Running Irony With A Bass

Ah, irony. It doesn’t happen much, or I just don’t know irony when I see it, but sometimes it slaps you in the face.

So there I was running the other night. I went and ran two miles, which is huge for me. I’m trying to lose a bit of weight, not much, and tone a bit more. My choice of song?

Meghan Trainor’s “All About That Bass”. Pure irony.

I love this song, and so does Mrs. Day. Apparently it’s catchier than I thought because I’ve been humming and singing it all weekend into this morning.  It is permanently stuck there I think. But it’s such a great song! Now, I’m fairly thin in the scope of things, but I’m far from a size two (thank goodness) and it’s fun to shake it a bit. Plus, well I was blessed (cursed) with a largish posterior. Go figure. So, well, I shake a bit. :)

So, there’s your Monday thAng. (that word comes courtesy of Boris who said something was a Cali thAng, the other day and it’s stuck in my head. Boris is a southern boy btw)

I owe an acceptance post to Amy over at Inkcouragement, and I have several things I want to write about, but just haven’t taken the time because it’s been so busy. For those interested, being a farm girl, there is not a lot of free time. Bleh.

So…

Signing off

Kate

Goodnight Ark – A Review

51LYm8I1YXLGoodnight, Ark  By Laura Sassi, illustrated by Jane Chapman must be one of the best modern picture books I have read in quite a while. Laura Sassi tells the tale of Noah and the ark in a sing song rhyme that is incredibly pleasing and something that will charm a child.  The ark is filling up with animals and it’s time for bed…. but when the loud storm scares the animals, they all start ending up in Noah’s bed. Boars, goats, elephants, tigers and even skunks! How will Noah get the animals to calm down and sleep? Maybe a softly crooned song will do the trick!

I cannot express how much I enjoyed this picture book.  I am always on the lookout for a really charming and well written picture book, and this one fits the bill.  Regardless of whether or not it has a ‘Christian’ theme with Noah being the main character, this book is marvelous and any child would enjoy the wonderful rhyming rhythm Laura Sassi has used. Rhyme in any story is incredibly difficult (I know as I write picture books). Making it interesting enough for children is sometimes even harder. Laura Sassi has captured the lovable qualities of animals in this story and the style make you want to read the book over and over. (personally I have always been a fan of the story of Noah and the Ark.)

However, no picture book would be complete without the illustrator. I cannot expound enough about how much I love Jane Chapman‘s illustrations. I was first introduced to her illustrating with Karma Wilson‘s ‘Bear series books’, which I also own and adore. Jane Chapman’s art is incredible to look at with all the intricacies within the illustrations.  The fuzziness of the tiger’s hair, the little things that make you feel like you are on the ark. Food for the animals and even an umbrella for Noah.  I admire her illustrating so much that it was specifically for that reason I chose this book to review. I have said since I found her work, I want her to illustrate one of my picture books.  With Laura’s marvelous rhyme (akin to Karma Wilson’s) and Jane’s endearing illustrations, this is a wonderful picture book.

I would highly recommend this book for any child and I will enjoy reading this book over and over. Five stars and I could continue gushing, but I say, just get the book!

This book was provided to me by Thomas Nelson, Zondervan and Harper Collins Christian Publishing for my honest review.

Signing off

Kate

NIV Gardners Bible – A Review

_240_360_Book.1285.cover“I come to the garden alone, while the dew is still on the roses, and the voice I hear falling on my ear The Son of God discloses,” are the words of a famous hymn that goes perfectly with the NIV God’s Word for Gardeners Bible Grow Your Faith While Growing Your Garden contributed by Shelley Cramm.  Take a walk in a garden with God as you meander through the Gardeners Bible, with daily devotions centering on the growth of the spirit. With daily essays on things pertaining to gardens, literally and metaphorically, this bible takes you on a journey of the soul of the gardener. Tending, growing and cultivating the spirit. Each essay, under the themes of Garden Tour, Garden Work and Garden Stories, gives you a verse, or selection of verses, a companion of cross-references and plenty of ‘food for thought’. Taking a year to meander through the Bible, just like a garden, our spiritual life is a constant through the year.

