Monthly Archives: September 2013

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. While I am no longer offering up the giveaway incentive, I do hope you will still see the value of visiting other participants and seeing what they are reading- be warned though… this meme tends to add to your reading lists :D

First off – I did write last weeks post!  I did!  From that Little Cafe in Ely Minnesota – I wrote it and I scheduled it to go live on Sunday late afternoon…. and…. crickets.  😦  I dont know why it didnt go , but clearly it did not.

Along with last weeks post (yeah yeah… the one that wasn’t but was) I had planned a giveaway $10 Amazon Gift card…sort of a “while I am away” plan.  Since no one knew about the giveaway because the post was like a bad stick of dynamite and never went off…. I would like to extend that to this week instead – AND to be entered leave a comment here and for a BONUS point, leave a comment on my adventure post I put up earlier today… my one post this week:

Home. Pictures. Update.



As for this week I do have a few things going on (YES!):


To save her mother’s life, Clary must travel to the City of Glass, the ancestral home of the Shadowhunters—never mind that entering the city without permission is against the Law, and breaking the Law could mean death. To make things worse, she learns that Jace does not want her there, and Simon has been thrown in prison by the Shadowhunters, who are deeply suspicious of a vampire who can withstand sunlight.As Clary uncovers more about her family’s past, she finds an ally in mysterious Shadowhunter Sebastian. With Valentine mustering the full force of his power to destroy all Shadowhunters forever, their only chance to defeat him is to fight alongside their eternal enemies. But can Downworlders and Shadowhunters put aside their hatred to work together? While Jace realizes exactly how much he’s willing to risk for Clary, can she harness her newfound powers to help save the Glass City—whatever the cost?

I whipped through the second book while in the boundary waters and now have dived into this book #3.  The Mortal Instrument series is giving me a good Harry Potterish fix 🙂





This one, needs no introduction. 🙂  This was my “comfort listen” while I drove the 5 hours to Ely this last week and then 5 hours home I enjoyed a good listen to an awesome favorite series.  A little bonus, it is on the banned book list and of last week was banned book week.





Stephen King returns to the characters and territory of one of his most popular novels ever, The Shining, in this instantly riveting novel about the now middle-aged Dan Torrance (the boy protagonist of The Shining) and the very special twelve-year-old girl he must save from a tribe of murderous paranormals.

On highways across America, a tribe of people called The True Knot travel in search of sustenance. They look harmless—mostly old, lots of polyester, and married to their RVs. But as Dan Torrance knows, and spunky twelve-year-old Abra Stone learns, The True Knot are quasi-immortal, living off the “steam” that children with the “shining” produce when they are slowly tortured to death.

Haunted by the inhabitants of the Overlook Hotel where he spent one horrific childhood year, Dan has been drifting for decades, desperate to shed his father’s legacy of despair, alcoholism, and violence. Finally, he settles in a New Hampshire town, an AA community that sustains him, and a job at a nursing home where his remnant “shining” power provides the crucial final comfort to the dying. Aided by a prescient cat, he becomes “Doctor Sleep.”

Then Dan meets the evanescent Abra Stone, and it is her spectacular gift, the brightest shining ever seen, that reignites Dan’s own demons and summons him to a battle for Abra’s soul and survival. This is an epic war between good and evil, a gory, glorious story that will thrill the millions of hyper-devoted fans of The Shining and wildly satisfy anyone new to the territory of this icon in the King canon.

I am fascinated with the premise of this book… bringing back the little boy from The Shining all of these years later is BRILLIANT.  I started listening to this one today.  So excited!!!



That’s where I am spending my time this week. How about you?  What are you reading and listening too?  Please add your link below where it says “click here” to link up your own What Are You Reading post.

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For those of you that read mainly middle grade and childrens books, be sure to also link to the younger version of It’s Monday by using the link below!


Home. Pictures. Updates.


Well its not quite morning anymore – but for some reason when I made this button I put “morning meanderings” on it so I am just going with it.

As of this post I have been off the blog for 9 days.  Let me start with, if you follow me, you know  I was out on the Boundary Waters on the North Shore which is about as crazy uncivilized as it gets as there is no electricity, no cell phone coverage – no communications to the outside world at all.

And I loved it.


I heard a little grumbling about the “It’s Monday, What Are You Reading” post not being up and I can not explain that as I prepped it and scheduled it and it did not go live.  That should not happen again as I have a new plan in place, more on that later.

Anyhoo – back to the wilderness, which was what I really wanted to talk about this morning… errr…. afternoon.  We arrived in Ely Minnesota at a friend of a friends cabin last Saturday for a nice stay over before we hit the lakes. On Sunday morning we packed up our gear and we were off.


