Note – this is a sticky post that will stay on top during the read-a-thon. Other posts with updates will be below this one today. :)
It’s here! The fall Dewey Read-a-Thon is here and I am so happy I am able to be a part of it! I love everything that Dewey stands for.
As usual, I like to read for a charity. This time around I am planning to read for my local Friends Of The Brainerd Public Library. We are a group of volunteers that work to assist our library with additional literacy programming for children and adults alike, purchase additional copies of best sellers, provide opportunities to participate in events such as author events, book clubs, provide additional seating in our library, the book in a bag program, children’s books, and so much more. I LOVE being a part of this group and see us working more and more in our community to get the word out how important the local library is.
I will be donating 10 cents per page I read in the next 24 hours, and 10 cents per minute I listen to audio in the next 24 hours. I invite you to feel free to make a donation to support my cause today by clicking on the button below. Any contribution is welcome!
As a bonus, I am giving away a book or two to celebrate Dewey. You receive a chance to win book of choice or a $10 Amazon gift card by leaving a comment here, and an additional change by donating to the Friends Of The Brainerd Public LIbrary. Here are the books I am offering:
The books are:
Code Name Verity (World Book Night version I picked up at our book sale)
Ranger’s Apprentice (World Book Night Version I picked up at our book sale)
or a $10 Amazon gift card
Below is the link to make a donation to the Friends Of The Brainerd Public Library if you choose to do so. You do not need to make a donation to be entered in the giveaway.
After this opening meme, I will have a new post put up for updates – I will keep updating the same post, but please, pop in throughout the day to check in… love the company and each comment will put you in the drawing for one of the items above. I will announce the winner tomorrow with the results of my personal part of the read a thon.
The opening meme:
1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today? Brainerd Minnesota!
2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to? Hmmm…. I have been reading Delancey and I am excited to see where that one is going. From there I do not know :)
3) Which snack are you most looking forward to? I loaded up at the store yesterday… I think the cheese puffs will make me happy, but lunch is chicken wild rice soup that I will be making while listening to audio. Mmmmmmmm
4) Tell us a little something about yourself! Apparently I am a die-hard reader. LOL… you probably knew that :) Let’s see, I am Sheila and I have hosted Book Journey since 2009. I am in an amazing book club that started in 2001 and now has 16 active members, I am President Of Our Friends group – oh and I recently left my job of 10 years to commit to my writing. EEP! And randomly, I enjoy a good mud run, and love to ride my bike long distances.
5) If you participated in the last read-a-thon, what’s one thing you’ll do different today? I am going to try to read more. I tend to get caught up in the social part of the read-a-thon. I will be participating in the challenges, but trying for a more happy mix :)
If this is your first read-a-thon, what are you most looking forward to? Not my first :)
Ok I am off… starting with Delancey this morning and just having coffee. It is still early here :)
Are you participating in the read-a-thon? If not have you in the past?
This past week, 13 of the 16 Bookies gathered together for fun food, conversation, and a close up look at October Classic read, In Cold Blood by Truman Capote. My full review of the book is here. As I had mentioned in an earlier post, I was curious about how a true crime would go over in this group. We had read an Anne Rule true crime many years ago when we were about 8 or 10 members at that time, but nothing since then.
Our discussion mainly centered around the time and the crime. We agreed that in the small community where the crime took place, you did not worry about your neighbors or what you said in public about what you owned. The results of In Cold Blood, changed this community, and many communities forever. I mentioned to the group that I had recently been speaking to a woman at a dinner I attended about our book club choice. She said at the time of the crime she was a young girl and her parents told her, “you never tell people about what we have in our house… you do not mention the safe, or anything.” The crimes of In Cold Blood, put fear in so many.
We also discussed how things randomly happen. If Richard Hickock and Perry Edward Smith had never met, never spoke with the gut who had worked on the Clutter home…. the crime, by circumstance would never have happened. We compared this, on a much lighter note to how we all wound up in book club together. Looking around the room, when book club started I knew only one of the thirteen girls in the room. We all met by circumstance, someone talked about book club and we agreed to go. If not for Bookies and our group talking about it… we would not all have been in that room together this week talking about this book.
