Monthly Archives: April 2014
Good morning! Hope you are reading awesome things!
I did mention I have a problem….
Confession: I like cold water. COLD water. In fact I like water so cold, I like to put bottles of water in the freezer until they get “slushy” that is the perfect temp of water. You may be thinking, “Sheila, why don’t you just drink ice water?” and you would be ok thinking that – I do like ice water… but I REALLY like the little ice chips that form when it is slushy because in essence… I am drinking ice. 😀
So here is the thing… I do this at home…
And, I do this at work…
It is clearly a task of knowing when to remove said water bottle out of the freezer before it reaches the “full ice” phase, where are which point it is too frozen and now must be fully thawed to room temp and started again.
I do this A LOT.
And so here is the problem.
Recently at work we had an all hands on deck cleaning day…. we spent the entire morning cleaning, vacuuming, shampooing, and dusting and tossing out things in the office areas, the conference room, and yes the kitchen. I chose to help in the kitchen as the refrigerator is always a pet peeve of mine…
at least until we opened the freezer.
I kid you not…. we removed 16 frozen water bottles from the freezer.
Yes…. all mine.
What happens is this… I bring in water to work with me and put them in the freezer. And yes, I become busy forget about them and come in the next day this new water (after all, yesterdays is frozen!) and put that in the freezer….
and yes, forget about them.
I am trying to break the habit…
there is worse things I could do right?
Busy day today – prepping for a HUGE garage sale this Saturday at church. I have been working to “spring clean” my home as well as help organize the sale items coming in. Its going to be great… but the end of the weekend I suspect I am going to be wiped out 🙂
Summer was here and 16-year-old Adrienne Haus’s best friend was off with her family for summer and Adrienne was left at home stuck with her knee in a brace. Adrienne’s mom signed them both up for a mother daughter book club to give them something they could do together.
Popular girl Cee Cee was signed up for the book club as well with her mother after Cee Cee ruined the family car and had her summer trip to Pris cancelled as a result.
Jill and her mother joined as well, as did a quiet outcast of a girl names Wallis who’s mom never was available to join in.
The four girls were not friends, instead they referred to themselves as “literary prisoners” and named the group “The Unbearable Book Club”. Yet through the summer, and through the discussion of 5 books…
anything can happen.
Why did I choose this book? Honestly, two reasons, one was, I am always drawn to books with certain words in the title. ‘Book Club’ happens to be one of those catch words for me. Second reason, the audio length. This book on audio is just over three hours and I wanted something light and fun.
The Unbearable Book Club is both light and fun. Some of my favorite parts in the book was when the girls would discuss the book they were reading… (honestly it drove me to the internet so I could look up some of the titles!) Yellow Wallpaper, Frankenstein, The Left Hand Of Darkness, The House On Mango Street, and The Awakening. Quite the selection of books for one summer.
While the girls were not written very deep, I did like their differences in personalities which lends itself well to the book. Perhaps my favorite character is Adrienne’s single mom who never married or discusses Adrienne’s dad, but works hard at having a good relationship with her daughter. She is both patient and witty and puts up with a lot of teenage (
dare I say crap?) angst throughout this read.
The book is not perfect – the books they read as a group surprised me a bit, a couple of them quite mature for the age of the girls reading them. There are a few things left unfinished in the book and while I loved the narrators bubbly voice, I found her voice to seem younger than the teenage girls she was portraying.
Overall, it makes for a good “sit on the deck with a cold glass of ice tea and dont take too seriously” read. It is quick and at times delightful, and when I thought I knew for sure how it was going to end it surprised me. I like to be surprised by a book. 🙂
Hey there! Welcome to 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. Fair warning… this meme tends to add to your reading list!
I am wiped out! What a wild weekend and not so much physically but well… on Saturday I participated in the Deweys read-a-thon until hour 17. It was a lot of fun to chill and read and participate in the on line mini challenges. Then Sunday I left in the morning to participate in a benefit dinner for Camp Benedict, the camp I support. I came home around 4:30 this afternoon kind of wiped out. I am writing this post and then digging back into a book I wish to finish.
