Saturday, June 30, 2012

Kid Konnection

Every Saturday, Booking Mama hosts a feature called  Kid Konnection, where she features anything related to  children's books.  I thought I'd pop in today while this book is still in my head.

I picked this up last week and was really excited to read it.  It has been a while since I've read a Newberry Award book  (I discovered I haven't read  the past 4 years winners), and I always find them an interesting read.

Dead End in Norvelt by Jack Gantos, is  also an interesting read .... I just can't say it was one of the better Newberry books. 
While I enjoyed it, I was a bit confused by it.   Jack  Gantos is the author and also the main character.   I  didn't know if it was an autobiographical  book or what.
After a bit of investigation,  I've discovered that Mr. Gantos has written a lot of children's literature and won many awards, and he uses himself and his years of growing up as inspiration,  tho they are  not necissarily biographies.  (Which is good, because they are quite quirky)  He does say he takes a story from his life and adds to it,  embellishes it and fictionalizes it.
The town, Norvelt, PA,  in Dead End in Norvelt, is a real town.  The town upheld the principles of  neighbor helping neighbor,  which were installed by Eleanor Roosevelt.  This is a main theme throughout the book,  a utopia type of town.   Jack  Gantos the real person as well as the character in the book, really did have horrible nose bleeds growing up. 
So, while many things are true, they are embellished upon.

Dead End in Norvelt had a lot of 'boy humor', which I think my boys would have liked when they were younger, and my  10-year old grandson would like now.  I can see the appeal.
Jack Gantos, the character in the book,  is grounded for life and has to pass his summer helping an elderly neighbor write obituaries, which his quirky neighbor also peppers with historical facts.
Okay...I love  history, so I enjoyed this part of the book.  The history quotes/facts/stories  were just enticing enough for a young boy to get ---interested.   There are some gory historical facts in the book, but done so in a way that any pre-teen boy would love.  I remember one time my middle son was fascinated by a dead cat he found in the street.  He and his friends stared at it and poked at it for a good hour before a neighbor came with a shovel to bury the poor thing.  But boys just are fascinated by gore---as long as it doesn't effect them.  I think the history stories that Gantos puts into his book are just titllating enough to hook most pre-teen boys.

There are some inconsistancies in the book.  One minor character is selling Girl Scout cookies to 'make money for her family",  and most of us know that the money goes to the GSA.   But I think a few things like that can be overlooked. 

I would say it's a good book, not a great book,   but while trying to find out more about Jack Gantos I came across a couple of interviews and videos and I think HE is a real interesting person.
This is from his website:
His greatest wish in life is to replace trailer parks with bookmobile parks, which he thinks will eliminate most of the targets for tornadoes and educate an entire generation of great kids who now go to schools that are underfunded and substandard.
check out his site here.
Reading Rockets did a great video interview with him.

He's a really interesting person, and while I didn't love this book, I liked it very much.  You should check out the videos, because for some reason I can't get a Youtube video embedded today.  But you'll see how quirky and interesting he is.
In the final paragraph of the book Gantos writes:
On the morning of August 17, Jack Gantos was released from being grounded by his parents. But stay tuned because on   August 18, he might be grounded all over again--unless he remembers his history!

Isn't that what we are taught?   Unless we remember history we are doomed to repeat it?
He beleives if you know your sense of history, you can know where you are headed.

From Goodreads:
Dead End in Norvelt is the winner of the 2012 Newbery Medal for the year's best contribution to children's literature and the Scott O'Dell Award for Historical Fiction!

Melding the entirely true and the wildly fictional, Dead End in Norvelt is a novel about an incredible two months for a kid named Jack Gantos, whose plans for vacation excitement are shot down when he is "grounded for life" by his feuding parents, and whose nose spews bad blood at every little shock he gets. But plenty of excitement (and shocks) are coming Jack's way once his mom loans him out to help a fiesty old neighbor with a most unusual chore—typewriting obituaries filled with stories about the people who founded his utopian town. As one obituary leads to another, Jack is launced on a strange adventure involving molten wax, Eleanor Roosevelt, twisted promises, a homemade airplane, Girl Scout cookies, a man on a trike, a dancing plague, voices from the past, Hells Angels . . . and possibly murder. Endlessly surprising, this sly, sharp-edged narrative is the author at his very best, making readers laugh out loud at the most unexpected things in a dead-funny depiction of growing up in a slightly off-kilter place where the past is present, the present is confusing, and the future is completely up in the air.

