Goodreads Book Tag

I haven’t posted on this account in ages.  But, I saw on my active blog that there is a Goodreads Book Tag.  As someone who uses Goodreads all the time, I knew I had to participate.

What was the last book you marked as ‘read’?

Image result for blue highways william heat

Blue Highways:  A Journey Into America by William Least Heat-Moon

What are you currently reading?

I am reading two books at the moment.

Image result for witness to a trial john grishamImage result for the twelve justin cronin

On my Kindle, I am reading Witness to a Trial by John Grisham.  I needed a book and its prequel for this year’s reading challenge, and I finished The Whistler earlier this year.  (It was great btw.)  And at work, I am listening to The Twelve by Justin Cronin.  It is book two of The Passage series, which is a post apocalyptic series.  The series was recommended to me by a cousin, and I really liked the first one.  I believe there are four books total.

What was the last book you marked as TBR?

I don’t mark books as TBR on Goodreads because I never really know what I’ll be reading next.  I do, however, keeps books on my wish list on the online library that I use.

What book do you plan to read next?

Do you use the star rating system?

Yes I do.  However, I often wonder why I rated a book the way I did.  It’s really subjective and depends on mood, how good or bad recent reads have been, etc.

Are you doing a 2017 reading challenge?

I am.  This is the third year that I have participated in a reading challenge.  In fact, I created a reading challenge Facebook page with my cousin, and this is the second year of that.  Last year, I finished with one day to spare in the year!  This year is looking rather doubtful, but I’m not giving up yet.  My problem is that I read and read and read without much focus put on my challenge list.

Do you have a wishlist?

Yes.  The online library I use allows you to place books on a wish list.  This comes in handy if you already have the 10 books the site limits you to already on hold.

What book do you plan to buy next?

I almost never buy books.  I know that a lot of people probably consider that sacrilege or something, but it’s true.  Why spend money on books when I can borrow them from the library and then return them?  I very seldom re-read books.  I would, however, like to own a copy of The Fault in Our Stars.

Do you have any favorite quotes? Share a few.

 

“Power, time, gravity, love. The forces that really kick ass are all invisible.” – David Mitchell, Cloud Atlas

 

“A grace is a thing you get from God. You use it to make a better world or not use it. You have to choose.” “Like your art,” I said, “like your beautiful drawings.” He said, “like your pancakes.” – Dean Koontz, Brother Odd

 

“And I urge you to please notice when you are happy….” – Kurt Vonnegut, A Man Without a Country

Who are your favorite authors?

 

I didn’t even know this was a feature on Goodreads!  According to the site, my most-read authors are:  Janet Evanovich (21), James Patterson (19), John Grisham (18), and Stephen King (17).  I don’t know if I would call any of these my “favorites”, though.

Have you joined any groups?

No.

 

Do you use Goodreads? What are your favorite and least favorite things about it? Are there any cool bookish websites like Goodreads that you’d recommend? Let me know in the comments section below!

 

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I’m still alive. In case you were wondering.

Hello, neglected readers.  I am sorry that I have been away for so long.  As usual, I started a project (this and one other blog) and then got distracted and left them shivering and alone and utterly abandoned.

I have been working on another blogging project, however.  This one with a friend.  It was her idea.  And, it has been quite successful and rewarding.  I really hope that we are helping people.  That’s our goal anyway.  http://theinnerviewweb.wordpress.com, if you’re interested.  We are always looking for contributors, btw.  Please reach out to me if you have a story to tell.  Anonymously or not!

Also, The Hubs’s new work project has been picking up speed.  And, we’ve had a lot going on in the home front:  another garage sale, family visits, family reunions, fantasy football draft parties, visits to my grandma, craft projects, road trips, etc etc etc.  Time is flying by at an alarming rate.

Our 20th wedding anniversary, which has forever seemed in the distant future, is only a month away now!  Goodness!  I can’t even wrap my head around being married that long.  But, we have.  The Hubs and I took a selfie Saturday evening while out to dinner with friends.  I almost gasped when I saw it.  We look….**insert tense, dark music leading up to a horrific reveal here**….middle aged!  Surely we don’t actually look like that in normal, everyday life.  SURELY I would have noticed…..

A small portion of my out-of-state in-laws recently left after a two-week visit.  That is always an ordeal.  The Hubs’s family is just so friggin’ massive.  We hosted a retirement party for my mother-in-law.  It was mostly local family that attended, and I would guesstimate that there were 50-70 people there.  We decorated for two hours.  Cooked for two days.  Planned for two weeks.  It was exhausting.  But, she had a good time, and that’s all that matters.  My right eye has finally stopped twitching.  (I kid….I kid….)

