May 28, 2015

Summer Reading, Part 2

Okay, so I've already read All the Light We Cannot See, but keep those suggestions coming!

In the meantime, I've dashed through some fluff.  My reviews on both are. . . check them out from the library, but don't rush to the bookstore or download them onto your Kindle.  Unless it's 5 AM and you can't sleep, and don't plan on trying.

First up, The Knockoff, by Lucy Sykes and Jo Piazza.

"An outrageously stylish, wickedly funny novel of fashion in the digital age, The Knockoffis the story of Imogen Tate, editor in chief of Glossy magazine, who finds her twentysomething former assistant Eve Morton plotting to knock Imogen off her pedestal, take over her job, and reduce the magazine, famous for its lavish 768-page September issue, into an app."

An enjoyable, if shallow read, I tore through the fluff.  The characters were cartoonish (this one is GOOD, GOOD, GOOD!  This one is BAD! BAD! BAD!) at times, but the setting and details were fun.  Get it from the library, and it enjoy it by the pool.

Next, Luckiest Girl in the World by Jessica Kroll.  Y'all know how I am seriously lacking in book review skills.  I don't know why, but I feel Kirkus reviews puts my feelings best on this novel:

"Knoll’s debut thriller is a dark, cynical psychological comment on our culture of excess and violence.
TifAni FaNelli seems to have it all: an upcoming marriage to a handsome, wealthy financier; a job at a competitive, sexy women’s magazine; and a wardrobe filled with designer names. But buried beneath this surface is a secret past that threatens every day to destroy her success and happiness. As her marriage nears, and she finds herself under even more stress about keeping up appearances, Ani forces herself to participate in a documentary commemorating a violent incident from her high school days, hoping that she might, once and for all, be able to make peace with the past. Knoll’s novel is fragmented and unsure of what tone to take; the first part of the story seems at once superficial but also satirical in its complete obsession with designer name-dropping and diet-worshipping. When Knoll alternates chapters about Ani’s present with flashback chapters, the narrative becomes less commentary and more very depressing movie-of-the-week. The main problem is that Ani, despite the awful things she survives, is not a particularly admirable or interesting character, and she doesn't have the charisma to bring any light to the savage story that unfolds. Even the final suggestion that she will finally break away from trying to be perfect and instead be true to herself lacks punch.
The promise of redemption in the end is not enough to balance the darkness."
Thanks, Kirkus.  That's exactly how I feel.  After Girl on the Train, then this?  I refuse to read anything touted as the next Gone Girl.   Maybe Reese Witherspoon and I differ when it comes to our taste in books, as she said " "It was the most non-stop nail-biting crazy train of a book with one of the most intriguing characters I have read in a long time!"  Hmm.  I did read it quickly, but that had a lot to do with the fact that I had a 24 hour bug and was up all night on a pallet on the floor in my bathroom.
Hmm, maybe those circumstances are affecting my review.
If you feel like being depressed by dark circumstances, reading about brands and social climbing, then you will enjoy it! Ha!

May 19, 2015

Summer Reading

I just finished reading You Should Have Known by Jean Hanff Korelitz

I'm awful at book reviews so here is what the Washington Post had to say-

“You Should Have Known” is a flat-out compelling psychological suspense tale that reminds us that smart women (precisely because they’re blinkered by their own brainpower) sometimes can make the most foolish choices. Not only is Grace a sought-after couples therapist in Manhattan, but she’s the author of a forthcoming “very hot” self-help book also called “You Should Have Known.” When the novel begins, Grace is being interviewed by a reporter from Vogue; the “Today” show and “The View” are also on her publicity schedule. As she explains to the reporter, the argument of her book is that women should heed their doubts because once they pick the wrong man, no amount of therapy will fix the marriage. 

It was a great summer read- I stayed up way too late to finish.  Poor Morgan definitely got the stink eye from me after reading the book, as I sized him up, trying to unravel any dark, hidden secrets from his past.  I didn't find any other than a chronic forgetfulness when it comes to trash removal.

I just picked up The Language of Food: A Linguist Reads the Menu by Dan Jurafsky from the library and I am enthralled.  As a word-nerd and a food-lover, the combination of the two seasoned with a sizable amount of history and statistics?  Be still my beating heart.  It is fascinating.

Finally, I have 9 hours left (out of thirty-six total) in my audio book version of Greg Iles' latest, The Bone Tree.  I highly recommend Iles' books for all- great literary thrillers, mostly set in the South.  The Quiet Game, the first novel with Penn Cage as the protagonist, is an excellent place to begin.  

Anyway, The Bone Tree is keeping me busy- tonight I have cleaned my house, done lots of laundry, made dinner for a friend whose daughter was in a serious car accident, and cleaned the kitchen, just to listen to more of my book.  I'm all about that spoonful of sugar to help my medicine go down, friends.

Now, I'm ready for some suggestions as my stack is dwindling, as is the remaining hours on my audio book.  I read everything, so load me up!

May 13, 2015

Of Note, of late

I was just chastised about my lack of updates by a family friend who is in town visiting my parents.  Sorry, Joyce! I'm getting back at it!

This tonsillectomy thing really took it out of me.  I will do a comprehensive toddler-tonsillectomy post later for those who are interested, or pre-procedure googlers such as myself.  Spoiler- it ain't a great two weeks after the surgery.  But my girl is back to herself as of Tuesday, and I am cautiously beginning to breathe easier.  As is she- the quietness of her sleep compared to the gasping/snoring/wheezing of pre-tonsillectomy is amazing.  Now I just need her sore throat to completely dissipate, so we can both get some sleep.

