I’m only reading long books

This month seems to be the month of in-progress books and only the long ones.

Right after the last Twitterature with Modern Mrs. Darcy I finished A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin and then followed it up immediately with starting the next book in the series: A Clash of Kings. I’m not quite halfway through. I’m certainly liking this series, it just takes a while to read.

In more exciting news, I figured out how to read while running on the treadmill. While reading through this series I’ve set my nook to a gigantic font while running and it has revolutionized treadmill time. The nook covers up that annoying circle that tells you how far you’ve gone in a quarter mile. Still working out how to read (without an audio book) while running outside.

Continuing with the long book trend, I’m listening to The Stand by Stephen King, it’s a story about a killer virus and all the events that follow. I’m doing a combination of audio and reading the hard copy for this one, mostly audio. Unfortunately it was due at the library and someone else had a hold on it. Alas. It would seem that this particular book will be a longer term project because it will certainly take a few library checkouts before I can finish it. Can’t wait for my hold to come up again!

In between listening to to The Stand I’ve got Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J. K. Rowling going on an audio book as well. Harry Potter (like the rest of the world) is one of my top favorite book loves. In middle and high school I read all of the books multiple times. As in- I have passages memorized, I know I’ve read the 4th one over 10 times. BUT- I have only read book 7 once (probably since it came out right before I started college), so listening again is fun since I can’t remember every single detail as well as I do with the other books in the series. Listening to this while sewing Etsy items makes time fly.

And finally the last book I’m working through is The Zookeeper’s Wife by Diane Ackerman. It fits with my accidental WWII reading theme for the year. This one is super short compared to the rest of the books in this post, but I’m going through it slowly. I need to have it finished for book club by next week! Looks like I’ll have to put down my fiction for a few days to finish.

Happy reading!



Making the most of the weekend

Last weekend I traveled as far south as you can go in the states.

That’s right, I made it out to Key West.

David and I finally took advantage of the fact that we live within driving distance of the Keys and spent a fairly spontaneous weekend on the very edge of Florida.


We didn’t actually stay over night on Key West, there was a cute Bed and Breakfast (that I would highly recommend) on Big Pine Key, about 45 minutes from our final destination. The B&B included bikes to get around the island, a small spot on the beach with lounge chairs and a hammock, and use of a glass bottom kayak. Not  bad at all!


We spent all of last Saturday on Key West itself.

There are certainly an abundance of attractions and sights on Key West, but the cost can add up quickly so we prioritized a visit to:

The Hemmingway House (and the 6 toed cats that live there)





and Truman’s Little White House. (No pictures allowed).

Aside from indulging in some delicious conch fritters and sampling Key Lime pie we stick to some of the free things to do.


Like a visit to the Key West Cemetery complete with this gem:


We also stopped by mile marker 0 on US 1 and the official southern-most point of the states.

On Sunday we took advantage of the glass bottom kayak and paddled around Big Pine Key, and I had a Snow White moment with one of the adorable Key Deer.


All in all the weekend was an absolutely lovely break from normal routine. We are already planning a camping trip down that way when the weather gets cooler.


A Dog, a Game, and YA Lit

Today I’m linking up with Modern Mrs. Darcy for her monthly Twitterature. If you are looking for some new book recommendations check out her post and click on other links, there is always a great assortment of books reviewed.

Here is what I’ve been reading over the last month-ish:


The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon

This was the book club pick for the month. The style was creative with lots of diagrams included, and the first person narrative from an autistic boy was intriguing, but this book really wasn’t my favorite. Maybe it’s the sad undertones, or maybe the style just wasn’t for me. Well done, but not my taste.


Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell

For E&P I listened to the audio (which was great by the way). This was one of those books that made me want to drive, just so I could listen to it. The story definitely kept my attention, my only complaint is that I didn’t completely love the ending.


A Feast of Ice and Fire: The Official Companion Cookbook (for A Game of Thrones) by Chelsea Monroe-Cassel and Sariann Lehrer

In the last few months the Game of Thrones bandwagon has swept me up. Of coarse, when I heard there was an associated cookbook, I had to grab it from the library. Each recipe quotes the passage of the book the meal was inspired from, and includes excerpts from real medieval recipes. The authors (who also write a Game of Thrones food blog) translated those recipes to something we can make with tools and ingredients commonly found today. My recommendation: try the Sweetcorn Fritters (pg.123)  and Modern Cheese-and-Onion Pie (pg. 145).

My reading time has been a little sparse lately with lots of summer travel and finally getting my Etsy shop open, what should I look to read next?

Mango Extravaganza

There is a lot I miss about living in the mid-Atlantic area: friends, family, fall…(apparently only alliterative terms), but there are so many things to love about Florida life too, and access to tropical fruit throughout the year is not the least of these.


Right now in south Florida it is the thick of Mango season, and last Sunday David and I spent the whole day volunteering on a mango farm. Every year Erickson Farms does a big event called Sample Sunday. You can tour the farm, taste 10 (or more!) different mango varieties, purchase products from various local vendors, buy fruit trees, and buy other mango related goodness.


Our friends were also able to sell some bananas from their farm. The honey jars in the bottom left corner is some of the honey David harvested from his hives.

For most of the day I helped sell mango bread and jam that were made on the farm by the owners. I spent the day chatting with a friend, giving out samples, and meeting locals who look forward to the event each year. This was definitely a fun day and I can’t wait until next year. Hopefully I’ll be able to swing by their fruit stand again before the season is over so I can stock up to try my hand at canning mango chutney or something else equally as good.