning. It’s Saturday in Minnesota! From what I seen on Facebook this morning it was also snowing earlier. SNOWING. I think I may have slept through it. After two incredibly busy days – work, library fund-raiser, work again, Mankato son hang out lunch and rollerblading and a board meeting for camp last night… I just wanted to stay still for a while. SO I did.
Today in Minnesota is also fishing opener which is the oddest opener ever as our lakes are still icy. Al (hubby) and I are not fisher people so it doesn’t really affect us but the weird weather is still annoying.
In honor of fishing opener and Alyce’s Saturday Snapshots. I thought I would give you an honest to goodness Fish Story…
and here it is.
In 1979 while my dad was in Alaska visiting relatives he caught a King Chinook Salmon. The salmon weighed 62 pounds and 4 oz and 52 1/2 inches. When he returned to Minnesota he left the fish there to be stuffed and mounted to be sent home at a later time.
In January of 1980 my family went through a house fire that took the lives of my father and 5-year-old sister, Tara. I lost my dad and sister and our entire home and everything in it in one swoop. My mom and I were the only ones who made it out.
Now – I don’t tell you this to make you feel bad, I tell you, because it is a part of this story…
When my uncle Dallas came to the funeral, he brought the fish with him. Dad had never seen it after it was mounted but it was in our new home from that day forward, hanging on the wall. When I was married, mom passed the fish on to me and to this day it hangs on one of my walls. It fits no decor in my home but it is not coming down and as you can imagine it is quite the conversation piece as no one believes that it is real. It makes me smile as I have hardly anything that belonged to my dad, it was all lost in the fire…
but I have this humongous fish…. and the story. And that works for me.
This post was made for Saturday Snapshot and is hosted by Alyce and At Home With Books.
*pictures of dad with the fish are saved from a partial album that was in the house during the fire. Several photos survived and while they are burned on many of the edges, we still transferred them to another album that I have to this day.
Today I am hoping to get in some reading time – I have the weekend to read the book club book, The Light Between Oceans by M L Stedman.
You have to love it when you wish the characters in a book were your friends and when that final page is turned.. you know you will miss them.
Samantha Davis has always and will always be forever grateful to her husband Johnathan who pulled her and her siblings up and out of the way of sure destruction. Johnathan has such a kind heart and deep pockets and does it really matter that when Samantha married him it wasn’t love but appreciation? Now, years later, with her two siblings still trying to find ways to keep sucking money out of Johnathan, Samantha is starting to see things a lot more clearly – including her own marriage.
Claire Walker, author of two books and newly empty nester as her daughter moves on thinks she is ready to write her third book and how easy it will be now with no one in her new apartment to disturb her… but oddly, words have never been harder to put on paper….
Brooke Mackenzie could use a break. After her plastic surgeon husband moved the two of them and their two children and dog into their new place, he shortly there after took up with a woman who would let him use his skills with a knife. Brooke had always refused, feeling she should be loved for who she was… not who he could make her. Now Brooke battles her ex husbands lack of commitment to his children. Will she ever find happiness and her own self-worth?
So what do these three women of varied backgrounds have in common? They all live in the historic Atlanta apartment building known as The Alexander… and while they only have seen each other in passing in the hallways… things are about to change.
When Edward Parker, concierge of The Alexander decides to put together a little weekly gathering of the tenants of the building for screenings of the hit show Downton Abbey, Samantha, Claire, and Brooke, all find themselves seated together. Through refreshments and finger foods, the shows “aha” and laugh out loud moments; these women find out what true friendship can be like..
all while they were watching Downton Abbey.
I admit it. The title drew me. After having watched the first three seasons of Downton Abbey and LOVING it… finding a book that would keep my Abbey loving heart-moving forward was a plus.
While We Were Watching Downton Abbey was truly a fun book to read. I loved the diversity of the three main female characters and I loved seeing the different lives play out chapter by chapter of the women and of Edward as well. It was easy to follow and unlike many books with multiple lead characters, I felt as though I knew each one, from Samantha’s need to feel like the perfect wife, to Claire’s inability to function with a hovering deadline for her book, to Brooke’s unruly red hair, to Edwards pride in his company and what it stood for.
In the end, I wished I lived in The Alexander and that I too could meet up with Samantha, Claire, and Brooke over cocktails and laughter and of course… Downton Abbey.
A fun, engaging read.
*If you have not watched the first two seasons of Downton Abbey, you are going to want to do so before reading this book. The book does talk a little of the show and some of it could be considered spoilers.
