America in Literature II

downloadThere is a plethora of great American literature, I could not create a list of less than 20. However, I focused less on the popularity of a novel/author and more on a variety and depth of “American ” (U.S.) content/concepts and ideas/ideals etc. Literature that focuses on the history, growth, and culture of our nation.
So, I was able to narrow it down…

Here continues my list of quintessential American literary works:

PART II of II

The Things They Carried 

by Tim O’Brien
A classic, life-changing meditation on war, memory, imagination, and the redemptive power of storytelling

Rated 4.4 on amazon.com

Gone With the Wind
by Margaret Mitchell
Widely considered The Great American Novel, and often remembered for its epic film version, Gone With the Wind explores the depth of human passions with an intensity as bold as its setting in the red hills of Georgia. A superb piece of storytelling, it vividly depicts the drama of the Civil War and Reconstruction.

Rated 4.6 on amazon.com

The Catcher in the Rye
By J.D. Salinger
A controversial novel originally published for adults, it has since become popular with adolescent readers for its themes of teenage angst and alienation.
Wikipedia

Rated 4.0 on amazon.com

To Kill a Mockingbird
By Harper Lee
The unforgettable novel of a childhood in a sleepy Southern town and the crisis of conscience that rocked it, To Kill A Mockingbird became both an instant bestseller and a critical success when it was first published in 1960. It went on to win the Pulitzer Prize in 1961 and was later made into an Academy Award-winning film, also a classic.

Rated 4.7 on amazon.com

Moby Dick

By Melville
Moby-Dick; or, The Whale is a novel by American writer Herman Melville, published in 1851 during the period of the American Renaissance.
Rated 4.7 on amazon.com

The Crucible

By Arthur Miller

Based on historical people and real events, Arthur Miller’s play uses the destructive power of socially sanctioned violence unleashed by the rumors of witchcraft as a powerful parable about McCarthyism.

Rated 4.1 on amazon.com

Civil Disobedience
Henry David Thoreau
An essay by American transcendentalist Henry David Thoreau that was first published in 1849. In it, Thoreau argues that individuals should not permit governments to overrule or atrophy their consciences, and that they have a duty to avoid allowing such acquiescence to enable the government to make them the agents of injustice. Thoreau was motivated in part by his disgust with slavery and the Mexican–American War.

Rated 4.5 on amazon.com

Of Mice and Men

By John Steinbeck

Published in 1937, it tells the story of George Milton and Lennie Small, two displaced migrant ranch workers, who move from place to place in California in search of new job opportunities during the Great Depression in the United States.
Rated 4.4 on amazon.com

The Sound and The Fury
By William Faulkner
The tragedy of the Compson family, featuring some of the most memorable characters in literature: beautiful, rebellious Caddy; the manchild Benjy; haunted, neurotic Quentin; Jason, the brutal cynic; and Dilsey, their black servant. Their lives fragmented and harrowed by history and legacy, the character’s voices and actions mesh to create what is arguably Faulkner’s masterpiece and  one of the greatest novels of the twentieth century.

Rated 3.9 on amazon.com

 

Advertisements

America in Literature I

119001003406-originalThere is a plethora of great American literature, I could not create a list of less than 20. However, I focused less on the popularity of a novel/author and more on a variety and depth of “American ” (U.S.) content/concepts and ideas/ideals etc. Literature that focuses on the history, growth, and culture of our nation.
So, I was able to narrow it down…

Here is my list of the top quintessential American literary works:

PART I of II

Common Sense
By Thomas Pain
Paine arrived in America from England in 1774. A friend of Benjamin Franklin, he was a writer of poetry and tracts condemning the slave trade. In 1775, as hostilities between Britain and the colonies intensified, Paine wrote Common Sense to encourage the colonies to break the British exploitative hold and fight for independence. The little booklet of 50 pages was published January 10, 1776 and sold a half-million copies, approximately equal to 75 million copies today.

Rated 4.6 on amazon.com

Their Eyes Were Watching God

By Zora Neale Hurston

Out of print for almost thirty years due largely to initial audiences’ rejection of its strong black female protagonist. Hurston’s classic has since its 1978 reissue become perhaps the most widely read and highly acclaimed novel in the canon of African-American literature.

Rated 4.4 on amazon.com

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn


By Mark Twain

One of the most challenged or banned books due to racist language, Twain’s novel can be read as an indictment of unenlightened nineteenth-century thinking or as a heartbreaking coming-of-age novel, but what’s undisputed is the novel’s position as one of the most influential books in American literature.

