Category Archives: Meanderings
It is Audio Book Month and I LOVE LOVE LOVE this event and promoting audio, however June is sooooo full of big stuff…it seems I can never give it the full hurrah that it deserves…
I am a big audio advocate… like tie me to a fence post with a picket sign promoting audio… like disturbing the peace in front of the city council and getting locked up for the night promoter of audio….
That is how much I love it.
Earlier today I was driving home from a breakfast with an author friend (more on that later…) and listening to Fredrick Backman’s latest book on audio – Beartown. While driving this line caused me to admire Fredrick sooo much.
A silence so deep that you could hear a jockstrap drop.
Ahhhh come on, it is like poetic beauty…. and so different from Backman’s other books that I am falling in love fast and quick on this one…
Continuing with that theme, today I wanted to touch on one of the Audio Books I brought home from the expo. James Patterson may catch a lot of slack on the mass production of books, short short chapters, and well..whatever we want to pick on him for… but there is a soft spot in my heart for him. Patterson can be contributed to my love at audio. When I first started reviewing audio, his were some of the first I was sent for review. I loved the narration, even the sound effects that in some audio can come off as feeling odd… his seem spot on.
James (yes I call him James) was one of the speakers this year at the Book Expo Audio Tea…and this is one of the books I brought home…
Billy Harney was born to be a cop. The son of Chicago’s chief of detectives, whose twin sister is also on the force, Billy plays it by the book. Alongside Detective Kate Fenton, Billy’s tempestuous, adrenaline-junkie partner, there’s nothing he wouldn’t sacrifice for his job. Enter Amy Lentini, a hard-charging assistant state’s attorney hell-bent on making a name for herself – who suspects Billy isn’t the cop he claims to be. They’re about to be linked by more than their careers.
One missing black book.
A horrifying murder leads investigators to an unexpected address – an exclusive brothel that caters to Chicago’s most powerful citizens. There’s plenty of incriminating evidence on the scene – but what matters most is what’s missing: the madam’s black book. Now shock waves are rippling through the city’s elite, and everyone’s desperate to find it.
Chicago has never been more dangerous.
As everyone who’s anyone in Chicago scrambles to get their hands on the elusive black book, no one’s motives can be trusted.
Hmmmmm? Yeah I thought so.
It is a beautiful day here in Minnesota… maybe not as sunshiny warm as I would like… but the sun is out and it will be good weather for gardening this after noon and mowing the lawn while listening to audio ( ♥ )
When in New York earlier this month, I was hoping I would get a chance to see Adriana Trigiani. Adriana is tied in to my whole BEA experience from the first time I attended in 2010. That first year, I won a contest Adriana had held and was one of 6 Bloggers who were picked up at the Javitz Center in a limo and taken to Alice’s Teacup for an amazing lunch and one on one time with Adriana. She was so personable and sweet and I felt like I was in book lovers heaven!
In 2011, a group of us met up with her again and went on a walking tour of Greenwich Village and where her characters frequent. In 2013, she had us over to her home for brunch. BRUNCH! AT HER HOME. Yeah, I just said that.
In 2015, when my life fell apart and I did not attend the Book Expo, Adrianna personally called me. That meant so much to me I can not even put it into words. In 2016, we were in Chicago for the Expo and she was not there.
Some Authors are like Super Heroes…
So this year, I really wanted to say hi to her and I stood outside her long line for book signing just so I could wave at her. I sent a message up the line that I was there and just for her to look up so I could smile and wave (I am from Central Minnesota this is what we do)… I waited for over an hour and finally my message was delivered and she looked up and called me over…
Security helped me get through the rope barrier and I passed in front of the line of those still waiting to have their book signed. A little embarrassed, and sure an Adriana fan who had been waiting in line was going to knock me to the ground and beat the stuffing out of me… surprising they let me pass and were nice about it..book people are the best!
Once up front she hugged me and I had my picture taken with her, despite my polite refusal to have a book signed that I had not been in line for, she signed one for me anyway. We talked for like 30 seconds and I thanked her for the phone call and I was on my way.
So without further ado… Kiss Carlos.
