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Morning Meanderings… L3 Summit…. Libraries, Libraries, Libraries

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Good morning!

I keep thinking that it would be fun to have a little thing here at Book Journey that if you see me mention libraries or the word library in a post you win something…

Then I thought…. well that is just crazy.  I talk about libraries ALL THE TIME. 😉

Today I am at the L3 Summit in St Paul Minnesota.  This is pretty cool.  About 4 years ago I was involved in a study with two of our Librarians that involved two-day work shops in ST Paul for four different dates within a year to learn more about strengthening our Libraries, and how we can help each other grow.  It was a great program and I learned a lot.  In fact, Wine and Words came out of this training.

They worked with Minnesota libraries when I was involved – a mix of large libraries, and small.  Then after Minnesota they took this program to Wisconsin.   And then this last year, they worked with South Dakota.  Now, at this Summit is a mix of the three years,all three states, inviting back those that made the most progress with the program.  I am honored to be a part of this.

So today is a day of connecting and sharing our success with our libraries and our programs.  I am excited to hear what the others have done as well.  I brought along a few Wine and Words brochures as well as tickets – cause hey – you never know😉

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Last night they had a dinner which was nice.  I came back to my hotel room and wanted a little something so thought I would check and see if they had a little snack area.  I figured there are times that it makes sense to pay $5 for something sweet.  ;)  I found in a cupboard in the room the jack pot…. and yes, I paid $6 for a small jar of Dark Chocolate Toffee Pistachios.  They had me at toffee…. lol

I will be back to talk about the books of BEA and the expo itself…. just let the last few days get away from me🙂

 

 

 

Welcome to the Audie Awards…. Your Ticket Awaits You At The Door

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Hello everyone and welcome to the Audie Awards post.  I so hope I did not keep you waiting to long but what is an event like this if you do not have to wait for it to happen.  Creates buzz I think😉

Last Wednesday May 11th, I was lucky enough to be the plus one to the Audie Awards in Chicago at the Planetarium.  I was the guest of our very own Candace, Beth Fish Reads, who won the Audio Book Blogger Of The Year.  WOOT!!!!  *Oops that wasn’t very lady like…. I mean *polite clap muffled by silk gloves to my elbow*

All kidding aside, this was quite an honor.  This is a $700 ticketed invite only event and we were there!  So let’s go in shall we?

 

We arrived at 5:30 pm per instructions for Candace to have a chance to go over what she would be saying when she gave out the awards.  I was an observer at this point but it was pretty cool to watch. Everyone was incredibly nice.  I even had a chance to go and look at the cool Audie Awards that would be handed out to the winners when the event began.  I looked.  I did not touch.  I wanted to touch.

And then, before we knew it, we were being ushered upstairs to the reception area.

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The signature drink offered at the door was ummm….. I don’t know.  It was good, kind of a grapefruit flavor to it but not bitter.

Candace and I mingled with the Narrators and some of the big name narrating names.  It was really amazing and I think we were both a little shell shocked as waiters and waitresses encouraged us to take the delicious little appetizers that I soooo wish I had taken pictures of (but did not want to look too fan girlish😉 ).

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Can’t you just hear the mingling?  It was the sound of many narrators at once.🙂

Then the big moment came and we were all sent back downstairs for the main event.

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Paula Poundstone was the emcee and I have to say she was hilarious.  I do not belly laugh often, but this woman had me laughing until I cried.  Better yet, you do not even have to take my word for it, the whole thing is available on You Tube! (See Below)

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One of the hilarious moments in the award ceremony was when Paula asked that the screen be backed up so she could get a closer look at one of the audio book covers.  Her question?  “Why do we not judge the covers?”  There is a pretty funny give and take on this one with the narrator who was in the audience.

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Candace did a wonderful job of giving out the awards in four different categories.  I was the careful photographer behind the scenes trying to capture the moment.

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It was a wonderful event and it went by so fast.  It was amazing to be one of the first to know what audio books won the award for best of the year.  I loved watching the audio books show up on the screen and then hearing which one won.  Many I have read… there are many more that were added to my “must listen” list.

 

When it was over Candace let me take one of the audio award envelopes that announced the winners.  TOTALLY EXCITED!!!!!!  This was pretty awesome…. and I picked…

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After the awards we were back up stairs *should have worn a Fitbit* and into the hall again for dessert and champagne.  We had a wonderful time being able to talk with many of the narrators, and still looking at one another saying, “Yeah… that just happened.”

