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Brilliantly Brontë

emily-bronte.jpgTheir writing was bold and beautiful
and each infused with their own individuality;
wit, character, and spirit.

In honor of Emily Brontë’s birthday
Today July 30th 1818

Here is a tribute to the Brilliant Brontë Sisters:

10546-2.JPGThe Brontës
 A nineteenth-century literary family associated with the village of Haworth in the West Riding of Yorkshire, England. Charlotte, Emily, and Anne, are well known as poets and novelists. Like many contemporary female writers, they originally published their poems and novels under male pseudonyms: Currer, Ellis, and Acton Bell. Their stories immediately attracted attention, although not always the best, for their passion and originality. Charlotte’s “Jane Eyre” was the first to know success, while Emily’s “Wuthering Heights”, Anne’s “The Tenant of Wildfell Hall” and other works were later to be accepted as masterpieces of literature.


Jane Eyre
By Charlotte Brontë
Deliciously haunting and dark Jane Eyre follows the emotions and experiences of its title character, including her growth to adulthood, and her love for Mr. Rochester, the byronic master of fictitious Thornfield Hall. The focus is on the gradual unfolding of Jane’s moral and spiritual sensibility and all the events are colored by a heightened intensity that was previously the domain of poetry.

Rated 4.5 on amazon.com
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Book Bean
: Passion Tea
In a blender mix blend: 4oz of passion fruit juice, 6oz of white tea (chilled), 1 cup of frozen strawberries, and a dollop of cool whip.

“I would always rather be happy than dignified.”
~Charlotte Brontë


Wuthering Heights
By Emily Brontë
Wuthering Heights is the name of the farmhouse where the story unfolds. The book’s core theme is the destructive effect of jealousy and vengefulness both on the jealous or vengeful individuals and on their communities.
Although Wuthering Heights is now widely regarded as a classic of English literature, contemporary reviews for the novel were deeply polarized; it was considered controversial because its depiction of mental and physical cruelty was unusually stark,

Rated 4.4 on amazon.com
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Book Bean:
Green with Envy
Crush mint leaves and add to glass, fill glass with ice, drizzle with desired honey, squeeze in lime juice, separately mix matcha green tea and then pour over ice. Garnish with lime and enjoy!

“I wish I were a girl again, half-savage and
hardy, and free.”
~Emily Brontë


The Tenant of Wildfell Hall
By Anne Brontë
A powerful and sometimes violent novel of expectation, love, oppression, sin, religion and betrayal. It portrays the disintegration of the marriage of Helen Huntingdon, the mysterious tenant of the title, and her dissolute, alcoholic husband. Defying convention, Helen leaves her husband to protect their young son from his father’s influence, and earns her own living as
an artist.

Rated 4.5 on amazon.com

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Book Bean:
Rouge Rooibos
Steep Rooibos tea with added small dark chocolate piece/chunk and a sprinkle of cinnamon. Pour and garnish with cinnamon stick, enjoy with cream and sugar if desired.

“But he who dares not grasp the thorn
Should never crave the rose.”
~Anne Brontë


Do you have a favorite 
Brontë book/poem/quote?

The Enchanting Beatrix Potter

“I remember I used to half believe and wholly play with fairies when I was a child. What heaven can be more real than to retain the spirit-world of childhood,
tempered and balanced by knowledge and common-sense.”

Beautiful words by a beautiful soul!
Beatrix Potter, 2012, Olivia WasteHelen Beatrix Potter 
A whimsical and brilliant
writer and artist.
Born today July 28th in 1866.

Known mostly for her charming sweet
Jemima1children’s books starring such famous characters as; Jemima Puddle-Duck, Tom Kitten, and of course the timeless Peter Rabbit.

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However she was more than just an enchanting
tumblr_luee59rs3e1qaq5smauthor and incredible artist. She was also a natural scientist and conservationist, and she dedicated much of herself to the passion of plants and animals.

What an astonishing women!


A few books that tell her story/stories:
      (Click Pictures for details)
The first is a biography on Potter, the second a collection of her
classic tales, and the last is a book that is all about the places and
2377e7c31526aae7a16b7312aae1ba22.jpgsubjects that inspired her work.

Book Beans: Duchess Tea 
Create your own little Ribby tea party : Steep some classic earl grey and serve
hot with milk and honey. Bake some
poppy-seed muffins and sugar cookies to accompany. Set up your treats and tea out in nature, maybe under a tree. Now invite a friend or two over, or make a little kiddos day, enjoy your afternoon tea!

“There is something delicious about writing the first words of a story.
You never quite know where they’ll take you.”

Beatrix Potter

What Beatrix Book do you love? What character/s capture your heart?

Evocative Literary Lines VI

Today is the birthday of the great playwright George Bernard Shaw

akg895105Known at his insistence simply as
Bernard Shaw. Born July 26th 1856
an Irish playwright whose influence on Western theater, culture and politics extended from the 1880s to his death and beyond. He wrote more than sixty plays, with a range incorporating both contemporary satire and historical allegory.
Shaw became the leading dramatist of his generation, and in 1925 was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature.

“You don’t get tired of muffins. But you don’t find inspiration in them”

Man and Superman

“I can’t turn your soul on. Leave me those feelings; and you can take away the voice and the face. They are not you.”

Pygmalion

Fun Fact: Pygmalion was the play that was later adapted to the famous musical “My Fair Lady.”