I was quite impressed with the Gardeners Bible. I’m a firm believer that we are stewards of the land and we are called upon to tend the land even though it may not be the Garden of Eden any longer.  Just as we till with our hands, we cultivate our spirit in God’s word. The essays are just right for contemplation, with a very green feel (as in the essay has a lovely green page to separate it out from the rest of the white pages.) The end of each essay tells you where to read the next day and so forth, and there is an index at the back of the Bible for ease of use.  The dust jacket and cover of the book are the same image, which I really like. The Bible has a very crisp and fresh feel, just like being in a garden.  Shelley Cramm uses an exhaustive bibliography, which is cited in her essays; a feature I always love for further reading. If you are a gardener in Christ and want and a supplemental devotional Bible, I highly recommend the Gardeners Bible.

 

This book was provided free of charge from Thomas Nelson and Harper Collins Christian Publishing for my honest review.

Signing off

Kate

Vampire Luuuv

Ah, love scenes in books.  They are the thing we all hunt for when we want a little something more, and by ‘we’, I mean women. I don’t think most guys go hunting for the love scenes considering very few men read romance.  And when you get a good love scene, well, it’s really good.

But when it’s bad…..

Stefan-the-vampire-diaries-32278957-1024-768

Stefan TVD

I’m listening to an audio book right now that is all vampires, ghouls, demons, and yes, vampire sex.  What is this fascination with vampires, sex, and the thing that takes it from vanilla to devil’s food red, blood.  There is always blood involved with vampire sex.  A bite here, a suck there and bada boom bada bing, everybody is happy.  Vampire gets a meal, human (or in the rare vamp book another actual vampire) get’s the most mind blowing O in the world. Because, hey, yeah, the human is usually a woman.

See, here’s the thing I don’t get. If a normal human man were to bite a woman while getting it on, there would be screaming involved. Trust me, I would be screaming and kicking and hitting and trying my darnedest to get away from biting man, but if it’s a vampire, hey no big deal. He can bite me. He can suck my blood. He can leave it dripping down my neck, shoulder, or breast. I don’t mind…..

Right. Sure. Uh huh.

What, because he’s a sexy hunk it’s okay? It honestly makes no sense why we lap this stuff up and actually enjoy reading/listening/watching/ this very perverse thing. Is it because the vampire is sexy? Does that make it okay?

If it’s Lestat no problem, but vampire Bubba on the other hand, well would we go for that? (and writing Bubba I just remembered that he’s the vampire Elvis in the Charlene Harris books….. you know, Sookie…..)

See, there’s another example. Because Eric Northman is so sexy, we are just okay with him having a little nibble. WHAT IS WRONG WITH US, PEOPLE? (by the way, here are some vamps I think are sexy. I’m partial mostly to Angel and Eric, but who wouldn’t….)

Well, this book I’m listening to, it finally got to the love scenes and honestly I was highly disappointed. They just were not written well, considering a whole scene prior to any of this was just human girl watch vampire boy (woman/man whatever) take a very sexy shower.  Now the shower scene was hot. All the little bits and pieces of attraction are really blushingly good.  But the sex…. Shoot me now. Then you have to go throwing in the biting and the blood and honestly that does not help make it any better.

Help.

So, now that I’ve ranted, here’s a little poll for you. Are you for vampire sex or not? Pick your choices and give me a shout out about what you think about all of this. You can even include Twilight…. I happen to be a fan of the feather scene of Breaking Dawn. I always liked it. And oh look…. no blood.

Signing off

Kate

Fall-Time Classics

woman_reading_romanticIt’s getting to be that time of year where I start to think about fall.  I know, it’s barely even August, but where I live; these mountain homes; autumn comes early.  We can have a freeze in three weeks. (and we just got out of one in June…..) And for some reason, this year autumn is making me think of the Classics. You know… classic books?  Jane Eyre (which I’ve not finished…), Jane Austen, Hemingway, and others.

This Classics thing is on my brain so much that I want to suggest to my librarian, whom I talk to regularly, that we need to have “The Autumn of Classics’ to get people reading them. Start pulling the classics from the scrunched in shelves, and making people sit up and take notice. Set them all around and have covers out.

It’s apple weather, it’s sweater weather…. It’s classics reading weather.

But that’s just me.

