Books · life · Uncategorized

Life Update & WWW Wednesday

Surprise, surprise, life has been busy!! I didn’t get to do this post last week because I was hosting an English/Russian/German themed Exposure inspired book club. As usual it was a fantabulous night of laughs and food!

I cooked (!) (my once a year effort) Yorkshire pudding with Apple sausage in Onion Gravy, mashed potato, peas and carrots. Dessert was this very simple (but tasty!) fruit cobbler with farm grown plums and Foster Clarks custard (no, I don’t have a share in the company girls!). I also had cheese and dips (bookclub staple) along with german sausages, pretzels and cavier (apparently Russian?). I found my questions here and the night was a wonderful success. Two of us had a great discussion on why we loved it, two others couldn’t get through it and the other finisher was a bit ‘meh’ 🙂

Since then life has been all a-go. A friend come out the following day, after I’d already done a load of dishes sadly, but I did get her to supervise while I worked on clearing out one room and moving a bookshelf in from another room.

Friday I somehow crammed in three clients before the three hour drive to our city to start a weekend intensive on Emotion Focused Therapy. It was a full on few days, spent fortunately with lovely people. I would love to give you a blurb on EFT, but that would require more brain power than I have available to me at the moment, if anyone already knows about it, would love your thoughts!! Seems to involve some confronting but powerful techniques.

I then made a quick trip up into the Hills to make an appearance at my cousin’s post wedding party. Just lovely to spend an hour catching up with family before the drive home this time with my family (and experimenting the back roads!).

Would have been lovely to relax then on monday but Hubby and I took our puppy back to the surgeon for a 4 week check up and left him there for another surgery 😦 He will be on even stricter bed rest this time – eeek. Thereafter I’ve had chauffering, household chores, meetings, appointments and work. Tomorrow I’ve got the 5 hour round trip to pick up puppy again…..

And then we have reading 🙂 Following Sam’s meme hosted at Taking on a World of Words. Anyone can participate. All you’ve got to do is answer the three Ws below and post a link to your answers here.

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Finished reading: Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty, I absolutely loved this book – funny, poignant and just good reading. From Goodreads ‘Big Little Lies is a brilliant take on ex-husbands and second wives, mothers and daughters, schoolyard scandal, and the dangerous little lies we tell ourselves just to survive.’

Currently reading: Still trying to read Committed, little by little. Havn’t made time for anything else though.

Reading next: I need to get started on Snow and Shadow by Dorothy Tse, next months book club book. I also saw the below clip on Facebook this morning and along with Sam’s books in the car (and everywhere) it’s made me think about seeing if I could find Constance Hall’s book in audio format to listen to in the car…

Happy reading to you all

ps I really really need to be spending time planning my son’s 4th birthday next week….

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Books · Uncategorized

WWW Wednesday 15th Feb

I’m back! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived by Sam @ Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in her comments for others to look at. Got back into some reading this week and here is my update:

IMG_1384-0

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Finished reading: Exposure by Helen Dunmore and about time too. Chose this as my book club pick and the girls are all due at my place next Wednesday! I enjoyed this book set during the cold war in England. The author explored so much in what was a somewhat slow paced book packed however with increasing tension, it really was fantastically written. One quote I particularly like was ‘The children a phalanx around their mother’.

To prove its worth here is a snapshot of a much better review than above paragraph from FictionFans Book Reviews:

It’s almost impossible to write a short blurb for this one that doesn’t make it sound as if it’s a spy thriller, and in many ways it is. But mostly what it is is a set of brilliant character studies showing the impact of this event on the lives of all those involved…. it’s an entirely credible portrayal of a fictionalised version of the Cambridge spy ring and its association with homosexuality, at that period of the 1950s and early ’60s still a crime, and enough to destroy a man’s career and even life, if exposed….The writing is excellent, quickly building up a tense atmosphere of secrecy and suspicion. The book is written in third person, allowing the reader to get inside the head of each of the major characters in turn. …But what really makes this book stand out from the crowd is the inclusion of Simon’s wife and family.

I would definitely like to read another Helen Dunmore book in the future.

Currently reading: I started Committed by Elizabeth Gilbert but found her ‘voice’ annoying me so not sure if I’ll stick with it. I enjoyed Eat, Love, Pray but did find it flawed – pretentiousness of the author is already grating on me. Not to mention I’m feeling pretty dismal about my marriage at the moment….

Reading next: If I’m feeling like working on the marriage thing I might try Wild at Heart and Captivating by John and Stasi Eldredge but I think I’m more likely to get into Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty, a Christmas gift. I was also reminded I still have Constance Hall’s book, might just return that one. In addition I believe I’ve found the next title for my When Are You Reading Challenge from the movie review in my church magazine, stay tuned!

when-are-you-reading-2017-final

Progress Tracker

Pre 1500 – The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett

1500-1599 –

1600-1699 – coming….

1700-1799 – Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

1800-1899 – 

1900-1919 –

1920-1939 – The Small Woman by Alan Burgess

1940-1959 –

1960-1979 – Exposure by Helen Dunmore

1980-1999 –

2000-Present –

The Future –

 

 

Books · Uncategorized

WWW Wednesday

I’m sure it’s still Wednesday somewhere!! Instead of blogging last night, (and going straight to bed which was my first plan when I got home from work!) I read. I’ve almost finished a book so only planning to publish this when its done!

