Saga Saturday II

My pick for this Saturday is a favorite of mine.

Here is my Saga Saturday Selection:

(Click title or picture for more info.)

Little Women
I adore this book written by author Louisa May Alcott. It is such a great story about family, friendship, and love. The story is about the life and relationships of the four March sisters. I can especially relate, as I have 4 sisters of my own, which makes it special for me. I can identify a little bit with each of the sisters, but mostly the character of Jo. She is the main protagonist of the story, Jo is a very passionate person and writer. The story follows her and her sisters through many joys, adventures, and tragedies.

This books is so delightfully old fashioned, which is one of the things I love most about it. I know there are so many people out there who love and cherish this heartwarming book as much as I do.

orange_mocha_5Rated 4.4 on amazon.com
Book Bean: Orange Mocha
I love chocolate and orange! Try adding a bit of orange extract, zest of orange, or orange syrup/liqueur to your next mocha or hot chocolate. It is simply heaven.

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Little Women as many know, was also made into a movie three times, once in 1933, again in 1949 and lastly in 1994. I think the book is best, which sort of goes without saying.lwwp
However, I loved all of the movies that were made as well.

 

Have you read Little women,
or perhaps seen any of the movie adaptations?

Share your thoughts.

Fun Fact: Little Women was originally published in two volumes
in 1868 and 1869.

“I’d rather take coffee than compliments just now.”

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Weekly Round-Up

The last few weeks have been busy and I have been not shared as much new material as usual. So I wanted to end this week by sharing what I’ve been sipping on.

Here are the books I’ve read and the Cafe delights I’ve enjoyed:

Both books I read this week were books I discovered because of this blog and a couple lovely follower’s recommendations, thank you.

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My first recommendation read was
“The Marquise of O”
A lovely short read full of mystery and intrigue. The Marquise of O is a book by Heinrich Von Kleist translated from German. I enjoyed reading it and pining over all the questions it left me with.

Rated 4.5 on amazon.com

Subverting the 18th-century notion of the infallibility of man and reveals the true ambiguity and caprice of humanity.

 

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Mid week Café Con Leche
I got a chance to go to my favorite Cuban spot and enjoy the best Café Con Leche I know of. If you’re ever in pdx I hope you get a chance to enjoy one!


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My second recommendation was
“When You Reach Me”
A wonderfully mysterious YA science fiction read, written by Rebecca Stead. It was definitely a page turner, and I really enjoyed reading it. The writing kept me enthralled and the story was a great one.
I love a good twist, I will be recommending this book a lot.

Rated 4.6 on amazon.com

Thank you aviets
for your recommendtion. 🙂

 

What have you been sipping on?

Formidable Classics

classic-novels-on-shelves2  I love Classic literature and adore many genres within the classics. Once I started reading them I was hooked, and have forever been changed as a reader. I have read many classic books and so I’ve developed  much in skill and maturity. As I broaden my scope, reading more and more amazing books from the greats, I find myself looking at a few that I keep putting off. The books that I find either a bit daunting, or time consuming, or just find myself hesitating on aimlessly. I need to address these books that challenge me from my shelf.

Here are a few Challenging Classics calling to me in anticipation:

War and Peace
This is the book of books to read for any person interested in classic literature. It is a well known challenge, and one I think I am up for. It’s a book that although I may find challenging or time consuming, I do actually think that I will really enjoy. I think I just need to commit to reading it, and get to it. Oh and did I mention it is a whopping 1296 pages, no small feat. Hopefully a worthwhile one.

Rated 4.4 on amazon.com
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Book Bean: Russian Tea
Within Russia, tea usually includes lemon, and sugar or jam. Tea sachets are widely popular, but when a teapot is used it is very common to make a strong brew, then pour some into a cup and top it with hot or boiling water, adding milk and sugar afterwards.

Utopia
A utopia is a community or society possessing highly desirable or near perfect qualities. The word was coined by Sir Thomas More in Greek for this 1516 book Utopia (in Latin), describing a fictional island society in the Atlantic Ocean. The term has been used to describe both intentional communities that attempt to create an ideal society, and imagined societies portrayed in fiction. I don’t know if this classic book is a challenging one or not, but I do know I’ve been meaning to read it for a very long time.
Rated 4.3 on amazon.com

cafe-de-olla-in-a-mugBook Bean: Café de olla
Traditionally brewed in large quantities over a wood fire in a heavy earthenware Mexican cooking pot called an “Olla”. Place 4 cups water, 2/3 cup dk brn sugar, 1tsp molasses, and 2 cinnamon sticks (and aniseed optional) in a saucepan. Slowly bring to a boil, and stir thoroughly to dissolve sugars. When the mixture reaches boiling, stir in 2/3 cup drk rst coffee (med. grind) remove from heat, cover, and steep for 5 minutes. Strain into stone cups, and enjoy with cinnamon sticks. 


