Monday, December 31, 2012

New Year's Eve reflections

This time of year it's fun to read all of the wrap up posts and the big dreams of the new year posts as well. Since I started this blog in 2009, I've always done a wrap up post; how many books I read, challenges I met or failed to meet, etc. 

This year that really isn't that important to me mostly because my role as a blogger and a reader has changed so much. In 2009 when I started this adventure, I really, really needed something like this. I needed this creative, literary outlet. I had been laid off. I was a stay at home mom. I rarely talked to adults. This was a HUGE lifeline for me. It became  a community.

Since then, every year, I've grown and adapted my blog to flow with the changes in my life. I'm no longer laid off, no longer a stay at home mom, and I occasionally talk to adults through out the day. My literary life, however,  has changed. I live a busy literary life, not just as a reader. I work at a library. I work at a bookstore. I blog at work. 

I'm almost too consumed by books to really devote any good attention to my blog. I just don't feel it's as  an important or necessary outlet for my literary desires anymore. Every day at work, I live books and I love it. But when I come home, I'm a mother and a wife and an active parent at my son's school. My life has a different focus now. 

That is evident in the amount of books I read this year. 22. My lifestyle, my pace that I have kept this year has contributed to more audio books. 16 so far. I can only really see this continuing.

So because I feel this year has been such a big change for me, I do not honestly know or really care to "outline" for anyone what shape my blog will take in 2013. But I can safely say it will include what I'm reading, listening to, etc. I also see much more personal items as well; my life as a mother to a soon-to-be 5 year old, my desires for a second child, my search for a career that will fulfill me and my quest to nurture my faith and soul in this ever changing, mixed up world we live in.

Like every year, I thank my readers and friends for sticking with me. I am not as present as I once was and it would be fair to say I have about 16 blogs out there that I absolutely love and seek out. (and no I won't list them-wink!) The rest...well, I just don't have the time. It's so big and ever changing. I just can't keep up. 

If this post sounds tired, that was not my wish. I'm merely reflective on this New Year's Eve. The little one asleep. The musician husband playing at a gig. The house quiet and me thinking.

I wish all of  you a Happy New Year and look forward to continuing on wherever this blogging journey takes me. 

Happy Reading and as always, thanks for stopping by!

red headed book child

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Review: Gettysburg: The Graphic Novel

Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address is familiar to all Americans. But never has his most famous speech--his 271 indelible words--been presented in such a visual and accessible format.

Graphic artist and Civil War aficionado C. M. Butzer deftly uses a detailed, comic-book style to depict the Battle of Gettysburg; the national movement to create a memorial there; and the quiet day in 1863 when Lincoln delivered his galvanizing speech. Butzer uses only primary sources for the text, drawing from first-person letters and diaries, speeches, and Lincoln's own writing to unpack this series of historical events. The address itself is played out over eighteen pages, with every phrase given a visual interpretation that will resonate with young readers. (Goodreads)

I've been on a Civil war kick recently. No wonder with the new Lincoln movie out with the fabulous Daniel Day Lewis. This is on my list to see in January. I've been listening to Team of Rivals by Doris Kearns Goodwin on my MP3 player, watching the documentary The Civil War by Ken Burns, surprisingly LOVED the movie Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter (i know, it's not really historical) AND got a honk out of the Magic Treehouse chapter book, Abe At Last! (I'm reading the series with my son, in case  you were wondering why I was seeking out my history lessons from children's chapter books)

I stumbled across this graphic novel, new on display at my library and scooped it up. It was a quick read that outlined the people and the politics involved in the Battle of Gettysburg. Geared towards a younger reader, this summed it up quite nicely with some pretty serious pictures along the way.

For someone like me who likes to learn about different points in history but doesn't always know where to start, this is a nice simple intro to a much larger topic.

Rating: Recommend
Purchase: Indie Bound

Any Civil War buffs out there? Any great recommends for me, either non-fiction or historical fiction?

Happy reading and as always, thanks for stopping by!

red headed book child

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Audio Review: Between Shades of Grey by Ruta Septys

We received several new audio book titles in our young adult section at our library and I was so torn between which one to pick first. I settled on Between Shades of Gray because of the historical mood I was in.

At first I did not know if I would get into it. I wondered if it would be too sad, if the narrator's voice would be too whiny, etc. Let's just say I  haven't been too keen on some other female narrated YA titles.