Rated 4.3 on amazon.com10ca59f648094240a32e3146b99bce6c

Book Bean: Iced Huckleberry Hibiscus
Brew some hibiscus tea add honey to taste and chill. Lightly crush a handful of fresh huckleberries (raspberries or marion/black berries are great too). Add berries and ice to a tall glass and pour in chilled tea.

The Scarlet Letter
By Nathaniel Hawthorne
An 1850 work of fiction in a historical setting, and is considered to be Hawthorne’s “masterwork”. Set in 17th-century Puritan Boston, Massachusetts, during the years 1642 to 1649, it tells the story of Hester Prynne, who conceives a daughter through an affair and struggles to create a new life of repentance and dignity. Throughout the book, Hawthorne explores themes of legalism, sin, and guilt.

Rated 4.0 on amazon.com

Uncle Tom’s Cabin

By Harriet Beecher Stowe

An anti-slavery novel published in 1852, the novel “helped lay the groundwork for the Civil War”, according to Will Kaufman.Wikipedia. Denouncing the institution of slavery in dramatic terms, the incendiary novel quickly draws the reader into the world of slaves and their masters.

Rated 4.5 on amazon.com

The Great Gatsby

By F. Scott Fitzgerald

An exemplary novel of the Jazz Age acclaimed by generations of readers. The story of the fabulously wealthy Jay Gatsby and his love for the beautiful Daisy Buchanan. It is an exquisitely crafted tale of America in the 1920s.

green-spritzer-051-mbd109404_vertRated 4.3 on amazon.com

Book Bean: Fitz Spritzer

Green tea chilled, fresh lime juice, sugar, and club soda. Pour mixture over ice and enjoy your own Green Rickey 😉 Make it fun, add an olive, lime wedges, and/or mint for garnish.


Leaves of Grass

By Walt Whitman

A visionary volume of twelve poems. Showing the influence of a uniquely American form of mysticism known as Transcendentalism, which eschewed the general society and culture of the time, the writing is distinguished by an explosively innovative free verse style and previously unmentionable subject matter.

Rated 4.2 on amazon.com

Beloved

By Toni Morrison

Staring unflinchingly into the abyss of slavery,  the novel is inspired by the story of an African-American slave, Margaret Garner, who escaped slavery in Kentucky late January 1856 by fleeing to Ohio, a free state. Set after the American Civil War (1861-1865) this spellbinding novel transforms history into a powerful story as intimate as a lullaby.

Rated 3.9 on amazon.com

The Grapes of Wrath

By John Steinbeck
A Pulitzer Prize–winning epic of the Great Depression chronicles the Dust Bowl migration of the 1930s and tells the story of one Oklahoma farm family, the Joads, driven from their homestead and forced to travel west to the promised land of California.

Rated 4.5 on amazon.com


Book Bean:
California Frappe

Cut off peel and white pith from 2-3 orange wedges. Bring 1/2 cup of dry red wine, 2 Tsp. of sugar, a grate of orange zest, and 1/2 Tsp. of cinnamon to a simmer, add the orange wedges and simmer for approx. 10 min. mixture should reduce to a syrup, let chill. Pull 2 shots of espresso (or use 4 oz of brewed coffee chilled.) In a blender add ice, coffee, syrup (for an easier option use marmalade 😉 ), and milk (to taste) blend and enjoy!Frappe-1080x631

Stay tuned for PART II this evening!

While you wait vote for you favorite American Author 

 Share with us about your vote, what do you love about this author, and what makes them “A Great” in American literature?

 

Ten Timeless Dog Tales

 

18734_293820354503_1930542_nSince the day I met my beloved Brandy girl (aka wigglebutt)  I knew she was special to me and for the first time I truly understood the meaning and depth a pup can bring a person. I have hoped for some time since she died 8 years ago, that I would find another dog to share a connection with and companionship with, as rich as the one her life brought me.

1698_38162489503_8657_n

I never understood how beautiful and true the love between a dog and their person/family could be, until the day I met her.
Dogs are amazing creatures and capable of bringing so much joy and love. Lately I have had such a strong desire to bring a new dog into my life, and so I decided to channel that energy into a Mini Bean dedicated to our four legged friends.

 Here are 10 Dog Tales, the timeless and the touching:

Where the Red Fern Grows
by Wilson Rawls
A beloved classic that captures the powerful bond between man and Dog. Billy has long dreamt of owning not one, but two dogs. So when he’s finally able to save up enough money for two pups to call his own, Old Dan and Little Ann, he’s ecstatic. It’s true that times are tough, but together they’ll roam the hills of the Ozarks. But tragedy awaits these determined hunters, now friends, and Billy learns that hope can grow out of despair.

