Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Hyped Books I've Never Read (and Probably Never Will Read!)


Here are six overhyped books I've never read 
(and probably never will read):



L to R: Three Twilight books; 
DaVinci Code; Fifty Shades; The Shack.


And just so you don't think I'm ridiculously negative,

here are some overhyped books that, 
in my very humble opinion, are worth the read:

Overhyped BooksRead?Worth Reading?
Harry PotterYesYes
The NotebookYesYes
Hunger GamesYesYes
Eat, Pray, LoveYesYes
The Fault is in Our StarsYesYes


Do you read books that are heavily hyped? 

Are you like me and often feel disappointed by overly hyped books?

Are there any of the six books I listed at the top of the post that I should read? All of the six are listed in PBS' Great American Read, so I am tempted.




Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish, but is now being hosted at That Artsy Reader Girl. This feature was created because we are particularly fond of lists here. We'd love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!

Each week we will post a new Top Ten list that one of our bloggers here at The Broke and the Bookish will answer. Everyone is welcome to join. All we ask is that you link back to The Broke and the Bookish on your own Top Ten Tuesday post AND add your name to the Linky widget so that everyone can check out other bloggers lists! If you don't have a blog, just post your answers as a comment. Have fun with it! It's a fun way to get to know your fellow bloggers.

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Au Revoir, Paris: I Say Goodbye to Paris





I say goodbye to Paris, but I will be back, I know.

What a lovely month it was!














I read and review 28 books set in Paris.




Did you make it to Paris in July? I hope you did.



What is the Sunday SalonImagine some university library's vast reading room. It's filled with people--students and faculty and strangers who've 
wandered in. They're seated at great oaken desks, books piled all around them,and they're all feverishly reading and jotting notes in their leather-bound
 journals as they go. Later they'll mill around the open dictionaries and compare their thoughts on the afternoon's literary intake....That's what happens 
at the Sunday Salon, except it's all virtual. Every Sunday the bloggers participating in that week's Salon get together--at their separate desks, in their 
own particular time zones--and read. And blog about their reading. And comment on one another's blogs. Think of it as an informal, weekly, 
mini read-a-thon, an excuse to put aside one's earthly responsibilities and fall into a good book. Click here to join the Salon.

The Sunday Post is a meme hosted by Kimba at Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It's a chance to share news and recap the past week.

Mailbox Monday was created by Marcia at The Printed Page. We share books that we found in our mailboxes last week. 
 It is now being hosted here.

Stacking the Shelves is a meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews in which you can share the books you've acquired.

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is where we share what we read this past week, what we hope to read this week…. and anything in between!  
This is a great way to plan out your reading week and see what others are currently reading as well… you never know where that next “must read” 
book will come from! I love being a part of this and I hope you do too! It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is now being hosted at The Book Date.

Please join the weekly meme at An Accidental Blog. Share with the rest of us your passion for France. Did you read a good book set in France? See a movie? 
Take a photo in France? Have an adventure? Eat a fabulous meal or even just a pastry? Or if you're in France now, go ahead and lord it over the rest of us. 
We can take it.

Il est Juillet et il est temps pour le merveilleux Paris in July hosted by Thyme for Tea! (*It is July and it is time for the wonderful Paris in July!)


Thursday, July 26, 2018

Let's Spin the Wheel and See What We Read in August



It's time for another Classics Club Spin!



But wait. What, you might ask, is the Classics Club?

From the blog:

  • Choose 50+ classics you would like to read.
  • List them at your blog.
  • Choose a reading completion goal date up to five years in the future and note that date on your classics list of 50+ titles.
  • E-mail the moderators of this blog (theclassicsclubblog@gmail.com) with your list link and information and it will be posted on the Members Page.
  • Write about each title on your list as you finish reading it, and link it to your main list.
  • When you’ve written about every single title, let the Club know, and your name will be posted on the Wall of Honor.
If you haven't done this, do this first. Then you can get going with your reading by joining in for our Classics Club Spin.



