8 Books I’ve Loved Lately

Staying in is the absolute perfect excuse to read a great book. I’m bringing you 8 books I’ve loved lately to take you away while you’re staying in. I hope you have plenty of time to read. You’re gonna love these books.

Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi -If you love a good YA fantasty but you’re desperate for something unique, this is the book for you. Children of Blood and Bone is set in Africa (ish). The magic portrayed is different from anything you’ve seen before. There’s blood and tears and romance. You’ll love it. The sequel, Children of Virtue and Vengence, is also available, but I haven’t read that yet. If you have, let me know what you think.

Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie – This book straddles America and Nigeria, and it was a real eye opener for me. As a white lady, most of what I know about the black experience comes from books, and I’ve ready my share if African American literature. This novel, though, is written by a black woman from Nigeria who lived in America. Her views on race in my country helped me see things I hadn’t considered before. Beyond all the politics, it’s also just a fantastic coming of age story.

The Power by Naomi Alderman – Oof! This book had me hooked from the first moment and delivered so many things I didn’t expect. Women suddenly discover that they have the ability to cause others pain with electricity created by their bodies. How will they use this new found power? Therein lies the adventure. Don’t miss this one.

The MaddAddam Trilogy by Margaret Atwood – Bonus, this recommendation is actually three books. If you’re only going to read one, the first book, Oryx and Crake is my favorite. If you loved The Handmaid’s Tale, either the novel or the TV show, you will definitely love this trilogy. Sometimes I’ll be reading a random book and wonder why I’m not reading Margaret Atwood. Her work is absolutely transporting, and this speculative fiction series is as good as any. If you want to go deep on how disease and climate change can change the world, this book will blow your mind.

Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett – If you started to watch the series on Amazon Prime and thought it was awful, please don’t let that stop you from reading the book. If you like quirky humor and a heaping dose of mythology, this book is for you. It might feel like the end of the world, so you might as well laugh your way there.

Atonement by Ian McEwan – This book will absolutely wreck you. It’s so unbelievably tragic, I get a stomach ache every time I open it up. That being said, I think I’ve read this book three times. The language is poetic without being pretentious. The characters are beautifully drawn. Just thinking about this book fills me with emotion.

Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris – If you want blistering wit, read anything by David Sedaris. If you’re reading this in bed with a partner, you’ll want to read like every other line out loud to them. I mean, really just read all his books. This is the one I just happen to have on my shelf at the moment.

The Professor and the Madman: A Tale of Murder, Insanity, and the Making of the Oxford English Dictionary by Simon Winchester – This is the only stricly non-fiction book to make the list. Technically, Me Talk Pretty One Day is non-fiction, but it’s memoir and this is history, so… This book tells the fascinating story of the creation of something that probably sounds immensely boring. You will not believe how this dictionary came into being.

What are you reading right now? I’m always looking for a great new-to-me book. Share your recommendations in the comments. And if you’re looking for more great reads, check these out.

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Awesome in October | How to Be Awesome on $20 a Day

Awesome in October

Awesome in October | How to Be Awesome on $20 a Day

I’ve only been back for two days, and I’m already doing a catch up post. It’s cool because October is the best, even when you do practically nothing.

We finally found a good Mexican restaurant in Glasgow. If you haven’t been to Bibi’s Cantina yet, book a table right now. It’s small and intimate, and if you show up and there’s not a table available, you’ll be really sad. They give you a sample of their margarita as soon as you walk in, and there’s complimentary chips and salsa, as there should be. Everything was awesome, and I want to go back.

We’re also in the planning stages of remodeling our bathroom. We currently have the dumbest bathroom on the face of the earth, so I can’t wait to gut the whole thing and start again. Do you want to see the progress?

I’m currently reading Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman. I’m possibly the last person on Earth to read this book, but just in case you haven’t, it’s so funny and engaging. I love a book that keeps me laughing. Once I’m finished, we’re going to watch the Amazon Prime series, so I’d love to hear your feedback if you’ve seen that, as well.

I’ve mostly been reveling in the change of the leaves. Autumn is my favorite time of year, even though it doesn’t actually get hot here in the summer. There’s something magical about the blazing trees and the crisp air that I never get tired of. The colors can make even the most depressing places suddenly beautiful. It’s all a matter of perspective.

This might also be my favorite time for internet food. Here’s what I loved.

Are we still allowed to eat things for breakfast that aren’t covered in avocado? I hope so, because I’m dying for these Chocolate Cardamom Morning Rolls from A Cozy Kitchen.

Whenever I go to a new to me Italian restaurant, I always order the Bolognese because if that’s good, everything else will be. Can’t wait to try The Best Bolognese recipe from Broma Bakery to see if it stacks up.

