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

Life’s About The Good Details, No Matter How Small

It’s the small, good details in life that make the annoying daily drudgery not quite as irksome.

It might be someone bringing you a cup of your favorite coffee or favorite piece of candy. It can be as simple as listening to music super loud in my car because I’m by myself to and from work. It’s an email from the library that I have a new book in or it’s my snooty cat sleepily soundly on my lap. Most often, it’s the idea that I will get to return to my slippers and book at some point in the day.

I think the things that make you happy best define who you are. It’s nothing you have to work at or learn, it’s just innate. You love what you love. There’s no explaining it, it is what it is.

What are your favorites? What thoughts make your heart sing and your soul happy?

Of course anything or thought book-related makes me glad. I love getting book recommendation or book deal emails. I love getting to talk books with a fellow bookworm or receiving books through snail-mail. I love the idea that there will always be a supply of books bigger than I can read (although it kind of makes me sad too because I want to read all of the good ones, so it’s a catch-22).

This week on themostconstant is all about

The whole idea around this theme started with the thought, what books would I bring on a deserted island?

My answer: big books

My first two choices have been: The Heart’s Invisible Furies by John Boyne and Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy.

Speaking of big books, what is the longest book you’ve read? As I write this I’m trying to think of the longest book I’ve read. I’ll keep thinking, maybe by the end of this post I’ll have an answer for you.

For today’s post, the next big book I would bring is, The Man Who Loved Children by Christina Stead, which comes in at 567 pages.

There’s a small story behind this choice.

A few years ago I came across this book in a used book store. I grabbed it and read the back. It sounded interesting and although it was only a dollar, I didn’t buy it.

Side thought: Do you ever find that being frugal makes you even more frugal? Meaning, when a book is a dollar, you still pass it up (like the example above) Or, you find a fantastic price on something, but then the shipping price pisses you off so you don’t buy it. This is me all the time.

Ok, back to the book story. So I passed up The Man Who Loved Children that day and went home. By the way, this whole story took place in December. This matters because about a week after passing it up a guy, who has excellent taste in books was talking about his favorite book of the year. And if you haven’t guessed, it was: The Man Who Loved Children by Christina Stead.

My last post talked about my lack of timing and this post is all about almost perfect timing. After this was said to be his favorite book of the year I high-tailed it back to the used book shop and snatched that book up.

If you read a lot, then saying a particular book is your favorite of the entire year means that book is probably pretty incredible. Below is the Amazon synopsis:

• In a country crippled by the Great Depression, Sam and Henny Pollit have too much—too much contempt for one another, too many children, too much strain under endless obligation. Flush with ego and chilling charisma, Sam torments and manipulates his children in an esoteric world of his own imagining. Henny looks on desperately, all too aware of the madness at the root of her husband’s behavior. And Louie, the damaged, precocious adolescent girl at the center of their clashes, is the “ugly duckling” whose struggle will transfix contemporary readers. Today, it stands as a masterpiece of dysfunctional family life [ and reads like a Depression-era The Glass Castle ] •

To answer my question from earlier:

Q: What is the longest book I’ve read?

A: The most recent long book that I can think of (which was a few years back) is 11/22/63 by Stephen King, coming in at 880 pages. It’s a great story and you should read it if you get the chance to.

We are almost to Friday, which is the best day of the week. I have one more big book to bring to you tomorrow to finish out this week’s theme. Along with the book will be a drink and a dessert-because that’s what Friday’s are all about on this blog- the good details of life 📚🍷🍰

“Reading—even browsing—an old book can yield sustenance denied by a database search.” -James Gleick

“Reading is departure and arrival.” -Terri Guillemets

It All Comes Down To Timing & Mine Is Nonexistent This Week

Baby, it’s cold outside. #thedeanmartinversion

But really, it is cold and snowy outside. It would’ve been the perfect day to sit at home and read under the covers. And if you got to do that (🍮Julie 📚), I’m totally envious.

My reading time has been so infrequent over the last few days.

☝️This sums up my thoughts perfectly ☝️

Last night I mentioned the theme for this week is:

Considering that I have had next to no reading time, it’s somewhat ironic that I chose “big books”. If I can’t seem to get any reading time, how am I ever going to finish any book, let alone a “big” book?!

