Happenings (v)

by Jenn (eating bender) on October 4, 2013

1. So remember that time about a month ago when I casually mentioned that I was about to start a series called The Infernal Devices, a prequel to the Mortal Instruments? Yeah. About that.

Little did I know that those three books would soon suck me in and leave me gasping for air – no literally, I was sobbing – when they were finally over. It has been a long time since I have been so deeply invested in a series from start to finish (in other words, I come in a little behind the curve and am able to read all of the books without waiting for a new one to come out). I read The Hunger Games trilogy back in 2011, and Infernal Devices is by far the best series I’ve read since then. It’s even in my top three now – with Harry Potter holding onto spot number one forever, of course.

Infernal Devices trilogy

I know I may sound a little maniacal about these books, but you’re going to have to trust me. If you’re in the mood for a mix of history, steampunk, romance, magic, intellect and action – this book has it all. While I definitely enjoyed The Mortal Instruments series, the Infernal Devices storyline was more enthralling and the characters themselves were even more vivid. Tessa makes a fabulous heroine, and Will and Jem will keep you guessing with their two distinct personalities (and secrets). The other characters are amazing, too. I laughed, I cried – it was a roller coaster the entire time.

That said, as the author, Cassandra Clare, recommends, I would suggest starting with the first three books in The Mortal Instruments series and then switching over to Clockwork Angel. From there, you can finish out the Infernal Devices series before returning back to the other books in The Mortal Instruments, as I am doing now. The two series can certainly stand alone, but they are more enjoyable if you do it this way just because of the fact that some of the characters come from the same family and/or take actions in the past that impact future events.

Whew, OK. I’m glad I got that out in the open. Please tell me if you read them!

2. Speaking of reading, a few of the ladies from book club and I headed to Changing Hands bookstore on Monday night to attend the Fierce Reads tour event featuring Marissa Meyer, Leila Sales, S.A. Bodeen and Alexandra Coutts. Prior to learning about the event, the only author I knew was Marissa – I loved her books Cinder and Scarlet, and am eagerly awaiting Cress and Winter (as well as Heartless, which was just announced). But the other three ladies were equally impressive. We had the chance to chat with them afterward and snap a photo. We’ll be reading S.A. Bodeen’s The Compound for next month’s book club, and I’m excited to check out the other books, as well.

Fierce Reads

3. Speaking of Reading Between the Wines, our September get together was last Sunday at Ari’s house, where we discussed August: Osage County by Tracy Letts. It was interesting to read a play and compare the format to my usual fiction books. Obviously the bulk of it is dialogue, which was a mixture of dark humor and just about the craziest family drama that you can imagine!

Every single character seemed to have something horrific happening to them, and I found that as the story continued my eyes kept growing wider and I kept wondering what could possibly happen next. It was definitely a great way to shake things up from my usual reading repertoire, and the movie version coming out with Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts, among others, looks like it could be really entertaining (click here for the trailer).

August Osage County

4. Things have gotten a lot spookier around these parts. I waited until October 1, but then got to work on putting up our Halloween decor! I’ve heard that the holiday is a big deal in our neighborhood and am so excited to celebrate this year (and get stocked up on candy). Much of the stuff I found was either from Target, World Market or Michaels thanks to coupons and sales.


Spooky 2

Inside, we have a few fall-themed items that we’ll keep out all season (from Holland Boone). It has been a lot of fun to pick out different pieces throughout the year that we know will last us for many more to come. One thing is clear: we both seem to have a thing for owls. They’re everywhere!

Fall Decor

5. On a food note, have you heard about the current cronut craze? It’s a croissant-doughnut hybrid that has been getting a lot of buzz lately, and I was curious to see what all the fuss was about. I happened to be at The Herb Box today for a project I’m working on (hope to share more on that soon), and the chef told me to try their “dossant.” At first I was confused, but as it turns out the name “cronut” is now trademarked, so they had to get creative.

There were two options: a basic dossant with a chocolate mousse and salted caramel filling, or the pink sprinkled, glittered chocolate concoction you see below filled with Boston creme. It was a tough choice, but I didn’t think I could go wrong with glitter. And I was right. This cronut dossant was incredible! It had all the makings of your typical doughnut but the unmistakable flakiness of a croissant inside. I also don’t usually like creme filling, but this one was delicious.


I was a bad wife and did not share this particular dossant with my doughnut-loving husband (in my defense, he wasn’t with me), but you can bet I will be fixing that ASAP. I’d love a second helping. 😉

What’s been happening in your life lately?



1 Alex @ Alex Tries it Out October 4, 2013 at 8:46 am

I (for real) clicked on your blog off BlogLovin today because of the Infernal Devices books. I LOVED them. So much! I agree, the storylines were so much more interesting. I was so curious of what would happen! I wish I could find more fiction like this.

