Monthly Archives: October 2013

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

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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 list!

Hi all!  Hope your week was WONDERFUL!  Mine was pretty sweet!  A couple dress up events (costume style) and a fairly relaxing weekend. Which has been awesome!  Here is what I posted this past week:

Pics from the above said dress up event (one of them anyway!)

 

Things I Have Recently Learned in Books

 

Still Fooling ‘Em by Billy Crystal

 

This week I have started some new reads and I am excited to move on them:

2bThe Mortal War is over, and sixteen-year-old Clary Fray is back home in New York, excited about all the possibilities before her. She’s training to become a Shadowhunter and to use her unique power. Her mother is getting married to the love of her life. Downworlders and Shadowhunters are at peace at last. And—most importantly of all—she can finally call Jace her boyfriend.

But nothing comes without a price.

Someone is murdering Shadowhunters, provoking tensions between Downworlders and Shadowhunters that could lead to a second, bloody war. Clary’s best friend, Simon, can’t help her—his mother just found out that he’s a vampire, and now he’s homeless. When Jace begins to pull away from her without explaining why, Clary is forced to delve into the heart of a mystery whose solution reveals her worst nightmare: she herself has set in motion a terrible chain of events that could lead to her losing everything she loves. Even Jace.

This is my current guilty pleasure read.  Having races first the first thee in this series now I am ready to see what happens in book 4!

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This document, dear friend, will shatter the Church…..

Reading these words in a letter in a dusty archive, Thomas Kelly is skeptical. The papers to which they refer have vanished, but Father Kelly, a Jesuit priest, doubts that anything could ever have had that power—until the Vatican suddenly calls him to Rome to begin a desperate search for that very document.

Meanwhile, standing before a council of her people, Livia Pietro receives instructions: she must find a Jesuit priest who has recently arrived in Rome and join his search for a document that contains a secret so shocking it has the power to destroy not only the Catholic Church, but Livia’s people as well.

As cryptic messages from the past throw Thomas and Livia into a treacherous world of art, religion, and conspiracy, they are pursued by those who would cross any line to obtain the document for themselves. Thomas and Livia must race to stop the chaos and destruction that the revelation of these secrets would create. Livia, though, has a secret of her own: She and her people are vampires.

In a sprawling tapestry that combines the religious intrigue of Dan Brown with the otherworldly terror of Stephenie Meyer, Blood of the Lamb is an unforgettable journey into an unthinkable past.

I have started this one… with a little Davinchi feel… this could be interesting.

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Since the publication of A Mile Down (2005), a true account of Vann’s misadventures at sea, his highly acclaimed works have won 15 awards and been translated into 18 languages. Yet perhaps none have drawn more deeply on Vann’s own violent family history than this latest novel about an unnamed 11-year-old boy on a hunting trip with his male elders. While camping with his grandfather, father, and family friend on their ancestral 640-acre northern California ranch, with Goat Mountain looming above, the foursome stumbles on a poacher whom the boy, on an inexplicable impulse, shoots and kills. Recounting the incident decades later, the boy, now a man, describes the harrowing aftermath of his actions, from his father’s decision to hang the corpse in full view of their camp, to a hellish night on the mountain alone after snagging his first buck.

Egads right????

So moving on… I need to get this post up 😀

Add your what are you reading to the link below!

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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!

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Morning Meanderings… A Look At Girls Night Out – Halloween Style!

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Happy Saturday!  I have about 30 minutes before I am leaving for the Monster Dash in Crosslake Minnesota.  My friend Amy and I did this one last year – a 5k in full costume.  Last year she was wonder woman and I was a zombie bride, it was crazy fun.

This year…. well… you will see.

On Thursday of this week we fall our October Ladies Night Out.  Twice a year businesses hold this event.  You (girls only!) pick up a punch card at a participating business up to the night before the event.  Then the day of you have a set amount of hours that you can go these businesses and get your card punched acknowledging that you were there.  You have a certain time to turn the card in to a specific business – this fall it was 8:30 pm with as many punches as you can.  You trade in your card for one ticket per punch and the next day they announce winning numbers on a local radio station and if your number is called you can win, among other things $1000.00.It’s local and community and fun.  Many of the businesses offer horduerves, snacks and wine.  Some have samples of products and others have coupons to bring you back into the store. 