Weekend Cooking

It does not take much to amuse me.  Remeber last week when I gushed about this cookbook?

And I linked it to  Weekend Cooking?
And BethFish (not her real name, I know that) commented to me that she was going to review the book soon.  Well, today, only a week later, she did.  (she LOVED it too, by the way.)  It's just that she made the same recipe from the book that I did.  It made me laugh. I mean, what are the odds that we would do the same thing?    I TOLD YOU I am easily amused.
 I SWEAR I am not copying her.  I made it on the oven.  She did hers on the grill, which, by the way, would be great, I think. 
I wanted something really simple because on week nights, coming home from work at  5pm, I don't feel like cooking most of the time  (and yet I LOVE to cook.  Just not Mon-Thurs),  and this was really simple.  And really good.

Be sure and check out Weekend Cooking at BethRish Reads.  She reviews the cookbook and tells you more about it than I did.  It's a great reveiw and really gives you an idea of what the book is all about.
( I  still love the idea of her food diary--still gushy about that)

Is it too weird, that I'm going to link this to Weekend Cooking?  Talking about the same cookbook I did last week?
But.....this week I made something from it.

(I always put peas on my rice if I got 'em.  I don't know why....  because my mom did?)

Apricot-Mustard Baked Chickenfrom:  Dinner, A Love Story.  by Jenny Rosenstrach
  • 6 to 8 skin-on chicken pieces (thighs or drumsticks), rinsed and patted dry
  • Salt and pepper
  • 3/4 cup apricot jam
  • 1 tablespoon grainy mustard
  • 1/4 cup water
  • leaves from 2 sprigs thyme
Preheat the oven to 400F.

Place the chicken on a rimmed cookie sheet or baking dish lined with foil or parchment paper, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and bake for 10 minutes.

While the chicken is baking, whisk together the jam, mustard, water, thyme, and a little salt and pepper in a small saucepan over low heat for about 3 minutes. It should be slightly syrupy.

Pull the chicken out of the oven and pour the sauce on top. Continue baking for another 15 minutes. For the last 3 minutes, place the chicken under the broiler on the top rack so it gets golden and crispy looking.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Audiobook Week Day #5

The Question today, the final day of Audiobook Week (hosted by Jen at Devourer of Books)  is: Where do you learn about great audiobook titles? Find reviews? Buy your audiobooks? Share your secrets with the rest of us!

I only learn about great audio books from those of you who review them.  Or pass that info on to me in a comment or facebook, etc.

Right now I am listening to  "A Land More Kind Than Home" which was recommended to me by Kathy at Bermudaonion.  I know how I feel when I recommend a book to someone--I get nervous.  (what if they don't like it?  what if it's not their kind of book?)
so I will tell you right now...even tho I am  only 1 hour into it  (It's an 8 hour listen) I LOVE THE NARRATION!!  And the story.
I couldn't imagine 'reading' the book after listening to these narrators.

Anyway, that is how I learn about great audiobooks.  From friends!  
And I am leaving Audiobook week, with a list of books I want to read/listen to in the next few months.  I will miss everyone's recommendations.  I'll have to pay closer attention to those bloggers who do a lot of audio reviews.
I buy from,our library doesn't have a  audio or e-book program yet.  They do have a nice small collection of  books on CD, but I use my Ipod.

Bye Audio friends!  (for now)

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Audio Book Week Day #4

Audiobook Week is  hosted by Jen at  Devourer of  Books.
The question for today is:
Who are your favorite narrators and why? What do you look for in a narrator? Have a preference between male or female narrators?

