Thursday, May 23, 2013

Keep your Mr. Darcy...

I'm waiting for my Captain Wentworth

Source: etsy.com via Andrea on Pinterest

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

May Book Club Mini Reviews

The Fault in Our StarsThe Fault in Our Stars by John Green
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I should have known better than to listen to this book as an audiobook.  I should have realized that I would be caught crying in my car.  Even though I spent the last three days of listening to this story sobbing on my drives to and from work, it was completely worth it.  This story was amazing.

I became invested in the lives of these characters. I've said this in a lot of reviews but this is the most important part of reading to me. I need to feel connected and this book was a glimpse into the lives of Augusts and Hazel. Their dialogue was great and almost seemed like something out of Gilmore Girls; fast paced and witty. They were teenagers even through everything they were dealing with, they still came across as teens.

I loved Hazel's mother and her enthusiasm for holidays.  I enjoyed Issac's sense of humor through his tough times. Lidewij Vliegenthart was great.

This is a must read book.

Wife 22Wife 22 by Melanie Gideon
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I picked this book up at random while we were browsing the shelves at the book store.  The cover caught my eye followed by the title.  Then the description sounded really interesting.  Since one of our members recently started working at a research company we thought it would be a nice addition to our first story (also a lighter story to counterbalance the heaviness of The Fault in Our Stars).

At first I was having a hard time getting into the story and was getting angry with myself for picking it up. I forced myself to keep reading and all of a sudden I read a line (not going to share and spoil it for those reading) that completely changed my feelings about the story.

At first I didn't like that you didn't get the questions that Wife 22 is answering.  Just having her answers seemed weird, but as I read on I started to realize that you didn't need the questions.  The questions don't matter, it's her answers that matter.  It's her conversations with Researcher 101 that matter.

This book is worth picking up to read.

View all my reviews

Monday, May 20, 2013

Writing Exercise #1

For tonight's Writers' Group Meeting:

From John Gardner's "The Art of Fiction: Notes on Craft for Young Writers"
Write an honest and sensitive description of a ghost
Here is my "story":


Are you embarrassed about the state of your very old house?
Are you disappointed with the ambiance of your home?
Would you like to get more frequent "visitors"?

Good evening. My name's Jared. I'm the owner and founder for Ghosts ‘R Us.

If you're looking for a ghost then pay close attention because I'm going to share with you the amazing power of
Ghost in a Jar.

Lets talk about the benefits of
Ghost in a Jar ...

Each jar contains it's very own unique ghost;
Each ghost comes with their very own back story;
Each ghost is at least 50 years old.
                           
Here's what one of our customers said in a recent e-mail to us:
My old farmhouse was lacking a certain kind of charm. I ordered a
Non-threatening Grandma Ghost in a Jar and it just made my home so much better.

And here's what another one of our customers said:
I grew up in a house with a ghost and missed the sounds at night so I fixed my problem with a
Night Time Ghost in the Jar. Now my home is filled with those sounds I grew up listening to every night.

You too can get the experience of a true haunting with a
Ghost in a Jar.
Not only am I the owner, founder and spokesperson for Ghost in a Jar, I am also a satisfied customer. I grew up with a ghost in our house, he kind of took care of us. When we couldn’t find something all we had to do was ask and there it was. He was also helpful in remembering to turn down the heat in the winter when no one was home.  Just like any ghost he also had his faults. Our ghost would like to use the computer during the middle of the night.  He also would smoke his pipes inside even though we told him he couldn’t. He was a member of the family and we enjoyed having him in our home.

When I moved out and on my own I realized that I missed having a ghost in the house. I did a lot of research and after years of study found a connection to the Other Side. My contact on the other side informed me that there are many ghosts who are searching for a home.  Ghost in a Jar pairs up homes and ghosts. We can find the right ghost for you and your family.

So if you want to eliminate embarrassment over the lack of ambiance in your house, and enjoy the benefits of your very own ghost, then make sure you order your own Ghost in a Jar today.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Book Trailer Thursday - Truth or Dare by Jacqueline Green




ABOUT THE BOOK:When a simple round of truth or dare spins out of control, three girls find it's no longer a party game -- it's do or die.
It all started on a whim: The game was a way for Tenley Reed to reclaim her popularity, a chance for perfect Caitlin "Angel" Thomas to prove she's more than her Harvard application. Loner Sydney Morgan wasn't even there; she was hiding behind her camera, as usual. But when all three start receiving mysterious dares long after the party has ended, they're forced to play along -- or risk exposing their darkest secrets.
How far will Tenley, Caitlin, and Sydney go to keep the truth from surfacing? And who's behind this twisted game?
Set against the backdrop of Echo Bay, an isolated beach town haunted by misfortune, Truth or Dare is a highly charged debut that will keep readers in suspense from beginning to end.

