Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Edel 14: Real Women, Real Friends

I travelled over 5000 miles this past weekend to go to Edel 14. My expectations were hard to pinpoint. Part of my expectations were dreamy and full of star-struck anticipation of simply being in the same room with women I have looked up to for years. Another part of my expectations wondered how it'd feel to meet so many people whose online personas I had become so familiar with; surely I would suss out those inauthentic people, surely there would be many who would be totally disappointed with just me. But I was surprised with how quickly we met and immediately felt comfortable with each other, how great it felt to know that these women were even more genuine, kind, and themselves in reality than they are in their writing.

Friends like Haley, Molly, Kelly, Jenny, Kate, Bonnie, and Sarah who I've followed and emailed and commented and friended for some years were real friends. Women who I've followed from afar like SarahNell, Heather, Leticia were more lovely and real in the flesh. And the women I've looked up to for years Cari, Hallie, Rebecca, and of course Jennifer; not because they portray glamorous lives on their blogs or have a perfect life I envy but because they've shared the difficulties of their lives, what it costs to follow God's will for their family, how their faith has given them more life than they dared hope, and joy in their crosses, were kind, fun, beautiful, and so wonderful to me.

In all this there was the realization that the truth in how we see each other both in real life, and even more so online, is so prone to the lies of comparison, criticism, willful misinterpretation, the unwillingness to give the benefit of the doubt, to think of ourselves as less than, alone, the only one with difficulties, struggles, burdens, fears, crosses, failures, and complications. These lies all fester in our isolation as Catholic women and mothers, living in a world so contrary to our beliefs and vocations, but also because we don't want to share our weaknesses and failings or actively choose believe false ideas of others.

But the truth is that all of us women share the same Faith. We are all sinners trying to accept the life and forgiveness Jesus wants to give us. We're all learning, striving, failing, trying. We are all imperfect, we all have trials, sufferings, and piles of crummy stuff in our lives whether we blog it for the world to see or are unable to mention it to anyone but our confessors. There will never be a point in our lives here on earth where we'll see all our difficulties and pain in the past tense and be ready to enjoy ourselves, to give ourselves a party, to feel completely confident when meeting a stranger and that is why we have to choose joy, friendship, compassion, forgiveness, and the party right now. If we don't actively make the choice to choose joy in our lives in the midst of all the awful we may just become buried in it.

And no, the joy doesn't need to come in a wonderful and extraordinary weekend thousands of miles away. Maybe it's making time to call a friend to genuinely listen and genuinely share. Maybe it's giving yourself an afternoon by yourself to refresh in silence, shopping and coffee. Or it could be trying something new, reading a new book, spending more time with your husband even if there are dishes and grime everywhere and you feel ten pounds too heavy and five hours short on sleep.

This weekend was about coming together in friendship to support each other in our lives as Catholic women that can often times feel so tough and heavy. There was so much grace found in the warm smiles and hugs, in the fun and laughter, in the sharing of food and drinks, in the knowledge that these women were real. We all came as ourselves, and were welcomed as ourselves. There was a tangible feeling of acceptance, openness, and the embrace of all aspects of our lives. An authenticity that was the best comfort to each other.

I will always remember the great fun I had, the friendships seen in actuality for the first time, the greatness of being able to get dressed up and drinking a margarita in the Texas heat. I'm so grateful for meeting so many new women who exuded love and gave me joy. And I think that I now have a renewed energy to choose the joy when I feel surrounded by the tough stuff and to help share an authentic, Catholic, life and love with the women around me and online.

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Saturday, July 19, 2014

Answer Me This: Because Kendra Told Me To

Since my friend Kendra so kindly tagged me in Answer Me This, I can hardly deny her and her blogging power. Her wish is my command, although she may regret it!

See my perplexed face?

1. What's something you won and how did you win it?

I sincerely wish I had a dramatic answer to this one. I'm drawing a giant blank though. I will say that I've won several lovely blog giveaways that always makes my day. But I enter blog giveaways by the thousands I swear so it really is no luck or talent, or even good odds. I always dream of winning a big 50/50 from a hockey game or something though, because I think that would be the best. You could spend on something you hadn't planned to, or pay things off, or give good gifts, and maybe give a lot away. Maybe one day.

