Monday, July 25, 2016

High Summer Read-a-Thon Wrap-Up post

High Summer Read-A-Thon Wrap-Up post

My reading week was great although I had a few distractions, the main one was my 2007 Silver Bullet, Audi died and suffered engine damage and I took a big loss of 4000 dollars and it was rough.  I cried more than once about it.  So I had to do lots of research, talk to lots of people, fill out multiple loan applications to purchase a vehicle by the end of the week.  I'm still not super happy about the situation I was stuck in but I found a new vehicle.  I also am pretty happy with my reading progress during the High Summer readathon and the 24in48 readathon.  So while I didn't get to read as much as I planned, I still did pretty good.

So here is my reading totals.

I finished 3 books.

1. Love Flute by Paul Goble  ( a wonderful children't book)
2. Wintering by Peter Geye ( a great work of fiction)
3. American Widow by Alissa Torres ( a graphic memoir)

I read several pages from 3 other books.

1. I read a short story every day from The Red Convertible by Louse Erdrich.
7 short stories = 78 pages

2.  I read 5 chapters in Don Quixote.  Pages 642-677 or about 35 pages.

3.  I started A Wolf at Twilight by Kent Newburn on Saturday and finished 237 pages.  This book is so good.  I'm sure I will finish it today.

How was your week?  How many books did you finish??






Saturday, July 23, 2016

A Love Letter to Don Quixote

I am participating in the High Summer Read-a-Thon and decided to take on a challenge to write. a letter to a character from one of the books I am reading during the read-a-thon. So I have chosen to write to Don Quixote because I have been reading this Big chunky book since the beginning of June. So here goes...




Dear Don Quixote of La Mancha,
Also known as the Knight of the Sorrowful Face,
Also known as the Knight of the Lions,


I have admired you from afar for years and have only recently decided to take my fate into my own hands and declare my love for you.  


You, mad, bumbling fool, that you are, have stolen my heart with your chivalrous ways and your love of books.  These books that you love, dried up your brain and made you mad and set you off of on your journey of knight errantry.  Your crazy acts of chivalry made me notice you and fall in love with you even though you have pledged your heart to the peasant girl, Dulcinea of Toboso, who enchants you with her wicked looks.  Oh, how I wish you would notice me, for it is I, who holds you, in the palm of my hands and makes your story come alive.  


I’m not sure if you know this, Don Quixote, but the Spanish world adores you.  I have visited statues erected in your honor.  Even I, have a Starbucks mug that contains your likeness, on which I ponder our future together, over a strong mug of tea.


I want adventure, my dear Don Quixote, and I want to save babies, and right, wrongs and help those in need like you do.  If it so pleases you my lord, may I follow you through Spain as you protect the unfortunate?  Or can I dare hope to replace Dulcinea of Toboso in your heart and as your enchantress?


Send me your answer forthwith or as fast as your skinny nag, Rocinante can carry.

I anxiously await your loving reply,


Your ladyship and faithful reader,


Laura of Booksnob







Wednesday, July 20, 2016

In Reach Giveaway Winners!

In Reach Giveaway Winners!

Pamela Carter Joern was the Minnesota Author in the Spotlight on Booksnob for the month of May.  She is giving away two copies of her book of fabulous short stories called In Reach.  I love short stories and I try to read at least one a week. This collection will knock your socks and make you fall in love with the characters from Reach, Nebraska.

And the winners are:

Anne B from New Mexico
Haley S from Iowa


Congrats Ladies!!

Enjoy your new book.

I hope you all will get a chance to read this book.  Here is an excerpt from my review.

Pamela is a great writer and masterful storyteller and she draws the reader into her stories with finesse. Each story is unique and rooted in reality of human life and filled with compassion.  Some were heartbreaking while others made me smile and laugh.  Each one is just so good, its hard to pick my favorites. 


Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Seasons of Reading High Summer Read-a-thon


Hi Everyone,

I have had a super busy summer, visiting Spain, Morocco, South Dakota and Montana.  I am home now and really looking forward to sitting on my deck and reading some good books before I have to go back to school.  I'm excited to participate for my 5th or maybe 6th read-a-thon with Michelle, The True Book Addict.



Here are my goals for the read-a-thon:

1.  Read Wintering by Peter Geye
2.  Continue and hopefully finish reading Don Quixote by Cervantes (I have 300 pages left)
3.  Read one short story a day from The Red Convertible by Louise Erdrich
4.  Read a graphic novel ( I haven't picked it out yet)
5.  Start: A Wolf at Twilight by Kent Nerburn










Thursday, July 7, 2016

In Reach by Pamela Carter Joern

In Reach by Pamela Carter Joern

From Pamela Carter Joern comes a book of short stories that focuses on characters who live in the small town of Reach, Nebraska.  Inside of, In Reach, you will find 14 short stories of varied length, all of which contain wonderfully imagined characters who feel like your next door neighbors.

