Sunday, September 20, 2015

Weekly Update: September 20, 2015


Good morning, friends. It's been another one of those busy, but not especially productive weeks - too many appointments, my mother's actual 80th birthday (nothing like a two week celebration), and the tragic death of a friend's son. As you might expect, it was also another week of not finishing a book.

Current reading//

The Story of the Lost Child by Elena Ferrante 

I started this on audio, but purchased the ebook midweek so I could keep reading. I am both compelled to continue and anxious for it to be over... an unusual, draining reading experience for sure. It will receive my full attention this week.

As a result, Lord Peter Wimsey and Whose Body? by Dorothy L. Sayers has been relegated to the back burner. Ferrente Fever is just too powerful!

New books in the house//

Road Trip USA: Cross-Country Adventures on America's Two-Lane Highways by Jamie Jensen
I spotted this one at the library and it has me dreaming of our next great adventure.

Also from the library, I'll start it as soon as I'm done with Ferrante.


The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien, narrated by Bryan Cranston
Audible is having a big sale and I picked this up for $4.95. Today is the last day, but there's still time to check it out.


On the blog//
Book Brief - Between You & Me: Confessions of a Comma Queen  by Mary Norris
Tuesday Intro: The Story of the Lost Child  by Elena Ferrante


In the kitchen//
We had dinner out several nights last week, one evening with friends and two on the way home from late afternoon appointments. Almost unheard of for us!


Last night I tried this Chicken Tamale Pie from Pinch of Yum. It's the kind of dish my husband only tolerates, but the girls love. Since he is out of town this weekend and the twins are both home, the timing was perfect. It's a simple recipe, made even easier because I used a rotisserie chicken. The girls both had seconds, so I'd say it was a hit. The photo is from Pinch of Yum, not my kitchen.

Today I am making Butternut Bisque from Susan Branch (never did get to it last weekend) and also a couple of pans of lasagna. We are having one last birthday dinner for my mother :)


A few other things that caught my eye//


Therese Raquin on Broadway?? At first I thought I'd misread that, but yes, it's true. Keira Knightley makes her Broadway debut as Therese. Previews begin next month and I already have plans to be in NYC in November... Sounds like a must see to me.

There is an exhibit opening at The Morgan Library & Museum this week... Ernest Hemingway: Between Two Wars. It's the first major museum exhibition devoted to the work of Ernest Hemingway ... another must see.

Also this week, the Man Booker shortlist was announced. The National Book Award longlist, too... making the decision of what to read next even harder.

And finally, the Syracuse University football team beat Central Michigan in overtime yesterday... making this the first time they've opened a season with three consecutive wins since 1991. There are some happy fans in central New York today.

That's about all from me this week. What's new with you? Did you read anything good last week?


It's Monday, What Are You Reading?  is hosted by Sheila at Book Journey.

53 comments:

  1. A young man we know died of an overdose this week so we've had a sad week too. He's the 4th young man I knew or knew of to die this year so my heart is especially heavy.

    That tamale pie looks yummy!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kathy - That's so sad...my heart just breaks for the parents of all these young men :(

      Delete
  2. What a busy week you've had! That's so sad about your friend's son. I can't imagine what she must be going through. Your comment about the Tamale Pie made me laugh. I have a list of food that my husband doesn't really like that always makes an appearance when he's out of town! The Hemingway exhibit sounds fascinating. He's such an interesting man. I've been to his home in Key West and it was the highlight of my trip. Have a great week!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Katherine - I have quite a few recipes that the girls and I like much more than my husband... we often enjoy them when he's out of town. Everyone seems happier with that arrangement ;-)

      We visited the Hemingway home in Key West a couple of years ago, too! I loved it. Will be curious to see the new exhibit.

      Delete
  3. I don't do much cooking, but lately I've been itching to try something again....that Chicken Tamale Pie looks so yummy.

    I enjoyed Did You Ever Have a Family...have a great week!

    Here are MY WEEKLY UPDATES

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Laurel-Rain Snow - That was practically the only cooking I did all week... pretty unusual for me. I know Did You Ever Have a Family will be sad, but it sounds like a great book.

      Delete
  4. I am so sorry to hear about your friend's son.

    I know that you have been getting a lot out of the Neapolitan novels, I look forward to your commentary on the last one. In regards to making the other book that you are reading secondary, that is a danger I find with reading multiple books simultaneously. Sometimes I worry that I will never get back top the less interesting one.

    I want some of that Chicken Tamale Pie :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Brian Joseph - I rarely read more than one book at a time, mostly because one usually interests me more and the others get pushed aside and labeled "the losers". It's hard for me to go back to them.

      I'm usually okay with one audiobook and one in print, but this time the Ferrante is just too compelling. I want to read when I can't listen!

