Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Where in the World Are You Reading? Cafe Wrap-Up


Hi!!!  If you didn't notice me disappear for a few days (or 7), well, nevermind as I'm back. :) Good news is that I have gone through all my pictures from Ireland (!!) and edited them but now I just have to figure out which of the 180 to share with you. Anyway, it will take me a while to get back into the groove, so forgive me if I'm a bit slow in the next week or so. I know I've said this before but I'll say it again because I really mean it--please holler at me if you've got a post I don't want to miss! Seriously...

Where in the World Are You Reading?!

October was all about coffeeshops, cafes, bars, tea shops...anywhere you might go to grab a cuppa while reading your book. But the problem many of us had is that we just don't frequent these places--at least not with a book in hand. Admittedly I only do once a month before book club and even then I'm usually growling at the music playing, the other patrons, of if I'm sitting outside I growl at the cigar smokers from the cigar shop nextdoor. Ah well...thanks to those who played along. Next month is all about reading companions so I have a sneaking suspicion that will include more folks.

Although my shop does have a cute little fire place and comfy couch...   Below is Saxby's from my monthly visit.

SuziQOregon from Wimpulsive took us to her local neighborhood brewpub. While the pub looks cute enough, it's the reading tool that she shares with us that is the coolest. Ever heard of a FlipKlip? I neeeeeeed.


Erin from Paperback Stash wins points for the most festive tea house. I mean seriously--Tea Largo looks absolutely awesome. I'm not a big fan of tea, but this shop has me yearning to find a neat tea house near my home.

Lisa from Lit and Life shares with us Aroma in downtown Omaha. While she says "a Starbucks is a Starbucks is a Starbucks," she notes that Aroma is so much more than that. Plus it affords her an opportunity to people watch.


Lisa (and Pirate and Bug) of Books.Lists.Life take us to the cozy Cabin Creek Coffee Shop in Pierre.  Even though Lisa wasn't able to get the quiet reading time that she hoped for, Pirate does a great job of modeling what that reading might look like.


Christine from the Happily Ever After shares this gorgeous coffee shop below, although I'm still a little sad that she didn't include the desserts that she tempted us with! I don't think I'd mind sitting in this coffee shop for a few hours with a book...


Again, thank you gals for participating! And Kelly will be making her announcement for November's theme (reading companion) soon. UPDATED: Visit November's Theme Here.

I hope you'll take some time to visit the participants this month and see the local shops they shared with us. Do you have a favorite shop to visit for reading?

Oh, and Happy Halloween!!!

Friday, October 26, 2012

October Literary Giveaway Hop!

{Giveaway Now Closed}



Judith from Leeswammes is hosting a Literary Giveaway Blog Hop this week and I've decided to join the fun along with book bloggers around the world. I had so much fun participating in the giveaway hop in June that I couldn't resist doing it again. I'm giving the winner a choice of any book I've blogged about in the past five years.

How to enter:

  1. Leave a comment with the book of your choice from my list of books reviewed.
  2. Tell me one book you've read from the list that you loved.
  3. Include your email address in the comment.
  4. You don't need to follow me, but if you enjoy my blog I hope that you will!
Giveaway will be open until Wednesday October 31st at noon and I will draw a winner via Random.org on Thursday November 1st.

Check out the other Literary Giveaway Blog Hop Hosts visit Judith at Leeswammes.


Happy Hopping!


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Red Dragon - Thomas Harris


Title: Red Dragon
Author: Thomas Harris
Published: 1981  Pages: 343
Genre: Thriller
Rating: Eh 2.5/5

Red Dragon in Short: After two families are brutally murdered a month apart by a psychopath nicknamed The Tooth Fairy, Will Graham is called in to help the FBI solve the crime. Graham finds himself on shaky ground as he is still recovering from the injuries (mental and physical) from his famed capture of Hannibal Lecter.

Why I read Red Dragon: Because Jill and I thought it would be funsies to see whether Hannibal Lecter or Patrick Bateman was the bigger psycho.

Thoughts in General: I saw the movie Red Dragon in the theater with my college roommate. I don't remember much about it except having to cover my eyes several times (with my hands--I really am that big of a baby). I really expected the book to keep me up at night but other than it being just a creepy I was really let down (maybe anything after IT isn't scary?).  Also I was constantly distracted by wondering how much more quickly this book would have progressed with today's crime solving technology. Ha!