5 girls… this isnt even all of it. We each had a large pack, a day pack and then two large “Kitchen” nags.

We rowed and portaged that first day for around 7 hours.  My friend Belinda has this super cool Garmin watch (I want one I want one!) that tracked our progress and then she was able to put it on line so we could all see it.  I am so impressed!  Did I mention I want one?  😛

In case you are wondering what portaging is or what it looks like, let this newbie share with you.  Portaging is taking the canoes (on our head and shoulders) across a sometimes hilly, rocky, bushy trail from one lake to reach another.  This could not be done in one trip so we would take the canoes and a few packs over, sharing in the canoe carrying duties as it is a one person job, and then go back for the rest of the packs.  The one portage was 1.5 miles long… so we would head over with the canoes and bags, then walk back and get the rest – all in all for us it was a 4.5 mile portage.


“This is Sheila sporting the new for 2013 “wilderness portage look”, notice the large pack to carry all the necessities for camping on the boundary waters life, a trendy and practical life jacket, bandana so you can not see the flattened down camping hair, and oars as that is how we row.” 😉

We arrived deep into the boundary waters on a lake called Cummings where we set up camp.


I am the gray blue tent to the right.

By the time we arrived that first day we were losing daylight fast so we quickly set up camp, gathered fire wood, and prepped our dinner of yummy small potatoes in olive oil and salt and pepper, green beans and brats.

The next couple of days we stayed in this spot – reading and relaxing, sunning and playing games.


Selfie pick on day two.. I was trying to capture my mood which I am happy to say stayed the same pretty much the whole time.


What I read… Egads Cassandra Claire – you and the Mortal Instruments have caught me with your movie and now I am in the “City Of __________” web. This is book two that was a wonderful read in the warm sun and I have since completed it and moved on to book three.


My camping peeps (from the left) Belinda, Sheila (yes, another Sheila!), Jacquie, and Melissa. We were playing National Part Yahtzee which was a lot of fun!


Our shoreline view from our camp site.

After a couple of days we decided to switch it up and try another camp site.  I was sorry to see my favorite rock go, where I would sit and read and journal in the mornings… to Crab Lake we went.


Off we went in search of land… errr…. a campsite.


And find a new spot we did! Check out my new lake shore property! And .. there was another rock for me to read and journal…. perhaps even a better rock 😉


Everyone busy setting up our new camp.


My new reading rock.

And then all to quickly, it was time to head back in to civilization. I found it hard to believe that I had been away from home for almost a week.  It all went so quickly.  We really had a blast.  I learned that it is really ok to get away from all the noise, the “to do’s” and just BE.  To hang out and read a book was beyond awesome.  I napped in the sun… I read, I played games, and I enjoyed canoeing very much.

So, now life is quiet for a couple weeks.  I have reviews to write and things to catch up on – as for this blog, you should be seeing me more frequently.  For more pictures of the trip, check out my Facebook page at Sheila DeChantal.

Continuing To Beat The Band


Ok… Ok… I am SUPER LATE today.  I am up north in our cabin area and the little cafe that used to offer me great internet while I enjoyed their oatmeal no longer offers internet and perhaps I jinked it when I ordered an omelet instead of the usual but its too late to take back that order (although I wish I could).  😛  SO now, I am in Ely Minnesota where I will be meeting up with the group I will be spending the next 7 days with in the wilderness by canoe and tent, and no, I have not been hiding this “camping girl side of me” from you… quite honestly this is new and I am not sure if “Camping Girl” is in but hey…. let’s find out. 😀

Here is the post I would have put up this morning if I could have:


My whole point of coming into the little café this morning in Silver Bay this morning was to use the internet and set up the final day for banned book week and prep the Sunday post for the Monday What Are You Reading.  OK, OK, and people watch… but seriously that is all.

My experience of the cold pancake and not so great omelet could have been overlooked – but the fact that they no longer have internet (I know… WHO does that???) was quite disappointing as now I am left with a plate full of food I really do not want and no way to get my blog work done before I head into the wilderness.

My plan “B” is to type this up in word (as I am doing now) and hoping when I get to Ely later today I will be able to pop into a little café or something and finish this – connect the banned posts and set up the What Are You Reading.

