Tag Archives: Hannah

R&D – Within the Walled City Edition

For my birthday last year, my boyfriend’s sister gave me a book authored by her close friend. Yes, I know you may be skeptical. We know how friend’s writing can turn out; like that time a woman wrote Twilight fan fiction and it got published then turned into a national phenomenon about BDSM.

I have good news: it was nothing like that! Instead, I greatly enjoyed the little coming-of-age during study abroad book. Here’s the description of Within the Walled City:

Lily Dunn died seventeen years ago, and the small family that she left behind has buried her memory along with their pain. When her twenty-six-year-old daughter Jillian leaves for a semester in Siena, Italy to complete her Master’s in Art History, she comes upon an unexpected treasure: Lily’s handwritten journal, from a time when she too lived in Siena.

Jillian’s months in Siena are marked by eccentric people, stunning scenery, a trove of exquisite art, and most of all, the enthralling and painful discovery of a mother she never knew and a world of secrets she can’t unlearn. The shadows of the past, the memories of an artist, will either crush or unfold her within the walled city.

Overall, it was an easy and quick read (with a surprise ending {times TWO} !!!), perfect for a spring jaunt by the pool or beach. Whilst reading, make sure you grab a glass of Limoncello to accompany you. Nothing like a crisp Italian liqueur to send you straight to the Italian countryside and the walled city, Siena.

Walled City R&D JPG

Limoncello
Remove the peel of 10 lemons and place in a 2 quart pitcher. Add 1 750-ml bottle of vodka. Steep for 4 days at room temperature.
Heat 3 1/2 cups of water and 2 1/2 cups of sugar in saucepan over medium heat, until the sugar dissolves (about 5 minutes). Cool completely then pour over lemon vodka mixture. Allow to stand overnight. Strain the limoncello and discard the peels. Transfer to bottles; refrigerate until cold.

Novel | Cocktail | Bottle | Cordial Glass | Peeler | Strainer | Pitcher

Cheers & Happy Spring!
-H

 

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Read This, Drink That – Red Rising Edition

“I am the reaper and death is my shadow.” – Darrow

Set many years into the future, society has fallen in to a color caste system; Darrow, a lowly red, is a miner on Mars. His people are in charge of getting Mars prepared for habitation. After cruel treatment by a higher color, a Grey, Darrow’s life is changed forever. *

*Our strict belief of a spoiler-free life here at Untamed Shrews prevents me from saying any more details. Don’t read the B&N overview, because they have less gumption than we do here.

I can’t say anything more because you seriously have to read these books. I told my mom I haven’t loved a series so much since Harry Potter (and potentially, Song of Ice & Fire. Will have to re-read to make this decision). Darrow, like Harry, is so flawed, but so likable and very easy to stand behind for his cause. They are quite similar because they are our window into this vast and different world. They are both totally clueless men & have a beautiful girl to take the reins, show the way, and kick major ass.

For Darrow’s Read & Drink, I chose a whiskey drink (one he references often). Since the trilogy takes place in the entire solar system, I wanted to keep things a little earthly. The Golds care a lot for tradition, and I think Roque would have served his guests a sweet Old Fashioned.

RR R&D.jpg

Old Fashioned
2 ounces Woodford Reserve
1/2 ounce Demerara Syrup
3 Dashes Angostura Bitters
2 Dashes Regan’s Orange Bitters

Add ingredients to the mixing glass. Add ice to the mixing glass and serving glass. Garnish with lightly expressed orange peel.

Novel | Cocktail | Ice Bucket | Bar Tools | Shaker | Opener Rings | Decanter

 

Cheers & GO READ THIS BOOK.
-H

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Read This, Drink That – The Silmarillion

I may not be a great blogger, but I am a great girlfriend. My significant other is a huge Tolkien fan (like another this blog is familiar with). Anyway, because I am such a great girlfriend  I agreed to read The Silmarillion with my boyfriend. Yes, me. Who has read no other Tolkien than The Hobbit. Needless to say, this was a bit over my head.

