Morning Meanderings… Signs of Spring


I love the early days of winters end. It’s not quite spring, yet you can smell that it is coming. The air is crisp yet inviting. There are moments when the sun hits you just right and you know…

spring is on the way.

It’s been a crazy week of Beta Testing recipes, heavy work loads, friend time, dog walking and book discussing. There were a couple of nights I did not head home until 7ish. Full days but not complaining – the opposite I know all too well does not work for me.

The above pic are the books that found a new home with me this week.

Cemetery Road by Greg Isles was gifted to me by a friend.

Goodbye Lark Lovejoy was a Goodreads win.

And…. The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton is one I stumbled on while browsing and could not let go of the synopsis:

Aiden Bishop knows the rules. Evelyn Hardcastle will die every day until he can identify her killer and break the cycle. But every time the day begins again, Aiden wakes up in the body of a different guest at Blackheath Manor. And some of his hosts are more helpful than others. With a locked room mystery that Agatha Christie would envy, Stuart Turton unfurls a breakneck novel of intrigue and suspense.

For fans of Claire North, and Kate Atkinson, The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle is a breathlessly addictive mystery that follows one man’s race against time to find a killer, with an astonishing time-turning twist that means nothing and no one are quite what they seem.

And…
there is a map.


And…
it is being picked up by Netflix.

So… I’m totally excited about this one.

Anything new books grace your doorstep/night stand/ mailbox/coffee table/shelves this week?

Inquiring minds want to know.

Happy weekend!

Sheila

Morning Meanderings… Taking My Hour BACK

I have never been one that struggles with Daylight savings time. You spring forward. You fall back. I did as well. My 6 am alarm goes off and I bounce out of bed like Tigger. I play 80’s music LOUD and I put away dishes, fold laundry, drink coffee, water plants and boogie around my house – eventually getting ready for work.

Until now.

This is the first time that I can recall that I woke up on Monday morning as my 6:00 am alarm went off and looked at the darkness.

Why? Just why?

For the last two days I have shut that 6 am alarm off and fell back asleep. I have had no desire to get up at 5 …errrr… 6 am when there is no sign of light yet. Or I have to turn on the closet light to take a picture that is not completely black so I can write this post that came to my groggy mind as I groped to shut off the alarm this morning thinking,


“I’m going to write about this insanity of getting up when it is still dark.”

And so here we are. Now 7:20 am… I really do need to get ready for work. Last night’s Books Burgers and Brews discussion of Whisper Network was good, review will come soon.

Happy Tuesday all. Do you struggle with Daylight Savings Time?

Morning Meanderings… The Whisper Network ZOOM Discussion

Hey all! Happy Monday! A quick plug for our ZOOM discussion tonight before I rush out the door to the job that lets-me-buy-the-things 😀

Whisper Network has been described as “The Firm meets 9 to 5”. That is pretty accurate. I think we are in for a good discussion this evening at 6 pm Central Time. The beauty of ZOOM is anyone can pop in – if you have read the book or not please feel free to join in and listen and see what Books Burgers and Brews is about. We would love to have you.
ZOOM LINK

Next month on April 19th we will be discussing The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead.

Enjoy your day!
~Sheila

Morning Meanderings: Inching Towards an In Person Book Sale

I had a wonderful opportunity yesterday morning to stop in to our book sale space at the local mall. Our Book Sale team has worked HARD this past year with moving the sale location twice, and coming up with unique ways to still accept the gently used books that are donated as well as connect people to great reads.
It started out with coming up with ways to “shop” on line through our website. Then more recently, they opened up the sale to people who schedule a time to come in – by doing this they are able to control how many people are in the space to shop through the books. The steps they have taken have helped our sale not become overrun with books coming in as donations and nothing going out.

What you are seeing above is my findings while at the sale space yesterday. I could have done more damage – but this was on my way to work. Before they go on my shelves I thought I would share my reason for these books in particular as I am certain you are seeing some familiar titles there.

