Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
One of the greatest gifts we receive from dogs is the tenderness the evoke in us. The disappointments of life, the injustices, the battering events that are beyond our control, and the betrayals that we endure from those we befriended and loved can make us cynical and turn our hearts into flint on which only the matches of anger and bitterness can be struck into flame. Other companion animals can make us more human, but because of the unique nature of dogs - their clear delight in being with us, the rejoicing with which they greet us when we come home to them, the reliable sunniness of their disposition, the joy they bring to playtime, the curiosity and wonder with which they embrace each new experience - they can melt away cynicism and sweeten a bitter heart. (page 190)
Saturday, October 24, 2009
I'd been forever struggling with my crossed wiring since childhood. On the one hand, I was born pathologically shy with severe misanthropic tendencies. From day one, I wanted nothing to do with humanity. (page 28)
Don't do it!.....If I could do it again, I'd get my ignorant self educated. Because someone at some point would have said to me, 'You know, if you go out on your own and open a bakery, you're not allowed to sleep.' At the very least I would have learned how to manage such a place. So my first instinct is to tell that home baker with the big dream that they should hold fast to the joy they receive in baking for pleasure. And if they must pursue a career in it, go to school. Or work in a hard-core bakery, where the hours are abysmal and the production monumental. Don't mortgage your life to bake unless you know what the hell you're doing. (page 203-204)
No one was the least bit hungry anymore, but that is precisely what is so good about the moment devoted to pastries: they can only be appreciated to the full extent of their subtlety when they are not eaten to assuage our hunger, when the orgy of their sugary sweetness is not destined to fill some primary need but to coat our palate with all the benevolence of the world. (page 35)
The raw tomato, devoured in the garden when freshly picked, is a horn of abundance of simple sensations, a radiating rush in one's mouth that brings with it every pleasure. The resistance of the skin -- slightly taut, just enough; the luscious yield of the tissues their seed-filled liqueur oozing to the corners of one's lips and that one wipes away without any fear of staining one's fingers; this plump little globe unleashing a flood of nature inside us: a tomato, an adventure. (page 63)
- Total reading time: 2 hours
- Total pages read: 100 pages (30 pages since last posting)
- Total books read: 2 (both started prior to the Read-athon
No matter how close we are are to another person, few human relationships are as free from strife, disagreement, and frustration as is the relationship you have with a good dog. Few human beings give of themselves to another as a dog gives of itself. I also suspect that we cherish dogs because their unblemished souls make us wish - consciously or unconsciously - that we were as innocent as they are, and make us yearn for a place where innocence is universal and where the meanness, the betrayals, and the cruelties of this world are unknown. (page 264)
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
- To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee (audio book recommended by Sandy) - I have read the book numerous times but I am anxious to listen to Sissy Spacek's narration.
- Amazing Gracie by Dan Dye and Mark Beckloff
- Gourmet Rhapsody by Muriel Barbery
- The Archivist by Martha Cooley
- Confections of a Closet Master Baker by Gesine Bullock-Prado (Sandra Bullock's sister)
- Living the Vida Lola by Misa Ramirez (I was contacted by the author to review her 2nd book, so I thought I should preview her debut book first)
- Half Minute Horrors (reviewed by Lenore)
- Letters to Alice on First Reading Jane Austen (by Fay Weldon)
- From Baghdad, with Love by Jay Kopelman
- Get Real by Donald Westlake
- Woman in Red by Eileen Goudge
- Domestic Affairs by Eileen Goudge (I have not read any of her material and I couldn't decide which one I might enjoy most)
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
- The Magician's Book by Laura Miller
- The Magicians by Lev Grossman
- Deaf Sentence by David Lodge
- Songs for the Missing by Stewart O'Nan
- The Housekeeper and the Professor by Yoko Ogawa
- Sag Harbor by Colson Whitehead
- Possession by AS Byatt
- The Anthologist by Nicholson Baker
- Prince of Tides by Pat Conroy
- Bad Things Happen by Harry Dolan
- Get Real by Donald Westlake
- An Expensive Education by Nick McDonnell
- Blame by Michelle Huneven
- A Gate at the Stairs by Lorrie Moore
- Nocturnes by Kazuo Ishiguro
Monday, October 19, 2009
Are you planning on participating in the upcoming 24 Hour Read-a-thon (either as a reader or cheerleader)? Have you made any preparations for the event? And, veterans out there, any tips you’d like to share with the newbies?
