June 23, 2016

Overwhelmed and Underwhelmed: A Bookish Saga

My current "to read" stack is overwhelming me. I ran into a similar situation last month, where all my needs-reviewed books and library holds arrived at once. I powered through, and read a ton of books. But for some reason this month, it makes me want to hide away and watch Netflix. There are just so many good choices that I can't choose! 

It also doesn't help that Juliet's been on a staying-up-late kick, so by the time I get her to bed I'm usually ready to just sleep. The other night I actually got her down by 9, and I was hoping to get a good chunk of reading time, but instead I found myself staring at my huge pile of books/instagramming my dilemma.

Since I took the pic I managed to read one library book (The Vault of Dreamers), and one book for review (The Angels' Share), which were both a bit underwhelming, sadly. I've never read J.R. Ward since I'm not into paranormal stuff; but she gets tons and tons of 5 star reviews. The Angels' Share is book 2 in a trilogy about a Kentuckian family that's practically bourbon royalty, but I found it rather misogynistic. Not sure if that compares with her vampire fiction or not.

I loved Caragh M. O'Brien's Birthmarked trilogy, and I liked the premise of The Vault of Dreamers, the first book in her newest series, a lot - it's about a girl at an exclusive arts-centered high school which is a reality show by day. But, all students are required to take a sleeping pill to knock them out at night, which supposedly makes them more creative during the day. Rosie becomes convinced that bad things are happening at night, and she starts skipping her sleeping pill. It got a little redundant in the middle, but then it had a HUGE CLIFFHANGER ending. I had been losing interest in the story a bit, but naturally now I need to know how it ends, so I just requested that the library buy book two - The Rule of Mirrors.

And now, I should probably quit blogging, and get back to those big ole piles of books! Some of them are due at the library in just a day or two. And hopefully one of them will be super awesome and motivate me to read the rest!

Anything underwhelmed you lately?

June 20, 2016

Favorite Quotes from Pride and Prejudice

A few months ago on The Popcast, co-host Knox made fun of me for saying that I quote Pride & Prejudice all the time with my family. (I'm not entirely sure about which episode it was, but I think this one.) I stand by my quotes, however, because Jane Austen herself is pretty darn quotable, and then the Colin Firth version of the movie is just awesome.

In my family, whenever someone coughs, someone else is quite likely to say, "Stop coughing! Have you no pity for my poor nerves?"

Or if something is merely ok, one of my siblings might say disparagingly, "Tolerable, I suppose."

If someone does something particularly dumb (ahem, not for nothing do I call myself sorta blonde), “For what do we live, but to make sport for our neighbors, and laugh at them in our turn?”  is often quite apropos.

And, of course, there's always the Mr. Collins wave, sure to make anyone laugh. The more creepy the better!

So don't mind us, we're just gonna keep quoting Pride & Prejudice over here.

Is there a book or movie that your family quotes?

June 17, 2016

Cookbook Review: Back to the Kitchen with Freddie Prinze Jr.

I don't know about you, but I was kind of surprised when Shelf Awareness asked me to review this cookbook, because I had no idea that Freddie Prinze Jr. was a great cook!

But apparently Freddie has spent a lifetime making food for the people he loves and works with. Raised in Albuquerque, N.Mex., by his mother, and summering in Puerto Rico with his late father's family, Freddie grew up surrounded by vibrant flavors. The food he creates is clearly inspired by New Mexican and Puerto Rican flavors, and his passion for sharing his love of cooking with his own kids is a reflection of an upbringing where he was taught to appreciate food and the cooking process.

Back to the Kitchen is a great cookbook, chock-full of gorgeous photographs, simple recipes and fun stories from his acting career--like when Freddie cooked pans of green chile chicken enchiladas for the cast and crew of Buffy the Vampire Slayer while visiting his wife, Sarah Michelle Gellar, on set. His daughter, Charlotte, is his biggest kitchen assistant, and several of her favorite recipes--including "Charlie's Dessert"--are included.

With dishes including The Rock's Cinnamon Pancakes; Roasted Chicken with Lemon, Lime, Orange and Mexican Beer; and Mushroom Risotto Made Easyish, Freddie's no-nonsense approach to satisfying meals will make home cooks want to try everything, while the mouthwatering photographs of each recipe will keep the reader's stomach growling. And the cute pictures of his kids in the kitchen and his often-repeated mantra about the importance of passing on your interests to your children just might inspire other parents to start cooking with their kids.

I love to spend time in the kitchen with my own girls, and it makes me happy to see a celebrity doing the same thing with his kids! If you happen to need a last minute Father's Day gift, this might be a great choice!

Do YOU like to cook?