It’s Friday, Do You Know Where Your Comfy Pants Are?

Once upon a time about 17-18 years ago I drove to Texas to visit some extended family (who I didn’t see very often) around Christmas time.

My husband (who at that time was my boyfriend) and I drove from Tennessee to Texas to meet up with everyone.

My mom, stepdad, brother and sister had driven also, but from California to Texas, so we were kind of meeting in the middle- if you can call Texas the middle between those two states.

After arriving and settling in, my sister and I finally got to catch up face-to-face. If you remember from a previous post, then you know when I moved from CA to TN for college we became avid letter writers. Hanging out in person had become a luxury and I was so glad to just sit, talk, and laugh with her.

There are not many things in life that are better than laughing with someone who knows you as good as you know yourself. A million stories spoke with a tweak of an eyebrow or the curve of a smile.

As we sat there and talked I noticed something next to her.

It was a book, and sort of a big one.

My sister wasn’t a pleasure-reader for the most part. I rarely saw her just pick up a book, usually she only read if it was required for school. So this was a sight. We on a vacation of sorts and she had a book with her? She must’ve saw my expression and she glanced where I was looking and pulled her book up to show me.

Someone she knew had recommended it, so she had gone to the library and found a copy. From the looks of where her book mark was she was almost finished.

“It’s amazing,” she said.

I think I was still staring, dumbfounded. Last I checked we had grown up together in the same house and she never read anything! I could’ve recommended a million books to her (and probably had!) and this random person recommends a book and she marches to the library and checks it out-I didn’t know she even knew where the library was!

Well whatever, I got over myself, my bookworm heart was aglow.

Pretty much from that point on she became a huge reader.

Although we only had a few more years together before she passed away, The Fountain Head by Ayn Rand remained a favorite of hers.

Fifteen years later and I still have not read this book, yet because of the sentiment attached from my sister, it feels like a part of me is attached to it. Does that make sense?

Of the big books I have discussed this week, this is the one I’d like to read first. Ayn Rand and her philosophies can be somewhat controversial and some people have great issues with her. I think my sister simply enjoyed The Fountainhead for its story and that it made her think outside the box a bit. And the thing is-who cares if someone is or writes controversially. Reading doesn’t mean agreeing. It means reading. Most of all, reading ultimately makes you think and thinking is a good thing. So, think about that 😉

I am familiar with the storyline of The Fountainhead, but because I have not read it the Amazon synopsis is below:

• Howard Roark, is an individualistic young architect who chooses to struggle in obscurity rather than compromise his artistic and personal vision.

(I also found this synopsis)

This modern classic is the story of intransigent young architect Howard Roark, whose integrity was as unyielding as granite…of Dominique Francon, the exquisitely beautiful woman who loved Roark passionately, but married his worst enemy…and of the fanatic denunciation unleashed by an enraged society against a great creator •

Ok Bookworms, since it’s Friday, then you know I always post a book, a dessert, and a drink. The book part is complete, so let’s move on to rest of the good stuff.

The Dessert

These are low carb pumpkin bars with a cream cheese frosting. I found this recipe on Pinterest, so I’m assuming it’s ok to post. The only thing I did differently was I halved the frosting recipe. I felt like preparing half the amount was enough to frost the entire pan of bars. The frosting recipe calls for two bars of cream cheese and that seemed like a lot (delicious, but a lot). So-it’s up to you, triple it if that floats your boat. No judgment here.

https://pin.it/wskhhd4cshnxj6

The Drink

A new red wine to try! This is a Cabernet Sauvignon by Lucky Duck. Typically this type of wine will be on the dryer side, but not as dry as a Pinot Noir. Aside from having a cute label, this wine is quite inexpensive. I found it at Walmart for $6. Just as a more expensive wine doesn’t guarantee it will be good, a less expensive one doesn’t mean it will be bad. Using that logic, I rather try several cheaper wines and be disappointed than try several pricy ones and be disappointed.

On that note, get your comfy pants on and let your Friday begin!

Cheers.

