Thursday, July 31, 2014

Everything Leads To You by Nina Lacour

I added Everything Leads To You to my library queue because of all the buzz around it. The buzz does not lie this time. Everything Leads To You is everything I wanted it to be. Hip, honest, and witty.

Emi is finishing up her senior year of high school. In a few short months, Emi and her best friend, Charlotte, will be in college. Right now, Emi's brother, Toby, is leaving for the summer. He decides to let Emi and Charlotte stay in his apartment only if they promise to do something epic. Emi and Charlotte have no idea what they will do but decide to start looking for something epic.

What I loved about Everything Leads To You besides the characters was how one action led to all the others. Charlotte and Emi go to an estate sale, an estate sale of a famous recently deceased actor. Charlotte buys a Patsy Cline album which contains a letter written to a mysterious Caroline.  The girls decide to embark on an adventure to find out who Caroline is and try to deliver the letter. That one simple act spirals in something epic.

I loved that Emi wasn't trying to figure out who she is. She has a pretty good sense of that at the beginning of the book. I loved that she continued learning about herself and encouraged others to do the same. All the characters felt very real. I felt that Lacour was writing about people she knew. I could picture Emi and Charlotte, cooking in Toby's apartment. It also helped that it was set in LA so I knew a lot of the places they talked about. For me, Lacour's characters jumped off the page. I positively enjoyed my time with them.

I highly recommend Everything Leads To You. It was a delightfully real story about a young woman following her dreams and making choices that will shape who she becomes. Others who shared their thoughts about Everything Leads To You: The Lesbrary, Good Books & Good Wine, The Thousand Lives, and Lit Up Review.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

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.

After seeing Dust Girl on Becky's Book Reviews, I added it to my library queue. I don't know nearly enough about the Dust Bowl.

Tai read Robopocalypse a couple of months ago and thought I would like it. I had to wait til I could get from the library again.

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

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Teaser Tuesday-Trapped At The Altar by Jane Feather

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. 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!

"Ariadne had calmed down little as she had grow, much of her surplus energy going into her lessons. She had a voracious thirst for knowledge and a quick mind that her grandfather in particular had nurtured."
pg 21 Trapped At The Altar by Jane Feather

Thursday, July 24, 2014

A Musical Trip Down Memory Lane

This weekend is my 20th high school reunion. Honestly, I'm shocked. I can hardly believe it's been 20 years since I graduated high school.

I was digging around to find some old embarrassing photos of me in high school but I couldn't find any. Not that there weren't embarrassing photos. I don't know where they went! I dug through my old photos and only found photos from when I was very young or college. I'm sure they are in a box somewhere.

Since I don't have photos for you, I wanted to reminisce about the music of 1994.


Reality Bites was one of my favorites back then. I wanted a pair of Lisa Loeb glasses.


The Lion King was favorite movie. I even had Lion King Sheets. I'm not kidding.


A lot of songs I liked in 1994 were from movie soundtracks. Like I'll Take You there was from the Threesome soundtrack.


I've always been a Tom Petty fan. I just loved this video.


And one of my still favorite bands, Weezer. Plus I grew up with Happy Days (reruns) so this video was perfect for me.

What songs remind you of high school? Did you go to your high school reunion or did you skip it?

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

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.

Yay! The next in the Iron Druid series!

What did you get this week? Share below!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Teaser Tuesday- Rebel Belle by Rachel Hawkins

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. 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!



"It was a loud click of a dead bolt being thrown.
Mr. Hall, the tubby janitor, had just locked us in the bathroom."
pg 15 Rebel Belle by Rachel Hawkins

Monday, July 21, 2014

Somerset by Leila Meacham

I picked up Somerset off the library shelf because I had enjoyed Roses. Since this was the prequel to Roses, I was excited to learn more about the Tolivers, the DuMonts, and the Warwicks. While Somerset was very similar to Roses, it took me a lot longer to get invested in the characters. But it was still an enjoyable read.

