Tag Archives: Sandi

Happy Birthday to My Buddy Sandi S. (And a Post from the Birthday Girl Herself!)

Y’all it’s ALBTALBS regular Sandi’s birthday today!!! So everyone read her post, answer her question, and wish her a lovely birthday!

It’s the time of year when my thoughts stray from all those calories I shouldn’t eat to how many pieces of birthday cake will I get before my family eats it. Yes, it’s my birthday!

In the past I’ve gifted myself with various electronic devices, but even I have to admit I have more devices than any one person should. Also, as unbelievable as it sounds I use almost all of them! Sadly, I rarely use my NOOK as I just don’t have the time to read at Barnes and Noble like I used to, and because I owned my Kindle first most of my books are on that device.

So, what could I possibly want this year? A long time ago in a galaxy far away, and in a past life….ok…so really in my pre child years, and living in Iowa I learned the art of counted cross stitch. I created some very lovely Norman Rockwell Saturday Evening Post covers which hung in my home for years. During our recent renovation the pictures came down, and promptly got misplaced. When they were recently recovered the frames were damaged. AHHH….perfect birthday gift to myself, new frames for my handiwork.

Ok…the pictures are reframed and awaiting hanging. Why that should seriously be my gift it’s truly something the whole family and our friends will get to share because after all they will be hanging in a prime viewing spot to get the appropriate oohs and aahs…I didn’t work on them for a LONG LONG time for them to not be where great numbers of people can see them.

Wait! It’s my birthday and the occasion only comes once a year. It really does deserve something I don’t have to share. I know! I need a book or two, or maybe even three! What good things have you been reading? Share and I just might be heading over to Amazon and hitting buy and thinking of you why I read the book or books I treated myself to for this momentous occasion.

Sandi’s Post on Book Clubs and Paper vs. Ebook

Last Saturday of the month whaaat? I’m trying not to panic. But, as you know, I have monthly structure! Yay! That means it’s Sandi Shilhanek’s post. Yes, she of Fresh Fiction fame. 😀 And my buddy, so let’s see what she wants to talk about this month!

This week one of the local book clubs that I belong to had their monthly meeting.  Unfortunately it was a small number of us that got to actually attend, and worse than that only one of use had read one of the books for discussion and only one of us had started the other book we were to discuss. Do not tell my fellow members that I told you this.

I had not read either book as one was a historical and one was a fiction title. I typically do not read historicals and I honestly cannot remember the last time I read something that would be possibly be considered more fiction than romance, suspense,mystery, or even women’s fiction.  Believe me when I tell you I had every intention of reading the one title but time slipped away and with being a member of four very different book clubs and having a full time job it’s hard to read every book for every club!

Since it appeared that discussing the books with a very limited number of people present and an even more limited number having read said books we got very sidetracked and talked about our preferences for reading.  One member switches between her e-reader and paper books, one member only reads paper books, and was telling us about her TBR pile that she is hoarding as she fears that bookstores and real books might soon be a thing of the past.  Another member said she had not read a paper book in almost a year and had in fact dejunked a rather outlandish numbers of paper books in favor of being electronic.

I myself am finding that I prefer my ebooks to my paper books, and am pulling way back on even getting something signed, because I do have to find a space for that signed book,and find myself at a point in my life where I would like to simplify, so do I really need that extra bookshelf?

What about you?  Are you finding yourself becoming more of an ebook reader than you thought you would be?  If so do you have a preferred device for reading on?  I love my Ipad for when I’m out and about as I can read and do other things, but at home I use my  Kindle.  Sometimes I will use the Kindle app on my phone, but I had moved away from doing that but recently have seen myself doing it more.

Until next time…happy reading!

PS – the book covers were ones I’ve chosen – as in what I’ve been reading or will read. Whoo!

Sandi Talks New to You Authors

I can’t believe February is almost over. And that I have the plague. I need a pause button on life! But – time marches on, so as usual, the last Saturday of the month at ALBTALBS belongs to Sandi! Whee!

This year a member of my local book club has decided to challenge herself to read at least 2 new authors a month. When I heard this my first thought was wow! Good for her! I don’t have time to do this. Then I decided well, maybe I do. My book club does pick some authors who I’ve not read, and who I think I might like, so if I could make an attempt to read these I would get at least one new author a month as I do belong to several different chapters of my book club. No way would I have time to read all the selections from the four different chapters, but I could at least get one read!

This is only February and already I’ve failed miserably at this new goal! The new author I read for January was Julie Ann Walker. She was a call in author to our book club, and I didn’t get the book finished before the meeting, but I did get it finished! February’s new author is Diane Kelley, who actually came to our meeting and was such a delight that I know I’m going to love her Tara Halloway series, but again did I finish the book in time? NO!!!!

