I'm happy to say I've made good headway on gardening chores and I'm pretty much done. If we could just get a few days of warm sunshine and NO rain (is anyone listening??) so I could get the rest of my vegetable garden planted, I'd be soooo happy. Beans, carrots, cukes and tomatoes are still waiting to be planted... the rest is done.
On the reading front, I have read three good books this past week. I mentioned Alan Bradley's new book The Weed that Strings the Hangman's Bag last week and it did not disappoint. Another adventure with young sleuth Flavia DeLuce kept me turning the pages. I can't wait for Bradley's third book in the series, A Red Herring without Mustard due out in January 2011.
Several friends recommended New York Times bestseller Sarah's Key by Tatiana re Rosnay. So I put it on hold at the local library (what a great service!!) and picked it up Saturday afternoon. I started it after supper and literally did not put it down till I finished it around 1 a.m. I have to say it is one of the best books I have ever read - I cannot recommend it enough. To quote the book jacket: "PARIS, JULY 1942: Sarah, a 10 year old girl, is taken with her parents by the French police as they go door to door arresting Jewish families in the middle of the night. Desperate to protect her younger brother, Sarah locks him in a bedroom cupboard - their secret hiding place - and promises to come back for him as soon as they are released.
SIXTY YEARS LATER: Sarah's story intertwines with that of Julia Jarmond, an American journalist investigating the round-up. In her research, Julia stumbles onto a trail of secrets that link her to Sarah, and to questions about her own romantic future."
Although the characters in this novel are fictitious, the round-up on July 16th, 1942 in Nazi-occupied Paris is not. I knew nothing of this event when thousands of Jewish families were herded into the Velodrome D'Hiver, held there for several days with no food, water or toilet facilities, then put onto trains to the death camps.
To say this story is compelling, is putting it mildly. It's shocking. It's moving. It's mesmerizing. You will not be able to stop reading....
I've made several batches of one of my fav Muffin recipes this past week - Rhubarb Muffins. Yummmm. Give them a try:
1 1/4 cups flour
1/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup oil
1 large egg
1 tsp. almond extract
1 1/2 cups diced rhubarb
1/4 cup slivered almonds
sugar to sprinkle on top
Mix dry ingds. Beat egg, add milk, oil and almond extract. Pour egg mixture into dry ingds., stir just until moistened. Fold in rhubarb and nuts. Spoon into muffin pan, sprinkle with white sugar, bake at 375F for about 18 minutes. Makes 1 dozen. Sooo good served warm with a glass of cold milk...
"There are no shortcuts to any place worth going." ~ Beverly Sills