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

 

Morning Meanderings… The Day Of The Eve

Good morning.  *Yawns stretches*  How are we doing this New Years Eve Day?

I am sitting here with LAPTOP and COFFEE looking out at a very chilly day (22 below is the current Minnesota temp) and thinking of all the little things I want to accomplish today.

I have some laundry in the works, and a website I am building for an upcoming event, and pictures to go and take for an article, and what to make for dinner… and I am of course thinking about The First Book Of The Year… not only the post (which I love love love) but also… what my book will be.

My book will possibly be at least partially completed on audio since I leave early to get to a 10K run in the AM in St Paul and listening to audio makes that 2+ hour drive way more enjoyable… but alas… which book?  (The first book is almost as hard to pick as the word of the year lol)


If you are considering participating in First Book or if you are reading this thinking what the heck is First Book?  Here is a link to that post.  It is not to late to send in a pic to me of you and the book to add to the collage of readers going into 2018.

I am also looking at Goodreads.  I love that challenge, I am just trying to think what I can realistically do.  There was a time I could read over 100 books a year.  Now with all the things I have added in my life, I do not think that is a reachable goal.  I want to partake for sure, and I don’t want to drop the ball on it like I did in 2017.

So thats me.

The First Book post will go up early due to my run.  If you miss getting your pic in on time, do not worry – I almost always have some that come in after the posting and I add them to a post on January 2nd.

In the mean time… enjoy this day as we close out 2017 and all it has held… and look forward to 2018 and what this New Year will bring.

My Word!!! My One Word for 2018. What Is Yours?

It is (beyond) time for the One Word of the year.  I have been doing this since 2013 and make a GIGANTIC deal out of my word as I know I want it to be valid for the year – come what may.

2017 word was SHINE and as you can see by last years post, it fell into my lap in a remarkable way and when I had the word – I knew it was the word.  SHINE has served me amazingly well, and really stuck with me through the year as I continued to find a way to move forward with the tragedy that hit my family in 2015.  Many people sent SHINE things through the year which make me smile to even think about it.  What an amazing support team I have! 


This year, words were suggested that were great ideas – but didn’t quite fit what I thought would be what I needed for where I am in this world.  It wasn’t until this morning as I thought about the new things I would be doing in 2018, the physical challenges I had signed up for including my first half marathon (yeah… I said first) and my first 7 days bike ride across Iowa and then I knew…

 

EXPERIENCE


Definition:  An experience is something that you do or that happens to you, especially something important that affects you.  

the act of living through an event or events; personal involvement in or observation of events as they occur, anything observed or lived through

For me, I look at this new year as an opportunity to experience new things.  To taste, to travel, to feel, to push myself, to EXPERIENCE whatever life has to offer.  If there is one thing I know for sure, it is that life is short and it is precious.  None of us know if there is a tomorrow (or what tomorrow will bring).   We need to live well and to the fullest today.  Every day is an opportunity to experience something new – to choose to move out of our comfort zone and BE and DO.

I am well aware that my own life circumstances have brought me to this opinion on how we (I) should live.  Your life circumstances may be completely different as well as your choices of what to do with your time on this earth.

I ask again, for the 4th year on this site, please consider doing One Word with me.  Here is a site with a list of words to start you thinking.  When you choose your word – say it out loud to everyone.  Own it.  The more you place it in your life, the better it will stick and become truly your motivational inspirational direction of the year.

I recently wrote an article in the local Her Voice magazine about One Word.  They are now taking submissions of people telling them the word they have chosen for 2018 and they will post them in the February printing of the magazine.  Here is a link to that Facebook post if you would like to be part of the article.

Feel free to submit your own word below.  I would love to cheer you on!

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!

The Kind Worth Killing by Peter Swanson

Just when you think you know what you know that you know….  you discover…  you know nothing at all….  ~Sheila

When Ted Severson meets the lovely Lily Kinter at an airport bar after the flight they are both on has been delayed, Ted shares that his wife Miranda is having an affair with the contractor building their new home.  A nonchalant conversation follows, and Ted having had more than a few drinks tells Lily almost jokingly, that he would like to kill his wife.  Lily, says if he is serious, she would help him.

The two part ways but make a plan to meet up in the future at a set location if Ted is serious about killing his wife.  No judgement if either changes their mind and does not show.

They both show up.

 

I like a good mystery…. especially this time of year when the weather is cooler and a comfy chair, blanket, and a hot beverage call my name.  Curling up with a good book is a pleasure to all readers…  finding the right book, that can be another story…

The Kind Worth Killing was the right story.  I loved the format of alternating chapters between Lily and Tom.  The story unfold both backwards and forwards as you learn of what is true of the past as well as the present.  I want to tell you so much more but I am afraid to let any of this amazing book leak into my review.

Simply said –  if you love a book with multiple twists and turns … one that makes you think you got it… then shocks you when you don’t… one that surprises you long before the book is over…

I suggest giving this book a try.  I am looking to read more from this author.

The Marriage Pact by Michelle Richmond


Who wouldn’t want to enter a group of people who are all about strengthening their marriage… it sounds so innocent so amazing…  trust me – it’s not.   ~Sheila

In The Marriage Pact, Alice and Jack are newly married and receive an unusual gift from a client of Alice’s.  The gift is a beautiful wooden box that inside it carries a book called The Marriage Pact along with two pens, to sign the agreement.  The Marriage Pact, by all indications, is a group of married people who support and encourage one another.  There are good things to be reminded of such as…

Always answer the phone when your spouse calls.

