Saturday, February 29, 2020

Weekly Wrap-Up: All Manner of Bookish-ness, from Comics to Book-Inspired Movies






It was 75 degrees F. this week. Sunny. Warm. My azaleas have bloomed. Our peppers and cucumbers in the hotbox are popping up. Carolina chickadees and mourning doves are at my feeders. 



Three collections of comics. Very odd for me. And I liked them all.


 Book Love by Debbie Tung
Strange Planet by Nathan W. Pyle
Adulthood is a Myth by Sarah Andersen






I set War and Peace aside while I was in Paris, and it took me a while to get back to my chapter-a-day readalong. When I did, I found I was 29 chapters behind. I was at the most daunting part for me, too, the war parts, the part where I completely stalled out on W&P the last time I tried to read it. I was worried.

I should not have worried. I jumped right back into the book where I'd left off, and I have now caught back up completely. I found the war parts fascinating, as I was those young people, standing on the battlefield for the first time, feeling the fear of being there, the rush of being there. Very surprising.






I have registered for this year's Texas Library Association Conference. It will be held here in Houston at the end of March. What do I have on my schedule? Here are some of the sessions I've bookmarked:

Katherine Center Speaks on Reading for Joy
My Library is Tiny! How to Be Creative with Small Spaces
Top Texas Topaz Picks (Nonfiction)
2x2 Reading List Showcase (Books for Ages 2 to Grade 2)
Recycling Books for Fun, Fashion, and Furniture
Speed Dating with Texas Authors and Illustrators
Books on the Bus: Diversify and Innovate Reading Environments
New Picture Books from Favorite Authors and Illustrators
Literacy and Community Engagement
Hot Off the Press: Great New Books for Grades 4-12

Are you coming to TLA? Let's plan to meet up.






I finally got around to reading (it's a memoir as well as a cookbook) Breaking Bread: A Baker's Journey in 75 Recipes. I like to try out a recipe or two, but many of these recipes were unbelievably daunting (one recipe takes at least three days to prepare). I finally settled on a fairly easy recipe for Butter Biscuits.








We watched the Masterpiece mini-series, Howards End, this week. It started slow, I thought, but, by the end, I loved it. Now I want to read the book.




I'm very happy you found your way to the Sunday Salon. There are no real requirements to linking up at Sunday Salon. Sunday Salon is simply a place for us to link up and to share what we have been doing during the week. Sunday Salon is a great way to visit other blogs and join in the conversations going on there. 

Some of the things we often talk about at the Sunday Salon:

  • What was your week like?
  • Read any good books? Tell us about them.
  • What other bookish things did you do? 
  • What else is going on in your life?


Other places where you may like to link up over the weekend are below. Click on the picture to visit the site.


My linkup for Sunday Salon is below.

Thursday, February 27, 2020

Rapid Fire Book Tag







This tag was created by Girl Reading, and it’s some quick bookish questions and their quick bookish answers. While I wasn’t tagged directly, I am taking advantage of the open invitation extended by Helen at Helen's Book Blog and Davida at The Chocolate Lady's Book Review Blog


Here we go!

E-Book or Physical Book?

Physical.

Paperback or Hardback?

Paperback.

Online or In-Store Book Shopping?

In-Store.

Trilogies or Series?

Neither.

Heroes or Villains?

Heroes.

A book you want everyone to read?

Civility by Stephen L. Carter.

Recommend an underrated book?

Mrs. Bridge by Evan S. Connell.

The last book you finished?

Strange Planet by Nathan W. Pyle.

The Last Book You Bought?

Paris in Winter by David Coggins.

Weirdest Thing You’ve Used as a Bookmark?

Old Valentines.

Used Books: Yes or No?

Absolutely.

Top Three Favorite Genres?

Literary fiction, nonfiction that reads like fiction, and picture books.

Borrow or Buy?

Borrow.

Characters or Plot?

Characters.

Long or Short Books?

Short.

Long or Short Chapters?

Short.

Name the First Three Books You Think Of:


The Librarian by Salley Vickers.
The President's Hat by Antoine Laurain.
A Breath of French Air by H. E. Bates.

Books That Makes You Laugh or Cry?

Laugh.

Our World or Fictional Worlds?

Our world.

Audiobooks: Yes or No?

Yes.

Do You Ever Judge a Book by its Cover?

'Fraid so.

Book to Movie or Book to TV Adaptations?

Book to movie.

A Movie or TV-Show You Preferred to its Book?

The Devil Wears Prada.

Series or Standalones?

Standalones.

I’m tagging:

Anyone and everyone. If you want to do this… consider yourself tagged!


Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Breaking Bread: A Baker's Journey Home in 75 Recipes by Martin Philip



"And the world cannot be
discovered by a journey of
miles, no matter how long,
but only by a spiritual 
journey, a journey of one
inch, very arduous and
humbling and joyful, by
which we arrive at the 
ground at our own feet, and
learn to be at home."
----Wendell Berry

Martin Philip worked in finance in New York City, but he gave all of that up to become a professional baker in rural Vermont. Breaking Bread is Philip's memoir of his journey into bread-baking, told in seventy-five recipes.

Look at that kvassmiche Martin Philip is holding on the cover of his book. Isn't that beautiful? Open the book and you will find recipes for other beautiful wonders like Citrus Vollkornbrot and Powerbrot and Pain de Mie and Sourdough Miche.

