More Wordless Wednesday fun here.
Hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. More HERE.
May 21: Top Ten Favorite Book Covers Of Books I Just Love
Oh, this is a topic just made for my book cover whore’s heart! I LOVE this topic. Except for the whole, HOW DO I PICK TEN BOOK COVERS, part. That part, she is hard, y’all.
So. Let’s see here. These are in no particular order.
The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey. Evokes the stark, cold, barren landscape of the Alaska wilderness, and the setting of the story, perfectly.
My One Hundred Adventures by Polly Hovarth. I haven’t read this book, yet, so I don’t know how well the cover represents the book, but golly, do I love it.
Every Day by David Levithan. I really feel this book evokes the feeling of falling, of confusion, of “where am I going to land next?” I imagine A must feel, as he goes day to day through his life.
Milkweed by Jerry Spinelli. I haven’t read this one, but I pretty much adore any cover that features flowers/plants in silhouette.
The Never-Ending Story by Michael Ende. One of my favorite books gets a lovely, lovely cover. I foresee me getting a new copy of this….
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. Ah. That lovely clock. The stark colors. The passionate twirls and swirls around the title. I love it.
So, what have I learned here? 1. I don’t typically like people on my covers. If there are there, ALL of them is there. No headless women for me. 2. I like my covers to be a good visual representation of what I’m going to find in the book. And 3. I like them lovely.
How about you? What kind of covers do you like?
Time // Monday, May 20, 2013. 11:55 am
Place // Work!
Eating // Just had my ham sandwich, some carrots and cucumber, and some dark chocolate acai blueberries. Wow, they are so good. At first I was all EH about them, but they have really REALLY grown on me. Doesn’t hurt that I can’t get enough dark chocolate, yeah?
Drinking // Water, as always.
Reading // Working through Far, Far Away by Tom McNeal right now. Finished by last Rainbow Rowell (Fan Girl) last week, so I am sad until she releases a new book. Also going to start Soonchild by Russell Hoban and The Crimson Petal and the White soonish. Also need to start a book for The Estella Project!
Watching // Watched the season finale of Doctor Who yesterday. O. M. G. I mean really. OMG. Anyone else watch it? Because OMG y’all! JOHN FREAKING HURT!!!!!!
Listening // Should finish up Looking for Me by Beth Hoffman this week. Beth, you made me do the ugly cry! ;P Not sure what’s next yet.
Pondering // Hmm…what am I thinking about…? The daughter’s last week of school and facing the fact that she will be a FOURTH GRADER. And the fact that my son starts KINDERGARTEN in less than 3 months. Also thinking of the garden and all the work I still need to do out there. I NEED MORE TIME PEOPLE. I’m sure you do too, though. *sigh*
Blogging // Now that life is calming down, more, I hope. Can’t review Fan Girl yet, but hopefully I’ll finish Far, Far Away and review it this week.
Promoting // The Estella Project!
Hating // Allergies! The weeds! They are killing me!
Loving // The fact that life at work has finally calmed down. I’m not dreading going to the office like I was. It is soooooooooooooooooooooo wonderful.
Anticipating // A 5 day weekend! Woot!
Have a great week everyone!
Saturday Farmer’s Market is an event I started a couple of years ago, but kind of let get away from me. My dear, dear friend Chris asked me last month if I minded if he resurrected it (just in time for Easter!) and I was delighted to turn the reins over to him. Check out his blog for more gardening and good food goodness and join in the fun!
This is my comfrey. It has grown so large! It will have flowers soon, which are so pretty. I love it! I hope to make some salve from the leaves this year. Good for the aching joints!
This is one of my 12 potato plants. They are SO tall now!
A row of onions. They are growing so fast. I need to plant the other 40.
Beans and sugar snap peas are growing fast. I can’t wait to see them climbing that trellis.
This is the daughter’s garden. It’s a lovely mishmash of flowers, cabbage, brussels sprouts, rogue tomato plants and wildflowers. Wild and beautiful, just like her!
My first (and main) bed. Brussels sprouts are huge, the carrots are tiny, the pepper plants are…still alive? They don’t look like they have grown much yet. On the far right, is part of the line of tomatoes. They have doubled in the last week.
Another view. I got a little snap-happy.
Looking down on a brussels sprout plant (and my toes!). We were curious as to whether one could eat the leaves or not (since they look a lot like cabbage leaves. Turns out you can! And from what we read, are actually more nutritious than the sprouts! Can’t wait to try some!
So? How doth your garden grow?