So here I am typing away but soon to be done… I am going back to our cabin to watch Monty Pythons Meaning Of Life because I feel that is an appropriate start to a weeklong canoe and camping trip in the wilderness with a group of girls – some I know, some I do not… and feeling anxious and excited and concerned that I will have no connections to the outside world and thrilled that I will have no connection to the outside world.  J  Hope that makes sense…

I will be journaling the experience because of this blows (lol) this will be a one time deal and I need to remember that I did that once.  If it rocks… or even semi rocks… I will be totally up to doing it again and feel like I can do all things… from tying up a blog post in a little no-internet café to traveling to Honduras, to reading books, to biking 150 miles, to enjoying plays and Vikings games…. Well… you get the point…  I also need to remember that a trip where there is no internet and no cell phone coverage and the fact that I can do that 5 hours form my own front door is something kind of awesome as there are many parts of this world where “getting away from it all” requires a plane ticket and a guide.

Ok but I still need to talk about the BANNED!  Yes this is the final day of our banned book week celebration here – but my challenge to you is that starting tomorrow is the real official Banned Book Week and I am hoping you have found through the links I have posted this week a great books to give a try to.  Here are the final posts for the week:

Bex at An Armchair By The Sea writes an amazing post on the ridiculous reasons we ban books.  Seriously, do not miss what she wrote!  She is also having a giveaway you will not want to miss.

Jon at Rogue Scholar gets me… he really gets me. 😀  His review of Hunger Games and the crazy banning reasons around is fabulous.  Go Jon Go!!!!  Jon is also offering a giveaway so get over there!  😀

My buddy Laurel at An Interior Journey has given her post to Perks Of Being a Wallflower.  Please stop over and read her thoughts on this one.

And thats the week 😀  Thank you everyone so much for all your banned book week support!

As for what I am listening to on audio during the driving part of this trip is Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince… because the two audio books I have been listening to lately for review have been DNF for various reasons I will explain at another time… and my camping trip book of choice is the second book in the City Of Bones series as after seeing the movie… I am back in on this deal J

Later awesome book lovers!

Morning Meanderings… Banned Aid!


Good morning.  Crazy day already.  I came home at 1:30 am after seeing Wicked in the theater in the cities.  Now I am staring at a table full of things to pack (or not) and for the life of me can not find my digital camera that has been in the same place for years.  GAH.  I leave this afternoon for our cabin and then off to Ely tomorrow to join the rest of the group to go on our canoe and camping trip.  I feel….

disorganized.  😯

Ok – enough of that for now though… lets talk banned books because we are around the corner and hitting the finish line of the event today and tomorrow.  Today….

After seeing Wicked last night (banned book by the way!), I was thrilled to see that Erin from Quixotic Magpie wrote a post with a witch theme, The Witch Of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare.  I loved the post and the crazy reasons this book was banned.  Erin is also doing a giveaway!

Tracy at Uncharted Parent talks about book banning and The Absolutely True Diary Of A Part Time Indian.  She has some good thoughts about banning.

Florinda (love her!!!!) at the 3 R’s Blog shares her thoughts on censorship.  Well worth the read.

Suey at It’s All About The Books writes on the book Thirteen Reasons Why ( a book I really enjoyed!)


Julia at Diary of A Book Nerd posted a great review of Looking For Alaska and has a giveaway going too!  😀


I hope you check out these great posts today and I really hope that as this weekend is approaching fast that you pick up a banned book from the list and dig in to something good!

I will posts pics of Wicked in the morning.  I have a lot to get moving on this morning. 😀  Have a great day!

Morning Meanderings… And The Banned Played On


Good morning!  Thursday of the Banned Book Week event already and time has just flown by.  I wish I could have been more active myself this year in this event but life just did not slow down this time around.  Thankfully a whole lot of other awesome bloggers joined in and said that they would be talking up banned books this week.


Heather at Based On A True Story reviews The Absolutely True Diary Of A Part Time Indian by Sherman Alexie.  Heather shares a great story about the actual banning of this book so be sure to pop over there and check out a great post and a really good book! 


Tracy at Pen and Paper comes through with a second post this week on a harder look at banned books and sex scenes in YA books. 


Kendal from Kinx’s Book Nook wrote an awesome post on Fahrenheit 451 with a giveaway!  If you have not read this smoking book – you need to.  I enjoyed it on audio for banned book week a couple of years ago and loved it!


Charlie at Fur Earwig has a fun blog (I was trapped for awhile looking around at some fun pictures).  Charlie takes a closer look at the banned book, A Snow Falling On Cedars.


There will be more posts tomorrow.  I had to write this one early this morning as I have a super full and fun day.  I work today until 3 and then I will be driving with my friend Connie to the cities at the Orpheum theater where we will be having dinner and then seeing Wicked.  (Insert major SSSQQQUUUEEEE here*).  I have been waiting years to see this one and I am sooooooo excited!


