Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Around the World in 24 Books!

I have always been fond of reading, right from childhood. I still have a huge collection of Gokulams and Tinkles back at home. I eagerly wait for dad to get the monthly editions and spend away the weekends reading! At school, we were allowed to borrow books and take them home to read after 5th grade. I read almost all editions of Famous Five and Enid Blyton classics. Then I moved onto Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys.. Even during my college days, we had fun reading and exchanging Sidney Sheldons, Agatha Christie and other classics in our hostel. Those were fun days!

Lately, with the advent of the use of internet and social networking sites, my reading habit has waned down a bit. I read sporadically, few books a year. My reading habits have evolved over the years. I would like to start reading all over again and dive into the endless world of books!

I happened to find a website called Goodreads. The website keeps track of what you read and what you like and gives recommendations on what to read. I found a very interesting community - A 2012 Challenge - Around the World in 52 books. The challenge is to pick 52 countries and an author and a book from each. You could set your own rules and start reading at your own pace. I did not want to be too ambitious and finally give up. So I have set myself of reading atleast 24 books next year - 2 books a month.

Here is the list of books I plan to read from the countries I have selected. I also plan to post my reviews after I read each book.

Afghanistan - The Swallows of Kabul
Australia - The Man Who Loved Children
Brazil - The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
Burma - The Forgotten Highlander
China - The Foremost Good Fortune
Denmark - Music and Silence
Ethiopia - Sweetness in the Belly
Hungary - The Invisible Bridge
India - In the Convent of Little Flowers
Iran - Reading Lolita in Tehran
Israel - A Tale of Love and Darkness
Japan - Kitchen
Mauritius - Wandering Star
Norway - Sophie's World
Pacific Islands - Mister Pip
Pakistan - Burnt Shadows
Poland - The Street of Crocodiles
Russian Federation - The Hottest Dishes of the Tartar Cuisine
South Africa - Agaat
South America - Bel Canto
Srilanka - Anil's Ghost
Turkey - Birds Without Wings
Vietnam - The Lotus Eaters
Zimbabwe - The Boy Next Door 

Hope everyone had a good 2011 and wishing all a very happy New Year!!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Our Breakfast today!

Our typical weekday breakfast!
Scrambled eggs with vegetables, potatoes, sliced avocados, toast with butter and tea!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Getting ready to be roasted!

Garlic drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with salt, wrapped in foil and ready to be roasted in the oven. I used the roasted garlic which tastes sweet and mellow in making roasted garlic hummus!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Monday, November 14, 2011


Work without hope draws nectar in a sieve,
And hope without an object cannot live.
- Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Monday, July 18, 2011

July 4/ Day 185 - Tiramisu!

One of the most delightful desserts I have ever tasted!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

July 3/ Day 184 - Thai Iced Tea

My lunch - Thai iced tea along with vegetable phad thai!

July 2/ Day 183 - Mickey and Minnie!

Mickey and Minnie coffee mugs which we received as Christmas gifts last year. The picture below, shows the other side of the mug.

July 1/Day 182 - Squares

A simple wall decoration that adorns our guest bedroom!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

June 30 / Day 181 - My new hobby!

My new hobby - Cross stitching and embroidery!

Friday, July 8, 2011

June 29 / Day 180 - Golden Eagle!

Golden Eagle - The mascot of my school - Cal State LA!

June 28 / Day 179 - Cucumber Sandwiches

Cucumber sandwiches made with fresh cucumbers and basil-cilantro chutney made with the herbs fresh from my lil' garden!

Friday, July 1, 2011

June 27/Day 178 - Ready to bloom

Every flower is a soul blossoming in nature.  ~Gerard de Nerval

June 26/Day 177 - Fresh from my balcony

Fresh thai basil plant from my balcony, which I got from the farmer's market a few months back. Made this fresh picnic sandwich using these basil leaves.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

June 25/Day 176 - Sunrise

“We can only appreciate the miracle of a sunrise if we have waited in the darkness”

A picture of a sunrise at around 6 am during one of our long drives..

June 24/Day 175 - Blossom

"Where flowers bloom so does hope!"
- Lady bird Johnson

The first bloom of the season. A picture of my cherry tomato plant in my balcony.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

June 22/Day 173 - Water Reservoir

The Reservoir near the cherry orchards in Leona Valley. Love the deep blue and green hues!

June 21/Day 172 - Ferns

Clicked these ferns in a cherry farm during the weekend!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

June 19/Day 170 - Cherry Picking

We went cherry picking at Leona Valley. had fun picking cherries right from the dwarf cherry trees. Found around 11 different varieties of cherries.

