Thursday, March 31, 2011

Darkest Mercy by Melissa Marr

I love the Wicked Lovely series. I get lost in this world so quickly. I'm so sad it's over! But what an ending! I think this was my favorite book of all. It combines the Dark Court with the Summer Court and the Winter Court. All my favorite character except Dev and Ani (boo!) are in this one. And that cover, gorgeous!
Darkest Mercy's got it all. Plenty of action, romance with happily ever afters! Huntsdale is in serious trouble. Bananach either wants everyone to bow to her or die. It's time to put aside grievances and mistrust in order to defeat her. I gasped several times (no spoilers) but found that I liked the way everything tied up at the end. I'm really sad for the series to be over. I hope Marr decides to write short stories in the Wicked Lovely world like Old Habits (which I still haven't read).
Others who shared their thoughts on Darkest Mercy: My Friend Amy, Book Infinity, Sarah's Random Musings, The Book Bind and Bookhounds.
This is the sixth book I've read for the YA Reading Challenge.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The Price of Salt by Patricia Highsmith

I choose to read The Price of Salt because I'm trying to read more LGBT fiction/non-fiction. I found The Price of Salt on one of those compilation list of LGBT books.  Overall I really liked this book.
The Price of Salt is the story of Therese, a young woman living in New York. She works in a department store and has a boyfriend, Richard. One day at work she meets this beautiful woman. Therese finds herself drawn to this woman and strikes up a friendship with her. Over time that friendship becomes more.
I know when this book came out that lesbianism was seen as something perverse. In fact in the book, she mentions that people think it's a phase. But I like how Therese and Carol's relationship is shown. Therese is young and Carol is older (and married) but they care for one another. Although sometimes I felt they were playing one another (but something I think that in contemporary romance too). I liked how things developed. It all felt very real.
I'd recommend it.  Others who shared their thoughts: Bonjour Cass, Amy Reads, Orange Sorbet and Bookish Butch.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Moving Pictures & New York Four

Here are two very different graphic novels that I enjoyed. First Moving Pictures:
I first read about Moving Pictures on Olduvai Reads. I'm very glad I picked it up. The story (about art and museum workers during World War II) was so beautiful. I read it twice because it was so beautiful. The art is so striking and haunting. The story is complicated but so simple at the same time. Illa is trying to protect famous works of art from the Germans. Rolf is trying to account for the art within her museum and some is missing. Moving Pictures stayed with me for a long time. Others who shared their thoughts on Moving Pictures: Bleeding Cool, The Captive Reader and Regular Ruminations.

Olduvai Reads also introduced The New York Four to me. I'm a big fan of Brian Woods. And I enjoyed this story as well. Here we meet Riley, a college freshman. Riley's not very social and sees her opportunity to break out of shell here at NYU. Riley also is able to reconnect with her sister who left home when Riley was 12. So Riley makes friends and meets a guy. The story felt so familiar. I remember going off to college, making new friends, challenging myself to be someone other than what my parents wanted. I'm really looking forward to the sequel, The New York Five. Others who shared their thoughts about The New York Four: The Infinite Bookshelf.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Pike Market Food Tour

 On Saturday, Ashley, Marta and I headed to Pike Place Market for Savor Seattle's Food Tour. I love playing tourist in my own town.
 Our second stop (our first was Starbucks) was the Daily Dozen Doughnut Company. These are must have doughnuts in Seattle. They are made fresh all day only. And they only make 4 kinds-plain, cinnamon sugar, powdered sugar, chocolate sprinkles.
 As you can see they are tiny. Buy a bag and stroll through the market.

Our next stop was Market Spice for a cup of tea. I love this tea. It's got a cinnamon/clove/orange taste to it. It always reminds me of home.
The next stop was Pike Place Fish. You've probably heard of it. It's the place where they throw the fish.
We had some smoked salmon and salmon candy. I wasn't a fan of the salmon candy. They said it was like jerky. It didn't taste like it to me.
Next stop was Frank's Produce. Frank's is the one place that Tai loves in Pike Place. He buys his peaches there every year and they are excellent without fail. On our trip we had honeycrisp apples and muscat grapes.
 Spring is definitely in the air!
Next stop: Pike Place Chowder for some award winning clam chowder!
Then we stopped at Chukar Cherries for some cherry salsa and yummy chocolate covered cherries.
 I'll be going back for some of their pie fillings.
Here's where the picture taking stopped. The market started to get crowded and it became harder to get pictures. Sorry! We also stopped at Beecher's Cheese for some of their Flagship Cheddar and a bite of their Mac & Cheese (it's Oprah's favorite). At Piroshky-Piroshky, we had cheese & potato piroshky and an apple piroshky. At Etta's (one of Tom Douglas' restaurants) we had crab cakes.
The tour took about 2 hours. There's very little sitting, mostly standing and walking.  It was worth it for locals and visitors alike.
Have you done a food tour?