2. Do you save old greeting cards and letters, or throw them all away? Why?

This answer may horrify people, but I usually toss all greeting cards even though I really appreciate them and love receiving and giving them. I just find that they're usually needless clutter you never look at again. But I do save personal cards with notes in them, and every letter I've ever received.

I loved having pen pals when I was young, and I believe I still have boxes full of letters in the basement from when I was 12. I love writing letters! My husband and I spent most of our pre-marital (boy, that makes me sound approximately 98 years old!) long distance and we wrote each other copious amounts and that's all saved of course. He also sent me cards for no reason, wrote on packages of candy he'd send me at college, and made me the most amazing personal music cds and would write on the actual disk. He was pretty romantic come to think about it.

3. When you're at home, do you wear socks, shoes, slippers, or go barefoot?

Here in Canada we never wear shoes indoors. Most likely because we're mostly wearing snow boots, but it's true. When I'm at home I wear my slippers mostly and it makes me both feel and look like a grandma. But they're sheepskin lined and I have awful circulation in my feet so they keep my feet at the perfect temperature which I kinda love. I also have noticed I spend a lot of time on my feet at home, and that it's getting harder to go barefoot. So that bodes well for my future old age...

4. Who's the most famous person I've ever met?

This is where I should have an awesome story and I really don't. For some reason Kate Middleton still hasn't met me, or Father Barron, or Jennifer Fulwiler. Or the Pope. Or Jamie Oliver. Honestly, I have no good stories, I'm not going to list all the politicians and minor Catholic speakers I've met, although shout out to Michael Coren!

5. What has been your best work of art?

I so wish I was artistic and could come up with something tangible to show. I spent most of my childhood and all the way through high school playing piano and singing, so that counts for my artistic ability but I have no great recording or even a memory of a piece I played the best. Which is alright, I never had the talent to be a professional but the beauty of the art, what it taught me in the process of coming to know it, and how fulfilling it was to play, even at a mediocre level, was/is lovely.

And to write a book as a piece of art seems completely out of my scope but I do hope that those who write books that really are art take pride in that crazy ability.

But of course I'm also going to say my children....because....

6. What's your strongest sense?

Did Kendra mean one of the 5 senses? Because I'm almost blind, not great at hearing things, my sense of smell has been pretty decimated by 5 children, my taste is decent, and my sense of touch is not at Helen Keller levels.

I will say though that my gut instincts and ability to perceive and judge a situation/people is pretty good. I occasionally have to apologize and repent of my first impressions, but on the whole my first impressions usually prove accurate or at least on base. And my gut instincts have never failed me and I can tell right away when I think something is wrong. I've also come to just accept this and see it as a strength even though it's not a cool gift.

So there you have it. Not too exciting but honest!
And for the bonus question - here's what I wore Sunday, or Saturday in my case:

Everything is from J.Crew Factory, but I didn't plan it that way honest!
Now say hi to the FLAP girls for What I Wore Sunday...

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Friday, July 18, 2014

Seven Quick Takes - Holiday Edition

Joining Jen, and Cari because she conveniently made this week's Theme Thursday "Vacation"!


Confession time: we haven't taken all of our kids away from home at the same time before. As in, we've never gone on any type of real vacation with all five kids without extra hands around. This gives us a bit of parental guilt from time to time, especially because there seems to be added pressure to not conform to "big family" stereotypes like never being able to go anywhere. 

But! We happily changed that this week with a very realistic, if short, 4 days away in the mountains at Jasper National Park this past week.


I'll also freely admit that just the idea of travelling with my children makes me exhausted, let alone the actual travel. For some reason I have not been gifted with the superpowers of wanting to travel with my kids (like others we won't mention, cough, Kendra, cough cough, Jenny, cough). We've just always had multiple babies who need multiple naps who hate any car rides and toddlers who want to wig out over everything and not enough money to spend on time away only to undergo different types of this kind of torture. And usually it's not torture all the time. Usually the kids have tons of fun and are fun to be with. It's true, and this trip was no different they were fun and hilarious, and tired and cranky at times. So I fully understand these are my personal crutches because others get along just fine with their normal babies and toddlers who are just as loud and as much work as mine. I get it. But I thought I'd just get my whining out of the way first in the interest of journalistic/blogger integrity. Ok, finito.


I was tempted to make them walk home from the mountains...