My book room

So… this is my book room. On that antique desk you see is where I do most of my writing, working, etc… I love this room and love being surrounded by books. If you really investigated my shelves, you would definitely find duplicates. I call this “Book Rescue”, when you see a title you have read and loved and want to either

A) have it on our shelves or

B Have it or a duplicate of it available if anyone is looking for a good read.


I love having an extra copy that I can just give someone and I love being surrounded by books that speak to me. Often I think this library is not only for me, but for everyone… and isn’t that what a library should be?

So… the Meg Wolitzer book, The Interestings, I picked up because I LOVE LOVE LOVED her book, Belzhar.


Left neglected by Lisa Genova – Genova is an amazing author and I recommend everything she writes. Yes I have a hard cover copy of this one on my shelf… now I have a soft cover copy as well. Book Rescue. 😀

A Woman Alone by Nina Laurin – so so good. I listened to this on audio for a book club discussions last year. I did not have a book copy.

A Certain Age by Beatrice Williams – Beatrice Williams is another author to watch. I have read Along The Infinite Sea and A Hundred Summers and enjoyed them very much. I listened to Overseas on audio and now see I missed reviewing it… hmmm, may need to listen to again. 😀

Last Words by Shari J Ryan – you were probably starting to wonder if I grab a book that has no connection to me already….i.e. I have read the author before, already read it,; the answer is I do. The cover and synopsis grabbed me here.

Leota’s Garden by Francine Rivers. I read Rivers a long long time ago. I see I reviewed The Atonement Child, but did not review Redeeming Love which is INCREDIBLE. Seriously – check out the review count on Goodreads!

77 Shadow Street by Dean Koontz – Back in my early 20’s when my author pool was set to certain authors – I read everything Koontz wrote. I couldn’t wait for his next book to come out! I think my first read of his was The Funhouse and then there was no turning back. I have reviewed many Koontz books here, yet not the early ones before my blogging days. I still enjoy most of his books and I am excited for this one.

Artemis and The Martian by Andy Weir. I have read and reviewed both of these books. I did not think I had copies of them as I completed both on audio. Turns out I do have a copy of Artemis. Both excellent reads.

The Art Of Racing In The Rain by Garth Stein. Now a movie I don’t think I can watch, the book was fantastic. I don’t read a lot of dog books because honestly… they can be sad. This one – well, it is sad. And its also brilliant. I listened to it on audio in 2011 and I can still recall bawling in the bathroom as I was getting ready for work (fruitless really, I was crying so hard). I do have a copy of this book. Now I have two. Absolutely read or listen to this one. So so good. Book Rescue.

When You Are In Engulfed In Flames by David Sedaris. I started listening to Sedaris on audio in 2013 while painting this very book room. I laughed so hard and then went on over the next few years to continue to listen to him. Dry humor and so so funny. Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls, Me talk Pretty One Day, Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim, Naked and Theft by Finding.


Almost Missed You by Jessica Strawser. New author, new book to me. Picked it up on cover alone… then synopsis.

Beneath A Scarlet Sky by Mark Sullivan – This is our May Discussion book for Books, Burgers, and Brews. Gorgeous cover.

The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen. I could go on and on about Sarah Pekkanen. I won a trip to the Book Expo with her in 2010. When I looked through my archives here, I had to go back 4 pages of posts that I mention her in to get to the info about that win and to verify the year. I love her books and her partnership with Greer. For the life of me I thought I had listened to this one on audio and se it in my audios however I cna not recall. Ahhh well, I have the book now. Opposite of Me, Skipping a Beat, These Girls, The Best Of Us. And now I feel like I am missing reviews. Need to catch up!

