The Last Dragonslayer

Favorite Books of November

November 2013 could also be known as the month of Jasper Fforde, well at least on my reading list. While I only managed to read four books altogether during this wonderful month of food celebration, they were all written by Jasper Fforde. When I read a book by a new (to me) author and I love it, I have a tendency of wanting to read everything they’ve ever written. With Jasper Fforde, this task will keep me busy for awhile because he has a lot of books to choose from.  I have SJ of Snobbery to thank for this.

I think I first came across her blog through the Insatiable Booksluts site, but I can’t really remember. Anyway, she’s a friend on Goodreads as well, and if she gives a book a 4-to-5 star, then I am very likely to pick it up myself. That’s how I got started with the Thursday Next series. (Tip: She also writes great series called Trashy Tuesday, the best place to learn which books never, ever to read. That’s how I was saved from reading more than book 2 of the Clan of the Cave Bear series).

Shades of Grey
Published December 29, 2009 by Viking Adult

Shades of Grey

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Assateague Channel

Roaming the Home of the Ponies

When I was around 10 years old, one of my absolute favorite book series was Misty of Chincoteague by Marguerite Henry (first published in 1947). I must have read each book at least 10 times, that is how much I love(d) them.

So this past weekend was like a dream world made reality, when I traveled to Chincoteague and Assateague Islands with my mom and aunt for a four-day getaway. I met up with them in Washington, D.C. and from there we drove down. It was only a three hour drive, which is perfect for a little getaway. I have to say I was very excited for the possibility to see the wild horses and to spend some time at the beach.

We stayed at the Channel Bass Inn run by Barbara and David Wiedenheft. They have been running the Bed & Breakfast and Tea Room for 22 years. It was an absolutely wonderful experience to stay there. Barabara and David make you feel right at home. Every day at 9 a.m. a full breakfast is served, and each day something different is on the menu. Some of the dishes we enjoyed were crab quiche, warm compote with granola, bagels with cream cheese and smoked salmon, and Mexican eggs (a recipe I plan on trying very soon). The tables are set up so that you share them with other guests staying at the Inn, which is a great way to get to know fellow travelers and find out what kind of adventures they’ve been going on. We met an Armenian family from Canada, and a few couples from PA and Delaware.

Continue reading “Roaming the Home of the Ponies”

Library of the Franckesche Stiftungen

A new literary world at your fingertips

I’m the type of person who can spend hours in a bookstore or library, and if I could I would live there. Just imagine being surrounded by all of those books all of the time…it would be a dream come true.

Library of the Franckesche Stiftungen
Maybe someplace like this: the Library of the Franckesche Stiftungen, Halle, Germany, refurbished to look as it did in 1746./

However, that is still just a dream, and as much as I love my local library (and there are multiple branches throughout Philly), nothing annoys me more than searching the database and 1) having to put something on hold, or 2) not finding what I’m looking for. Especially, when it’s a book I might not necessarily want to buy.

While waiting for a book to become available isn’t the worst thing, it can be particularly annoying if you’re reading the book as a part of a book club or need it by a certain date for any other reason.

So what are we books lovers to do?

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Great Finds of the Week #2

Ok, so it’s been two weeks since I’ve posted a great finds, but here are some posts that I have particularly enjoyed in that period of time.

Photo from

Books and more
Be a bookslut for a day by sending in a review of a book the Insatiable Booksluts have already read and reviewed. I guarantee you’ll discover something new.

Speaking of finding new books to read, have you read any of the Booker’s Dozen for 2012? Honestly, I haven’t even heard of any of the books or Authors on this list – a reminder that there are always new books and authors to discover, but also that we will never discover them all. Continue reading “Great Finds of the Week #2”


Great Finds of the Week

Welcome to my first Great Finds of the Week.

Every day, I come across wonderful content that you are all cooking, photography, experiencing, and writing about, so I’ve decided to compile a list of it all (kind of like my own Freshly Pressed). Here is a look at some great content from the past week.

Books and more

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When authors attack their book bloggers by Insatiable Booksluts looks at the fragile relationship between authors and book bloggers. Apparently, one self-published author thinks that book bloggers shouldn’t have any restrictions on the books they review.

Libby of Moments in My Head is hosting a giveaway for Twilight books. You can win them if you’re able to tell her why she should have read them. Continue reading “Great Finds of the Week”

my life in france

Back to Books: My Life in France

My Life in France by Julia Child with Alex Prud’homme.
Published by Alfred A. Knopf, 2006
5/5 spoonfuls of butter

my life in france

At five-forty-five in the morning, Paul and I rousted ourselves from our warm bunk and peered out of the small porthole in our cabin aboard the SS America… It was Wednesday, November 3, 1948, and we had finally arrived in Le Havre, France.

The first time I heard of Julia Child was when I watched the movie Julie & Julia (one of the late Nora Ephron’s many pieces of art). I immediately fell in love with the idea of cooking you’re way through an entire cookbook, no matter how overwhelming the recipes seem.

Yesterday, I finished reading Julia Child’s My Life in France. It’s so interesting to follow her on her journey of moving to France, learning the language, and discovering her love and passion for cooking, especially French cooking. I really loved this book and highly recommend it for anyone who loves cooking or likes to read a good (auto)biography. Mostly because it is a perfect example of discovering your true passion in life no matter what stage of life you find yourself in, and because it echos my belief that all great dishes take time, effort, and love to make (seriously, time seems to cease to exist while I’m in the kitchen). Continue reading “Back to Books: My Life in France”

Get your Mindfire going

Mindfire: Big Ideas for Curious Minds by Scott Berkun is a wonderful collection of 30 essays meant to help you “find passion, think freely, manage time, pay attention, and much more.” Far from a “self-help” book, what I loved about it is Berkun’s concise and humorous approach to questions of life that can easily be overlooked.

In our everyday lives, we can get so wrapped up in our routines and our own goals, that we forget to stop and think about our world and how things are done or even to question the status quo. This is a great book to spark such thoughts. Continue reading “Get your Mindfire going”