Good morning! Game of Thrones is one of those book series I want to (I wanna I wanna!!!) try but now 752 books into the series… ok currently 5 of 7 books are released but you get what I mean… with so many books still on t he shelf to read its hard to look at these mammoth size reads and say, “sure… that’s a weekends worth of reading.”
Has it stopped me from purchasing them if I find them at a good price? No, because someday I hope to read them much like another long-standing huge booked series and of course Gone With The Wind. (Yes…. I know… I have yet to read Gone With The Wind…. I should be banished to a tropical island with only that book … and possibly a cabana boy…. and maybe an unlimited supply of diet Dr Pepper and Twizzlers…. but that’s it. No more until it is read!
Ok… I am clearly off point here… Game Of Thrones. Have you read these books? If so are they awesome? If not so you plan too? Shall we make a pact that we all set aside a time period to read the first book?
Enough rambling… I came across this funny little video about Game Of Thrones and it’s worth it for you to refill your cup of coffee and/or grab another slice of toast and watch…
Have a super start to your day!
Dorothy Benton Frank does it again with another southern flavored title that makes you want to pull up a chair and join this family at the dinner table. ~ Sheila
Beth Hayes, inspiring writer (want to be) is a little annoyed. She finds that she will be putting her own plans of starting her life outside of college aside to instead house sit the family home. It seemed like everyone else was moving on with their lives, following their dreams, while she was put on pause.
Yet, there is something about being on Sullivan Island that sucks you into a slower pace that Beth soon realizes, is not all bad. And being in the family home brings along many surprises of relatives and quirky personalities as well as the surprise of developer max Mitchell. Well, Mitchell is not so much of an intrusion as an annoyance as Beth has no plan no time and no interest in him whatsoever….
or so she thinks….
There is something about Dorothy Benton Frank’s books that make you want to settle in somewhere cozy with an extra-large glass of ice tea and let the characters take you along for the ride. I’ve discovered this in past readings of her books, and I found it again in Return To Sullivan Island. While I am the first to admit I am not the biggest fan of multi-character reads as I struggle keeping them all separate, I found that this cast of characters was quirky enough each in their own way that I did not struggle with the interchanges. In fact, I enjoyed them.
With a little bit of a ghost story mixed in (oops… did I say too much? ) for good measure, Return To Sullivan Island makes for good sit-on-your-deck or grab-a-chair-and-head-for-the-beach reading. Just an overall light and enjoyable book.
Thank you to TLC book tours for letting me Return To Sullivan Island
Welcome to It’s Monday! What Are You Reading! This is a great way to plan out your reading week and see what others are currently reading as well… you never know where that next “must read” book will come from!
I love being a part of this and I hope you do too! As part of this weekly meme I love to encourage you all to go and visit the others participating in this meme. I offer a weekly contest for those who visit 10 or more of the Monday Meme participants and leave a comment telling me how many you visited. **You do not have to have a blog to participate! You receive one entry for every 10 comments, just come back here and tell me how many in the comment area.
Under the new and hopefully improved 2013 guidelines, the winner each week will receive a $5 Amazon gift card. This past weeks winner is:
Earl from Chronicles of A Childrens Book Writer!
I am super pumped! I just came off a HIGHLY productive weekend and that always makes me feel good. Saturday I tackled College Sons bedroom packing up all the papers and posters and goodies he left when he went to college 4 years ago and then proceeded to redo the room with its own full makeover, painting, etc…. in with that I mixed in serving at church from 3:30 – 6:30 on Saturday and 9 – 11 on Sunday, a benefit Saturday evening followed by a concert, and today I spoke this afternoon to a group of people about the camp I work with, grocery shopped, shampooed the downstairs carpet…. and listened to audio
So what actually was posted this week?
BEA: Book Blogger Connection form. With a little prodding (and poking!) a few book bloggers encouraged me tos et up a BEA connections form for those of us going tp the book expo at the end of this month. This form is so those going can know who else if going and maybe plan a dinner together one night as a group. Everyone who signs up will get a copy of the connections spreadsheet. If you, or some book blogger you know is going to go to BEA please direct them to this form.
Requiem by Laurel Oliver (Its not often that the third book in a trilogy trumps the first two… but I think it just happened!)
The Raven Boys by Maggie Steifvater (wow. Maggie does it again but in a whole different way)
I did ok this week and I have been cruising on the audio I have going now believing I will finish all three this week and start new ones, as well as the book I am reading. The plan for this week is:
AFTER FOUR HARROWING YEARS ON THE WESTERN Front, Tom Sherbourne returns to Australia and takes a job as the lighthouse keeper on Janus Rock, nearly half a day’s journey from the coast. To this isolated island, where the supply boat comes once a season, Tom brings a young, bold, and loving wife, Isabel. Years later, after two miscarriages and one stillbirth, the grieving Isabel hears a baby’s cries on the wind. A boat has washed up onshore carrying a dead man and a living baby.
