Timeless Summer-Time Tales

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Well it’s August… already, summer is hot beautiful and on it’s last leg. I put together a list of classic literature, all are perfect picks for summer days. I know which one I’m going to start on next!
What will you chose?

No one can capture a warm summer afternoon like Steinbeck

East of Eden
by John Steinbeck
A work in which Steinbeck created his most mesmerizing characters and explored his most enduring themes: the mystery of identity, the inexplicability of love, and the murderous consequences of love’s absence. Adapted for the 1955 film directed by Elia Kazan introducing James Dean. East of Eden has remained vitally present in American culture for over half a century.
This book is a perfect read for a long summer camp-out
Rated 4.7 amazon.com

The Merchant of Venice
by William Shakespeare

After his ships and money are lost at sea, Antonio, a prominent Venetian merchant, cannot repay a loan to Shylock, the Jewish moneylender. Antonio must rely on an unexpected source, Shakespeare’s first great heroine, to save his skin, quite literally, in this tale of love, law, mercy, and revenge. Shylock, originally conceived as a bloodthirsty villain, has been later understood to be a far more sympathetic character, who challenges cultural stereotypes while reminding audiences to look beyond the barrier of ethnocentricity.
Rated 4.4 on amazon.com

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
by Mark Twain
A much loved and classic work of American literature. It is the story of Tom, a rambunctious young lad who lives with his Aunt Polly. Tom is a boy who doesn’t much like going to school and throughout the book does everything he can to get out of it. Near the beginning of the novel Tom exhibits his keen wit by convincing some boys to paint his Aunt Polly’s fence that he has been punished with having to do for skipping school.
Rated 4.3 on amazon.com
AND…
Huckleberry Finn

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“The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” is considered by many to be the greatest of all American novels. This sequel to Twain’s “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer,” is a first person narrative told by its title character. The novel picks up where “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer” leaves off. Huck Finn who is now wealthy with the discovery of treasure at the end of “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer” finds himself in great danger from his abusive drunkard father who wishes to cash in on Huck’s fortune.
Rated 4.3 on amazon.com

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Book Bean: Heavenly Huckleberry Hibiscus
In a saucepan bring 4-5 cups of water to a boil. Add 1/2 cup of dried hibiscus flowers, turn off the heat and steep for for 30 minutes. Strain, add sweetener of choice (I prefer agave) and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. When ready to serve: Fill glasses with ice. Fill half of the glass with iced tea. Add Huckleberries. Top with lemonade. Serve chilled.

chocolatChocolat: A Novel
by Joanne Harris
New York Times bestselling novel Chocolat entranced readers with its mix of hedonism, whimsy, and, of course, chocolate. In tiny Lansquenet, where nothing much has changed in a hundred years, beautiful newcomer Vianne Rocher and her exquisite chocolate shop arrive and instantly begin to play havoc. Each box of luscious bonbons comes with a free gift: Her uncanny perception of its buyer’s private discontents and a clever, caring cure for them.
Rated 4.3 on amazon.com
or go for the whole trilogy:
The Girl With No Shadow
and
Peaches for Monsieur le Curé

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The Great Gatsby
by Fitzgerald
First published in 1925, this quintessential novel of the Jazz Age has been acclaimed by generations of readers. The story of the mysteriously wealthy Jay Gatsby and his love for the beautiful Daisy Buchanan, of lavish parties on Long Island at a time when The New York Times noted “gin was the national drink and sex the national obsession,” it is an exquisitely crafted tale of America in the 1920s.
Rated 4.2 on amazon.com

5166-iXOB-LThe Secret Life of Bees

by Sue Monk Kidd
Taken in by an eccentric trio of black beekeeping sister, Lily is introduced to their
mesmerizing world of bees and honey, and the Black Madonna. Set in South Carolina in 1964, This is a remarkable novel about divine female power, a story that women will share and pass on to their daughters for years to come.

Rated 4.6 on amazon.com

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Book Bean: Bee’s Knees Tea
A Prohibition Era cocktail made with Gin, fresh lemon juice, andhoney. It is served shaken and chilled, often with a lemon twist. Replace Gin with Green tea (or just add) and you have a nice refreshing drink for a warm evening.

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The Alchemist
by Paulo Coelho

A fable about un-dauntingly following one’s dream, listening to one’s heart, and reading life’s omens features dialogue between a boy and an unnamed being. 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.Rated 4.9 on amazon.com

Atonement: A Novel
by Ian McEwan
atonementA symphonic novel of love and war, childhood and class, guilt and forgiveness provides all the satisfaction of a brilliant narrative and the provocation we have come to expect from this master of English prose. In each of his novels McEwan has brilliantly drawn his reader into the intimate lives and situations of his characters. But never before has he worked with so large a canvas: In Atonement he takes the reader from a manor house in England in 1935 to the retreat from Dunkirk in 1941; from the London’s World War II military hospitals to a reunion of the Tallis clan in 1999.
Rated 3.9 on amazon.com

Mosquitoland
by David Arnold

I am a collection of oddities, a circus of neurons and electrons: my heart is the ringmaster, my soul is the trapeze artist, and the world is my audience. It sounds strange because it is, and it is, because I am strange.
Told in an unforgettable, kaleidoscopic voice, Mosquitoland is a modern American odyssey, as hilarious as it is heartbreaking.