The October one offers a bonus:  a costume contest.  Ooh we were all about that.  Here are our pictures (thanks Saturday Snapshot!)

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That’s me!

 

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My friend Amy as Medusa (she really gets into her work!)

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My friend Kerri “Legs” The Flapper!

We had a blast!  We didn’t win in the costume contest but it was still a great time and there are still a couple other contests going on so we will see 🙂

I posted these delightful pics today for Saturday Snapshot, click the link and check it out. It is a lot of fun! 

Have a great Saturday!

Morning Meanderings… Things I Have Recently Learned In Books

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Good morning all!  At least it is morning here at the time of this typing in Central Minnesota.  We have had the heat on for a couple weeks now and as much as I dislike the cold and really do not like the upcoming snow… I am trying to embrace the season.

I have dived into some good books as of late and wanted to share what I have been learning, a few fun facts from the books.  I believe you can learn something from all books – fiction and non fiction alike.

Fascinating to me, I just recently finished listening to Dr. Sleep by Stephen King.  I had to give this one a try as this is the continuing story of The Shining.  What I learned was that Danny (the little boy in The Shining and the now grown up protagonist in Dr. Sleep was a character that stayed with King all of these years, nagging at him with the “what ever happened to him?”… 

 

In Anything That Moves by Dana Goodyear I learned about Kopi Luwak, the expensive coffee that is made out of Civet poop.  Mmmm hmmm…. I couldn’t make this stuff up.  I have also learned that we live in a strange STRANGE world where “extreme eating” is a thing and the more unusual the better…. I think I will pass on the cricket tacos and live octopus.  😉

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In Billy Crystal’s Still Foolin ‘Em, I learned about his incredible relationship with his wife and daughters, his love for baseball, and his ritual before doing the awards shows. 

 

From The Mortal Instrument series (my current guilty pleasures) I have discovered I really really like the name Jace…. AND I wish I had powers like the Shadow Hunters. 😛

 

In other news… I have recently been added as part of the awesome Bloggers Recommended group!  This is a group of Bloggers headed by Nicole from Linus’s Blanket and Jen from Devourer Of Books.  They put out a monthly newsletter of hot titles coming out that month that great bloggers have recommended as must reads!  I am new to this and just getting my feet wet.  I submitted my first recommendation for the November edition.  You can subscribe to receive it here and you can check out the website here. 😀

 

What have you learned in books recently?

Still Foolin Them by Billy Crystal

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Billy Crystal…. comedian and movie star (When Harry Met Sally, City Slickers, Analyze This, Parental Guidance…), several time host of the Academy Awards, and more.  Now at the age of 65, Billy reflects on what it is like to age not gracefully (buying a plot instead of Christmas presents, and wearing half your meal on your shirt are just a couple of his topics) and his life and career.

 

 

I chose to listen to this audio while looking for something to start listening to on a two hour drive home a couple of weeks ago.  Having enjoyed City Slickers (both 1 and 2!) and Billy’s time as the Academy Award host I thought this would be an interesting and entertaining listen.

For the most part I was right.  Billy’s dabble into the senior part of his life is humorous as he loses his keys constantly and the inability to sleep through the night yet constantly doze off at plays.  His recollection of starting out in comedy and eventually show business was really the heart of this audio for me, I enjoy hearing how people get their start and his big moments and his “not so great ones’ really are heart warming as Billy learned how to capture an audiences attention and hearts.

Billy Crystal’s start in movies both good and bad is also a fun journey, from the stars he worked with, to his unending crush of Sophia Loren.  And Billy gets personal too as he talks about the birth and marriages of his daughters and all that is in between.

What I did not enjoy was that part of this audio version is read in front of a live audience.  More so in the beginning of the audio, but I found it to be more of a stand up show than a book for a while and did not enjoy the laughter on the audio or some of Billy’s cruder humor (clearly I had not experienced that side of his humor before and wasn’t expecting it… my bad 🙂 ).  For a while I thought I had made a mistake on this one – but audio listeners, hang in there – eventually he levels out into what I thought was a good and informative listen.  I do not know how those same chapters in the audio are handled in the book version.

