Saturday, April 30, 2016

My Liebster Award Nominations

Chronicles of a Cold Texan's Liebster Award Information

Last October, Annette Steinmetz of Reading in the Garden, nominated me for a Liebster Award

Well, it has taken some time, but I'm finally complying!

For those who don't know what a Liebster Award is, you can find out all the details here. The short version of the rules is as follows:
  • Acknowledge the blog who nominated you
  • Answers the questions the blogger asked you to answer
  • Nominate 5-11 other new bloggers for this award (typically ones with less than 200 followers)
  • Ask your nominees your questions own set of questions (again 5-11 is a good number)
  • Share the LOVE (and don't forget to inform your nominees)!  

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Landscapes of Deception

The Last Painting of Sara de Vos by Dominic Smith

In reality, none of Sarah van Baalbergen's works survived, but Dominic Smith decided to turn the few known facts about her into fiction by renaming her as Sara de Vos and resurrecting her work. Starting out in 17th Century Holland, Smith shows us a woman who lives in the shadow of her husband, whose own talent is surprisingly recognized. Smith then brings us to Brooklyn, New York in the 1950s, to introduce us to Ellie, an Australian woman, desperately trying to finish her PhD in art history on the subject of female painters of the Dutch Golden Age. Ellie returned to her studies after finding out how male dominated the art restoration world was. To keep from starving, she restored a few paintings as a freelancer, but her biggest challenge comes when a suspicious art dealer asks her to replicate a rare painting - the last known surviving painting by Sara de Vos. In this way, Smith begins to construct a composition that sweeps across centuries and continents, eventually bringing all the shadows and light into focus.

Monday, April 25, 2016

The lost and what they find

Bottomland by Michelle Hoover

In a story that’s part mystery, part coming of age and part family saga, Michelle Hoover tells the story of Esther and Myrle Hess, two sisters living on their family farm who suddenly disappear. Set America's rural Midwest just after the First World War, the family's German origins not only isolates them, but at times, also works against them.

Hoover tells this story through slightly overlapping, mostly chronological, first person accounts from each of the family members. In this way, Hoover weaves the narratives so that the full story of what really happened eventually comes through as we slowly get to know each of these people and their parts in what happened. This paints an incredibly full picture, allowing us to both empathize with the sympathetic characters and for those that are less likable, are we able to understand our negative feelings for them.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

The Sound of Reading

Listening to Audio Books

I recently underwent a procedure on my eyelids, which meant I had to have cold or warm compresses over my eyes for hours at a time. In anticipation of this debilitating circumstance, I realized that I needed something to occupy my mind while waiting to heal. The obvious answer was audio books. With them, I could concentrate on something other than my discomfort while prone and under the compresses.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Guest Blog Post: Ten Most Delicious Desserts Inspired by Novels

Ten Most Delicious Desserts Inspired by Novels

Guest blog post by author Andrea Lochen

As an avid reader with a major sweet tooth, I love when authors include the recipes for the yummy desserts they’ve made me drool over throughout their book. It’s a marriage of two of my favorite activities—reading and baking! And if you’re a book club member, what better treat to bring to your meeting than a dessert straight out of the novel? Here are ten of my favorite book-inspired desserts!