But this particular narrator was spot on. She narrated voices for characters age six to sixty and had the right emotion for each.

Here's a brief description from Goodreads:
Lina is just like any other fifteen-year-old Lithuanian girl in 1941. She paints, she draws, she gets crushes on boys. Until one night when Soviet officers barge into her home, tearing her family from the comfortable life they've known. Separated from her father, forced onto a crowded and dirty train car, Lina, her mother, and her young brother slowly make their way north, crossing the Arctic Circle, to a work camp in the coldest reaches of Siberia. Here they are forced, under Stalin's orders, to dig for beets and fight for their lives under the cruelest of conditions.

Lina finds solace in her art, meticulously--and at great risk--documenting events by drawing, hoping these messages will make their way to her father's prison camp to let him know they are still alive. It is a long and harrowing journey, spanning years and covering 6,500 miles, but it is through incredible strength, love, and hope that Lina ultimately survives.

Lina's story was so powerful and painful to listen to. At times it was incredibly graphic and sad and  I wonder about the young adult audience it was geared for. With any depiction of real life horrific moments in history, it's going to feel like a jagged pill to swallow, young or old, I guess. I am glad I chose this over the others. I think fans of The Book Thief would enjoy this. 

I find it comical that after I read this I had an older woman customer come up to me at my bookstore and ask if that was the Shades of Gray book everyone is talking about. I couldn't help exclaim "Good God NO!  Not at all. Are you kidding me?! That would NOT be in the teen section." She walked away thinking I was tad crazy. 

Well, if she had stuck around, I would have recommended it to her. However, i think she really wanted that other "Shades of Gray book everyone is talking about" :)

Author Website: Ruta Sepetys
Purchase: Indie Bound

Happy Reading and as always, thanks for stopping by!

red headed book child

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Elf: The Musical at the Ordway

Last night, as part of Blogger Night at the Ordway, I saw the wonderful new musical, Elf. It was the perfect night to see it because we finally got some decent snow!

It was truly a wonderful, magical holiday outing. Downtown St.Paul was lit up. It was snowing and cold. Festive music was playing. The theater was, as always, gorgeous and full of cheer. Folks were dressed up in pretty dresses and suits.

This was a fabulous beginning to a night at the theater.

The musical itself was an absolute riot. So much fun! Most people are probably aware of the movie version with Will Farrell but this stands on its own. Not once was I making any comparison.  Buddy the Elf was played by an actor with so much pep and energy, my +1 made a comment wondering if he had any joints! We were amazed at his ability to move around stage!

(photo from Ordway website)

The music numbers fit perfectly with the story and even though some adult humor was sprinkled throughout, it really would be a lovely holiday outing for the family. The stage settings were colorful, moving from the North Pole, to Macy's Holiday Display, to the Empire State Building to Central Park.

(photo from Ordway website)

This is a relatively new musical but definitely worth making it a new holiday tradition for your family.

Elf: The Broadway Musical
Ordway Music Theater
Playing now through December 30.

Thanks for stopping by!

red headed book child

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Audio Review Part 1: 11/22/63 by Stephen King

It absolutely, positively amazes me that I picked this up to listen to. First, it's 30 discs long. That's gotta be a bazillion hours, atleast :)
Second, it's Stephen King. I haven't read anything by him in YEARS. Haven't really been interested in him either. I loved IT, The Shining, Skeleton's Crew and a few other stories along the way. Thanks to him, I am still scared of clowns, fog and semi trucks. 

I wanted a grand story. Something different. Something rich. And folks I know said this was absolutely wonderful. 

I am half way done, hence the Part 1 review. 15 discs in and I am riveted. 

I love the whole concept of it all. Man gets sent on a time traveling mission to erase the bad of the past, most importantly the assassination of JFK. That's the base of the story but SO much else happens along the way. Jake (his present self) grows to be quite comfortable in his past self as George. The people he meets. The love he finds. The others he gets to save. 

Though at times a little meandering, like typical King, it comes back around and you do see how each piece is part of a giant puzzle.

Anyone out there brave this one? Listen or read?

It only took me 2 weeks to get through the first half. I'm hoping the second half will go as quick!

Happy Reading (or listening) and as always, thanks for stopping by!

red headed book child

Monday, December 3, 2012

Review: The Cutting Season by Attica Locke

The American South in the twenty-first century. A plantation owned for generations by a rich family. So much history. And a dead body.