Still haven’t had a cronut. It’s on my list of things to try, if/when I can find one in Iowa!
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2 Jenn (eating bender) October 4, 2013 at 2:36 pm

This puts such a smile on my face, Alex – I love when people find my blog through our mutual appreciation for a book (or in this case, books)! I wish I could find more fiction like the Infernal Devices, too. It is a story that has lingered at the back of my mind ever since I read the last page – I’m even tempted to re-read them now just because. :) I’m so glad you felt the same way!! Have you read all of The Mortal Instruments books, as well?

Definitely recommend trying a cronut next time you see one!!

3 Alex @ Alex Tries it Out October 4, 2013 at 3:01 pm

Yup, I’ve read all the Mortal Instruments (other than the one due out in the spring, obviously). I was hoping she’d decide to pick the story up with Tessa, from where she ended the Infernal Devices (at least then we’d get more of the character!), but maybe Tessa will come into the Mortal Instruments series? That would be cool!

I really enjoy the whole world Cassandra Clare has created, and will keep reading, as long as she keeps writing! From her site, it looks like she’s got some fun plans for the future. I need to get my hands on the books about Bane, yet. I bet those would be good.

:) love talking books!
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4 Jenn (eating bender) October 4, 2013 at 10:16 pm

I’ve heard rumors about Tessa coming into the final Mortal Instruments book – ah, can’t stand the suspense! I’ve been pouring over Cassandra Clare’s website ever since I finished the Infernal Devices. Have you checked out some of her excerpts and extras? She has some scenes from Will’s and Jem’s perspective. So cool!! I will definitely be very curious to see how Mortal Instruments ends.

I need to get my hands on the Bane Chronicles, too!! Love this world she has created – and always love talking books. :)

5 Kristie October 4, 2013 at 8:49 am

I guess I’m totally behind on the the trends, because I had never heard of a cronut/dossant. I’m sure I would love it though as croissants and donuts are both high on my list of delicious baked goods :). I’ll let you know about the series recommendation – I hope to read them soon!

6 Jenn (eating bender) October 4, 2013 at 2:38 pm

I hope you love the books!! You’ll definitely have to let me know. And you’re not behind on the trends at all – I just know way too much about baked goods. :) I’m sure you’d love it if you’re a fan of both croissants and donuts!

7 Cara (Twinthusiast) October 4, 2013 at 9:10 am

Wow! Excited to hear that you’ve loved that book series so much. I’m finishing The Cuckoo’s Calling right now then will move over to the first book you lent me. I love being swept up by a series. That book event looked like a blast — so nice to see so many young authors! Your Halloween decorations are adorable. We just picked up two mini pumpkins for the girls yesterday and they are carrying them everywhere :) Have fun this weekend!
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8 Jenn (eating bender) October 4, 2013 at 2:40 pm

I really hope that I haven’t hyped them up too much for you!! I think it’s impossible though, at least in the case of Infernal Devices. But I still definitely recommend starting with Mortal Instruments. Here’s hoping you get swept up in the world of Shadowhunters, too. :) Can’t wait to hear what you think of Cuckoo’s Calling – and glad to hear the girls have been enjoying their pumpkins!

9 Kelli H (Made in Sonoma) October 4, 2013 at 12:25 pm

I love getting sucked into series! I’m still reading the Insurgent right now. I always fall asleep at night when I read! haha, but it’s going well!
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10 Jenn (eating bender) October 4, 2013 at 2:42 pm

I’m glad you’re enjoying it so far! You’re actually perfect in terms of timing because Allegiant comes out on 10/22. You’ll be able to just jump right in and finish the series! Love getting sucked in, too. :)

11 Sam October 10, 2013 at 2:55 am

Okay, I’m going to trust you on this because those books have covers like the Mills&Boon my mom used to read.. you know, low quality romance books that tell the same story over and over again? I would LOVE to find something that will totally engage me and give me an emotional/intellectual holiday…will let you know how it went!!
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12 Jenn (eating bender) October 11, 2013 at 7:32 am

I’m so glad you’re going to try them out! I promise you, I know exactly what you’re talking about with regard to low quality romance books and these books are anything but. Yes romance is a focus of the story, but there is much more to it than that. Let me know what you think! :)

13 Melissa @TryingtoHeal October 10, 2013 at 12:56 pm

As soon as school ends I’m going to dive into those books…I have been craving something other than a textbook for the past seven weeks when I started school! Geez!

I love the fall/halloween decorations too….so cute!

I can’t wait to hear about this new project you’re working on though!
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14 Jenn (eating bender) October 11, 2013 at 7:32 am

Yay! I can’t wait to hear what you think of them!! And share more about this new project with you. :)

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