June 18/Day 169 - Grunion Run in Santa Monica

The Grunion Run takes place during the months May, June and July along the coast of Southern California. We went to watch the Grunion Run in Santa Monica beach around midnight. We had a glimpse of a few grunions. This picture was taken at around 12 am.

California grunion are a species of marine fish found primarily along the coast of Southern California and Northern Baja California. They are justifiably famous for their unique spawning behavior. Grunion spawn completely out of the water and lay their eggs on many sandy beaches in California. Shortly after high tide, on specific nights, sections of these beaches sometimes are covered with thousands of grunion dancing about on the sand. The popularity of these grunion runs means that some nights there are more people lining the beaches than grunion in the run. (Source)

Monday, June 20, 2011

June 17/Day 168 - 4 years of togetherness!

A picture of our wedding cake, taken from our wedding album!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

June 16/Day 167 - Cal State LA

Taken at the college bus stop.

June 15/ Day 166 - A lonely pigeon

A lonely pigeon roaming around near my class.

June 14/Day 165 - Lunch at Bawarchi

Lunch at bawarchi Indian Kitchen - A Punjabi fast food restaurant which we frequent very often during weekends for brunch!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

June 13/Day 164 - Basketball ground

A picture of the indoor basketball ground taken at college.

June 12/Day 163 - More college pictures..

Artwork found in one of the sliding doors at the Students Union building at college.

Friday, June 17, 2011

June 11/Day 162 - Graduation

Taken on my graduation day!

June 10/Day 161 - Celebration!

Taken during the 64th graduation ceremony at my college. People celebrating the occasion with balloons!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

June 9/Day 160 - The Metro

It is the last week of college and I wanted to post a few pictures taken around the campus. This picture was taken from a bridge over the busway three storeys high. You can see the metro rapid buses(the buses I take to reach college) on the left and the train tracks on the right.

June 8/Day 159 - College

Taken at college a few days before memorial day! Picture taken with my phone.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

June 7/Day 158 - Downtown LA

This picture of Los Angeles Downtown was taken on my way to college, while waiting for a bus one evening. It was my last day of school and I had to take this picture!

June 6/Day 157 - Brunch at Souplantation

On weekends, our default place for brunch is Souplantation/Sweet Tomatoes! We always have a huge filling salad and a wide variety of soups and baked goodies!!

From top right, clockwise, banana nut scones with honey whipped butter, garlic asiago focaccias and a blueberry muffin, bean chilli, and clam chowder!

Monday, June 13, 2011

June 5/Day 156 - Cactus

A different variety of cactus taken along the Hollywood trail...

June 4/Day 155 - Honey Bee on a Rose!

I was lucky enough to click this picture just when the honeybee came buzzing around and sat in this beautiful red rose.

June 3/Day 154 - Pizza night!

Friday nights usually involve no cooking. Time to laze around and watch movies along with pizzas! One such night. The pizza is a New York style half of "The Farmer's market" and the other half is called "The Manhattan"!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

June 2/Day 153 - On a gloomy day!

Birds flying high on a gloomy day at the beach!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

June 1/Day 152 - Trader Joes Haul!

Some interesting finds I swagged during my last trip to Trader Joes!

May 31/Day 151 - Full Moon

A view of the full moon from my balcony :)

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

May 30/Day 150 - Along the trail!

It was the memorial day long weekend and we had friends over. Spend the day along the trails in Hollywood. These were the flowers in some random wild shrub along the trail.

May 29/Day 149 - One more strawberry!

I have been posting way too many strawberry pictures here. Hopefully this will be the last one! Again, taken at the Strawberry fields in Pomona, California.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

May 28/Day 148 - Strawberry Picking

 We are lucky to get juicy, ripe strawberries throughout the year at farmer's markets here in Southern California. Some farms allow you to come in to the strawberry fields, pluck them straight from the strawberry plant and enjoy to your heart's content. You could also take them back home along with you. We had a great time at the strawberry patch during the weekend, plucking and eating strawberries!

Friday, June 3, 2011

May 27/Day 147 - Jamming time!

Spent the day making strawberry jam to replenish my jam stock. It was truly delicious :)

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

May 26/Day 146 - Marble effect

Marble cake ready to be popped into the oven!

May 25/Day 145 - Spring produce from the market!

I could not resist buying this box of strawberries which were so fresh and juicy from our local farmer's market. I also bought four of these little plants to add to my little balcony garden. From the left clockwise, husk cherry tomatoes, thai chillies, japanese eggplant and thai basil.
Will post a picture of my little garden soon!

Here is what I made with these delicious strawberries.
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