Blog Archives

Becoming Steve Jobs by Brent Schlender and Rick Tetzeli

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Steve Jobs has been called many things from genius to jerk.  When it came to his work life and his vision he did not care if you were family, friend, or person who could make his life a whole lot easier.  He was focused to a fault.  He was outspoken, irritating, irrational, and cocky.  So how did such a man who was even fired from his own company, make such a big impact on the way we live today?  How did someone like this carry a vision that literally has employed millions of people all over the world and his products become practically  a household staple?

Statements taken from those who knew Steve well from family members, friends, co workers and competitors, paint a picture of Steve and it is not necessarily the one you think.  Here you will learn about the man who struggled with his failings and worked to maximize his strengths.  Always ambitious, always forward thinking, Steve Jobs.

 

 

If you have hung around here long you probably know I have been fascinated with Steve Jobs for a long time.  I have read many books and listened to many audio about this man.  I don’t condone the way he treated people – but much like in my own life, when I see someone acting out or in a way I find aggressive, I always wonder what the underlying story is.  I have felt this way about Steve.  I believe another reason I like reading about him is that I LOVE the fact that he was not necessarily the brains behind the company.  He was the visionary and what he could not do himself, he found people who had the power to take his vision and make it real.  I too love to come up with the “what if’s” and bring other people into that vision to make it a reality.  I hope I don’t do it as aggressively as Steve, but I sure hope I tap into that passion.

Honestly, no matter how you feel about the man – I think most of us have to admit to owning an Apple product or an IPAD, IPOD, IPHONE, ITunes…  Think of how our world has changed around these products…. think about how we connect so much more than we once did, and how Steve’s vision raised the bar for all who follow in his footsteps to make the next big thing.

I did thoroughly enjoy this book.  As I mentioned, I have read much on Steve Jobs and this book was not rehashing the same information.  This book, personalized him and I really liked that.  It gave me more insight in to why Steve was the way he was.  I liked hearing about the man behind the hype.  This book will take you from the start of Apple, to the competitors he battled as well as friended, all the way to his final battle with cancer, that sadly, he did not win.

I listened to this on audio with George Newbern narrating. It was a wonderful insightful listen that I would encourage anyone to take the time and listen to.  No matter what your opinion of Steve, I feel the world suffered a great loss of a man with amazing vision and an ability to have others respond to his vision.

 

Listening Length: 16 hours and 21 minutes

Publisher: Random House Audio; Unabridged edition (March 24, 2015)

 

  • Hardcover: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Crown Business; First edition (March 24, 2015)

 

 

 

Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella

Finding audrey, sophia kinsella, book journey

When 14-year-old Audrey is the target of  bullying at school, she finds that she struggles to even leave the comfort and security of her own home, finding dark glasses to help her move through day-to-day life.  Diagnosed with depression and anxiety disorder, Audrey works with a counselor to help her take steps towards a more normal life style.

One that Audrey could really not care less about.

When her brothers best friend Linus starts to frequent her home.  Audrey’s interest is piqued.  Linus is not like other boys.  He doesn’t seem to be startled by Audrey wearing dark glasses inside or her inability to go out into the world.  Instead, Linus seems to enjoy Audrey’s company, even coming over to the house to see her.  The connection Audrey makes with Linus is one that not only is helping her, but her entire family.

 

 

Finding Audrey was a fun listen.  I have read Sophie Kinsella before (I’ve Got Your Number) which was a light fun read.  This one is still fun as YA goes, but it also has a more serious undertone to it that makes you really think about what Audrey is going through.  You also can not help but cheer on Linus, what a great character!  Over all Kinsella comes through again with a heartwarming story that I think will speak well to young adults and all ages alike.

 

On a personal note:  I found with my own life these past 10 months that I could relate to Audrey.  I get the desire to feel safe and secure in my own home as well, never knowing what you can be dealing with in the real world.  By no means am I at where Audrey is at, I can and do go out and carry on as I used to – I just find it takes more energy to do so.  I only mention this because it helped me understand what Audrey is going through a little more.

 

 

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: Listening Library (Audio); Unabridged edition (June 9, 2015)
  • Listening Length: 6 hours and 36 minutes
  • Program Type: Audiobook

 

in a dark, dark wood by ruth ware

in a dark wood, ruth ware, Book Journey

Lenora ( goes by Nora) is a crime fiction writer.  She has found that as the years go on she is quite content to stick to the comforts of home surrounded by all that she loves , typing out stories and meeting deadlines for her publisher.   When an invitation arrives from an old friend to join in a pre-marriage celebration at a secluded home in the woods, Nora is hesitant yet feels the pull to perhaps reconnect.  Many invites went out but in the end it is six people who make the celebration weekend.