All in all, I did enjoy this audio.  I learned a lot about Billy Crystal and his love of family and friends.  It was interesting to hear how insecure he often was throughout his career, second guessing his choice of jokes… and always appreciating when colleagues such as Muhammad Ali and Johnny Carson would call or tell him in person, “that was a great job!”

Fans of Billy Crystal, I think you will enjoy this.

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

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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 list!

I am home from a weekend at our cabin with friends.  A little reading, a little eating, a little movie and games, and a lot of fun!  Here’s a peek at what we did:

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The ending result. Mine is the second from the left.

Anyhoo… I am just going to put the link up as I am late late late tonight:

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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!

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Giants In The Earth by Ole Edvart Rolvaag (a Bookies Review and Oh you will love this!)

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In the later 1800’s, Norwegian settlers took to the Great Plains to find for themselves a better life.  Dreams of great farm lands and prosper propelled them forward and Per Hansa, was not an exception.

Per Hansa, his wife, Beret, and their two sons head out into the wide open space hoping to catch up with the group they had started out with and begin to build their dreams.  While Per Hansa almost vibrates with his desire for something to call his own, Beret keeps quiet to her dreams of staying where they were with, with family and friends and all she ever knew of as home.

When they do meet up with the others and stake their land the whole family experiences first hand what it is like to start with nothing.  A house built out of sod, and their cow living under this same sod roof.  The planting of food to eat and to sell and the hope and prayer each season that the crops will prosper and drought, weather or plagues do not take what they have put blood, sweat and tears into.

The land is hard and the life style to match but Per Hansa thrives in the environment of working from before sun up to after sun down.  As other settlers pass through and the native Americans come calling, Per Hansa comes across many situations he was not prepared for…. yet onward he goes, trusting in God and the land.

We read Giants In The Land for our classic read.  Around page 11 I thought I was in trouble… when our author started explaining the sound of the grass I thought “oh oh…. I have over 500 pages of this?”  Yet I settled into the book to get through it, and found that I was enjoying it in no time.

Per Hansa is a go getter.  At times to the point of ripping your hair out, but it seems like everything he tries and touches turns out for the better.  Beret, is another character all together.  Left mainly to tend to the house and the children, the time alone only wears on her.  Although their are other women near by, Beret is far too sheltered within herself to go out and make the relationships she needs to keep her going. 

The real beauty in Giants In The Earth is that the land and the weather is just as much a character as Per Hansa, Beret and the other settlers.  The land and weathers role is a bit one.  It can give, and it can just as quickly take away.  Everything in this environment depends on both.

I flew through this read.  It was so far different from anything I had read and I could imagine what the times had to feel like, make it or break it, you had to keep moving forward day after day.  It is a book that will remain on my shelf to be referred to again.

Bookies thoughts and fun:

We had a blast being able to have our review in an 1851 cabin that is on the property of one of our book club gals.  (Thanks Brenda!).  We dressed the time period and ate the food that they ate:  lefsa, potatoes, cider, stew, goat cheese…  It was a great time.

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6 of us dressed up for the occasion. I am the 4th one in from the left. While we tried to remain straight faced, I kept smiling. The more I tried not to smile… the more I smiled.

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The cabin. The base is original. Roof and upper floor have been added on.

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What a great time!  The Bookies over all rated it a high 3 (almost 4!) out of 5.  Most of us enjoyed the time period and the idea of the early settlers.  A few of us struggled getting into the book and found it too dry.

Morning Meanderings… Things I Love About My Town

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Good morning!  Hope this Tuesday finds you all well.

Yesterday morning as I was walking into work I seen the guy who walks by the front of the building I work in singing each morning.  He is quite into it, ear buds in, voice loud and hands usually air drumming.  He is fascinating to watch.  Usually, I am up in my office on the second floor when he goes by on the sidewalk below but I hear him all the same and rush to open the window each time to watch him and listen.  He makes me smile.