The recipes for these breads provide directions for each day's work on the bread. All of these take at least two days to make. Philip gives formulas for weighing the ingredients and measuring the temperature of the ingredients.

These seemed a bit daunting.

Kvassmiche is what I hoped to make. And I still hope to make it one day. Just not yet.  

Instead, I decided to try some of Martin Philip's simpler recipes, those at the beginning of his journey. Cornmeal Drop Biscuits. Mama's Bread. Corn Grit Hoecakes. And this one, at the very start of the book, for Butter Biscuits.


BUTTER BISCUITS
Yield: Ten to twelve 2 1/2 inch biscuits

Ingredients:
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon fine salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
8 tablespoons unsalted cold butter
1 cup plus 1 1/2 teaspoons buttermilk

Position an oven rack on a rung in the top third of the oven. 

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Lightly grease a 13 x 18-inch sheet pan, or line it with parchment paper.

Cut the butter into 1/8-inch-thick slices. Chill until use.


Weigh and chill the dry ingredients.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda.

Add the cold butter and toss to coat with the dry ingredients. Then press the butter slices between your thumb and forefinger into small flat pieces or "leaves."

Add the buttermilk all at once and mix gently until the mixture is just combined. The dough should be firm and bare cohesive (some dry bits are okay).


Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface and pat into a 3/4-inch-thick rectangle. The dry bits will incorporate in the next steps.

Fold the dough in thirds as you would a letter and gently roll or pat it into a rectangle. Repeat this fold-and-roll process once more if the dough isn't cohesive.

Lightly flour the top of the dough and cut the dough into circles with a sharp 2-inch biscuit cutter.


Place the biscuits on the prepared sheet pan.

Bake for 16 to 18 minutes, rotating after 14 minutes, until the biscuits are golden.


You will never taste a better biscuit. Flaky. Buttery. Delicious.



For more wordless photos, go to Wordless Wednesday.

Saturday Snapshot is hosted by A Web of Stories. To participate in Saturday Snapshot: post a photo that you (or a friend or family member) have taken and then leave a direct link to your post in the Mister Linky at A Web of Stories.

Weekend Cooking is hosted by Beth Fish Reads and is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, quotations, photographs. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend. You do not have to post on the weekend. Please link to your specific post, not your blog's home page. For more information, see the welcome post.

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Book Characters I've Befriended On Facebook




























Note: All these FB profiles are ones I created on Canva. So don't spend time on FB looking for any of these characters. Though I have the feeling that the Pigeon may be there....



Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together. Each Tuesday That Artsy Reader Girl assigns a topic and then post her top ten list that fits that topic. You’re more than welcome to join her and create your own top ten (or 2, 5, 20, etc.) list as well. Feel free to put a unique spin on the topic to make it work for you! Please link back to That Artsy Reader Girl in your own post so that others know where to find more information.

Saturday, February 22, 2020

Little Women, Little Women, and More Little Women




This was a week of getting back to normal after being away from home for seventeen days. Jet lag, I've learned, is a real thing. And it didn't help that the days here were rainy and gray and cold. I almost felt like I was hibernating.





I hurriedly read The Annotated Little Women edited by John Matteson this week. Our book club was reading and discussing it on Tuesday night, so I rushed to finish it. This edition of the book has photographs from Louisa May Alcott's life, including photos of her, her family, her homes, and objects of meaning to her, as well as footnotes throughout the book, explaining the importance of events in the lives of the March family, and relating these events to actual events in the Alcott family. It was a wonderful read, and the discussion at book club was also good. Our club's consensus on the usual questions: (1) Jo is the best character, (2) Laurie should not have married Jo (too much of a brother), (3) the book is still relevant today. 






I'm trying to read and review all the books that arrived while I was in Paris, some nonfiction picture books about famous women in America, a bizarre story for adults about a man who meets the doppelganger for his first love, a children's chapter book about America's Outlaws, some cookbooks, a couple of new board books, a wildly funny early chapter book about a girl who finds a pony in a grocery store and brings it home to her apartment on the twelfth floor, and a children's spy book set in---I almost couldn't believe it when I saw it---Paris. 







Why I will always read children's books: Travis Jonker's More Spring 2020 Books I'm Looking Forward To. I dare you to take a look at all covers of the picture books and chapter books and graphic novels and nonfiction books coming out this spring and not head to your library and see what you can find. Who can resist Baby Clown? A new Wayside School book? Pizza and Taco: Who's the Best? Explosion at the Poem Factory? Llama Unleashes the Alpacalypse?







I was happy to discover Masterpiece's Little Women free on Amazon, so I naturally watched it this week. 


Some of us from the book club are going to see the new movie today. 



I'd love to hear about your week.




I'm very happy you found your way to the Sunday Salon. There are no real requirements to linking up at Sunday Salon. Sunday Salon is simply a place for us to link up and to share what we have been doing during the week. Sunday Salon is a great way to visit other blogs and join in the conversations going on there. 

Some of the things we often talk about at the Sunday Salon:

  • What was your week like?
  • Read any good books? Tell us about them.
  • What other bookish things did you do? 
  • What else is going on in your life?


Other places where you may like to link up over the weekend are below. Click on the picture to visit the site.


My linkup for Sunday Salon is below.