Thursday, April 16, 2015

Songs of Willow Frost by Jamie Ford

Songs of Willow Frost was one of the saddest books I've read recently. Sad but good. I choose to read Songs of Willow Frost because I had enjoyed Ford's other book, Hotel On The Corner of Bitter and Sweet. Plus his books are set in Seattle which is an added bonus.Despite the sad tale, I liked Songs of Willow Frost.

It's 1934 and William is turning twelve. William lives at Sacred Heart Orphanage and been there for five years. William misses his mother but believes she is dead. For his birthday and the birthdays of all the boys at the orphanage, the nuns take them to see a movie. During the movie, William sees a woman he believes to be his mother. With the help of his friends, Sunny and Charlotte, William sets out to find Willow Frost.

William is the narrator for much of the book. He's twelve but I choose to believe he was looking back as a grown man. Some of William's thoughts are too advanced for a twelve year old with limited schooling. Plus some of the circumstances of him being in the orphanage and what happened to his mother were more than I think a twelve year would understand. But William's story is sad. And his friend Charlotte's story was sadder. Charlotte had been blinded at birth when nurses put the wrong eye drops in her eyes. Charlotte's mom died and her dad was in prison. Instead of adoption, Charlotte was going to be placed at a school for blind children. Charlotte didn't want to go and instead clung to William. They had a cute twelve year old romance.

Ford also deals with how people of color were treated in the 1920's and 1930's. William's friend, Sunny, is Native American and ostracized for it. William also had difficulty fitting in with the other kids because he was Chinese. In fact Ford talks about Chinese kids weren't adopted. Chinese families saw them as a bad omen and white families didn't want Chinese kids. Most of the kids at that time weren't adopted due to the Depression. Many were turned to labor farms. Willow also faced a lot of discrimination due to being unwed Chinese mother. Her story was sad too.

Even though this is one of the saddest books I've read, I would recommend it. I loved the history of Seattle. I think it would be a great book club book. There's plenty to talk about. Others who shared their thoughts on Songs of Willow Frost: Alison's Book Marks, Novelicious, The Underemployed Librarian, and Joyfully Retired.
This is my seventh read for the Historical Reading Challenge

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Library Loot

Library Loot is a weekly event co-hosted by Claire from The Captive Reader and me that encourages bloggers to share the books they’ve checked out from the library. If you’d like to participate, just write up your post-feel free to steal the button-and link it using the Mr. Linky any time during the week. And of course check out what other participants are getting from their libraries.


I've been looking forward to this one for quite a while.

After adoring Rat Queens I decided to see what else Wiebe has done. And here it is.

What did you get this week? Share below!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Teaser Tuesday- Songs of Willow Frost by Jamie Ford

TeaserTuesdays-ADailyRhythm3Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of A Daily Rhythm. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!


"He had a bounty wrapped in a large piece of cheesecloth left over from the kitchen. The scraps would be enough to feed them for a week."
pg 43 Songs of Willow Frost by Jamie Ford

Sunday, April 12, 2015

What To Eat This Week

 Last week also didn't go as planned. I had a migraine Monday. Wednesday we got free tickets to a Mariner's game. Saturday, my brother in law was in town. Sigh, Life. So you'll see at least one repeat from last week this week.
 

Skillet Chicken Parmesan over Pasta- Everyone liked this one. I used chicken tenders instead of breast. I left out the breadcrumbs and no one noticed. Would make again.
Glazed Pork Chops-The recipe called for thick cut pork chops but all they had at the grocery store was thin cut ones. I knew the glaze wouldn't set since the thin cut chops take a couple minutes on each side to cook. I combined the spice rub, added a little water (1/2 cup), and set it to boil. Then I let it simmer until it reduced and dipped the chops in that sauce before cooking them. Pretty tasty. Would make again. 

 
Dinner Out
Nachos

What's on your menu this week?

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Weekend Cooking: Harvest: Field Notes from a Far Flung Pursuit of Real Food by Max Watman

I often joke with Tai that I'm thisclose to being on an episode of Portlandia. Especially when it comes to me and food. I've walked out of restaurants based on where their bread is made. I've asked cattle ranchers to describe the feed they supply to their animals. I've gotten into lengthy discussions about eggs. I have opinions on salts. I'm often times ridiculous in my interest of food. But I have zero interest in growing my own food. I enjoy making some things from hand when I have the time but overall I buy the majority of my food from someone else. This is where Max Watman and I differ. Max is just as passionate as me about real food but he wants to grow it himself. While Harvest was a story about being involved with food, it was more than I wanted to do.

Max lives with his wife and their son in New York. He has some land but not enough to raise a steer. He does have a garden and a pizza oven. Harvest talks about how he attempts to learn how to make his own cheese, raise his own beef, make his own hot dogs, and instill those values into his son. I enjoyed learning about the different types of cheese Max tried to make but I had no interest in running into the kitchen and trying my hand. Same goes for the making of the hot dogs. Fascinating but not something I want to try.

