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Let’s Talk About The Queen

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I love this picture.  This is my book club this past Tuesday after we had a great potluck dinner, talked books, and had our Queen event.  We look happy.  We look fun.

Even me.

Every July for the past hmmmmm… I don’t know how many years, we have had a Queen event.  We dress up, we perform a talent (or not) and say why we would make a good Queen of the Book Club.  It is all in fun, the Queen really only comes into play when we have a tie on books to read or when we can’t decide where to meet.

This year I went back and forth.  Do I participate?  I didn’t want to.  I wanted to wear Capri’s and a t-shirt and take pictures.  They would have understood.  Yet I knew that Justin would be so sad to know I changed how I did life so I instead put on a prom dress, a little princess crown, looked up and said, “This is for you kid.”

Off to be a Queen participant….

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Why is my head so freakishly small?

It was a good time.  We were at my friend Lori’s home.  We discussed the books we had read last month (free read month) and then had our event.  My “talent” was a story about a girl who decided to create a book club so she could expand on her reading.  I ended the story with how after many years the group became so big they had to limit how many came and how close all the Bookies became to one another.  Friends.  Other talents were, speeches, songs, mime, a quiz, and even a violin playing rendition to The Devil Went Down To Georgia.

I couldn’t make this stuff up if I tried.

Our Queen for 2015-2016 is Brenda.  If you look closely at her beautiful white dress you will see that the top (and along the bottom) is made from a book.  She will be a wonderful Queen.

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Bookies

A few of us had a little “after party” at a nearby pub… an ongoing tradition after the Queen event. After you are all dressed up – you should have somewhere to go. ;)

Morning Meanderings… I Didn’t Mean To Go ______________________

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Good morning.

I didn’t mean to go….

what?

Away?

Awol?

Under cover?

I don’t know.  I guess I just didn’t mean to go.

The past two weeks have been so out of my control that I am just doing what I have to do to get through the days.  With two large events just around the corner I am trying hard to find balance.  You throw in the mix my friend Connie, a big storm that requires clean up attention, commitments, people I need to want to spend time with, and my own grief….

and yeah. 

Just trying to get through it.

And so – with all of that, I find I do not get here – HERE as much as I would like.  I am still not firing on all cylinders which makes all of these things that I could normally handle feel heavy and hard to do just the easiest of tasks.  I am so easily…

overwhelmed.

Yesterday and today I have tried hard to slow down.  I have had things I had to do every day and I am feeling the strain on putting my grief to the side to get things done.  For the record, I have discovered that does not work well… it exhausts me and leaves me pretty nonfunctional come the end of the day.  Tomorrow my “to do’s” bump up again, the weekend is full of activity and next week…

I don’t even want to think about next week.

SO..

1I do have posts to write.  I have a couple of audio I have finished and just downloaded Armada this morning which I am SUPER EXCITED about.  We also had the Bookies Queen event this week which took a lot of energy but I am so glad I participated.  L♥ve this group of gals.  I will write a post up all about that – maybe today.

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Just a sample from the Tuesday Bookies Queen event

That’s it for this morning.  I have a few things itching at the corners of my brain reminding me I need to do them… and I do, so off I go.  Enjoy THIS day.

 

Morning Meanderings…. Annual Book Exchange

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Morning.  Coffee.  Overcast day.  Overcast mood. Day 68.

On Tuesday of this week we had our Bookies Book Club meeting and discussed the book The Pearl That Broke It’s Shell by Nadia Hashimi.   I did not finish the book, I started it and then knew it would be too detailed for me at this time.  Those who read it said it was a good read and they learned about the Afghanistan culture.  It made for a good book discussion and I enjoyed listening to the discussion.

For the fourth year in a row, we have made June our book exchange month.  The rules:  You are supposed to bring a book that you really enjoyed (preferably in the last year) that you would like someone else to enjoy too.  Put a post it note in the book saying why you enjoyed this book so much and if you want the book back or if the person who chose it can keep it.  You wrap the book in brown paper wrap.  We then each choose a book out of the pile and that is what we read for our July gathering.  Here are the books that were picked:

PicMonkey Collage

Amy M – Wind Through The Keyhole (Sharon)
Angie – Blessings by Anna Quindlen (Lori P)
Sheila – Abercrombie Trail by Candace Simar (Laura)
Kaydi – Waiting For Summers Return (Kathy)
Lori – Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter (Amy P)
Jean – The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks (Sheila)
Sharon – Those Who Save Us (Mary)
Amy – Distant Shores (Jean)
Kathy – Naked in Death (Lori N)
Susan – Walking on Water (Kaydi)
Mary – Union Street Bakery (Amy M)
Lori – The Nightingale (Angie)
Laura – Gift From The Sea (Susan)

Today my son’s roommate is coming to visit me.  It will be nice to see her, but I know it will be an afternoon filled with memories and tears.

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

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How to host a book club event around this book

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

Morning Meanderings… It’s ALIVE!!!! Creating Flat Bookie

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You know how sometimes it is just DANGEROUS to put a group of witty readers int he same room?  They can really feed off each other and you never know what is going to happen.