Since I am pretty new to audio  (how long can I use that excuse?)  I don't really have a list of favorites.
This morning I began,  " A Land More Kind Than Home"  and  there are 3 different narrators.  The first book that I listened to, in which they used that format (The Tiger's Wife)  kind of shocked me because I didn't realize it was going to happen.  Once I got over the shock  I really liked it.    It works well  in this book also.
I think male or female.... it all depends on the story.  I don't really have a preference.

Now I feel I must step aside, recommend, put a plug in for....some real narrator love.
Check this out ---The Literate Housewife.

I feel as if Simon Vance should be my favorite too!!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Audio Book Week Day #3

Today we are half way thru the week and Jen at Devourer of Books has a quick meme for us to fill out.  Be sure and hop on over to her site to see the linky and check out what others are saying.

Here are my answers:

1. Current/most recent audiobook:
Catherine the Great  by Robert Massie

2. Impressions:
I am reading/listening to this one for book club.  While the narrator is great (Mark Deakins), it's been 23 hours of a  Russian history lesson and while interesting, just a bit long and kind of dry at times.

3. Current/most recent favorite audiobook:
I really  loved  "A Grown Up Kind of Pretty" by Joshilyn Jackson.  It was also narrated by her.  I thought she did a great job.

4. Favorite narrator you’ve discovered recently:
My favorite narrator has been  Cassandra Campbell.  She's done quite a few narrations, but I've only listened to "Lucia, Lucia" by Adriana Trigiani.

5. One title from your TBL (to be listened) stack, or your audio wishlist:
Last night I downloaded: A Land More Kind Than Home and Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter.  I can't wait to listen to these two!

6. Your audio dream team (what book or author would you LOVE to see paired with a certain narrator, can already exist or not):
OMG!  I don't know.  I think  I'm still too new to knowing who the narrators are.  I can tell you that after this year's 'audio week',  I'll be paying more attention, as narration is a huge theme so far this week.

Outdoor Wednesday and Wordless Wednesday

I can do both!  Outdoor and Wordless, because, well, these are outdoors  (on our way home from Phoenix) and I'm not going to say anymore words...

Outdoor Wednesday is hosted by A Southern Daydreamer.

and  here is a link to  Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Audio Book Week Day #2

And the question is:
Discuss the essentials of audiobook reviewing. What do you make sure to include? What do you want to see when you read other people’s reviews?

My answer is:
Man! This is a hard one for me...because I don't review books. Audio or otherwise.  I just like to talk about them.    And I like to buy them and read them or listen to them, and then get on here and post about my book love Or my food love or my random thoughts, grandchildren, vacations etc.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that I'm not exclusively a book blogger...
....I don't feel comfortable enough, with my writing skills or thought process (hahaha)  to 'review' a book.  I mean, how many ways can I say:  I LOVE THAT BOOK?  I do not have that kind of self-assurance to put pen to paper, or keyboard to computer, if you will.

BUT (and bear with me please, I will get to what I like in other people's reviews soon)  I am self assured enough to hang out with you all.  All you book bloggers.  Because I know that  'sitting down' with a cup of coffee and a piece of apple pie, we could have the best conversation ever about books and bookstores and authors and the publishing world.
(sigh)  I dream of it, in fact.  You, me, book conversations...awwwww, heaven.

I have a horrible habit of meandering....and maybe that's why I can't do book reviews.   Something would remind me of something I saw the other day, and then I'd have to talk about it in the middle of the review and what if I couldn't segue back into the review well?  It could be a mess.

So, anyway....What do I want to see when I read other peoples reviews of audio books?
I want to see their passion for something they really liked.  That's very simple.

And as I get deeper into audio books, listening to more and more,  the narrator is important to me. There needs to be some description of  how the narrator does his/her job and who it is.    A narrator can make or break an audio book and as I get more familiar with them, I an starting to  know by their name who is good, great or just okay for me.

As far as production goes,  things like sound effects and music.... nothing comes to mind, so either I've listened to nothing that had sound effects and music, or it fit so good with the story and narrator, I didn't notice--in a good way.

