Friday Five

1. Un-put-down-able? Have you ever not liked a book you were supposed to like? I mean, not liked it so much that you couldn’t finish reading it? I mean, couldn’t finish reading it because you had such a visceral reaction to something the MC does that you toss the book across the room like it’s on fire? That happened to me recently. I won’t give away the title because I realize this was a very personal reaction and I don’t want to taint the book for anyone else, although I will say it is fiction. It’s been popular recently, but the reviews on Goodreads are a bit mixed (and let’s hope that the paid reviewers haven’t gotten there yet).

On one level I realize that perhaps the author has done a good job. She’s challenging me. The MC is well-rounded, well-written and generally well-placed because the decision the character makes to do this questionable thing is well-founded in that the progression of events feels realistic — no James Bond-esque turn of events here. You want the MC to do unexpected things, otherwise, why write a book about her? But for me it crossed the line and went from expanding my mind-set to shutting it down. I also realize that the story could be considered a parable although I couldn’t find any official reviews or interviews to support that assumption.  (Unlike some of the folks on Goodreads and a co-worker who claim that the author is just using the book as a platform to espouse her particular political viewpoint. The end did not justify the means and I put the book down. But as a writer, I feel a bit guilty about not seeing it through.

Have you ever had such a deep-seated reaction to a book? Did you keep reading? 



2. Two sweet things. Here is the first.

My friend had a Farewell to Summer party last weekend, so I made a farewell-to-summer treat: frozen chocolate peanut butter pie. Three of my favorite food groups on one plate. It’s a low maintenance dessert –just mixing a few ingredients (cream cheese, a splash of milk (soy milk is fine), whipped topping, sugar and peanut butter), pouring them into a pre-made graham cracker pie crust (okay, you can make your own pie crust you ambitious go-getter, you) and then freezing it for at least 4 hours. Delicioso!

Tip #1: If you’re allergic to peanuts, try almond butter or hazelnut butter. If you want to get really crazy, try Nutella.

Tip # 2: If you want to channel Elvis, try adding a layer of sliced banana between the crust and the custard.

Do you make any desserts that are crowd pleasers every time? 



3. And here is the second sweet thing.  

He turns upside down, his four paws

in the air

and his eyes dark and fervent.

Tell me you love me, he says.

Tell me again.

Could there be a sweeter arrangement?

Over and over

he gets to ask it.

I get to tell.

~ Excerpt from Little Dog’s Rhapsody in the Night (Percy Three), by Mary Oliver



4. Sometimes I wonder if I’m at my office or The Office.





5. Deep Pockets. How would you like some money? If you’re in the right place at the right time on September 15, you might just get some. Folks across six continents will be giving away their own money (two coins or bills of any denomination at a time) to complete strangers and asking the recipients to pass half on to someone else. Anyone can participate and pledge any amount. What a cool idea! So far there are 88 locations around the world signed up.

What would you do if someone gave you a few dollars and asked you to pass half along to someone else?

Have a great weekend, everyone!


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29 comments

  1. I love all these five… where to start? (Although I am SO curious about the book.) To answer your question, yes I have had deep reactions to books and sometimes I keep reading but for that (and other reasons) I’ve put books aside. But I never feel guilty, what does that say about me? The intern sign is hilarious! Reggie is absolutely adorable as always. And I love the theory of free money day but I’m not sure I’d want to be a giver or a receiver — chalk it up to the introversion thing again? Great post, Jackie!

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    1. I think if someone came up to me on the sidewalk and tried to hand me money I’d run away from them! Lol!
      My guilt about not finishing this book was due in part to the fact that it was well written. If it had been poorly written I wouldn’t think twice about putting it down. Maybe that’s my writerly sensibility kicking in. 🙂

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  2. The Free Money Day is a great event. Thanks for sharing! And I love the photo of Reg-man. He’s always camera-ready! Regarding desserts, my newest experiment is with whoopie pies. The Girl Scout Troop loved them. Of course, 8-year-olds are an easy audience 🙂

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    1. Hi there! Reg-Man is the Marilyn Monroe of the canine set. He never takes a bad photo. Now, I on the other hand…
      Someone at work made whoopie pies and they were delicious!
      Can any of you Mainers out there speak to the secrets of whoopie pies?