It should take about a 5 hour drive to get to the mountains from our house, however, it took us about 7 which we thought was actually pretty awesome. I'd say about 20% of that time there were children screaming/crying/whining which when you think about it is a decent percentage. Of course it still made me want to run screaming from the car for the nearest bottle of tequila as soon as we reached our destination, but such is life! 


We stayed on a quiet, pristine, gorgeous lake in a cabin almost as big as our house with a loft of two double beds, a bedroom with a king bed for us and a nice size living room where Nora's pack and play got booted to each night. We also had a full size kitchen, which at this stage of the family game is essential I think. We made all our own breakfasts and lunches, and went out for dinners (two take-outs, one surprisingly well done sit-down in a decent chain restaurant).  If I'm going to travel with five kids I'm going to do so as comfortably as possible - you can put that on my tombstone! 


My husband and I love, love the mountains and it's been a couple years since we've gone for a trip there which used to be at least a yearly thing for us. I also grew up really close to the mountains and took them for granted, so now I crave them every so often just for a soul refresher of sorts.

I hadn't realized that even the uber-tame things and sights my husband and I like to do in the mountains become highly dangerous when done with 5 small children! We visited waterfalls, climbed up to view glaciers, and took a cable car to the top of a mountain which had me nervous and paranoid. Everywhere there were guardrails my children wanted to climb, bridges they wanted to peer over, near drop-offs they wanted to run towards. Danger, danger, danger! I think years were shaved off my life while we gave these children adventures. Maybe we should have been a little more choosy with our sites we visited, or at least brought 5 small leashes to protect everyone from falling off heights, into waterfalls, tumbling down mountainsides; but everyone remained unharmed - so parenting win! (However, my hands-free parenting style probably caused a lot of raised eyebrows when we had 4 kids running in 4 directions at the top of a mountain.)


Nora still hates being in a baby carrier! 

And these were her "happy" in the sling faces!

Sure, I may have used the excuse "my baby just doesn't like being worn" before this baby because I hate wearing babies, but with Nora I didn't have to fib at all because she still hates being forced into a carrier for the hour or so a day where we went hiking just as much as she did as a newborn. Grumpy Kitty did not find the mountains too exciting but she did love her some ice cream!


The boys got their fill of rock throwing, fish watching, swiming in the lake, playing in new playgrounds, and watching various new and exciting motorcycles around every corner. Gemma was crying when we had to leave, she loved the life of vacation. Nora slept almost through the night every night by a variety of miracles. And the husband and I crashed on our bed at about 10:30 each night! It was a pretty great holiday, we made it through with mostly flying colours even if we're completely exhausted after 4 days! Maybe next year we'll be a little more crazy and go for 5 whole days...

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Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Introduce Yourself to G.K. Chesterton

This is another post in The Bookish Mum series, where we talk about making time for reading and books as moms. Why reading is important, how to make time to read, and challenging yourself through reading are all topics touched on so far, make sure to check them all out!

As the biggest self-proclaimed G.K. Chesterton fangirl, I often get asked about what one should start reading if interested in Chesterton. You've seen his great quotes everywhere, but reading his writings in their entirety can be so much more rewarding, so I thought I'd hand out my professional advice as to what to read and a little bit of information about the great writer who may also become a saint!

Who Was G.K. Chesterton?

Born in 1874, Chesterton was raised in a loving, but not especially religious family. By the time Gilbert was old enough to attend art school he had dabbled in occultism and seemed to be firmly agnostic. While at art school however, he became seriously depressed which spurred a spiritual conversion and a firm belief in God's existence, he returned to the Anglican Church where he was baptized. He married his wife Frances in 1901, she would always be his constant support and anchor throughout his hectic life and prolific career, but they would never have children.

He began writing articles for newspapers and would go on to write novels, poetry, plays, literary biographies, the famous Father Brown detective stories and innumerable essays. He wrote his apologetics classic Orthodoxy before coming into full communion with the Catholic Church in 1922. He wrote on every conceivable subject from war to cheese, the Catholic faith to economic theory. His wit and ability to convey common sense to an increasingly chaotic society makes his writing still relevant today. His life is now being more closely examined as there is now an investigation into his personal holiness which is the beginning of the official process of becoming a canonized saint in the Catholic Church.

What G.K. Chesterton Wrote

There's really no genre or topic that Chesterton didn't write or write about. His incredible talent lent itself to plays, poetry, detective stories, novels of faith, country, and spies, biographies of saints and novelists, apologetics classics, and books of essays commenting on America, the Church, art, politics, and the economic theory he supported; distributism.