“But you see,” said Roark quietly, “I have, let’s say, sixty years to live. Most of that time will be spent working. I’ve chosen the work I want to do. If I find no joy in it, then I’m only condemning myself to sixty years of torture. And I can find the joy only if I do my work in the best way possible to me. But the best is a matter of standards—and I set my own standards. I inherit nothing. I stand at the end of no tradition. I may, perhaps, stand at the beginning of one.” -Ayn Rand, The Fountainhead

“One loses everything when one loses a sense of humor.” -Ayn Rand, The Fountainhead

“There’s nothing as significant as a human face. Nor as eloquent. We can never really know another person, except by our first glance at him. Because, in that glance, we know everything. Even though we’re not always wise enough to unravel the knowledge.” -Ayn Rand, The Fountainhead

On The Rocks Is Always The Right Answer, Especially If It’s Friday

Happy, happy Friday!

Another week finished and a weekend about the begin. Go grab your comfy pants, take a breath, and relax.

What are you reading? Did you finish up anything good this week?

I finished reading The Dutch House by Ann Patchett at the very beginning of the week and I really loved it. I’ve been a long-time fan of hers and this book did not disappoint. I hope to post a more in-depth review soon.

Do you have any plans to start a book this weekend?

Sometimes I look forward to the weekend simply because I’ve planned to start a new book. Earlier in the week I mentioned that I was in the midst of a small reading slump. It’s frustrating because I feel like I’ve wasted precious reading time when I start reading something, but can’t get in to it. Yet-as precious as my reading time is, I don’t want to waste more of it reading something less than great (or at least pretty darn good).

Does that make sense?

Well the two books on my Kindle that have finally grabbed my attention are:

If You Tell by Gregg Olsen is non-fiction. It was my selection of Amazon’s First Reads for the month of November. If you aren’t familiar with this Amazon feature, it’s one of the features Amazon provides if you are a Prime member. At the beginning of every month Amazon sends you an email featuring 5-6 new books. Of these books you get to select one (occasionally two) for free. These are only available in digital format. Also– sometimes the selections just plain suck, as in I don’t even want it if it’s free. They are not usually big name or more popular authors, so even though I’ve not read any of Olsen’s books, I was familiar and pleasantly surprised to see him amongst the selections.

IYT is the true story of three sisters who were horribly abused by their mother. Currently I am eleven chapters in and would recommend it to those who have an interest in true crime/non-fiction.

The War Between the Tates by Alison Lurie is a book I purchased from one of the emails I receive featuring book deals on digital copies for my Kindle. I had never heard of Lurie when I saw this book. Usually when I see a book in one of these emails, I check my library app (Overdrive) first, because I’m cheap and free is great. Overdrive did not have it and it must have spurred my interest because I did actually purchase it. Usually the prices range between $2-3. Still. It must’ve sounded good for me to spend the big bucks-that or it was Friday and I was drinking wine.

Who knows?

Anyway I started reading it the other night and it sucked me in. Since I’ve just started reading it, the Amazon synopsis is below:

• Erica Tate wouldn’t mind getting up in the morning if her children were less intolerable. Until puberty struck, Jeffrey and Matilda were absolute darlings, but in the last year, they have become sullen, insufferable little monsters. A forty-year-old housewife out of work and out of mind, she finds little happiness in the small college town of Corinth.

Erica’s husband, Brian, a political science professor, is so deeply immersed in university life—or more accurately in the legs of his mistress, a half-literate flower child named Wendy—that he either doesn’t notice his wife’s misery or simply doesn’t care. Worst of all, their pleasant little neighborhood is transforming into a subdivision. As new ranch houses spring up around their once idyllic home, Erica’s marriage inches closer to disaster.

When the Tate household tips into full-scale emotional combat, Erica must do her best to ensure that she comes out on top. In this darkly comic tale of a family at civil war, the National Book Award–shortlisted author of Foreign Affairs dives into the deterioration of a marriage •

So this brings us to my normal Friday posting:

1. A book

2. A dessert*

3. A drink*

* I’ve started on both of these already, just in case there are any horrible typos.

The Book:

I love this cover.

Initially that’s why I picked it up. You are a better person than me if you are not the least bit influenced by a beautiful and or hideous book cover. Oh yeah, and you are lying. We are human beings and human beings are visual creatures (especially men, not judging, just truth speaking), and that’s ok for the most part.

