*sponsored post I’m a queen. I wasn’t sure you knew that about me, but I am a queen. Granted, I am only queen of the very small isle of Inmyfuckingmind, but there I reign. I’ve beaten back beasts, slain dragons, birthed princes and princesses, kept homefires burning, strode across the expanse of my territory with … Read more…
These posts are quickly turning into my favorite. I love collecting all of the outfits, and dreaming of looking put together. As it stands, I’m in stretchy pants and a tank top without a bra. BUT! I have hope.
It’s WORLD BOOK DAY!! I’m cosplaying as a book. Not a character. That just means I’m making a lot of “opening” euphemisms/jokes and getting kinda dusty. Later in the afternoon, I may go digital.
Today’s Get Series(ous). was first introduced to me by my platonic soul mate. That crazy nerd is a fount of awesome recommendations. Save for that one time she told me I should shave my head like Skrillex and become a Scientology-leaning fundamentalist. That wasn’t her best moment. We’re both more Pastafarian-y.
FSM+PSM 4L, ramen.
I’ll be the first to admit that I was super dubious about this series. I have no idea why. It may have been the cover of the book, which features a dude with a goatee/flavor savor/nearly Guy-Fieri-as-hot-druid look to him. I hate goatees. I have some pretty severe poorly-tended facial hair prejudices. Let’s look at examples, shall we?
This look says: “I will take your virginity on prom night in the back of my Cavalier, even if I’m 25.”
This picture says:”I want to do dirty things to you. In my bed. In a home I do not share with my parents.”
Should facial hair or Jason Momoa be relevant to this series? Absolutely not. It’s not a fucking romance. It’s a gods damned urban fantasy. I simply cannot truly elucidate my loathing of goatees. Well, maybe I can…
I am pleased to say I couldn’t have been more wrong. It has quickly become one of my favorites, and I eagerly await each new installment.
For whom is this series a good match?
This reader knows who Wil Wheaton is. They were a fan of Labyrinth or A Wrinkle in Time as kids. They once pretended a broomstick was a bow-staff to fight off invaders in their kitchen. They were the wildly imaginative sort who made up elaborate backstories for playing house.
“Ok, so, we’re living in a land of sand dunes made up of beetle shells, and the only thing we can eat is alien grapefruit that makes us extremely gassy! I’ll be the mom slash astrologer!”
This reader is smart. They love the fantasy of far-flung stories whispered on the echoes of the ether, and they want these stories to speak to their intelligence. They don’t want their history dumbed-down, and they want it researched or well-conceptualized.
This reader loves Game of Thrones, but often thinks to themselves: why aren’t there more musical numbers?
Needless to say, this reader loves to laugh. They also may be prone to speaking for their dog and/or cat. Preferably with a ridiculous voice. (FYI, my dog, Montana Wildhack, absolutely sounds like the porn star she is. She’s also really into ass work. “Listen! Billy Pigrim has come…UNSTUCK in…we’re canines, fill in the blank.)
What’s the series?
The Blurb: (from the first book, Hounded)
Atticus O’Sullivan, last of the Druids, lives peacefully in Arizona, running an occult bookshop and shape-shifting in his spare time to hunt with his Irish wolfhound. His neighbors and customers think that this handsome, tattooed Irish dude is about twenty-one years old—when in actuality, he’s twenty-one centuries old. Not to mention: He draws his power from the earth, possesses a sharp wit, and wields an even sharper magical sword known as Fragarach, the Answerer.
Unfortunately, a very angry Celtic god wants that sword, and he’s hounded Atticus for centuries. Now the determined deity has tracked him down, and Atticus will need all his power—plus the help of a seductive goddess of death, his vampire and werewolf team of attorneys, a bartender possessed by a Hindu witch, and some good old-fashioned luck of the Irish—to kick some Celtic arse and deliver himself from evil.