I love things like that. :)
Overall, the book was rated mainly average which is actually a good rating for a classic. A few rated it higher, and a couple rated it lower. The overall thought was that most of us do not like to read true crime, but this one worked as it is written in such a fictional way. This was mainly because of the dialogue in the book compared to just straight facts about the crime.
Our food for the night… we themed a lot of foods from the times – Angie even made from a 1959 cook book a Purple Sea Urchin dish – little hot dogs poking out of a cabbage with Sterno in the middle to cook them! I made the cucumber sandwiches… I went with the theme of funeral food.
What makes this a good book club choice?
I think it is good for a book club to shake up genres. A true crime can bring out a different type of discussion, and while it is true crime, In Cold Blood is written in such a way it is not overly horrific, therefore making it a good book club pick – and it is a classic! In Cold Blood is one of the books i like to be able to say I have read due to its classic status and the fact that Truman Capote is an author you will want to read.
When planning food for a book such as this I loved the idea Angie had of making food from the era. She also brought (not pictured) old style potato chips and homemade dip with the Liptons onion soup mix, which apparently became popular in 1959.
While decorating for a true crime, or dressing up is hard to do – we did use a little crime scene tape that I had left over from the banned book window at the library.
For the groups that like to go a step further – In Cold Blood is a movie, as well as Capote (newer). Either of these movies could add to your discussion on book and or author.
Good morning! :) I have been looking forward to today all week-long! This is my “Low Key Weekend” and lets just add some hashtags as I think they are fun: #awesomehangingout #deweyreadathon #dontwanttoanswermyphone.
After a full couple of weeks of great fun, working weekends, and large commitments… I am trying hard to hold on to the sanctuary of this weekend by not over booking myself and refreshing and renewing to be ready to rock and roll again next week. :)
So what is on the weekend agenda?
Today -write a couple of reviews, go to the bank, the Library, the grocery store…. meet a friend for lunch, pick up some boxes of goodies at Connie’s home, clean out the downstairs storage and listen to audio. :) (Ok, that may not sound very low-key – but it is)
Saturday – Dewey Read A Thon. If I plan this right, I want to be home reading for the entire day. I will read for charity – I usually do, and hope to not leave the house at all. (Mmmm hmmmm…. there it , low-key day!)
Sunday – church, and home to do a little cleaning, a little audio, maybe going to a friends home to interview her for an upcoming magazine story… but may just put that off. Al and I may be heading to the cabin to meet up with the guy working on our roof to run by him plans for a front deck (YAY!!!! I have waited so long for this! And a possible garage.) If we do go, we will be gone until Tuesday and if he can not go… then I need to go alone. Either way, it’s not a bad thing, I was hoping to get to the cabin this month and it just had not worked out.
Something new…. last night I created a Twitter account for our Friends Of The Brainerd Public Library. After last weeks conference for the Minnesota Library Association I sat in on a session on social media. While it was aimed more at what Libraries can do to connect… I nabbed a couple ideas for the Friends… Twitter was one, as I can attach the feed to our website and I find that super cool. Yes, I said it… super cool. And secondly – mail chimp… which I did not know much about but after seeing what a nice email it sends, it will be something I will be looking into for future friends emails.
Oh… and that Twitter account, in case you want to follow… @BrdFriends
I plan to use it to let people know of upcoming Friends events, happenings, etc… that may not be of interest to you… however if you are a library fan, or a Friend of your local library, you may want to see what we are doing… after all, I look at other Friends and Library sites to pick up ideas for our own :)
Ok enough of the chatter… you have things to do, I have things to do. Hope your day is super fab!
HIgh school student Jam Gallahue is still recovering from the tragic loss of her boyfriend, Reeve Maxfield, the adorable exchange student from Britain. It has been over a year since Reeve died and Jam is still stuck in her thoughts of kissing him in the library, or watching a funny movie together. Her depression and inability to move on is so deep, her parents feel they have no choice when they send her to The Wooden Barn, a therapeutic boarding school in Vermont for youth of similar struggles.
