Reading Challenges in 2017

Below are those I read for the reading challenges hosted by Bev.

Color Coded ChColor Codedallenge (I think this is my 3rd year doing this challenge!)

  1. A book with “Blue” or any shade of Blue (Turquoise, Aquamarine, Navy, etc) –  Once in a Blue Moon Lodge. One of those books I picked up from the library- it was alright, had everything from a one- night stand leading to triplets to the reunion of a long lost love!
  2. A book with “Red” or any shade of Red (Scarlet, Crimson, Burgandy, etc). Five Red Herrings by Dorothy Sayers
  3. A book with “Yellow” or any shade of Yellow (Gold, Lemon, Maize, etc.) – The Golden Legend by Nadeem Aslam. Set in Pakistan, this author weaves the lives of his characters (men and women belonging to different religions) beautifully . Loved it
  4. A book with “Green” or any shade of Green (Emerald, Lime, Jade, etc) The Green Man by Kate Sedley. Another random library pick- little did I know it would be the beginning of a series of books that I would read that were set in England, Scotland or Ireland! I thought it was a decent mystery book.
  5. A book with “Brown” or any shade of Brown (Tan, Chocolate, Beige, etc) in the title/on the cover. The Chocolate Cobweb by Charlotte Armstrong
  6. A book with “Black” or any shade of Black (Jet, Ebony, Charcoal, etc) – The Black Eyed Stranger by Charlotte Armstrong
  7. A book with “White” or any shade of White (Ivory, Eggshell, Cream, etc)- Mexican Whiteboy by Matt de la Pena. A coming of age tale of a young boy. I liked it- a short, engaging read
  8. 8. A book with any other color in the title/on the cover (Purple, Orange, Silver, Pink, Magneta, etc.) Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly. A poignant WWII tale about rabbits, a.k.a experimental subjects
  9. A book with a word that implies color (Rainbow, Polka-dot, Plaid, Paisley, Stripe, etc.). All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doer. Another beautiful WWII tale- I had tears in my eyes.

Vintage Mystery Cover Scavenger Hunt

(I may have forgotten to sign up for this challenge though!)

Golden Age Mysteries (8)

Shadowy figure- A Woman in white by Wilkie Collins (1860)

Painting: The Five Red Herrings by Dorothy Sayers (1931)

Cobweb- The Chocolate Cobweb by Charlotte Armstrong (1948)

A tree- The Blue Diamond by Annie Haynes (1925)

Telephone: Death at the President’s Lodging by Michael Innes (1936)

Chandelier, candle (Lamp)- They found him dead by Georgette Heyer (1937)

Dead Body- The Red Box by Rex Stout (1937)

A blonde- A dishonest murderer by Frances Lockridge & Richard Lockridge (1949)

Silver Age Mysteries (5)

Damsel in Distress- The Black Eyed Stranger by  Charlotte Armstrong (1951)

Spooky house- The Gabriel Hounds by Mary Stewart, 1967

A tree- Fletch by Gregory McDonald, 1974

Revolver- The goodbye Look by Ross MacDonald, 1969

Bottle/Glass for drinking- The wrong case by James Crumley, 1979

Among these, Death at a President’s Lodging was hard to read and I didn’t enjoy it as much as I did most of the others. Fletch was a surprise, since I just happened to pick up the book from the book store- it was a fast read and kept me engaged! I really like Mary Stewart, Charlotte Armstrong and Wilkie Collins books 🙂

Happy reading in 2018 everyone!

From "The Baker’s Daughter"

I love to read books and I love to cook- so “Cook the Books” event called out to me, what more can I say? When I didn’t want to just sit around and catch up Breaking Bad episodes leading up to the finale yesterday, I threw these buns and some great vegan-gluten free strawberry cupcakes in the mix.

 The book chosen for the bi-monthly event Cook the Books is Sarah McCoy’s “The Baker’s Daughter“- a story about that intertwines food, history and a great narrative (toggles between WWII times in Germany and the present). I am just about a third done and so far like what I have read. I will post the review once I am done reading but in the meantime I leave you with these gorgeous buns that are traditionally made on St. Thomas Day that falls on Dec 21st (which also happens to be the shortest day).


Thomasplitzchen Buns

1 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup raw sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 cup almond milk

11/2 tsp ghee (clarified butter)
1/2 cup currants, raisins, cranberries, or whatever dried fruit you have on hand (I used raisins, currants and cranberries)
0.125 cups raw sugar

(I skipped the icing)

Mix the filling ingredients together well and set aside.

Cut the butter into the dry ingredients until a very fine crumb, add the milk, mix until it all holds together, and form into a rectangle.  Roll out to 1/8th inch thick on a floured board.  Spread the filling over to within an inch of the edges (it will squish out some).  Roll it up like a fat sausage, and then make one inch slices.  Put them pinwheel side up on a greased cookie sheet and bake in a pre-heated oven 350F until barely suntanned on top.  About 15 to 20 minutes


They were a breeze to make and their somewhat of a biscuit nature appealed to my palette.