Fireside Fall Favorites

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It’s that time of year when the hearth is warmed and the mugs are filled, and we all need a good book and a hot cup of goodness to curl up with and enjoy.


Here is a list of great books & drinks for fireside reading:

A Parchment of Leaves
by Silas House

Named Kentucky Novel of the Year and won a special achievement award from the Fellowship of Southern Writers. In 1917 rural Kentucky, Saul Sullivan marries a beautiful Cherokee woman named Vine. They weather the storm of prejudice, but when Saul temporarily moves away to work a better job, his younger brother makes advances on Vine that are not welcome and ultimately lead to tragedy.

Rated 4.5 on amazon.com

Book Bean: Zesty Orange Mocha
A magical mix of cinnamon & orange in a mocha that’s to die for!
orange-mocha-recipe-1.jpgBrew strong coffee or pull 1 shot of epresso. Heat 4-5oz of milk in sauce pan to a gentle simmer & reduce heat, whisk in 3 squares of dark chocolate until smooth, add 2-3 drops of orange extract, add cinnamon to taste. Add mixture to your coffee. Top with marshmallows, garnish with orange zest & cinnamon.


Wuthering Heights

by Emily Bronte

Considered lurid and shocking by mid-19th-century standards, Wuthering Heights was initially thought to be such a publishing risk that its author, Emily Brontë, was asked to pay some of the publication costs. A somber tale of consuming passions and vengeance played out against the lonely moors of northern England, the book proved to be one of the most enduring classics of English literature.
Rated 4.5 on amazon.com
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Book Bean: Cinnamint Tea
Mint tea with a dash of cream sprinkled with cinnamon and/or a cinnamon stick.


The Thanksgiving Visitor

by Truman Capote

Another masterpiece by the great American writer Truman Capote is brought to an audience of all ages. Buddy and his closest friend, his eccentric, elderly cousin, Miss Sook – the memorable characters from Capote’s A Christmas Memory–love preparing their old country house for Thanksgiving. But there’s trouble in the air.
Rated 4.7 on amazon.com

Book Bean: Pumpkin au lait
background-beans-caffeine-633481.jpgPull a shot of espresso add to mug (or 6-10oz of strong coffee & less milk.) In sauce pan heat 8oz of Milk (of choice) gently bring to simmer, whisk in 1tbsp of pumpkin (or pumpkin pie for sweet) puree, remove from heat, add mixture to mug & stir. Top with clove & cinnamon. 

The Hearth and Eagle
by Anya Seton

Seton embarked on a fervent search for her forebears that led her to Marblehead, Massachusetts, a “sea-girdled town of rocks and winding lanes and clustered old houses.” There she found not only an ancestor, but also the setting for this, her fourth novel.

Rated 4.4 on amazon.com

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Book Bean:
Hazelnut Brew
Pick up some unsalted hazelnuts. Put the beans and nuts in a coffee grinder. Measure them out to a ratio of two parts beans to one part nuts (or to preference.) Brew together in a French press. Serve with warm or steamed milk/cream and top with vanilla bean powder & nutmeg.


Far from the Madding Crowd

by Thomas Hardy

Independent and spirited Bathsheba Everdene has come to Weatherbury to take up her position as a farmer on the largest estate in the area. Her bold presence draws three very different suitors: the gentleman-farmer Boldwood, the soldier-seducer Sergeant Troy, and the devoted shepherd Gabriel Oak.
Rated 4.1 on amazon.com

Book Bean: Countryside Cocoa
vegan-pumpkin-hot-chocolate-editedHeat and simmer milk of choice, melt/ mix in cocoa powder and/or dark chocolate, and dark brown sugar to taste. Add mix to a blender and spoon in apprx. 1/4 cup pumpkin puree, a dash of pumpkin spice, a drop or two of orange extract. Top with cream and a sprinkle of spice.

Mind of the Raven
by Bernd Heinrich

Heinrich involves us in his quest to get inside the mind of the raven. But as animals can be spied on only by getting quite close, Heinrich adopts ravens, thereby becoming a “raven father”, as well as observing them in their natural habitat. He studies their daily routines and, in the process, paints a vivid picture of the ravens’ world.
Rated 4.4 on amazon.com

Book Bean: Dark Delights
4.jpgNothing fancy on this one, just get some good quality Dark Roast Coffee and drink it black while nibbling on some delicious chocolate. My favorite is a dark chocolate bar with cranberry and sugared orange.

 

The Cider House Rules
by John Irving

among John Irving’s most beloved novels. Set in rural Maine in the first half of the twentieth century, it tells the story of Dr. Wilbur Larch—saint and obstetrician, founder and director of the orphanage in the town of St. Cloud’s, ether addict and abortionist. It is also the story of Dr. Larch’s favorite orphan, Homer Wells, who is never adopted.

Rated 4.3 on amazon.com

Book Bean: Crisp Apple Chai
applepiechai.jpgIn saucepan heat up half water half apple juice or cider and simmer with green apple slices.  Add in Chai powder mixture or concentrate. Add mixture to blender and blend till smooth. Serve with garnish of apple and topped with whip and/or caramel, and a sprinkle of cinnamon.