So, I guess,  besides the opinion of the story, description of the characters, an audio reviewer should mention the narrator and the production (if it bothers them at all).
That's what I'm looking for in an audio reviewer.

Audio Book Week is hosted by  Jen at Devourer of Books 

Monday, June 25, 2012

It's Monday, What are you Reading?

I'm coming in very late today...  but I had to do an Audio Book Week post earlier, so this will be a quick  "It's Monday, What Are You Reading?" post.
(hosted by Sheila from Book Journey)

If you read my previous post,  you will know that I am listening to "Catherine the Great" on audio this week.  I'm glad I'm listening to this one on audio.  I have read Robert K. Massie before  (Nicolas and Alexandria) and enjoyed him.  I am enjoying this as well, but there is a TON of history, and sometimes it seems a bit dry.  It's very interesting tho.   This is on the discussion block for book club on Wednesday.

I picked this up earlier in the week, so hope to get it done in a day or two.  I love the comfort I get from reading a great children's book

and I'm still struggling with this one.
Sorry, but I just am.  I'm about halfway thru it and it's getting better for me, but still.... it's not the theme or the content, it's the writing style. FOR ME.  I loved Irving's book  "A Prayer for Owen Meany" but this one....??   I just can't get into it.  I will perservere tho, because it is interesting.  I don't want to let it go yet.

That's it for me this week...Hoping to get all of them finished and off my plate.
(I meant that in a good way!)

Audio Book Week

It's Audio Book Week!  and you know what that means we'll be talking all things audio this week  here at the Friday Friends Blog.

First...just so you know, Audio Book Week is hosted by  Jen at Devourer of Books and we are very excited to be participating again. Be sure and hop on over and see what everyone else is saying about audio this week.
(I have no idea why I am talking in the 3rd person.....but I'll stop right now...OH WAIT, I know why, it's because I'm listening to  Catherine the Great ON AUDIO right now (as we speak)  and I am using the imperial  'we' I guess.  ~smiles~)

Today's question is:
Are you new to audiobooks in the last year? Have you been listening to them forever but discovered something new this year? Favorite titles? New times/places to listen? This is your chance to introduce yourself and your general listening experience.

My answer for today is:
I have only been listening to audio for a little over a year now.  I participated in last year's audio book week and was so excited to have fallen in love with audio...I was only on my 5th audio book then.  
Well, a year  has now passed and I'm still as excited to be reading/listening to books on audio.

I belong to 3 bookclubs, which meet every month... I decided to dedicate one of those book clubs to audio books only.  This book club is the Library Book club and I've only just starting  attending recently, but the interesting thing for me was, when I looked over their reading list for the year,   I had already read a few of their books on audio; The Weird Sisters and  Bossypants.  And after seeing that, I had the wonderful idea to do this book club completely by audio book.   It's been kind of fun for me.

Some favorite titles this year?
Hmmmmm--here are a couple, that WEREN'T for the book club. 

and here are a couple which were...

what about you? Any great audio books I SHOULD NOT miss?

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Weekend Cooking

Yesterday, while at Barnes and Noble  (Yes AGAIN.  I drove 3 hours to meet my son half-way to do a grandkid swap,  and B&N is a wonderful place for me to relax before driving 3 hours back home. They have books, they have coffee, they have chairs....and they have...CREDIT CARD MACHINES.  I can always leave there happy.)

Where was I?  Oh yes,  while I was at Barnes and Noble, I casually picked up this cookbook...

....I had not heard of it before.  I went in with the intention of buying Rachel Ray's Book of
Burger, but ended up buying this one instead. 

I just had a feeling about it.    And it starts with this line on the back:Jenny Rosenstrach and her husband Andy, regularly, some might say pathologically, cook dinner for their family every night.  Even when they work long days.  Even when their kids' schedules pull them in eighteen differeent directions.  They are not superhuman.  They are not from another planet.

I was intrigued.

And this morning when I sat down,  coffee cup in hand, and picked up this book and began reading: 
I fell in love with it!

