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



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.


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:

whew 2


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…


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.


Morning Meanderings… Last One. Really. I mean it.


Good morning.  It has been quite the week.  I woke up Wednesday morning and the pain that I have had in my right arm and fingers had moved into my upper back, shoulder and neck.  Super annoying and has thrown off my week.  It hurts to sit and rest my back on anything.  It hurts to roll over in bed.  Lets just say it hurts.  I have been taking Advil like they are candy and seeing a chiropractor.  I am not used to things like this not fixing themselves quickly so still being in pain on Saturday is yup…. annoying.  I am trying to do everything I have planned for this week and keep up on appearances but once I am home I am sooooo glad.  🙂

Anyhoo… that is not what I meant to write about.

I did mention that I would be hosting three challenges for 2015.  Two of them I have posted…  The 2015 Library Challenge (so much interest in this one – I am soooo excited!) and The First Book Of The Year Challenge (not really a 2015 challenge, it is only a one day commitment but a fun one!).  Now, the one I have hosted for many years now…

Where Are You Reading

The 2015 WHERE Are You Reading Challenge.  I just love this years meme pic!  So it is ready to go and the basics of this one are to keep track of where your books are set at… if the book is about a family in Idaho, then that is an Idaho book.  If it is non fiction and about the lakes of Minnesota it is a Minnesota book.. if you can not find anywhere the book connects too, I use where the author is living… anyhoo… check it out.  It is a fun one to see at the end of the year all the places you have traveled through books.


A couple quick reminders – Today is the day that we should start talking about our Harry Potter readalong book, The Chamber Of Secrets.  Those participating can hook up their posts here.  Interested in signing up, do that here

AND tonight on Twitter, 8 pm central time, Tanya from Dogeared Copy is hosting the movie Twitter party where we all hunker down with our popcorn and Every Flavored Beans and enjoy the movie together.  I have a Christmas party to attend but hope to be home in time to participate in the movie as well.

First Book Of The Year 2015


Every year I get excited about what will be that first book I will be chatting about going into the new year.  I make a big deal out of picking the book.  It is usually a book I have wanted to read for a while and for whatever reason, I just have not been able to make the time to read it.

This is the second year that I would love for you to join me in this tradition of picking the book that you will be reading into the new year.  It can be a coveted book that you have been waiting to read, a guilty pleasure book, a re-read of a favorite that you want to explore once again… whatever you want.

Our posts of what we are reading will go live on January 1st.  You do not need to be done with the book on January 1st, just reading it on January 1st and yes, you can start on the 31st and be reading into the New Year.  I would like to link up all your posts here on the 1st as well so others can visit you and cheer you on!  If you are interested, please fill out the short form below.

Here are the fun collages I did with last year’s participants:





Update on December 31st:  You can still send pics in today (I am Central time) and you do not need to fill out the form.  🙂 Email pics to

Morning Meanderings… Challenge Accepted


I couldn’t sleep.

I tossed and turned… 3:20 a.m., 3:30 a.m., 3:33 a.m., 3:38 a.m…. 3:58 a.m. I got up.  Cleaned my kitchen counter.  Made a cup of coffee… played on line Scrabble.  For now.. I am AWAKE.



Yesterday I posted a 2015 Challenge for using your local Libraries.  I posted it as much for me as for anyone else who wants to join me by spending a little more time there in 2015 and walking out with good books or audio or even movies.


Fair warning – two more challenges for 2015 are being posted this week.  The one, an easy one, and a favorite of mine is not even really a challenge… it is the First Book Of The Year Meme/Challenge/ What have you.  It is a one day commitment on January 1st to post about the book that is bringing you into the new year.  I do love this one, it is something I have done long before I blogged – picking out the book that would kick off the New Year.  Be sure to check that one out.  I will post it today.

Where Are You Reading

The other, is the one I have hosted for years – WHERE Are You Reading Challenge… the challenge where you capture where your books are set at and keep a running list or use Google Maps or both.  It really is fun to see where you have read in a years time.  This past year that one got away from me but I will try again.  Watch for that one to be posted in the next few days.


SO that’s me…. I have a bit of shopping to do, you know.. when it is REAL morning, and I am into a really good read, Finding Jake, so hope to finish that today as well.

How is your Wednesday shaping up for you?  Any books or fun happenings to discuss?

2015 Library Challenge


Hear me out.