Thanks Candace for letting me be your plus one.  What an AMAZING experience!

 

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Note that the show does not start for the first 30 minutes so forward this baby and get ready to laugh and see our very own Candace of Beth Fish Reads give away a few awards!

Morning Meanderings…. Another Day – Another Book…. (and a little story about the beer)

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Another beautiful day here in Minnesota.  Ahhhhhh COFFEE CUP and I are enjoying the deck this morning.

I left you all in limbo yesterday when I asked you to get dressed up so we could discuss the Audie Awards and then I never wrote that post.  I hope I didn’t leave you all dresses up and nowhere to go for the last 20 hours.  That’s awkward.

As I am off to visit my Aunt the reader this morning the book I want to chat about today is one that has become an author my Aunt really enjoys thanks to the diet of books I have been feeding her over the past year.  When I seen this one at the expo, I knew I had to grab it – it is an author I really enjoy too.

elin hilderbrand, book journey, here's to us, the rumor, BEA

Oh yes.  Elin Hilderbrand.  If you enjoy great summer reading set around Nantucket and friendships – DO NOT miss this author.  I absolutely adore her writing and and can not wait to dig into this one.  I have enjoyed her books for years and highly recommend them.  The RumorWinter Street The Matchmaker.  The IslandThe Castaways.

Laurel Thorpe, Belinda Rowe, and Scarlett Oliver have two things in common.  They all deeply love a man named Deacon who they all have all been married to at one time…and they all have a passionate dislike of one another.

OOH – let me just chime in here and say is that not enough right there to make you want to read this book?

All three women are remarkable, spirited women and they could not be more different.  Laurel is Deacon’s High School sweetheart.  She is beautiful and a social worker.  Belinda is a high maintenance diva, and Scarlett is a sexy Southern bell surviving on her looks and her families money.

When tragedy hits, the women are forced to come together to deal with the aftermath.  The women try to do what is asked of them – but all have an unbreakable bond to a man…. and a lot of secret to hide.

 

OOH right?  And here is a cool thing about Elin Hilderbrand.  Every year she has a book signing at the Book Expo.  And every year that signing has included Corona Beer.  Admittedly, I love that.  It is unique.  Often you receive great swag with the books – book bags, candy, book marks, digital downloads, totes, recipes, tattoos…  there is something that says “Summer in Nantucket” when you think Corona.

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So this year, I asked the publisher about this tradition of Corona.  She said that it was something they thought of doing at Elin’s first BEA  signing because it was different and fun.  People sign a book in the late afternoon of the Expo, and they get a beer.  Definitely a cool idea and after walking the Expo for 7+hours…. yeah.

Today I am taking this book while I go visit my Aunt.  I am going to propose to her that we each read it and discuss it.  Then I will post about it.  I am sooo excited about this and I think she will be too.

And when I return…. we are going to the Audie Awards so make sure you are ready for that post – it’s going to be awesome.  Really.  Get ready.  I will post it today.  I will.🙂

Late Meanderings… Lets Talk About That Bench

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Whoa… wait… what?

I lost the morning.  I had every intention of putting up an earlier post and then life just gets in the way.

I had a meeting at the library this morning and I parked where I usually do near the benches. THE BENCHES.  I was there yesterday as well and spent a little time at the bench and took a couple of pictures.

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You may notice a little something on the bench in the right hand corner…

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This little rock has the word ‘TRUST” written on it.  I have no idea where it came from, but I LOVE it.  Thank you to whoever for putting such a powerful message out there.  I have no idea what it means to the giver, but I imagine knowing my son there is a ton of meaning behind it.

So today, as I walk into the library a group of teens are approaching the benches (there are three benches) and the four of them choose to sit on Justin’s bench and the tears start to flow.  I can imagine that he would love this.  I also noticed the rock was still there which also warmed my heart through the tears.

When I left the library, a different person, a lone girl was sitting on the bench and again … oh my heart.

I did not get to visit the bench today due to the activity around it.  I did not want to approach and let anyone know my personal connection to that particular bench.  That’s awkward and unfair to those using the bench… although I secretly hoped that perhaps at least one of them knew Justin, or his story and were spending a little time with him –

just like the trust rock.

