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Top Ten Reads I Would Like My Kids to Read

By November 15, 2017 Books, Memes

November 14th is celebrated as Children’s Day in India, on the birthday of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of India, who was affectionately known as Chacha Nehru (chacha means uncle). So this topic for today’s Top Ten at the Broke and the Bookish seemed just right.  Here is my list of the top ten books I would love for my children to read (some of which they already have, they are 14 and 11 years now). I had a similar list put up earlier for the same and that list is here. Today’s list contains some of those books (and authors) again so an overlap and some other books as well. Some that I read as a child myself and others that I have read in recent years.


1. Books by Frances Hodgson Burnett – Little Princess/ The Secret Garden

2. Books by Louisa May Alcott – Little Women / Little Men/ Jo’s Boys and more

3. Enid Blyton – The Famous Five, The Five Find-outers, The Adventure Series, Secret Seven, The Naughtiest Girl series, Malory Towers, and so many of her other books

4. Nancy Drew/Hardy Boy series

5. Amar Chitra Katha

6. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak/Anne Frank – The Diary of a Young Girl

7. Tintin and Asterix series

8. Short stories by O Henry, Oscar Wilde, Saki

9. Dr.Seuss and Roald Dahl

10. Ruskin Bond and R.K Narayan

As always, I have cheated a bit by putting together some authors/books or by adding an author or a series instead of a single book 🙂

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It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? post on Tuesday!!

By November 15, 2017 Books, Memes, Reviews

Mi Gato, Mi Perro (My Cat, My Dog) – A bilingual book for younger learners (and also worked for me to impress my 14 yo who is learning Spanish in high-school and check his learning skills at the same time) which impressed with both the cute, colorful illustrations and text that repeated just the right amount to help learn. I had memorized most of the words used in the book due to the clever repetitions by the time I reached the end of the book! es un buen libro!!


Harry’s Spooky Surprise! (Harry The Happy Mouse Book 3) – Loved this book, it surprised me at the end and will without a doubt provide that sweet surprise to any reader of the book. I will be reading all the other books in the series. Harry the Happy Mouse is sure to delight!!



Harry Moon Halloween Nightmares – This book is about magic, and all that is good with a generous serving of adventure. Harry Moon and his family are very likable and believable too. I need to read the rest of the series now.
‘What all boys and girls are destined to become if they simply believe…….They become magic’



Disclaimer: Thanks to NetGalley and the publishers for digital copies of the Mi Gato, Mi Perro and Harry Moon books. They are all available on Amazon (affiliate links above)

All these books go towards It’s Monday! What are you Reading? KidLit hosted over at TeachMentorTexts. Join in and check the other links to find fascinating new reads and discover wonderful older ones too.

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15 Stocking Stuffers for Kids of all Ages Under $15 – Part 2 of Holiday Gift List

By November 11, 2017 Art, Books, Everything Else


This is me here again, with another edition of loved or much-requested items that will be sure hits as gifts. As much as I admit to falling into the trap of giving gift cards as gifts (which tends to be easier sometimes, and usually because I have not spent time planning to look into that perfect gift for a person). But it is possible, I have done that in the past and hope I can keep doing it more often going forward. Opening a wrapped present is so much more fun than opening (well, not really opening) a gift card!!

And if you have any questions about these toys, anything at all, feel free to let me know in the comments, and I will do my best to answer. Having either used almost all of these myself or having heard from the active users, I should hope I can feel qualified to answer at least some of them 🙂

Today’s list will fit in the stocking (some of them in a slightly larger one like we have at home!) and  all currently priced less than $15, some way lesser! These are all gifts I have bought over and over again to gift (and once definitely to keep!):

For kids who enjoy entertaining their audience, this book is perfect – the Laugh-Out-Loud Jokes for Kids. I cannot recall how many jokes I have heard my kids (especially my DD) say to us from this book.



For kids who love math, this game is cool, colorful, and can be taken on trips – comes in a trendy bag all its own. Sumoku has seen itself being played many a time and am sure was silently shouting out the answers while we pondered upon it. It is fun, smart, and well, fun!!


