Little Beach Street Bakery by Jenny Colgan

Little Beach Street Bakery, Jenny Colgan, Book Journey

*Note – you may notice my reading of late has turned to a lighter side.  That would be true.  In light of my life at this time I have been reading books that are fairly light reads, not too heavy and easy on me.  And with a cover like this one, how could I go wrong?  :)  ~Sheila

 

When Polly’s life seems to be falling apart with a relationship FAIL, all Polly wants to do is get away and start somewhere new.  When she goes with her friend Kerensa to visit a quiet seaside town she finds comfort in the extreme solitude of a small worn down flat above an old closed down bakery.  Where Polly sees a new start, Kerensa sees nothing but a run down town with a tide that closes the road to traffic and leaves access to where Polly would live not only inaccessible, but dangerous.

To keep herself busy Polly starts to use her talent of making bread to feed the fisherman that come in by where she lives each day.  When her hobby starts to bring more and more people to her door, with the help of a handful of new friends, a goofy but handsome local beekeeper, and a lot of elbow grease, Polly might just be on to something.

 

 

The Little Beach Street Bakery is being compared to the likes of Chocolat.  My distance from the Chocolat read can neither confirm nor deny this comparison.  From what I can recall of the other book, I would say that Little Beach Street Bakery is quite a bit lighter in writing and technique.  While there is a little romance kneaded in throughout the read, it is not the deep compassion of Chocolat.

That said, LBSB is a sweet book of finding your own way in the midst of feeling directionless.  I could relate to this book.  The characters are a mix of fun and quirky – enough so that you never take the book seriously.  The book itself could be compared to a hot loaf of bread; it is fresh, looks wonderfully delicious, and it is comforting.  The honey on top is just the bit of sweetness it needs to bring it all together.

Little Beach Street Bakery is just the type of book I am drawn to this time of year.  A book to read while sitting in the sunshine.

 

 

 

 

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks (March 31, 2015)

 

Morning Meanderings…. Day 45 and Waiting for Sunshine

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Tuesday.  Mornings are hard and they start early.  I usually wake up between 4 and 5 am these days.  It is not ideal as it just makes the day L O N G E R.  With the constant rain of late I can not get outside to plant flowers, tend to my hostas, and mow the lawn – all things I would rather do than sit within these 4 walls.  I have plenty I could be working on and no desire to do any of it.  I get a few things done each day but I am not the whirlwind of production I once was by any means.

I do read and started the Butternut Lake series a couple of days ago and find comfort in this gentle Minnesota based book.  I know I have all three books in the series and while I am reading the first and can visibly see the third book, I am hopeful to find the middle book around here somewhere.  I am sure I have it.

I have a friend coming over this morning for coffee and another one this afternoon who will help me go through some boxes and work on a project.  This helps to move me through the day.  Today I hope to read… and I hope to write.

Maybe…

the sun will come out.

 

Vintage by Susan Gloss

1   Violet Turner is the owner of Hourglass Vintage in Madison Wisconsin.  Her shop is filled with delightful items from an array of decades.  Violet loves her shop, her location, and the stories that the items she sells hold. When she discovers that her landlord is looking to sell the building Hourglass Vintage is in, Violet panics.  She has the option in her lease to buy, but nowhere near the money being asked.  Violet realizes she can not do this alone.

April Morgan is 18 years old, 5 months pregnant, and hurting from the loss of her mother as well as the broken engagement to be married that came as a shock.  When April brings the vintage 1950’s wedding dress to Violet’s shop in hopes to return it, a surprising connection starts to develop…

Amithi Singh brings items of her heritage to Hourglass Vintage, items she had believed she would pass on to her daughter but her now grown daughter has shunned such traditional items.  Reeling from shocking news about her husbands fidelity – or lack there of – Amithi is looking to find her way, and she may have made a right step by coming to Violet’s store…. What can these women of very different backgrounds find in common that may be able to help Hourglass Vintage?

