Monthly Archives: December 2014

Good Night June by Sarah Jio – Audio Review

Sarah Jio, Goodnight June, Audiobook, Katherine Kellgren, Narrator, Book Journey

June Anderson is a professional.  Her job as Vice President of Finances at her bank is fulfilling and she has found that she has a gift for being able to close doors on struggling businesses saving her bank a lot of money.  It’s not personal, it’s business, is her motto and struggling mom and pop shops do not have a chance to win her over.

When June receives a letter that her beloved Aunt Ruby has passed away she is devastated.  Ruby owned a Children’s Book Store called Blue Bird Books in Seattle and June is surprised to learn that the store has been left to her.  Taking a planned short leave from her job, June heads to Seattle to plan the selling of the book store.  However, the quaint book store floods her with memories from her childhood… and June soon finds out that Ruby still has a few surprises for June as well.  Perhaps June’s future is not at all what she thinks.

 

 

What a beautiful listen!  I absolutely love books with book references and Goodnight June is filled with them.  Plant the setting in the center of a beloved book store and you have me hooked!  Reading this book was like spending a day with a dear friend. At the spa.  In Jamaica.  🙂

Goodnight June reminded me of the movie You’ve Got Mail, another struggling book store and every time I see the movie I cry when they have to close the doors.  In fact I tear up as I type this… egads… what a wimp!

The storyline is sweet and feels real in today’s economy and struggling small businesses.  Put a good-looking guy as owner of an Italian restaurant next to the book store and we have the makings of a pretty amazing read.

Sarah Jio is a fairly new author to me but one that I want to spend more time with.  This is my second book by her and I loved them both.  Narration of this audio book was by Katherine Kellgren and was a smooth fit. Kellgren had just the right mix of vocal skills to make this an excellent listen.  I do not think I have heard Kellgren’s narration before but found I enjoyed her very much.

 

 

  • Audible Audio Edition
  • Listening Length: 8 hours and 30 minutes
  • Program Type: Audiobook
  • Version: Unabridged
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.
  • Audible.com Release Date: May 27, 2014

 

 

Morning Meanderings… The Trip Unveil

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Good morning!  It is the Morning of New Years Eve and I am honestly happy to see 2014 go.  It was not an easy year and I am looking forward to a fresh year and see what it holds in its days.

One of the things I have been hinting a bit at is that my hubby and I are taking a trip.  And not just any trip, for us, probably the trip of a lifetime.  On January 5th we are going to Australia and will not be back until January 23rd!  It’s crazy not like us.  In fact we have not ever been on a vacation together without the kids.  I am torn between exhilaration and anxiety.

We will be heading to Sydney, staying a couple of nights there and then boarding a cruise ship on January 10th.  We have stops in Australia and New Zealand.  We are going with 4 other people and I will be sending pictures as I can and posting as I can.

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In the meantime, of course I am packing and planning, house sitters, dog sitters, wood stove sitters, and even…

blog sitters.

After the 5th, I have asked a group of regular chatters here on Book Journey to host a morning meandering.  I have had a positive response to this and am excited as their posts have already started coming in.  I think you will enjoy the visitors here at Book Journey… they will be nosing around my archives, chatting books and movies, and some will be sharing how we “met”.  It looks like it will be fun and I will pop in as I am available.

I am planning the books I will be taking and few real books will make this trip so I am planning on loading up the Kindle.  I suspect between the LONG plane rides and the sea time I will have plenty of time to enjoy books.

It’s all a little crazy for this small town girl. 🙂

 

This will also be the last day that you can send me your pictures of the first book that you will be reading into the New Year.  At this point you do not need to fill out the form to join.  If you want to be part of the “Reading around the world” collage, send a picture of you with your book today to:  journeythroughbooks@gmail.com and I will add you.  This New Years post will go up tomorrow morning.

 

Have a super last day of 2014!!!!

 

 

Confessions The Paris Mysteries by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro

Patterson, Confessions, Tand Angel, Book Journey

The Angel children all live with a relative in Paris now that their parents are dead.  While looking around their new surroundings, Tandi Angel finds boxes marked with her older sisters name, the sister who was killed.  Suspicious items found within these boxes makes Tandi question everything she thought she knew.. and wondering is she and her brothers are really safe at all.

 

First off… I clearly did not do my homework on this read.  I did not realize this was part of a series called Confessions. This left me feeling that I had been dropped into the middle of a story line.  By the time I enter this book, the Angel children’s parents are dead and it clearly feels that I am missing some back story… which I was.  🙂

I would say that even knowing I was missing part of the story line I do not feel this is a series I would have stuck with even if I had started with book one.  There are some very weird components to the book including mind altering drugs that were given to the Angel children by their parents.  Something they now try to avoid, but I am picking up some sort of “the kids were an experiment” vibe.  I found the direction the story was going in to feel choppy and I finished it mainly because it was a short listen.

Narrated by Lauren Fortgang who has a wonderful accent that fit well with the book.

Confessions is a YA series.

 

 

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Series: Confessions
  • Audio CD: 4 cds
  • Publisher: James Patterson -Young Readers; Unabridged edition (October 6, 2014)

 

Morning Meanderings… Archived! (and a bit about Libraries ;) )

 

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Good morning (or afternoon or evening depending on where you live).

Over the weekend I got it in my head that I was going to go through all my old posts and make an alphabetized page of all my book reviews for easy reference.  For the record… it was a bigger project than I had anticipated.  I worked on it in afternoons while listening to audio, and in the evening while watching movies, and off and on throughout the days…. and it took me three days to complete it.  It is however… done.

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While it was a LOT OF WORK (I have been reviewing since early 2009), it was also quite the walk through Book Journey history.  As I made my way into the older reviews I actually discovered a lot.

I had forgotten many of the older titles that I had once reviewed and was surprised by some of the earlier titles that I had accepted.  There were a lot of so-so books in the early years, but there were also great reads such as this one and this one . And this one.  Ok there were a lot. I also discovered that I have reviewed Harry Potter and The Sorcerer’s Stone between book and audio… 4 times.  Yes! 4 times! I interviewed many authors in the early days and almost every review had a giveaway.  I also read a lot more James Patterson and Kristin Hannah than I had thought.

 

Many of the books that I reviewed in the early days were my own, from the library, and often for book club. I used a lot of color in my writing then… blue, red, green… and I bolded my entire posts.  My first book sent to me from an author was Dragon House by John Shors.  It was an excellent read. My first book tour was a book called A Will To Love by Kim Smith and I used a little picture to represent the tour:

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Some of the non book review posts I ran into were the very first Morning Meandering was in August of 2009.  I also discovered that in 2009 I was signed up to participate on another Harry Potter Readalong!   I had also created a meme called Word Verification Balderdash (Ryan from Wordsmithonia will remember this one, he was great at it!)  We would create meanings for the fun word verifications we had found while commenting on blogs.  Some of them were hilarious!  My favorite non bookish post was one where I interviewed myself as the Wicked … err sorely misunderstood witch of Snow White (I have no idea why I did this and had actually forgot about it), the post is actually a bit funny…

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So over all the project was a success.  It was more work than I had anticipated but it was fun to go back through every post I have written.  I laughed and I eye rolled.  It was all good. 🙂

 

Before I go today I wanted to share another Library Challenge.  I had started a Library Challenge here for 2015 and forgot that Felicia from Geeky Bloggers Book Blog hosts one as well.  I would encourage those of you interested in the library challenge to take a look at hers too… in many ways they are the same (so its really no more work), but she has a cool link to join in a Goodreads group which is pretty cool.  Also… check out her challenge pic…. SO COOL.  I am joining in and will do this one along with my own challenge.  On hers I think I will go for Thrifty Reader which is a goal of 24.

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Harry Potter and The Prisoner of Azkaban by JK Rowling (#hpreadalong)

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Book 3 (already!) for the Harry Potter re-readalong.  It is now the summer before the 3rd year of Hogwarts.  Harry is once again at home with the Dursley’s nothing has changed… in fact now that they know that Harry is not allowed to perform magic outside of school, things have become a bit worse.  When things do go terribly wrong, Harry finds himself on his own trying to get to Diagon Alley two weeks before school starts and discovers there is a Knight Bus for witches and wizards in need.

When the third year begins Harry overhears that a recent madman has escaped from Azkaban, and for some reason he has his sights set out for Hogwarts, and more importantly Harry.  Dementors are now protecting the school… but not always the students.  While the teachers are over protective of Harry for this reason, they will not give him the details as to why this man would be coming after him.

Hogwarts for Harry….. NEVER easy.

Of course Harry is hanging out with Ron and Hermione again… a particularity tense year as Hermione now has a cat who really would like to sample Ron’s rat Scabbers.  Hermione also disappears a lot – returning usually looking disheveled and worried constantly about her studies.