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    1. I wish I could send some to you! I’ve been trying to think of a substitute for the whipped topping. I wonder if you bought regular whipping cream and then whipped it into soft peaks that could do the trick. (Note: I would not attempt this as the mixer would just laugh at me, but I know you have much better baking skills than I do!)

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  3. okay, so:

    1. How can you leave us hanging like that? I want a private email. STAT. 😉

    2. Yum.

    3. SO sweet.

    4. HA. That’s hilarious.

    5. So interesting! Had not heard about that before. You’re my resource for truly interesting stuff. Seriously!

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    1. Oh, I debated putting the title of the book out there, but I really didn’t want to ruin it for anyone else. I’ll email you.
      Reggie accepts your kind words with a loud snore as he is sleeping under my desk now. 🙂

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  4. Great questions with this post, Jackie. The desert I make that folks always love are pumpkin cookies with caramel icing. However, my apple pie is also pretty good. By the way, that Reggie is a cutie. Hope you have a great weekend, my friend. Oops, almost forgot–the intern sign made me laugh out loud. Pretty damn funny!
    Hugs,
    Kathy

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    1. Kathy! That dessert sounds amazing. I love, love anything with pumpkin in it. It’s about that time of the year…will you be making a batch soon? I might have to stop by Lexington on the way to visiting my folks just to get some. Oh and to see you and Sara, too. 🙂

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  5. Oh, I love peanut butter pie! I don’t dare make it anymore, though–can’t resist it.

    Now I’m curious about the book too. I thought I would love Cold Mountain, but hated it and didn’t finish. I don’t feel guilty either!

    Reggie’s such a cutie. 🙂

    I would be suspicious of someone who handed me money too.

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    1. This is the key…make the pie for a party. Then you can be assured you won’t eat the whole thing in one sitting while watching a terrible chick flick you rented late on a rainy night. I mean, not that I know anything about that personally. 😉

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    1. I saw a few red leaves when Reggie and I were at the park this morning (where he ran up to a stranger and demanded treats), but most are still green. The temperature has been just lovely. The lows are dipping into the 50s. How about in NC?

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  6. Please, please, please…. send me the name of the book.
    I am sad that I waited until the 16th to read this post. I missed an opportunity to get free money. Ding dangity! 🙂
    I love it when you share pictures of Reggie and peanut butter pies. (smile) Oh.. breaking news, I have a new ‘favorite’ Ben & Jerry’s flavor… Peanut Butter World. Have you tried it? Yummy goodness.
    I startle easy, too. Just ask Rob.

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    1. OMG! I hadn’t heard about this new B&J ice cream flavor! I will absolutely be on the lookout for it. Could you imagine putting ice cream in the pie instead of whipped topping? Too good to be true.

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  7. I have a hard time not finishing a book once I start. If I do, that’s because I set it aside during a busy point in my life and forgot about it. When I find it, I put it back on the TBR. I don’t know why I do this, but I like to know how things end, even if I didn’t like the beginning or middle. Maybe I like to suffer.

    I heart Reggie!

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    1. As a writer I feel like I owe it to the author to finish the book, especially it the book is well-written. (If it’s poorly written, I don’t feel that way. LOL)
      So I think someday I’ll get back to this book and finish it. A good book challenges us on many levels and maybe those are the ones we need to read for different reasons.

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  8. Hmmm… would ‘a few dollars’ be enough to make a frozen chocolate peanut butter pie? Maybe so (because I think I already have a few of the ingredients). I’m guessing it would still count if I passed along a few pieces of said pie, right? I mean… look at it!
    Love your Reggie photo (not that I’ve ever seen ‘a Reggie’ that didn’t make me smile, of course)!
    🙂

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    1. One of my professors told the class that it’s our responsibility as readers to meet the author where he or she is. If we do that and we still can’t move past whatever it was in the story that caused us to feel bad, we can stop reading in good conscience. I’m still working on that one all these years later!

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  9. If I find a book that I don’t like in some way – obnoxious protagonist, lack of plot, crap style of writing, not copy-read, etc, I usually put it down. Often without an anaesthetic.

    I rarely make desserts, I’m one of these go-to-the-freezer-and-take-out-icecream people. But if I wanted to channel Elvis, I’d add squirrel. 😉

    Your dog is gorgeous and apart from the white, reminds me of a dog my family had when I was a kid. 🙂

    The money thing is a bit… weird.

    Like

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