The Marriage Pact by Michelle Richmond


Who wouldn’t want to enter a group of people who are all about strengthening their marriage… it sounds so innocent so amazing…  trust me – it’s not.   ~Sheila

In The Marriage Pact, Alice and Jack are newly married and receive an unusual gift from a client of Alice’s.  The gift is a beautiful wooden box that inside it carries a book called The Marriage Pact along with two pens, to sign the agreement.  The Marriage Pact, by all indications, is a group of married people who support and encourage one another.  There are good things to be reminded of such as…

Always answer the phone when your spouse calls.

Exchange a thoughtful gift monthly

Plan a trip quarterly

Never talk about The Pact to anyone

Alice and Jack want to give their marriage the best shot they can and feel The Pact would be a fun social and practical way to keep on the right track.    They sign the pact.

What Alice and Jack do not know, is that the pact, like marriage, is for life.  The Pact will go to great lengths to enforce the rules within…  once again reminding all of us – never sign something you have not thoroughly read…

*Whew*.  The Pact for me was a refreshing romp through something new and different.  I love books that go outside of the norm so such an unusual premise pulled me in from the beginning.   This was one of those books that I did not want to put down and read every chance I could.  As soon as I finished it I passed it to a friend, and then to my Aunt so she could read it as well.  And isn’t that the truth about great reads?  You want to share them with the world.

Highly recommended.  This one was read by our Book Club the Bookies (who also enjoyed it and the discussion) and I am hopeful that once it hits paperback we will have it as a Book In The Bag at the library as well so it can be used for a Books Burgers and Brews discussion.

My thoughts:  Read it.

Morning Meanderings…. Seriously – Where You Been?


Huh.

So sad to turn to this site today and see how long it has sat waiting for me.

Am I reading?  Yes

Am I doing?  Yes

So what’s my damage?  Why could I not get up like I used to… grab my COFFEE and write something funny(IMO) or amazing or ridiculous or hard or coming soon or….

Meh.  I don’t really know. 

I wont bore you with the details ( well.. any more than I already have)….  lets just rip the band-aid off and start again.

Hi.

I’m Sheila.  I love to read and write and talk about both.  I love to do community and I love to create and dream and do.  I love to bike and run and I want to love kick boxing.  😉  I love to be outside the box because  A.  I don’t believe the box has ever been big enough.  B.  The box is so overdone I want to puke  C.  Life is too precious to contain yourself to such perimeters.  D.  All of the above

(yes… it is D)

That said… here is what I have been reading as of late…


The Girl With Seven Names is our Books Burgers and Brews selection for Monday November 20th.  This will be our first non fiction title we have read with this group and it should be interesting.  It is also the first selection we have had that I was unable to find any discussion questions on line (EEP) meaning I need to create the discussion…

The Bookies Book Club recently finished The Kind Worth Killing….  and ooh.  I will be reviewing this one at some point here soon….  Peter Swanson (IMO) knocked this one out of the park.  LOVED so much about this…

And finally … what am I doing on audio?


Yeah…. don’t be judgy….  every once in a while I like to listen to a true crime.  It’s been a while and this one is crazy.  Its one of those which I am seriously baffled why it took the police so long to catch him.  Trust I will have much MUCHNESS to say about this one…

Anyway – that’s my meanderings.  Stay tuned for a book review coming your way shortly.

Oh and yes….  I will again be hosting One Word here and I will again be hosting The First Book Of The Year here.  Stay tuned…..  it is coming 😉

 

WHAT are you reading?

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

If you use the search are of this website,  you will find that I have talked about this audio many times throughout the years.  I have probably listened through it ten time, and to this day call it one of my all time favorite audio books.  ~Sheila

 

Ir is the year 2044 and life is dismal at best.
When students are not in their virtual schools, or adults trying to eek out a small existence, everyone spends their time in the Oasis, an online virtual world that is far better than the real one.

The Oasis was created by a brilliant man names James Holiday who never married, kept to himself and created like a mad man.  At the time of his death he is worth billions.

And that is the kicker.