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. I know I know. I have read it. I have written a spoiler page to it so I could rant and rave (with almost 400 comments I think that is my wildest spoiler page). I compared the book to the movie.I created a fight club pitting Amy from Gone Girl against Rachel from Girl on The Train? Guess who won? It wasn’t a fair fight. Yes I already have a copy. Now I have two. Fight me. 😛



So that is my haul. Curious – are you a book reader and returner? A Library user? A gifter? A keeper of books and if so, what books qualify for the keep worthy? I always say – there are worse things I can do with my money….
~Sheila

The Vanishing Half by Britt Bennett

Desiree and Stella are identical African American twins born in the south in the 1950’s. Stella is light in color as opposed to her sisters darker coloring. At the age of 16, they run away together to St Louis, however soon separate with different thoughts on their own identity. Stella decided to live her life as white and non are the wiser. She marries a white man and has a white daughter. Desiree finds a man darker than she and has a dark skinned daughter. Living apart and with separate lives – will their worlds ever connect again?

You ever read a book you really really want to like – and just find it doesn’t click for you?

I read this for our Book Club and was looking forward to the book that was receiving positive attention and hitting best sellers lists everywhere. I listened to this one on audio, fair warned by a friend that it had a slow start – yet it never did connect for me.


At first I thought it was my attention (or lack there of) to it – its been busy around here and perhaps I was not in the right frame of mind to listen to a book. However many of the girls in my book club were saying the same thing I was- some from audio and some from book format, finding it hard to follow, dragging in parts, and disjointed.

Not all would agree. A couple of girls in the discussion found the book thought provoking, and still thinking of it long after the final page was turned. We did have a good discussion on the books title and how it was an appropriate fit.

My personal thoughts are that I found it interesting, but not a “WOW”. It held my attention, yet at the same time it felt that it jumped here and there and I would struggle to catch up trying to figure out how this was relevant. In the end – I finished, but I can not say I enjoyed the book. Good reads and Amazon have strong positive ratings on this book, clearly I am in the minority on this one.

If you have read the Vanishing Half, what were your thoughts on the book? I would love to hear them!

Morning Meanderings…. Books In Da House!!!

Happy weekend! Another wonderful weekend of yoga pant mornings and sipping coffee while planning out my day.
This past Tuesday we had our book club meeting here at my house to discuss The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett. While the book made for some interesting insightful discussion, it had some mixed ratings with our group of 16. That review will be posted later this morning.

One of the girls in our group (hi Angie!) has some solid connections to receiving books for our group. As we had not met in person for several months, she had a lot to choose from and through random drawings, we were able to chose books we would like to read. I wound up with:

Qualify by Vera NasarianI am pretty excited about this one. I could use a good Sci Fi/Fantasy read in my life 😀

Grounds For Murder by Tara Lush A cozy mystery setting with coffee? Mmmmmmm

Unfetted Journey by Gary Bengierooh another futuristic read… I miss these!

Truth Of The Matter by Jamie BeckGreat synopsis!

And….

Woman 99 by Greer Macallister – I ordered in this one as it is our book clubs April read. Greer is also one of our Wine and Words authors for 2021!
So that’s it…

Happy Saturday!

Morning Meanderings: New Books and Discussions

Happy Sunday! Hopefully you are all having a good weekend. Mine has been bonkers crazy and I am honestly a bit tired. I have officially been back form vacation in Alabama for one week today. I worked all week – went with friends to Detroit Lakes for a fun overnight of games, laughter, and good food, beat butt home early Saturday morning to work a full day doing weddings tastings and now today trying to catch up a bit on non profit happenings and not suck up my whole day with “to do’s”
Trying….The two books in the picture are books that came to my home this past week – both ordered while I was on vacation. My Favourite Daughter by Kaira Rouda is of course because I am so impressed with Kaira’s writing I want to read more. The Life She Was Given by Ellen Marie Wiseman showed up on a list of “must reads” I picked up on and besides being fascinated with the cover… the book sounds really interesting as well.

