First Book Of The Year 2019

2019

Year 6.  I LOVE First book so much.  This tradition for me goes further back than the 6 years I have opened up to the reading world here on Book Journey.  I am THRILLED to be doing it again and thank you to those who have messaged me to ask if I will be doing it again.

The answer is…

Of course we are doing it.

My life has changed a bit – I may not be blogging as steady as I used to and I have moved to a more diverse site where I can share other things beyond books – check me out at I Guess I Am Doing This (also a work in process… but I am not giving up ;P )

Here is what First Book is.  The first book of the New Year should be:

A.  A coveted book that you have wanted to read but have just not found the time.

B.  A delicious favorite… one you have read before, but crave to read again.

C.  Really whatever you want it to – it is after all YOUR First Book Of the year.

Make it AWESOME.

Then, once you have picked what it will be, email me a picture of you with the book (send it to sdechantal@gmail.com).  This adds to the excitement of the First Book.  On January 1st I will post all the pics in a collage format of all of you around the world that are doing First Book.  I do hope you will join me – friends, family, fellow book lovers… this event each year and your willingness to do this with me makes my heart smile.  🙂
Here is some (yes some…  so many participate it is incredible!)  of what came in last year:

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Remember – this should be the first book you plan to be reading into the New Year.  Yes, you can start it New Years Eve ;P  You can send the picture (sdechantal@gmail.com) anytime between now and New Years Eve so I can prep the collage.  Thanks everyone… having this project to work on makes the New Year fun.

Moving… But Not Leaving…

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Still here.  It is funny to think that when I started Book Journey I was writing almost every day if not every day.  Those of you who have been with me during those years can probably remember those times.  Then I went to almost twice a day when I started the Morning Meanderings… and then usually a bookish conversation same day.  I used to visit a minimum of 20 blogs a day and comment.

I remember Justin once had a college project where he was asked to visit 20 blogs and comment and he thought it was so painful and asked me how I could do it day after day….  I found it at that time to be easy… it was fun to check in on topics you enjoy and connecting with fellow blogger with the same interests.

I am so thankful for those days.

Through the years.. things have changed.  Some book reviewer/bloggers that I really enjoyed reading, hung it up.  Many, including myself, slowed down.

And that brings me to my post today.

Looking at my last post here in March – it is safe to say I did not just slow down… I all but stopped.  My life over the past few years has changed as many of you know, and more recently – taking on a full time Marketing job, being active in the community and in adventures has slowed my reading time and even more so slowed my discussing of books and blogging.

But I miss it.

Over this past weekend I worked diligently on an idea that has been buzzing around my brain for awhile now.  I created a new website.  I want to write.  I miss writing… I am just a little more diverse now than Book Journey was created for.  I am reading, however I am also biking, planning and attending events, trying to get my life right in many ways, and still grieving in ways I sometimes want to talk about and share.

I created the website I Guess I Am Doing This and I am sooooooo hopeful that you will join me there – reading and following and commenting when you can.  I would like that very much.  I think it has a little something for everyone… and yes, I am still talking books 🙂

Book Journey will remain here as I have no intention of giving up on this site.  It has so much history within its pages… so much of me and how I have grown as a writer and a review since those early days… and maybe someday this will be the fit again.

Anyhoo.  Come and fly with me.  I would love it.

 

100 Books To Read In Your Lifetime

 

 

I was snooping browsing around and found this link to the list of Amazons 100 books to read in a lifetime.  I thought the list looked interesting and being a sucker curious about such things I decided to try this myself.  Thank to Perfectly Tolerable for making this into a meme.

I have marked the ones I have read.

Which have you read?  Which books would you add to this list as must reads in a lifetime?

 