What time of year do you think the Classics fit in? See I was always a springtime early summer Jane Austen, but now… Do you read the classics at a particular time? Don’t they fit in with apples, tweed, fox hunts, plaid, straw, pumpkins and falling leaves?

Signing off

Kate

Exploding Out of Me

Have you ever started reading something that just hit you with a force like a hurricane and

Cover of "Sailing Alone Around the Room: ...

Cover via Amazon

made you want to laugh, cry, sing, dance and hide in a corner, all in one moment? I’m finding that poetry, certain poetry, just hits me like that and I am slammed face first into this marvelous feeling that I want to shout out to the world, but keep quietly bottled up inside, a geyser that’s just hidden under the surface. I’d say what really started me on this journey of explosion was when I read Billy CollinsTuesday June 4, 1991.  This poem is so perfect in its artistry that you finish feeling amazed and flabbergasted and staring at the page like you just opened Ali Baba’s cave.  Okay, that might be a slight exaggeration, but I feel like my eyes have been opened to a type of poetry that just sings to me.

I’ve been reading over and over, four more of Billy Collins’ books, Ballistics, Horoscopes for the Dead, The Trouble With Poetry and Other Poems, and I returned Aimless Love and Sailing Alone Around the Room. I keep reading them and I keep sighing with understanding and longing. Because the poems make me long for something. I want to desperately share these with someone. Read them outloud in the summer as we lie on the grass in dappled sunlight.

Along with Billy Collins, I have been reading a book of Erotic Poetry by the Everyman’s Pocket Poets.  And don’t think dirty poems. This deals with Eros and love and desire, hate, anguish and reverence for the body.

These poems, selected from most of the cultures and histories of world literature, provide magnificent witness to the fact that love is as much an act of the imagination as it is of the body. From fourth-century Li Ch’ung’s “Parody of a Lover” to John Betmeman’s “Late-Flowering Lust,” they re-create, through the revelations of language, that experience of the erotic. Other poets include Theodore Roethke, Robert Graves, Octavio Paz, Joseph Brodsky, Sylvia Plath, Frederico Garcia Lorca, Percy Bysshe Shelley, and many others.

The poetry is marvelous and sensual and beautiful. It makes you stop and ponder and go, ‘Oh wow’. Or that’s what I do. I’m just stupefied and in awe when I finish one. You would think I’ve never read poetry. But it’s magical and amazing.

What got me started reading the erotic poetry was by reading Last Gods  by Galway Kinnell.  this is some seriously beautiful and sensual work. I suggest if you are interested in gorgeous poetry to try this one. It is magical and takes you to the heart of Eros. It makes you blush, but in a very good way. A private look at a man and woman and it’s beautiful.

This kind of poetry is much more modern than what I’ve grown up reading. Though, that being said, most of what is in the Erotic Poetry is pre 1900’s.  So, I suppose I’ve been reading the wrong things.  I’ve always been a fan of Emily Dickinson, though half the time I don’t know what she is saying. It’s the magic of it all that gets me.

Well the magic of these poets has me enthralled, craving more and wanting to scream it out to anyone who will listen.

Has anyone else read something that changed their life? Made them want to dance and sing and weep and hide? Has poetry changed your life in ways you never knew possible?

 

Signing off

Kate

Fifty Five Things You Might Not Want To Know About My Book Tastes

mountains to climb

mountains to climb (Photo credit: atlases)

I started off this morning reading John’s posts on this questionnaire about ones reading tastes. I liked the questions enough to answer them all in one post; I’m not so snobbish to say you can’t read them all at once, and personally, I think my responses will be just a tad less snarky than John’s. Sorry John, but you have snarky answers. He got it from Tara Therese who got it from another blogger… moving on. If you go to do it yourself, watch out for questions 33,34, and 40 on other people’s lists. They are missing. I’ve added in the ones John put back since I figured he had found the original source. Enjoy!

1. Favorite childhood book?
Honestly, I’m having a hard time coming up with the answer to this because I loved so many. Little House in the Big Woods and the rest of the series by Laura Ingalls Wilder is my first thought. That one book in particular I loved to read over and over. Anything by Elizabeth Enright or Edward Eager. Both big favorites with me.

