Half-Full Or Half-Empty = Same Amount Of Wine -Happy Friday, Bookworms

Happy Friday, Bookworms.

Although my previous post about the library went up this morning, it was actually supposed to be yesterday’s post. I was having trouble getting it to successfully upload last night.

Seeing as how it’s Friday, I couldn’t not post an official wine-book-dessert post. So I suppose it’s a two-for-one.

All bookworms love a beautiful cover and The Guest House by Sarah Blake definitely falls in to this category. It was also bought for one dollar from the library sale shelves, so it’s a thrifty beauty as well.

This is a new release (May 2019) and it caught me off guard to see it on those shelves. It’s not an ARC, so someone paid a lot more than a dollar for this book, read it, and then donated it. I’m not complaining, I’m just always amazed when I find such a treasure. Since I haven’t read it yet, the Amazon synopsis is below:

• No. It is a simple word uttered on a summer porch in 1936. And it will haunt Kitty Milton for the rest of her life. Kitty and her husband, Ogden, are both from families considered the backbone of the country. But this refusal will come to be Kitty’s defining moment, and its consequences will ripple through the Milton family for generations. For while they summer on their island in Maine, anchored as they are to the way things have always been, the winds of change are beginning to stir.

In 1959 New York City, two strangers enter the Miltons’ circle. One captures the attention of Kitty’s daughter, while the other makes each of them question what the family stands for. This new generation insists the times are changing. And in one night, everything does.

So much so that in the present day, the third generation of Miltons doesn’t have enough money to keep the island in Maine. Evie Milton’s mother has just died, and as Evie digs into her mother’s and grandparents’ history, what she finds is a story as unsettling as it is inescapable, the story that threatens the foundation of the Milton family myth •

Sounds good, doesn’t it? A family drama and also, Maine. Having a book that takes a place there is going to take my attention right to it.

So the sweet shiraz by Jam Jar is no surprise, it’s actually a staple for me and also this blog, especially on Friday.

The dessert is my version of no-bake cookies. They are a peanut butter base, instead of using rolled oats (oats aren’t bad, they are high in fiber, but they are also high in carbs and I eat low carb) I use unsweetened coconut pieces. I then drizzled dark chocolate over them.

So there you have it-a book, some wine, and also some dessert.

Cheers!

Sincerely,

tmc

“Reading is going toward something that is about to be, and no one yet knows what it will be.”

– Italo Calvino

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Friday Night Lights

The weekend.

These might be two of the best words. Even if I’m just sitting at home, which is most weekends, it should still be celebrated with wine, dessert, and copious amounts of reading. I have a funny story that happened about a year or so ago at the liquor store. It was a Friday and I stopped in on my way home to grab a few things. There is a drink I make with champagne because it’s very delicious, so I was grabbing a few larger bottles because champagne doesn’t seem to go very far (or maybe I drink too much of it). I brought my bounty to the register and I guess because it was champagne the cashier asked, “What are you celebrating?” I replied quite casually, “Friday.”

It’s the small things that make me happy. Friends, dessert, wine, and books, oh yes, also my cat even though she’s a grouch. When you celebrate the seemingly small things in life-like Friday’s, you end up realizing they really are the big things.

On to the book. The Execution of Noa P. Singleton by Elizabeth L. Silver is one that I read a few years back and really liked it. Because it’s been awhile (and I’d like to get back to celebrating Friday) I’m going to post the Amazon synopsis:

• Noa P. Singleton never spoke a word in her own defense throughout a brief trial that ended with a jury finding her guilty of first-degree murder. Ten years later, having accepted her fate, she sits on death row in a maximum-security penitentiary, just six months away from her execution date. 
   Meanwhile, Marlene Dixon, a high-powered Philadelphia attorney who is also the mother of the woman Noa was imprisoned for killing. She claims to have changed her mind about the death penalty and will do everything in her considerable power to convince the governor to commute Noa’s sentence to life in prison, in return for the one thing Noa can trade: her story. Marlene desperately wants to understand the events that led to her daughter’s deathevents that only Noa knows of and has never shared. Inextricably linked by murder but with very different goals, Noa and Marlene wrestle with the sentences life itself can impose while they confront the best and worst of what makes us human

It’s such an interesting story. If you’ve accepted your fate on something as serious being on death row, can you imagine having the chance to fight against your sentence? If your resolve has been to remain silent till this point, does that mean you’ve given up? Would the possibility for a different ending even matter? I imagine once your mind has weighed and dealt with such heavy things, is it difficult to allow a smidgen of hope back in? Is hope too heavy of a burden at that point? I don’t know. Thankfully I’ve never been in that situation.

