Grillo Center Labyrinth

Grillo Center Labyrinth
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Sunday, August 10, 2008

Saturday Morning Walkers - July 6, 2008

Hi everyone!

Hope you've all had a lovely and relaxing holiday weekend. We had a great visit with Libby, David and our lovely new granddaughter-to-be! A highlight for me was a ride with David on the motorcycle that he rented for the weekend - I loved it! Of course, we had lots of good cooking - I'll tell you about that later.

Book Report:

Libby finished a good "beach" read while she was here - a bit of "chick lit" called Something Borrowed by Emily Griffin

From Publishers Weekly
An unexpected love affair threatens a long-lived friendship in this soap opera–like debut from Atlanta ex-lawyer Giffin. Since elementary school, Rachel and Darcy have been best friends, with Darcy always outshining Rachel. While single Rachel is the self-confessed good girl, an attorney trapped at a suffocating New York law firm, Darcy is the complete opposite, a stereotypical outgoing publicist, planning a wedding with the handsome Dex. After Rachel's 30th birthday party, she knocks back one drink too many and winds up in bed with Dex. Instead of feeling guilty about sleeping with her best friend's fiancĂ©, Rachel realizes that Dex is the only man she's really loved, and that she's always resented manipulative Darcy. Rachel and Dex spend a few weekends in the city together "working" while Darcy's off with friends at a Hamptons beach share, but finally Rachel realizes she'll have to give Dex an ultimatum. The flip job Giffin pulls off—here it's the cheaters who're sympathetic (more or less)—gives Dex and Rachel's otherwise ordinary affair extra edge. Rachel would be a more appealing heroine if she were less whiny about her job and her romantic prospects, and rambling dialogue slows the story's pace, but this is an enjoyable beach read—one that'll make readers cast a suspicious eye on best friends and boyfriends who seem to get along just a little too well.

I finished a wonderful book of historical fiction - A Golden Age by Tahmima Anam - this is the story of a family caught up in the Bangladesh War for Independence early in the 70's. It is a piece of history that I'm embarrassed to say I didn't know much about. I enjoyed seeing and hearing Anam speak at this past Tattered Cover "Writers Respond to Readers" event.

From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. The experiences of a woman drawn into the 1971 Bangladesh war for independence illuminate the conflict's wider resonances in Anam's impressive debut, the first installment in a proposed trilogy. Rehana Haque is a widow and university student in Dhaka with two children, 17-year-old daughter Maya and 19-year-old son Soheil. As she follows the daily patterns of domesticity—cooking, visiting the cemetery, marking religious holidays—she is only dimly aware of the growing political unrest until Pakistani tanks arrive and the fighting begins. Suddenly, Rehana's family is in peril and her children become involved in the rebellion. The elegantly understated restraint with which Anam recounts ensuing events gives credibility to Rehana's evolution from a devoted mother to a woman who allows her son's guerrilla comrades to bury guns in her backyard and who shelters a Bengali army major after he is wounded. The reader takes the emotional journey from atmospheric scenes of the marketplace to the mayhem of invasion, the ruin of the city, evidence of the rape and torture of Hindus and Bengali nationalists, and the stench and squalor of a refugee camp. Rehana's metamorphosis encapsulates her country's tragedy and makes for an immersive, wrenching narrative. (Jan.)

Website of the Week:

Podcast of the Week: news and politics from

Vocabulary Word of the Week: Chick lit

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
"Chick lit" is a term used to denote genre fiction written for and marketed to young women, especially single, working women in their twenties and thirties. The genre's creation was spurred on, if not exactly created, by Sue Townsend's Adrian Mole diaries which inspired Adele Lang's Confessions of a Sociopathic Social Climber: The Katya Livingston Chronicles in the mid-1990s.[citation needed] Another strong early influence can be seen in the books by M. C. Beaton about Agatha Raisin and Hamish Macbeth. The style can also be seen to be somewhat influenced by female teen angst movies like Sixteen Candles and Clueless. Later with the appearance of Helen Fielding's Bridget Jones's Diary and similar works; the genre continued to sell well in the 2000s, with chick lit titles topping bestseller lists and the creation of imprints devoted entirely to chick lit.

