Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Cookbook: Mostly Plants


"Eat food, not too much, mostly plants." 

Michael Pollan began an important conversation about eating with this statement. This cookbook, Mostly Plants, was created by the mother and sisters of Michael, based on that statement, with the emphasis on the word "mostly." Plants, the four authors tell us, "are Mother Nature's prescription for improved health." The authors remind us that we have long known that plant eaters are more healthy than meat eaters, with a reduced risk for type 2 diabetes as well as many types of cancers and heart disease, improved cholesterol levels, and lower mortality rates from these diseases. Plant eaters have a lower body mass index and lose pounds and keep them off. Plus, eating plants helps our planet. In addition, "The great news is, you don't have to give up meat completely to reap the benefits of a plant-based diet." Whew. Perfect for me. 

"Mostly plants" is a pretty good description of the way I naturally cook. My mother and people of her generation organized her meals around a meat; I use meat as a flavoring. 

The book is devoted to the answer to this question, "How do I make a nutritious meal that doesn't scream 'healthy' and that will put me on the road to a happier, more balanced lifestyle?" 

Here are some recipes that I plan to try.

White Bean and Kale Quesadillas with Roasted Tomatillo Salsa

Caldo Verde with Kale and Chorizo

Watermelon, Feta, and Arugula Salad with Balsamic Glaze

Rainbow Frittata



What do you think?
Do you think you could be a flexitarian?
Are you a "mostly plants" eater?




For more wordless photos, go to Wordless Wednesday.

Weekend Cooking was created by Beth Fish Reads and is now hosted by Marg at The Intrepid Reader (and Baker). It 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, September 22, 2020

13 Books I Can't Wait to Read This Fall




The Switch by Beth O'Leary (fiction)
Eighty Days to Elsewhere (fiction)
If You Come to Earth by Sophie Blackwell (picture book)
Jack by Marilynne Robinson (fiction)
The Midnight Library by Matt Haig (fantasy)
Guardians of Liberty: Freedom of the Press and the Nature of News (YA nonfiction)
Cher Ami and Major Whittlesey by Kathleen Rooney (fiction)
The Space Between Worlds by Micaiah Johnson (fantasy)
The Invisible Alphabet by Joshua David Stein (picture book)
The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett (fiction)
A Furious Sky: The Five-Hundred Year History of America's Hurricanes (nonfiction)
Good Morning, Monster: A Therapist Shares Five Heroic Stories of Emotional Recovery (nonfiction)
True or False: A CIA Analyst's Guide to Spotting Fake News (YA nonfiction)



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, September 19, 2020

Weekly Wrap-Up: Stranger Planet; Art in an Emergency; and The Worst Hard Time



My life isn't a soap opera script. Wake up. Walk. Eat breakfast. Read. Putter around the house. Watch the birds in the backyard. Read. Water the garden. Eat dinner. Read. Go to bed. 

No drama here. You'd think. But behind all of this, I'm full of stress, and I think that is reflected in the titles of the books I read last week...Stranger Planet...Art in an Emergency...The Worst Hard Time.






Last week I finished a big beautiful book about birds, What It's Like to Be a Bird by David Allen Sibley. I also read Nathan W. Pyle's latest collection of comics, Stranger Planet. I read the 2020 Women's Prize for Fiction winner, Hamnet. And I listened to Olivia Laing's essays, Funny Weather: Art in an Emergency. I also read Elin Hilderbrand's emotional 28 Summers.






War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy...76% read

Devotions by Mary Oliver...63% read

How to Draw Your Beautiful Ordinary Life...44% read

The Novel Cure: From Abandonment to Zestlessness: 
751 Books to Cure What Ails You...32% read

1,000 Books to Read Before You Die: A Life-Changing List by James Mustich...3% read






Made with Padlet
Do you have a picture book you read and loved this year, published between October 16, 2019 and October 15, 2020? Nominate it at the Cybils, starting on October 1. Add any you like to this Padlet, too.