2. What are you reading right now? Indemnity Only, Erotic Poetry, Ballistics  by Billy Collins,

3. What books do you have on request at the library? Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare, Becoming Jane Austen by Jon Spence (though it’s been on hold for almost a year. I think it’s lost) and a couple DVD’s. I had more but I’ve got them all checked out right now!

4. Bad book habit?
I collect too many books I never get around to reading, I read way to late at night, I read when I should be working, I check out more books than I can read at one time…. The list goes on

5. What do you currently have checked out at the library?
Right now It’s only 15 items, though I can get 20 which I usually do. And Two are dvd’s I won’t list. : The day of the jackal / Forsyth, Frederick,
Horoscopes for the dead : Collins, Billy.
Ballistics : Collins, Billy.
The trouble with poetry and other poems / Collins, Billy.
Indemnity only : Paretsky, Sara.
City of bones Clare, Cassandra.
In the green kitchen : Waters, Alice.
Living in the raw desserts / Calabro, Rose Lee.
Ani’s raw food desserts : Phyo, Ani.
Butterflies through binoculars : Glassberg, Jeffrey.
Do or die : Brockmann, Suzanne,
City of ashes Clare, Cassandra.
You can’t take a balloon into the National Gallery / Weitzman, Jacqueline Preiss

6. Do you have an e-reader?
No, but I wouldn’t mind a Kindle paperwhite for reading poetry and obscure things I can’t find but online.

7. Do you prefer to read one book at a time, or several at once? Never just one. Several. See my #5 question. Plus the several I own.

8. Have your reading habits changed since starting a blog?
I read more books for reviewing, because I review, and I read less because I don’t have as much time.

9. Least favourite book you read this year (so far)?
Uhhhhhh….. Hmmm Probably a christian book for review. It was cheesy and choppy.

10. Favorite book you’ve read this year?
Anything and everything by poet Billy Collins. I’m seriously addicted

11. How often do you read out of your comfort zone?
Probably only once or twice a year. I’m reading a mystery, which is not comfort zone, and I’m loving it. But I stick with what is comfortable most of the time. Depends on what my library has in stock.

12. What is your reading comfort zone?
Romance. Cheesy Harlequin, older classic romance, chick lit that’s really romancey and sexy, classic romance.  Classics, IE Jane Austen. Poetry, cookbooks, books on writing. Gardening…..DIY

13. Can you read in the car?
NO! I get so motion sick it’s pitiful. I should try audio books. I can read on a plane though, once through takeoff.

14. Favorite place to read?
In bed. By the kitchen baseboard heater where my chair at the table is. Outside in the summer on one of our benches, or the couch on the front porch. Or if I’m really lucky, hiding somewhere under the pines in our yard.

15. What is your policy on book lending?
I’ve not had the best luck loaning out books. Now, if it’s a paperback, not a huge deal. Hardback, only if I know you really, really, really well, or if I’m not terribly worried how the books comes back to me. But mostly no. I do not loan out books. It’s too risky.

16. Do you ever dog-ear books?
Lord no!

17. Do you ever write in the margins of your books?
If I own it, and there is a word I don’t ever remember, I use a pencil to lightly write in the meaning in the margins. Every once in a tiny while I will add notes. Again, with a pencil. but only my own.

18. Not even with text books?
Uh, don’t use text books anymore, and that’s what scratch paper is for

19. What is your favorite language to read in?
I’m only fluent in English.

20. What makes you love a book?
Uh, I have to just like it. How do you explain loving a Jane Austen, then a trashy romance? Or a really cool mystery then a cookbook? Lots of factors.

21. What will inspire you to recommend a book?
If it’s something that I think fits the person I’m wanting to recommend the book to. I don’t just automatically recommend any book. If I know someone who likes poetry, then I’ll mention it. A good cookbook? Then it has to be something I know the person will use. I take personality into context.

22. Favorite genre?
Historical romance fiction

23. Genre you rarely read (but wish you did)?
Mysteries, IE, Patterson, Connelly, (the Castle book in my stack) and fantasy. I’ve heard a lot of good things out there, but don’t want to take the time to try.

25. Have you ever read a self-help book?
All the time. I love these kinds of books

26. Favourite cookbook?
Barefoot Contessa in Paris by Ina Garten. Or anything from the Barefoot Contessa, Giada Delaurentis.

