Popular Authors on My Shelf

July 29, 2014 Reading Nook 15

Top Ten Tuesday

Ten Authors I own the most books from. I had to laugh when I saw today’s Top Ten Tuesday topic on The Broke and the Bookish’s website. Confession – I tend to collect books by authors, sometimes without having read a single book by the author. Once I start collecting books by these authors, I won’t read them too quickly for fear of running out of an author’s material or tiring of his/her works. I like to spread out a year between readings, though I have made some exceptions (I’m looking at you Stephen King). I’m hoping I’m not the only one who compulsively buys books by a single author!

popular authors1. Margaret Atwood (11 books / 4 read) – A pitiful ratio!! Part of this is because I love Atwood’s books so much and don’t want to run out of material, but really? I think it’s time to read something by her. I’ve been eyeing Alias Grace.

2. Tom Robbins (8 books / 4 read) – I adore Tom Robbins (I’ve never seen another blogger mention him) but his books are a bit of work for me to read and so I haven’t read one in years. I keep meaning to read Skinny Legs an All, which is one of the oldest unread books on my shelf.

3. J.K. Rowling (8 books / 8 read) – Duh Harry Potter.

4. Jodi Picoult (7 / 6 read) – pre-blogging I loved everything Jodi Picoult. After a while, though, her books felt too formulaic and I needed more variety. I haven’t picked up a new book of hers since Change of Heart, which I haven’t read.

5. John Irving (6 books / 2 read) – Irving is one of those authors I’d love to say that I love but I just haven’t read enough of his books. That doesn’t stop me from picking up anything I see from him at used book sales.

popular authors

6. Barbara Kingsolver (6 books / 1 read) – See note on Irving above. I did love Poisonwood Bible but haven’t opened another of her books yet.

7. Neil Gaiman (6 / 4 read) – One of these days I will read American Gods! Hopefully soon! Gaiman isn’t an author you typically see on the bargain shelf, otherwise I’m sure I’d have a few more unread of his.

8. Stephen King (6 / 5 read) - Doctor Sleep is the only book remaining on my (virtual) shelf. King is one of the few authors where I buy his books to read now rather than collecting them. Maybe that’s because I’m scared of most of his backlist books?

9. Cormac McCarthy (5 / 4 read) – Blood Meridian. I’m looking at you!

10. Joyce Carol Oates (5 / 0 read!) – It’s true. Zero. Have you read any of her books? Do you like them? I couldn’t tell you why I collect her works.

Honorable mentions for authors whose works I own at least four books: Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, Ernest Hemingway, Shakespeare, Georgette Heyer, Toni Morrison, Anita Shreve, John Green, Amy Tan, Louise Erdrich. I should stop before I start embarrassing myself.

Do you collect books by certain authors? Who are the most popular authors on your shelf?



Doing Reading – Sunday Salon 90

July 27, 2014 Reading Nook, Sunday Salon 28


We’re back from Pennsylvania and it’s so nice to be in our own beds. We have a whole week and a half before our next trip (to Toronto for a family reunion), but hopefully it’ll be just enough time to recharge. I’m looking forward to the fall when we can do a bit of relaxing. You know, except for the whirlwind weekend trip we’ll be taking to San Francisco for my sister’s wedding in October. Yup, I’m exhausted. Which kind of fits in nicely with today’s topic.

For a while I’ve been wanting to talk about reading and how it is sometimes considered an anti-social activity, at least in my family. I’m not sure I want to go there yet, but today’s thought run a bit along those lines. Not reading as anti-social activity, but reading as an active activity.

You know what really irritates me? When I’m curled up with a great book and someone says “Let’s go do something! I’m tired of sitting around.”

Sure it’s an innocent statement, but I’ll let the implications sink in for a minute. No? Well, if I’m curled up with a book, I don’t view that as sitting around not doing anything. When I am reading, I am actively doing something–something I enjoy quite a bit.

relaxing with a book

I had an epiphany the other day and I’m not sure that it’s one that I like. As an introverted person,others don’t always see my hobbies as doing something. I don’t always need to go do something because oftentimes I’m happy staying in and doing. Most of you can relate to this in terms of reading but sewing and blogging are my other big stay in and quietly do activities.

Why is it that reading often doesn’t count as doing something, especially to non-readers?

