Friday 56, #40: I Capture the Castle

It’s time for  Friday 56!  It’s a book meme hosted by Freda at Freda’s Voice. Be sure to visit her blog if you would like to participate!

From Freda’s Voice The Rules:
*Grab a book, any book.
*Turn to page 56 or 56% in your eReader (If you have to improvise, that’s okay.)
*Find any sentence, (or few, just don’t spoil it)
*Post it.
*Add your (url) post in the Linky on Friday 56. Add the post url, not your blog url.
*It’s that simple!

Here is my contribution:

Have you read this book? What did you think of it. Let me know your thoughts in the comments below, and be sure to leave a link to your Friday 56, too. Happy Reading, y’all.

Top Ten Tuesday, August 15, 2017

It’s time for Top Ten Tuesday. It’s hosted by The Broke and The Bookish. Do visit this fun blog and read all the other bookish lists. It’s a lot of fun and you’ll be sure to add books to your TBR pile. This week’s Top Ten Tuesday is: Ten book recommendations for___________. I’ve decided to focus on books for Cooks and Gardeners. If you are interested in reading my last TTT, click here.

I love books that include recipes or gardening ideas. And its easy to find this in both fiction and nonfiction books theses days. Here is a list of some of my favorites.

A Homemade Life by Molly Wizenburg. I believe this book is based on her blog? I just like the recipes and the stories behind them.

Julie and Julia by Julie Powell. Another book based on a blog. Then made into a movie by Nora Ephron.

My Life in France by Julia Child with Alex Prud’homme. Julia Child’s book about her time living in France.

Dying for Chocolate by Diane Mott Davidson. The second book in the Goldy Bear cozy mystery series. But its the first one in the series that I read. There are some chocolate recipes in this book that sound divine.

The Cereal Murders by Diane Mott Davidson. Number three in the Goldy Bear series

Thyme of Death by Susan Wittig Albert. Another cozy mystery that features gardening and growing herbs.Thyme of Death (China Bayles, #1)

Enter a caption

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: Year of Food Life by Barbara Kingsolver with Steven L. Hopp and Camille Kingsolver. A memoir that features both gardening and cooking.

The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals by Michael Pollan. I’ll never look at corn the same way again after reading this book.

From the Ground Up: The Story of a First Garden by Amy Stewart. This one is all a bout gardening. there are a lot of great tips in this memoir.

Wicked Plants: The Weed That Killed Lincoln’s Mother & Other Botanical Atrocities by Amy Stewart. I bought this book because I think it’s a great resource if you are thinking about writing a murder mystery. Thankfully, there are no recipes or tips on how to use wicked plants.

Have you read any of the books I’ve listed? Do you have suggestions for other books that feature gardening or cooking? Let me know in the comments below.

 

Friday 56, #39: Cowboys are My Weakness

It’s time for  Friday 56!  It’s a book meme hosted by Freda at Freda’s Voice. Be sure to visit her blog if you would like to participate!

From Freda’s Voice The Rules:
*Grab a book, any book.                                                                                                             *Turn to page 56 or 56% in your eReader (If you have to improvise, that’s ok.)
*Find any sentence, (or few, just don’t spoil it)
*Post it.
*Add your (url) post in the Linky on Friday 56. Add the post url, not your blog url.
*It’s that simple!

Here is my contribution:

Have you read this book? What did you think of it. Let me know your thoughts in the comments below, and be sure to leave a link to your Friday 56, too. Happy Reading, y’all.

Friday 56, #38: The Mothers

It’s time for  Friday 56!  It’s a book meme hosted by Freda at Freda’s Voice. Be sure to visit her blog if you would like to participate!

From Freda’s Voice The Rules:
*Grab a book, any book.                                                                                                             *Turn to page 56 or 56% in your eReader (If you have to improvise, that’s ok.)
*Find any sentence, (or few, just don’t spoil it)
*Post it.
*Add your (url) post in the Linky on Friday 56. Add the post url, not your blog url.
*It’s that simple!

Here is my contribution:

I like this description of Aubrey’s shoes, and how annoying they are to Nadia.

Have you read this book? What did you think of it. Let me know your thoughts in the comments below, and be sure to leave a link to your Friday56, too. Happy Reading, y’all.

