Read and Reading:
Eerie and captivating, The Ocean at the End of the Lane was my first Neil Gaiman but certainly won't be my last. I'll be mulling over the twists and turns for quite awhile.
I've read and loved Tara Austen Weaver's blog for a few years now. It was about time I read her memoir The Butcher and the Vegetarian: One Woman's Romp Through a World of Men, Meat, and Moral Crisis. Weaver is an engaging writer and while I knew some of her story from her blog, I was curious about her journey from vegetarian to carnivore, as well as the impact of her diet on her health. I loved reading about her interactions with butchers, meat-lovers, and sausage makers, as well as seeing whether her foray with meat would last.
JK Rowling's pseudonymous book The Cuckoo's Calling (Galbraith) did not disappoint. The main characters are deftly nuanced and the plot kept me guessing. While I'm usually skeptical of murder mysteries, I'm glad I gave it a chance. Really looking forward to the series.
I heard about The Eyre Affair (Fforde) from a few friends before picking it up the other weekend. I could scarcely put it down. An inventive plot written by a lover of literature. Even if you're not familiar with Jane Eyre, you'll appreciate a detective who deals with books and their characters- especially when those characters go missing or the endings change.
So much of my ARC of Mandy Steward's Thrashing About With God resonated. Steward gives us a book that allows inside her process of faith, complete with questions, doubt, wrestling, and glimmers of hope. I appreciated her honesty and vulnerability and was honestly amazed a Christian publisher dared to go there. There's no tied up neat conclusions, no black and white theology. Just Steward's openness to where she's at, her willingness to step away from church for a time, and the very real ways God is speaking to her. I highly recommend it, especially for those of us on the road less traveled by. Available October 1.
Read an excerpt from Christena Cleveland's upcoming book Disunity in Christ. I can't wait to read it!
Currently reading: Aliens in the Promised Land: Why Minority Leadership is Overlooked in White Christian Churches and Institutions (Bradley), The Girl You Left Behind (Moyes), Coming to my Senses (Harrad), Thirst (Oliver), Eat With Joy (Stone), O Me of Little Faith (Boyett), Jesus Feminist (Bessey), Walking on Water (L'Engle), Feast (Lawson).
(I read 12 books this month.)
Must-see TV: Real Housewives of New Jersey, Eat, Drink, Love, The Mindy Project, Once Upon A Time
I was so sad about what happened to Chris and Christiana on Breaking Pointe. So, so sad. Also disappointed that neither of my picks won So You Think You Can Dance. I'll always love you, Aaron and Jasmine!
Loving Food Network's new show Heartland Table, featuring a chef who moved back home to Minnesota. Love all the nods to Midwestern culture and her approach to cooking!
This is how I'll be watching season 4 of Downton Abbey.
New discoveries: Sattelite
Don't forget you can listen to the What I'm Into 2013 Spotify playlist.
A few weeks ago, a scammer called a family member pretending to be me, saying she was coming home from a wedding in Niagara Falls but got a DUI and needed money to get home. She even had her "lawyer" get on the line to verify the charges. She said she had a cold and a broken nose and that's why her voice sounded different. Luckily, my loved one's bank thought it sounded scammy and the money was returned.
Check your security settings on all social media accounts and make sure that folks, especially the elderly, are aware of what they can do to prevent themselves from becoming a victim.
I went to a discussion between author Ann Patchett and renowned soprano Renee Fleming on music, creativity, and the state of the opera. Fleming brought up wonderful points about popular music, the lack of current operas, and so forth. Fleming is turning Patchett's novel Bel Canto into an opera, which will be at the Lyric in Fall 2015. I can only recall going to the Lyric twice in my life: a 5th grade field trip to see La Boheme (the only opera I've seen) and seeing Phantom of the Opera the weekend of senior prom. I'm so going back home to see Bel Canto! Hopefully I'll have read the book by then.
New Blogs I'm Following
The Pastry Affair features gorgeous prose and photography, alongside drool-worthy recipes. Some Kitchen Stories is a fascinating twist on food blogs: each recipe is paired with a short fictional story. They even have an on-going series! I'm not sure what it is about Nothing But Delicious that first reeled me in but each post leaves me wanting more.
Things I Love:
- The brunch at Tavern. Have mercy, is it ever amazing!
- Catching up with my "twin" Laura and her husband Mike while they were in town visiting family. Never enough time together!
- My new work schedule
- Monday morning writing sessions with Amanda at Crema
- Makeovers at Sephora
- Southern Basics Baking Class with pastry chef Lisa Donovan, in which she had the class look at my first attempt at pie crust and said "this is what it should look like." Then I fainted from happiness. If you live in the area, keep an eye out for Lisa's next class. I highly recommend the experience and the recipes.
- Meeting Suzanne at long last. It's beautiful and awful making new friends right before they move away.
- Writing retreat weekend with some of my favorites
- The pictures Kelly Sauer took of me. They still take my breath away!
- Helping friends figure out their Enneagram type using my flashcards. (Enneagram post coming soon!)
- Butternut squash showing up in my CSA box
- Making fried okra for the first time for Abby and Emily, using my friend Megan's amazing recipe. Big hit!
- A look at Myers-Briggs stressors. Spot on.
- L'Oreal Colour Riche Balm in Plush Plum- very moisturizing
- Cooler temperatures, meaning fall is practically here!
In the Blogosphere:
On The Blog:
This month I mixed things up a bit. I wrote short vignettes to tell the story of my journey with church. You can read the whole series here. Then Amanda and I decided to write about the same day on our pieces for A Deeper Family with a look at how marrieds and singles can expand the family tree.
If you liked the HopefulLeigh Facebook page, this is your last reminder to Like the Leigh Kramer page. I'll be deleting the old page shortly. On FB, I told you one of my personal goals for this next year and discussed fall music. You also learned my Enneagram geekery knows no bounds.
For the first time since starting the linkup, I was unable to visit everyone's post last month, for which I apologize. Life got crazy! I'm going to do my best this time around. Make sure you check out at least 2 other posts after you link up!
What I'm Into Link Up Guidelines:
1. Today’s link-up will stay up for one week. The next What I'm Into link up will be Wednesday October 30.
2. Link the unique URL of your post, not your blog's home page. Readers peruse link ups months after the fact and you want to make it easy for them to find your What I'm Into post.
4. Visit at least 2 other posts in the linkup!
What have you been into this month?
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