Anywho.  So, that’s my excuse for not blogging recently.  And, I guess that my 100 Day Song Challenge is a gigantic failure.  I’ll never catch up on that.  Oh well…..

Hope you are happy and peaceful and enjoying life.

Song of the Day

Numb by Linkin Park.  This is in honor of Chester Bennington, who committed suicide last week.  So.  Sad.  Suicide is NEVER the answer.  It breaks my heart to hear of anyone doing it…….

Recipe of the Day

Strawberry Jam-Filled White Chocolate Mousse Mirror Glaze Cake via http://www.casuable.com.  The Hubs and I tried to make this for his mom’s party.  It.  Was.  A.  Disaster.  In the end, we served a bowl of “cake salad”.  It was hideous, but very very tasty.  Sigh….

Ingredients

White Chocolate Mousse

  • 8 egg yolks
  • ¼ cup sugar
  •  cups heavy cream (for the eggs)
  •  cups white chocolate (over 30% cocoa butter)
  • 2 cups heavy cream chilled (for whipping)

Mirror Glaze

  • 300 milliliters water
  •  cups sugar
  • 1 14- ounce can sweeten condensed milk
  • 15 gelatin sheets
  • 26 ounces white chocolate chopped (over 30% cocoa butter)
  • Gel food coloring of choice

Mirror Glaze Cake

  • 1 recipe White Chocolate Mousse
  • 18 ounces strawberry jam seedless
  • 2 round vanilla cakes prepared with box instructions and trimmed to 1 cm thick
  • 1 recipe Mirror Glaze

Instructions

White Chocolate Mousse

  1. In a large bowl, beat the egg yolks with a hand mixer until frothy and airy, then mix in the sugar slowly. Beat until lemon-colored and fluffy.
  2. Heat the cream in a pot over medium heat until steaming but not boiling, then slowly mix in half of the cream with the eggs – being sure to not cook the eggs by pouring too much cream inside before it’s mixed.
  3. Pour the warm creamy egg mixture into the pot with the rest of the cream and cook over low heat, stirring constantly until the mixture has thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon without dripping off too much.
  4. Mix in the white chocolate until smooth, then transfer the mix to a bowl and press cling film into the surface to prevent a skin from forming. Chill completely.
  5. Once the white chocolate mixture is set, beat the cold cream in a large bowl until stiff peaks. Be careful not to overmix, it’s safer to undermix than the over mix.
  6. Carefully fold in the white chocolate mixture into the cream, a little at a time, until folded in completely. Set aside for later use.

Mirror Glaze

  1. Boil the water, sugar, and condensed milk in a pot for 1 minute, then remove from heat.
  2. Bloom the gelatin in 8 cups of cold water for 5 minutes, then wring the gelatin sheets of excess water and mix into the sugar mixture.
  3. Pour the liquid over the chocolate, letting it sit for 2-3 minutes to allow the chocolate to soften.
  4. Using an immersion blender, carefully blend the chocolate and the liquid, making sure that you are not blending in air bubbles by lifting up the blender too high. It’s okay to go slow, just make sure it’s all blended with as little bubbles as possible, which will show up in the final product.
  5. Sieve the mix into a large jug or vertical container to remove any excess bubbles. If there are still bubbles, continue to sieve back and forth. A trick to remove air bubbles from the surface is to manually pop them with a toothpick or to press cling film into the surface and remove the bubbles.
  6. Separate the glaze into different containers and color them to your desire. We used red and white for this cake. Blend the coloring with the glaze until the color is distributed evenly, then cover each container with the cling film, pressing the film into the glaze to ensure that there is no skin when you are ready to use the glaze.
  7. When you are ready to use the glaze, make sure each one is around 90-96°F, then pour the colored glazes back into one container. Swirl them if you’d like, then glaze your cake!

Mirror Glaze Cake

  1. Spread the jam evenly into the bottom of a round 8-inch cake pan, then place one of the cake rounds on top. Freeze completely.
  2. In a 9-inch by 3-inch silicone round cake mold, pour ⅔ of the chocolate mousse then tap the mold on the table to release any air bubbles.
  3. Place the frozen cake & jam disc on top of the mousse, jam-side down. Press the cake down slightly, then cover it with the rest of the mousse. Place the 2nd cake round on top, pressing down until the mousse rises to the level of the cake. Carefully transfer to a freezer and freeze overnight. It is vital that the cake is 100% frozen through.
  4. Place a can on top of a baking sheet, then carefully unmold the cake onto the can. Make sure to work quickly and that the glaze is already prepared.