Honestly I'm sorry to tell you I don't have much to say about this book. The moments with Hannibal Lecter were mild and the real story was The Tooth Fairy/Red Dragon/ Francis Dolarhyde. This guy is the stuff of nightmares and there were several tense moments that had my pulse racing. The writing wasn't anything spectacular--and in fact there were several times when I struggled following conversations and action scenes. I also felt like there was an entire backstory that I should have known but didn't (mostly what had happened between Graham and Lecter before the beginning of this book). Um so ya. :)

Bottom Line: Snoozefest. Watch the movie instead. Ok, maybe that's a bit harsh but let's put it this way—there are bits that I remember vividly from the movie that I watched 10 years ago. I finished this book a week ago and haven't thought about it once since.


Dueling Monsters!!!!

Ok so the original battle was suppose to be between Hannibal Lecter and Patrick Bateman. We learn from Red Dragon that Hannibal (the Cannibal) is one pretty creepy dude who is smarter than your mom and probably tried to eat your dad. However, I think that Bateman has a lead in the psycho department. BUT!! I'm going to pull Lecter from the fight and put in Dolarhyde. This guy makes Bateman look like a sissy! Just imagine a killer who has special teeth made so that he can bite his victims to death? I won't mention some of the other details in the book, but trust me--what this guy did is pretty horrific.

Might be a bit of a sucker punch, but I'm calling Red Dragon winner of this year's Dueling Monsters and Dolarhyde the surprise victor.

Have you read Red Dragon? Are you participating with us this year for Dueling Monsters?

Thursday, October 18, 2012

October Pin It and Do It Update


You guys. I'm in total denial that today is the 18th of October. Or Thursday. Seriously, what the heck.

Good news is that I've managed to get at least a few pins done. Even better news is that you guys have been rocking the Pin it and Do it challenge! And the best news? There are still two weeks left in the month for y'all to start doing those things you've pinned.

So what have I been up to? Mostly reading. Tonight is book club night and we're discussing The Secret History. I'm having to listen to the audiobook in addition to reading so that I can squeeze it all in (as of drafting this Wednesday night I still have 140 pages left) and the audiobook is terrible. Terrible.

On to more tasty things...

As part of Operation Bundt Pan, I made a Pumpkin Spice Bundt Cake. And it was DELICIOUS. I want to share with you for Weekend Cooking but just haven't had the time to get it together (sorry dear friend who has been asking). Original Pin. Originally from Epicurious.



Chris shared the original link for these Black Bean and Corn Quesadillas and I'm so glad he did. YUMMMMM.  I absolutely loved these. I skipped the onion and cilantro because I was lazy, but they were so flavorful. Scott rated them a 3/5 and they ended up being too spicy for Elle to eat (I also used her homemade taco seasoning but will cut the cayenne next time). Will make these again. I did not attempt to freeze as I didn't have enough to make the effort (used bigger tortillas than she did) Original Pin. Originally from Budget Bytes.



Ever since Scott and I had our month of Eating Naturally, I've been meaning to cook beans in order to freeze them. I used Annie's Eats method to soak the beans overnight and then cook them until tender. The skins from my beans split open--is this because I used cheap Target Brand beans? Regardless, I have four 1.5 cup bags in the freezer now.  Original Pin. Originally from Annie's Eats. Dear Annie's Eats--wish your photos were more pinnable! Especially as you have Pin It buttons on your blog...Just sayin'.



I had a zucchini that needed cooking up so I decided to make Zucchini Chips. I was too lazy to follow the recipe closely so these ended up being too much breaded flour Scott actually liked the breading but I picked all mine off and just ate the zucchini. Would definitely try again but will season the zucchini first before applying the breading. And, you know, maybe follow directions more closely? Original Pin. Originally from The Naked Kitchen.



First--thanks to everyone who took my Reader Survey. I had about 20% of my subscribers respond which I'm considering pretty dang good. Second--I'm perplexed by the folks who said they wanted less quilting/sewing stuff--an option they had to write-in--considering I can't remember the last time I wrote about quilting/sewing. Anywho, I purchased a quilt pattern per the below, which is something I pinned. I've only cut out about 1/4 of the fabric (ok, probably less), but the pin wasn't the actual finished quilt but the pattern. Ok, so I'm totally cheating. :P In case you're wondering, I was inspired to buy the pattern thanks to this quilt by Angela at Fussy Cut.

Source: etsy.com via Trish on Pinterest


Alright...now that I've exhausted myself, I'm off to read more of The Secret History

Have you tackled any awesomeness from Pinterest lately? I still want to do some Halloween type pins, but not sure how that'll pan out with busyness the rest of the month. Is it really halfway to November?