27. Most inspirational book you’ve read this year (fiction or non-fiction)?
I started reading the Forgotten Man, but have yet to finish it, but really, really good.

28. Favorite reading snack?
Coffee or Tea, but they always get cold!

29. Name a case in which hype ruined your reading experience.
I rarely follow hype.

30. How often do you agree with critics about a book?
I don’t read a lot of critiques so I can’t say.

31. How do you feel about giving bad/negative reviews?
It depends on how the book was laid out and whether or not it will be a good book for someone else to read. I hate to give them, but this is reality. Not always is every book a decent book.

32. If you could read in a foreign language, which language would you chose?
French, Gaelic, Hebrew, Italian, GREEK!

33. Most intimidating book you’ve ever read
Hmm, maybe The Three Musketeers because I was 15, and it took me three weeks. But after trying that book, loving it and wanting more, I’ve really stepped up my game and try everything usually.

34. Most intimidating book you’re too nervous to begin
A couple of the classics that I’m blanking on that I’ve just not wanted to tackle quite yet due to how big they are.

35. Favorite Poet?
Emily Dickenson, but now I’m a HUGE Billy Collins fan.

36. How many books do you usually have checked out of the library at any given time?
20 easily, not counting all the books I purchase for 25 cents from the Friends of the Library.

37. How often have you returned books to the library unread?
All the time. I rarely finish a book these days, and DIY books you never read cover to cover. Half the time the books are for research for my writing.

38. Favorite fictional character?
Hermione Granger, Anne Elliot (Persuasion), Captain Wentworth (same), Mr. Darcy, Emma Woodhouse, Bella Swan(Twilight, I’m a girl and I can relate to clumsiness), Jameson Rook (Castle mysteries) Oh, Mr. Knightely

39. Favourite fictional villain?
George Wickham, Draco Malfoy, and probably others, but rarely contemplate.

40. Books you’re most likely to bring on holiday
Something that won’t get damaged or if I lose it, not the end of the world, but probably an Emilie Loring or Cecelia and the Chocolate Pot By Patricia Wrede and Caroline Stevermer. I love that book and it’s long enough to hold my interest for a few days. I don’t go on vacation so….

41. The longest I’ve gone without reading.
A couple of days.

42. Name a book that you could/would not finish.
Couldn’t finish The Count of Monte Cristo, yet. Would not finish a really bad Luanne Rice book recently. At least I think it was hers. Audio book. So stupid.

43. What distracts you easily when you’re reading?
People that interrupt me and the news.

44. Favorite film adaptation of a novel?
The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones (probably a first where I like both book and film) and Pride and Prejudice with Keira Knightley. The Breaking Dawn. Harry Potter and the Sorcerers stone.

45. Most disappointing film adaptation?
Ella Enchanted. Oh they ruined it!

46. The most money I’ve ever spent in the bookstore at one time?
About $35 and I can still remember when I did it and how many things I got.

47. How often do you skim a book before reading it?
Library books often get me skimming it.

48. What would cause you to stop reading a book half-way through?
if it’s boring as heck too much swearing, really idiotic plot, or I just don’t have the time and it’s not enjoyable enough for me to pick it up again

49. Do you like to keep your books organized?
To some extent though not as much as I’d like. I have my nonfiction separated, my to read pile, my maybe pile, my favorites shelf, my new favorites shelf, my foreign language dictionaries shelf, my paperback romances shelf… I could go on…

50. Do you prefer to keep books or give them away once you’ve read them?
Depends. I usually only get books I’m probably going to like, or if they are inexpensive from the used books at the library, return them for another. I tend to hoard books… even when I shouldn’t.

51. Are there any books you’ve been avoiding?
The Hunger Games, no desire to read it.

52. Name a book that made you angry.
I can’t think of a book that made me this way. I’d probably put it down and not finish it if it did.

53. A book you didn’t expect to like but did?
Sundays at Tiffany’s by James Patterson and Gabrielle Charbonnet. It was a James Patterson so I thought it couldn’t be that good. Also What My Girlfriend Doesn’t Know by Sonya Sones. The book is written entirely in verse. So so good.