What is the Classics Club Spin? Again, from the blog:

  • Go to your blog.
  • Pick twenty books that you’ve got left to read from your Classics Club List.
  • Post that list, numbered 1-20, on your blog before Wednesday 1st August.
  • We’ll announce a number from 1-20. 
  • Read that book by 31st August.
Here is my list:

1. Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen
2. Emma by Jane Austen
3. Mansfield Park by Jane Austen
4. The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton
5. Mythology by Edith Hamilton
6. One Thousand and One Arabian Nights
7. The Wonderful "O" by James Thurber
8. Dona Barbara by Romulo Gallegos
9. A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett
10. Selected Stories by O. Henry
11. Snow Country by Yasunari Kawabata
12. Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare
13. North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell
14. King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table
15. Excellent Women by Barbara Pym
16. The Doll's House by Rumer Godden
17. White Fang by Jack London
18. At the Back of the North Wind by George MacDonald
19. The Intuitionist by Colson Whitehead
20. The Black Corsair by Emilio Salgari

Rationale: August is Austen in August, and I will definitely be reading Persuasion in August in honor of that event. Maybe I might squeeze in a little more Austen (Northanger Abbey; Emma; Mansfield Park). I've also included several titles from my list that are also on PBS' Great American Read list (Dona Barbara; Intuitionist). It would be nice to read them before the voting is tallied this fall. I'm trying to read all 1001 Children's Books You Must Read Before You Grow Up. Several books on my list are from this list (Arabian Nights; Little Princess; King Arthur; White Fang: North Wind; Black Corsair).

Are you a Classic Clubber? Have you made your list? Leave a link in the comments if you have so I can see what you are picking.

Now let's see what book the spinner chooses for me to read in August....




Update:  The wheel chose book #9, A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett!

Look at the beautiful copy I have to read, part of the Puffin in Bloom Collection! So happy!


Update: I've finished The Little Princess. Five stars. Here's my review:

Sara Crewe is beautiful and clever and rich and has everything she could possibly want when she arrives at Miss Minchin's Boarding School in England. She has one thing that sets her apart from the other girls, though, and that is that Sara uses her imagination to enhance her life. Despite her riches and beauty and cleverness, she is kind to everyone, even those who are cruel to her and even those who are poor.

And then she learns that her father has died and that all her riches are gone. Miss Minchin banishes Sara to the attic and makes Sara a servant in the house.

But it changes nothing in Sara. She continues to be kind to others and to take refuge in her imagination.

A Little Princess is an inspiring story of a girl with deep reserves of character and imagination, who manages to do the right thing even when her entire life falls apart. I'm so glad I finally read this book and I hope you will read it, too.


Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Paris in July: A Morning Picnic at the Eiffel Tower





We wait until the last day to visit the Eiffel Tower.

We plan a picnic. A breakfast picnic.

We walk and walk. We do not see the Eiffel Tower.


We go around a corner and suddenly there it is. The Eiffel Tower.



It is early.

Do you notice anything?

Yes, there are no people.

We enjoy the Eiffel Tower alone. It is all ours.

















For more wordless photos, go to Wordless Wednesday.

Saturday Snapshot is hosted by West Metro Mommy ReadsTo 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 West Metro Mommy Reads.



Please join the weekly meme at An Accidental Blog. Share with the rest of us your passion for France. Did you read a good book set in France? See a movie? Take a photo in France? Have an adventure? Eat a fabulous meal or even just a pastry? Or if you're in France now, go ahead and lord it over the rest of us. We can take it.


Il est Juillet et il est temps pour le merveilleux Paris in July hosted by Thyme for Tea! (*It is July and it is time for the wonderful Paris in July!)

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Books That Take Me Straight into the World of Paris


When I travel, I always take books with me. The books I choose to take along on the trip are always books that are set in the place to which I am traveling.

Every summer I travel to Paris via my blog. I have now read many, many books set in Paris.

Some of the books take me straight into the world of Paris---its sights, its sounds, its aromas.

Here are my favorite novels that are evocative of Paris:



Suite Française




The Paris Wife




The 6:41 to Paris




Mrs. 'Arris Goes to Paris




The Elegance of the Hedgehog




In the Cafe of Lost Youth



All the Light We Cannot See




Lisette's Paris Notebook




Girl in Dior




Madame Pamplemousse and Her Incredible Edibles




















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.


Please join the weekly meme at An Accidental Blog. Share with the rest of us your passion for France. Did you read a good book set in France? See a movie? Take a photo in France? Have an adventure? Eat a fabulous meal or even just a pastry? Or if you're in France now, go ahead and lord it over the rest of us. We can take it.