Here is what I posted this past week:
The Martian by Andy Weir (the best audio I have listened to in a while – WOW!!!)
My Dewey Readathon update post (if you are curious of some of the things that happen during a readathon this would be a post to read. 🙂 )
I have an MSBike Ride coming up in June, if you would like to help sponsor me that would be awesome… every dollar helps 🙂
I have quite a few reviews to write from the readathon and a few I have been holding on to for May.
Here is what I plan to listen to and read this week:
For My Ears:
We weren’t always like this. We used to be average New York City high school sophomores. Until our homeroom went for flu shots. We were prepared for some side effects. Maybe a headache. Maybe a sore arm. We definitely didn’t expect to get telepathic powers. But suddenly we could hear what everyone was thinking. Our friends. Our parents. Our crushes. Now we all know that Tess is in love with her best friend, Teddy. That Mackenzie cheated on Cooper. That, um, Nurse Carmichael used to be a stripper.
Since we’ve kept our freakish skill a secret, we can sit next to the class brainiac and ace our tests. We can dump our boyfriends right before they dump us. We know what our friends really think of our jeans, our breath, our new bangs. We always know what’s coming. Some of us will thrive. Some of us will crack. None of us will ever be the same.
So stop obsessing about your ex. We’re always listening.
I’m Adrienne Haus, survivor of a mother-daughter book club. Most of us didn’t want to join. My mother signed me up because I was stuck at home all summer, with my knee in a brace. CeeCee’s parents forced her to join after cancelling her Paris trip because she bashed up their car. The members of “The Unbearable Book Club,” CeeCee, Jill, Wallis, and I, were all going into eleventh grade A.P. English. But we weren’t friends. We were literary prisoners, sweating, reading classics, and hanging out at the pool. If you want to find out how membership in a book club can end up with a person being dead, you can probably look us up under mother-daughter literary catastrophe. Or open this book and read my essay, which I’ll turn in when I go back to school.
For My Eyes:
A.J. Fikry, the irascible owner of Island Books, has recently endured some tough years: his wife has died, his bookstore is experiencing the worst sales in its history, and his prized possession–a rare edition of Poe poems–has been stolen. Over time, he has given up on people, and even the books in his store, instead of offering solace, are yet another reminder of a world that is changing too rapidly. Until a most unexpected occurrence gives him the chance to make his life over and see things anew.
I still have books to finish from last week so that’s where I am at 🙂 Now I am curious what are you reading and listening to? Please add your Its Monday What Are You Reading post link below where it says click here.
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Recently I was reading an article written by the Huff Post called True Life: I am a Book Club Drop Out. I am always drawn to topics on this as I am actually floored by how many times I head that a book club fails. When I chat about our book club here on-line many of you share with me your desires to be part of a book club but can not find one, or you share a group that you were once in that just could not pull it together. Through the years the main reasons I have heard for book club fail are:
- Not committed to the read (the book is supposed to bring them together but they never read the book)
- No one wants to take the lead and drive the conversation
- The meetings become more of a social time and those that really want to talk about the book fade away
- Too structured, no snacks, no extras, no fun
- personality clashes, you can’t agree on how your time should be spent so the group implodes.
- People who do not read the book, had no intention of reading the book, and month after month have nothing to contribute to the discussion. (While one in your group may not be a deal breaker, a few of them could be) *this is taken from a Barnes and Noble Article called why book clubs fail
- Your book choices do not encourage discussion. If you do not strive to pick books that will create conversation beyond “ooh the protagonist was cute!” (not that that is wrong 😉 ), your book club will become b-o-r-i-n-g fast.
- One person always chooses what is read so you never branch away from the one persons tastes.