I’ve wondered if reading doesn’t always count as an active activity because people tend to read when they are waiting for something or when there isn’t any other activities that can be done. Reading in the quiet minutes before falling asleep, reading on an airplane or other on other modes of transit, reading in line at the post office or at the doctor’s office. Reading fills in time when there isn’t much else we can be doing (besides the ever distracting smartphones), but do people ever just sit and read anymore?

Do you ever feel as though people treat your reading habits as if you’re not really doing anything with your time? (nevermind the whole “how do you find time to read” bit…that’s another for another day!).

So, today I think I’ll sit and do nothing while reading a book. I’m still trucking along in East of Eden–I’ll finish this week for my book club meeting and I’m not sure what I’ll start next. My sister wants me to start the fourth Outlander but I’m thinking maybe American Gods? What are you reading this week?



Right Now I Am… [7.20.2014]

July 20, 2014 Currently, Life 15

Right Now I Am...


Hi Hi Hi! Today’s Sunday Post is brought to you from Pennsylvania! We’re up here visiting Scott’s family for the week and enjoying a bit of a break from the Dallas heat–except it’s been usually cool in Dallas the past week. We even had some rain! We don’t have a lot planned for our week up here but I hope to enjoy lots of outdoor activities with the girls and maybe even some solo running.

Listening To: Still not a whole lot of audiobooking going on around these parts. I did start Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking but it’s slow progress.

Reading: I’m back to East of Eden. I had to start the book over again and have almost made it to where I stopped the first time (almost halfway). This has made me realize just how bad my reading memory is as I have very little recollection of what I read previously. I’m really enjoying the book and OMG that Cathy is a piece of work! #beastofeden

East of Eden


Watching: We watched The Grand Budapest Hotel recently and we both really liked it. I was actually a bit surprised at how much Scott liked it. Other than that, not much TV watching has been going on–other than a few old episodes of Law and Order SVU I had in the queue.

Eating: BBQ!! We’ve had a busy couple of weeks with lots of nights out of the house (or something), but I’ve been trying to focus on the grill this month. Ribs, drumsticks, steak, grilled potatoes and corn on the cob. I hope to cook more BBQ as soon as we are back from our trip.

Making: I’m currently free motion quilting Evie’s quilt! Despite some issues with my machine and the thread tension, I’m so pleased and proud. I can’t wait to show you more!

Baby Quilt


Planning: I need to be planning our upcoming trip to San Francisco for my sister’s wedding. I’m thinking I should become a travel agent!

Feeling: A million different things. An ache when I drop Evie off at daycare and an ache when I pick her up. Satisfied and useful when I’m at work. Frustrated that the house is always a mess. Content to spend so much time with my family. Peace when I can spend a few minutes with my book and a hot cup of coffee. Tired and exhausted by dinner time.

Loving: You know, I’ve been loving having Elle home a few days a week. I was really nervous and it’s not always a picnic, but I’m thrilled to spend more time with her.



Wanting: My floors to magically clean themselves. The floors are desperately due for a mopping and I just don’t wanna!

Looking Forward To: In a few weeks we go to Toronto for my grandparents’ wedding anniversary. It’ll be a family reunion of sorts and it’s been six years since our last visit.

Would love to hear what YOU are listening to, reading, watching, eating, making, planning, feeling, loving, wanting, thinking, and looking forward to.



Grilled Pound Cake Dessert

July 19, 2014 In the Kitchen, recipes, Weekend Cooking 16

Grilled Pound Cake
Can you believe that until last week I had never turned on the grill by myself? For the month of July I decided it was high time to do Operation Use My Grill and I’ve wrangled Scott into participating with me. If you’re not familiar with my Operation Use My Kitchen Stuff, the idea is to focus on one kitchen thing for a month (or so) and use said thing as many times as I can in as many creative ways as I can.

So, the grill. That large thing in the backyard that I don’t know how to turn on and generally overcooks chicken and catches things on fire. Um, that may or may not be a statement towards Scott grilling skills. Just kidding. But really, the grill scares me. Coupled with this month’s Operation is the Cook it Up! Cookbook Challenge and this month I’ve decided to focus on the Big Book of BBQ. And what did I find? Grilled dessert? Perfect!

When we pulled the Grilled Pound Cake dessert off the grill I was skeptical. It looked a bit crispy–would it be dry and nasty? I topped it with homemade blueberry ice cream and whipped cream (that accidentally turned into butter) and braced myself for the first bite.

