Happy New Year: Reading Around The World 2015


Happy New Year everyone!  I hope everyone had a wonderful night and now here we are on January 1st 2015.  YAY to a new year!!!

This is the second annual First Book Of The Year Meme where I have offered book lovers around the world to send in a pic of themselves with the first book they will be reading this New Year.  For myself, that first book has always been a big deal… a book I have been wanting to read for a while, sometimes it is a comforting re-read… whatever.

The past few days my email has been a treasure of fellow readers sending in that first book.  It is always exciting to see what everyone chooses as their first read, and it is fun to see people from all over the world join in.

Here are this years participants:


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There they are!  If you see me in the bottom left corner, I have been so eager to read Stations Eleven after hearing all the great reviews of it.  I will be in my cozy chair today digging into this one.  There are many great titles here and thank you to all the book lovers who sent in a picture!  I seriously tear up when I see how many get behind this idea.


If you wrote a post to go with this First Book Of The Year Meme please link it here where it says Click Here 🙂

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Happy New Year from…

Kristin – Always With A Book

Chelsea-  You Should Have Seen It In Color

Donna – Writer Side Up

Kathryn – Book Date

Nise – Under The Boardwalk

Laura – Book Snob

Ann – Ann’s Reading Corner

Laurel Rain – An Interior Journey

Sue – Book by Book

Kim – Caffeinated Book Reviewer

Katherine I Wish I Lived In A  Library

Pat – Posting For Now

Mary – Bookfan

Freda – Freda’s Voice

Paige – authenticme

Elizabeth – Silver’s Reviews

Stacy – The Novel Life

Brook – Brooke Blogs

Cynthia – Binging On Books

Wendy – Beautiful Day

Martha – Reviews by Martha


Susie – Home With Susie

Jennifer – Librarian Eats

Connie – The Prairie Mom

Sharon – Faith, Hope, and Cherrytea

Melissa – Jayne’s Books

Laura – Brainonlaura

Sheree – The Eclectic Reader

Laura – Crafty Booksheeps

Jackie – Jackie’s Bookbytes

Earl – The Chronicles Of A Childrens Book Writer

Beth – Fueled By Fiction

Emma  – Words and Peace

Jackie –  Jackie’s Forget Me Nots

Heather – Based On A True Story

Beth – Beth’s Book Nook

Kimberly – Costa

Marcee – A Nurse and a Book

Judy – Busy Hands are Happy Hands

Karen – bookertalk

Ann – Books on The Table

Shannon – The Most Happy Reader

Tanya – Girlxoxo

Leslie – Under My Apple Tree

Laura – The Book Junkie

Nicola – Back To Books

Marcilia – Reading In The Tardis

Kai – Fiction State Of Mind

Janet – My Shore Lines

Brona – Brona’s Books

Josh – Just A Guy Who Likes To Read

Emma – Once Upon A Littlefield

MrsK – MrskBookstogo

Shannon – Shannon’s Book Bag

Laurie – Bay State Readers Advisory

Melissa – Melissafirman


Shanny – Shanny Reads

Maddy – Symphony Of Words

Suzanne – Chicks With Books

Lory – The Emerald City

Deb – Readerbuzz

and Me 🙂




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



Good morning (or afternoon or evening depending on where you live).

Over the weekend I got it in my head that I was going to go through all my old posts and make an alphabetized page of all my book reviews for easy reference.  For the record… it was a bigger project than I had anticipated.  I worked on it in afternoons while listening to audio, and in the evening while watching movies, and off and on throughout the days…. and it took me three days to complete it.  It is however… done.


While it was a LOT OF WORK (I have been reviewing since early 2009), it was also quite the walk through Book Journey history.  As I made my way into the older reviews I actually discovered a lot.

I had forgotten many of the older titles that I had once reviewed and was surprised by some of the earlier titles that I had accepted.  There were a lot of so-so books in the early years, but there were also great reads such as this one and this one . And this one.  Ok there were a lot. I also discovered that I have reviewed Harry Potter and The Sorcerer’s Stone between book and audio… 4 times.  Yes! 4 times! I interviewed many authors in the early days and almost every review had a giveaway.  I also read a lot more James Patterson and Kristin Hannah than I had thought.


Many of the books that I reviewed in the early days were my own, from the library, and often for book club. I used a lot of color in my writing then… blue, red, green… and I bolded my entire posts.  My first book sent to me from an author was Dragon House by John Shors.  It was an excellent read. My first book tour was a book called A Will To Love by Kim Smith and I used a little picture to represent the tour:

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Some of the non book review posts I ran into were the very first Morning Meandering was in August of 2009.  I also discovered that in 2009 I was signed up to participate on another Harry Potter Readalong!   I had also created a meme called Word Verification Balderdash (Ryan from Wordsmithonia will remember this one, he was great at it!)  We would create meanings for the fun word verifications we had found while commenting on blogs.  Some of them were hilarious!  My favorite non bookish post was one where I interviewed myself as the Wicked … err sorely misunderstood witch of Snow White (I have no idea why I did this and had actually forgot about it), the post is actually a bit funny…


So over all the project was a success.  It was more work than I had anticipated but it was fun to go back through every post I have written.  I laughed and I eye rolled.  It was all good. 🙂


Before I go today I wanted to share another Library Challenge.  I had started a Library Challenge here for 2015 and forgot that Felicia from Geeky Bloggers Book Blog hosts one as well.  I would encourage those of you interested in the library challenge to take a look at hers too… in many ways they are the same (so its really no more work), but she has a cool link to join in a Goodreads group which is pretty cool.  Also… check out her challenge pic…. SO COOL.  I am joining in and will do this one along with my own challenge.  On hers I think I will go for Thrifty Reader which is a goal of 24.


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


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

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

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

Where Are You Reading

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


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

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

First Book Of The Year 2015


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

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

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

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





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

Morning Meanderings… Challenge Accepted


I couldn’t sleep.

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



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


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

Where Are You Reading

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


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

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

2015 Library Challenge


Hear me out.

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

Hear me out.

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

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


This challenge is also for me.

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

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


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

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

 1-5 check outs in 2015 – NOVICE

6-11 check outs in 2015 – ROOKIE

12- 16 check outs in 2015 – INTERMEDIATE

17 – 22 check outs in 2015 – SEASONED

23 – 27 check outs in 2015 – EXPERIENCED

28 + check outs in 2015 – GOING PRO!


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

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


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

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

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