It’s 1949, and South Philadelphia bursts with opportunity during the postwar boom. The Palazzini Cab Company & Western Union Telegraph Office, owned and operated by Dominic Palazzini and his three sons, is flourishing: Business is good, and they’re surrounded by sympathetic wives and daughters-in-law, with grandchildren on the way. But a decades-long feud that split Dominic and his brother, Mike, and their once-close families sets the stage for a rematch.
Amidst the hoopla, the arrival of an urgent telegram from Italy upends the life of Nicky Castone (Dominic and his wife’s orphaned nephew), who lives and works with his uncle Dom and his family. Nicky decides, at 30, that he wants more – more than just a job driving car number four and more than his longtime fiancée, Peachy DePino, a bookkeeper, can offer. When he admits to his fiancée that he’s been secretly moonlighting at the local Shakespeare theater company, Nicky finds himself drawn to the stage, its colorful players, and the determined Calla Borelli, who inherited the enterprise from her father, Nicky must choose between the conventional life his family expects of him and charting a new course and risking losing everything he cherishes.
So now you know the why this book came home with me from the expo… and you know why I have every book that Adriana has ever written in my own library. Kiss Carlos was released this week on June 20th. It you have not experienced Adriana, then I am telling you that you are in for a treat… she write amazing characters and amazing stories. Don’t miss out.
Recently at the Book Expo I was talking with my roommate (Beth Fish Reads and yes I like saying she is my roommate lol) and we were talking about how much we used to blog… she had said, “You used to put up two posts a day!”
She was right, I did. For the longest time I would do a Morning Meanderings… and then something; bookish review, author meet up … in the afternoon. At the time… it flowed well… now it is funny to think how the heck did I do that?????
At this time, I have enough footage to do it…. I am behind (WAY BEHIND!) on reviews. I have much to share about bookish things and by golly I am going to keep talking about those great Expo books. So we shall see… 😉
Lorna Landvik was at the Brainerd Public Library yesterday. She is not only an amazing author, funny funny lady, and our MC for Wine and Words… she is also someone I am pleased to call friend.
Lorna was at the Brainerd Public Library for our Brown Bag Author Event. Every Monday through the summer we have an author from noon to one. I was initially going to skip this weeks as I was up to my ears in working on the Books Burgers and Brews discussion for last night, but once I checked the schedule and remembered it was Lorna I had to go.
Lorna packed the house. Our events usually bring in around 45 – 60…. Lorna had 104 in the room. I counted twice.
Lorna’s new book is Once In A Blue Moon Lodge. The follow-up to Patty Jane’s House Of Curl. The book sounds amazing!
Saturday!!!! My favorite day of the week! I usually get to connect with friends… and try to take this day as something at least partially for me… a little reading or sitting in the sun… and I try to avoid any work projects if possible.
In a little bit here I am going to go to town to get a spreadsheet for the books coming out (yes I am trying to be organized!!!) as well as go try on a potential dress for next months annual Queen event.
Hello to I Found You by Lisa Jewell.
In the windswept British seaside town of Ridinghouse Bay, single mom Alice Lake finds a man sitting on a beach outside her house. He has no name, no jacket, and no idea how he got there. Against her better judgment, she invites him inside.
Meanwhile, in a suburb of London, newlywed Lily Monrose grows anxious when her husband fails to return home from work one night. Soon, she receives even worse news: according to the police, the man she married never even existed.
Twenty-three years earlier, Gray and Kirsty Ross are teenagers on a summer holiday with their parents. The annual trip to Ridinghouse Bay is uneventful, until an enigmatic young man starts paying extra attention to Kirsty. Something about him makes Gray uncomfortable—and it’s not just because he’s a protective older brother.
Who is the man on the beach? Where is Lily’s missing husband? And what ever happened to the man who made such a lasting and disturbing impression on Gray?
OOH right? I love a good mystery and Lisa Jewell’s books never disappoint. I am looking forward to spending some time in this one.
Good morning. Or afternoon. Or evening. Depending on where you are in the world and when you actually read this. 🙂
Whirlwind weeks and the best of intentions did not mix when I hoped to write more this past week while I was at Camp Benedict. So here I am now, home from camp, pretty (almost) caught up on laundry, and house stuff and sleep.