Friday, March 25, 2011

Beauty by Robin McKinley

It really is a tale as old as time! After reading Beastly I heard there was this retelling of the Beauty and the Beast story. I'm sorry it took me so long to pick it up.
Beauty is the story of Beauty (duh) who in order to save her father's life goes to live with the dreadful Beast. A long time is spent getting to know Beauty who feels very plain next to her pretty sisters. I enjoyed the extra time of getting to know Beauty and who she was. It helps later on when she's in the Beast's castle and all the enchantments come into play.  You can understand why Beauty would trade her life for that of her father.
Overall it was a sweet story. I did enjoy it. Also some very beautiful writing. It does feel magical. Others who enjoyed Beauty and shared their thoughts: Reading With Tequila, Chaotic Compendiums, Melanie's Musings, The Paperback Princess and The Musings of a Reader Happy.
This is the fifth book I read for the 2011 YA Reading Challenge.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Dewey's Read-a-thon

It's official. I've signed up to be a reader for the April Read-a-thon! I've been a cheerleader and an unofficial reader but officially signed up to read! I'm pretty excited. I have the whole day cleared except for a reading by Molly Wizenberg (who writes Orangette and A Homemade Life) at the library. But that's a bookish event so I'm not going to sweat it.
I'm hoping to get my hands on The Hunger Games trilogy before then but if not I have plenty of other books to keep me reading.
What about you? Are you participating in April's Read-a-thon?

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Library Loot

 Library Loot is a weekly event co-hosted by Claire from The Captive Reader and Marg from The Adventures of an Intrepid Reader 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 wasn't planning on having any LL today. But I unexpectedly found myself with time to kill near a library. Without a book. So of course I had to check the stacks and see what I could find. I showed great restraint in only snagging 3 books. I did write down the title of a few others for a later date, but I only carried 3 out of the library.
Stealing Buddah's Dinner caught my eye. On the back the first recommendation was from Judy Blume. I can't pass that up. Sex and Bacon. How could I leave a book that talks about food and sex. Likewise about The Sex Life of Food which was almost next to Sex and Bacon.
I finished The Girl She Used To Be and posted my thoughts on The Fill In The Gaps blog. I really enjoyed it and recommend it.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Blessed by Cynthia L Smith

Ok, I take back everything bad I said about Tantalize. Blessed saved Tantalize. I kind of wish I did have to wait though entire book in between them to have the Quincie's story finished for me. Sigh.
Blessed starts off right where Tantalize left off. Quincy meets up with Zachary and a few other characters from Eternal. They realize that Brad had an evil plan and they need to stop it. It was great to see all the characters mesh and become friends. For a brief second I thought Quincy and Zachary were going to hook up which did not please me at all. I prefer Quincy with Kieren. I'm always team werewolf :)
I was really pleased with the way the series wrapped up. Recommended. Others who shared their thoughts: The Girls In The Stacks, My Overstuffed Bookshelf, I Read Banned Books and Insert Book Title Here.
This is my fourth read for the 2011 YA Reading Challenge.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Bonefish Grill

On Saturday Tai and I headed out to see Cirque du Soleil again. Since it was in Everett and our go to place closed so we didn't know where to eat. I had chosen a Japanese restaurant to try but we couldn't find it. I had spotted a Bonefish Grill in Bothell, near where we were searching for the Japanese restaurant. We didn't want to waste anymore time we decided that was better than nothing.
I don't eat at chain restaurant very often. Sure an occasional Red Robin or Tai's new favorite, Olive Garden. I prefer local places. So I wasn't expecting a whole lot from Bonefish Grill. I expected we'd eat an ok, forgettable meal. I was wrong. The food was good, fresh. We had a lot of help from our waiter about what to order.
The Bang Bang Shrimp. These crispy shrimp have a spicy creamy sauce. Delicious. The portion was huge.
I admit was a little nervous ordering the ceviche. I didn't think it would that good. But it was so yummy.
 For dinner, Tai ordered the Ahi Tuna, Tokyo style. The tuna was perfectly seared.
 I ordered the Imperial Longfin. When I was a kid, Ivar's had a stuffed fish. It was my favorite back in the day. I haven't found a stuffed fish that matched Ivar's until now. The garlic mashed potatoes were so good too. I was a little surprised at the garbanzo beans. I wasn't expecting those.
Bonefish Grill is going on our list of good places to eat.