Do you have a budding chef in your family? Then this Toysmith Deluxe Chef Set is for her (and at the current price of less than $14, it is a steal indeed). And you could make it fit in the stocking if you pack it just right!


Are you looking for a gift to take with you on your trip? That can possibly fit in your purse and you can whip out anytime for that one kid who needs to be occupied. Currently under $10, Kanoodle fits the bill, literally!! Teases your brain and I am sure you will not be ready to share with your kid once you start playing it 🙂


For another perfect travel bag that will fit in your purse and can be played as a family game for hours of imaginative fun, here is Rory’s Story Cubes. I have an idea around for a while to use these to write a book of short stories!! It definitely can get those creative juices flowing for when you are facing writer’s block. But seriously, this is total family fun!



One more stocking stuffer game to keep that kid who could not fall asleep on the road trip while his sibling is dozing occupied – the the Thinkfun Gordian’s Knot. It definitely baffles me too every time we take it apart and we have already had it for years now!



This book set is adorable, it is Maurice Sendak, it is a gem. I have enjoyed reading it and it occupies a place of pride in my library (just a teeny bit of space at that). Maurice Sendak’s Nutshell Library is the perfect stocking stuffer.

The Rubiks Cube is listed as one of the most popular toys ever since its inception. This version of the cube is super smooth and easy to move




And if you have not already seen it or heard of it, Spot It here!! The kids make sure they have it with them on road trips (even now at ages 14 and 11 years) – it is fun, addictive, and keeps them busy, and not watching something on a device which makes us parents happy!


For more word fun, and if you are a Scrabble addict, then Bananagrams is the stocking stuffer game on the go for you.



Kangaroo’s Do You Want to Build a Snowman? I am sure hearing these words would lead to your kids singing the song, but really, you can build a snowman with this adorable kit. I do not have this exact kit myself but we do have foam putty that we have used to build snowmen before.

You know Monopoly is a game that can safely keep the kids occupied for hours on end, so here is a version to carry with you as a card game – the Hasbro Gaming Monopoly Deal Card Game.




Letters to me, When I Grow up: Write Now, Read Later, Treasure Forever: I am always partial to anything that promotes writing and this looks and sounds wonderful. This one is definitely making its way home soon for my kids to use.

And if you have a girl that could use some hair ties, these No Crease Hair Ties 20 Pack by Kenz Laurenz are wonderful. They are bright, colorful, and ouchless. I can vouch for them having used them myself (and my little girl loves them too).


Crazy Aaron Thinking Putty Clear Glass
This is one item my DD has been asking forever now, so maybe this year? Crazy Aaron’s Thinking Putty is sure to be a super hit in any stocking, and this one featured here is clear glass.



Hope you found something useful in this list here and end up buying something:)

I will be back with more gift lists for kids and adults; and a whole lot of DIYs too that you will enjoy making, and giving. You can subscribe to my blog so I can keep you updated on all this and more (on the right sidebar)

And for part one of my #holidaygiftlist, click here.

– always wishing you the best

Lady In Read…..

(note: this post contains affiliate links)

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A Holiday Gift Guide for Kids of all Ages – Part One

By November 7, 2017 Art, Books, Everything Else, Reviews

This is the first of the gift-list posts I promised a couple of days ago. Very soon, before you know it, it will be Christmas and here are some gifts that will be sure to bring a smile on the faces of those who receive it. These are books and activity kits all in one and sure to keep your kids occupied with wonderful results to top it off. These books are aimed for kids ages 8+ and I know I have enjoyed them as well (and younger ones too, with some supervision).

Klutz Make Clay Charms Craft Kit – This book is totally ‘charming’, literally too! I bought many copies of the book as gifts before I finally got one for my DD. She was almost convinced I will not get it for her each time a copy arrived by mail in the now familiar shipping box at our home. So when I did finally buy it for her, it took some effort and an additional boKLUTZ Clay Charms Holiday Gift Guideok of charms (which was incidentally a gift once again for a favorite friend) to ensure that she did finally have her own copy of the book. It took her all of 20 minutes to make a half a dozen charms (some pictured below while a couple others were gifted to her little cousins as they worked on them together with my little one leading them both).
With easy to follow instructions for adorable charms, this book is sure to be a hit with all little crafters!!Clay Charms that look yummy enough to eat

And that is not all, the Glitter Clay Charms is also much loved (yet to get for my DD but gifted many times over already) as is the Make your Mini Erasers book which is something I have been thinking about and not yet tried myself or gifted yet (maybe this Christmas?).


