Category Archives: Books

A Month in Books: August 2012

August: the dog days of summer … and high wedding season if you’re in your late 20s/early 30s. Luckily road trips/weekends away leave lots of time for reading, and very little time for writing or reviewing. I’m trying to take advantage of what time I have left for pleasure reading since I start school on September 10th (more on that later!)  I have a sneaking suspicion that school’s going to take up all the time I had tucked away for pleasure reading. 🙂

Now that summer has drawn to a close, what was the best book you read this summer?

For me, it was hands down Carrie Lofty‘s Starlight. Damn that woman writes a good book!

(Links take you to full reviews on Goodreads.  Go ahead and click. Sometimes the snark is worth it.)

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A Month in Books: July 2012

Another month of no teaching, very little exercise and work due to two elbows, so I got a lot of reading done. Truly, not much else to do 🙂

How is your summer reading going?  Read anything that’s a MUST READ?
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A Month in Books: June 2012

June was an interesting month for reading. I had a whole stack of books from the library and had to return most of them. Why? Early in the month I fell while running and broke both elbows. Trade paperback and hardcover books became impossible to hold. So even though I had all kinds of time to read, I was limited to what slim paperbacks I could find at the public library and what I was willing to purchase on my Kindle. Honestly, I ended up watching a lot of TV.

Here’s what I did manage to read in June.
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A Month in Books: May 2012

May was:
Catching up on the Walking Dead
Dipping a toe into some erotica in prep for 50 Shades of Grey
Laughing till I cry with Jenny Lawson
Celebrating the return of  beloved romance author’s

Links go to full reviews on and an * marks favorites.

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A Month in Books: April 2012

Catching up on a couple months backlog of book reviews. April was a BUSY month for reading. I wish I could remember why I got so much reading done :).

Links take you to full reviews on and and * marks any books that are favorites.
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Abby’s 5 Essential Cookbooks

**This post is inspired by‘s series of “5 Essential Cookbooks”.**

Living in small urban apartments with even tinier kitchens, my cookbook collection has to be kept pretty small. If a cookbook is going to enter the house, it has to be both inspiring and useful. I like books that have good advice on what to actually DO with food, rather than a collection of glossy pages with overstylized displays.

These are the ones I return to day after day, week after week for inspiration, instruction and delicious food.

Better Homes & Gardens Cookbook: The classic red and white plaid cover is a classic all its own. This was one of the first cookbooks I ever had. I think my parent’s gave me a copy when I got my first apartment. It has everything from how to hard boil an egg (the most used/dog-eared page) to fancier, classic dishes. It’s also a great reference for substitutions and conversion, which are always useful!

How to Cook Everything Vegetarian: Mark Bittman’s “How to Cook Everything” books are the best reference tools out there. There’s a good reason why there’s one of them on pretty much everyone’s shelf. It’s an amazing reference tool and full of interesting twists on every type of veggie and legume imaginable. When I see a new fruit or veggie at the farmer’s market, this is my go to book for figuring out what to do with it.

Clean Food: Love this way this is organized by season, with fresh recipes and lots of inspiration. This is a new book for me, so I’m still exploring it, but so far everything I’ve made from it has been absolutely delicious!

Veganomicon: Pretty sure this is the pinnacle of vegan cooking right here and even though I’m not vegan, I’ve cooked pretty much everything out of this book at least twice. Every recipe is stellar and the substitution guide for making other recipes vegan friendly is indispensable.

Delicious/Pinterest: Not traditional cookbooks, but I use these two platforms for bookmarking, tagging and saving lots of recipes. Delicious has better search functionality, but Pinterest is making a strong showing with it’s great graphics.

What are your 5 essentials?

A Month in Books: March 2012

Spring has a way of sneaking up on you and stealing all your time. For me, it’s blogging time. What little I had is now even less.

Where am I?

Between 9 and 5 I’m working, after 5 I’m teaching, and after teaching I’m sleeping. Sandwiched somewhere in between, I still read. Lunch hours, bus rides and the precious few minutes before I zonk out at night I sneak in a few pages. Luckily, I’ve hit a really great run of wonderful books and authors. It’s almost as though Karma is acknowledging what little reading time I have and gifting my with some fantastic stories and characters to make up for it.

How do you sneak in those quiet moments for reading (or other leisure-pleasure) activities when life gets busy?

Here’s March … a little late, but really good!
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