Admittedly, I am only thru the introduction but....heck yeah, I am in love with the author.  

1)  She kept a dinner diary for twelve years!  12 YEARS!!
I love all things diary, journal, letter, notebook. (I have a guest book in my house/living room, for...well, for guests to sign.  I know--DORK, but it's fun for me to remember who,what, when and where)

She said that she is one of those sad, deluded people who  think that the mere act of writing something down will give them control over it.
(see how much we have in common?)

2)  She believes in the family table, but will not criticize those who don't.
ME TOO!!  
I love the family table.  I  love the feeling of:  family.  
When my boys were little, we used to read books outloud at the table....I would read a chapter.  We read the Hardy Boys that way and  The BFG.   (okay so maybe it was only one summer we did this, because as I now recall, I would read the chapter while they ate and then everyone was finished and asking to be excused when I was just starting my meal....the Handyman I think I gave that one up after a short while. But we did get a few good books in that summer.)
But talking, laughing, communicating..... that's what I remember about the family table.    And honestly,  some fighting, kids rolling of the eyes, babies putting olives up their noses, throwing spaghetti at their brothers.  That kind of thing.
Nothing's perfect, but that's what's so great, because real life is not perfect, it's just real.

3) She has a blog!!   O.M.G.  How did I not know that?   I have missed years of her blog.  WTH??   YOU probably are all aware of this blog.   This is my life:  Never on the cutting edge of things...always coming in behind.  (sigh)
Dinner:  A Love Story
I am going to make a comment on her blog and tell her I love her!  You think that's a bit much?  Too stalkerish?
Okay fine, but....Once I actually finish the book, there might be no holding me back.

Which brings me to the end of this post....because I'm off to finish reading my new cookbook.  I just wanted to link up to Weekend Cooking, to share my excitement.
Weekend Cooking is weekly meme @  Beth Fish Reads.  I think she just might have more cookbooks than me.

Just FYI....Goodreads has this summary:
Jenny Rosenstrach, and her husband, Andy, regularly, some might say pathologically, cook dinner for their family every night. Even when they work long days. Even when their kids' schedules pull them in eighteen different directions. They are not superhuman. They are not from another planet.

With simple strategies and common sense, Jenny figured out how to break down dinner—the food, the timing, the anxiety, from prep to cleanup—so that her family could enjoy good food, time to unwind, and simply be together.

Using the same straight-up, inspiring voice that readers of her award-winning blog, Dinner: A Love Story, have come to count on, Jenny never judges and never preaches. Every meal she dishes up is a real meal, one that has been cooked and eaten and enjoyed at least a half dozen times by someone in Jenny's house. With inspiration and game plans for any home cook at any level, Dinner: A Love Story is as much for the novice who doesn't know where to start as it is for the gourmand who doesn't know how to start over when she finds herself feeding an intractable toddler or for the person who never thought about home-cooked meals until he or she became a parent. This book is, in fact, for anyone interested in learning how to make a meal to be shared with someone they love, and about how so many good, happy things happen when we do.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Saturday Snapshot

Saturday Snapshot is hosted by Alyce from At Home With Books.  I love this weekly much fun to see what interests my blogging friends!  

This week, I'm coming in late....but with some cuties.  At least I think so...  I had a few of my grandchildren this week, and spent some time making homemade play-dough,  running thru the sprinkler and climbing trees.

Eli, one of the twins,  so badly wanted to ride this bike...  he kept asking me and asking me. He was so cute....he'd ask to ride any bike he came across.  

I had a fun week.

Yard Art




Monday, June 18, 2012

It's Monday

It's Monday, What are you Reading is a weekly meme hosted by Sheila of Book Journey.
It's fun to see what everyone is up to in their reading lives.
I like to add to my TBR list!