Why I love it:
The thing about this series that I probably love the most is that, in most UF/Fantasy, it’s all about the ascendency of good over evil. That trope gets OLD. Ultimate good and ultimate evil cannot possibly be everything there is in the world. This series deals beautifully in the gray areas. Not everyone is all one thing. Atticus has admittedly done horrible things in his long life, and he acknowledges this, and does his level-best to move beyond that, and works really hard to be better.
Beyond the gray areas, there are so many things to love about The Iron Druid Chronicles. It’s hilarious. Uproarious, even. My favorite character in the series isn’t even human, it’s Atticus’s dog Oberon. Yes, a talking dog is my favorite character in an entire series filled to fatness with lovable and intriguing characters.
But what about the action, right?
The action is so well-penned that you could almost believe author Kevin Hearne has some experience wielding a magic sword against demi-gods. At the very least, he had a broomstick bow-staff. It never falls. The building scenes in The Iron Druid Chronicles are so seamlessly complected with the more actionable interests of the plot, that it creates a tapestry of a story arc that lays like the finest kilim.
Also, this series has also been the source of two of my favorite quotes of the entire year.
This is full of truth.
This series may not be a romance, but if that’s not the most romantic fucking thing I’ve heard in a decade, I don’t know what is.
I adore that the love of this series is something my husband and I share, and I think this could be true of many friends/couples. In fact, every time there’s a new one released, the man and I start bribing one another as to who gets to read it first. As I’m the owner of the ladyflower, and the chief cook, I tend to win.
The Iron Druid Chronicles is the kind of series that brings people together to talk about at the end of the day, over a pint or cup of tea. (Incidentally, Atticus owned a bookstore/tea shop where he sold things like “mobili-tea” to people. I wonder if he also had “infertili-tea”? I like non-hormonal alternatives.;))
As for me and mine, my PSM and I have discussed this series at great length, and it was one of the series of which I used to throw her off the cliff of audiobook love–ok, more like–audiobook obsession.
The audiobook for this series, narrated by Luke Daniels is so stupidly good, it makes me want to drop the mic for him. It’s absolutely a case where the perfect book found its way into the voice of the perfect actor, and I absolutely cannot imagine the two separated. His Oberon, sweet Flying Spaghetti Monster, his Oberon, holy fuck.
Below the .gif are two different samples of his Oberon. The first is from Hounded, the second is from Shattered. It’s sort of wonderful to see how the character has evolved and changed over the course of the series. Luke Daniels recognizes that, and makes no apologies for it. As we continually do what it is we’re best at, we improve, we evolve, and so do the products of strengths. As an actor/singer, I know that my voice is definitely different from that of ten years ago. I am still a mezzo-soprano, and still have all my octaves, but I know that as I’ve aged, my upper register isn’t the same. And I really believe my alto tones, which used to be less-than, have steadily improved. Likewise, I think you can really see a beautiful growth in Luke’s work.
absolutely a five star series and a two thumbs up read.
The recipe inspired by the series:
ok, so, OBERON, ahhhh, Oberon. Sweet puppy loves his meat–especially sausage–and in the latter part of the series, he decides he’s going to write a standard. This standard will be The Book of Five Meats. I knew that I needed to make:
The Sandwich of Five Meats(loaf).
AKA, the best meatloaf and gravy sandwich you’ve ever eaten. It features several favorites from the series, such as bangers, ale, and bacon. And all of the ingredients are available at Trader Joe’s, save the rolls, which are Rhodes.
The Sandwich of Five Meats(loaf).