Now back to lighter thoughts and also your regularly scheduled Friday.

Have a great evening, Bookworms.

Sincerely,

tmc

“Keep reading. It’s one of the most marvelous adventures that anyone can have.”

– Lloyd Alexander

Looking For Someone Who Deals In Luxury Goods-Yeah, The Cashier At The Liquor Store Will Be Just Fine

• Thank you #Scribner for this ARC of Turbulence by David Szalay •

I have a stack or two of homeless books in my bedroom. I am out of shelf space so they reside in a somewhat neat but hoardish stack next to a full book shelf. That stack is made up of new or new-to-me books. I usually sit near this stack when I blow dry my hair and put on make up (because the lighting is good) so I end up looking at them quite often. This is good in a sense because it keeps them more towards the forefront of my mind rather than competing with the rest of my book collection that are in another room.

Turbulence is one that I received about two months ago, but hadn’t read yet (and was sitting in this stack). If you can’t tell from the picture it is relatively short, coming in at just 145 pages. This is especially short in comparison to Lonesome Dove, at 843 pages, which I am also reading. For some reason Turbulence has been staring at me all week. So yesterday after my day of doing a million things was winding down, I grabbed this book from the stack. Don’t judge, I read a little of LD first.

Not only is Turbulence a fantastic read, but bookworms-it was a book I was able to read in one sitting.

This rarely happens.

In fact, it happens so rarely the last time it happened (after consulting my book journal) was November of 2016. The book was Chess Story by Stefan Zweig and I do recommend that book as well. I have read many books in two or three days over the course of my life, but a book in one sitting, hardly ever. Life is just too crazy. There is always somewhere to be, something to do, someone annoying talking thus disturbing precious reading time, or maybe you simply need to close your eyelids and sleep. I think life is against bookworms reading whole books in one sitting (too often) out of protection of getting lost in the amazingness. It simply too luxurious of a thing and one would get too entrapped by the luxury of it if it were allowed too often.

So, with that thought I will tell you a bit about Turbulence. Each chapter is titled with the combination of two airport codes. So chapter one is LGW-MAD, chapter two is MAD-DSS, three, DSS- GRU. Each chapter features a character from the previous chapter and their story. Someone they interact with will be a main character in the next chapter. I had to keep reading. If you pick this one up, you will too. I think I breezed through it in an hour and a half. Pure luxury is what that time was.

Since it’s Friday I decided to combine the decadence of reading a book in one sitting with dessert and wine, which are equally decadent.The wine featured is a red blend called Wish Flower and the dessert is an almond butter chocolate chip bar, sort of like a blondie.

They path to my heart is paved with pages, chocolate, and wine. Simple things that when combined are incredibly extravagant.

Cheers to Friday!

Sincerely,

tmc

“Language is wine upon the lips.”

-Virginia Woolf

Friday Night Always Looks Good To Me

• Thank you to #RandomHouse #partner for these books •

No matter what, if it’s Friday, then things are looking up. Friday is for putting your feet up, cracking open a book, a bottle of wine, and eating dessert. It’s not that the rest of the week is bad, it’s just that often it’s hectic. It’s nice to know there’s a smidge of extra brightness waiting, something a little extra to look forward to.

The four books pictured above look to be very interesting and as I look at them I just want to start them all at the same time. How do you choose what you read? Are you organized, as in you read in the order you receive books (not counting library books)? In theory I try to read that way, but many times I end up reading an article that discusses or reviews a book- then I skip to reading that book.

Here is a little about these books:

1. Diagnosis by Lisa Sanders. This book is the basis of a Netflix Original documentary series. Sanders was an advisor for the medical television show House, M.D. Sanders is a doctor as well and this book is about medical mysteries.

2. Inland is Téa Obrecht’s first book since The Tiger’s Wife. Although TTW was a huge international bestseller, it wasn’t a favorite of mine and didn’t finish reading it. I think Obrecht has talent, so I am excited to give her another shot. This book takes place in the 1890s in the Arizona Territory. It follows a frontier women who is awaiting the return of her husband and sons. One in search of water and the others who left after a bad argument.

3. The Perfect Wife by JP Delaney. This is about a woman who awakens in a daze and has no memory of how or why she is where she is. She doesn’t know her husband or son, or that she is an artist. She is told by her husband (who is a huge titan of the tech world in Silicon Valley) that she has been in a horrible accident and has been brought back due to an incredible technological breakthrough. But, she begins to doubt everything and doesn’t know if she can trust him.

