Reading

10,000 Snacks and Swoon Awards Voting

10,000 Snacks, a cookbook, by Cora, Rose, and Bob Brown

My mother-in-law gave me what is possibly the greatest book ever written: 10,000 Snacks by Cora, Rose, and Bob Brown. This is a 1937 masterpiece that reads like it could’ve been written today (but hopefully minus the problematic stereotypes/naming conventions that were popular in 1937).

This book is less about the snacks—most of which sound terrible, to be he honest—and more about the writing. The section on Equipping the Home Snack Bar is especially fun:

One of the greatest appeals of snacking is that it requires neither equipment nor etiquette. All that’s needed is appetite and a lusty interest in proving that fingers really were made before forks.

Yet your beginner, after being thwarted by an obdurate sardine can and finding it still soldered against him, though he’s whacked it on the stove and jumped up on and down on it, finally weakens, give in to civilizing science and buys a ten-cent combinations can opener, bottle cap remover and corkscrew.

[…]

The habit of acquisition creeps up subtly on him. […] After that he’s sunk and goes in giddily for hardwood cheese boards and wire baskets in which to swing his salad lettuces bone dry in the French fashion.

From 10,000 Snacks by Cora, Rose, and Bob Brown

I bet you didn’t know a salad spinner dried your greens “in the French fashion.” 😂

There’s also a whole section on popular snacks from countries around the world, including Hawaii which wasn’t yet part of the US, but my absolute favorite entry is from Vatican City:

Wine and holy wafers.

That’s it; that’s the entire entry. :dies laughing:

And, of course, the book doesn’t forget your pets. After all, it takes a lot to get to 10,000 snacks.

Though dogs should be seen and not heard, they will occasionally yap for a little between-meal surprise. A bit of toast or pretzel from your tray, and if it’s a dachshund, and occasional sip from your mug of beer or a pull at your pipe will be appreciated.

Why do only dachshunds get beer and tobacco? No one knows! It was stated as a universal truth and then they moved on to some new pet, like snakes, ant eaters, and lady water buffalos. I sense maybe this section was a little tongue-in-cheek. 😉

There’s also a section with favorite snacks of famous people. I didn’t recognize a lot of the names, but Eleanor Roosevelt prefers hot dogs, Betty Grable prefers Spanish hash, and Ruth Zuckerman (listed as “the gal who typed this book”) prefers southern fried chicken with sautéed sweet potato slices. I’m with you, Ms. Zuckerman.

While the snacks don’t sound great, they are a fascinating look into life in 1937—at least life in NYC, because I doubt the rest of the country was eating fresh oysters with any regularity. I’ve very much enjoyed thumbing through the pages and finding some new turn of phrase or type of snack pretty much every time I pick it up.

Finally, before you go, the final round of the Swoon Awards is open for voting for a few more days. Thanks to you all, both Chaos Reigning *and* The Queen’s Triumph made it into the semi-finals! Thank you so much! 💕 If you feel like voting again, you can vote for up to three books this round, which makes a very difficult SFR category (so many good books!) a little bit easier. :)

Happy Book Birthday to Blood Heir!

Blood Heir by Ilona Andrews is out today!! I haven’t gotten a chance to read it yet, because by the time it was done with copyedits, I was too deep in deadline hell to pester Ilona for a copy. But now it’s waiting for me on my Kindle, and I’m so excited to read it tonight! I’ve been in a reading slump since turning in New Shiny, so I’m hoping this breaks me out of it. :)

From award-winning author, Ilona Andrews, an all-new novel set in the New York Times #1 bestselling Kate Daniels World and featuring Julie Lennart-Olsen, Kate and Curran’s ward.

Atlanta was always a dangerous city. Now, as waves of magic and technology compete for supremacy, it’s a place caught in a slow apocalypse, where monsters spawn among the crumbling skyscrapers and supernatural factions struggle for power and survival.

Eight years ago, Julie Lennart left Atlanta to find out who she was. Now she’s back with a new face, a new magic, and a new name—Aurelia Ryder—drawn by the urgent need to protect the family she left behind. An ancient power is stalking her adopted mother, Kate Daniels, an enemy unlike any other, and a string of horrifying murders is its opening gambit.

If Aurelia’s true identity is discovered, those closest to her will die. So her plan is simple: get in, solve the murders, prevent the prophecy from being fulfilled, and get out without being recognized. She expected danger, but she never anticipated that the only man she’d ever loved could threaten everything.

