Morning Meanderings… I am only taking one book to BEA…. HELP!

Good Morning!


I woke up at 5:15 am this morning when my hubby got up to go to work.  After this many years I usually do not wake up anymore when he leaves but this morning I did, let the dogs out, let the dogs in… and decided that is WAY TOO EARLY to start my day and went back to bed.

Next thing I knew it was 7:45 am.

I never sleep that late.

Maybe my body knows that as of 4:00 p.m. yesterday afternoon… I am on VACATION!!! 


For the next 8 days I am a free agent….


well… I have a plan…

I am going to BEA.

Yup.  I leave Sunday late afternoon for the cities where I will meet my roommate for the duration of this event, Reagan (Miss Remmers Reviews).  Early (EARLY) Monday morning we will board a plane…. destination…. New York where we will hopefully see some of you, lots of authors, events, and oh yeah books.

Originally I had said I was only taking my NOOK.  I received this lovely little item from hubby for Christmas and I have barely used it.  I wanted it for trips so I would not lug my usual 8+ books (different genres for different moods… you never know….).  ANd the NOOK is going…. “Snookie” will be all charged up and ready to go, but one book…. ONE BOOK…

come on…

it’s tradition.  😛

So this morning I narrowed it down to 4 books and thought you could help me choose that book that will get the honorary spot in my carry on.  Each one is one I have been wanting to read and each one has sat waiting and waiting on me as I flitted to other reads, snubbing my nose at these patiently waiting books.

I read a review for True Murder at Amy Reads last year and thought it sounded amazing.  I immediately purchased it and then… found no time for it…. shelved it.

City of Bones was RAVED about by Amy P in my book club.  She read… her hubby Chad read it.  Her daughter Emily read it.  LOVED it and they have read the entire series now.  I bought the first book on her recommendation (as you see above that was a LONG time ago)…. set it out to read it… no time… shelved it.

Once Upon A Time There Was You by Elizabeth Berg is a library capture for my personal challenge to read everything Berg has written in 2011.

Stay was a hot item on the blogs a couple of weeks ago…. everyone was reading it… everyone was raving about it…. I grabbed it from my library and now as the time to return it ticks away it sits on a tall pile of other disgruntled library books that all feel their time could have been spent more wisely in the hands of someone who was actually going to read them.  *gulp*

So there are the choices.  I would love to hear which one you think should earn the coveted spot and trip to New York with me.  😛

(As for my day… wow… you would not believe how long it took me to write this post between…. dogs out, dogs in…. COFFEE making, oh – dogs want out again…. I stare at the sky – it’s going to be nice today, oh I made oatmeal, dogs in, Elmo breathing funny (he is old), I watch Elmo for a while, get ready in case we have to run to the Animal hospital down the road, pick out books to decide on for this post, take picture, edit picture on Picnic, write an email….. LOL)

Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston (Audio and Movie Review)

Janie Crawford is a beautiful free-spirited Southern Black girl in the 1930’s.  With her parents long dead, Janie is raised be her grandmother.  At sixteen she is seen kissing the neighbor boy, Johnny Taylor.  Her grandmother, in fear that Janie will wind up being treated like a mule for some man, she arranges for her to be married to Logan Killicks, a man in his 60’s who is looking for a wife to help him take care of his farm.

Janie wants more from life so when opportunity comes literally knocking at her door she runs away with a man she just met and becomes Mrs. Joe Starks.  She soon finds out that to Joe she is a trophy wife and therefore must act as such.  Soon Janie feels trapped again.

And so the story goes on – when something happens to Joe, Janie again finds herself a free woman, but not with finances to back her up.  When a drifter who goes by the name of Tea Cake comes to town Janie finds herself attracted to this mysterious man.  The two eventually become man and wife and their life together really is what makes this book.

Here is yet another read I would probably not have picked up.  When I found it on the sale list at I thought this may be a good time to try this one and I am so glad I did.   If you have not experienced this book on audio then you are truly missing out.  The rich southern voice of narrator Ruby Dee was a treat to listen too.  Ruby mastered the voices from deep male, to the young voice of Janie.

The book impressed me.  It is a deep love story that I wasn’t anticipating, and maybe that made me appreciate it all the more.  Janie and Tea Cake make some of the modern-day literary couples look dull in comparison.  And all that is from the book…

just wait until you add the movie.

