Sunday, January 22, 2017

Sanibel Sunday: 1/22/17

Our first full week in Sanibel has been a blur of sunshine, white sandy beaches, and time with the family. Readjusting to island life was surprisingly easy! I'm trying to get into a routine of  listening to an audiobook on my morning walk and reading (or at least trying) for an hour most afternoons.

Last night we helped friends celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary... a very memorable evening. Storms and high winds are in the forecast this afternoon and evening. The Sunday farmers market dinner will go on, but we'll avoid grilling just in case.




Finished this week//




The Mothers by Britt Bennett

Set in a contemporary southern California beach town, the main characters in this novel share ties to a black community church. "The Mothers" refers to a group of influential, but gossipy, older church women. Many serious issues are explored in The Mothers - family, love, loss, grief, friendship, secrets, and more - but it would be incorrect to say the novel is about any one of them.

The main thing to know is that Brit Bennett's writing is excellent! In fact, the writing is the real star of this debut novel. After reading just two or three pages, I already had several passages marked. The characters rang true and, despite some frustration with their bad choices, I enjoyed the story very much.

It's hard to believe the author was only 25 when she wrote this book. I'd say Brit Bennet's future looks bright!

My rating: 




Current reading//




God's Kingdom by Howard Frank Mosher

This is the first book from my Book Culture Selects quarterly paperback fiction subscription - a very thoughtful Christmas present from my daughter.

Set in a rural Vermont area bordering Canada known as Northeast Kingdom, the twelve chapters of this book make up twelve fragments of Kinneson family history. They are descendants of abolitionists and whiskey distillers, but the stories center on Jim Kinneson during his adolescent years in the 1950s.  Not something I would have chosen for myself but, after three chapters,  I am enjoying it.




For Rachel's readalong...  I'm approaching this as a read/listen combination and just passed the 50% mark. Look for my thoughts on Part I this week.



Up next//

Can You Forgive Her? by Anthony  Trollope
Remember how much I loved Trollope's Barsetshire Chronicles? Well, the #PalliserParty will begin at the end of the month. Feel free to read along... the more the merrier!


On the blog//
Review: Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi


In the kitchen//

My favorite meal this week came from inspiralized.com. I use my spiralizer frequently at home and decided to purchase one for my Florida kitchen, too. (I foresee a Weekend Cooking post in the near future!) Anyway, this Lemon-Dill Zucchini Pasta with Shrimp and Capers was absolutely delicious. After the prep, cooking took less than ten minutes.




Photo of the week//

Ibis on the beach

How was your week? What are you reading?
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50 comments:

  1. So happy about the #PalliserParty!

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    1. AUdrey I miss Trollope... can't wait!

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  2. I've considered The Mothers on Audible a couple of times but I'm not convinced the narrator is for me. I want to hear more about your spiralizer!

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    1. Kathy - I've got a Weekend Cooking post in my drafts folder... maybe next week?

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  3. The Mothers looks interesting and your review has me even more intrigued. I'll have to give it a try. I hope the weather calms down there. Florida storms can be vicious with all the wind. Love your reading routine. It sounds like a good way to spend the day. Have a great week!

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    1. Katherine - I was surprised I liked The Mothers as much as I did. Thankfully the storms weren't bad here, though we were under a tornado watch all night.

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  4. Your delightful beach sojourn sounds so wonderful! Enjoy!

    I also liked The Mothers, and was impressed by the author's writing. Those older women were just like people I've known, back in my childhood of attending church....and also like some clients I worked with (foster parents).

    The Unwinding looks informative...and like a must read.

    Great photo of the beach....and the shrimp/pasta dinner. Thanks for sharing...and for visiting my blog.

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    1. Laurel- Rain Snow - My daughter loved The Mothers and brought me her copy at Christmas. She's got The Nix now and I'm next in line for that one now! The Unwinding is fascinating reading, but I'm still waiting to see how he will tie it all together.

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  5. Ok that spiralized dish looks fantastic. I was just thinking this morning, I'd like to try making zoodles (and other stuff). Heather is after me to read The Mothers, so I need to hurry up. I'm so glad to know you enjoyed it so much!

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    1. Andi - I've even got my sister spiralizing now... my favorites are zucchini/summer squash, sweet potatoes, and cucumbers at the moment. I agree with Heather, give The Mothers a try!

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  6. So glad you guys have had a good Florida week. Hope the weather today isn't too bad. That spiralized dish looks wonderful and I'm not even a big shrimp fan. LOL

    Enjoy your walking time with the audio and enjoy your afternoon reading! Sounds just about perfect!

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    1. Kay - There are also a lot of spiralized dishes with chicken. I'm going to try one with turkey meatballs and marinara sauce soon. The audio time on my walk is a given, but reading in the afternoon is mostly a goal ;-)

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  7. Ooh, that shrimp "pasta" dish looks so amazing. Also, that Ibis photo is simply stunning. I'm glad y'all are having a good time -- stay safe out there!

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    1. looloolooweez - I've been trying to cut carbs and the zucchini pasta is surprisingly satisfying! The shore birds here are beautiful :)

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  8. So happy you're enjoying sunshine and warmer weather now! That spiralizer dish looks fabulous. I really should check into one of those, it would be great for eating less carbs. Happy reading and listening!

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    1. Anita - I've got a spiralizing post in my draft folder. Hoping I'll have it ready to go for the weekend :)

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  9. Oh, sigh, how I love the ibis walking the shoreline! And how I keep thinking of getting myself involved with Trollope. A wonderful reminder. I do love your descriptions of your Sanibel life. Someday, someday I will visit the island in March, which my cousin who lives in Florida says is his perfect weather month.