Considering we love Legos in our home and my 14 yo has made a couple of stop motion movies with Legos before, the KLUTZ LEGO Make Your Own Movie Kit  is a strong contender for our next KLUTZ buy as well along with the Lego Chain Reactions Craft Kit and the Lego Crazy Action Contraptions Kit. The Crazy Action Contraptions Kit has been gifted and loved as well by friends and I can vouch for it.

KLUTZ LEGO Make Your Own Movie Holiday Gift GuideKLUTZ LEGO Crazy Action Contraptions Holiday Gift Guide

And for fun at any time, face painting is always an option. This book was a gift for my little girl a few years ago and has seen a lot oKLUTZ Face Painting Holiday Gift Guidef use. The instructions for the different designs are clear and easy to follow and my DD was a face-painter artiste while the paints lasted (now, we need to get more paints!)

Note: While this is not a sponsored post at all as I have personally bought (as mentioned many times over too) and used many of these items or heard from those I have gifted the items too, this post contains affiliate links.

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Magic Monday – 13 Spooky Halloween Reads for Kids and Adults

By October 30, 2017 Books

“The baby bat

Screamed out in fright,

‘Turn on the dark,

I’m afraid of the light.”

― Shel Silverstein

light in the attic shel silverstein

So we all have our fears! Dracula would definitely have screamed out too like baby bat, wouldn’t he? The poem above is from Shel Silverstein’s wonderful book ‘Light in the Attic‘ (and he has more fun spooky poems as well from his many books). So what scares you? Me, I would put creepy, crawly things on my list first (spiders, depends on the size!!).  But reading calms my every fear….

Little Women Louisa May AlcottReading to my kids when they were much younger and to/with them as they grew older has been a treasured activity for me. They are 14 and 11 now, and I still read to/with them every once in a while. Over the summer, my daughter and I read some of ‘Little Women‘ together, each of us picked a couple of characters that we chose to read and read their parts out, while taking turns reading in the rest of the book which was non-dialog. I am hoping to get back to it soon with her.

With my son, I normally just chose to read what he is reading (though not always at the same pace/time) – he just finished reading ‘Of Mice and Men’ and I need to get to that soon!!

And themed reading can be fun with kids! Holidays present a wonderful opportunity for themed reading with so many ways we can incorporate the holiday – books need not be about Halloween or Thanksgiving or Christmas or Valentine’s Day, instead they can be spooky or scary, about giving or volunteering or sharing, about love in every way…

treats only halloween ladyinread

So here is a list of 13 books to read on or around Halloween, or really, any time of the year (across age groups):

  1. The Berenstain Bears – The Big Book of Berenstain Books – Beginner Books – Watching the TV show was always fun and the books are delightful. This set of books has a couple of spooky tales to read – including the aptly named ‘The Spooky Old Tree’ (Ages 3 – 7 years, and even older!)
  2. The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything – She is truly not afraid – a fun look at feet and pants and a shirt and a hat that go together (Preschool – Grade 2, and again even older!)
  3. Harry’s Spooky Surprise! (Harry The Happy Mouse Book 3)  – Harry’s spooky surprise is good at teaching kids not to be scared and finding friends in unexpected places; and at showing how you can be kind, loving, and with the help of friends, surprise loved ones with the best of surprises.. (For Ages to 5 years old and even older)
  4. The Witches by Roald Dahl – Roald Dahl, enough said! (8 to 12 years old)
  5. Frankenstein and Dracula (Classic Library Hardcover edition) – I bought mine at a book fair years ago and love how it looks in addition to the books themselves!  (Grades 3 – 7 for Frankenstein; and over Grade 6 for Dracula)
  6. Twice Told Tales by Nathaniel Hawthorne
  7. Lord of the Flies
  8. The Tell-Tale Heart and Other Writings by Edgar Allen Poe (my favorite, of course, is ‘The Tell-Tale Heart’) and/or Tales of Mystery and Terror by Edgar Allen Poe
  9. The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman (Grades 5 – 8)
  10. The Canterville Ghost by Oscar Wilde – I read this first when I was about 11, I think and I remember crying for the ghost. I truly love him more with every reading.
  11. The Exorcist – I read the book as an adult (watched the movie when I was a kid) and the book left me sleepless and scared for a couple of days!! For braver high schoolers?? and adults…
  12. The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde –
  13. Collected Ghost Stories – M.R.James –

