Posts Tagged books

three things

These are threes things I am enjoying this week:

I tried this recipe for Ham, Cheese & Spinach Puffs and it’s a keeper! I like recipes that teach me a new skill. This one taught me how to make a béchamel sauce. We had a few hot from the oven for dinner with a good bit of salad. The rest I stored in the refrigerator and they make great lunches warmed up or cold.

I’ve been reading this review of Go Set a Watchman. I pre-ordered Watchman and I am looking forward to reading and thinking through it with my friend Tiffany. We are starting our mini-book club back up with this book. (We last read Z: a Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald and The Paris Wife. They make very good back-to-back book choices for a book club interested in historical fiction.)

It’s just too hot to be outside or out of the pool right now in central Texas. But for some reason I just can’t stop looking at quilts and quilting patterns. This one is a beauty!

Gift Guide No. 5

reading & writing, pt. 1

Back in December a few college friends were visiting and one mentioned that she was close to her goal of reading 100 books in 2013. Her comment sent me scanning my bookshelves and trying to add up how many I had read. I’m not sure of the exact number, but I know it was far below 100.

I’ve always been a big reader, but it’s a little hard to juggle a book and a sewing machine and other grad school work so the reading got pushed aside. Not only that, but I got into a terrible habit of not finishing books. Something I’ve never been guilty of much in the past.

This year I’m not setting a goal for a certain number, but I am trying to read more and to keep track of my thoughts on the books I’ve started/read/finished. I think this simple addition of writing what I think of what I’m reading has been a success. I’m not sure I would have read as much if it wasn’t for this simple practice.

reading and writing
Thank you for the lovely notebook set, Jessica!
Read More

gift guide: books

I am convinced that books are some of the best gifts you can give.  Whether it’s an engrossing story or interesting facts, books will out last the holiday and might even give you an excused to make time for coffee and a chat about your favorite characters.

I make it a rule to only give books I’ve read myself. The book I’ve given away most is I Capture the Castle. When I meet a kindred spirit who hasn’t read it yet it takes a lot of self control for me not to rush home grab the extra copy off my shelf and push the book into their hands. I love when someone else shares a book with me with as much excitement. These are five books I’ve read and throughly recommend:

gift guide books

1) Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell for the Austen and Brontë fans.

2) Sense and Sensibility for the friend who needs an introduction to Jane Austen.

3) More Baths Less Talking for the person who is interested in everything.

4) Secret Adversary for the mystery lover.

5) Till We Have Faces for the philosophical.

Read More

vacation packing

Vacation time is almost here! These are a few of the things that are coming along with me: Night Sky notebooks from Field Notes, Cheerful Weather for the Wedding, and The Moonstone. I’ve been watching this version of Cheerful Weather for the Wedding regularly this summer and I’m excited to see what the book (a novella from 1935) is like. The Field Notes have constellations visible during the summer printed on their backs.

vacation packing 1


vacation packing 2


vacation packing 3

new (old) book

One of my favorite books ever is I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith. A friend handed it to me during a college road trip and I think I spent most of the trip reading it. It’s the sort of book that made me want to instantly read anything else the author had written. I did a little research years ago and the only other thing I could find that Dodie Smith had written was 101 Dalmatians, which seemed odd.

new (old) book
After finishing We Have Always Lived in the Castle last week, I kept thinking about I Capture the Castleprobably because of the similarity of the titles and because the stories having a few other similar plot elements as well. I went back to researching Dodie Smith and what I found out this time is that she was a playwright who also wrote a few novels. It seems like there were many years between each novel. She wrote I Capture the Castle in 1949, 101 Dalmatians in 1956, The New Moon with the Old  in 1963, and six others over a period of fifteen years.
new (old) book
Anyway, all of these facts and dates are just to illustrate how excited I am to find a whole new batch of books to read. Starting with The New Moon with the Old. I found a first edition of the book in perfect condition (isn’t the dust jacket gorgeous!) for just $6. Can’t wait to read it!

new (old) book

summer reading, pt. 2

I finished The Paris Wife last week and felt a little mopey for a few days. I enjoyed the book, but it was hard to know what to pick up next. I rummaged around the bookshelves and stacks of books that seem to flourish in our house. And came across We Have Always Lived in the Castle. I remember that I bought it because the forward convinced me, in just a few paragraphs, that I should.

Summer reading

Summer reading

I wasn’t sure what to expect, but it instantly captured my attention. The first half has a wonderful amount of Hitchcockian suspense and when I wasn’t reading it I was thinking about it. When thinking about it, it reminded me of Arsenic and Old Lace, and Agatha Christie novels. It also reminded me of I Capture the Castlewith a little Dickens and Mary Shelly, just a bit.

Read More

places for reading

Austin is having its share of thunderstorms and cloudy Spring days. The kind that are perfect for spending with a good book. Audra and I spent a sizable chunk of time yesterday at BookPeople and my “Books to Read” pile sure has grown!

As a result, I’ve been filling Pinterest boards with cozy, dreamy reading nooks:

summer night

One  Two  Three  Four  Five

new books

Summertime for me will always mean new books. Maybe it’s because my mom would always take us to pick out a few new reads to keep us busy on road trips. I’m still finishing up the book that I bought for New York trip, but that doesn’t mean we haven’t picked up a few new ones.

A book of Bob Dylan lyrics that we couldn’t resist at Project No. 8 in New York and a beautiful copy of The Great Gatsby that Joel found.

new books

new books

I’ve wanted to read The Great Gatsby for ages. It looks like this might be the summer that I actually do it. Speaking of Gatsby, have you seen the trailer for the new movie version? What do you think? I’m looking forward to seeing it.

Read More

to make and to do

This week I’m keeping my To Make and To Do lists pretty simple. I have a whole bunch of goals for the summer so here’s to ticking off two more!

To Make
I’m making time to read books. I used to read just for fun all the time in high school and college, but this past year I haven’t read nearly enough. Normally I prefer anything to a Brontë novel, but I’ve had Shirley by Charlotte sitting on my bookshelf since 2003 so I thought it was high time to give it a shot.

pasta and a book

dinner and a book

So far Shirley is satisfying my “I want to read a story!” mood, but mostly it makes me want to re-read Middlemarch.

Read More