The Silmarillion (Within this book there are 6 short stories.) is a “brief” history of Tolkien’s universe where his other novels take place. This universe is called Eä. This book describes the beginning of time. I mean, when Eä was just DUST it was so beginning of time. The first book tells the story of Eru (also known as Illúvatar) creating the world.

Y’all, I am being for real when I say this book is for DIE HARD TOLKEIN FANS. If you have never wondered “Who created the Elvish within the land of Middle-Earth?” then do not read this book. The beginning was so tough for me to get through, mainly because these characters have so many names: an “english” name, an Elvish name, another name, plus 3 more names. I had to keep reminding myself that Melkor, Morgoth, Arun, Bauglir, and Belegurth are all THE SAME CHARACTER!! And those aren’t even all his names!!!!!!!!!!!

Anyway, I say this not to discount the book. It was published posthumously, created from Tolkien’s notes. This man’s brain must have been the size of a watermelon to hold all of this fantasy world and perfectly intertwine all the stories. Once I got past the “Genesis” (if you will) creation stories and into the battles that shaped Middle-Earth, it was tolerable. Learning how the beautiful jewels, The Silmarils, were created, lost, and rescued was a great story; just remember, if you are in Middle-Earth NEVER swear to an oath or you WILL die trying to uphold it.

My favorite story had to be Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age. It tells the tale of Sauron, who is known to any movie viewer as a fiery eyeball at the top of a tall tower. The story goes on to explain how the one ring was made and why it is so powerful.

I say all of this not for your praise or recognition of possibly deserving the Greatest Girlfriend Ever Award, but instead to present you with this Read and Drink. The book is so heavy, please, for the love of Illúvatar, have a light and refreshing cocktail to enjoy whilst reading. This may be the first R&D that has no relation to the actual story. That’s because this story made no mention of alcohol. So I got creative(ish). Cheers!

 

Silm R&D

Moscow Mule
Lime
2 ounces vodka
5 ounces ginger beer
Squeeze lime juice into glass. Add large ice cubes, then pour vodka. Add cold beer. Stir.

Book | Cocktail | Cocktail Shaker | Mugs | Bar Tools | Ice Bucket

Next up, we are reading A Christmas Carol. Since this is a super short story I hope to be sharing a Christmas themed cocktail with you soon! What’s the opposite of Bah-Humbug?!
-H

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Awards! We’d like to thank The Academy…

We’ve been nominated for an assortment of bloggy awards by the wonderful Shivalika at Whimsy Journals, Alyssa at The Ultimate Book Geek and Flo at Flowless Books. We highly encourage you all to check out their blogs and we want to say thank you so much, ladies!

RULESencouraging-thunder

 

1. Thank your nominator

2. Tell the world why you blog

3. Nominate 5 more people

 

So, we started blogging because it was the best outlet for our “book club.” We have been best friends since birth and adulthood has forced us to live in different cities, so we started a very exclusive book club that would encourage us to read things together and use the blog in order to give our opinions in a way that readers (a.k.a. our mothers) would be able to see, as well. Hannah’s book preferences forced me to read more contemporary works, and my preferences forced her to read a few more classics. We tried to read the same things several times, and it worked for a while, but our lives/jobs always meant that one of us was off  schedule. We then started just blogging about our independent readings, which I think covers more ground anyway. We’re so happy that so many people want to hear what we have to say and I hope you all stay tuned for more!

Nominations will be at the bottom…

creative-blogger-award

RULES

1. Thank the person who nominated you and include a link to their blog.

2. Share 5 facts about yourself.

3. Nominate some bloggers in return and notify them about their nomination.

4. Keep the rules in your post to make it easy for everyone to know what to do.

 

 

5 Facts about Lindsay:

  1. My boyfriend is signing up for Goodreads as we speak and I’m not sure I’ve ever been more proud; 2. I used to think I wanted to teach high school kids, but my student teaching is really challenging that and making me lean towards middle school; 3. I recently finished binge-watching “Fixer Upper” on Netflix and I feel incomplete now that there are no more left to watch; 4. I want to live in a cute, cottage-style house so badly that I’m willing to forfeit future children in order to fit in the cozy space; 5. My affection for peanut butter m&m’s is unparalleled. Don’t try to keep up.