Title Author Read?
1984 George Orwell
A Brief History of Time Stephen Hawking
A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius Dave Eggers
A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier Ishmael Beah  Yes
The Bad Beginning Lemony Snicket
A Wrinkle in Time Madeleine L’Engle
Selected Stories, 1968-1994 Alice Munro
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland Lewis Carroll Yes
All the President’s Men Bob Woodward
Angela’s Ashes: A Memoir Frank McCourt  Yes
Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret. Judy Blume  Yes
Bel Canto Ann Patchett  Yes
Beloved Toni Morrison  Yes
Born to Run Christopher McDougall  Yes
Breath, Eyes, Memory Edwidge Danticat
Catch-22 Joseph Heller
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Roald Dahl Yes
Charlotte’s Web E. B White Yes
Cutting for Stone Abraham Verghese  Yes
Daring Greatly Brené Brown
Diary of a Wimpy Kid Jeff Kinney
Dune Frank Herbert
Fahrenheit 451 Ray Bradbury Yes
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas Hunter S. Thompson
Gone Girl Gillian Flynn Yes
Goodnight Moon Margaret Wise Brow
Great Expectations Charles Dickens
Guns, Germs, and Steel Jared Diamond Ph.D.
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone J.K. Rowling Yes
In Cold Blood Truman Capote  Yes
Interpreter of Maladies Jhumpa Lahiri
Invisible Man Ralph Ellison
Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Kid on Earth Chris Ware
Kitchen Confidential Anthony Bourdain  Yes
Life After Life Kate Atkinson Yes
Little House on the Prairie Laura Ingalls Wilder  Yes
Lolita Vladimir Nabokov
Love in the Time of Cholera Gabriel Garcia Marquez Yes
Love Medicine Louise Erdrich
Man’s Search for Meaning Viktor E. Frankl
Me Talk Pretty One Day David Sedaris  Yes
Middlesex Jeffrey Eugenides
Midnight’s Children Salman Rushdie
Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game Michael Lewis
Of Human Bondage W. Somerset Maugham
On the Road Jack Kerouac
Out of Africa Isak Dinesen
Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood Marjane Satrapi
Portnoy’s Complaint Philip Roth
Pride and Prejudice Jane Austen
Silent Spring Rachel Carson
Slaughterhouse-Five Kurt Vonnegut
Team of Rivals Doris Kearns Goodwin
The Age of Innocence Edith Wharton
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay Michael Chabon
The Autobiography of Malcolm X Malcolm X
The Book Thief Markus Zusak
The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao Junot Díaz
The Catcher in the Rye J. D. Salinger
The Color of Water James McBride
The Corrections Jonathan Franzen
The Devil in the White City Erik Larson  Yes
The Diary of a Young Girl Anne Frank Yes
The Fault in Our Stars John Green  Yes
The Giver Lois Lowry  Yes
The Golden Compass Philip Pullman
The Great Gatsby F. Scott Fitzgerald Yes
The Handmaid’s Tale Margaret Atwood
The House at Pooh Corner A. Milne
The Hunger Games Suzanne Collins Yes
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks Rebecca Skloot  Yes
The Liars’ Club Mary Karr
The Lightning Thief Rick Riordan  Yes
The Little Prince Houghton Mifflin
The Long Goodbye Raymond Chandler
The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11 Lawrence Wright
The Lord of the Rings J.R.R. Tolkien Yes
The Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Hat Oliver Sacks
The Omnivore’s Dilemma Michael Pollan
The Phantom Tollbooth Norton Juster
The Poisonwood Bible Barbara Kingsolver
The Power Broker Robert A. Caro
The Right Stuff Tom Wolfe
The Road Cormac McCarthy Yes
The Secret History Donna Tartt
The Shining Stephen King  Yes
The Stranger Albert Camus
The Sun Also Rises Ernest Hemingway
The Things They Carried Tim O’Brien
The Very Hungry Caterpillar Eric Carle
The Wind in the Willows Kenneth Grahame
The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle Haruki Murakami
The World According to Garp John Irving
The Year of Magical Thinking Joan Didion
Things Fall Apart Chinua Achebe
To Kill a Mockingbird Harper Lee Yes
Unbroken Laura Hillenbrand
Valley of the Dolls Jacqueline Susann
Where the Sidewalk Ends Shel Silverstein
Where the Wild Things Are Maurice Sendak

First Book Of The Year 2018


Thank you to everyone who sent in your first book pics of the year.  This is absolutely one of my favorite posts to put up each year and the fact that it is the first post each year….  even better.

The following are the pictures that came in from around the world of what people have chosen as their first book of the year.  For me… it was a huge deal trying to pick what I wanted to read and when I found it… I was thrilled and will be listening to it this morning on audio while I drive to the first run of the year.  (Hint in the pics below I am wearing a penguin hat)

Below everyone’s pics I have listed the areas in which these pictures came in from and under that the books that were chosen.  If you missed out, and still want to send your picture and first book in – please email me today at journeythroughbooks@gmail.com including where you live and I will add these pictures tomorrow.

Thank you again to everyone and Happy New Year.