- The group is just not interesting enough for people to fit it into their already busy schedules of work, kids, family, commitments…
- poor location – restaurants can become too loud to talk, home meetings require people willing to open up their home and have an environment that works for discussion
- Not valuing each others opinions on the books. You do not have to always agree, but you do need to respect each others thoughts.
Am I am expert on successful book clubs?
No. I am simply someone who had an idea for a book club and the right people came along to support it. I honestly believe it is our group as a whole that makes us successful. We have had the bumps in the road…we are probably at one time or another guilty of everything I listed above. The difference I believe, is that we adjusted and we moved on.
It was not always easy.
I remember one particularly heated book club meeting from many years ago. The book was My Sisters Keeper by Jodi Piccoult and the discussion became pretty hot at the end of the night about the decisions that were made in the book. We had just went through a growth spurt in our group and I was still learning how to juggle the dynamics of a growing book club. I remember leaving the meeting and calling one of my friends who was also in the book club but was unable to make it that night. “I think we may have just discussed the book that killed book club” I said to her, and I was worried that it was true.
Since then we have had similar discussions over a read where someone may get emotional but the cool thing is, we have learned to grow together and appreciate each others thoughts and opinions more. It’s actually a beautiful thing to watch a group discuss a book openly without fear of retaliation or disapproval and some our deep discussions are my favorite memories of book club.
So lets discuss what makes a book club THRIVE. I do have friends on-line and off who are in book clubs and when I hear how they do their groups, I am thrilled to see that they have a plan that can succeed. Here are some thoughts on successful book clubs:
- Have someone in charge of sending out email/Facebook communications to your group regarding the book, the time, the place… these reminders are great!
- If your group is on Facebook – create a group page. This way you can send out reminders as well as discuss bookish things. This is a great way to continue a discussion after a meeting and those that were unable to attend can chime in.
- Don’t make it a lot of work for people to attend. If you do food and drinks keep it simple and rotate the people who bring something. Don’t give “home work” unless it is optional. If you think it would be fun to dress the decade of the read, put it out there and those who wish to… do it. 🙂
- Someone needs to lead the discussion. This can be the same person every time, or it can switch off each time you meet up but someone needs to bring discussion questions or topics and direction to your meeting.
- Everyone should have a chance to suggest a book or a turn at choosing a book. However you make that happen. We vote each month on suggestions that members bring to the meeting, other groups rotate who hosts and decides. Whatever works for your group.
- Ask the hard questions. Books bring up topics that are sometimes hard to discuss… for our group, this has led to some of our best discussions. Bring up the questions, if no one shares, move on… but give people an opportunity to share something about how they feel about what they read.
- Do not be afraid to rabbit trail. Books can open up personal stories and that is good. Sometimes I love to just sit back and watch the conversation flow around the book. I have learned so much about those in group when they share how they connect with a book.
- Don’t go too long! A good discussion from start to finish is around the 1 1/2 to two-hour mark. Value people time and know that some may need to work in the morning or still do things when they get home. Our group is currently around that two hour mark and that includes time to eat and chat with each other.
- Pick a size that works for your group. (We learned this the hard way.) Agree as a group how many members you will grow to (if you decide to accept new members along the way). This eliminates awkward discussions when you accept one persons cousin into the group but three months later turn down a members sister due to your group becoming too big. If you settle on a number, everyone will know where you are at.
- Its fun to encourage the little extras – looking up author info, having an author SKYPE, eating foods that surround the books culture or foods that are in the book, dressing up, going to a movie that was based on a book you read, occasionally attending a bookish event together that is in the area.
- If you are the discussion leader, think of something extra to add to your discussion – perhaps pictures of the time period, or try a new recipe that was mentioned in the book, artifacts, culture….
One thing that seems to be true, as the article mentioned, we want to be social. We want to bring our friends and hobbies into the same space.
I would love your thoughts on this topic, please add your thoughts on hits and misses for book clubs. How do you feel a good book club sustains life?
