Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Having Fun with the Book Club!

Last week I hosted our monthly (sometimes bi-monthly) Bloomington Booksters Club meeting!  The book I chose is Zeitoun by Dave Eggers (his What is the What is also good).

It was exciting to see what everyone thought about the book...it was a somewhat provocative discussion given the subject matter (Katrina, racial profiling, post 9/11 U.S.).  In the end, I think we all agreed that it was a very eye-opening book.  

ALSO...I served up some N'awlins food to keep with the theme of the book :)  Shrimp and okra gumbo, red beans and rice, and cajun cake...yummm!

If you want to check out the B-town Booksters Blog...you can meet our members here!

4/5 stars.

Monday, December 6, 2010

My little Pipsqueak!

How cute is this little feller?!  I mean check out those ears!!

He's a baby Corgi that is gonna join our family!  And since Corgis are little dog-hobbits, we're going to name him Pippin :)  ...or....since he's orange and white we're going to name him Nemo...so indecisive!  He comes home with us Friday, so we need to figure it out ASAP!

**UPDATE:  Aaaaand Pippin was his name-o!! :)

Monday, November 29, 2010

Twisted Turkey Day!

My group of friends held a Thanksgiving potluck with a twist...it was an all-day affair and every dish had to be a unique take on a traditional Turkey day dish.  Lemme tell you, it was delicious!!
Yummm...we had "Hot Browns" instead of traditional turkey (it's a Kentucky dish that is quite delicious)!

My friend Charlotte making the cream sauce for her delicious Hot Browns

The group enjoying our delicious spread!  Our meal: "Hot Browns," seafood stuffing, sour cream mashed potatoes, sour cream and cornflake green bean casserole, and triple-chocolate pumpkin pie!

ALSO...we did a brunch that was made up of a stuffing breakfast casserole and pumpkin pancakes...amazing!!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Latest Read - The Eyre Affair

The Eyre Affair...what can I say but, what a fun read!  This is science fiction for the book-lover and Jasper Fforde's imaginative alternate world made me laugh out loud several times!

How to describe this book...hmmm.  Well, despite being written in 2001, the novel takes place in a futuristic 1985 (I like to think of it more as an alternate reality) where the Crimean War has waged for hundreds of years and time-travel - and much stranger things - are commonplace.  

The story follows a female protagonist named Thursday Next who is a "Literatec Operative," meaning...she investigates literary crimes.  In this alternate reality, literature is taken as seriously (if not more) than religion...for example "Baconites" go door to door trying to convince people that it was Bacon who actually wrote the plays attributed to Shakespeare.  As you may be able to guess, the literary crime in question involves Jane Eyre...for the rest of the story you'll have to read it yourself!

After finishing this fun read, I was delighted to discover that this is actually the first book in a series following Thursday Next.  Needless to say, I recommend this book to those who can suspend disbelief and the subsequent sequels will definitely be on my "To-Read" list!

FYI...Sequels are: Lost in a Good Book, The Well of Lost Plots, Something Rotten, First Among Sequels,  and coming next year...One of Our Thursdays is Missing

3.5/5 stars.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Fun With Pinterest

My friend Joni gave me a heads-up about this super-fun site called Pinterest.com where you can create "Pin-boards" of things you love, inspiration, etc.  Here's a snapshot of one I made earlier of all Etsy home items:

Check it out in full here.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Latest Read - The House at Riverton

I recently finished Kate Morton's The House at Riverton:

As you may recall, I gave a glowing review of Ms. Morton's other novel The Forgotten Garden.  Which is why I immediately purchased this novel, her first.  I truly love her writing and while the book was every bit a page turner of wonderful imagery in an exciting time, it was also a bit depressing a la Atonement.  This wistful "if only this character hadn't done this one thing everything would be okay" aspect haunts me...and because it remained in my thoughts for so long I realize the value of this novel.  Yet, I prefer The Forgotten Garden a bit more...perhaps her writing became more refined over time? Or maybe I just liked the story better?  I can't put my finger on it quite yet, but I can say that I will be reading her newest novel The Distant Hours very soon!!

3.5/5 stars.

But first, a little bit of Science Fiction with The Eyre Affair I'll be sure to review it when I'm finished!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Fall Reads...so far

As you all know...I'm a busy busy fiction reader!  Here's my hit list of good and unique books I've read of late:

The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake
A novel about a girl growing up cursed with the ability to taste people's feelings in their cooking...if you need stories to be completely realistic, this isn't for you, otherwise I highly recommend!  4/5 stars.

