Friday, August 19, 2016

WINTERING Giveaway Winner.

WINTERING by Peter Geye Giveaway Winner.

Hello everyone,

Peter Geye was the June/July Minnesota Author in the Spotlight here on Booksnob and he, along with his publisher is giving away one copy of his awesome novel, WINTERING to a Booksnob follower.  And the winner is....

Congratulations goes out to
Carl S from Arizona.

Enjoy your new book Carl.

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

Geye is an excellent storyteller and he has created a cast of characters that will live in your heart and stay with you for a long time.  Wintering is the story of a family, full of secrets, denial, love, hatred, mischief.  Wintering is a story of surviving. Surviving, the extremes of life in a landscape that is covered in snow for 9 months of the year and the trails and tribulations of life.
Love it!!


Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Dreamers Often Lie Giveaway

Dreamers Often Lie by Jacqueline West Giveaway

Shakespeare lovers pay attention.  Jacqueline West is the Minnesota Author in the Spotlight for the month of August here on Booksnob and she is graciously giving away one Signed, Hardcover copy of her new book, Dreamers Often Lie to a reader from the U.S. or Canada.  Oh my gosh, you are going to love this book.

Here is a synopsis of the book from Goodreads:

Jaye wakes up from a skiing accident with a fractured skull, a blinding headache, and her grip on reality sliding into delusion. Determined to get back to her starring role in the school production of A Midsummer Night's Dream, Jaye lies to her sister, her mom, her doctors. She's fine, she says. She's fine. If anyone knew the truth - that hallucinations of Shakespeare and his characters have followed her from her hospital bed to the high school halls - it would all be over. She’s almost managing to pull off the act when Romeo shows up in her anatomy class. And it turns out that he's 100% real. Suddenly Jaye has to choose between lying to everyone else and lying to herself.

Troubled by the magnetic new kid, a long-lost friend turned recent love interest, and the darkest parts of her family's past, Jaye’s life tangles with Shakespeare's most famous plays until she can't tell where truth ends and pretending begins. Soon, secret meetings and dizzying first kisses give way to more dangerous things. How much is real, how much is in Jaye's head, and how much does it matter as she flies toward a fate over which she seems to have no control?

Giveaway rules:
Fill out the form
Must be from U.S./Canada resident
Follower of BookSnob
Contest ends:  September 11th at midnight
Good Luck!!

  a Rafflecopter giveaway


Monday, August 8, 2016

Peter Geye Author Interview + Giveaway

Peter Geye Author Interview + Giveaway

Peter Geye was the June/July Minnesota Author in the Spotlight here on Booksnob.  I had a chance to ask this super creative and busy author a few questions about his new book and writing. Read on to learn more about Peter and to win a copy of his newest novel, Wintering.

Hi Peter,

1. Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I was born and raised in Minneapolis, where I continue to live. I grew up in North Minneapolis and went to Minneapolis South High School. I later attended Minneapolis Community College and got my BA from the University of Minnesota. I consider myself Minnesota through and through.

I have three kids. They’re spectacular little people.

I love to travel and read and eat good food and drink great beer and whiskey. I love music, especially anything with a little twang in it. And given a choice, I’d always choose a cold day over a hot one.

2. What is the back story behind Wintering?

When I decided I was going to try to be a writer some thirty years ago, the first idea I ever had for a story was about a showdown in the Boundary Waters, a place I’d been going to since I was ten years old. I’ve always loved the idea that you can get lost in this place, and that even for all of its serenity, it’s a place where you can get into trouble pretty quickly. These seemed—and still seem, I might add!—like pretty good ingredients for fiction.

But I spent a long time coming to this particular story. Or rather, these characters and how they might inhabit that place. It would take a very long time to describe in any sort of detail how I got to the story as I’ve written it, but in short, I discovered most of these characters when I started writing my last book, a novel called The Lighthouse Road. That book originally began as the story of one woman, a Norwegian immigrant who arrives in Minnesota expecting a life of promise, but finding something else altogether. It wasn’t long before her son was having a son of his own, and then I knew I was going to write this many-generations long story. Harry and Gus Eide, the two main characters in Wintering were born in my imagination that long ago.

