Saturday, September 13, 2014

Mindless Weekend Ramblings: I was Tagged

Welcome to my new blog event called Mindless Weekend Rambling where I will ramble on and on aimlessly about all the junk rolling around in my brain. Occasionally I might rant and rave about something that is bothering me or question the sanity of it all, or maybe choose to discuss my to do list or plans that I am making or maybe share something new I learned. The only thing I can guarantee is that it will be totally off the cuff. I hope you will bear with me and maybe get a laugh or two in the process.
I was so planning to torture you guys and maybe give you a good laugh about my packing methods but I was so busy this week I didn't even get a chance to take pictures of the chaotic (yet oddly organized) task.  So instead I decided to share something else with you.
A couple of weeks ago there was a tagging thing going around on Facebook (no not the ALS thing) about the books that stuck with you.  You had to come up with the list without too much pondering and it could only be 10 books (I know it was crazy hard). So a good friend of mine who has opened new books and genres to me (including my obsession with graphic novels) tagged me and here is my response . . .

 1. Sabriel by Garth Nix - this was the first book I remember staying up all night to finish back in Jr. High both from the suspense and a little from fear but in the... end to find out what happens.

 2. Alanna the First Adventure (and the rest of the series) by Tamora Pierce - this was the first fantasy book I remember reading and has lead me to voraciously read as many books from the genre as possible.

 3. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley - this was assigned reading in High School and I could not put it down (I remember sneaking it into Mr. Adams Calculus class to read it).

 4. The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri - again assigned reading from my college Epic Poetry class that opened up the genre to me and created a new love of literature, I haven't read epic poetry as much as I would like in recent years, something I must remedy.

 5. Fire by Kristin Cashore - I re-read this book at least once a year. The depth of the characters is outstanding and makes me miss them when I am finished.

 6. Naya Nuki: The Shoshone Girl Who Ran by Kenneth Thomasma - maybe not so much the book as the author. I will forever cherish everything he taught me about writing and his encouragement.

 7. Black Horses for the King by Anne McCaffrey - this one renewed my love for all things Arthurian and I have been compelled to recommend this book to almost anyone who asks for one.

 8. The Lord of the Flies by William Golding - more assigned reading from High School but it influenced so many of the research papers and essays I wrote throughout my education that I couldn't possibly leave it off the list.

 9. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by JK Rowling - taught me a lesson in not following the masses. Just because everyone else raves about a book doesn't mean you will like it, maybe because you have read too many other books that blow it out of the water or maybe just not your taste, but follow your own reading paths instead of everyone else's.

 10. Once Upon a Memory by Nina Laden - a recent read and a children's book to boot. Not all children's books are for children, this one packs a punch almost like no other book I have read. The simplest of lines gives so much to ponder.

I am going to go into more detail on several of these books next month during my blogiversary where I plan to re-read some of my old favorites from before I started blogging.
So what books would be on your list? 

Friday, September 12, 2014

Bedtime Story: Count to 10 with a Mouse by Margaret Wise Brown

Synopsis: "Mouse really wants to learn to count so he can find out how many fingers and toes he has. He's spotted a hole in this counting book that's just his size and has crawled inside to start his adventure with numbers. So, slowly and carefully, turn the pages and learn to count with Mouse!"

My Review: This was an odd book. The illustrations are super cute however the story doesn't really make sense. It is a counting book but the things you are counting on each page don't seem to work together and there is a lot of repetition of lines as if they are trying to rhyme but couldn't think of anything else to write. I guess this may just not have been the book for me but it did have a lot of thing Munchkin likes so he was happy.
My Rating: I guess the best judge of a children's book is the child. Based off Munchkin's enjoyment of the book we give it a rating of Three Paws.
Good Night! Sweet Dreams!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

After Dark Review of The Dragon Slayer by Jianne Carlo

I have added After Dark Reviews to my blog as a way of notifying you of a review of a book with Adult themes and scenes. From now on I will keep my reviews of all books I read that have explicit scenes in them for late night posts for those of you who prefer to avoid them or easy to find for those of you who seek them out ;)
Synopsis: "To save her sister, can Catriona slay the Dragon Slayer?

Ruard, the Viking warrior known as The Dragon Slayer, has no great hopes for the wife he’s to take as the lord of Dunnsmuir Castle, so long as she’s a biddable wife, with all her teeth, who doesn’t drool—a plain, humble woman. He has no use for the flame-haired nymph with breasts as ripe as melons and whose supple hips beckon a man’s hands. Nor for a maiden with a stubborn chin and flashing eyes that speak of naught but trouble.

Catriona hopes for a husband ‘twill be easy to poison. Lord Ulfric holds her sister captive and demands Catriona do his bidding: poison his Viking rival, the man they call the Dragon Slayer. Catriona hopes for a cruel warrior, a man easy to hate, not this Thor god come to life with golden hair, sky blue eyes, and a laughing smile. Her sister’s life depends on it, but how can she slay this Ruard, her new husband, who makes her heart pound with joy?"