 

I am behind on the BEA posts, I had another post planned for yesterday but it did not happen.  Hopefully today will be the day I invite you to the Audie Awards.  Put on something nice😉

 

3BEA Book NOTE! 

Ashes by Laurie Halse Anderson

Setting:  Revolutionary War, Valley Forge

Compact Synopsis:  The conclusion to the trilogy that started with Chains and continued with Forge. Isabel and Curzon are now reported as runaways.  They are determined to find Isabel’s little sister Ruth who is enslaved in a Southern state and danger of being captured is all around.

The Draw:  Hello! Have you ever read Laurie Halse Anderson?  If not, you are truly missing out.  SPEAK was the first book I read by her (a banned book) and I was hooked.  Known for writing about hard issues, this book excites me!  And the cover?  WOW.  That caught my eye even before I seen who wrote the book.

 

Morning Meanderings…. BEA…. Those First Few Hours

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Good morning all. Started out to be a beautiful sunny day and then went to overcast and a bit chilly – I guess a good day to be at the library working on projects that the Friends are involved in.  Got to get in that weekly library dose! 😉

Continuing from where I left off yesterday, last Wednesday was the first official day of the Book Expo in Chicago.  It was a bit different from in past years as the expo floor did not open until 1:00 pm.  That left us with a lot of time to check things out.  Candace (Beth Fish Reads) and I had breakfast and met with Jill (Rhapsody in Books).  Always awesome to see her!   Then I headed to registration to pick up my badge:

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OOOOH!  AHHHHH!  This is always a highlight as I collect these badges and have every year of the Expo that I attended as well as other book panels and bookish events I have been a part of.  Yes…. I know… I am letting my dorkiness show.

As the time drew near to the expo opener (lol…. had to say that)…. we all gathered in the hall.  I had a chance to see Jennifer from Jenn’s Bookshelves as we waited.  LOVE seeing the regular BEA group!  It was also interesting to watching the diehards scramble for a foothold in the entrance area while those of us who have “been there- done that” waited out of the crazy zone.

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Even better…. there was another entrance apparently unspotted by this group that had no surge of people at all.  When the time came… we just walked in.  No limbs were harmed in the opening of the expo🙂

I tend to mostly walk the floor alone.  I had no method to my madness.  Some people come with carefully laid out plans of whom to see and when and that has always been more than I usually do.  I like to walk the floor hitting the big name publishing areas first as they tend to have pretty amazing book drops for you to choose from and then I trickle my way through the expo watching for titles that catch my eye and publishing houses I need to connect or reconnect with.

By 4 pm, Candace and I met up to head back to our room with our treasures for the day and to get ready for the Audie Awards.   The Expo was open until 5:30 but we were done and I was happy to get out of the hustle of people and books for a while…. besides…. I did just fine with my book haul:

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So that was the Expo day 1.  Later today we will move on to the amazing Audie Awards that Candace and I were lucky enough to attend that evening.

 

BEA BOOK NOTE!

jennifer weinner, littlest bigfoot, bookjourney

The Littlest Bigfoot by jennifer weiner…

Setting: a boarding school

Compact Synopsis:  Twelve year old Alice Mayfield goes through life mostly unnoticed by her family and with no friends.  When she one day rescues Milly Maximus from drowning, Alice feels she has found the friend she always wanted.

One thing though…

Milly is a Bigfoot, part of a group of Bigfoots that live in the woods and fear people (“No-Furs”).  It is up to Alice to find a way to keep her new friend safe and keep her secrets.  It is also a time for both Alice and Milly to put faith in one another… faith they need to pull form deep inside.

The Draw:  Jennifer Weiner is an author I have enjoyed in the past with books such as Certain Girls, Good In Bed, The Next Best Thing, Best Friends Forever, and Fly Away Home (just to name a few that I have read.  So yes, to me…. author name recognition as well as this sounds like a pretty cute Middle Grade read!

 

  • Age Range: 8 – 12 years

  • Grade Level: 3 – 7

  • Series: The Littlest Bigfoot (Book 1)

  • Hardcover: 304 pages

  • Publisher: Aladdin (September 13, 2016)

 

Book Expo Arrival and Day One

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As promised, I said I would write a series of posts about this years expo.