3. Usually an author puts some of his own life experiences in the book.  Did you do that in
Wintering?  Do you have anything in common with your characters?

I’m a writer that puts a premium on his imagination, or at least tries to. I think it’s my job as a fiction writer to make things up—to invent. Because of that, there tends to be very little of myself in my characters. In fact, I like to think of myself as totally absent.

I will say, though, that I tend to identify with my characters an awful lot. In Wintering, for example, I relate in very real and serious and complicated ways with all of the characters. I understand Harry’s despair, Gus’s idealism and wanting to know his father. And certainly I understand Berit’s longing and patience and endurance. But perhaps most importantly, I understand the way the stories of these characters’ pasts haunt them, and inform their whole lives. This was the big lesson in writing this book.

4. Where do you get your inspiration or story ideas?

To answer this question would be impossible. It’d be like retracing all the moments that lead to the love of one’s life, or like trying to explain to someone how you developed the personality you have. These stories come from my imagination, from my own longings and desires, but that’s about all I can smartly say about them.

5. Do you like to read?  What are some of your favorite books and authors?
I’m an avid reader, and I read all sorts of books. I read a lot of books to review, and many others to blurb, and much if not most of this reading is pleasurable. But if I’m asked who my favorite books and authors are, I get a waylaid feeling. I have so many favorites. In the interest of playing along, though, here are a few favorite authors...

Lance Weller, Emily St. John Mandel, Amy Greene, Ron Rash, Jeffrey Lent, Richard Russo, Cynan Jones, Annie Proulx, Per Petterson, Joseph Boyden, Elizabeth Strout, Louise Erdrich.

My two favorite writers are Kent Haruf and Cormac McCarthy, for wildly different reasons.

6. Tell us a little bit about your two previous books?

My first book was a novel called Safe from the Sea and it’s the story of an estranged father and son who reconcile a lifetime of differences over the course of a few weeks in November. Most of the story revolves around the father finally telling the son about a Lake Superior shipwreck that the father narrowly survived.

My second novel was called The Lighthouse Road and it’s a story that moves back and forth between a young woman who has just arrived in northern Minnesota from Norway, and her son’s story many years later. I hope it’s a novel evocative of my favorite place—the North Shore of Lake Superior—and of a certain stripe of person, namely, the hearty, mostly laconic people who settled here.

7. How do you carve time out of your busy day to write?  Are you a full time writer or do you have
a day job? What is one of your daily writing rituals or habits?

My day job, if you will, is as a stay at home dad of three young kids. So I write around their schedules, which involve an amazing amount of food and trips to the park and games of every variety.

My writing life, accordingly, is pretty messy. That is to say, I write when I can, usually in the evenings and on weekends and whenever else I can squeeze a few minutes in with my notebook. I also teach at The Loft, which also takes up some time but is something I love to do. It’s a hectic, always changing schedule, but I’ve somehow managed to write and publish three books since I had kids, so I’ve figured something out. Just don’t ask me what it is!

8. Name one book that you believe is a must read for everyone and tell us why?

I think the book everyone should read is the one they’ve always wanted to, but never found time for. Pronouncements of important books always strike me as a little like religious fervor, all of this hear me, hear me, I have the answer? It sounds presumptuous and pompous and like nonsense. There are a thousand books that might fit into this category, but which book I would call “must read” would be different for almost every person I know.


9. Have you begun working on a new book?  Can you tell us about it?

I am working on another book. Two of them, to be exact. One is a novel I’m calling Northernmost, and it will be the last of the Eide family books. Or anyway I think it will be. It takes place in my fictional town of Gunflint, Arctic Norway, and Minneapolis and will span more years than either of the first two Eide novels.

The second is a book of nonfiction called Laurentide. It’s about my relationship with the North Shore, my life as a stay at home father, the things I treasure most in this world, and the things that mystify me most. I hope to finish both by the end of next year.

