January is over and done with, which is kind of scary. That means that it’s time for some wrapping up!
I had 9 books on my list and read 2 of them before January had started, 2 others actually in January and 2 that weren’t on the list at all. My total number of books read in January is: 7. So more than half were from NetGalley which sounds nifty.
NetGalley books read:
NetGalley books reviewed:
All in all, pretty decent considering the busy start to the year! I’m happy with it anyway. To help keep up the momentum, I’ve joined Emily’s NetGalley Reading Challenge.
I’m going for gold (30 books) but realistically, 50 would be better because I kind of have a long request list… yay! I even made myself a fancy pants shelf on Goodreads to keep track of what I’ve got.
How did you do with your reading goals in January? L xoxo
I was going write up my review with this post but I only finished late last night and this book was so, so good that I need a couple of days to ponder before reviewing. So instead, you guys get some weekend yumminess!
As one would expect in a book with ‘baker’ in the title, baking plays a central role in this book. It’s what brings characters together and, after much teasing, the epilogue provides the reader with several recipes that were used in the book. This one seemed the easiest but they all sound fabulous!
Reba’s Bread (Dairy free) by Elsie Schmidt (from The Baker’s Daughter by Sarah McCoy)
Sprinkle yeast over warm water in a small bowl. In a separate bowl, combine sugar, salt, cinnamon, and oil. Stir in yeasty water and then beat in 1 1/2 cups flour. Add raisins and slowly add the remaining flour. Knead on floured surface for 10 minutes until dough is no longer sticky.
Form into a ball and place in greased bowl, making sure it’s evenly coated. Cover with a cloth and let double in size. Punch it down and shape. Place in greased bread pan. Cover and let rise for 30 minutes. Bake for 30 minutes at 400 F until the crust is golden brown. Cut and serve with butter (or jam!).
Notes: I had and used bread flour because it was what was in my cupboard. It seems to have come out fine (taste and texture is good). I don’t have a bread pan so I just plopped the ball of dough onto a tray… probably not the best technique but it worked out OK! Next time I’ll add some more cinnamon and maybe make one without raisins. Overall: awesome bread!
What are you cooking this weekend? L xoxo
“In a Balkan country mending from war, Natalia, a young doctor, is compelled to unravel the mysterious circumstances surrounding her beloved grandfather’s recent death. Searching for clues, she turns to his worn copy of The Jungle Book and the stories he told her of his encounters over the years with “the deathless man.” But most extraordinary of all is the story her grandfather never told her—the legend of the tiger’s wife.”
Doesn’t that sound like something you’d want to read? I’m really excited for our first book club book. I’ve never been in a book club before so please bear with me as I try to figure out what I’m doing.
We know you guys like to talk so if you want to chat as you read you can use #ailbookclub on twitter. You can also join our facebook group. On each of our set dates a post will go up here on the old bloggity blog and I’ll be hosting chats on facebook and twitter.
We’ll have discussion questions for you each Sunday which you can talk about on twitter, facebook, in the comments or in a blog post of your own! Keep these spoiler free for people who aren’t reading or aren’t to the end of the section yet. You can discuss spoilers to your hearts content in our group facebook chat on the set dates!
Our sections and discussions will be:
12/02: Chapters 1-4 inclusive
19/02: Chapters 5-8 inclusive
26/02: Chapters 9-13 inclusive
I’m blatantly borrowing this outline from the Huffington Post readalong structure so, if it fails, we can always blame them…
You have two weeks until our first post, reading officially starts next Sunday but go ahead and start whenever you have time! I’ll post a reminder next week as well as mentioning the awesome in our newsletter.
Happy reading! L xoxo
The Fallback Plan was a weird, but enjoyable, novel. I could even say it was weirdly enjoyable but then you might look at me funny.
I spent a great part of this book under the impression that it was autobiographical, which seemed odd because the protagonist and authors names were different and I, personally, would not being sharing all this stuff with the world. I guess it’s because the book reads so fast, kind of tugging you into it’s crazy, that it took me so long to notice. Once I got that minor detail down though (that it’s not at all autobiographical, or at least no more that your average book) things kind of fell into place and I stopped feeling lost (I did however, feel like an idiot…).
The Fallback Plan could be the story of any recent college graduate. After expending years of time and energy, throwing hopes and dreams into the future every five minutes, you graduate. And that’s it. What the hell are you supposed to do next?! Esther moves back in with her parents and in a desperate attempt to make her do something, they get her a job babysitting the neighbor kid while she tries to figure out what happens next. Amy and Nate lost their baby a year ago and Esther becomes impossibly entangled with their other daughter May as the family tries to put their lives back together. What ensues is sweet, charming, funny and bizarre as Esther faces the clash between her left behind teenage angst and her new adult identity.