berenstain bearstell tale heart poepoe

hawthorne twice-toldcollected ghost storiesFrankenstein Dracula

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The Tuesday of Children’s Book Week, 2017

By May 3, 2017 Books, Food, Memes
So, now that I completed two challenges in April, I realized I need the challenge of a challenge to keep me going, at least for now… So, while I was commenting on blogs for the April challenges, I noticed one of the bloggers was planning to take part in something called the 31 Day Writing Challenge over at WritersBra. Though the challenge started midway in April, I also noticed that Deanna of WritersBra also mentioned it would be OK to start it at anytime! So here is my Day One of that 31-day Challenge – Create a Cool Infographic.  It took a while to get an idea and then to learn how to do it – for the very first time, including figuring out the tool for it; but here it is:
 Tuesday on my blog, meant per my initial plan/theme, was for a Yummy Tummy Tuesday post featuring recipes tried, tested, and loved. It has been a while since I made an effort to write down such a post, though not for lack of trying out and enjoying new recipes! While I work towards actually getting recipes out here on my blog, today’s post will still be food-oriented and also towards my Top Ten Tuesday post.  And since this is Children’s Book Week (May 1 – 7, 2017), the Top Ten list today is geared towards children’s books (some middle grade as well)
Top Ten Covers of Children’s books featuring food covers all that I said earlier 🙂 
Have read and enjoyed:




Want/Yet to Read






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Yummy Tummy Tuesday – Teasers that tease and Top Tens

By January 14, 2014 Books, Food, Memes
hollow city miss peregrine's peculiar children

frog music

For TTT where we are listing the top ten reads we are looking forward to in 2014, over at The Broke and the Bookish

  1. Isla and the Happily Ever After (Anna and the French Kiss, #3) by Stephanie Perkins – just finished the first two books in this series in the past two weeks in 2014:).  Reviews here and here.
  2. Graduation Day: The Testing Book 3 by Joelle Charbonneau (also Independent Study: The Testing, Book 2- which just came out) – Loved ‘The Testing’ – my review of the book is here.
  3. The 52-Storey Treehouse by Andy Griffith – I read book 1 of this series (loved it and reviewed it here) and somehow missed books 2 and 3 – plan to finish reading them – 13 times table! – by the time this one is out.
  4. Family Life by Akhil Sharma – When I read about this book, I had to add it to this list.
    His first book has been something I wanted to read for a long time.
  5. The Last Word by Hanif Kureishi – this is featured in many lists of books to read this year.
  6. The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd – Her first book was one I enjoyed reading and I do plan to read this soon
  7. Can’t and Won’t by Lydia Davis Perfect by Rachel Joyce – ‘Unlikely Pilgrimage….’ has been  on my TBR for a long time and currently on hold in the library for me. Perfect – seems just wonderful!
  8. Every Day Is for the Thief  by Teju Cole – again, like ‘The Last Word’, this book was just everywhere. So as part of trying new authors and different types of books, I added this one.
  9. Frog Music: A Novel by Emma Donoghue
  10. HOLLOW CITY Miss Peregrine, Book Two by Ransom Riggs – am finally reading book 1:) and looking forward to book 2 already.
  11. Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage by Haruki Murakami – Have been meaning to read Murakami forever now so why not start with this one.
  12. The Past as Present by Romila Thapar Aleph
  13. Reel India: Cinema and Small Town India by Namrata Joshi


everyday is for the thief teju colesue monk kidd the invention of wings
For Teaser Tuesdays today, I present two books:
From ‘The Vegan Cookbook: Feed your Soul, Taste the Love: 100 of the Best Vegan Recipes by Adele McConnell ‘ –  a picture:) After all, a picture says a thousand words. Here is my teaser: This is the Moroccan Quinoa Soup featured on pg 56 of the book.

