Wednesday, October 3, 2012

The Book Review Club (October 2012)

It's the first Wednesday in October, and you know what that means...The Book Review Club is meeting. We've got some really interesting reviews going this month, more in the adult category than in any other category. Weird how that happens sometimes. We hope you enjoy!

Please give a warm welcome to my critique partner, the wonderful and talented Kathy Krevat. Out of the goodness of her heart, Kathy provided the review for my blog this month because she knows I'm scrambling to get out of a deep pit called Book Deadline. Thank you, Kathy.

And before I hand the blog over to her, let me tell you Kathy's BIG, HUGE, PUBLISHING news. Kathy just signed a deal for three cozy mysteries with Berkley Books, an imprint of Penguin! Congratulations! You can only imagine how excited our little critique group is about this!

THE LANGUAGE OF FLOWERS by Vanessa Diffenbaugh (adult fiction)

THE LANGUAGE OF FLOWERS opens on the eighteenth birthday of Victoria, the day she becomes emancipated from a group home after a lifetime of foster care. Immediately we care and root for this complicated, prickly and totally authentic heroine as she makes her way in the world, and we want to know her secrets. How did she learn the meanings of flowers? What happened to make her so antisocial? Why is she so alone? What is she hiding, even from herself?

The author, Vanessa Diffenbaugh, takes us between Victoria’s past as a nine-year-old with vineyard owner Elizabeth and her present day life as she tries to escape homelessness in San Francisco. With arranging flowers her only skill, and an inability to get close to anyone, can she make it?

My favorite part of this book was the almost antiquated meaning of flowers that sprinkles Victoria’s narrative and her absolute belief in them. In a voice both sympathetic and brutally honest, Ms. Diffenbaugh skillfully weaves a spell-binding exploration of survival and second chances.

 I love, love, love this book and highly recommend it.

Thank you, Kathy! And, now, drum roll, onto the rest of our reviews. Please, please click through. You're bound to find something to add to your to-be-read pile.


Alyssa Goodnight of the Writers' Road Less Traveled: THE RAVEN BOYS by Maggie Stiefvater (young adult)


Sarah Laurence: GONE GIRL by Gillian Flynn (suspense/mystery)

Scott Parker: THE WRECKER by Clive Cussler (adventure/mystery)

Ellen Booraem of Freelance Ne'er-do-well: THE POACHER'S SON by Paul Doiron (mystery)

Patti Abbott: STATE OF WONDER by Ann Patchett

Jenn Jilks of Cottage Country: HOUSE RULES by Jodi Picoult

Stacy Nyikos: THE BUDDHA IN THE ATTIC by Julie Otsuka

Beth Yarnall: PATHS OF DESIRE by Shannon Donnelly (historical romance)


Kaye of the Road Goes Ever Ever On: REFUGE: AN UNNATURAL HISTORY OF FAMILY AND PLACE by Terry Tempest Williams

Linda McLaughlin: TWILIGHT OF THE ELITES by Christopher Hayes

Note to Reviewers: Any errors (broken link, missed review, etc), just shoot me an email or leave a comment. Thank you so much for your reviews!

Monday, October 1, 2012

My Town Monday: A Pig Party in Pictures, San Diego, CA

 Happy Monday! It's been a while since I put up a My-Town-Monday post. I've missed them. I took off the summer, and, suddenly, it's October! I'm not sure where I misplaced September. :) Anyway, here goes...A Pig Party In Pictures in San Diego, CA!

A couple of months ago, Mr. Summy came to me with a suggestion.

Mr. Summy: Why don't we dig a hole in our backyard, fill it with burning coals and a whole, dead pig, and then throw a big party?

Me: You do realize we have both a functioning bar-b-que and stove? And that they sell pork chops at the grocery store?

Mr. Summy: Come on. It'll be fun, an adventure.

Me: You do realize that I have a book due this fall?

Mr. Summy: I'll do most of the work. You won't have to dig any of the hole at all.

From the pictures below, you will se that I capitulated. True, I did not dig any of the hole. Although I ended up doing quite a lot of prep to get ready for this party. Yay for girlfriends (ER, LP, PB) who helped out! AND I must admit, I HAD A GREAT TIME! I do enjoy a party. And this one was partic fun!

Every night for a week, Mr. Summy would eat his supper, then disappear to the bottom of our hill to work on the hole.
Mr. Summy and Child #4 drove to Ramona to pick up our pig. Mr. Summy and his friends name it "Wilbur." A fan of Charlotte's Web, Child #4 was not impressed.

The pig unveiled. Child #3 was so taken with the dead pig that he texted photos to his friends. As a result, we ended up with several teens at our party. Fun!

A co-worker of Mr. Summy's, Mr. Lewis applied a secret family rub to the pig. He declined to share the ingredients. We will continue to harrass him about this, as the rub was delish.

Mr. Summy and another co-worker, the crazy Mr. Barley (whose name was used as a suspect in i so don't do makeup!) inject the pig with a marinade.

The pig is stuffed with seasoned veggies (potatoes, carrots, onions). They cooked perfectly.

Super hot coals!

The pig is wrapped in wet burlap to keep the meat tender. It worked. Although  next time (did I actually just type that?!), I'd like to try wet banana leaves.

The pig is next wrapped in tin foil and then chicken wire. You can see, it's quite the procedure!

The Burial

Sixteen hours later, the hot pig is exhumed and carried up the hill.

The pig is cooked. The meat is falling off the bone.

p.s. There will be a Book Review Club meeting on Wednesday. Looks good!