I know this sounds like an ad for Bonefish Grill but it's not. No one paid me to say these nice things. But I would if they did :)

Thursday, March 17, 2011

For Japan With Love

Like so many you I've been horrified and saddened by the devastation caused by the earthquake in Japan. My mother in law is Japanese and it breaks my heart (and hers) to see her homeland so shattered. My blog will be silent on 3/18 to take time to honor those we've lost as well as those who are continuing to struggle in the aftermath. Please consider doing so as well by going to For Japan With Love.
Thank you to all who've donated time, money and prayers to those in Japan as well as those in the US with loved ones in Japan.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Library Loot

 Library Loot is a weekly event co-hosted by Claire from The Captive Reader and Marg from The Adventures of an Intrepid Reader 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!

Since I finished Catch-22 (see my thoughts here), I decided that gave me license to pick up some more books from the library. Never mind the stack I had at home.
I've been wanting to read The Carrie Diaries. I am a huge fan of Sex And The City. I'm on the fence with the prequels but I decided I needed something light. Squee! I'm super excited about Darkest Mercy. I picked up A Separate Country for the War Through The Generations challenge. It looks good so I'm looking forward to it. And lastly Firelight since it's on my Original TBR challenge and I've been wanting to read it for a while-since it came out!
What did you get this week?

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Pendant Lighting Winner!

Congrats to Micah and Catherine of Forty Twenty Four! I can't wait to see what you pick out!
Thanks to all who entered. I'll be having two more giveaways in the upcoming months so keep an eye out!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Ulta Eye Shadow

Last chance to enter my $50 CSN giveaway. Go here to enter.
I horde eye shadow. I have a hard time buying eye shadow then dumping a few months later. I know, ew. I'm much better with mascara and eye liner. Eye shadow doesn't touch my eye and I use a new applicator every time so I take more risks with it. How risky? I've had some eye shadows longer than I've know Tai (more than 5 years).
A few weeks ago I did an inventory and noticed there were specific colors I had multiples of as well as a few that were just dust. Since I got a gift certificate to Ulta (thank you Marta!) I headed there to replace my eye shadow collection. I'd never bought Ulta eye shadow before but I will be buying it again. When I was in they were having a Buy 2, 2 Free sale. Here's what I bought:

Both Molten and Deep Sea have sparkles in them. Not so much that you can't use it for during the day but enough to feel fancy. Molten and Truffle are my everyday favorites. All the colors hold up well all day. I'll will definitely be going back to Ulta for eye shadow.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Anita Blake Graphic Novels

In order to avoid reading Catch-22, I've been reading the Anita Blake graphic novels. So my library only has The First Death, Guilty Pleasures and The Laughing Corpse.
I've never read the books but I'm digging the graphic novels. I love the art.
I love the vampires. There are also werewolves, other werepeople, zombies and ghouls.
I really recommend the Anita Blake graphic novels. I see more in my future.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Library Loot

 Library Loot is a weekly event co-hosted by Claire from The Captive Reader and Marg from The Adventures of an Intrepid Reader 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!

A little graphic novel heavy this week. I heard about Moving Pictures and The New York Four on Olduvai Reads. I'm excited to read both. I can't remember where I heard about The Price of Salt. I'm always looking for more LGBT books to read so I must have found it on one of my searches.
What did you get this week?

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

A King Sized Upgrade

Tai and I have been talking forever about getting a new bed. I loved my old bed (a Sleep Comfort bed) but Tai didn't like. Plus we really wanted to upgrade to a king sized bed. A queen was a tad too small. Last week things got worse. Tai couldn't get comfortable in our old bed and when I went to pump it up, I discovered the power cord had come loose from the main control box! Our bed had lived a nice long life-10 years. So it was time to get a new bed! Which we bought this weekend!
Here it is airing out. We opted to get a memory foam bed (from Mattress Depot):
I wasn't sure I was going to like the memory foam but I'm a convert. So comfortable!
Here it is all ready for the night:
I need to move our "art". It's all off center now.
I'm so excited about our big purchase! Once I buy another dresser our bedroom will be complete and I can show off the whole room.

Did you enter my $50 CSN Giveaway? Go to this post to enter!