Since I haven’t read it, here is the Amazon synopsis:

• Set against dramatic Mediterranean Sea views and lush olive groves, The Rocks opens with a confrontation and a secret: What was the mysterious, catastrophic event that drove two honeymooners apart so suddenly and absolutely in 1948 that they never spoke again despite living on the same island for sixty more years? And how did their history shape the Romeo and Juliet–like romance of their (unrelated) children decades later? Centered around a popular seaside resort club and its community, The Rocks is a double love story that begins with a mystery, then moves backward in time, era by era, to unravel what really happened decades earlier •

Just a note: I write about books I’ve read and books I’ve not read on this blog. I simply want to introduce you to books, whether I’ve read them or not is beside the point. Just because I’ve read them and liked or disliked doesn’t mean you are going to hold the same opinion. So-if I am introducing you to a book I haven’t read (or read) you still ultimately have to decide for yourself if you are interested in giving it a try.

The reason I bring this up is this: Some blogs are dedicated to providing book reviews of only what they have read. I don’t want you to be confused or disappointed, my blog is a mix of book reviews, book introductions, and anything else book-related that pops in to my head 📚.

The Dessert:

We are have our “go-to’s.” This is mine when it comes to dessert. I look forward making- and more forward to eating dessert ALL freaking week. When, either I have a crazy-busy week or am just plain lazy, this is the dessert that gets made. You can make it in about 10-15 minutes, it does take about 10 more minutes in the freezer-but no oven! It’s also low-carb. It’s basically a Reese’s Cup, except with dark chocolate (rather than milk chocolate) . If you love peanut butter and chocolate, then this is heaven. If you don’t, well you are S.O.L.

The recipe is below:

The Drink:

This is a Cabernet Sauvignon, which means it’s a red wine on the dry side. To me this is a good pairing with something sweet, like the dessert mentioned above. It balances out the sweet. Tonight we also had a buffalo chicken pizza made on Fat-Head pizza dough (low carb) for dinner and this balanced the savory flavors as well. So, a win-win.

I bought this bottle of Natura at either Kroger or Food City (grocery stores) and it was between $10-15. You will need a wine opener (cork screw), but other than that it’s user friendly 🍷.

Alright my dears, surly you are good and comfortable by now. I’m about to transfer from my “intermediate comfy pants” to my full-blown pajama pants. I’ll define “intermediate comfy pants” another day, right now I need to get back to my Friday-books, wine, and dessert.

Cheers.

“And the seasons, as now, reliably made everything new again. He liked to remember Goethe’s line: “A man can stand anything but a succession of ordinary days.” -Peter Nichols, The Rocks

A Little Friday Night With Your Saturday Morning

Good morning ☀️

I believe yesterday was the first Friday I didn’t post since starting this blog. I didn’t forget, the day and all of its details were just one too many. By the time I sat down to write, it was 11:30 pm. It was super quiet and calm, but I was just too tired.

Every day has its own unique set of parameters and priorities that we all navigate around and within, in order to get things done.

This blog is one of my priorities. It has to be -if I want it to exist. I keep a monthly schedule of what I plan to post throughout each week. It’s flexible, but it helps in the organization of this blog as a whole.

The next step is photography. None of my photos are stock. It is more work, but like writing, I also enjoy coming up with photos. There are only two spots in my home that I use due to the amount of natural light. These spots, although great, have their limitations. The biggest one- time of day. If the light outside doesn’t match up with when I need to take pictures, I have to figure out another time. The looming time change (that happens tonight) throws a further wrench in to things.

There are many details that have to come together in order for a single post to materialize. Sometimes it feels like a crazy balancing act of work, picking up the kids from practice, thinking of what to write, house chores-oh wait, the light is amazing, I need to take that photo ASAP, but I can’t edit it because it’s dinner time. It’s a never-ending cycle and like anything else, although I love doing it, it takes a considerable amount of work.

Ok my dears, enough of the process, let’s get to the good stuff.

Since my normal Friday post features books, dessert, and wine, that’s what you will get this morning. In addition, my October wrap-up, and finally, a little challenge I’m going to take part in are included.

So get comfortable, grab some coffee, because I have a lot to share with you.

The Book:

This has been the week of:

To my knowledge, he has only written two non-fiction books. One is On Writing ( a great book) and the other is:

Danse Macabre (pronounced either dance or dawnce ma-cob) by Stephen King.

This was published in 1981 at the request of King’s then editor at Doubleday. At a bar, over a drink he threw out a question to King, “Why don’t you write a book about the entire horror phenomenon? Books, movies, radio, TV.” King goes on to say he was both intrigued and frightened by this idea.

Intrigued, because he had been asked over the years, why do people continue watch, read, listen, to things that scare them or make them uncomfortable? And pay to do so?

