Weekly Update

In case you missed it, here are this week’s blog posts:

  • Tag: Sunshine Blogger Award (Take 14)
  • Review: My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite
  • Top Ten Tuesday: Cookbooks I’m thankful for
  • Tag: Musical Shuffle Book Tag
  • Review: Sourdough by Robin Sloane
  • Review: Proof of Collusion by Seth Abramson

I’ve been reading:

Recently acquired:

  • nothing other than library books!

1 thing this week:

  • I’m in Wisconsin for Thanksgiving! I scheduled this post a whole week in advance.

Song of the week:

How was your week? What’s the best thing you read or listened to? Anything interesting happening in your life? Let’s talk in the comments!

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Book Review: Proof of Collusion by Seth Abramson

Proof of Collusion by Seth Abramson
Rating: ★★★★☆
Links: Amazon • TBD • Goodreads
Publication Date: November 13, 2018
Source: Borrowed

For the first time, the full, explosive record of the unthinkable: how a US president compromised American foreign policy in exchange for financial gain and covert election assistance.

Looking back at this moment, historians will ask if Americans knew they were living through the first case of criminal conspiracy between an American presidential candidate turned commander in chief and a geopolitical enemy. The answer might be: it was hard to see the whole picture. The stories coming in from across the globe have often seemed fantastical: clandestine meetings in foreign capitals, secret recordings in a Moscow hotel, Kremlin agents infiltrating the Trump inner circle…

Seth Abramson has tracked every one of these far-flung reports, and now in, Proof of Collusion, he finally gives us a record of the unthinkable—a president compromising American foreign policy in exchange for financial gain and covert election assistance. The attorney, professor, and former criminal investigator has used his exacting legal mind and forensic acumen to compile, organize, and analyze every piece of the Trump-Russia story. His conclusion is clear: the case for collusion is staring us in the face. Drawing from American and European news outlets, he takes readers through the Trump-Russia scandal chronologically, putting the developments in context and showing how they connect. His extraordinary march through all the public evidence includes:

-How Trump worked for thirty years to expand his real estate empire into Russia even as he was rescued from bankruptcy by Putin’s oligarchs, Kremlin agents, and the Russian mafia.

-How Russian intelligence gathered compromising material on him over multiple trips.

-How Trump recruited Russian allies and business partners while running for president.

-How he surrounded himself with advisers who engaged in clandestine negotiations with Russia.

-How Trump aides and family members held secret meetings with foreign agents and lied about them.

By pulling every last thread of this complicated story together, Abramson argues that—even in the absence of a report from Special Counsel Mueller or a thorough Congressional investigation—the public record already confirms a quid pro quo between Trump and the Kremlin. The most extraordinary part of the case for collusion is that so much of it unfolded in plain sight.

Proof of Collusion is one of those books that I put on my Overdrive wishlist right after it came out and then just… didn’t read. Fast forward almost an entire year and I’m working at a job where I can just listen to audiobooks all day, so I decided to check it out.

This is, without a doubt, the best book I’ve read about Trump. Forget Fear, forget Fire and Fury, Proof of Collusion is far above them. This is finally the well-written, well-researched, cohesive book I’ve been wanting to read about Trump’s campaign and presidency.

I’m not going to comment on the politics of this book. What I will say is that there is a lot of information here from a lot of sources. Sometimes Abramson would address a certain topic and I’d think, “Oh, wow, it’s hard to argue against him on that one.” Other times, I’d think, “Well… that’s a bit of a stretch.” A small nitpick is that the book can get pretty repetitive, but I’ve found that’s the case with a lot of nonfiction that I’ve read recently.

Overall, though, this is a very good book on the topic of Trump’s election and presidency and if that’s something that interests you, I’d highly recommend it.

Have you read Proof of Collusion? Is it on your TBR?
Let’s talk in the comments!

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Book Review: Sourdough by Robin Sloan

Sourdough by Robin Sloan
Rating: ★★★★☆
Links: Amazon • TBD • Goodreads
Publication Date: September 5, 2017
Source: Borrowed

Lois Clary, a software engineer at a San Francisco robotics company, codes all day and collapses at night. When her favourite sandwich shop closes up, the owners leave her with the starter for their mouthwatering sourdough bread.