Just after dawn, Caren walks the grounds of Belle Vie, the historic plantation house in Louisiana that she has managed for four years. Today she sees nothing unusual, apart from some ground that has been dug up by the fence bordering the sugar can fields. Assuming an animal has been out after dark, she asks the gardener to tidy it up. Not long afterwards, he calls her to say it's something else. Something terrible. A dead body. At a distance, she missed her. The girl, the dirt and the blood. Now she has police on site, an investigation in progress, and a member of staff no one can track down. And Caren keeps uncovering things she will wish she didn't know. As she's drawn into the dead girl's story, she makes shattering discoveries about the future of Belle Vie, the secrets of its past, and sees, more clearly than ever, that Belle Vie, its beauty, is not to be trusted. 

A magnificent, sweeping story of the south, The Cutting Season brings history face-to-face with modern America, where Obama is president, but some things will never change. Attica Locke once again provides an unblinking commentary on politics, race, the law, family and love, all within a thriller every bit as gripping and tragic as her first novel, Black Water Rising (description from Goodreads)

This had been sitting on my shelf for months and I would stare at it and stare at it, knowing I would be in for an amazing read once I actually picked the damn thing up and cracked it open. Finally last week, it happened. Finally, a thriller sparked my interest! I've been in a mystery slump!

Attica Locke's first novel, Black Water Rising, was terrific as well. She immediately hooks you in with vivid descriptions of the setting and the inner turmoils of her characters. This time it was the deep south, Louisiana, which is steeped in history and vibrancy. I loved the main character, Caren. She was tough yet refined. I liked how she ran her job, the complexities of running a historic plantation as a black woman. 

It was edgy at times, the current racial tension between the characters and the past story line about the actual people living and working on the plantation, was intriguing and intense. This book had a lot going for it; a love story, history, politics, murder. I enjoyed the hell out of it and definitely look forward to reading more of her books.

On a cool side note, this book was published as the first book in the Harper Collins imprint, Dennis Lehane Books. What a backer to have as an author! Dennis Lehane is one of my favorites so it was easy to trust this book would be a good one.

The Cutting Season by Attica Locke
Publisher: Harper Collins (Dennis Lehane Books)
Genre: Thriller
Pages: 374 
Price: $25.99
Challenge: Sadly, this would be one of my first book reviews for my very own A-Z Mystery Author Challenge. Yay! Go me, I know.

Happy Reading and as always, thanks for stopping by!

red headed book child

Friday, November 23, 2012

Guest Review: Roll Me Up and Smoke Me When I Die by Willie Nelson

This review is being brought to you by "The Husband". Though I am a fan of Willie Nelson's music, I was not very interested in reading about his "Musings from the Road".

I'll leave it up to the musician.

Guest Review:
This book is written in possibly the most down-to-earth, folksy verbage of any I have read. It reads like some stream of consciousness style poetry, crossed with an 'on the road' type journal. I think it offers a wonderful glimpse into the mind of an iconic American legend. His philosophy is the simple stuff of a folksy upbringing crossed with the hard scrabble reality of making it in the American dream; with a dash of what it is like being a mega-celebrity. Hearty and brash, this rambling memoir is worth a read from every fan, or even someone curious about the music biz. Highly recommended. 

Roll Me Up and Smoke Me When I Die: Musings from the Road
Willie Nelson
Publisher: William Morrow
Pages: 192
Price: $22.99

Happy Reading and as always, thanks for stopping by!

red headed book child

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Feature: Far from the Tree: Parent, Children and the Search for Identity by Andrew Solomon

I am so intrigued with this massive nerdy delight of a book. Yes, it's over 900 pages and the likelihood I finish it anytime soon is, well, not likely. So there. But I couldn't wait. I wanted to talk about it and atleast feature it so all of you would know how truly remarkable it is.

I have read several parts so far and have also requested it on audio to shake it up a bit. It is wonderful. Andrew Solomon, award winning author of The Noonday Demon, is masterful in his delivery of such complicated and dense subjects; from Dwarfism to Autism to Schizophrenia. Over 250 people were interviewed and their stories shared here. Over 10 years in the making. My fascination with development and psychology and what makes us who we are definitely makes this book for me. 

Check out this feature in Shelf Awareness which prompted me to blog about this book today, long before I actually finished it.

Andrew Solomon, Shelf Awareness.

