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Interview With David Baldacci

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Last week I had the privilege of being part of a group set up to be in on a conference call to Best Selling Author David Baldacci.   David (I am going to call him David 😉 ) has been writing fiction since 1996 starting with his book Absolute Power.  Most recently, two books have been published; The Escape (part of the John Puller series), and The Finisher, David’s first dabble into the Young Adult genre.

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Our group all had an opportunity to ask David a question or two, and here are some of the key points I walked away with.

When David was asked by his Scholastic Editor Rachel Griffiths about his portrayal of strong women characters in his books, David replied,

I guess I don’t write about damsels in distress because I don’t happen to know any.  I have a lot of guy friends that need a lot of help and not so much the women.  I grew up with a force of nature in my mother.  And I am married to a force of nature with my wife, Michelle.

 

For myself, I was interested in hearing about his book, The Finisher, which is a new genre for him.  When David was asked about this book and the reason for writing something completely different he said,

I have always felt that as a writer if you do not stretch yourself you sort of wither on the vine.  So for me, it was a challenge to get out of my comfort zone and write in a genre and in a way that I have never written about before. 

 

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As David went on and discussed the books he loved growing up and now shares with his own kids, I adored the fact that he said that the Harry Potter series was the first series they did together as a family and they listened to it on audio; David praising Jim Dale’s narration (as do I!).

 

 

Another big take away from this interview was the fact that David and his wife Michelle started a foundation called The Wish You Well Foundation.  This foundation supports family literacy in the United States by fostering and promoting the development and expansion of new and existing literacy and educational programs.

The foundation has been in existence for fifteen years and receives around 5,000 applications a year for funds across the country.  David says it is a lot of applications, but they go through every single one of them.  They also have a book collection drive where they gather books and send them home with people in need of books.  They have given out over a million books in the last four years.  If interested in knowing more about that program you can check it out here.

My question was about his love of the library.  I had heard that David was a library advocate and I wanted to hear more about that.  David said,

As a kid I went to the library every day.  I had favorite Librarian’s.  They would let me check out more books than you are supposed to because they knew I would read them all and come back next week for more.  Even though I never left town growing up, I seen the world through books. 

In our little town where we live in Virginia we did not have a local library. So my wife and I got behind a movement and helped build a public library here in our community.  Filling a place with books and walking in and seeing those ideas on a shelf is the coolest thing in the world.  We are a nation that is built on that type of concept, and we are a nation of libraries.  That’s something we have to keep and hold dear. 

 

I found out that David is the chair for National Library Week 2015.  (SOOOOO COOL!)  He also sits on the National Book Festival Board for the Library Of Congress, and was on the state board in Virginia.

 

(Dang… I asked the right question!  🙂 )

 

 

There was so much more great things about this interview, and I could go on and on!  David was a wonderful author to talk to, very personable and clearly someone who has a passion for books and literacy.  I will link to the other participants (below)  who were in on this conversation and I suggest you check out what they all are writing about this amazing interview as there was a lot of good things!  🙂

Participants

BookHounds.net

IAmAReader.com

5MinutesforMom.com

BeasBookNook.Blogspot.com

FreshFiction.com

PopcornReads.com

BethFishReads.com

ThatsWhatSheRead.net

TheReadingCafe.com

 

2015 Library Challenge

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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.

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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?

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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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Click here to enter your link and view this Linky Tools list…

Saturday Snapshot: Minnesota Library Association Conference

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This Past week I had the pleasure of attending the Minnesota Library Association Annual Conference in Mankato Minnesota. I went, representing the Friends Of The Brainerd Public Library, 4 Librarians from our Library attended as well.

I arrived on Wednesday afternoon and joined the rest of the Brainerd Group for what was called Parlor Games.  A series of fun games from 6:30 – 9 pm.  A mix of Balderdash, Apples to Apples, and a fun team game where we split the 90-some people in the room into two groups and we had to follow a series of clues to complete a task.  It was fun!

Parlor Games!

Parlor Games!

 

On Thursday, along with hour-long sessions for the Librarians to choose from, there was an additional amount of sessions that were Friends Of The Library related.  I had a list of choices for each hour, and spent my first hour of the day at the Library Friends Idea exchange.  I picked up ideas there like a 5k, scholarship offering for seniors, character events for children, and more.

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I spent the second hour of my day in the same room listening to the author of Beyond Book Sales, Susan Dowd, speak about the things the Friends groups can do to raise finds beyond the books.  How to build membership, how to be listed in a will…

 

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At 11:15 I went to a different room, a room where I would be speaking.  Our local event that started in 2013 was up for an award for Best New Friends Event.  This was exciting!  I was up against a group who added on to their children’s area at their library and a Great Gatsby Event that raised $47,000.  I was sure Gatsby had it.  There would be two runner ups that would receive $250 each, and then the winner, who would receive the plaque and a thousand dollar check for their friends.