Lois becomes the unlikely hero tasked to care for it, bake with it and keep this needy colony of microorganisms alive.  Soon she is baking loaves daily and taking them to the farmer’s market, where an exclusive close-knit club runs the show.

When Lois discovers another, more secret market, aiming to fuse food and technology, a whole other world opens up. But who are these people, exactly?

One of the things that I really love about being able to listen to audiobooks at work is that I have the opportunity to listen to things that I probably wouldn’t get around to reading otherwise. Sourdough is one of those books.

I didn’t really know what this book was about, just that I’d seen a few good reviews of it and it was available at the library. This ended up being a really fun, light read and a classic kind of feel-good book. I loved the Lois Club and originally I thought that the author made it up, but it turns out that it’s a real thing!

The underground world of the farmer’s market was so much fun to read about! More than anything, though, this book made me want to bake some sourdough bread. Even writing this review is making me hungry. I’m headed over to my library’s website now to see if they have Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore.

Have you read Sourdough? Is it on your TBR?
Let’s talk in the comments!

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Tag: Musical Shuffle Book Tag

I was tagged by Jamsu to do the Musical Shuffle Book Tag! This tag was created by Bex @ Becca Leighanne, and it sounds super fun. I’m just going to put my whole music library on shuffle and see what I come up with.

(Today is a tag instead of a WWW Wednesday because I’m traveling for the holiday and wasn’t sure if I’d have time to write the post!)

The rules:

In this tag, we put the tunes on shuffle & with each song we list a character, a ship, a book — whatever book-related that the song reminds us of. Consider it their song. Let’s do it for 5-10 songs (y’all can be extra if you want. I love people who are extra) & then TAG 5-10 OF YOUR FELLOW BLOGGERS. 

[1] Hurricane by Something Corporate

Shake down, you make me break
For goodness sake, I think I’m on the edge
Of something new with you
Shout out, don’t drown the sound
I’ll drown you out, you’ll never scream so loud
As I want to scream with you

This screams friends-to-lovers to me, and not in a cute and innocent way. A book that I think fits that well is Not So Nice Guy by R.S. Grey.

[2] Are You Home by Broods

I love this song, but this is not a book that I’d love to read! This song is about suspecting that your significant other is cheating on you, and the most cheating-heavy book I’ve ever read is Always Never Yours.

[3] Sadie Hawkins Dance by Relient K

Sitting in the back of my next class, napping
Got up, gave a speech, then bowed to the clapping
Told a funny joke, got the whole class laughing
Think I got a tan from the light which I was basking

Well, that’s a throwback! I went to Catholic high school in the early 2000s, so Relient K was kind of a big deal. This song still makes me smile. But anyway, this song is definitely about a guy who loves to perform, so that’s got to be Tiny Cooper in Hold Me Closer.

[4] Enchanted by Taylor Swift

This is me praying that
This was the very first page
Not where the storyline ends
My thoughts will echo your name
Until I see you again
These are the words I held back
As I was leaving too soon
I was enchanted to meet you

I feel like this song is exactly what Arthur would have started singing after meeting Ben in What If It’s Us.

[5] Soul Meets Body by Death Cab for Cutie

Sometimes I forget how much I love Death Cab until one of their songs shows up on shuffle and I’m reminded… like right now. Anyway, Soul Meets Body is one of my favorites of their songs and I particularly like the verse about bad things coming to the surface, but everything feeling better afterward.

Well, I cannot guess what we’ll discover
When we turn the dirty with our palms cupped like shovels
But I know our filthy hands can wash one another’s
And not one speck will remain

This is very second chance romance-y to me, and one of those that I really loved that dealt with that theme was Love and Other Words by Christina Lauren.

[6] Don’t Feel Like Crying by Sigrid

First of all, this is MY JAM. But let’s see… a book in which someone dries their eyes because they don’t feel like crying. I think Catherine in Heartless would fit.

[7] The Mixed Tape by Jack’s Mannequin

I love this song so, so much, and figuring out a book or character or anything to pair with it was really difficult! I think the closest I can get, if I take the lines “I can’t get to you” and “Where are you now,” is Blue is the Warmest Color by Julie Maroh.

[8] Jesus Christ by Brand New

Oh gosh, this is one of my all-time favorite songs and I’m about to pair it with one of my least favorite books. To me, this song is all about having an existential crisis, wondering if there’s any point to anything, wondering what (if anything) comes after death, and hoping that you’ll be saved from all of this but not really knowing if it’ll happen. The book I can think of that best fits with that is All the Bright Places, which I absolutely despise, but it is what it is.

