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I really can’t say enough good things about the books I read in August.  To try and pick a favorite from this list is nearly impossible, so I’m totally bending the rules and picking an entire series.;-) Here’s a look back at what was on deck for August…

A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness
Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness
The Book of Life by Deborah Harkness
Landline by Rainbow Rowell
Still Life with Bread Crumbs by Anna Quindlen
*Paw and Order by Spencer Quinn (I added this one at the last minute)

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Amazingly enough, I actually stuck to the planned list and only added one more (Paw and Order).  The All Souls Trilogy by Debroah Harkness is a work of genius.  In my book it ranks right on up there with Harry Potter (just a more adult storyline).  It’s easily my top favorite trilogy of all times.  Rainbow Rowell is also a genius – I’ve read all of her books and she has this amazing ability of wrapping things up but leaving you wanting more.  I would read her grocery list if she published it.  No, seriously.

A friend recommended Still Life with Breadcrumbs because as a photographer she knew it would resonate and she was spot on.  In fact, I’ve got a special blog post planned based on this book later this month.:-) And Paw and Order is my favorite series of books written from a dog’s perspective, so I can’t leave them off of the “great” list.  I love the Chet & Bernie mysteries, and if you’re a dog lover I highly recommend.  So, like I said earlier, it was an amazing month of reading.  I’m going to give the All Souls Trilogy my top honors for the month but just know that every other book on the list was a very, very close 2nd place.;-)

So, on to September!  There’s a thing going around on Facebook where people are listing the top 10 books that have “stuck” with them and so far two of my friends have listed The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffeneger.  Hello, time travel!  How have I not read this?  So, here we go…

The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffeneger
The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne
The Best Yes by Lysa Terkeurst
Syren by Angie Sage (Septimus Heap #5)
Five, Six, Seven, Nate! by Tim Federle

And as usual, I love recommendations, so please keep them coming!

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It’s always amazing to me to see how much we pack into the summer.  The warm weather months seem to go by so fast, and if we aren’t intentional about it we’ve found that we spend way too much time in front of a screen or behind a desk.  Since we didn’t take a big vacation this year we’ve tried to schedule several “day-cations” throughout the summer and I’m really happy with how much time we’ve spent enjoying the outdoors mid-week and on the weekends.  As per usual, my insta-feed is mostly books, food and an over-domesticated fur baby, but I love seeing lots of water, napping and adventure in this year’s collection.  Thanks to the summer of 2014 for being fun and relaxing, and Happy Fall Y’all!

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A chalk outline….horrible mug shots…crime scene tape.  I’ll have “Things I never thought I’d google” for 500 Alex.  But oh yes, they were googled, and the trusty sidekick of a search engine didn’t disappoint.

On Saturday we had 6 friends over for a Murder Mystery Dinner Party (check and mark to goal #7) and it was way too much fun!  We found this series of games online and after reading reviews and looking at the different theme options we went with “The Watersdown Affair” which was a murder set at a huge English mansion.  Unfortunately our host, Sir Roger Watersdown, suffered an untimely death just as the party began and was found face down in the pool.  Tragic.  But that didn’t stop the party or the fun as we spent the next 3 hours accusing each other of falsifying wills, stealing keys, peeping into windows and cheating on spouses.  At the end of the night the truth came out and the guilty party was escorted off of the premises.

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The suggested menu for the evening was roast beef and yorkshire pudding but we tried the menu ahead of time to test it out and we were underwhelmed.  So, we went with several tried and true recipes that we knew were sure to please.

Appetizers:
Rosemary and Olive Foccaia Bread (with balsamic and olive oil for dipping) from Provisions at Waxhaw
My favorite Feta dip
Pioneer Woman’s Puff Pastry Pizza

Dinner:
Annie’s Eats Chicken Parmesan Meatballs with fresh pasta from Pasta & Provisions
Italian Salad with dressing and fresh bread from Provisions at Waxhaw

Dessert:
Giada’s Individual Strawberry Trifles

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All suspects aren’t pictured to protect the innocent (and the guilty), but as the hosts we felt obligated to confess our involvement with the evening’s activities.;-) This was definitely an evening to remember and we had a BLAST!

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