This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived by Sam @ Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in her comments for others to look at. Here’s my weekly update:

IMG_1384-0

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Finished reading: Outlander by Diana Gabaldon, just then! A friend passed it on to my husband via her husband at cricket training last thursday. I put my other reading on hold and was swept away into the Scottish Highlands. It was superb, just like the tv series and I am thoroughly in love with Jamie Fraser! Not only is his darn handsome, he has am amazing way with words. There are 8 books in this series….I’m not sure whether to be relieved that the story goes on or worried about how my life will handle anymore book hibernations!! I think my Outlander craving has been somewhat satisfied (for now) and I shall attempt to wait to read the next book closer to the release of the third tv series

**edit just wanted to add I was impressed with how close the series was to the book, main difference for me was the character of Alec Macmahon, who was aptly replace with Murtagh in the series. Plus I loved being able to read more about the brothers Colum and Dougal.

Currently reading: So now that’s finished I should get back to ‘Exposure’ except I’ve passed the library copy I had on to a fellow book-clubber and am still awaiting my own delivery. Instead I will start reading the book she gave me – ‘5 ways to be famous now‘ by Maurilia Meehan, January’s book club choice. I have read the first line to ensure I’m not lying in this blog!

Reading next: I’ll have to get back to Exposure and I’ve still got Contance Hall’s book but I’m thinking I might get to something else from my piles around the house or else as away on holidays next week I may broach Ken Follett’s Pillar of the Earth. I’ve read and enjoyed his Century trilogy and this would be a good pick for my When are you reading? challenge.

when-are-you-reading-2017-final

Progress Tracker

Pre 1500 –

1500-1599 –

1600-1699 –

1700-1799 – Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

1800-1899 – 

1900-1919 –

1920-1939 – The Small Woman by Alan Burgess

1940-1959 –

1960-1979 – In progress … Exposure

1980-1999 –

2000-Present –

The Future –

Uncategorized

Hosting Bookclub 101

 

Welcome to your step by step guide on

How-to-host a french themed book club feast

  1. Don’t finish reading the book
  2. Plan your work day for book club day so you don’t have time to stress out (also helps to have a super flexible job)
  3. Months in advance say yes to having a boarder so you will have a helping hand
  4. Two nights before decide on french theme due to setting of book. Google easy french recipes, choose a couple including slow cooker recipe so you can be super organised due to No.2
  5. Day before don’t do the shopping because you are too hot and bothered – it will save you in the end
  6. Night before ring Mum and ask if she can do slow cooker recipe for you the next day because you ‘forgot’ to buy ingredients (should be easy with her 5yo grand-daughter available to help)
  7. Realise not you or your husband can get the printer working ring Mum again and ask her to print out recipes you’ve emailed – get her advice on recipes and do some further researching
  8. Write out plan for next day, try and organise someone to look after kids while hubby at cricket training. Have brainwave as going to bed
  9. Ask Hubby to ask MIL re: baby-sitting brainwave
  10. Get ready for work, drop off son to day-care, take daughter to Mum’s, find out their printer doesn’t work either, ring the office across the road and beg them to print for you – they kindly help out
  11. Ask Mum (very nicely) if she possibly has any extra time today if she could buy ALL the other ingredients
  12. Go to work, enjoy your day
  13. Ring hubby at lunch time, find he hasn’t spoken to MIL, speak to her yourself, get it organised.
  14. Return to Mums to the smell of something wonderful in the slow cooker and bags of shopping – know you are one spoilt 28 year old
  15. Head down the street for an empty post box and a full trolley of all the other things you need
  16. Pick up all the stuff, all the children and travel home – you are ahead of schedule thanks to a shorter work day
  17. Get everything out of the car and unpacked
  18. It’s time to ‘cook and clean’ hmmmm……
  19. Boarder offers to help, get her going on the salad
  20. Fluff around/Feed children/Bath children
  21. Send children off (ahhhhhhh)
  22. Clean up lounge, rearrange furniture, get boarder to help you bring in extra chairs
  23. Fluff around some more doing an impersonation of a chook with head chopped off
  24. Get Boarder to make up croissants get started on tartines – realise recipe talks about broiling, google, give up
  25. Put cheese sticks, cheese platter, dips on fancy white platters
  26. Get plates and importantly wine glasses out
  27. People start arriving, get the first two to help with tartine alternative bruschetta things
  28. Guests say lovely things about everything, you sit down and enjoy the night

Recipes =

Chicken With Tarragon and Leeks ( from http://www.realsimple.com/)

Nicoise Salad (from http://www.taste.com.au/ – combo of two)

Summer Squash Tartines (http://jellytoastblog.com/summer-squash-tartine/)

Dessert: French Cheesecake courtesy of Sara Lee

The Book

 Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert

Only one attendee had finished the book indeed she had read it multiple times. One had watched the movie and another cliff notes. We still managed a robust discussion particularly on feminism. Official rating was 6.5 however this was an average from only two sets of data. Most of us found it difficult to get into.