Sunday, July 1, 2018

Summer Sundays: July 1, 2018


And now it's July.  We had a good week... lots of appointments, dinner out with friends, Twin A home, and beautiful sunsets by the lake. I'll take it!

Finished this week//


Modern Lovers by Emma Straub

Emma Straub creates characters so real and interesting that you just can't help reading one more chapter. This story, set in Brooklyn, is centered around a group of now middle-aged college friends and bandmates and there teenage children. As the parents strive to maintain their youthful identities, the children push their way into adulthood in a very 21st-century world.

Like her previous novel, The Vacationers, this was a pleasure to read. I especially appreciated how Straub wrapped up the novel. Part 4, Epigraph, consisted of a series of newspaper clippings, stories, and articles. It struck just the right note for me. I'm already looking forward to her next novel.

My rating: I considered giving this 4.5 stars, but will go with 4... for now.



Current reading//



I've been reading Anne Tyler's novels for decades, but somehow never got around to her last two or three. I hope to finish this one today... expect to see it on my midyear list of favorites coming later this week!



On the blog//
Book Brief: Kitchens of the Great Midwest  by J. Ryan Stradal
My Current Read: Modern Lovers  by Emma Straub


Around the blogosphere//

Paris is July is officially underway!



After more than five years, The Classics Club is looking for a new group of moderators




In the kitchen//
A couple of new recipe successes this week:


Maple Rosemary Grilled Chicken from Damn Delicious ... so simple and so good! It might be a good addition to your 4th of July menu. (This is obviously not my photo!)

For reasons I cannot figure out, My Fitness Pal Blog started emailing me recipes last week, including this one for Slow Cooker Chicken Noodle Soup. Instead of using a slow cooker, I followed their stove top alternative. I haven't had great luck with chicken noodle soups in the past but, since my daughter specifically requested it and this recipe was handy... Turns out it was really good. I used rotisserie chicken (such a great shortcut!) and the recipe called for a half cup of salsa added at the end. An interesting twist, but surprisingly delicious!


The week ahead//

The 4th of July is midweek, so that means an entire week of festivities. Our oldest daughter will be home Tuesday evening...I can't wait!

How was your week? What are you reading?


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46 comments:

  1. I'm going to be enjoying sunsets in front of the air conditioner, I think! I'm still picking out my Paris in July reads but a definitely looking forward to it. But first, I have a book about George and Martha Washington that I bought a couple of years ago in hardcover because I really really wanted to read it very soon. :P, so I might start that this week in honor of the 4th of July. Enjoy your week...are you sizzling like we are?

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    1. Audrey - Yes, it's very hot here, too, but yesterday there was a sting breeze off the lake. Not so today. This is supposed to be one of the hottest days EVER in central NY, so it will be lounging in AC for me, too.

      I borrowed The President's Hat by Antoine Lauraine from the library last week. Have you read it? Pretty sure I learned about his novel The Red Notebook from you. That will probably be my first Paris in July book.

      Stay cool!

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    2. I have! I liked both books and there's another newer one called Portrait (or The Portait). I'm going to look for it - thanks for the suggestion!

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    3. Glad to know you liked it!

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  2. Oh no...my comment disappeared again...this is time #2...I don’t know what happens! I love the recipes from Damn Delicious. I loved the Anne Tyler book you are reading, too. She is a favorite of mine. You almost live in the sun most months of the year! You have successfully rid yourself of most of winter. This heat and humidity are unbearable outside...we miss deck sitting. Squirrels were on our deck eating the hibiscus flowers...for water?

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    1. Patty - The disappearing comment has happened to me several times on other blogger blogs today... so strange! I've tried quite a few recipes from Damn Delicious and they always turn out to be good ones. Finished the Anne Tyler novel this evening and loved it! I hear she has another novel coming out soon! It got too hot here today and we ends up indoors most of the day.

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  3. Hi JoAnn,
    I will definitely try the Maple Grilled Chicken recipe. Maple syrup is my secret ingredient in so many recipes.
    And the flowers! Are they by any chance a type of clematis?
    Interesting development for The Classics Club--I'm surprised the six of them were able to manage their lives and the CC for six years. I need to update my list.

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    1. Judith - Yes, it is a clematis... jackmanii variety. It took a year or two to get established, but seems to thrive in that spot now. The Classics Club moderators have done a tremendous job all these years. Sure hope there is another group willing to step in... such a worthwhile project!

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  4. I love the photo of the lake. A Spool of Blue Thread is another book that's been on my list to read or way to long. I've never been a fan of Chicken Noodle soup but the cook at the Rehab center where I work made some a while back and it tasted amazing. I'll have to try the one from MFP.

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    1. Vicki - I finished A Spool of Blue Thread and loved it. Anne Tyler never lets me down. Since My Fitness Pal has been sending me recipes, I've bookmarked a couple others I'd like to try.

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  5. I love Anne Tyler but I have yet to read this one - it's on my list though. I hope to participate in Paris in July this year - it is one of my favorite blogging events!

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    1. Molly - I haven't read Anne Tyler since Digging to America (which I loved), so I have some catching up to do now. Will look forward to your Paris in July posts... such a great event!

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  6. It's cool and cloudy here today, but I suppose that's better than rain since we're having a huge 4th of July picnic in our neighborhood!

    The recipes sound delicious, but for some reason I'm not inspired to do much cooking right now. We have another road trip coming up, so I better start preparing meals to freeze since that's how I prefer to travel. Less time in the kitchen/galley and more time exploring the areas in which we're camping!

    Glad to hear the Straub book was such a hit with you. It's one I hope to read in the coming months. I'm almost finished with Rules of Civility and I'm loving it!