Quarterly Lit Box Unboxing

I thought it might be fun to post about the latest book box that came in the mail last week. I subscribe to the Quarterly Literary subscription box, and, if you are interested, click on the link here to find out more about this box. I found out about this box when it was a book box subscription for Book Riot a few years ago. After Book Riot changed to a different book box, I kept my subscription to Quarterly. This month is #LIT05 and it was curated by the featured author Gin Phillips, the author of the featured novel   Fierce Kingdom. 

Included in the box, as in all the Quarterly Boxes, are two more books that are picked by the author and either influenced the author or are thematically similar to the featured novel (did I mention that the featured novel is hardback and newly published?) Also included are bookish swag. The swag in most of Quarterly boxes feel a bit last minute and thrown in to the box, frankly. But this box features a large tote bag (and what reader doesn’t need a tote bag to tote stuff?) and fancy paperclips as swag.

So, am I happy with the swag in this box? Yes, I am. Like many a bookish woman, I love a canvas tote bag. I have a good dozen stuffed in a closets around my house, but I can always use another. And this one is canvas, so it’s sturdy and washable. The paperclips? Well, those are useful too. I love looking at office supplies like this, but the shapes aren’t ones I would chose for myself. But I will use them, I think.

As for the books, I am quite pleased by this selection. Island of the Blue Dolphin by Scott O’Dell is a book I read over and over again while in elementary school. I loved this book. I had that same thrill when I picked the book up out of the box. Finally, a copy of my own to read over and over again anytime that I please! Yes, for a moment I was 8 years old again.

Run by Ann Patchet is also included in the box. This is a wonderful copy! It has deckle edges and French flaps! So pretty! I haven’t read this novel, but it’s from an author who shows up pretty frequently on my wish list, so I’m sure that i’ll enjoy this novel.

Finally, the featured novel Fierce Kingdom by Gin Phillips. Truthfully, I have never heard of this author. Looking on Goodreads, she seems to have written a number of books. And it seems to be a thriller featuring a female protagonist, and that’s something I’ll read. Oh, I forgot to mention that Quarterly also included an author singed sticker for the book (does this count as a signed book?).

Also, each featured novel is full of post-it notes with the author’s notes and annotations.

 

The post-its are slapped  on the page in the way of reading, so it’s sort of annoying. I end up moving them to the top of the page to get them out of my way. And I’m not sure the notes add anything to the reading experience.

Overall, I’m very happy with this particular box. Books I’m very happy to have and the swag better than other boxes Quarterly has sent to me. But I’m not sure that I’ll continue subscribing to this box.

Does anyone else subscribe to a book box? What do you think of this box? Would you subscribe to it?  Since I’m sort of searching for a new book box subscription which one would you recommend? Let me know in the comments below.

July 2017 Wrap-Up

At the end of the month I like to reflect on my reading life. Here is a link to my June 2017 Wrap-Up, if you are interested. And now on to July! (FYI: all thumbnail covers are courtesy of GoodReads.)

July Stats

Total Books Read: 8

The Day of the Duchess (Scandal & Scoundrel, #3) The One That Got Away (includes: Effingtons, #8.5) The Fortune Quilt Your Scandalous Ways In Scandal They Wed (The Penwich School for Virtuous Girls #2) A Notorious Countess Confesses (Pennyroyal Green, #7) It Happened One Midnight (Pennyroyal Green, #8) The Art of Fielding

Number of pages: 3,108

Written by Men: 1

Written by Women: 7

Diverse Authors: 0

Nonfiction: 0

Fiction: 8

Paperback: 0

Hardback: 0

eBooks/Kindle: 8

Library books: 6

Audio books: 0

Rereads: 0

DNF: 2

Funny Girl  The Mothers

I’ve not abandoned this books, but just didn’t finish before the end of the month.

Favorite book of July:  Really didn’t have a favorite this month…..

Challenges to date:

GoodReads: 66/75

Book Riot Read Harder 2017: 6/24 (I’m so behind on this challenge.)

#ReadMyOwnDamnBooks: 1

The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach

Purchased/Acquired:

My Name is Not Easy Remember to Forget Sugar The Dorito Effect: The Surprising New Truth About Food and Flavor Shadows on the Moon  All of these books are audio books.

The Fortune Quilt by Lani Diane Rich One kindle book

AND

Quarterly Box #LIT05 (A book box I subscribe to) :

This is from my collection.

