Author Archives: whimsicalmeerkat

Farmers’ Market Pizza: Vegetarian Times

I’ve not made this recipe yet, but I plan to tomorrow. I received a request from a friend, so here is the recipe. I will paste an update after I make it.

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Red Seas Under Red Skies by Scott Lynch (Gentlemen Bastards #2)

Red Seas Under Red Skies (Gentleman Bastard, #2)Red Seas Under Red Skies by Scott Lynch
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

First of all, I have never enjoyed an audio book as much as this one. At least half a star is for that alone. The story was quite the exciting romp through the world of the Gentleman Bastards. I don’t know how to say much without spoiling the book for people, but suffice it to say that if you enjoyed The Lies of Locke Lamora you will most likely enjoy Red Seas Under Red Skies. Jean & Locke are definitely up to no good and it doesn’t always work out for them. Still, to paraphrase one of Jean’s more memorable lines, they’re the biggest, baddest motherfuckers in the room.

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I wish I had known these things at 8

My 8 year old daughter’s unexpected response to a writing assignment about being female… – Imgur (From reddit.com/r/2XChromosomes)

My 8 year old daughter's unexpected response to a writing assignment about being female… – Imgur.


Death Comes to Pemberley by JP.D. James

Death Comes to PemberleyDeath Comes to Pemberley by P.D. James
My rating: 1.5 of 5 stars

P.D. James, I loved The Children of Men. I even bought a copy of it to write a paper comparing it to another book for no other reason than that I found it that fascinating and intriguing. I’ve enjoyed the other books of yours I read. You are, or sadly were, an author for whom I have great respect. I just want to know, what happened with Death Comes to Pemberley?

I think I could have liked this book. I found the premise interesting and I have a long-running adoration of Pride and Prejudice. This though? This was tawdry. It went for sensationalism in a way Austen would find anathema. The characters were shadows, the plot was both weak and made me sad, and the book left me feeling irritable for days. Months later the primary thought I have about this is, “Damn authors, get off my lawn!” I even created a shelf with that name.

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The Terror by Dan Simmons, Read by John Lee

The TerrorThe Terror by Dan Simmons
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

It is not beyond the realm of possibility that this book would have waited from being finished in February to being reviewed in July even had my year not been inhumanely busy. Despite the disgustingly hot weather, I have goose bumps thinking about it.

The Terror is taken from the name one half of a pair of ships sent on an Arctic expedition at some point when reinforcement technology for ice breaking ships still involved the types of wood used in conjunction with some iron. Near the beginning a character thinks to himself that the number of awards given to the returning commanders of these expeditions seems to be higher the more lives are lost. I’m inclined to agree.

This book was dark, dirty, and above all cold. To steal from the inimitable karen’s review, “oh my god, let me never get scurvy.” There are many things I could add to that list. I have no idea how realistic it may be, but the descriptions of the conditions experienced by the people on those ships make me wish I could forget hearing them.

Sadly, I feel the same way about much of the element of this book that throws it into the fantasy heap. It somehow went from a scary thing that could have been made frightening to a rather campy and eventually lame rehashing of a mythology that I suspect is nowhere near as simplistic as it seems. The last 10 or so chapters could have been left off the book. More HMS Terror and less of the Terror would have made this a far better book.

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Better Book Titles

Better Book Titles may be my new favorite place on the internet. This is a large part of that. It is by far the better title.

Better Book Titles - I Want My Hat Back

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Friday Favorites: Pesto Focaccia Pizza from BudgetBytes

pizza

Pesto Focaccia Pizza

Like the author of this post, I love pizza. I also love the no knead focaccia recipe on which this particular pizza is based. I think my next variation will be red sauce with mozzarella, prosciutto, and basil. Mmm!


Fool Moon by Jim Butcher (The Dresden Files #2)

Fool Moon (The Dresden Files, #2)Fool Moon by Jim Butcher
I enjoyed Fool Moon more than I did Storm Front, which I definitely enjoyed. Harry was still stupidly overprotective of other people in a way which put them in more danger than they would have been otherwise, but at least there was less “omg, the wimmenz, they need protecting and coddling” bullshit. I also found the story more interesting. Where the first book bounced around in a way that I found confusing at times, the pace of the second was pretty good. The audio is also great. I recommend listening to these. I’m looking forward to the next one!

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Small Gods by Terry Pratchett (Discworld #13: Standalone)

Small Gods (Discworld, #13)Small Gods by Terry Pratchett
I don’t even know how to express just how much I loved Small Gods. I really, really, really enjoyed reading this. Sure, that may have been because my boyfriend’s great love of turtles has rubbed off on me. It may have been a devious glee at the thought of a petulant little god who never considered that he should do anything for his believers. The great library and the hilarious stereotype of the philosophers in Ephebe certainly didn’t hurt. Nor did the penguin. Or the history monk. Vorbis was creepy as hell, which added a slight touch of reality. Seriously, go read this. Now. Go!

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Quinoa Stuffed Peppers

Quinoa Stuffed Peppers

I have had pretty good luck with the recipes I have tried from Vegetarian Times. This, however, was a dud. My poor boyfriend had the worst of it, since he fixed them. It was a time consuming process, in addition to the hour and a half bake time. The results weren’t worth it. They were remarkably bland. There was no cohesion within the peppers. As for what it was like when I reheated it the next day? Not a pleasant experience. I will not be making this again.