Oh My Goodness. Who knew that this could be so yummy? The sugars in the pound cake caramelized and it was crispy but in all the best ways. Plus it couldn’t have been easier to prepare.

Grilled Pound Cake Dessert

(barely adapted from Big Book of BBQ)

8 slices of pound cake (1/2 inch thick slices)
4 ounces blueberry cream cheese (less if you want less, more if you want more. I always go for more)
Toppings: ice cream, whipped cream, berries, whatever your heart desires

1. Heat grill to 350-400. Spread cream cheese on four slices of pound cake and sandwich each piece with the remaining four slices.
2. Grill directly on grate 2-3 minutes on each side, covered with grill lid. (I’ve learned to watch to make sure things don’t get too crispy!)
3. Serve immediately and enjoy!

Serves 4

 I hope you enjoy grilled pound cake for a quick and easy summer treat!  

Do you have any desserts that you like to make on the grill?


weekend cookingEvery weekend, Beth Fish Reads hosts Weekend Cooking.  “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, fabulous quotations, photographs.”  Hope you’ll join the fun!



Room – Emma Donoghue

July 17, 2014 Reading Nook, Review 19

Room - Emma DonoghueTitle: Room
Author: Emma Donoghue
Published: 2010 Pages: 336
Genre: Fiction
Rating: Strong start, medicore middle, rewarding ending

Room In Short: Five year old Jack (narrator) and his mother live in Room, a 11×11 home. Except it’s not really a home, it’s a prison of sorts and they are captives.

Why I Read It: Blogger praise when the book first came out. A few years ago I picked up the hardcover on sale but didn’t pick it up until last week.

Thoughts in General: First things first – Room held my heart and my chest in a vice and didn’t let go until about halfway through the book. It was incredibly intense and I couldn’t put the book down. More on this in a bit–wanted to get that out there before I noted a few of the less than positive thoughts.

Jack. Sweet five year old Jack. I get why Jack is the narrator and it put a brilliant spin on Donoghue’s storytelling, but it did make the actual reading of Room difficult on a few levels. Jack is very believable at five years old (or as a child, anyway). I was able to hear Elle (three years old) through his voice and often felt a pang from how childish his thoughts and connections were. His innocence and naivete were heartbreaking given his circumstances in the book, and it made me ache not only for him but also for his mother, Ma.

All that said, it was very difficult for me to get into the book with Jack as the narrator. It was hard trying to wrap my brain around what Jack was conveying, but once I got the hang of it, I didn’t mind as much. Of course, Jack’s ability to eavesdrop and recall adult conversations with great accuracy helped the reading. I have heard that the audio for Room is tough because of the childish narrator–though I haven’t experienced the audiobook firsthand.

Second bummer of Room for me was that the climax came in the middle of the book and the second half of the book was one long recovery. Even though my interest was held throughout the story, I felt that the first half of Room was much stronger than the second half of the book. Though I did find the ending very pleasing and I love the strength that Jack was able to provide to his mother who suffered more than Jack could possibly understand.

Jack as narrator and a less than gripping second half are two minor quips, though. While I didn’t love Room as other bloggers have, I did find it very engaging. Again, I physically felt the emotion and crises from the book and it was at times a tough read. People have asked about reading this one with small children, and it was something that I worried about as well. I don’t know–I think I was able to separate myself from the book. The only time that it was perhaps a really difficult read was when I let myself hear Elle in Jack’s voice. That and the references to Dora the Explorer. Kidding. But ultimately, while it was an emotional read, Room did not feel too close to home for me. I don’t think you should let that stop you from reading it.

Bottom Line: While I’m not all OMG READ IT IT’S AMAZING, I did really enjoy the experience of reading Room and I would recommend it to others. This would make a great book club book as there’s a lot to discuss. I would be really curious in a movie and kept picturing Kate Winslet as Ma. And if you do pick up the book and find yourself having a tough time getting into the story, give it 50 pages or so. You’ll soon be at a point where the book is unputdownable.

As a side note, I was looking up the pages and publication date on wikipedia and noticed that Room was inspired by a true story. The Fritzl Case is even more horrifying than this one, though. The stuff of nightmares.

Have you read Room? What did you think?