moroccan quinoa stew vegan

Wild Cheryl StrayedAnd from ‘Wild‘ by Cheryl Strayed – a book I have been wanting to read for a long time for various reasons – for the fact that this ‘wild’ is the Pacific Crest Trail, that I have enjoyed books like this in the past (Journey to Timbuktu), and more.
‘It occurred to me that now would be the perfect time to take a photograph, but to unpack the camera would entail such a series of gear and bungee cord removals that I didn’t even want to attempt it. Plus, in order to get myself in the picture, I’d have to find something to prop the camera on so I could set its timer and get into place before it took the shot, and nothing around me looked too promising.’
From Pg 54

Today, people around India celebrate the harvest season and the sun itself  – celebrated as Pongal in the south, Sankaranti in various parts of India, as Bihu in the north east, as Lohri in the north. We celebrate Pongal at our home. Traditionally, Pongal is a harvest festival and celebrates life in all forms – from the life giving sun to the birds and the bees.
As kids, we looked forward to many of our festivals as they marked the arrival of new clothes and of course, festive and delicious dishes. The main dishes for Pongal (other than a wedding scale feast on day one of the 4-day long festival) is the two pongals!

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Fun Friday – Author Interview with Josh Donellan

By April 27, 2013 Books
Josh Donellan

I reviewed ‘Zeb and the Great Ruckus‘ by Josh Donellan sometime back here on my blog and this book is now among my favorite reads for all ages. This is one other book I have added to the few books I recommend to everyone. You can find my review of the book here. My ten-year old also has this book on his read-again-many-times list now! I believe he has already read it through twice fully and is looking forward to his third read of the book.

Zeb and the Great RuckusThat is why I was so excited when Josh agreed to do an interview with me a couple of months ago and then he was so gracious and patient with me when I took these two months to actually send him the questions which he answered promptly. This list of questions is from my ten-year old and me for Josh and his answers qualified this interview for my Friday post! I am sure you will enjoy reading his answers as much as we did..

And be sure to pick up his books here.

So here is Josh Donellan:

Where do you get your cool ideas? You mention an idea-factory:) How can I build one for myself?
I like to joke that I have a team of gnomes that I keep in a basement that just churn out ideas for me like the Oompa Loompas in Willy Wonka’s Chocolate factory. However, the truth is that there isn’t any one source, but I do like to say that as a writer ‘everything is research.’ Every experience, happy or sad, positive or negative, adds to the palette of emotions that you can draw from and the possible sources of inspiration.

In the case of Zeb many of the ideas came from things that my kid brother and the kids I teach had said or done. I’m always inspired and enthralled by the way that kids relish and thrive on new experience, treating life like it’s a great big bowl of ice cream to be eagerly devoured. There’s a lot to be learnt from that. The other day a kid told me my next book should be ‘More funnier and have Dr. Who in it.’ I can probably work on the first part, not so sure about the second…

What is your favorite color? Do you prefer the sunshine yellows or the muddy browns or other parts of the spectrum?
I love forest greens. I live in Queensland and am lucky enough to be surrounded by trees and rainforest. These are colours I associate with growth, optimism and adventure.

What is your favorite ice cream flavor?
It hasn’t been invented yet, but if someone could make an ice cream that takes like ‘Fond Memories of a Summer’s Day Listening to Hendrix and Swimming With Friends’ that would be my favourite ever.

What languages do you speak? Do you speak Hindi?
I can speak enough Spanish to have a simple conversation, and I know just a handful of words and phrases in Hindi. India is one of my favourite places in the world, although I haven’t seen half as much of it as I would like.

