The Gang has decided to create the "Sunday Scoop" as a way for us to just share what's going on with us. Whether we talk a bit about books or just whatever, we want to share more of us with you than just book related stuff. This is our first Scoop, so we are going to just chat about a few things.
First off, some site business. We want to let you know what our some of our current or next reads are going to be. Obviously there are more than 1 book to read a week, but sharing one will be a good start and not take up too much space! So, Mara is in the middle of "The Accidental Billionaires: The Founding of Facebook...A Tale of Sex, Money, Genius, and Betrayal" by Ben Mezrich. Sami is reading "Dealing with Dragons", book 1 of "The Enchanted Forest Chronicles" by Patricia C. Wrede. Lauryn is reading "The Maze Runner" by James Dashner for a book report as well as her very own review of it. Speaking of James, the Gang is going to visit James at a signing at Barnes and Noble in New York City on Oct 15th. We consider James a friend of ours and can not wait to finally meet him in person! Dave is reading something very special next that is top secret and off limits to the site (for now), but let's just say he is THRILLED to be reading it! He has been sworn to secrecy and would not disclose even if you took a matchbook to his bookshelf! However, right after that, he will be reading "The Seekers: the Glitch in Sleep" by John Hulme and Michael Wexler. With about 75 book in the wings and new ones coming out every week, Dave is always changing his mind about what to read next!
We want to wish a great friend and author, Laura Bingham a Happy Birthday! Many of you know Laura from our site. She is the author of "Alvor", which we have discussed here many times.
Speaking of Birthdays.....HAPPY 34th BIRTHDAY MARA!!!! Thursday, October 8th we will be celebrating all day! There is still a minor disagreement going on in the house. Perhaps you can share your opinion and help Dave, Lauryn, and Sami win this one! Dave and the kids have been planning for 2 weeks now to spend the day with Mara. A day off of work and school have been planned to surprise Mara with a day of fun. Well, today she found out the plans. As Dave is a big boy and taking off of work whether or not Mara likes it (she doesn't mind him being off), but she is not too happy about the kids missing school. We are undecided and hoping you guys can settle this one. Perhaps an idea of the planned day would persuade you...er, we mean help you in telling Mara it is ok to have them miss a day. In all fairness to her, we will mention that the girls had been sick in the last week or so and each missed a few days of school. Here is the proposed schedule:
- Wake up and go get some breakfast at the local bagel joint
- Head over to a favorite spot of ours that we hit up every year where we take the girls pumpkin picking, apple picking, and through a haunted hay ride that has become a tradition since Lauryn was 1 and Sami was still in Mara's belly
- Next stop would be for lunch at the same pizza place that follows the pumpkin picking each year (tradition is tradition)
- Before heading home, we would be stopping at "Delicious Orchards" which is a huge store set on a farm (yes, despite what you have seen on "The Sopranos", there are some farms in NJ). There we get the best fresh apple cider, and some baked goods including these awesome apple cider doughnuts (yum!) and a few fresh baked apple and pumpkin pies.
- Home for a break and then dinner at either Benni Hanna (A Hibatchi Steakhouse) or Joe's American Bar and Grill (where Dave and Mara first met and fell in love many years ago while they were waiting tables)
- Starbucks for Mara's daily fix
- Perhaps finish the night off with just hanging out in front of the TV and spending some quality family time together
OK, so this is the plan for her birthday IF she lets the girls stay home from school. What do you think??
The Gang is trying to figure out what we are going to be for Halloween. Lauryn wants to be either a black or white cat with a friend who will be whichever she is not. Sami is thinking about Lady Ga Ga. Dave doesn't have a clue yet, and Mara will be a "Mom" and make sure her 3 kids do not eat any candy she doesn't check first! What are you guys (or your kids) going to be this year?
As our first "Sunday Scoop", we just thought we would share some things that are going on in our lives. We are looking for suggestions on certain things that we can discuss every week. From prior comments, we know that some of you out there are super creative and we would love to hear some of your ideas.
Lastly, we mentioned this somewhere secret on the site the other day, but for those of you who didn't catch it, we have a bit of great news. As we have mentioned in the past, we have had a wonderful increase in people interested in the site. For this we are motivated to make the site the very best we can. We are planning on changing the scenery around as well as making additions and updates to our side bars. Also, Mara has agreed to work during the week on a regular basis to update some of the new additions you will find. We are going to celebrate the re-launch of the site with a "Mega" contest. It is going to be fantastic. We will announce the contest as soon as we have all of the specific details. Here is what you can look forward to. We still plan to have 1 winner take home a $200 gift card for the Apple Store. Also, we have been reviewing books for a handful of awesome publishers and have asked each of them to contribute a "Prize Package" to give away as part of the Mega contest. So far we have a commitment from Scholastic, Sourcebooks/Jabberwocky, and Harper Collins. We are waiting to hear from Penguin and Random House. Once we hopefully get everyone on board, they will send us a list of what their prize pack will contain. As soon as we get that info, we will launch the contest. On the day the contest is over, we will pick several winners! Perhaps each prize pack will find itself a different winner or maybe we will even mix and match the packages so that each winner can get a book from each publisher. That part is not final yet. Also the day the contest is over, we will unveil our site's new look. We are working really hard to make it look great. We hope that you will all participate in the contest and we are excited to be able to hold such a cool contest. Hopefully we can hear from everyone by the end of the week and get things rolling!
That is all we have for this week. We hope that you enjoyed our first "Sunday Scoop" with The Lateiner Gang. We have more reviews that will be posted throughout the week so keep checking back. Also, right before the Sunday Scoop, Dave posted a review on "Adventurers Wanted: Slathbog's Gold" by M.L. Forman. Please check that as well as the 2 recent reviews before that out. We love when you guys read our reviews and comment on them.
Dave, Mara, Lauryn, and Sami
The Lateiner Gang