Musicals! A Top Ten List

July 15, 2014 Life 28

top ten musicals


I adore musicals. Love love love them. And yes, I do randomly break into song every once in a while. My girls think this is hilarious. Scott just rolls his eyes. I remind him every time that he picked me. Oh, but musicals.

Growing up we always listened to music. I was young when Little Mermaid, Aladdin, and Beauty and the Beast were released by Disney. My parents obligingly played these soundtracks (much as I do now with Frozen) over and over and I loved the sense of experiencing the movie without actually watching the movie. I could go on and on about the times when I visited my grandma’s house and my sisters and I would watch the musicals she had on video–Sound of Music, The Wizard of OZ, The Music Man, Annie, The King and I. We would dance, we would sing. There is something truly magical about musicals.

I don’t remember the first time that my parents took us to the theater to watch a musical but there were a few summers where we had seasons tickets to the Dallas Summer Musicals. We saw dozens of musicals during those summers and my love for spontaneous singing and dancing was born. My first musical love was Phantom of the Opera; I loved listening to my mom’s soundtrack and soon bought myself the full-length soundtrack and would listen over and over. Next came Evita when the movie with Madonna and Antonio Banderas was released. I can still sing all of the words to all of the songs–mostly from memory. Then Les Miserables–oh Les Miserables! and then RENT while my then boyfriend got me hooked. Unfortunately my love for musicals is not shared with Scott but that doesn’t stop me from discovering new soundtracks and occasionally tricking him into seeing a show with me (he recently contested that Jersey Boys was the best musical he’s seen). I cannot wait, however, until I can hook my girls

For years I’ve been planning to share my favorite musicals with you. I’ve had the list written in my notebook for so long and when I was working I would listen to each of my favorite soundtracks and think about what I wanted to share about each one. Seeing today’s Top Ten Tuesday topic about Top Ten Favorite Non-Books, I knew that this would be the perfect time to finally talk musicals with you.

Musicals! A Top Ten List

Phantom of the Opera – Often I can’t decide if Phantom or Les Miz is my favorite musical, but I can’t possibly watch or listen to Phantom without being moved to sobbing tears. The Point of No Return is one of the most haunting and beautiful songs in a musical. When the Phantom and Christine are singing together at the end of the song, it’s enough to rip my heart out.

Les Miserables – The ultimate epic story told through the absolutely gorgeous soundtrack. There is not a more beautiful musical. If you haven’t seen the stage production, try to get your hands on the 25th Anniversary production at the O2 in London. It presented in concert format rather than traditional musical but tears, y’all. All the tears. I have to share the below video with the different versions of Jean Val Jean. Try to ignore those goosebumps on your arms–I dare you.


Aida – Elton John and Tim Rice. Perhaps this is a lesser known musical? It was my first Broadway experience and Adam Pascal and Heather Headley provide such strong vocals to the soundtrack. If you ever have a chance to watch this musical or listen to the music, I can’t recommend it enough.

Evita – Andrew Lloyd Webber. I’m a fan. And I admit that I really really love the Madonna and Antonio Banderas version (another one I’ve never seen on the stage). And oh, A Waltz for Eva and Che - I may have watched this scene in the movie a trillion times.

Wicked - Based on the book by Gregory Maguire, the play focuses a bit more on the music but with Kristin Chenoweth and Idina Menzel as the lead vocals there is much to love. While the play itself wasn’t one of my favorites, I absolutely adore the music and have been trying to use it as a replacement for the much listened to Frozen soundtrack.


Miss Saigon – Plus that giant helicopter on the stage? But really, I can’t listen to Miss Saigon without breaking into tears by the end. Plus “Why, God, Why?” is one of the most powerful songs in a musical.

The Sound of Music – A throwback to my childhood but I couldn’t make a top ten list that didn’t include The Sound of Music. The stage production is a little different than the movie, but we’re all familiar with the songs, right? One day I will see this in Salzburg at one of those cheesy dinner theaters. I can’t wait.

RENT – If you can believe it, I have never seen the stage version of RENT. One day I will and I’ll be hard pressed to not sing along all of the words that I love so dearly. This was a tricky one because I basically had to work out the plot of the play from the songs and when I realized just what was happening. RENT shares an amazing story of love. I’m sure you’re familiar with Seasons of Love:


Mamma Mia – My favorite was when we watched this in Dallas and a little kid got up in the aisle during Dancing Queen and started shaking his booty. It was the most adorable thing ever. In other words ABBA will rock your socks off. This musical is so much stinkin’ fun. Too bad the movie didn’t live up (really, Pierce?!).

