Friday, October 21, 2016

The Friday 56 (81) The Witches by Roald Dahl

The Friday 56 is a weekly meme hosted by Freda's Voice where every Friday you pick a book and turn to page 56 or 56%, and select a sentence or a few, as long as it's not a spoiler. For the full rules, visit the the page HERE
6327Synopsis from Goodreads...

This is not a fairy-tale. This is about REAL WITCHES. Real witches don't ride around on broomsticks. They don't even wear black cloaks and hats. They are vile, cunning, detestable creatures who disguise themselves as nice, ordinary ladies. So how can you tell when you're face to face with one? Well, if you don't know yet you'd better find out quickly-because there's nothing a witch loathes quite as much as children and she'll wield all kinds of terrifying powers to get rid of them.
"I sidled cautiously into the room. What a lovely secret silent place it was."--The Witches by Roald Dahl
Comments: This week, I visited my local library. The Witches is one of the books I picked up while I was there. I've heard a lot of good things about it, and was excited to finally give it a read. 

What are you reading this week?

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Review: Grand Forks (A History of American Dining in 128 Review) by Marilyn Hagerty

Grand Forks: A History of American Dining in 128 ReviewsTitle: Grand Forks: A History of American Dining in 128 Reviews
Author: Marilyn Hagerty 
Source/Format: Purchased; Paperback
More Details: Nonfiction; Food & Drink
Publisher/Publication Date: Anthony Bourdain/Ecco; August 27, 2013

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Synopsis from Goodreads...

A legendary 86-year-old food critic brings together a collection of the best down-home, no-nonsense restaurant reviews-from Red Lobster to Le Bernadin-culled from her fifty year career...

Writing for her local North Dakota newspaper, the Grand Forks Herald since 1957, Marilyn Hagerty went from obscurity to overnight sensation in 2012 when her earnest, admiring review of a local Olive Garden went viral. Among the denizens of the food world-obsessive gastronomes who celebrate Alice Waters and Michael Pollan, revere all things artisanal, and have made kale salad a staple on upscale urban menus-Hagerty's review ignited a fiery debate over the state of American culture. Anthony Bourdain defended Hagerty as an authentic voice of the larger American culture-one that is not dictated by the biases of the food snobbery that define the coasts.

In this refreshing, unpretentious collection that includes more than 200 reviews culled from a voluminous archive spanning over fifty years, Hagerty reveals how most Americans experience the pleasure of eating out....
Just a quick disclaimer: this is the kind of book that will make you hungry.

I picked up Grand Forks just because I happened to come across a copy, and decided to just go ahead and buy it. I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed reading 237 pages worth of reviews about restaurants and food, written by Marilyn Hagerty.

Grand Forks is probably one of the more interesting nonfiction reads I’ve come across this year—not because it wasn’t science, history, or environment related (it’s not even a cookbook). Those subjects are fine, but Grand Forks was just different. It was filled with a compilation of restaurant and food  reviews.

Grand Forks was all about the food from the various restaurants that Marilyn Hagerty visited. She also described the d├ęcor, the atmosphere of those places, and her overall dining experience. Hagerty’s descriptions of the food she tried often made me wish I had a plate of it too.

I liked how the reviews centered largely on Hagerty’s community restaurant scene, and how some of the places were reviewed more than once. On the surface, Grand Forks doesn’t appear to tell the history of much. But, actually, it was kind of a history of American dining. One of the earlier reviews in Grand Forks comes from 1987. So, 1987 all the way up until 2012. That’s a long enough time to establish some kind of history. As the book progressed, it kind of illustrated the changing times in Hagerty’s community. New restaurants opened, old favorites closed down or altered their menus and dining rooms—while some things almost stayed basically the same.

So, Grand Forks was a very entertaining read. I liked it a lot.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Music Monday (1) Halsey

  • Music Monday is a weekly meme hosted by Lauren Stoolfire at Always Me, that asks you to share one or two songs that you've recently enjoyed. For the rules, visit the page HERE 
A while ago, I tried out a meme called Thursday Tracks, but it just didn't work out for me. So, I wanted to try out something music related on a different day of the week. While participating in the Friday 56 meme, I stumbled across Music Monday on one of the blogs I visited. In the end, I decided to re-purpose the art I'd made for the Thursday Tracks, since I still wanted to use them. 

I'm still going to participate in Musing Monday, but I wanted to do something not related to books too.
Recently, I've listened to a lot of Halsey's music. I've basically had Badlands on repeat. My three top favorite songs off the album are Young God, Control, and Gasoline.

Listen to Young God HERE
Listen to Gasoline HERE
Listen to Control HERE

What are you listening to this week?

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Weekend Tidbits {#8} Its October

It has been so long since I did a Weekend Tidbits post. Its seems like forever. However, since I have some stuff to talk about today, well, here it is...
It's October, and while the year is almost over, I can't help but get into the season. I love all the seasonal apparel, items, and food. And while I do love the change of the season, I can't make an entire post dedicated to it. No, I've got some other stuff to talk about today. Namely, Inktober.

October doesn't just mean Halloween to me, it also means Inktober, a month long challenge to draw something in ink every day for 31 days. This is the first year I've kind or sort of participated in Inktober. I haven't posted my art online, but, I have been keeping up, spending a few hours a day working on quick pieces of art, sometimes even less time than that. The prompts have been super helpful. And so far, I haven't found the challenge difficult, but then, it's only like 16 days in. So, I'll have to see how the rest of the month goes.

Usually, I stay out of challenges in general. However, I decided to do Inktober this year because it seemed like a great way to motivate myself to work on improving my drawing habits. I've stuck to more traditional mediums this time around, but if I decide to do Inktober next year, then I might also incorporate pieces done entirely digitally. 

Other stuff...

And since it's so late in the year, I've started looking ahead to 2017 already. There are books that I want to read, from debuts to long awaited sequels. I'm sure that list is going to keep growing. So, it would serve no purpose to share it here today. I'll probably save that until at least the beginning of next year. All I can say, so far, is that 2017 is looking very promising. As for 2016, I still have other books I'm looking forward to: Blood for Blood by Ryan GraudinIceling by Sasha Stephenson (I actually have an eARC of this one, and I'm really excited to finally get a chance to read it); The Blazing Star by Imani Josey

My pick for today is one of my favorites: Goji Raspberry green tea. 

Friday, October 14, 2016

The Friday 56 (80) The Snow Queen by Hans Christain Andersen, illustrated by Sanna Annukka

The Friday 56 is a weekly meme hosted by Freda's Voice where every Friday you pick a book and turn to page 56 or 56%, and select a sentence or a few, as long as it's not a spoiler. For the full rules, visit the the page HERE
24385896Synopsis from Goodreads...

Hans Christian Andersen's magical tale of friendship and adventure is retold through the beautiful and intricate illustrations of Finnish-English illustrator Sanna Annukka. Cloth-bound in deep blue, with silver foil embellishments, The Snow Queen is a unique work of art.

Sanna Annukka is familiar to many from her collaborations with Marimekko and her artwork for Keane's album, Under the Iron Sea. For her second book project, she illustrates Hans Christian Andersen's classic fairy tale, The Snow Queen...
"The boxes were very high, and the children knew that they were not to climb about them, but they were often allowed to take their little stools out on the roof under the roses, where they had a wonderful time playing together."The Snow Queen by Hans Christian Andersen, illustrated by Sanna Annukka
Comments: This is one classic I've been meaning to read for a long time. I finally got a copy last week. This quote comes from page 6, since 56 was too far into the story, almost at the end (the book is very short).

What classics have you recently read?

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