What is the question you hope people will ask you in interviews? Which one is the question you dread?
I find that children often ask better questions than adults. Grown ups often want to know about motivation, the details of getting published, my approach to structure etc. All the mechanical stuff. I usually don’t enjoy those questions because you can’t really answer them without going into long, tedious detail. Kids just want to get to the juicy heart of things. I think my favourite question ever has been when a kid yelled at me ‘ARE ALEPHS REAL WHERE DO THEY LIVE I WANT TO GET ONE AND HAVE IT AS A PET AND NAME IT SAMANTHA AND DANCE WITH IT EVERY DAY.’

Who is your favorite character from Zeb? Mine is Flip and my son loves Zeb.
Will Zeb have another adventure?

Of course I’m very fond of Zeb, but Smokey Waters is very special to me, as he is loosely based on Robert Johnson, the enigmatic godfather of the blues. That said, Flip is really a delight. I think my favourite individual lines of dialogue are all Flip quotes.

I have had a few kids demand a sequel, but I think I’ll move on to other things. My next novel will be for adults, that should be out at the end of the year, and then I have loose plans to write a very strange and ridiculous kids’ book with the working title Jennifer B. Cellardoor: the Strangest Girl You Ever Saw. I think there aren’t enough great female leads in children’s literature at the moment and I’d like to add one to the ranks.

You can find out more about him on his webpage.

Friday Memes:
I have two books today for Book
: and The Friday 56: –
The first book is ‘Zeb and the Great Ruckus’  which I have featured before on these two and again today. You will get a glimpse of why we love Zeb.The beginning captured my interest totally. Here it is for you to enjoy as well:
is a story made from pieces of all the dreams that you had when you
were asleep, but then forgot when you woke up. Some of the most
brilliant ideas occur in dreams: songs, poems, stories, inventions.”

On Page 56, I found this fun snippet to share:
“He knows even? Even what? Even
numbers? Odds or evens? Evangeline the baker’s daughter? Oh Zeb, don’t make me
guess, you know I’m no good at guessing games.”

twerpAnd the second book I am featuring is one I just started reading today, ‘Twerp‘ by Mark Goldblatt that I received from NetGalley

The Beginning has me wondering what happened over winter recess:
‘My English teacher, Mr.Selkirk, says I have to write something, and it has to be long, on account of the thing that happened over winter recess – which, in my opinion, doesn’t amount to much.’

And on Page 56, this made me curious:
‘I wish what happened to Danley didn’t happen. But it did happen, and it’s not like I’m losing sleep over it. You want to know what I’m losing sleep over?’

For Five Minute Fridays, the topic this week is Friend.
My friends hold a special place in my heart. When I talking about friends here today, I am talking about those outside of family who have now become so much a part of my life, not necessarily in person, that I consider them family.
My best friend from elementary school and I are still very close. She is not much of a writer or a social media person, so we do not end up chatting that very often at all. But when we do meet, once every year or more, when I make a trip back to India, where she stays with her lovely family, it is as if all that time apart did not matter one bit, and we are back in that level of comfort and closeness we had all those years ago somehow become stronger with years.
Friends I made in later years, in college, are also the ones I lean on even today during times when I need a shoulder and the ones I plan my adventures with – the years in college were both filled with fun adventures as well as tough (not too tough though) times – and our friendship has strengthened over the years.
Finally, I have the friends I made more recently, and they are the ones I interact with almost daily – they are the ones I discuss my every moment of every day with – nothing is too hard to share with them.
These are all my …friends.