Frightened, because he saw this project taking a very long time to complete.

Danse Macabre is a book that I flip through, reference, read a chapter here or there simply because it’s so interesting.

King examines the history of horror, which makes this a history book. He pays homage to so many writers that helped shape this genre as a whole. My copy is marked up with page savers and highlighter ink.

Like On Writing, as well as every preface in every book I have read by him, King writes (therefore speaks) like he is sitting across from you at a bar. His voice feels real, which one more reason why I am a fan. I’m not sure if you are someone who typically reads an author intro or preface or skips them. If you are one who skips, give his a try next time. They are little snippets of him as a person, in my opinion, and they only add to the whole experience of reading his books.

Read Danse Macabre if you want to know more about the horror genre. It’s fascinating simply to learn some of the “tricks of the trade,” where certain ideas originated, and who did/wrote them best.

If you read my last post, I mentioned I would post a link to a favorite interview with Stephen King and his family. He doesn’t do a lot of interviews, so this one is pretty cool.

It was first published in The New York Times in 2013 by Susan Dominus. Even if you don’t read it, at least click on the link, because there is a great picture of him and his family sitting together at the kitchen table.

The Dessert:

This is a low-carb lemon-poppyseed bread. I added a handful of frozen blueberries and a tablespoon of Lavender Blueberry sugar-free syrup by Jordan’s Skinny Syrups, so it’s now Lemon-Blueberry-Poppyseed Bread! It is so delicious.

This recipe is not mine (other than the two things I added), but I will share where to find it. One of my dearest friends, Tasha, wrote a phenomenal Keto cookbook.

Granted, I get to taste-test a ton of her cooking and have made so many of these recipes-but this book stays on my counter. (And I hate unnecessary stuff being on my counter). This book is more than necessary and I reference it all the time.

Here is the Amazon link-also she has a second cookbook coming out next year!

The Drink:

Jam Jar in a jam jar.

It would be sort of embarrassing to try and explain how cool I thought that phrase was and how excited I was when it popped in to my head.

But now you know, so I’ll leave it at that.

Jam Jar is a staple wine in my home. As much as I post it on here, did I ever tell you that it hails from South Africa? I’ve always wanted to visit Cape Town and Johannesburg, and now I would like to add a stop at Jam Jar Wines while I’m there.

Next Up:

I only completed a paltry four books, but I did read parts of several others. I either lost interest and didn’t finish or I plan to come back to them at another time. Either way, only completed books within the month make it to the wrap-up.

1. American Predator by Maureen Callahan. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I posted about this one at the beginning of the month, I highly recommend this if you enjoy true crime.

2. Ghost Story by Peter Straub ⭐️⭐️⭐️

This is a cult-classic in horror. I liked it, but it definitely dragged in parts. It had a definite creep factor, but wasn’t scary. I’m glad to have finally got around to reading it. It has a vintage feel, which I loved.

3. Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ & 1/2.

To say I loved this book is a giant understatement. I had read Strout before and I like her books, but I almost skipped over this one because two good reader friends absolutely did not like it. I am SO glad I gave it a chance. I plan to post fully about it this month. Also, I have the sequel, Olive Again just waiting on my nightstand. I almost don’t want to read it, because then it will be over. I do think there is probably no middle ground on liking OK. You either like it or despise it. What was/is so genius to me is the style of how the story is told. It’s written in stories. More to come, I promise.

4. Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate ⭐️⭐️⭐️

This was the Nov. selection for my bookclub. I had wanted to read this for a long time. That being said, I didn’t love it. It was way too predictable and just kind of fell flat. My initial rating was ⭐️⭐️ & 1/2, but the fact that it was a fast read and had a quote that I really loved made me up it to a three.

The quote:

“Life is not unlike cinema. Each scene has its own music, and the music is created for the scene, woven to it in ways we do not understand. No matter how much we may love the melody of a bygone day or imagine the song of a future one, we must dance within the music of today, or we will always be out of step, stumbling around in something that doesn’t suit the moment.” -Lisa Wingate

Last, but not least:

This is a reading challenge put on by several bloggers. It actually began last week and continues through the end of the month. Each week is hosted by a different blogger and features a theme centered around non-fiction books.

Last week was hosted by @JulzReads and asked several questions about non-fiction reading. Since I found about it on the last day of the first week, even though the second week has started, I still want to share my answers.

