Every year I get excited about what will be that first book that I will be chatting about going into the new year. I make a big deal out of picking the book. It is usually a book I have wanted to read for awhile and for whatever reason, I just have not been able to make the time to read it.
This year I would love for you to join me in this tradition of picking the book that you will be reading into the new year. It can be a coveted book that you have been waiting to read, a guilty pleasure book, a re-read of a favorite that you want to explore once again… whatever you want.
Our posts of what we are reading will go live on January 1st. You do not need to be done with the book on January 1st, just reading it on January 1st and yes, you can start on the 31st and be reading into the New Year. I would like to link up all your posts here on the 1st as well so others can visit you and cheer you on! If you are interested, please feel out the short form below.
Happy Thanksgiving to everyone who celebrates the day of the turkey! :D This morning I have one turkey in the oven, another will go in later after the pies. I am on my way in mere minutes to the Baxter Turkey Run, with my friends Amy and Laura and my son Justin. Its crazy I know… long johns and running pants… a hat and two pairs of gloves but it will be great
Later this morning both boys will be over and we will bake and play board games, snack on meats and cheeses and dips and watch movies. We will eat turkey and stuffing and salad and bread and no doubt way too much of everything. Its low key, low maintenance and I love it.
To you and yours this holiday weekend. May we all remember all we have to be thankful for. Be safe and know you are loved.
Many moons ago (ok, 4+ years…) I started this little book review site called Book Journey. It was a lot of fun to get going and every reader comment was so exciting to see in my email. In those beginning years I was able to not only comment back to very comment given me, but if they were fellow bloggers I went and visited their blog as well. This really was the start to my readership and my daily visitor stats grew.
It really was a lot of fun to book chat every day with those I came to “know” through this blog. I would learn their name, and remember things they posted so I could comment about their dog, something going on in their life, or a particular book we both enjoyed. It was like a whole group of friends out there in the world that I may or may not ever meet face to face and this was pretty cool.
The “It’s Monday What Are You Reading” meme opened blogesphere doors for me with new visitors and I made sure that when they stopped in, this blog was something they would want to come back to. I kept my sidebars current and my reviews frequent. I posted about bookish topics, I proposed questions about e readers, publishing trends, and one of my person favorites… what to do when authors attack. I engaged my readers in conversations with me and with each other.
As time went on, I even wrote for a few Book Reviewer events on the topic of bringing in readers and keeping them. I answered questions and wrote posts about blog traffic. Each day I came home from work and would quickly check my email to see who had commented on my review or my meandering, and I would respond. I set a goal to visit 20 blogs a day and maintained it…
and then one day…
Life became…. busy. Between work, writing, working out, reading, and everything else I crammed into a day… for the past 9 months… this blog has been fairly quiet with about one or two posts a week. I stopped responding to comments. I found no time to go and visit other book blogs. I rarely requested a book for review or accepted a review offer. The Monday What Are You Reading post became a”had to” instead of something I wanted to do; and yes, for a while I was wondering if I had lost my love for blogging.
I am not sure what, but something made me hold on. I enjoyed and still enjoy my online friends. I knew I was not ready to give that up. I wanted to hang on to see if after the busy time of summer and fall if I would be able to retrieve some of this bloggers life I love…
and I am glad I did.
Over the past few weeks I have started updating some of my page links here. I started writing the reviews that have backed up in my mind like a massive car pile up on a highway. I started making time to visit the blogs I enjoy reading and hope they did not die of shock when they seen a comment from me. For the first time in probably over a year, I visited all the blogs that linked to this weeks Monday What Are You Reading, something I used to love to do – and loved doing it again.
What I guess I am trying to say is, I am back. :D I know I do not have to go to the extreme in which I once blogged… but I truly am getting that desire to write posts again. For the first time in a while when something funny or odd happens to me I think, that would be a great Morning Meandering post. (It has been a while since I have thought in “posts”).
I am glad it is not over for me as I love this life of reviewing and chatting up books – one of my FAVORITE all time topics. This post was mainly to let you know that readers, I hope you are still around and I hope you pop in once in awhile and say hi and chat books with me. My promise to you is:
1. I will always write honest book reviews (you get my real thoughts here )
2. I will occasionally be snarky, but never mean.
3. I will share with you the craziness of the life of a want to be writer, half marathon training, book loving, adventure seeking, constantly on the go, audio book addicted, frequently fails but gets back up again, rescue dog adopting, gets up too early and stays up too late girl.
Welcome to Book Journey. Hope to see you around the blogs.
Three weeks ago was our Brainerd Library sale. Normally I post much quicker on my treasures, but it was a busy time and honestly, I had not even opened the bags until I went to take these pictures today. Prior to opening the bags – I could not have named more than 5 of the books I had in them. I knew I had some old Nancy Drew, but that was about it. Opening them reminded me all over again why I chose to bring them home.
I choose books for many reasons. I choose because of covers and titles. When I go the library sale I can not resist a lovely eye-catching huge hard cover read for 50 cents ( you will see a few of those here). I like picking up books that I LOVED for someone else to enjoy. I look for authors I have enjoyed, and I pick up books that I have listened to on audio and really enjoyed, like Joshilyn Jackson’s A Grown Up Kind Of Pretty and HIllary Mantell’s Wolf Hall.
I look for books I have really wanted to read like The Year Of Living Biblically and Mansfield Park.
Or I have been told that they are AMAZING like Blind Your Ponies .
And all together they compile the books that were in the bags.
How do you choose the books you read?
First of all my sincere apologies for appearing that I had dropped off the face of the earth, was eaten by a bear, or had taken a vow of silence. I am alive, and well, and in New York for the Book Expo, my fourth year attending.
In past years I have been able to at least put up morning posts letting you know what is going on, who I am seeing and where I have been. This year it seems like I am running even harder from early in the morning (up around 6 am) and dropping back into my hotel bed of way too many pillows around 11 pm or so. When I get up I seem to have no time to write and at night I am way too tired to write. The reason I am able to write this post is that I took a little break from the expo this afternoon to put my aching feet up a bit and chill before I go and mail books home and hit it again.
I will do a day by day recap once I am home but for now let me give you highlights of what you will be hearing more about in future posts:
- A wet wet entrance into New York
- Frozen Hot Chocolate
- Joshilyn Jackson in person!
- Books… oh books!
- Adrianna here and there and then at her house for breakfast.
- 4 event Thursday- Simon Schuster, Workman, Penguin Bash, and SimonTeen
- The City Of Bones Party!!! SQQQUUUUEEEEE
- The Expo
- New York and New Yorkers….anything goes
- Post Office win!
and more to come. Anyhoo – I am alive, I am tired but well and good things and pictures to come
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. :D
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. :D 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?
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:
Powered by Linky Tools
Click here to enter your link and view this Linky Tools list…
Have you read any of these books? What was your best reads of January?