YOU Choose The Next Book I Read and Then You Win That Book!



Hey everyone!  Happy Sunday!  If you have been around here lately you know that:

  1.  There has not been a lot of action (I don’t like that)

  2. Our friends of the library just had their Fall booksale!  (I LOVE that!)


What I have done in past years is I post my book sale haul….  (do not judge me… I am a book-a-holic who justifies book purchases by believing there are worse things I can do with my time and money…. like being a crack dealer or a hit man)  See?  That said, book buying…. not so bad AND….

our book sales books are 50 cents each.

I know right????

Ok, so I am about to post my haul and you tell me in the comments which book you would love to read.  I will choose a winner by submitting comments into  If you win and it is a book I already read, I will send it to you right away.  If it is a book I have not read, I will read it next opportunity I have and then send it to you.  This is a fun way to have a giveaway and at the same time give me a gentle push to read the books I have purchased.

Please note the following pictures are my entire book sale haul.  Below each pic I will list titles (if any) that are not included in the giveaway, ones I wish to keep for my own collection.  I will choose a winner this coming Thursday morning and post in the Morning Meandering.  Please check back to see if you are a winner (I will also email the winner).


Fun Fact – both of the Elizabeth Gilbert books are signed by Elizabeth to her grandmother


Keeping: Scarlett and the Angels and Demons copy (which is a cool large book with illustrations)


Keeping: Wizard of Oz and 100 Banned Books




PicMonkey Collage

There they are!  Have fun choosing 🙂  To enter please leave in the comments the title of the book you would love to win and why.


Morning Meanderings… A Day Of Library Friends


Good morning!  Wow.  *yawn* *stretch*

What a day.

Yesterday I went to my first Minnesota Library Association of Friends meeting in St Paul Minnesota.  That involved me being ready and out of the house by 7 am and at the meeting shiny and ready to go by 10 am.

The Association supports the friends groups of Minnesota.  By being a part of this board I am ale to have a voice in how we support our friends groups.  I really am excited to be a part of it.



2:10 pm and I am out the door and heading for home.  In the house by 4:30 pm, time to organize my notes, heat my sandwiches and out the door again for our Annual Friends Meeting.  I was very excited with the turn out.  We had a wonderful year.  Our Spring book sale was a record-breaking sale.  This year we plan on it being another awesome sale.  We are actually for the first time ever moving the sale off site into a building a friend of mine owns for more space.  I am super excited about the sale!

We will have our first children’s sale this year, our third Wine and Words… so much going on!  🙂

I feel energized and have much to do today to update our website, continue my author search for Wine and Words, and work on a few things for Camp Benedict too.

Yesterday I finished up two audio books (with the drive time), Girl On The Train and Afterworlds.

and as long as I am rambling here, three books that I am planning to read have release dates today.  Keep an eye out for:



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 😉

Powered by Linky Tools

Click here to enter your link and view this Linky Tools list…

Morning Meanderings… MN GIve To The Max Day and HP Hook Up Link

Hogwarts Express at Universal Studios
Hogwarts Express at Universal Studios

Good morning!  I am still in Florida working away with long hours and exhausted sleep.  We are working hard to get done and get home and I am all about that – even if it freezing and lots of snow in Minnesota.  I miss my hubby, my puppies, my bed 🙂

Today is GIVEMN day where you can link up a non profit charity and of course I am promoting our library.  I am not sure if this is a thing for all states or not – I suspect it probably is.  Anyhoo – here is our Library link and our goal:  Brainerd Public Library Give MN


04 Harry Potter

For the HP Readalongers… the link for your first review is up and if you have not found it yet – add your thoughts here.  I need to catch up on House Points so please watch for that soon.  Remember you earn points by writing posts and also by commenting on posts.

It is not to late to sign up to join this readalong that started in November and will go to March 2015.  Check out all things about this here.


I am off to work for the day.  We are still splitting hives.  Hope to finish this part in the next few days here so we can get all the bees delivered, queened, and fed.


Saturday Snapshot: Minnesota Library Association Conference


This Past week I had the pleasure of attending the Minnesota Library Association Annual Conference in Mankato Minnesota. I went, representing the Friends Of The Brainerd Public Library, 4 Librarians from our Library attended as well.

I arrived on Wednesday afternoon and joined the rest of the Brainerd Group for what was called Parlor Games.  A series of fun games from 6:30 – 9 pm.  A mix of Balderdash, Apples to Apples, and a fun team game where we split the 90-some people in the room into two groups and we had to follow a series of clues to complete a task.  It was fun!

Parlor Games!
Parlor Games!


On Thursday, along with hour-long sessions for the Librarians to choose from, there was an additional amount of sessions that were Friends Of The Library related.  I had a list of choices for each hour, and spent my first hour of the day at the Library Friends Idea exchange.  I picked up ideas there like a 5k, scholarship offering for seniors, character events for children, and more.