Jersey Boys/Cabaret – Ok, this is a tie because I’m more familiar with Cabaret but I haven’t seen it on the stage, only movie. I’ve seen Jersey Boys on the stage and it was fantastic but I haven’t listened to the soundtrack nearly as much as any of the others. See also Bombay Dreams, which I love the music for but still don’t know very much about it. Sometimes it’s tough piecing together a musical’s plot by just the songs!

Chicago – 5, 6, 7, 8. Jazz, Sass, and Bob Fosse. Sexy, Sultry, Sinfully Delicious. I love Chicago–even the Hollywood version. “Cell Block Tango” is one of my favorite “belt it out in the car as loud as you can” songs. Even listening to it now I can’t help but give my hips a bit of a shake.


Do you love musicals? What would be on your Top Ten Musicals list?




Reading News – Sunday Salon Post 89

July 13, 2014 Reading Nook, Sunday Salon 30


Happy  Sunday! We survived another week! Or we’re preparing ourselves for another week. Is Sunday a day of relaxation in your house? In theory it is in ours. Theories never work with two small children, though.

So, I’m thinking about trying something new on Sundays. Sunday Salon doesn’t have a link-up except for on Facebook and I’ve seen lots of blogging friends doing the Sunday Post hosted by Kimba of Caffeinated Book Reviewer. I thought I would combine efforts and also share a bit of my bookish news with y’all since I rarely seem to review books anymore or share what I’ve been reading. I did actually have a regular Sunday Salon post half drafted (um, read: two sentences written), but I was afraid that my post was getting to be too long so I’ll save that for another week. I’m also thinking of throwing a big party when I get to 100 Sunday Salon posts. I just recently surpassed 1,000 posts but sadly I forgot to throw a party.

Sunday Post

Books Recently Finished: In July I’ve finished three book so far! I know–I’ve been a reading machine. First was Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck. Can you believe I’ve never read this little gem of a book? Of course my heart broke into a billion tiny little pieces when I finished. Second was Room by Emma Donoghue. Holy intense! I would like to write a full post about this one but basically it was tough to put down and I felt my chest was in a vice the entire time I was reading. Last was Tampa by Alissa Nutting. If you’re not familiar with the premise, a young and attractive high school teacher preys on her 8th grade students. I kept thinking of it as a feminine answer to Lolita and American Psycho, and the entire time I was reading it I kept asking myself why I was reading it. No good answer except that it was short and I was curious how it would all end up.


New Books in the House: I’ve had an Amazon credit for a year and finally decided it was high time I used it. First What I Loved by Siri Hustvedt. This has been on my Amazon wishlist for years but I can’t remember why. Did you review it once upon a time? Anyway, JoAnn recently reviewed a Hustvedt book and then Andi mentioned Hustvedt at bookclub, so purchase purchase I did. Also, The Sparrow by Maria Doria Russell which everyone has been raving about. And finally The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton. Another blogger recommended author that I couldn’t ignore any longer. Though it’ll be years before I read any of these, I’m sure.


New Books on my E-Readers: That stupid “one-click purchase” button will be the death of my wallet. That and the daily deals on Amazon (I can never seem to find anything good for my Nook). I got Tampa on my Nook, though, and can’t believe I only let a day pass before starting it. Curiosity killed the cat. I couldn’t resist Round House by Louise Erdrich. Other recent finds include Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver and The Orchardist by Amanda Coplin.


Books on the Nightstand: I started Every Day by David Levithan but I’m going to have to put it down to make sure I have enough time for East of Eden before my book club meets on July 31st. So, I’ve downloaded the EoE ebook in order to tackle it day and night (I just can’t read a regular book in bed anymore, my book light is too damn annoying). After I finish East of Eden, I’m not sure if I’ll get back to Every Day or not. Guess it just depends on my mood. I also have my eye on American Gods by Gaiman and my eyes keep wandering to Rules of Civility by Amor Towles. Of course I’ve been loving ereading lately so maybe Austenland by Shannon Hale for a light and fun read?


On the Blog: Last week I shared my new Cookbook Challenge, my Top Ten Book/Blogging Confessions, and one of those honest mom posts about going back to work. This week we’ll be talking Musicals on Tuesday! And I’m not sure what else. I’m always looking for post ideas that y’all will find interesting–a mommy topic? a book post? travel pics? radio silence?

