Weekend Book Friends #14

Friday, January 1, 2021


Happy New Year Everyone! It's the first of January 2021 and seeing that we are on rather strict Lock Down regulations again in South Africa, we might as well spend our New Year's celebration with our virtual book friends. Thank Heavens for technology! 

Did you wait for the ball to drop last night? Daddy was fast asleep by 21:00 and Mommy only made it to 23:00. But then the Church-bells woke her at 0:00. There were hardly any fireworks and I am ever so grateful for that. I guess everything, even Lock Down rules, do have their advantages. 

We are not doing much today, except for reading and enjoying the summer sun. So what will be our first read for 2021?

Yesterday Mommy posts all her Reading Challenges for 2021 and the main one for 2021 will be Around the World in Eighty Days. Not much planning done, but we will try to consciously choose books from different settings as much as possible.

Our first destination for 2021 will be Egypt. The centuries old country who at least had the intelligence to worship cats and to know how highly important we can be in a human's life. Not to mention the afterlife. 

The Book of Two Ways by Jodi Picoult

Dawn Edelstein knows everything there is to know about dying. She specialises in helping her clients make peace with the end of their lives. But as she's flying home from her latest case, she is forced to confront her own mortality for the first time.

Instead of seeing her brilliant quantum physicist husband and their beloved daughter flash before her eyes in what she assumes are her last moments, only one face is shockingly clear: Wyatt Armstrong.

Safely on the ground, Dawn now faces a desperate decision. Should she return to Boston, her family and the life she knows, or journey back to an Egyptian archaeological site she left over a decade earlier, reconnect with Wyatt, and finally finish her abandoned magnum opus, The Book of Two Ways?

As the story unfolds, Dawn must confront the questions she's never truly answered: What does a life well-lived look like? When we depart this earth, what do we leave behind of ourselves? And who would you be if you hadn't turned out to be the person you are right now?


My Mommy is already completely absorbed in the story and says she won't mind going back to Egypt one day. I would love to accompany her. Can you imagine how those Egyptians will fall at my fluffy white paws?

Book Beginnings


  For our first stop today, we will pay a visit to Gilion over at Rose City Reader to share our Book Beginnings.  Every Friday you can link up and share the first sentence of your current read (or the one you plan to devour over the weekend), as well as your initial thoughts and impressions. Hashtags are the one thing I do know on social media, so simply #bookbeginnings so we can find each other. 

The Book of Two Ways opens with a prologue and then Chapter one. Here's both first sentences:

"My Calendar is full of dead people."

"My mother, who lived and died by superstitions, used to make us say together before we went on a trip: We're not going anywhere. It was meant to trick the Devil. I can't say I believe in that kind of thing, but then again, I didn't say it before I left home, and look at where that got me."

The Friday 56


Next we will pay a visit to Freda over at Freda's voice who hosts the Friday 56. Don't show up empty handed though! 
  • Grab a book (Yes, any book. But it might get you to your other Friday activities a bit quicker if you just grab the book you are currently reading)
  • Turn to page 56 or 56% on your e-reader
  • Find a sentence or two (your other Friday activities might determine this)
  • Post it!
  • Remember to post your link on Freda's Voice and to visit the other guys in the linky.
  • And  last but not least, don't forget to list the title of the book and the author as well.

Lets' see what happens on page 56 of The Book of Two Ways: 

"Brian had fallen for me fast. He once told me that when he was with me, he didn't fade into the background. Food tasted better. the air was crisper. He said I hadn't changed his world. I'd changed the world."

Just like I will change all those Egyptians' world. Mommy says she doesn't think it's quite the same. There's been some mixed reviews on this book, but I think we are going to be on the side of those who loved it. Where do you fall with this book?

Book Blogger Hop 


The Book Blogger's hop's purpose is to give bloggers a chance to follow other blogs, learn about new books, befriend other bloggers, and receive new followers to your own blog. Every week, there will be a prompt featuring a book related question. It's hosted by Ramblings of a coffee addicted writer and he guess he hops around like a bunny due to all the caffeine. Hence his name. 

The first question for 2021: 
What are your reading goals for 2021?


Between all of these, we hope to read 80 books in 2021. We made it to 79 books last years, so I do hope that we will be able to achieve that. Depending on how busy school and life will be. If 2020 taught us anything, it's not to rely on expectations. 

What is your first book for 2021? And have you set a reading goal for the year?

Enjoy your weekend and may the new year be filled with some awesome books!