How you read a short story collection varies from book to book and person to person.  I personally love to read short stories in between novels and I like to read at least one short story a week.  With Joern's collection, I read one story a day.  I just wanted to immerse myself in this little town and get to know its residents.

Pamela is a great writer and masterful storyteller and she draws the reader into her stories with finesse. Each story is unique and rooted in reality of human life and filled with compassion.  Some were heartbreaking while others made me smile and laugh.  Each one is just so good, its hard to pick my favorites.  I adored the story, All the Wildness in Her (great title) of a widowed couple who sneak out of town to enjoy each other's company and steal kisses.  I loved the story, Redeeming the Time Being about a mother and daughter grieving the death of a spouse/parent that takes place in Seville, Spain ( I have visited here recently) and I loved the story, The Sky is Falling about Ella who has just been saved at a revival meeting and how her husband Buck handles her new found religion.  Oh my, all the stories are just so, so good.  You need to read it for yourself.

Pamela Carter Joern is not a well known author but she should be.  You should remember her name.  She is a really talented writer and super creative.  Her stories leap off the page with realism, honesty and grit.  I can't wait to read more of her books and stories and maybe even visit Nebraska someday (since it's pretty close to Minnesota).

In Reach was a finalist for the Minnesota Book Award in 2015. Pamela has won the Nebraska Book Award for her book, The Floor of the Sky (which I also read and it was awesome).

If you liked Olive Kitteridge you will love In Reach by Pamela Carter Joern.



Friday, July 1, 2016

Wintering by Peter Geye Giveaway

Wintering by Peter Geye Giveaway

Peter Geye is the June/July Author of the month here on Booksnob and he has a wonderful new book called Wintering.  I have read all his books and loved them dearly.  I can't wait to read Wintering and you have a chance to win one hardcover copy.  I am willing to send it to followers who live in the United States or Canada.

Here is the synopsis from Goodreads:

An exceptional and acclaimed writer's third novel, far and away his most masterful book yet.

There are two stories in play here, bound together when the elderly, demented Harry Eide escapes his sickbed and vanishes into the forbidding northernmost Minnesota wilderness that surrounds the town of Gunflint—instantly changing the Eide family, and many other lives, forever. He’d done this once before, thirty-some years earlier, in 1963, fleeing a crumbling marriage and bringing along Gustav, his eighteen-year-old son, pitching this audacious, potentially fatal scheme to him—winter already coming on, in these woods, on these waters—as a reenactment of the ancient voyageurs’ journeys of discovery. It’s certainly a journey Gus has never forgotten. Now—with his father pronounced dead—he relates its every detail to Berit Lovig, who’d waited nearly thirty years for Harry, her passionate conviction finally fulfilled for the last two decades. So, a middle-aged man rectifying his personal history, an aging lady wrestling with her own, and with the entire history of Gunflint.

Giveaway rules:
Fill out the form
Must be from U.S./Canada resident
Follower of BookSnob
Contest ends:  August 14th at midnight
Good Luck!!


a Rafflecopter giveaway


Sunday, June 5, 2016

Tether Giveaway Winners!

Tether by Kirsten Dierking Giveaway Winners!

Kirsten Dierking was the Minnesota Author in the Spotlight here on Booksnob in the month of April.  Her book, Tether is a beautiful collection of poetry that will surprise and delight you. Kirsten and her publisher Sprout Press are giving away 2 copies to Booksnob readers.

And the winners are....

Carl from Arizona
Adeline from Washington DC

Congratulations Winners.  Enjoy your new book of poetry.

Here is a snippet from my book review of Tether.

Kirsten Dierking's 3rd book of poetry, Tether, is a delightful and tender collection. Many of the poems have themes related to water and they are gathered into sections, titled, The Ebb Tide, The Visible Current, Body of Water and The Balm of the Sea. The cover of the book really reflects the contents of the book. The poems are calming, like a lazy day on the river.  They are full of nature and wildlife and once in awhile they bite like a big mosquito or hit you like thunder.




Thursday, June 2, 2016

Announcing the June/July Author in the Spotlight

Announcing the June Author in the Spotlight

It's June, glorious June.  My favorite month of the year. School lets out for the summer and I feel free to explore the world and be creative and read until my heart is content. I also celebrate my birthday in June and this month I am going to Spain and Morocco. Oh yeah. I am taking 8 students on an educational tour and it's going to be awesome.

