Top Ten Tuesday ~ Book Food

It’s time for another Top Ten Tuesday! Yay!

Top Ten Yummy Foods Mentioned In Books (Does a character eat something you’d love? Or maybe the book takes place in a bakery/restaurant that makes yummy things? You could also talk about 10 of your favorite cookbooks if you don’t read foody books.)

Hmm. I have a huge suspicion that Harry Potter foods are going to come up on these lists a LOT. I will admit, that’s the first set of book food that came to my mind. I have plenty of other book food items on my list too, but there will be at least a little Harry Potter food mentioned. Especially since I have been to the Harry Potter section of Universal Studios, and so have tasted something that approximates the food from the books. (Butterbeer. Yum. Especially the hot version.)

Okay, anyway, on with the list:

Top Ten Yummy Foods Mentioned in Books

  1. Butterbeer (Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling) ~ I can’t help it. This will probably be on more lists than any other book food this week, but I’ve had butterbeer. And it’s so good.
  2. Lembas (Lord of the Rings series by J.R.R. Tolkien) ~ Long before I wanted to try any of the foods in the Potter books, I was drooling over the idea of lembas. It didn’t hurt that when I was young we did a lot of camping and backpacking. The idea of a food that tasted good and wouldn’t take up tons of space in our backpacks was really appealing.
  3. Butter chicken (The Case of the Deadly Butter Chicken by Tarquin Hall) ~ I haven’t read this book yet (it’s on my TBR list) but I have made butter chicken. I love that dish, which is why I was drawn to this book in the first place.
  4. Hot chocolate (Sorcery and Cecelia: or the enchanted chocolate pot by Patricia Wrede and Carolyn Stevermer) ~ I love good hot chocolate. This was described as good chocolate, and served in a pretty set. And it turned out that the chocolate itself wasn’t even poisoned. Sounds perfect!
  5. Bakery goodies! (Wishcraft Mystery series by Heather Blake) ~ The magical people in this series each have a specialty. One of the characters can do magic with baked goods. I want to eat cookies made at that bakery. Yum.
  6. Klah (Pern series by Anne McCaffrey) ~ Klah is described as something that sounds like a cross between coffee and chai and cinnamon tea. It sounds fascinating, and I want to try it.
  7. Bubbly Pies (Pern series by Anne McCaffrey) ~ I loved baked goods, and these sound amazing – especially when piping hot.
  8. Pretty much anything from a Hobbit’s larder (The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien) ~ I’m not picky. It all sounded good (except the mushrooms).
  9. Brownies (Brownies and Broomsticks by Bailey Cates) ~ This is a “Magical Bakery Mystery.” So again – magical baked goods? Yes please! (As long as they aren’t designed to hurt me, which these aren’t.)
  10. Atticus’ teas (The Iron Druid Chronicles by Kevin Hearne) ~ Teas which stop aging and provide general well-being? Yes please!

Well, that’s my 10! What about you? Do you have any favorites that I’ve missed?

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Friday Reads ~ 13 October 2017

Happy Friday the 13th! I’ve always been partial to Friday the 13th and black cats, so today makes me happy instead of scared. Friday the 13th in the same month as Halloween is awesome. (And please tell me you haven’t fallen into the “this year Halloween is ON Friday the 13th!” MEMEs that are going around social media…)

Anyway. On with the books!

WHAT I READ

I finished reading Eddie Izzard’s Believe Me: A Memoir of Love, Death, and Jazz Chickens. (Sadly, the Jazz Chickens weren’t very prominent in the book.) It was a really neat look at how Izzard got to where he is now, and it’s not necessarily what you might think. I thought, as many others might have, that he got known as a comedian because he’s transgender. And maybe he grew some of his audience that way — but he got to be a stand-up comedian in the first place through sheer determination. He didn’t come up publicly about being trans until after he’d already gotten going in comedy. He goes into a lot of deeper topics than you might expect, though there are still threads of humor throughout most of the book. This was a really good read, and it’s a book I’m considering purchasing for both future reference and for family members to read.

