Friday, April 29, 2011

April Somethings

Ah, April, you were good to me...

I Read: I reviewed a few books for the various book blogger programs I'm in. (Side note: do my book reviews annoy anyone? I'm trying not to do too many at a time but this month there were date-specific reviews.) Of those, I most enjoyed Here Burns My Candle.

However, the book I'm most enthralled by is The Distant Hours (Kate Morton.) My words will not do justice to this sweeping Gothic-inspired mystery. It switches between past and present but not in the typical fashion. The writing was beautiful, the plot fast-moving, the mystery unwinding to the very end.  I loved getting to know Edie, her mother's secret, and the Sisters Blythe.  Morton has written 2 other novels and I can't wait to tear into them! First, I'm going to buy a copy of The Distant Hours. It is ownable and a definite candidate for a spot on my list of Favorite Books.

Speaking of which, AnnieBlogs asked her readers to list their top 5 books across any and all categories.  There are few things I enjoy more than talking books, as you'll see from my many comments on the post.  I left out so many of my favorites in my own response that I'll be taking time soon to post a list (or lists) here.

Currently Reading: I have only 1.5 chapters left of 1000 Gifts (Voskamp). You better believe I'm making them stretch out. I love her approach and perspective to grace and gifts. I've been working my way through some writing books: Plot and Structure, The Right to Write, and Writing the Breakout Novel. At first I was overwhelmed and hated my writing but now I feel inspired and have all sorts of new ideas for my novel.

TV: The Office has been great the last couple of weeks! I am sad to see Michael/Steve Carell go but they have been doing wonderful things with his departure. I won't spoil anything in case people didn't watch last night but last week's Rent-inspired send off? Loved it.

Onto The Vampire Diaries.  Does anyone else watch it? My friend Jill and I love to hash it out from time to time.  The twists and turns this series is taking has me on the edge of my seat!  After hearing many people rave about it, I watched my first episode of Fringe. I enjoyed it but was thoroughly confused.  I'll have to track down the DVDs and catch up before I watch anymore.

I've been trying to watch the Real Housewives of Orange County but that ship might have sailed.  I gave up on the New York housewives after the first episode.  The earlier seasons were much classier, if there is such a thing when it comes to these ladies.

Movies: I actually rented a couple this month!  I was in a chick flick mood the other weekend.  Morning Glory was surprisingly endearing. I loved watching Harrison Ford play such a curmudgeon! He and Diane Keaton played really well off one another. Rachel McAdams was also great. However, I was really irritated that the love interest started out as a one-night stand.  Is this what society is coming to?  Life as We Know It was a disappointment. There's only so much suspension of reality that I can take! I think I'm starting to dislike Ms. Heigl, though Josh Duhamel is always a treat. 

In the Kitchen: Apparently I was all about dessert this month- and I'm not that big of a baker!  However, I shared my favorite Mug Brownie recipe.  Then I saw this recipe for Pudding Cookies with Robins Eggs and Robins Eggs are one of my favorite Easter candies so I had to give those a whirl, thus breaking my agreement to not keep dessert in the house. Between those and Cadbury Eggs, I haven't gone overboard too much.  For Easter I made Lemon Thyme Chicken with Sauteed Zucchini Ribbons. Pure heaven. I'll be posting the recipe soon!

Listening: At Blissdom, (in)courage/Dayspring gave us copies of Adie's CD Just You and Me. I listened to it a couple of times when I first got home but now it's in the car. Adie, incidentally, is married to Jeremy Camp and used to be the lead singer of The Benjamin Gate. I only know that because of my time working at The Christian Bookstore. In any case, she does a great job with some of the worship songs I love and a few new ones.

NoiseTrade has had some fantastic free downloads lately- Sandra McCracken's full-length and Sleeping at Last generously put up Storyboards. (Though, I really hope you already own Sleeping at Last's CDs.)

I went to the William Fitzsimmons show the other weekend and was blown away.  His newest album is phenomenal! So glad to have finally seen him live.

Wow- I was wordy this month! What were you into during April?

Disclosure: Amazon Affiliate links included in this post.  If you click through to Amazon from HopefulLeigh, any purchase you make supports this site.

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