Oh well, such is life.

Sometimes you have to just keep on, keeping on. So, I’ll continue to talk books, even if I’m barely getting to read them. My heart is in it, I promise 📚

So, Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy is another big book that I’ve had on my big book list for too long. Have you read this? Did you love it, hate it-tell me!

Even if you’ve not read AK, you’ve at least heard of this book, right? Because I’ve not read this, I will give you the Amazon synopsis:

Anna Karenina tells of the doomed love affair between the sensuous and rebellious Anna and the dashing officer, Count Vronsky. Tragedy unfolds as Anna rejects her passionless marriage and thereby exposes herself to the hypocrisies of society. Set against a vast and richly textured canvas of nineteenth-century Russia, the novel’s seven major characters create a dynamic imbalance, playing out the contrasts of city and country life and all the variations on love and family happiness •

Although I haven’t read this book, I’ve always loved the opening line:

“Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way” -Leo Tolstoy

It’s one of those classic lines that sticks with you. Or, it has with me anyway.

If you haven’t read AK, do you want to? I don’t have a desire to read a ton of classics. However, there are definitely a handful that come to mind that I do want to read. Sometimes I think what holds me back with the classic genre is the writing style, which equates to the speaking style of the characters. Typically it’s more formal, and at times a bit antiquated. I’m not against it at all, reading a wide scope of genres definitely enhances the mind, but at the same time, they don’t read as quickly. This may sound horrible, but I don’t always have the patience for them. Any thoughts, does this make me horribly shallow?

On that note, I’m going to close for the night. Sweet dreams, my dears.

“I’ve always loved you, and when you love someone, you love the whole person, just as he or she is, and not as you would like them to be.” – Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina

Big Books And Deserted Islands

Are you ever somewhere and wish you were somewhere else? It doesn’t always have to be that you are somewhere bad, but rather that you’d simply rather be somewhere else.

Since I feel like I overcomplicated what I was trying to say, I’ll say it in layman’s terms:

I’d. Always. Rather. Be. In. A. Cozy. Spot. Reading.

There, no there’s no confusion about what I meant to say.

So, aside from that thought, other thoughts or scenarios associated with reading sometimes pop into my head.

One such one:

If I was going to be stuck on an island, what books would I bring?

I don’t know the duration of being stuck or any other specifics, only that I’d have to pick a few books (and no Kindle-because there’d be no way to charge it once it finally died).

Right off the top of my head I’m not sure what books I’d bring. But-I do know that I’d bring big (long) books. I’d want them to last-in the event I’m stuck for a good while.

This got me thinking more and that produced a theme for this week:

This week will be about books that I’ve been wanting to read that are on the long side. Books that I push to the side because I feel their length is, well, lengthy.

There’s something about a book that steps over the 4-500 or so page mark. I can’t say the physical size is hard to hold, because often times it’s on my Kindle, although all the books this week are in traditional editions. For some reason it’s easier for me to commit to three 300 page books versus one 900 page book.

Any thoughts? Agree, disagree?

The Heart’s Invisible Furies by John Boyne is the first long book I would bring on my island stay. Every time I come across this book, I find myself thinking about how much I love this title. There’s something about hearts, invisible, and furies that appeals to me. As in, we are all walking around with these huge things or thoughts in our hearts, that mean so much, yet they are invisible to the multitude of people we encounter every day. We all just go about doing the things that need to be done in order to keep life going in a somewhat orderly fashion, meanwhile we have these (at times) raging or intense things that we think about at the same time, but kind of brush them aside for the sake of everything else.

If you aren’t familiar with John Boyne, he is also the author of The Boy in Striped Pajamas.

The Heart’s Invisible Furies was published in 2017 to much acclaim. I’ve flipped open and read a few pages and enjoyed what I read, but then put it aside for something a little shorter. It’s not longest “big book” out there by any means, coming in at 567 pages, but it is still on the long side. I’ve only heard great things about this book. Most recently, my neighbor’s granddaughter, who is a huge bookworm (Hi, Katie) was raving about this book.

Below is the Amazon synopsis:

• Cyril Avery is not a real Avery — or at least, that’s what his adoptive parents tell him. And he never will be. But if he isn’t a real Avery, then who is he?