My Review: I really am enjoying this series by Carlo, I love the hard Vikings that fall hard for the women. While this was a short book you really got to know the characters and it had an interesting storyline. Obviously with a short story you really can't get down into the meat of everything going on but you don't miss it much with this story. Without a doubt there is plenty of steam throughout the book and it does really take a main stage. I can't wait to read the next book.
My Rating: An enjoyable book but too short to really dive into the characters and storyline.  I give it a rating of Three Paws and a Stump Wag.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Review of Buffalo Valley by Debbie Macomber

Synopsis: "In this charming volume, Buffalo Valley faces a new challenge. Everyone thinks Vaughn Kyle has come to town to meet Hassie Knight. After all, Vaughn was named after Hassie's dead son, and this is the first time he's come to town. What the folks in town don't know is that Vaughn's fiancée, Natalie Nichols, works for the Value-X conglomerate, and that Natalie has asked Vaughn to use this visit as a scouting trip to evaluate Buffalo Valley as a location for one of their superstores. If that store gets built, it will be goodbye Main Street, including Hassie Knight's drugstore.

Once Vaughn meets Hassie's assistant, Carrie Hendrickson, it doesn't take long for him to realize that he's facing one of the most important choices of his life. He's caught between Value-X and Buffalo Valley, between Natalie's corporate savvy and Carrie's country-girl smarts, and between the future he always envisioned for himself and the appealing way of life that he glimpsed in the unique little town."

My Review: You can definitely see how Macomber's writing has developed over the years with this series. I was kind of disliking this series and didn't really enjoy the first 3 books but this one made a comeback for me. It is shorter and less wordy without as many details but still enough to get a feel for the different characters. It really rounded out the series nicely, giving updates on past characters while developing the current story. I also liked the time between this story and the previous book, it allowed for a lot of development without having to read everything. I also enjoyed seeing the changes in the town and its development. I am really glad I read this one and avoided a sour taste being left after the last book.
My Rating: This was such an improvement over the previous books in the series, and clearly the time period between writing them was part of that. I give this one a rating of Three Paws and a Stump Wag.

Monday, September 8, 2014

What's for Dinner? (20)

What's for Dinner is a little insight into my life for you every Monday night. I carefully plan out meals for the week ahead of time and do my shopping over the weekend.  So I wanted to start sharing with you one of the recipes or dinners I am most looking forward to each week.
I discovered one of my favorite summer time recipes on Pinterest a year or two ago, but I only make it once in a great while since it is not Hubby's favorite.  But I got to make it this last week.
I really enjoy making risotto and have gotten pretty good at it, though making it in the summer is a hot and sweaty proposition.  This one is so worth it though! It has a light and fresh almost citrus flavor but is filling at the same time.
Here is the link to the Recipe if you want to try it yourself!

Monday Reading List

Its Monday! What Are You Reading? is a weekly meme hosted by Shelia at Book Journey. Share what books you have finished in the last week, are currently reading and what might be coming up next!

Reviews Posted Last Week:
Links will take you to my review

 Rider: Spirals of Destiny by Jim Bernheimer (Audio)
A Storm of Passion by Terri Brisbin (After Dark)
Murray's First Book of Words by Heather Au (Bedtime Story)
The Trojan Horse by Ron & Justine Fontes (Graphic Novel)

Books Finished Last Week:
Reviews will be posted at a later date

Buffalo Valley
The Happy Bee
Emma's Pet
Alanna The First Adventure
Korgi Book 1
Elmo's Monster Mash
Good Night Gorilla
Mouse Guard Fall 1152
Angels Watching Over Me
My Name is Elmo
Sesame Street Storybook ABCs
Sesame Street Bus
The Peacemaker
The Destroyer
Currently Reading:

My Heart to Yours by Michelle Zarrin - PB - on page 15 of
Enchanted No More by Robin D. Owens - PB - on page 32 of 425
The Eighty Dollar Champion by Elizabeth Letts - Audio - 62%

 Books to be Read Soon:

Bella Tuscany by Frances Mayes
Behind You by Carly M. Duncan (Requested Review)

Interesting Tidbits from the Web:



Boy do short weeks throw me for a loop! I missed my What's for Dinner post last week and have been off by a whole day all week.  But thankfully none of this has affected my reading this week!! I did take some time on the Monday holiday last week to read and took more time than I should have all week to read.  I am really having a lot of fun reading so far this month, it is a pleasant combination of new books and old re-reads for my upcoming Blogoversary.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

From the Book: Evertaster

From the Book is a series of posts where I will take something I read in a book and either re-create it in real life or at least something inspired by the book.
Welcome to another long awaited instillation of From The Book.  This time we are creating something from the book Evertaster.  Beware there are Spoilers ahead!
You can find the book on Goodreads to find out more or check out my review HERE
This was a really unique book and I felt I needed to create something from it.  The general theme throughout the book is finding very special ingredients to make a very special recipe. There are only a few ingredients and you come to find out the special recipe is for a chocolate soufflé.
I have heard so many times how difficult soufflé is to make but they made it look so easy in the book, so off I went in search of a recipe.  Now as some of you know I do not like chocolate but I love fruit, especially berries, so I decided to make a strawberry soufflé.
I must say it was far easier than I expected it to be, the beating of the eggs took a bit but it really only took maybe 20 to 25 minutes total to make.  They tasted awesome and I was very happy with the end result.
I just might have been able to make the ancient recipe and save the world, not to mention Guster!
Have you ever made a soufflé? Were they as difficult as you expected?
Coming soon on From the Book a puzzle of a painting.