48 hours later Nora wakes up in the hospital with no recollection of how she got there or what had happened.  All she knows is that she has a sickening feeling that someone she knows is dead and with a police officer outside her hospital room she has a feeling that whatever happened… somehow she is involved.

 

Here Author Ruth Ware, explains the book:

 

 

With a title like that how could I refuse?  In A Dark, Dark Wood drew me in by its synopsis, despite the comparison to Girl On The Train (not a fan).  I liked the idea of old friends gathering together and a mystery to be solved…. felt a little like an 80’s thriller!

The book is a fast read/listen but a good one.  Nothing felt dragged out, the book moved at a nice pace throughout the story with just enough of a dangle of the mystery throughout the story line to keep you guessing.  In the end my guess of the “who did it” was wrong…. and I like it that way.

I listened to this one on audio, Imogen Church narrated and while she is a new narrator to me, I found that I liked how she mastered her way through the multitude of dialogue between the six characters.

Recommended on audio, but I think this one will read well too.

 

 

  • Audible Audio Edition
  • Listening Length: 9 hours and 34 minutes
  • Program Type: Audiobook
  • Version: Unabridged
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
  • Audible.com Release Date: August 4, 2015
  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Gallery/Scout Press; Later printing edition (August 4, 2015)

 

 

Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling

why not me, mindy kaling, book journey

Mindy Kaling is on the search for fulfillment in here adult life.  She is looking for love, friendships, and trying to be the first person in the world to lose weight without changing any habits.  She discusses how to be glamorous for any occasion, dealing with anxiety and more in her life as a star.

 

Confession… I have never watched Mindy Kaling’s show.  I chose this audio mainly because I like autobiographies.  I enjoy hearing back ground stories to people’s fame.

Most of the time.

Occasionally I find one that is not really a fit.  This would be one of those times.

While Mindy may be a funny actress, I found her to be unnecessarily crude which is something I am never a fan of.  This one is entirely on me, I gave it a shot.  I am sure fans of Mindy Kaling would find this to be a good listen.

 

 

  • Audible Audio Edition
  • Listening Length: 4 hours and 57 minutes
  • Program Type: Audiobook
  • Version: Unabridged
  • Publisher: Random House Audio
  • Audible.com Release Date: September 15, 2015

 

WILDALONE by Krassi Zourkova

wildalone, krassi zourkova, book journey

Thea Slavin from Bulgaria is about to enter Princeton.  Although she has an incredible talent for music, she has an alternative motive for attending.  Years earlier her sister Elza had also attended Princeton and was mysteriously killed and her body disappeared.  While Thea’s parents fear for her safety they trust their daughter to make good decisions.

Should they?

While Thea finds herself alone in an atmosphere she is unfamiliar with she meets two brothers, Rhyas and Jake, who both find they are drawn to her.  (Picture the way Edward was drawn to Bella in Twilight).  While Thea finds she too has an attraction to the brothers, one of them holds the answers to what happened all of those years ago and Thea is walking a very dangerous path.

 

WILDALONE had many of the elements that I enjoy in a good paranormal read.  Thea was a likable protagonist and the Bulgarian background was a nice change.  While this is a paranormal title, it took quite a while to get there. In fact for the majority of the book you really don’t know what the paranormal part is.  I kept waiting to find out what it was, knowing what it must have to do with… but not sure.  There was also a couple of small parts in the book that did not flow right…a character would be with someone and then suddenly wasn’t.  I actually went back pages to see if I had missed something.

That said, I did enjoy WILDALONE.  There is much to like about the book and the things I mentioned above were not deal breakers.  As this is a first in a trilogy, I do believe I would continue to see where this story goes.

 

 

  • Series: Wildalone Sagas (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks; Reprint edition (October 13, 2015)
  • Language: English

 

Girl Through Glass by Sari Wilson

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11-year-old Mira Able leads a hard life in Brooklyn.  Her father is absent, her mother may as well be.  She takes her frustrations out in ballet class where this fueled anger works in her favor.  When her skills get the attention and praise from an older gentleman Maurice, who frequents the ballet, Mira blossoms under the  attention and his desire to improve her future as a ballerina.  Soon Mira is doing everything Maurice asks of her despite the warnings she receives.

Years later, Mira now goes by the name of Kate, a young woman still battling the demons of her past.  Kate is up for review in her teaching job for sleeping with a student.  Kate starts to question decisions she has made in her life and feels the answers lie in her past, in that early world of ballet.

