Friday Wrap Up!

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I am liking this new wrap up I do- on Friday instead of Sunday because I think the week should start on Friday!

We weren’t supposed to ski this weekend, because the kids have “things” to do, but hubby is playing hooky from work, so just he and I will go up for the day!

Here is what happened here this week-

Reading

I have had a very busy week reading wise.  I finally finished Leaving Time by Jodi Picoult.  It did get better, but not one of my favorites by her.

I also finished At the Water’s Edge by Sara Gruen, A Love Song of Miss Quennie Hennesy by Rachel Joyce, and The Dream Lover by Elizabeth Berg.  These were all ARCs, so I feel especially productive!

I just started The Girl on The Train (I bow to pressure-jk).

Posts

I wasn’t that great posting this week, but I did manage to do this weeks Top Ten Tuesday!  I was too busy with all the reading.

I just realized yesterday that I have almost 7 books that I read and still need to write the review for.  I had better get cracking on Monday!

Cooking

This was an interesting week.  I started off by thinking I wanted to cook lighter, but with this cold weather-oh well.

We had yummy chicken quesadillas on the weekend that I make with my panini maker-love that thing.

I made my daughter’s favorite- angel hair pasta with grape tomatoes and chicken.

I also made an amazing Roast Chicken-with mashed potatoes and sautéed green beans.

And yesterday brought a brand new recipe for Thai Red Curry with Beef, served with jasmine rice.

 

How was your week?

Holy Heroine, Batman! A Top Ten list

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke & the Bookish. It’s awesome. Every Tuesday, the lovely ladies over there give us book bloggers wonderful and fun topics to create our lists! Check out what others have posted by going over there!

http://brokeandbookish.blogspot.com

This week’s topic is-

Top Ten Heroines

I know this is all going to be very expected, but here it goes

1.  Elizabeth Bennet

I love that she rejects both Mr. Collins and Darcy!  No marriage of convenience for her.

2.  Mathilda Wormwood

Takes herself to the library!

3.  Lizbeth Salander

I know its a tough read, but this is one kick ass lady.  She saves the guy at the end.

4.  Hermione Granger

Brains and bravery in equal measure.  Plus it was so awesome when she punched Malfoy!

5.  Scarlett O’Hara

A little bitchy, yes, but she uses everything she has (her feline wiles) to get what she wants.

6.  Jane Eyre

Walks away from relationships she feels aren’t right for her, in a time when she really has nothing else.

7.  Scout (Jean Louise) Finch

Struggling to understand right from wrong, she hold her own in the integrity department alongside Atticus and Jem.

8.  Katniss Everdeen

Volunteering to save her little sister is heroic enough, but then she teams up with Rue, and then Peeta too.

9.  Jo March

She cuts off her hair (her one beauty according to the little bitch Amy) for the $ to pay passage so Marmy can help nurse the father back to health.

10.  Professor Minerva McGonagall

I love Minerva!  So sassy and proper at the same time.  And Maggie Smith is so perfect in the movies!

 

Who are some of your favorite heroines?

Weekly Wrap Up

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Friday Wrap

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I am not sure why. but I decided to try something new- a quick wrap up of what went on for me this past week.  I though it would be a nice way to end the eek and start the weekend!

So here it is.  This week, here is what happened-

Reading

Slow going on the reading front for me.  I started Jodi Picoult’s Leaving Time, and have only gotten almost half way through.  Not going to be a good week page # wise for me.

Posts

I only managed 2 posts this week- a review of a book that unfortunately I really didn’t care for, and the fun Bookish (& Not So Bookish) Thoughts

Home News

Last Sunday, we skied in sub zero temps.  While it was not the most fun I have ever had, we all laughed so much- not an easy task with teenagers.  Then we had a blast watching the SNL special.

Cooking

I decided to add this much for the same reason I decided to start the blog- to keep track of things I find myself forgetting!

This week’s big meals were- Shaepard’s Pie and Potato and Bacon Soup.  Some really good cold weather (did I mention it’s freezing here?) food.

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We are heading back to the mountains for more cold weather fun, and I am making chicken quesadillas.  That will hopefully end my culinary tasks until Monday, but I doubt it!

Have a great weekend!

Bookish (& Not So Bookish) Thoughts

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Bookish & Not So Bookish Thoughts

is a weekly meme hosted by Christine over at Bookishly Boisterous, where we post things that are on our minds.  Head over there and check it out!

1.  Too cold…too much snow…for too long.  Enough!  And if I have to read about the poor bastards in southern Florida who are actually cold, I might hurt someone!

I think the wind chill is supposed to be in around -25 today.