      Delete
  5. I literally just finished cutting up my first butternut squash of the season (I'm making risotto!) I actually bought it at the farmers' market last week but somehow 90 degrees and butternut squash...just couldn't do it. :)

    I'm also sorry to hear about your friend's son. I'm sure she's been comforted by having you in her life.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Audrey - That's funny because I bought this squash last week, too... and couldn't bring myself to make soup when it was 85 degrees! We sure enjoyed it for lunch today though :)

      Delete
  6. That dish looks yum! I need to try it too. I forgot about that Audible sale. I found a few titles I was interested in, so I need to decide which one(s) to buy. Sorry about your friend's son - sending thoughts and prayers to your friend's family.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Athira - Hope you got to the audible sale in time. I had 4 or 5 titles on my list, but decided to just buy one. I hate to get too far ahead with audiobooks.

      Delete
  7. It's amazing the way some weeks have a way of just slipping through our fingers! How lovely to have those kinds of celebrations with your mom!

    Here is to a much more peaceful week!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Patty - This was definitely one of those weeks! I feel like I was on the go constantly and have nothing to show for it. Not as much on the agenda this week though :)

      Delete
  8. You have had a week, haven't you? So sorry about your friend's son. Tragic. Your chicken tamale pie looks good and I'm going to check it out. Happy birthday again to your mother. 80 is a good age to celebrate! Hope this week is peaceful and you can have some time for some reading. Take care, JoAnn!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kay - No other way to describe his death other than tragic... my heart just aches for his parents and siblings.

      We always make a fuss over birthdays, but this is a little excessive, even for us. But the again, you don't get to celebrate many 80th birthdays either.

      Hope you have a great week, Kay .

      Delete
  9. Congrats on your mom's birthday, how exciting! Enjoy the celebration- and that pie looks good. And lasagna, mm. Haven't had that in a while, and we're starting to get the weather for comfort food. Have a great week!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Greg - It seems like birthdays usually turn into birthday festivals for my family... any excuse for a celebration, lol! Hope you have a great week, too.

      Delete
  10. How interesting to learn of the film version of Terese Racquin with Keira Knightly. I used to think of her only as the pirate's love interest, but ever since she played Emma Bovary I can see her perfectly in a more serious role. In fact, Terese Racquin reminds me quite a bit of Madame Bovary in plot.

    Did You Ever Have A Family? was expertly plotted, in my opinion. I'm rather surprised it didn't make the Booker short list, but perhaps the judges are trying to bring attention to lesser known/publicized books? They certainly didn't let woes and heartache keep out any contenders.

    So glad you got to Ferrente; I'm looking forward to reading it, too!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. oops...so sorry I misspelled Therese Raquin. I meant to double check before I hit "Publish". Some teacher!

      Delete
    2. Bellezza - That production of Therese Raquin is actually a play. I, too, see similarities with Madame Bovary. Can't wait to see how it has been adapted for stage!

      Still around the halfway mark of The Story of the Lost Child.. such an intense reading experience. Hope I'm up to following it with a sad book like Did You Ever Have a Family.

      Delete
  11. I'm so sorry to hear about your friend's son. Did You Ever Have a Family is up next for me as well. I'm a little nervous as it's gotten so much hype!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sarah - Any book with that much hype makes me nervous, too. I did see an article on Flavorwire that thought it was totally unworthy of any prize lists, so I suppose that's reassuring ;-)

      Delete
  12. Here's to a calmer week! Maybe. (does it ever really slow down?)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Debbie - My fingers are crossed... let's hope!

      Delete
  13. So sad to hear of the loss of your friend's son:(

    You have a lot of depressing reads going or soon to be started. I can only do them now and then.

    Have a great week.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Diane - I'm starting to get a little nervous about reading Did You Ever Have a Family immediately following The Story of a Lost Child. You know how Ferrante is and I'm afraid I might be emotionally drained...

      Delete
  14. Happy 80th to your mom! Sorry about the loss of your friend's son.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nise' - Thank you... these juxtapositions of happy and sad always remind me just how fragile life is and to be grateful for every day.

      Delete
  15. Notwithstanding Mom's birthday, sounds like your week was a bit of a bummer. Nothing else like the death of one's child. Here's to continuing a long and happy life for Mom. My Mom made it to 97.
    This week I began reading "Everybody Rise" by Stephanie Clifford. In addition to "the Lost a Child" waiting in the wings, the Library will soon have a couple ready for me to pick up. Just when I think I'll have nothing much to read, the flood gates open on my wait list books. Then there's always the stack beside the bed. :-)
    Noted your mention of Therese Raquin. About a year or so ago I picked up an old paperback copy of TR at an estate sale thinking I would try a French classic writer ... probably because I had Paris on the mind at the time ... but can't say I was wowed. Actually, a bit depressing, and I read very few books I would put in that category. I did finish it, however. I probably will not be eagerly awaiting Keira's performance as Therese Raquin.
    Hope you have a great week. We're having fabulous weather here, although no rain is making it very dry, and dry leaves are falling that haven't even turned yet.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. JudyMac - Everybody Rise is another book that sounds so tempting to me! I'll be very curious to hear what you think of it. I may be in the same boat with library books soon, too. My hold on Purity by Jonathan Franzen may get here before I finish Did You Ever Have a Family!