Every 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!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Bleak House Read-a-Long in November


Bleak House!!  Ok, you may have seen me mention on twitter that I'm swearing off readalongs for the rest of the year. But to be fair I did know that this one was a big possibility and have been planning on it for a few months. ;)

Jenny Girl is hosting a Bleak House readalong (can I call it a Bleakalong?) in November and December. Details on her blog. I'll be reading and listening...narrator is Simon Vance. Mmmmm.

So, join us?!   The more the merrier!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The Look in the Grocery Store

You're walking down the grocery aisle and you see a mom wrestling with her screaming child. In a former life I may have given this mom the look. You know the look—the look that you've either given, the look you've received, or the look you've seen other people give and receive. The look is the worst.  Especially when you're already flustered, embarrassed, frustrated, and defeated.

People. I think we've reached the terrible twos. In a word…awesome.


I think the best was when we were in our two story Barnes and Noble and Elle started screaming (I mean screaming bloody murder) because she wasn't allowed to play on the escalator. Luckily Scott was with me so he could carry her out into the mall while I smile and nodded at all the folks giving me that look. 

On the other, less sarcastic side of awesome: the "hooray" I get during the third verse of "If you're Happy and You Know It"  makes up for all the screaming and crying in the grocery store. And yes, if you hear a mom singing in the next aisle over to her babe, run around the corner to see because chances are it's me.

I take those good moments and store them up for the ones where I need to take an extra deep breath. 

Any temper tantrum stories you'd like to share? Make me feel a little better??

Sunday, October 14, 2012

It - Stephen King (#italong)

Title: It
Author: Stephen King
Published: 1986 Pages: 1090
Narrator: Stephen Weber
Audio Duration: 44 hrs; 57 mins
Genre: Horror. Straight up.
Rating: 4/5 (see bottom line)

IT in Short: After a rash of violent murders of children in 1958, a band of misfits join together to face their worst nightmare--IT. Twenty seven years later, these misfits (aka Losers Club)—now adults—must come together again to destroy It one final time.

Why I Read It: Jill and Christina double-dog dared me to. And because I can't resist a readalong, especially when clown noses are involved.

Thoughts in General: It. The book I never thought I'd read. The book I had no interest in reading. I loved it. Ok, I loved 75% of it but I think that this is fault of my own. So let me tell you a little about me…  When I was a younger version of me I loved reading suspense and scary books. Christopher Pike and RL Stine (Fear Street, not Goosebumps) used to keep me turning pages like crazy. Until I couldn't sleep at night. At all. My mind tends to get the better of me and provide me with terribly vivid nightmares—I've even been known to sleep with my sister after watching particularly scary movies.

Although I loved these books, the anxiety was too much and I had to move on. I haven't touched suspense or thriller or horror since then. I rarely watch the movies and when I do, I shamelessly cover my eyes or hide behind the covers. Yes, even at 31 years old. Yes, even sometimes with just movie previews. Can't handle! So in those opening scenes of the book when little Georgie Denbrough is heading down the stairs to the basement full of fear for the thing that lurks in the dark, the It that is just waiting to grab him—reading those scenes brought back a flood of nostalgia. Both good and bad. Yes, It gave me a few nightmares. It kept me up a few nights and made me afraid to wander into the dark recesses of my house (aka my sewing room upstairs). I stopped running outside in the mornings and ran to my car when I went to the gym instead—all to avoid seeing Pennywise with his dark orbs of eyes and greasepaint grin.

But even though this book at times got the best of me, I loved it. There is no way that I can explain in a way that makes sense the fun in getting scared silly. Because it's something that I do not plan on doing again anytime soon. Scott had me order IT for him on DVD after I started reading—after he told me how damn scary the movie was—but I've told him there's no way in hell I'll watch it with him. What does he think I am? Crazy?!

Oh! You want to know about the book: Well, it's long. Like really long. And there are several characters. But unlike The Stand, it is evident pretty early on that there are certain characters to pay attention to and some that we can just forget. The story alternates between present day and past…oh and it's scary. Stephen King knows all of your worst nightmares and he's included them in this book.  Since I've already babbled on enough about my history with scary, I'll keep the rest pretty short.

Why this book worked for me:  Now that I've read two Stephen King books and I'm an expert, let me tell you that this guy is amazing at drawing characters and painting scenes.  The characters and the scenes but also the atmosphere—you and I both know that a creepy ass clown isn't hanging in our gutters, but King not only makes you believe it, but he makes you feel it too. I loved being pulled into the story, loved learning the history and feeling a part of it, loved  being sad for the characters, scared for them, happy for them. There's definitely a reason why King is a bestselling author.