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2. So the boy got his permit and…hasn’t drove a lick!  What is going on here?  I think the kids where I live are more than happy being chauffeured around by the parents, and are in no big rush to drive.  While I get it, how the heck are they going to learn is they don’t practice???

3.  I posted a review this week of an ARC that I really didn’t like.  I was actually considering not posting, since I do value that this was someone’s hard work.  I just felt that I had to be honest.  What do you think about posting reviews of books that you REALLY didn’t like (i.e.. loathed)?

4.  I am reading Jodi Picoult’s newest- Leaving Time.  Maybe I just haven’t given it enough time (ha ha), but I am not as into it as I thought I would be.  Has anyone else read it?  What did you think?

5. I was invited to join a new book club.  I am a little hesitant, as it looks like it will be just like the other BC I was a member of- no one ever read the book.  They would drink wine and talk about their kids and school.

6.  My mother just told me she is reading The Girl on the Train, so it is official- everyone is reading that but me.  I don’t know why I have put it off.  Does it live up to the hype?

7.  We skied last Sunday when the wind chill was a balmy -25.  It was actually lots of fun.  We had to make sure that NO skin was exposed, which was pretty challenging.  At one point on the lift, I pulled the mask off of my face and my daughter said that my hair, which had gotten wet from condensation, had frozen.  The hot chocolate with rum was especially tasty that day!

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8.  Mockingjay is finally available on iTunes, and my daughter has had too much homework every night to watch it with me.  So, do i just say-screw it-and watch it without her?  Or actually be a good mom and wait?

9.  The happiest state in the country is- Alaska.  Probably because it’s warmer there than it is where I live, damn it!

Seriously, that is pretty cool.  I think it’s because there aren’t that many people to annoy you there.  Moose aren’t annoying.  Bears, maybe.

So how is everything going by you?  Staying warm?  What are you reading?

 

After Birth by Elisa Albert

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After Birth

by Elisa Albert

published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

February 2015

I received and advance review copy of this book from the publisher through net Galley in exchange for an honest review.

I saw this title on someone’s list of books to read this winter.  Now, I am sitting here, struggling with whether I should post this review on my blog or not.  I have not actually finished this book.  I got to 82% and had to put it aside.  This was not a book for me.  Though well written, I just did not like the story or the main character.  A majority of the story revolves around Ari and her inability to accept that she had a C-section, rather than have a natural delivery.  A year later, and this is still the main focus of her mind.  She is clearly depressed, though she refuses any aspect of help, other than having dinner with her gay neighbors whenever her husband works late.  She drinks and smokes pot often, yet is loud and righteous about breast feeding her son on demand-at a college faculty Christmas party- because her breast milk (pot and all) is best.  She becomes obsessed with her new neighbor, Mina, a single new mom, who is also struggling with the demands of a baby.  When Mina has trouble breastfeeding, Ari feeds her baby for her (cringe).  Then she dreams of opening a daycare, where she can be a wet nurse for numerous children.  She bemoans the fact that no one ever told her what to do, how to cook, sew, raise a baby, then in the next breathe, derides the life she is living and weeps for her lost feminism.

At some point, Ari was planning on writing her dissertation, but has stopped working on it since the baby.  She does leave him 2-3 times a week with a sitter, and she is supposed to be writing, but instead she sits in the coffee shop and trolls on the net.When she goes to see her PHD advisor, she is horrified that her advisor isn’t as in love with her baby as she is.

The parts in the book that were a little different were when Ari talked about her family.  She had a very difficult relationship with her mom, who died when she was 13.  There was a real solid storyline there, and I found myself wishing the author had pulled the two together a little more.  Seeing Ari struggling, and knowing that she didn’t really have a mom, or another woman that she was very close to, would put her struggles into a new light.  As it was, it felt like Ari was a very obnoxious, self important, whiny person, and it was a chore to read some of the thing she said and did.

I wouldn’t recommend this book.  That is why I was hesitant to post this review here.  I generally only choose to read thing I am pretty sure I will enjoy, at least somewhat.  Then I figured that I have to keep things balanced and honest, so here it is.   I will finish it, since I am so close, but it really wasn’t worth the time.

 

Summary

A year has passed since Ari gave birth to Walker, though it went so badly awry she has trouble calling it “birth” and still she can’t locate herself in her altered universe. Amid the strange, disjointed rhythms of her days and nights and another impending winter in upstate New York, Ari is a tree without roots, struggling to keep her branches aloft.

When Mina, a one-time cult musician — older, self-contained, alone, and nine-months pregnant —moves to town, Ari sees the possibility of a new friend, despite her unfortunate habit of generally mistrusting women. Soon they become comrades-in-arms, and the previously hostile terrain seems almost navigable.

 

 

Which romances do you like/dislike?