Somerset starts in South Carolina on the eve of Silas Toliver and Jeremy Warwicks departure for Texas. Both second sons, neither Silas or Jeremy will inherit their families land. The only way for them to make it on their own is to head to Texas. Silas makes some large sacrifices to secure the funding for his trip to Texas. Just like Roses, Somerset is mostly about the Tolivers but the Warwicks and the DuMonts also add to the story. I really would like a book just about the Warwicks. I found Jeremy to be a much more interesting character than Silas. But I did like Jessica and she kept me reading when I was getting bored. It's a long book and sometimes I struggle with reading such long books.

Again this is great historical fiction. It starts before the Civil War and ends in the early 1900's. I really enjoyed the discussions about abolishment and the share cropping. Meacham does a great job of adding lots of detail to the story so you can really see how people lived then.

I'm glad I read Somerset. You can read them in any order. If you've read Roses, it would be great to hear about the history of the families you know. Others who shared their thoughts on Somerset: Burton Book Reviews, Country Girls Read, and Tina Says....
This is my ninth read for the Historical Reading Challenge.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

What To Eat This Week

Yay! It's going to be cooler this week. I'm looking forward to being in the kitchen a little more this week.

Breakfasts: Oatmeal for both Tai and I.

Lunches: Leftovers

Dinners:

Monday: Salisbury steaks with cauliflower puree

Tuesday: Take out

Wednesday: Italian Bake and salad

Thursday: Take Out

Friday: Leftovers for the guys. I'm going out with the girls.

Saturday: My 20th High School Reunion (I still don't believe it's been that long).

Sunday: Bacon Wrapped Chicken with Mango-Habanero sauce and salad

What's on your menu this week?

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

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 mentioned that my library loot stack was too high last week. The library hold gods must have decided that I needed to take a break and nothing new has come in for me this week. Gives more time to work on what I already have!

Claire's got the linky this week. Share what you got!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Teaser Tuesday-Somerset by Leila Meacham

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. 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!


"Silas could feel his mother's despair, layered with her widow"s grief, waft to him on the crisp, autumn breeze, but it couldn't be helped. He was going to Texas and taken his son and bride with him."
pg 8 Somerset by Leila Meachem

Monday, July 14, 2014

The Here And Now by Ann Brashares

I picked up The Here And Now because I have enjoyed Brashares other books (The Traveling Pants series and My Name Is Memory). As much as I wanted to like The Here and Now, it fell flat.

Fourteen year old Ethan goes fishing one day. A beautiful girl materializes out of thin air. Ethan tries to talk to her, help her, but she rebuffs him and leaves with his Giants sweatshirt. Four years go by and the same girl shows up in one of his classes.

Prenna is from the future. Along with about 1000 other survivors from the future, she lives in a community. There are rules for Prenna and the others. They have to maintain their separateness but try not to stand out. Prenna isn't good about following the rules and frequently gets in trouble. She's especially not good about staying away from Ethan.

I did like Prenna and Ethan. This book only works if you don't want it to make sense. There are so many holes in story, I'm surprised that it even makes sense. I think it was my intense desire to like The Here and Now, that I was able to finish it. I don't think Brashares had this one fleshed out. She had some potential but it lacked everything that her other stories had. I was also angry at the ending. I didn't want to say goodbye to Prenna and Ethan. I did like the characters and I wanted to hear more about them. I also wanted the story to make sense.

The Hear and Now wasn't my favorite but it wasn't terrible. If you do read it, let go of expectations and enjoy the ride. If you try to make it make sense, you won't make it far. I hope Brashares revisits this one and polishes the story. Others who shared their thoughts on The Hear and Now: Rather Be Reading YA, The Good, The Bad, and The Unread, Bookish, and Gone With The Words.
The Here and Now satisfies the Reference To Time Category of The What's In A Name Challenge.


Sunday, July 13, 2014

What To Eat This Week

It's so hot. I think I cooked twice last week. We ate out a lot. Mostly to get out of the stuffy house. I swear my next house will have a/c.

Breakfasts: Breakfast tacos for Tai and yogurt and fruit for me.

Lunch: Lasagna and hamburgers.

Dinners:

Monday: Taco Salads

Tuesday: Take Out

Wednesday: Cobb Salads

Thursday: Take Out

Friday: Game Night with friends

Saturday: Our Anniversary!

Sunday: Fresh Spring rolls with shrimp

What's on your menu this week?