Also, check out a sample of the audio here.

This book is hefty and probably wouldn't make the ideal holiday gift but it's worth a read, even if it's in small chunks. My mind is still spinning from information. 

Far From the Tree; Parents, Children and the Search for Identity
Publisher: Scribner
Genre: Non-Fiction
Release Date: November 2012
Price: $35.00
Pages: 976

Happy Reading and as always, thanks for stopping by!

red headed book child

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Audio Update

Audio books have been my life saver this year in staying connected to books. I have officially listened to more audio books than read books this year. It's weird but I've accepted it.

I've also started to learn the complexities of audio books; what makes them great, what makes them suck. So I give you a brief audio update on the last three audio books I've digested or tried to atleast.

Ransom River by Meg Gardiner
Here's an example of what makes an audio stink. (no offense to the great Meg Gardiner, who is a fabulous mystery writer). The story was good but the narrator was...well, terrible. Flat as can be. No emotion. Felt like she was reading a school assignment. Yes, she was delivering the words from the book but I did not feel it at all. She wasn't the character she was reading. She did not portray any emotion to her words to make me feel invested in the story and its characters. Sorry, but I did not finish this one. Got about 3 discs in.
Too bad. Guess I'll stick to reading Meg from now on.

The Kingmaker's Daughter by Philippa Greggory
This one, on the other hand, didn't blow my mind BUT was so much better in the narrator department. I'm a huge fan of Philippa G's books, having read most of them while I was hormonal on maternity leave. :) This was my first try with the audio. This was one I had to pay attention to, just like in reading, because of all of the similar sounding character names and the historical aspects.
Delightful all around. I would be interested in giving her other novels a try.

Ready, Player, One by Ernest Cline
This one was by far my favorite audio book as of late. Though it took me the entire three weeks of check out time from the library, it was worth it.
I'm a 80s gal and this was known for being chock full of 80s trivia and fun facts; from old video games, popular TV shows, number one music hits and random other tidbits of pop culture. Sheila from Book Journey is the one I have to thank. She recommended this to me, saying it was one of her favorite audio books this year. I'm not really a fantasy girl so this one surprised me. There were a few moments over half way that it got a little tedious. The explanation of the games and virtual reality got to be a bit  much but overall this audio rocked!

So now I'm on to either Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier or Life of Pi by Yan Martel or Sweet Tooth by Ian McEwan.

Choices. Choices.

Happy Reading (or listening) and as always, thanks for stopping by!

red headed book child

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Confessions of a Prairie Bitch

I had the awesome opportunity last night to sell books for an Alison Arngrim event. For those of you who do not know, she played Nellie Oleson on Little House on the Prairie. This show was HUGE in my family. HUGE! Definitely a favorite.

When this event came around at our bookstore, I jumped at the chance to be a part of it. It was super relaxed and fun. She did her stand up bit in the bar and she signed autographs afterwards. I got to sit next to her and sell her book at the same time! A very fun evening!

I'm excited to read her book...totally surprised I haven't already. She had so many funny tales of her time on the show, little stories about Melissa Gilbert and Michael Landon. Some fun. Some dirty. It was a blast to hear.

Are you a fan of Little House on the Prairie? Anyone?

Happy Reading and as always,thanks for stopping by !

red headed book child  

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Review: Brain on Fire by Susannah Cahalan

Publisher: Free Press
Release Date: November 2012
Genre: Memoir
Challenge: Memorable Memoir Reading Challenge
* Recommend

Description from Goodreads:
One day, Susannah Cahalan woke up in a strange hospital room, strapped to her bed, under guard, and unable to move or speak. Her medical records—from a month-long hospital stay of which she had no memory—showed psychosis, violence, and dangerous instability. Yet, only weeks earlier she had been a healthy, ambitious twenty-four year old, six months into her first serious relationship and a sparkling career as a cub reporter. 

It amazes me, with all my anxiety that I have, that I continue to read memoirs like this. Seriously, I'm afraid to leave my house. It fascinates and horrifies me, I guess.

Memoirs are one of my favorite genres. And this one was startling and hard to put down. The complete change this woman went through was unbelievable. The hows and whys were hard to imagine as well.

Going from a seemingly normal, healthy woman and then within a few weeks becoming paranoid, psychotic, delusional, and physically unable to move the way she used to was unsettling to read about. Cahalan delivers it very in a forward way, expressing that she does not remember a lick of it. She relied on family members, hospital video, doctors notes and a journal her divorced parents kept.

