Monthly Archives: September 2017

5 Books + New Beer!

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Another week has come and gone and *sigh*…. I still haven’t posted on anything except books! I have a lot I’d like to share; but I’m still in that “don’t want to be on the computer after sitting and working on one all day” mode.

What’s more? Our friends opened a new brewery in Shakopee last night! I did stop by to support; but instead of the old me, snapping photos at every opportunity, I did not take a single one. Instead, I just enjoyed the experience. It was really fun to see a bunch of our friends there, too! If you haven’t yet, please take a time to check out Shakopee Brewhall. They did an amazing job with which I thought was going to be the narrowest space tucked between Turtles and Arnie’s in downtown Shakopee. Instead, it feels quite roomy and is a perfect space for socializing!

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One reason I like to post about the books that I’ve read is that I want to remember themSince I went a whole month between stretches of posting on this blog, there are a few books that I don’t remember very well! That makes me sad. I teetered on whether I should post about them or not. I decided to post about them anyway!

Many of the books this week are how-to and cookbooks, but I’ve saved a little fiction for last. 🙂 Enjoy!

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Dinner: The Playbook
by Jenny Rosenstrach 
(non-fiction, cookbook) – worth a read

After loving Jenny’s (can I be so bold to address you by your first name, Jenny?!) first book, Dinner, A Love Story, I knew this would be another good one. It’s a different approach, though. Whereas Dinner, A Love Story was quite literally a story, Dinner, The Playbook is, well… a playbook. It’s your guide and how-to to get dinner on the table every. single. night… if you so desire. While it does focus on families and how to encourage picky eaters, I still felt this book could apply to me. With a husband who does not cook and would be content to eat out every night of the week, I sometimes need this. While she suggests enlisting the help of everyone in the family, even if it’s just to set the table, I find that one difficult. If dinner is anything but ordering and paying for it, my husband considers it too much work and not worth it! If I want to eat at home, I have to do the cooking and the dishes. (The trade off is that I don’t do any yardwork or vacuuming!)

One of the suggestions I did like, however, was when asked what is for dinner to casually say, “Hmmm… I haven’t decided yet,” even when you do know. That keeps any backlash at bay and makes things so much easier for you! I feel like this would work with my husband because whenever we would have something planned for an evening meal in, he wouldn’t be feeling it and would suggest going out instead. I have yet to try this on him!

After returning this book to the library, it promptly went on my PaperbackSwap.com and put it on my wishlist.

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Lose Weight by Eating
by Audrey Johns 
(non-fiction, cookbook) – worth a read?

Here is one of the cookbooks that I don’t remember much about. I don’t know how I hears about it; but I do know that I chose it because it focuses on real food. Still, I don’t remember the content nor the recipes! I liked it enough that I gave it 3 start out of 5 on Good Reads and put it on my PaperbackSwap.com. Hmmmm.

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Home Cheap Home: A Room-by-Room Guide to Great Decorating
by Budget Living (non-fiction, how-to) – skip it

Truth be told, this is a book from 2004 that I think I’ve owned since then, but have never read! I had it up for grabs on PaperbackSwap.com. When someone requested it, I figured I should probably give it a quick read, or at least flip-through, before I mailed it off. Now I know why I did not read this book – it is Not. For. Me. Surprisingly, I don’t think it’s really that out-dated in terms of style; but the ideas where not ones I would use. I hope the person who requested this book gets much better use out of it than I did!

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Organizing Solutions for People with ADD:
Tips and Tools to Help You Take Charge of Your Life and Get Organized

by Susan C. Pinsky (non-fiction, how-to) – worth a read

I have never been diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder; but I do believe we all can suffer from distraction from time to time. This book was written in 2006. I will say that some of the tips sounded condescending, even though the author has family members with ADD and has been helping others for years. I’m sure she didn’t intended it to be that way. Maybe I’m just sensitive to the language. In any case, I can’t even remember some of the tips. All I know is that simplifying seems to be best. Ease and efficiency is more important than special organizers or how something looks.  Items should be in reach and never take multiple steps to get to or put away because otherwise, they will not happen! I think that is good advice for anyone, not just those with ADD.

