[1 Feb 2015 | No Comment | ]
Recipe :: Hearty Vegetable Soup

The first time I told my husband we were having vegetable soup for supper he asked, “And what else?”
Now, this is his most requested recipe and an easy staple for winter months. I started making it in college when I lived with my brother and it was also a favorite of “the boys” - think D 1-A football players - so this is definitely hearty. A single recipe creates about 10 servings, and since there are only two of us, I typically freeze part of each pot, creating a great 5-minute meal for …

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Book Clubs, Book Reviews, Books »

[9 Nov 2014 | No Comment | ]
Book Review : This Dark Road to Mercy

Last year our book club read Wiley Cash’s debut novel A Land More Kind than Home and were completely blown away. In fact, it was the highest rated book that we read last year. So, imagine our excitement when we learned he had a new book – it easily found its way onto our short list of this year’s books.
It is looking like This Dark Road to Mercy may be lowest ranked book we read this year. Major disappointment. Cash’s follow-up novel is the story of Easter and Ruby, two girls …

Book Clubs, Book Reviews, Books »

[30 Sep 2014 | No Comment | ]
Book Review :: The Bell Jar

I’ve been lying for the last ten years or so – however long those quizzes have been making their way around the internet that ask you “How many of the top 100 books have you read?” Because on every one, I’ve been saying that I had read The Bell Jar. I was sure that during that phase of my college life I had read Sylvia Plath’s infamous semi-memoir from the 60′s. However, another book I was reading earlier this year that went into detail about Plath’s novel made me realize …

Cooking »

[17 Jun 2014 | No Comment | ]
Recipe :: Tabouli

I was introduced to tabouli when a Mediterranean / Greek restaurant moved in across from my office building and couldn’t believe how a delicious salad like this had escaped me all these years. I now make this frequently in the summer and even serve it to guests who are trying it for the first time.
This is a super easy recipe, and while it makes a lot, it is also very easy to divide. The ingredients are forgiving, so if do you want to just make it with one bunch of parsley instead …

Book Clubs »

[10 Jun 2014 | No Comment | ]
Book Club Summary :: 2013-14 Ratings

Since I’m going to begin sharing our book club discussions with you, here’s a complete summary from this past year’s reading.
SOC Sista 2013 – 14 books with ratings:

Title & Author
High
Low
AVG

On Canaan’s Side by Sebastian Barry
4.5
3
3.58

East of Eden by John Steinbeck
5
4.5
4.813

Blue Asylum by Kathy Hepinstall
3.75
2.5
3.125

A Land More Kind than Home
by Wiley Cash
5
4.5
4.857

A Good Man is Hard to Find
by Flannery O’Connor
5
3
4.25

American Ghost by Janis Owens
3
2
2.67

City of Women by David Gillham
4
3.5
3.75

Disgrace by J.M.Coetzee
4
3.5
3.813

Heft by Liz Moore
4
3.5
3.75

Life after Life by Kate Atkinson
3.75
2.5
3.05

 
Our Rating Guide:
Silver Oak (5): Irresistibly hard to put down – so good, it …

Book Clubs, Book Reviews, Books »

[8 Jun 2014 | No Comment | ]
Book Club Wrap-Up :: Life After Life

I’m always after that thing that will spur me on to write and review more regularly, so this year, I’m going to try sharing wrap-ups from my book club’s discussion. Maybe this may also help to inspire your club’s book selection or discussion as well.
Recently, we met to discuss our last book from the 2013/2014 list – Kate Atkinson’s Life After Life.
Life After Life centers around Ursula Todd and the various courses her life could take given different circumstances and decisions. In some chapters she dies early on – in other much …