Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Dinner and a Book - 7.0

Dinner: Barley Salad with Chicken and Corn

We had this for dinner last night. It was limey and delicious. I felt compelled to share.

Also, it felt nutritious enough to warrant a late-night snack of chips and salsa and a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup.

Thank you kindly, Martha.
A Book: The Midwife's Confession, by Diane Chamberlain

Our trip got off to a bit of a rocky start.

Long story short: We spent over an hour sitting on the run-way before take-off.

Short story long: The pilot kept saying things over the intercom such as, "Uh - it looks like the left engine is not starting...", "We've called the mechanic, but he's out-of-town, visiting his mom for mother's day...", "The on-call mechanic won't be able to head this way for 20 minutes or so, he has some other things to wrap up first..."

For the love of Pete, Captain. Censor thyself.

Thank goodness, I had The Midwife's Confession stowed safely in my 1 additional small personal item.

It grabbed me from page one. I do not say this lightly. I leaned over to Cory and told him, "I'm going to love this book." And I did. It was a quick read, but it was meaty. I didn't encounter sections that I wanted to skim over, which almost never happens. It was all important, all relevant, all interesting. Most importantly, it was well-written.

As a girl who tends to gravitate toward "quiet" fiction, without a big, shocking twist, I surprised myself with how quickly I was sucked into the lives of Tara and Emerson. I hunted down opportunities to pick it up and see what happened next. If there were none to be found, well, I made them up.

The story took on a life of its own and compelled me to keep reading, keep turning. I became wrapped up in the world on the pages, but I also found myself reflecting on my own life, taking a closer look at some of the threads of my story. I was pulled both toward the characters and back into myself. That is the sign of a great vacation read.

The twists were served up smoothly, with an even hand. At one point, I thought for sure I knew what was coming next, but I was wrong. Fiction happens to be the one outlet where I relish being wrong. Diane Chamberlain could have left me surprised, shaking my head in a good way, even without the final gob-smacker. Instead, she flipped me upside down and while I was still staggering around, not quite able to right myself, she did it again.

This is the sort of the thing that elevates a page-turner to giveaway status.

You heard me right: I'm giving it away, baby.

My personal paperback vacation read can be all yours. All you have to do is leave me a comment with the title of your favorite novel.

And, since this post is titled Dinner and a Book, the illustrious winner will also welcome a bag of barley, straight from Grandma's Pantry, for use in the Barley Salad with Chicken and Corn. Because couldn't we all use a little more barley?

Giveaway ends tomorrow night somewhere around 9 p.m. I'll announce the winner in my next post.

ps - If it's all the same to you, I think I may tack random numbers to the ends of all of my posts for a while. It just feels right.