Once, a couple summers ago I was walking out of that same building one evening and there were a group of musicians on the lawn.  They had large instruments like cello’s and wonderful ones like violins and flutes and they were playing the most amazing music.  On a warm summers eve it was about as good as it gets as I watched them, apparently a random gathering of friends who chose a spot to play.  It was as close to Stars Hollow (yes yes… Gilmore Girl reference) as I have been.

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Stars Hollow. Fictional town from Gilmore Girls.

 

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and this is Brainerd…

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Bike trail!

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Paul Bunyan!

Street dances, zombie crawls, arts in the park, St Patrick’s Day parade….. maybe I have a little bit of Stars Hollow right here. 🙂

I have a “take it one step at a time” day.  This morning I work and then I have a funeral to attend.  The husband of a friend was hit by a car while riding his bike last Thursday.  It is a very sad and painful situation.  Later I am resetting the window at the library and staying to host for author Lorna Landvik when she speaks tonight at the library.

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

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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 list!

:D

My week was a pretty busy one with book club, helping with the teens, spent a little time sick, and cheered on two friends as they ran heir first half marathon.  Reading was minimum, but I managed one post, and here is a picture from our book club review (more on that this week):

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One of the pictures from our book review on Tuesday of Giants In The Earth. That’s me, 4th from the left.

Harry Potter and The Half Blood Prince by J K Rowling (audio review… I know, I know… but read it.  Its funny.  I think.

As for this week, here is what I am doing that is new:

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Hilarious and heartfelt observations on aging from one of America’s favorite comedians, now that he’s 65, and a look back at a remarkable career.

Billy Crystal is 65, and he’s not happy about it. With his trademark wit and heart, he outlines the absurdities and challenges that come with growing old, from insomnia to memory loss to leaving dinners with half your meal on your shirt. In humorous chapters like “Buying the Plot” and “Nodding Off,” Crystal not only catalogues his physical gripes, but offers a road map to his 77 million fellow baby boomers who are arriving at this milestone age with him. He also looks back at the most powerful and memorable moments of his long and storied life, from entertaining his relatives as a kid in Long Beach, Long Island, and his years doing stand-up in the Village, up through his legendary stint at Saturday Night Live, When Harry Met Sally, and his long run as host of the Academy Awards. Listeners get a front-row seat to his one-day career with the New York Yankees (he was the first player to ever “test positive for Maalox”), his love affair with Sophia Loren, and his enduring friendships with several of his idols, including Mickey Mantle and Muhammad Ali. He lends a light touch to more serious topics like religion (“the aging friends I know have turned to the Holy Trinity: Advil, bourbon, and Prozac”); grandparenting; and, of course, dentistry. As wise and poignant as they are funny, Crystal’s reflections are an unforgettable look at an extraordinary life well lived.

I started listening to this one on my way home yesterday.

Your turn next!  What are you reading?  Add your link below where it says click here.

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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!

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Harry Potter and The Half Blood Prince by J K Rowling (audio!)

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Yes yes… we all (or certainly all should) have read the Harry Potter books – BUT before you run the other way – hear me out because if you have not listened to these books on audio… then you are missing something awesome.

So here is the gist of this book… Harry (our hero!) is now preparing to enter his sixth year at Hogwarts.  Last year had been a hard one, but really, none of the years have been a cake walk for the boy who lived.  Year six… will prove to be yet another challenge.  Even more so than he has ever encountered before.

With the inkling (*IHO), that Draco is now a Death Eater and Hermione and Ron finding the boy to be a bit daft, Harry feels there are new deeper and darker secrets within the school.  When he sees Dumbledore has a secret of his own with a damaged hand that he will not talk about.

Security at Hogwarts is on the HIGH.  Volde…. he who shall not be named is out there somewhere and the students are to be on the look out.  When an old potions book Harry winds up with by being last to class is filled with notes Harry is at first disappointed,but eventually finds out that he is the lucky holder of a book that helps him to create potions faster and smarter than the others in the class and much to Hermione’s annoyance.  The book says it was the property of the “Half Blood Prince”, but who was the Half Blood Prince?

As the story goes on – Dumbledore takes to sharing with Harry some of his most important memories involving Tom Riddle who of course (come on Potter fans!) is… Volde…. gah..  He who shall not be named.  These memories are to help Harry know what they are up against as they prepare for the inevitable battle.

