Thursday, October 23, 2014

Recipe: Pad Thai Popcorn

Popcorn enrobed in golden caramel coating.

Popcorn is my absolute favourite snack. It's quick to prepare, it absorbs a variety of flavours with ease, and it's healthy.

Provided you don't smother it in caramel, that is.

I eat my fair share of plain popcorn, or popcorn sprinkled with seasonings, but every once in a while I like to prepare something a bit more complicated. POPCORN!, Carol Beckerman's cookbook centred on all things popcorn (I know; you're shocked), has given me plenty of delectable recipes to try. My favourite of these is Pad Thai popcorn, a sweet, spicy, stick-to-your-teeth snack that's more than worth the time it takes to prepare.

Y'all know of my great love for Pad Thai. I eat it whenever the opportunity presents itself--which isn't as often as I'd like, now I live thousands of miles away from my Pad Thai dealer of choice, but a girl's gotta take what she can get. This fabulous popcorn helps kill the craving in between noodle bowls.

As an added bonus, it's easy to render vegan. Hurray!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Conversation: The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater

A month or two back, several of us took to Twitter to squee and speculate about Maggie Stiefvater's Raven Cycle (THE RAVEN BOYS, THE DREAM THIEVES, and the soon-to-be-released BLUE LILY, LILY BLUE). We had such a good time that we decided to take our conversation elsewhere so's we could delve a little deeper into the subject and avoid spoiling any onlookers.

Which is to say, I'm over at Lady Business today, discussing the series with Aarti, Ana, Jenny, and Teresa. We cover material from the first two books, with plenty of speculation as to what we'd like to see in BLUE LILY, LILY BLUE and the as-yet untitled final book. Spoilers abound, as do FEELS.

If you've enjoyed the Raven Cycle, please join us.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Murchie Plus Books: October 12th to 18th

The premise: I love my dog. I love books. I combine the two by photographing my dog with everything I read, barring the comics I get through Marvel Unlimited. Last week, that was lots of stuff about the Inhumans. I love the Inhumans.

The photos: go live on Instagram as I take them and appear here in digest form every Sunday.

A fuzzy grey poodle, Murchie, appears in profile before a white e-reader with the cover art for Storms of Lazarus displayed on its screen. The cover depicts a pale-skinned man with short, dark hair and a raven perched on his shoulder. He wears a long, dark coat. An airship is visible in the air behind him. The e-reader is laid flat, so the image appears at an angle.

I finished LORD OF CHAOS at lunchtime on Friday and read nothing but comics until Tuesday, which is when I purchased and began STORMS OF LAZARUS by Karen Kincy.

The very moment the book showed up in my Kindle app, I loaded its cover and propped the device behind my sleepy wee Murchie. No sooner had I snapped the first picture than Murchie shifted in his sleep, sending my Kobo tumbling down to bonk him on the head.

I felt terrible, but Murchie just shrugged it off. This is the dog who takes grave offense when his soft, tiny chew toy accidentally brushes his nose during games of fetch, so I guess he was still too groggy to recognize he should be put out. It surely helped that he wasn't injured (whew!).

Still, I figured it would be safest to lay the e-reader on its side for all subsequent shots.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Readathon Hour 20: Picture It! Mini Challenge

Hello, Readathon participants, and congratulations on making it to Hour 20! You're almost there!

Unless you've chosen to focus on scriptless comics, you've spent the day immersed in words, words, words. This hour, I'd like you to step away from words long enough to find a picture that somehow relates to your current read.

Choose an image that makes you think of the main character, an important plot twist, the book's theme, the setting, or any other story-related element that triggers your imagination. I ask that you don't use cover or interior art or a still from a film adaptation--that's just too easy, yeah?--but anything else is fair game.

Please make sure your selection is free and legal to use, and be sure to credit the artist or photographer. Flickr's creative commons archive is a great place to search for images in the public domain, as is the WANA Commons.