Il est Juillet et il est temps pour le merveilleux Paris in July hosted by Thyme for Tea! (*It is July and it is time for the wonderful Paris in July!)

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Paris in July: J'aime Paris

It's the end of Week 3 in Paris in July. I tried to spend the week doing as many Parisian things as I could.

I read a lot of books about Paris last week:





I loved A Paris Year. Janice MacLeod spends a year in Paris and every day she writes and draws and takes photos of iconic and innovative Paris. It's a delight.

I was so intrigued about fireworks on Bastille Day in Paris that I had to see what I could find on YouTube. Look at this magnificence.


Bastille Day is on July 14th. Happy (belated) Bastille Day!



There's a little bit of Paris in Houston, Texas. We stopped by Macaron by Patisse on our anniversary. I picked Fleur de Sel (Salted Caramel), Cappuccino, and Lavender White Chocolate.




I took them home and put off actually eating them as long as I could. Aren't they lovely?


What it looks like to be in France when France wins the World Cup (Thank you, Mark Pryor):



This week I also spent time in my favorite spot in Paris: 
Paris in July: My Favorite Place in Paris (No, It's Not What You Think)



And I spent a little time cooking some French bread:




How did you spend your week? Did you spend any time in Paris?





What is the Sunday SalonImagine some university library's vast reading room. It's filled with people--students and faculty and strangers who've wandered in. They're seated at great oaken desks, books piled all around them,and they're all feverishly reading and jotting notes in their leather-bound journals as they go. Later they'll mill around the open dictionaries and compare their thoughts on the afternoon's literary intake....That's what happens at the Sunday Salon, except it's all virtual. Every Sunday the bloggers participating in that week's Salon get together--at their separate desks, in their own particular time zones--and read. And blog about their reading. And comment on one another's blogs. Think of it as an informal, weekly, mini read-a-thon, an excuse to put aside one's earthly responsibilities and fall into a good book. Click here to join the Salon.

The Sunday Post is a meme hosted by Kimba at Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It's a chance to share news and recap the past week.

Mailbox Monday was created by Marcia at The Printed Page. We share books that we found in our mailboxes last week. 
 It is now being hosted here.

Stacking the Shelves is a meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews in which you can share the books you've acquired.

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is where we share what we read this past week, what we hope to read this week…. and anything in between!  This is a great way to plan out your reading week and see what others are currently reading as well… you never know where that next “must read” book will come from! I love being a part of this and I hope you do too! It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is now being hosted at The Book Date.

Please join the weekly meme at An Accidental Blog. Share with the rest of us your passion for France. Did you read a good book set in France? See a movie? Take a photo in France? Have an adventure? Eat a fabulous meal or even just a pastry? Or if you're in France now, go ahead and lord it over the rest of us. We can take it.

Il est Juillet et il est temps pour le merveilleux Paris in July hosted by Thyme for Tea! (*It is July and it is time for the wonderful Paris in July!)

Saturday, July 21, 2018

The Paris Cookbook: Pain au Parmesan


When you have spent more than twenty years living in Paris, you get to know the city. Patricia Wells knows Paris. And, more, Patricia Wells knows Paris food.

In this cookbook, Wells shares recipes of top chefs and little bistros as well as market sellers and home cooks.

Of course, I had to try out a few of the recipes. My favorites were the breads, especially Brioche and Parmesan Bread. 

The Parmesan Bread recipe is simple. You don't have to know much about kneading to make this bread. 

PARMESAN BREAD

1 teaspoon dry yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
1 1/3 cups lukewarm water
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons fine sea salt
3 3/4 cups bread flour
3 ounces freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1. In the bowl of a mixer, combine yeast, sugar, and lukewarm water. Stir to blend. Let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. Then stir in the oil and sea salt.

2. Add the 3 3/4 cups flour and the cheese all at once and mix at medium speed until the flour has been absorbed and the dough forms a ball. Continue to mix until the dough is soft and satiny, 4-5 minutes. If necessary, add a little more flour to keep the dough from sticking. Transfer the dough to a clean, floured work surface and knead by hand for one minute.