I joined the Galveston/Bay Area Texas Master Naturalist group's book club last year, and I'm so glad that I did. Since I've been with the book club, we have discussed Half Earth by E. O. Wilson; The Gulf by Jack E. Davis; and A Farewell to Ice by Peter Wadhams. We are reading and discussing The Worst Hard Time: The Unknown Story of Those Who Survived the Great American Dust Bowl by Timothy Egan now. If you are interested in reading about the natural world, you won't find a better list than this list of the Heritage Book Study Group Past Selections.



This was an interesting, if worrying, read: Why Goodreads is Bad for Books. The article mentions The StoryGraph. I decided to give it a try. 







1. A Lemon Yogurt Day
I buy for two weeks at a time at the grocery now, and I can only get eight or so lemon yogurts, so on the other days, I eat blueberry yogurt or cherry yogurt or raspberry yogurt. I mix them all up in the fridge so I never know what I'll have for breakfast. It's a good day when it's a Lemon Yogurt Day.


3. The Good Place. 
The last season has just arrived at the library for me. Hurray!



How are you doing? 
Did you have some good things happen last week?
How are things going for you?



I'm happy you found your way to the Sunday Salon. There are no requirements for 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.

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Small Delights: Houses on My Walk Each Morning

 
















For more wordless photos, go to Wordless Wednesday.


Saturday Snapshot is hosted by A Web of StoriesTo 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.

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Hurricane Books

I've been through five memorable hurricanes. 

The first was Hurricane Carla in 1961. I was almost five years old. We stayed at my grandparents' home in Brazoria, Texas, a home my grandpap built of cinder blocks. The windows were all boarded up, and the power went out. The wind roared. The rain fell. I remember everything coming to a complete halt, and my dad saying, The eye is over us. Let's go out and see the eye. I remember being terrified, thinking I'd see a huge eye up in the sky and being disappointed when it was simply a lull in the storm. Later, as people did in that day, my family drove around where the storm had hit. Shingles were everywhere. Broken windows. Buildings blown down. Whole roofs blown off. Power lines down. 

In 1979, my town, Alvin, Texas, set the national record for most rainfall in a 24-hour period, 40 inches, during Tropical Storm Claudette. That record remains on the books. We were just married a year, and woke up in the night to a foot of water in our apartment. My parents, my in-laws, friends...we all spent months cleaning up from that one.

Hurricane Alicia skirted us in 1983, but caused a lot of damage in nearby Houston.

Ike came in 2008. Ike swept through but, amazingly, we were spared.

Harvey hit in 2017, and it rained and rained and rained, for days, and a half dozen friends and family got flooded. Many children from my school were flooded. We did not. 

I'd rather not see any more hurricanes. Don't you think that five is enough for one person?

Here are some excellent hurricane books.





Isaac's Storm.....The Storm of the Century.....Zeitoun.....Hurricane Season*.....

Nights in Rodanthe.....Yesterday We Had a Hurricane.....Hurricane.....

Five Days at Memorial.....Two Bobbies.....A Sudden Sea.....A Furious Sky*

Salvage the Bones*.....Stormy Weather.....A High Wind in Jamaica*.....Flood.....

In the Hurricane's Eye*.....Clifford and the Big Storm.....I Survived Hurricane Katrina.....

To Have or Have Not*.....Their Eyes Were Watching God.....Gullywasher.....


I've not yet read the books with asterisks. 
Have you read any of these?
Do you have any more hurricane books to recommend?






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, September 12, 2020

Weekly Wrap-Up: Dragon Hoops, Vesper Flights, Good Blood, and the Return of the Hummingbirds



We've watched the terrible wildfires along the west coast this week. Keeping all of you in our thoughts and prayers.





My best reads of the week were all nonfiction: Dragon Hoops, Vesper Flights, and Good Blood. For my full review of these, follow the links below.