Overall, Harvest was an interesting read. Especially for the food obsessed. Others who shared their thoughts on Harvest: Popdust, Real Food Kitchens, and The Iron You.
This is my third read for Foodies Read Challenge.


Weekend Cooking is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, quotations, photographs. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend. You do not have to post on the weekend. Please link to your specific post, not your blog's home page. For more information, see the welcome post.


Friday, April 10, 2015

Gearing Up for the Readathon

It's almost that time. Time for the 24 hour readathon! Yay! I'll be participating again as a reader and a #teamrogue cheerleader. 
I'll do posts on what I'll be reading closer to the event on April 25th!

Thursday, April 9, 2015

March Book Tallly

Gear School by Adam Gallardo
Trinity: A Graphic History of First Atomic Bomb by Jonathan Fetter-Vorm
Best Shot in the West by Patricia C McKissack
Burn for Me by Ilona Andrews
The Sword vol 1 by The Luna Brothers
Salt & Stone by Victoria Scott
Yes, Chef by Marcus Samuelsson
The Antelope in the Living Room by Melanie Shankle
Say Yes to the Marquess by Tessa Dare
Yummy: The Last Days of A Southside Shorty by G. Neri
Fairest by Marissa Meyer
Nobody's Family Is Going to Change by Louise Fitzhugh
Rat Queens vol 1 by Kurtis J Wiebe
The Book of the Unknown Americans by Christina Heriquez
A Kiss for Midwinter by Courtney Milan

A great month. I'm really reading a lot of graphic novels. Good for my Graphic Novel Challenge! Also a lot of other great books too.

Stats:
What's In A Name Challenge: this month: 1 (The Antelope In The Living Room ) YTD: 3
Graphic Novel and Manga Challenge: this month: 6 (Gear School, Trinity, Best Shot In The West, The Sword vol 1, Rat Queens vol 1, Yummy) YTD: 13
Historical Reading Challenge: this month: 2 ( A Kiss For Midwinter and Say Yes to the Marquess) YTD: 6
Foodies Read Challenge this month:1 (Yes, Chef) YTD: 2
Total: 38

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Library Loot

Library Loot is a weekly event co-hosted by Claire from The Captive Reader and me that encourages bloggers to share the books they’ve checked out from the library. If you’d like to participate, just write up your post-feel free to steal the button-and link it using the Mr. Linky any time during the week. And of course check out what other participants are getting from their libraries.

Recently I noticed that many travel memoirs I see are by white people. I'm actively looking for ones by people of color and here's the first one I found.
After reading Best Shot in The West by McKissack, I wanted more by him. 
Still trying to read more of Lisa See's books. I think this might be a reloot.

What did you get this week? Claire's got the linky.



Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Teaser Tuesday: Tiny Ladies in Shiny Pants by Jill Soloway

TeaserTuesdays-ADailyRhythm3Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of A Daily Rhythm. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

"In fact, throughout my entire childhood, my dad was always listening to a Cubs game. Most of the time he did it covertly, only causing trouble during one of my sister's high school orchestra recitals when, during a sotto movement, he screamed out, "Run You Fat Bastard!"
pg 36 Tiny Ladies in Shiny Pants by Jill Soloway

Monday, April 6, 2015

The Book of Unknown Americans by Christina Henríquez

It's been a while since I've read an entire novel in one day. It's even rarer for a book to make me cry. The Book of Unknown Americans was both. My coworker just finished The Book of Unknown Americans and she gave it to me to read. I happened to have nothing to read on the bus ride home. I started The Book of Unknown Americans on the ride home and finished it before I fell asleep that night. And I got teary at the end. Such a beautiful book. I will be pushing this on others.

The Book of Unknown Americans follows several Latin American immigrants living in an apartment complex in Delaware. The main focus is on Alma and Arturo and their daughter, Maribel, and Mayor Rivera, a teen the same age as Maribel. Each character shares their story about how they came to Delaware. Some stories are simple, some are complex, all are beautiful. Henríquez does a beautiful job of making each character stand out. Even the characters that get 3 pages. All their voices made such a a gorgeous book.

I also loved the love story between Maribel and Mayor. Maribel has a disability which some people thinks makes her unable to make her own choices. Her parents struggle with giving her independence and protecting her from those who would hurt her. Mayor wants to love Maribel but sometimes her disability makes it difficult. I enjoyed the extra layer of adversity for these lovers. It felt like real life.

And yes, the end made me cry. I never cry about books. I can count on one hand the books that I've got teary-eyed at the end. Well, add The Book of Unknown Americans to that short list. I'm looking forward to more of Henríquez work, Others who shared their thoughts about The Book of Unknown Americans: Hey Library Girl, @homelibrarian, and For The Someday Book.