What books have you recently finished, what books are new in your house, and what books do you have on your nightstand?

Hope you have a lovely Sunday!




Ready, Not Ready

July 11, 2014 Life, Mommyhood 29



Yesterday was a pretty big day. For the morning, Evie tested out the waters in the daycare she’ll be attending part-time in the fall. I’ve been a ball of anxiety over how the three hours would go and if she would even let me leave her. While I’m very ready to have a bit of a break from being a stay at home parent, I can’t believe that this day has come. I’m ready, not ready.

I’ve been a bit purposely vague about my work/stay at home situation over the past year. I left my job of six years the week before I had Evie. While I loved many aspects of my job, I wasn’t happy and hadn’t been for a long time. I also knew that with two little ones I didn’t want to do the whole 30-60 minute commute twice a day. When I was working, I rarely saw Elle in the morning and our time in the evening was short lived. I did realize, though, that working away from home was ultimately the best fit for my personality and that my time as a stay at home mom would not be a permanent gig.  There have been many times in the past year that I’ve re-read my Full-Time Working Mom post and had all the emotions.

When I left my job, Scott and I decided not to take Elle out of daycare right away. I wanted a few months to acclimate to life at home with the baby and I knew that it would be harder on Elle for her to be home than to be at school where she had structure, routine, friends to play with, and teachers who could pay her tremendous amounts of attention. I felt great amounts of guilt over this decision, especially when questioned by other people, but I think it was the best decision for everyone. Recently, though, I have started keeping Elle home a few days a week and I absolutely love these days. I am utterly exhausted when the day is through, but the joy that these girls bring to me (and each other) is indescribable.

But the hard truth is that I’m not cut out to be a stay at home mom, and I’ve known all along that eventually I would go back to work (part time at first). And of course I have a whole slew of feelings over this. Guilty because I don’t want to be home all day. Guilty because I haven’t been very good about leaving Evie and now she refuses to take a bottle, isn’t anywhere near weaning, and we are totally unprepared for me to leave her. Guilty because I haven’t been better about playdates or socializing with other stay at home moms. Guilty because what have I done with the past 10 months (I mean that baby does nap). Guilty because I get really irritated if Scott gets home late from work or doesn’t help me with the dishes (that whole “what is the worth of a stay at home mom who doesn’t bring home an income” thing).

Guilt guilt guilt. I’ve started to realize that guilt must be part of mom-DNA.

I’m ready to get out of the house and interact with other adults about things that will make my brain work and hurt. I’m not ready to entrust the care of my baby to someone else. I am ready to be done nursing because half of the time I hate it. I am not ready to give up some of those sweeter nursing sessions. I am so ready to not be responsible for a tiny human for a few hours of the day. I am so ready to be able to run an errand or schedule a doctor’s appointment without first trying to figure out who will watch my children. I’m not ready for my baby to grow up and become more independent (ok, that last part I’m mostly ready for as long as it goes slowly).

Ready, not ready.

And feeling a little selfish that I’m having these thoughts, but Elle has thrived at school and loved making new friends and I know it will be good for Evie to do the same. It will be good for both of us.

I’m blessed that I’ll be my own boss and be able to make my own hours. It’ll be the best of both worlds–a bit of time at home with the girls and a bit of time in an office. It’ll be a rough transition, I’m sure, but we’ll survive and soon a new routine will blossom. I’m excited and nervous–I can’t decide which one I am more of. Today? More nervous. But we survived our first three hours of daycare (not without tears) and I’m hoping to have more opportunities to drop her off in the mornings over the next couple of weeks before she starts full days a few times a week after Labor Day.

Just one more step forward in this crazy life…



Top Ten Book/Blogging Confessions

July 8, 2014 Blogging Thoughts, Book Musings, Reading Nook 38

Top Ten Tuesday

Today’s Top Ten Tuesday from The Broke and Bookish is all about Blogging Confessions. I included some of my Bookish Confessions as well…thinking about blogging confessions sometimes just makes me feel guilty. Ha!

1. I have a terrible terrible book memory. Can’t remember characters’ names, can’t remember twists and turns, can’t remember endings. It really is pitiful. I can, however, remember how a book made me feel. Always.