Rated 4.7 on amazon.com

A Dog’s Purpose: A Novel for Humans
by W. Bruce Cameron
Heartwarming, insightful, and often laugh-out-loud funny, A Dog’s Purpose is not only the emotional and hilarious story of a dog’s many lives, but also a dog’s-eye commentary on human relationships and the unbreakable bonds between man and man’s best friend. This moving and beautifully crafted story teaches us that love never dies, that our true friends are always with us, and that every creature on earth is born with a purpose.

Check out the box set for the whole A Dog’s Purpose Series:
#1 A Dog’s Purpose
#2 A Dog’s Journey
#3 A Dog’s Way Home (forthcoming)

Rated 4.8 on amazon.com

One Good Dog
by Susan Wilson
Adam March is a self-made Master of the Universe. He has it all: the beautiful wife, the high-powered job, the glittering circle of friends. Until the day his assistant gives him a message: your sister called. No one knows that his sister has been missing for decades. Adam loses it, and he is escorted from the building. He loses his job. He loses his wife. At his lowest, Adam is assigned to community service in a soup kitchen. And this is where he crosses paths with Chance.

Rated 4.6 on amazon.com

A Big Little Life: A Memoir of a Joyful Dog Named Trixie
by Dean Koontz
A profound, funny, and beautifully rendered portrait of a beloved companion. Bestselling novelist Dean Koontz remembers the golden retriever who changed his life. A retired service dog, Trixie was three when Dean and his wife, Gerda, welcomed her into their home. She was superbly trained, but her greatest gifts couldn’t be taught: her keen intelligence, her innate joy, and an uncanny knack for living in the moment.

Rated 4.8 on amazon.com

A Forever Home Novel Book Series
by Dan Walsh
download.jpgBook 1A great read for Dog Lovers everywhere (and those wanting to Honor our Wounded Warriors.)
Book 2: Every :  How could the life of a homeless man and the life of a young boy and his dog , Riley, possibly connect? Dan Walsh is a master at connecting the dots.
Book 3: A touching story that spans multiple generations and Covers such topics as Pet Rescue and training, Self-Defense, Bullying, and Relationships.
Rated 4.8 on amazon.com

Old Yeller
by Fred Gibson
A timeless American classic and one of the most beloved children’s books ever written, Old Yeller is a Newbery Honor Book that explores the poignant and unforgettable bond between a boy and the stray dog who becomes his loyal friend. Fred Gipson’s novel is an eloquently simple story that is both exciting and deeply moving. Old Yeller stands as a beloved and enduring classic of literature

Rated 4.8 on amazon.com

Could Chew on ThisAnd Other Poems by Dogs
by Francesco Marciuliano
This canine companion to I Could Pee on This, The beloved volume of poems by cats, will have dog lovers laughing out loud. Doggie laureates not only chew on quite a lot of things, they also reveal their creativity, their hidden motives, and their eternal (and sometimes misguided) effervescence through such musings as “I Dropped a Ball,” “I Lose My Mind When You Leave the House,” and “Can You Smell That?”

Rated 4.6 on amazon.com

The Dog Who Saved Me
by Susan Wilson
Rescue comes in unexpected ways for one man and his dog. Cooper Harrison, a member of the Boston K-9 unit, never thought he would return to Harmony Farms. But when tragedy strikes and he loses his job, Cooper has no choice but to return to his hometown.Can a stray dog―a wounded and gun-shy yellow Lab gone feral―teach Cooper what it means to forgive and let go of the past. . . and help him to heal?

Rated 4.4 on amazon.com

Pack of Two: The Intricate Bond Between People and Dogs
by Caronline Knapp
Author of the acclaimed bestseller Drinking:A Love Story, Carolyn found herself confronted with a monumental task: redefining her world.  She had faced the loss of her parents, given up a 21 year relationship with alcohol, and, as she writes, “I was wandering around in a haze of uncertainty, blinking up at the biggest questions: Who am I without parents and without alcohol? How to form attachments, and where to find comfort, i
n the face of such daunting vulnerability?”  An answer materialized in the most unlikely form: that of a dog.
Rated 4.3 on amazon.com

Marley and Me
by John Grogan
Is it possible for humans to discover the key to happiness through a bigger-than-life, bad-boy dog? Just ask the Grogans.

John and Jenny were just beginning their life together. They were young and in love, with not a care in the world. Then they brought home Marley, a wiggly yellow furball of a puppy. Life would never be the same.

Rated 4.6 on amazon.com

What would you add to this list, do you know any amazing books a dog lover would appreciate?

Tell us about the special pet/s in your life?
18734_293820379503_2343527_n

Wake up Wednesday: Cocoaccino

Image

This weeks Café concoction The Cocoaccino!