“You see things; you say, ‘Why?’ But I dream things that never were;
and I say ‘Why not?”

~Bernard Shaw

Mochas and Musketeers

tumblr_npiufvXZkL1tz1jmlo1_1280Flamboyant heroes, adventure, riveting duels, and of course romance.

Alexandre Dumas
and his swashbuckling  Musketeers have fascinated for ages!
To honor Dumas on his birthday today
July 24th 1855, I wanted to share his many works featuring the most beloved comrades The Musketeers.

Here are the D’Artagnan Romances:

 The Three Musketeers
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.

Rated: 4.5 on amazon.com Trucos-para-preparar-un-café-5-estrellas-en-casa

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.

Twenty Years Later
Two decades have passed since the musketeers triumphed over Cardinal Richelieu and Milady. Time has weakened their resolve, and dispersed their loyalties. However, treason and stratagem still cry out for justice: civil war endangers the throne of France, while in England Cromwell threatens to send Charles I to the scaffold. Dumas brings his immortal quartet out of retirement to cross swords with time, the malevolence of men, and the forces of history. But their greatest test is a titanic struggle with the son of Milady, who wears the face of Evil.

Rated: 4.5 on amazon.com 

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Book 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!

Ten Years Later: The Vicomte de Brabelonne
In the English translations the 268 chapters of this large volume are usually subdivided into three, but sometimes four or even five individual books. In three-volume English editions, the three volumes are titled “The Vicomte de Bragelonne”, “Louise de la Valliere”, and “The Man in the Iron Mask.” Each of these volumes is roughly the length of the original
The Three Musketeers.

Here they are in Three Volumes:

The Vicomte de Bragelonne
It is May 1660 and the fate of nations is at stake. Mazarin plots, Louis XIV is in love, and Raoul de Bragelonne, son of Athos, is intent on serving France and winning the heart of Louise de la Valliere. D’Artagnan, meanwhile, is perplexed by a mysterious stranger, and soon he learns that his old comrades already have great projects in hand. Athos seeks the restoration of Charles II, while Aramis, with Porthos in tow, has a secret plan involving a masked prisoner and the fortification of the island of Belle-Ile.

4091536-late-coffee-with-chocolate-latte-coffee-with-white-chocolate-Stock-PhotoRated: 4.3 on amazon.com

Book Bean:
 Cafè latte au Chocolat
Espresso with steamed milk and drizzled with
chocolate on top.


The Musketeers are now in their late 50’s.
They are still vital characters but they are no longer young men looking for any excuse to duel with the Cardinal’s Guard. From this point on, there is a lot less sword play and campaigning (Sorry Swashbuckler fans.)

The focus of the story now shifts to the intrigues of Louis XIV court.

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Lousise de la Valliere
Devoted in large part to romantic events at the court of France’s King Louis XIV. It is filled with behind-the-scenes intrigue, the novel brings the aging Musketeers and d’Artagnan out of retirement to face an impending crisis within the royal court of France.

Chocolat-chaudRated: 4.3 on amazon.com

Book Bean: Chocolat chaud
Otherwise known as good old Hot Cocoa 🙂

 
The Man in The Iron Mask
Some thirty-five years on, the bonds of comradeship are under strain as they end up on different sides in a power struggle that may undermine the young Louis XIV and change the face of the French monarchy. In the fast-paced narrative style that was his trademark, Dumas pitches us straight into the action. What is the secret shared by Aramis and Madame de Chevreuse? Why does the Queen Mother fear its revelation? Who is the mysterious prisoner in the Bastille?

Rated: 4.3 on amazon.comcafe_au_lait

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.

 

Fun Fact: Two further sequels to the D’Artagnan books — the novels The Son of Porthos (1883) and D’Artagnan Kingmaker (1900) — were written and published after Dumas’s death. D’Artagnan does not appear in the first novel, which, although written by Paul Mahalin, was published under the pen name “Alexandre Dumas” and is still sold as such. The second novel was supposedly based on one of Dumas’ plays (wikipedia)

Have you read any or all of these novels? 
Please share your thoughts.

Why I Love Coffee

coffebagWhy do I love coffee..? Let me count the ways.
The taste of coffee is comforting and grounding.
When I drink coffee I feel a nostalgia that is hard to explain; a warmth.
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The aroma, the taste, the buzz, the culture, and the connections, all are worthy reasons.
In the morning coffee lifts me up and boosts my day.

I love the culture and variety of coffee:

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I enjoy learning about the different countries that grow coffee.

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I’m intrigued by different roasting and brewing techniques. I love the roasted nutty smell and taste of good coffee beans. Experimenting with coffee flavors and styles can be a lot of fun.

cupsI am fascinated with all the wonderful different ways to enjoy the incredible edible coffee bean.

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Coffee is soothing on a rainy day, and melts away the brittle snow or ice of winter. When a day is full of hustle and bustle, taking the time to enjoy a cup of coffee calms me.

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Drinking coffee also induces community. People like to drink coffee together. It makes talking easier and more comforting. It may be tea or some other beverage, but the concept of sitting around in comfy couches or chairs drinking something steamy and talking, is oh so inviting.

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I suppose many people just drink coffee because it is caffeinated and a good energy boost, and that is certainly a good reason.

However, to me, coffee is an experience; something to slow down for, to savor and enjoy.

Of course what better experience to share coffee with, then
curled up with a great book!
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What do you enjoy most about coffee?