Regardless of the genre, Chesterton always stood for the truth, and had a gift for imparting the truth with confidence, logic, and wit that always made the reader think. He stood up for natural law, biblical principles, and the teachings of the Church in the face of many modern problems, or heresies as he saw them. In his fiction, he brought these ideals and philosophies to life in a diverse array of characters and often amusing stories. His Father Brown detective stories are what people usually recognize him for, and they are wonderful examples of his ability to weave in his impeccable understanding of human nature and it's need for truth.

What to Begin With

The question when faced with Chesterton's epic bibliography is where to start? I think after reading him for more than ten years I'd recommend a few titles depending on what genre you'd feel most comfortable with. For easier essays with a wide variety of topics Tremendous Trifles is a treat. I'd also heartily recommend his Autobiography, especially if you are looking for a conversion story. I've recently read his biography on St. Francis of Assisi which isn't so much a detailed biography of events but a inspiring foray into Franciscan thinking and a great starter if you're looking for Chesterton's writing on Catholicism. If you'd like to start with his fiction I'd recommend his Father Brown stories to begin with, then dive into his masterpiece; The Man Who Was Thursday.

As another tip, you might want to take Chesterton in small doses. His was a towering intellect and I still catch myself rereading many passages I've read before simply because his writing can be mind blowing; both philosophically and in it's technical prose. But don't take that to mean he is intimidating. He is imminently humble in his writing, and there is something for you in his writings!

If you're looking to understand more of Chesterton's thinking in a more general, cohesive way there's no better place than to begin with Dale Ahlquist's books on Chesterton. They are a great introduction into Chesterton's way of thinking and writing that can really help us get the perspective we need for what Chesterton was writing about specifically.

I've also subscribed to Gilbert, the magazine of the American Chesterton Society for years now and I love how it brings together contemporary views with Chesterton's writings in a good mix of well written articles, stories, and book/tv/movie reviews. It's a great way to get to know Chesterton in a more casual, easy way that arrives conveniently every few months!

One More Profession of Fangirl Love

This has been quite possibly the shortest diversion upon the great subject of all that is Chesterton, but I hope it's helped you recognize his name and spark your curiosity to read more. I have a deep love for Chesterton and his writings; for his ability to communicate so emphatically and clearly the beliefs we hold dear, for the love of life he had bursting forth from his every cell, for his ability to show us the beauty, mystery, and wonder in the everyday. There is so much wisdom, truth, and goodness in his writings that I think there really is something for everyone, so if you've been curious about Chesterton give him a try because I think he'll make your life better.

I've written a little about Chesterton's ideas in the past, here's some posts:

Chesterton on Parents and Education

Chesterton on a Child's Imagination

Chesterton and How to Celebrate Christmas

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Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Sex is Complex: Or, Why I Never Write About NFP

I keep having a nagging thought in the back of my mind that I should write more about NFP. More about what it means to an individual, marriage, and family because it effects everyone while at the same time the very inner parts of yourself as an individual. I wish I could write more about the science, because over the past 8 years I've learnt more about the science behind NFP than I ever thought or wanted to, and because the science does matter in the efficacy of methods. I wish I could write about how NFP is great and good but also a cross that impacts every aspect of your life. But I don't because I feel insufficient, somewhat jaded, too deeply mired within the daily complexities of obedience and sacrifice with too little perspective and wisdom.

But I know in not writing about it we make our shared experiences a little less shared and understood. Which is unfortunate because what we need is more understanding and at the very least a little knowledge that we're not the only ones.

And of course, when we really get down to it, when we talk about NFP we're mostly talking about sex. We're talking about how we live our sexuality within our marriage.

I'm just reminded of this lately by reading some really great things about sex, marriage, and in turn NFP going around lately. Hallie Lord recently published an ebook about great married sex and wrote a great article about it here, Simcha Fisher keeps being a sane and wise writer about what sex means and recently wrote about it with great clarity, then Calah Alexander wrote an impassioned article about getting a little support when you're living the Church's teachings about sex. If you notice a pattern through each of these articles it's that it is impossible to break sex from it's consequence -- whether they be great sex, lots of children, how you view the value of another person, how our society treats each other and our offspring; these are all things we deal within a certain context and relationship with sex.