I have to believe that most of you who read Book Journey are in fact lovers of the written word.  A great percentage of you are not only readers, but reviewers and book bloggers such as myself. And quite honestly a library challenge may not be all that appealing to a book reviewer/blogger as we receive so many books for review in the mail that there is no need for a stop at your local library.

Hear me out.

HOWEVER, it would be remiss of me and perhaps you as well – if we did not acknowledge the struggle most of our libraries go through to show their worth in the modern-day of e-readers, and of course the ever-present pull of all things that take people away from reading.

I admit, I am not always the best library user.  I am President of our local Friends group that supports our library, yet I have plenty of books of read at home to read and more coming weekly to my doorstep.


This challenge is also for me.

If we the readers that gush about books on blogs and social media and to our friends can not as well as promote and support our libraries than what are we doing?  Not everyone who reads this blog is a reviewer or has access to the books through an e reader or in some cases have the means to purchase the books they wish to read.  Our local libraries are simply a library card away and a book can be waiting to be enjoyed.

I don’t want to go on and on so basically this challenge will be for you to get to know your local library in 2015.  If like our library, you have access to on-line holds, I suggest you do what I do when browsing blogs or other book sites; have the page open to your library reserve as well and borrow books as you see the awesome ones you wish to read.  I will do it.  Will you do this with me?


I obviously would be thrilled if you went the extra mile and found out what else your library has to offer and shared it on your websites (if you blog).  For instance ours offers computer classes to teach people how to use their computers, IPADS, e-readers and more.  We offer movies and book in the bag so book clubs can check out 10 books at a time.  Anyone that has a start-up post for this challenge that mentions things their own library offers beyond the books will go into a drawing for a $20 Amazon gift card (I know I know… that defeats the purpose, but maybe get a book bag if you win to hold all your library books 🙂 )

And of course.. there are fun levels of commitment:

 1-5 check outs in 2015 – NOVICE

6-11 check outs in 2015 – ROOKIE

12- 16 check outs in 2015 – INTERMEDIATE

17 – 22 check outs in 2015 – SEASONED

23 – 27 check outs in 2015 – EXPERIENCED

28 + check outs in 2015 – GOING PRO!


Check outs count for anything bookish – books, audio, even e-reader book check outs (yes, libraries have these now!).  Go… meet your library again and fall in love.  🙂

And a shameless plug for the Friends Of The Library.  If your library has this group, consider signing up.  It is usually quite inexpensive to be a member and your membership supports your local library.  As book lovers, we are a huge community asset and by sharing our love of books with others we are breathing life into the written word and into our libraries.


Sign up today – write a post and link it here.. I will announce a winner of the gift certificate on January 2nd.  I will also post updates throughout the year to encourage further library exploration.

Write your post and use the link below to connect it.  Now bloggers are welcome to join in as well, let me know of your participation and level in the comments below 😉

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Morning Meanderings… AUGUST???? Austen!

Sheila DeChantal, Book Journey

Friday!   And…. August.  WHA????  Where is the summer going?  I guess my first clue should have been that our County Fair opened this week.  I am not a county fair fan ever since the boys were old enough to go on their own with their friends I bowed out of that hot sticky mess.  😉   However, my cousin has a daughter who performs on a horse there, and several friends win awards for their breads, and jams, and vegetables and fruits…. in that sense, it is very Gilmore Girls.

Back to August.

August is actually a FULL month.  This afternoon I leave for Wisconsin with my friend for the Mud Run for MS in the morning.  And then I come back, clean up tomorrow afternoon and go directly to Crosslake where the first day of the Camp Benedict Bike ride will be taking place.  I am on the board for Camp and will be late due to this ride being the same weekend as the mud run.  I will stay overnight and help cheer the riders in for day two on Sunday – unsure if I am going to be support team or ride day two…

Then after this weekend August explodes into the church annual picnic baptism, the Fall Book Sale for the Library, a possible Zombie run (oh how I want to but it is soooo far away!), Wine and Words, a cabin weekend with my son, and then our Annual cabin trip with friends for Labor Day weekend.


is August.


It’s good… it’s full…. and drips into September but I will hold off on those details. 🙂



I imagine my reading will possibly be light this month due to the schedule, however I hope to participate in the Austen In August event.  Jane Austen is one of those authors I want to spend time with.  I think I am supposed to, like we are somehow kindred spirits.  Her birth date December 16th, is the birth of my oldest son/first child.  The date of her death, July 18th, is my Anniversary.  Mmmmm hmmmmm…. I need to read Jane. 🙂  I am thinking perhaps Emma.  I think I have that one on my Classic shelf.