Tom, who keeps meticulous records and whose moral principles have withstood a horrific war, wants to report the man and infant immediately. But Isabel insists the baby is a “gift from God,” and against Tom’s judgment, they claim her as their own and name her Lucy. When she is two, Tom and Isabel return to the mainland and are reminded that there are other people in the world. Their choice has devastated one of them.
Sounds good right?
When Thomas wakes up in the lift, the only thing he can remember is his first name. His memory is blank. But he’s not alone. When the lift’s doors open, Thomas finds himself surrounded by kids who welcome him to the Glade—a large, open expanse surrounded by stone walls.
Just like Thomas, the Gladers don’t know why or how they got to the Glade. All they know is that every morning the stone doors to the maze that surrounds them have opened. Every night they’ve closed tight. And every 30 days a new boy has been delivered in the lift.
Thomas was expected. But the next day, a girl is sent up—the first girl to ever arrive in the Glade. And more surprising yet is the message she delivers.
Thomas might be more important than he could ever guess. If only he could unlock the dark secrets buried within his mind.
I have been listening to this one this weekend and holy smokes it is good!
There will be more audio but I am tired and running late on this post so this is what it is. How about you, what are you reading this week? Please add your link below where it says click here:
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And for those of you who read mainly YA or Middle grade books, feel free to also link up the younger version of # IMWAYR as well
Raven Boys was so different than what I had expected… different good. This is a different writing for Maggie Stiefvater, a more complex and engaging writing.
At sixteen, Blue knows her life is different than others her age. For starters, her family are psychics. This alone would be enough to make her stand out – and she is told that her presence in a room helps her family see into others lives more clearly although Blue sees nothing.
Until one day while Blue and her mother are waiting in the graveyard to see the spirits of those who will die in the next twelve months. And this time, Blue sees something. At first it is a flicker in the air, nothing you could put a shape too… but then.. she could. It is a boy and his name in Gansey and now Blue knows he will die within the year….
Blue is told…
“There are only two reasons a non-seer would see a spirit on St. Mark’s Eve, Blue. Either you’re his true love…or you killed him.”
And days later when this same boy arrives at Blue’s door step for a reading… Blue knows she is in deep. Warned by her family to stay away from Gansey and his friends known as the Raven Boys, Blue does what any sixteen year old girl would do when confronted with an ultimatum and a chance to hang out with some interesting boys… she starts sneaking around and helping then with their mission… to locate a line of energy that could connect them to a Welsh King, Glendover…
I admit that Raven Boys wasn’t what I thought it would be. I have read Maggie Steifvater before with her Shiver series and enjoyed them finding then very YA, very Twilight like… good fun easy reads. So when I put myself into Raven Boys I was surprised to find something deeper and more involved than I had bargained for.
Maggie Steifvater takes her writing to a whole new level in Raven Boys. It is more detailed than her past writings that I have read, it is a meatier read and it took me a while to wrap my head around it. Yet once I did, I couldn’t stop.
The character of Blue takes on an interesting twist as she brings a little something to the party that most can not. With her abilities through her psychic family… she is an asset on the Raven Boys Team. But for me, the Raven Boys themselves trump Blue 100 fold. They are well developed… the story line as they figure out clues to a past they are unsure of id truly impressive. As I followed along I kept having these, “What the!” and “Oh…. awesome!” moments.
There are many story lines that are left open and hearing this is a 4 book series (the second coming out this fall) I imagine that the teasers of this book… opening doors that we do not yet get to walk through, will lure this reader for sure, on to the next book… and probably the next after that.
I listened to this book on audio and narrator Will Patton did a wonderful job with the cast of characters he was working with.
Good morning! Happy Saturday to you.
You have probably heard by now some rumblings of Minnesota’s never ending winter. It is May and parts of Minnesota had another 11 inches dumped on them the last couple of days. Thankfully, this time it wasn’t Brainerd. No instead we are getting the cold… the wet… averaging around 40 degrees for the day, high 20′s in the morning. It is cold.. wet.. frustrating and getting very old – even to the snow lovers (which… for the record… I am not one of).
Yet – this last Monday it was nice out. It was in the high 70′s and dry. My friend Amy and I decided it was long past due that we got the bikes out on the trail. I agreed….
I had warned her that in past March/ early April’s that I had been on the trail in occasional spots you could run into some snow. The areas where the trail was protected by tree cover and the sun took a little longer in those areas to melt away the last memories of snow.