5 Facts about Hannah:

  1. I keep all my DVDs in alphabetical order. (Is that Type A?!) 2. I constantly travel for work, but my favorite place to be is at home with my family. My second favorite place is probably here.  3. I love to cook! My boyfriend & I subscribe to Blue Apron & it is the greatest thing since sliced bread. 4. In addition to this blog, Lindsay & I share a Pinterest board, inspired by cottage-styled homes. 5. I have crazy, vivid dreams almost every night. I keep a dream dictionary by my bed to look up meanings!

 

blogger-recognition-award

The Rules

Select 15 other blogs you want to give the award to. Do some digging if you must! Find those blogs. You cannot nominate yourself or the person who has nominated you.

Write a post to show off your award! Give a brief story of how your blog got started, and give a piece or two of advice to new bloggers. 

Make sure to also attach the award itself! (You can do this by right-clicking, saving, and uploading the image in the right).

Comment on each blog and let them know you’ve nominated them. Provide a link to the award post you created.

Provide a link to the original post on Edge of Night.  

See above for our blog story. Sadly, I can’t say that we have any advice. We’re still learning how to do this and we still don’t take ourselves or our opinions seriously enough to fathom that we’d have followers, much less ones who will be so kind as to nominate us for these awards! We’re super grateful for our readers and we just try to keep our heads on straight and stay as consistent as we can be, which isn’t easy with our busy schedules.

Nominations:

Ok, so I nominate all of my Grad school classmates! I won’t list all of their blogs here because I’m not interested in that level of effort. That’s already 14 people, so I’ll only list a few more below. Also, screw the “don’t nominate your nominator” baloney. We’re covering 3 awards in this one post, so our 3 wonderful nominators are re-nominated for the ones they haven’t already done!

Maryna @ Echoing Books

Kimsiang @ The Spines Breaker

Karen @ Bookertalk

Zezee @ Zezeewithbooks

 

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Read This, Drink That – Dracula Edition

Here at Untamed Shrews we can hardly contain our excitement; Labor Day brings the end of summer and the start of our favorite time of the year, fall! Halloween decor is already in place at my haunted house. To get in the spirit, I picked up Dracula and couldn’t put it down. It’s hard to believe a novel published in 1897 is still relevant and TERRIFYING over 100 years later. It is told through journal and diary entries, newspaper stories, and the occasional ship’s log to make it feel more authentic.

Of course, everyone knows the story of Dracula, the blood thirsty vampire looking to expand his army from Transylvania into London. Poor Jonathan Harker, newly established solicitor, travels to the Count’s lair to provide support for the sale of a property in London. It doesn’t take long for Jonathan to realize that something is wrong: the lack of servants, Dracula never eats, and only visits after dusk are major red flags. When the Count enters Jonathan’s bedroom and has no reflection, Jonathan realizes it is past time to GTFO, but can he escape before he becomes a victim?!

The Count journeys to England, and begins to track Jonathan’s heartbroken bride-to-be, Mina, and in true gentleman fashion, feeding on her best friend, Lucy. Then we are introduced into another iconic character, Dr. Van Helsing, the world renowned doctor, aspiring vampire hunter and destroyer, potential savior of Lucy. This feeding comes at a terrible time for Lucy, as she was proposed to by THREE (!!!) charming men, all in the same day: Dr. John Seward, Quincy Morris, and Arthur Holmwood. These men become vital to the story (and, of course, Quincy goes on to steal the heart of our own Lindsay.)