1. Favorite non-fiction book of the year so far:

American Kingpin by Nick Bilton

2. Do you have a favorite non-fiction topic?

True crime and psychology/psychoanalysis

3. Which non-fiction book have you recommended most?

I have two.

4. What am I hoping to get out of Non-fiction November?

To read more non-fiction! I have only read eight non-fiction books this year.

Aside from @JulzReads, the other bloggers who are hosting are: @sarahsbookshelves , @doingdewey , @shelfaware , and @whatsnonfiction .

Visit any of these cool blogs to learn more and tag #nonficnov if you want to participate.

Is your coffee finished? I drank three cups while writing this crazy-long post. Now do you see why I just couldn’t keep my eyes open at 11:30 last night to write all of this?

And- if you have read all of this, thank you!

Cheers.

“And, you know, I hope you have some fun with this book. Nosh and nibble at the corners or read the mother straight through, but enjoy. That’s what it’s for, as much as any of the novels. Maybe there will be something here to make you think or make you laugh or just make you mad. Any of those reactions would please me. Boredom, however, would be a bummer.” Stephen King, Danse Macabre

I Do Wish I Could Stay & Chat Longer, But I’m Having An Old Friend For Dinner.

Happy Friday!

The sky is dark and the rain is pouring down. Short of booming thunder and lightning splitting the sky open, I can’t think of a better evening to end this week’s theme of:

As I’ve mentioned, Lecter is my favorite villain. I mentioned in my first post of the week that I find villains far more interesting than heroes.

Villains are usually more complex than heroes. They have a more interesting, albeit darker, history. One of the reasons I am so taken with Hannibal is his intelligence and use of language. The fact that he tortures those in adjoining cells, not with any kind of weapon, but rather in what he says is (of course creepy) horrifyingly amazing. High intelligence in itself is sometimes a frightening thing. It’s basically being a savant in one area while incredibly lacking in another or several areas ( ie. empathy, a conscience, etc. in Lecter’s case).

And just for the record, you or I can find something fascinating without wanting to emulate it.

Before we talk about the final book in this series, I just want to remind you or anyone new that Fridays on this blog are for celebrating my three favorites:

1. Books

2. Desert

3. Drinks

So let’s go!

The Book:

Hannibal by Thomas Harris is the fourth book in the Hannibal Lecter series. It was written third, but should be read last.

This story begins with Hannibal back in the world as a free man. Not from being released, but from having escaped custody. He has been out for seven years, savoring everything he holds dear.

There are a few side stories in this novel. One is Clarice Starling from the previous book, The Silence of the Lambs. She still remembers (obviously) working with Lecter and somewhat holds these memories dear. While working with him to find serial killer Buffalo Bill, her and Lecter found and formed a connection. I feel like this novel opens with the idea that Lecter is searching for Starling, not to cause harm, but simply to find her.

Another story is that of Mason Verger. Verger was Lecter’s sixth victim, but he survived. Except his survival is one that exists from a bed and if I’m remembering correctly, a ventilator. He wants vengeance.

There’s also word of Lecter residing in Europe, so the police, FBI, and now Interpol are involved in finding him.

I absolutely will not tell you how this book ends. I will say the ending is one that I just read for the sake of reading every now and again because it is so visual to me. It’s only a few pages, but it’s so well done.

Hannibal is my favorite book of the four. It scared me the most, made me think the most, and just got to me on so many levels. I’m not sure I want to know where or how Thomas Harris conjured such a creature as Hannibal Lecter, but I’m glad he did, because it/he makes for some great reading.

Another thing, which is so rare- in fact, I can’t think of another example. The Hannibal books, movies, and NBC TV show featuring Mads Mikkelsen are all great. Typically when a different actor portrays the same character, something is lost. For some reason Anthony Hopkins as Lecter in the films works a little too well (I think he will forever be known for this role) and Mikkelsen in the TV role is also done quite well. My only complaint, although I do like her as an actress, is Juliann Moore. I wish Jodie Foster had continued on as Agent Starling in Hannibal rather than Moore. But it’s a minor blip in the whole scheme of things.