 

 

 

Vintage by Susan Gloss was a fun read about a strong woman trying to make it with her dream vintage clothing shop.  Each chapter starts with a unique item found in the shop, the description, approximate date of the item, and where it came from.  It made for a fun look into a vintage clothing shop and the characters that shop there or the ones that drop off their items. Vintage is a light and fun book and fit in with what I needed at the time I was reading it.  There were a couple “hmmmm” moments in the book for me but for the most past this is a book to not take too seriously and just enjoy the read.

Susan Gloss, Vintage, Bookies Book Club Brainerd Minnesota, Book Journey

To surprise the author many of us dressed in “vintage” clothing for the Skype session.

Bookies Review

Our book club the Bookies read this book and we Skyped with the author Susan Gloss.  We enjoyed pizza (mentioned in the book), spaghetti, wine, cheese, and desserts.  One of the girls in our group had vintage items from her own history which was incredible cool (see pictures below).  The Bookies over all rated the book higher than I did.  For the most part they found the book to be enjoyable and over all the 16 of us came up with an average rating of 4 out of a high rating of 5 which is pretty good. 6

Book Journey Vintage by Susan Gloss

Items brought by Laura for the review

15 18   PicMonkey Collage

How to host a book club event around this book

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks; Reprint edition (September 2, 2014)

Morning Meanderings…. Current Randomness

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Sunday.  Yesterday made six weeks since my life changed forever.  There are days I want to write… I open up a new post… and then I walk away. I am still struggling fitting into a new normal and stubbornly I don’t even want a new normal.

I want everything back the way it was.

I miss writing.  I miss reviewing.  I want to do something besides sitting in my house trying to escape this new reality but having no idea how.  I do read.  I do get out a little. I am signed up for BEA (Book Expo America) on May 26 – 29 in New York but even now I go back and forth on if that is what I can do.  I want to… I am nervous to… I am giving myself until this Tuesday to fully fully decide.

I am doing a little.  This past Tuesday we had book club and we skyped with the author, Susan Gloss.  Her book Vintage inspired us to dress up and since that was what we had planned to do when we originally discussed this book in March, we stuck with it.  These little outings while probably good for me to do, are exhausting.

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This past Friday a group of friends met at a cabin on a lake and we sat around and talked around a camp fire, grilled good food, and were just together.  It was both sweet and also hard to do but I am glad I did it.

 

Below are the books and audio that have come in the last 6 weeks since I posted.  I have picked away at a few of them finding that while I am unable to watch TV I am able to read a bit to take my mind off things.

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Today is another rainy day in Central Minnesota.  The last week + has been cold and rainy and while it fits my mood…it is getting old.  After I post this I will probably try to read a bit before I lay down for a nap.  I do have reviews to write, today I hope to start writing reviews and posting them but I have also learned these past 6 weeks that nothing happens on my schedule any more as it takes me forever to do the simplest tasks.

Until I write again.  Thank you for reading whatever I am saying and thank you for being the amazing people on the other side of my posts.

 

Sheila

Morning Meanderings… Still Here

meme Checking in.  At 31 days since the accident, life has taken on a new normal.  I cry every day, yet every day I wake up and wonder if this will be the day I have no tears left.  Every day to this point I have had more than enough tears.  I have been surrounded with friends and family from morning to night and that has brought me through many HARD days.  At this point I am trying not to lean so heavily on these amazing people who come to sit with me, text me, message me, or bring me coffee or provide dinner for my family or encourage me to go out for a walk or a bike ride. I am learning ever so cautiously to stand in this new world breathing this unfamiliar air and trying (trying trying trying) to imagine a world without the amazing light and love of Justin.

Quite honestly…. I don’t like it.

Which brings me to my point today.  I can not sit and watch TV.  My mind will not settle into the story line and something will leave me unsettled – a laugh in a comedy, a family… a pregnant woman.  However, I have found that over the last couple of weeks I have been able to settle my mind into a book which does not surprise me.  Through the tragedies of my life – it has been books I have always been able to turn to for escape and release of the pain of the real world.  So slowly I am reading when I go to bed at 7 pm because I am done with what the day has to offer and I don’t know what else to do, I pick up a book and I read a little each night.  I will write reviews because I love to talk about books. As easy as it would be to stop doing all the things I used to do I know that would make Justin very sad.

