News from the Nest, June 20
I almost hate to say this out loud as I may jinx it, but I am writing to you this morning with the windows thrown open, enjoying temperatures in the 60s and low humidity. I love living on the eastern coast of North Carolina, but I don’t love heat and humidity…so I am one happy gal today!
It’s been a lovely week since we last ‘chatted’; we celebrated our 36th anniversary by working in the yard, met some out-of-town friends for dinner, and fêted Terry for Father’s Day.
new on the blog
- No news to anyone, but prices on everything seem to be going up! Let’s dive into how to save money on the groceries you buy and other tips to save money on your food budget.
more ways to save $ in the kitchen
- Reduce food waste.
- Help your produce stay fresher, and longer.
- Start canning your own stocks and broths
- An eco-friendly kitchen is often a more economical kitchen as well.
- I am almost done knitting the half-linen stitch blanket as a wedding gift. When I first knit this blanket, I wasn’t the devotee of the Russian Join that I am now. What a game changer this yarn-joining technique is. No more weaving in of ends, wasting yarn by trying to work knots only at the sides or wonky knots on the back of my blanket! I am a tad embarrassed it took me so long.
- Make up several tins of this hand balm for your gardener friends.
cooking and baking things
Can you even believe the Fourth of July is two weeks from today! If you are starting to think about your menu, here are some ideas for your consideration:
- This Mango Habanero Salsa is the epitome of fresh, summery flavor.
- It’s tomato season aka Tomato Mozzarella Bruschetta season!
Some of these are affiliate links, and I will earn a small commission off the sale of these products, but the price you are charged is not affected. You can see my full disclosure policy here.
- O.K. Let’s chat about books. Thus far in 2022, I have read 15 of my planned 30 books (yay me! Goodreads says I’m 2 books ahead!) Here’s what I’ve read thus far and whether I’m thumbs up 👍🏻, thumbs down 👎🏻 or neutral 👉🏻on it.
- Magpie Murders, Anthony Horowitz 👎🏻 really dragged on, I quit reading with about 100 pages left.
- The Plot, Jean Korelitz👉🏻 good story, but predictable ending
- Black-Eyed Susan, Susan Heaberlin👉🏻 hard to follow
- Juliet, Naked, Nick Hornby👍🏻 a charming, light-hearted tale
- Hour of the Witch, Chris Bohjalian👍🏻 👍🏻quick moving
- Murder as a Fine Art, David Morrell👍🏻👍🏻 loved the weave of history and a good mystery
- Inspector of the Dead, David Morrell 👍🏻👍🏻 a good follow-up to the previous book, but I needed a break before I tackled the third. I will get to it soon.
- Brotherhood of the Rose, David Morrell 👍🏻 Same author as above, but completely different premise. Much more of a contemporary spy/counterintelligence novel.
- Pompeii, Robert Harris 👍🏻👍🏻 I read this historical fiction right before we toured Pompeii and it was a great primer.
- The Black House, Peter May👍🏻👍🏻These next three books are set on several islands in the Hebrides, of the coast of Scotland. I read them right before I spent several days with my dear friend. They are murder mysteries, but more than that they really gave me a sense of the place.
- The Lewis Man, Peter May👍🏻👍🏻
- The Chess Men, Peter May👍🏻👍🏻
- The Lincoln Highway, Amor Towles👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻 It has been a LONG time since I enjoyed a book as much as I enjoyed this one. It has a Huckleberry Finn/Tom Sawyer feel to it, in that the main characters are young men coming of age in the 1950s. It is just a lovely story with dynamic and complicated characters. This was my first Amor Towles book and I was heartbroken when I finished it. His writing style is just beautiful. So, I immediately jumped into…
- A Gentleman in Moscow, Amore Towles👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻If you like Dickens-type novels, sweeping stories with interesting characters, you’ll love this one. This story focuses on Count Rostov, who has been confined to a hotel in Moscow, and the associated staff and residents of the hotel. Once again, Towles writing style and his character development really speak to me.
- Rules of Civility, Amor Towles👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻 I really did like it, but not quite as much as the other two. Set in 1938 New York, the main character is a young woman who is trying to navigate the time and characters of her orbit.
- So, if you can’t tell, I have discovered my new, most favorite author ever…Amor Towles. Supposedly he wrote another book, Eve in Hollywood, which supposedly follows one of the characters from Rules of Civility, but I can’t find it. It isn’t on Amazon, which in my mind means it doesn’t exist! 🤣 So, what now? I searched…’authors like Amor Towles’ and the book The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barberry came up. I’ll pick it up from the library today, but those of you who loved the Amor Towles books as much as I did…what did you find to fill that void?