As Holiday had no family to speak of, he instead offers up a challenge.  He has hidden an aster Egg in one of the many worlds of The Oasis.  There are keys that must be collected in order to reach the final destination of the egg. The first person to find it, wins it all.
Total game changer.

Wade Watts is on the low-end of the food chain.  He lives with his aunt in the stacks (trailer homes stacked upon one another).  He has no money to his name and spends all of his spare time in the Oasis.  Hearing about the Easter Egg and receiving the first clue along with millions of others was enough to make him dream of possibilities – yet years go by and no one figures out the clue to get the first key and many are starting to think it was Holiday being a little off.

Until one day something changes.  The score board to the Easter Egg has remained the same for years… until today.  Someone has figured out the clue and now possesses the first key…

that someone is Wade Watts.

Ready Player One.

 

Ready Player One is an audio I promote all the time.  Narrated by the AMAZING-YOU-CAN-READ-THE-NEWSPAPER-TO-ME-ANYTIME Wil Wheaton.  (SIGH girl crush…..)  I can’t praise this one enough.  In fact every time I talk about it – I want to listen to it again..  This is why it makes my all time favorite audio list .   If you enjoy a good dystopian novel, 80’s references and a fun gamer theme… seriously YOU MUST listen to this audio.  While I own the book, I have never read it.  I always have gone audio and can not imagine it any other way.


It is now set to be a movie in 2018 that has me so über excited I can not stand it!!!

Morning Meanderings… A Silence So Deep You Could Hear A Jockstrap Drop


It is true…by the time I am writing this, it is not exactly morning anymore…. but wanted to do it any way… my site.. I can pick if it is day or night.  ;P

 

It is Audio Book Month and I LOVE LOVE LOVE this event and promoting audio, however June is sooooo full of big stuff…it seems I can never give it the full hurrah that it deserves…

I am a big audio advocate… like tie me to a fence post with a picket sign promoting audio… like disturbing the peace in front of the city council and getting locked up for the night promoter of audio….

YES.

That is how much I love it.

Earlier today I was driving home from a breakfast with an author friend (more on that later…) and listening to Fredrick Backman’s latest book on audio – Beartown.  While driving this line caused me to admire Fredrick sooo much.

A silence so deep that you could hear a jockstrap drop.

Ahhhh come on, it is like poetic beauty….  and so different from Backman’s other books that I am falling in love fast and quick on this one…

Audio….

Continuing with that theme, today I wanted to touch on one of the Audio Books I brought home from the expo.  James Patterson may catch a lot of slack on the mass production of books, short short chapters, and well..whatever we want to pick on him for… but there is a soft spot in my heart for him.  Patterson can be contributed to my love at audio.  When I first started reviewing audio, his were some of the first I was sent for review.  I loved the narration, even the sound effects that in some audio can come off as feeling odd… his seem spot on.

James (yes I call him James) was one of the speakers this year at the Book Expo Audio Tea…and this is one of the books I brought home…

 

Black Book…

Billy Harney was born to be a cop. The son of Chicago’s chief of detectives, whose twin sister is also on the force, Billy plays it by the book. Alongside Detective Kate Fenton, Billy’s tempestuous, adrenaline-junkie partner, there’s nothing he wouldn’t sacrifice for his job. Enter Amy Lentini, a hard-charging assistant state’s attorney hell-bent on making a name for herself – who suspects Billy isn’t the cop he claims to be. They’re about to be linked by more than their careers.

One missing black book.

A horrifying murder leads investigators to an unexpected address – an exclusive brothel that caters to Chicago’s most powerful citizens. There’s plenty of incriminating evidence on the scene – but what matters most is what’s missing: the madam’s black book. Now shock waves are rippling through the city’s elite, and everyone’s desperate to find it.

Chicago has never been more dangerous.

As everyone who’s anyone in Chicago scrambles to get their hands on the elusive black book, no one’s motives can be trusted.

 

Hmmmmm? Yeah I thought so.