I also finished reading the 4th Nancy Drew book, The Mystery at Lilac Inn. This was a fast read — though I’m sure it took me longer to read it when I was in the target age range. I can’t say about the series in general, but this particular one wasn’t too dated as far as gender stereotypes. Granted, the characters are all white, but at least the protagonist is a kick-ass girl. Given the age of the book that’s gotta count for something. (It was first published in 1930. WOW! I never realized it was quite that old. However, upon further reading, it was revised in the ’60s, so maybe they made it more PC at that time. I’ve only ever read the second version.)

And I finished listening to All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriot. (Finally.) This one was a hard one to read. Parts of it I liked a lot, other parts I couldn’t stand. I guess that balances out to a 3-star read (out of 5). Still, I’m glad to have read it. And quite possibly gladder that I’m done with it. There will be plenty of people who like this book better than I do, but I had no love for the detailed descriptions of how to deliver a calf, over and over again. It seemed the beginning of the book told the same story repeatedly with only minor differences. Also, I can’t stand Siegfried. I know people who are like him and never listen to what you’re saying (or remember anything inconvenient to them). There were times I thought I’d give up for good due solely to that character.

WHAT I’M READING

Still working on Robert Forward’s Dragon’s Egg. Because I’m back to my slow ereader pace, it seems.

I’ve also started the 5th Nancy Drew book, The Secret of Shadow Ranch. I’m guessing it won’t take me very long to finish this one. And I am also guessing that this will be my last foray back into Nancy Drew books for a while. I could read them one after another when I was a kid, but now… not so much.

And my new audio book is Please Don’t Tell My Parents I’m a Supervillain by Richard Roberts. I needed something completely different from All Creatures Great & Small, and I think this is that. I love the premise, but am not far into the book yet. Fingers crossed!

WHAT I’LL READ NEXT

Okay, I’ve kinda stalled out on The Woman Warrior by Maxine Hong Kingston. That will be what I focus on finishing next, library books or no library books. (I’ll work on my library books again after I finish TWW.)

My next audio book will probably be either The Inexplicable Universe by Neil deGrasse Tyson or Across the Nightingale Floor by Lian Hearn, depending on whether I want fiction or non. I want to listen to books I’ve already purchased, so that I can take advantage of Audible’s return program if I find something I really don’t like.

Have a great weekend!

Top Ten Tuesday ~ Fall Books

Happy Top Ten Tuesday!

This week started off poorly for me. There’s a fire going in the Napa area right now (which is worse for them than for me, and I hope everyone’s as safe as possible). Mr. Wyrm and I often leave the windows open on spring and fall nights, since the air is cool and fresh. However, this Monday I woke up around 3 am (after an already fitful night) smelling smoke. The smell was strong enough that I was convinced that a neighbor’s house had to be on fire and we were going to have to evacuate. So I got out of bed, ran around the house closing windows, and checked outside for fire. I didn’t see anything, and once the windows were closed the smell of smoke cleared up pretty quickly, so I went back to bed. Still… it didn’t make for a good night’s sleep or a good way to start the week.

Therefore, I’m quite ready to move on to this week’s Top Ten Tuesday topic:

Ten Books With Fall/Autumn Covers/Themes

Note: I am choosing these books solely by going through my Goodreads “to read” shelf and picking them based on the covers. Some may be more obvious than others, and some may be based purely on how the colors on the cover make me feel. (Links should take you to the Goodreads page for the book.)

  1. A Mortal Song by Megan Crewe
  2. Omens by Kelley Armstrong
  3. A Brother’s Price by Wen Spencer
  4. Three Parts Dead by Max Gladstone
  5. Daughter of the Sword by Steve Bein
  6. The Ripper Affair by Lilith Saintcrow
  7. The Autumn Castle by Kim Wilkins (okay, this one is based on the title as well as the cover)
  8. Missing by Kelley Armstrong
  9. The Gunslinger by Stephen King
  10. On Fire’s Wings by Christie Golden

Of course, just because these books’ covers make me think of autumn, that doesn’t mean I’ll be reading them in the autumn.

Happy reading!

Friday Reads ~ 6 October 2017

I guess I didn’t do a Friday Reads last week. Huh. Oh well, that means there will be more to report today.

