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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
Set in rural Maine in the first half of the twentieth century, Irving’s most beloved Novel 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 post-nuclear 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?

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

Wake-Up Wednesday: PB&Joe

What could be a better pick-me-up than a drink twist reminiscent of a favorite childhood snack!

IMG_6276Book Bean: PB & Joe
This can be made with Brewed Coffee or Espresso as a base. Start with 1 scoop of vanilla bean ice-cream in a blender, add 2Tsp-1Tbsp of creamy peanut butter (to taste) last add very hot coffee or espresso, blend well until smooth. Pour into 1 large mug or 2 small mugs to share. Add steamed/frothed milk or hot cream to taste. Sprinkle with cocoa powder. (To make this drink cold just add PB to coffee and let cool before adding to blender, then use cold milk or cream.)

The perfect Book to pair with this bold and snacky drink, is something short and sweet/savory! 

My pick: “The Phantom Tollbooth” By Norton Juster 
Illustrated by Jules Feiffer

A book that speaks universally to both children and adults. A story that like the old PB&J is a classic, full of both warmth and goodness.

Go on an adventure with Milo, as he discovers The Island of Conclusions (you get there by jumping) and rescues Rhyme and Reason. You will discover like Milo does, that life is far from dull, but more interesting and exciting than you’ve ever imagined.
Rated 4.8 on amazon.com

A wee sample to wet your appetite:

You know you're in good hands when, in the midst of some 
nutty, didactic dialogue, the author disarms you.

"I guess I just wasn't thinking," said Milo.
"PRECISELY," shouted the dog as his alarm went off 
again. "Now you know what you mus do."
"I'm afraid I don't," admitted Milo, feeling quite stupid.
"Well," continued the watchdog impatiently, "since you 
got here by not thinking, it seems reasonable to expect that 
in order to get out, you must start thinking." And with that he 
hopped into the car.

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