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Morning Meanderings…. Adriana Trigiani… To Know Her Is To Love Her


It is a beautiful day here in Minnesota…  maybe not as sunshiny warm as I would like… but the sun is out and it will be good weather for gardening this after noon and mowing the lawn while listening to audio ( )

When in New York earlier this month, I was hoping I would get a chance to see Adriana Trigiani.  Adriana is tied in to my whole BEA experience from the first time I attended in 2010.  That first year, I won a contest Adriana had held and was one of 6 Bloggers who were picked up at the Javitz Center in a limo and taken to Alice’s Teacup for an amazing lunch and one on one time with Adriana.  She was so personable and sweet and I felt like I was in book lovers heaven!

In 2011, a group of us met up with her again and went on a walking tour of Greenwich Village and where her characters frequent.  In 2013, she had us over to her home for brunch.  BRUNCH!  AT HER HOME.  Yeah, I just said that.

In 2015, when my life fell apart and I did not attend the Book Expo, Adrianna personally called me.  That meant so much to me I can not even put it into words.  In 2016, we were in Chicago for the Expo and she was not there.

Some Authors are like Super Heroes…

So this year, I really wanted to say hi to her and I stood outside her long line for book signing just so I could wave at her.  I sent a message up the line that I was there and just for her to look up so I could smile and wave (I am from Central Minnesota this is what we do)…  I waited for over an hour and finally my message was delivered and she looked up and called me over…

*Gulp*

Security helped me get through the rope barrier and I passed in front of the line of those still waiting to have their book signed.  A little embarrassed, and sure an Adriana fan who had been waiting in line was going to knock me to the ground and beat the stuffing out of me… surprising they let me pass and were nice about it..book people are the best!

Once up front she hugged me and I had my picture taken with her, despite my polite refusal to have a book signed that I had not been in line for, she signed one for me anyway.  We talked for like 30 seconds and I thanked  her for the phone call and I was on my way.

Yeah.

So without further ado… Kiss Carlos.

It’s 1949, and South Philadelphia bursts with opportunity during the postwar boom. The Palazzini Cab Company & Western Union Telegraph Office, owned and operated by Dominic Palazzini and his three sons, is flourishing: Business is good, and they’re surrounded by sympathetic wives and daughters-in-law, with grandchildren on the way. But a decades-long feud that split Dominic and his brother, Mike, and their once-close families sets the stage for a rematch.

Amidst the hoopla, the arrival of an urgent telegram from Italy upends the life of Nicky Castone (Dominic and his wife’s orphaned nephew), who lives and works with his uncle Dom and his family. Nicky decides, at 30, that he wants more – more than just a job driving car number four and more than his longtime fiancée, Peachy DePino, a bookkeeper, can offer. When he admits to his fiancée that he’s been secretly moonlighting at the local Shakespeare theater company, Nicky finds himself drawn to the stage, its colorful players, and the determined Calla Borelli, who inherited the enterprise from her father, Nicky must choose between the conventional life his family expects of him and charting a new course and risking losing everything he cherishes.

 

So now you know the why this book came home with me from the expo… and you know why I have every book that Adriana has ever written in my own library.  Kiss Carlos was released this week on June 20th.  It you have not experienced Adriana, then I am telling you that you are in for a treat…  she write amazing characters and amazing stories.  Don’t miss out.

 

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Talking As Fast As I Can by Lauren Graham (Audiobook Review)


If you have read this blog for any amount of time you probably know I adore all things Gulmore Girls.  When I noticed that Lauren Graham had an audio out – narrated by HER, well… just try to stop me from listening.  ;P

`Sheila

From growing up to failed attempts at dating  (tall is not always awesome), Lauren shares it all.  When you look at her today and who roles she plays on TV you see a confident fun woman, that honestly I would love to go have coffee with and call her friend (hint hint!!!)  Yet listening to this audio you will find out that as often is the case, looks can be deceiving.

Of course I listened to hear all the inside scoops on Gilmore Girls… what is was like to work with the amazing Alexis and how crazy was that cast and Stars Hollow (although not so secretly I wish I lived there).