Dragon Hoops by Gene Luen Yang
Gene Luen Yang tells the true story of the attempt of the basketball team at the high school where he works to win the state championship in this new ...more

Vesper Flights by Helen Macdonald
In her introduction, author Helen Macdonald hopes Vesper Flights will serve as a Wunderkammer, a Cabinet of Curiosities, a cabinet of wonders. And it is...more

Good Blood by Julian Guthrie
News is usually bad news, and nonfiction is often more of the same. But Good Blood is different: Good Blood is good news. Good Blood is the story of a doctor...more






War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy...76% read
Devotions by Mary Oliver...59% read
How to Draw Your Beautiful Ordinary Life...42% read
The Novel Cure: From Abandonment to Zestlessness: 751 Books to Cure What Ails You...24% read
1,000 Books to Read Before You Die: A Life-Changing List by James Mustich...3% read






The Inprint Margarett Root Brown Reading Series celebrates its 40th anniversary this year. Plans have been made to make the reading series virtual this year, of course, so, sadly, I will not be joining friends in Houston for dinner and then enjoying the authors together in person this year. Instead, the nine authors will read from their books and talk about their books virtually. A season ticket this year includes five of the authors' books, mailed to the subscriber a week after the event; that is a lovely perk this year. And who will be part of the reading series this year? Marilynne Robinson. Julia Alvarez. Nick Hornby. Viet Thanh Nguyen. Jerico Brown. Yaa Gyasi. Lily King. Chang-Rae Lee. Sigrid Nunez. What a lineup! For more information, take a look here.


I wrote two book-related posts this week:


Books for My Younger Self, in which I shared books from the science fiction reading phase of my life.

1,000 Books to Read Before You Die: A Life-Changing List by James Mustich, in which I take on (another!) long-term challenge.

I also shared some of the live oak trees I see each day on my early morning walk:






1. The hummingbirds are back!
2. My dad and his wife came over for a wonderful visit on the front porch.
Then we got to see my son and daughter-in-law and our grandkids in a from-the-car visit.
3. First cool front of the year. The high was only 88 degrees. Glorious.


How did your week go?






I'm very happy you found your way to the Sunday Salon. Sunday Salon is a place for us to link up and to share what we have been doing during the week. I hope you will 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, September 10, 2020

1000 Books to Read Before You Die: A Life-Changing List by James Mustich



"For years a thousand books felt like far too many to get my head around, but now it seems too few by several multiples. So let me say what already should be obvious:
 1,000 Books to Read Before You Die is neither comprehensive nor authoritative, even if a good number of the titles assembled here would be on most lists of essential reading. It is meant to be an invitation to a conversation—even a merry argument—about the books and authors that are missing as well as the books and authors included, because the question of what to read next is the best prelude to even more important ones, like who to be, and how to live."

I'm a list person. The minute I first heard about this book at a library conference, I knew this would be a book I'd love to read. And reread. And reread.

It's true. I put this book on hold at the library long before it was published. I checked it as soon as it was available for me. I bought a hardcover copy of it. I bought it in an e-book. 

James Mustich is a name I recognized. Long, long ago, Mustich created a book catalog, A Common Reader. I received that catalog. I bought many of the books Mustich recommended. 

And now I've decided to join in for a challenge with this book. It took me a morning to make my own copy of the list, and then save it to my ongoing challenges list. Now I'm going to take my time with the list, and go through the book again, and add reviews on Goodreads for books on the list I've read in the past. That will take a while. Then I think I will (slowly) start reading books on the list that I haven't read. 

Here's a nice clean copy of the list, if you'd like to take a look. James Mustich has a site online for this book, too, and if you go there, you can make your own online list of the 1000 Books. You can add comments about the books you have read there. You can also help Mustich make his next list.


Will I read all the books on this list before I die? Unlikely. Not sure I even want to. But to give it a try will definitely add something good to my life.

Have you read it? Do you like big challenges like this?