All in all, you get the sense of the extreme trauma that was happening throughout the short time of her "madness"; her parents struggles and determination to find out what was wrong with their daughter, her very loyal, still very new boyfriend and her friends, old and new, coming to grips with this new Susannah.

Parts of it got to be very medical but I think once they determined what was indeed wrong with her, the book really had to go there. Her case was so unique and rare at the time, that explaining the complexities of her condition were critical.

I recommend it. I don't want to say it's not your typical "going crazy" story but that's really what it is. She had a good life, good parents, good job, good friends, good boyfriend, never any issue with mental health in the past.  She got a bug and it made her go nuts, essentially. It really brings to light how delicate the brain really is and how it doesn't take much to jack it all up.

Author Page at Simon and Schuster.
Author Website

Happy Reading and as always, thanks for stopping by.

red headed book child

Thursday, November 1, 2012

R.I.P Challenge

Back in 1985, Frank Mackey was nineteen, growing up poor in Dublin's inner city, and living crammed into a small flat with his family on Faithful Place. But he had his sights set on a lot more. He and Rosie Daly were all ready to run away to London together, get married, get good jobs, break away from factory work and poverty and their old lives.

But on the winter night when they were supposed to leave, Rosie didn't show. Frank took it for granted that she'd dumped him-probably because of his alcoholic father, nutcase mother, and generally dysfunctional family. He never went home again.

Neither did Rosie. Everyone thought she had gone to England on her own and was over there living a shiny new life. Then, twenty-two years later, Rosie's suitcase shows up behind a fireplace in a derelict house on Faithful Place, and Frank is going home whether he likes it or not.

Getting sucked in is a lot easier than getting out again. Frank finds himself straight back in the dark tangle of relationships he left behind. The cops working the case want him out of the way, in case loyalty to his family and community makes him a liability. Faithful Place wants him out because he's a detective now, and the Place has never liked cops. Frank just wants to find out what happened to Rosie Daly-and he's willing to do whatever it takes, to himself or anyone else, to get the job done. (Goodreads)

This was one of the best damn audio books I have listened to so far. Oh my goodness! What a delight! The narrator embodied everything that I could imagine Frank Mackey to be and captured the essence and distinct atmosphere of Tana French's Dublin. 

I was originally slated to do Broken Harbor, the 4th book in the Dublin Murder Squad, for the R.I.P Challenge but the month is almost done and I finished this was already. Why stress myself out?

I'm still moving on to Broken Harbor, I just don't think I will finish it before the end of this month.  

I read French's first two books in this series and because of great reviews, i thought I'd give the audio of the third a try.

This was an amazing pick, both for the spooky month of October and as a good audio pick.  

I am sad I did not get a chance to complete my other choice for the R.I.P challenge, the BBC movie of FIngersmith (the novel by Sarah Waters). It did not come in yet from the library. When I do get it, I will still review it here. Let's not hold our breath though. I've been waiting since August. :)

Happy Reading and as always, thanks for stopping by!

red headed book child

Monday, October 29, 2012

Poncho Sanchez and his Latin Band

For more than three decades, conguero Poncho Sanchez has stirred up a fiery stew of jazz, gritty soul music, and infectious melodies and rhythms from a variety of Latin American and South American sources. His influences include two of the primary architects of Latin jazz – conga drummer and composer Chano Pozo and trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie. (Ordway website. picture from Poncho Sanchez website)

Poncho Sanchez: Click to Listen

Over the summer, I started an opportunity with the Ordway Theater in St. Paul, MN. This wonderful opportunity is called Blogger Night at the Ordway. Like reviewing books, I now get to see shows and review them. I've had the opportunity to see Fela! and Chicago. I was unfortunately away on vacation when Billy Elliot was in town.

I'm a huge fan of all things theater so when this continued I became even more excited with it all. Thinking it would be mostly for theatrical shows, Broadway, etc. , I was incredibly excited when I was offered a different chance to pick from three acts, all part of the Mascaras y Milagros: Mexican Arts in Minnesota program.

World music is one of my family's largest collections, next to Jazz and Pop/Rock. I owe this to my husband who has been a fan of this music since he was a teenager. He has opened my eyes to Cuban, African, and Latin music. I now consider it a favorite genre of mine. We have many favorite artists, some known, others not. Poncho Sanchez and his Latin Band were not on our list of musicians we were familiar with. We were shocked considering his success in the music business over the past few decades.