After saying all that, I can honestly say that, while I enjoyed reading the book, I’m not sure if I actually liked it. I can appreciate the story, the humour and most of all the honesty, but I never got that spark that connects the reader to the character. I’m just going to say: you should give this book a shot. It may or may not work for you, but it’s more than worth the effort. I’ll definitely be reading The Fallback Plan again, now that I actually know what is going on!
The crap has finally hit the fan; Cersei has sealed her place in the villainous hall of fame, Joffrey becomes king after Robert’s death, and Ned’s honor has gotten a bunch of people killed and himself relegated to the dungeons (it didn’t help that Sansa ran crying to the queen).
Tyrion proves himself once again to be a cunning little fellow, with the gift of the gab, Catelyn’s sister is completely insane, Catelyn is finally proving that she is made of tougher stuff, and Jon learns the hard way that Old Nan’s stories of the the Others weren’t just stories after all.
Robb goes to war with the Lannisters, Aria escapes the castle with the tricks her ‘dancing master’ has taught her while Sansa remains their prisoner, Drogo kills Vicerys and then vows to to conquer the Seven Kingdoms after an attempt Danerys’s life, and, of course, winter is coming.
It goes without saying that things are beginning to get really complicated. There were two things that I found really interesting. Seeing another side of Tyrion; a Tyrion who once had his heart broken and is more self conscious under the gaze of his father. And seeing Robb’s character seemingly blossom out of nothingness.
Too much has happened for me to coherently comment on in one post and so I ask:
As always, link your update posts in the comments. Next week we are finishing the book!
“IT BEGINS, AS MOST THINGS BEGIN, WITH A SONG.”
Krick…Krack…two simple words that open up a doorway, allowing the listener/reader to step into another realm full of possibilities. These two seemingly innocuous words have preceded every Anansi story I’ve ever heard… except this one. Gaiman begins this tale with a song. At least, he begins it by discussing the importance of songs.
Fat Charlie, aka Charles Nancy, has long fled Florida, and the indignities thrust upon him by his prankster father; though the memories of the jokes still anger him. In the midst of planning his wedding he learns that his father has apparently died mid-song at a karaoke bar. His father’s death is only the beginning of a series of events which will force him to question his sanity.
From a group of obeah women he learns that his father was a god, and that he has an avaricious brother, who seems to have come away with all the godly powers. And just to make things more interesting, there are some other gods who have been waiting very patiently for revenge.
This is not my favorite Gaiman book but I still enjoyed it. Gaiman weaves a series of Anansi stories into a plot about a very unremarkable guy to whom bad things keep happening. Apart from the magical bits, this story looks at the importance of family (no matter how dysfunctional) and the importance of stories and how they can govern how we see the world.
While I was reading I remember being really impressed by Gaiman’s knowledge of folklore and the Caribbean. Even if he did invent his own island (St. Andrews). Then when I reached the acknowledgments I was thrilled to see that he got some help from a Caribbean SF writer that I really like, Nalo Hopkinson.
All in all, aside from some bad puns and lackluster metaphors, I thought it was great book and recommend it to all those SF and Neil Gaiman fans out there.
It’s been a couple of weeks since my last TSS update. What’s been happening? A lot. My life in bullet points for your reading convenience:
- I’m working full time now (yay!) and we are looking for somewhere to move too soon (and may have found a place!).
- My *final semester* of ungraduateness starts on Monday so I’ll be working away at my thesis again, like I was supposed to be doing the whole vacation (I wasn’t…).
- I’ve applied to do a graduate diploma in Education! We’ll see if we can actually afford to pay for it when I get accepted, but I have applied, which is a nice first step.
Blog wise, the Game of Thrones readalong is going strong! I’m so far behind it’s ridiculous (around page 250) but Kwame and Jenn are doing a fabulous job of keeping up with the updates and I hope to catch up this week once I finish Outlander which is SO GOOD but very, very loooooong.
After much consideration, our book club, Adventures In Letters, has selected our February book: The Tigers Wife. Reading will commence February 4th and our first discussion post will go up February 12th. I’ll put up a proper fancy post with all the dates later today. If you want to join in, you can either join our facebook group or just read with us and post on your blog!
You may have noticed that our posts have started to slow down. I’m usually the hyper overposter that fills your readers with randomness but lately I haven’t had the time. I’m either working, or tired from working, or figuring out school stuff. Hopefully once the semester kicks off, I’ll have enough structure to schedule in some blogging time!
Also, I’ve been reading longer books lately! This is part of my 2012 goals. To read longer books (over 500 pages) that I have been avoiding because they are soooo long. So far, I’ve read A Discovery of Witches and I’m really close to the end of Outlander. And I’m working my way through A Game of Thrones. This means I’ve only read 2 books for the year so far, but I’m trying to convince myself this doesn’t matter….
This post is longer than I was expecting… so:
What’s going on with you this Sunday? L xoxo