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    1. Les - Yes, cool and cloudy beats rain. Hope it's dry for the neighborhood picnic. We'll have a party on the 4th here and are holding our breath for good weather. We can deal with hot between the lake and the pool, but not storms.

      So glad you're loving Rules of Civility. I passed that one on to my mother, daughters, and sisters and they thought it was great, too.

      Good luck preparing for the next trip. Freezer meals make so much sense... more time for you to take the pictures we love to see on Instagram! ;-)

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  7. That chicken looks so good!

    I am eager to read Modern Lovers, which sounds just like my kind of favorite.

    I hope you are enjoying A Spool of Blue Thread.

    Have a great week, and thanks for visiting my blog.

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    1. Laurel-Rain Snow - Finished Tyler's novel today and loved it. Modern Lovers is definitely your kind of novel, too. I'll read anything Straub writes!

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  8. Sounds like a busy but fun week! Considering the only time I went outside today was to throw out some recycling, I thought I'd get more reading done!

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    1. Angela - Ha! It's always so easy to get distracted when reading indoors at home. I do a lot better outside or in a 'neutral' place... no laundry or cleaning staring at me ;-)

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  9. I just saw that they are looking for new moderators at the Classics Club. I bet it is a crazy-busy job.

    I think I will look for the new Straub book. Thanks for sharing your thoughts about it.

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    1. Deb - The moderators at Classics Club have done such a great job over the years. Sure hope they find another group to carry the torch. I hope to be reading Straub's work for a long time... she's very talented.

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  10. What a lovely sunset! I'll be going to the beach later this month and hope to enjoy a few sunsets there.

    I've had a Spool of Blue Thread for too long.

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    1. Kathy - I think you'd like A Spool of Blue Thread!

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  11. Modern Lovers was a pleasure to read and I liked A Spool of Blue Thread, too. Like you, I've read most of Anne Tyler's books. Though there have been a few misses, for the most part she's awesome. Have a great 4th with your daughter!

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    1. Susie - Figured out that I've missed Noah's Compass, The Beginner's Goodbye, and Vinegar Girl... must take care of that!

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  12. The chicken recipe looks good. We haven't used the grill even once this summer. I've never read Anne Tyler. There are just so many books and authors to choose from. Come see my week here. Happy reading!

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    1. Kathy - The 4th of July is a perfect excuse to pull out the grill! I know what you mean about so many books and authors to choose from... sometimes it gets discouraging that I can't read everything I'd like.

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  13. I must try Anne Tyler - I have been meaning to for awhile and I have seen good reviews for the one you are reading.

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    1. Kathryn T - I've bee reading Anne Tyler since the mid 80's... she never disappoints!

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  14. My week was pretty good except for a bout of food poisoning. Blech.

    We have yet to use our grill this summer but the chicken recipe sounds good. I like anything that makes chicken a little sweet.

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    1. Ti - Ugh! Food poisoning is the worst!! My daughter is a big fan of chicken marinades that are slightly sweet, too. She loved this one :)

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    1. Pussreboots - I finished it Sunday evening and loved it!

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  16. I need to read an Anne Tyler book. I’m pretty sure her most recent book is on my TBR list. I’ll have to check. I’ve heard good things about her work. That chicken sounds yummy. Have a great week!

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

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    1. AJ - Anne Tyler has been writing novels for a long, long time. She hasn't disappointed me yet!

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  17. Looking forward to Modern Lovers. The chicken recipe looks delicious. I haven't had good luck with chicken noodle soup either, may have to try that one as well.

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    1. Nise' - I'm not sure whether it was using rotisserie chicken or adding salsa at the end, but this was the only chicken noodle soup I've ever made that I thought was really good!

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  18. I like the sound of the Emma Straub book. Thanks for this update!

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    1. Mystica - I've enjoyed two Straub novels now... looking forward to a third!

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  19. I really need to read Emma Straub and more Anne Tyler. I haven't read any of her books in far too long. I've been obsessed with marinades lately and have had good luck with recipes from Damn Delicious. So weird about the MyFitness Pal blog recipes but hopefully you'll find a few things you enjoy!

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    1. Katherine - Emma Straub is definitely an up-and-coming young author, and Anne Tyler is always a treat to read. I've tried several recipes from Damn Delicious with great results... the MyFitnessPal recipes are a mystery though.

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  20. Sorry for the late comment - my week has simply flown by! I have managed to squeeze in a little reading of the swashbuckling Sandokan, The Pirates of Malaysia by Emilio Salgari and historical fiction Eleanor of Aquitaine by Christopher Nicole.

    I have to say I think I would happily eat the grilled chicken or the chicken noodle soup, yum! This week I tried a new recipe for 'Chilli Salad Bowls' - it was delicious and perfect for the heat wave we're having here in the UK!

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    1. Jessica - No worries about a late comment.... I'm just happy you were able to comment again! Blogger seems more cooperative this week. Fingers crossed it continues.

      Our heat wave finally broke yesterday, and hopefully relief is on the way for you. The upside of that kind of weather is more time indoors reading... and yours sounds quite exciting!

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  21. Wow. New moderators for the Classics Club? That sounds like a lot of work. I hope they find some good people.

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    1. Rachel - I know! That's such a huge job, so I can see why they're asking for a group.

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  22. I've had A Spool of Blue Thread on my book club's list of possible books, even put it on the schedule once but then took it back off in favor of something else. Sounds like it needs to go back on the list.

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    1. Lisa - Yes, put it back on the list! My sister and daughter have both read it within the past couple of weeks and loved it, too. I'll post a book brief on Thursday.

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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!

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