On a fun side note that just came to me, I Googled if Wicked had ever been banned.  I read it many years ago and it is basically a grown up version on The Wizard of Oz and this time the full story of Elphiba the Wicked Witch of The West.  I loved the story line and thought thte concept was BRILLIANT but also remember a couple eye brow lifting racier parts when Elphiba is in College (maybe even sooner – I read it forever ago). 

Anyhoo – the answer is yes!  Wicked made the list in 2008-2009 for sexual content.  Not really surprised there.  This is not a book that I would recommend to any youngster.  And while I enjoyed the book, it probably is not one I would ever read again – however the storyline itself which is what has made this a Broadway “must see” for years – is indeed something I would suggest to anyone who has the opportunity to go go go!!!

That’s it for today.  Do me a favor and find yourself a banned book for the weekend and enjoy it as the official banned book week kicks off on Sunday!


Morning Meandering… Playing In The Banned


Playing in the banned!  *snort*   Yes folks, I am here all week!  😛

Ok seriously… you try and come up with puns each day for banned books week. 😀 


Today I want to direct you to over to Kelly at the Well-Read Redhead.  She has written a great review on Flowers For Algernon by Daniel Keys.

I love the fact that this book is one that Kelly won last year during banned book week and now here it is, being reviewed for this years event.  Please stop over and read this beautifully written review about an honest and emotional book.


This afternoon I will be going to our local library and putting up the banned book window.  It is funny to think that my close relationship to our library started with banned book week.  Three years ago the library had a gorgeous window display for banned books.  I loved it and even checked out one of the books that was on “trial” for being banned.

Two years ago I excitedly went into the library to see what genius they were putting together for banned book week and there was nothing.  When I inquired about the great display from the year before I was told that a lady who used to work their had put that together and they really had not had anyone that loved the window like that since.  I think you can probably guess the rest of this story…. I asked to take over the window to set each months theme, of course including banned book week.

The window lead to my interest in the Friends Of The Library group, to my interest in being on the City board for the Library….  its all connected. 😀


Anyhoo – this year not only is the window going banned – but we are taking mug shots in the library for banned book week.  I love that!!!  I am posting on our Brainerd Public Library Facebook page and Friends Of The Brainerd public library Facebook page the mug shots we took the other day of the Teen Library Council.  I will go in today to do my mug shot… whatever book will I choose?  🙂


Morning Meanderings… Digging Into The BANNED!


Happy Tuesday everyone!  I hope you are enjoying our Banned Book week so far… the appetizer tot he true banned book week next week.  My wish this week is that one of these posts about a banned book will cause you to pick up a banned book next week that you have not read, and enjoy!  There are so many AWESOME books to choose from!


The incredible Tracy coming to us from Pen and Paper wrote a wonderful banned book post called Then and Now


Lisa at Lit and Life joins us this morning with her review of In Cold Blood by Truman Capote, a wonderful read and a banned book as well.


Ryan from Reading in Taiwan wrote a review post on the banned book, For Whom The Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemmingway.


I do hope you will take time to check out these posts and comment to these wonderful people who are participating in talking about banned books and censorship.  It is important to know that these books have been removed from shelves in some schools, libraries and townships.  While the written word survives and freedom of speech is still a real thing… we need to love and embrace these books and the right to choose to read what we want. 

Have a super day everyone.  Remember every comment here this week enters you in on a chance to win the super cool banned book mug I posted earlier this week – and some of the other posts on other blogs are offering giveaways as well. 

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. While I am no longer offering up the giveaway incentive, I do hope you will still see the value of visiting other participants and seeing what they are reading- be warned though… this meme tends to add to your reading lists :D

Once again I go for the “Forgetful Blogger Award”…. I am sure I am a shoe in!  With Banned Book Week planning and everything else in my head I spaced the Monday post.  Again.  😯  Seriously, thanks for hanging with me… last few months have been a bumpy ride.

I did put some posts up this week:


Banned Book Week Kick Off with a link to a super post on Censorship

The Hunt by Andrew Fukoda (Hunger Games fans!  This one is for you!)

Banned Book Week with links to giveaway post

Ella Minnow Pea by Mark Dunn – well worth your time.  A brilliant fast fictional read on censorship.


There you have it.  As for this week I am not sure what I will be reading.  My week is a busy one and I have a couple books sitting in front of me right now I plan on giving a go at for the Bloggers Recommended newsletter.  I think I will leave it at that as this post is late and I just want to get it going 🙂

Here is the link up – add your Monday What Are You Reading post and please visit others as well.  You never know what direction that next great read/listen may be coming from!