Moby Dick
It’s a whale of a book! Or so I hear 😀 This book does not really speak to me, as far as content I feel compelled to read. However, it is so well known as a literary masterpiece that I feel I must one day challenge myself and read it. It’s a novel by Herman Melville, in which Ishmael narrates the monomaniacal quest of Ahab, captain of the whaler Pequod, for revenge on the albino sperm whale Moby Dick

Rated 4.2 on amazon.com
unnamedBook Bean: Seafoam Tea
In a blender blend; 1/2 can coconut milk (cold) till frothy. Add in 2 cups of white tea (cold) and re-blend. Last add a pinch of finely ground lavender leaves (and/or mint, is a nice option)  and 1 cup of cool whip (or ice-cream.)

 

The Scarlet Letter
I have always wanted to read this book, but for one reason or another I just never do. I hope that one day I will, but it’s not looking promising. I always start reading it, but then I set it down and don’t pick it up again. It’s bothersome really. I don’t know if in the end I will like, love, or hate this book, but I do know that I will be glad I read it!

Rated 4.4 on amazon.com


White-Hot-Chocolate-with-Cocoa-Cream
Book Bean:
Sinful Cinnamon Dulce
Temper white chocolate in a mug. Steam and Froth milk of choice (I like rice for this recipe) and pour over chocolate. Top with a small zip of whip and sprinkle with cinnamon. Stir and enjoy.

 

These are the formidable classics on my shelf, what are yours?

If you don’t read the classics, what challenging books have been haunting you?

Libraries Around The World

lookbookThere are so many amazing, unique, and gorgeous libraries all over our beautiful world. Today I’ll highlight a selection of wonderful and culturally diverse libraries.

Stunning Literary Harbors from all around the World:

“Bristol Central Library” Englandbristol central libraryA historic building built in 1906 by Charles Holden, its design was influential in the development of Edwardian Free Style architecture.

“Central Public Library” Vancouver, Canadacentral public library vancouver canadaCentred on the block, the library is a nine-story rectangular box containing book stacks and services, surrounded by a free-standing, elliptical, colonnaded wall featuring reading and study areas that are accessed by bridges spanning skylit light wells. The library’s internal glass facade overlooks an enclosed concourse formed by a second elliptical wall that defines the east side of the site

“Baltimore George Peabody Library” Maryland
baltimore george peabody libraryThe 19th-century focused research library of The Johns Hopkins University. It is located in the Mount Vernon-Belvedere historic cultural neighborhood north of downtown across from the landmark Washington Monument. The collections are available for use by the general public, in keeping with the famous Baltimorean merchant/banker/financier/philanthropist George Peabody’s goal to create a library “for the free use of all persons who desire to consult it.

“Connemara Public Library” IndiaConnemara Public Library, IndiaConnemara as well, it’s just so gorgeous!Connemara Public Library, India2One of the four National Depository Libraries which receive a copy of all books, newspapers and periodicals published in India. Established in 1890, the library is a repository of centuries-old publications, wherein lie some of the most respected works and collections in the country. It also serves as a depository library for the UN.

“Stuttgart City Library” Germanystuttgart-city-library-interiorThe new 9-storey library building deliberately takes its cue from the block structure of the projected 7-storey buildings in the area, and rises up like a great crystalline cube within the grassed area at Mailänder Platz. The dimensioning and positioning, detached from their urban context, are a symbol of the significance of the library as a new intellectual and cultural centre.

“Real Gabinete Português de Leitura” Rio de Janeiro, BrazilReal Gabinete Português de LeituraThe Real Gabinete Portugues de Leitura, which roughly translates to royal reading room, was built in 1837. It houses more than 350,000 works from the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries, as well as a small collection of paintings and old coins.

“Taipei Public Library” Beitou BranchTaipei Public Library, Beitou BranchLocated within Beitou District, northern Taipei, Taiwan. It is a two-storey building and it is notable as being constructed to be an eco-friendly green building

“Biblioteca Vasconcelos” Mexico City
teechconsult-library-jose-vasconcelos-library-mexico-city-952x392Labeled by the press as the Megabiblioteca (“megalibrary”), is a library in the north area of Mexico City. The library is spread across 38,000 square metres (409,000 sq ft.)

