Friday, February 27, 2015

My Real Children by Jo Walton

I added My Real Children to my library hold list because I joined an in real life book club and this is what they picked. I did enjoy the other Walton book I read (Tooth and Claw) so I was looking forward to reading more of her books. I really enjoyed My Real Children and was sad to finish it.

It's 2015 and Patricia is in her upper 90's. She lives in an assisted living facility. She remembers two distinct lives. One where she was married Mark and had 4 children. And another life where she married Bee and had 3 children. As she reminisces she finds the point where her lives diverged. I found Patricia's lives fascinating and how each differed so much.

I think this is an excellent choice for a book club. What choice would you make that would radically alter your life? How would those choices ripple out and effect others? At the end of your life which life would you rather have? One with a more peaceful world but less personal happiness or one with intense personal happiness but more global problems (war, nuclear fallout)? All for very interesting discussion. Others who shared their thoughts on My Real Children: The Literary Omnivore, things mean a lot, and True Review.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Library Loot

Library Loot is a weekly event co-hosted by Claire from The Captive Reader and me that encourages bloggers to share the books they’ve checked out from the library. If you’d like to participate, just write up your post-feel free to steal the button-and link it using the Mr. Linky any time during the week. And of course check out what other participants are getting from their libraries.

It's been forever since I've read one of Weiner's books. I have high hopes for this one.

I've been doing poorly on the Foodies Read Challenge. I hope this one helps.

What did you get this week? Claire's got the linky.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Teaser Tuesday-The Heiress Effect by Courtney Milan

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:


• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
"Her gown was ghastly. There was no other word for it, and even that one did scarcely justice to the thrill of helpless horror that traveled through him."
pg 13 The Heiress Effect by Courtney Milan (The second in the Brother Sinister series) 

Monday, February 23, 2015

All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

I admit I added All The Bright Places because the blurb compared it to Eleanor and Park and The Fault In Our Stars, two of my favorite reads. But I loved All The Bright Places because it was beautiful and honest. Seriously, I had all the feels.
Violet is counting the days til graduation. Then she can get out the small Indiana town she lives in and try to get over her sister's death. Finch wants to stay awake. For Finch, he can fall into these long sleeps where he misses entire months. A chance encounter binds the two of together and changes their lives.

I loved Finch. He was a combination of Sutter Keely and a guy I liked in college. I was so glad that Niven told the story from both Violet's and Finch's point of view. The chapters don't alternate but you hear from both characters. At the beginning both Finch and Violet are so messed up. Neither of the believe that anyone can understand them. But they realize that they can help each other and slowly fall in love. I thought Niven does an excellent job of tackling hard topics like grief, mental illness, and suicide. I adored Finch and Violet's relationship with each other, with their parents, and with their families.

A beautiful story with gorgeously flawed characters. I would recommend this in a heartbeat but you might cry at the end. Others who shared their thoughts on All The Bright Places: My Shelf Confessions, Read. Breathe. Relax., The Midnight Garden, and UrbanMoms.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

What to Eat This Week

 Mushroom Asiago Chicken-very good. Only used a hint of asiago but still was very tasty. Would make again.
 North Woods Bean Soup- Everyone but me liked this soup. I probably won't make it again. Or would make only for Tai's lunch.
Poor Man's Lobster-I've been looking for a way to make frozen fish tasty and this is it. Cooked in butter and served with more butter. This dish was a hit. Served with fries and kale salad (not shown). I would make it again.

One Pot Taco Casserole-I forgot to take pictures but a delicious meal. Would make again.


Dinner Out
Dinner with Friends






Thursday, February 19, 2015

Journey Home by Yoshiko Uchido

I added Journey Home to my library queue while looking for historical fiction set in California. I haven't read a lot about Japanese internment camps so I decided to check out Journey Home. While definitely for the middle grade set, Journey Home gives a good glimpse into the lives of Japanese families when they returned home from the camps.

Twelve year old Yuki and her family have moved to Salt Lake City after living in an internment camp in Topaz, Utah. Yuki longs to return to Berkley, California where she was living before the camps. But the government is keeping Japanese from moving to the West Coast, so her and her family wait. Also Yuki's brother, Ken, is fighting the war in Europe. Yuki wants him to return home. Finally, Yuki and her family are allowed to return to California but they old home has been rented to another family. Yuki finds that coming home isn't what she thought.