Things that didn't work for me: Derry Interludes. Totally could have done without those tangents. The true form of It (I accidentally read a spoiler during the Standalong so this was a let down). The switches between past and present in the last third of the book--on audio this was tough to keep up with, so I blame it on that. Think this would have been more effective had I been reading the physical copy. The whole Henry Bowers thing. I get it but still it got weird. Um, that's about it!

Bottom Line: I'm telling you...I'm shocked at how much I enjoyed this book. Part of me wants to give it a 5/5 but the ending fell flat for me. I know horror isn't everyone's thing and it certainly isn't mine. I won't be grabbing other horror books to read for a long long long time. But yes, I did enjoy this one and it might just end up being my top read for 2012. CRAZY? I KNOW RIGHT?!?! 

A Note on the Audio: I was really resistant to using my precious Audible credit on IT, especially because my library has the audiobook collection. But I was eager to start listening and the audio was checked out from the library and Care assured me that the audio was worth the credit. OMG this was the best audiobook I have ever listened to. Ever. Steven Weber (think Wings) doesn't read IT, he performs IT, he breathes life into IT, he transports you to Derry Maine and lets you live IT. Seriously. It was that good.


Have I convinced you to read IT? What's the scariest book (or movie) you have been brave enough to watch?

On another note, I've decided that with all the psycho reading I've been doing the past two months, I'm going to be all rainbows and butterflies the rest of the month. In other words, Jenny Girl is throwing around the idea of a Bleak House readalong. I know... I know...



Saturday, October 13, 2012

Dewey's Readathon! October 2012

Please visit the Dewey's Readathon website for more information on this madness. It really is the most fun.

UPDATE the last AT HOUR [almost] 18

The sun has gone to bed and so must I-eeeeeeeeeeeeee

For being so completely unprepared for today, I feel pretty good about how things went. I read around 200 pages which is a lot more than I've read in one day in a long time. I didn't get any cheering done except for a few hellos and a few moments of chats on twitter but I'm ok with that, too. Depending on the dates in April, I'd love to dedicate the day to reading and cheering and playing along.


Isn't the button that Heather created gorgeous? It seems crazy that four years ago was the last time that we had a readathon with Dewey. Four years. It is truly a testament to her spirit that she is such a big part of this blogging community--though it has grown tremendously from the little circle we were four years ago.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

UPDATE the second AT HOUR 12

1) How are you doing? Sleepy? Are your eyes tired?
Tired. This does not bode well for my plans to make it until midnight

2) What have you finished reading?
Red Dragon! But I only had 30 pages left. ;)

3) What is your favorite read so far?
The Secret History is intriguing but I'm disappointed in the audio version.

4) What about your favorite snacks?
Just got done eating PeiWei and I have a mini bundt cake from Nothing Bundt Cakes for later. Otherwise not really snacking a whole lot

5) Have you found any new blogs through the readathon? If so, give them some love!
Sad. I haven't been focusing on cheerleading at all! Hopefully later.


TOTALS:
133 pages read (includes audio): 108 pages into The Secret History by Donna Tartt
5ish hours reading (including audio...and an absolute estimate)
Books Finished: Red Dragon (only had 25 pages left)

Well, unfortunately my super napper baby decided that today wasn't the day for naps. She tossed and turned for about an hour and a half (I was counting on at least 3 hours of nap). To make matters worse, my neighbor decided it was a great time to come and power wash our porch. Unasked. I finally went out and asked him kindly to stop but by then it was too late.

So, Elle and I did the next best thing and headed to the bookstore! Where I got a copy of American Gods. Happy mommy.  We did manage to read a few books but I'm not going to count them into my total. ;)

My goal is to make it until midnight but we'll see. I'm tired!!




~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

UPDATE the first AT HOUR 4

TOTALS:
93 pages read (includes audio): 68 pages into The Secret History by Donna Tartt
2.5ish hours reading (including audio...and an absolute estimate)
Books Finished: Red Dragon (only had 25 pages left)

I was able to finish Red Dragon first thing this morning, had a couple cups of coffee, and settled into The Secret History. Probably not the best readathon book, but I need to read it by next Thursday for book club, so there you have it. I downloaded the audiobook and I'm glad I did because my neighborhood handyman decided to make quite a racket outside of the house so I headed out for a walk. The audio isn't great (narrated by the author), but I'm intrigued by the book so far.