The Forgotten Garden
Loooooved this book!  It has mystery, romance, murder, betrayal, and a bit of whimsy.  Seriously, just read it.  5/5 stars.

One Day
Interesting take on a love story...following the lives of the 2 main characters on the same day of each year.  4/5 stars.

Never Let Me Go
The story that evolves in these pages is truly original and heartbreaking; however, the author's writing style was not for me.  It was a bit choppy and MUCH too descriptive.  Despite this, I would recommend the book - and, (gasp!) I think the movie might actually do a better job of telling the story than the book!  4/5 stars.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Halloweenie Decor 2010!!

I wanted to share pics of my superfun Halloween decorations this year!  Thanks to Etsy my house is totally stylin' for my fav holiday!
Ed, the tree-climbing skeleton :)
Fred, the skeletor chimes
My cute lil' punkin' pillows :)
Spider-weby bookcase
My Dexter-esque Blood Splatter....see how to DIY here
Another easy DIY...my zombie emergency case :)
Aaaand my haunted bathroom complete with REDRUM mirror and bloody shower curtain ($2 white shower liner from target, red paint, hands...voila!)

Friday, October 22, 2010

A Selection of 80s Halloween Costumes from our '09 Bash!

Our party was 80s themed...so you had to walk through the time warp tunnel to get inside...Ooooh!
...straight from a scene of Karate Kid (the original 80s version of course).  This was actually a very popular costume for the night...we had 2 karate kids, 1 mr. miagi, and 1 bad guy (don't remember his name).
David Bowie and Sarah from the Labyrinth
We found Carmen Sandiego...
Can't have a party without the Miami Vice dudes!
My favorite costume....Mr. & Mrs. Pac Man and Ghosts (the ghosts were reversible...diff. colors on 1 side and dark blue [when they can get eaten by Pac Man] on the other)!
Mr. Rogers!!!
Lastly, me and my husband...can you guess what he was?? Hahaha

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Summer Reads: Hits and Misses

Besides crafting, I've also been catching up on my reading.  A voracious reader since the 1st grade...I needed to whet my long neglected appetite for books!!  Booklist rundown (for those looking for some suggestions):
  • First, I had to see what all the ruckus was about concerning the Dragon Tattoo series...and boy was it fun to read!  Great page turners (the 1st and 3rd were my fav) - oh, and the Swedish film is not too terrible (as far as films based on books go)...
  • Next, The School of Essential Ingredients.  If you like books about food...you'll like this book.  It was simple and sweet.  It didn't blow my mind, but I quite liked it.  I followed up with Katherine which was sad, but good historical fiction.
  • Then, I read The Book of Lost Things.  It's an interesting twisted fairytale...I can easily see this becoming a well-liked film as it is not too lengthy and very fantastical.  I also read the similarly titled The Book Thief.  It's a young adult book that I loved so much...it made me cry like a baby, so that says something :)

  • I followed up with The Secrets of Jin-Shei.  For some reason, this was in the library's "Science Fiction" section...and I have no idea why.  It's a good book about friendship between women...along the lines of Snowflower and the Secret Fan (which I highly recommend).
  • I subsequently went on a spell of books that were okay/bad...so I won't even mention them!  Then, during a recent trip to Atlanta I read The Pleasing Hour and the Year of Wonders.  Both were pretty good...the first about a troubled au pair and the second about the plague.
  • Finally, I hit paydirt with Good Omens...the cover says "The apocalypse has never been funnier!" and that really proved true!!
  • My good fortune stuck and I subsequently read two other great books!!  The first called, The Magicians...a Harry Potter for grownups heavily influenced by the Narnia series.  The second was titled The Rosetti Letter which combined historical fiction with mystery...a great read!  I'm already ordering the sequel (entitled The Devlin Diary)!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Intro Blog

Hello interwebs!

This is my first official blog post - woot! My goal for this blog is to share fun tidbits with peeps about life and things that inspire me. I suppose I should introduce myself...but that can get quite boring. So, instead I'll just lay out a few quick morsels.

I have a ridiculous fear of bugs. I love to dance, travel, cook, read and laugh. I cry all the time in movies. I like to collect antique cameras and Halloween is by far and away my fav holiday!

That should do for now.

Cheers! xo-Kat