Tuesday, June 2, 2020

TOP TEN TUESDAY: Books that Give a Summer Vibe

Top Ten Tuesday is thinking about those summer vibes. What books give you that summer vibe? I'm looking for books with summer in the title, or ones that remind me of summer. Top Ten Tuesday is hosted at That Artsy Reader Girl, and you can find more posts and future topics there.

The Penderwicks: A Summer Tale of Four Sisters, Two Rabbits and a Very Interesting Boy 
by Jeanne Birdsall
All the Penderwicks books take place in the summer as that is when all the interesting things happen to kids, on summer vacation. This is a delightful little series, where the children actually grow over time.

Thimble Summer 
by Elizabeth Enright
Originally written in 1938 and a Newbery Winner, my memories are hazy about this one, but I think it was just a simple, kind story.

The Last Summer of Me and You
by Ann Brashares
Classic chick-lit beach-book.

Last Days of Summer 
by Steve Kluger
Quality kids book set in WW2, lots of baseball, and heartbreak.

The Greatest Thing Since Sliced Bread
by Don Robertson
Morris Bird III walks across the city to prove his bravery and has many adventures.

The Dry
by Jane Harper
Great mystery set in Australia during a drought.

August Heat
by Andrea Camilleri
All the Inspector Montalbano books set in Sicily, Italy evoke summer time, and heat, and good food.

The Summer Before the War
by Helen Simonson
English coast just before WW1. Not as good as Major Pettigrew, but a good historical fiction read.

I Want to Go Home
by Gordon Korman
Summer = summer camp, and this is a fantastic children's story, one of the funniest I can remember reading.

Big Summer 
by Jennifer Weiner
This is next on my audiobook listens - I'll let you know how it goes.

Tuesday, May 26, 2020


The topic this week is First Lines. I've gone through and found the first lines of some books I've loved, and also where the first line so clearly identifies the book, I smile as soon as I read the first line. Do you recognize the lines as well? I've hidden the answer after the quote - highlight the area to see if you are correct.
Top Ten Thursday is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl - check out her site for links to today's topic, and to see the future topics.

Monday 27 January 129 lbs. (total fat groove), boyfriends 1 (hurrah!), shags 3 (hurrah!), calories 2,100, calories used up by shags 600, so total calories 1,500 (exemplary). Bridget Jones' Diary

If it had not rained on a certain May morning Valancy Stirling's whole life would have been entirely different. The Blue Castle by LM Montgomery

Mr. and Mrs. Dursley, of number four, Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone by JK Rowling

Mrs. Rachel Lynde lived just where the Avonlea main road dipped down into a little hollow, fringed with alders and ladies' eardrops and traversed by a brook that had its source away back in the woods of the old Cuthbert place; it was reputed to be an intricate, headlong brook in its earlier course through those woods, with dark secrets of pool and cascade; but by the time it reached Lynde's Hollow it was a quiet well-conducted little stream, for not even a brook could run past Mrs. Rachel Lynde's door without due regard for decency and decorum; it probably was conscious that Mrs. Rachel was sitting at her window, keeping a sharp eye on everything that passed, from brooks and children up, and that if she noticed anything odd or out of place she would never rest until she had ferreted out the whys and wherefores thereof. Anne of Green Gables by LM Montgomery

Maniac Magee was not born in a dump. Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli

Dave, I just finished the first chapter of a new novel - a real crime novel with a dead body and all- and I thought of you. Heads You Lose by Lisa Lutz

Major Pettigrew was still upset about the phone call from his brother's wife and so he answered the doorbell without thinking. Major Pettigrew's Last Stand

He knew at once it was a human bone, when he took it from the baby who was sitting on the floor chewing it. The Silence of the Grave by Arnaldur Indridason

How angry am I? You don't want to know. Nobody wants to know about that. The Woman Upstairs by Claire Messud

At half past six on the twenty-first of June 1922, when Count Alexander Ilyich Rostov was escorted through the gates of the Kremlin onto Red Square, it was glorious and cool. A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles

The day Somebody McSomebody put a gun to my breast and called me a cat and threatened to shoot me was the same day the milkman died. The Milkman by Anna Burns

The Herdmans were absolutely the worst kids in the history of the world. The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Patterson

Sunday, May 17, 2020

WEEKEND COOKING: Oatmeal Waffles

Marg from The Adventures of an Intrepid Reader is back to blogging, and has taken over the hosting of Weekend Cooking. I thought I had participated many times over the years, but a perusal of my blog shows me I only did once. In honour of Marg's return (it is so nice to see an 'old' face in my feed reader) that I am going to try to post a little more regularly, and Weekend Cooking is a great start for me.