Once you have an image, tell us how it relates to your book via a blog post, tweet, or Instagram post. If you don't use social media (or if it's just too late in the 'thon to worry about crap like that), you can post your explanation and a link to your picture in the comments here.

An example: earlier today, I read THE LAST GOOD KNIGHT, a serial by Tiffany Reisz. The serial made me think of knights, for obvious reasons, so I hunted through Flickr's creative commons and found a trio of fearsome Lego knights photographed by Andrew Becraft:

Three Lego knights brandishing a silver sword, a war hammer, and a black sword. The knight on the left wears silver armor; the others are attired in black.
Now it's your turn! Make sure you comment below with a link to your blog post, tweet, or Instagram account. One randomly selected participant will win a set of eight vintage postcards featuring gardens from around the world, plus 50 cancelled stamps with plants on them.

An assortment of vintage postcards and stamps.

The challenge will run until the end of the Readathon. I'll contact the winner whenever I wake up. :)

Readathon: Mid Event Survey

Mid Event Survey time! (Not Mind Event Survey, fingers. Shame on you.)

1. What are you reading right now? I'm working my way through SUBVERSION, a collection of SFF stories about challenging the norm.

2. How many books have you read so far? Three, though I was already most of the way through one.

3. What book are you most looking forward to for the second half of the Read-a-thon? Comics, baby! I'm gonna dive into my Marvel Unlimited library.

4. Have you had many interruptions? How did you deal with those? My day has been interruption-free. Wee Murchie hasn't made a peep.

5. What surprises you most about the Read-a-thon, so far? This is my thirteenth 'thon, so I've officially become unflappable. NOTHING SURPRISES ME. NOTHING.

Well, except maybe my total lack of a door prize. I won one last time, so my brain is like, "Okay! Gonna win a door prize!"

And I haven't. Yet.

Readathon!: October 2014 Edition

A short haired grey poodle lies tucked beneath a red comforter so only his front legs and his head are poking out. His eyes are closed.

Murchie welcomes you to Dewey's 24 Hour Readathon!

I'll be updating this central post throughout the day, with the most recent update on top. Mini challenges will appear in their own posts where applicable.

Hour Twenty-One

I've barely read for the last hour and I made extremely poor choices as I tried to get tomorrow's (er, later today's) edition of Murchie Plus Books read, so I'm out.

It's been emotional, y'all.

Um. Yeah. I'm really tired, and I can't do words so good, so lemme just say it's been fun reading alongside everyone. Also! My mini challenge is still ongoing (it's the top post on my blog's main page), and I'll coo over all new entries and pick a winner once I wake up.

Like, after I've showered and cuddled Murchie all that. Not right after I wake up.

Damn, y'all. I need to sleep.

I'll now tuck myself up in bed and see if I can squeeze in one more issue of DEADPOOL. (Not DEADPOOP, fingers. Although I think he might approve of that...) Right now, it doesn't seem likely.

Just pretend I filled out my personal meme one final time, okay? It ain't much different from the one below anyways, except I ate two breakfast-sized chicken sausages and read like forty more pages.

Readathon: Intro Meme

Now in a shiny post all its own. This year, I'm going to try to do this for any and all mini challenges that require bloggish participation.

1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today? Winnipeg, Manitoba.

2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to? I'm super-duper looking forward to A CASE OF POSSESSION by KJ Charles. I adored the first book in the series and am looking forward to more.

3) Which snack are you most looking forward to? That puppy chow popcorn looks mighty delectable.

4) Tell us a little something about yourself! I'm currently obsessed with Kate Bishop (the young, female Hawkeye). She has supplanted Dancing Groot as my new favorite.

5) If you participated in the last read-a-thon, what’s one thing you’ll do different today? I'm going to try to make some time to cheer as part of Team Rogue--but I always say that and it so rarely works out the way I want. Sigh. Maybe this time, I'll put less pressure on myself to cheer and simply focus on reading? I don't think I've ever completely focused on reading.