4. Lost You by Haylen Beck ( Amazon Synopsis). Libby needs a break. Three years again her husband left her to raise their infant son Ethan alone as she struggled to launch her writing career. Now for the first time in years, things are looking up. She’s just sold her first novel, and she and Ethan are going on a much-needed vacation. Everything seems to be going their way, so why can’t she stop looking over her shoulder or panicking every time Ethan wanders out of view? Is it because of what happened when Ethan was born? Except Libby’s never told anyone the full story of what happened, and there’s no way anyone could find her and Ethan at a faraway resort . . . right? 

But three days into their vacation, Libby’s fears prove justified. In a moment of inattention, Ethan wanders into an elevator before Libby can reach him. When the elevator stops and the doors open, Ethan is gone. Hotel security scours the building and finds no trace of him, but when CCTV footage is found of an adult finding the child wandering alone and leading him away by the hand, the police are called in. The search intensifies, a lost child case turning into a possible abduction. Hours later, a child is seen with a woman stepping through an emergency exit. Libby and the police track the woman down and corner her, but she refuses to release Ethan. Asked who she is, the woman replies: I am his mother.

Don’t these sound good?!

I’m about to eat some dinner, then I plan to dive in to the good stuff! Happy Friday, Bookworms.

Sincerely,

tmc

“There is nothing more luxurious than eating while you read—unless it be reading while you eat.” – E. Nesbit

PS. If what you are eating is dessert, then it’s even more luxurious.

Not Lost, But Definitely Found – Summer Book Shop Tour 2019 = Success

I found it.

My Summer 2019 Book Shop Tour consisting of one book shop is complete.

• Blue Bicycle Books, Charleston, SC •

It’s a great shop located in the historic shopping section nestled between other unique (and some not unique- Banana Republic and Rack Room Shoes, I’m talking to you) spots on King St. There are metered spaces to park up and down the street, so I was able to park right in front.

It was smaller than I had hoped, but really unless it is the size of a Barnes & Noble or McKay’s Used Books, it will always be too small in my opinion. Upon walking in, along with new releases and bestsellers, local authors and authors who write about SC were also prominently displayed with pictures of them visiting BBB. Authors like Pat Conroy, Dorothea Benton Frank, and Margaret Bradham Thornton are favorites of mine who were front and center.

There’s just something about beautiful stacks of books. I want to buy them all. If you haven’t read these authors, here are my top recommendations from each:

Pat Conroy:

-Beach Music

-Prince of Tides

-South of Broad

Conroy is a true artist. His words paint SC vividly and allow you to feel right at home in the palmetto state. His stories will catch your heart and his characters stay with you like dear friends, especially the first two. I don’t usually reread, but Beach Music has been calling me back for sometime. Conroy passed away in 2016.

Dorothea Benton Frank:

-Sullivan’s Island

-Return to Sullivan’s Island

-Same Beach, Next Year

Her books are beach reads with the best of them. Or- pick one up in the heart of winter to warm your soul and remind you of the sunny days that lie ahead.

Margaret Bradham Thornton:

-Charleston

-The Theory of Love

Wonderful love stories. No cheesiness, but rather depth and beauty that is a little breathtaking, especially TTOL. That is not meant to be a slight on Charleston, I like them equally.

BBB has both new, used, and some rare books. There is also a small staff-selection section up front. Seeing what books the staff selects not only introduces me to great new books, it also shows me that I am not alone in my bookworm tendencies. Recommending books (when asked) is something I love to do. Clarice Lispector was among the recs- so I know there is good taste floating around amongst the staff in BBB.

Something I do when I fly (there’s usually a cool airport book shop, like in Austin, TX) or go somewhere like an independent book store is make a purchase of a new book, meaning a book at full cover price. It doesn’t happen often, so it’s always fun when I get the chance. Since I’m such a cheapo, or shall I say frugal (because it doesn’t sound as hideous), buying a book at full price feels quite indulgent. Maybe that’s what it feels like to be a Kardashian- assuming they know how to read properly.

This is the book I bought: The Schopenhauer Cure by Irvin D. Yalom. I was introduced to Yalom many years ago by my sister. He is a a master in the world of psychiatry and is a psychiatrist himself. I have read Love’s Executioner-Tales of Psychotherapy (nonfiction) and Lying on the Couch (fiction). Both are fascinating books. I had never heard of The Schopenhauer Cure, but as soon as I saw it and read the back, I knew it was my choice. If psychology interests you at all, I recommend checking in to Yalom. The Amazon synopsis is below:

Suddenly confronted with his own mortality after a routine check up, eminent psychotherapist Julius Hertzfeld is forced to reexamine his life and work — and seeks out Philip Slate, a sex addict whom he failed to help some twenty years earlier. Yet Philip claims to be cured — miraculously transformed by the pessimistic teachings of German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer — and is, himself, a philosophical counselor in training. 