Anyhoo… so on it goes with the great mix of the school friendships and some fun story lines involving the miss use of love potions, and a potion that gives you a perfect day.  Oh and of course there is always Quidich and with Ron now playing you know it is going to be fun.

This is the book where you really get the full effect of just how crazy crackers and power possessed Tom Riddle (Voldem…. yeah yeah….) truly was.  The question and the goal of this particular book is to find the power behind Riddle and see what can e done to weaken up – and things have never had greater stakes.

 

 

When asked what my favorite of the Potter books are, I have always struggled with that question.  I lean towards the earlier years, I prefer the younger more innocent years at Hogwarts – however as I listened to this one over the last few weeks I think I almost have to go with this book.  This is really the book where all things come together, you really get to know what is going on and the main protagonists all are coming into their own… Ron and Hermione are hilarious in this particular book as they try to figure our relationships.  Harry really has an even more important role than ever before – and even more so I feel than what he does in book 7 as this is the book where he does most on his own without the help of his friends.

The audio is read by Jim Dale and he is well worth a listen.  Whenever I listen to him he takes me right there, each character so easily defined in his tone of voice – I just take great joy in listening to him.

If you have enjoyed the Harry Potter books in book format, I HIGHLY encourage you to try them on audio.  What a fantastic treat and if you are on a road trip a great listen for the whole family.

I treated myself after finishing the audio, to the movie once again…..  ahhhhh Harry…..  this is the book that made me cry, and much like all important moments of my life- I remember right where I was when I finished it the first time.

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

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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

 

 

 

 

I feel rejuvenated.  I think I have done more BOOK reading the past two weeks then I have done in months.  In feels great to really dig into a book and actually have time to enjoy it. 😀  I even wrote a couple reviews:

The Returned by Jason Mott ( the reviews are mixed….  see what I thought 😉  )

 

Ok… I lied.  I wrote one review.  I really need to catch up.  :razz;  BUT I did write some fun morning meanderings… about a show I will miss, about the end of the kickball season (yes, kickball!) and my struggle with the book club book.

This week I am still listening to Dr. Sleep (phone) and The Half Blood Prince (car) and reading The City Of Class by Cassandra Clare.  As far as whats up next….hmmm….

 

 

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As a college student he spent 16 days in the Pacific Ocean with five guys and a crate of canned meat. As a father he took his kids on a world tour to eat ice cream with heads of state. He made friends in Uganda, and they liked him so much he became the Ugandan consul. He pursued his wife for three years before she agreed to date him. His grades weren’t good enough to get into law school, so he sat on a bench outside the Dean’s office for seven days until they finally let him enroll. 

Bob Goff has become something of a legend, and his friends consider him the world’s best-kept secret. Those same friends have long insisted he write a book. What follows are paradigm shifts, musings, and stories from one of the world’s most delightfully engaging and winsome people. What fuels his impact? Love. But it’s not the kind of love that stops at thoughts and feelings. Bob’s love takes action. Bob believes Love Does.

When Love Does, life gets interesting. Each day turns into a hilarious, whimsical, meaningful chance that makes faith simple and real. Each chapter is a story that forms a book, a life. And this is one life you don’t want to miss.

I picked this up at a conference we went to for work a few months back.

 

 

 

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With death only a heartbeat away, Gene and the remaining humans must find a way to survive long enough to escape the hungry predators chasing them through the night.  But they’re not the only things following Gene.  He’s haunted by Ashley June who he left behind, and his burgeoning feelings for Sissy, the human girl at his side.

Their escape takes them to a refuge of humans living high in the mountains.  Gene and his friends think they’re finally safe, but not everything here is as it seems.  And before long, Gene must ask himself if the new world they’ve entered is just as evil as the one they left behind.  As their enemies close in on them and push Gene and Sissy closer, one thing becomes painfully clear: all they have is each other…if they can stay alive.

The sequel to The Hunt (which I loved!)

I am not sure if I will get to a new audio this week or not.  You r turn next!  What are you reading?  Add your link below where it says click here.

Powered by Linky Tools

Click here to enter your link and view this Linky Tools list…

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!

aaa1