For My Friday Flash 55

Cosby and Me
There he was, Cosby,
bantered with the lady near me
“Why not me?”
Alas, it was not to be
During this evening of comedy
Scene – us – a little later –
Coffee shop in the corner
In walks Cosby Jr.
Imparted these words of wisdom to hubby dear
‘A wife is always right, this – you remember’

The backstory on this photo – this photo is really me with Bill Cosby – almost 15 years ago – during my first visit to Vegas with DH. We had booked tickets to Bill Cosby’s show, got wonderful seats in the orchestra pit and Mr.Cosby walked right up to me during the show and as part of something he was talking about, bantered with the lady seated next to me. I was so hopeful it would have been me – I had been in the US for just a few months by then and watching Cosby reruns as well ‘Kids Say the Darnedest things’ meant I really admired him.
Well, the show got over too soon. We went to a little coffee shop located in the same casino in Vegas where the show was. As we were having our coffee, who walked in but Mr.Cosby himself! The doors of the shop were shut behind him by security to prevent more people from walking in but they let the few customers who were inside, including us, stay inside. He had come in to thank the staff at the shop for having made his stay there at the hotel great! So it came to be that we had a up, close, and personal chat with him. He was so wonderful – he chatted with us like he had known us for years, and yes, he did tell DH those words up there in the poem – ‘A wife is always right!’

I have lots of visiting planned – on the blog world over the weekend:)
and I am enjoying reading the comments and reading everyone’s
contributions to the various memes.. And I am still catching up from
earlier this week on everyone’s posts on all the memes I participate in. 

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Yummy Tummy Tuesday – A Recipe, a Giveaway ending today, and memes

By February 13, 2013 Books, Food

Here is a recipe for a yummy, filling and healthy snack that is easy to make as well. And there is still time to enter the giveaway on my blog for a yummy vegan desserts book here.

Quick Cutlet
Sandwich with veggie cutlet (pattie)1 slice of bread – toast well and crumble it to bread crumbs
4 small or 2 medium potatoes
1 carrot
Few green beans (4-5)
½ cup peas
Red chili powder
Chaat masala and/or amchur powder
Dhaniya (coriander) powder
Coriander leaves
Spinach or kale or other greens – ½ cup cooked (I used frozen)Boil the carrot, potatoes, beans, peas until soft.  Put them in a food processor, add the greens and the powders along with the coriander leaves and grind for a couple of minutes. It does not have to become a puree just mixed well together and mashed a little (or you can mash by hand).
Now take the mix little by little, pat into a patty shape, roll it on the breadcrumbs to coat the patty with the crumbs evenly.
In a heated pan, add a little oil and fry the patty on both sides until golden brown
Serve by itself with any chutney or sauce/ketchup of choice or use as a burger patty (like I did)

The topic for this week’s Top Ten over at The Broke and the Bookish is Top Ten Favorite Romances: I know I have taken liberties here by including whole series of books – if I could, this list would have become a top 100 pretty soon 🙂 but kept it to ten by using these series and I know there are a great many I wanted to include which I have not here (and others that when I look at other lists or recall later, I will wonder why I did not include them here today), but here is my list, for now:

  1.     Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
  2.     Pride and Prejudice (my favorite of Austen’s now) and other works of Austen
  3.     Tess of D’Urbervilles, The Mayor of Casterbridge and other works of Thomas Hardy
  4.     Twelfth Night (my favorite romantic comedy of Shakespeare) and a few others as well
  5.     Stephanie Laurens – The Cynster series
  6.     Lisa Kleypas – The Hathaway series
  7.     Julia Quinn –  Bridgerton series
  8.     Johanna Lindsey – Malory Family series
  9.     Eloisa James – The Essex Sisters series
  10.     Nora Roberts – Three Sisters Island trilogy

For Teaser Tuesdays over at Should Be Reading, from Never
Look a Polar Bear in the Eye: A Family Field Trip to the Arctic’s Edge
in Search of Adventure, Truth, and Mini-Marshmallows
by Zac Unger

It’s rare to be in the presence of a true carnivore, and there’s something about knowing that an animal wants to eat you that makes a man feel alive. You don’t even have to see the teeth to get the full effect, although it certainly helps. ‘
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Magic Monday – A leaf, a robot, a goat, and a visionary

