18 July 2018

Wordless Wednesday 505

Garden Visitor

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17 July 2018

Today's Read: Ghosted by Rosie Walsh

Ghosted by Rosie WalshWhat if you met the love of your life, your soulmate, and then he disappeared . . . just like that. Would you ever stop thinking of him? Stop wondering what happened? Almost two decades after Sarah met her one and only, she still feels the hole Eddie left in her heart, but she refuses to let go.

It's exactly nineteen years since that luminous morning when we smiled and said good-bye. That we would see each other again was never in doubt, was it? It was a question of when, not if. In fact, it wasn't even a quesiton. The future might have seemed as insubstantial as the curled edge of a dream, but it unequivocally contained us both. Together.

And yet it didn't. Even after all these years I find myself stunned by that.
Ghosted by Rosie Walsh (Pamela Dorman Books, July 2018; p. 3, uncorrected proof)

Quick Facts
  • Setting: modern times in the UK
  • Circumstances: Just as Sarah's marriage is breaking up, she meets Eddie, and they have a whirlwind six-day romance. He leaves on a scheduled trip, promising to call from the airport, but Sarah never hears from him again. Closing in on her forties, she just can't forget Eddie, and in her heart she knows he has a good reason for disappearing. Will her perseverance pay off?
  • Genre: contemporary woman's fiction.
  • Themes: secrets, romance, second chances, grief
  • Why I want to read this book: I like the opening and generally trust Pamela Dorman's taste in books. Kirkus says it will be good match for fans of JoJo Moyes (me!) and other reviewers have mentioned the emotional depth of Walsh's American debut novel. I could use some good escape reading, and this might fill the bill. Ghosted also has a good rating on Goodreads.
  • The flip side: I sometimes have trouble with romantic women's fiction, and some reviewers have mentioned the insta-love doesn't ring true. Others are bothered by the idea of a forty-year-old being unable to move past a week-long fling.
  • And yet: I want to know what the secrets and connections are! Booklist gave it a starred review, and even Kirkus was gentle. Book of the Month Club picked it for a July selection. I'm giving it a try!
  • Something to know: The UK title is The Man Who Didn't Call.

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14 July 2018

Weekend Cooking: Tunisian Orange Olive Oil Cake

Tunisian Orange and Olive Cake RecipeSummertime, and the livin' is easy . . . and full of cake. Between our travels and warm-weather entertaining, we sure have been eating a lot of baked goods lately.

I've baked two small snacking cakes in the last week, and because both were hits, I want to share the recipes with you. (Plus, if I post them here, I won't lose them.) Today I'll post the first one, and next week, I'll type out the other.

The first cake recipe came from the Zingerman's Bakehouse cookbook by Amy Emberling and Frank Carollo (with photographs by Antonis Achilleos), which was published by Chronicle Books last fall.

You might remember the coffee cake recipe I posted last month (Sour Cream Lemon Poppy Seed Coffee Cake), which also came from this cookbook. I really do intend to write a full review of the book, especially because the publicist so nicely sent me a copy, but the short version is this: If you like to bake bread, sweets, snacks, pizza, and so on, you'll like this cookbook.

Zingerman's is a deli and bakery located in Ann Arbor, Michigan. My family has been to their stores and restaurant many times, though my visits have been limited because it opened years after I moved away from the area. Locally, Zingerman's Bakehouse is the go-to place for good rye bread and challah, but their stores have a national (and likely international) reputation for good food and good products.

Anyway, I love citrus, and the following recipe kept calling to me. I took it to a dinner party, and everyone liked the cake and appreciated that it wasn't overly sweet. It worked well for dessert, for an afternoon treat, and with coffee in the morning. The recipe suggests a 9-inch round cake pan, but I used an 8-by-8-inch square pan instead. (The photo is mine.)

Zingerman's Tunisian Orange and Olive Oil Cake
Makes 1 cake

  • Tunisian Orange and Olive Cake Recipe1 large seedless orange
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
Preheat the oven to 350F. Spray a 9-inch round cake pan with nonstick cooking spray.

Wash the orange and cut off both ends. Cut the orange into quarters and put into a food processor, peel and all. Process until the orange is a pulp.

In a large bowl, crack the eggs and add the sugar. Use a whisk to combine, and then beat until light and smooth, about a minute. Add the orange pulp and olive oil and whisk to combine.

In another bowl, crack the eggs and add the sugar. Use a whisk to combine, and then beat until light and smooth, about a minute. Add the orange pulp and olive oil and whisk to combine.

In another bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Sift the dry ingredients into the orange mixture and stir gently until all the ingredients are combined. All the dry ingredients should be moistened.

Spread the cake batter into the pan and sprinkle with the sesame seeds. Bake for 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Remove from the oven and let cool completely before removing from the pan.
Weekend Cooking hosted by www.BethFishReads.comWeekend Cooking is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book reviews (novel, nonfiction), cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, quotations, photographs, restaurant reviews, travel information, or fun food facts. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend. You do not have to post on the weekend. Please link to your specific post, not your blog's home page.

NOTE: Mr. Linky sometimes is mean and will give you an error message. He's usually wrong and your link went through just fine the first time. Grrrr.