Rated 4.3 on amazon.com

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Love in the Time of Cholera
by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

In their youth, Florentino Ariza and Fermina Daza fall passionately in love. When Fermina eventually chooses to marry a wealthy, well-born doctor, Florentino is devastated, but he is a romantic. As he rises in his business career he whiles away the years in 622 affairs–yet he reserves his heart for Fermina.

Rated 4.0 on amazon.com

Book Bean: Iced Horchata Latte
ice-2571490_960_720.jpgHeat water, sugar, and cinnamon in a saucepan over medium heat. Simmer until sugar is dissolved, whisking occasionally, about 5 minutes. Allow mixture to cool for 10 minutes. Pour ice into a large pitcher and fill with ice, pour in 4-6 0z of brewed coffee or 2-4 espresso shots, add in rice milk. Stir sugar water into rice milk.

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To Kill a Mockingbird
by Harper Lee
A Pulitzer Prize-winning masterwork of honor and injustice in the deep South—and the heroism of one man in the face of blind and violent hatred
One of the best-loved stories of all time, it has been translated into more than forty languages, sold more than forty million copies worldwide, served as the basis for an enormously popular motion picture, and was voted one of the best novels of the twentieth century by librarians across the country
Rated 4.7 on amazon.com

What are your summer time classic recommendations?

 

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Wake up Wednesday: Cocoaccino

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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

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

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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?

Ode to Motherhood

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The Mother

by Lucy Maud Montgomery
Here I lean over you, small son, sleeping
Warm in my arms,
And I con to my heart all your dew-fresh charms,
As you lie close, close in my hungry hold . . .
Your hair like a miser’s dream of gold,
And the white rose of your face far fairer,
Finer, and rarer
Than all the flowers in the young year’s keeping;
Over lips half parted your low breath creeping
Is sweeter than violets in April grasses;
Though your eyes are fast shut I can see their blue,
Splendid and soft as starshine in heaven,
With all the joyance and wisdom given
From the many souls who have stanchly striven
Through the dead years to be strong and true.
Those fine little feet in my worn hands holden . . .
. . .
Books in the Spirit of Motherhood:

Four mothers, four daughters, four families whose histories shift with the four winds depending on who’s “saying” the stories. In 1949 four Chinese women, recent immigrants to San Francisco, begin meeting to eat dim sum, play mahjong, and talk. United in shared unspeakable loss and hope, they call themselves the Joy Luck Club. Rather than sink into tragedy, they choose to gather to raise their spirits and money.

 

Set within a contemporary black community in Southern CA, Bennett’s first novel is an emotionally perceptive story about community, love, and ambition. It begins with a secret.
In entrancing, lyrical prose, The Mothers asks whether a “what if” can be more powerful than an experience itself. If, as time passes, we must always live in servitude to the decisions of our younger selves, to the communities that have parented us, and to the decisions we make that shape our lives forever.

“Mothers are all slightly insane.”
~J.D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye

The Mother
Continued

Where will they tread ?
Valleys of shadow or heights dawn-red?
And those silken fingers, O, wee, white son,
What valorous deeds shall by them be done
In the future that yet so distant is seeming
To my fond dreaming?
What words all so musical and golden
With starry truth and poesy olden

Shall those lips speak in the years on-coming?
O, child of mine, with waxen brow,
Surely your words of that dim to-morrow
Rapture and power and grace must borrow
From the poignant love and holy sorrow
Of the heart that shrines and cradles you now!

Some bitter day you will love another,
To her will bear
Love-gifts and woo her . . . then must I share
You and your tenderness! Now you are mine
From your feet to your hair so golden and fine,
And your crumpled finger-tips . . . mine completely,
Wholly and sweetly;
Mine with kisses deep to smother,
No one so near to you now as your mother!
Others may hear your words of beauty,
But your precious silence is mine alone;
Here in my arms I have enrolled you,
Away from the grasping world I fold you,
Flesh of my flesh and bone of my bone!

9d6715843aa1ce1c0df00b81875be7c6“If evolution really works, how come mothers only have two hands?”
~Milton Berle

Why I Love Coffee

Why do I love coffee..? Let me count the ways.
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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!
Good-Morning.jpg What do you enjoy most about coffee?