 


Pics are from:  Alabama, Arkansas, Australia, Bermuda, California, Canada, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, New Zealand, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Scotland, Tennessee, Texas, UK, Virginia, Washington DC, Wisconsin and Wyoming

First Books:

Murder at the Vicarage by Agatha Christie

Just Between Us by Rebecca Drake

Left Neglected by Lisa Genova

Renegades by Marissa Meyer

Fitness Junkie by Lucy Sykes

Into The Water by Paula Hawkins

The Hearts Invisible Furries by John Boyne

Caraval by Stephanie Garber

Mrs. Fletcher by Tom Perrotta

The Colour of Magic by Terry Pratchett

The Sandcastle by Iris Murdock

Breaking Free by Rachel Jeffs

A Distant Heart by Sonali Dev

The Wake Up by Catherine Ryan Hyde

Leonardo da Vinci by Walter Isaacson

Ginger Snapped by Gail Oust

Wonder by RJ Palacio

The Promise Between Us by Barbara Claypole White

Copy Cat by Alex Lake

Jack Reacher The Midnight Line by Lee Child

Sourdough by Robin Sloan

Every Breath You Take by Mary Higgins Clark

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

The Little French Bistro by Nina George

Still Me by Jojo Moyes

Bear Town by Fredrich Backman

The Power by Naomi Alderman

Les Miserables by Victor Hugo

Exit West by Mohsin Hamid

The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden

Tremontaine by Ellen Kushner

The Papers of Tony Veitch by William McIivanney

Next Year in Havana by Chanel Cleeton

Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate

Curse on the Land by Faith Hunter

Degrees of Love by Lisa Slabach

Killers Of The Flower Moon by David Grann

The Leavers by Lisa Ko

My Antonia by Willa Cather

A Knight Of The Seven Kingdoms by George RR Martin

Freya by Matthew Lawrence

The Lost Girls of Camp Forevermore by Kim Fu

The Chalk Man by CJ Tudor

The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks

American War by Omar El Akkad

Palo Duro by Max Knight

American Indians American Presidents

Travels With Charley by John Steinbeck

The Reminders by Val Emmich

The African Trilogy by Chinua Achebe

Year One by Nora Roberts

Reset Reset Reset by Ellen Pao

The Mayflower Bride by Kimberly Woodhouse

Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly

Crown of Stars by Sophie Jaff

180 Seconds by Jessica Park

Jacqueline Willoughby by Schuyler Randall

The World To Come by Dara Horn

The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah

Those who Leave and Those Who Stay by Elena Ferrante

All The Ugly and Wonderful Things by Bryn Greenwood

White Bodies by Jane Robins

Tell Me More by Kelly Corrigan

Uprooted by Naomi Novik

I liked My Life by Abby Fabiaschi

Best Day Ever by Kaira Rouda

Origin by Dan Brown

Gilded Lives, Fatal Voyage by Hugh Brewster

Faithful by Alice Hoffman

The Listener by Robert McCammom

What If God Wrote Your To Do List by Jay Payleitner

The One Hundred and One Dalmatians by Dodie Smith

In the Moment by Karen Kingsbury

 

First Book Of The Year – The Tradition Continues

 

Fifth year.  I LOVE First book so much.  This tradition for me goes further back than the 5 years I have opened up to the reading world here on Book Journey.  I am THRILLED to be doing it again and thank you to those who have messaged me to ask.

The answer is…

Of course we are doing it.

Here is what First Book is.  The first book of the New Year should be:

A.  A coveted book that you have wanted to read but have just not found the time.

B.  A delicious favorite… one you have read before, but crave to read again.

C.  Really whatever you want it to – it is after all YOUR First Book Of the year.

Make it AWESOME.

Then, once you have picked what it will be, email me a picture of you with the book.  This adds to the excitement of the First Book.  On January 1st I will post all the pics in a collage format of all of you around the world that are doing First Book.  Here is some (yes some…  so many participate it is incredible!)  of what came in last year:


Fill out this form – its easy and gives you all the info you need.  I hope you will join in.  Even now I look at these pics from last year and think, ooh…  I need to read that.  🙂  Cant wait to pick mine….cant wait to see what you choose!

Books, Burgers,and Brews: The Circle by Dave Eggers

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I am a gazillion posts behind and I have so much to share!  Books Burgers and Brews has been going strong since October…  this was the idea of having a Book Club in a public venue and Friends of the Brainerd Public Library hosting this free event.  The vision was to bring non readers to books… while that is not exactly what has happened (it has been more people who can not find a book club, writers, other book club people…) it is still connecting people to books and really – isn’t that all I ever want?
~Sheila

The Circle made for a great discussion book.  The futuristic synopsis around a company (The Circle) that puts social media at the forefront…  where secrets are considered lies and transparency in all things has value.

