It's the July 4th Edition

Greetings and welcome to the July 4th Edition of You Are What You Read.

First some housekeeping! We offer many thanks to Diane H. (her real name) for the first summer offering of taffy from Maine. Thanks Diane H. You were lovely to think of us.

As frequent visitors to this space know, I love me a Firework Safety Video. They always pop up this time of year to remind us not to blow our fool selves up. In fact, U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has dedicated itself to dreaming up ways to show us just how easy to set stuff on fire or lose a limb. Almost every year they set up on a public green in a location I have yet to stumble upon (which I am DYING to stumble upon frankly) and film scenarios which are horrifyingly and unintentionally hilarious.

Can someone please introduce me to the evil geniuses who come up with this stuff please? Somewhere there is an office full of people saying to each other, “What if we set a little girl mannequin on fire with a sparkler?” Or “Hey Jim! Let’s show folks what happens when you set off a half stick of dynamite while you sit at your desk in your office!” “Betsy! What if we put an EGG in the eye socket of the mannequin and shot a rocket into it?”

Spoiler alert: none of these things end well.

All of these shenanigans are set to some weird sort of "Sex and the City" Theme rip-off music. And they don’t just limit their mayhem to fireworks. If you visit their YouTube channel you can see them crush kids with heavy dressers, run ATV drivers over, and set fire to dry Christmas trees. The dangers are endless and they are out there fighting the good fight to keep us safe.

And the most remarkable thing about this? They. Get. Paid!

Stay safe People! No You Are What You Read next week because of the shortness of the week. As a reminder we will be closed on Wednesday, but we’ll see you all bright and early on Thursday.

This week we have crafts and an escape from a cooking rut, an escape from a marriage rut, high society, Hyannis, and some family dysfunction.

Let us begin!

Crafty Ali is here this week with her Crafty Self doing Crafty Things. “While you were away, I read two new books. The first one is Modern Macramé, 33 Stylish Projects for Your Handmade Home. I know what you're thinking...how RETRO. Yes, well, this is modern macrame. While the book does include some (very chic) designs for wall tapestries and hanging planters, I've got my eye on the plans for a lovely pillow and a chandelier. Of course, I picked some of the most complicated items to try first, so check back at the end of the year to see if I manage to make something display worthy, or a knotted mess. The other book is Martha Stewart's Newlywed Kitchen. It's meant as a primer for those just establishing their own home, and accordingly has a great overview of basic kitchen implements and pantry goods. But what caught my eye was the recipes and their gorgeous pictures! I've been in a bit of a cooking rut, and needed some inspiration. The book covers a wide variety of updated classics, but I particularly loved the mix-and-match mains & sides section, as well as the party menus. This past week I cooked the grilled swordfish salad and coconut rice pudding. Both were very tasty. I highly recommend this book!”

Sweet Ann has just finished Surprise Me by Sophie Kinsella. “I wanted a light read and the cover made me smile. Sylvie and Dan are happily married with young twin girls. They need to have physicals to renew their health insurance. Good news for most people, but not for them, when the doctor tells them they both could expect to live another sixty-eight years. They look at each other and think oh my, can I do sixty eight more years with you? Both Sylvle and Dan struggle with the idea that they don't find this fact appealing, even though they really do love each other. They come up with the idea that if they do something different every ten years it will make time go faster. One of the first things they come up with is to surprise each other at least weekly for the first ten years. This propels them into unexpected territory that will rock their lives. I enjoyed this lighthearted novel and if you are looking for a sunny beach read this might fit the bill.”

Virginia the Tall Cool Texan read Beatriz Williams’s new novel, Summer Wives. Beatriz will be visiting us on July 12 at 7! "This might be my new favorite summer read. It is delicious, a perfect combination of romance, tragedy, family secrets, and redemption. Summer Wives is set on the exclusive Winthrop Island (aka Fishers Island), an exclusive community, where there is a clear class divide between locals and the old money high society residents. The main character, Miranda Schuyler, is somewhere caught between the two. She was a young woman when her mother married one of the island’s elite and only there for a summer when a tragedy struck causing further fissure between the two classes. Miranda is torn between her love for Joseph, the son of a lobster fisherman, and her family. Ultimately, her loyalty to Joseph caused Miranda to be ostracized leave the island in disgrace. Twenty years later, Miranda, now a famous actress, returns to Winthrop Island to make amends and root out the truth of the scandal that changed her life forever. Williams is a master of interweaving multiple story lines that transport you to another time and place. I loved this book and think it is going to be a huge summer hit especially for readers who love historical fiction, drama, and romance.”

The Always Fabulous Babs B has been raving about The Summer I Met Jack by Michelle Gable. “A woman who is running from her past and trying to create a new future, stumbles upon America's most celebrated family and their son when she arrives in Hyannis Port. Jack Kennedy is smitten with this beautiful woman whose history is yet not known to him and when it is, his family won't have any part of it. Part fact, part fiction, supposedly young JFK had an affair with the striking Alicia Corning Clark, a displaced person during the war, and temporally served as a maid at the Kennedy compound for one summer. This book has it all —- intrigue, romance, and scandal!”

Spunky Jill M is watching this week. “'All the Money in the World' is a captivating film inspired by the true event of the kidnapping of J. Paul Getty’s sixteen year-old grandson. The film is an intriguing drama about the dysfunctional family dynamics of an extremely wealthy family and their response to the abduction of the richest man in the world’s grandson, J. Paul Getty III, known as Paul. Kidnapped in Rome in 1973 with a ransom demand of $17 million, Paul’s mother, who had rejected any alimony in exchange for full custody of her children following her divorce from John Paul Getty Jr., didn’t have the funds to meet the demand. Her only option was to ask her former father-in-law for the ransom. He refused. Do you believe that? J. Paul Getty quickly became a most despicable character and personality in my book! I thoroughly enjoyed this movie and recommend that you grab some popcorn on a rainy day and enjoy this movie!”

Jeanne listened to Code Girls: The Untold Story of the American Women Code Breakers of World War II. “This is a true story extensively researched and written by Liza Mundy. The author was even able to interview a few of the principal nonagenarians. The audiobook is narrated wonderfully by Erin Bennett. The story that Mundy reveals is that, after Pearl Harbor, the U.S. military became determined to drastically improve its Japanese intelligence. Many sons and brothers were already off to war, so their daughters and sisters were recruited as cryptographers. These young women were smart, mathematically adept and could keep secrets. They flocked to our nation’s capital; many from the Seven Sisters Schools, but soon they were coming from all over to analyze, decode, and attempt to keep our boys safe. Listen or read and learn!”

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