Even though this is written for a younger audience, I still thought that it brought up some serious topics in a good way. Yuki and her family experience discrimination and deal with people who want them to leave. When Yuki's brother returns from the war, he experiences grief and loss which his family aren't able to help him with. Yuki learns how to adapt to the changes and learn to make a new home. I'd recommend this one to a middle grader. But I still enjoyed reading it. I've never read a book about when Japanese returned from the internment camps so it was educational for me, Others who shared their thoughts on Journey Home: Svetlana's Reads and Views and The Blithering Bookster.
This was my third read for the Historical Reading Challenge.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Library Loot

Library Loot is a weekly event co-hosted by Claire from The Captive Reader and me that encourages bloggers to share the books they’ve checked out from the library. If you’d like to participate, just write up your post-feel free to steal the button-and link it using the Mr. Linky any time during the week. And of course check out what other participants are getting from their libraries.

I was looking for some humorous memoirs and this one came up. I love the title.

I found this one on list of graphic novels for African American month,

Another graphic  novel I found on the list mentioned above.

What did you get this week? Add your link below.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Teaser Tuesday- Mistress of The Revolution by Catherine Delors

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:


• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

"Indeed he spent the divine service with his eyes closed and his chin resting on his chest. Since we sat in the chancel, the entire congregation saw him sleep."
pg 78 Mistress of The Revolution by Catherine Delors

Monday, February 16, 2015

What To Eat This Week

Another good week filled with yummy meals.


 Knock Your Socks off Slow Cooker Chicken and Sausage served with roasted green beans and brown rice. Sadly our socks were not knocked off. It was ok but nothing spectacular. Probably will not make again.
Garlic and Apple Butter Pork Tenderloin with mashed sweet potatoes and roasted green beans. The tenderloin was so moist and juicy. Would definitely make again. 
 Garlic Sauce Chicken with sauteed spinach and roasted sweet potatoes. Chicken was very tasty. Will make again.
This was a Linda creation. Thinly sliced pork chops, seasoned with Old Bay, fried in bacon fat. I sauteed red cabbage, onion, and apple slices in butter. More roasted green beans. Delicious. Would make again.
Simple Spinach Frittata and Brazilian Cheese Bread. Another family favorite. Quick too.
Steak, mac and cheese, and cheesy mashed cauliflower. I was underwhelmed by the steak and mac and cheese. This was our Valentine's Day meal. We normally have bacon-wrapped scallops and steak but there were no scallops at the store. So I made mac and cheese. It was ok but not cheesy enough. The cauliflower was the perfect consistency and I would make that again.

On to this week:

Dinner out

What's on your menu this week?



Thursday, February 12, 2015

To All The Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han

I picked up To All The Boys I've Loved Before because I'd seen good reviews and honestly it sounded fun. Wow, I was blown away about how much I liked this book. I had a hard time putting it down and I tried to skip dinner in favor of finishing it. Dinner had to be made but I made something quick so I could finish it.

Lara Jean's going to be a junior in high school this year. Her older sister is headed to college. Lara Jean will be the responsible sister and watch out for her dad and little sister. But Lara Jean's got a problem. The five letters she wrote to the boys she's loved in her life have been sent to those boys. Do they still remember her? Do they like her too? Does she still love any of them?

At first I didn't really get much from Lara Jean. I liked her older sister, Margot, but she was headed off to college. Slowly Lara Jean grew on me. Lara Jean just needed some time to come into her own. And then all the boys get their letters and Lara Jean has to deal with the aftermath especially since she thinks she might be falling for one of them again. This was such a sweet story. I enjoyed how Lara Jean grew and learned how she fit into things. Without her older sister, she needed to learn what she wanted. I also liked Josh and Peter, two of the boys who get the letters. I could really feel them jump off the page. Lara Jean's little sister, Kitty, jumped off the page. She was a hoot. I really liked the family dynamics of Lara Jean's family. Plus Josh, the boy next door who kind of reminded me of Jase from My Life Next Door. I was sad when I finished it but super excited that book two will be out soon. I really enjoyed this one (ya think?). I'll be looking for more of Han's books. Others who shared their thoughts on To All The Boys I've Loved Before: The Book Monsters, The Novel Hermit, and What A Nerd Girl Says.