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Our group that night was the largest yet.  We had 37 people at Prairie Bay and a good variety of ages… people that had grown up with social media of some sort being a part of their life, those who came by it later in life and those that have heard of Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc… but not really engaged or understood the draw.

What fascinates me about such a book is that I tend to lose how I truly feel about the book (I believe, I liked it).  Having lead book club discussions for so many years, I tend to focus on how the book will be for discussing and that is what excited me here.  Over all, those in this room did not love the book… but they loved the discussion it brought out.

What is the dangers of social media?
What is too much information? 
When are secrets a good thing?
If we are all 100% transparent, what is lost?  When do we just become desensitized to everything?
Is what is described in the book what is happening in our world today?
If so, is there a way to stop it?  Does the majority of the population want to?

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As always, Prairie Bay created a wonderful Literary Menu for us….  The Eye In The Pie and The Three Wise Men Melt both sounded so good… I ordered them both…  I was right they were delicious.

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And… as has become tradition… the drink special is one that Laurel and I always have to try.  This time there was two… the white wine that is mentioned in the book that Mae drinks… and a local beer that uses social media for promotions.

Once again… well played Prairie Bay.

Stay tuned.. later today I will post my review of the book The Circle.

 

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The Grief Books… A Shelf of Tears and Love

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Books.

They serve many purposes.  They take us on adventures.  They teach us.  They make us laugh and cry and think and dream…

In April of 2015 after Justin’s accident, friends sent me what you are seeing above and what has come to be known as “The Grief Shelf.”  Books were sent to me in the mail, and handed to me in person.  Each book came with a story of its own…. it may have helped the giver personally when they were going through something.. .as I look at each book even today I can recall the wonderful message that came with it, or the person who sat by me in those early hard days and shared their own story as they handed it to me…

And while each book I know came from the heart….

honestly to this day I have not read any of them.

And here is why….

One set of books is a series of the stages of grief and what a person will go through… and what is to be expected, and what the next stage is…..
To this day I have not opened these books.  For me… someone who has lived out large GRIEF moments throughout many stages of my life – I did not want books to tell me how I should be feeling or what was the next step to that feeling…

I opened the others… I could not do it… I did not want to read someones take on grief…. I had my own… I didn’t want to read how to get from A to B to C…. because my journey was my own…  and I knew I could not do it on anyone’s time line…

I still can’t

I know everyone who sent a book meant well and I love each one of these people for that.  Maybe I will never be able to open some of these books… but I know the thought and love that was behind each one – and that in itself is enough to make my once again be so thankful for the amazing people in my life.  I can not even put into words what you love has meant to me and led me to where I am today.

A couple of days ago I was drawn back to the shelf where a particular book had caught my interest and I had  read a little… but now.. NOW I feel like maybe I could read more.

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Her parents called her Lenya Lion because of her ferocious personality and hair that had been wild and mane-like since birth. But they never expected that, five days before Christmas, their five-year-old daughter would suddenly go to heaven after an asthma attack. How do you walk out of an emergency room without your daughter?
In Through the Eyes of a Lion, Pastor Levi Lusko shares the eye-opening truth of the power of hope in a world that is often filled with pain, suffering, and loss. He says, “This book isn’t a manual for grieving, but a manifesto for high-octane living, and through it I want you to see that God made you for a purpose. There is a wild and wonderful calling on your life, a microphone in your hands. Jesus wants you to look at the adventure of your life through His eyes, the eyes of a Lion.”
This book.  THIS story of continuing to (try) live life to the fullest…. be an example… this is where I find myself.  I think I can relate.

Now, almost two years later (I can not believe it has been almost two years….)  I pick up this book… off the Grief Shelf….

and I began to read…

I am completely different… I see things so differently now and I can believe I have done this for almost 2 years.  I laugh…a real laugh….when I thought I never would again….  I do and go and be… when I thought for sure I would not.

Doing, going, being, laughing does not come free.  Each step I take is strategic and meaningful and I do it with him in mind.  I look at the pictures of me laughing and being with friends and I know that unless you are close to me – you do not see what everything I do and write costs me….  I am still torn and destroyed… I still cry daily and hurt even when I am throwing myself into the next big thing.  However there is a seed of hope within me…  I hope my actions through this crazy newness help others to see you can manage to go on.  It is not easy – I admire anyone who can get up and do it as I know for myself more often than not each step of the way still brings with it tears and pain and whispers…

“Lets do this kid.. this one is for you….”

I am still here.  I don’t plan on going anywhere and I hope you do not either.  I am reading… I need to get writing.  SO much to share….