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Ella Minnow Pea by Mark Dunn


*pangram: a sentence or phrase that includes all the letters of the alphabet

Nollop is a happy happy place where folks go along their merry way, minding their own business and helping a neighbor as needed.  Nollop, named for the very famous (and very fictional!) Nevin Nollop, the creator of the pangram sentence, “The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.”  On fact the town loves Nevin so much, they have the alphabet hanging in large tiles with the alphabet on them that hangs form a memorial statue of the famed man and have hung their for hundreds (maybe more!) years.

When one day, the “Z” drops from the statue the Island’s council calls an emergency meeting.  Surely this a sign from Nevin from beyond the grave!  A message quickly goes out across the land that the use of the letter “Z” is now forbidden as of midnight.  No longer may people discuss the buzzing of bees, the fixing of a zipper, or visiting a zoo.  To speak words containing this now letter that shall not be named, or writing it down will result in a series of punishments including up to public flogging and even jail time.

And so, Nollop moves on, after all it is only a “Z”, and it is possible to have a pretty (almost!) normal life without that letter. 

But then… soon after…. the “Q drops.  And again the council meets, and again a letter goes out now removing this letter as well, after all, it must be what Nevin wants…. and so to the wayside goes the ability to say or write things like quick or quiver or make the noise of “Quack!”.

And so it goes… letters continue to fall and the world spreads tot he public that the use of these letters are now forbidden… as the books continues, written in letters, the letters become harder and harder to read…. when the letter “D” drops – you can no longer say you knocked on a door , but instead on a portal… and so on and so on…

What will become of the town as people slip up when greeting others or write a now forbidden letter into a sentence? 

What will become of Ella, who lives on Nollop and wants nothing more than to see the written word and language returned so once again we can freely express ourselves?

I adored this brilliant book.

I heard about Ella Minnow Pea a couple of years ago while in New York for the Book Expo.  I thought it sounded brilliant.  While Ella Minnow Pea is not a banned book, it talks about the banning of books.  As letters continue to be eliminated, the Library in Nollop is closed…. too many words and you know every one of those books has to be a violation. 

Letters sent to one another are read by a selected person to check for the offending letters – but no wait, this is not an invasion of privacy as the person hired to do this does not speak any English, therefore has no idea as to what he is reading. 

Ella Minnow Pea is a wonderful reflection of what happens when we enforce censorship.   We take away people’s rights to use the tools we have been given to communicate, to choose what we say or write and when we say it.  As the books goes on and the letters continue to be eliminated it becomes harder and harder to understand and that… is exactly the point.

Check out Ella Minnow Pea.  It’s smart, it’s fun… and it really makes you think about how one small right taken away (like the use of “Z”) seems like no big deal…. and then… one day…. it is another small no big deal (“Q”) and then another… and another…

I chose to review Ella Minnow Pea for Banned Book Week because it fits right in with what happens when we ban or challenge books to be removed from shelves due to our personal preference for what we consider to be proper.  Imagine… if everyone had their way on banning and challenging books… think of the great reads we would have NEVER been allowed to read….. The Bible, Hunger Games, Fahrenheit 451, Little House On The Prairie, Narnia, Lord Of The Rings, Harry Potter, To Kill A Mockingbird, Tom Sawyer, Huck Finn, SPEAK, Charlotte’s Web, Alice In Wonderland, The Giver, Wuthering Heights, Kite Runner, Perks Of Being a Wallflower, The Chocolate War, Beloved, Their Eyes Were Watching God, The Color Purple, The Bridge To Terabithia, Of Mice and Men, In True Blood, Song Of Solomon, Are You There God Its Me Margaret, Blubber, A Prayer For Owen Meany…


Morning Meanderings… The Banned Continues…


Good morning.  Day two of Banned Book posts in preparation for next weeks official banned book week.  I really enjoyed yesterdays post and I hope you did too.  It’s surprising what can be considered a banned/challenged book.

Today, Stacy at My Novel Life shares her thoughts on a great read, Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher. I love this book!  She is also having a great giveaway with her post today so check it out!

I too am having a giveaway for all comments this week (one entry per comment on my posts) as well as a giveaway for those who participated by writing their own Banned Book Week Post (yes you can still sign up)and connected it here to this event.  Each randomly chosen winner will receive this:

3Oh yeah… the much coveted Banned Book mug which I also ordered one for myself. 😀

I too have a review coming up today on not a banned book but a book about banning and the hot mess that results in.  I hope you pop back in to check it out. 

My question to you today is what banned book are you an advocate for? The one you love so much you get up on your soap box and you are pushing it on your friends and family like book crack. Don’t even pretend you have not read one… I believe you have… you just may not know it was banned/challenged. 😛  Check out a sample list here.  Stacy also has a list available on her post as well.