Those of us who believe in the truth about sex proclaimed by the Church believe that it is a beautiful truth that is at a truly unique revelation of God's love for humanity and allows us to participate in his love and creation. It's a truth that never changes, but our lives do and how we integrate our sexuality throughout our lives runs into a lot of hurdles. Even when we truly believe the Church's teaching there is no easy button that makes it is to be obedient to them. We come up against our own weaknesses at almost every turn. Self sacrifice to practice natural family planning, acceptance through difficult times of too-fruitful fertility or heartbreaking infertility, faithfulness in times of marital strife, compassion in times of sickness. Let alone the host of personal issues, relational issues, even issues of how we see and related to God come up when we are dealing with our sexuality in a healthy way. This is because sexuality is part of what makes us human, and just as every part of humanity is called to redemption and grace so too is our sexuality. There is no way around the cross when it comes to our lives, it's how open we are to carrying the cross.

I think what happens all too often though, is an almost "prosperity gospel" idea applied to our sexuality. We seem to think that once we commit to what the Faith teaches and make it to marriage sex will be a consequence free, mind-blowing-each-time party for the rest of our lives. We think it's a biblical promise or something; which probably speaks to our cultural upbringing of entitlement or our fixation on all things sex. We've lost the idea that sex is complex, even in marriage. Since we've lost the concept of marriage as a permanent state, we don't realize the times where sex may not be possible due to sickness, circumstance, marital strife. Or, we often think that marriage guarantees us the magic number of children we want when we want them. We may reject the idea of contraception in pill or condom form, but the toxic ideas of how we should be able to control our lives to live for comfort are deeply ingrained and much harder to rid from our hearts and minds.

For most of us it will take a lifetime of practice to bring our sexuality to a place of integrated holiness. No matter our circumstances, we will always be called closer to God through our sexuality. It's equally important to know that God's truth brings joy, grace, a deep connection with Him along with our spouse, and great sex -- but don't expect that's all God wants to show is in our sexuality. Many of us are living out the truth in varying degrees of difficulty, sacrifice and joy: maybe through living the single life or life with same-sex attraction chastely, maybe through a religious vocation of chastity, maybe through marriage and heroic demands of NFP.  I think this is why I so often back away from writing about NFP and my imperfect experiences; because I mistakenly believe that everyone else is already holy. The truth, however, is there is no getting around the fact that God calls us to deeper holiness through our sexuality, which sooner or later always means the cross.

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Friday, July 4, 2014

Seven Quick Takes vol. 95

Happy Fourth to Jen, and all my Americano friends. And Happy Friday to the rest of us!


They all were pointing water guns at me. Charming.

So these are going to be even more haphazard and quick than usual. For some reason summer mornings loose all remnants of order around here. I don't know why the idea of "Hey, let's all enjoy this warm weather by going out on the deck in the morning and maybe not getting dressed till noon!" makes my house look as if a bomb went off but it does. Stuff. Ever.y.where. And since all the kids are outside hopefully making their way unsupervised to my mother's house, and baby is napping I need to kick ass and take names and actually sweep my floor today.


Sprinkler+trampoline=hours of not fighting in the house!

Ah! It's actually been hot and wonderful here almost all week! I'm just stating for the Canadian weather records being kept around here. Gemma, Dom, and Luke have absconded daily with a hose and I've let them go to it. Every day Max gets as excited as they do for sprinkler time, throws a big fit to get changed just like they do, jumps up and down with excitement, then as soon as a drop of hose water touches him high-tails it to me in 2.5 seconds and demands all his clothing be put back on. It's our mother-son ritual now.


I feel I had more tidbits, but now my tidbits are lacking. Curse you hot weather zapping my brain!


We're watching House of Cards right now! And if you know me, you know I love my politics. Ok, I'm more of a recovering political follower which is good because politics are crazy and so, so past redemption in my mind. I always tell people that if I didn't have Jesus I woulda gone into politics. Which is as scary as I mean it to sound! But! All that being said, it means I really like House of Cards. I don't know if I'd recommend it because it's pretty brutal, completely immoral really, and will squash all hope you had in the political system(if you're still blessed to have any left), but it's great acting, such well done writing, and I love seeing the behind the scenes machinations of the political machine. So probably not for everyone. And Robin Wright could not be more beautiful.


Aren't you glad I'm not a food blogger?