We made a quick trip to Reno for the weekend and had a great time catching up with family

I had a gift certificate for Barnes and Noble  (I shop all things books and  I try to do Independent book sellers most of the time, but I confess to  using B&N and Amazon at times) left over from was one I bought to give as a gift, but decided to use it on ME!
I had wanted to get:
The Night Circus
The Homecoming of Samuel Lake

Interestingly, they did not have these two books, instead I got:

The Shoemaker's Wife

The Fault in Our Stars

It's  SO EXCITING every time I get a new book!!
I put them on my TBR shelf and hope to get to them soon, but what am I reading THIS Monday?
I am trying to finish up:

It is the choice for the Library Book Club this month and we meet tomorrow night.  I am half way thru it.  Listening to it on audio, and am enjoying it.  I should be able to finish it up, it's a short book, less than  300 pages.

And this is embarrassing because I have to read this for bookclub, but  (sigh)  50 Shades of Grey.  I'm  halfway thru it.  It's not my cup of tea.  I can tell for most serious book bloggers, it's not their's either, as I have seen no posts about it.  
I read a quote this morning by Nora Ephron talking about the book, The Fountain Head, which I haven't read, but maybe will some day, and she said
it is better read when one is young enough to miss the point. Otherwise, one cannot help thinking it is a very silly book.”

THAT'S how I feel about  50 Shades.  It's a very silly book.  And I can only wonder how people are loving it.  And buying it.  And I just perpetuated it's popularity by purchasing it for bookclub.

Dang it.

Altho, I do have to say, that I plan on reading Tess of the  d'Urbervilles,  which is considered an important part of English Literature.  Because of  50 Shades, I am now intrigued with Tess.
And I have discovered  the music of  Thomas Tallis  (now on my Pandora line-up of stations, along with Led Zeppelin, George Jones, the Beatles, Red Hot Chili Peppers and James  Taylor), so I guess 50 Shades did serve a good deed in my life.
As for enriching my literary life tho....nah,  it's just a silly little book. 

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides

I love to read. I have a whole library of books in my spare bedroom.  I have given away more books in my life than my house could hold  (in my purging moments, which happen once every 10 years or so ).  I have worked in a public library, I have been an elementary school librarian, I am currently on the library board of directors in my little town.  I  keep up with Newberry Award winners, but not Pulitzer Prize winners.
I did not know until this very moment  (when I uploaded the book cover) that Jeffrey Eugenides won the Pulitzer Prize.  (he won for Middlesex, which I have yet to read. )

Now I feel a bit bad about my comment on GoodReads.  I  said...that this book was a bit intellectually elitist. 
Pretentious if you will.  And a bit depressing.
But you know what?  I liked this book.  
I loved hearing all the academia jargon.  I loved hearing the names of books by authors long dead, who I'll never read.   (is it who or whom? maybe that's why I love hearing about the academic world....cuz I missed the boat in the grammar department). 
I wanted to find out if the characters ever pulled their heads out of ---well you know the end of that phrase, but I did sometimes want to shake them and set them straight.  It kept me reading  (or listening, as I did an audio book) to the very end.
The characters intrigued me.

I wanted to find out what happened to them....and... I would like a continuation of this story in about  10years to see what became of them.   (ya hear that Eugenides?  Actually at the end of the audio book there was an author interview and she asked him if he had considered a continuation...not necessarily a sequel, but like John Updike did with Rabbit, and he said, this is the only book he has written where he had given thought to that.)

The reviews on Goodreads from readers was mixed, so this is one you are just going to have to read for yourself to discover if it is  a good book or not.

Here is the synopsis from Goodreads:
It's the early 1980s the country is in a deep recession, and life after college is harder than ever. In the cafes on College Hill, the wised-up kids are inhaling Derrida and listening to Talking Heads. But Madeleine Hanna, dutiful English major, is writing her senior thesis on Jane Austen and George Eliot, purveyors of the marriage plot that lies at the heart of the greatest English novels.

