Tuesday, May 31, 2016

The House You Pass On The Way by Jacqueline Woodson

I added The House You Pass On The Way to my tbr list because I wanted to read more by Woodson. Plus it had a POC gay main character. I really liked Brown Girl, Dreaming. But The House You Pass On The Way is just over 100 pages so I felt it was more like a short story. A little underdeveloped and had me wanting more.

Staggerlee lives with her folks in the rural South. Staggerlee's grandparents were musicians and activists. Staggerlee's father is just a working man. Staggerlee is half white, half black. It's just one reason she doesn't fit in this town. Staggerlee also likes girls. No one's told her not too but she suspects that she's not like everyone else. One day, her cousin, Trout, comes to town and Staggerlee has found someone like her. Besides homosexuality, The House You Pass On The Way also address being biracial which I liked. It's a tough topic and I felt that Woodson could have delved deeper. But I felt that way most of the book.

I liked The House You Pass On The Way but Woodson introduces so many characters. Mostly Staggerlee's whole family. They seem so interesting. I would have liked a longer piece about all of them. But Staggerlee is interesting and her relationship with Trout is good but brief. I hope to encounter Staggerlee again.

The House You Pass On The Way was a good short story and left me wanting more. Others who shared their thoughts on The House You Pass On The Way: Lucy Was Robbed, Kim's Book Reviews, and The Lesbrary.
This was my third read for the LGTBQIA Reading Challenge.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Five On Friday

We went to a wine tasting a couple of months ago. I usually don't like white wine but this was my favorite. So light and crisp. Perfect for a summer day.

I've bought this sauce many times at Costco but the last time I went it was on super sale ($1.97 a bottle). They must be changing the formula or the bottle. I bought as much I could use in the next year (8). It's delicious on pork (chops, loin).

I've mentioned my love of Trader Joe's Coconut Oil but their spray is also wonderful. I love it for baking but it works in any situation I would have used Pam.

 I was looking for a easy stretching video and this wasn't too easy but I felt like it stretched all my muscles. The girl's a little giggly but she's so encouraging that I could overlook it. 

Just like candy. I buy a couple of bags at a time and ration them out. 

Thursday, May 26, 2016

The Light Between Oceans by ML Stedman

I picked up The Light Between The Oceans on a friend's recommendation. I put it off because I heard it was sad. I rarely like sad books but I finally decided to read it. It was sad but still very good.

Tom and Isabel live on a tiny island off of Australia. Tom is the lighthouse keeper. Isabel and Tom want to have kids but Isabel keeps having miscarriages. One day, a dinghy lands on the beach with a dead man and a howling baby. Tom and Isabel keep the child and raise her as their own. Life on the island is easy with just the three of them. But when they return to the mainland, their secrets are harder to keep.

The Light Between the Oceans would make an excellent book club book. So much to talk about.  What would you do for your own happiness? Your partner's? If your happiness was at the extreme sacrifice of another, would you still be happy? The Light Between The Oceans was full of those moral dilemmas. I've never had kids so I can't imagine losing babies to miscarriage and the pain Isabel felt. But I still enjoyed the story. Stedman does an excellent job of portraying the characters and making you feel what they feel. I would read another book by Stedman.

Overall, a heart wrenching story told very well. I teared up at the end which is incredibly rare for me. Others who shared their thoughts on The Light Between the Oceans: Page Flutter, Chopin and My Saucepan, and The Literary Sofa.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

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 liked the other Woodson book I read, Brown Girl Dreaming.

I'm super excited for the last in the Raven Cycle series. 

What did you get this week? Share your loot below!

Friday, May 20, 2016

Five On Friday

I had been playing Hearthstone last year, stopped for a while, and have renewed by obsession. It doesn't hurt that Tai plays too. It reminds me of MTG which I like.

I heard the radio ads for the Coffee Bean Blast so much that I had to drive to Trader Joe's for it. Delicious.

I'd been looking for a good all natural laundry soap. I found it in Charlie's Soap. Effective and good for the environment. Really gets everything clean.

I'd been promising Tai I would buy some good shoes. I usually buy cheap shoes and complain how they hurt my feet. I tried on a few pairs and really liked these. The fact that they are mary janes doesn't hurt. These are my everyday black shoes.

Another great find. Does a great job of cleaning the dishes. No fragrance. Doesn't clump. Rinses completely clean. 

Thursday, May 19, 2016

The Siren by Kiera Cass

I added The Siren to my library queue because I've enjoyed Cass' Selection series. The Siren is the first book she wrote before The Selection got published. Overall, The Siren is a good first attempt but lacking in some ways.

Kahlen almost drowned but traded her life to be a Siren. Sirens serve The Ocean and bring Her people to satisfy Her hunger. Kahlen will trade a 100 years of her life to The Ocean and longs for the day she can live her own life.

What I liked the most about The Siren is the characterization of The Ocean. How She talked to the Sirens, how she loved them almost motherly, but kept them captive. Cass makes The Ocean into this amazing character. I felt was the was the most interesting character in this book. I wanted to understand The Ocean and spend more time hearing from her.

My least favorite aspect was the romance. I know why it was there but it felt clumsy and not well thought out. I could see glimmers of The Selection and I like how Cass makes love about more than someone's looks. I wish the book would have been a bit longer so it could have fully developed.