In July, I am going to Montana to do service work on the Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservation for about 10 days as we are driving through South Dakota and Wyoming to get there. Then I plan to relax in my backyard.  So this summer, you get one amazing author for two months and he is worth it.  If you haven't read any of his books you are in for a treat.

I would like to welcome one of my favorite authors, Peter Geye, as the June/July Minnesota Author in the Spotlight here on Booksnob.  He has written 3 books and his latest, Wintering, releases on Tuesday, June 7th, next week.  I don't remember how we met but it was probably at a literary event in town.  Peter is a former graduate of the high school I teach at, South High in Minneapolis, and he has come back to South to speak to students about writing and so much more. I adored his first two books and am really excited to read his new book.

Here are the synopsis of Peter Geye's books from Goodreads:

Wintering:

An exceptional and acclaimed writer joins Knopf with his third novel, far and away his most masterful book yet.

There are two stories in play here, bound together when the elderly, demented Harry Eide escapes his sickbed and vanishes into the forbidding northernmost Minnesota wilderness that surrounds the town of Gunflint—instantly changing the Eide family, and many other lives, forever. He’d done this once before, thirty-some years earlier, in 1963, fleeing a crumbling marriage and bringing along Gustav, his eighteen-year-old son, pitching this audacious, potentially fatal scheme to him—winter already coming on, in these woods, on these waters—as a reenactment of the ancient voyageurs’ journeys of discovery. It’s certainly a journey Gus has never forgotten. Now—with his father pronounced dead—he relates its every detail to Berit Lovig, who’d waited nearly thirty years for Harry, her passionate conviction finally fulfilled for the last two decades. So, a middle-aged man rectifying his personal history, an aging lady wrestling with her own, and with the entire history of Gunflint.


The Lighthouse Road:

Against the wilds of sea and wood, a young immigrant woman settles into life outside Duluth in the 1890s, still shocked at finding herself alone in a new country, abandoned and adrift; in the early 1920s, her orphan son, now grown, falls in love with the one woman he shouldn’t and uses his best skills to build them their own small ark to escape. But their pasts travel with them, threatening to capsize even their fragile hope. In this triumphant new novel, Peter Geye has crafted another deeply moving tale of a misbegotten family shaped by the rough landscape in which they live--often at the mercy of wildlife and weather--and by the rough edges of their own breaking hearts.


Safe From the Sea:

Set against the powerful lakeshore landscape of northern Minnesota, Safe from the Sea is a heartfelt novel in which a son returns home to reconnect with his estranged and dying father thirty-five years after the tragic wreck of a Great Lakes ore boat that the father only partially survived and that has divided them emotionally ever since. When his father for the first time finally tells the story of the horrific disaster he has carried with him so long, it leads the two men to reconsider each other.

Meanwhile, Noah's own struggle to make a life with an absent father has found its real reward in his relationship with his sagacious wife, Natalie, whose complications with infertility issues have marked her husband's life in ways he only fully realizes as the reconciliation with his father takes shape.

Peter Geye has delivered an archetypal story of a father and son, of the tug and pull of family bonds, of Norwegian immigrant culture, of dramatic shipwrecks and the business and adventure of Great Lakes shipping in a setting that simply casts a spell over the characters as well as the reader.

During the months of June/July you can expect a book review, a giveaway, an author interview and maybe a guest post.  Please visit Peter on his website at http://petergeye.com/


Have an awesome summer of reading!!!


Sunday, May 29, 2016

Pamela Carter Joern Author Interview + Giveaway

Pamela Carter Joern Author Interview + Giveaway

Pamela is the Minnesota Author in the Spotlight here on Booksnob for the magnificent month of May.  She has written three amazing books.  The floor of the Sky was excellent and now I'm in the midst of her book of short stories called In Reach. Pamela is a masterful storyteller.  I had a chance to ask her some questions about her writing life and her books. Read on to find out more.

Hi Pamela,
 
Tell a Bit About Yourself:

I grew up in western Nebraska, where all my books (so far) are set. The prairie landscape is deeply imprinted on me, as the north woods landscape is for many Minnesotans. I think there’s a yearning in all my books, a little homesickness for a place to belong that reflects my lonesomeness. I’ve lived in Minneapolis a long time, raised our two daughters here, and I love it. Still, even though we are firmly rooted here, there’s something about that childhood place that beckons. My husband recently retired, so we’ve been free to travel more. We have four young grandchildren, and it’s an adventure to see the world new through their eyes. I am a gardener. I quilt. Since my husband retired, I’m no longer teaching at the Loft, but I occasionally read manuscripts.

When did you begin writing?