10. In one sentence tell readers why they should read, Wintering?

I would never say “this is the reason you should read my book,” I would only ask that if it sounds like something you’d enjoy, give it a try. I poured my heart into it.

Thanks Peter!

If you would like to win a copy of Peter's book, Wintering, please click here:


Monday, August 1, 2016

August Author in the Spotlight

August Author in the Spotlight

Happy first day of August everyone.  I hope you are having a great summer.  Mine has been busy and full of really mountains and valleys, highs and lows. Some of my high points include my son earning his Eagle rank in Boy Scouts, traveling to Spain and Morocco, doing a week of service work in Montana on the Northern Cheyenne Indian reservation, reading 7 books so far this summer and of course writing.  Lows include, my car dying a painful death and still owing a car payment on it. Having to buy a newer vehicle when I didn't want to, and then my garage door motor burned out and we had to get a new one.  So yes, it is been an expensive summer.

Moving to a more exciting topic, books and authors, I would like to introduce my new Minnesota Author in the Spotlight here on Booksnob for the month of August.  Her name is Jacqueline West and she has written a great book series for tweens called The Books of Elsewhere and now she has just started a new series for young adults.  I'm so excited to read her new book, Dreamers Often Lie.

Here is the synopsis from Goodreads:

Jaye wakes up from a skiing accident with a fractured skull, a blinding headache, and her grip on reality sliding into delusion. Determined to get back to her starring role in the school production of A Midsummer Night's Dream, Jaye lies to her sister, her mom, her doctors. She's fine, she says. She's fine. If anyone knew the truth - that hallucinations of Shakespeare and his characters have followed her from her hospital bed to the high school halls - it would all be over. She’s almost managing to pull off the act when Romeo shows up in her anatomy class. And it turns out that he's 100% real. Suddenly Jaye has to choose between lying to everyone else and lying to herself.

Troubled by the magnetic new kid, a long-lost friend turned recent love interest, and the darkest parts of her family's past, Jaye’s life tangles with Shakespeare's most famous plays until she can't tell where truth ends and pretending begins. Soon, secret meetings and dizzying first kisses give way to more dangerous things. How much is real, how much is in Jaye's head, and how much does it matter as she flies toward a fate over which she seems to have no control?

The Books of Elsewhere- There are five books in the series.

Old Ms. McMartin is definitely dead. Now her crumbling Victorian mansion lies vacant. When eleven-year-old Olive and her dippy mathematician parents move in, she knows there's something odd about the place--not least the walls covered in strange antique paintings. But when Olive finds a pair of old spectacles in a dusty drawer, she discovers the most peculiar thing yet: She can travel inside these paintings to a world that's strangely quiet . . . and eerily like her own. Yet Elsewhere harbors dark secrets--and Morton, an undersized boy with an outsize temper. As she and Morton form an uneasy alliance, Olive finds herself ensnared in a plan darker and more dangerous than she could have imagined, confronting a power that wants to be rid of her by any means necessary. It's up to Olive to save the house from the dark shadows, before the lights go out for good.

Jacqueline West weaves a tale at turns haunting and moving.



This month you can expect a book review, a giveaway, an author interview and maybe a guest post.
You can find Jacqueline West on her blog at http://jacquelinewest.com
or on her Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/Jacqueline-West-112573782122159/?ref=sgm

Have a great August and enjoy the last month of summer!
Happy reading!





Sunday, July 31, 2016

Reading Through the Decades of my Life

Reading Through the Decades of My Life
By Laura Lanik


In the first decade of my life I was a reluctant reader.  In fact, I hated reading and was in the lowest reading group by the time I was 10 years old.  Reading was the last thing I wanted to do for fun.  Yet I come from a long line of readers in my family and so every week we trucked to the local library and I checked out my limit in books.  I carried home a big stack and they sat in the corner until they were due back, two weeks later.   I never read any of them.  I watched my mother, father and grandparents devour books. I knew they were important but I just couldn’t figure out why.