Sunday, October 18, 2009
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Monday, October 12, 2009
- approx 9 apples - peeled, cored, sliced (I use Honey Crisp apples)
- 3/4 C brown sugar
- 1/2 C white sugar
- 1/2 C flour
- 1/4 C butter
- 2 pie crusts
- Prepare the apples and sprinkle with lemon juice to keep from browning.
- Melt butter in a large saucepan and saute the apples about 10 minutes.
- Add the remaining ingredients and cook until thick.
- Let cool.
- Place apples in deep dish pie crust and top with 2nd crust.
- Brush with egg wash (if desired) and cut small slits in top crusts (steam vents)
- Bake at 425 degrees for about 40 minutes.
- 1 18.25-ounce box yellow cake mix
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) melted butter
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine cake mix, egg and butter, and mix well.
- Pour into the bottom of prepared 9x13 pan and set aside.
- 8 ounce package cream cheese, softened
- 15 ounce can pumpkin pie filling
- 3 eggs
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 16-ounce box confectioners’ sugar
- 1/2 C melted butter
- In the mixer, beat cream cheese until smooth
- Add pumpkin pie filling, eggs and vanilla.
- Dump in confectioner’s sugar and beat well.
- Reduce speed of mixer and slowly pour in butter. Mix well.
- Pour filling on top of cake mixture and spread evenly.
- Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 40-50 minutes (You want the center to be a little gooey; so don’t bake past that point!).
- 2 large eggs - beaten
- 1 C white sugar
- 1 C dark corn syrup
- 1/2 C melted butter
- 1.25 C quick cooking oats
- pie crust
- Beat eggs in large bowl.
- Beat in sugar and dark corn syrup
- Slowly beat in the melted butter
- Stir in quick cooking oats until all are coated
- Pour into prepared pie crust
- Bake at 350 degrees approximately 35 - 40 minutes
Sunday, October 11, 2009
- First, I should plan what I think I might like to read over the weekend, but I need to allow myself to read whatever I "feel" like reading at the moment.
- Second, I have plenty of books on the TBR shelves that I will be able to find something to fit whatever mood I may find myself. There is no need for a special trip to the library or bookstore (although I may feel the need to visit both places for other "addictive" reasons).
- Third, I should have a number of fairly short books (under 300 pages) in the queue, as well as a number of books that are fairly easy reads -- meaning, they are quick to draw the reader in and full of suspense to keep the reader motivated to continue.
- Fourth, I need a game plan that allows me plenty of uninterrupted reading time, but also allows me time to visit other blogs and socialize in the community. Last time there were so many wonderful cheerleaders who kept everyone energized and motivated, and I want to be a part of that crowd.
While I will not commit to reading the following books over the weekend, these are ones that are viable possibilities:
- The Boy in Striped Pajamas by John Boyne
- Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
- Victorian Ghost Stories by Eminent Women Writers by Richard Dalby
- Willow by Julia Hoban
- Still Life by Louise Penny
- The Wednesday Sisters by Meg White Clayton
- The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
- Just after Sunset (collection of short stories) by Steven King
- The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls
- A Big Little Little Life by Dean Koontz
Hopefully I will be in the routine of walking on the treadmill, so I plan to take exercise breaks and continue "reading" The Historian via my iPod.
I am VERY much looking forward to this special weekend. I have totally cleared my personal calendar (and hopefully it will stay that way) and I have scheduled all student papers due AFTER the challenge (so that I won't feel guilty that I "should" be grading rather than pleasure reading). How about you? Will you be able to join the rest of us bibliophiles for an insanely fun weekend of reading pleasure?