We jumped at this opportunity and had a wonderful date night.

The music was vibrant and passionate. My husband, being a drummer as well, critiqued and analyzed every beat, every style of which Poncho played his congas. The band had a camaraderie and sync that you could tell not only was the professionalism there but the also the immense talent. 

The songs were lengthy but weren't repetitive. I watched each member carefully and was so intrigued. Unfortunately, my husband is not a dancer so the wide open space of dance floor in front of the stage was filled with everyone else. Dancers, old and young, professional and amateur, confidently strutted their stuff. This intrigued me even more; the moves, the passion. Oh , the salsa!  Let's just say I danced in my seat.

What a different experience this was to try to review. I found myself paying attention to so many different aspects of the show; the musicianship, the banter, the lighting, the dancing. It was a perfect night to spend with the one you love.

My only issue would be the amount of people playing with their phones during the beautiful performances. Luckily the staff at the Ordway was all over that.

Happy listening and as always, thanks for stopping by!

red headed book child

Friday, October 26, 2012

To Kill A Mockingbird Contest! Movie Ticket and Book Giveaway

You’ve read the book…now see it come to life on movie screens nationwide!
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For one day only on Thursday, November 15th, select movie theaters nationwide will show the award-winning film version of Harper Lee’s classic novel To Kill a Mockingbird, in an event in honor of its 50th anniversary. 

In partnership with Fathom Events, Harper Perennial is offering YOU a chance to win 2 tickets for this event, plus a copy of the book!
PRIZE PACK: 2 tickets to the event at the movie theater nearest you and a copy of To Kill a Mockingbird

First: Click here for a list of participating theaters to confirm there is a screening of the event near you.
Second: Comment on this post and share it with your friends on your own blog/Facebook/Twitter! 

**A winner will be selected at random by end of day Sunday, October 28th
**To participate, first CONFIRM there is a movie theater in your area.

Thanks to Harper Perennial for giving me an opportunity to offer this wonderful prize pack to one of my readers!

Happy Reading and as always, thanks for stopping by!

red headed book child

Thursday, October 18, 2012

My Book Club Update

Oh, my dear sweet neglected book clubs, how I feel I've failed you. For those of you new to my blog, or just simply forgotten, I am a part of two book clubs. My Ladies Book Club is a group of my friends that I have known for many years and have been a part of previous book clubs as well. This one is a bit more laid back and we meet every month, usually at someone's house. We have loads of treats and drink really good wine. I originally started out posting very extensive posts about our meet ups; what we ate, what everyone thought, etc. That was going well until this summer. Basically our lives caught up with us. My posts fell by the way side a bit, as did my attendance. More about that later.

My second book club started last year with a former Borders co-worker and her circle of friends and colleagues. I now call these ladies friends and have really grown to love this group. This is a bit more organized. We meet every other month and had our list of books set for the year. Our official second year will begin in January. I posted about my struggles with this club earlier this summer when I was having a hard time getting in to the books picked. I left off stating that I had better get my butt into gear for September with Freedom by Jonathen Franzen. Well, it didn't happen. I was unable to attend and I didn't read it. I am not going to pressure myself with our last book for this year, Never Let me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro, though it seems like something I would really like. And it's short. I'm looking forward to finding out what our next year's books will be. We have broken them up into categories; Classics, Fiction, Mysteries, Young Adult and Memoir, in hopes to get more variety. We had so many hard, intense novels this past year. Yowza!

As for my first book club, our titles were good reads but didn't bring on much discussion. Over the summer we read Night Road by Kristin Hannah, Is everyone hanging out without me? by Mindy Kaling, Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout and The Girl who fell from the sky by Heidi Durrow. I missed two of those meet ups due to scheduling mishaps at work. Next month we are discussing Bossypants by Tina Fey. Atleast I have that one down! And Christmas time we will meet up again and eat lots of treats and maybe read and discuss a Christmas themed book.

Overall, I am grateful for my book clubs in my life. I know my readers have enjoyed being a part of that experience and for that, I feel bad for not keeping up with the posting. I am going to try to do my best next year. But after discussing it during our nights, it's hard to rush back to the computer to sum it all up again. 

I will keep a sidebar of the books we plan to read on my blog but I may or may not link an extensive post about each book.

