Blog Archives

Books, Burgers,and Brews: The Circle by Dave Eggers

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I am a gazillion posts behind and I have so much to share!  Books Burgers and Brews has been going strong since October…  this was the idea of having a Book Club in a public venue and Friends of the Brainerd Public Library hosting this free event.  The vision was to bring non readers to books… while that is not exactly what has happened (it has been more people who can not find a book club, writers, other book club people…) it is still connecting people to books and really – isn’t that all I ever want?
~Sheila

The Circle made for a great discussion book.  The futuristic synopsis around a company (The Circle) that puts social media at the forefront…  where secrets are considered lies and transparency in all things has value.

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Our group that night was the largest yet.  We had 37 people at Prairie Bay and a good variety of ages… people that had grown up with social media of some sort being a part of their life, those who came by it later in life and those that have heard of Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc… but not really engaged or understood the draw.

What fascinates me about such a book is that I tend to lose how I truly feel about the book (I believe, I liked it).  Having lead book club discussions for so many years, I tend to focus on how the book will be for discussing and that is what excited me here.  Over all, those in this room did not love the book… but they loved the discussion it brought out.

What is the dangers of social media?
What is too much information? 
When are secrets a good thing?
If we are all 100% transparent, what is lost?  When do we just become desensitized to everything?
Is what is described in the book what is happening in our world today?
If so, is there a way to stop it?  Does the majority of the population want to?

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As always, Prairie Bay created a wonderful Literary Menu for us….  The Eye In The Pie and The Three Wise Men Melt both sounded so good… I ordered them both…  I was right they were delicious.

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And… as has become tradition… the drink special is one that Laurel and I always have to try.  This time there was two… the white wine that is mentioned in the book that Mae drinks… and a local beer that uses social media for promotions.

Once again… well played Prairie Bay.

Stay tuned.. later today I will post my review of the book The Circle.

 

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There Were Books… There Were Burgers… And There Were Brews (and Potato Vodka Too!)

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A few days back I shared with you the plans for a new event in our area, Books, Burgers, and Brews.  Our kick off event was this past Monday and I spent much of the day prepping the details and at the same time fretting about the details….

What is it about new things that makes me a mess of butterflies in my tummy?  I went over…. will they show up?  Will they talk?  Will they find the layout fresh, fun, and engaging….. will they find ME fresh, fun and engaging?  Will I be able to fill up two hours or will we end early?  Will they leave wanting to come again?

I need not have worried.  We had 21 attendees for this debut event.  I had a sign up sheet for those who wished to be notified of upcoming book selections and they almost all signed up.

Let me give you a little visual…

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We used power point so everyone could follow along easily with the format and the questions.   I showed a 15 minute interview with the author Andy Weir while everyone ordered their food and drinks and chatted.  Oh and speaking of the food and drinks…

 

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Our venue, Prairie Bay, made this awesome menu to go with our book discussion.  SO MUCH FUN!  I loved the Potato Farm and brought that home for Al.

 

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One of the tasty burgers…  the Potato Farm.

 

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NASA water was a fun prop.

 

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Some of the group who attended Books, Burgers, and Brews.

 

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Suggestions for future reads or attendees could write down their own ideas.

 

The overall night was a lot of fun.  We had a great discussion, and one guy who really did not like how the book was in journal entries and felt he did not need all the math and science info…. this different opinion than most of the other attendees was also fun as it added to the discussion.  A friend of mine in the group who really enjoys science fiction reads found that The Martian was overly light to be considered Science Fiction, where others in the room found it to be heavy on the science side.  In the end, I asked the group if they had the opportunity to write a three sentence synopsis on the back of the book what would it say.  I challenged the guy who did not like the book to come up with one and he did…  of course for the life of me I can not find his synopsis but it did have something to do with…

“The Martian…  all of the suspense and magical appeal of Harry Potter at Hogwarts with the addition of shit potato’s.”

 

Anyhoo… something like that – but it was funny – and really, isn’t that what makes a great discussion is the difference in opinions and how we all see things a bit differently when we read?

I would wrap this one up as a success.  It was good to see the group engaged in the discussion.  I think everyone spoke up at one point.  They enjoyed the food… and the little extras we put together.  At the end people thanked us for doing this and that is really what is was meant to be…. another way for The Friends of the Brainerd Public Library to reach into the community and build value in what we do and in what our local library can provide.

Next months selection – by vote of our attendees….

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That will give me the push I need to get this one read and find the little something somethings to make this one a great discussion.

The Fall Book Sale – CHOOSE my Next Read and YOU get the book

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I know – I know…. MIA  AGAIN.  What is with me?  First up – thank you to everyone who has sent my messages letting me know I am missed and valued.  As if I wasn’t already missing posting here like I used to…. that was the icing on the proverbial cupcake.

*sigh*

I hope now that the craziness of summer and even the kick off to fall has slowed to a simmer that I can be more active here.  SO much book stuff to share… so many good things happening.

First up… the fall book sale.  Crazy with a side of crazy I think covers that.  We had more books than we have ever had before.  SO many in fact that 3 weeks before the sale we had to quit accepting the books at the library which hurt to say out loud… but true.  We were so bottle necked with the donations that we could not sort the books.  A few of us from the Friends board started moving books weeks ago to the sale sight to release the pressure.  Basically, I feel as though I have been working this sale for WEEKS.

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Set up started this past Monday and a group of us spent 7+hours on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, setting up.  Thursday, Friday and Saturday was the sale and I was there open to close – Sunday we cleaned up.  Day one… I was there at 6 am… 4 people brought me coffee.  LOVE that.

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I am a fume today…. merely a mist of my self 😉

BUT – what you really want to know… is what did I bring home.  I know how you roll.  In true book sale fashion – I will once again post my treasures here – YOU CHOOSE what I will read in the next month and if your comment is the one that wins the random drawing I will read that book first, review and then send you the book.  Go nuts my friends…. go nuts.

Here they are – note the few exceptions to the giveaway under each picture.

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All books in above pic available except the 2 Patrick Rothfuss on the bottom.

 

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All books in above pic available except the CS Lewis (top) and the Writers Market (bottom)

 

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All books available in this pic

 

There you have it.  In a comment below tell me which book you would like me to read and then send to you.  🙂  I am hopeful that I am back.  🙂

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

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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 random.org.  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).

Ready?

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

 

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

 

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Keeping: Wizard of Oz and 100 Banned Books

 

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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.