grilled cheese

I recently came upon a few books with a surprising commonality: grilled cheese. Who knew that grilled cheese was the comfort food of choice? These books are of different tones and genres but all of them will leave you with a desire to experiment with different grilled cheese recipes. 

7.24 The listTHE LIST
By Melanie Jacobson
(2011)

Ashley Barrett has a list of things she wants to accomplish before she gets married. One thing on that list is a summer fling. What better way to a man’s heart than through his stomach? Will Ashley’s grilled cheese seal the deal? Featured grilled cheese secret: sourdough bread. 

 

7.24 The Optimists Guide to Letting GoTHE OPTIMIST’S GUIDE TO LETTING GO
By Amy E. Reichert
(2018)

When Gina’s husband passed away he left her with a mopey teenage daughter, a cranky mother, and a grilled cheese food truck. Will Gina’s optimistic attitude be enough to keep her relationships and business afloat? Featured grilled cheese secret: cream cheese 

 

7.24 Dont Worry It Gets WorseDON’T WORRY, IT GETS WORSE: ONE TWENTY SOMETHING’S (MOSTLY FAILED) ATTEMPTS AT ADULTHOOD
By Alida Nugent
(2013)

In this autobiography you’ll meet Alida. She’s a college graduate attempting (and failing) to transition to adult life. Good thing she has good friends, great parents, and a life-altering grilled cheese sandwich. Featured grilled cheese secret: grease and insatiable hunger. 

 

7.24 Grilled Cheese and DragonsGRILLED CHEESE AND DRAGONS
By Nancy Krulik
(2018) 

Princess Serena doesn’t want to be a pretty little princess. She wants to be a knight. But she has to accomplish a quest before her father will let her go to knight school. Along the way she learns about teamwork, kindness, and how delicious grilled cheese can be. Featured grilled cheese secret: Eat it with a dragon! There you have it! A compilation of my recently read books that feature grilled cheese. If these books inspired you to make your own grilled cheese sandwich, then may I recommend one more read: 

 

7.24 Grilled Cheese KitchenGRILLED CHEESE KITCHEN: BREAD + CHEESE + EVERTHING IN BETWEEN
By Heidi Gibson
(2016)

This cook book contains recipes for grilled cheese, mac and cheese, soups, and more!

 

Book Blind Date

Hello my fellow readers! This is book-dating guru McKayla back for another Blind Date with a Book! If you missed the first in this series, I suggest checking it out as well! After all, you never know when you’ll find love.

That’s why I’m here.

It works like this: I’ll use some-what vague identifiers for four books below. If there’s one that intrigues you, all you need to do is scroll down, click on the catalogue link, and reserve your next date. Make sure you plan a quiet night; you’ll want to invest sometime.

Blind Date #1

  • Middle Eastern
  • Fantasy
  • Female protagonist
  • Switching view-points
  • Political intrigue

BLIND DATE #2

  • Time travel
  • A history buff’s dream
  • Movie adaptation
  • Successful, well-known author 

BLIND DATE #3

  • A classic you’ve heard of but maybe never read 
  • Several movie adaptations 
  • Origin of one of the most famous lines in history 
  • Lots of dueling. What more could you want?

BLIND DATE #4

  • A collection of essay revolving around a single topic
  • Wide range in writing styles
  • Touching and vulnerable anecdotes
  • Variety of topics ranging from relationships to reality television to disease

7.26 City of Brass#1: THE CITY OF BRASS
By S. A. Chakraborty
(2017)

 

7.26 Timeline#2: TIMELINE
By Michael Crichton
(1999)

 

7.26 The Three Musketeers#3: THE THREE MUSKETEERS
By Alexander Dumas
(1844)

 

7.26 The Empathy Exams#4: THE EMPATHY EXAMS: ESSAYS
By Leslie Jamison
(2014)

 

Audiobook

One of my favorite things to do during the hot summer months is to work on a project and listen to a great audiobook. Whether I am working on crocheting an afghan or cleaning out my closet, there is just something so relaxing about being read to while working with my hands. Summer is also the time for vacations, and audiobooks are a great accompaniment for long drives and hot afternoons by the pool.  Summertime is the perfect time to listen to your favorite book. Here are some of mine: 

7.24 The Wednesday WarsTHE WEDNESDAY WARS
By Gary D. Schmidt
(2009) 

It’s 1967 and Holling Hood Hood is sure that his junior high homeroom teacher, Mrs. Baker, hates him. He’s the only one who doesn’t go to Hebrew School or Catechism School on Wednesday afternoons, so he and Mrs. Baker are stuck with each other. At first, Mrs. Baker has Holling clean chalk board erasers and do other odd jobs. But eventually Mrs. Baker realizes that there is more to Hoilling than meets the eye. Every Wednesday they read Shakespeare together.  Holling soon realizes that somehow Shakespeare knew what it was like to be a teenager in 1967. Shakespeare knew about first love and first loss, political upheaval, war, and fear about the future.  He even knew about bullies like Doug Swieteck’s brother!  Joel Johnstone does a fantastic job narrating this funny and poignant snapshot of what it was like to be a kid in the late sixties.    