2. I have a terrible habit of buying books that I have to have RIGHT NOW but then not reading them for years. I had an epiphany the other day–when I read a book immediately after buying it, I don’t feel like I get my money’s worth if a book doesn’t sit for a long time unread on the shelf.

3. I keep the emails I receive of comment notifications in my inbox so that I can hopefully respond to comments and return the visit. And then life happens and these get backed up. I currently have comments in my inbox from February. This gives me tremendous guilt–and a stressed out inbox.

4. I hate writing summaries of books or even talking about what a book is about. Presumably because I hate knowing anything about a book before reading it. Also, if you start telling me what a book is about–and you go into great detail–I’ll likely tuned everything you said out. Sorry about that.

5. I’m super bad about reading and reviewing books that have been sent to me by publishers/publicists. This is part of the reason why I try to say no and not ask for books, even though I also get jealous of everyone reading brand new copies of books. Two confessions in one. Also related to the “must have book now to read it years later” confession.


6. I haaaaaaaaaaaaaaate clutter in the house but my books are currently all over the front room in our house (where we have four bookshelves, double stacked). My husband is a saint for not nagging me about books on the floor after I’ve nagged him about magazines on the counter. I also may have a big bin of books hidden under Elle’s bed.

7. Sometimes I think about starting a brand new blog where I can write without inhibitions or worrying whether you guys will think it’s interesting. I guess the fear of no one seeing something is less than everyone seeing and not caring or responding.

8. When I finish a book I write my full name and the date I finished in the front cover. I always write Tricia rather than Trish even though I haven’t gone by Tricia in 15 years.

9. I love the idea of reading classics but sometimes when I get to them they feel like so much more work.

10. I secretly prefer ebooks. I KNOW. I want to prefer paper books, and I do love love love them and can’t stop buying them, but the ease of e-reading is just so much greater. I can lie down and read without propping my book up or pages flopping all over or having to turn the page or my hand cramping. I also don’t have to use a book light in bed with my Nook. Sometimes I even buy the ebook (on sale) if I have the unread book on my shelf. I feel I need to hang my head in shame for being a bad book lover.


I could keep going but maybe I’ll save it for another day. Actually, digging into my archive you can read more about my Confessions of a Grumpy Reader.

What Bookfessions or Blogfessions do you have? 



Cook It Up – A Cookbook Challenge

July 7, 2014 Challenge, In the Kitchen 35

Cook it up Challenge


One of my “2014 Things” is to cook from my cookbooks more. I planned to choose one cookbook a month and focus on using those recipes as nightly inspirations. In the past six months I have done this exactly zero times. Ok, I’ve pulled out the cookbooks a handful of times, but not really for new inspiration.  Over the next six months of the year I’d like to get back to this goal of using my cookbooks. When I mentioned this at the beginning of the year and again during my halfway check-in, several people noted that they’d be interested in a cookbook challenge.

So here we are!

While thinking about the challenge, I was having a tough time coming up with guidelines. Do people want to focus on one cookbook a month? Or a certain number of recipes for any number of cookbooks? One month? Six months? A monthly write-up or blog as you go? Or no post at all? Finally I decided to leave it in your hands to decide how you want to participate. We all like easy, right?

Cook it Up – A Cookbook Challenge

What: Pull those cookbooks off the shelves–you know, the ones with pages you can turn–and use them! You can outline how you’d like to proceed–one cookbook a month? Or three recipes a month from any cookbook? Or even check out new cookbooks from the library. You make the rules!

When: I will put up a linky on the first Saturday of the month (I meant for this post to publish last Saturday…). Write your post whenever you’d like (and if you’d like), but don’t forget to come link up.

Where/How: Presumably your blogs but no worries if you’d rather just post on twitter or instagram (Tag me! @TriniCapini). Or just come back here at the beginning of the month and comment. I think you’ll have better luck if you blog but I also don’t want anyone to stress.

Why: Because if you’re like me, you have a giant stack of cookbooks that are collecting dust. I’m bad about searching the internet for a specific recipe rather than looking at my own cookbooks. Let’s put our cookbooks to use!

For the rest of July I’m going to focus on The Big Book of BBQ since Scott and I are also doing Operation Use My Grill (another post that meant to get published and didn’t).

What do you say? I hope you’ll join me!  The first monthly link-up will be Saturday, August 2nd (2014).