- cocktails with friends
- fresh fruit from the market
- new pens
- pleasing fonts
- chips soaked in vinegar
Read in July: 7
86. NEW: X-Men: First Class – Jeff Parker
87. NEW: The Almost Moon – Alice Seobold
88. NEW: The Importance of Being a Bachelor – Mike Gayle
89. NEW: The Tiger’s Wife – Téa Obreht
90. NEW: An Object of Beauty – Steve Martin
91. NEW: The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox – Maggie O’Farrell
92. NEW: My Sister’s Keeper – Jodi Picoult
Favourite Book This Month:
To be honest there were a great many that I enjoyed this month, but My Sister’s Keeper and The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox both had strong story lines that snagged me and kept me reading. Oddly, I didn’t like the ending of either book particularly – The Vanishing Act… just felt unfinished and rushed. My Sister’s Keeper had an ending I really didn’t expect, and one that actually made me cry, but it felt like a cop out way to finish the story and I wish Jodi Picoult had had a bit more courage to finish it in a more realistic way.
Least Favourite Book This Month:
The Tiger’s Wife by Téa Obreht just didn’t do it for me. I don’t know if it’s partly because it was hyped up so much before I read it – it won the Orange prize for fiction this year – but I struggled to get into the storyline and by time it ended I was more infuriated than enlightened.
I read: 7 new books in July and 0 re-reads, bring my life list wish of reading 1000 new books up to: 85/1000.
Dear foreign coins,
Thanks for being so different to our own currency. It’s a lot of fun to look at your different patterns, shapes, sizes and colours. Hey Canada… don’t tell the rest of the world but I like your animal coins the best.
I wouldn’t necessarily call myself a ‘foodie’ (altho I don’t associate anything negative with the title) but I do love food. I like to cook and I like to find new recipes. I spotted these three on What Katie Does a little while ago but haven’t gotten around to actually making them yet. If anyone has any experience of them, feel free to give me a shout :) Katie’s pictures looked delicious.
Raspberry and white chocolate blondies
I’m sort of ashamed at how long it took me to work out what a blondie was. I had heard people talking about them, and seen blog posts mentioning them and in my head I was imagining a sort of yellow biscuit, I think. It wasn’t until I saw the picture that I realised, duh, they were just a yellow batter brownie.
I’ve never actually made brownies so I’m not sure how good I’ll be at making their lighter counterpart but I’m pretty desperate to give it a go.
I love butternut squash but I never really know what to do with it past making it into a soup or roasting it stuffed with some other veg and some cheese. I like the idea of making a cold dip with it so I couldn’t really pass this one by since I’m seemingly obsessed with hummus.
As an aside, why are there so many different spellings for hummus? Houmus, houmous, hummus. It makes my head hurt.
Aubergine dip and barbecued poppadums
Q isn’t a fan of aubergine (or dips in general for that matter) so this one might have to wait for a night that we have company. (Maybe Amy would like to come over and try it, I know she likes aubergine :) She did a lovely stuffed aubergine recipe, here). I quite like aubergine but often find the skins a little greasy so I think blending it into a dip might be what I need to really start to love them. Nom.
I have a folder full of favourites from the BBC Good Food website so expect another one of these in the near future and if you have any suggestions for recipes in the meantime don’t be afraid to let me know them :)
Bill Bryson writes brilliant non-fiction books, The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid is my absolute favourite of his. I don’t really read a lot of other non-fiction tho. I’d love to include “true story” books in this category but I think I might be pushing it a bit.
I’m currently reading a book about stoicism which is quite an interesting read – whether or not it will become a favourite remains to be seen.
The only other non fiction things I read are biographies but really you could probably claim that most of them are fictional too, heh.
Am I missing anything? What should I be picking up?
Thanks for giving me a great reason to meet up with people I love more often. Thanks also for being such a large collective group of drinks – it’s really fun trying to drink a hundred of you.
The last book I remember devouring the minute it was released was Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, even though we had a friend visiting that weekend. Wildly anti social, but I think he understood.
I’m a pretty voracious reader, so there are quite a few books I’ve read in one sitting. Short books are no problem – I read two on a three hour coach journey recently – but there aren’t many books I’ve stayed up to read just because they were so good. Normally the reason I finish a book in one sitting is because it’s either not that long or I’ve got a lot of free reading time that day.
Shamefully, I remember staying up until past midnight to finish reading Twilight. No idea why, now.
I’m not really waiting on any books to come out at the moment. I remember willingly forking out £20 for the hardcover edition of the last installment of The Dark Tower series because I was so desperate to read it, but these days it’s more a ‘oh, that would probably be quite good to read’. I spend less money on bulky, unweildly books but I sort of miss the excitement, I must admit.
Is there anything I’m missing?
I enjoyed Room by Emma Donaghue although I wouldn’t say it was my favourite book of last year. I didn’t think it was as amazing as everyone was saying it was, but it did put an original twist on a story, which I liked.
The Hand That First Held Mine by Maggie O’Farrell was a beautiful book, and something I would never have picked up if it hadn’t have been assigned as our book group book. I’ve read a couple of hers since that I enjoyed equally as much – it’s good to know that she wasn’t a one book wonder because I really loved her style and prose.
I like both those books but I think my favourite book of 2010 has to be The C Word by Lisa Lynch. I met her on twitter (& loved her so much she has an invite to our wedding) and reading the story of her battle with breast cancer at 28 was an emotional ride, but completely and utterly worth it. she writes with a enviable confidence and gentle humour – by the end of the book I was in floods of tears and more proud of her than ever before. Definitely one not to miss.
King Death by Toby Litt
Shit My Dad Says by Justin Halpern
I Heart Paris by Lindsey Kelk
As If I could pick just one? I almost inhaled my local library as a kid (moving on to Danielle Steele and Virginia Andrews when I’d finished reading the Young Adult section – possibly not the best idea in hindsight). I was practically Matilda.
I used to read anything and everything I could get my hands on. I adored anything by Francine Pascal, Enid Blyton and R.L Stein – many a night was spend under the covers with a torch reading Point Horror and the Famous Five after my mother had repeatedly told me to turn the lights out and got to bed.
I was a teenager when Harry Potter came out rather than a child, so that doesn’t really count, but obviously they’re some of my favourites so I’m going to include them in every book list I ever write, apparently. Sorry kids.
But…no. I can’t pick just one favourite, it wouldn’t be right. If I had to recommend a book to read now tho I’d probably pick something like Tilly Mint and the Dodo. I loved that book when I was younger – I wish I still had a copy. Anyone with a food based surname gets a special place in my heart.