It is a year of once again trying for the Quidditch cup,  avoiding Malfoy’s sneering and jeering, a new (yet familiar) magical creatures teacher, and of course yet another new Dark Arts Teacher.

Harry works hard to keep himself safe all the while worried about sighting of this man named Sirius Black.  Why would someone he had never heard of want to kill him?

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The Knight bus at Universal Studios Orlando

 

Inside of the Knight Bus

Inside of the Knight Bus – Universal Orlando

 

 

The Prisoner Of Azkaban is the first of the books where you start to feel that Harry is growing up a bit.  He is no longer a scared little newbie to the wizarding world and is growing into his own.  It is funny to think that I do not recall every really enjoying this book that much but found this time around that I really got into it.

Harry’s friendship with Ron and Hermione is solid… although Hermione causes quite a bit of drama in this book, they are still friends…angry friends, but not like in the first book where she cries in the bathroom and is attacked by a troll…. no nothing like that. 🙂  Harry also holds his own on the Quidditch field, an important part of the team he loves being the Seeker (you will see that even comes with trials this time around).

I think what I love the most about the book is the introduction of the Mauder’s Map and the 4 students who had created it.  This group of rebels that once ruled the school have passed their knowledge on and it is in Harry’s hands.  I love that so much and I love the connections that he has tot he map that he does not even know about.

Great introduction of key characters take place here as well… we are introduced to Sirius, Lupin, and even Peter….  (well played JK, well played).  This casual introduction will play out as the books continue.

I found this particular read to be so engaging I could not wait to get back to it.  Not sure if it is the season, the mood, or what… but I fully wanted to engage this magical works and not come out.  Feeling a little bit like Harry in the end, not ready to go back to everyday life… but knowing there is the promise of more to come.

This book was read for the Harry Potter re-readalong.  It is a delight to be reading and rereading these books with a group from all over the world! 

 

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

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Hello!  Welcome to It’s Monday What Are You Reading?  The meme that we use to share what we read this past week and what our plans are for the upcoming week.  It’s a great way to see what others are reading and add to your own To Be Read list. 😀  You never know where that next great read may come from!

Happy end of the year!  I hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas, and now we are on our way to the end of the year… I have to say I am looking forward to it, 2014 was not an awesome year and I am hopeful that 2015 will have a better flow to it. 🙂

Here is what I posted this past week:

 

Maze Runner Movie Thoughts

 

The Kindness Of Strangers by Mike McIntyre

 

Love Letters by Debbie Macomber

 

Still time to join in FIRST BOOK OF THE YEAR!

 

I wish I would have posted more this week, I have reviews I wanted to wrap up on by year end and I dont think I can fit them all in now 🙂

 

 

Here is what I have planned for this week:

 

For My Ears:

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Darcy Patel has put college on hold to publish her teen novel, Afterworlds. With a contract in hand, she arrives in New York City with no apartment, no friends, and all the wrong clothes. But lucky for Darcy, she’s taken under the wings of other seasoned and fledgling writers who help her navigate the city and the world of writing and publishing. Over the course of a year, Darcy finishes her book, faces critique, and falls in love.

Woven into Darcy’s personal story is her novel, Afterworlds, a suspenseful thriller about a teen who slips into the “Afterworld” to survive a terrorist attack. The Afterworld is a place between the living and the dead, and where many unsolved – and terrifying – stories need to be reconciled. Like Darcy, Lizzie, too, falls in love – until a new threat resurfaces, and her special gifts may not be enough to protect those she cares about most.

 

 

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Sarah Nickerson is like any other career-driven supermom in Welmont, the affluent Boston suburb where she leads a hectic but charmed life with her husband Bob, faithful nanny, and three children—Lucy, Charlie, and nine-month-old Linus.

Between recruiting the best and brightest minds as the vice president of human resources at Berkley Consulting; shuttling the kids to soccer, day care, and piano lessons; convincing her son’s teacher that he may not, in fact, have ADD; and making it home in time for dinner, it’s a wonder this over-scheduled, over-achieving Harvard graduate has time to breathe.

A self-confessed balloon about to burst, Sarah miraculously manages every minute of her life like an air traffic controller. Until one fateful day, while driving to work and trying to make a phone call, she looks away from the road for one second too long. In the blink of an eye, all the rapidly moving parts of her jam-packed life come to a screeching halt.

A traumatic brain injury completely erases the left side of her world, and for once, Sarah relinquishes control to those around her, including her formerly absent mother. Without the ability to even floss her own teeth, she struggles to find answers about her past and her uncertain future.