The Lay of the Land
by Richard Ford

Frank Bascombe has been many things to many people. His uncertain youth behind him, we follow him through three days during the autumn of 2000, when his trade as a realtor on the Jersey Shore is thriving. But as a presidential election hangs in the balance, and a postnuclear-family Thanksgiving looms before him, Frank discovers that what he terms “the Permanent Period” is fraught with unforeseen perils.
Rated 3.9 on amazon.com

Espresso Canarian Espresso Zaperoco CoffeeBook Bean: Bourbon Bombón
Carefully pour sweet condensed milk in a small glass, Pour in 1 shot quality Bourbon, then top with espresso shot. Serve showing the layers, Stir before consuming.

 

A Patchwork Planet
by Anne Tyler

This novel introduces 30-year-old misfit Barnaby Gaitlin, a renegade who is actually a kind-hearted man struggling to turn his life around. A New York Times Notable Book.

David Morse’s reading in a calm, even tone reflects the unruffled attitude of the central character in this story.
Rated 4.0 on amazon.com

Book Bean: Spiced Steamer
spiced-vanilla-pumpkin-milk-steamer-5-edited.jpgSteam or simmer rice milk (almond is also nice) over low heat. Mix in agave syrup, vanilla bean, cinnamon, nutmeg, dash (very small) of cayenne, all to preferred taste. Pour in cup and sprinkle lightly with spices, garnish with cinnamon sticks, and let it warm your soul!

What are your Favorite Fall Books to Curl up with?

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The Egg by Andy Weir

20181029_185455.jpgHad to share this great short story by Andy Weir, he is an amazing Author (if you haven’t read “The Martian” I highly recommend it!) This little super short story is beautiful and thought provoking. It took me less than 5 min to read, but boosted my entire day!

Follow this link to read it right from his website:

http://www.galactanet.com/oneoff/theegg_mod.html

Enjoy! And please share your thoughts 🙂

Bootastic Blogger Books

imagesSo here is a great list of scary tales, all suggested by your fellow blogger! They all sound fantastic and will make for a great Halloween experience. So light some candles, gather around the fire, and get your mugs filled, it’s time for some Ghost Stories!

Blogger favorites for Boostastically Scary Tales:

The Historian
by Elizabeth Kostova

Breathtakingly suspenseful and beautifully written, The Historian is the story of a young woman plunged into a labyrinth where the secrets of her family’s past connect to an inconceivable evil: the dark fifteenth-century reign of Vlad the Impaler.

Rated 4.0 on amazon.com


Ghost Story
by Peter Straub
Questions arise concerning the connections between a strangely detached young girl’s captivity in a seedy Florida motel, a death that occurs at a party for a visiting actress, and a young California instructor’s obsession with one of his students.
A classic tale of horror, secrets, and the dangerous ghosts of the past…

Rated 4.1 on amazon.com

Thank You The Britchy One of bitchininthekitchen.org

Something Wicked This Way Comes
by Ray Bradbury

Few American novels written this century have endured in the heart and mind as has this one-Ray Bradbury’s incomparable masterwork of the dark fantastic. A carnival rolls in sometime after the midnight hour on a chill Midwestern October eve, ushering in Halloween a week before its time.

Rated 4.1 on amazon.com

Thank you Tina of tinawilliamsblog.wordpress.com

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow
Read by Glenn Close
517jJjsSo9L._SL500_SY436_BO1,204,203,200_Washington Irving’s eerie tale of romantic rivalry along the Hudson pits new schoolmaster Ichabod
Crane against local hero and bully Brom Bones for the hand of Katrina Van Tassel.

The haunting drama climaxes with the appearance of a legendary ghost-the headless horseman.
Rated 4.0 on amazon.com

“ All these, however, were mere terrors of the night, phantoms of the mind that walk in darkness; …”
~Washington Irving

Thank you K.M. Sutton of liveinthenautical.com

The Memoirs of Elizabeth Frankenstein
by Theodore Roszak

The passionate story of Elizabeth Lavenza, a girl rescued from poverty and raised by a remarkable noblewoman of Geneva, describes how the demise of her sensual bond with Victor Frankenstein sends him hurtling into a secret life, and along a path of destruction.
Rated 3.0 on amazon.com 


The Innocents

innocents.jpgStarring Deborah Kerr

An English governess believes that her two new charges are possessed by the spirits of the previous governess and her sadistic lover in this adaptation of Henry James’ “Turn of the Screw.”

Rated 4.3 on amazon.com

Thank you Fraser of frasersherman.com

The Moonstone
by Wilkie Collins

Heralded as the very first mystery novel. Collins, in this work, created the guidelines for the genre as we know it today: a fabulous diamond stolen, everyone in the house is suspected, three mysterious Indians sworn to protect the jewel at all costs, the upstairs/downstairs tension from the servants, and a brilliant detective who is eccentrically fond of roses.