Book of the Day

Image result for a painted house john grisham

A Painted House by John Grisham.  I just finished this one today.  I love books set in the ’50s.  I think it’s because my parents were born in the ’50s.  Life seemed so much simpler back then.  It definitely was harder, but there was no social media.  People lived slower.  They seemed to have more values and treat people kinder.  This book tells the story of 7-year-old Luke and his family, who are cotton farmers in rural Arkansas.  I really enjoyed it.

100 Day Song Challenge (Day 066-070)

A continuation of my 100 Day Song Challenge.

Day 066  A Disney song.  Higitus Figitus from The Sword in the Stone.

Day 067  This is the first line from a song I like.  What song?  (Post lyric only.)  “I heard there was a secret chord that David played, and it pleased the Lord, but you don’t really care for music, do you?”  Hallelujah by Leonard Cohen.

Day 068  A Queen song.  Fat-Bottomed Girls.  \m/

Day 069  A song with a sexy video.  I have no idea.  I don’t watch music videos very often.  I looked up a list of ‘the sexiest music videos of all time’, and rather than sit there and watch a ton of videos, I just picked a song from that list that I liked.

100 Day Song Challenge (061-065)

A continuation of my 100 Day Song Challenge.

Day 061  I think this is the most famous song by a band/artist I like.  Stressed Out by Twenty One Pilots.   (I want an adult Big Wheel….)

Day 062  Out of all the Christmas songs, I like this one the most.  Hands down Christmas Eve/Sarajevo by Trans Siberian Orchestra.

Day 063  You have to listen to this song.  It’s wicked.  High Enough by K. Flay.  I crank it up every time it comes on the radio.

Day 064  A song that you think hardly anyone on this page has heard.  I was thinking that few people have probably heard New Soul by Yael Naim, but the video has over 5 million views, so I guess I’m wrong about that….

Day 065  A song you want played at your funeral.  Good Riddance by Green Day.

 

 

100 Day Song Challenge (056-060)

A continuation of my 100 Day Song Challenge.  (I’m making up for lost time….)

Day 056  A song from The Rolling Stone Greatest Guitarists list.  This was difficult.  So, I wrote down some of my favorites from the list and then went eenie meenie miney mo.  #72 John Frusciante of Red Hot Chili Peppers.  Here is Under the Bridge.  Let me just say that I was disappointed to find James Hetfield ranked at #87.  Man….  How is he that low on the list?

Day 057  Best song out of the last 10 songs posted on this pageDirty Diana by Michael Jackson.

Day 058  If I had to do karaoke, this would be the song I’d choose.  Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen.  And hopefully with a bunch of other people….

Day 059  For a laugh, I’d like to see someone choose this song for karaoke.  Baby, One More Time by Britney Spears.  And hopefully it would be a big burly dude doing the singing.  Ha!

Day 060  A song that has a dance that goes with it.  The Humpty Dance by Digital Underground.  I hate this song, just for the record.

100 Day Song Challenge (051-055)

A very belated continuation of my 100 Day Song Challege.

Day 51  A good summertime song.  Say Hey by Michael Franti & Spearhead.  This song just brings up summery images.  Don’t ya think?

Day 52  The worst Christmas number one ever.  White Christmas by Bing Crosby.  This song makes me cringe every time I hear it.

Day 53  A feel good song.  Home by Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros.

Day 54  A song from an artist/band you’d love to see live (even if they are no more).  Good Bye Blue Sky by Pink Floyd.  I would have loved to see their Wall tour.  Pure genius.

Day 55  A song from the last artist/band you did see live.  Thunderstruck by 2Cellos.  I don’t go to many concerts sadly.  But these guys were awesome!!

100 Day Song Challenge (046-50)

A continuation of my 100 Day Song Challenge.

Day 046:  A good song from the 2000s.  Sleeping Sickness by City and Colour.

Day 047:  The worst song by one of your favorite artists/bands. On Top of the World by Imagine Dragons.  Imagine Dragons aren’t really my favorite, but I do like a lot of their songs.  Not this one….

Day 048:  A song you can remember from an advert.  What is the advert? Starry Eyed Surprise by Paul Oakenfold from that Diet Coke commercial.

Day 049:  A song you think an artist can cover.  Who should cover it? I really have no idea.  I do like the few remakes I’ve heard when someone sings a rap song.  And, the ones I’ve liked best of those were females singing rap songs.  So……Adele or Florence Welch singing……I dunno??  Fantastic Voyage by Coolio??  Ha!

Day 050:  A song you think everyone has forgotten.  I haven’t heard this one in a while.  Fire Water Burn by The Bloodhound Gang.