I think it went down like this…

On Tuesday we had book club here at my house.  We were discussing those of our group who are out exploring the world on this spring break week.  Someone mentioned they should have taken a “Flat Stanley” with them which somehow led to…

Flat Bookie.

A bookish relative to Flat Stanley who would travel when the Bookies travel so the Bookies can take pics with him when they are in bookish situations… such as…

book stores

author events

and of course, just reading a good book wherever they are

I love ideas like this.

Yesterday afternoon I went about creating the Flat Bookie. Something simple we can cut out and laminate and send off on adventures…. bookish of course.

For the record, I did not wear a bra on my head while doing this (for you 80’s people, that is a Weird Science movie reference)

It was fun and I presented to the group the result:

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Behold!!!!  The Flat Bookie!!!!

Ok.  LOL.  I am done. :)  Guess who will be traveling with me to the Book Expo this May?

 

In case you do not know what I am talking about when I mention Flat Stanley – here is a link.  I once had one I took to Honduras with me for a friends daughters project.

 

Have you ever had a Flat Stanley travel with you?  If so where?

 

 

Descent by Tim Johnston – Bookies Book Club Review w/ Discussion Questions

Descent by Tim Johnston review questions, discussion, Bookies, Book Club, Book Journey

Quick Synopsis…

While the Courtland family is on vacation in Colorado with their two teenage children, their daughter Cailtin is abducted while out for a morning run.  What follows is a three-year nightmare while the already struggling family tries to move on.  With no answers to what happened to Caitlin or even if she is dead or alive, each remaining member of the Courtland family battles this crushing weight in different ways.

Grant, the father remains in Colorado unable to leave the are his daughter disappeared from.  He stays at a ranch helping out an elderly man, making attempts to move forward but nothing happens.

Angela, the mother, has returned to their home state of Wisconsin but deals with great depression.  She lives with her sister after having had to sell their family home and has a hard time functioning from day-to-day.

Sean, the brother, now 18, the age his sister was when she was taken struggles with the guilt of having been with Caitlin when she was taken.  What could he have done differently?

And Caitlin.  Will they ever find her?  And if they do, what exactly will they find?

 

I reviewed Descent by Tim Johnston last week with my opinion.  This review is the thoughts of our book club as a whole and no spoilers :)

Descent brought out a lot of good discussion among our group.  While some of us really found the storyline realistic and engaging, others pointed out things that did not seem to fit.  There were questions of characters who suddenly did something completely out of their character which we all agreed did not fit, but some would argue that some things do not need to be revealed to the reader. Perhaps the author was giving the reader the feeling of “no control” and that not knowing what would happen could very well, as some argued, give the book a feel more real to life.  After all… life is messy and try as we may to figure out how things are going to go… we never do really know.

It was mentioned that the book synopsis that we read from the book when we chose it was not an accurate synopsis, of what actually happens in the book.  Some felt mislead to be told one thing and then read another.

Over all, on a scale of 1 to 5, 5 being the best, the ratings went from 2,s to 4,s and quite a few rating it in the 3’s (a standard read).  It was one of those books that bring out a lot of thoughts, opinions, and discussion.  We even reenacted a final scene (I can’t share… that would be a spoiler) when we questioned how one would do that.  One girl in our group even had a similar story to share of something that happened to a friend of her sons while hiking.  There is actually a book written about that true story, Bringing Jon Home by David Francis.  A book that I ordered on Kindle this morning.

 

Why Would This Make A Good Book Club Read

Descent is a book that could have been ripped from the headlines.  This leads to discussion like, “what would you do?” as well as discussion on how a strong family can be shattered by such an experience and a damaged family (such as the Courtland’s) have a good chance of falling completely apart.

If you look at reviews of this book on-line from some of the big name newspapers, New York Times, The Herald, etc… you will find diverse opinions, much like you can expect from a group read.  The writing style can be thought of as brilliant, or annoying.  (And in our group it was just that)

In the book, Sean is believed to be false when he is telling the truth.  Discussion can be made over when that has happened in your lives, when you are telling the truth about something and you are either misunderstood, or believed to be false and the frustration of when your character is questioned like that.

Themes of hope, faith, depression, denial, and survival instinct are all represented within this read.

Bookies, Book Club, discussion questions, Tim JOhnston, Descent

Food ideas… while not a lot of food is mentioned within the book, there is pizza at a birthday celebration, and Caitlin keeps snickers in her pockets when she runs for energy boosts.

Questions For Your Discussion

 

Morning Meanderings…. 50 Shades Of… AWESOME!