by Cat Bowen
Prep Time: 45 minutes-1 hour total
Cook Time: 15 minutes (if you cook the gr
Keywords: bake entree
for the meatloaf sliders
1 lb 85/15 ground beef
3 Irish Bangers (TJs) or 3 Pork Sausage links
1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
1 tbsp chopped garlic
3/4 cup rolled oats
1/3 cup sour cream
3 tbsp HP sauce
1 tbsp ketchup
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp crushed red pepper
pancetta or prosciutto for topping
for the gravy
1/3 cup bacon fat (about 6 slices worth of rendered fat)
2 tbsp butter
4 tbsp flour
2 cups of veal (or beef) stock
1 cup dark, malty beer (think a Brown ale or Chimay Tripel)
2 tbsp dijon mustard
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
3-4 dashes Worchestershire sauce
12 oz sliced mushrooms
salt and pepper
crispy capiccola (just heat it in the skillet)
sunny side up egg
chopped red onion
for the meatloaf
Preheat oven to 375
spray a muffin tin with nonstick spray, set aside
slice prosciutto into 14 squares
combine all ingredients in a large bowl, save prosciutto, and work together with your hands
place evenly in 14 muffin indents
top each with a piece of prosciutto
bake 15-20 minutes or until center is 145F
for the gravy
heat the bacon fat and butter on high heat, it will JUST begin to smoke
add mushrooms and stir/cook until browned
toss in flour and stir
pour in remaining ingredients, slowly and stir until thickened and smooth. (save the mushrooms.)
I think it’s easiest to have the sandwich go as pictured.
Ok, let’s open this with a .gif I love. Not because it has anything to do with anything, simply because I love it. K?
I have no clue why I love this .gif so much. I just do.
This week’s Get Series(ous). post is close to my heart. Why? Because I have a paperback of it in my jacket.
Is that a carrot in your pants…?
Also, I just really love it. I’ve re-read each of them a few times, and I keep going back for more. It’s like potato chips…or moonshine. Either one, really. I fell in love with the first book not long after its release, and I hoard each new installment like a prized dude concubine. (this is a thing that exists somewhere, right?) A concubdude. Dudecubine? Again, either way.
Let’s explain this notion and feeling I have with an image, shall we?
Well, hello there, sexy man servant with completely equal rights who also happens to be a feminist. The servant thing is totally a pre-agreed to situation…no dubious consent issues at all. Now, wash my back.
So, for whom is this series a good match?
You know that college professor friend you have who holds several degrees, but also tends towards dick jokes at the party? Her/him.
This person may also be someone who loves the show Broad City or Girls, but is perhaps looking for a book where the cast is just a hair older. Think Big Bang Theory–only funny, and without that annoying laugh track. All the dick jokes, and a mortgage. It’s a win/Let’s pretend adulthood is a win, series.
This reader is interested in a romance that’s fresh. She’s read Sophie Kinsella and Jane Green for years, and she’s tired of certain tropes. Girls who spend too much, girls who have shit confidence, girls who go to college purely to receive their M.R.S.
This reader wants something new. She wants to have her hero and eat him too.
What is the series?
The Knitting in the City Series by Penny Reid.
If you’ve read ANY of my book posts, you know I have a serious girl crush on author Penny Reid. Her books give me an immense amount of lady wood. Sequoia National Forest-level lady wood.
*from the first book.
There are three things you need to know about Janie Morris: 1) She is incapable of engaging in a conversation without volunteering TMTI (Too Much Trivial Information), especially when she is unnerved, 2) No one unnerves her more than Quinn Sullivan, and 3) She doesn’t know how to knit.
After losing her boyfriend, apartment, and job in the same day, Janie Morris can’t help wondering what new torment fate has in store. To her utter mortification, Quinn Sullivan- aka Sir McHotpants- witnesses it all then keeps turning up like a pair of shoes you lust after but can’t afford. The last thing she expects is for Quinn- the focus of her slightly, albeit harmless, stalkerish tendencies- to make her an offer she can’t refuse.
Why I love it:
So many reasons. The biggest reason has got to be the dialogue. Each character has a completely unique voice, but they’ve been blended in a way that makes them feel cohesive and collected.
The storylines are just zany enough as to work with one’s suspension of disbelief. Each book has a bit of froth, a lot of humor, and some pretty big truths. However, since those truths are ensconced within a standard of humorous storytelling, they aren’t pedantic or arrogant. It feels as though Penny Reid is layering each story with a sense of self awareness and witty self-deprecation. When one is reading a piece of this collection, one can almost hear her whispering,
“Don’t worry, I’ve totally been there, it’s ok. Also, when I was there, I just had a terrible reaction to a drug store face cream that made my neck look like Jabba the Hut. Let’s talk about it over a Pimms Cup.”
