Banned Books Week

Once again, it's Banned Books Week! This issue is super important to me, as evidenced by my post last year. Lest you think this is a silly topic that has no relevance in today's world, check out this completely tone-deaf (and poorly timed) move from Highland Park, just down the road from my hometown. Yes people, we are still banning books in 2014.

So, in honor of Banned Books Week, check out the list of frequently challenged books (Harry Potter! Captain Underpants! The Catcher in the Rye! Of Mice and Men! You're killing me, people!), and GO READ ONE!

Hooray for books! Hooray for freedom! And hooray for Banned Books Week, which has been fighting censorship since 1982.

Novel Links

Novel Links are a little late this week due to some crazy life happenings, but we're back on schedule and missing our world traveler husband/dog dad very much. Here you are:  

Oh, if only I were in New York today for the Random House open house. Swoon.

Barnes & Noble's book nerd problems are great. I was going to call out my favorites, but there are just too many.

As my friend Katie said, "Somebody give this girl a scholarship!"

I'm Dumbledore, and I'm totally good with that.

Let's go to all of the coolest bookstores in the U.S.

Are you a fan of the shelfie?

On a final, more serious note, these familiar men are taking a stand against sexual assault. Bravo.

That's all, friends. Also, we're on official baby Reagan count down! Squeeee!

A Long Day

Sometimes real life can be just like the movies in the worst possible way. So on days like today, when everything just seems so unreal, I go home and snuggle with Lola. Or take a hot shower. Or drink champagne. Or get lost in a good book.  


It also helps to think about this quote:

"Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Here's hoping that tomorrow is a better day than today. Cheers.

A Grilled Cheese Sandwich to Brighten Your Day

This has been a rough few days, people. With bombings in Boston, an explosion in West (a town I make frequent stops in on my drives to and from Dallas) and a bus crash that hit a little too close to home, both personally and professionally, I'm feeling emotionally drained. Combine that with long work days and a traveling husband, and you have one cranky writer who has to fend for herself for dinner. Not a pretty picture. After two nights of frozen chicken tamales, I wanted something different. In a sheer stroke of genius (and Googling), I scrambled together the following recipe, which I've now dubbed the most amazing sandwich I've ever made. This isn't gourmet by any means, but it certainly hit the spot.

Smoked Gouda Grilled Cheese with Green Apple Serves 1

Ingredients: 1 clove of garlic, peeled and sliced in half 1 tablespoon of butter, softened (or if you're like me, good ol' Country Crock) 2 slices of honey wheat bread 3-4 slices of smoked Gouda cheese Freshly ground black pepper 3-4 thin slices of green apple, sandwich-maker's choice (I think I used Granny Smith)

Method: Preheat skillet or frying pan over medium-low heat.

Rub one side of each slice of bread with the halved garlic, then thinly coat with softened butter.

Place the first slice of bread, butter side down, into the skillet. Top with enough cheese to cover the slice.

Top cheese with thinly sliced apples and sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper.

Cover sliced apples with a second layer of cheese and top with second slice of bread, butter side up.

Grill sandwich until golden brown on each side, making sure the cheese is melted. If the cheese is being stubborn, cover the pan with a spare lid while cooking. If that doesn't work, pop the pan and sandwich in a 200 degree preheated oven.

Slice and enjoy!