Good morning! Happy Sunday! Hazah! (I don’t know why I said that). I made it to hour 17 yesterday of the Dewey Read-A-Thon (HAZAH!). Not bad for someone who decided to participate at the last-minute. 😀
I listened to two audio books and started a third. I finished one book. The reason so much audio is because I could participate in the mini challenges while listening, and cook and do other things while listening. It actually worked out wonderfully. You will see those reviews up this week.
As for what came in this week, I am in audio heaven. I finally have a few great audio contacts that keep me moving forward in my listening. Thank you audio peeps!!! I can not even tell you how excited that makes me.
One Safe Place by Tania Unsworth – audio
Chestnut Street by Maeve Binchy – audio
Along with the Read-A-Thon yesterday I mentioned I was reading for charity and listed MS as that is what I am raising money for now for the bike ride I will be completing in June. I was contributing by page count and minute count and I invited you all to feel free to sponsor my reading as well.
I wound up between my reading and those of you who sponsored me (Thank you!) with a total of $107.80 for MS! HAZAH! (There’s that word again!)
The winner from the people who sponsored me is: Christina who will get to choose from one of the books I offered yesterday.
And now I must get ready. I am helping with a benefit dinner today for Camp Benedict that starts at noon. I am heading now to help with the set up and will be back late afternoon.
Have a super Sunday! Readathoners rest up today, or as I see today is overcast and rainy here… maybe I will come home to read my book. 🙂
This post is where I will update my participation in todays read-a-thon. (See my intro post and why I am reading today in the sticky post above this one – just click on home or the Book Journey header and it will take you there 🙂 ) Most current info will be at the top:
I started at 7:00 am central time
current update time: 6:59pm
Current pages read: 72
Current audio listened to: 420 minutes
Currently Reading: The Storied Life of A F Fickrey by Gabrielle Zevin
Listening to: The Fault In Our Stars by John Green ♥♥♥♥♥
Books/audio completed: WOO HOO!!!
Sleep Donation by Karen Russell
1. What are you reading right now? The Storied Life of A J Fikry
2. How many books have you read so far? 2 1/2
3. What book are you most looking forward to for the second half of the Read-a-thon? not sure yet… I have quite a pile here 😉
4. Did you have to make any special arrangements to free up your whole day? Nope – just turned out I could stay at home and hubby was gone all day.
5. Have you had many interruptions? How did you deal with those? No, went to town once to get dinner but listened to audio on the way
6. What surprises you most about the Read-a-thon, so far? Nothing really, it has been very relaxing
7. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year? Nope – everyone is doing fantastic.
8. What would you do differently, as a Reader or a Cheerleader, if you were to do this again next year? Asa reader I would consider getting away to a hotel or to our cabin to have complete quiet. I have two bouncing dogs here that have been a bit nutty chasing each other around the house.
9. Are you getting tired yet? Nope
10. Do you have any tips for other Readers or Cheerleaders, something you think is working well for you that others may not have discovered? Not really – I have played many roles in the past read a thons and I think everyone is doing an awesome job.
When our book club read Reconstructing Amelia I was in charge of a main dish. In the book, Amelia’s favorite place to eat was Hibachi. I figured why not? So I did a little research and made a delicious Hibachi dish. Here is that recipe:
4-6 skinless chicken breasts
1 large onion sliced
3 -4 Zucchini Squash
2 yellow squash
3 cups mushrooms (I bought the pre sliced from the produce area of the grocery store)
2 cans drained bean sprouts ( or 3 cups fresh)
2 colored peppers (I used red and yellow – these are optional)
salt and pepper
Slice chicken into bite size pieces and set aside.
Take the mushrooms and slice into bite size pieces and set aside.
Slice the onion, squash, and peppers into strips of bite size pieces, keep separate from the mushrooms.