As Madeleine tries to understand why it became laughable to read writers like Cheever and Updike, who wrote about the suburbia Madeleine and most of her friends had grown up in, in favor of reading the Marquis de Sade, who wrote about deflowering virgins in eighteenth-century France, real life, in the form of two very different guys, intervenes. Leonard Bankhead, charismatic loner, college Darwinist, and lost Portland boy suddenly turns up in a semiotics seminar, and soon Madeleine finds herself in a highly charged erotic and intellectual relationship with him. At the same time, her old friend Mitchell Grammaticus who"s been reading Christian mysticism and generally acting strange, resurfaces, obsessed with the idea that Madeleine is destined to be his mate.

Over the next year, as the members of the triangle in this amazing, spellbinding novel graduate from college and enter the real world, events force them to reevaluate everything they learned in school. Leonard and Madeleine move to a biology Laboratory on Cape Cod, but can't escape the secret responsible for Leonard's seemingly inexhaustible energy and plunging moods. And Mitchell, traveling around the world to get Madeleine out of his mind, finds himself face-to-face with ultimate questions about the meaning of life, the existence of God, and the true nature of love.

Are the great love stories of the nineteenth century dead? Or can there be a new story, written for today and alive to the realities of feminism, sexual freedom, prenups, and divorce? With devastating wit and an abiding understanding of and affection for his characters, Jeffrey Eugenides revives the motivating energies of the Novel, while creating a story so contemporary and fresh that it reads like the intimate journal of our own lives

Monday, June 11, 2012

Musing Monday and the Stephen King Project

Sometimes on Monday's I participate in  "Musing Mondays" hosted by  Miz B of  Should be Reading. When I read this mornings musing, it seemed like a good idea to blend two things together....I am way behind on posting about   11-22-63 by  Stephen King for the Stephen King project, and today's musing just happens to be:

What is the longest book you have ever read? How long did it take you to read it?

This year, I've read some long books:  Gone with the Wind,  IT, 11-22-63.  Two of those are SK books, so I'd have to say,  the longest book I have ever read was a Stephen King book.  The   SK's books that I mention  are both over 1100 pages and GWTW was  53 hours of audio  (for a book club).
If a book is good and keeps my interest, I can read a 1000+ book in about a week.
If I didn't care for the book, well,  at this point in my life, I just wouldn't read it.  I would give it a good 200 pages or so before I gave up on it tho.  There used to be a time I'd finish everything I had started, but now, as time grows short in my life,  (Yes, I'm LAUGHING!!!)  there are just too many books out there I want to read, so I don't force myself.

Sitting down with a big book when you have high expectations that it's gonna be good, is like a treat!!  A couple of  long summer afternoons in the hammock.  A lot of iced tea.  Your book.  There is nothing better.  
So without anymore meandering, my answer for Musing Mondays is:
I have read a few books between  1100 and 1400 pages, and it does not take me very long at all.

Now about that Stephen King project.....(oops!!  there are only  849 pages in  11-22-63,  I must have been thinking about The Stand, my favorite all time SK book.)

I loved it.

This is what I wrote in my Goodreads review:
I must agree with my friends and say it was one of the best books I've read in quite some time.
That's it.

I first saw the book on Christmas morning, when my daughter-in-law, Sadie, opened a gift from her husband, my son, Mark.   I hadn't even heard of it.  I was totally out of the loop!!   She loaned it to me in Feb and I read it in April.  Why did I wait so long?  I'm not sure, as it really was one of the best books I've read in quite some time.

The thing about SK is how varied and talented he is in his writing!  Sadie and I have discussed this a few times.  You MUST like character development tho.  He is so much more than his horror persona.
Yes, there was an element of Sci-fi  (not horror tho ),  in this book, but it was really interesting and thought provoking,  and...and...also, it's a love story.   Not a mushy, chick-lit  (no offense intended)  love story, but a Stephen King kind of love story, filled with great character development and great detail and tenderness and  suspense. oh...and what could be an altered future.
Truly if you have been putting off reading Stephen King--don't put  it off any longer.  This is the book for you.

If you had the chance to change the course of history, would you?
Would the consequences be worth it?

That's the great question of all time, and Stephen King writes about his take on it.  I happened to love it.