I always referred to him as the male version of me.  If it was fun, unique, and crazy – we would encourage each other to do it. He loved that I lived life the way I did. I have to remember that.  I will continue Book Journey.  I imagine that my morning posts will become hopefully lighter than this one.  I know I am changed forever and that will reflect on how I write, for better of for worse.  That kid though, he is worth every bit of pain I am going through right now.  I love him so much… and for that reason.  I will continue to live life out loud.  He would have wanted me to stay that way.

I am still here.

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Picture taken on April 2nd at the premiere of The Longest Ride movie. Justin died on April 4th.

To My Book Loving Friends… An Update On Me

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Dear Friends, while I am up to it I want to share with you my absence.  On Saturday April 4th my wonderful 24 year old son Justin was killed in a car accident.  I can not even tell you the pain that myself, his father, and his brother are in.  Justin was an amazing kid with such a great spirit and love for all things.  If you want, you may follow me on Facebook at Sheila DeChantal where I am posting occasional updates.  Beyond that I am unsure when I will be able to return to this spot, although I do hope that some day I will.

 

Morning Meanderings… Meeting Bloggers and Announcing a Winner

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Good morning!  It is Friday!  To me that means the end of the week, coffee meet up, project clean up, letters to write, meetings to plan, a work out or two and considering what Easter will be like this year and what should I make….

Yesterday I had the privilege of being part of a round table discussion with the two main actors in the movie The Longest Ride, Scott Eastwood and Britt Robertson.  I am going to write about that interview tomorrow, but today I wanted to talk a bit about the other people who were at the round table with me.

Going into this “adventure”, I was not really sure who would be in the room.  Once I was there I seen it was a group of bloggers.  A good group of them were really young bloggers, some even in high school.  A couple (thankfully!) were closer to my age.

We went in the room with the actors and we were each allowed to ask one question – I will share with you tomorrow what I asked as I think it was a great question and an even better answer…  but that is…

another story.

After the interview time, I was speaking to the lady sitting next to me whose name is Ruth and she runs the blog flixchatter. We hit it off chatting about how thankful we were to see each other in a group of young(er) bloggers.  We exchanged cards and walked out of the Minneapolis hotel together chatting like old friends (you know how we bloggers are!)

flixchatter, http://flixchatter.net/

Flixchatter. See what she is writing about. Tell her your friend Sheila sent you :)

Then… in the elevator on the way down there were a few of us from the interview and I asked them if they were bloggers.  (We really did not have a chance to say who we were , where we were from, or what we did).  They said yes, and Donna from Donnahup.com handed me her card.  I did not really get a chance to chat with her as we were all on our way out, but I did check out her cool website this morning.  Her site is all books and movies, crafts and recipes, travel and giveaways.  It’s a site you can spend some serious time checking out.

And… my final mention of the morning is I have a winner for the giveaway package I had going for The Longest Ride.  Using the magic of Random.org this morning my winner is:

Christina T from Reading Extensively

3Congratulations to Christina!  She won the $25 Visa gift card, the coveted by me tote, and the book, The Longest Ride!  Email me your shipping information at journeythroughbooks@gmail.com and I will pass on your information to have that sent to you.  YAY!!!

My contest may be over but you can still enter this giveaway at Bermuda Onion and Booking Mama .

Have a super start to your weekend.  I am thrilled to have the morning to do some catching up as my morning commitment was postponed until next week.  It has been a while since I had a free morning and I am taking full advantage. :)

Literary Blog Hop – My Giveaway!

Literary Blog Hop, My Book Self Book Journey. Wolf Hall  I am participating in a LOVELY Spring Blog Hop hosted by My Book Self. Win a book here!  Check out the details of what I am giving away and how you can enter here!  (It’s pretty exciting!!!!) *This is a sticky post and will remain at the top of Book Journey through April 12th when a winner is chosen. 

Morning Meanderings… An Actor Meandered Into A Movie Theater…

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Good morning from St. Paul Minneapolis.