“Villanueva Public Library” ColumbiaVillanueva Public LibrarA superb example of how local materials can be used to create sustainable and low maintenance buildings. Former guerrilla fighters from the area worked as part of a rehabilitation program on this 16,000 square foot public library, which is constructed out of locally-sourced river rocks and sustainably harvested pin.

“Kolonihavehus”
Tom Fruins outdoor sculpture  in the plaza of the Royal Danish LibraryTom Fruins outdoor sculpture_Kolonihavehus_in the plaza of the Royal Danish LibraryFruin’s sculpture is constructed of a thousand reclaimed pieces of plexiglass ranging in size from 2×2 to 24×36 inches. They originate from many sources, including a closed- down plexi distributorship near Copenhagen, a framing shop, the basement of the Danish State Art Workshops, and the dumpsters outside the Danish Architecture Center.

“Wall of Knowledge” Stockholm Public Library, Germany
wall of knowledge Stockholm public libraryDesigned for the International Competition of Architecture by students from the Architecture School of Paris La Siene. The Wall of Knowledge, the Stockholm Public Library concept won the Master Award for an award winning Architectural Image.

“National Library of Belarus” Minsk, BelarusOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe National Library of Belarus is the main information and cultural centre of the country. Its depository collections include 8 million items of various media. In 1993 the National Library of Belarus started to create its own electronic information resources. It has generated a collection of bibliographic, factual graphic, full-text, graphic, sound and language databases that comprise more than 2 million records. The scope of databases is quite wide: humanities, social sciences, history, art and culture of Belarus. Library users also have access to databases of other libraries and academic institutions, including foreign ones.

French Press Classics

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Heroes, adventure, duels, the high seas, and of course love. These french classics have it all, and their literary mastery are well admired. I have a soft spot for epic tales and romanticism, and I hold these three among favorites.

Here are my favorite French presses:

The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
Thrown in prison for a crime he has not committed, Edmond Dantes is confined to the grim fortress of If. There he learns of a great hoard of treasure hidden on the Isle of Monte Cristo and he becomes determined not only to escape, but also to unearth the treasure and use it to plot the destruction of the three men responsible for his incarceration. Dumas’ epic tale of suffering and retribution, inspired by a real-life case of wrongful imprisonment, was a huge popular success when it was first serialized in the 1840s.

Rated: 4.6 on amazon.com
chocolat-chaud-ouvertureBook Bean: Chocolat l’ancienne
Rich and decadent melted dark chocolate poured into cups, and served alongside it’s own separate dish of fresh whipped cream. So thick and creamy, I’ll have mine with Un café  please!


Les Misérables by Victore Hugo
Published in 1862 and considered one of the greatest novels of the 19th century. Within this dramatic story are themes that capture the intellect and the emotions: crime and punishment, the relentless persecution of Valjean by Javert, the desperation of Fantine, the amorality of the rogue Thénardier, and the universal desire to escape the prisons of our own minds. A beautiful and haunting story that many can relate to and easily fall in love with. It is a richly complex emotional tale of good vs. evil and true redemption.
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Rated: 4.7 on amazon.com
Book Bean: Un café
A coffee, plain and simple, but not as we would have in the U.S. Order “Un Café”  and you will get a small cup of plain strong espresso.

 

 The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas
An adventurous tale of the young man d’Artagnan. Leaving home to travel to Paris, d’Artagnan wishes to join the Musketeers of the Guard. He is not one of the musketeers of the title but befriends Athos, Porthos and Aramis (inseparable friends who live by the motto “all for one, one for all.”) This motto which is first put forth by d’Artagnan, has become a most well known and loved signet. This a historical fiction full of memorable adventure and characters.

cafe_au_laitRated: 4.4 on amazon.com
Book Bean: Cafè au Lait
A coffee with hot milk added (In comparison to the Itallian caff
è latte.) In the U.S.  a café au lait is a drink of strong drip coffee or French pressed coffee, to which steamed milk is added.

 

Auguste Maquet was a French author, best known as the chief collaborator of French novelist Alexandre Dumas,  co-writing such works as
The Count of Monte Cristo and The Three Musketeers.

Fun Fact: Les Misérables as a whole is one of the longest ever written, with approximately 1,500 pages in unabridged English-language editions, and 1,900 pages in French. 

Do you have a favorite french classic, and/or a favorite french author?