(as a postscript,  my middle son's girlfriend's dad was born on that day,  11-22-63.  I find that interesting. )
(on the day I was born?  NOTHING.  I just Googled it.)

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Nobody understands me!

On Friday, my little grandson, Eli called me and said this:
I pooped in the potty Gram!

It was very exciting news.

When the Handyman got home from work, I told him about it.  I said  Eli pooped in the potty today. But the Handyman did not here 'Eli'....  he heard "I", and he looked at me and said:
And why do I care about this?

I was kind of annoyed because he usually gets all excited about his grand kids, so I took on an annoyed tone and said:
Because that's really exciting news!!  It's a big thing.

He still was looking at me  with a real funny  look on his face and said:
What is wrong with you?

I said:
NOTHING....what's wrong with you?  I thought you'd want to know.

Then it dawned on both of us and we got a big laugh out of that.

 Riding in our car, about to fall asleep. 
Let me tell you---his Gram was proud of him, even if his Grandad wasn't quite sure about the whole deal.
He's a sweet boy.

On Saturday, my son Mark called.  He asked what we had been doing,  I said:
Dad and I were in the Basque Parade today...we missed you guys.

But he heard:  
Dad and I were in the bathtub this morning...we missed you guys.

He was kind of creeped out for a moment.

I must mumble.  Or my whole family is hard of hearing.  THAT'S IT!!  It couldnt' be me.
Could it?

 Speaking of the Basque Parade, here are  a few 'behind the scenes' pictures.   Believe me,  you should be counting your lucky stars these are not pictures of the Bath Tub.  That would be sure to creep everybody out!!

 This  weekend was Basque Festival here in Winnemucca

Getting ready....

They put us behind the tractors... yep, it's a BIG TIME small town parade.
We were #9 in the lineup.

The Color Guard

Basque Dancers practicing before the parade

the crowds roar!!  and get their candy.

The building where I work

Just some cute Basque Babies.

I love the ethnic costumes.
I love the idea of a 'heritage'.
My family doesn't  relate or attach ourselves to any ethnic heritage.  I am jealous.
(we could have our pick tho....English, Irish, German,  and on the Handyman's side?  Italian, Swedish,  Yugoslavian,  British.   We are just Heinz 57, as they say)

I love the feet.

I will be back...with food!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Friends and food

I live in Northern looks like this:

But every so often, hidden in them thar hills is a little stream with green trees and we go CRAZY.  We think we are in paradise.  (Actually Paradise is a little town about  38 miles north of here, but I digress).

Last night we went crazy with friends  up in Water Canyon --HEY, I said it had a stream, so it can use the term "water".... and it's in a little canyon just five miles from our house.  It's fun to have a cookout up there.
So, last night we had a  little cookout to meet our friend's, daughter's boyfriend  (man, that is a mouthful to say), who had never been west of the Mississippi.  We were trying to impress him with our --section of green.

We had fun, he's a nice young man, and they seem very happy together.  It was fun to get to know him a little him.  (hi Katie, Hi John!)

BUT.... her mom,  my  Tuesday  (coffee every Tuesday morning for the past 10 years, 6am.  SIX A.M.) friend, Debbie E. made some awesome FOOD!!

People getting their food... (if you look close between the trees, you can see the sagebrush covered hills)

Cowboy Beans.

Corn Casserole

and this great fruit and vegetable salad.  It had jalapenos,  cucumbers, cantaloupe, watermelon, onion, mango, jicama.  It was sooo good.

(I didn't feel the need to take a pic of the hotdogs) 
And then.... the best S'more ever.  It's hard to tell, but these were the most perfect toasted marshmallows ever.  I just used two  'EVER'S' in one paragraph. 
I hope you got the point----it was perfect!

As we sat around eating Smores and   Olive Oil Lemon cake  (which I forgot to get a picture of) Sally, was looking for birds.    We saw some Great Blue Heron's flying around.   And a great silhouette of some trees, as the sun was setting.
It was a fun evening.

Friday friend recipe number 274 and 275-Grapefurit Shrimp Salad and Crispy Potato Chicken

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