Born out of wedlock to a teenage girl cast out from her rural Irish community and adopted by a well-to-do if eccentric Dublin couple via the intervention of a hunchbacked Redemptorist nun, Cyril is adrift in the world, anchored only tenuously by his heartfelt friendship with the infinitely more glamourous and dangerous Julian Woodbead. At the mercy of fortune and coincidence, he will spend a lifetime coming to know himself and where he came from – and over his many years, will struggle to discover an identity, a home, a country, and much more •

I know many of you have probably read this book. What do you think? Should it get pushed to my short-short list vs. just the short list?

“It’s not easy losing someone,” she said. “It never goes away, does it?” “The Phantom Pain, they call it,” I said. “ -John Boyne, The Heart’s Invisible Furies

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

I Think Wednesday Is The Very definition Of Agony And Ecstasy

I do not have any motivational, get-through-the week quotes for you.

No cheeseball lines of fluff that are absolutely useless except to further remind you that it is not yet Friday afternoon.

But I am here to talk books.

So if that’s what you are here for, then we are both in the right place!

I finished my first book of the month two days ago and for some reason the last three books I have started just haven’t grabbed me. And it’s not that they aren’t good, they just aren’t grabbing me right now. It’s like a mini reading slump.

I’m determined to fix that this evening. Do you have any recommendations for a reading slump, any go-to authors? Just curious.

The book in the picture is The Agony and the Ecstasy by Irving Stone. It’s historical fiction about the artist Michelangelo.

I’ve had this book for awhile and I’ve not yet read it. A friend of mine really loves it and it rates at ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 1/2 on Amazon. This is a long read, coming in at over 700 pages. Have you read this or anything by Irving Stone? Stone writes a lot of historical fiction. I have not read anything by him, so I am interested in giving this book a try. Below is the Amazon synopsis:

• His time—the turbulent Renaissance, the years of poisoning princes, warring Popes, and the all-powerful de’Medici family…

His loves—the frail and lovely daughter of Lorenzo de’Medici, the ardent mistress of Marco Aldovrandi, and his last love, his greatest love—the beautiful, unhappy Vittoria Colonna…

His genius—a God-driven fury from which he wrested brilliant work that made a grasp for heaven unmatched in half a millennium…

His name—Michelangelo Buonarroti. Creator of the David, painter of the ceiling in the Sistine Chapel, architect of the dome of St. Peter’s, Michelangelo lives once more in the tempestuous, powerful pages of Irving Stone’s towering triumph. A masterpiece in its own right, this biographical novel offers a compelling portrait of one of the greatest artists the world has ever known •

Oh and to clear up about my reading slump, I meant for my Kindle. I’ve got a traditional book to read, but I have to have a kindle book so I can read inconspicuously or when the lights are out.

One more thing. Did you notice the brownish-red dust in the picture? It’s cinnamon.

I’ve been reading stuff about how good it is for you. Everything from helping with inflammation, it lowers blood sugar and can improve your sensitivity to the hormone insulin, fights bacterial and fungal infections, it may cut your risk for heart disease, and may help fight against cancer and neurodegenerative disease.

I’ve always loved cinnamon and have put it in my coffee before, but for some reason i stopped. Anyway, with it being fall and pumpkin-everything, I started adding it in again. There are some really great sugar-free pumpkin syrups by Jordan’s Skinny Syrups that I use during this time of year. I sprinkle in cinnamon with the Pumpkin Cheesecake and Pumpkin Caramel flavors. You can order the syrups from skinnymixes.com.

I think cinnamon also pairs well with cozy sweaters, blankets, and books 📚, just in case you were wondering.

Have a great evening.

“To try to understand another human being, to grapple for his ultimate depths, that is the most dangerous of human endeavors.” -Irving Stone, The Agony and the Ecstasy

“No man is born into the world whose work is not born with him.” -Irving Stone, The Agony and the Ecstasy

Life, A Day At A Time

I think what bugs me so much about the time change is this:

I can reconcile that it’s close to 5pm even though it looks like it’s 9pm, but for some reason I feel like I am scrambling to get everything done in time.

If it’s light outside at 5pm, I feel like I am on schedule, whatever that means.

