Morning Bear

I was introduced to this band at a SoFar show I attended last night. The lead singer performed solo, singing four Morning Bear songs while I had serious emotional reactions. Swooned so hard.

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A Brief Review #1-2

When you’ve got a reading challenge to complete and an hour and a half commute twice a day, the challenge suddenly seems easy. I finished a few books this month due to my serious train time! This weekend, I’m making a move back to Chicago (yay!) so I’m not sure if 3 books a month will continue, but a 30 minute bus ride sounds like heaven. Here’s what I got into this month:

A book with a blue cover: Fates and Furies
This was a story about a marriage from both perspectives. In a few words, this book was twisty, deep, high-brow, intriguing, shocking, mysterious and pretty great. I’d recommend it with the caveat that you’d better be prepared for some strange occasional mythology references and super pretentious characters. However, I really enjoyed it and there were twists and turns I didn’t see coming! I loved the writing (when I could understand it) and the characters played into the story like they were in an episode of Gossip Girl. On steroids.

A book written by a comedian: Modern Romance
I watched Aziz’s show at Madison Square Garden last year, and found it hilarious. He talked about the horrors and benefits online dating and called on a volunteer who had recently met and started texting someone to bring their phone up to the stage so he could read the awkward exchanges out loud to the audience. It was painful – and everyone could relate. This book was an extension of that, and leaned heavily on actual research he did in focus groups around the world. I thought it was awesome and very smart, and his humor made it even more enjoyable. Pick it up! It’s a good one.

 

Source: Tumblr

Bombo Bar

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I remember my first Bombolone!

Bar Siena just opened a “bombolone walk-up window” which essentially means a place to get late-night Italian filled doughnuts. No further explanation needed, right? I saw this little piece of beautiful news this morning and immediately flashed back to Florence, Italy, circa 2011. I stuffed my happy face that April with a cream-filled bombolone from a gorgeous pasticceria on our way back from Piazzale Michelangelo (see below). I remember two things about that night: the beautiful view from the piazza and the pillowy perfection of the doughnut. I’ll be paying that walk-up window a visit in the near future!

Bombo happiness, Florence 2011

Source: Zagat, my own

Quote

Books on the bookshelves…

Books on the bookshelves
And stacked on the floor
Books kept in baskets
And propped by the door
Books in neat piles
And in disarray
Books tucked in closets
And books on display
Books filling crannies
And books packed in nooks
Books massed in windows
And mounded in crooks
Libraries beckon
And bookstores invite
But book-filled rooms welcome
Us back home at night!

 

L.R Knost

 

My favorite nilla wafer, Jillian Braun, sent me this quote today and it’s making me feel cozy on a super dreary, dark day in Chicago. I can’t wait to get home to Seth Meyers on the Emmy’s and my current read, The Giver. 

A Brief Review

Chalk it up to my new apartment being one of my favorite places in the world, a few hours spent by the pool, a good plot, whatever it may be. The reality is, I finished two books this weekend and it felt GREAT. I found a number of locations to curl up and I made it to the end of A Long Way Down and read Farenheit 451 from start to finish. I also managed a family lunch, a couple roomie dates, and an interesting experience at a Beercade (exactly what it sounds like. arcade + beer).

All in all – great weekend, great people, great reads. Continue reading

Book Club – January ’14

Blistery January in Chicago found the ladies of book club, all in sweaters, gathered around a high table for brunch in Wicker Park. It felt like a long time since we’d all been together, but this January meeting was productive and hilarious.

The book of the month was Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple.

Other than write books, Maria hasn’t done much except really win at life as a screenwriter for such shows as THE ELLEN SHOW and ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT.  I read this in her bio and immediately thought “This will be good.” And it was. Her humor really came through as subtle, smart, and perfectly placed. One of my favorite scenes was when the narrator talks about her dogs unwillingness to sit anywhere but the front seat of the car. It paints a real picture of suffering:

It took me a while to get in the car because Mom always brings Ice Cream and lets her sit in the front. Once that dog gets the front seat, she does not like to give it up. So Ice Cream was doing that thing she does when she wants to get her way, which is to go completely rigid and stare straight ahead.

Mom pulled Ice Cream’s collar and I shoved her butt and after a lot of grunting, Ice Cream finally got in the back. But she didn’t sit on the seat like a normal dog. She stood on the floor squished behind the front seat, with this miserable look on her face, like, See what you guys made me do?

I really laughed at this part. I think for the most part everyone was entertained by this novel. Which, I believe, is exactly what the authors intent was. She entertained by way of rich private school parents, bleak descriptions of life in Seattle, and a mess of neurotic personalities.

I would recommend this read! Quick and easy, and very entertaining. Next month, we’re tackling Lord of the Flies to add a little classic action to our repertoire. This will be interesting.

(Photo source: Seattle Times)

Listened To:
Avery Hill by The Shouting Matches
Drifters by Bright Moments

I’m Still in a Book Club

It’s not that I don’t care, it’s that my life got really exciting and socially stimulating over the past couple of months! I realize that makes it sound like I was a recluse before, and frankly I won’t deny that. But if you’ve read my post on exciting things that happened in 2013 you know that I moved to the great city of Chicago in October.

The minute I moved, I got a planner and actually put stuff in it. Fun stuff. That I was planning to do! Then I did them! And that’s life.

What I’m saying is, life got in the way of my posts about book club. So I’m here now with a crazy quick recap, and the intention to write more frequently because I enjoy it.

August-September we read Life after Life by Kate Atkinson. It was fabulous and time travel-y and historical. There were a lot of mixed reviews but it was poignant and pretty gripping! A bit long… but the ending was one of those “ahh. that felt right” endings, in my very humble opinion.

October-November we read The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith who of course is actually the legendary J.K Rowling – molder of my childhood. This was a really fun mystery where J.K was able to really let her inner potty-mouthed-overweight-British-man flag fly. Loved the twist at the end.

December was the month for Wild by Cheryl Strayed. This was a  memoir about Cheryl’s hike up the PCT. Google PCT. It was interesting because Cheryl is a very complex person, and the lives of complex people are fun to read about and compare to your own. I honestly don’t think I could be paid to hike the PCT alone or with a group. I’d like to hang out on the trail for a day, take some pictures, make some hot dogs over a fire and use leaves as TP but then I’d like to go home. She was out there for a very long time. Good read, though!

I think this’ll serve as a nice catch up on Ladiez is Readers 2! We’re all still ladies, still readers, and still a bunch of nerds. I love it. Thanks for reading.

Charlie Byrne’s Bookshop – Galway, Ireland
Photo taken by Miranda Coello