Friday, July 11, 2014

Brought To You by The Letter W

I've seen several bloggers doing this letter meme so when Trish did and offered to hand out letters, I decided to join in. She gave me W.

Favorite book with the letter W: Will Grayson, Will Grayson.
Such a fantastic book. I need to reread it.


Favorite author with the letter W: It's a tie with Brian Wood
and Jennifer Wiener

Favorite song with the letter W: I have 2:



Favorite film with the letter W: Wall-E
Such an adorable movie.

Favorite object with the letter W: Wallet? Cause that's where I store my cash?

If you want to join in, let me know and I'll give you a letter too.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Constance by Rosie Thomas

I was happy to be reading another Rosie Thomas book. Her books are like a warm quilt to me. While Constance took a little longer to catch my attention, I was still very happy being wrapped up in a Rosie Thomas story.

Like most of Rosie Thomas' books, the story goes back and forth in time and between different characters. Not only do we have Constance, but her sister, Jeanette, her brother in law, Bill, her nephew, Noah, and Noah's girlfriend, Roxana. Thomas doesn't always distinguish between who's talking and if this is past or present. So sometimes I find it a little difficult to follow the story at the beginning but after a chapter or two, it gets easier and more familiar. I enjoyed how their stories and their lives tangled together. This just isn't a story about Constance but about those around her too.

Constance is a story about family, love, and finding your home. Life can be so complicated and messy. I appreciated the time and care Thomas took to let the characters find their own stories. It's not a book of all happy endings but it felt real. I'll be looking for more of Thomas' books. Others who shared their thoughts on Constance: Heatseeker Reviews, The Book Girl, and Bookerstaz.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

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.

Mt Library Loot is getting taller and taller. I wish I could take a long vacation to stay home and read. Longer nights mean more outdoor reading time for me.
After enjoying A Night To Surrender, I put the second book in the series, A Week To Be Wicked, on hold immediately. I'm looking forward to another good romance. 

An interesting sounding graphic novel.

Another good sounding graphic novel. 

I've been meaning to read more from Kelley Armstrong.

What did you get this week? Share below!


Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Teaser Tuesday-The Here and Now by Ann Brashares

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. 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 lost hold of his fishing rod as the liquid of the air seemed to blur and blend with the liquid of the stream, pulling him inside the brew. He lost his hold on what was above and what was below, what was sky, and what was earth, what there was to breathe or even where his body began and ended."
pg 2 The Here and Now by Ann Brashares

Monday, July 7, 2014

Anne & Kristilyn's 2014 Book Bingo Reading Challenge Update






So here's where I am so far. Here was my previous update.
TBR Pile:

One Book: The Absolutely True Diary of A Part Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
Two Books: Joyland by Stephen King and Goliath by Scott Westerfeld
Three Books: The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel by Deborah MoggachSense and Sensibility by Joanne Trollope, and Paris Was The Place by Susan Conley.
Four Books: The Ocean at The End of The Lane by Neil Gaiman, Victorian Secrets by Sarah Chrisman, Better Off Friends by Elizabeth Eulberg, and Constance by Rosie Thomas.
Five Books:

Mix It Up:
Nonfiction: Caffeinated by Murray Carpenter
Classic:
Reread:
Free Square:
Contemporary:

Series:
One Book: Cornerstone by Kelly Walker
Two Books: Wild Heart and Wild Desire by Lori Brighton
Three Books: A Darkness Strange and Lovely by Susan Dennard, Enchanting The Beast by Kathryne Kennedy, and The Winter Rose by Jennifer Donnelly.
Four Books: Everlasting Enchantment by Kathryne Kennedy, Double Enchantment by Kathryn Kennedy, Silk is For Seduction by Loretta Chase, and A Night To Surrender by Tessa Dare.
Five Books:

Genres:
Fantasy:
Free Square: Boy21 by Matthew Quick
Historical Fiction:
Mystery: A Study In Silks by Emma Jane Holloway
Romance: Enchanting The Lady by Kathryne Kennedy

New Releases:
One Book: Tsarina by J. Nellie Patrick
Two Books: I Shall Be Near To You by Erin Lindsay McCabe and A Mad, Wicked Folly by Sharon Biggs Waller
Three Books: Cress by Marissa Meyer, The Divorce Papers by Susan Rieger, and Infinite by Jodi Meadows.
Four Books: What I Thought Was True by Huntley Fitzpatrick,  The One by Kiera Cass, The Selcetion Stories by Kiera Cass, and Odin's Ravens by KL Armstrong and MA Marr.
Five Books:

How are you doing on your bingo card?

