Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Top Ten Tuesday: 2018 Author Discoveries

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. It's been months since my last TTT post, but this week's topic, New-to-Me Authors I Read In 2018, caught my eye. Since half the books I read last year were by "new" authors, I though it would be fun to take a look at my favorites. Interestingly, they were all women.

2018 Author Discoveries: Fiction

Min Jin Lee - Pachinko  and  Free Food for Millionaires

Joan Silber - Improvement

Sarah Winman - Tin Man

Claire Fuller  - Swimming Lessons

Rebecca Kauffman - The Gunners

2018 Author Discoveries: Nonfiction

Nina Willner 

Click here for more of today's Top Ten Tuesday posts.

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Sanibel Sunday: January 13, 2019

Almost noon... an early three-mile beach walk, lentil soup in the slow cooker (a new recipe), and blueberry ricotta cake in the oven. My father-in-law will be over for dinner a little later, but I'm hoping to slip in some reading time once I finish this blog post. Another Sanibel Sunday...

Finished last week//

Standard Deviation by Katherine Heiny

This book has made the rounds. Care mailed it to me last summer. It's been with me on vacation to Maine and Massachusetts, to NYC visiting my daughters, and now it's here in Florida, where I finally got around to reading it!

It's about a family living on New York City's Upper West Side and their daily lives... friends, neighbors, his ex, house guests, meals, activities, etc. Though not a lot actually happens. The 50-something husband, Graham, seems fairly normal but his second, much younger, wife Audra is a hoot. She basically has no filter and will talk to anybody about anything. Their son (around twelve) has Asperger's Syndrome and is currently fixated on origami.

 The book is funny, yet insightful, loving, and painfully real. I enjoyed the characters, the setting, and Heiny's writing. Here are a few of the passages I marked:
"You didn't know then that having a child with special needs would seep into every part of your life, like rain through topsoil." 
"Life forced you to cope. Life wore down all your sharp corners with its tedious grinding on, the grinding that seemed to take forever but was actually as quick as a brushfire." 
"I'm beginning to believe... that there is just too much love loose in the world. Too much love with nowhere to go." 
"He would do it because that was what you did when you loved someone. You kept pushing until you broke on through to the other side, as Jim Morrison may have said. Only Morrison didn't add that on the other side, you found another obstacle and had to keep pushing. Forever."
A solid 4-star read. Thanks, Care!

Current reading//

Ruth Bader Ginsburg: A Life by Jane Sherron De Hart
I'm slowly working my way through this very comprehensive biography... listening to the audiobook on my morning walk and reading the (heavy) hardcover in the afternoon. My respect for RBG increases with every page!

Grand Hotel by Vicki Baum

I bought this book last month in NYC. It's difficult to find NYRB Classics anywhere else and I was tempted to stock up, but limited myself to just one. This is my "in translation" selection for the Back to the Classics Challenge and is off to a strong start.

In the kitchen//

Three new recipes to share this week:

Also this week, we visited the new Whole Foods in Fort Myers - twice! The produce was the best we've seen down here... I'm used to Wegmans quality. Their chicken and lamb was also outstanding. I may not make it over there every week, but I sure will try.

How was your week? What are you reading?

Monday, January 7, 2019

Weekly Update: Back in Florida!

We're back! After spending the holidays in cold, snowy upstate New York, we're finally back in sunny Sanibel... arrived late Friday afternoon. It was wonderful to spend so much time with the family, but I sure did miss this. Let the winter season begin!

Current reading//

Standard Deviation by Katherine Heiny

A fun, off-beat family drama. I started reading this right after Christmas and planned to finish before the end of the year... but you know how that goes. All the preparation, the packing,and then days in the car. It was a pleasure to finally pick it up again yesterday afternoon!

Ruth Bader Ginsburg: A Life by Jane Sherron De Hart

This book was a Christmas present from my daughter. It's long and fairly dense, so I decided to use an audible credit and make it a read/listen combination. Very good so far... RBG is an inspiration!

Up next//

I'll leave this blank for now... RBG will take at least another week to finish. Who knows what I'll be in the mood for after that. Maybe a classic?

In the kitchen//

We usually have my father-in-law over for dinner on Sundays and yesterday I decided to try something new - Maple and Miso Sheet-Pan Salmon from The New York Times. We grilled it instead of roasting on a sheet pan... and served broccoli and mashed sweet potatoes on the side. Delicious!

A new Whole Foods opened in Fort Myers in November. It was SO busy the first few weeks, we thought we'd wait until January to check it out. Today is the day... I'll let you know how it goes.

The week ahead//

It always takes a few days to settle back into our Sanibel routine and this week we have a few extra tasks. The clothes dryer needs to be replaced - ugh. I was also promised a replacement for my old beach cruiser (bicycle)... maybe I'll have a photo for you next week.

I hope your 2019 is off to a good start. Have you finished your first book of the year? What are you reading this week?

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

First Book of the Year: 2019

Happy New Year! For the sixth year, Sheila at Book Journey is hosting the First Book of the Year event. The idea is simple - just share a photo of you and your first book. Sheila says:
Year 6.  I LOVE First book so much.  This tradition for me goes further back than the 6 years I have opened up to the reading world here on Book Journey.  I am THRILLED to be doing it again and thank you to those who have messaged me to ask if I will be doing it again.The answer  
Of course we are doing it.
My life has changed a bit – I may not be blogging as steady as I used to and I have moved to a more diverse site where I can share other things beyond books – check me out at I Guess I Am Doing This (also a work in process… but I am not giving up ;P )
Here is what First Book is.  The first book of the New Year should be:
A.  A coveted book that you have wanted to read but have just not found the time.
B.  A delicious favorite… one you have read before, but crave to read again.
C.  Really whatever you want it to – it is after all YOUR First Book Of the year.
Make it AWESOME.

This year I have selected Ruth Bader Ginsburg: A Life by Jane Sherron De Hart...
"...fifteen years in work, written with the cooperation of Ruth Bader Ginsburg herself and based on many interviews with the justice, her husband, her children, her friends, and her associates."

The book was a Christmas present from my daughter. I also used an audible credit to make it a read/listen combination... at 750+pages and just over 24 hours, this may take a while!

Have you chosen your First Book of the Year?

First Book of the Year 2018
First Book of the Year 2017
First Book of the Year 2016


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