Each of us had ten minutes to talk about our project.  In the end…

Friends Of The Brainerd Public Library took Best Project!  I could not believe it!

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Holy Smokes batman!!!!

The day then went to lunch where Tod Bol,the creator of Little Free Libraries spoke.  It was really interesting to hear how this wave of little book exchanges have popped up all over the world!  I did not realize Tod was from Wisconsin.

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After lunch, Laurel from our Library spoke on Social Media and her talk was very interesting!  After listening to her, I have some work to do. 🙂

All in all, a great couple of days hanging out in a Bookish World, just the way I like it 😉

 

I am adding this to Saturday Snapshot.  Please check out what others are posting in pictures this Saturday.  I am off to work with bees this morning and then home to work on my house… tomorrow, starts another adventure 😉

Morning Meanderings… Library Friends Networking

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Good morning!  Happy Tuesday!  Yesterday morning I made apple butter with our apples from our trees and my home this morning still smells like cinnamon and apples….

mmmmmm.

Yesterday afternoon I went to a workshop in Roseville Minnesota to network with other Friends Of The Library.  It was pretty fun and they used our Friends group in Brainerd for many examples – website description of what friends of the library do, our Wine and Words event, summer brown bag author events…  it was cool to know that we were on the right track in many ways.

I enjoyed listening to the other things that friends are doing in other areas – 5k walks and runs, bowling for books, and my personal favorite (wish I would have thought of it!) The Great Gatsby Gala that they had planned to make $20,000 and they raised $47,000!  Holy smokes!!!!  Granted it was in the bigger Minnesota cities so more people and more money… but still…. WOW.  I hope to attend this one next year so I can see what they are doing up close.

I think the saddest thing at this workshop was the Itaska Friends group.  Their library is open one day a week; Wednesdays from noon to 4 pm.  That is heart breaking, yet this group raises money and awareness for their library through book sales, and being in the Fourth Of July parade.

One emphasis they put out there was being POSITIVE.  I could not agree more.  Having negative people on your teams sucks the life and energy out of the team…. in any circumstance.  You need to stay positive and work to make events fun!

Anyhoo… it was a good time, it was fun meeting others in Minnesota in Friends groups.  I did not arrive back home until 11 pm last night, but was able to listen to audio for my 2+ hour drive each way so that made it awesome 🙂

 

Does Your Library Have A Friends Group?  Are you a part of it?  What does your group do?

Morning Meanderings… I LOVE My Library

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Good morning.  We are in the middle of a storm here in Central Minnesota.  I mean… seriously.

 

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I took the above picture from my back deck and was plastered with rain from the high winds.  Weather has been so weird here.  I put a better video on Facebook.

 

Anyhoo… this post was not meant to be about the weather.  We have better things to talk about than that 🙂

What I wanted to chat about it Libraries.  Felicia at Geeky Bloggers Book Blog has been running these great library posts for September as it is National Library Card Month.  As soon as I seen what she was doing I knew I wanted to be involved but of course my life stuff got in the way and here we are on September 4th and finally getting with it. 🙂

You know I love our local Library.  If they would let me stay on the roof and raise money for a cause …. but they will not let me do that and yes, I asked…. but trust me…

there are other things I can do. 😉

I am so passionate about Libraries and what they offer.  My goal is to spread the word that today’s Library goes beyond the books… our library does sooooo much more.  We:

  • Rent movies and audio books
  • have computer classes
  • Author events
  • Adult and children book clubs
  • Reading programs
  • weekly reading time in the childrens area
  • a Teen hangout area
  • IPADs to use in the library
  • computers to use
  • conference rooms large and small that you can use for meetings and events
  • contests
  • historic information (Scandinavian week is coming soon!)
  • Assistance in how to use your e readers to the fullest
  • order in special request books
  • able to check out books from a number of connected libraries that will send the book to our library for you
  • Book In The Bag program – 10 copies of the same book to be checked out together for reading groups.
  • Book sales
  • and more to come 🙂

I know there is more, but that is what I have off the top of my head.  The Library staff works hard to stay educated and current on what the needs of our community are.  It is absolutely an honor to be a part of it.

I will be talking more about my library this month but for now… power looks like it is back on and I need to prepare for my day.  My questions I leave you with are:

 

Do you have a local library?

Do you visit it and if so how often?

Does your family members have library cards?

Do you know what your library offers besides book check out?

Do you think your community would be missing something important (Or is missing something important) if your library was no longer there?

 

I am thinking of an idea to get more power behind this discussion but for now… I have to go and there it is.  🙂