I’ve always loved to read. In fifth grade, I wrote a story my teacher thought was good, so she had me read it to the class. Still, in the world in which I came of age, no one aspired to be a writer. In my 30’s, I started by writing poems. I went to a writer’s conference to work on poetry, but when I got there, I learned that the poet who was supposed to lead the workshop had died. Instead, I found myself in a drama writing class, which led to my first professional work as a playwright. I wrote six plays that have been produced in the Twin Cities, and I was co-director of a theater company called Role Over Productions. When that venture ended, I decided to pursue writing fiction.

Have you ever been discouraged about your writing? How did you move forward?

Oh, yes. And the discouragement doesn’t stop. After my theater experience, I tried writing a novel. I did write a novel, but I knew it had problems and I didn’t know what to do next. I decided to enroll in Hamline’s MFA program to explore writing prose. I had never taken a writing class, even though I was an English literature major in college. I thought there must be basic skills to learn, and I wanted to be immersed in a writing community. Now, when I’m discouraged, I find that diving into the work is the best antidote.

What is your favorite part about writing?

I have a lot of favorite parts. I love the process of discovery, uncovering some connection or deeper understanding of what it means to be a human navigating this messy and beautiful world. I like words. I like creating an imaginary world and stepping into it, breathing life into it. I even like the solitude—mostly. Once in a while, if you are very lucky, you get to hear that your work has meant something to a reader.


What are your writing habits? Do you work from an outline?

I’ve written plays, short stories, and novels. The form makes a difference in how I approach the work. I start with character, a situation, and curiosity. If I’m writing a story, I don’t want to know the ending when I begin. In something longer, like a novel, you can waste a lot of time going down dead alleys, so at some point, I will sit down and sketch out a very rough path. Even that is subject to change.

What is your favorite spot to write?

I have a second story study in my home with a lot of natural light. Except for the distraction of thinking I should get up and start the laundry, I like working at home. I do enjoy being able to go to my kitchen to make a cup of tea.

What is something you wrote that will never see the light of day?

That first novel I mentioned earlier.

What is the hardest thing about writing?

Believing in the importance of it enough to commit hours of time. There are a lot of other pleasures and obligations in life besides writing.

What inspires you to write?

I am moved by story. Not only fiction, but stories that deepen my compassion and empathy. I’m inspired by everyday encounters. I’m driven to write because that’s the avenue that helps me make sense of human experience.

How many books have you written and which is your favorite?

Three books. The Floor of the Sky (a novel), The Plain Sense of Things (a novel told in stories), and In Reach (a collection of stories). My favorite? All of them.

How do you relate to your characters? Do you see yourself in some?

Some people argue that writers reveal themselves in every character, the same way that dream interpreters say we are all the characters in our dreams. I don’t know about that, but I will say this. I love all my characters, even—maybe especially—the difficult ones. I write to teach myself compassion, so I grope to understand human complications and contradictions.

Thanks Pamela!!

If you would like to win a copy of Pamela's book In Reach, please enter here:
In Reach Giveaway




Saturday, May 28, 2016

One Red Eye Giveaway Winners

One Red Eye Giveaway Winners

Kirsten Dierking was the Minnesota Writer in the Spotlight here on BookSnob for the month of April.  She has written 3 collections of poetry and is giving away 2 copies of One Red Eye to Booksnob readers.

Here is the synopsis form Goodreads:
"In reading these poems, we experience beauty-paradoxically-as well as come to understand the complexity of the crime, its aftermath, and the relief and joy of recovery."—Roseann Lloyd

Perhaps the first full-length work of its kind, One Red Eye is an unexpected book, an intimate story of violence and survival, rape and re-birth, told in verse. In concise, candid, and understated poems, Dierking shares the brutal truth of her own rape experience, while at the same time, demonstrating the possibility of spiritual recovery from sexual assault. This is the story of a life brought to a disasterous standstill, and the subsequent acts of common kindness that allow the author to recapture hope, and move into a changed, but salvageable future. Tough and articulate, One Red Eye defies the silence and guilt that so often surrounds the crime of rape.

I Might Have Dreamed This

For a short time after
the rape, I found I could move things. Energy birds
swarmed from my brain. With a witch's sense
of abandoned physics, I set dolls rolling.
Back and forth. Like a breathing sound. Using only my night-powered
eyes, I pushed the lamp to the dresser's edge.
I buried the mirrors in avalanches of freshly
laundered underpants. I never slept. I did all these things
lying down.Kirsten Dierking received a bachelor's degree in International Affairs and History from the University of Colorado, and a Master's degree in Creative Writing from Hamline University. Her writing has appeared in Sing Heavenly Muse, ArtWord Quarterly, Water-Stone, and Xanadu. She lives with her husband in Saint Paul, Minnesota. This is her first published collection.

And the winners are:

Haley S from Iowa
Lyza J from Wisconsin

Congratulations Ladies. Enjoy your new book.