The Dessert:

These are Keto Pumpkin Chocolate Chip cookies and are delicious. I found the recipe on Pinterest:

Combine: Set Oven to: 350

1 cup almond flour

1 cup stevia

1 cup pumpkin purée

1 egg

2 tsp pumpkin pie spice

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp baking powder

2 tsp vanilla. I used Pumpkin Pie syrup by Jordan’s Skinny Syrups

1/2 cup Lily’s chocolate chips

1/4 cup pecans

Combine all in one bowl. Place small balls of mixture on to a parchment paper covered cookie sheet. Flatten the balls out a bit.

Cook for at least twenty minutes, depending your oven, they may require more or less time. I made 26 cookies with this recipe. A little over I net carb per cookie.

The Drink:

I’ve had Carnivor wine before. It’s a Cabernet Sauvignon from California that suits Dr. Hannibal Lecter quite well. Another option is to pair it with fava beans while having an old friend for dinner.

Cheers 🍷

“In the vaults of our hearts and brains, danger waits. All the chambers are not lovely, light and high. There are holes in the floor of the mind, like those in a medieval dungeon floor – the stinking oubliettes, named for forgetting, bottle-shaped cells in solid rock with the trapdoor in the top.” -Thomas Harris, Hannibal

A Witch’s Brew For Tonight’s Crew

Books, dessert, wine, and Friday.

If you are among any or all of these things, you are among good company. Add in some comfy pants and you might just be in heaven. This week has been pretty good on my end, how about yours? Anything exciting? Along with working on blog stuff this week, i have been reading a book that got a lot of acclaim and even-gasp-won the dreaded Pulitzer,

Tangent alert: (I swear I don’t hate the Pulitzer. It just always puts me in to a state. As in, if the book isn’t amazing I start wondering what the hell the PP committee was thinking when they chose it over so many other more deserving books, and then I think literary prizes are just all going to hell in a hand-basket. Overly dramatic, I know).

Anyway I’ve been reading this book and I completely love it. What’s interesting, at least to me, is that two people who I feel not only are wonderful friends and also huge bookworms with great taste, have professed their profound dislike of this book. I almost put it in my trade pile (without reading it) because of their opinions. There really is only one reason I decided to give it a try, but I’ll get to that in a future post, so keep your eyes out for it some time in November.

When Friday rolls around it’s time for my favorite posting of the week. Every Friday on themostconstant I post a book, a dessert, and a drink.

So far for the month of October I have had a weekly theme.

Week 1: American Horror Stories

Week 2: True Crime

and

Week 3:

Ending this week’s theme is:

The Witches- Suspicion, Betrayal, and Hysteria in 1692 Salem by Stacy Schiff. When I first heard of this book I knew I wanted it. I came across this wonderful trade copy at a used book store out of town. It was in such good condition and such a beautiful book that I paid $12 for it. That’s high in my book (no pun intended), but sometimes you do what you gotta do.

This comes in at just under 500 pages and as of yet I’ve not read it. The Salem witch trials and all of the chaos surrounding that time is almost unbelievable. Below is the Amazon synopsis:

• It began in 1692, over an exceptionally raw Massachusetts winter, when a minister’s daughter began to scream and convulse. It ended less than a year later, but not before 19 men and women had been hanged and an elderly man crushed to death.

The panic spread quickly, involving the most educated men and prominent politicians in the colony. Neighbors accused neighbors, parents and children each other. Aside from suffrage, the Salem Witch Trials represent the only moment when women played the central role in American history. In curious ways, the trials would shape the future republic •

Next up, dessert:

This is one of my old faithfuls. I wanted to make something new, but time did not permit this. These are my Almond Butter Blondies. The only sad part is now I am officially out of the almond butter I use for these. I use Trader Joe’s almond butter and the closest TJs is an hour away. I usually buy 7-8 jars at a time, and because I’m a bit of a hoarder when it comes to this stuff (and books). The recipe is posted on another post of you are interested.

Last, but certainly not least, the wine:

I chose this dark red called Black Forest by Cupcake because the Black Forest part made me think of the Salem witch trials for some reason. The bottle is empty, so I do recommend it. Add a few frozen berries and you will be good to go!

Bonus Book:

A sweet friend, who knew about all about the witch theme this week brought me this book tonight, so I had to share it with you all! It sounds great to me!

Here is the Amazon synopsis:

• In this tale of passion and obsession, Diana Bishop, a young scholar and a descendant of witches, discovers a long-lost and enchanted alchemical manuscript, Ashmole 782, deep in Oxford’s Bodleian Library. Its reappearance summons a fantastical underworld, which she navigates with her leading man, vampire geneticist Matthew Clairmont •

One of the reasons I chose the witches theme is because, other than The Witching Hour by Anne Rice, I am not familiar with good books in this genre. I spent the last two weeks looking up books to post to you. In all honesty I had a book and picture ready to post yesterday and after really reading about it I realized I wasn’t as in to it as I had thought.