Have you read Austen?  What have you read?  What did you think?





My ‘One Little Word’ for 2014


While doing a little blog hopping yesterday I stumbled across this idea called One Little Word.  I love the idea of calling a word your own for a year, a word that will be your mantra, the word that you will apply to your life for a year.

While LOVING the idea… picking the word was a bit more difficult than I had anticipated.  After all… I have to live with it.  I tossed around the idea of “motivated”, and “Thrive” …. and then finally after looking at the list and the definition of the words that didn’t quite fit, it came to me before I seen it…



verb \im-ˈbrās\

: to hold someone in your arms as a way of expressing love or friendship

: to accept (something or someone) readily or gladly

: to use (an opportunity) eagerly

I prefer the verb version as to the noun.  I am thinking more of this as accept (which was possibly going to be the word but I like embrace better.  

And this is really what I mean:
Embrace everything.  I like that.  There was a time when I used to say no thank you a lot.  A lot.  Friends would invite me to go do things, weekend trips, movies, etc, and I would almost always say, “no thank you”.  At the time I would use the excuse that I had to be home with the kids, or maybe I didn’t know some of the people going with and the introvert in me didn’t want it to be awkward…
It’s odd to think of that old me now.  I am quite the “Yes” girl and if I can say yes, I usually do.  I have come to terms that life is too short, too precious to live it on the sidelines watching others live it.  The word EMBRACE fits right in with that mind set.  I want to embrace new things, I want to challenge myself and them embrace the outcome.  I want to wholeheartedly embrace LIFE.
So there it is.  I think I am going to find myself a little something at an Etsy shop, or make it myself that says embrace.  I love the idea of owning a word for a year.  I will embrace the challenges, the goals, my job, my family, my friends, the good and the bad….
Are you ready?  What’s your word?  If you decide to do this, please go to the original site and say so, but also… I would love it if you would leave your word here with me too 🙂

Morning Meanderings…. Day Two… Nine Bloggers Reading!


Good morning and Happy January 2!  We made it to 2014 and mental high fives all the way around!  🙂

Yesterday I posted the book lovers who sent me pictures of what they were reading on January 1st.  If you have not checked that out, please do… its kind of awesome to see all these book bloggers and book lovers reading that first book – AND you can see what that first book was.  I had a few that came in after I put the post up so please let me add them now:


Isn’t that so fun?  LOVE it!  On yesterdays post they were able to link up their first book of the year posts so if you have time, grab a second (third?) cup of coffee and go check them out.  It was really fun to read them last night and I still have more to get to.

Today is a LONG DAY.  It is our annual meeting at work today and I am in charge of the details details details… I will probably be there from 8 this morning until about 8:30 or 9 tonight.  *sigh*  But it is ok, it fun – good fun 🙂

Have an awesome day everyone!  Yes I ran my first 5k of the year yesterday in -6 degree weather… pictures will be up on Saturday for that fun event to kick off 2014.

Happy New Year! 1st Book Of The Year!


Happy New Year everyone!  2014!!!  AWESOME!!!

This is the first book of the year post and I have to say how excited I was to see that over 80 other book lovers signed on to either write a post about their first book of the year, send a picture of the first book they will be reading, or both!  As pictures came in from all over the world I loved seeing the first book choices!  The enthusiasm of readers in contagious!

The following are the pictures sent in from bloggers and book lovers you may very well know.  Later when I get home from that first run of the year (WOO WOO!) I will add the blog names below, unfortunately I just ran out of time this morning after hanging out with friends last night and getting home after midnight.  😉

In the meantime, check their posts out by seeing who linked up their First Book Of The Year post – and if it was you who wrote one, please add yours to the linky below the pics where it says click here.  When I get home I will be happy to check out your posts!

*Please note, if I missed your picture let me know – the collages auto fill and I hope everyone was captured.  I know I had one picture sent to me I could not open so if a few more trickle in today I will add then later. 😀




Thanks everyone for participating and LOVE the book choices.  You can now (if you can find me in the collage 😉 ) see that I am starting the year with V C Andrews, Flowers In The Attic.  I read this as probably a “tween”.  It was a great read then, and now it has been re-released with a sweet new cover.  Right now, I am leaving to do my first 5K of the year, The Polar Dash in St Paul Minnesota.  Late this afternoon though, I will be curled up with this book. 🙂

Happy New Year everyone!!!!!  Share what your first book of the year is going to be either by creating a post and linking it here or by telling me in the comments 🙂

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