First Book Of The Year 2019

2019

Year 6.  I LOVE First book so much.  This tradition for me goes further back than the 6 years I have opened up to the reading world here on Book Journey.  I am THRILLED to be doing it again and thank you to those who have messaged me to ask if I will be doing it again.

The answer is…

Of course we are doing it.

My life has changed a bit – I may not be blogging as steady as I used to and I have moved to a more diverse site where I can share other things beyond books – check me out at I Guess I Am Doing This (also a work in process… but I am not giving up ;P )

Here is what First Book is.  The first book of the New Year should be:

A.  A coveted book that you have wanted to read but have just not found the time.

B.  A delicious favorite… one you have read before, but crave to read again.

C.  Really whatever you want it to – it is after all YOUR First Book Of the year.

Make it AWESOME.

Then, once you have picked what it will be, email me a picture of you with the book (send it to sdechantal@gmail.com).  This adds to the excitement of the First Book.  On January 1st I will post all the pics in a collage format of all of you around the world that are doing First Book.  I do hope you will join me – friends, family, fellow book lovers… this event each year and your willingness to do this with me makes my heart smile.  🙂
Here is some (yes some…  so many participate it is incredible!)  of what came in last year:

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Remember – this should be the first book you plan to be reading into the New Year.  Yes, you can start it New Years Eve ;P  You can send the picture (sdechantal@gmail.com) anytime between now and New Years Eve so I can prep the collage.  Thanks everyone… having this project to work on makes the New Year fun.

Moving… But Not Leaving…

4

 

Still here.  It is funny to think that when I started Book Journey I was writing almost every day if not every day.  Those of you who have been with me during those years can probably remember those times.  Then I went to almost twice a day when I started the Morning Meanderings… and then usually a bookish conversation same day.  I used to visit a minimum of 20 blogs a day and comment.

I remember Justin once had a college project where he was asked to visit 20 blogs and comment and he thought it was so painful and asked me how I could do it day after day….  I found it at that time to be easy… it was fun to check in on topics you enjoy and connecting with fellow blogger with the same interests.

I am so thankful for those days.

Through the years.. things have changed.  Some book reviewer/bloggers that I really enjoyed reading, hung it up.  Many, including myself, slowed down.

And that brings me to my post today.

Looking at my last post here in March – it is safe to say I did not just slow down… I all but stopped.  My life over the past few years has changed as many of you know, and more recently – taking on a full time Marketing job, being active in the community and in adventures has slowed my reading time and even more so slowed my discussing of books and blogging.

But I miss it.

Over this past weekend I worked diligently on an idea that has been buzzing around my brain for awhile now.  I created a new website.  I want to write.  I miss writing… I am just a little more diverse now than Book Journey was created for.  I am reading, however I am also biking, planning and attending events, trying to get my life right in many ways, and still grieving in ways I sometimes want to talk about and share.

I created the website I Guess I Am Doing This and I am sooooooo hopeful that you will join me there – reading and following and commenting when you can.  I would like that very much.  I think it has a little something for everyone… and yes, I am still talking books 🙂

Book Journey will remain here as I have no intention of giving up on this site.  It has so much history within its pages… so much of me and how I have grown as a writer and a review since those early days… and maybe someday this will be the fit again.

Anyhoo.  Come and fly with me.  I would love it.

 

Morning Meandering: Snow Day and Possibilities

I didn’t want to go to the gym today. 

While my weekend was mostly low key, I was at my lap top for most of it – working on a newsletter for the Friends of The Library, sending out information on the Mardi Gras event, updating lists, planning notes for a Camp meeting, and working on a website for a new business.  My new roll in my job, has made my weekends a little more “working weekends” to get in my non profit duties…  not complaining, just still finding my balance.

So…

With a full agenda today – gym, Friends Board Meeting, Author at the Library at noon, a meeting at 1:30, a few hours of work and a few pics taken at a Wine Class later for marketing….  I was really debating the gym and arguing with myself back and forth that going was good and going was rockstarish and going would make the rest easier and.

And then Mother Nature stepped in and I woke up to this:

...WINTER STORM WARNING NOW IN EFFECT UNTIL 6 AM CST TUESDAY...