And now I'm off to pick up that chickpea banana!! She was spending the night at grandma's (my mom's), so I won't be back until she goes down for a nap sometime this afternoon.

How are y'all doing?!

Instagram gave me scary eyebrows!



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

IN THE BEGINNING...


I'm not gonna lie...I'm too tired to do a vlog this morning, but here's a montage of readathons past. Hope it PUMPS you up!!! Readathon!



INTRODUCTION MEME

Where are you reading from today?McKinney, Texas

Which book am I most looking forward to?
The Secret History (it's the only book in my stack)

What snacks are you looking forward to?
I'm utterly prepared for this readathon, so no snacks! yikes!

About Myself:
I'm 31 and have a 17 month old who will be with me most of the day so I'll only be participating here and there. I really do have as much energy as it seems I do...

Do differently?
Ah...this is my eighth readathon...but my participation will be very laid back compared to past years.

And I BEG of you--Kill your Word Verification!



YAY READATHON!!!!!!!!

Readathon, Readathon, Readathon!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Sunrise at Haleakala Crater - Maui 2012

When you ask people what to do in Hawaii, one of the most common responses is that you must go see the sunrise over Haleakala Crater. Along with this comes the muttering that in order to do this you will also need to wake up at 3 in the morning and dress warmly. No matter how much you want to scoff at either of these mutterings, don't. Leave your condo at 3 in the morning and dress warmly. And when you think you've dressed warmly enough, add another layer. I'm pretty sure that Scott is freezing is booty off in the picture below. Think 30 degrees and very very windy. Very windy.

You want to leave early for a number of reasons. First, parking. Second, people stake a claim on the railings and it's really best to not have heads in your pictures (plus I had my GorillaPod wrapped around the railing so that I could take longer exposure pictures). Third, it would be a big fat bummer to drive all that way and miss the damn sunrise!

It was cold but heading to Haleakala (Ha-le-a-ka-la) was worth the trip. Plus it's on my bucket list! (yes, I admit that I put it on my list as we were driving up...shhhhh) And no--my pictures by no means to this trip justice. It's unworldly.


(mom, brother Nick, me, sisters Brooke and Kim)


Pretty sure it took forever for that little tiny gold lining!




Haleakala is about 10,000 feet above sea level. Considering we were coming from sea level, it was quite the hike in an hour's drive. The road was hairpin most of the way and driving back down in daylight we could tell just how steep the climb was. There were bikers and even skateboarders flying down the mountain with us (on the road) on the way down. Pitfall to going up and down 10,000 feet so quickly? Yup, that little chickpea may have gotten a little sick...all over her carseat and the rental. Smile.

We actually didn't hike down the crater because we were unprepared, but to give you an idea of the crater without the cloud cover, here's a picture my mom took. Not very Hawaiian, huh?!


So far I've narrowed down my Hawaii pictures from 700 to 60. Most of those are from the road to Hana so I think I can make some collages and such but I'll be breaking up these posts over the next few weeks (or so). Decided that was better than overwhelming you with a million pictures at once.

Have you seen the sunrise over Haleakala? I'd love to hear about one of those most memorable sunrises you've experienced.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks - Rebecca Skloot


Title: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
Author: Rebecca Skloot
Narrator: Casandra Campbell
Published: 2011  Pages: 400 
Audio Duration: 12 hrs, 30 min
Genre: History/Biography
Rating: 4.5/5

In [not as] Short: In 1951 Henrietta Lacks was treated  for cervical cancer at Johns Hopkins. During the course of her treatment, her cells were used in live culturing experiments which resulted in the first case of immortal living cells—the HeLa cells. Author Rebecca Skloot provides not only the history of the HeLa cells but the very human story behind the cells.

Why I Listened: I first listened a year and a half ago after seeing a lot of praise for the book. I became especially curious when my then freshman sister was assigned the book as part of University of Arkansas's freshman reading program. I re-listened recently for book club.

Thoughts in General: I always struggle with audiobook reviews because my mind works visually and textually. When reading I tend to focus on words and how smoothly they flow or how lyrical they feel but with audio I am either more forgiving or less aware of the words that I am hearing. That said, I don't have much to comment on in the way of the actual writing in this book. I've heard that Skloot uses dialect, but this was seamless and very effectively done on the audio. Anyway.