Don’t be mad, but I’ve not ever read Shelley Laurenston, and she’s the book club choice for a different chapter in a few months, so I will finally cave and read Pack Challenge and see what I think. I don’t think there’s a member who doesn’t like her, but not being a huge paranormal fan, that just might end up being me!

My friend created a hashtag (on twitter) for our new reading venture, and I invite you to join us. The hashtag is #newauthorforme2013. It’s never to late to discover someone new, and to coerce all your friends into reading your latest greatest new discovery. So as I’m game to expanding my comfort zone this year and venturing into new territory who do you suggest I try? Who have you just read for the first time and wondered why didn’t I read this person sooner? Curious minds need to know!

Sandi: On Series (And Reading in Order)

Y’all shhhheeeeeeee’s back! That’s right, welcome Sandi again! I’m hoping this year works out that her monthly post is actually monthly. And thus in the future, no introduction from me needed!

Recently my local book club had their monthly dinner, where we are fortunate enough to have an author call in. For January the author was Julie Ann Walker, who has quickly become a favorite of many members of my club. I personally hadn’t read Ms. Walker, but as I trust my book club friends I had her Chicago Knights trilogy waiting patiently in my TBR pile.

I decided that I would make an effort to get one book read before the night of the dinner. I thought I had done my research and had picked the first book of the series. I started my choice and while there were a few things that didn’t quite add up I didn’t fully realize that I had mistakenly picked the final book in the trilogy rather than the first book.

When I did realize this…well, let’s just say it wasn’t a pretty sight, and provided some good fodder for my friends to start the conversation with Ms. Walker. Yes, instead of reading Hell on Wheels I started what promises to be an entertaining series with the third book, Rev it Up.

Now, another of my book clubs is reading a series book, and I knew when they picked it that it was several titles in to the series, and I was leery of this, but they assured me that for this series reading out of order was ok. Fine, I’ll take the plunge I do after all have these women as my friends for a reason. It also wasn’t really their fault that I couldn’t research correctly and ended up with a concluding book, rather than a starting book for my other series venture.

So I’m currently reading Scorched by Laura Griffin part of her Tracers series. This time my friends appear to be correct, and it’s ok to be reading out of order. Whew! I would have hated to have been disappointed again….not in the story, but more in me and my ability to not read faster and to be current in all the series that I love.

Now that you know my story, what is yours? Do you like to read series? Can you read out of order? If you had done something like I did and read the conclusion to a series would you go back and read the first ones? Do you have a favorite series that you think everyone should have to read?

Until next month I wish you happy reading.

Sandi’s Reflections on 2012

Hi friends! It’s time for Sandi’s monthly post! We’ve fallen off the wagon a bit, but hopefully back on it! I apologize for the delay – Sandi sent me her post on the 28th for the 29th… but it just didn’t happen. So… let’s reflect back on last year with her!

It’s so hard to believe that 2012 is in its last few days of existence.  Just a few days ago we thought the world would be ending, but it didn’t however we do know that 2012 is about to fade into hopefully pleasant memories for all of us.

For me personally it was a year of ups and downs without a doubt!  For a portion of the year I saw my professional life crashing around me, and wasn’t sure what I was going to do to salvage it, or if I really even wanted to.  What I did was listen to advice from some great friends (they know who they are) and put myself out there for a wonderful new position.  When talking about the opportunity after the interview I didn’t say if I get the job, but rather when I get the job, and now I’ve been in that wonderful new position for almost 2 months!  I can’t believe how the time has flown!

My reading life reached a goal I haven’t achieved in awhile.  I read over 100 books.  This was a combination of print, ebooks, and audio books.  I read some really great stuff this year.  I can’t even begin to narrow it down to a top 10 or even 20 list!  I would however say that Home Front by Kristin Hannah was a truly remarkable book, and even though it was a tear jerker, and many won’t read those it gave me a perspective on war and the impact that it has on families that I hadn’t previously had.

As I look forward into 2013 I have new goals to reach.  I have professional achievements in my new career field to meet.  I am not sure what those are yet, but I have a few days to decide.  I again want to read 100 books, and hope one or two of those have the impact on me that Home Front had.  Last but not least there is bound to be a personal goal to decide and strive to achieve.  Not a resolution per say, but something tangible that I can measure and see that I’m making progress towards.

So, curious minds want to know…what are you most proud of accomplishing as you reflect back on 2012?  What are you looking forward to in 2013?  Will you be setting goals?  Resolutions?  Just taking life as it comes?