Lauren shared much about life, advice, and yes, Gilmore Girls original and Gil More Girls the special that came on Netflix recently and how that came to be.  Most of this I loved… some of it droned on that while I could listen to Lauren Graham’s fast talk all day…  maybe not all day about re watching episodes or diet advice…  some felt like filler when I think there could have been more about Gilmore Girls (yes yes I am bias)

Over all?  Liked  to the point of loved but not quite.  I am of course glad I listened to it, as I did walk with away with some fun facts and of course found her narration on her own book – fantastic.  That’s the way is should be.

For Gilmore Girls Fans… a must.

Did you know June is audio book month?  If you do decide you want to listen to this book…

please do just that – LISTEN to it… there is something pretty amazing

about Lauren Graham talking to you about Gilmore Girls and although I am sure the book is good…

come on people this one needs to be on audio. 

 

Behind Closed Doors by B. A. Paris (Bookies Book Club Review) Audiobook review


A Bookies Book Club read and one I was glad I had an opportunity to explore….creepy good. 
~Sheila

 

Jack and Grace are the couple to envy.  Jack is handsome and attentive, has money, a good job, and charm… every girls dream in a guy…  he is contemplative to Graces beauty and shyness. 

But what happens behind closed doors?  Why is it that Grace never has her friends over that she used to hang out with all the time?  Why is that every time she is asked to go out to lunch she says yes, yet cancels hours before actually going?  And why is it the few places that you do see Grace, Jack is always there?  Always.   And Grace is looking thinner and thinner every time she is seen….

OOH yeah…  This was our Bookies Book Club pick for April.  The synopsis of this one made this book an easy win for our vote and we were not disappointment.  There is much that goes on in Behind Closed Doors and soooooo appropriately named.

Admittedly, I struggled a bit with Grace, it is no secret that I like to read about strong independent women and some of Graces choices (or lack there of)made me grit my teeth. The longer she stayed in the situation, the more power it seemed that Jack gained.  Of course on the flip of this – if Grace had been stronger…we would not have had this book.

Our book club had a good discussion over this book and the overall rating came in around a 3.75 out of 5.  For the most part the book was enjoyed.

Of course, we always need to get in to the book so here is our pictures from our review…

Recommended for book clubs because there is great discussion topics such as abuse, awareness, self-esteem….

Did you know that June is Audio book month?
I enjoyed this book on audio and loved the smooth narration by Georgia Maguire.

 

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Morning Meanderings… Up Close and Personal With Lorna Landvik

Recently at the Book Expo I was talking with my roommate (Beth Fish Reads and yes I like saying she is my roommate lol)  and we were talking about how much we used to blog…  she had said, “You used to put up two posts a day!”

She was right, I did.  For the longest time I would do a Morning Meanderings… and then something; bookish review, author meet up … in the  afternoon.  At the time… it flowed well… now it is funny to think how the heck did I do that?????

At this time, I have enough footage to do it…. I am behind (WAY BEHIND!) on reviews.  I have much to share about bookish things and by golly I am going to keep talking about those great Expo books.  So we shall see…  😉

Lorna Landvik was at the Brainerd Public Library yesterday.  She is not only an amazing author, funny funny lady, and our MC for Wine and Words… she is also someone I am pleased to call friend.

Lorna was at the Brainerd Public Library for our Brown Bag Author Event. Every Monday through the summer we have an author from noon to one.  I was initially going to skip this weeks as I was up to my ears in working on the Books Burgers and Brews discussion for last night, but once I checked the schedule and remembered it was Lorna I had to go.

Lorna packed the house.  Our events usually bring in around 45 – 60….  Lorna had 104 in the room.  I counted twice.




Lorna’s new book is Once In A Blue Moon Lodge.  The follow-up to Patty Jane’s House Of Curl.  The book sounds amazing!

Safe From The Sea by Peter Geye (audio book review) Bookies Book Club Read

First up…. I love Peter Geye.  He is genuine and funny and writes a pretty great story as well…  I hope you will indulge me here as I tell you about this one, and I do hope you pick up one of his books sometime soon.
~Sheila

When Noah returns home to the North Shores of Minnesota to be with his dying father, he has much apprehension.  After all Olaf, has been fairly estranged from his son for many years and an absent father since the since the ship he was on sunk and Olaf was one of the few survivors while his shipmates lost their lives to the harshness that can be Lake Superior.  Noah now married and trying to have a child with his wife, struggles with the decision to go and be with his father while at the same time, how can he not?