I spent the second hour of my day in the same room listening to the author of Beyond Book Sales, Susan Dowd, speak about the things the Friends groups can do to raise finds beyond the books.  How to build membership, how to be listed in a will…



At 11:15 I went to a different room, a room where I would be speaking.  Our local event that started in 2013 was up for an award for Best New Friends Event.  This was exciting!  I was up against a group who added on to their children’s area at their library and a Great Gatsby Event that raised $47,000.  I was sure Gatsby had it.  There would be two runner ups that would receive $250 each, and then the winner, who would receive the plaque and a thousand dollar check for their friends.

Each of us had ten minutes to talk about our project.  In the end…

Friends Of The Brainerd Public Library took Best Project!  I could not believe it!



Holy Smokes batman!!!!

The day then went to lunch where Tod Bol,the creator of Little Free Libraries spoke.  It was really interesting to hear how this wave of little book exchanges have popped up all over the world!  I did not realize Tod was from Wisconsin.



After lunch, Laurel from our Library spoke on Social Media and her talk was very interesting!  After listening to her, I have some work to do. 🙂

All in all, a great couple of days hanging out in a Bookish World, just the way I like it 😉


I am adding this to Saturday Snapshot.  Please check out what others are posting in pictures this Saturday.  I am off to work with bees this morning and then home to work on my house… tomorrow, starts another adventure 😉

You Choose My Next Read and You Win the Book!


Fall book sale is over so it is that time again!  Here I will show you the books that I picked up at the sale.  In the comments – tell me which of these books you would love to read.  On Friday I will choose a winner using and that is the book I will read this weekend and mail it out next week to the winner.

It’s fun… and two of us get to read something good!  🙂

Click to see a larger picture and the titles of the first few on the left


Click to see a larger picture

*Note the only ones not up for grab is the one standing to the left of the top pic, hat is a copy of Little Women and I wish to keep that one and The Great Gatsby book to be added to my classic collection.


Morning Meanderings… Library Friends Networking


Good morning!  Happy Tuesday!  Yesterday morning I made apple butter with our apples from our trees and my home this morning still smells like cinnamon and apples….


Yesterday afternoon I went to a workshop in Roseville Minnesota to network with other Friends Of The Library.  It was pretty fun and they used our Friends group in Brainerd for many examples – website description of what friends of the library do, our Wine and Words event, summer brown bag author events…  it was cool to know that we were on the right track in many ways.

I enjoyed listening to the other things that friends are doing in other areas – 5k walks and runs, bowling for books, and my personal favorite (wish I would have thought of it!) The Great Gatsby Gala that they had planned to make $20,000 and they raised $47,000!  Holy smokes!!!!  Granted it was in the bigger Minnesota cities so more people and more money… but still…. WOW.  I hope to attend this one next year so I can see what they are doing up close.

I think the saddest thing at this workshop was the Itaska Friends group.  Their library is open one day a week; Wednesdays from noon to 4 pm.  That is heart breaking, yet this group raises money and awareness for their library through book sales, and being in the Fourth Of July parade.

One emphasis they put out there was being POSITIVE.  I could not agree more.  Having negative people on your teams sucks the life and energy out of the team…. in any circumstance.  You need to stay positive and work to make events fun!

Anyhoo… it was a good time, it was fun meeting others in Minnesota in Friends groups.  I did not arrive back home until 11 pm last night, but was able to listen to audio for my 2+ hour drive each way so that made it awesome 🙂


Does Your Library Have A Friends Group?  Are you a part of it?  What does your group do?

Morning Meanderings… I LOVE My Library

library card 1

Good morning.  We are in the middle of a storm here in Central Minnesota.  I mean… seriously.




I took the above picture from my back deck and was plastered with rain from the high winds.  Weather has been so weird here.  I put a better video on Facebook.


Anyhoo… this post was not meant to be about the weather.  We have better things to talk about than that 🙂

What I wanted to chat about it Libraries.  Felicia at Geeky Bloggers Book Blog has been running these great library posts for September as it is National Library Card Month.  As soon as I seen what she was doing I knew I wanted to be involved but of course my life stuff got in the way and here we are on September 4th and finally getting with it. 🙂

You know I love our local Library.  If they would let me stay on the roof and raise money for a cause …. but they will not let me do that and yes, I asked…. but trust me…

there are other things I can do. 😉

I am so passionate about Libraries and what they offer.  My goal is to spread the word that today’s Library goes beyond the books… our library does sooooo much more.  We:

  • Rent movies and audio books
  • have computer classes
  • Author events
  • Adult and children book clubs
  • Reading programs
  • weekly reading time in the childrens area
  • a Teen hangout area
  • IPADs to use in the library
  • computers to use
  • conference rooms large and small that you can use for meetings and events
  • contests
  • historic information (Scandinavian week is coming soon!)
  • Assistance in how to use your e readers to the fullest
  • order in special request books
  • able to check out books from a number of connected libraries that will send the book to our library for you
  • Book In The Bag program – 10 copies of the same book to be checked out together for reading groups.
  • Book sales
  • and more to come 🙂

I know there is more, but that is what I have off the top of my head.  The Library staff works hard to stay educated and current on what the needs of our community are.  It is absolutely an honor to be a part of it.

I will be talking more about my library this month but for now… power looks like it is back on and I need to prepare for my day.  My questions I leave you with are:


Do you have a local library?