Lots of Love,



           

42 comments

  1. I love the excerpts! How interesting that you've been to Egypt! I hope you can stop by:

    https://collettaskitchensink.blogspot.com/2021/01/my-weekly-bookishness-112021.html

    Colletta

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    1. Hi Colletta! It's been years ago. Over 20 years. Would love to go back for perhaps a Nile Cruise or something.

      Thanks for visiting, will sure be able to stop by as well!

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  2. Wow, what a great post! Yes, Elsa, all of the Egyptians will definitely want to love on you. :) So far I have no reading goals, except to find some more good books!

    My Friday post: https://steppingstonesbookreviews.blogspot.com/2020/12/book-beginnings-on-fridaysfriday-56.html?m=1

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    1. Hi JadeSky! Aaah, I KNEW you were able to see my true power.

      I usually only set a Goodreads goal and I'm still planning on sticking to that as a basis. I see all these people with all these AMAZING spreadsheets for the year and I'm like wow... Good for you! So not going to be me!

      Hope you will have a wonderful new year!

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  3. I have this book...and now I must move it up on my stack! Here's mine: “PIECE OF MY HEART”

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    1. Hi Laurel-Rain! I really enjoy it as well. Will keep you updated.

      Happy New Year!

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  4. I think Picoult is a perfect author to spend the first day of the year with. Happy New Year! Good luck with your goals.

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    1. Hi Debbie! I didn't end up reading as much as planned. But will go to bed early and read! It really is a good one. I have a bit of a love hate relationship with Jodi Picoult, but lately it's been mostly love.

      Thanks Debbie, I plan on working everything around the Around the world in eighty books challenge. I hope I will be able to read 80 books this year...

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  5. Hi Mareli,

    Our restrictions are very tough over here in the UK right now too! It's more or less a lockdown in everything but name. It is freezing cold and raining almost constantly, so curling up with a good book, or sat here chatting with other bookish people, seems like the thing to do!

    I wasn't too sure about about the Jodi Picoult book, just based on the extracts you shared. However, after checking out the full premise, it is definitely heading for my list, so thanks for sharing. She is such a popular author over here in the UK, yet I have never read any of her books before!

    Fiction Books is very much a challenge free zone, with the exception of my Goodreads Reading Challenge. I simply don't have the time to commit to anything like the challenges you have signed up for, so I am really pleased that you have taken on the additional challenge of hosting the WWW and taking over from Kathy.

    I look forward to seeing you on as many Wednesday's as I can manage, I know I have plenty of new to me words lined up to share!

    I hope that 2021 turns out to be a better year for us all :)

    Yvonne Xx

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    1. Hi Yvonne! We have the most beautiful weather at the moment. I feel so sorry for all the holiday makers who are not allowed on the beaches. We have a lovely view of the sea and I spend some time reading outside in the sun. The Covid numbers here with us is currently higher than it's ever been. I'm worried that we will be placed under complete lockdown again.

      I have a love/hate relationship with Jodi Picoult. If I love her books, I really love it. If I don't, I really hate it. Strange. But I think this one is working for me.

      All my challenges are based around my Goodreads Challenge and that is basically the 80 books around the world. I can work the rest of them in between. That's why I made one sign-up post so I can just keep everything together!

      I am looking forward to WWW, I hope that I will be able to stick to it as much as possible!

      I also hope that 2021 will be a bit better, I think we are all a bit more open to change and we realize how resilient we can be. We should all build on that in 2021.

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  6. Happy New Year to you all!

    Your Friday 56 book sounds good. I love Jodi Picoult's books but I haven't read one in a while. I'll have to look for this one. Good luck with your reading goals.

    Have a great weekend!

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    1. Hi Yvonne! I also love Jodi Picoult's books. Mostly. Sometimes I really hate it and then I don't read her for a while. But the last couple of years have been good and I am enjoying The Book of Two Ways.

      Thanks for all the Good Luck, I think I might need it...

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  7. I've never been to Egypt and hope to go one day. Now you've got me curious about The Book of Two ways. I hope you're loving it so far. I'll look for your review. I also read about 76 books last year. I hope you have another great reading year in 2021.

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    1. Hi Laura! It's a strange, but very interesting country. I've been there over 20 years ago and I think I might have been a bit young. Would love to go again and as soon as we are open for travels again, I'm going to start making a plan. I think a Nile cruise can be wonderful.

      Hope you will also have a great year!

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  8. My calendar is full of dead people. Oh my! That is is intriguing enough to read on. I like Jodi Picoult. Hope this one is good. Happy New Year! My Friday quotes are from Princess Bride

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    1. Hi Anne! The main character is a death doula, so yes - her calendar is filled with dead people. It's a good read!

      I hope to get to the Princess Bride somewhere. I've seen the movie a couple of times.

