The Mossback Café has a cookbook!

Hopefully you all remember my review of The Fever by Thomas Fenske. If not, click here and read it, and then click here and buy a copy and read it yourself! There’s a second book, too, A Curse that Bites Deep, that I have on my Kindle and haven’t yet finished (see my previous post – I haven’t been reading, so sad), though I’m sure is as excellent as the first.

In any case, now that you’re reacquainted with the books – some exciting news: the lovely Mossback Café, which plays an important role in the books, has a COOKBOOK!

The Mossback Cafe Cookbook: Texas Cooking from the Pages of The Fever and A Curse That Bites Deep by [Fenske, Thomas]

I was so excited when I learned about it that I downloaded it immediately and read it straight through in one sitting. My husband asked me, somewhat incredulously, “You’re reading a cookbook?” Technically, yes, but in the author’s words, it’s so much more than a cookbook!

The Mossback Café Cookbook is “compiled” by Thomas Fenske, writing in the voice of Smidgeon Toll, a character from the books. It’s a treasure of Texas-style cooking that I’m sure will go over well in my house (well, at least with my husband…) when I have a chance to try the recipes out. Having read The Fever, and looking forward to restarting A Curse that Bites Deep, it was a lot of fun to learn more about Smidgeon and the Mossback Café from Smidgeon’s perspective. I smiled throughout, and it definitely rekindled my desire to pick up A Curse that Bites Deep again soon.

I can’t see how anyone would read the cookbook (check it out! only $.99!) and not want to read the books themselves, so even without trying the recipes I call the cookbook a great success. And I can’t wait to try out the homemade chorizo!

Five stars!!!


I read a lot in January!

So, at the end of 2015 I did a wrap-up post where I listed all 26 books I read last year. As part of that 26, I had read only one full book and finished another during January – Worthy Fights: A Memoir of Leadership in War and Peace by Leon Panetta and The Temperament God Gave Your Spouse by Art and Laraine Bennett (both were excellent, by the way).

By comparison, this January I read (or finished) eight books and two short stories, and I’m in the midst of several others that I started. Here’s a list of what I’ve read, with ratings and links back to my reviews (if I’ve done them). I do plan to review almost all of the rest. I received several of the as-yet-unreviewed books for free from the authors in exchange for reviews, so they will definitely happen (hopefully soon). Oh, and this list does not include children’s books. I have yet to figure out a good way to keep track of those – we read too many!

1. The Elephants of Style : A Trunkload of Tips on the Big Issues and Gray Areas of Contemporary American English by Bill Walsh – 4 star review here

2. The Perfect Storm: A True Story of Men Against the Sea by Sebastian Junger; not yet reviewed but deserves 5 stars!

3. The Jacq of Spades: Part 1 of the Red Dog Conspiracy by Patricia Loofbourrow – 3 star review here

4. Running Home by Lizzie Steel – 5 star review here

5. Jungle Eyes (Jungle Eyes Trilogy) (Volume 1) by Lindsay Marie Miller – 3 star review here

6. Cape May by Holly Caster; not yet reviewed

7. Crossroads: Women Coming of Age in Today’s Uganda editing by Christopher Conte; not yet reviewed

8. Laudato Si — On Care for Our Common Home by Pope Francis; not yet reviewed. Truthfully, I’m not planning to “review” this in the traditional sense because it’s a Papal Encyclical, and therefore an authoritative teaching of the Magisterium of the Church.  As a Catholic, I have the responsibility to give the work an “assent of faith.”  (For more, see this article at Our Sunday Visitor, which states in reference to encyclicals: “Catholics of good will everywhere are obliged to acknowledge their apostolic authority and strive to humbly assent to their teaching.”) I may very well write a post discussing it, though, and highlighting what I learned and how I find myself applying it to my own life.

Short stories include Written On The Apple Tree: A Mystery Psychological Suspense (Tales of the Unexpected Series Book 4) (3 star review here) and Sweet Justice: A Mystery Psychological Suspense (Tales of the Unexpected Book 2) (no review planned), both by Ann Girdharry.

I am currently reading City of Saints: A Pilgrimage to John Paul II’s Kraków by George Wiegel, Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis, and The Fever by Thomas Fenske.

Clearly I’ve had a lot more time to read than to write, but that sort of comes with the mom territory. I read almost every night before going to sleep, but I only write reviews on preschool days because I’m too tired to write anything coherent at the end of the day. “Winter Storm Jonas/The Blizzard of 2016” kind of put a dent in my writing time since school was cancelled for a loooong time. We’re back now, so hopefully I’ll get some of those missing reviews up soon! Oh, and clean my house, right? 🙂


I got a Kindle!

I got a Kindle for Christmas! I am entering the 21st century…a blog and a Kindle! Who knew I could be so modern?

Anyway, I just wanted to share my exciting news. I already read one book (The Perfect Storm – SO good) on my Kindle since Christmas. I was a lot more comfortable with it this time than I was with the last book I read, and I wonder if it’s just because it’s mine and not Adam’s and so I’m not worried about accidentally pressing something I’m not supposed to and messing up his stuff. I also enjoyed being able to turn up the light and read in the dark AND I have an awesome pink cover 🙂

This also means I’ll be able to accept novels in e-book format for review, which is really great. I had to turn down quite a few requests in the last couple of months, and some sounded so good that I was really disappointed. I will, of course, still accept hard copy books and I will continue to read hard copy books of my own – I got about 5 as Christmas gifts 🙂

PS – No Munchkin Monday tomorrow. I’m feeling uninspired.

PS again – I’m going to get rid of these really lame ads that are showing up at the bottom of my posts. Ew.