Our goal was from Brainerd to Nisswa…. 32 miles round trip.
And we did! We biked/walked the 16 miles to Nisswa and then bike/walked it back. It took up about 45 minutes longer than when we usually do that ride but it was fun and I love having a die-hard friend that not once said, “let’s forget it and turn back.”
I am posting these pictures today for Saturday Snapshot hosted by Alyce at At Home With Books. Stop over and see what other people are posting – and feel free to add your own as well.
I had mentioned yesterday that I was going to the cabin but a friend asked me to check the weather in that area. Up by Duluth it was all snow and rain yesterday and today I did not want to deal with it. Instead I started working on College sons bedroom which has been sitting for the past couple of years and I am now making it into an office. Perhaps… that will be next weeks pictures. Tonight we have a benefit and a concert. Should be fun.
Listening to audio today – Raven Boys is coming to an end and deciding what to start listening to next…
What are you doing this Saturday?
Good morning! It s May in Minnesota and while I still have a random glob of snow in my yard here and there… for the most part it is gone (oh but be sure and stop and see tomorrows Saturday Snapshot pics!)
Today I am going to go garage saling… yes those die-hard Minnesotan’s know it is May and even though it is a tepid 27 degrees out there (not kidding.. just checked), I am going to put on my hoodie, jeans, and tennis shoes and head out for adventures! I have a list of about 10 sales I want to pop in and check out… last year I hardly went at all but this year I have some ideas of what I am looking for so off I go!
I think this will be a fun month. Yesterday was College sons 23rd birthday (I know…. how can he be 23???) While I did not get to see him as he is in Mankato, he will be here next week for a few days and I will be going out to lunch with him next Friday! Love that! I have not seen him since my birthday in February. Next weekend Mothers Day, third weekend bike ride – 4th weekend heading to New York for BEA.
This afternoon I am heading to the cabin for a one day overnight. I have not been there since January so just heading up to check on things as my weekends are filling up fast and I will not make it back there until mid June when a few friends and I are going up for a weekend adventure.
Am I reading? Yes. While We were watching Downton Abbey is fun and I should finish it tonight.
Also… if you know fellow book bloggers who are going to BEA this year,please let them know about the form to fill out to connect with other book bloggers attending. So far we have over 20 bloggers signed up!
*This review may contain possible unintentional spoilers to the previous two books.
For Lena, the security she once had of a house and a home seems like it was something she must have dreamed long ago. Those memories have taken on a softer faded recall in her mind and sometimes she has to wonder if what she recalls is even true…
For now, since the rescue of Julian, Lena finds herself along with the rest of her group of invalids, back in the Wilds. To Lena, this is a comfort as she finally feels like she is on familiar ground. For Jillian, this is new and unfamiliar territory. He is out of hos comfort zone but as any of the “invalids” as they are so called, have come to know… it never pays to feel too comfortable.
And then there is Alex. Now back, he is shocked and hurt to see that Lena has moved on and no amount of Lena’s explaining how long she had hoped and prayed that he was alive was anything he wanted to listen too. Thrown back together in this final book of the series, both Lena and Alex need to learn how to move forward together in their cause but separate in their lives.
The Wilds are no longer the safe place they used to be. Now Regulators have been seen searching the Wilds to eliminate the world of people just like Lena, Julian, and Alex… people who have decided that the ability to love…
just might be something worth fighting for.
Lauren Oliver should be commended. From those first pages of Delirium, to the final pages of Requiem…. I was hooked into this storyline of love being a disease that must be eliminated. Fascinating stuff for me… I imagine for younger YA readers, it even holds a stronger pull.
Bu what impresses me about the series is that each book – while linked together, are very different stories and very different settings. Even though Requiem takes you back to the Wilds, it is not the Wilds that we knew in the second book, Pandemonium. This ability to change up the location but keep things rolling with all the new rules and new dangers as well as hold true to the world that once was Lena’s is exhilarating. To be kept up to speed through the words of her best friend Hannah who still is in Portland, about to be married to her pair, after her procedure, levels this book out to its page turning crashing conclusion.
Requiem held strong to its upbringing and brings a different side to the battle that I enjoyed. I thoroughly liked all three of the books and recommend this YA series.
You can find my reviews of the two previous books here:
Now – I do of course have some thoughts about this book that are true spoilers so it is my pleasure to take the Spoiler Button that I LOVE to use, out of storage, give it a good cleaning and check the gauges. It appears to be in working order so for those of you who wish to rant or rave or both about this book… follow me to the Spoiler Page… where the story will continue…
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!