Jam is selected along with four other students to be in a class called Special Topics. An English class that turns out to be all about the works of Sylvia Plath. When the teacher hands each of the students a beautiful leather bond journal and encourages them to try to write something in them once or twice a week, Jam is certain that she will NOT be writing in a journal.
Yet one evening, Jam does decide to try to write a few lines in the book and when she does she finds herself whisked away, back to a time when she is with Reeve once again. While she fears she may be dreaming, his arms around her are all to real and when she comes back to the present, she finds she has written 5 pages in the journal. What is even more odd, Jam discovers that the other students in the Special Topics class had similar experiences, each going back to a time when things were right before their personal tragedy happened; and each coming back to find that 5 pages in their journal have been filled.
As the group begins to meet outside of class time to discuss their secret; they all wonder what will happen when they get to the end of the journal… and will that close the door to the past even if they are not ready to let go?
I LOVED this book. I loved the idea of a group of teens centered around a class talking about the literary works of Sylvia Plath. I thought the idea of the journals that give you a chance to go back to before things went wrong was brilliant; and the way this brought the group to open up to one another… seriously I want to just write…
GUSH! GUSH! GUSH!
I enjoyed this book on audio and Jorjeana Marie narrated well. I simply did not want to turn this book off! Incredibly well done and thought provoking! Love the title, love the characters…LOVE the book! While I thought the ending would be a bit more powerful (I had my own ideas of what might have been), it was still an amazing book that I would HIGHLY recommend is one of the best this reader has spent time with in 2014.
*I feel this book would make for a wonderful book club discussion… there are lots of what if’s in this one!
Because I want to be able to talk about this book in more detail I am dusting off the Spoiler Button and putting it in play. Please read (or listen to!) the book and then push the button and let’s talk Belzhar!
- Listening Length: 8 hours and 6 minutes
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Unabridged
- Publisher: Listening Library
- Audible.com Release Date: September 30, 2014
It is easy to look at those we see on the tv screen or on the movie screen and think there life must be amazing! Yet often there is more to the story than what we see in the flash of lights, a funny comment, and a great memorable movie line. Alan Cummings has just such a story. ~Sheila
Alan Cummings plays a wide variety of roles. You may know him from the popular series The good Wife, Any Day Now, Spy Kids, Burlesque, X2, Emma, Ghost Writer, and much more as well as Broadway plays.
Yet while Alan appears cool and calm when we see him on the screen; what we did not know was the deep dark pain that he hid deep inside of a painful childhood, a father with a quick temper and who was abusive. Leaving Alan feeling like he could never live up to the man’s expectations. Along with this was his mother, a loving gentle soul who never knew what had happened to her own father who she had last seen when she was eight years old.
Alan made the decision to go on the show Who Do You Think You Are?, a show that digs into your family history and then announces their findings on air. Alan’s curiosity about his heritage and his grandfather led him to make the decision to go on the show – having no idea the Pandora’s box he was about to open…
While I have this book in paperback, I chose to listen to it on audio. Not only for the convenience of being about to multi task while listening, but also for the fact that Alan Cummings narrates the book. Alan’s emotion though the book that opens his life wide open is at times heart wrenching, and at times he is hilarious…. and well worth the listen.
I admittedly knew little of Alan Cummings going into this read. I knew him from The good Wife, and I recognized him from a few movies, but honestly knew hardly anything about the man behind the acting. Not My Father’s Son was an honest look into Alan’s life as a child into his teens, and into his life now. Told in alternating “Then” and “Now” chapters, I found the book well written, thought-provoking, and I am so glad I counted this one in my 2014 reading.
Not only will fans of Alan Cumming find this book worth their time, I feel that those who like me, know little of the man, will also find this memoir of a boy looking for closure on a painful past so he can be the man he knows he is, is a powerful and positive reading choice.