I left Minnesota on Tuesday May 10th at 5:30 am to drive to Chicago for the book expo.  I had decided that between driving to Minneapolis, paying for parking there, paying for luggage, and plane as well as cost of shipping books back – this could be a wash as I would just have gas costs and parking at the hotel.  For the record – it was more cost-effective to drive so I got that right.  YAY me!

I planned to arrive at the hotel around 2:30 with breaks for gas, bathroom, or food.  In reality – with the traffic in Minneapolis and then getting lost in Chicago for a stressful hour…. it was closer to 4:30 when I finally parked and met up with my roommate Candace of Beth Fish Reads.

After unpacking we walked around the expo area  a bit looking at all the great posters promoting books I was excited about….

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Don’t those look great?  We finished up our day by going to eat at the pub in the hotel.  He had good food and a glass of wine, talked and caught up, and anticipated what was to come….  tomorrow we will talk about Day 1 of the expo and the Audie Awards!

Morning Meanderings… Return From The Expo (BEA!)

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Home.

As many of you know I was in Chicago this past week for the Book Expo (BEA).  In the past, I have blogged from the expo – pictures, happenings, events….  this year, it was enough for me to just go.  I forgot my two boxes of business cards at home, and after that initial “DOH!”,  decided this was the year I would reconnect and took it easy.

I met up with my roommate Candace (Beth Fish Reads) on Tuesday late after noon after I drove the supposed-to-be-8-hours-and-is-actually-closer-to-10-hours drive from Minnesota to Chicago.  We made it to our room, organized and then had appetizers and a glass of wine with Florinda (3 R’s Blog) and Kim (Sophisticated Dorkiness).

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As this week goes on I will give you a day by day break down of the who’s and whats of this years expo.  I will share about the show, about the Audie Awards (SQQQUUUEEEEE), narrator connections, publishing connections, fellow bloggers (!), and more.

Today I just wanted to share that the Expo was a good decision for me to attend.  It was good to get out of the house for a while and function like I used to.  I have a long ways to go to coming back into some form of me, but this was a good start.

It is so easy to get caught up in the reconnecting with Publishers and people you have worked with in the past with reviews and write ups.  It is also easy that while you are talking with these publishing houses to accept the 3, 4, 5,… books that the know you will just love and the pitch for these books leave you thinking that you must read this book.  Their enthusiasm is contagious. I mention all of this because what i will share with you as this week goes on is how you go from driving to the expo with a few audio books in the front seat to keep you company (thank you Karen White you were an excellent road trip companion) to this….

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LOL.  Some people thought this would be pretty funny to stage my car and make it look over flowing with books.  Anyway, stay tuned… there are plans and posts for these books as well as a save the date event (June 9) my 7 year Blogiversary where there will be the usual BEA giveaway packages to celebrate bloggers all over.

Until then… happy reading.

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Morning Meanderings… Setting A Pace

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Wednesday morning here in Minnesota.  Yesterday I had lunch with my Aunts and they were chatting about an article I had written for a local magazine that had just come out that day.  I was unsure what they were talking about until they explained further and it was something I had written in early March when life was well… not this one.  I had completely forgotten about the article although I knew I would have written the magazine release date down in my agenda.  My agenda that I lived by day to day with all my “to do’s” and my “where I should be’s” and my “don’t forgets”.

Now that agenda lays under a pile of papers on my kitchen table.  I only open it if I must to check on the dates of something.  Now I can’t stand living by an agenda because it reminds me of the me who filled up all my time DOING DOING DOING and honestly for whatever reason it reminds me of who I was and this new and fragile me doesn’t like that busy person.

Even though I know it does not change a thing.

Now I live by a rule of if it gets done – it gets done.  I want to complete things, I do… but my focus is not there.  I am careful with my heart right now and I know I am not strong enough to charge ahead and make things happen.  Perhaps someday, but hopefully not to the extent where I was… living by an agenda.

 

Today I have a friend coming over for coffee.  This after noon another friend is coming over to work on my hosta garden with me and plant the two bleeding hearts I bought for Mother’s Day.  Tonight I have the City Library Board meeting…. my first one since…

That’s enough of an agenda for me.

Many of our bookish friends are at the Book Expo that opens up today in New York.  I am excited for them as this event has been one of the highlights of my year every year since 2010.  I hope this one is also amazing.