By February 14, 2012 Books, Memes, Reviews
A Leaf Can Be Laura Purdie Silas
A Leaf Can Be: A wonderful book that shows very simply and beautifully, in flowing rhymes with soft, whimsical, yet vibrant illustrations that a leaf is not just a leaf – it is and can be many different things – other than the obvious. It can, of course be, a sun-taker, and it can also be a moth-matcher! The book takes us through the seasons to show the many faces of the leaf during the many phases of the year. Author  Laura Purdie Salas and illustrator Violeta Dabija have blended their talents to bring together a book that is entertaining, enchanting, and educational at the same time. By showing us that a leaf can be so much, this book teaches us not only the many uses of leaves (and thus plants/trees), and it also subtly tells us that each of us can be so much more!
The book also includes a glossary, a list of books for further reading, and a useful index called ‘More about Leaves’ where each of the phrases used in the book is described in detail. One example is below:
Air cleaner: When leaves take in air , they also take tiny bits of pollution out of the air. Leaves also send out clean oxygen , a chemical in the air that people need to breathe
Rating: A (I have read it many times already at the request of my six year old and for myself, just to see the illustrations themselves)
Reading Level: Ages 5 to 8

You can download delightful bookmarks here with images and rhymes from the book.

beep and bahBeep and Bah: This book is supercute – since I read it first, I have read
it so many times over already. The kids love it too and cannot resist returning
to read it. Beep the robot and Bah the goat, along with the many other animals
they meet on their adventure are delightful.

A missing sock – that is something everyone is familiar with;
who has not wondered where a single sock from each of our pairs has vanished to?
Well, in this story, when Bah finds one single sock early one morning and goes to his friend Beep, Beep decides that the best thing to do is go find out where the missing sock has gone and takes Bah along with him on the adventure. There is minimal text in the story and the illustrations convey a whole lot bringing whole new meaning to ‘A picture is worth a thousand words’. Readers of all ages can enjoy the book and follow the story without a problem. The illustrations are fun, silly, and bright and engage the reader from the start to the end. The end – it is perfect! Both my son and I are trying to see if I can come up with a new adventure for Beep and Bah and enjoying making up stories in our mind for now. In the meantime, I just hope the author/illustrator of this continues to create more adventures for Beep and Bah for us to enjoy.
You can download delightful bookmarks here with images and rhymes from the book.
Rating: A
Reading Level: Up to 8 yrs
Reread Level: A
Titans of Business – Steve Jobs: Concise, inspirational, informative – a good book for young
children to learn about Steve Jobs.  This
book provides a brief overview of Steve Jobs life and achievements without
going too much in detail. It provides a glimpse into his personality, the
visionary that he was, his value for perfection and simplicity, and the inspiration
he continues to be even after his death. NeXT, PIXAR, and APPLE itself are all
included as part of his professional journey in the book. Nick Hunter lists
Jobs’ successes and failures as well as his strengths and weaknesses.
Snippets of interesting facts as well as quotes are
highlighted in different colored boxes making the book visually pleasing along
with the many photos included (many of which are Jobs’).
Examples of the facts/quotes from the book:
“The bite was added so
people would know it was an apple and not a tomato.”
‘“Do you want to sell
sugar water all your life or do you want to change the world?” Jobs tries to persuade
Pepsi’s John Sculley to join Apple’
It includes a ‘Glossary’ of words used in the book for the
young reader (though I am sure most young readers nowadays are born knowing
many of these words!), a helpful list of more books to read and websites to
explore, and a section for the young entrepreneur with Steve Jobs’ ideas on how
to be one.
Rating: B – the book by itself is great for kids to
introduce Steve Jobs and presented well.
Reading Level: Ages 9 to 11Disclaimer:Thank you to NetGalley for sending me a
digital review copy of all three books above. I was not compensated for my review. My thoughts on
this book were in no way influenced by the author or publicist. They
are my personal opinions formed when I read this book.

All books go towards the  Read-to-Me Picture Book Challenge
A Leaf can Be and Steve Jobs go towards the Non-Fiction book challenge at KidLitFrenzy 

Monday Memes:
What are you reading? is a weekly meme hosted by Book Journey.
It is a time when we share what we’ve read, currently reading, or what is up
next on our reading list.
Completed reading:
Books reviewed here today
Currently reading:
Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne
The Lilac House by Anita Nair
(digital ARC)
Next to read:
Lots and lots and lots to pick from…
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