Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Not just a flash in the pan: Vengeance Road, Erin Bowman

Vengeance Road
Erin Bowman
HMH Books for Young Readers, 2015

You guys. It’s well documented by now that I’m a sucker for a cross-dressing, historically fiction-y, adventure with a twist of romance squeezed over the top novel. I’m looking at you, Bloody Jack, Song of the Lioness Quartet, and most recently, Gold Seer books (I read the second one; it was an awesome albeit at time crushing finale - read it!). The later is totally appropriate to end that aside with, because there’s a bit of a Western element to it, which ties nicely to this one, the truly, madly, deeply, Western you never knew you were missing.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

H8rs gonna hate: The Haters, by Jesse Andrews

The Haters

Jesse Andrews
Amulet Books: New York, 2016
ISBN 9781419720789

Haters gonna hate, but hopefully not on The Haters, a simultaneously witty, rude, and charming title by Jesse Andrews.  Wes and Corey are headed to band camp.  To be specific, jazz band camp.  

They hate it.  They join forces after one epic jam session with the only girl there, Ash (a stone cold vixen), who hates it with equal passion, prompting them to start a band and run away from camp to go on tour, ditching their cell phones and hitting the road.  The problem is, who wants to hear a band that doesn’t even have a name?  Can a human survive on red vines and chips? Can this band avoid their parents long enough to survive each other?

This book is as funny as it is heartfelt, but probably not for those who can’t handle overhearing a conversation with teenage boys (ie. sex, drugs, rock ’n’roll, and yes, dirty words).  For the rest of us, it would be a shame to miss out going on tour with this crew.  The book features a diverse cast, both racially and socioeconomically, and touches upon family issues as well as the general woes of coming of age.  This is a must read if you’re into music, in a band, or need a book for a reluctant to read teenage boy or dude in your life!  

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Anthropologically anthropologic: Euphoria, by Lily King

Lily King
Grove Press, 2015
ISBN: 978-0802123701

Every now and then, I read a book that makes me sigh, “DAMN, that was gooooood.” While these books can run the gamut from totally fluffy books (you guys know by now I’m a sucker for a time traveling/historical/brooding/cooking/horseback/saga/survival romance), generally this type of sigh is saved for the kind of book that hits all the (other) right notes: compelling characters, intriguing plot, balanced highs and lows in pace and plot, language that raises the story off the page and creates strong visual imagery, and, usually, a certain je ne se quois, which is one of the approximately five things I can say confidently in French. Euphoria has that all, and boy howdy did I let out a major sigh of “DAMN,” when I finished. Not only did I get the requisite good book hangover after finishing Euphoria, but the story, plot, and writing have stayed with me since.

As you also well know, I’m a shameless coverjudger, and Euphoria’s colorful book-dress fell into my vain horizon. It’s like a melted Rothko! I will note that I do have some standards, like...no I have no standards, because you know I’ll totally read anything. I’m looking at you, terrible Mermen book that made me laugh so hard this summer when Amazon recommended it that I had to read it. I digress though, because Euphoria is definitely not a case of the terribles, and what I mean to say is that the publisher flab on the classy, colorful jacket was what really put this at the top of my endless pile o’books to read.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Fig and Pistachio Corn Muffins

Om nom nom, figs are delicious, and also in season (according to the shelves of the grocery store; I have little to know farming knowledge, so you should absolutely question the source).  If you are a fellow MAhole, it appears they are on sale at Whole Foods Markets this week, 2 pints for $6, and you should definitely get two packs so you'll have one to snack on when you cook the other, right?  

I don't know where, why, or how this idea came into my head, but I couldn't stop wondering if fig would work in a corn muffin, so I decided to throw caution and $7 of figs to the wind.  My first attempt was pretty solid, though I skimped on added sugars because I wasn't quite sure what the figs would do to overall sweetness.  While eating one, I had a brain wave: would pistachio be a good addition?  Short answer: yes.  Long answer: also yes.  These came out fairly delicious, as well as pretty, if I do say so myself.  They are especially delicious when you put half a jar of almond butter on top, but that's an expensive and messy habit, so stick with a normal sized schmear of almond butter, fig jam, honey, butter, your own idea, or nothing!  
Fig and Pistachio Corn Muffins
My one piece of feedback, courtesy of the one and only PopTart is that they are a little dry (little does he know I ran 1 tbsp short of a cup on of cornmeal and subbed medium grind polenta, mwhahaha).  If you prefer them a little less crumbly, I'd test a 1:1 ratio of cornmeal and flour instead of the .75:1.25 listed here, and use a kefir with a fat percentage that is not nonfat.  Let me know if you do!  

We've dilly dallied long enough.  Here be the recipe for your relatively quick, easy, and healthy muffin delights!

Fig and Pistachio Cornbread Muffins

Makes 12 muffins
Fig and Pistachio Corn Muffins

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Case of the Terribles: Leisure Suits for the Modern Gal

GUYS.  Gone are the days of mere Juicy Couture leisure suits which posited "JUICY" on a wearers derrière, or the subsequent poseurs which posed statements like "SEXY" or "ENJOY THE VIEW," in bright fonts or rhinestones for the brave.

Let me introduce you to the only leisure suit you need for 2016.  It's a mere $400, which is chump change to look so flawlessly relaxed and leisurely!  It comes from the crazies who are steering JCrew directly into an iceberg!  That worked out really well for Leo and Kate, so you know they're onto something.

Behold, Collection Drake's for JCrew Green Bengal Tiger Pant and Top!


You Havisham in style!

Rarrrrrrrr.  In case you need translation, that's a lion noise in support of this fierce feline family member inspired prowling suit.  You go get it, you fierce cougars!

In case you were wondering how to wear it, here's the handy product guide:

Oh, I'm thinking nights out all right.  I mean, who can resist a silk elastic waisted pant that you have to dry clean?


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