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    1. Judith - Your cousin is right, March is beautiful down here. Please let me know whenever you decide to visit! I've been surprised how much I miss Trollope since finishing the Barsetshire Chronicles... hoping the Palliser novels are just as wonderful.

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  10. Your pasta and shrimp meal looks so yummy! I may have to try that. The Mothers seems to be a book that so many people are enjoying right now. When I get a chance, I'm going to give it a try. Glad to see that everything's going well with you!

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    1. Vasilly - It's good to hear from you!! I hope everything is going well for you, too. The Mothers is an excellent read... I think you'd like it.

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  11. That sounds like a good week! Hope the storms hold off or aren't too bad. God's Kingdom sounds different but interesting... love that photo of the ibis. Hope your week ahead is fabulous with good food and better weather. :)

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    1. Greg - We were under a tornado watch all last night, but the storms weren't bad... or else I slept a lot better than I thought I did ;-)

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  12. I have The Mothers on hold along with the George Packer book at the library. Both sound good. Love the photo of the ibis on the beach.

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    1. Pam - I think you'll like The Mothers! The Unwinding is such interesting reading, but I still can't how it illustrates his point. Maybe he'll wrap it all up in the final section...

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  13. The photo is beautiful.
    I am glad that you liked The Mothers more than I did. I know I am in the minority with feeling less than lukewarm about it.
    I haven't read anything by Trollope. What is this #PalliserParty all about?
    I didn't know about Book Culture Selects either, so I am checking that out.

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    1. Toady - A couple of years ago I read all six of Trollope's Barsetshire Chronicles, one every 2 months, with a small group of blogging friends... it was the best reading experience ever. We're going to read the first of the six Palliser novels soon, no commitment for the whole series yet. #PalliserParty will the hashtag we use to chat on twitter.

      Book Culture Selects is a new program. My daughter lives near one of their stores and got me a subscription for Christmas!

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    2. Great. I would like to join in with reading Can You Forgive Her. I have the series all ready to go so can read all of them at some point.

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    3. Toady - I'm so glad!! Hope to finish The Unwinding within the next few days, then will start on Can You Forgive Her?

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  14. Your Sunday sounds lovely as do your walks. Your books sound very serious! I am reading the first Deanna Rayburn...it's a bit silly but I love it!

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    1. Patty - Not sure how long this bout of serious reading will last... I could fall into 'beach mode' any time! ;-)

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  15. Sounds like a wonderful weekend of reading, food and celebration - I hope the weather hasn't turned too bad! I celebrated my birthday last week, I have also enjoyed many new recipes and I am currently reading The Shack by William Paul Young.

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    1. Jessica - Thankfully the storms were not bad her, but others to our north were not so lucky. I read The Shack for a book club years ago and was not a fan, but I hope you like it.nHappy belated birthday!

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  16. I'd love to be able to go somewhere else during the winter. Not even to escape to the weather. Just to escape.

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  17. I'm so glad to hear that you enjoyed The Mothers; I, too, was highlighted after only a few pages. What a talented author, indeed! I'm really interested in The Unwinding; I may try to get an audio copy (love listening to nonfiction) and I'll be interested to hear what you think. I've finally started using a spiralizer (I was so scared that it was going to be horrible and I'm such a lazy cook) and I actually like it; bonus is that the zucchini (what I've used so far) is so easy to cook and tastes delicious! Enjoy!

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    1. Tara - I've finally convinced my sister to start spiralizing, too! Zucchini is my favorite so far, but sweet potatoes are a close second. Cold cucumber salads are my latest addition, and I plan to try butternut squash fettuccini soon.

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  18. How nice to be in sunny, warm weather. The Mothers is on my TBR list, glad you thoroughly enjoyed it.

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    1. Nise' - I feel like I haven't seen the sun shine since late September, so I'm just loving it down here. Hope you get a chance to read The Mothers soon.

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  19. The first sentence in your post has me wishing I could join you! It sounds like an absolutely perfect week, especially for the middle of January. So glad you liked The Mothers, and you're so right that her writing was definitely the star of her book. Have a great week.

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    1. Susie - This is definitely my happy place... especially in the winter! I was also impressed with the maturity of Bennett's writing - so unusual for a woman of her age.

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  20. I read the opening pages of The Mothers and was quickly drawn in and happy to recognize the location (Oceanside, CA), which is very near where I used to live. I'm definitely going to read the book, just as soon as I finish the ones I've already started!

    I'm glad you're having a good time in Florida. We're supposed to get cold temps, with possible sleet, again today. :( This too shall pass, right? :)

    I love the photo of the ibis on the beach, JoAnn. What a great image!!

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    1. Les - I think The Mothers is one of those books where you know within a page or two if it's goingl work for you. There's something special about southern California... I've only been there a few times, but it just gives off those vibes.

      It's supposed to turn cooler here later in the week(and by that I mean daytime highs in the 60s!), but that's fine by me... better biking weather!

      I'm loving all the birds down here, but ibis are my current favorite. Hope to drive down to Corkscrew Swamp next week to see nesting wood stork... missed them last year because it was so wet. White pelicans should be arriving soon, too!

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    1. Care - It's a tough life down here ;-)

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  22. Nice photo of the Ibises. (Hope that's the plural.) I will be curious to follow Brit Bennett's next book even though these characters frustrated me some. Enjoy your week!

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    1. Susan - I love seeing all the birds down here, but ibis are my favorite right now. I'll be keeping an eye on Brit Bennett's career... such a talent.

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  23. Your first week back sounds absolutely wonderful! I love the picture of the Ibis on the beach. I don't think I had been so interested in The Mothers before but now I am! Glad it was a good read.

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    1. Iliana - I ended up liking The Mothers even more than expected, and that's always a treat!

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