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Hello Sunshine
by Laura Dave (fiction) – worth a read

I loved the opening of this book! It was recommended by another blogger I follow. While I liked the storyline, I felt like the book fell flat by the end. I’m not sure there was any true climax. When I started reading this book, I was in the throes of watching Next Food Network Star. I kept seeing commercials for a show called I Hart Food with Hannah Hart. Hannah became my image of this book’s main character for that reason! Although I didn’t love the way the book fizzled out, I’m still intrigued to read her book Eight Hundred Grapes, which takes place in wine country!

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What are your favorite how-to books?

 

Cheers~
Carrie

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Hello? Anyone Still There?

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This post has been sitting in my in my draft box for a month! I have been working so much that the last thing I want to do is be on the computer at the end of the day. But I really do miss writing and this little old blog of mine, so I’m hitting publish on this one today! Hopefully, I’ll garner up the time and energy to share little tidbits about what’s been going on these parts this summer.

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My reading lists (aka Five for Friday: What I’ve Been Reading) are the easiest posts I can get out these days. I may need to take a different approach with this blog… I want to share more… especially on my travels… especially because we won’t be a for a while… but after being on the computer all day for work, I need to step out of my office and get OFFLINE. This is just how it is right now.

In any case, here’s what I’ve read recently.

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
by Mark Twain 
(fiction, audiobook) – worth a listen

After listening to Pride and Prejudice on the Audible app for free with my Amazon Prime subscription, I felt like it was time to listen to Tom Sawyer, a classic book of which most of us know the story; but I’ve never read. Bonus: the narrator of this version is Nick Offerman – a comedian {you may know him from Parks and Rec} whose voice is perfect for this story, in my opinion.

I love the insight during the fence whitewashing scene is that nothing is fun if you get paid for it, but if you have the “privilege” of doing something instead of getting paid, the more likely you are going to want to do it for fun. Perspective!

Also, either it was common in literature use and write the word “presently” often during this time period, or this was a favorite word of Twain’s to use. So frequent, that you may find yourself getting drunk easily if you turned it into a drinking game.

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Cocaine Blues
by Kerry Greenwood 
(fiction) – worth a read

I learned about this book/series from Mel Joulwan, author of the Well Fed cookbooks that I adore. She did a post on Reading Day {which is somewhat like the unplug day Rob and I try to have a few times a year} and this was one she listed. I liked the fact that the story takes place in Australia during the 1920s. I tried to picture Melbourne during this time!  It’s a nice little mystery with a likable heroine. {No correlation with the title there! HA!} I liked the feminist themes, too.

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One Pot Paleo:
Simple to Make, Delicious to Eat and Gluten-free to Boot

by Jenny Castaneda (non-fiction, cookbook) – worth a flip

For those of you who eat Paleo, this book is not 100% Paleo. This doesn’t matter to me. I’m just a sucker for one-pot recipes with fresh ingredients! The author eats Paleo most of the time, but does also include some things in her diet such as rice. She is of Fillipino descent, so there a many interesting adaptations from that. What I didn’t know all this time, but learned from this cookbook is that there is much Spanish influence on Filipino cuisine!

I didn’t cook any recipes from this book, but still enjoyed flipping through it.

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Trout Caviar: Recipes from a Northern Forager
by Brett Laidlaw (non-fiction, cookbook) – worth a read

I found this book doing a trout search on my library website because I was in search of more trout recipes. {I have yet to post on our Lake Superior fishing trip earlier this summer!} This cookbook is great for the stories! {And you know how I love to read a cookbook like a novel!}

I enjoyed reading about how the author and his wife moved out to land to live in pretty much a shack in the middle of the woods, right here in the good ol’ Midwest! They do a lot of foraging and tend to eat off the land as much as possible. I didn’t find a trout recipe I would actually make but I did get a popcorn appetizer recipe that has me so intrigued!!!

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The Breakdown
by B.A. Paris (fiction) – worth a read

After reading Paris’s Behind Closed Doors, I put myself on the library waiting list for the her next book to hit the shelves. While I did not love it as much as Behind Closed Doors, I did devour this semi-thriller in a day while Rob was out of town. Her books are just hard to put down! I also liked reading this interview with the author. She didn’t start writing novels until she was 50!

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What’s been you favorite summer read this year?

 

Cheers~
Carrie