What Noah learns about his father, and the shipwreck changes Noah’s whole misconception of his father.  The time they spend together as Olaf shares what really happened that cold stormy night all those years ago, the first time he had ever shared the whole story with anyone.  As Olaf’s story unfolds, Noah comes to realize that one does not fully survive such a tragedy, and there is much more to his father then he had ever known…

My book club The Bookies, chose this as our June read.  Author Peter Geye is one of our Wine and Words authors coming this fall, and he was one of our authors in 2015 as well.  I was excited we chose this book to read as I had yet to read it.  Due to a busy June, I chose to listen to it on audio and I was so glad I did. Narrator David Aaron Baker lent the right voice to this book, while gardening, I was easily immersed into the lull of his voice as he brought forth the story of Noah and Olaf…

The Bookies enjoyed Safe From The Sea.  It was interesting as going in, for some reason I had my head wrapped around that this was going to be a “guy” book… meaning more appealing to men as it centered around a male protagonist, boats,and fishing.  I can tell you, I was wrong.  This book weaves a story of family, and tragedy, and coming to terms with what was and what is and what will be.  Well played Peter, well played.

The discussion was centered around family and around the setting as we all are familiar with the North Shore setting, the beauty of it and the dangers of Lake Superior.

Over all the book rated a fairly solid 4 our of 5 from the Bookies as a whole.

 

Did you know that June is Audiobook Month?
Be sure and try this book on audio –

recommended by Book Journey.

 

Morning Meanderings…. MUCH Bookness Today #BEA3


Happy Monday.  Well… Monday anyway… yeah.

I feel quite like I am hitting the ground running today – full steam ahead in to a Bookish Adventure…  (picture the rabbit from Alice In Wonderland here…).

This morning I finished up an article on the Friends of the Brainerd Public Library for a new magazine.  The after a quick work out, I hurried back home to prep this post and then get ready for our Author Event at the library at noon today.  We have Author Lorna Landvik today and I am soooooooo excited to see her.  She is our consistent MC for Wine and Words and has a new book out,  Once In A Blue Moon, the follow-up to Patty Jane’s House Of Curl.

THEN….

Once the Author event is over we switch out the room to set up the Children’s Book Sale that starts at  3 pm today….  all kids books 25 cents each.  This is our 3rd year with the children’s book sale and so much fun to put books in young readers hands.

BUT WAIT….
There’s MORE!

I then switch gears to head over to Prairie Bay to set up for our Books Burgers and Brews event for June that starts at 6 pm tonight.  We are discussing the book Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher which I hope will be a good discussion.  I have been promoting on line and will be talking about at the Author event today as well to hopefully promote good attendance.

So basically… I need a dress and running shoes today.

Check.  ;P

And now, for my Book Expo promo of the day….

I recently read a book by B A Paris, Behind Closed Doors (review up tomorrow).  I enjoyed the book… so when I saw that the author had another book coming out in July, I had to grab this one at the Book Expo.

If you can’t trust yourself, who can you trust?

Cass is having a hard time since the night she saw the car in the woods. It was on the winding rural road, in the middle of a downpour, and a woman was sitting inside―the woman who was killed. She’s been trying to put the crime out of her mind; what could she have done, really? It’s a dangerous road to be on in the middle of a storm, and she probably would have been hurt herself if she’d stopped. Not only that, her husband would be furious if he knew she’d broken her promise not to take that shortcut home.

But since then, she’s been forgetting every little thing. Where she left the car; if she took her pills; even the alarm code.

The only thing she can’t forget is that woman, the woman she might have saved, and the terrible nagging guilt.

And the silent calls she’s receiving, or the feeling that someone’s watching her…

 

 

Come on… how do you pass that up?

Have a good day all… I have to put those tennis shoes on and get running.