54. A book that you expected to like but didn’t?
Sense and Sensibility. I still have not gotten through that book!

55. Favorite guilt-free, pleasure reading?
Ah, any of my Emilie Loring romances and I love to read when no one is up, though that doesn’t happen much because I’m usually the last one up!

 

Whew! so now you know more than you cared, right? But fun to do. I have been a bit behind in writing posts due to being tired, time constraints, getting a cold or something illness, working on the farm. Farm life does not lend itself to writing life. So hopefully some new content next week!

Signing off

Kate

The Loving Kitchen – A Review

_225_350_Book.1238.cover

The Loving Kitchen Downright Delicious Southern Recipes to Share with Family, Friends, and Neighbors  By LeAnn Rice…… David Venable, come on down, you’d love this book! Hearty, healthy cooking with a touch of southern love, LeAnn Rice’s book is a joy to read and drool over.  Seven chapters of food groups: breakfast, sandwiches, salads, desserts….etc. and all with clear and concise recipes. Charming with marvelous pictures, this is definitely a nice book to have on the shelf. I really enjoy how there is healthy and decadent recipes, like Almond Coconut Granola and Baked Oatmeal then it goes to Peanut Butter and Jelly French toast and Sugared Bacon (how can you go wrong with that?!!!) Or Brown Rice Pilaf trading into Cheesy Corn Pudding, with cream cheese, mind you. Cream cheese just happens to be LeAnn’s favorite thing. Things that just make you go Oooh and Ahhh. Then, more please.

I can honestly say that I LOVE this book and when I say it is David Venable good, I mean, ‘Happy Dance, Happy Dance’ David.  The food is rich and heart, sweet, savory and healthy. I want to eat everything and then some.  On a side note, this book is not for diabetics or gluten free fans.  Far from it actually when LeAnn’s favorite ingredient is cream cheese! But, that doesn’t mean it isn’t a fun book to look at. I love cookbooks that you can just sit down and read like any other book, and this one is exactly like that. I love too that LeAnn is a west coaster that moved south, so she still does things like us Westerners do.  The pictures are marvelous and the feel of the book is homey but so nice. I want to cook everything in this book, and probably will over time. I think it would be a marvelous edition to any kitchen. But that’s just my two cents.

Signing off

Kate

Book Post

There is nothing more fun than getting a book in the mail.  Or at least for me there isn’t.  And this isn’t to mock the lovely letters I get from my friend, but oh books…

savage beautyToday was Savage Beauty by Nancy Milford.  I’d been reading the large type hardback from the library for over six weeks when this finally popped up into my bookmooch account. I had to have it. And now I have a slimmer paperback. Yes!

And later this week or this month I am getting a new bible to review. Very cool.  And I have to finish a review to order a new book…. Books, books books. Oh how I love books.

 

Signing off

Kate

The Nesting Place – A Review

The Nesting Place: It Doesn’t Have to Be Perfect to Be Beautiful By Myquillyn Smith.  Have you ever wanted to put your stamp on a home? Wanted it to be ‘yours’ entirely, but just didn’t know how to go about getting there? Well then, this just might be the book for you. With insightful ideas about how to avoid ‘help’ from everyone out there and knowing what you like to just tackling some of the basics, Myquillyn Smith gently guides you through the ups and downs of designing your own home without having it be that show home that you are afraid to sit down on the sofas.  With elegant images and a very beachy glamor vibe, you feel like you are getting advice from a best friend.  Simple and charming to look at, this book is also packed with valuable information on what to do.

My opinion? It is a very nice book, though I happen to not be a huge fan of all the grays and more neutral colors. I like the bio Myquillyn writes about trying to find her perfect home despite having some upheavals that made the perfect home a bit further out than she thought. Yes, we’ve all been there where we want the perfect home and we want it right now. Sometimes it takes time and patience. (my parents still don’t have even close to their dream home) She has some really simple, cute, smart, classy, and just downright cool ideas for perking up a home and putting your stamp on it and I am a big fan of things like that. The ‘oh let’s look at Pinterest for ideas’ feel.

To be honest, I’ve not finished the book entirely, but it’s one that I will refer back to when I need to work on trying desperately to make my space my own. Now if only I could just declutter.

This book was provided to me free of charge by Thomas Nelson and BookLookBloggers for my honest opinion and review.

Signing off

Kate