Place a tablespoon of olive oil in two separate large fry pans. Over medium high heat heat the oil in both pans. In one pan place the chicken, in the other pan place the vegie mix of onion, squash and peppers. Place 1 tablespoon of soy sauce and 1 tablespoon of butter over the chicken. Add salt and pepper. Place two tablespoons of soy sauce and a tablespoon of butter over the vegies. Saute the vegie pan while occasionally stirring the cooking chicken pan.
When chicken is done (about 8-10 minutes), vegies should be done as well. Take the vegies off the hot burner and set aside. Take the chicken and slide it to one side of the pan sprinkling it with a little lemon juice and then sprinkle on sesame seeds over the chicken. In the other half of the pan place a tablespoon of butter and as it melts stir in the mushrooms. Put a little soy sauce over the mushrooms. When mushrooms are cooked, mix it with the chicken and add the rest of the vegies from the other pan. gently toss the mixture over medium heat for a couple of minutes.
Place chicken vegie mix into a large serving pan.
In the pan you just used for the chicken and vegie mix, place a tsp of olive oil and toss in the bean sprouts until they are hot. place the bean sprouts on top of the chicken mix in the serving pan.
Serve hot with the Hibachi Sauce.
Cheer for Read-A-Thon! It builds community!!!
Best Sci Fi book – The Martian (wow oh wow!)
Best non fiction – Love Life by Rob Lowe
Best fiction – Me Before You by Jo Jo Moyes
Best mystery – Missing You by Harlan Coben
Hour 5 Mini Challenge – Book Puzzle (here is my effort) 😀
Name that book? This is one I am reading today. Here is the answer if you want to see if you were right.
Please remember that I am reading/listening for charity today – I am doing a 150 mile bike ride in June to raise money for MS, please consider donating to my efforts by using this link here. I am giving away a book (above post) out of those who contribute to this important cause. Every dollar helps 🙂
Happy Dewey’s Read A Thon!
I did not decide until last night that I was doing this so hang on while I catch up. 🙂 I had a conflict today – a run actually that was going to keep me from this, however poor weather in the area stunted my training for this one, and it was supposed to be cold and rainy today so my friend and I had made the decision not to do the run.
And of course… it is sunny and not a cloud in the sky.
But no matter! Once I wrapped my head around the idea of doing the read-a-thon, I became really excited. I usually participate with helping with the mini challenges, or hosting, or cheer leading or a combo of all I just mentioned… and due to my lack of commitment… I get to just participate.
I kind of feel like Katniss today.
I did mention I was reading today for Charity. There are a few charities I connect with through the year and this time of year I am usually raising funds for the MS 150 mile bike ride I participate in this June. I ride with a group that raises money for MS. If you look at my support page you can read more about it.
My personal contribution I will make to this cause today is:
$1.00 for every 10 pages read
$1.00 for every 10 minutes of audio listened to
A bonus $5 per each book finished
Every comment on a Dewey post today (here) I will add 25 cents to the total.
I would LOVE your support on this reading day for MS. If you feel called to contribute to this cause, please go to this page and click on donate. I appreciate your consideration, and each person who donates to me through this read-a-thon will go into a drawing for one of the following books (your choice):
I will announce final totals for reading and for contribution to MS through this read-a-thon in the morning.
Here are the official kick off questions. All other updates and mini challenges I participate in will be in the post below this one for the rest of the day.
1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today?
2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to?
Hmmmm….. since I just made the decision last night to participate, I relaly do not have a stack… I do hope to tackle today the end of Jane Eyre which is a book I started over a year ago and have not returned to yet.
3) Which snack are you most looking forward to?
Again, I am a poor preparer so at some point today I will have to run to the store, while listening to audio of course. 🙂
4) Tell us a little something about yourself!
I have blogged about books here at Book Journey since June of 2009. I am an avid reader, biker, rollerblader, and want to be runner. I LOVE hanging out with family and friends and being a part of whatever is new exciting and a little bit crazy.
5) If you participated in the last read-a-thon, what’s one thing you’ll do different today? If this is your first read-a-thon, what are you most looking forward to?