Book Bean: Cocoaccinno

2-3 espresso shots pulled over 1 tbs cocoa powder, powdered sugar (1tbs or to taste,) and 1 tsp vanilla extract powder. Add frothed milk and top with a sprinkle of cinnamon.

 

 


A very decadent drink; The perfect stress reliever and pick me up!

This indulgent delight pairs sweetly with a book of verse

 

I recommend Shakespeare’s Sonnets:

The title of a collection of 154 sonnets by William Shakespeare, which covers themes such as the passage of time, love, beauty and mortality.

Rated 4.4 on amazon.com

Wake up Wednesday: Tango Latte

Image

This is my newest Café concoction and obsession The Tango Latte!

tangolatte.png

Book Bean: Tango Latte

1 espresso shot pulled over 1 tsp of orange infused powdered sugar, 1 pinch cinnamon and 1 pinch vanilla extract powder (I pre-mix mine and do approx. .5 tsp,) approx. 1/3 cup steamed (or heated and frothed) milk of choice (I use 1%,) topped with orange zest and lightly dusted with cinnamon sugar.

This drink is spectacular, Orange Mochas have always been a favorite of mine, but this latte has surpassed that love. It’s smooth yet zesty and bold. I perfect drink for those who like things interesting and flavorful, but without too much sweetness

This exotic latte would pair beautifully with

Evita: The Real Lives of Eva Peron.
by Nicholas Fraser and Marysa Navarro
This is a fascinating biography of the legendary Argentinian whose is regarded as one of the strongest, most idolized female icons of the last century. Evita tells the real story of this enigmatic popular heroine, a village girl who rose to stardom first as an actress, then as the mistress of Colonel Peron and finally as the world’s most powerful presidential wife.
Rated 4.3 on amazon.com

In Evita, the authors ask: Was Eva a saint or a sinner?

What do you think?

Star Wars Fan Book Guide

131005-F-NZ143-040In a Galaxy not so far away Jedi fans of all varieties are celebrating Star Wars day.
So of course I’ve decided to come out of hiding and do a special Star Wars themed Mini Bean. This is for all those Science Fiction lovers of Galaxy Warfare and Stellar Adventures!  It just so happens that I have quite a cache of these books in my to-read list at the moment, so that works out nicely.

Star Wars worthy books and stellar sips, May the 4th be with you:

Foundation
by Isaac Asimov
For twelve thousand years the Galactic Empire has ruled supreme. Now it is dying. But only Hari Sheldon, creator of the revolutionary science of psychohistory, can see into the future–to a dark age of ignorance, barbarism, and warfare that will last thirty thousand years.

Rated 4.4 on amazon.com

There are 2 preludes to this series:
Prelude to Foundation and Forward to Foundation

rebel boostBook Bean: Rebel Booster
Brewed strong tea of choice (I prefer white tea) and red bull (can do sugar free red bull with 1 serving of grenadine) with a tish of grenadine (optional for the sweet tooth.) Garnish with a maraschino cherry.

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep
AKA “Blade Runner”
by Philip K. Dick
Although I admit I was not a fan of the movie I have still always wanted to read this classic novel.
Driven into hiding, unauthorized androids live among human beings, undetected. Rick Deckard, an officially sanctioned bounty hunter, is commissioned to find rogue androids and “retire” them. But when cornered, androids fight back, with lethal force.

Rated 4.3 on amazon.com

moonmochaBook Bean: Moon Mocha
Steamed or heated milk of choice (good with coconut milk), espresso shot, white chocolate syrup to taste (or can temper white chocolate chips and add to hot milk first, if syrup is unavailable, or use powder), top with whip cream (optional) and finish with a tsp of vanilla extract powder.

Battlefield Earth
by L. Ron Hubbard
From the ashes of humanity rises a young hero, Jonnie Goodboy Tyler. Setting off on an initial quest to discover a hidden evil, Jonnie unlocks the mystery of humanity’s demise and unearths a crucial weakness in their oppressors.

Rated 4.6 on audible.com

Best of 2016 Science Fiction Audiobook
A very long book (1k pages depending on the version) so opting for the Audiobook may not be such a bad idea. 

jedi-juice.jpgBook Bean: Jedi Juice
1 cup pineapple, 1 large beetroot, 1 green apple, 1 cucumber, ½ lemon, and 1-inch fresh ginger. For those without a juicer use fresh and/or 100% juice alternatives with squeezed lemon and zest of ginger. This combination of juices is full of energy, super healthy, and tastes great too!

