Surprise, surprise!! Another weekend and another snow storm. It seems like it has been snowy on a lot of recent Sundays…from late December to just last week. We’ve been stuck with arctic temperatures all week. It was 5 degrees out (according to my car) the other morning. Brrr! At least today isn’t that cold. Snow isn’t so beautiful when tracked in all over your hardwood floors leaving salty footprints everywhere. So, after doing a little cleaning of the floors this morning, I am now settled in my comfy chair ready to do some reading.
I am hoping to read a little bit each of both of the books that I have in progress. I am reading an advanced readers copy of A Fortunate Age: A Novel by Joanna Smith Rakoff and The Lambs of London: A Novel by Peter Ackroyd. I just started Lambs of London yesterday. This work of historical fiction follows siblings Mary and Charles Lamb and their love for literature, especially Shakespeare. So far, I am having mixed feelings about it. Hopefully, it will grab my interest more as I get further into the book.
I am about half way through A Fortunate Age. This debut novel is about a group of friends who met each other while at college at Oberlin and follows them through the nineties and early 2000’s as the get their footing in the world of life after college. I find it interesting since I graduated from college in the nineties. The characters are entering the working world and marriage at about the same time that I was. I am hoping to read about 60 more pages of it today and post some thoughts on it on the Barnes & Nobles First Look discussion board. They started the Fortunate Age discussion there last week, so I am a bit late. Oops!
Along with my reading, I am also going to cook some spicy beef chili and bake my Berry Surprise Cake. I love to cook on Sundays as I have a good stretch of undisturbed time of me in my little kitchen. Snowy Sundays are even better for cooking & baking! Who wants to come over for dinner??
Another week, another snow storm.
I actually quite like snow. It’s very beautiful and a calm silence falls over the world when it’s snowing out…at least until the snow plows rumble by.
I was supposed to have a book club meeting early this afternoon to discuss Last Night at the Lobsterby Stewart O’Nan, but we’ve pushed it off to 2 weeks from today due to the weather. I am keeping my fingers crossed that there will not be another big snow storm on that weekend. It is kind of ironic that a snow storm has delayed our discussion about a book where one of the driving forces in the story is a snow storm. sigh. So goes life.
Due to the snow storm I now have more time to read a book for another book club: Supercapitalism: The Transformation of Business, Democracy, and Everyday Life by Robert B. Reich. Reich served as secretary of labor during Clinton’s presidency. In Supercapitalism, Reich discusses the dynamic between democracy and capitalism. I am about 80 pages into it now (~225 pages total in the book) and am finding it interesting and informative. This is far from the typical sort of book that my book club reads and I heard a few members grumbling about the selection. I hope that I am not the only one who ends up reading it!
I will also finish listening to the unabridged audio version of House of Mirth today while I am folding laundry and preparing dinner. I am such a cultured little wife. 😉
What are your plans for this fine Sunday?
So, last week at this time, I was lounging on a beach on Anguilla. And now…
I am pretty much trapped in my house in the snow. It started snowing Saturday morning, shortly after my husband left for a 2 week trip to Asia. Now I am home alone (insert Macauly Culkin image here). Saturday night some snow removal angels plowed and shoveled my driveway and front walk. I have no idea who these guys were, but thank you whoever you were.
But, it was still snowing and blowing out, so by Sunday morning, there was a blanket of snow on the driveway and walkway. My husband had asked one of his workers to stop by and shovel me out on Sunday, so his guy came and did that and without my knowing it, must’ve taken my snow shovel with him! Either that or he put it somewhere that later got covered with a snow drift. *sigh*
And since it is still snowing, my driveway and walkway are once again covered, and since I have no shovel anymore there is nothing that I can do about it, so…. I’M TRAPPED! (I wish those snow angels would come back)
Since I am trapped, I am going to spend the whole day cleaning, doing some holiday baking and hopefully finish up 2 of the books that I am currently reading: The Hound of the Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle and The Boat by Nam Le. Reading and stuffing my face with freshly based cookies: a good way to cozy up on a snowy day.
And sorry library, but my books are going to be at least a day late, since I can’t get out of my driveway. Oops!
No, I am not ranting about reading…I am reading rants. Or more specifically, I am reading Waiter Rant. I am reading it for the Food for Thought book club which is an on-line book club with a food focus. I have about 100 pages left and if I am lucky will finish it today or tomorrow morning. So far I am enjoying the book. Although I have never personally worked as a waiter, I have several friends who have or still do. I’ve heard plenty of tales from them and there are some similar ones in Waiter Rant.
