Thursday, December 10, 2009

I May Be the Only One But....

Congratulations to Michael Voltaggio! He is the new Top Chef! Just about everyone I know wanted Kevin to win and while I think he is very talented and competent, he just didn't bring it to the finale. This is one of the few times in these competition type shows that I truly felt that all of the finalists deserved to be there. I'm sure the phone is ringing off the hook at both Brian and Kevin's restaurants this weekend.

My 8 Books in 30 Days

Ok, I've combed my bookshelves and picked out the 8 books that I plan on reading. I think having them picked out will help me roll from one book to the next one with less down time. I'm excited to start tonight and hopefully this feeling will continue!

Here it is:

1. Holidays on Ice, David Sedaris: I've been wanting to read this book for years and just haven't gotten around to buying it. I picked it up last week and look forward to a few good laughs that will be much needed in the coming weeks.

2. Cooked, Jeff Henderson: I've read many good reviews of this memoir and I love books written by chefs. Cooking is such an interesting way of expressing oneself and the restaurant industry is a very unique way of life.

3. Annie Dunne, Sebastian Barry: This is one of about 15 books I got in the big summer clearance at Borders. I like historical fiction and I love reading about places that are familiar to me. It's a shorter book so it should be easy to get into.

4. The Middle Place, Kelly Corrigan: I bought this book right before a good friend was diagnosed with breast cancer. Honestly, I've put off reading it because I'm afraid of facing this issue.

5. All Names Have Been Changed, Claire Kilroy: I picked this up on my notorious visits to Eason's in Dublin.

6. The Last Lecture, Randy Pausch: I might be the last person on Earth to read this book. I'm bringing the tissues.

7. The Death of Conservatism, Sam Tanenhaus: I find political parties and how they evolve in modern society fascinating.

8. Brooklyn, Colm Toibin: This came highly recommended from a producer at RTE during a late night talk about reading this summer. I immediatley went to Eason's the next day to pick it up. I'm surprised my bags weren't overweight on the way home!

Well, there you go. Now I'm accountable to myself for this goal. I'll update on how I'm doing and with reviews as I go.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Trying to Get Back into Reading as a Habit

I used to be a voracious reader, especially as a child. Since I got married I don't read as much because I prefer to read at night, in bed. My husband does not like the light on and so we have to compromise a bit. I've tried to use a small book light but it's just not the same. One of my problems is I also love TV. A lot. I'm trying to break myself of the habit of going to TV instead of reading. So in light of some other goals I'm trying to set for myself, I'm starting with a reading goal. Eight books in 30 days, that's attainable right?

Let me also say that this month includes my sister's birthday, my mom's birthday, Christmas, and New Year's. Oh, and my husband is coming home from being away for almost 2 1/2 months.

This 30 days will start on Thursday Dec. 10. I'm going to work on compiling my 8 books. I want to vary the titles with some good and meaningful titles and a couple sheer entertainment. Comments welcome!

Christmas Cake Virgin...

This is our third Christmas in a row in the US. In the beginning of our relationship, we had been going back to Ireland every other year. In more recents years it just hasn't been feasible for us. My husband is fine with that because it's such a tough time of year to try to see everyone we want to visit.

That being said, I know he misses many of the Christmas traditions from his family and from Ireland. One of the things he loves most is Christmas Cake and Christmas Pudding. Honestly, I find it revolting. But it's not just about me, is it? So this year I'm going to try to make a Christmas Cake for him. I've emailed some of his aunts and got a recipe and I guess this weekend, I'm going to dive head first into what can only be called an experiment. I really hope it works out!