On Tuesday, my book club will be discussing The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett. I am still listening to this one on audio and will be curious to see what the Bookies think of it. The discussion will be taking place at my home which will be fun as we have been ZOOM meeting for some time now with an occasional face to face meet up and I am excited to have most of us in the same room together with real food and beverages! Our Books Burgers and Brews discussion of The Whisper Network will be next Monday, March 15th by ZOOM and all are welcome to join in on that discussion as it is an open book group. You can see the info on The Whisper Network on our website as well as our next two reads –
The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead discussion on April 19th
Beneath A Scarlet Sky by Mark Sullivan on May 17th.
Our Summer Additions will be posted soon.

That’s it for book updates and me. What are you reading?

Morning Meanderings… Invite to Join In The Whisper Network Discussion


How is it March already? I mean… its like a blink of the eye and we are into the third month of the year. I am starting to feel a little antsy thinking of all the things coming up that I need to get moving on as they will be here before I know it.

That said, we will be ZOOM discussing the book Whisper Network on March 15th through Books Burgers and Brews – an open book club to anyone who wishes to join in. We used to meet at a local restaurant (pre-covid) with up to 80 people showing up to discuss our book of choice – and now we are on ZOOM maintaining still about 25 to 30 people per month. The nice thing about ZOOM is, I can invite all of you form the comfort or your home and wherever you are to join in as well. Its actually a lot of fun and it would be great to see you!
Currently I am about half way through the book (thank you plane time) and its really hard to describe it. I heard somewhere it was referred to 9 to 5 meets … well I can not remember, however if you remember the movie 9 to 5 with Dolly Pardon…. well, then you know this book must be interesting…
so far so good.

I’m off… its a crazy work week…. I’m booking events and I love it.
You are so right, Ferris.
Have you read Whisper Network?


Morning Meanderings…Collagen Is NOT Tasteless

You can see the “essence” of collagen on the rim of my cup….

Recently I was in a conversation with some friends regarding self care. Collagen was a part of that discussion. One friend mentioned this Collagen product that you mix in your beverages and wallah – easy self care for your skin, hair and nails. I was in it to win it.

Or so one would think…

In Collagen’s defense, it’s not horrible… it simply has a slight “taste” to it like you know there is something is in your coffee… you are just not sure what. (Is it a sock??? Baby powder???) Sure I could take this in capsule form, I just felt that this was more streamline. You are supposed to take two scoops in the morning and again in the evening and I have not been consistent enough yet to say I notice a difference one way or another.

So there’s my collagen story. Admitting I have reached that age where I think about things that may better my appearance/health/over-all-being.
And gah….
I hate to admit it.

~Sheila

The Sometimes Sisters by Carolyn Brown

It is a familiar theme… something tragic happens that brings family back home to a place they never thought they would return to it not for the circumstances.
There is a reason this is a familiar theme – it works. ~Sheila

Sisters are not always close.


Dana, Harper, and Tawny may have been closer when they were younger. In the summer days they spent at their Grandmother Annie’s resort in Texas there were fond memories of laughter and swimming and sunshine. Yet that was years ago, and ten years have passed since the sisters have returned to the resort – and in that time each have had life happenings they would rather not share – even with family. Especially with family.

When, the news comes about Annie’s passing, the girls are summoned to the resort that they soon learn they have inherited with a few stipulations. Annie’s long time friend, Zed is there to help with the transition, but there is more to this new inheritance than the girls anticipated and Annie and Zed had a few surprises in store.



Why is it that I am always just putting on my makeup when I get to a part in an audio book that makes me cry?

The Sometimes Sisters on audio was the perfect listen as I prepared to go on vacation. A fun story that at moments tugs at the heart strings as three stubborn sisters find their way begrudgingly back into one another’s lives. While the story is a bit predictable and this story line has been done in many ways (someone passes away, someone inherits a home/place/ store… and has to return to their hometown to put things in order only to find that perhaps this is what has been missing all along…) it is still a valuable read that I thoroughly enjoyed.

I do not believe I have read this author before, however I will search out her books in the future. Her writing reminds me a bit of Mary Kay Andrews, Mary McNear, and Dorthea Benton Frank (to name a few) – all authors I have enjoyed sharing with my Aunt.

Have you read Carolyn Brown? If so what books would you recommend?