When I pulled into the driveway Friday afternoon I smiled when my eyes fell upon the three boxes sitting by my front step. Book Expo findings!!! I hauled them in the house and put them on the couch in the front room where they stayed until yesterday morning when I finally felt I had enough energy to dig into them….
There they are. *sigh* Beautiful books. I will be talking about these books throughout the summer. Stay tuned to hear more about them and why they were the among the chosen ones to come into my home.
It looks to be a rainy day here in Central Minnesota… as much as I was looking forward to working in the garden today this may instead be a curl up and read day…. those days are now few and far between and book club is this coming Tuesday so maybe… not a bad idea.
Happy Sunday all 🙂
I guess we are doing this. “
Little known fact about me…. that line above is how I usually think right before I have to complete whatever I agreed to do or signed up for. 😛 True story…. The first year of Wine and Words… we planned it – I envisioned it, found authors, held meetings, and then the day of the event…
I was all butterfly’s and twirling tummy… and thought…
“Well, I guess we are doing this.”
That still has not changed.
I sign up for things and agree to things- because they are who I want to be… I want to be a runner. I want to be a biker and a hiker. I want to be a thrill seeker. I want to be energetic. I want to have events in my community that are fun and successful…. and so I plan things. I agree to things… and I do them.
Yesterday was no exception. Doing the Polar Dash on January 1st each year is insane, The weather is usually freezing…. it is a 2 1/2 drive for me to get to the event to run in this freezing weather.
Yet to see all the people that do this…. I like being a part of that crazy. I like to start out a new year with something positive and shiny. And here is how it went…
I ran with my two friends Sheila (yes another one!) and Belinda. The weather was fantastic – in the mid 20’s….. if my knee would have been feeling top notch, I would have loved to have does the 10k instead of the 5. We ran, we got our free beer ticket at the end and we had a delicious lunch. I felt I hit the mark for shining day one of 2017.
Also – if you did not see and read the First Book post from yesterday, please do. LOVE LOVE LOVE the participation. I had a few late comers to the party and I am happy to add them here today. Look in this mix for our Emcee of Wine and Words, author Lorna Landvik.
Thank you to all once again for ringing int he New Year with me and with great reads. I love looking at all the titles and seeing what I should be reading. Also – did you find me in yesterdays post? I am there. ;P
Does that just feel crazy to anyone else besides me?
This whole year really has been… different. I started out the year just trying to breathe and honestly not really caring if I did. That solid depression/funk stayed with me through June and only started lifting when I had to be a part of the Camp Board I am on… I went in planning to resign when the week was up… I came out…
From there – I moved into August for Wine and Words and then I MOVED. By that I mean, I got on my bike. I went back to the gym. I started walking with friends and signing up for runs. I started to find me again, probably because I was actively trying to… for myself and for my son. Reading, fell to the wayside this year…. its crazy to say that but true. I kept my mind occupied with projects and going and doing.
It brought me to now… still and forever crushed by the enormous loss in my life… at the same time determined to do something with what I have been given as I am all too painfully aware many of us take our days for granted…. and I can tell you first hand – dont do that. LIVE each one well.
So here we are.
Our winter so far has been mild with little snow. I have walked a lot through our local arboretum with friends… more than I have probably ever been out in the winter weather before. Yes yes… I am a Minnesota girl who is not a fan of winter – it is true.
If you have not signed up for first book yet – please do! I love putting that together for the new year and it is so uplifting to see all the readers from around the world! Here is the link to that post. I look forward to getting back into my reviews and back with all of you as we enter 2017.
I hope all of you are well and snug and warm and ready for the week to come.
This season is odd for me now.
No tree is put up in our home. I am not bustling around and wrapping gifts and making lists….
The joy of the season – for me is gone. For now anyway. And I hate even writing that because it makes me sad but it is also so true.
So what do I do?
This week I will do what I have been doing the last 5 months. I will stay busy. I will go to the gym, walk in the arb, have coffee dates and find my way through. My friend Amy and I are going to make a make shift 5k for Christmas eve eve (yes the eve before the eve) because having something to focus on works for me.
Enough of that though….
lets talk books.