I liked the premise of The Siren. I wish this was a series so I could spend more time with The Ocean. Others who shared their thoughts on The Siren: The Book Nut, PS I Loved That Book, and The Hardcover Lover.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Random Questionaire

1. White or red wine? Red.
2. Who was the last person you hugged? Tai.
3. Have you ever had a crush on a teacher? Nope.
4. Where did your first kiss take place? I was a late bloomer and didn't kiss anyone til college. 
5. Do you prefer foxes or wolves? Both. Why not?
6. What is your shoesize? 10 
7. Do you prefer fruit or vegetables? Both.
8. Have you ever kissed a member of the same sex? Nope
9. What does your outfit consist of today? Jeans and a tshirt, my usual uniform.

10. Why did you last cry? A couple of weeks ago I was so frustrated putting up curtains in the living room. The screws weren't catching and it wasn't going to happen. I just sat down and cried.
11. What are your favourite smells? Watermelon, most of Tai's colognes, fresh cut grass.
12. What are your favourite textures? I can't think of a texture I don't like.
13. Fur or feathers? Fur.
14. Tartan or tweed? Tartan.
15. Leopard print or neon? Either.
16. If you won a LOT of money the lottery and decided to move, where would you move to? I don't know if I'd want to move. I like where we live. Probably would travel a lot. 
17. Alcoholic beverage of choice? Whiskey. 
18. What is more attractive: Nice hands or nice feet? Nice hands.
19. What’s the youngest you would consider dating? I've always gone for older guys but probably not more than 10 years younger. 
20. What do you think of when I say “the twenties”? Gatsby. Flappers. Prohibition. 
21. What did your last text read? "Done" from Tai. He finished his float and was ready to go to sushi.
22. Can you ride a bicycle? Yup.
23. What sport were you best at in high school? Tennis. But I quit the team because they wanted me to run laps before practice. 
24. Who do you miss right now? No one. 
25. What was the last alcoholic beverage you consumed? Wine.
26. Paris, London and New York… which one would you live in, which would you visit for a day, which would you visit for a fortnight? Live in Paris. Visit London for a day. Visit New York for a fortnight. 
27. Heavy rain or heatwave? Heavy rain
28. Chicken or fish? Fish
29. Do you think suits are sexy? 


Friday, May 13, 2016

Five On Friday

I don't watch a whole lot of tv. It's not that I don't like it but I rarely sit still long enough for an episode. I've been wanting to watch Agents but hadn't. Tai finally got me to watch an episode. I love Clark Gregg so I'm a fan. 

When we moved into our new house, there was no washer and dryer. We choose the Speed Queens after visiting our local appliance store. If you've ever used a commercial laundromat, you've likely used a Speed Queen.  I like that they are built to last. I'm happy so far.

I picked up some Noosa because I liked the larger size container of yogurt. Sometimes in the morning I like to eat more food so I'm not hungry before lunch. Noosa has some delicious flavors and some creamy yogurt. I just bought a 8 pack at Costco! The containers are smaller but that's ok.

Yes Please
 I really enjoyed Poehler's book. It's as funny as she is.

I plan to do a larger post but we've recently started getting meals from Freshly. It's nice not to have to cook every night and not spend a ton of money on take out.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

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 spotted this on the shelf and decided to check it out. I'm all about historical romance right now.

Honestly the title got my attention. But the reviews seem positive.

I picked this one up because the movie Whiskey Tango Foxtrot is based on it. Haven't seen the movie but the book caught my eye at the library.

What did you get this week? Share below!

Monday, May 9, 2016

March and April Book Tally

Hyperbole and A Half by Allie Brosh
Gracefully Grayson by Ami Polonsky
None of The Above by IW Gregorio
Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert
Once Upon A Scandal by Delilah Marvelle
Rat Queens vol 3 by Kurtis J Wiebe

Two months and not even 10 books read. So sad. But I feel like things are stabilizing and May will be a better month for reading.

Graphic Novel Challenge: 1 (Rat Queens)  YTD: 3
Foodies Read Challenge: 0 (none this month)  YTD: 0
What's In A Name Challenge: 0 (none this month)  YTD: 1
LGBTQIA Reading Challenge: 1 (Gracefully Grayson)  YTD: 1
Total: 21

Friday, May 6, 2016

Five Favorites On Friday

Five Favorites on Friday is my new weekly post about five things I like. I'm hoping to do this every week. We'll see.

Whole Foods Oxygen Whitening Powder
Last summer, we had a leak in the bathroom and I used some towels to soak up the water. I left those towels in a bucket for a couple of days and mildew set in. This whitening powder got those towels so clean. Now I use 2 scoops per load on all my clothes. Whites are brighter and all our clothes smell fresher.

On a whim, I bought this cleaner. Wow, leaves my skin so clean without feeling stripped. 

I've been a fan of La Croix for ages but now I've got Tai hooked. I like to see what flavors I can find.

I've long wanted these little dryer buddies. Now that I have my very own dryer, I bought some. My clothes come out soft and dry. The buddies do like to hide in my clothes but it's fun to look for them.

I love the Pecan Caramel flavor. It's excellent in both cold brew coffee and hot coffee. 

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

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 stopped at my new library again this week and browsed the shelves for a bit.
From the cover, I thought it was a graphic novel but it's a short story. Still looks good.

I've enjoyed MacLean's books before so I'm looking forward to this new series.

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