Michelle of Hummingbird High is out with a new book, Weeknight Baking. It looks amazing, and I hope I can get a copy soon. This Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake has got me swooning.

Chicken & Goat Cheese Pasta | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Your favorite recipes during this very quiet month on Awesome on 20 were Chicken & Goat Cheese Pasta, Buffalo Chicken Pinwheels, and Parmesan Fried Gnocchi. We’re feeling savoury this month, I guess. I like it.

I’m diving into big changes right now, and I hope you’re with me. Let’s make it awesome.

Awesome in September | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Awesome in September

Awesome in September | How to be Awesome n $20 a Day

It’s been about a million years since I got on here and shared a catch up post like this. Mostly because we’ve been really busy without actually doing much lately. We’ve stayed close to home after a whirlwind August where I guess I was too busy to post about real life. I’ve just been wandering around with my head in the clouds. It’s been pretty awesome, actually.

My yoga class sadly ended, so I’ve been spending my Tuesdays going to a contemporary class with Dance Glasgow, and it’s been amazing so far. The class is simple and gentle, exactly what I need after a more than 10 year break from modern dance.

I also started reading Good Omens by Neil Gaimen and Terry Pratchett. I’m probably the last person on the planet to read it, but I wanted to finish the book before we tried the TV show. I’m absolutely loving it. It’s been a while since I read any Neil Gaimen, and it’s like catching up with an old, quirky, totally hilarious friend.

We’re getting into my favorite time of year for internet food, and I’m particularly excited as I’ve been paying much closer to the cycle of the seasons lately. Here’s what I’m loving.

Molly made Sesame Pretzels with Za’atar and Mozzarella Sauce, and I’m totally hooked on za’atar after these crazy good flat breads, so this can only be awesome.

I’m diving into a giant bowl of this Creamy Butternut Squash Alla Vodka Pasta. Looks gorgeous.

Finally, I’d like to eat my weight in Apple Cider Doughnuts for now and forever.

Whipped Ricotta | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Your favorite recipes this month were Classic Crunchy Peanut Butter Cookies, Whipped Ricotta, and Peanut Butter Fudge. I feel like we’re going back to school, but it’s fancy.

Will things get back to normal in October? Do we even know what normal is anymore? I don’t know, but it’s gonna be awesome.

Awesome in February

Sometimes I wonder if February doesn’t work extra hard to throw you for a loop because its jealous about being the shortest month. We visited someone or had visitors three out of four weekends. Everyone seems to be extra stressed at work. We’ve been busy busy busy, but I’m not sure we’ve accomplished anything.

We had a little weekend adventure in Chester down in England, and last weekend I stuffed my face with poutine and a lychee cocktail at Big Feed Glasgow.

I’m nearly finished reading Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. If you haven’t read it yet, you definitely should. It’s helping me see the world in new ways.

We’re also working out way through Game of Thrones again. If you want to rewatch every episode before the final season premiere, you better get started now.

I have no idea how to pronounce it, but I definitely want to eat this knoephla soup.

These Salted Caramel Peanut Butter Brownies have all my favorite things.

This Vanilla Cheesecake Funfetti Pink Ombre Layer Cake is beautiful and looks delicious and totally worth the hard work.

White Cheddar Fondue | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Your favorite recipes this month were Classic Crunchy Peanut Butter Cookies, Chicken Parmesan, and White Cheddar Fondue. Sounds like the makings of a great evening.

The weather in March looks grim, but I’m holding out hope for warmer days and lighter hearts. Keep it awesome, friends.

Awesome in July

Awesome in July

It’s been a blissfully quiet month. We’ve been sticking close to home, dodging the rain, and eating a lot of burgers. The best burger this month that I didn’t make myself was for sure from DogHouse in Merchant City. We’ve been continuing on with our Marvel film festival now that the World Cup is finally over, and I finally saw Black Panther. I absolutely loved it. Thor: Ragnorak was also really fun. Captain America: The Winter Soldier had the best fight choreography.

I also managed to finish three books this month; The Piano Lesson by August Wilson, Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates, and Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow. Between the World and Me was definitely my favorite of the three. 

I have a powerful need to try out this Baked Honey Hot Chicken Sandwich

I’d never heard of Smith Island Cake before, but I’m certain I need to eat it.

Also please hook me up with a bucket of Cinnamon Harissa Caramel Corn.

Classic Crunchy Peanut Butter Cookies | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Your favorite recipes this month were Classic Crunchy Peanut Butter Cookies, Buffalo Chicken Pinwheels, and Peanut Butter Fudge. These are the best of the best, friends.

August means back to school and back to insanity. I’m reveling in the peace and quiet while I still can. Make it awesome, kids.

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