* WHAT...Heavy mixed precipitation. Additional snow accumulations
of 6 to 9 inches, with localized amounts up to 10 inches, and
ice accumulations of up to one tenth of an inch are expected.

* WHERE...South Cass and Crow Wing Counties.

* WHEN...Until 6 AM CST Tuesday.

* ADDITIONAL DETAILS...Plan on difficult travel conditions,
including during the evening commute. Tree branches could fall.
Winds gusting as high as 45 mph will cause areas of blowing and
drifting snow.

Weather in Minnesota can change EVERYTHING.

By 6:30 am the notifications were sent out by text that all Group Fitness classes were cancelled

By 7:30 am Friends Board members started conversing by email – what to do about our Board meeting and our Author event?

….

and my day has potential of change….

Then…. Minnesota kicks in….

The Authors… are already on their way.  We made the decision that if the authors can drive three hours to get to us…  we can have our board meeting for those of us who can get there.  I live right on the State Hwy and its a straight stretch for me so I can do it.  The rest of the day will play out as well.

 

On other notes.  I bought a book.  *insert gasp here*

Well, you know.. sometimes a girl needs a little reassuring.  😉

I have reviews to write – food to talk about, book events to talk about…  just need to get ‘er done.

How is your Monday shaping up?

 

Morning Meanderings… Some Days Minnesota… Some Days…

Mmm hmmm.  That pic is of me this morning… pre everything (make up, shower… well, not pre coffee).

I was up yesterday over 20 hours between my 4 am making the Donuts at The Center, to working all day, a road trip to one of the venues I work with, creating a package for a friend who just had cancer surgery, another meeting and then a dinner meet up with friends.  I came home and spent an hour on the phone and then watched The Tudors too long… trying to stay awake for the moment when they take away Anne Boleyn.   Finally gave up… that will have to wait for another day.  Sorry Anne.

Then…  I woke up to this….

Yeah..   Not sure how much snow dumped on Brainerd between yesterday evening and this morning… but always the optimist I tried to approach it as any Minnesota Girl worthy of the title would do:

You do… what you got to do.. knowing this too will pass…  Spring will come no matter how hard Winter tries to believe otherwise.

Anyhoo… COFFEE, cleaning up, and off to work.  I have bookish things to share… soon my book loving friends… soon…..

 

 

Morning Meanderings… Closet Gamer, Limping Dog, and a Book Event

Hmmmm….  I am feeling an update coming on for my Meandering photo…  needs…. something. 

SO… checking in here as I don’t read as fast as I once did.  Correction…  I probably read as fast as I ever did… its the time thingy to do it that is slowing me down.  Life is crazy self inflicted busy in good ways so not complaining.  And books still happen in book clubish ways and the occasional sneaking one in. 

So today I ramble a bit.  Because I have a little time having to skip the gym because I am taking Mater to the vet this morning… more on that soon….

Gamer.  I am sure I have mentioned it here before… my love for games.  ALL GAMES.  Board games, team games, strategic games and yes… video games.  And this weekend I bought an XBOX S. 

Yes.  Its true.  I love strategy games.  So I bought a few games and played… 

 

AND then Mater….  the Beagle Basset Hound hurt his foot somehow.  He has limped the last couple of days and last night I see one of his toenails was bleeding so I skipped the gym today and will be taking him in to the vet here shortly. 

And last… but probably what you really want to hear about,  Books, Burgers, and Brews is tonight and we have a full house of 65 RSVPS.  We will be discussing the book The Nightingale by Kristen Hannah. 

This GIGANTO book surprised me with the interest.  Coming in at 570 pages, I figured this group would be smaller.  I was wrong.  For a while we had a wait list on this one as we had filled our space and more people wanted in.  Wow….  magic book?  Great discussion?  Probably all of the above. 🙂  Should be a fun evening and I will post about it after.

So that’s my current sitch.  I am reading The Thirteenth Tale for next weekends Books and Beans discussion.  Another book I have always wanted to read – has been on my shelf FOR-EV-AH and now I am excited to read. 