A few Christmases ago I bought the family a waffle maker for a house present. It has taken me a while to get the hang of making them so they don't squeeze out the side and make a huge mess to clean up but I have. I also have found the recipe that I make over and over again, so much so that I don't even look for other recipes anymore. If they don't all get eaten (rarely)  I just pop them in the toaster the next day. My favourite way to eat these waffles is with some cut up fruit (strawberries or bananas), and a little bit of syrup. If I'm serving for company, I might get some Cool Whip.

As I think about some of my favourite recipes, it turns out I really, really like oatmeal, so don't be surprised to see more oatmeal recipes here.

Oatmeal Waffles (from kyleecooks)

makes 4 or 5, depending on your waffle maker)

1-1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup quick-cooking oatmeal
3 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
2 eggs lightly beaten
1-1/2 cups milk
4 Tbs butter melted
1 Tbs dark brown sugar

In a bowl, combine the dry ingredients: flour, oatmeal, baking powder, cinnamon and salt.
In another bowl, whisk eggs, milk, butter and brown sugar.
Add wet to dry, and mix until just combined. The mixture will be thick!
Pour batter into a lightly greased waffle iron and cook until desired colour is reached.

Tuesday, March 17, 2020


The topic for this week's Top Ten Tuesday, hosted at That Artsy Reader Girl, is your Spring TBR list. I love making these lists, but maybe this one should be the 'social distancing/isolation list' as we all hunker down and live our best introverted bookworm life. I also expect to get through this list a lot faster than a usual seasonal TBR list. It is technically our March Break this week and how the next few weeks plan our isn't exactly clear for teachers yet, but I expect to be home for quite a bit. So, read on...

Couple of audiobooks I've got borrowed for my walks:

Ask Again, Yes! by Mary Beth Keane
I'm already part way through this one and really liking it!

Fingal O'Reilly, Irish Doctor by Patrick Taylor
Looking forward to a little stay in the simpler 60s of Ireland

next in a series:

Rest Not in Peace (Chronicles of Hugh de Singleton, Surgeon) by Mel Starr 
Way back in the 1200s...

Dying Fall by Elly Griffiths
I got this Kindle book on Amazon because my library is missing books 5 & 6 in the series, which is ridiculous. I actually won a $10 Amazon gift certificate through the Participaction app, just for recording my active minutes of exercise. 

books I grabbed at the library on Sunday because I was worried the library would close (which it has!)
All Grown Up by Jami Attenberg 

Truth & Beauty: A Friendship by Ann Patchett 

Girl: A Novel by Edna O'Brien 

Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo

Love & Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch 

And my Book Club book for the month:

Winter Garden by Kristin Hannah 

Also, Happy St Patrick's Day!

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

TOP TEN TUESDAY: One Word Titles

This week's topic on Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl,  is One Word Titles. I'm amending the topic to One Word Titles of Books I Already Own and Want to Read.

Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier

Causeway by Linden MacIntyre

Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld

Astray by Emma Donoghue

Sovereign by CJ Sansom

Tangled by Carolyn Mackler

Drood by Dan Simmons

Gone by Lisa Gardner

Eventide by Kent Haruf

Rockbound by Frank Day

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

TOP TEN TUESDAY: Love (books from the past decade)

The topic for this week's Top Ten Tuesday, hosted at That Artsy Reader Girl, is Love. I'm going with some books I've loved, the best of the best, my favourite books of the past decade. When I look at this list, I nod approvingly.

my favourite books of the past decade

2019 - Milkman - Anna Burns

2018 - Eleanor Oliphant is Perfectly Fine - Gail Honeyman

2017- Finding Wonder - Jeanne Atkins

2016- The Frozen Thames - Helen Humphries

2015- The Martian - Andy Weir

2014- Ready Player One - Ernest Cline

2013- The Light Between the Oceans - ML Stedman

2012- Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Won't Stop Talking - Susan Cain

2011- Heads You Lose - Lisa Lutz

2010- Major Pettigrew's Last Stand - Helen Simonson

2009- The Lizard Cage - Karen Connelly

Saturday, January 25, 2020

CHALLENGE: What's in a Name?

I haven't joined an actual challenge in quite a while, other than the Canadian Book Challenge which I haven't officially completed in a while, or the RIP challenge, which isn't a challenge for me when most of what I read is mystery and suspense books. Anyway. The challenge is now hosted at Carolina Book Nook; head there to sign up.

I participated in the What's in a Name for many years, from 2008 until 2014 when I DNF'd with 3/5 books read. But I'm feeling the need to make a list of possible books, and this is the perfect challenge for that. The topics this year, with my possibilities are: