Category: Breakfast & Books

Breakfast & Books: The Beats of Summer Style

Posted 29 May, 2013 by Heather in Blogs, Breakfast & Books / 10 Comments

I have quite a few books to tell you about today, loyal readers. I have been borrowing books from both of my local libraries in preparation for a pretty cool project I’m participating in next month, and figured I would wait to write about them when I had them all together.

Our breakfast dates have been lovely as usual. Yesterday was the second-to-last breakfast date before the school year ends, though. I’m getting a little misty-eyed just thinking about next week being the last one until September. But with the kids out of school, Eric’s Wednesdays off will become our weekly family trip to the library, so there’s that. BOOKS FOR EVERYONE!

Yeah, yeah, I know: you’re all like, “Blah, blah, breakfast dates, blah…SHOW US THE BOOKS!” Okay, okay…

The Big Sleep, by Raymond Chandler

For June, #1book140 voted for Raymond Chandler’s The Big Sleep. This is the book I borrowed when we went to the library yesterday. I haven’t read the book or seen the movie, and though I’m hearing things about The Big Sleep containing all the misogyny and homophobia, I’m looking forward to reading it and knocking it off the 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die list that I’m casually working on. (You can get more information about #1book140 in my sidebar, if you’re interested.)



The Beats of Summer button - click for more info

Click here for more info and to sign up on Adam’s website

Now THIS is something I’m excited to tell you about. Adam of Roof Beam Reader is hosting a Beat Generation project that starts on June 1st and runs through July 14th. I’ve read a few books from the Beat authors (including On the Road), but they are a group of people whom I’ve been meaning to read more about. They’re a pretty fascinating bunch. I’ve been gathering up the books I want to read for the project, and I finally have them all together and ready to go (books are linked to Goodreads for more detailed information):

1. Jack Kerouac: Selected Letters, 1957-1969

  • I found this book by accident while looking for the one on the right in the photo. I love reading letters that well-known people have written to others. It satisfies a nosy curiosity that I normally ignore in myself. I expect this book to be very interesting.

2. Off the Road: My Years with Cassady, Kerouac, and Ginsberg, by Carolyn Cassady

  • I don’t know how much you know about the Beat guys, but they were rather…interesting. I can’t imagine what it would have been like to be married to one of them (or to have just dated one of them, for that matter), so I can’t wait to read what Carolyn Cassady as to say about it.

3. Door Wide Open: A Beat Love Affair in Letters, 1957-1958, by Jack Kerouac and Joyce Johnson

  • Two words: MORE LETTERS.

4. Naked Lunch, by William S. Burroughs

  • I’ve been meaning to read this for a very long time. I kept passing it over for other things, but now I have a reason to read it.

5. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, by Ken Kesey

  • I can’t believe I haven’t read this book yet. I also haven’t seen the movie, so I’ll be watching it when I’m done reading the book. I heart Jack Nicholson.

6. The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, by Tom Wolfe

  • This book has one of the most interesting titles ever. I know almost nothing about the book aside from its status as a memoir about Tom Wolfe spending time with Ken Kesey and his band of Merry Pranksters (whom I also know nothing about). It should be a fun ride.

I will also be reading William Burroughs, written by Barry Miles (not pictured), which is one of the books I picked up from one of the library book sales I attended in April. I haven’t decided if I should read it before or after I read Naked Lunch. What do you think?

If you’re interested in joining us for The Beats of Summer, check out the sign-up post on Roof Beam Reader. The more, the merrier!

Happy reading, my bookish friends!



Breakfast & Books: This Week, Part Deux

Posted 1 May, 2013 by Heather in Blogs, Breakfast & Books / 13 Comments

Two Breakfast & Books posts in one week! I think that makes me one lucky gal, because…MORE BOOKS.

Eric and I had our usual Wednesday breakfast date this morning at Perkins (YUM), and then we went to the library (like we usually do after breakfast on Wednesdays). I had one book to return and one to borrow, although I ended up borrowing two:

Library books

The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane is for #TuesBookTalk, and The Fourth Bear is the second book in Fforde’s Nursery Crime series (sj and I have been reading this series and the Thursday Next series together).

THEN, while we were at the library, Eric went downstairs and found out that all of the left over books from last weekend’s book sale are FREE now. FREE. There weren’t many left that I was interested in (a lot of mass market paperbacks, and I don’t really enjoy owning those), but there were five books that I passed over on Monday that were still there:

From top to bottom: The Little, Brown Reader, Lord Jim by Joseph Conrad, The Norton Reader, William Burroughs: A Portrait by Barry Miles, and The Flounder by Günter Grass.

The Little, Brown Reader and The Norton Reader contain writing from some fantastic authors, and I’m pretty interested in reading the “unconventional but riveting portrait” (from the back cover) of William Burroughs.

And THEN, I bought this book from the little cart next to the library’s circulation desk:


Seraphina by Rachel Hartman

The library always has a small cart of books for sale next to their circulation desk (each book goes for a $1 donation), and I have actually been passing this book over for a few weeks now. I keep reading really good reviews about it, though, and it sounds like something both Ashley and I will enjoy.

So in addition to the beautiful weather we’re having today, it was also another great day for books.



Breakfast & Books: Library Book Sale Edition!

Posted 29 April, 2013 by Heather in Blogs, Breakfast & Books / 31 Comments

Today I am giving you a special edition of Breakfast & Books to kick off the series (again). The bigger of my two local libraries had their bi-annual book sale this past weekend, and today (Monday) was BAG DAY. If you don’t know what bag day is, it’s usually the last day of library book sales and you pay a set price for an entire bag of books (in this case, I paid $5 per bag). But what made THIS particular bag day REALLY special is that…

…my dad drove here from Central NY just to go to the book sale with me and to hang out with me for the day!

That’s right, my dad–who is the most special–drove to PA all the way from Central NY (about four and a half hours) just to take me out to breakfast and to go to the library book sale with me. Isn’t that great?! We are a family who is very serious about our books. Haha!

Dad drove here yesterday (Sunday–with the promise of my lasagna for dinner), then today after the kids left for school we went to breakfast at Cracker Barrel and to the book sale. My dad already owns thousands of books (no, really, he owns something like 3,000 books and that’s probably understated), so my mother kind of gave him a limit on how many he could buy this time. Ha! He still left with almost two full bags of books. I, however, CLEANED HOUSE. I came away with FOUR bags of books, and totally didn’t stick to my list like I promised myself I would. OOPS. Wait until you see all of the goodies I found this time, though:

This whole pile of books is by Don DeLillo. I’ve been meaning to read his books for quite some time, and now I have a ton of them. From top to bottom: The Body Artist, Point Omega, Players, Mao II, White Noise, Falling Man, and Underworld.

Look at all these books by Nadine Gordimer! One whole shelf at the sale was full of her books, so I just cleaned the shelf off. SCORE. From top to bottom: The Pickup, The House Gun, Jump and Other Stories, A Sport of Nature, Selected Stories, The Conservationist, July’s People, Burger’s Daughter, and None to Accompany Me. Nadine Gordimer won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1991 and is another author that I’ve been meaning to read. I can’t wait to dive into these.

There weren’t too many classics at this book sale, either, but I managed to find seven that I haven’t read. I’m THE MOST excited about finding Ralph Ellison’s Juneteenth. From top to bottom: Native Son by Richard Wright (I’ve read this, but didn’t own it), a W.E.B. DuBois Reader (edited) by Andrew G. Paschal, Juneteenth by Ralph Ellison, The Scapegoat by Daphne du Maurier, The House on the Strand by Daphne du Maurier, Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskell, The Life to Come and Other Stories by E.M. Forster, and Sister Carrie by Theodore Dreiser.

From top to bottom: The PowerBook by Jeanette Winterson, Play It As It Lays by Joan Didion, Bel Canto by Ann Patchett, Run by Ann Patchett, The Maytrees by Annie Dillard, The Garden of Evening Mists by Tan Twan Eng, and The Syringa Tree by Pamela Gien.

From top to bottom: Someone Comes to Town, Someone Leaves Town by Cory Doctorow, The General in His Labyrinth by Gabriel García Márquez, Of Love and Other Demons by Gabriel García Márquez, The Mission Song by John le Carré, Game Change by John Heilemann and Mark Halperin, Angry Candy by Harlan Ellison, Slippage by Harlan Ellison, and That Old Cape Magic by Richard Russo.

From top to bottom: The Water-Method Man by John Irving, The Fourth Hand by John Irving, Ragtime by E.L. Doctorow, The Storyteller by Mario Vargas Llosa, The Blind Watchmaker by Richard Dawkins, Old School by Tobias Wolff, The Hours by Michael Cunningham, High Fidelity by Nick Hornby, Jailbird by Kurt Vonnegut, Shardik by Richard Adams, Three Complete Novels: Billy Bathgate, World’s Fair, Loon Lake by E.L. Doctorow, and Pale Blue Dot by Carl Sagan.

SO MANY GOOD BOOKS (or so I hope).

When we were done at the book sale, Dad and I came back to my house and chatted for another couple of hours, and then he took off for NY. We had a wonderful day together and I’m so happy that he’s awesome enough to drive here just to spend a day with me. He really is the best.

Now I just need to find room for all these books…



Breakfast & Books

Posted 2 June, 2011 by Heather in Blogs, Breakfast & Books / 3 Comments

Breakfast & Books

Well folks, this is the last Breakfast & Books post until the new school year starts at the end of August.  Instead of Eric and I going on a breakfast & books date every week, our day out will be a library date for the whole family.  We’re all looking forward to that, but I’m sure going to miss our breakfast dates.

This week, I went to Barnes & Noble for three specific books.  One of the books is one I already owned the hardcover edition of (The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls), but it seems to be missing.  I don’t remember loaning it to anyone, but it’s definitely not in my house.  Because it’s a book I love, and because our son has to read it this summer for next year’s Advanced English class, I just decided to replace it.  I’m just ticked that my original copy was hardcover and I had to replace it with a paperback.  Oh well.

These are the two other books I purchased:

Full Frontal Feminism & The Book Thief

You can’t go wrong with feminism and book thievery!

Full Frontal Feminism: A Young Woman’s Guide to Why Feminism Matters by Jessica Valenti:  Jessica Valenti is the founder of and this book is exactly what its subtitle claims.  I read about this book somewhere last year, meant to look into it and then forgot all about it.  It came up again in a fantastic video that was brought to my attention last week on Twitter (Beyonce- Run the World [LIES] by @NineteenPercent) and I decided to buy it before I forgot about it again.  It sounds very interesting and it will be a good book for my daughter to read in a few years.

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak:  This is the next book we’re reading for #TuesBookTalk.  It’s about a foster girl living outside of Munich (in Nazi Germany) during WWII who steals books whenever–and from wherever–she finds them.  That description sounds so lame to me now that I’ve typed it out, but I honestly don’t know much more about it.  I just know that I’ve been hearing a lot about it lately and I’m glad we’re reading it for our book chat.  (Which is open to anyone, by the way.  Check out the TuesBookTalk Goodreads group for more information.)

I’m looking forward to reading both of these soon.

On a different note, I will be starting a new bi-weekly post on Between the Covers next Friday that will actually involve the participation of other avid readers.  Be on the lookout for more information tomorrow, and until then, happy reading!




Breakfast & Books

Posted 20 May, 2011 by Heather in Blogs, Breakfast & Books / 4 Comments

Breakfast & Books

Can’t.  Stop.  Buying.  Books.  I have come to the conclusion that I have an addiction.  However, at least my addiction is feeding my brain, instead of eating away at it.  Justification of said addiction is the key.

Anyway, Eric and I had a nice day out and experienced something that warmed our hearts.  While we were at Perkins, there was an older couple having breakfast there, as well (I would guess they are in their mid-70’s).  We went to Barnes & Noble right after breakfast, as usual, and as we were leaving B&N, we ended up holding the doors for that same couple as they were entering.  As we were walking to the car, Eric commented, “See?  Other couples have breakfast and book dates, too.”  It kind of gave me a look into the future; I mean, that will be me and Eric some day, still going on breakfast & book dates 25 or 30 years from now, hopefully.  It gave me the warm fuzzies.

And yes, I bought more books.  Remember last week when I said I used my willpower to put a book back that I had been carrying around with me for 20 minutes?  Yeah.  I bought it today.  Along with one other book.

DFW, Joseph Heller and Rascal

(Rascal decided he wanted his moment of fame on Between the Covers.)

I really want to dive into Infinite Jest soon (written by David Foster Wallace) and when I found Although Of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself last week, I decided that I want to read that first.  When DFW was on the last leg of his book tour for Infinite Jest, Rolling Stone magazine sent David Lipsky along to join him.  This is Lipsky’s book about that experience.  It’s like a five-day biography, but done interview-style.  I think that reading this first will give me a good look into DFW himself so I better understand where he’s coming from when I read Infinite Jest.  Also, Robert at 101 Books just finished reading Infinite Jest and posted a lot of information about the book–and DFW–on his blog, which has made me become kind of fascinated with DFW.

I also purchased Catch-22, written by Joseph Heller.  I haven’t read this since high school and I’ve been meaning to read it again for years.  I don’t remember many of the particulars about the story, but I remember the overall premise.  I do remember thinking, even back in high school, that it was very funny and a great representation of the ridiculousness of war.  I justified this purchase by telling myself that I need to read it again, and my kids should read it at some point.  Three cheers for “house” books!

I hope you all have a lovely weekend; I plan to do a lot of reading and I have a few reviews I need to get typed up and scheduled.  Until next time, happy reading!