WHAT I READ

I finished listening to The Spaceship Next Door by Gene Doucette. It was a really enjoyable book! My initial thought about this book was that the pacing was slow in the beginning. However, by about 1/3 of the way in, I appreciated the pacing, and by half-way the pacing had gradually picked up while still maintaining the “deliberate” feel it had at the beginning. Something about the pace completely matched the story for me. If I had an issue with this book, it’s that I had trouble adjusting to the (male) narrator’s choice of voice for 16-year-old Annie. I got over it, but I think I would have enjoyed the beginning of the book more had I been reading it instead of listening to it. (Full review is here.)

I read a paper copy of It Itches: A Stash of Knitting Cartoons by Franklin Habit. This is an amusing cartoon and essay collection, though it’s best suited to a knitter (or someone who loves a knitter).

I also listened to My Favorite Universe, a Great Courses lecture series by Neil deGrasse Tyson. This is a fun science non-fiction book, but it’s a bit more simplistic than the ones I’ve been listening to lately. (Example: it touches on some of the same things that Dr. Tyson talks about in Astrophysics for People in a Hurry, but in less detail and depth.) This is still worth listening to, just be aware that it’s the equivalent of an entry-level lecture series as compared with some of the other Great Courses lecture series. (Full review is here.)

WHAT I’M READING

I’m still working on The Woman Warrior by Maxine Hong Kingston. That one is still on pause, though, because I haven’t yet finished Believe Me: A Memoir of Love, Death, and Jazz Chickens by Eddie Izzard, which is a library book and so has a due date. It’s a fun book, and if you’re a fan of his stand-up you will recognize some of the stories. However, don’t expect this to be a written version of his stand-up show. It’s more real than the shows, and has more depth to it. Still funny, but it’s serious also. It’s a good read so far.

I started listening to All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriot again. I picked up where I left off, and I decided that this time I’ll either finish it or DNF it. (It’s been hibernating for quite some time.) I can see where it’s considered a classic, but I’m still not sure I’ll be able to finish this book.

And I’m still reading Dragon’s Egg by Robert Forward on my ereader. It’s a neat story, but I’ve been slacking on all non-audio books (paper and ebook) while I finish my library books. I’ll work on this more seriously soon.

WHAT I’LL READ NEXT

I kinda put in some more library book requests. So among my next reads will be The Girl Who Drunk the Moon by Kelly Barnhill, A Novel Way to Die by Ali Brandon (which apparently is Book 2 in the series but the title caught my eye so I’m starting here), and the Nancy Drew books I picked up. Because library books are shiny.

For audio… I have no idea. I have several audio books in queue, but I’ve been bad lately at predicting which one I’ll feel like when I finish the current one.

Top Ten Tuesday ~ Books that Feature Knitters

Time for another Top Ten Tuesday! This one is a bit more open-ended again. Here’s the official prompt:

Ten Books That Feature Characters ____________: Examples: Ten books that feature black main characters, characters who hold interesting jobs, characters who have a mental illness, characters that are adopted, characters that play sports, etc, etc. Can’t wait to see what you all come up with!

Hmm. That leaves a lot of room for creativity. In a way it’s almost too much room; I’m having trouble deciding what to do. Let’s see… just to pull something out of a hat (and hope I can find enough examples):

Top Ten Books that Feature Characters Who Knit

  1. The Grand Tour by Patricia Wrede and Caroline Stevermer ~ the characters send knitted messages back and forth in this one. So much fun!
  2. Princess of the Midnight Ball by JessicaDay George ~ this one has magic knitted into a shawl. And it’s a guy doing the knitting! Love it, too.
  3. Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling ~ Mrs. Weasley knits sweaters for every Christmas, and I think Hermione knits hats (and/or socks?) for house elves. I can’t remember the details. Guess that means it’s time for a re-read.
  4. Knit One, Kill Two by Maggie Sefton ~ as the first book in the “Knitting Mysteries” series, one would hope the characters knit.
  5. While My Pretty One Knits by Anne Canadeo ~ like #4, it’s the first in a knitting mystery series (“Black Sheep Knitting Mysteries” this time) so there better be knitting.
  6. Casting Spells by Barbara Bretton ~ I don’t remember all the details about this one, but I do know the main character owns a yarn shop. Plenty of knitting involved.
  7. Yarn Harlot: The Secret Life of a Knitter by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee ~ this is non-fiction book of essays and anecdotes, while the others on this list so far have been fiction books. Also, she has written many books, and I’m only including this first one.
  8. It Itches: A Stash of Knitting Cartoons by Franklin Habit ~ another book that’s not exactly fiction, but it centers around knitting and is a lot of fun, so I’m including it.
  9. The Friday Night Knitting Club by Kate Jacobs ~ I haven’t read this one yet, but it’s on my radar so I can include it. Right?
  10. Last Wool and Testament by Molly MacRae ~ this is last on my list because the knitting content is superficial in this one. Yes, it’s the first of the “Haunted Yarn Shop” series, but the yarn is just a setting.