Luckily, after a week of playing nursemaid, when I was at my complete breaking point (poor little girl got a spanking in the roses in front of Chick-fil-a after she tried to do a runner into the busiest street in town- hydrocodeine is not my child's friend), I got to jump in the car with some girlfriends and head to the beach!

 It was a glorious Mother's Day weekend- I could not have asked for a better trip.  Major props to Morgan for holding down the insane asylum while I was gone- a tougher proposition that I had anticipated when DH wasn't well enough to go to school on Thursday or Friday.  Also, major thanks to my sister-in-law and niece for coming in from Charlotte to visit (aka lend Morgan a hand).  And, of course, to my own mama, for checking in on things, and helping with my wild little boy while Morgan administered to the pitiful patient and vice versa.

Although actual Mother's Day was pretty rough- i.e. immediate meltdown the moment I walked in the door, by Monday my girl had recovered enough to pick me some flowers.  By flowers I mean all the petals off my petunias on the front porch. Ha!  "Happy Mudder's Day, Mommy!", indeed.
Please note that she is sporting a ninja turtle shell.  Essential for all your gardening duties.  Getting back to normal around here!
We even hit up the zoo today!  It was a blast, although based on the recurring DH meltdowns starting around 4 this afternoon, I might have pushed my luck.

I have a delicious baked fish recipe for y'all coming, as well as some book reviews later this week.  Time for me to eat a brownie, pour a glass of milk, and curl up with a book!  Joyce, I hope you enjoy this post greatly!  HA!

May 4, 2015


Eating: A snack plate for lunch.  I'm planning on enjoying it whole-heartedly. Cured meat is truly the way to my heart.  Let's hope all the nitrates/fat/whatever don't linger in my heart/arteries/wherever.

Drinking- this fabulous Kroger find.
Same nutritional stats as La Croix, if you are interested.  So refreshing.

Wishing: I was out and about in a cute dress, and drinking said beverage-find with a splash of gin.

Feeling: frustrated with a work project, and with my little patient.  I'm not good at couch-sitting.  Napping, yes.  Couch-sitting, no.

Dreaming: about this amazing pizza-  (don't mind the plastic grasshopper in the background #foodstyling).

Here's the description:
Our house-made dough is hand stretched and tossed and then covered as a base with Holly's house-made Cauliflower Hummus mixed with Holly's house-made Tahini Vinaigrette. Then we lay on Holly's House made Lamb Meatballs - with thyme and mint mixed in them. A sprinkling of diced tomatoes and onion are added, with a helping of Bulgarian feta cheese right before its fed into our 750 degree wood fired oven.
When this beauty comes out of our oven it's then topped with Arugula, that has been hand tossed with Holly's Tahini Vinaigrette and then the whole thing is topped with Cruze Farm Ricotta Cheese Crumbles.
Thank you Hard Knox Pizza and Holly Hambright for making my Sunday evening extremely tasty.  I could eat a vat of that Tahini Vinaigrette.

Regretting: that I don't order some trashy British potboiler to enjoy during the aforementioned couch-sitting.

Hoping: I don't look like a dork in my new hat snagged at Cost Plus World Market.

At least I will look easy-breezy in my new kaftan.  On sale now, so go get one!
Whelp, back to my pitiful little patient.  The amount of screen time she has had during this recovery seems like a recipe for ADD for sure, but maybe it doesn't count if the watcher is on drugs?  Let's hope!

With apologies to Katie for stealing one of her formats, and not doing it nearly as well.

May 1, 2015

Five on Friday- Assorted and Sundry

1.  We are chugging along without tonsils over here.  Dell Harper was such a trooper- I was really proud of my girl.  That's the good news.  The bad news is that I'm already sick of nursing, and it's only day 2.  I will do a big post about the entire process once we get through the recovery a bit- reading other people's experiences really helped/terrified me before.

2.  French Lentil Salad with Goat Cheese and Walnuts from the Splendid Table

MAKE IT NOW!  I subbed pecans in for the walnuts, but that's it.  DELICIOUS!! And somewhat bathing suit friendly. . .

3.  Speaking of suits, I found a winner.  And it's not a two-piece (goals not met).  But it's a somewhat revealing one piece!  Does that count?  It's cute and comfortable, and I can eat a BLT for lunch and drink a beer in it.  Needs met.

Anyway, I got it from Modcloth, but it's sold out.  However, I put my google machine to work, and found it at Belk and Swim Outlet.  And they have other colors!  So cute on, I swear!

When I am dealing with the kiddos, or it's time for some shade, I love this rash guard from Land's End. It looks cooler than Land's End, right?

So when I set out to buy a bikini, I end up with essentially a long-sleeved one piece.  OLD LADY ALERT.

4.  Read this article about WWII resurrecting F. Scott Fitzgerald's career.  It's fascinating- especially the books for soldiers program.  As an inveterate reader, I can't wait to research this more.  Spreading the love of books to the troops!  Oh, you, Greatest Generation.

5.  My other favorite lunch besides the lentils?

Graniac break topped with a cucumber-dill spread (grated cukes, Greek yogurt cream cheese, a dab of mayo, and fresh dill), then cucumbers, and slivers of smoked salmon.  So refreshing!

Okay, off to watch more cartoons with my girl while Deeds is napping.  Managing 2  while nursing one is wearing me down.  As is physically restraining her to get meds down her throat.  As is sitting on the couch for hours on end.  Poor little girl, and poor me.

Have a wonderful weekend, and thanks to the Five on Friday ladies!