[9] Benson Hedges by fun.

So I drove until we both broke down
I was stranded in a border town
Believing the motel TV would bring me to safety,
But between MTV and Mr. O’Reilly
I’ve come to find, that I can’t be defined

The book that immediately came to mind, which is about a road trip and learning things about yourself, is Seven Ways to Lose Your Heart.

[10] Time to Dance by Panic! at the Disco

Alright, so this is possibly cheating because this song is actually based on Invisible Monsters by Chuck Palahniuk. I think this verse best illustrates the book:

She didn’t choose this role
But she’ll play it and make it sincere so
You cry, you cry (Give me a break)
But they believe it from the tears and the teeth
Right down to the blood at her feet
Boys will be boys, hiding in estrogen
And wearing Aubergine Dreams (Give me a break)

I’m not going to tag anybody, but please feel free to steal this and share your selections! Do you like any of these songs? Would you have chosen different books for any of them? Let’s talk in the comments!

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Top Ten Tuesday: Cookbooks I’m thankful for

Happy Top Ten Tuesday! Today’s theme is a thankful freebie, and quite honestly, I’m running out of post ideas for this one. I’ve previously done blog-related things I’m thankful for, book bloggers I’m thankful for, books I’m thankful for

So, since Thanksgiving is all about the cooking, here are five cookbooks I’m thankful for and five cookbooks I’d be thankful to receive.

five cookbooks I’m thankful for

I just checked Goodreads, and apparently I only gave Homemade Pantry three stars when I got it. Well, flipping through it, I can’t help but be thankful for it. This is a cookbook that shows you that you don’t have to go out and buy everything that you use on a daily basis. A lot of things can be made from scratch, and for a lot cheaper than you can you buy it in a store. I’m definitely going to be trying the homemade vanilla extract recipe.

I have no choice but to include Betty Crocker’s Cookbook on this list. This is the cookbook that taught me how to bake pretty much everything. The first recipe I made from this cookbook was muffins — I think I was eight years old — and I’ve since made pancakes, waffles, biscuits, cookies, and more.

Dumplings are honestly one of my favorite foods, so learning the basics of wrapping and cooking them from Hey There, Dumpling! is something I can’t help but be thankful for.

I also really love Korean food, and it is expensive if you want to get it made right. (One time having cheap bibimbap was enough for me, thanks.) Thankfully, Koreatown is here to save the day.

Last but certainly not least is Sugar Rebels, a gift from my boyfriend that never fails to amaze me (and look great on a shelf). I’ve only made one recipe out of this cookbook so far, but it got rave reviews and I can’t wait to make more. This is the kind of cookbook you turn to when you want to bake something that’s going to impress a crowd.

five cookbooks I’d be thankful to receive

While I’m definitely not vegan, I appreciate a good vegan meal. In fact, there’s a great vegan restaurant just down the street from me and I’d probably eat there more often if my wallet would allow it. But anyway, I thought I Can Cook Vegan sounded kind of insulting when I first saw it in Barnes & Noble, but then I looked inside and those recipes look amazing.

I’m still sad that I never took a Milk Bar cooking class before I left New Jersey, so having Christina Tosi’s cookbook is probably the next best option.

I used to read the Serious Eats blog obsessively back in the day, and I’ve wanted to own The Food Lab ever since it was released. It’s just so expensive! One of these days it’ll be on my shelf.

Another food blog I love is Smitten Kitchen. I couldn’t even tell you how many times I’ve made Deb’s zucchini fritters. The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook has been on my Christmas list for years.

The last cookbook on my list is from another food blog — Budget Bytes. I think Budget Bytes is basically the only reason I survived college. It taught me a lot of kitchen basics and a lot of staple recipes, some of which I still make all these years later. The best part, of course, is that all of Beth’s recipes are cheap. You’re not going out and buying luxury ingredients for any of her recipes, but they don’t taste cheap. This is one cookbook that I know I’d use regularly.

Did you do your own Top Ten Tuesday post today? Feel free to leave your link in the comments and I’ll check it out! Do you have any favorite cookbooks or any that you want to buy? Let’s talk in the comments!

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