- Audible Audio Edition
- Listening Length: 6 hours and 28 minutes
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Unabridged
- Publisher: HarperAudio
- Audible.com Release Date: October 7, 2014
- Hardcover: 304 pages
- Publisher: Dey Street Books (October 7, 2014)
I feel as though I have run a literary marathon. Things, have been quite bookish around here lately, Library conference, Author event, Teen Library meeting, first annual Friends Of The Library retreat and last nights Bookies Book Club. All this happened within the last week. It has been fun, do not get me wrong, but I feel a little wrung out, looking forward to a non eventful rest of the week. My agenda is fairly open the next week out.
Last night the Bookies had a great time meeting up and discussing In Cold Blood. We also handed out our books that we will be reading as well this month for the new Harper Collins Program “Book Club Girls”, this will be books chosen by my group and read in addition to our regular scheduled read. Our first book through Harper is:
Super excited about this book! There is also a box of swag coming that I am excited to see what it is! :)
Our book clubs pick for November will be :
Looks like a good one and the perfect time of year for some Historical Fiction!
Well, off to get ready for my day. Hope your warm and enjoying fall colors wherever you are!
Woo hoo! Finally, 10 days after the opening of the movie, I made it to see Gone Girl! The movie made from the book whose spoiler page has become by far my all time most popular post on Book Journey. Seriously, here are the stats since I wrote the post in 2012:
Months and Years
* I eliminated most of the months as this graph was just too big to fit into the post.
So lets discuss the book. I read Gone Girl in July of 2012. It was my first Gillian Flynn and it blew me away with all of its twists and turns. I LOVED it, and I had a lot to say about it, which is why I wrote the spoiler page. Gone Girl is a book that had me thinking one way, and then I was wrong, and then I thought another way… and I was wrong again. I gushed in my review of the book! I was so impressed with Gillian’s talent to write characters that can drive you nuts!
As a disclaimer, I must say that I read the book in July 2012, and seen the movie on October 13th, 2014. I had hoped to read the book again before the movie but there just was no time to get it done. That said, I cautiously approached the movie that sat at 2 hours and 35 minutes long. That, on the front end, seemed longer than necessary, as it turns out after seeing the movie, there is nothing I would cut out out to make it shorter.
Gone Girl the movie starred a well played Ben Affleck as Nick, and Rosamund Pike made for a perfect Amy. Honestly, the movie played out extremely well and had a nice running compatibility with the book. I went to the movie with two friends, one who had read the book and one who has not. The one who had not was a lot of fun to watch as she was shocked by what was happening on the screen. I found myself chuckling softly to the game playing between Nick and Amy and hung on to the ending credits. Then we were the last ones in the theater as we sat and discussed the movie.
The Verdict of Book Vs. Movie…. (possible spoilers)
The book. The book is so filled with high energy twisty turns that I feel it comes across better to be read and get the initial buzz through the pages. The movie missed a couple of “what I felt to be important” points:
1. Nick’s dad, and when found wondering around from his retirement home in the book is quite verbal about his negative feelings towards Amy, thus giving you the impression that he may be involved in her disappearance. In the movie, while the dad is found wondering away from his home, shows no emotion about Amy one way or another… this making his appearance in the movie feel a little useless.
2. In the book, it is explained well how Amy’s parents have used her for the books her mom wrote, Amazing Amy and you fully understand the pressures that Amy had on her to live up to an animated character of herself. While the movie mentions these pressures a little… I am not sure if it is enough for the watcher to get the full picture of what that type of perfection caused.
Now, I would by no means rule the movie out. The movie was actually very good and I would definitely watch it again and will probably own the movie. See it. Even if you have no intentions of reading the book, I think you will find the movie to be just a fun crazy insane ride!
Update: The spoiler page for the book is picking up a pot of movie discussion so I am going to open up a spoiler page here for the movie. This page will be for those who have seen the movie and open for discussion if you have read the book or not. Enter below!
