Part-time Vegan?

So, I’ve been Vegan (dietary only) since March, except for a week in April when my husband, in-laws and myself went to Vegas. I tried to eat Vegan for a few days, but there weren’t many options on the menu at most places, so I was a Pesce-Vegetarian that week, allowing myself to eat fish and seafood, and yes, even a bit of dairy products and eggs. One night, my seafood pasta made me very sick.  Since then, I’ve stuck to my Vegan diet.

Until two nights ago….

The only thing I really miss is sushi. I caved in when we went to our favorite sushi place with my cousin and her husband this week. I usually just get an avocado roll and the tofu teriyaki, but I just couldn’t help myself. 

So, is it possible to be a part-time Vegan? Not really, or at least not by that label. I’m trying not to feel guilty, especially since I only changed my diet for health reasons, and sushi is still healthy. So, maybe my new label will be Pesce-Vegetarian, or Pescetarian, but I’m still planning on eating Vegan at least 28 days of the month or more.

I’ve actually found lots of really great food options and recipes that I enjoy. Maybe I’ll post some recipe or cookbook reviews in the future.

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Goodreads Giveaway

I woke up this morning and checked my email and had yet another email from Goodreads. “Congrats – you are a First Reads winner!” This makes the fifth book I’ve won in the last two weeks. Sometimes I’ll go months without winning anything, and then all of a sudden…

Maybe I should buy a lottery ticket today.

So many books, so little time. (That’s where that winning lottery ticket would come in handy. That would give me a lot more time!)

A Clash of Kings

I finished the second book in George R. R. Martin’s epic series last night. I do have to say that I was not disappointed. Like the first book, it transported me to Westeros. The author introduces additional characters and makes the story even more vast. My favorites still include Tyrion and Arya, although I believe Jon Snow has taken Daenerys’ place as a favorite, but that’s really just due to the fact that she didn’t get as much time in this book. I also enjoyed Bran’s story quite a bit in this book as well.

The title basically says it all. The book was all about A Clash of Kings, all vying for domination. Westeros is still a mess and the seven kingdoms are divided, having more kings that I can currently remember. There is war all around, but most of the story involves more political intrigue than actual battle scenes, although there are a few of those scenes as well. Another thing I like about this book is that magic is creeping into the story bit by bit.

And even more interesting, the Stark children are all separated, involved in different parts of the war. I am eager to find out what happens to all of them.

A Game of Thrones

By now everyone (and when I say everyone, I mean my sister-in-law, Jackie, as I’m sure she’s the only one who glances at this blog occasionally), knows that I don’t read all the typical “chick lit” stuff. I mean, I enjoy a nice romance novel every once in a while, but my main fictional love is fantasy.

A few weeks ago, my cousin Joe and I were both trying to decide what to read next, and he suggested that we read another book together, a bit like our own private book club if you will. We had just finished reading The Wise Man’s Fear, by Patrick Rothfuss and really enjoyed having someone else that we could talk to about the book. As HBO was about to begin showing A Game of Thrones, we decided that was it! And so we both delved into George R. R. Martin’s masterpiece, A Song of Ice and Fire. This series is supposed to be seven books. The first four books have been published, and the fifth one is coming out in a couple more months.

I finished the first book, A Game of Thrones, a couple of weeks ago and I’m now on the second installment of the series. I find that it’s difficult to review this book because there was so much stuff going on. The story is absolutely huge! I loved it.

Each chapter is written from the standpoint of a specific character. It’s not written in first person point of view, thank goodness. I think I’d find that a bit difficult to follow. But it’s because of all these characters that the reader gets to get the whole story and discover what’s going on in all parts of the land. Basically, King Robert reigns over the Seven Kingdoms, after killing all but two members of the previous royal family. But there is a secret at the heart of the kingdom, providing much mystery and intrigue. King Robert’s friend, Ned Stark, is the Lord of Winterfell, controlling much of the Northern region of the Seven Kingdoms. When the previous Hand of the King dies, Robert asks Ned to come to King’s Landing to take the position. What Ned discovers could rip a family and kingdom apart.

I believe my favorite characters at the end of the first book would be:

  • Tyrion Lannister, dwarf and brother of the Queen
  • Daenerys Targaryen, the youngest surviving child of the previous royal family
  • Arya Stark, Ned Stark’s daughter, who is anything but ladylike and mannerly

There are so many characters and so many complexities to the story and world GRRM has created. Sometimes it was difficult to keep track of a few of the minor characters. But I love the series, and watching the characters come to life every Sunday night on HBO is even better!

The Jane Austen Handbook

I recently won The Jane Austen Handbook, by Margaret C. Sullivan from a giveaway on Goodreads. I really enjoyed this book. It was a quick read, entertaining and informative.

This is a must read for any young woman who reads Jane Austen and dreams of the times, vacations to Bath and the country, and of course, the men, or more specifically, Mr. Darcy. The handbook is very instructive concerning how to behave in different situations, how to dress, how to play whist, and even how to make sure a man knows you are interested while not saying or doing anything inappropriate or harmful to your reputation.

The book is divided into four sections, including “Jane Austen’s World and Welcome to It,” “A Quick Succession of Busy Nothings; or, Everyday Activities,” “Making Love,” (the definition of which I am sure is completely clear to all Janeites), and “The Best Company; or, Social Gatherings.” Information in each of these sections is a perfect reference while reading Austen’s novels to better understand the happenings of the time.

Also, the author explains such things that might be confusing or not obvious to the reader of Jane Austen’s novels today, but were completely clear to those reading them in Jane’s time. Overall, I very much enjoyed this book and will have to continue reading Jane’s novels. (I’m ashamed to say that I have not yet read them all!)