Wednesday, March 26, 2014

What have I been up too?





I haven't been on here lately, but here are a few things that I have been busy doing:



Making quite a bit of homemade bread and mini rolls as you can see below



I have been getting back to doing some crafts;


For those Doctor Who fans, it reads Books are like Tardises, Bigger on the Inside.


I have actually gotten more done on this music cross stitch, but haven't taken another picture yet. 

I am currently reading these books:

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"A Walk in the Woods" review

Product DetailsThis book was chosen by a member of the book club that I belong to for us to read in Jan, and I am just now writing my book review. I had never read this book or known anyone who had, but it did sound intriguing to me. I like nature or walking on country roads, and the adventure of camping out in the woods, although I would probably never be so couregeous as to decide it would be a good idea to walk on the trail of the Appalachian mountains. This just happens to be what the author Bill Bryson does in this book, along with bringing a old time friend Stephen Katz, who he hasn't kept in touch with for several years. Does this sound like a disaster waiting to happen? Yes, especially when Bryson decides not to bring certain food because he does not like it. Unbeknownst to the him, Katz dumps some supplies along the trail because of the heavy load of it, this only occurs though after he decided to walk ahead and lost site of Katz (who couldn't keep up). Previously, they had both hiked around Europe, so I would have thought they would know no matter what do not get rid of supplies, especially those that are essential to survival. I did think that Bill Bryson in his book anyways, comes off as being a jerk in that he automatically it seems judges other people without knowing them. Putting that aside the stories of the other hikers and the history of the Appalachian mountains was very interesting. The second part of the book isn't as good though. Overall I give this book a 4 out of 5.

Grace's Pictures Book Review

Product DetailsI am reviewing this book for Tyndale publishing and received this book for free for an honest review. Grace's Pictures tells the story of a young Irish immigrant in the early 1900's to America. Her mother and stepfather are still in Ireland. It told of the thoughts and some stories of people arriving to a new land, which I thought was interesting. Grace with the help of an agency that tries to arrange jobs with newly arrived Irish immigrants gets a job becoming a nanny to children whose own mother isn't interested in them. Grace also is intrigued by photography and gets her own small camera to take pictures of New York City. This then lands her into trouble when some people think she took a picture of something she shouldn't have. Grace has a large distrust of police officers which goes back to her childhood in Ireland. However, she becomes somewhat friends with an Irish officer in NYC. I like those parts of the book, the part I didn't enjoy were the people who supposedly thought Grace was a threat, I thought that part of the story was usually in the background, almost to the point that I would forget about it. The few times they were in the forefront I thought it was not believable once they found out more information about Grace. I did have a hard time finishing this book, I would read a few pages but it down for quite a long time and then eventually pick it up again. I think this book would have been better if it just focused on the coming to america story. I never did quite understand Grace's fears of police officers as an adult, ok as a child I could understand.

I rank this book 2.5 out of 5

Thursday, January 9, 2014

"Dear Mr. Knightley" book review

   

Sam is a 23 year old orphan who is trying to attend Northwestern University's Journalism program. In order to get funds to attend the program from her benefactor, she has to write letters to him, a man she only knows as Mr. Knightley. Sam is a great lover of books, and quotes Jane Austen's works when trying to express herself to others. She rarely hears from Mr. Knightley and starts writing to him as if she is writing in her own journal. Perhaps even a little too comfortable in her letters to him, with a few of the subjects she brings up, considering she does not even know him. Being an orphan, and being part of the foster system, Sam does not trust people that well, so she does not have any friends. This starts to change though when she meets Alex, who loves books as much as she does. They both have their own secrets and quirks of how they deal with the events in their life. I greatly enjoyed this book, but at times really wanted to know what Mr. Knightley thought of the letters he received from Sam. She was also a little naive at times during the book, but was pretty insightful about her thoughts and as to the real reasons why she read books. Her using books and running as a way to escape reality, but at some point needing to use the courage that she knows she has but is too afraid to use it. As with a lot of books though, the ending came too quick and left me with wanting more. I have read a few of Austen's books but not all of them, so sometimes was a little bit of a lost, since I didn't understand all of the meaning behind some of the quotes. So, far the author isn't writing a sequel to this book, but we can all hope. I rank this book 4.5 out of 5. I received a free copy of this book from the publisher for an honest review through Booksneeze.

Who Doesn't Love Homemade Bread?

In the past few weeks I have been making a few loaves of homemade bread. They are easy recipes, and no knead breads as well. Here they are a few of the photos, along with the attached websites for the recipes;


Rosemary Bread

I just used the regular bread dough recipe from here and added a little bit of olive oil and rosemary. It turned out pretty good, as you can see from the photos.




Cranberry, Orange, Almond Bread

The recipe is towards the bottom of the website. It was really good. I took it to a quilt guild meeting and it was all eaten, so it was good I was able to get a slice before it was all gone.



Oat Bread

This bread was really good, but it makes a LOT, so be forwarned.




Tomorrow I will be baking another bread.

Postcards

I have been getting quite a few postcards in the mail lately for swaps I have been doing. If you like to get items or letters in the mail, check out swap-bot.com. I thought I would share a few of the postcards I received;









Saturday, January 4, 2014

Books I will review soon....

I plan on reviewing these books during the next two weeks; 


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This is for the book club that I belong too. It looks interesting, but I haven't started to read it yet.


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Dear Mr. Knightly will probably be reviewed this week for booksneeze. 

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This will be reviewed for the Classics Club.

Have you read any of these books, if so what did you think?