- David Arms has long been one of my favorite artists. After years of coveting his work from afar, a gift from my parents made the purchase of one of his paintings possible several years ago. As one of his biggest fangirls, I also subscribe to his blog. He had a lovely message this past week that I wanted to share with you…The Dash.
Well, my friends. I wish for you a week filled with sunshine and peace. I’ve got a busy week ahead, so I’m going to spend the next hour planning so that I have a better chance to get it all done!
And…mind that Dash!
Thanks for the book suggestions- always wondering what I should read next. I’ll have to get on those Peter May books ahead of my trip in September!
I’m reading The Known World by Edward P. Jones at the moment. A novel set in the 1800’s about a farmer and former slave and his widow after he dies. It’s good!
Hey there! I don’ tknow ‘the Known World’…I’ll check it out.
I know how excited you are for your trip! It’ll be beautiful. Check out Peter May, he may have other books that are set on the mainland of Scotland, too.
Have a great day, sweet SIL!
I agree with your comments about all A.Towles’ books. I have a suggestion for you. It’s a long book, but (to me) really moved along: Cloud Cuckoo Land by Anthony Doerr. If you do read it, and like it, I can suggest a LOT more great books for you! I read a lot (more than 100 books the 1st year of the pandemic).
You aren’t going to believe this, but the only other book I have on my nightstand right now is Cloud Cuckoo Land and I started it last night (still need to get to the library for The Elegance of the Hedgehog). So, I’m only about 10 pages in and just figuring everyone out…but looking forward to spending more time with it. And I’d LOVE your book recommendations. Some of my favorite recently, in additon to Towles, are A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry and The Extraordinary Life of Sam Hell.
What are you reading now?
Have a great day reading!
Thank you for doing what you do, Lynn! I love and learn so much from your blog content! The Dash is a lovely, thought-provoking message. David Arms is new to me and his artwork definitely speaks to me—wish I could afford a few pieces. 😃 Thanks, too, for the Russian Join lesson and the book reviews. Now if I could figure out how to walk, knit and read at the same time, I’d be a very content, happy camper‼️
Thanks for the kind message! I love what I do, and so glad that some of the content speaks to you! It would not be nearly as much fun without Kathleens on the other end of my musings!
And I’m glad you appreciated the Dash…sometimes we need those reminders that this is it! We don’t get do-overs. And boy, do I agree with you that I wish I could find a few more hours in the day to take in all that I enjoy doing!
Wishing you a wonderful week!
I always love checking out your reading list and it looks like I have a new author to explore in Amor Towles. A Gentleman in Moscow got mixed reviews on Amazon, but I am willing to give it a try on your recommendation. And, yes, Eve in Hollywood does exist – or at least it was written, but not to be found anywhere that I could see. How do I know. One of my favorite websites is Fantastic Fiction.
You can plug in your favorite writer of fiction (and sometimes non-fiction) and find everything he/she has written with suggestions where it MIGHT be available. Happy Hunting. If I ever find Eve in Hollywood, I’ll be sure to let you know.
Now, I’ve got to be honest. If you are looking for an exciting page-turner, then you may not love Amor Towles’ books. They are more of a long walk with good friend who is telling you a delightful story.
I will check out Fantastic Fiction. I know it exists…but I can’t find it…which makes me wonder if there isn’t a good reason?
Have a great day, my friend.
Hello on this last day of spring. Thank you as always for your blog. I look forward to each one. In the meantime, I am attempting to knit the Grace Baby Blanket. On row 4, it says SS3, knit, SS3
Does this mean that I K1, P1, K1 for the seed stitch, then knit across the row until the last three stitches, then K1, P1, K1 to end the row?
Thank you so much for your help. Thanks!
Hi Norene! Hope all is well
Yup, that’s exactly what it means. I guess that was not the best, most articulate way to communicate that.
Another novel I thoroughly enjoyed was ‘The Extraordinary Life of Sam Hell.’ It’s right up there with the Amor Towels’ books, which I loved.
I LOVED ‘The Extraordinary Life of Sam Hell’! We have very similar tastes in books. Have you read ‘A Fine Balance’ by Rohan Mistry? I think you’ll like it if you like those others. What else have you loved?