When I was a teenager I discovered the allure of Romance novels.  I read Danielle Steel and Lavyrle Spencer and the Sunfire Teen Historical romances.  In fact, I still have my Sunfire romances, and Lavyrle Spencer books on my shelf.  The only books I read in high school were in 10th grade and thanks to my English teacher, Ms. Martinson.  (by the way, I was still in the lower track for readers).  These romance novels changed my outlook on reading and made me into the voracious reader I am today.  

In my twenties and in college, I decided I loved the History in historical romances more than the romance aspect and decided on History as my major and I made a plan to teach high school social studies. I pretty much pushed the romance novel out of the way and discovered non-fiction, literary fiction and Russian Literature.  In college is where I first encountered Toni Morrison, George Orwell, Alexander Pushkin, Gogol and Zamyatin and so many others.  My Twenties marked my awakening into the broad world of literature and history and I was in love with the world and books.


In my thirties, I became a mother and was teaching world history full time in an inner city high school.  My reading time was limited to what I could read hiding in the bathroom or the ten minutes in my car before school started or if I was lucky, twenty minutes before I fell asleep at night.  I squeezed in books and reading whenever I could. I joined my first book club and I set a goal to read one adult book a month and this was ambitious. Mainly I read children’s books to my kids and the World Literature that my teen students were reading. I read anything that could enhance my teaching practice and teach me about people and culture. Therefore, I read a lot of Magic Tree House books, The Hiccup Series by Cressida Cowell, which I loved to read aloud to my son, The Wizard of Oz., The Odyssey, Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achibe, The Handmaid’s Tale by Atwood, Nine Parts of Desire by Geraldine Brooks, and so much more.  

Now I’m in my forties, life is crazy busy and I’m still reading a lot of books.  My children are teenagers and I’ve been teaching World history for 20 years. I also teach two electives and a college class for future educators.  My reading has branched out.  My true loves are historical fiction, world literature and Nonfiction but I’ve found a place in my heart and time in my day to read poetry, short stories, memoirs, essays and listen to audio books and literary podcasts.  I read a poem every morning when I wake up and before I go to sleep at night.  It is such a great way to begin and end my day.



Looking back on my decades of reading, I’ve learned so much about who I was and who I’ve become.  My next decade will bring new reading and literary adventures and I’m excited to learn how my reading habits and book choices will change.  Bring it on.


Saturday, July 30, 2016

Wintering by Peter Geye

Wintering by Peter Geye

We are all connected.  Everything is connected and this is evident as you read and piece together the lives of the characters in Wintering.

Wintering starts with the disappearance of Harry into the Northwoods of Gunflint, Minnesota. He has a degenerative disease and while search parties are sent out, his son Ode knows, Harry won't be found.  The disappearance prompts his son to tell Harry's sweetheart, Berit, the true story of what happened to them in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area, one winter, 30 years ago.

The great love of Harry's life, Berit, and his son, Ode, alternately tell the story of Wintering, as they go back and forth in time to tell the history of a life and their connection to Harry's love and the land where they live.

Berit fell in love with Harry the first day she saw him, back when she was a teenager, but Harry married someone else.  When Harry found out his wife was cheating on him he planned a winter trip into the woods with his son,Ode, who had recently became an adult. They left in two canoes and set off to follow in the footsteps of the old voyagers and maybe to winter in one of their camps before the November snow.  What they found and what found them is a thrilling part of the story and you, dear reader, are going to be turning the pages really fast to find out what happens.

Geye is an excellent storyteller and he has created a cast of characters that will live in your heart and stay with you for a long time.  Wintering is the story of a family, full of secrets, denial, love, hatred, mischief.  Wintering is a story of surviving. Surviving, the extremes of life in a landscape that is covered in snow for 9 months of the year and the trails and tribulations of life.

Peter Geye is one of my favorite authors.  Wintering is his 3rd book and all three take place in Northern Minnesota.  Wintering can be read as a stand alone book or in conjunction with The Lighthouse Road. The Lighthouse Road tells the story of Harry's grandmother and it is where the reader is introduced to the characters who live in the town of Gunfight.  His books are always atmospheric and the location, in the North woods of Minnesota, is a great character.

If you are looking for a hot read to keep you cool this summer.  Wintering is it!



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