Overall, I LOVED this classic, which is why I have graced all of you loyal readers with another edition of Read & Drink.

Read This, Drink That - Dracula

Dracula’s Punch
18 ounces Cherry Vodka
8 ounces Lime Juice
6 ounces Cranberry Juice
2 1/2 ounces Grenadine
1 Liter of Lemon-Lime Soda
Fresh, pitted Cherries

Muddle cherries. Combine all ingredients, except soda, in large bowl. Stir. Refrigerate. Top with Soda. Serve chilled and in a castle atop a high cliff.

| Novel | Punch | Bottle | Bowl | Bat Bottle Stopper | Glasses | Fangs Bottle Opener | Ice Fork |

Cheers!
-H

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Summertime Madness Book Tag!

Ahhhhh summer! In the south, it means an endless supply of gnats, humidity, and pavement so hot it leaves imprints of your jelly sandals. We were tagged to do this Summertime Madness pop quiz by Paperback Discovery! Thanks for the nomination! Go check out Paperback’s answers, too!

1. Show a book with a summery cover!

The Vacationers

Ciick here for Goodreads

2.Pick one fictional place that would be the perfect destination for a summer vacation!

H: Winterfell, before the destruction brought by Theon. I hate being sweaty and hot (bring on fall!) so the summer snows of the north sound positively delightful.

L: Jurassic Park. I love to vacation… for short sprints of time. A theme park would be ideal and I’m imagining something along the lines of the most recent film in terms of entertainment value but I’d prefer a (non-lethal) private tour like in the novel.

3. You’re about to go on a flight to your summer vacation. But you want to read a book that lasts for the whole flight, what novella do you choose?

H: Number one, if I am flying for vacation and not for work I will absolutely be sleeping. But if I have to choose, I try to read something that is set in the place I am visiting. So, Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter, placed perfectly on the Italian Coast.

L: Number one, I cannot read while in motion or I turn into the Exorcist girl and vomit like you’ve never seen. So in this imaginary scenario, The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller. Trips are a perfect time to finish something that’s been on your to-read shelf for entirely too long.

4. You have a case of summertime sadness. What happy book do you pick up to shine a smile on your face?

H: Taking an easy out here, any Harry Potter book.

L: Me too, The Hobbit makes me smile every. single. time.

5. You’re sitting at the beach all alone. Which fictional character would be your beach babe?

H: Jon Snow. He needs some sun.

L: Please direct your attention to my long list of options and help me pick one.

6. To match your ice cream, you want an icy cool sidekick. Which fictional side kick do you choose?

H: Lisbeth Salander, B.A.

L: Methinks maybe August from Station Eleven. Seems like he’d have some wackadoo stories.

7. Share the Summertime Happiness! Who do you TAG?

1. TheRestlessWolf
2. LazyCaramelReads
3. ComfyReading
4. Read the Bloody Book
5. Husband and Husband

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Literary Ink – Part 2

Like Lindsay, I have joined the club of having literary ink. Now I am permanently branded as a Potterhead for the rest of my life. I’ve been traveling (as always) and the brand that lives on my arm is a silent speaker to all other like minded fans that we share a bond, secret to all non-readers. [Side note: In the image you see to the right, I am clearly 1 of 2 arms. My other BFF, not affiliated with this blog, but equally large Potterhead embarked on this journey with me.]IMG_0631

My job is a lonely one. I am by myself all the time, flying on airplanes with complete strangers, including the crew I work with. I rarely have met a coworker before we embark on a flight. I’m not here to complain, but instead share some joy that this ink has brought me. Having complete strangers compliment my Hallows and initiate conversation makes me feel not so lonely, that there is someone out there who gets me! In a world full of technology and decreasing human interaction, these total strangers take a moment from texting, emailing, Face-booking, to comment my mark.