I am hoping to get in some good reading time! I usually get distracted my the mini challenges and all the fun and I like to visit other participants too but I am going to try to stay in the books today…
Carpe book people. Carpe book.
All other updates and mini challenges I participate in will be in the post below this one for the rest of the day.
Mark Watney was part of an epic win for mankind. He was one of a group of astronauts that were the first to land on the planet Mars. Congratulations were short-lived when a dust storm comes up flinging the crew about like sheets of paper. Mark was struck hard by debris and the team makes an emergency evacuation of Mars feeling certain that Mark is dead.
But Mark is not dead.
He is however left on a planet with no way to communicate to earth that he is alive, and left with a hab that will possibly keep him alive for a month or so, a tent that was left behind, a land rover that may or may nor work and no plans for another team to come to Mars for about 4 years.
Mark is screwed.
For his own sanity he starts a log of what he is doing with his time and how he is making do with what he has for someone many years from now to find and hopefully learn from…. or at least know how Mark lived his last days… or how he died…
I knew about ten minutes into this audio book version of The Martian that I was in for something special. Narrated by R C Bray I found myself laughing at Mark’s quick whit in a bad situation. He just takes things in stride.
Narrator R.C Bray engulfs the very soul of Mark Watney. His snarky tones kept me so engaged.
Our protagonist Mark is like “MacGyver on Mars”. Using what little supplies he has he discovers ways to stretch his food and water supplies, and finds some entertaining items from the packs that the other crew members left behind in their hurry to evacuate. …. it was AWESOME to listen to.
I want to GUSH all over this one but at the same time I do not want to give anything anyway so I am going to simply encourage you to get your hands on this book or audio and enjoy the ride. Be ready to hold your breath one minute, and laugh out loud the next….. you are in for a good GOOD time.
What makes a “Best of 2014” read? A book / audio book that grabs me from the get go and keeps me engaged all the way through. A book I would without hesitation recommend to anyone looking for a good read or listen. ~Sheila
Good morning! How ya all doing? Anyone out there with book hangovers from Wednesday night? I have a bit of a headache but that has been holding on for two days… more sinus (thank you Minnesota cold and rain and oh yeah… SNOW yesterday) than book hangover…
Wednesday was World Book Night and I just want us to take a moment and really think about that. (Seriously… take a moment… I will wait.)
As Thursday mornings Shelf Awareness states:
The third annual World Book Night U.S., held yesterday, was the biggest ever: more than 29,000 givers distributed some 580,000 copies of 39 titles to new or light readers. Each giver handed out 20 copies of one of the books, a range of adult and YA titles that included some of the most popular titles of the past few decades and included, for the first time, a graphic novel as well as a Spanish-language edition, several large-print editions, a collection of poems, Shakespeare’s complete sonnets–a title for just about any interest.
Across the country, givers picked up their books from libraries and bookstores–many independents, Barnes & Noble and Books-A-Million stores hosted celebratory parties–and then fanned out to hand out the free books at a wide variety of locations, including schools, hospitals, transit centers, nursing homes and shelters.
Isn’t it exciting to live in such amazing times? 29,000 people around the world participated in handing out these special books with special world book night covers to people everywhere!
I was able to participate with our Local Brainerd Public Library being a pick up spot (woo hoo!!!!) and I split a box with Laurel who works there so we each had ten copies of Code Name Verity and Ranger’s Apprentice. Both YA reads and she and I both enjoy YA books very much.
Where did I go?
I went to our local hospital and handed them out to people as they entered or exited the building – looking to target (that sounds so hitmanish….) teens and upper middle grade readers. I also went to a coffee shop and to the Senior Center where they sell doughnuts to the public. Both books would be excellent to encourage more reading. In fact, Ranger’s Apprentice is book one so hopefully our young readers will search out the next one…
Did you participate in World Book Night? If so what book did you have and where did you hand the books out?