Monday, June 27, 2011

Dirty Little Secrets

I've been putting off writing my maiden entry in this blog for a variety of reasons; few of them good and none of them interesting. One reason is embarrassing, but I will tell since this is just between friends...

... I've been reading crap.

Mind-numbing, stupefacting, brain cell rotting garbage. And I've been quite enjoying myself.

This whole 'not-working-but-instead-doing-whatever-the-heck-I-feel-like' thing has not been as easy as it sounds. There is of course some loneliness as I'm reminded how hard it is to find like-minded library geeks to hang out with... when you're not working in a library. Boredom is also a problem. I've had a lot on my mind as I contemplated what the heck to to with my life. Crappy garbage books have been the perfect fix for me while I juggled heavier thoughts.

I guess you could argue that there is no such thing as a 'garbage-book' Paige, but you and I both know that not all books are created equal *cough Twilight sux cough*. So I'll outline some of the better fluff I've been diverting myself with.

V.I. Warshawski Series by Sara Paretsky

Tunnel Vision (V.I. Warshawski Novels)

I stumbled upon this series when I was looking for J.D. Robb readalikes. I LOVE the In Death series more than any other trashy read because as you read them, the characters become like friends. Everyone falls in love with the billionaire Roarke, (what's not to love- he's gorgeous, rich and has an Irish accent!) and the series takes place about 50 years in the future which is also neat. ANYWAYS, since I'm not actually talking about this series, I digress.

V.I. Warshawski was born in raised in South Chicago, where the books take place. She's a public defender turned private investigator who runs her own (most of the time) one-woman operation, always struggling to make ends meet. Most of these books involve human rights issues, which makes for an interesting twist to your typical hardboiled detective novels. Bottom line, I enjoyed them.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Season 8.

The Long Way Home (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Season 8, Vol. 1)
Paige, I'm laying my secrets bare for you this week. My name is Quill, and I'm a closet Scooby. When Sean left for Baltimore, and I was home alone with no company or cable, I finally broke down and tried watching Buffy. Let me tell you- I mainlined the whole series in just 2 months. When I was finished with Buffy, I moved on to Angel (a spin-off series) and I was soon out of Smack. I tried detoxing on these graphic novels which stand in as the Season 8 that never happened. If you call 'detoxing' sitting up reading until 2am, waking your husband with frequent gasps of shock and surprise.

The artwork is fantastic, and while I admit the storyline seems to be geared towards a different target audience (namely horny man-children with absolutely no hope of ever having a real experience with a woman), they were pretty gripping, and I look forward to reading more.

Jamie's 30 Minute Meals

Jamie Oliver's Meals in Minutes: A Revolutionary Approach to Cooking Good Food Fast
Can I tell you about a cookbook? We didn't exactly set very strict ground rules, so I'm going to go with it. Mostly because I've spent more time with this book that with any other book of any kind lately. I bought it from Book Depository in the UK when it first came out, but it looks like it might be printed as 'Meals in Minutes' here in North America (probably due to Rachel Rae's barftastic books of the same title).

This book and the accompanying series not only gives you great recipes, but teaches you how to 'Get your head on' to pump out an amazing meal- and I'm talking main dish, a couple sides, condiments and sometimes even a dessert, in 30 minutes. Okay, maybe 45 minutes the first few times you try it on. I love that there are a good number of vegetarian recipes and lots of fish too. I use this book about twice a week, and we haven't had a bad meal yet. Sean's favourite is the Summer Veg Lasagna (made with asparagus, peas, beans and cottage cheese) with tuscan tomato salad and mango frozen yogurt. All of the recipes are made with simple ingredients (no last minute scouring of the supermarket for things you can't pronounce), and can be made by just about anyone (though the videos help).

We liked the series so much that we invented a drinking game to go along with it! Here's a few of the rules;

  • If he says "sprinkle from a height" take a drink.
  • If he uses lemon, chili and olive oil together, take a drink.
  • If he uses one of those British words that sound made up, like wodge or whack, take a drink.
  • If he takes a few bits of something that is in the dish and garnishes with it "to tell the story", take a drink.
We did this once, but as we're not really the drinking type, once was enough.

Now that the ice is broken I will be writing again soon with a couple of good books to tell you about- keep it coming on your end! I'll definitely be looking for 'Dear George Clooney' on my next library trip.


Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Dear George Clooney, Please Marry My Mom by Susin Nielsen

Dear George Clooney: Please Marry My Mom
Violet's life has been a mess ever since her dad left her mom for a younger woman with big boobs, and moved to LA. He's happily neglecting Violet and her sister for his new family in LA. Well, he was happy until Violet told her little half-sisters the cat turds in the sandbox were chocolates left by Santa. Meanwhile, back in Vancouver, money's tight, the house is falling apart, and Violet's mom has been dating a long line of losers.
When her mom starts dating a guy named Dudley Wiener, Violet decides it's time to step in and save her mother from herself. She's going to find her mom the perfect man, and who's more perfect for the job of Violet's new father than George Clooney? Violet's mom is a good catch, so convincing George Clooney to marry her shouldn't be too hard. Stopping the romance with Dudley Wiener? That might be.
I heard good things about this book when it came out, but didn't get around to reading it until now. Not every book lives up to its hype. This one did. I love it when that happens. I've put this book straight onto my fall booktalking list for when I go out to the schools.