I had forgotten this box was coming so was pleasantly surprised when I found it on my porch. And I love the tote bag.

My Bookish Posts:

My favorite Jane Austen Swag.

My thoughts about NOT reading The Game of Thrones series.

Marking the 20th anniversary of the publication of Harry Potter.

Across the Web:

I’ve read a lot about cults in the last six months, so this essay on Lit Hub really caught my attention.

Across the Blogosphere:

Because I’m always looking for ways to improve my blog. 

Yesterday, July 30, 2017, was the 199th anniversary of Emily Brontë’s birth.

I love to read what others think of  one of my favorite books, Jane Eyre.

Why Literature Matters is a great companion piece to the Lit Hub essay I linked above.

How was your month of July? Did you read a lot or a little? Did you read anything that rocked your world? Let me know in the comments below.

Jane Austen: A Few of My Favorite Things

This past Tuesday –July 18th– was the 200th anniversary of Jane Austen’s death at the age of 41. And there have been “think pieces”  about her contributions to literature, and tributes to Jane all over the internet. So, of course, I want to add my own thoughts about Jane Austen to the deluge.

But rather than try to write authoritatively on Jane Austen and her contribution to literature, I’m instead listing my favorite books, movie/TV adaptations, and stuff that I’ve collected over the years.

So, here are  a few of my favorite Austen things.

Jane Austen Mug from The Unemployed Philosophers Guild. See the photo above for my actual mug. As I took the photo that mug had coffee in it. I love this mug so much. It’s covered in fabulous quotes from Austen’s novels. And drinking my coffee and reading the sharp and beloved words of Jane is always a good way to start the day.

And, from Out of Print, this lovely tote bag.  It’s just so pretty. And they have this P&P print on a t-shirt as well. 

 

 

 

 

Pride and Prejudice (Special Edition) by Colin FirthMy favorite TV adaptation of Pride & Prejudice.  There are many out there, it is true. In my opinion there is only one adaptation worth watching( this one) and only one Mr. Darcy (Colin Firth) and Lizzie Bennet (Jennifer Ehle). And I will fight you about this.

 

 

 

Sense & Sensibility (Special Edition)

My favorite movie adaptation is  Sense & Sensibility. I think this may have more to do with Emma Thompson and the late Alan Rickman. I re-watched this over the weekend and it is so good.

 

 

 

 

 

My favorite Jane Austen novel: Persuasion. It’s all about regrets. The regret that Anne feels for rejecting PersuasionCaptain Wentworth. The Musgove’s regret that Anne didn’t marry Charles. He married Anne’s sister Mary-a snob-who makes them all miserable. As a middle aged person I have many regrets too, and I think that’s why I love this novel and the way Austen explores the characters regrets. And this cover on this edition from Penguin Classiscs. Love it. (By the way, the BBC 1995 adaptation of this novel is a close runners up for favorite movie adaptation.)

Bitch In a Bonnet: Reclaiming Jane Austen From the Stiffs, the Snobs, the Simps and the Saps, Volume 1My favorite book about a Jane Austen’s novel: Bitch in a Bonnet: Reclaiming Jane Austen from the Stiffs, the Snobs, the Simps and the Saps, volume 1 by Robert Rodi. This book explores the critical eye that Jane Austen cast on the world in which she lived.

 

 

 

LongbournAnd my favorite Jane Austen adjacent novel is LongbournI’m not a fan of novels based on classic novels like The Wizard of Oz. (I really disliked Wicked. A lot. Its one of those books I threw across the room before I finished it.) But this particular novel is one of my favorite reads of 2014.  

 

 

 

 

And finally, here are some links to two of my favorite Jane Austen think pieces published across the internet the last week or two:

This article from The Atlantic was originally published in August 2014 and came up in my Facebook feed over the weekend. It tackles an issue that is evident from the first line of Austen’s most famous novel, “It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.” Wealth is important in Austen’s novels.

And this essay published this week on the web site Literary Hub  makes a point I’ve long argued. Mrs. Bennet maybe a foolish woman, but she isn’t wrong to worry, fuss, and plot marriages for her five daughters.

Are you a fan of Jane Austen? Do you agree with my favorites? Or do you disagree most vehemently? Let me know in the comments below.