Honestly, sometimes I just enjoy the damn wine. :)

Happy reading and as always, thanks for stopping by!

red headed book child

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

I'm back!

Whew! What a busy month it's been. Not so much in the blogging sense. After working at the Heartland Fall Forum earlier this month, I jumped on a plane and headed to Colorado for my brother-in-law's wedding.

We JUST got back. It was lovely! 

I didn't get much reading done because the giant chunkster I chose to bring with me was The Passage by Justin Cronin and even though I read over 100 pages, I don't feel like I got any where.

I'm sure a ton of you have read it? It's REALLY good. I am looking forward to having more time to read it once my schedule gets settled down.

As far listening pleasure, I didn't bring any audio books but I did get a new iphone so...i will have plenty of new fun things to figure out and download and listen to in the coming weeks.

Hope all is well out in blog land. I haven't stopped by ANY of your blogs at all this month and I know that. I suck. But I plan on it in the next coming weeks.


Happy Reading and as always, thanks for stopping by!

red headed book child

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Heartland Fall Forum

Once again I had the opportunity to work for the Midwest Booksellers Association Trade Show. This time MIBA was combined with the Great Lakes Booksellers Association and it was an even bigger, exciting show.

I was schlepping books again and meeting new authors and other wonderful literary folk. I really controlled myself in the book consumption this year, mainly focusing on children's books and new books I could donate for circulation to my library.

The highlight for me was meeting Sarah Stewart and David Small, two of my favorite children's authors/illustrators. Their new book, The Quiet Place is so beautiful.

I didn't get a picture of Justin Cronin but was able to be one of his many assistant book schleppers while he visited our book room. He had quite a bit of copies to sign of his new book, The Twelve, given to attendees of the Children's Author Breakfast.

I tried to take a bunch of other pictures but the schedule got too busy. All in all, I met so many wonderful people; authors, publishers, agents, editors. Whether it was from a big publisher or a small imprint, they were all passionate and delighted to be a part of this event.

Looking forward to many more years to come.

Happy reading and as always, thanks for stopping by!

 red headed book child

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Another Fantastic Literary Event

Just me and Mr. Chabon

The Twin Cities metro area is known for having many literary events. We are a hub for awesome literary greatness! One of my favorite events to attend is our Talk of the Stacks, a library event that hosts wonderful authors throughout the year.

Last night I got the chance to see Michael Chabon, author of the new Telegraph Avenue. He was magnificent. Charming, smart and honestly, just a tad bit sexy. My friend Rachelle and I were smitten.

As the summer of 2004 draws to a close, Archy Stallings and Nat Jaffe are still hanging in there—longtime friends, bandmates, and co-regents of Brokeland Records, a kingdom of used vinyl located in the borderlands of Berkeley and Oakland. Their wives, Gwen Shanks and Aviva Roth-Jaffe, are the Berkeley Birth Partners, two semi-legendary midwives who have welcomed more than a thousand newly minted citizens into the dented utopia at whose heart—half tavern, half temple—stands Brokeland.

When ex-NFL quarterback Gibson Goode, the fifth-richest black man in America, announces plans to build his latest Dogpile megastore on a nearby stretch of Telegraph Avenue, Nat and Archy fear it means certain doom for their vulnerable little enterprise. Meanwhile, Aviva and Gwen also find themselves caught up in a battle for their professional existence, one that tests the limits of their friendship. Adding another layer of complication to the couples' already tangled lives is the surprise appearance of Titus Joyner, the teenage son Archy has never acknowledged and the love of fifteen-year-old Julius Jaffe's life.

An intimate epic, a NorCal Middlemarch set to the funky beat of classic vinyl soul-jazz and pulsing with a virtuosic, pyrotechnical style all its own,Telegraph Avenue is the great American novel we've been waiting for. Generous, imaginative, funny, moving, thrilling, humane, triumphant, it is Michael Chabon's most dazzling book yet (Goodreads)

Happy Reading and as always, thanks for stopping by!

red headed book child

Monday, September 17, 2012

Molly Ringwald

Look who stopped by my store today! Molly Ringwald!

She is in town promoting her wonderful book, When it Happens to You: A Novel in Stories.

She was kind enough to stop by and say hello and sign our stock of her book.

And allow me a picture or two.

What a lovely way to spend a day at work.

Happy Reading and as always, thanks for stopping by!

red headed book child