I am also reading some of Ernest Hemingway’s Across the River and Into the Trees. I am not finding it to be a very captivating book. I am about halfway through and am starting to feel tempted to abandon it. BUT… I am not a book abandon-er!!! Gah! I can only remember twice in history where I’ve given up on a book because I wasn’t liking it. I typically stick it out to the bitter end. I will probably stick this one out too. sigh. I can be such a sucker for punishment.
mango missives week in review:
Yesterday was a busy day. I hosted a book swap gathering at my house. I’ve hosted a couple of other book swaps in years past. The basic concept is that everyone brings books that they’ve finished reading and are willing to part ways with. We have some snacks and chat and browse through the books that others have brought. Everyone picks out some “new-for-them” books and takes them home. We then donate the leftover books to the local library or Salvation Army.
Yesterday, was a rainy and windy fall day…but 14 ladies ventured out to my humble abode with their bags of books. Okay, Amanda brought a whole Rubbermaid tote of books, but most people brought one or two grocery bags of books. I had two big boxes of completed books under my bed. I dragged those out, brushed off the dust bunnies and brought them down to join their book swap brethren. We had mountains of books to browse through, everything from mass market romance and mysteries to past Oprah Book Club Selections, classics to modern lit.
Thankfully, (for my storage space shortage) I gave away more books than I took as “new for me”. I ended up with 10 new books and gave away several dozen. Later today I will be taking a trip to the library down the road to donate the books that no one selected.
Now, its time to start building up my pile of completed books for the next book swap. 😉
This week I’ve found three new blog events that combine two of my passions: food & books. Anyone else who enjoys food & reading should check out these events as well.
The first is the new Food for Thought book club. This book club was started by Kate who also hosts the monthly blogging event Cookie Carnival where a bunch of bloggers bake a selected cookie recipe and post about their results. I’ve been participating in Cookie Carnival for two months now and have made Pumpkin Whoopie Pies and Grapefruit Sandwich Cookies. The first reading selection for the book club is Waiter Rant by The Waiter. As part of this book club, you have the option to make a recipe from the book or one inspired by the book.
The description from the back of the book is:
According to The Waiter, eighty percent of customers are nice people just looking for something to eat. The remaining twenty percent, however, are socially maladjusted psychopaths. Waiter Rant offers the server’s unique point of view, replete with tales of customer stupidity, arrogant misbehavior, and unseen bits of human grace transpiring in the most unlikely places. Through outrageous stories, The Waiter reveals the secrets to getting good service, proper tipping etiquette, and how to keep him from spitting in your food. The Waiter also shares his ongoing struggle, at age thirty-eight, to figure out if he can finally leave the first job at which he’s truly thrived.
Another new blogger foodie book club is the Cook the Books Club. This club also has a similar concept where a group of folks read the same food-centric book but in this club everyone cooks something inspired by the book. The first pick for this club is a novel that has been on my to-read list for awhile: La Cucina: A Novel of Rapture by Lily Prior. Here’s a blurb from the book description:
Exuberant and touching, La Cucina is a magical evocation of life’s mysterious seasons and the treasures found in each one. It celebrates family, food, passion, and the eternal rapture of romance.
And last but not least, there’s a new book challenge starting up in January called the Well Seasoned Reader Challenge. This challenge is hosted by Book Nut and focuses on reading books about “Interesting People, Amazing Places, and Good Food”. The challenge books need to be about food, travel, or culture. I will have this covered easily since two of my favorite types of books are about food and foreign culture. Plus, I will be reading lots of food books in the two new book clubs that I mentioned above. For more details and to sign up for the challenge head on over to Book Nut’s blog.
Earlier this week I hopped on a plane to spend a few days in Washington DC for work. I always way overestimate how much I will read on a flight and end up bringing an extra book that I don’t even touch. But, I fear that the one time I don’t bring a back-up book that will be the time where my flight gets delayed for several hours. Then I might run out of stuff to read! Of course, most airports have shops to buy books but I would feel guilty about those 100+ books sitting back at home unread.
For this trip, I brought The Believers by Zoe Heller and as a back up The Emperors of Chocolate by Joel Glenn Brenner. I got about 80% of the way through The Believers. I did most of my reading on the plane, my agenda in DC was too packed to squeeze in much reading timeThe Emperors of Chocolate didn’t see the light of day until after I got back home. I started reading it a couple of days ago and am now about 1/3 of the way through it. But, its an evil book that makes me crave chocolate. So, it may be a blessing that I didn’t get to it in DC since there was a Godiva shop on the ground floor of my hotel.
Do you read a lot when you travel? Are you good at estimating how much you will read on a trip?