This sounds interesting.  I'm adding it to my TBR list.  I will say I really liked the typewriter in the trailer...I miss using one, even though I only played on one as a child.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Book Review - Hooch: Simplified Brewing, Winemaking, and Infusing at Home

Hooch: Simplified Brewing, Winemaking, and Infusing at HomeHooch: Simplified Brewing, Winemaking, and Infusing at Home by Scott Meyer
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I received a copy of this book from Netgalley.

Publisher Description:

For anyone who has considered brewing a batch of beer or mead at home, or making a custom barrel of wine with local fruit, this thorough guide will clear a path to the bottle. It demystifies the process: from planting hops and fruits to pruning, harvesting, fermenting, flavoring, and bottling one-of-a-kind drinks from your own backyard. It serves as a starting point not only for wines and beers, but also hard ciders, meads, and infusions, and even touches on at-home distilling
Perfect for the city-dweller, urban gardener, or anyone with limited space and a desire to make custom concoctions, Hooch offers projects to suit any lifestyle. With recipes for brews made from grapes, hops, and herbs, DIY boozers will find everything they need to begin a brewing journey.
My Review:

I have never considered brewing any type of alcohol but the concept is interesting and I like to read up on interesting things. As the description says this book is a great starting point for any one interested in home brewing.  Chapter one covers the basics of fermentation including the supplies you'll need, the science behind the process and a step by step guide. Chapters 2 through 5 cover the different types of alcohol you can home brew: wines, beers, hard ciders, and honey based wines. Each chapter gives background information on the type of brew and what goes into making these drinks.

For example Chapter five covers honey based drinks.
You probably don't want to think about it quite that way, but bee vomit is one of Nature's most extraordinary substances.  Honey, a much more appealing name than "bee puke," is more than just spoil proof food for queen bees and their children. It is a natural preservative for human food, and an antibacterial dressing for wounds, and an anti-inflammatory when consumed.
First off, I don't want to think about honey being "bee puke" but other than that did you know that it can be used as an antibacterial dressing for wounds? I didn't, and this wasn't the only interesting thing I learned in this book.

Chapter 6 covers distilling and makes a point to clearly state that it is illegal to distill in the US and in most countries without a proper license. Then they go on to talk about the processes of distilling and the different things you make.  One of these things is Absinthe, besides what I've seen in movies I know very little about it, so this section was intriguing.

Besides the brewing and distilling information this book shines a spotlight on different wineries and distilleries that are known for the related brew.  

Going into this book I had no interest in home brewing.  The book does provide recipes for infusions and I think I might be making Limoncello sometime soon.

View all my reviews

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

A New Reading Event - The Beats of Summer


From Roof Beam Reader:
The Beats of Summer: A Reading Event! 
Summertime is coming, and what better time than Summer to immerse ourselves in the works of the most rebellious, daring, and “hot” generation of American writers?? 
For this event, the goal is to read as many pieces of “Beat Generation” literature as you want to, from June 1st through July 14th. Audiobooks, fiction, poetry, and non-fiction all count, as long as the writer is considered to be a part of the Beat Generation. Memoirs, biographies, essays, theory/criticism or other works of non-fiction written about The Beats are also acceptable!

I remember my first time reading anything from the Beat Generation in an American Lit class.  I really enjoyed it and had wanted to read more, but unfortunately I never got the chance.

Here are just some things I may read for the event.

  • On the Road
  • Naked Lunch
  • Howl
  • Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg: the letters
  • American Scream: Allen Ginsberg's Howl and the making of the Beat Generation
  • Women of the Beat Generation
  • A Different Beat: Writings by Women of the Beat Generation
  • The Portable Beat Reader

Monday, May 6, 2013

Taking a Step Back


I need to take a step back from my novel.  I'm not geting anything accomplished when I sit down to write.  I think I'm going to focus on reworking some of my short stories from college for awhile.

The writer's group that I work with has started to express the desire to expand on their own writing. Our facilitator has recently sent out this writing prompt:

I have enclosed an exercise of John Gardner's from his book, "The Art of Fiction."  Please limit your writing to 2 pages.   
The exercise: 
Describe a lake as seen by a young man who has just committed murder.  Do not mention the murder.

I'm really excited to write this! It's been awhile since writing has excited me and not seemed like work.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Book Trailer Thursday - The Espressologist



The Espressologist by Kristina Springer

It looks like the book is being made into a Web series.  I guess I'm going to have to get my hands on a copy before the series starts!