The genre

Chick lit features hip, stylish female protagonists (usually in their twenties and thirties and in urban settings) and follows their love lives and struggles for professional success (often in the publishing, advertising, public relations or fashion industry). The books usually feature an airy, irreverent tone and frank sexual themes. The genre spawned Candace Bushnell's Sex and the City and its accompanying television series. Popular Chick lit novelists include Ireland's Marian Keyes, Cecelia Ahern, and Sophie Kinsella, author of the Shopaholic series. Variations have developed to appeal to specific audiences, such as "Chica Lit," aimed at English-dominant, middle-class American Latinas, the top-seller being novelist and film writer/producer Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez; Christian Chick Lit, Matron Lit (aka Hen Lit) for middle-aged women, Young Adult Chick Lit (also Teen Lit).

Origins of the term
"Chick" is an American slang term for young woman and "Lit" is short for "literature".

The term was introduced by Cris Mazza and Jeffrey DeShell as an ironic title for their edited anthology Chick Lit: Postfeminist Fiction, published in 1995. The genre was defined as a type of post-feminist or second-wave feminism that went beyond female-as-victim to include fiction that covered the breadth of female experiences, including love, courtship and gender. The collection emphasized experimental work, including violent, perverse and sexual themes. James Wolcott's 1996 article in The New Yorker "Hear Me Purr" co-opted the term "chick lit" to proscribe what he called the trend of "girlishness" evident in the writing of female newspaper columnists at that time. Works such as Helen Fielding's Bridget Jones's Diary and Candace Bushnell's Sex and the City are examples of such work that helped establish contemporary connotations of the term. The success of Bridget Jones and Sex and the City in book form established chick lit as an important trend in publishing. The Girls' Guide to Hunting and Fishing by Melissa Bank[1] is regarded as one of the first chick lit works to originate as a novel (actually a collection of stories), though the term "chick lit" was in common use at the time of its publication (1999).

Publishers continue to push the sub-genre because of its viability as a sales tactic. Various other terms have been coined as variant in attempts to attach themselves to the perecieved marketability of the work.

Some critics have noted a male equivalent in authors like Ben Elton, Mike Gayle, Paul Howard and Nick Hornby, referred to as "lad lit" and "dick lit".

Cooking and Dining Report:

A Summer Weekend Menu

Libby and David arrived on Thursday night - I had prepared Sausage and Peppers from The Two Meatballs Cookbook - this was great to have simmering on the stove and ready for them when they got to the house. I had some nice crusty Ciabatta rolls and a light salad. This recipe can be found in an earlier post from this blog -

Friday was a dining out day - lunch in Littleton with Nana Mae and dinner at Radda here in Boulder - surprisingly not crowded and noisy.

Saturday breakfast - Libby had requested a breakfast casserole - one of her favorites - I found a great recipe for an updated version of breakfast casserole - it is Breakfast Strata with Sausage, Mushrooms and Monterey Jack from Cooks Illustrated. I did make a couple of modifications - I used bulk Italian sausage instead of breakfast sausage (more flavorful) and crimini mushrooms instead of white button mushrooms.

Saturday lunch - featured two terrific options:

Cooked shrimp (purchased cooked) tossed with pesto (store-bought) - a great combination and couldn't be easier - this was a suggestion from Mark Bittman from the New York Times

Apricot and Chicken Bruschetta from Giada de Laurentiis -,1977,FOOD_9936_159123,00.html - this is a great lunch using large slices of Ciabatta or even a light dinner.

Saturday dinner - this is a repeat of a recipe that we enjoyed several weeks ago. We served this with roasted green beans and a salad of chopped fresh tomatoes tossed with store-bought Kalamata olive tapenade. A perfect summer meal!
Flank Steak with Crispy Polenta and Roasted Shallot Vinaigrette from -
For dessert we treated ourselves to ice cream at the Glacier Ice Cream shop on Baseline Road - yum!

Before I close - Quote of the Day - a favorite of Rae's - "If nothing changes, nothing changes" - author unknown.If you have a favorite quote, do share it with us.

Have a wonderful week!


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