 

7.24 Mr. Penumbras 24 HourMR. PENUMBRA’S 24 HOUR BOOKSTORE
By Robin Sloan 
(2012)

Clay Jannon, graphic designer and all around geek, needs a job. When he sees the help wanted sign on the door of Mr. Penumbra’s 24 hour bookstore, he applies and gets the job and his life will never be the same again.  Something strange is happening at Mr. Penumbra’s.  Odd people show up to check out books like the store is a library. It’s like they are following the same reading list or something. Then Clay opens one of the books and discovers it is written in code! Clay gets sucked into a word of cryptography and Renaissance publishers in a mystery that is old as books themselves. Ari Fliakos narrates all the different voices in a way that is charming, not annoying.  His intensity keeps the story moving until you are sad to see that it is over.     

 

7.24 SourdoughSOURDOUGH
By Robin Sloan 
(2017)

Lois Clary works at a San Francisco robotics firm, where long hours move her to regularly order in from a sandwich shop. The place is peculiar, but the food is amazing, especially the sourdough bread. When the brothers who run the shop leave town, they eagerly bestow their sourdough starter on their "number one eater."  Though Lois is hapless in the kitchen, she soon masters baking so well her loaves catch the attention of her employer's in-house chef and, eventually, an elite invite-only farmers market. When Lois comes before the jury that decides who sells what at Bay Area markets, she encounters a close-knit club with no appetite for new members. But then, an alternative emerges: a secret market that aims to fuse food and technology. But who are these people, exactly? Therese Plummer does such a great job narrating this story from Lois’s perspective. She brings humor and tenderness to the story through her voices.  

 

7.24 Anne of Green GablesANNE OF GREEN GABLES
By Lucy Maud Montgomery 
(1908)

Anne Shirley ought to have been a boy, at least then the Cuthbert’s would want to adopt her. She is an eleven year old orphan who was sent to Avonlea by mistake. When they take her out of duty, Anne unexpectedly blossoms and fills the hearts of the lonely brother and sister, Matthew and Marilla. This is a true classic when it comes to young adult literature and narrator Barbara Caruso’s storytelling power is phenomenal. 

 

7.24 Ready Player OneREADY PLAYER ONE
By Ernest Cline
(2011)

In the near distant future, humankind lives in the virtual reality of the OASIS. Wade Watts is a Gunter--one who searches for James Halliday’s Easter Egg, the prize of the richest geek in the world's contest to find a heir. Through following the clues, Wade finds himself in the greatest and most dangerous video game of his life. Read by Will Wheaton, this audiobook is a perfect choice for fans of 80s pop-culture and classic SCI-FI. This book has some language in it, so you may want to listen with head phones if there are kids around. 

 

Moon Landing

By now, most people are probably aware that 2019 marks the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing on July 20, 1969. Many moments in history are forgotten or their anniversaries are overhyped. Other moments, like the moon landing, really are a Big Fat Deal – even fifty years later. As we celebrate this lunar anniversary, here are some books all about the moon landings for even the youngest readers. 

7.22 Rocket to the MoonROCKET TO THE MOON!
By Don Brown
(2019) 

This nonfiction comic book tells the story of the Apollo 11 mission, and not just the story of Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin. This well-illustrated book is more than an introduction to lunar travel – it takes readers on a journey through the history of rockets and fleshes out the story with less-known details of the famous mission. All of this rolled into a bite-sized graphic novel good for kids or older readers. 

 

Apollo 8 The Mission That Changed EverythingAPOLLO 8: THE MISSION THAT CHANGED EVERYTHING
By Martin W. Sandler
(2018)

This book is a little different, because it isn’t about Apollo 11 – the mission that resulted in the first lunar landing. Instead, this is the story of Apollo 8 the first manned spacecraft to leave Earth’s orbit and circle the moon. With a good overview of the Cold War and space race, this book gives historical context to the lunar missions that young readers may not know. This book is also filled with full-color photographs including the famous Earthrise. 

 

7.22 The Far Side of the MoonTHE FAR SIDE OF THE MOON: THE STORY OF APOLLO 11’S THIRD MAN
By Alexander Irvine
Illustrated by Ben Bishop
(2017) 

Another nonfiction comic book, this very small little number focuses almost entirely on the third member of Apollo 11’s crew – Michael Collins, the one who never set foot on the moon. He doesn’t always get a lot of credit, but this book honors his essential role in the mission; orbiting the moon, keeping the command module functioning, and getting everyone home safely. In a limited palette of black, white, and deep purple we see the details of the moon landing play out with stark reality. 

 

7.22 Man on the MoonMAN ON THE MOON: HOW A PHOTOGRAPH MADE ANYTHING SEEM POSSIBLE
By Pamela Dell
(2011) 

We might forget, fifty years later, that the world was watching Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin take their first steps on the moon. We might forget that for so long this had seemed completely impossible – it was a moment that changed the world. The photograph of Buzz Aldrin in his spacesuit on the moon was called one of the 100 photographs that changed the world by Time magazine. This book is all about the legacy of that picture and just what it took to get there. A totally unique lens through which to view the past. 

 

7.22 Reaching for the MoonREACHING FOR THE MOON
By Buzz Aldrin
Illustrated by Wendell Minor
(2005) 

Written in first person by Buzz Aldrin, this book has a personal touch that few books about the lunar landing can offer. This picture book autobiography is an unusual look at space travel told with lots of personal detail and heart. Illustrations throughout offer new vantages on an iconic moment in history, all culminating with the words left by Aldrin and Armstrong on the moon: 

 

“Here men from the planet earth
First set foot upon the moon
July 1969. A.D.
We came in peace for all mankind.”

 

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