As you all know I'm currently living 124.5 kms from the nearest Starbucks. I know, first world problems or what. But it has made me a fiend for figuring out the best coffee I can at home. It's one of those never ending hobbies I have, similar to having children. I love, love, love the regular iced coffee from Starbucks. I would drink it everyday if I lived within walking distance so we thank our lucky stars daily that I don't break our budget by living in civilization. This all brings me to the many ways I've been trying to make Starbucks iced coffee at home for years. I've tried almost every way possible and I haven't reached acceptable results yet. So I bought a Toddy . And so far I really like it. I'm still working on the perfect recipe because the recommended recipe did not come out nearly as strong as I like it, but my second crack at it turned out divine! Maybe even better than Starbucks. Anyway, that's my official approval of Toddy .


I'm just realizing I haven't eaten any breakfast today. I keep meaning to make a better habit of eating breakfast and keep failing. It's so frustrating. And I honestly don't think there's any little trick or anything that could make me do it more easily and frequently so one day I'll figure it out or just bite the bullet and discipline myself. 
Also in bad habits department. If we're not going anywhere I don't usually get dressed until after lunch. It honestly doesn't bother me, and the days I get dressed earlier don't magically make me more peppy, even though I usually support moms getting dressed across the board. So I think that's laziness? Either way, I was dressed before getting the kids up this morning and Dominic said before anything else, "Hey, why are you dressed already?" Not a good sign is it?


I found these adorable Bobbsey Twins books the other day at the Salvation Army. I couldn't resist. I think vintage books may be my biggest weakness. Next to not being able to dress myself before noon and eat breakfast of course. C'est le Vie. 

Hope everyone has a wonderful summer weekend - Happy long weekend America!

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Wednesday, July 2, 2014

What I've Been Reading Wednesday - Quick Book Notes x 5

Turns out I've read enough in the past couple weeks to just throw together a post full of quick reviews!

Someone by Alice McDermott
A stunning short novel that follows an ordinary woman over the course of her life. It is beautifully written, with a simple plot that I'm sure any reader will recognize as honest, truthful, and profound. McDermott's writing is so precise and piercing without feeling stark. But I believe that this book read from a Catholic perspective makes it a work of art. Highly recommended! 

The Nesting Place by Myquillyn Smith 

I've read The Nester's blog for years now and it's always been a wonderful place of inspiration and encouragement to find simple beauty in your home. There is a big difference between making a house perfect, which is what most shelter mags are selling, and making a home beautiful. It's an important part of life to recognize the beauty around us, and to have beauty around us. But more and more I think that cultivating a simple, but beautiful home pays dividends in our lives even if we don't recognize it, and even for our kids. The book is beautiful, well written, and well presented which I think is a feat for a blog-turned-book!

In the Woods by Tana French

A well written novel that could have been one of the best contemporary mystery novels I've read in recent years, if only for more-than-a-few unfortunate sections of story. The central character, Rob Ryan, becomes weaker as the story goes on which is always disappointing. And while not all of the investigative aspects of the crime are realistic, it worked well for the most part.

Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh

I read this again for the 4th or 5th time for Haley's book club, (which is meeting on Facebook next week - so finish up and join us for good book talk!) which was a great reason to read it again because it had been a year or two. Every time I read this book I find new things to love, new things that speak to me, and new depth to the characters and story. It's a pretty incredible book, maybe not perfect, but so worth reading every so often.

Delicious! by Ruth Reichl

This one was so disappointing. I love Ruth Reichl so, so much - her books are not just books about food but books about people and she has such a great ability to capture people. Unfortunately, where this book fails is in every aspect which makes it fiction. The characters, the plot, the intermingling story lines, the need for editing, all make it a disappointing and boring read. In quite a few instances I audibly groaned at the pat plot twists I could see coming from miles away, or at how characters were left to wallow in the shallows. It's not a terrible book because Reichl can't hide her talent, but disappointing when compared to her culinary non-fiction classics.

And since I've fit in some serious reading of serious literature in the last few weeks I'm officially swearing to only read frivolous chick-lit for the remainder of the summer, but probably just for July because chick-lit will start driving me crazy. We'll see. Got any good ones you'd recommend? Have you read any of these titles and wanna fight me on them?

Linking to Jessica even if she's not having a book linkup today because she just had a beautiful baby and you should head over to congratulate her! And Heather-wha?!-for Five Faves!

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