I had timed my finishing of the book with the arrival of the movie from Netflix.  I wasn’t sure what I thought I would find in this movie…but it wasn’t this.  Halli Berry is the perfect person to play Janie.  She is a beautiful woman, just as Janie was described and she was the image of the free-spirited girl that I had read about. 

If I thought the love story was touching in the book… on the screen, seeing the great love between Tea Cake and Janie was heart wrenching – and this from a person who does not read romance!  I was so touched by the their story again… even as fresh as it was in my mind from just hours before ending the book…

I highly recommend both.  Definitely do not miss out on this great novel and movie.

My 2011 WHERE Are You Reading map has been updated to include Their Eyes Were Watching God

I purchased the audio from

The movie was rented from Netflix

Morning Meanderings…. Books For Breakfast

Good morning!  😀

This past Monday on the Monday What Are You reading Meme, Sarah from Puss Reboots mentioned she was having coffee and Manga in the morning.  I don’t know why , but that sounded as good as my morning oatmeal…. maybe even better.

Never one to back down from a personal challenge, I thought maybe this is about the time that I should try Manga.  I have never read it…. honestly… I was not even 100% sure what it was.  😯

So… Tuesday afternoon I made my way to my local library and back to the graphic novel section.  I stood in front of these books feeling incredibly out of place.  Honestly… I was not even sure what I was looking for.  I picked up random titles and thumbed through them…. a couple teenagers passed by me slowly but I continued to pretend I knew what I was doing. 

Were all graphic novels manga? 

Then I seen on a couple books where it actually said Manga! I picked them up and flipped through them…. they looked much like the other graphic novels except I found out a lot about Manga really fast in the front of one of the books:

1.  Manga is (are?) Japanese books written in an almost cartoon or graphic style format.

2.  Manga reads right to left, the opposite of the way that we all learned to read..

First of all, most manga is read from RIGHT TO LEFT, not left to right. Speech bubbles, words and sound effects are also read from right to left.

3.  You start at the back of the book and read forward.

Wow…. a literary workout.

SO…. in honor of my Manga attempt, I am having Manga for breakfast this morning.  COFFEE CUP is at hand and a dose of Manga to start my day…

I will let you know soon how I felt about Manga.  Will it become a breakfast staple?  An occasional treat?  Or will I find it not to my liking? 

Have you read any Manga?  If so, what was it and did you like it? 

Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter by Tom Franklin

It’s Mississippi in the late 1970s, Larry Ott and Silas “32” Jones were boyhood pals. Their worlds were as different as night and day: Larry, the child of lower-middle-class white parents, and Silas, the son of a poor, single black mother. Yet for a few months the boys stepped outside of their circumstances and shared a special bond. But then tragedy struck: Larry took a girl on a date to a drive-in movie, and she was never heard from again. She was never found and Larry never confessed, but all eyes rested on him as the culprit. The incident shook the county—and perhaps Silas most of all. His friendship with Larry was broken, and then Silas left town. More than twenty years have passed. Larry, a mechanic, lives a solitary existence, never able to rise above the whispers of suspicion. Silas has returned as a constable. He and Larry have no reason to cross paths until another girl disappears and Larry is blamed again. And now the two men who once called each other friend are forced to confront the past they’ve buried and ignored for decades.

I grew up in Minnesota where the Mississippi River flows.  I remember spelling Mississippi in grade school,

“M – I – Crooked letter – Crooked Letter – I – Crooked Letter – Crooked Letter – I – P – P – I.

It’s just the way we rolled back then.  😀

Crooked Letter Crooked Letter was everything I had anticipated it to be.  It was a mystery… but not an over the top creep me out mystery, but a good solid mystery surrounding a small town… a missing girl… and a quiet book-worm of a man who the town has their eye on as he seems a bit… odd. 

Let me say that not every author call pull off a smooth read that pops  from the present to the past, but Tom Franklin does so beautifully.  It was a pleasure to read this in so many ways – not only the story itself, but really there is something to say for a book written well and Tom Franklin hit home with this one. 

I love fully developed characters and books that make it hard for me to put down and that is what I found here.  If you are looking for a wonderfully written mystery this year, I would highly suggest you grab a copy of Crooked Letter Crooked Letter.

Morning Meanderings… Does Every Town Have An On Line Police Blotter?

Good morning.  😛

Sun is shining!

Coffee is GOOD.

Here are a few things to know about me. 