3. Place the dough in a bowl, cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and let the dough rise until doubled in bulk, about an hour. Punch the dough down and place it into a bread pan. Cover it with a clean cloth and let it rise until doubled in bulk, about an hour.

4. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

5. With the tips of a pair of scissors, snip the top of the dough all over, about 15 times, to allow it to expand evenly during baking. Place the bread pan on the bottom shelf of the oven. Bake until firm and golden brown, about 35-40 minutes. Cool on a rack.


Note: I did a few things differently. I used shaved Parmesan cheese rather than grated cheese. I used 5 ounces instead of 3 ounces. I didn't snip the top of the dough and I didn't bake it in a bread pan; instead, I baked it in my cast iron pot (lined with parchment paper) for 30 minutes with the lid on and for five more minutes with the lid off.





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.

Saturday Snapshot is now hosted by West Metro Mommy ReadsTo participate in Saturday Snapshot: post a photo that you (or a friend or family member) have taken then leave a direct link to your post in the Mister Linky below. Photos can be old or new, and be of any subject as long as they are clean and appropriate for all eyes to see. How much detail you give in the caption is entirely up to you. Please don’t post random photos that you find online.

Il est Juillet et il est temps pour le merveilleux Paris in July hosted by Thyme for Tea




Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Paris in July: My Favorite Place in Paris (No, It's Not What You Think)







It's the first place I visited in Paris. 

That's probably why I love it so much.

We went there the first day on my first visit to Paris. It was quiet. Beautiful. Almost empty. A secret treasure.


The roses were extraordinary. Startlingly magnificent colors, as if handpainted. But with a deep rose scent, too.


We took time to smell the roses. You do that in Paris.


And, then, from far away, I saw it. 


There it was. 

My favorite statue in my favorite garden in my favorite city.


We explored the entire garden. It is hard to believe that this huge garden is right in the middle of the busy city of Paris. Such a perfect place.

When I knew I was coming back to Paris, I knew I had to revisit this place.

It was just as wonderful the second time.

Part of the garden was closed off this time. There was to be a wedding that night in the garden.

So we didn't get to see everything. But I saw more stories this time, I think.


The couple watching, a bit enviously, I imagine, as the area for the wedding was set up.


Two employees, talking together quietly, two employees who get to experience this magnificence every day, their normal working environment.


A visitor, trying to capture that beauty.


A group of French school children, enjoying a statue. Look at the little girl's face.


So much beauty.



From Wikipedia:

The Musée Rodin in ParisFrance, is a museum that was opened in 1919, dedicated to the works of the French sculptor Auguste Rodin. It has two sites: the Hôtel Biron and surrounding grounds in central Paris and just outside Paris at Rodin's old home, the Villa des Brillants at Meudon (Hauts-de-Seine). The collection includes 6,600 sculptures, 8,000 drawings, 8,000 old photographs, and 7,000 objets d’art. The museum receives 700,000 visitors annually.
While living in the Villa des Brillants, Rodin used the Hôtel Biron as his workshop from 1908 and subsequently donated his entire collection of sculptures (along with paintings by Vincent van GoghClaude Monet, and Pierre-Auguste Renoir that he had acquired) to the French State on the condition that they turn the buildings into a museum dedicated to his works.
The Musée Rodin contains most of Rodin's significant creations, including The ThinkerThe Kiss, and The Gates of Hell. Many of his sculptures are displayed in the museum's extensive garden. The museum includes a room dedicated to the works of Camille Claudel.
The museum is one of the most accessible museums in Paris. It is located near a Metro stop, Varenne, in a central neighborhood, and the entrance fee is very reasonable. The gardens around the museum building contain many of the famous sculptures in natural settings. Behind the museum building are a small lake and casual restaurant.







For more wordless photos, go to Wordless Wednesday.

Saturday Snapshot is hosted by West Metro Mommy ReadsTo 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 West Metro Mommy Reads.



Please join the weekly meme at An Accidental Blog. Share with the rest of us your passion for France. Did you read a good book set in France? See a movie? Take a photo in France? Have an adventure? Eat a fabulous meal or even just a pastry? Or if you're in France now, go ahead and lord it over the rest of us. We can take it.


Il est Juillet et il est temps pour le merveilleux Paris in July hosted by Thyme for Tea! (*It is July and it is time for the wonderful Paris in July!)