One small misstep could lead to disaster. But for Aurelia, facing disaster is easy; it’s relationships that are hard.

Read an excerpt on Ilona’s site!

Get your copy!
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Apple Books | Google Play | Kobo | Bookshop


We had snow last weekend, which is always fun, especially when you can stay home and not drive. Mr. M and I spent an hour outside checking out the wintry change. Kids were playing on impromptu sleds, mostly plastic storage bin lids and water equipment (boogie boards, pool inflatables, etc) because we don’t get snow often enough for real sleds.

We made a few snowballs, but didn’t throw them because it was the wet, heavy kind of snow that turns snowballs into deadly ice missiles. It would’ve been great for building forts, though, and we did see quite a few snowmen, including this little guy who had a carrot nose and everything.

This week, I’m working on the site. I’m planning to update the theme in the next few days, so if you see any weirdness, that’s to be expected while I work out the bugs. The change shouldn’t be too drastic, but the site is overdue for a little cleanup.

I hope you all are staying warm and healthy! The first week of 2021 was a little rough, but I remain optimistic that the rest of the year is going to improve. I hope. 💕

Diamond Fire

Happy book birthday to Ilona Andrews! Diamond Fire is out today! It showed up on my Kindle last night just as I was planning to sleep, so I started it, because of course, and let me tell you, it was sooooo hard putting it down.

Diamond Fire

Nevada Frida Baylor and Connor Ander Rogan cordially invite you to join their wedding celebration. Summoning, weather manipulation, and other magical activities strictly forbidden.

Catalina Baylor is looking forward to wearing her maid of honor dress and watching her older sister walk down the aisle. Then the wedding planner gets escorted off the premises, the bride’s priceless tiara disappears, and Rogan’s extensive family overruns his mother’s home. Someone is cheating, someone is lying, and someone is plotting murder.

To make this wedding happen, Catalina will have to do the thing she fears most: use her magic. But she’s a Baylor and there’s nothing she wouldn’t do for her sister’s happiness. Nevada will have her fairy tale wedding, even if Catalina has to tear the mansion apart brick by brick to get it done.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Apple Books | Kobo

 
And if you are in the USA, don’t forget to VOTE today! You can read Diamond Fire while you wait in line! Win win! :)

Books Out Today: Magic Triumphs and The Governess Game

I’m peeking out of the deadline cave to let you know about two new books out today!

Magic Triumphs Cover

First up is Magic Triumphs by Ilona Andrews.

It’s the final Kate Daniels book and it brings everything: cute baby antics, huge battles, and the humor that Kate is famous for.

Here’s one of my favorite Kate lines from the book: “Besides, if you can’t trust an ice giant driving a creeper van with a dead body inside, who can you trust?” —From Magic Triumphs, page 111.

Fair warning, I’m friends with Ilona and Gordon, so I’m biased, but this book is incredible. I loved every page!


The Governess Game Cover

The second book I’m recommending on the my love for the author alone, because I haven’t read it yet (it’s on my Kindle and I’m desperate to start). Edit: Read it in one sitting. Loved it!

Tessa Dare is one of my favorite historical romance authors and the snippets I’ve read of this story indicate it will be no exception.

We first met Alexandra in The Duchess Deal (another favorite and a steal at $1.99 right now!) and I can’t wait to read her story.

If you want a larger preview, chapter one is available!


As always, books are very subjective, so read a sample before buying to see if it’s right for you.

Also, DO NOT POST SPOILERS for Magic Triumphs. If you must chat with someone, Ilona has a spoilers thread on her blog. Knock yourself out over there. :)

Words Learned From Reading

We went on a mini vacation for a couple days last week and while on a tour, I learned the word gaol was pronounced jail.

Mind. Blown.

Gaol is a word that pops up every so often in historical romances, and while I knew exactly what it meant, in my mind it was pronounced something like it looks (think ga-oll).

This got me thinking of other words I know from reading, but I’ve never used in conversation. Licentious comes to mind. Or imagine if you’ve only ever read colonel. Good luck pronouncing that one from the spelling. Or chic. I pronounced that one wrong for a while as a kid. Chaise (as in the furniture) still trips me up occasionally, because in my mind it should be chase.

I know there must be more, so I’ll turn the question over to you all. Do you have any words you learned from reading only to later find you were mentally pronouncing them wrong?