Have a good day everyone.

Morning Meanderings…. In The Quiet

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It was with a heavy heart this morning that I read the email of my confirmation of my flight out this morning from the Minneapolis Airport to New York for the Book Expo.  The flight left, but I was not on it.

2015 would have been my 6th year in a row of attending the expo.  I love the people, the pace, the books, the friendships, the general buzz of the publishing world.  Yet  I knew a week ago that as much as I wanted to go and be that person – for this year I am not her.  Thank you to my wonderful roommate Candace (Beth Fish Reads) for being so understanding. I absolutely will miss hanging out with the good friends that I have met in the years of doing this event and I am hopeful that we will all be together in 2016.

Bitter sweet?  You bet.  Yet I know I am making the right decision as hard as it is. For those of you attending, please take lots of great pics and send them my way – I want to feel like I am there even if I am not.

My house…

is quiet.

The dogs are sleeping in random spots around the house and I am at my laptop with my COFFEE and wondering what this day will bring with it.  I woke up in tears but that is not really unusual these days other than the fact that I am amazed that I have the tears to cry every single day.  On the flip side of that, as I look at Justin’s picture… I know he is worth every single tear and many many more.  If I cry for every bit of love I have for him.. then I will cry forever.

Over the weekend Al and I went to our cabin on the North Shore.  It was nice to go but as you can imagine also another hard step as the cabin is filled with so many memories.  I read and I slept.  I had no cell phone coverage in the area so I had nothing else to do but just BE.  I finished the Butternut Lake series which turned out to be just the right level of read for me.  I am now working on William Kent Krueger’s Tamarack County.  With William (Kent) being a Wine and Words author this year I wanted to read more of him.

I hope to put up some reviews this week.  I have quite a few to write and like the little “mind breaks” that talking books creates for me.  In the meantime know that I am still here on the other side of the screen – maybe not at full capacity, but I am here.

BEA: Author Breakfasts

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The continuing Book Expo 2014 posts.  If you missed any the others were: Blogger Con/BEA Bloggers,   Harper Collins Gathering and Party

 

One of the little bonuses of the Book Expo is you have an opportunity to attend Author Breakfasts.  These breakfasts are charged above the Expo fees, however if it is an author that you are really interested in, it is a fun time.  You can pay a breakfast that includes seats that are closer to the front, or you can pay a smaller price to sit in the farther back seats without a breakfast.  When I go, I sit in the farther back seats as to get good seats at the breakfast you need to wait in a line for an hour or more and I am just not that great at line waiting😀

On Thursday Morning, the breakfast line up was Neil Patrick Harris (the draw for me), Angelica Huston, Tavis Smiley, and Lisa Scottoline.  Neil. was incredibly funny and engaging.  He was everything I felt he would be so really made this breakfast pop:

Really, take the time to listen to this clip – it is AWESOME.

When you attend these breakfasts, you usually get a copy of some of the speaking authors books and this breakfast included:

Neil Patrick Harris, Sheila DeChantal, Book Journey, Book Expo

We did not receive the whole book, it was a small sample of the book but one I will be interested in when it does come out in all of its glory🙂

 

Angelica Huston, book expo, Sheila DeChantal, Book JOurney

On Friday, I attended the Children’s Author Breakfast.  I know right?  Why would I attend the Children’s Author breakfast?  I review few children’s books, I have no small children at home…. oh… I know why….

Jason Segel.

Do not judge me….😉

Another one worth watching.  I will wait….

……….

Ok, awesome right?

The books included with this breakfast were:

Jason Segal book, Nightmares, Book JOurney, Sheila DeChantal, book cover

Cute right???

 

baby bedtime, mem fox, Sheila DeChantal, book journey

And, I have to plug one more author, Jeff Kinney who is the author of The Wimpy Kid series.  Now these are not books that I have read, but after listening to Jeff talk at the expo – delightful, funny, and a bonus surprise for me… I may need to start watching his books.

Grad another cup of coffee… this one is well worth the watch as well:

 

Do I recommend the breakfasts?  I do.  If you are interested in any of the authors who will be speaking, you get a great seat to hearing them chat about their books and you get to hear some great insights into their lives (seriously, listen to Jeff’s BEA talk above… at the end he has some pretty amazing plans that all stem around his love of books).