*this quote is totally fictional and I am certain Ms Reid’s neck has never appeared to be alien or slug-like in appearance.
Reading this series, one absolutely feels as though the characters within their volumes could absolutely be their friends in real life. They are easy to cheer on, laugh with, cry with, and feel a strange and completely inappropriate reaction in the nether regions when their husbands are near.
I could totally be the jam in a Quinn/Drew sandwich. Read the books and you’ll get that.
Also, the books made me want to learn to knit; which is weird, because the last time I was crafty was that hot minute in eighth grade when I played “light as a feather” with a bunch of girls at an “occult” bookstore. (How occult can you be if you also sell houseplants and Billy Joel albums? “She’s Got A Way About Her”…don’t know what it is, but I think it’s those love candles….)
There are currently four books in the series, with a few more planned. She’s also penning a spin-off series based on the characters in Beauty and the Mustache. *the book tied with #1 for my favorite.
Now I’m going to do something sickly personal that may make me want to puke later. Beauty and the Mustache is one of my favorite books–possibly ever, and the book HIT me. I mean, it HIT me. Not because of any personal commiseration with the characters–if anything, Neanderthal Marries Human hits close to home with that one. However, it just clicked for me, and while I was reading it, I was HEAVILY reminded of one of my favorite songs by one of my FAVORITE singer/songwriters, and it just felt like Drew. So, before the recipe inspired by the book. (Which there will be another one as well, because I couldn’t choose, but may be reserved for when I review the next book in the series.) Here’s the song.
ok, and this one.
The recipe inspired by the books:
These books take place mostly in Chicago, and we know I don’t deep dish. There are a few things I like deep…water, dark chocolate…other things…but not pizza. I like it as shallow as a Kardashian, and just as over-done.
However!!! Beauty and the Mustache takes place in TENNESSEE. I know the mid-south. I know it and love it. My family hails from West ByGod, and the food of the region is like a warm hug and sunlight on my skin.
And it is overly-criticized as pedestrian and greasy! F THAT! A: My MawMaw always made sure I had vegetables, and she no more FRIED everything than I would. Also, Tennessee, Kentucky, Huntington, they’re ALL experiencing a renaissance in the culinary world! So, I figured, why not update one of my favorite childhood foods?
Deviled Eggs. OH YEAH! Any good Southern family knows that a party isn’t a party until some poor asshole has to peel 948y3948y6398x∏r² eggs.
Oddly, it ended up being paleo. Totally unintentional, but completely delicious.
Bacon-Avocado Cracklins Deviled Eggs
Yes, cracklins. Pork rinds. I swear, they’re delicious.
Ok! Quick running update and then? BOOK POST!
So, yesterday was a quick shake-out run, (five miles) and they felt good. The kink in my ass didn’t hamper me as much as I thought it would, AND I was able to get a bit of yoga in as well. Brigitte is on her way. (Brigitte being the name of myfuture yoga booty.) I notice a .05% difference in my ass from before the new year to now. Mostly I notice the kink. It’s quite literally, a pain in my ass. Tonight is a run and CrossFit, so I foresee it either getting much better, or much worse.
It’s ok, I have wine. (Again, I do CrossFit regularly, but Paleo is for quitters!! YAY LEGUMES AND QUINOA AND SUGAR!!)
So, during the holidays, I blogged an entire post about matching up books as gifts with people in your life. Turns out, that was quite popular. So I am going to introduce a new series here on B2B.
What Do I Read Next? A Series For Every Personality.
I love series books, trilogies, books with sequels. Yes, there is something wonderful about a book that manages to wrap everything up in ONE neat little package. However, I love lingering. Ok, not at parties, or in class, or after a run–because I’m antisocial–but in a story? I can–and frequently do–linger in these words for years. There are series of which I’ve read, that I’ve marinated within for so long, that they’re now irretrievably a part of my being. Nancy Drew, Sherlock Holmes, The Green Mile, Harry Potter. I’ve read and re-read these books so many times I can quote entire pages.