Do you visit it and if so how often?

Does your family members have library cards?

Do you know what your library offers besides book check out?

Do you think your community would be missing something important (Or is missing something important) if your library was no longer there?


I am thinking of an idea to get more power behind this discussion but for now… I have to go and there it is.  🙂




Morning Meanderings.. “Agate Vines”



Good morning!  Hope everyone is doing SUPER FINE this happy Saturday 🙂  We had a bit of sunshine yesterday that melted away Thursday snow storm so I am looking forward (*hopefully* fingers crossed*) to no more snow.

Yesterday evening, our Friends Of The Brainerd Public Library helped to host a local artist who had recently created original lights to go over the circulation desk.  Today I thought I would share that for Saturday Snapshot.


I have known Greg Rosenberg for many years now.  Until recently, his business was located downstairs from the office I work at.  Occasionally I would pop in to see what he was working on.  Greg works with stained glass, metal, and yes – agates, to create original art works.  Here is one of his many lamps he has made:

1 - Copy

Gorgeous yes? 

Here are pictures from last nights event:

Other artists spoke regarding the importance of art in our community and Greg spoke about the lights and the inspiration behind them.
It was a good turn out. About 35 people came to see the lights and celebrate with Greg.
The Friends of the Library served cake….


and Lily had made a tasty beverage with apple juice, 7 up, lemon juice and real ginger.
The lights as you can see, each hang from a metal “root base”. They hook into the base. Each one is unique and as you look at them you will find hidden vines, shapes, one even has an extended heart shape agate that comes off the lamp to look like a leaf. The agates are Brazilian Agate and Minnesota. Greg calls the lights “agate vines”
Here is a picture of the lights over the desk. There are 6 in all. Attendees of last nights event had an opportunity to walk behind the circulation desk as well so they could see all sides of the lights.
This is Greg and his wife Margaret standing by the circulation desk.

Greg also made a beautiful window using a mixture of agates and stained glass that sits above the doors into the library from the entryway.  I apparently was too busy talking to people last night and forgot to take a picture of it, but it is another gorgeous original piece.

To see more of Greg’s work, please check out his website at Shining Light Studio.

It was a fun evening!

Morning Meanderings.. The Making of A Library Book Sale


Happy Wednesday!  I have not had much blogesphere time this past couple of weeks as life has once again taken a turn to the busy… good busy so I am not complaining…. I just really wish I could do it all. 😀 

My work life is busy at this time… a lot of exciting things happening that is keeping me moving (more on that some day soon) and it seems that now we sort of had a taste of warmer weather, my energy level has risen as well and I am doing more home projects as well, oh and yes… the running has started for the year – I had a 7K last weekend and a 5K coming up this Saturday evening, a night run… my first and it should be fun.

The majority of my time this week though, is going to our spring Library sale.  I have been working hard on the brochure for Wine and Words this year, the tickets, and a brochure and logo for our Friends Of The Library group as well… all to reveal at the Spring Library sale where all bookish people gather.  The sale starts tomorrow (Thursday) morning.

The gathering of the books is a year-long process.  People are welcome and encouraged to bring in their gently used books for the sale as well as the library donated books that have been withdrawn from the library.  Twice a year, the Friends bring these books upstairs into the large conference room and sell them to raise money for our group which supports the libraries needs that the city budget does not cover.  We purchase additional copies of best sellers, provide snacks for two library books clubs, a family one and an adult one, we pay the movie license for the library, new books for the kids area, and recently we helped pay for tall wooden barista style chairs and tall tables to line up along the back window for additional seating. 

Just a small sample of what the basement looks like, and this is after about 50% of the books were brought up for the spring sale. The basement becomes wall to wall donated books, all separated by genre. Thank goodness for the amazing co-chairs of this event who work hard all year to keep this organized.

But… back to the sale.  The set up started on Monday morning when the books are brought to the room by local volunteers.  They have been sorted downstairs by genre, hard cover/soft cover, and premium (hot sellers and/or books that have been released within the last 3 years).  Kids books are a quarter, regular soft cover and hard cover are .50, and Premium are usually between $1 – $4. 

I went into the library on Monday to help with the set up and worked with the premium books.  I separated these books into piles according to year and another lady who is a co-chair of this sale prices them.  Occasionally you will get a box of pretty sweet books donated and this year it was a box of gamer books – hard cover rule books for games like Dungeons and Dragons, etc… that were marked with the store labels of selling anywhere from $35 to $104 each.  To the right person, these will be a real find. 

This is the beginning of the set up.. The back wall is all children’s books. The center picture is the premium table.

Today, I took most of the day off of work to go and help with the sale.  This is the final set up day and I will stay as long as it takes to be ready.  Tomorrow morning, I will be out waiting in the crowds to come in and shop the sale.  As part of the set up team I can shop it early, but I don’t want to.  I love the community of hanging outside with the rest of the book lovers and talking with them. It is a tradition and they know me by name because of it. 🙂

Does your local library have book sales?  I would love to hear about them!  How much are the books?  How do they set it up….