Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Recently Read: Moonwalking with Einstein & Born to Run

So in addition to wedding planning...here are some books I read during May and June(mostly listened to on Audible while driving around or doing boring office work)....

Born to Run
An epic adventure that began with a simple question: Why does my foot hurt?

A Short History of Nearly Everything
A really fascinating book! Basically the history of science. After listening to it on Audible I bought the illustrated version.

The Double Comfort Safari Club
Another in the Ladies #1 Detective series...always enjoyable if you've been reading the series.

Ann Pachett is a joy to read...this is a fascinating book with a captivating story line.

Behind the Scenes at the Museum by Kate Atkinson

I've always enjoyed Kate Atkinson mysteries ...Behind the Scenes is her first book...not a mystery other the the mystery of family relationships...she's kind of a quirky British author.

This is the 4th book following the "sort of" detective...Jackson Brodie. Kate Atkinson's books usually start about 3 story lines and by the end of the book they all intersect in some way.

Case Histories
This is the first Jackson Brodie "mystery"....

One Good Turn
This is the second Jackson Brodie book...

When Will There Be Good News
and this is the third...

Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen
This reminded me of Practical Magic...both with subject and writing style...it's good once you deal with the fact that these women are living in today's moral world!

Guilt By Association by Marcia Clark

I read this because it is the debut novel from Marcia Clark, the head OJ prosecutor...

Moonwalking With Einstein
This book explores the task of memory...and is pretty fascinating...Joshua Foer, a science journalist actually became a participant in the US Memory Championship...this details how he acquired the skills...and goes into the history of memory training and some pretty good strategies for improving our own memories.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Congratulations, Christian!

Another event I haven't blogged due to wedding prep...Christian's graduation on May 31!

Christian and Alec...weird picture...but sometimes that's all I get with my iphone!

Karl and Amber with their graduate...hard to believe...

Christian's awards...

The giant pizza we got to celebrate graduation...

One of Christian's many talents....Ironing!

This is one of Alec's paper cutting projects...awesome isn't it? Double click on it so you can see all the detail....

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Recently Read...Shanghai Girls

I didn't read this when it was first published, and it's probably a good thing since most of the reviews I've read are really critical of the abrupt ending. I saw the sequal, Dreams of Joy, and wanted to read it, so decided to read Shanghai Girls first...
And even though Val told me she threw it in the garbage when she finished...I quite enjoyed it...first as a very compelling story of the two sisters, Pearl and May. Second as a great way to learn about a period of history I knew little about..pre WW2 China and the US. Third as a look into a very different culture...and the Chinese/American experience in California. Learning about the anti-Communist movement of the 50's and the "Confession Program" was both appalling and fascinating.
Another criticism of the book is that it is unrealistically dramatic towards the end(although it's pretty dramatic in the middle too!). But I think Lisa See was trying to share a lot of the experiences she knew from her own Chinese American family and combined them all in the characters of Pearl and May...
I would definitly recommend reading it if you are interested in historical fiction. She also has some sweet insights into the bond of sisterhood.
So now I'm reading Dreams of Joy...

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Dave Graduates! Congratulations....

I never got my trip to Boston (in May!) blogged...so here are a few (late) highlights

The big event....Dave receives MBA from Brandais University! Congratulations, Dave(and Jessica)....

While walking through Boston we saw this poster in the American Express window....it's a poster of Dave and Jess on their recent free trip to Barcelona/Venice...they are in the gondola...

In the "back yard" of The Breakers...the mansion Cornelius Vanderbult Jr. built in Newport RI 1893. This was fascinating...and sad that he only spent one summer here before he died. The tour was very fascinating

Riding back on the ferry....(my feet were glad!)

One of the many historic sites in Boston...

A famous donkey in Boston...in 1827 Andrew Jackson established the Democratic Party and ran for President with the slogan "Let the people rule." His opponants thought him silly and labeled him "Jack**s Jackson"...however Jackson turned the tables by using the donkey on his campaign posters. It became the Party symbol.

Penny being cute...

We were intrigued by the title of the sermon.

I'm eating Boston Cream Pie in Boston!

Penny and Gma Pat at the "Rock"....you know the one.

Monday, July 4, 2011

4th of July Ice Cream (from Gladys Cecil Austin)

This is the ice cream recipe Grandma Janiece used to make. She got the recipe from Gma Dorothy's sister, Gladys Cecil Austin back in the 50's. We used to get "raw" milk delivered that had 5 inches of cream so thick on the top you could stand a knife up in it...it made great ice cream. But these days we try to use something a little less rich...usually I use a qt. of half and half and a pint of whipping cream instead of the can of evaporated milk...you could use all whipping cream, part whole milk whatever you want! (skip this recipe if raw eggs are an issue with you)

Ice Cream
6 eggs, separated
3 C sugar
1 qt half & half(or whipping cream)
1 can evaporated milk (or more cream)
2 T vanilla
Beat egg whites until stiff; add sugar slowly to make a meringue. add cream & vanilla; process in ice cream freezer..Flavor with Nestles Quik, toasted almonds, strawberries, etc. It's also great made with brown sugar.