Now, as she wills herself to regain her independence and heal, Sarah must learn that her real destiny—her new, true life—may in fact lie far from the world of conference calls and spreadsheets. And that a happiness and peace greater than all the success in the world is close within reach, if only she slows down long enough to notice.

 

For My Eyes:

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Hazel Rose never dreamed that the murder mystery book group she and her friend Carlene started would stage a real murder.

Nevertheless, the normally composed Carlene is unusually angry and rattled one night during a book group discussion and dies after drinking cyanide-spiked tea. Despite a suicide note, Hazel is skeptical; Carlene never seemed suicidal—she was busy making plans for her future. Incidentally, Carlene was married to Hazel’s ex-husband, and Hazel has always suspected there might be something more to her past than she let on.

How much does anyone really know about Carlene Arness? And did she die by her own hand or someone else’s? Hazel begins a search for the truth that produces no shortage of motives, as she unearths the past that Carlene took great pains to hide. And most of those motives belong to the members of her very own book group…

 

 

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When Penny Farthing nearly dies, brilliant surgeon Calvin Warwick manages to implant a brass “Ticker” in her chest, transforming her into the first of the Augmented. But soon it’s discovered that Warwick killed dozens of people as he strove to perfect another improved Ticker for Penny, and he’s put on trial for mass murder.

On the last day of Warwick’s trial, the Farthings’ factory is bombed, Penny’s parents disappear, and Penny and her brother, Nic, receive a ransom note demanding all of their Augmentation research if they want to see their parents again. Is someone trying to destroy the Farthings…or is the motive more sinister?

Desperate to reunite their family and rescue their research, Penny and her brother recruit fiery baker Violet Nesselrode, gentleman-about-town Sebastian Stirling, and Marcus Kingsley, a young army general who has his own reasons for wanting to lift the veil between this world and the next. Wagers are placed, friends are lost, romance stages an ambush, and time is running out for the girl with the clockwork heart.

Cleaning up a few reads before the end of the year and then next week.. well, I have some news I will share soon 🙂

What are you reading/listening to this week?  Is this a good reading week for you with the holidays or is it a hard week to read with everything going on?  I will have a mix of quiet days and crazy days… but all should work out to a good week to read 🙂

Please add your What Are You Reading link below where it says click here:

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

 

For those who read mainly children and middle grade books please add your link here as well:

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Love Letters by Debbie Macomber

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Jo Marie Rose knows that summer is the biggest season for the Inn so she and handyman Mark Taylor have been working side by side to prepare everything.  While she and Mark has been friends for a while now, Jo Marie is surprised she knows little about Mark and decides that this will be the season when she finds out about this mysterious man.

Ellie Reynolds is coming to the Inn to meet a man she has been corresponding with for the past few months.  Eliie is frightened on her soon to be encounter but can not pass up this opportunity to meet someone she feels she may be falling for.

Maggie and Roy Porter’s marriage is in a rocky state.  The trip to the Inn is one that they are both hoping will possibly save their marriage.  Maggie is working hard to forgive Roy, but at the same time knows that has something she must confess that may destroy any chances they may have of putting their marriage back together.

What is it about writing words of love on paper?  And how can such letters for these people at the Inn change everything?

 

 

I used to read Debbie Macomber frequently many years ago.  I enjoyed the people you meet in her towns.  I found it brilliant how she created a series set around a town and named each book an address where you met the people within that household and how they interacted with the other characters you would meet book by book.

Love Letters took me back to that town I enjoyed reading about all those years ago.  This time centered around the Inn.  While Love Letters was sweet, it did not hold me like the earlier books had.  I found the relationships to feel forced and I never connected with any of them.

A pleasant read,yes, and fans of Debbie Macomber may find this book to be a great fit.  For me, my time in Cedar Cove may have passed, or perhaps it was just a bad visit and at some other time I may come back again.

 

Morning Meanderings… Sunday Books and Lyrics… Oh YEAH!

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Good morning!  Happy Sunday!  I am looking forward to a day of some projects, perhaps some reading, and even a little dancing.

First lets talk about the books that came to my home this week.  Hello books!

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The Housemaid’s Daughter by Barbabra Mutch

Salt and Stone by Victoria Scott

Walking On Trampolines by Frances Whiting

Cold COLD Heart by Tami Hoag

13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do by Amy Morin

 

AND I received a set of books for Christmas from my son:

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Yes!  The boxed set of The Harry Potter books with the new covers.  LOVE IT!  Smelled them all!

