Author Archives: Sheila (Book Journey)

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


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

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

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

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

Some Authors are like Super Heroes…

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

*Gulp*

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

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

Yeah.

So without further ado… Kiss Carlos.

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

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

 

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

 

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


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

`Sheila

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

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

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

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

For Gilmore Girls Fans… a must.

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

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

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

come on people this one needs to be on audio. 

 

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


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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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Morning Meanderings… Up Close and Personal With Lorna Landvik

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

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

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

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

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

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




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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

recommended by Book Journey.

 

Morning Meanderings…. MUCH Bookness Today #BEA3


Happy Monday.  Well… Monday anyway… yeah.

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

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

THEN….

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

BUT WAIT….
There’s MORE!

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

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

Check.  ;P

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

Come on… how do you pass that up?

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

The To-Hell-And-Back Club by Jill Hannah Anderson

Jill Anderson is a Friend of the Brainerd Public Library, on the Wine and Words committee, and a personal friend of mine…  I can not be more thrilled for her and her first book as well as having the chance now to share it with all of you.

~Sheila

Peyton Brooks has plans for her life now that her youngest has graduated.  She has left that her life has been put on hold for years and now – finally she feels that she can start her life by moving on from her marriage that has never even held a spark.

When tragedy strikes, taking away those that Peyton was closest to, she is left reeling.  How do you go on when your support team is no longer there?  How do you even breath when all you want to do is wish that you were gone as well?

The Hell and Back Club seems to hold the answers.  Connected to a group of women who have their own personal hell, Peyton starts to learn to deal with not only the present situation, but also the past in ways she never dreamed possible.  Yet just as she seems to think she is moving forward in small ways, she uncovers secrets about her friends that spirals her downward again….

This was my travel book when I went to the Book Expo this year.

How much can we really know anyone?  Even those closest to you can be holding on to the deepest and darkest of secrets…  and Peyton needs to come to terms with her own as well.

This is one of those books that I look at and think, why didn’t I think of that?  While this book hits on a hard topic for me, Jill Anderson did an amazing job of covering details and hitting on the emotions involved in such a story.  I was impressed by the details and the strong emotions that I felt as the story line unfolded.  Always a fan of books about friendships and strong women, I found The To Hell And Back Club to be a book that had this in spades.

As each character was flushed out I could see how they all fit into Peyton’s life and why.  Living in the area that Jill talks about in this book, I loved being able to visualize the places the group frequented and the roads they traveled.

I highly recommend this book to fans of strong women and  friendships.  I believe this would make for a great book club read as there is so much to discuss about friendships, and tragedies, and the moments that change us forever.  I am so excited to read the next book that Jill writes and see where that takes me!

Jill and I at a recent event

 

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Morning Meanderings… Thirteen Reasons Why will be the discussion of the week


OMG you all… check it out.

Three days in a row…. crazy stuff.  😉

Its been raining off and on in Central Minnesota for days now it seems…  I woke up to a very wet deck and lawn… but the air feels like it is going to get HOT today…
Tomorrow evening is the June Books, Burgers and Brews discussion for June.  We are discussing Thirteen Reasons Why, the book over the Netflix series of course. Although I have been watching the Netflix series (started episode 11 last night) as well as I am sure I will have some in attendance who have read the book and watched the series, and probably some who have just watched the series.  While this will be a different discussion, I think it will be an important one.

I reviewed Thirteen Reasons Why in February of 2010.  I thought the book was very well done and hard to put down…so much in fact that six days later I interviewed author Jay Asher about the book.  Who knew seven years later this title would be known to many due to the Netflix series and apparently much negativity towards the series as they are saying it is glamorizing suicide.  I talked with a friend of mine who is a School Principal lately and he said this is true, letter have gone home to parents regarding this… one girl has gone even as far as to make the tapes….

My point in discussing this book tomorrow evening is most importantly, I am telling people do not judge the book by the series.  While I am finishing the book today to refresh myself on it as it has been seven years, I never once though it glamorized suicide.  Here I go again… preaching book over movie/TV.