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ttt2jpg

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke & the Bookish. It’s awesome. Every Tuesday, the lovely ladies over there give us book bloggers wonderful and fun topics to create our lists! Check out what others have posted by going over there!

http://brokeandbookish.blogspot.com

This week’s topic is-

Top Ten Things I like/dislike about romances in literature

I actually thought pretty hard about this and found it very difficult to come up with specifics.  Somethings just annoy me for no reason, so instead I picked 10 romances that I like/dislike.

1. Dislike

Romeo & Juliet

I know they are supposed to be the quintessential romantic couple, but please!  Maybe I am too old and pragmatic, but she is 13!!!  She meets him one night, marries him the next day, and is dead within the week.  This should serve more as a cautionary tale for young girls to not fall for a pretty face and slick dialogue.  And to listen to her parents.

2.  Like

Lizzy Bennet & Mr. Darcy

They fall in love despite first impressions.  They are both strong, smart, and spunky.  And he loves her fine eyes.

3.  Dislike

Jane Eyre and Mr. Rochester

Again, another famous couple, but-hello- workplace sexual harassment??  And how does he forget about the wife in the attic?  Jane- he locked his wife in the attic!!!  Run away!  Plus- isn’t she a little young for him??

4.  Like

Rhett & Scarlett

Yes-they are toxic together, and she is a pretty bad person.  Despite that, they are on fire together.  I just wish she had figured it out before he left.

5.  Dislike

Daisy & Tom Buchanan

Too bad she didn’t have to guts to leave him-though I doubt she would have actually been happy with Jay Gatsby.  Anything would be better than staying with a brute who thinks he is above everything- his vows, the law.

6. Like

 Jo March & Laurie

It was just mean of Alcott to refuse to marry Jo and Laurie.   She said it was because she didn’t think the purpose of a woman’s life should only be to get married.  I agree, but come on!  Jo and Laurie were great together.

7.  Dislike- Amy March & Laurie

Really?

Amy is a bitch- she burned the manuscript, and got to go to Paris-the trip Jo was supposed to have.  Then she marries Laurie??  NO!  Plus he loves Jo- how might it feel to marry a man you know loves your sister best?

Bitch.

8.  Like

Eowyn & Farmir

There isn’t a lot of romance in LOTR, so I will take what I can get.  Aragorn and Arwen are awesome, but what about these other two?  Poor Faramir almost dies trying to prove himself to his crazy ass father, and Eowyn almost dies trying to prove she is as much of a warrior as any other man in Rohan.  They find each other and heal together.  And the Faramir in the movie was hot.

9.  Dislike

Anna Karenina and Vronsky

He is a POS- only after the conquest.  And she is a little too controlled by her urges.  You’re a mom, Anna, how about some self control??

I was actually glad when she had a date with the rails.  Harsh, but true.

10.  Dislike

Max De Winter & the 2nd Mrs. De Winter

I love Rebecca, and having the 2nd so quiet does help the story unfold, but this was an extremely dysfunctional relationship.  Rebecca might have been awful, but at least she was a  strong woman.

What romances do you like/dislike the most?

Needful Things by Stephen King

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Needful Things

by Stephen King

published by Hodder & Stoughton

1992

I bought a copy of this book at my library’s semi annual book sale.

My Review

This was a pretty interesting book, that was a pretty quick read.  When a new store called Needful Things opens in the small town of Castle Rock, the people that live there are very curious.  One by one, they realize that the owner, Mr. Gaunt, has the one object they want more than anything else in the world, and it can be theirs for an amazingly small price, as long they they agree to play a harmless prank on another person in town.  Mr. Gaunt weaves his increasingly dangerous web around the town, and the outcome is explosive.  The one voice of reason- and sanity- is Sheriff Pangborn, a wonderful character that one expects from King-  a flawed but genuinely good person.  Unfortunately these good characters are almost always men- Stu Redmen, Chris Chambers, Andy Dufresne, Mike Noonan, Paul Edgecombe.  Why aren’t the woman ever the great character, Mr. King?

Needful Things, while not my favorite King novel- Hello The Stand- is a good read.  It reminded me a little of Under The Dome, so if you enjoyed that, you will like this too.

Summary

Leland Gaunt opens a new shop in Castle Rock called Needful Things. Anyone who enters his store finds the object of his or her lifelong dreams and desires: a prized baseball card, a healing amulet. In addition to a token payment, Gaunt requests that each person perform a little “deed,” usually a seemingly innocent prank played on someone else from town. These practical jokes cascade out of control and soon the entire town is doing battle with itself. Only Sheriff Alan Pangborn suspects that Gaunt is behind the population’s increasingly violent behavior.