Ready Player One
by Ernest Cline
A world at stake – A quest for the ultimate prize – Are you ready?
This cult classic is all the rave right now because of the new movie. I haven’t seen the movie, so feel free to weigh in on which one is better. No spoilers though! I have it on good authority that the audible books is quite good on this one as well. If you haven’t read this yet and are a fan of the Genre, it is a classic and a must read.

Rated 4.6 on amazon.com

Nominated as one of America’s best-loved novels by PBS’s The Great American Read

chewbaccachino

Book Bean: Chaibaccaccino
Frothy steamed milk, strong brewed coffee or espresso shot, with cinnamon (to taste,) sugar
(to taste,) a dash of clove and nutmeg stirred in, and lavishly topped with cocoa.

This is the story of a book called The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

-not an Earth book, never published on Earth, and, until the terrible catastrophe occurred, never seen or even heard of by any Earthman.

Nevertheless, a wholly remarkable book!

Another classic by Douglas Adams
Read the original or go for the
all-in-one trilogy.

Rated 4.5 on amazon.com

Also nominated as one of America’s best-loved novels by The Great American Read

yodas-tea-e1525496072156.jpgBook Bean: Yoda’s Tea
Brewed Green tea (or matcha if preferred) with muddled mint leaves and honey to taste, garnish with lime (optional.) Good hot or cold it is.

We Are Legion
(We Are Bob)
by Dennis E. Taylor
Bob Johansson has just sold his software company and is looking forward to a life of leisure. There are places to go, books to read, and movies to watch. So it’s a little unfair when he gets himself killed crossing the street.
Also another great audiobook choice as it was named Audible’s Best Sci-Fi Book of 2016

Rated 4.6 on amazon.com

images-e1525496694837.jpgBook Bean: The Dark Side Decaf 
Espresso roast coffee pulled or brewed  with a dash of cocoa powder (in the brew), pinch of salt and 2 tsp of sugar (optional and/or to taste.) Try sipping on this while nibbling some chocolate, Dark and Delectable!

Ender’s Game
by Orson Scott Card
Once again, Earth is under attack. An alien species is poised for a final assault. The survival of humanity depends on a military genius who can defeat the aliens. But who?
Ender Wiggin. Brilliant. Ruthless. Cunning. A tactical and strategic master. And a child.

Of course I couldn’t leave out my favorite; this book is short and sweet, but amazing!

Rated 4.5 on amazon.com

Ender’s Game is an affecting novel.”―New York Times Book Review

full throttle


Book Bean: T
he Force Full Throttle
Medium roast coffee, with added espresso shot, a pinch of salt, 1-2 tsp of sugar, and 1-2 tbls of half n half (or to taste.)


I’ll end with a few books that are officially Star Wars.

D1nhxfncvcS._SL250_FMpng_Star Wars: Old Republic Trilogy 
Read by Marc Thompson
Written by varied authors
A trilogy basedon a popular video game; the best rated Trilogy out there (and the audible books are raved about!)

Revan
by Drew Karpyshyn
There’s something out there: a juggernaut of evil bearing down to crush the Republic – unless one lone Jedi, shunned and reviled, can stop it.
Rated 4.1 on audible.com
Deceived
by Paul S. Kemp
The Old Republic ramps up the action and brings listeners “face-to-face” for the first time with a Sith warrior to rival the most sinister of the Order’s Dark Lords: Darth Malgus, the mysterious, masked Sith
Rated 4.1 on audible.com

and Fatal Alliance
by Sean Williams
Number-one New York Times best-selling author Sean Williams brings the world of the game to life in his latest novel, Star Wars: The Old Republic: Fatal Alliance.
Rated 4.1 on audible.com

Darth Plagueis
by James Luceno
At long last, the Star Wars story of the mysterious Sith Lord Darth Plagueis and his apprentice, Darth Sidious, is revealed!
“Did you ever hear the Tragedy of Darth Plagueis the Wise? It’s a Sith legend. Darth Plagueis was a Dark Lord of the Sith, so powerful and so wise that he could use the Force to influence the midi-chlorians to create life. He had such a knowledge of the dark side that he could even keep the ones he cared about from dying.”
—Supreme Chancellor Palpatine,
Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith
Rated 4.5 on amazon.com

Arguably the best star wars book written, but please weigh in!

latteauleia.jpg
Latte au Leia:
Choice brewed coffee with cinnamon, steamed milk (if you don’t have a way to steam then heat and froth as best you can,) a tiny bit of caramel sauce stirred in, and sprinkled with cinnamon sugar. R.I.P Princess

379b9c7b7e9d5516362aed3512de5f14Well that’s it Star Wars fans, I hope you found it enjoyable and/or enlightening. Please share your relative favorites!