Yes yes.. ha ha. I have not written a review in ages. I need to. I want to. I am ready for a New Year in that sense as I can start my Good Read goal again…. the one I blew this year as I just…. didnt.
AND be sure to check out First Book of the year….. AND soon to be coming/posting will be One Word…. our word for the year which I am still sorting through as I do every year…trying to pick just the right one. It is a BIG DEAL.
So that is a brief what is happening with me. I am off to the gym, making biscotti this afternoon while listening to audio and perhaps a walk in the arb with a friend.
Working my way back.
I do exist.
I have no excuses. I just went about life and didn’t make it here. I needed time to find me again… it is still a work in progress but I feel as though I may be getting there.
AND – I have been DOING. Which…. is actually a great word.
I am going to quickly update you as I have TONS to catch up on with reviews and crazy things that have been happening (in good ways)…
Most importantly at this moment – YES to those of you who have asked if I am doing First Book again. YES! I love first book and this will be my 4th year doing it and I absolutely want to own this one again. I will have the sign up ready today – I hope you will join.
Did I mention I LOVE First Book?
Next – YES I am totally doing ONE WORD again as well. This will be the 5th year I have hosted the One Word and as you know from last years post, I LOVE this as well. I am still thinking about my word…… posting soon on this. Yes I promise 🙂
As for everything else…. I have been running, dressing up, biking, hanging with friends, getting out of the house, working with non profits, working with a fun online project, creating websites, walking in the snow, going back to the YMCA, lifting weights, saying YES more… and remembering that I am doing this life for two now… and I can not let Justin down. (Yes there are sample pictures….)
I miss all of you. I just have not been taking the time to be here and I need to do that. Minnesota is cold…. damp… and it s a good time to get acquainted with this blog again and all of you.
Thanks for waiting for me. ♥
I woke up this morning at our cabin on the North Shore.
It is weird to be in Minnesota now… I have not been in Minnesota on this date for 5 years….
This is the time of my annual trip with Justin to Florida. We went three years in a row, 2012, 2013, 2014…. last year, I went with my friend Amy to Arizona during these dates… and this year…
I felt I needed to do this alone.
So here I am. At the cabin…. drenched in his memory… signs of him everywhere…. a note on the refrigerator, his entries in the guest books… the memories… the ginger ale bottle… and this – makes me cry but I want to share this with you… and for me as well.
It was August 2014 and Wine and Words had just ended and Justin and I were taking our annual weekend trip here to the cabin as we did after every Wine and Words. We stopped in Duluth at Grandma’s Restaurant to have lunch. We were sitting up at the bar, myself exhausted from the planning of W & W as I always am afterwards, and looking forward to a fun two days with my son.
The bartender walked by us carrying a little bottle of Scwheppes Ginger Ale to deliver to a customer sitting down from us. Justin stopped talking, stared at the bottle of Ginger Ale and said, “Oh my God…. delicious!”
I have no idea why – perhaps the over tired version of me, perhaps the atmosphere, honestly it may have been the Bloody Mary we each had with lunch… but I thought that was the funniest thing ever. I started laughing so hard I cried. Justin just stared at me and started laughing too. I could not stop – I could not catch my breath and I just repeated what he had said, “Oh my God, delicious.” and we would both burst into laughter again.
Justin of course, had to have one… and that little bottle has sat in the window sill of the cabin kitchen since that day. We kept it as a memory… and you do know I love memories…..
This morning. I picked up the bottle… I unscrew the top and breathed in the faint scent of Ginger Ale….
remembering the laughter….
remembering the weekend….
trying to breathe it directly into my heart forever….
It is a hard day.
I brought my bike in the event it is warm enough for me to bike today. I feel as though I need to do something to honor this date, this crazy date that is filled with sunny memories of Harry Potter world, bonding with my son year after year, Justin’s tattoo on November 2nd 2014 to commemorate our trip… mine now that matches his….
I am thankful. Every day. I know I know I know I was lucky to have him as long as I did….
I knew these days would be hard.., I knew I had to get away and grieve.. and do what a broken mom does as she tries so desperately hard to put together the broken pieces and make some sort of mosaic version of who I was and who I am supposed to be.
Still here. Still moving forward one step at a time. celebrating us, remembering us…. ALWAYS.