Ok.  That’s it… I’m off.. to the vet…  and then to a lunch…  and then to prep for tonight. 

What Are You Reading that is AWESOME? 

 

 

 

Year One by Nora Roberts

Nora Roberts was an author I once read much of.  Two particular trilogies that I still think of are her Three Sisters Trilogy (Dance Upon The Air) and her Three Keys Trilogy.  Although I have followed her incredible production of books, I have not picked one up in quite a few years.  This one though – this one… intrigued me.  ~Sheila

 

The sickness came on quickly.  People everywhere were getting sick, yet this was much worse than a flu epidemic… people by the thousands were dying. Then hundreds of thousands.  Many panicked, stores were looted; cleared of food and pharmaceuticals.  The world became every man and woman for themselves.  Survival was of the utmost importance ..

if you could.

Some such as Lana and Max, discovered they had powers… abilities that they were unsure where they had come from but they tried to learn how to use.  Unfortunately, not all those who gained powers were using them for good.  As New York becomes more and more frightening, and each person you meet could be either friend or foe, survival becomes the front most thought.

 

Nora Roberts never ceases to amaze me.  Her books can be so diverse from her writing as Nora, to her writing as JD Robb.  Dystopian fiction though?  I did not see that coming.

I enjoyed this start to a new trilogy, and felt that Nora Roberts rolled into this genre impressively so.  While an outbreak of a disease that wipes out most of the population feels like it could be scary real – the magic not so much, which levels this book from feeling to realistic to more of a fantasy sway to it that I enjoyed.  Remember those two trilogies I mentioned previously?  Both have magical elements to them.  Cant help it.. I am a girl who likes powers.  🙂

This book to me is a “yes try it”  to any lovers of fantasy.  While there are elements of Nora Roberts trilogies that seem to sprinkle through all of her trilogies – this is one where I say forget what you know about this author and jump in with an open mind.  This is one that if you did not know who the author was – you would not guess by reading it.

I am looking forward to the next book!

 

A Monster Calls By Patrick Ness (w/ Bookies Book Club review)

Patrick Ness has amazed me with his writing in the past (his Chaos Walking series is still a book series I recommend to those who enjoy YA Dystopian like myself).  A Monster calls, while completely different – still rang true with the unique writing style of Ness that I find irresistible.  ~Sheila

 

13-year-old Conner is having nightmares.  His nightmares in fact are so dark that he dare not speak them out loud.  So when the Yew Tree comes to him at night furiously pounding on the walls of Conner’s house, Conner proclaims he is not scared, he has seen worse. 

Yet the Yew tree returns to his again and again, big and looming with a message that he claims had been beckoned by Conner himself.  Although Conner claims that he could not have possibly called upon the tree. 

Conner’s mother is sick with Cancer and his Grandmother is making herself a little too at home for Conner’s liking.  When Conner’s father shows up after a long absence Conner starts to wonder how seriously sick is mom, and does anything going on with her or what is happening at school have to do with the trees visits?

 

While you may say this is a children’s book – I believe this book offers so much more.  I found the writing to be deep, profound, and engaging.  The symbolism of the tree touched me.  Perhaps I was just in the right frame of mind to read – but I sat down Sunday afternoon and finished this that same afternoon.  It messed me up a bit emotionally, but Patrick Ness tends to do that anyway.

I look forward to seeing the movie.

The Bookies Book Club had a good discussion around this book.  Discussions of dealing with loss and letting ago of were tapped into.  For the most part we agreed it was a unique read, and while most of us enjoyed the book, a few did not.  Thus the beauty of a book club. 

We also had great food.  Early on in the book Conner and his mother are eating an Indian Dish called Chicken Vindaloo.  In this part of the book it is described as “they ate great plates of this and were farting and laughing by the time they got to the car.”

Of course I was curious about the dish and had to make it, teasing the Bookies that I was seeing if it would have the same effect on us.  As far as I know it did not, however we did not eat large plates of it (although I think I could have – it was pretty tasty.  😉

Great night with the Bookies.  A book I would recommend and would love to hear your thoughts on.  The movie is out and I am looking to give that a try as well.