 

 

 

Does anyone remember the short-lived tv show Bunheads?  A fun show about a group of ballet students?  Yeah?

Well this is nothing like that.

Girl Through Glass has a delicious darkness to it.  It is well written, beautifully actually at times, but this is not a lighthearted story. Told in alternating chapters, as the reader we are slowly let into the what happened then…. that lead to the happenings now.  The journey unravels as the two stories work their towards one another.

As I often do when books are told in alternating perspectives…  I find myself leaning to  one story line over the other.  In this case it was young Mira’s story that drew me in the most wanting me to know what happens to this young girl and how our life decisions play out into our futures.

I found this book to be unique in its telling, definitely a book that will give you plenty to think about.

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  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Harper (January 26, 2016)
  • Language: English

I found my way into this world of ballet thanks to TLC Book Tours

What Was Mine by Helen Klein Ross

what was mine, helen klein ross, book journey

All Lucy Wakefield has ever wanted was to have a child to call her own.  When her marriage dissolves she sees this dream slipping farther and farther away.  When shopping at a store Lucy finds a baby girl lest in a cart while her mother is a short distance away.  Without even realizing what she is doing Lucy takes the baby and leaves the store.

Lucy wants to believe she will give the child back, but as her love for this child grows, she justifies her actions with the fact that the girl was left unattended.  She ignores the TV news with the pretty and devastated young mother pleading for her babies return and fabricated a story to her boss about having to leave the state to work through an adoption of a baby girl that she names Mia.

And so it goes.  Now over two decades later, the truth begins to come out.  As Lucy scrambles as to what to tell her daughter about what happened, she knows that time is running out.

 

Helen Klein Ross writes about every parents nightmare.  When I read this synopsis I wanted to know more.  What Was Mine is a devastating story that feels as thought it could have been ripped form the headlines.  It is one of those stories where you get to hear both sides with watching Mia grow up with Lucy and Lcy’s love for her, and at the same time watching Mia’s real mother trying to hold it together all the while believing that her daughter is alive and out there somewhere.

I enjoyed this fast pace read on audio.  There is a winning cast of narrators:  Julia Whelan, Cassandra Campbell, Amanda Carlin, Rebekkah Ross , and Jonathan Todd Ross (Narrator).  Normally I do like multiple narrators because it gives me the feeling of a “production” or “show”, but this was not the case.  The narrators complimented each other well and I did not even notice the change as I do in some multiple narrator books. 

The book is not without it’s bumps in the road.  There are things that if you really think about them become a little hard to believe.  You need to read this one as one of those books that you don’t think too hard about.  Just enjoy the wild and scary ride.  And yes I think it is worth it.

 

 

  • Audible Audio Edition
  • Listening Length: 8 hours and 44 minutes
  • Program Type: Audiobook
  • Version: Unabridged
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
  • Audible.com Release Date: January 5, 2016

 

 

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Gallery Books (January 5, 2016)

 

The Three Weissmann’s Of Westport by Cathleen Shine

the three weissmann's of westport, book journey, cathleen schine

Betty Weissmann could not have been more shocked than when her husband Joseph, at the age of 78 declared that he wanted a divorce.  Having been the loving doting wife for most of her life, Betty did not really know what her next step would be.  She was almost as equally shocked when she discovers the woman he works with is his mistress and Betty is exiled from their New York apartment because Joseph has been sweet talked by his mistress that the apartment would just be too much of a burden for poor Betty.  While the divorce has everything on lock down until things are sorted through, Betty finds herself left with no choice but to go and stay at their run down beach cottage in Connecticut.

Betty’s daughter’s Miranda, an impulsive literary agent and Annie a level headed Library Director, come to Betty’s side to stay with her at the collate while things are sorted through.  Both girls find themselves the products of a broken home at middle age.

 

 

The Three Weissmann’s Of Westport is a book I pulled off my shelf for our recent trip to Mexico.  It looked like just the type of read I would enjoy while sitting at the pool.  I was right.  The book I found right from the start shocking, a 78 year old man after spending more than 50 years of his life with a woman decides to throw it all away for a younger, prettier, and quite honestly…. gold digger.  I found myself flying through the pages waiting for Joseph to come to his senses.

Does he?

Well…. I can not tell you that.  I can say the ending was not as I had thought it would be.  It left me thinking.  That’s not a bad thing.

This book has been compared to a modern day Sense and Sensibility.  I will let you be the judge of that.  Over all a pleasant enough read.  The characters are not always likable, the story line at times is frustrating, and still…. there is something about the Weissmann’s.

Beach read worthy?  Yes.