Good morning fellow readers, adventure seekers, and of course coffee drinkers. How are you this fine chilly morning? Perhaps where you live it is not chilly… or perhaps you will not venture out into the chill. I will be doing both I believe… Minnesota can be a fickle state to live in. :)
Last week I made two trips into the Minneapolis area. Once for the Minnesota Library Association Conference, and then again for Opus and Olives, the premiere author event of the state. Both were excellent times but happy to say that this week I will be hovering around home base. YAY!!!
Tonight… The Bookies Book Club will be discussing for our annual October Classic read, In Cold Blood by Truman Capote. The chilling true story of a murdered family and why. This should make for an interesting discussion as true crime does not usually fall into our groups genre’s to read. I am deciding on my appetizer to bring and think I am going with cucumber sandwiches. Love hanging out with this group so looking forward to the bookish discussion and good food!
One more quick note, I finally made it to Gone Girl last night. My thoughts on the movie will be up later today.
Detective Michael Bennett and the whole Bennett clan (all ten of the children, Grandpa Seamus, and the nanny Mary Catherine) are finally safe to come back home to New York. The Crime Lord who had threatened the Bennett’s into the witness protection program was now in a word… DONE.
When Mike goes back to work he is put in charge of shaping up an Outreach Squad in Harlem. While there, he works with a team following up on some unusual activity or well dressed people going into condemned buildings at odd hours. While Mike thinks, “that’s New York,” he does follow-up and finds a charred body at the scene….
something… doesn’t smell right.
Ok, ok.. sorry about the “doesn’t smell right” synopsis… it came to me… I used it.
I have followed all seven installments of this series on audio and have enjoyed every one of them. This is huge for someone who does not like to get involved in long running series. Now, before you think that this series is too far in for you to be interested, please think again.
While yes, I do feel that you will get the most appreciation of this story line if you start from the beginning to understand who Mike Bennett is and why he has ten children and no wife; I can give you the basics of the series to get you moving:
1. Mike Bennett and his wife adopted all ten of the children during their life together.
2. Mike’s wife died of cancer.
3. Grandpa Seamus is a retired Priest and lives with the family and helps out.
4. Mary Catherine is a wonderful Irish woman who loves the kids as though they are her own and lives with the family full time.
I think I love this series because it is not a graphic as some of Patterson’s books, the children and a Grandpa Priest I think really help to tame the story line, although do not feel you are not getting a great storyline, because you are. It is just that it is more of a good PG13 rating than an “R”.
BURN is crazy with activity. While Mike is working on the mystery of the charred body, there are also cops dying, a woman afraid of her ex-boyfriend, personal trauma in the Bennett household, as well as the possibility of losing one of the children. No kidding. There is a lot happening but it is all crazy interesting and keeps you on the edge of your seat.
Danny Mastrogiorgio (Narrator) does an amazing job. I love the deep tough guy voice used for Michael Bennett, and I am impressed that this same voice can also handle the kids, Seamus, and of course… Mary Catherine.
My advice: Read it or listen to it, but start earlier on in the series.. this is a great listen, but you may want to back up and get a real feel for this unique family to feel the full impact of what is happening in this book.
Here is a link to my review of the first book in the series: Step On A Crack.
- Listening Length: 7 hours and 53 minutes
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Unabridged
- Publisher: Hachette Audio
- Audible.com Release Date: September 29, 2014
Hey there! Welcome to It’s Monday, What Are You Reading!
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. Fair warning… this meme tends to add to your reading list! ;)
By the time you are reading this I will be at the Opus and Olives event in ST Paul Minnesota. I am so excited!!!! This is the event that I heard about that caused the idea of Wine and Words to start to develop. I have never been to the event, but tonight, I am going as one of the creators guests and I am SUPER EXCITED! (I may have already said that…)
This week has been chalk full of working and writing and speaking and …. well, here is the week:
Pretty far week and a good mix of books and audio and bookish events. This next week will be a little of the same with the Gone Girl movie and Book Club. This coming week I have on tap:
For My Ears:
If life were fair, Jam Gallahue would still be at home in New Jersey with her sweet British boyfriend, Reeve Maxfield. She’d be watching old comedy sketches with him. She’d be kissing him in the library stacks.