Sunday, July 6, 2014

What To Eat This Week

Salads, salads, salads. It's going to be warm this week and I won't want to be in the kitchen too much.

Breakfasts: Cereal for Tai and these No-Bake PB2 and Oat bars for me.

Lunches: Hamburgers and leftovers.

Dinners:

Monday: Ni├žoise Salad (no potatoes or anchovies though)

Tuesday: Take out

Wednesday: Happy hour with coworkers

Thursday: Take out

Friday: Cobb Salads

Saturday: Thai Red Curry Slaw

Sunday: Turkey and Apple Salads

What are you making this week?

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Weekend Cooking: Gluten-free bread and Easy Strawberry Jam

For the past few month, we've been trying to go gluten-free. For me, it's easy to have lettuce-wrapped burgers and skip bread with dinner. But breakfast. Breakfasts are made for soft warm bread, fluffy pancakes, and huge waffles. So I've been trying to find good gluten-free alternatives. 

When I mention making jam, my dad's eyes perk up. For some reason, he loves jam. And while he does eat the store bought kind, homemade is his favorite. I had spied this no cook strawberry jam so I decided to give it a try. 

While searching for a gluten-free bread recipe, I stumbled on this gluten-free bread in a cup recipe. I was highly dubious. In a cup. In the microwave? Yeah, this has disaster written all over it. But I thought, what the hell, give it a shot. And for bread made in the microwave, it's pretty awesome. Perfect for a quick breakfast. 

And when I topped it with the strawberry jam, it was like a strawberry shortcake. My new favorite breakfast.


Have you ever tried a recipe that you didn't think would work out and were surprised it did?

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.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

June Reading Tally

Silk is for Seduction by Loretta Chase
Victorian Secrets by Sarah A Chrisman
The One by Kiera Cass
Better Off Friends by Elizabeth Eulberg
Life On Another Planet by Will Eisner
Everlasting Enchantment by Kathryne Kennedy
Tales From Outer Suburbia by Shaun Tan
Sin City vol 1 by Frank Miller
Sin City vol 2 by Frank Miller
The Underwater Welder by Jeff Lemire
Odin's Ravens by KL Armstrong and MA Marr
Gluten is My Bitch by April Peveteaux
A Night To Surrender by Tessa Dare
Once Upon A Winter's Eve by Tessa Dare

 Fourteen read this month. I think my reading slump is over. A lot of good reads. A lot of graphic novels. I see more graphic novels in my immediate future. I'm inching toward my goal of 150 books this year. At the halfway point, I'm pretty close to being halfway done.


Stats:
Romance Reading Challenge This month: 4 (Silk Is For Seduction, The One, A Night To Surrender, and Once Upon A Winter's Eve) YTD: 13
Historical Reading Challenge  This month: 3 ( Silk is for Seduction, A Night To Surrender, and Once Upon A Winter's Eve) YTD: 8
What's In A Name Challenge This month: 0 (none this month) YTD: 3
Yearly Total: 72

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

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.

My car's back and running. Yay! I went to the library and got a pile of books to celebrate. Yay!

I can't remember where I heard about this one but good YA LGBT fiction is something I'm always interested in reading.

I read A Homemade Life a few years ago and I used to read Orangette daily. I have tried to eat at Delancey a couple of times but the lines were too long. I'm looking forward to this one.

Another I heard about from a list of LGBT books. 

I've enjoy Pollan's other books so I'm thinking I'll like this one too. 

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

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Teaser Tuesday-Constance by Rosie Thomas

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. 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!


"On this day the sky lightened from pitch black to a vast grey touched at the eastern rim with green, against which the coconut palms on the crown of the ridge stood out like paper silhouettes. In the waiting hush the light strengthened and the horizon flushed with pink and orange."
pg 9 Constance by Rosie Thomas