Rated 4.1 on amazon.com

Thank you Kelsey of theressomethingaboutkm.com

The Woman in Black
by Susan Hill

Eel Marsh house stands alone, surveying the salt marshes beyond Nine Lives Causeway. Once, Mrs Alice Drablow lived here as a recluse. Now, Arthur Kipps, a junior solicitor, is summoned to attend her funeral, unaware of the tragic and terrible secrets which lie behind the house’s shuttered windows. The classic ghost story from the author of The Mist in the Mirror: a chilling tale about a menacing spectre haunting a small English town.
Rated 4.1 on amazon.com 

Thank you Paul Bowler of scifijubilee.wordpress.com

Book Bean: Midnight Madness
(A twist on Mulled)
hot-chocolate-and-a-good-book.jpgPlace 8 oz of water in a pan over high heat, add cinnamon stick, 3 cloves, 2 slices of orange (thin) and a pinch of nutmeg, bring to boil. Stir in, 1/2 Tsp of brown sugar, 1 Tsp of honey, and 1/2 Tsp of butter (or use 2 Tsp of pre-made buttered rum😉) Remove from heat and stir in 2 oz of rum (or whiskey) with new cinnamon stick.

(make it fun, add a dollop of vanilla bean ice-cream!)

Pick your book fancy from the wonderful choices above or chose one of your own, and gather with friends and/or family for a fun night of spooky tales and cozy spirits!

Spooktastic Classics

This October I put together a little list of books I’d like to read to get me into the spirit of Hallows Eve. Here is my list, plus a few from past years. Any or all of these books make wonderful reading, but fair warning, some are not for the faint of heart.

Here is my mini list of spooky hair raising classics:

Frankenstein
by Mary Shelley
This is such a fantastic story, I encourage anyone who has not already read it to do so. The story’s background is also really interesting. It’s impressive enough the Shelley could right a book from the perspective of 2 separate males, but she also started this book on a complete whim. She was given the challenge by a peer to right a ghost story while vacationing, and out of that came this iconic masterpiece.

turn.jpgThe Turn of the Screw
by Henry James
I have to admit I barely made it through this book, though it is very well written and a wonderful classic. My reason was purely that I am a big chicken and it scared the daylights out of me. I read it aloud, which really added to it’s eeriness.

The Shining
by Stephen King
I of course had to have Stephen on this list.9781501175466_p0_v2_s550x406 I could decide which book so I chose purely based on the fact that The Shining was one of my first Stephen King experiences. Now for those really looking for a good scare go with “It” though I personally will never be brave enough.

Dracula
by Bram Stoker
This is a beautiful story and a classic that I feel is so under appreciated. Dracula represents everything the Victorians feared: the irrational, the pagan, the erotic and the foreign. If you love classic literature and/or gothic novels, I highly recommend you read this book!
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The Legend of Sleepy Hallow
by Washington Irving
Washington Irving’s haunting, macabre stories will give wide-eyed readers delightful chills. This is a great story and such an awesome read for this time of year. It is especially great to read on particularly gloomy flog laden evenings.

Halloween is just a few days away…
What spooky book/s will you be curling up with?
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Wake-Up Wednesdays: Spiced Latte

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This Latte is not that much different than a Pumpkin Spiced Latte, it is basically the same thing, minus the flavor of pumpkin. That may be great for some and a deal breaker for others, but I promise you it is delicious!

Book Bean: Spiced Latte
2-3 shots of espresso, steamed or frothed milk of choice (great with almond milk,) 1tsp ea. of cinnamon and nutmeg, 1/2 tsp ea. of clove and all-spice, 1/4 tsp of ginger. Or you can cheat and use pumpkin spice seasoning 😉 Sprinkle to the top of your latte with vanilla bean powder.

The perfect Book to pair with this eclectically spiced latte is a book full of it’s own spice, wisdom, and wonder:

The Alchemist
by Paulo Coelho
An enchanting novel that has inspired a devoted following around the world. This story, dazzling in its simplicity and wisdom, is about an Andalusian shepherd boy named Santiago who travels from his homeland in Spain to the Egyptian desert in search of treasure buried in the Pyramids. Along the way he meets a Gypsy woman, a man who calls himself king, and an Alchemist, all of whom point Santiago in the direction of his quest.
Rated 4.6 on amazon.com

Evocative Literary Lines: Frankenstein

“…The moon gazed on my midnight labours, while, with unrelaxed and breathless eagerness, I pursued nature to her hiding places…”
download“Who shall conceive the horrors of my secret toil, as I dabbled among the unhallowed damps of the grave”

~Mary Shelley (Frankenstein)

Unknown_woman,_formerly_known_as_Mary_Wollstonecraft_Shelley_by_Samuel_John_StumpI love this story, and I love its origins. Mary Shelley is a fantastic Author and Frankenstein is such a tribute to her talent. This timeless tale was written with such grace and elegance, yet she fearlessly captures the relentless heart of a man desperately searching for meaning.