 

On another note, I posted a while back a post called Sweet Books Are Made Of This and Jill from Rhapsody In Books commented that I had put that song in her head.  And I thought… I can do better than that.  SO here is the music…. hit play and then sing/dance along to the new words below.  You are welcome Jill.  😀

Sweet Books

Sweet books are made of this
Who am I to disagree
I travel the world and the seven seas
Everybody’s reading for something

Some books just want to use you
Some books just want to get used by you
Some books just want to abuse you
Some books just want to be abused
Sweet books are made of this

Who am I to disagree
I travel the world and the seven seas
Everybody’s reading for something

Hold your head up, readin on, keep your head up, readin’ on
Hold your head up, readin’ on, keep your head up,readin’ on
Hold your head up, readin’ on, keep your head up, readin’ on
Hold your head up, readin’ on, keep your head up

Some books just want to use you
Some books just want to get used by you
Some books just want to abuse you
Some books just want to be abused

Refrain

 

LOL.  So that’s the extent of my limited talent for today.  Off I go!  Have an AWESOME Sunday!

Oh, and are you ready for the first book of the year?

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The Kindness Of Strangers by Mike McIntyre

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When Mike McIntyre found his job and life so far to be unfulfilled, he decided to make a move.  He steps away from his job, his home, and his girlfriend.  As an experiment in human kindness, Mike decided to hitchhike from San Fransisco to Cape Fear North Carolina with only his back pack.  He would take no money and accept no money along the way, only food and shelter.

The result was unpredictable.  Along the way Mike found his way on to a talk show.  He stays in homes of those who have nothing and those who have plenty, he spends time with drug addicts, abused and used people, families, and loners.  Many times he finds shelter in homes or in a tent.  A few times he battles the elements of weather.

Mike comes out of this experience as a changed man, one who knows more about the society we live in, the generous and the not, probably more than most of us do.

 

 

 

I didn’t love it.

When I picked up this audio I had visions of WILD and struggling through the elements trying to find yourself and that was not this listen.  AND maybe, that is my issue that I did not find it to be the hardship I was expecting, the life changing experiment… and that is on me.

What I did find was that for the most part people are still caring and generous.  Mike rarely goes hungry.  Often he is taken to homes for meals as well as out to restaurants.  Many times he accepts a meal just so not to be rude although he is not really hungry.  There are times he turns down food to take with him as he does not have the ability to carry it.

It was interesting to hear about the different people he stayed with, but I was turned off by some of the dialogue he included in the book.  I did not need to know about sexual escapades of those he stayed with.  I did not need to know about those who were hoping for a little more from Mike or his attraction to one of the women he stayed with.  I felt that took away form the main story.

I did find it interesting how the faith community reacted to him, where often he was not allowed to stay in the churches themselves, they usually offered him a place to stay including a few times, hotels.

Overall, I did not walk away from this one with any “AHA” moment.  I was also surprised to learn that this journey took place almost 20 years ago where I thought I was hearing about a recent journey.

 

 

  • Audible Audio Edition
  • Listening Length: 8 hours and 54 minutes
  • Program Type: Audiobook
  • Version: Unabridged
  • Publisher: Mike McIntyre
  • Audible.com Release Date: December 9, 2014

 

Morning Meanderings… Christmas, Weather, and A New Year Is Coming

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Good morning!  We made it to Saturday!  My house is quiet, the boys are gone, Al is out working, and the day is all mine.  LOVE days like this.  No agenda.  Nada.  I thought for Saturday Snapshot today we would take a peek at Christmas, but first… look at this shot out my front window this morning…

Central Minnesota - 12/27/14

Central Minnesota – 12/27/14

Yup.  Central Minnesota has no snow.  Some are complaining.  I get that there is no tubing, skiing, snowmobiling…  but to me it means there is no super cold, super wet, slippery roads, driveways to plow, sidewalks to shovel….   I’m good with this. 🙂

Christmas as I mentioned yesterday was lovely.  We had a great day of food and games and movies.  We opened gifts and hung out together.

PicMonkey Collage

Good times!  Now this week is fairly quiet but I have a big trip coming up soon so need to prep for that.  (More details to come!)

 

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For those of you participating in the First Book Of The Year (and I hope you all are!)  please send in your pic of you and the book by December 31s so I can prep the collage to go up on January 1st.  Details about first book are here.