Time // 6:33 AM
Place // Home. For now.
Eating // Nothing yet. Hope to eat soon!
Reading // The Testing by Joelle Charbonneau. New YA dystopian that counts The Hunger Games as a godparent.
Watching // The New Girl finale this week (isn’t it?)!! Need to catch up on Elementary too.
Listening // Looking for Me by Beth Hoffman, read by Jenna Lamia. Love.
Pondering // What to read next. I have so many things to choose from!
Blogging // This week; hope to have another review, and I already have a Saturday Farmer’s Market post ready to go.
Promoting // The Estella Project!
Hating // Pollen! And waking up to temps in the 30s! Ugh!
Loving // My lovely family and all the loveliness I got yesterday. It was a very loving day.
Anticipating // Warmer weather.
Have a great week everyone!
Edit: I posted this weekend last year. I recently made it with lemons instead of oranges and WOW. YOU GUYS. It was soooooo good. So I’m reposting, to share again!
By special request, and the fact I had nothing else ready to post today, here is the recipe for the Ricotta Orange Pound Cake I made over the weekend. This cake was SO EASY! And oh my gosh, the flavor is fantastic, the cake has just the right consistency…. You can’t ask more of cake. You can probably tell I used my springform pan and it worked beautifully.
Ricotta Orange Pound Cake
Adapted from Laura’s Sweet Spot
1 1/2 cups cake flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, room temperature, plus more to grease the baking pan
1 1/2 cups whole milk ricotta cheese
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 orange, zested (OR lemon)
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons Amaretto (or 1/2 tsp almond extract) (I used the almond extract)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9 by 5 by 3-inch loaf pan with butter.
In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Stir to combine; set aside.
In bowl of electric mixer, measure out sugar and rub orange zest into sugar with fingertips. Add butter and cream together until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add ricotta and continue to cream, until well incorporated and light, about 2 minutes or so.
With the machine running, add the eggs 1 at a time, mixing one full minute after each. Add the vanilla and Amaretto until combined. Add the dry ingredients, a small amount at a time, until just incorporated.
Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and bake until a toothpick comes out clean and the cake is beginning to pull away from the sides of the pan, about 45 to 50 minutes. Let the cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Using a mesh sieve, dust the cooled cake with powdered sugar.
Et voila! Enjoy!
You all know I love food. And I love graphic novels. And I really enjoyed Lucy Knisley’s book French Milk (review). So, as you can probably bet, this was a match made in heaven for me.
This was SUCH a match made in heaven for me.
Relish is Lucy’s story of her life with food. Lucy may be more obsessed with food than I am! With a mom who is both a chef and gourmand, she had little choice! After her parent’s divorce, Lucy and her mother move to the country. There, her mom starts gardening, working at the local farmer’s market, and even starts a catering company. Lucy, at first, resents the move and misses the big city with its plethora of food opportunities, but soon comes to appreciate what her mother has brought to her. Her trips back to the city to visit with her father, who only eats at restaurants, are a nice contrast to this home grown attitude of her mom’s. The memoir follows her through growing up in the country, into her move to Chicago to go to art school and her introduction to all the different kinds of foods available there.
Be careful though. This book will make you hungry.
I love Lucy’s attitude toward food. I try to eat healthy. I’m trying to teach my children to reach for that carrot stick instead of a French fry. Lucy’s mom tried to instill the same thing in her. Yet, Lucy has other ideas, and I agree with them. Every once in a while, you just gotta get that McDonald’s cheeseburger! Yes, it is not nutritionally the best thing to pick. But it tastes good! And one, every once in a while, isn’t going to hurt. I love that she’s not stuck up about food.
I love the way she draws out her recipes. It (quite possibly strangely) brought to mind The Pioneer Woman and how she photographs EVERYTHING in her recipes. All the ingredients. All the steps. And the results. (also, *drool*) Lucy’s drawings are cute and the recipes sound (and look) delicious.
Yeah. This is a must own.
What do you think of foodie memoirs? What do you think of them in a graphic novel format?
Relish: My Life in the Kitchen
By Lucy Knisley
Publisher: First Second
Acquired from the library, but I will be buying myself a copy
Andi and I, now that the Readathon is over until October, are ready to get back to The Estella Society and a few of the projects we have lined up over there. One we are especially excited about this very moment is The Estella Project. You might remember that awhile back, we asked our readers to submit the title of one NOT TO BE MISSED book.
You guys were a little shy. Performance anxiety??? But we still came up with a pool of 10 books on which to base our little experiment.