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New coffee cup pic to come… I have one but for some reason can not get it to upload this morning and tired of waiting ;)

 

Happy Saturday!  I have the best weekend ahead of me here…. no plans!!! I love it!  I might have lunch with a friend, visit my aunt, try out the snow shoes finally… the possibilities are endless :)

As you probably know, today is the official release day of the 50 Shades Of Grey movie.  It’s Valentines Day… aren’t they cute?  I have not read the book and do not plan too and will more than likely be passing on the movie as well.  However, I would be neglect if I did not say the play on the title (mush as I have done today) has been fun. :D

Today for Saturday Snapshot, I thought it would be fun to post pics of my book club through the years because they really are 50 shades of AWESOME!  I was going through pics on Facebook the other day and thought it was fun to see all the crazy things we have done through the years.  Granted, this is not all of the craziness… this is just some.

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This was for our review of Garlic and Sapphires by Ruth Reichl. We disguised ourselves like she did in the book. Can you find me in this group? ;)

 

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Pride and Prejudice was the classic we were reading…. we dressed the era.

 

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A little fun with this pic.

 

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Sharon’s birthday. We surprised her and wore our “Bookies” shirts

 

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The review for The Wizard Of Oz.

 

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Our 100th meeting celebration! YAY!!!

 

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When one of us was diagnosed with breast cancer we wore pink to the meeting in support of her.

 

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Our first SKYPE with author Sandra Brannan. Sandra had sent us a care package for our review.

 

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Our current Queen and her coronation.

 

 

This has been fun for me to look back through these pics of a book club I adore.  Going strong since August of 2001!  There are a lot more pics, but now I think I am on a mission….. more on that later ;)

 

 

 

Morning Meanderings… Birthday Weekend and Book Club Tonight!

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Good morning! I think I have a Birthday weekend hangover and not from drinking. :)  I just had a really  busy weekend that was a lot of fun!

On Saturday my friend Amy and I went to the Gatsby Party in the cities.  It was a late night as we drove home the 2+ hours after the event but worth it.  I was inspired by what they accomplished.

On Sunday, hubby and I went to a movie, American Sniper.  SO good.  I will review it at some point this week.

Monday…. my actual birthday.  I had coffee in the morning with my friend Gail.  Then I went and treated myself to a manicure and pedicure.  My son Justin who lives in St. Paul came to the house around 3 pm and we went out and bought snacks for the night, went to a movie ( Project Almanac), picked up pizza afterwards, and came back home and watched Harry Potter and the Goblet Of Fire and Gone Girl.  (yes, again on both of them :D ).

Justin brought me this really cool wine glass:

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The glass says,

Secretly we’re all a little more absurd than we make ourselves out to be.  ~JK Rowling

Love it!

Tonight is book club and I am so excited!  I missed last months as I was on vacation so it will be good to see everyone AND it is at my house.  We have a couple of books to hand out tonight for our Harper Collins Book Club Girls event:

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I have them all set up on the table:

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It’s like out own mini BEA.  :D

As for today, Justin is still here.  We will hang out this morning and early afternoon than he has plans with friends and I will put the finishing touches on book club.   We are reviewing The Silent Sister by Diane Chamberlain, an author who I discovered this past fall and LOVED this book as well as a few others I have now read by her.  I am excited to see what the Bookies think.

Now… what will I make for an appetizer?  ;)

Morning Meanderings… Party Hangover

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Good morning! I am up and recovering from a fun filled amazing Tuesday.  If you read yesterdays post you know I had a meeting regarding moving our Wine and Words event to a larger venue for 2015.  It was a wonderful meeting and we are officially MOVED!  My author search for the event will begin in about a month… if everyone I have in mind says “yes”, then we will be ready to announce by February.

HAZAH!

Then, last night concluded with our book clubs Christmas party and book discussion of Big Little Lies.  I will write up the book discussion later, but it was a good one.  We chose our read for January, Born To Be Perfect by Barbara Raghavan.

We also handed out our books from Harper Collins Book Club Girls project:

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We had wonderful goodies, discussed life and books, and had a wonderful time doing it.  LOVE my Book Club!!!

It was a full day of running from one thing to another and I am thrilled I accomplished everything I set out to.  Today… I am a bit tired and have a lot to do so ONWARD!

Happy Wednesday all!!!

Morning Meanderings… The Books and Book Club

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Good morning and happy happy Sunday!  I am happy to be snug in a blanket this morning with COFFEE CUP close by.  It is cool outside this morning but we have had little snow in Central Minnesota and in most areas of our yard I can still see grass.  For the record – that’s ok by me.  :)

On the book front what came in for me this week was minimal:

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King Dork is in audio and I am excited to get to it hopefully this week!

Book Club is also this week.  It is our annual Christmas Party and I am so excited for it!  We are reading Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty (LOVED IT!) and our books came in from Harper Collins Book Club Girls Group:

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Belong To Me is our pick we will be reading first and then Walking The Bible will be for January, we will figure out the details at book club.

Last night was the Twitter Party for the Harry Potter Readalong.  Those who joined in watched Chamber Of Secrets together.  It was fun to watch the movie while I have recently been reading the book as well.. they were spot on for their lines from the book to the movie!

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That is what is new.  My day should be fairly quiet.  Some cleaning and some reading and my cousins baby shower.

Anything happening with your Sunday? 

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