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13 July 2018

12 New Audiobooks to Add to Your Wish List

I love audiobooks, and that’s no secret. Summertime is listening time, as I work in the garden, take walks, relax on the deck, and generally enjoy the long evenings. This year, my audiobook consumption has been depleted by travel. Still, hitting the road to spend time with friends and family and to see new places is well worth the trade-off.

Fortunately, July is a great month for audiobook fans, and it wasn't easy narrowing down my roundup to just 12 titles. The audiobooks recommended today reflect my own listening tastes and are based on both the author and the narrator. The selections are all adult fiction, and I left off the books that appeared in last week’s diversity roundup.

Grab your earbuds, charge up your phone, and get ready to be entertained. The audiobooks are presented in no particular order; all are scheduled for a July 2018 release.

  • Audiobooks for July 2018What We Were Promised by Lucy Tan (Hachette Audio; ~11 hr) read by Jennifer Lim. Publisher’s summary: “Set in modern Shanghai, a debut by a Chinese-American writer about a prodigal son whose unexpected return forces his newly wealthy family to confront painful secrets and unfulfilled promises.” Why I want to listen: I don’t know much about contemporary Shanghai, and I loved Lim’s performance of Little Fires Everywhere.
  • The Shortest Way Home by Miriam Parker (Penguin Audio; ~9½ hr) read by Abby Craden. My summary: A grad student moves to Sonoma wine country to figure out what she really wants out of life. Why I want to listen: I know Miriam and can’t wait to dig in to her debut. I've never listened to Craden, but based on audio clips, I'm willing to give her a chance.
  • It All Falls Down by Sheena Kamal (Harper Audio; ~8½ hr) read by Bahni Turpin. Publisher’s summary: “The brilliant, fearless, deeply flawed Nora Watts . . . finds deadly trouble as she searches for the truth about her late father in this immersive thriller that moves from the hazy Canadian Pacific Northwest to the gritty, hollowed streets of Detroit.” Why I want to listen: The novel has been getting high praise and starred reviews, and Turpin is usually a fantastic narrator.
  • Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik (Random House Audio; ~18 hr) read by Lisa Flanagan. Publisher’s summary: “A fresh and imaginative retelling of the Rumpelstiltskin fairy tale.” Why I want to listen: I’m a big fan of fairy tale retellings and loved Novik’s Uprooted. Flanagan is sure to build a magical atmosphere.
  • Audiobooks for July 2018A Death in Eden by Keith McCafferty (Recorded Books; ~10 hr) read by Rick Holmes. My summary: The seventh book in a private investigator mystery series set in Montana and combining fly-fishing, murder, and environmental issues. Why I want to listen: I really like this series, and Holmes does a great job bringing the main characters alive for me.
  • Clock Dance by Anne Tyler (Random House Audio; ~9 hr) read by Kimberly Farr. My summary: A story of family and a woman's journey of personal growth and change by one of my go-to authors. Why I want to listen: The combination of Tyler and Farr is hard to resist.
  • Age of War by Michael J. Sullivan (Recorded Books; ~15hr) read by Tim Gerard Reynolds. Publisher’s summary: “The epic battle between humankind and their godlike rulers finally ignites in the masterful follow-up to Age of Myth and Age of Swords.” Why I want to listen: I love this adult epic fantasy series. Plus, Sullivan’s stories and Reynolds’s delivery is a match made in heaven.
  • The Mere Wife by Maria Dahvana Headley (Macmillian Audio; ~9 hr) read by Susan Bennett. Publisher’s summary: “A modern retelling of the literary classic Beowulf, set in American suburbia as two mothers—a housewife and a battle-hardened veteran—fight to protect those they love.” Why I want to listen: I'm curious about a contemporary Beowulf story, and I enjoy Bennett's narrations and never hesitate to listen to her.
  • Audiobooks for July 2018A Double Life by Flynn Berry (Penguin Auido; ~7 hr) read by Fiona Hardingham. Publisher’s summary: “A gripping, intense, stunningly written novel of psychological suspense” that focuses on the long-reaching affects of a murder. Why I want to listen: I like a good thriller, and I like the idea that this one is loosely based on a true story. Hardingham is always a pleasure.
  • Mary B by Katherine J. Chen (Random House Audio; ~12 hr) read by Marisa Calin. Publisher’s summary: “The overlooked middle sister in Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice casts off her prim exterior and takes center stage in this fresh retelling of the classic novel.” Why I want to listen: I can’t resist a P&P spin-off. Calin is new to me, but clips of her work are appealing.
  • She Was the Quiet One by Michele Campbell (Macmillan Audio; ~11 hr) read by January LaVoy. Publisher’s summary: “A riveting new suspense audiobook about privilege, power, and what happens when we let ambition take control.” Why I want to listen: I admit, it's LaVoy who draws me to this book; I love her performances.
  • Girls’ Night Out by Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke (Brilliance Audio; ~10 hr) read by Karen Peakes. Publisher’s summary: “A chilling novel of psychological suspense that will make you think twice about what your best friend may be hiding.” Why I want to listen: Fenton and Steinke are a reliable team and Peakes knows how to deliver up the suspense.

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11 July 2018

Wordless Wednesday 504

First Morning Glory of the Year, 2018

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