I am not opposed to posting about books I have read and subsequently did not like, but I am not going to post books I haven’t read that don’t fully grab my attention. Did I say that right?

Well it’s late and I’m tired, but I’d still like to eek out a few minutes of reading before I hit the hay.

I wish you all a goodnight and even better weekend. Check back for a new theme next week 📚

“I’ll get you my pretty, and your little dog, too.” -The Wicked Witch of the West, The Wizard of Oz

Friday Night Frights

Friday is music to my ears!

It’s been a long week and I am glad to be sitting in this very spot (on my front porch) writing this post to all of you.

This blog is going in to its fifth month, which is hard for me to believe! I’m not sure what my expectations were when I started out. I knew, if anything, I wanted to be consistent with my posts and so far that has worked out. I’ve been thinking about what my next set of goals will be. I’m not in a hurry, just taking it a week at a time.

Today ends this week’s true crime theme.

{ A quick recap of this week’s books }

Monday: The Monster of Florence by Douglas Preston and Mario Spezi

Wednesday: My Friend Anna by Rachel DeLouche Williams

Thursday: We Need to Talk about Kevin by Lionel Shriver and A Mother’s Reckoning by Sue Klebold (SOSN)

In keeping with the theme of true crime and also with my normal Friday post of a book, a drink, and a dessert, I will get to the book without further ado.

The Book:

American Predator by Maureen Callahan,299 pages, Published by Viking, July 2019.

AP is about serial killer Israel Keyes. I had never even heard his name until a few months ago. He and his criminal history was touched on in The Killer Across the Table by John E. Douglas and Mark Olshaker, which is a great, great book.

I wasn’t sure when I’d get a chance to read AP because it was a newer book. My library still doesn’t have it available in Kindle format. So it wasn’t even on my radar to post for this week’s theme. Anyway, early last week I stopped in to my library, because I just often do (not because I need books or anything, I just love it there) and there sitting so beautifully on top of the non-fiction new release shelf was American Predator. I snatched that baby right up. It was like winning the lottery, except without the money part.

I couldn’t help but start reading it right away. It was hard to put this book down. Israel Keyes is a maniac, but a low key maniac. He was just brought to justice in 2012.

One of his MOs were “kill kits”, which he buried all over the U.S. These kits contained body disposal tools, guns, ammo, money, and other weird shit. Beside the fact the even “creating” a “kill kit” is weird shit in itself.

Before he was caught and over the course of roughly fourteen years Keyes would fly to a random city, rent a car to drive a thousand miles to the location of one of his “kill kits”, abduct someone in broad daylight, kill them and dispose of their body(s), then fly back home to his girlfriend and young daughter in Alaska.

It was only after he was caught in 2012, which he almost got away with, that his history of other killings came to light. He committed all of these murders undetected for over a decade.

It’s really interesting when something or someone like this comes to light. Most everyone has heard of Ted Bundy, Jeffrey Dahmer, and BTK, but who the heck is Israel Keyes? How is this not all over the news? This book goes in to that, so I won’t spoil it for you.

When the author, Maureen Callahan first heard of this unheard of killer she was instantly intrigued. This project of learning how Keyes was ultimately caught by the FBI and what it means that a killer like Keyes even exists consumed Callahan for several years.

I won’t give you any more info, but if you enjoy true crime, GO. READ. THIS. BOOK (Stacy, I’m talking to you!) .

The Dessert:

These are Keto Pumpkin Cookies and this is my first time making them. I found this recipe on Pinterest and tweaked it a little. They are pretty dang good.

The recipe is below:

Set oven to 350 degrees

Cookies:

Mix 8oz (1 block) and 1/2 cup of butter (1 stick) in a bowl (I softened in the micro for a few sec). I also used a hand mixer.

Then add:

1/2 cup pure pumpkin puree

1/2 cup stevia

2 eggs

2/3 cup coconut flour

1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice (which is just cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice all mixed together)

1/2 tsp salt

A splash or 3 of pumpkin pie praline sugar-free syrup (Jordan’s Skinny Syrups- I order them from skinnymixes.com or usually they are available at HomeGood stores)

A small handful of chopped walnuts

Mix all of this together. Spoon on to parchment paper-lined baking sheets and cook for 18 min.