I was born and raised in Brainerd Minnesota.

It’s a nice place to live.

I can’t stand the movie Fargo.

If you are unfamiliar with the movie Fargo…. know that they refer to Brainerd Minnesota A LOT.  And they give us that accent in the movie clip above and make us look pretty simple-minded. 

I have never to my knowledge said, “oh Yeaaahhhh”.

I have never said “You betcha.”

Ok… Ok…

I may have said “You Betcha”, but only in jest….

However…. when I seen yesterdays Police Blotter (which they post daily and can make for some fine entertainment….) I had to wonder a little about my home town:  (Yes the following are actual calls to the Brainerd Police Department).

1.  8:40 pm on Saturday:  A call was received regarding a large fire in the area of Whipple Beach on the 1000 block of Oakwood Drive.  An officer advised the called that it was the sunset.

2.  Police received a report that someone struck a residence on Pleasant Avenue with a toilet plunger and damaged the door bell.

Yup.  You betcha.  (Again – I am saying it in jest).

Perhaps I should move….

I am curious, does every town post the police calls for all to see?  I mean, yeah they can be entertaining….. but curious about that. 

Have an awesome day! 

Morning Meanderings… Occasionally… this happens

Good morning.  *stretch.  Yawn*

Ok…let’s try that again.

Good morning.  😀

Check this out:

Updated: 6:59 AM CDT on May 17, 2011


67° | 38°


67° | 43°


70° | 49°

I know right?  SUN.  And SUN.  And SUN.  Did I mention SUN?  Sorry it seems like it has been forever since we have had sunny days and I am grinning ear to ear. 

I listen to three audio books at once.  I have one going in my bathroom bedroom (Their Eyes Are Watching God…. currently they are running from the floods…), one in my kitchen (The Zookeeper’s Wife (a man just parachuted out of the sky…), and one in my car (Change Of Altitude (Margaret is with a small group of friends hiking up a dangerous mountain)…

I don’t know how they all stay straight in my head – but they do and I listen to all three at least a little bit each day.  When I get up I flip the one on in the bathroom and while I get read y for my day I get in a good 20+ minutes… then when I am in the kitchen making COFFEE, cleaning up or working on dinner, that audio can get in around 20-30 minutes a day… the one in my car is on whenever I am driving alone which is most of the time so about 10-30 minutes car time a day as well.

And like I said – that works for me and I look forward to each story line….


Yesterday I am coming home from work listening to Change in Altitude by Anita Shreve.  I have commented that there was A LOT of pre story before it seemed like it was ever going to get into the heart of the story and then as I pulled into the grocery store parking lot… it happened.  I could tell the book was getting to the point  and I reluctantly shut my car off ran and picked up the things I needed and hurried back to my car…. driving home my ears were glued to what was happening….  once home…

I sat in the car in my garage, listening to the audio.

After 20 minutes of that …. I decided I looked ridiculous and popped the audio out of the car, went into the house… plucked out The Zoo Keepers Wife from the kitchen CD player and put in Change Of Altitude to listen to while I prepped my salad for the potluck I attended last night. 

Change of Altitude… trumped Zoo Keepers Daughter.

It happens. 

Certainly those of you who read more than one book at once can relate…. if one takes off in the story line, it gets more attention at least for a time while you dive in. 

Yes… I will go back to Zookeepers Daughter, in fact this morning I had.  Change of Altitude followed me from the house to the potluck and home again and while the story line still is holding my captive… I am back to listening to the three again in harmony…


Hope your day is super fab! I work… I hope to play a bit on my bike… I will probably start on the front lawn again tonight as yup…. with all the rain I could mow again.  😀

I put the question to you…. do you read multiple books at the same time (different genres…) and or audio – or a mix of both?

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

It’s Monday!  What Are You Reading is where we share what we read this past week, what we hope to read this week…. and anything in between!  D  This is a great way to plan out your reading week and see what others are currently reading as well… you never know where that next “must read” book will come from!

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.  I offer a weekly contest for those who visit 10 or more of the Monday Meme participants and leave a comment telling me how many you visited.  **You do not have to have a blog to participate! You receive one entry for every 10 comments, just come back here and tell me how many in the comment area.

Last weeks winner:

Joanne’s best

WOO HOO!!!!  Please choose an item out of the Reading Cafe Grab Shelves  and email me your choice with your mailing address as well!