      I thought Therese Raquin was an interesting study of the psychological effects of guilt, but definitely depressing. I've read a couple of other Zola novels and would like to read his Les Rougon-Macquart books in order (even have the first one downloaded on my kindle). But I may just go straight to Germinal instead.

      Delete
  16. I'm kinda embarrassed to say I've read nothing on the Man Booker shortlist - NOTHING. I haven't even heard of them which makes me worry a little about my taste!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Deb - LOL! I follow a few bloggers that tried to read the entire long list, so became familiar with the titles through them. Sometimes the Man Booker prize is a negative for me though...

      Delete
  17. That's so sad about your friend's son, heartbreaking.
    Happy 80th to your mum, that definitely calls for celebrations. I've enjoyed a few recipes from Pinch of Yum, off to check out that Chicken Tamale Pie, looks very yummy. Enjoy your reads this week :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Teddyree- I've tried several recipes from Pinch of Yum, too, and they have all been a success. Hope you have a good week, too!

      Delete
  18. Why is it that reading books with a plot that is completely outside your comfort zone and yet is brilliantly true and well written...why is it that these kind of books are the ones you know are magnificent? For me, one of those is The Things They Carried.

    Here's my It's Monday!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Deb Nance - Those are exactly my hopes for The Things They Carried!!

      Delete
  19. Those dinners look awesome! Happy, happy day to your mom! I can't believe anything would have torn me away from Lord Peter. :)

    I'm so sorry to hear about your friend's son. I can't even imagine.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Beth F - I hated to leave Lord Peter, but Ferrante Fever definitely got the best of me... so intense, I just can't stop!

      Delete
  20. I'm sorry for your friend's loss. Happy Birthday to your mother. Our birthday celebrations usually encompass a month. Your meals always sound fabulous! Have a great week.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Pat - I'm glad we're not the only family to prolong birthday celebrations! Any excuse for a party, lol!

      Delete
  21. I hear so many good things about Elena Ferrante.

    ENJOY this new reading week.

    Elizabeth
    Silver's Reviews
    My It's Monday, What Are You Reading

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Elizabeth - This is actually the 5th Ferrante novel I've read this year... a record for me!!

      Delete
  22. Such a busy week! The tamale pie looks good. That is the kind of recipe I enjoy. Come see my reading week here. Happy reading!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kathy - I'm hoping things settle down this week... fingers crossed. Happy reading!

      Delete
  23. I like the phrase "Ferrente fever." Eager to get to the second book in the set.All three of my kids liked "The Things They Carried," and which I've never read. I think this in audio format would be very good.

    I really enjoy books like RoadTrip USA--on a similar note, I'm halfway through with Oregon Trail, and really enjoying it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. JaneGS - There is actually a Ferrante Fever hashtag on twitter... seems I am not alone in this latest obsession! I've been meaning to readThe Things They Carried forever, and the audio version got some great reviews. I'm looking forward to it!

      Glad you're enjoying The Oregon Trail. I never thought I would find mules so interesting;-)

      Delete
  24. The chicken tamale pie looks so good!! I may have to try that. Celebrating an 80th birthday for two weeks sounds like a fabulous idea! :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Vasilly - I think my mother is finally tired of celebrating her 80th. My dad turns 80 in early December, so we'll do it all again soon!

      Delete
  25. Okay you have me interested in the play on Broadway and the museum exhibit in NYC too. Have you read that Emile Zola novel Therese Raquin? I am wondering if it is good? Enjoy your week. ps. both my parents turned 80 this year too and I just turned 50 (ugh it's terrible).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Susan - Therese Raquin got me interested in Emile Zola. I've gone on to read a couple more of his novels and several short stories, but TR is my favorite so far. Germinal is said to be his masterpiece, and I'm torn between reading it right away or reading his Rougon-Macquart series in order.

      Here's the link to my post on Therese Raquin (you may have to soppy and paste) and I'm almost embarrassed to share since it was written in 2009:
      http://lakesidemusing.blogspot.com/2009/04/therese-raquin-by-emile-zola.html

      Delete
  26. I loved The Things They Carried - good score!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lisa - I'll probably listen to that after Trollope... can't wait!

      Delete

Thank you for taking the time to comment. These conversations are my favorite part of blogging. Please check back, I almost always respond to comments!

I understand commenting has been a challenge lately, so will now allow anonymous comments. However, I will moderate comments on older posts. Sorry for the inconvenience.

LinkWithin

Related Posts with Thumbnails