I had a lot of catching up to do on the work front today, so I was more than ready for a breather around lunchtime.
I made myself a big ol’ salad packed with the following:
- Chopped chicken breast
- Ginger sesame dressing
It was a delicious combination of flavors. The chewiness from the barley and tangy flavor from the dressing were my favorite aspects of the salad.
I was feelin’ the veggie high after eating that bad boy. It’s amazing how eating a lots of veggies really does make me feel more energetic. I should remember that the next time I’m tempted to eat cookies for lunch, huh?
Just in case you’re a barley lover like me, you may enjoy the following barley-based meals:
- Goat Cheese and Butternut Squash Barley Risotto (So good!)
- Berry Barley Breakfast Parfait
- Cauliflower and Eggplant Barley Risotto
- Strawberry Greek Yogurt Barley Bowl
- Almond Butter Barley Bowl
The Night Circus
The Night Circus was the book selected for January’s book club and one I’ve heard praised over and over again.
My first thought when I read the brief description of the book was that it might be similar to Water for Elephants, a book I greatly enjoyed. It was definitely different than Water for Elephants, though it did include lots of romance and intrigue.
The night circus is Le Cirque des Reves, or The Circus of Dreams, and is a magical circus that pops up unexpectedly all over the world at night. The tents that comprise the circus are filled with enchanting performances and exhibitions. The food offered at the circus tastes better and smells more intoxicating than any food you’ve ever had before. Patrons are entranced with the circus and fall in love with its magic luminosity.
But the circus is more than what it appears to the average person. It is the venue of an ongoing competition between two talented magicians, Celia and Marco, who are chosen by two older magicians to battle in the circus, demonstrating breathtaking magic and elusions in an attempt to outdo the other.
Eventually the two young magicians fall deeply in love, complicating the competition, as only one magician can be declared the winner, which occurs only when the other falls.
I was definitely entertained as I read The Night Circus. While I didn’t find it extremely compelling (lots of detail!), I looked forward to snuggling into bed with the book and found myself more and more invested and intrigued by the story the further I got into the novel.
I was continually frustrated by the way the book jumped around from year to year and day to day, but eventually learned to pay attention to the dates at the beginning of the chapter so I wouldn’t have to flip back through to see when certain events occurred. I like books that occur in chronological order or at least make flashbacks very apparent. I was never lost while reading, just irritated.
As far as the core of the book is concerned, I loved the mystery surrounding the challenge. Not knowing what would allow either Celia or Marco to be declared the winner kept me guessing and left me curious as to what would happen to the loser, since a scar left by a magical ring clearly bound them to the challenge for life.
At first I had a hard time understanding how Celia and Marco seemed to develop this intense, passionate love for each other seemingly overnight after the big kiss in the middle of the ballroom, but once I just let that go and allowed myself to believe their love was pure and intense, I became much more invested in the outcome of the challenge, rooting for them to find a way to obliterate the challenge altogether and find a way to be with each other.
And I loved Herr Frederick Thiessen. Definitely my favorite character!
Blogger Link Up
Additional reviews of The Night Circus may be found on the following blogs:
- Lucky Zucca
- A Better Life with Burgers
- Chasing a Mile
- Confessions from a Rambling Mind
- Chocolate and Wild Air
- Life, Fitness and Me
- Girl Gone Veggie
- Run, Eat, Play
If you post your review of The Night Circus after this post is published, please let me know and I’ll be sure to edit this post and add your review to the list!
- How did you feel about Celia and Marco’s relationship? Did you find their chemistry compelling or far-fetched?
- Which tent in Le Cirque des Reves would you most like to visit?
- How did you feel about the timeline of The Night Circus? Did you enjoy the way it jumped around, or do you prefer a more linear timeline?
- Which character was your favorite? Why?