It’s because readers share a bond unlike any other. A book is an instant connection with another person, even a total stranger. We, as readers, know that a book is a form of transportation, to Oz, to Middle Earth, to Hogwarts. We would rather visit the Lollipop Guild than play Candy Crush. Our kind delights in the real life and the fantastical; reading a character’s thoughts instead of hearing them in voiceover; traveling to Middle Earth with the flip of a page; seeing the steam rise from the pavement without peering out of a window; defeating the Dark Lord without ever lifting a wand. Readers unite! We are the ones who know “not all those who wander are lost”.

HP quote

Photo from Pinterest.com

I’ve explained to many non-readers what my tattoo means. It is, perhaps, the most difficult question I have gotten. Do I explain the story of the Three Brothers? Or do I explain why? Why these shapes mean so much more to me than “just a book”? I grew up with Harry; we celebrated birthdays together, fretted finals together, and begged our friends for forgiveness together. Dumbledore taught me to be brave, to embrace the unknown, and to always be yourself, no matter how odd you believe yourself to be. Hermione showed me how being smart is not something to be ashamed of, but celebrated.

I leave you with a brilliant story. One that teaches young witches and wizards humility and to not taunt others with their magical ability.

“There were once three brothers who were traveling along a lonely, winding road at twilight. In time, the brothers reached a river too deep to wade through and too dangerous to swim across.. However, these brothers were learned in the magical arts, and so they simply waved their wands and made a bridge appear across the treacherous water. They were halfway across it when they found their path blocked by a hooded figure. 

And Death spoke to them. He was angry that he had been cheated out of three new victims, for travelers usually drowned in the river. But Death was cunning. He pretended to congratulate the three brothers upon their magic and said that each had earned a prize for having been clever enough to evade him.


So the oldest brother, who was a combative man, asked for a wand more powerful than any in existence: a wand that must always win duels for its owner, a wand worthy of a wizard who had conquered Death! So Death crossed to an elder tree on the banks of the river, fashioned a wand from a branch that hung there, and gave it to the oldest brother. 


Then the second brother, who was an arrogant man, decided that he wanted to humiliate Death still further, and asked for the power to recall others from Death. So Death picked up a stone from the riverbank and gave it to the second brother, and told him that the stone would have the power to bring back the dead.

And then Death asked the third and youngest brother what he would like. The youngest brother was the humblest and also the wisest of the brothers, and he did not trust Death. So he asked for something that would enable him to go forth from that place without being followed by Death. And death, most unwillingly, handed over his own Cloak of Invisibility.

Then Death stood aside and allowed the three brothers to continue on their way, and they did so, talking with wonder of the adventure they had had, and admiring Death’s gifts. In due course the brothers separated, each for his own destination. 

The first brother traveled on for a week or more, and reaching a distant village, sought out a fellow wizard with whom he had a quarrel. Naturally with the Elder Wand as his weapon, he could not fail to win the duel that followed. Leaving his enemy dead upon the floor, the oldest brother proceeded to an inn, where he boasted loudly of the powerful wand he had snatched from Death himself, and of how it made him invincible. 

That very night, another wizard crept upon the oldest brother as he lay, wine-sodden, upon his bed. The theif took the wand and, for good measure, slit the oldest brother’s throat. 

And so Death took the first brother for his own.

Meanwhile, the second brother journeyed to his own home, where he lived alone. Here he took out the stone that had the power to recall the dead, and turned it thrice in his hand. To his amazement and his delight, the figure of the girl he had once hoped to marry, before her untimely death, appeared at once before him. 

Yet she was sad and cold, separated from him as by a veil. Though she had returned to the mortal world, she did not truly belong there and suffered. Finally the second brother, driven mad with hopeless longing, killed himself so as truly to join her. 

And so Death took the second brother for his own. 

But though Death searched for the third brother for many years, he was never able to find him. It was only when he had attained a great age that the youngest brother finally took off the Cloak of Invisibility and gave it to his son. And then he greeted Death as an old friend, and went with him gladly, and, equals, they departed this life.”

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