Here’s to a safe happy new year for all!

Sandi’s Post: Library Usage…Would You Pay or No?

Recently a discussion ensued in one of my reader groups about the library.  In the course of the discussion people were upset about many different things occurring at either their local library or one in an adjoining city or county.  It got me wondering about my own library usage and whether or not I could use another city’s system.

Naturally I got online and discovered that for a small fee I could join what has to be the largest library near me.  Since I primarily use Overdrive for audio books I was curious as to whether or not that other system had different audios than what I could get at my own  forward thinking library.  I was dismayed to find out that my fee entitled me to a limited number of physical books, but that I would not be allowed anything from their digital collection.

I could not help but feel that this was wrong.  Let’s say that the fee to join the library is $25 per year.  I could go and check out three best selling hardcovers and abscond with them, hence basically buying one and getting two free.  Digital materials return themselves and while I realize that publishers are attempting to limit the licenses for digital materials doesn’t my yearly fee help to buy at least one?

Okay…so maybe I’m not typical in moving to all digital, but for those readers who still adore their print books isn’t a yearly fee worth paying to access a library that is closer to your home, and provides better services?  After all I feel confident that when I have to pay a fine or a fee for using the service I am contributing to someone’s salary and to the cost of continuing to add  books to the library and thus spread the love of reading to someone who perhaps can not afford to read any other way.

It’s your turn now.  What do you think?  Would you pay a fee to join a better library? How do you feel about the late fees your library charges?  If you use the library what is your primary reason for using it?  Inquiring minds want to know.

Sandi’s Post: On the hunt…How do you find a new release?

Hi everyone! Do you know Sandi Shilhanek of Fresh Fiction fame? Well, she’s a friend and she’ll now be doing a monthly guest spot! The last Saturday of each month? A reader post by Miss Sandi! Yay! (Last week Sandi switched places with Jessica, who had been vacationing in Ireland, that fancy girl.) So everyone, please welcome Sandi now, officially. 😉

Recently I went to the bookstore to see what new titles were out.  I saw two my Lori Foster that I was aware of, but hadn’t yet decided if I was going to buy in print or for my Kindle.  Other than that I didn’t see much that was really calling my name.

Later that same week I had tea with the wonderful ladies of the DFWTeaReaders.  Naturally one would think that because we are tea and readers groups that talk would consist more of the latest greatest books, than anything else.  It should surprise no one that while we do discuss books, life and gossip comes first and foremost.

O.K… I’m getting sidetracked.  When talk eventually turned to books the name Sharon Sala came up.  I can’t even remember when I first discovered Sala, but I was a fan for a long time.  Then for me at least her writing took a turn that I just didn’t care for, and even though I continued to support her by buying books, I just couldn’t make myself read them.

Come 2010 and the release of her Storm Front trilogy, and I was once again   reminded of why I love Sala.  That brings me to 2011 and the release of her new trilogy, The Searchers.  I read the first one Blood Stains, and was eagerly awaiting the next, Blood Ties.

Well, to my surprise I found out that I had my release dates wrong, and Blood Ties was available!  I don’t know how I missed it when I went to the bookstore, but I did.  I was like I have to go home and buy it for my kindle so I can read right away!

So this brings me to my question of the day…how do you find out about new releases?  Do you have a favorite website you stalk?  Do you have friends who have similar tastes and keep you informed?  Do you wander the bookstore aimlessly just hoping that something says buy me and read me?

Christmas in July!

As June turned into July all of my friends were either on vacation or planning vacations.  This year there will be no vacation for me.  I’ve spent my wad making improvements to my house, so I’ll have to look at my reflection in the shiny new stainless appliances and imagine it’s my reflection in a pool of clear cool water.

However, the talk of vacations always has me wondering what people do when they are in transit (provided they’re not doing the driving) or at the hotel room either before beginning the day or ending it.

I read of course.  In the olden days…like maybe 5 years ago (how long has Kindle been around anyway?) I packed a slew of books.  Now I pack my Kindle.  I used to teach and would save the summer for reading a hardback book because they were harder to lug everywhere.  Now with the wonders of modern technology I can read on my Kindle and the print version of the book doesn’t matter.

What vacation book are you planning on reading?  How many can you read while on vacation?  Several years ago I was on a trip with just my oldest and I managed a book a day…haven’t quite managed that again!   Since as I typed this it was the beginning of the 4th of July weekend I plan on starting my summer vacation reading with Bring Me Home for Christmas by Robyn Carr.  (Yes, I was lucky enough to get an ARC!)