Lately, I’ve been expanding my list to include new series that I love with the same ferocity. I find that my new personal canon is acting as a wonderful internuncial between my then and my now, and my yet to come. Series like The Elemental Mysteries and Knitting in the Cityand, of course, the All Souls Series. In fact, I am going to a faculty fancy dress party with my very best lovely Professor. (which was supposed to be weeks ago, but SOMEONE just HAD to win an award!;)) We are cosplaying as Natalie and Baojia!! (as I am a pale white girl, and he is a handsome Chinese man, it just WORKS!–We’ll totally pretend he’s straight that night– That, and we fangirl all the fuck over those books.)
Our other option required approximately 150% more dirt than I’m comfortable wearing.
So this weeks’ book series is one that is about as likely to evanesce into the history of your memories as I am likely to successfully give up sugar or John Boehner is likely to give up spray tans.
This series is for the person who enjoys the madcap tv shows like Chuck or Doctor Who. If you find yourself quoting Orphan Black to your friends, and this image (see below) causes spontaneous orgasm? This series is for you.
What series is it?
Picture is link.
When out-of-shape IT technician Roen woke up and started hearing voices in his head, he naturally assumed he was losing it. He wasn’t. He now has a passenger in his brain – an ancient alien life-form called Tao, whose race crash-landed on Earth before the first fish crawled out of the oceans. Now split into two opposing factions – the peace-loving, but under-represented Prophus, and the savage, powerful Genjix – the aliens have been in a state of civil war for centuries. Both sides are searching for a way off-planet, and the Genjix will sacrifice the entire human race, if that’s what it takes. Meanwhile, Roen is having to train to be the ultimate secret agent. Like that’s going to end up well…
My favorite quote:
“Besides, criminal masterminds are people too. They need groceries and cable like the rest of us.”
The Lives of Tao series currently offers two books, with a third book due out this spring. Wesley Chu does a fantastic job of weaving a complicated plot with biting sarcasm and hilarious antics. He makes the oft-maligned genre of sci-fi extremely accessible to the average reader. He is a mastermind at wrapping multiple ideas around each other without getting held under by slow pacing or too much extraneous information. It’s as though he has been given magical play doh for all of the characters and plot lines, and he can bend and fold each color over another, without it all turning to a monochromatic and indistinct blob. Instead, he ends up with a kaleidoscope of a narrative, that draws your eye to its center and holds you there, desperate to see the next colorful image rolled over.
*queen of the segue right hurrr.
I made apple fritters. Yes, there are gajillions of apple fritter recipes out there, but I like mine the best. Of course. So you should make mine, because I can tell, you only want the best.
This sums up how I feel about my fritters.
Oh the angry emails I’m about to get….Good thing this little lady gives zero fucks about what you think about her favorite mom and her mom’s videos, because, apple fritters.
Here they are!
Perfect Apple Fritters
Perfect Apple Fritters
by Cat Bowen
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Keywords: fry appetizer bread breakfast dessert
Ingredients (8-12 fritters)
Oil for frying (canola, peanut, coconut, lard)
1 REALLY BIG honeycrisp, cubed into 1/2″ cubes
2 cups flour
3/4 cup sugar, divided
1/2 cup whole milk
2 tbsp butter
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp lemon zest
powdered sugar for dusting
in a small saucepan, melt the butter on medium
add in the apples and cinnamon
add in 1/4 cup sugar
cook 5 minutes, set aside
in a big bowl, whisk together dry ingredients
stir sugar, eggs, and milk in slowly
stir in apple mixture
preheat oil in a skillet about 2″ deep to 325F
drop fritters in 2 tbsp drops
cook for 4 minutes a side, or until each side is golden brown
drain each on a paper towel lined plate
sift powdered sugar over the top when they’re cool.