I tend to think about The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks in two separate pieces—the science/history of the cells and the personal story behind the cells. I was not familiar with he-la cells or Henrietta Lacks prior to publication of this book and the idea of cell culturing is one that fascinates me and honestly is mostly beyond my grasp. Skloot does a wonderful job of explaining the importance of cell culturing and how Henrietta Lack's cells fit into this corner of science. While Skloot goes into great detail, it does not mean that I still have a clear understanding other than it ethically questionable and at the same time essential to medical advancement. I appreciate Skloot's attention to detail as well as the historical context she provides in relation to the sticky and tricky subject of cell culturing.

While we would not have a story without the HeLa cells, the true draw of this book for me was not the science and history of cell culturing. Where The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks shines is with the personal stories and history of the Lacks family. Henrietta was a young woman when she died of cervical cancer and a huge part of this book is what happened to her five children after her passing as well as how her family handled the surprise that their mother's cells lived on and will continue to live on. I'm not sure if Skloot set out to tell the story of the Lacks family but they become an integral part of the story, especially as Skloot and Henrietta's youngest daughter Deborah bond throughout the course of Skloot's research for the book.

We had a lot of discussion in my book club over Skloot's right to tell Henrietta's story as well some of the ethics of journalism that may have surfaced—specifically whether the Lacks family was exploited in the process. Some of the members were annoyed with Deborah and some of the other family members but they also wondered whether their story after Henrietta needed to be told. I'm not sure but I do believe that Skloot writes with sincerity and that by telling their story the reader gains a full understanding of the human impact this case has had on real people. It is an incredible story that is heartbreaking and at times difficult to listen to.  I know that I've talked much more about the actual content of The Immortal Life than I normally do, but this was a rich and multilayered book that I believe deserves attention.

Bottom Line: We had really low attendance at this particular book club session and I think it was because people were turned off by the scientific nature of the book. Non-fiction about some cells they'd never heard of: I say blah to them. But the folks who did show up were all amazed at how much they enjoyed reading about the story of the he-la cells as well as the life of Henrietta Lacks and her family. Don't be put off by the technical nature of the book. This is an important story that deserves to be heard and read.

A Note on the Audio: Cassandra Campbell is the perfect choice of narrator to help continue to breathe life into the story of Henrietta Lacks. Her pacing was well-timed and easy to follow, but what really sold her narration for me was the way that she allowed emotion into her tone. This mostly worked when something especially negative or tragic was occurring in the narrative and I ached at the sadness in her voice, but at the same time this never feels like manipulation. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks was the audiobook that made me realize that I could fall in love with audiobooks. It's a wonderful way to experience the story and I highly recommend.

Have you read The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks? Why not?! ;)


Sunday, October 7, 2012

Reader Feedback Survey

I must be hungry because I typed Foodback in the title.

Ok you guys. I know that this is a little bit lengthy, but I would be so appreciative if you could candidly provide some feedback on the blog. As you can see, there is no place for you to enter who you are so you can do this anonymously. However, if you feel so compelled, you can tell me in one of the text boxes. But most importantly, I'd love your honesty.

If I receive enough responses then I'll share with you what you've shared with me.

Thank you all so much for your feedback. The survey has been closed.



Thank you so much for your time. But mostly, thanks for reading along with me. I can't tell you how much I appreciate you all.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Cookbook Challenge!


I was doing a little Bloggiesta bloghopping last weekend when I discovered Cynni's (@Uniflame) Cookbook Challenge at her blog She Likes Bento. Since I have a mountainous amount of cookbooks and have actually thought about making this a personal challenge next year when Operation wraps up, I'm in! I hope you'll join as well. Here are her short rules (in her words):

Some rules:
- You can use any cookbook you like, one or multiple, it doesn't matter BUT
- It have to be cookbooks that you barely used, so no cooking from your favorites
- Make a post you are participating in the challenge and link that below
- Please make a short post about your accomplishments, it doesn't have to be full recipes (you can if you want), but a wrap up with which recipes you tried is also fine. (there will be a link up for that later)
- Sign ups stay open during the whole of October and November so jump in any time you want.

Cynni has different levels of participation and I'm going with Creative Croissant (3-5 recipes). I'm also going to use Rachael Ray's Express Lane Meals. I've had this cookbook for years but don't cook out of it very often (or ever) mostly because it doesn't have any pictures and the ingredient lists are incredibly long. And nothing takes just 30 minutes. :) So, basically I'll be using it as a last-ditch effort to enjoy this cookbook. Are you familiar with it?


Sounds like fun, ya? Hop over to Cynni's to see all the details.

Happy cooking!







Every 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!

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