Sunday, January 23, 2011

The Good, the Bad, and the Delicious

Hi readers!

I'm sorry to have neglected you for so long! It's unintentional, I promise. This was a bit of a rough week, but I'm recovering well and today is a new day. My right eye was really inflamed and it hurt really bad. This prevented me from reading for more than three minutes and also made it miserable to look at a computer screen (which I already do 7 hours a week at work). In addition to my eye issues, I got sick! Again! This time it wasn't the flu, but a sore throat, stuffy nose, and a light fever. Colleges are one of the germiest places in existence, and the germs have all chosen to attack me. Not fair. And then, to make things worse, my reading light stopped working! AAAGGGGHHH what a week! But, things got better. I'll share them with you here.

Anyway, you're probably curious what I've been up to. Or maybe you aren't. But I'm going to share anyway!  On Monday I completed reading One Fifth Avenue by Candace Bushnell. I've read all of her other works and was only disappointed with one (Sex and the City--BOOORRRRING!). This was another pick off my bookshelf. I had purchased it last spring after a job interview in Walla Walla, WA. I got it from Hastings, one of my favorite bookstore chains (yay for having used books!) Although this book wasn't used, it was two years old and already bargain priced at $3.99 for the trade paperback edition. Score!

This novel is about a building (located at One Fifth Avenue, hence the title) and the inhabitants. The first hundred pages or so were extremely slow for me and I contemplated putting the book down and not picking it up again, but I will say now that I'm so glad I continued reading it! The storyline itself is perhaps a little dry and slow moving, but Bushnell is an artist when it comes to observing the different generations. She gives almost side-by-side comparisons of how different generations react to different events (example: a 60-year-old gossip columnist vs a 22-year-old gossip blogger). I found several of here generational observations to be right-on and highly intriguing. Bushnell blends an unusual mix of characters and stories in this novel, and I consider it to be very well-written. I recommend it to those of you fascinated by the lives of New York socialites, generational observations, or just looking for a good read.
Here's my reading goal information for the novel:
One Fifth Avenue by Candace Bushnell
Rating: 3/5
Pages: 433
2011 Reading Goal: 986/12,500

Yesterday (Saturday), I completed another book found on my bookshelf. It has been sitting there for at least three years that I can recall. I picked it up thrift shopping (at those local chain stores I had mentioned in a previous blog), back before I had even heard of James Patterson. I was feeling in the mood for a James Patterson novel, and was pleasantly surprised by what I got.

The book is called Sam's Letters to Jennifer by James Patterson. It is a love story (THAT was the surprise!), where Jennifer's grandmother, Sam, goes into a coma. Jennifer arrives at her grandmother's place to find a stack of unopened envelopes on her bed, all addressed to her. They tell the story of her grandmother's relationship with her grandfather and reveals to Jennifer her deepest secret. Meanwhile, Jennifer, traumatized by the death of her late husband and child, meets an old childhood friend and begins to develop feelings for him. I'm going to stop there because I don't want to give away the book, since it's so good! I recommend it to people who love Nicholas Sparks novels (because it's just as well written as one) or anyone looking for a happy-ending romance.
Here's my reading goal information for this novel:
Sam's Letters to Jennifer by James Patterson
Rating: 4/5
2011 Reading Goal: 1,249/12,500

 I went to the local library yesterday for the first time. Shameful, I know. I got a library card and looked around. It's a very nice facility with a surprising number of fiction novels, so I'm pretty happy with it. To me, libraries can make or break a town. My hometown has a 3-story library with a very wide selection of books and serves a population of around 90,000 people. When I went to college, the local library was so small and they only had one copy of new releases, and no website. It was tragic. The facility was nice, but there were too many bare shelves, which was depressing. It just felt like there was no life to the facility. They served a population of about 12,000. My local library now serves a population of about 17,000. They don't have a website (it was actually REALLY hard to track them down), which is a negative, but I was still pretty impressed with their book selection. Maybe I can survive this year only purchasing six books.
Yum yum!

Last night I decided to make something from The Essential Pasta Cookbook, which my best friend, Jessie Mae, got me for Christmas! I made Pomodoro sauce, and it was DELICIOUS!!! As you can see, I paired it with some garlic bread, green beans, and a glass of Raging Bull wine. The wine is a red zinfandel intended to be paired with barbecue or spicy foods, but it still tasted great with my red pasta sauce.The wine hails from Modesto, CA, and I was able to purchase it at Target. I often pick too dry of red wines, but this one was perfect. I definitely recommend it for you wine lovers out there :)

So, readers, I hope this blog has confirmed for you that I am, indeed, alive. I'm already working my way through another book and have fixed my reading light, so you'll likely be hearing from me again soon!


  1. found you on 20SB, thanks for commenting on my post!

    i am a huge reader, and agree with you on Bushnell's SATC - I love the show, but could barely get through the book. Have you read the prequel to that? with Carrie in High School?

    As to libraries - my hometown one is super small, and as much as I usually love libraries, lately I've just been ordering all the books I want through their online requesting service and picking them up. Pretty convenient!

    Also, i love pasta and i love red zin. That photo makes me hungry haha!! Let's be friends! =)


  2. Okay hun, normally I'm not pushy about this.. but WHERE ARE YOU?! =( I like keeping up with what's going on in your life this way!

    Hope you are well. =)


  3. I've been wanting to read One Fifth Avenue for a while... so thanks for the review! I'm trying to read 2 books a month for all of 2011, and it's already proving hard to make time for it... but I'm glad I found your site, so I'll always know where to go for recommendations!


    {Check out a Giveaway at my blog,}


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