Bestest of the Bestest According to Estella Readers:
Now, the challenge, should you choose to accept it….
Read any three of the books from the list between May 6th and September 1st. That’s four full months.
Yeah, that’s it. We want you to tell us about them, of course! As you finish, link up below so we can enjoy your reviews. For those who manage to finish three books by September 1st, there’s a $20 Amazon gift card in it for you. Woot!
Head on over to The Estella Society as you read, please?
I think I’m going to be reading the last three. I have several respected friends who list The Sparrow as a favorite, Debi highly recommends Bad Science, and I have such a love/hate relationship with John Irving that I’m curious what I’ll think of one of his more beloved books.
I don’t know about you, but I get nervous when books are compared to others. I get REALLY nervous when books are compared to books I love. I find that, for the most part, this leads to a letdown.
Between Shades of Gray has been compared to The Book Thief.
I completely and totally love The Book Thief. With, like, most of my heart. So, naturally, I was also completely and totally nervous about Between Shades of Gray.
I’ll say this right now. I needn’t have been. While in many ways, Between Shades of Gray is not like The Book Thief, in others it is. And I have nothing but love, now for both of the books.
Between Shades of Gray has war, and prisons camps, and family, and strength, and hope, and love. So much love. Oh geez, I’m going to cry again. Just let me get to what the book is about:
Lina is just like any other fifteen-year-old Lithuanian girl in 1941. She paints, she draws, she gets crushes on boys. Until one night when Soviet officers barge into her home, tearing her family from the comfortable life they’ve known. Separated from her father, forced onto a crowded and dirty train car, Lina, her mother, and her young brother slowly make their way north, crossing the Arctic Circle, to a work camp in the coldest reaches of Siberia. Here they are forced, under Stalin’s orders, to dig for beets and fight for their lives under the cruelest of conditions.
Lina finds solace in her art, meticulously-and at great risk-documenting events by drawing, hoping these messages will make their way to her father’s prison camp to let him know they are still alive. It is a long and harrowing journey, spanning years and covering 6,500 miles, but it is through incredible strength, love, and hope that Lina ultimately survives. Between Shades of Gray is a novel that will steal your breath and capture your heart.
That last part? About how Between Shades of Gray is novel that will steal your breath and capture your heart? THAT IS SO TRUE. I was slightly surprised by just how much. On the surface, it seems like I wouldn’t have a lot in common with Lina. She’s 15. I’m 35. She’s Lithuanian. I’m American. She has a loving family life with her parents and brother. I had a loving family life with my grandparents, and now my husband and children. She was sent to a labor camp in Siberia. I’ve never had such treatment. We DO have art in common, and we’re both girls, but that’s about it. Yet, thanks to Sepetys gorgeous writing, I felt I came to know Lina so well. I could understand her. I could imagine what I would do in her place. I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t be nearly as strong as she was.
After all I’ve said, I bet you’re thinking, “But Heather, this book will make me cry!” Well, yes, it probably will. Books about war are sad, especially when told through the eyes of a young person. However, there is so much HOPE in this book. Lina. Never. Gives. Up. Through the worst things that could happen to a person, she never gives up hope, she never gives up love, and she never, ever, gives up her strength. I’m telling you; Lina will steal your heart, just as surely as she stole mine.
Frankly put, this book is not to be missed.
Notes on the reader: Emily Klein was perfect. Her voice was soft, young, and just absolutely perfect for Lina. At first, I wasn’t too sure, but she completely won me over.
“Have you ever wondered what a human life is worth? That morning, my brother’s was worth a pocket watch.”
“I left the jutra to chop wood. I began my walk through the snow, five kilometers to the tree line. That’s when I saw it.
A tiny silver of gold appeared between shades of gray on the horizon.
I stared at the amber band of sunlight, smiling.
The sun had returned.
I closed my eyes. I felt Andrius moving close. “I’ll see you,” he said.
“Yes, I will see you,” I whispered “I will.”
I reached into my pocket and squeezed the stone.”
“Sometimes kindness can be delivered in a clumsy way. But it’s far more sincere in its clumsiness than those distinguished men you read about in books. Your father was very clumsy.”
He stopped and turned to me. “No. Don’t be scared. Don’t give them anything Lina, not even your fear.”
Between Shades of Gray
By Ruta Sepetys
Read by Emily Klein
Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
Publication date: 4/3/2012
Pages: 368; Time: 7 hours, 47 minutes
Acquired from the NC Digital Library