**Updates have been made to the Reading Cafe Grab shelves!

Here is what I was doing this past week:

“Potato Marley” (When good vegetables… go bad)

Cloaked by Alex Flinn ( a modern fairy tale…)

ROOM by Emma Donoghue – revisted by my book club The Bookies (with fun food to go with the review!)

The Island Of Lost Girls by Jennifer McMahon (mmm hmmmm… same author as I read last week….)

The Painted Veil – Movie VS. Book (You will never guess who wins!  :razz:)

Not My Daughter by Barbara Delinsky (I liked it… and I didn’t…)

How Do You Choose What To Read Next?  (The question that haunts me…..)  😛

As for this next week… I am going to take it easy as there are a few books I would love to clean up on this week before I leave on Sunday for BEA.

The true story of how the keepers of the Warsaw Zoo saved hundreds of people from Nazi hands. When Germany invaded Poland, Stuka bombers devastated Warsaw, and the city’s zoo along with it. With most of their animals dead, zookeepers Antonina and Jan Żabiński began smuggling Jews into empty cages. Another dozen “guests” hid inside the Żabińskis’ villa, emerging after dark for dinner, socializing, and, during rare moments of calm, piano concerts. Jan, active in the Polish resistance, kept ammunition buried in the elephant enclosure and stashed explosives in the animal hospital. Meanwhile, Antonina kept her unusual household afloat, caring for both its human and its animal inhabitants —otters, a badger, hyena pups, lynxes— and keeping alive an atmosphere of play and innocence even as Europe crumbled around her.

I know…. I said I was tired of war stories… and I am… but somehow I keep finding my way back to them.  My friend Heidi recommended this one a while ago and when I recently found it at my library on audio I thought I would give it a try. 

Margaret and Patrick have been married just a few months when they set off on what they hope will be a great adventure-a year living in Kenya. Margaret quickly realizes there is a great deal she doesn’t know about the complex mores of her new home, and about her own husband.

A British couple invites the newlyweds to join on a climbing expedition to Mount Kenya, and they eagerly agree. But during their harrowing ascent, a horrific accident occurs. In the aftermath of the tragedy, Margaret struggles to understand what happened on the mountain and how these events have transformed her and her marriage, perhaps forever.

This one has been on my shelf for far too long… I have started it and it does seem to take forever to get to the heart of the story but it seems to be picking up a bit now…

A Canticle for Leibowitz opens with the accidental excavation of a holy artifact: a creased, brittle memo scrawled by the hand of the blessed Saint Leibowitz, that reads: “Pound pastrami, can kraut, six bagels–bring home for Emma.” To the Brothers of Saint Leibowitz, this sacred shopping list penned by an obscure, 20th-century engineer is a symbol of hope from the distant past, from before the Simplification, the fiery atomic holocaust that plunged the earth into darkness and ignorance. As 1984 cautioned against Stalinism, so 1959’s A Canticle for Leibowitz warns of the threat and implications of nuclear annihilation. Following a cloister of monks in their Utah abbey over some six or seven hundred years, the funny but bleak Canticle tackles the sociological and religious implications of the cyclical rise and fall of civilization, questioning whether humanity can hope for more than repeating its own history.

This is our Faith N Fiction group read and I am just getting into it… it’s different from what I would choose for myself to read but think it will make for good discussion.

Adam March is a married father and successful businessman poised to become a CEO—that is, until the day his troubled past catches up with him. Soon Adam has lost his job, his family, and his house and is living in a lonely apartment working off his community-service sentence in a local men’s shelter. Adam’s story alternates with that of Chance, a former fighting pit bull who has escaped, lived on the streets, and is now back at the animal shelter. When circumstances require Adam to adopt and care for Chance, he comes to realize the joy and comfort of animal companionship.

Ok… this is the audio that is going on after I finish Their Eyes Were Watching God which should be yet this week.  When I chose this, I wanted something lighter after I looked at what I am currently putting my brain through from the looks of the books above.  I hope and pray that this dog does not die at the end…. Hey, it was either this or Bossy Pants by Tina Fey.

That’s my week – it is mostly audio as that I can listen to while doing other things (like packing!) I hope to get around to all of you this week and see what you are reading so please be sure to link up your Monday What Are You Reading here below where it says “click here”.  And yes, there will be a post next week as well… I am not leaving for the cities until Sunday evening and will be available throughout the plane rides to catch up on what you are all reading 😀

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