It's been a long time since I've discussed what my five senses have been up to. I've been reading a ton because I've been willing to give up precious sleep time to do so. I love being the only one up at night. I just know I can't be interrupted! I've been swamped with tons of great books from my library request system. I love that the books have been on my list so long and that I've waited so long that I'd forgotten that I'd requested them. These are just a sampling. Sadly, my mom mind can only hold so much, I've forgotten many of the books that I read. But, they were good and maybe someday I'll remember them enough to review here.
Songs for the Missing by Stewart O'Nan
This book puzzled me. Just when I thought I knew where the author was going with it, he didn't, but then he did. Ugh. I don't want to tell too much of the story because I don't want to give it away.
Fran and Ed are happily married with two daughters. This is the story of what happens when one of their daughters disappears. This book kept me up late reading. I took it with me on carpool duty (not to read while driving, but for those 10 minute waits here and there). I read every word and went back to reread parts just to hear the language. What a gifted author and once again, I am struggling with how I let this guy's books slip under my radar.
I was so struck by how the family and all its members handled the situation. Not only did O'Nan provide insight into their thoughts, but he really made me empathize with people who did not react as I would. This story, a mother's worst nightmare, has become so commonplace in our society that we sometimes just briefly pause when we hear it, yet again. This book did more for me than make me pause. It made me think about just what I would do if the same happened to me. As a mother, I've only thought about the initial crumbling that would happen to my soul. The broken, instant, terrifying fear that would begin and never end. I never really thought about all the rest of it.
A must read, for sure.
Infected by Scott Sigler
This is a book I wouldn't normally pick up, but I was reading about the author on the Internet and decided to give it a try. Part Stephen King part John Grisham, it's a thriller with a Sci Fi spin. I thought it was a good summer read, a bit too gross in parts, and a little predictable. But, enjoyable and an easy read. Would I recommend? Only if you're into that sort of thing.
City of Thieves by David Benioff
I loved this book and I don't usually gravitate towards war stories. Set during the siege of Leningrad, this book is the story of two unlikely friends sent on a nearly impossible mission. I figured out how it would end long before the finish, but I still enjoyed every bit. The glimpses into this part of history were fascinating.
As a child, we used to visit a Russian couple who's land we had to drive through to get to some family hunting land. I don't know their history except that they came from Russia in pursuit of a better life. One of us kids complained about being, "Starving!" and I remember Fedor saying, "Ah, but have you ever eaten grass?" I'll never forget that. I've never known hunger. This book paints a picture of true hunger that will remain with me a long time.
Thriller by who else? Michael Jackson
This was the first CD that Young One downloaded onto his iPod and I've been listening to it humming down the stairway for the last couple of weeks. (And on every channel in their endless reselling of this man's soul) OK, I'll admit, I listened to it on MY iPod just once right after Michael died. Cried a little and no, I didn't do the Moonwalk. I'm still struck by what a sad, lonely, tragic life he had. And how we're all just a little bit responsible for his imprisonment. My hope is that so much about the stalking of celebrities and the abuse of children entertainers changes because of his life story. And that his children are given the gift of a relatively normal life.
Roses. The deer have left my roses alone this year and I've been thrilled with the results. Imagine, full blooming roses and not stumpy, thorny stems!
Sugar and Spice Coffee Cake
1 1/2 cup flour
3/4 cup white sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 egg whites
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup skim milk
5 TB brown sugar
2 TB white sugar
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Prepare an 8x8 pan by spraying with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside. Mix batter ingredients and spread into prepared pan. Mix topping until crumbly. Sprinkle on top of batter. Using a knife, swirl topping into batter. Bake for 25 minutes. Cake is done when a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.
Food. I'm sorting through our pantry and making a run to the food shelf. I have many things that we cannot use and so many families are struggling right now, I just can't keep them here at home and feel good.