Exchange a thoughtful gift monthly

Plan a trip quarterly

Never talk about The Pact to anyone

Alice and Jack want to give their marriage the best shot they can and feel The Pact would be a fun social and practical way to keep on the right track.    They sign the pact.

What Alice and Jack do not know, is that the pact, like marriage, is for life.  The Pact will go to great lengths to enforce the rules within…  once again reminding all of us – never sign something you have not thoroughly read…

*Whew*.  The Pact for me was a refreshing romp through something new and different.  I love books that go outside of the norm so such an unusual premise pulled me in from the beginning.   This was one of those books that I did not want to put down and read every chance I could.  As soon as I finished it I passed it to a friend, and then to my Aunt so she could read it as well.  And isn’t that the truth about great reads?  You want to share them with the world.

Highly recommended.  This one was read by our Book Club the Bookies (who also enjoyed it and the discussion) and I am hopeful that once it hits paperback we will have it as a Book In The Bag at the library as well so it can be used for a Books Burgers and Brews discussion.

My thoughts:  Read it.

Morning Meanderings…. Seriously – Where You Been?


Huh.

So sad to turn to this site today and see how long it has sat waiting for me.

Am I reading?  Yes

Am I doing?  Yes

So what’s my damage?  Why could I not get up like I used to… grab my COFFEE and write something funny(IMO) or amazing or ridiculous or hard or coming soon or….

Meh.  I don’t really know. 

I wont bore you with the details ( well.. any more than I already have)….  lets just rip the band-aid off and start again.

Hi.

I’m Sheila.  I love to read and write and talk about both.  I love to do community and I love to create and dream and do.  I love to bike and run and I want to love kick boxing.  😉  I love to be outside the box because  A.  I don’t believe the box has ever been big enough.  B.  The box is so overdone I want to puke  C.  Life is too precious to contain yourself to such perimeters.  D.  All of the above

(yes… it is D)

That said… here is what I have been reading as of late…


The Girl With Seven Names is our Books Burgers and Brews selection for Monday November 20th.  This will be our first non fiction title we have read with this group and it should be interesting.  It is also the first selection we have had that I was unable to find any discussion questions on line (EEP) meaning I need to create the discussion…

The Bookies Book Club recently finished The Kind Worth Killing….  and ooh.  I will be reviewing this one at some point here soon….  Peter Swanson (IMO) knocked this one out of the park.  LOVED so much about this…

And finally … what am I doing on audio?


Yeah…. don’t be judgy….  every once in a while I like to listen to a true crime.  It’s been a while and this one is crazy.  Its one of those which I am seriously baffled why it took the police so long to catch him.  Trust I will have much MUCHNESS to say about this one…

Anyway – that’s my meanderings.  Stay tuned for a book review coming your way shortly.

Oh and yes….  I will again be hosting One Word here and I will again be hosting The First Book Of The Year here.  Stay tuned…..  it is coming 😉

 

WHAT are you reading?

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

If you use the search are of this website,  you will find that I have talked about this audio many times throughout the years.  I have probably listened through it ten time, and to this day call it one of my all time favorite audio books.  ~Sheila

 

Ir is the year 2044 and life is dismal at best.
When students are not in their virtual schools, or adults trying to eek out a small existence, everyone spends their time in the Oasis, an online virtual world that is far better than the real one.

The Oasis was created by a brilliant man names James Holiday who never married, kept to himself and created like a mad man.  At the time of his death he is worth billions.

And that is the kicker.

As Holiday had no family to speak of, he instead offers up a challenge.  He has hidden an aster Egg in one of the many worlds of The Oasis.  There are keys that must be collected in order to reach the final destination of the egg. The first person to find it, wins it all.
Total game changer.

Wade Watts is on the low-end of the food chain.  He lives with his aunt in the stacks (trailer homes stacked upon one another).  He has no money to his name and spends all of his spare time in the Oasis.  Hearing about the Easter Egg and receiving the first clue along with millions of others was enough to make him dream of possibilities – yet years go by and no one figures out the clue to get the first key and many are starting to think it was Holiday being a little off.

Until one day something changes.  The score board to the Easter Egg has remained the same for years… until today.  Someone has figured out the clue and now possesses the first key…

that someone is Wade Watts.

Ready Player One.

 

Ready Player One is an audio I promote all the time.  Narrated by the AMAZING-YOU-CAN-READ-THE-NEWSPAPER-TO-ME-ANYTIME Wil Wheaton.  (SIGH girl crush…..)  I can’t praise this one enough.  In fact every time I talk about it – I want to listen to it again..  This is why it makes my all time favorite audio list .   If you enjoy a good dystopian novel, 80’s references and a fun gamer theme… seriously YOU MUST listen to this audio.  While I own the book, I have never read it.  I always have gone audio and can not imagine it any other way.


It is now set to be a movie in 2018 that has me so über excited I can not stand it!!!

Morning Meanderings… A Silence So Deep You Could Hear A Jockstrap Drop


It is true…by the time I am writing this, it is not exactly morning anymore…. but wanted to do it any way… my site.. I can pick if it is day or night.  ;P

 

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….

YES.

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…

Audio….

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…

 

Black Book…

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.

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Morning Meanderings…. Adriana Trigiani… To Know Her Is To Love Her


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…

*Gulp*

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.

Yeah.

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.

 

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