Let them cool.

While they are cooking, you can prepare the icing.

Icing:

8 oz cream cheese

1/4 cup stevia

Softened cream cheese, then mix in stevia.

Spread on to cookies once they have cooled a bit. Sprinkle with pumpkin pie spice or with plain cinnamon.

Then, enjoy!

The Drink:

I think the name, 19 Crimes kind of says it all. But just in case, it’s a a red blend from California. I’ve tried this one, although it’s been awhile. It’s a delicious wine that pairs well with some bloody good Keto Pumpkin Cookies and a little bit of American Predator on the side.

Cheers!

PS. New theme coming up next week!

“I have been two people for the last fourteen years.” -Israel Keyes

A Feast Fit For A Bookworm

Are you all getting tired of me professing my endless love of Friday ? I hope not, because it’s out of my control. So, if you decide to stick with me and this blog, you’re stuck with my gushing about Fridays- but only on Friday.

Friday is for favorite things and posting about them. My favorite things are books, dessert, and wine. Not in any specific order of importance, but all at one time. Sort of like a miniature feast. So let’s get the feast started.

The Book

I came across How to Disappear by Akiko Busch in one of the various book review publications or emails I receive. The title in its entirety is, How to Disappear- Notes on Invisibility in a time of Transparency. It’s not a long book, coming in at exactly 200 pages.

I would be finished with it if I wasn’t putting ‘Note Pals’ on every other line. There are so many statements, ideas, and phrases that ring true to me.

The main idea of this book being many people are so concerned with image consciousness, branding themselves, and just simply putting themselves and their lives on display. Busch argues against this notion saying, “The impulse to escape notice is not about complacent isolation or senseless conformity, but about maintaining identity, propriety, autonomy, and voice. It is not about retreating from the digital world but about finding some genuine alternative to a life of perpetual display.”

Yes, yes, and yes.

Another section talks about how children today do not shy away from the camera as much, and actually primp a little in their awareness of one being present. Busch alludes this to the fact that children in today’s culture came straight from the womb being photographed and posted. Because of this, children and teenagers associate, “being unseen as negative,” says Busch.

Since I am only halfway through, below is the Amazon synopsis:

How to Disappear is a unique and exhilarating accomplishment, overturning the dangerous modern assumption that somehow fame and visibility equate to success and happiness. Busch presents a field guide to invisibility, reacquainting us with the merits of remaining inconspicuous, and finding genuine alternatives to a life of perpetual exposure. Accessing timeless truths in order to speak to our most urgent contemporary problems, she inspires us to develop a deeper appreciation for personal privacy in a vast and intrusive world •

For being such a short book it packs quite a punch and I haven’t even finished it. The copy I am reading is from the library, but since I have sticky-noted so many pages, I think I need my own copy. I recommend this book if you feel annoyed and/or overwhelmed with the constant ridiculousness of this social media-obsessed world we unfortunately live in. This book does not berate or insult, but rather provides an introspective view on the idea that, “the human species is finding a renewed interest in passing unnoticed.” So despite this attention-crazed world, there is a small, growing percentage of people who are taking a step back from it all. By taking a step back, much beauty is realized. The last paragraph of the introduction ends with a quote from ceramic artist Eva Zeisel. She was asked how you make something beautiful. Her response was, “You just have to get out of the way.”

The Dessert

Tonight’s dessert is the Low-Carb Reese’s Cup. The only thing I did different from the other times I posted was I added larger walnut pieces to the peanut butter fudge part. I didn’t measure, but rather just tossed a handful in the mixture before I froze them. Below is the link to the post that features this recipe:

https://themostconstant.com/2019/08/31/something-sweet-something-devine-something-with-pages-all-three-might-be-mine-but-id-share/

The Wine

This is a Pinot Noir from the Sonoma Vally in California. I fully admit I bought it because the name, Imagery, reminded me a lot of the mostly image-obsessed world we live in. Hopefully this wine doesn’t leave the same bitter aftertaste that social media usually does. In the end, I’ll take my chances on a new bottle of wine over social media any day of the year, but that’s just me.

Hope your weekend is wonderful.

Cheers.

“& if the world comes knockin’, tell em’ I’m not home.” – E. Church