Philip’s dour, misanthropic stance compels Julius to invite Philip to join his intensive therapy group in exchange for tutoring on Schopenhauer. But with mere months left, life may be far too short to help Philip or to compete with him for the hearts and minds of the group members. And then again, it might be just long enough.

Photo Disclaimer: Jam Jar wine is a favorite, if you haven’t noticed. Books + wine = the best equation.

Cheers!

Sincerely,

tmc

“Wear the old coat and buy the new book.”

-Austin Phelps

I Won’t Be On A Deserted Island, But I Still Had To Choose Some Books To Take Along

Happy Friday!

Every day of this past week has been a little crazy. A million things to do, places to go, and chores to finish. All of this so some vacation days can be enjoyed in the upcoming week. Why is there so much to do to actually be able to relax?

As always, I begin thinking about which books I want to bring with me when I go somewhere a few weeks in advance. I need choices. What type of book will I be in the mood to read? What if one stinks or what if I read way faster than normal (don’t laugh, it could happen) and need more books? Of course I’ll have my Kindle and that has more books than I could need. But always in the back of my mind, the thought lurks-a Kindle is an electronic device, it could fail. There’s no way I would ever not have traditional books with me. I’m totally ready in the event of a zombie-apocalypse, at least book and wine wise 😉

I decided a few days ago which books I would bring along. Those books are the ones inside the cute yellow bag. As I begin to read them I will share them with you all. There is one in particular that I am so excited to read. I decided at the last minute to throw in The Nest, because

A. I just picked it up a used copy thanks to a good review by a fellow book blogger. I had previously been on the fence about it. Thanks @eastcoastapproach

and

B. The cover is beautiful

Again, I need choices. Just like with clothes, what if something you thought was going to be good actually decides to be itchy or all of sudden fits weird? Yeah, I know you understand.

Also in my bag is my giant, somewhat water-damaged book of variety puzzles. It’s the thing with a bright green mechanical pencil sticking out of it. Yes, this officially makes me a hundred and four, but sometimes I do want to do a word search or crypt-o-gram puzzle. No shame.

There are three magazines inside as well. Two I haven’t read and the third has a list of the best bookstores in the south, one of which I hope to be visiting next week. If I do get the chance to go, I will take you all with me (at least in pictures).

Currently I’m halfway through reading Child 44 by Tom Rob Smith.

It’s the first book in a trilogy that takes place in Russia. I’m sort of on a Russian kick- if reading two books in row that take place in Russia equals a Russian kick? I’ve read The Farm by Smith last year and enjoyed that as well.

Amazon synopsis:

Stalin’s Soviet Union is an unofficial paradise, where citizens live free from crime and fear only one thing: the all-powerful state. Defending this system is idealistic security officer Leo Demidov, a war hero who believes in the iron fist of the law. But when a murderer starts to kill at will and Leo dares to investigate, the State’s obedient servant finds himself demoted and exiled. Now, with only his wife at his side, Leo must fight to uncover shocking truths about a killer-and a country where “crime” doesn’t exist.

So far so good!

Last but never least, the red and white top sticking out of my bag belongs to one of my favorite wines called Jam Jar. It’s a red sweet shiraz and it’s lovely, especially when paired with a book.

Have a great evening and read lots of words!

Sincerely,

tmc

“From the reading of ‘good books’ there comes a richness of life that can be obtained in no other way.”

-Gordon B. Hinckley

Finally

Oh my word, is that Friday I see?

Break out the books, wine, and dessert ASAP. There’s just something that always feels good about Friday, even if my plans only include putting on pajama pants a few hours earlier.

Another bad habit I have when it comes to reading beside reading too many books at one time is getting more books. In this case I didn’t pay for them because they are from my library, however I have about 4,900 TBRs I should read first. But whatever.

The three above are books I was going to order from either thriftbooks.com or abe.com because the Overdrive app does not have them in digital format. Overdrive features a “recommend” tab and more often than not they seem to purchase the books I recommend, which then puts me on the waiting list. I recommended these three over a year ago and they haven’t purchased them yet, so I went to see if the library had them in hard copy. The three titles are:

1. Miss You by Kate Eberlen

2. A Theory of Love by Margaret Bradham Thornton

3. Self Portrait With Boy by Rachel Lyons

Now these are also on my nightstand that is already covered with books. I know it’s ridiculous, truly I know. I just can’t help it.

Happy Friday, Bookworms

“Let’s be reasonable and add an eighth day to the week that is devoted exclusively to reading.”

– Lena Dunham