However,

If it’s dark outside at 5pm, I feel like I’ve somehow overlooked a million things, run out of time, because it’s now time to go to bed. It make no sense, but I guess I just associate light and times together no matter what time my brain tells me it truly is.

I know the quote you are probably used to seeing mentions October and is by L. M. Montgomery. As much as I love October, I also love November, so the one above is by me. Feel free to use this quote if you feel the same 😉

Whereas October, at least the beginning, has just barely become fall, November is fully committed. Fall is in its prime come November. There is no turning back. Jack Frost is on his way. I really love this time of year.

On Saturday, part of my post talked about my blog writing process. I was making some more notes for this month and thought I’d show you the calendar I use.

It’s one of those blank calendars where you can write in the days and the month. Last month was the first month I started using this and it really helped to put the month more in to perspective. I write ideas of possible books at the bottom. Books that I need to get from the library I write down the right-hand side of the page. These days and books aren’t set in stone. If a different or better suited books comes to mind I will change it. Also, if one day is better to post over another, I will change the day. Things come up no matter how much you try and plan, so you have to be flexible. I read a quote recently that said, “ You can plan your days, but you can’t control them.”

So remember that next time you are being held up by a super long line because the internet is down and no one can pay or maybe an event pops up out of nowhere that you have to attend. Be flexible, slap on a smile (even if it’s slightly less than genuine), and then read your Kindle that’s stashed inside your purse.

The book I wanted to share today is by Richard Russo. If the name sort of sounds familiar it’s because I posted a book of his a few months back titled, Empire Falls. EF was my first read by Russo and it hooked me.

He recently published Chances Are and I am on the waiting list for that one.

Nobody’s Fool is an older book, published in 2011. I have actually seen the movie, because at the time I wasn’t aware there was book. The movies stars Paul Newman, Jessica Tandy, Melanie Griffiths, and Bruce Willis, amongst others. It’s fantastic and I do recommend it.

Normally i don’t read the book if I’ve watched the movie first. But in this case, because I loved Empire Falls so much, I want to read everything Russo has written.

I’ve known for a long time that domestic dramas are my thing. Anne Tyler, who writes this genre well is a favorite of mine and I have read many of her books. But Russo brings something a little different to the table. I can’t put my finger on it exactly, other than to say that he captures small or smaller town daily life incredibly well. The details and specific nuances he puts in to his writing is nothing short of amazing. I just want to fall in to his books and live there.

Although I know the story because I’ve seen the movie, I’m going to include the Amazon synopsis:

• This slyly funny, moving novel about a blue-collar town in upstate New York—and in the life of Sully, of one of its unluckiest citizens, who has been doing the wrong thing triumphantly for fifty years—is a classic American story.

Divorced from his own wife and carrying on halfheartedly with another man’s, saddled with a bum knee and friends who make enemies redundant, Sully now has one new problem to cope with: a long-estranged son who is in imminent danger of following in his father’s footsteps. With its uproarious humor and a heart that embraces humanity’s follies as well as its triumphs, Nobody’s Fool, from Pulitzer Prize-winning author, Richard Russo, is storytelling at its most generous •

Since I can only vouch for Empire Falls, I would say start with that one. But I’m sure if this type of novel is up your alley, it won’t matter which Russo book you begin with.

The last thing I wanted to share with you is this candle. If I get the chance to sit for a bit under a cozy blanket or sweater I always light a candle. There is something so soothing about the flicker of candlelight.

The candle in the picture is my favorite cheap-y one. It’s from Walmart and it’s called, Mulled Cider. Years ago, a friend of mine named Leslee introduced me to it and ever since then it’s been a go-to come this time of year. It’s only available in the fall time and maybe the beginning of winter. The size shown is only $3.33, so I always stock up on them.

Alright. That’s all I’ve got for you tonight.

Sleep tight.

“For fairness and loyalty, however important to the head, were issues that could seldom be squared in the human heart, at the deepest depths of which lay the mystery of affection, of love, which you either felt or you didn’t, pure as instinct, which seized you, not the other way around, making a mockery of words like “should” and “ought”. The human heart, where compromise could not be struck, not ever.” – Richard Russo, Nobody’s Fool