 

 

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Sarah Crichton Books; First Edition edition (February 2, 2010)

 

1st Book Of The Year: Harry Potter And The Sorcerer’s Stone by JK Rowling (a different kind of review)

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If you have read me here at Book Journey for any amount of time you know that I am a huge Harry Potter nerd.  You also know, my son Justin was as well and it was this book – THIS BOOK, where he and I first started to connect on reading and talking books.  It became a wonderful connection for us when he was in Jr. High and continued to be “a thing” with us for all the days of his life AND will always ALWAYS carry wonderful memories for me.

I have this first book of the series in a beautiful 20 year anniversary edition.  I have it also in Spanish, in soft cover and in hard cover, in audio, and with the new cover (a gift from Justin Christmas 2014).  However this copy of the book I am holding will always be my favorite copy because THIS is Justin’s original 1st copy of the book.  It has long since lost its dust jacket (he always took them off to protect them while reading) and the cover is well-worn…. the signs of a beloved book.  And now… it still sits on his book shelf.

I loved choosing this book as my first book of the year because it was as I said… a place where we connected.  I liked knowing that each page I touched, he had as well.  Every word my eyes fell upon… his eyes had read these very same words on this very same page.  I do not know what I was hoping for when I read this book again for probably the 5th, 6th, or 7th time…. at first the reading felt like work.  It made me more sad than peaceful.  The words did not come easy and my mind drifted during the early pages of Harry and the Dursley’s, and the snake, and the closet under the stairs.  It wasn’t until the entrance of Hagrid where I started to fall once again into the familiar writing and I whisked myself and hopefully Justin too away to Hogwart’s.

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For those of us who love the Harry Potter books…. we know they contain a bit of magic that one can not explain to the common muggle.  I enjoyed getting to know Harry again as a first year, and remembering Hermione when she was all know-it-all and bushy eyebrows, and Ron when he was quiet and shy before he became a force to reckoned with.  I had to once again sit in awe as I read things in this first book that I know will not come to full light until the last book… the clues we don’t recognize as clues until much later, and I have to whisper the word “brilliant” as I turn each page.

I owe JK Rowling a dept of appreciation.  Her writing changed my life.  That may seem dramatic, but it is true.  These books connected my son and I on a level that we would not have reached without them.  These books are why we went to Florida three November’s in a row and had planned on a fourth…. these books – made magic come to life.

And I for one, am forever grateful.

The Harry Potter books to me are the new classics.  These are the books that need to be passed from generation to generation… it is something special to be among the first group who read them.

 

 

Carry On by Rainbow Rowell

Rainbow Rowell, Book Journey, Carry On, Harry Potter, Simon Snow

Simon Snow is The Chosen One.

*Groan*

He, in his opinion, is the absolute worst choice for such a  title.  He can not keep the spells straight and half the time his wand doesn’t even work.   His roommate Baz (who Simon is pretty sure is a vampire) avoids Simon like the plague, and his girlfriend is on the verge of being done with him and quite honestly Simon doesn’t blame her.  Relationships are weird and he never knows what he is supposed to do.  And now…. it seems that he has been chosen… or drew the short straw… to help solve a murder.

Seriously?  Why can’t he just have a normal life?

 

 

I was drawn to Carry On because of a blurb I read that said Harry Potter fans were going to flip for this one.  I am a pretty easy sell if you tell me a book is going to be like Harry Potter.  For the record… it wasn’t- not really, and honestly nothing ever has come close to HP for me so it’s not a big disappointment.  There were similarities to the Potter books that I thought were a little too close to a brilliant idea already taken.  For example, Simon, like Harry, was an orphan.  And Simon, like Harry was considered The Chosen One.  There is also a creepy monster like character that had some of the similarities of a Dementor (see Potter books).

That said, Rainbow Rowell does carry off an interesting unique read that while it may have used the Harry Potter books as a jumping off point…. the book then takes it’s own direction.  I don’t want to give anything away but I can say that RainbowRowell likes to take her characters in directions you may not expect.  Simon surprised me.  The book surprised me.

I listened to Carry On on audio and the audio music throughout the listen (don’t worry – it is not continuous or annoying) was brilliant and exciting.  I enjoyed the narration very much, even enjoyed hearing some of the wording that is often used through out the Harry Potter books…. the accent brought me back.

I have to agree that Harry Potter fans will find a little dose of happiness in this book.

 

 

  • Audible Audio Edition
  • Listening Length: 13 hours and 42 minutes
  • Program Type: Audiobook
  • Version: Unabridged
  • Publisher: Macmillan Audio
  • Audible.com Release Date: October 6, 2015

 

 

  • Hardcover: 528 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin (October 6, 2015)

 

 

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