I am at my son’s apartment where I am currently drinking coffee out of his Harry Potter mug and enjoying the absolute quiet.  He is still sleeping and I never noticed at home but the dogs and the background noise of the equipment from our excavating business must create some sort of low-level noise because this here is

QUIET.

And I like it.

1aaaaaaaaaaaaa

I am in Minneapolis because Justin (son) and I went to the pre-showing of the movie The Longest Ride last night.  It was kind of a cool invite and we were told that when we came to the theater that we were supposed to check in with the studio rep and to be there by 6:45 pm.

We were there around 6:35 pm and we were directed to a LONG LINE of people waiting to get in at the door they had mentioned.  Justin and I walked to the end of the line and waited in the line that barely moved until 6:55.  I asked Justin to go check out the front of the line and see what was happening.  I was hoping we were doing this right as this was my first invite of anything like this.

Justin disappeared around the corner and then came back waving me forward.  We were doing it wrong.  We went to the front of the line, checked in with the lady with the clip board and on in we went.  It was a little crazy as there were security people letting us into the theater.

We were told to stay in our seats after the movie because Twentieth Century Fox was there filming for future advertising and wanted shots of the crowd. We watched the movie (which was really good!) and afterwards we sat there as we were told and a side door opened and…

Scoot Eastwood, Minneapolis Minnesota, Book Journey, Britt Robertson, Mall Of America

YES!  A side door opened and Scott Eastwood and Britt Robertson walked in to the front of the theater.  We had a fun 20 minutes with them as they answered questions about the moving, bull riding, their “romantic scenes” together….

What a fun event!

Nicholas Sparks, The Longest Ride, Scott Eastwood, Britt Robertson, Book JOurney, Minneapolis Premiere

Yesterday I razzed up the whole “I am not a fan of country things” and I have to admit to a little softening of the heart today.  The movie was very good and opens at the theaters on April 10th.  This afternoon I have the opportunity of sitting at a round table and asking these two stars questions about the book that became a movie.  I am geeky excited and nervous all at the same time.

Also, my giveaway I am hosting for the $25 Visa card, tote, and copy of The Longest Ride book is still going on.  If you have not signed up… you should.  Winner will be drawn this Friday.

Do you have any brilliant questions I should ask?

Outside The Lines by Amy Hatvany (Audiobook)

Outside the lines, Amy Hatvany, Book Journey, audio, Simon Schuster

Growing up, Eden was used to her father, David’s, whimsical ways.  He was always letting her stay home from school to go on adventures with him.  Eden’s mother constantly was at odds with David and his inability to hold down a job just added to the household tensions.  When Eden’s father returns home after a short stay in a mental hospital, 10-year-old Eden finds him on the floor of their bathroom having slit his wrists.  This attempt on taking his life leads to Eden’s parents divorce.

Twenty years later Eden has a successful catering business.  Since that fateful day all those years ago Eden has seen her father only on rare occasions.  She occasionally hears that he is living on the streets or staying in a shelter.  Eden, who has poor attempts at relationships with men, wonders if perhaps if she could try to repair her relationship with her father would help her be a better person for someone else.  While searching for her father, Eden meets Jack.

Jack is everything Eden would want in a man.  He is kind and thoughtful.  Jack also decides to help Eden find her father.  Yet as the two get closer to what Eden is looking for, more comes to surface than she had planned.  Secrets her mother had kept, and the question of if her father even wants to be found.

 

 

I thought the synopsis of this book was engaging.  A story centered around mental illness and what it does to the family living with it.  While the story unfolds through Eden’s eyes, you also slowly learn of what it was like for her mother to be in love with a man that just could not keep it together.

Narrators Candace Thaxton, and Corey Brill create a flawless flow throughout this read.  A book that would work well for a summer read, Outside The Lines is an interesting look into a family trying to move on.  The end comes together a little too neatly, but still worth a read or listen.

 

 

  • Audible Audio Edition
  • Listening Length: 10 hours and 29 minutes
  • Program Type: Audiobook
  • Version: Unabridged
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
  • Audible.com Release Date: December 10, 2013

 

 

 

 

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