She certainly wouldn’t be at The Wooden Barn, a therapeutic boarding school in rural Vermont, living with a weird roommate, and signed up for an exclusive, mysterious class called Special Topics in English.
But life isn’t fair, and Reeve Maxfield is dead.
Until a journal-writing assignment leads Jam to Belzhar, where the untainted past is restored, and Jam can feel Reeve’s arms around her once again. But there are hidden truths on Jam’s path to reclaim her loss.
A beloved star of stage, television, and film – ”one of the most fun people in show business” (Time magazine) – Alan Cumming is a successful artist whose diversity and fearlessness is unparalleled. His success masks a painful childhood growing up under the heavy rule of an emotionally and physically abusive father – a relationship that tormented him long into adulthood.
When television producers in the United Kingdom approached him to appear on a popular celebrity genealogy show in 2010, Alan enthusiastically agreed. He hoped the show would solve a family mystery involving his maternal grandfather, a celebrated World War II hero who disappeared in the Far East. But as the truth of his family ancestors revealed itself, Alan learned far more than he bargained for about himself, his past, and his own father.
Mercer Island, Washington is a bedroom community of Seattle, plopped in the middle of Lake Washington and connected to the Big City by what used to be the world’s longest floating bridge. In the mid-1960s Mercer Island was known for fancy waterfront homes, an excellent school system, inept sports teams, and teenagers with too much time on their hands and too much money in their pants. For the high school Class of ’65, a lot of that time was spent at the Samoa Drive In, the Island’s premier teen hangout, and a lot of that money was spent on the Samoa’s Cheese Deluxe, one of the world’s best burgers. CHEESE DELUXE: A Memoir by Greg Palmer, recalls that time and those people, and their mostly true, often comic, occasionally romantic, sometimes automotive adventures in the last blush of being kids on the verge of adulthood.
Among the burgered are Stackhouse, whose single erotic fantasy involves a broken down Dodge, a lonely mountain road, and a bag full of burgers; Frank, the auto shop savant whose only real crime is that the police hate him; Curtis, who has devoted his life to smoking, drinking, driving, and being deeply disappointing to his parents; Clifford, who joins the International Jewish Conspiracy primarily for the cuisine; Janelle, the dream girl of many, who learns something about herself from a dying rabbit; and Tucker, a shy young sax player who, on September 5, 1964, integrates Mercer Island High School all by himself, without any help from lawyers, cops, Federal Marshals, the National Guard, or Nicholas Katzenbach.
On the other side of the counter from this group of, if not underachievers then certainly the achievement-delayed, is the restaurant’s staff: Betty, the owner/operator, who knows enough about the Samoa to bring a sack lunch to work; DeeDee, a sophisticated (which is to say cold-as-ice) collegian believed by some of the burger eaters to be majoring in Penmanship at the University of Washington; Arlene, a professional counter personnel who takes no guff, ever, from anybody; Don, the legendary Friday night Master of the Deep Fat, who can spot the fish & chip eaters solely by the cars they drive; and the author, who was both a member of the Mercer Island Class of 1965 and the Samoa’s regular cook, as well as confessor to a group of teens who often wished they had more interesting things to confess.
For My Eyes:
When Molly Wizenberg married Brandon Pettit, he was a trained composer with a handful of offbeat interests: espresso machines, wooden boats, violin-building, and ice cream–making. So when Brandon decided to open a pizza restaurant, Molly was supportive—not because she wanted him to do it, but because the idea was so far-fetched that she didn’t think he would. Before she knew it, he’d signed a lease on a space. The restaurant, Delancey, was going to be a reality, and all of Molly’s assumptions about her marriage were about to change.
Together they built Delancey: gutting and renovating the space on a cobbled-together budget, developing a menu, hiring staff, and passing inspections. Delancey became a success, and Molly tried to convince herself that she was happy in their new life until—in the heat and pressure of the restaurant kitchen—she realized that she hadn’t been honest with herself or Brandon.
Thats the plan. :) In a hurry so here is the link up for your Its Monday What Are You Reading:
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