Completed Books – June, 2014

I’m little behind where I thought I would be in terms of reading, but I am hoping to get back into more of a routine over the next two months. With the summer months, weekends have been busy and with that, I’ve found myself paging through more magazines than books…

I’ve read 23 books, which is 46% towards my goal of 50 books. I hope to pick up the pace, however some books, such as poetry collections, are books that I read a little at a time.  I hope to add a few poetry books to the list below before the end of the year.

1: Gramercy Park
2: Morning Glory
3: The Book Thief
4: Havisham: A Novel
5: To Defy a King
6: The Winter Witch
7: The Bungalow
8: The Captain’s Verses
9: The Yoga-Body Cleanse: A 7-Day Ayurvedic Detox to Rejuvenate Your Body and Calm Your Mind
10: Wuthering Heights
11: Lost Lake
12: The Fault in Our Stars
13: The Body Book
14: The Splendour Falls
15: Longbourn
16: Mayim’s Vegan Table: 100 Great-Tasting and Healthy Recipes from My Family to Yours
17: Waking Kate
18: The Lost Hero
19: The Son of Neptune
20: Mark of Athena
21: Sailing Alone Around the Room
22: The Midnight Witch
23: The House of Hades

Do you have any book recommendations that I should add to my reading list?

Don’t judge a book by its cover… or should you?

What is it about a book cover that captures your interest and attention?  Perhaps it is the illustrations, the font, the color scheme or the material.  With the number of books available, I’ve found myself silently walking the aisles of a bookstore, scanning the bookshelves until something catches my eye.  It could be an interesting cover or a beautiful book spine — I love the leatherbound editions of books and also love the Everyman’s Library collection.

I think back to my college days when my roommate and I were browsing Barnes & Noble and she picked up a book with a beautiful “artsy” cover (we both loved our Art History class).  A few years later, she read the book and loved it. The book was A.S. Byatt’s Possession.  It made me wonder if that book would have caught her attention with a different cover, and whether she would have discovered this book that she loved.

One of my new loves are the clothbound Penguin classics series.  Beautiful covers, so of course I can justify picking up yet another copy of Austen and Dickens.  While we are on the topic of book covers, I’m also very particular about books with movie tie-ins or covers. I just can’t imagine wanting an actor or actress on the cover of a book when the individual may or may not be what I pictured while reading the book.  And a movie is never as good as the book, but that’s a topic for another day…

Penguin books

 

Completed Books – May, 2014

Welcome summer, along with some lighter reads.  My reading seems to be all over the place lately – some Rick Riordan, while reading some poetry by Billy Collins.  I’m feeling like I need to refocus my reading efforts.  I had a great book conversation with my best friend a few weeks ago, where we paged through some classics (Austen, Dickens, Melville), discussed poetry and favorite authors.  I left her house feeling totally inspired, came home with great intentions, and life happened.  Busy with work, not motivated to read much and nothing seemed to jump out at me in terms of books I wanted to read, so I worked through a few ebooks.

I’ve read 20 books, which is 40% towards my goal of 50 books. I hope to refocus my reading over the next two months, and then tackle another classic or two this fall.  I’m also patiently waiting for The Book of Life to be released in July, which I can’t wait to read. If I’m not back into reading by then, that should do the trick! :)

1: Gramercy Park
2: Morning Glory
3: The Book Thief
4: Havisham: A Novel
5: To Defy a King
6: The Winter Witch
7: The Bungalow
8: The Captain’s Verses
9: The Yoga-Body Cleanse: A 7-Day Ayurvedic Detox to Rejuvenate Your Body and Calm Your Mind
10: Wuthering Heights
11: Lost Lake
12: The Fault in Our Stars
13: The Body Book
14: The Splendour Falls
15: Longbourn
16: Mayim’s Vegan Table: 100 Great-Tasting and Healthy Recipes from My Family to Yours
17: Waking Kate
18: The Lost Hero
19: The Son of Neptune
20: Mark of Athena

Do you have any book recommendations that I should add to my reading list?

Completed Books – April, 2014

Greetings!  I am a little behind schedule – check that… way behind schedule.  No posts for the month and not a lot of reading.  I didn’t even read much poetry last month for National Poetry Month!  I’ve read 17 books, which is 34% towards my goal of 50 books.  However, in full disclosure, one of the books was really short (seemed more like a preview to a different book), so while it is on my list, I don’t plan to “count” it at the end of the year.

1: Gramercy Park
2: Morning Glory
3: The Book Thief
4: Havisham: A Novel
5: To Defy a King
6: The Winter Witch
7: The Bungalow
8: The Captain’s Verses
9: The Yoga-Body Cleanse: A 7-Day Ayurvedic Detox to Rejuvenate Your Body and Calm Your Mind
10: Wuthering Heights
11: Lost Lake
12: The Fault in Our Stars
13: The Body Book
14: The Splendour Falls
15: Longbourn
16: Mayim’s Vegan Table: 100 Great-Tasting and Healthy Recipes from My Family to Yours
17: Waking Kate

Do you have any book recommendations that I should add to my reading list?