Tomorrow also kicks off the Annual Children’s Book Sale for the Friends of the Brainerd Public Library.  We sell all the Children’s books for 25 cents each and there are some BEAUTIFUL books.  It is not about making money on this sale.  It is about putting good books in little ones hands.  I will be helping with the set up of the sale and may be there for the first hour but then will need to head over and set up for Books, Burgers, and Brews….

Yeah – tomorrow will be bookish… but in good ways.  🙂

Have you read Thirteen Reasons Why?  If so what did you think?  If you have watched the series what are your thoughts on that?

The Nest by Cynthia-DAprix-Sweeney (book and audio)


The Nest was read by book club The Bookies in May as well as was the May Books Burgers and Brews choice.  I listened to this on audio….

`Sheila

 

The Plumb family has their share of dysfunction with a capital “D”.  The adult Plum siblings struggle with many things including one another, so for the most part they just keep apart.  This is all fine and well until the oldest brother Leo gets himself in a little trouble with a waitress and a car accident that leaves the family loaded in bills…  bills that are paid with the nest egg that had been set aside for the Plumb children to each have a fair share once the youngest turns 40…

Each of the Plumb siblings have been waiting and banking at that money for different reasons…  some had big plans… others have already spend it just waiting for the money to be released to cover what they have done…

As the Plumbs scramble to figure our what to do they come face to face with many realities and hard facts as well as coming together in ways they had not done since they were children.

My book club The Bookies reviewed this in May.  There were mixed thoughts on the book but wonderful discussion on siblings and the dynamics of relationships as you grow and have your own families.  It was also interesting to discuss the nest egg, as what do we expect in todays day and age and how has that changed  in modern-day compared to many years ago.

This book was liked, but not loved – finding in some cases that each siblings story line at times felt choppy or unfinished as characters were introduced and then gone.
From the audio book perspective, I enjoyed Mia Barrows narration very much and feel that may have given me a better experience over those who read the book, although I do agree there were story lines I would have liked to have known more about.

As I mentioned, Books, Burgers and Brews also discussed this book.  Prairie Bay once again outdid themselves on a great menu to go along with our book discussion.  This discussion with around 27 people was much the same as The Bookies.  The book was liked, and there was much to discuss, but no one loved it.

As per tradition, Laurel and I always drink the drink special.  So here’s to you Leo.  Or here’s to you Plumb family….

How about you?  Have you read this book?  Do you agree with this assessment or did you have a different take away?

Morning Meanderings… Scraping in with Author Lisa Jewell #bookexpo2

Saturday!!!! My favorite day of the week!  I usually get to connect with friends…  and try to take this day as something at least partially for me…   a little reading or sitting in the sun…  and I try to avoid any work projects if possible.

In a little bit here I am going to go to town to get a spreadsheet for the books coming out (yes I am trying to be organized!!!)  as well as go try on a potential dress for next months annual Queen event.

Today I want to talk about another book that made its way home with me from the expo…

Hello to I Found You by Lisa Jewell.

In the windswept British seaside town of Ridinghouse Bay, single mom Alice Lake finds a man sitting on a beach outside her house. He has no name, no jacket, and no idea how he got there. Against her better judgment, she invites him inside.

Meanwhile, in a suburb of London, newlywed Lily Monrose grows anxious when her husband fails to return home from work one night. Soon, she receives even worse news: according to the police, the man she married never even existed.

Twenty-three years earlier, Gray and Kirsty Ross are teenagers on a summer holiday with their parents. The annual trip to Ridinghouse Bay is uneventful, until an enigmatic young man starts paying extra attention to Kirsty. Something about him makes Gray uncomfortable—and it’s not just because he’s a protective older brother.

Who is the man on the beach? Where is Lily’s missing husband? And what ever happened to the man who made such a lasting and disturbing impression on Gray?

 

OOH right?  I love a good mystery and Lisa Jewell’s books never disappoint.  I am looking forward to spending some time in this one.


Happy Saturday!  I hope you are listening to or reading something really really good!