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  9. Sounds like a wonderful read! Happy New Year!

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    1. I'm enjoying it a lot Freda!

      Happy New Year to you too.

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  10. Good luck with your 2021 reading goals!!! If these lockdowns continue, I think all of us bookish people will have no problem meeting them lol! Happy New Year!

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    1. Hi Penelope! I'm a teacher so no, if we are under strict Lockdown regulations again, I won't have much time for reading! Let's see how it goes.

      I do hope I'm not over stretching myself this year, maybe 80 books might be a bit much!

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  11. We heard some fireworks but not as many as I expected, now that you mention it. We all were up until about 2 a.m., I think. Much too late. I think I may need a nap.

    I wish you the best with your reading goals and enjoy your first book of the year! Have a healthy and happy New Year!

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    1. I hope you got that much deserved nap! I'm napping every day at this stage. Next week we are back at work and then there won't be time for napping.

      Thanks for the well wishes, I think I might need all the luck I can get!

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  12. Happy New Year! I love those snippets! We had lots of fireworks throughout our neighborhood. They didn't quiet down until well after 2am. Needless to say, it was a looong night.

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    1. Hi Ashley! The fireworks are normally hectic here in our little coastal town and also don't normally quiet down until the wee hours.

      I hope you got a bit of a nap in somewhere!

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  13. I did stay up to watch the ball drop on TV and keep my dogs calm with all the fireworks, but we had a pretty lazy New Year's Eve too. I hope you have a great 2021!

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    1. Good for you Tracy! My dogs are old and near deaf. They actually never really minded the fireworks. The cats don't like it though. Especially Elza.

      Hope you will have a wonderful year too!

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  14. Enjoy your trip to Egypt! I haven't actually firmed up my reading goals but I'm working on it. I have some ideas I just need to attach numbers.

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    1. Looking forward to seeing your goals Katherine!

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  15. I don't have a numerical goal for books read yet. My goal right now is to alternate e-books and physical books, so that I can make some space on my shelf for more books!

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    1. That sounds like a good goal. I've also been out of book shelf space for quite some time. We have a bit of renovations planned for this year and part of it is new book shelves!

      Good luck and have a good year.

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  16. Happy New Year!!! Hopefully Elza and Stinky had a nice New Years Eve- sounds like they did. Ours was quiet too, although I did see some fireworks on my way to pick my daughter up from work. And it was cold here! Not sure who was out shooting off fireworks in the cold, but someone was!

    Hope you're having a great start of year!

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    1. Hi Greg! We have the loveliest weather here. Bit windy today, but otherwise marvelous. And nobody on the beach....

      I've been busy on the blog this week, but now I plan on having a lazy Sunday tomorrow!

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  17. Good luck on your reading challenges, I'm hoping to include non-fiction in my reading list this year. Have a safe and happy 2021.

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    1. Hi Louise, I should read more non-fiction as well. If I can work it in around my current goals, I'll do my best!

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  18. All your reading challenges look awesome, though I'm afraid of signing up to any of these in case I end up lacking commitment. I did sign up for the Japanese Lit Challenge 14 (https://japaneselitchallenge14.blogspot.com/), and I'm already wracking my brains on that one.
    Hope you have fun with all of these, and look forward to reading up more about them here.

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  19. Hi there! I'm just trying to look as if I'm highly organised here. I actually only aim for the Around the world in Eighty Books one and hope that the rest of the books can slot in somewhere....

    So glad you stopped by! We appreciate it!

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  20. Hey Happy New Year! I like that your goal is 80 books ... I'm going to try for 70 books in 2021. I've enjoyed your blog and finding it this year. Wish you much happiness in the year ahead.

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    1. That is such a lovely compliment and we really appreciate it! Thank you!

      I hope that 2021 will be a good year for you, filled with some of the greatest reads ever.

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  21. Good luck with all your goals. I'm very behind atm as I have quite a lot of reviews to get out but then I'll think about the forthcoming year abit more.
    Lynn :D

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    1. I'm basically building my whole reading goal around the main one - Around the world in eighty days. Think that might keep me busy enough!

      Things will fall into place, Lynn. Just remember to read for fun first of all!

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  22. I'm mesmerized by the Jodi Picoult novel : the colours of the cover (so beautiful), that line and that quote simply hooked me !

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    1. If you think the cover is mesmerizing, you should read what's between the pages. I'm loving it soooo much!!!!

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We love hearing from you and if you talk to me, I'll purr back as soon as possible. Sometimes I take a cat nap and it might take a couple of hours or days, but never fear - the cat always comes back.