Completed Books – March, 2014

Spring has finally arrived!  And with that, my reading has slowed down a bit. I’ll probably be reading at a slower pace over the next month with the warmer weather, so I’m glad I was off to a good start earlier this year.  I’ve read 13 books, which is 26% towards my goal of 50 books.

1: Gramercy Park
2: Morning Glory
3: The Book Thief
4: Havisham: A Novel
5: To Defy a King
6: The Winter Witch
7: The Bungalow
8: The Captain’s Verses
9: The Yoga-Body Cleanse: A 7-Day Ayurvedic Detox to Rejuvenate Your Body and Calm Your Mind
10: Wuthering Heights
11: Lost Lake
12: The Fault in Our Stars
13: The Body Book

Do you have any book recommendations that I should add to my reading list?

Cookbook Collector

Greetings!  Apologies for the disappearing act recently – it’s been busy.  As we welcome spring, I’ve also been busy doing a bit of spring cleaning – going through closets, drawers, and even my bookshelves.  Every so often, I take a hard look at my shelves to assess what I have, what I really want to keep, and what can go — to make room for new books, of course!

One area that I focused on this month is my cookbooks.  I love cookbooks. I love to look at them, page through them, and buy them.  But as I looked at my shelves, I realized that I have a number of cookbooks that I rarely use.  I have good intentions of trying a bunch of new recipes (all identified with tape flags!), but when it comes down to it, things get busy and I just keep my easy “go-to” recipes in rotation.  In reviewing some of my cookbooks, I also realized there a number of books where I only refer to a few recipes (often bypassing many of the meat entrees).  This is reminiscent of buying a CD back in the day for one or two songs that I really liked.  So, I’m doing an inventory of my cookbooks and paring them down, and also going to motivate myself to get back in the kitchen and start cooking more often!

Do you have any favorite cookbooks or a similar love of cookbooks?

Completed Books – February, 2014

Hard to believe it is March, although given the wild winter weather across the country, I’m sure I’m not the only one looking forward to spring!  The colder weather has proven to be a good reason to stay inside and curl up with a book.  :)  I’ve read 10 books so far this year, which is 20% towards my goal of 50 books.

1: Gramercy Park
2: Morning Glory
3: The Book Thief
4: Havisham: A Novel
5: To Defy a King
6: The Winter Witch
7: The Bungalow
8: The Captain’s Verses
9: The Yoga-Body Cleanse: A 7-Day Ayurvedic Detox to Rejuvenate Your Body and Calm Your Mind
10: Wuthering Heights

Do you have any book recommendations that I should add to my reading list?

Poetry Purchase

I thought I would share some recent poetry books that I picked up.  I’ve enjoyed reading more poetry over the last year and it has been fun picking up new books to add to my growing poetry collection.  I love the Everyman’s Library Pocket Poets – I have a handful of books from that series and hope to add to my collection.  :)

Poetry books  Do you have any favorite poems or poets? 

Completed Books – January, 2014

I’m kicking off my monthly 2014 posts with an update of my completed books.  My reading goal is 50 books this year.  I surpassed my reading goal last year and I hope to do so again this year.  I also hope to have a good mix of books that I own/plan to read, along with new recommendations and finds.  Happy reading!

1: Gramercy Park
2: Morning Glory: A Novel
3: The Book Thief
4: Havisham: A Novel

Do you have any book recommendations that I should add to my reading list?

Juice, Juice and More Juice

Hello!  I wanted to check in and provide a quick update on my “eating clean in 2014” efforts.  To be perfectly honest, I haven’t been doing a very good job.  Still too much eating out or picking something up on the way home after a crazy day at work. As much as I try to do some meal planning, there are often discussions like “do you really feel like soup tonight?”, with a response of “I’m not sure… didn’t eat much at lunch today”, or “I ended up having soup for lunch”.  Does this sound familiar to anyone else?

One thing I have kept with?  Juicing!  I am still in the honeymoon phase with my juicer.  While it has been tougher to be organized and juice in the morning on work days, I have been juicing every weekend along with some weekday mornings or evenings.

Here are a few favorite combos:

For a “green” juice:  romaine, celery, spinach, cucumber, ginger, lemon, carrot and an apple

For a “greener” juice:  all of the above, plus some broccoli stalks.  If I have pear on hand, I will substitute the apple for a pear.
For something on the sweet side:  pineapple (great way to use the cores from a whole pineapple!), orange, pear and romaine. The romaine has a much lighter flavor when combined with the fruits – this is a great combo for introducing someone to juices.

Do you have any favorite juice combos?  What about any tips for meal planning?