It’s a good thing there were only supposed to be ten items on my list… I can’t come up with any other definite books to add to this list without resorting to listing multiple books in a series! (I could have done that. I’ve read — I think — eleven of Sefton’s Knitting Mystery books, so I could have just made this list out of that series.) There are other books that I’ve read which I think had knitting in them, but in some cases (like A Wrinkle In Time) I’m not positive about the knitting content, and in others (like Great Expectations) I just can’t bring myself to include the book on my list.

Have a great day!

Friday Reads ~ September 22, 2017

Remember last week how I told you that I’d been focusing on The Woman Warrior to the exclusion of my other books? Well, this week I looked at how much was left to read of the Magical Cats book, and the fact that both it and the memoir that I checked out of the library had due dates, and so I have been reading other things this week. It helps that TWW is set up kinda as connected short stories or essays within the larger book, so that there are self-contained sections and I can easily pause between them.

WHAT I READ

This week I finished Curiosity Thrilled the Cat, the aforementioned Magical Cats #1 by Sophie Kelly. It was really cute, and a nice change to have actual magical cats in a cozy mystery. (Usually the cats are “abnormally smart” but otherwise normal cats. It gets unbelievable after a while.) The full review is here.

WHAT I’M READING

I am technically still reading The Woman Warrior by Maxine Hong Kingston. It’s not on a time-out or anything, just being paused while I read library books in an attempt to finish before the due date.

The same is true for my current ebook, Dragon’s Egg by Robert Forward. I can read this places when I don’t have my paper book with me, but I’m trying to focus on the last of the library books I have checked out right now.

Speaking of… said library book is Believe Me: A Memoir of Love, Death, and Jazz Chickens by Eddie Izzard. I love his comedy, and have seen many of his taped specials and one live show, so I’m hoping I’ll enjoy his memoir as well. (So far I do, at least.)

And my audio book is still The Spaceship Next Door by Gene Doucette. I haven’t been listening to it a lot this week, but the concept still fascinates me and I want to see where the book goes with it.

WHAT I’LL READ NEXT

Since I’m reading two paper books already, I think the “next” book is already in progress.

For ebooks and audio books, though, I’m not reading/listening fast enough to have any plans for the next one. We’ll see when I get there.

Top Ten Tuesday ~ Books On My Fall TBR List

Time for another Top Ten Tuesday! This one, unlike recent topics, is more specific:

Top Ten Books On My Fall TBR List

Hmm. I don’t know that I really have season-specific books, but I do have books I want to read sooner rather than later. I’ll count those as my Fall TBR list, since Fall is sooner rather than later.

  1. The Book of Three by Lloyd Alexander (#1 in the Prydain Chronicles)
  2. Rest in Pieces by Rita Mae Brown (#2 of the Mrs. Murphy books)
  3. To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis
  4. Believe Me: A Memoir of Love, Death, and Jazz Chickens by Eddie Izzard
  5. Across the Nightingale Floor by Lian Hearn (Tales of the Otori #1)
  6. The Inexplicable Universe by Neil deGrasse Tyson
  7. Sparrow Hill Road by Seanan McGuire
  8. Late Eclipses by Seanan McGuire (#3 of the October Daye series)
  9. The Lost Gate by Orson Scott Card (Mithermages #1)
  10. Matched by Ally Condie (Matched #1)

Some of these, obviously, are higher on the TBR list than others, and the order in which they’re written only partially reflects that. The ones I want to read most came to mind first; beyond that, they’re in a much more random order.

And also obviously, I retain the right to completely change my mind when it comes time to select what book I’ll read next.  😉