Monday, January 12, 2009

On Corn Soup and The Hour I First Believed

First, I have to assure you that I get no money, no freebies, no nothin' (!) for this endorsement, but I freakin' LOVE V8's Southwestern Corn soup. I haven't felt much like eating since I got sick a few weeks ago (on the mend, finished off antibiotics today) so I stocked up on soup. Easy, quick, tasty, reheatable. I picked the Southwestern Corn up on a lark, and when I heated its golden goodness today, I thought I might have to be restrained to keep from eating the whole carton. Smoky, spicy, smooth, yummy. Holy crap. Go buy some. Do it now!

In reading news, I'm still working my way through The Hour I First Believed, by Wally Lamb. I haven't yet finished my second book of the year, and I feel like SUCH A SLACKER. This is the problem with me and long books--I feel like my biological clock might rust and die before I finish them. I'm about 233 pages into the mammoth, and I really like it, though "like" seems an ill-chosen word when so many horrible things happen to the characters. I've just finished the part where Caelum Quirk's (main character's) wife Maureen experiences the 1999 Columbine High School shootings from her hiding place inside a cabinet. The following chapter is nothing but excerpts from the tapes and journals of Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris. Disturbing to say the least. Effective, gripping, "turn away from the car accident" interesting. Do I feel manipulated? Oh yeah. Do I care? Not yet!

While the details are disturbing, they also extremely compelling. The characters--both Maureen who was there for the shooting and Caelum who was stuck hundreds of miles away--must deal with the fallout. The entire story is framed as something much larger than that one tragedy...I'm only 233 pages of the 700-some-odd in! It sort of reminds me of Paul Auster's writerly tricks in dealing with chance and the way tiny events can send out huge ripples in individual lives. In Lamb's writing, huge events send out almost insurmountable ripples. I'm looking forward to finding out how the couple can deal with all of it.

More to come as I work my way through this one. I expect I'll be in the sunroom reading feverishly as soon as I finish these last two syllabi for tomorrow. Nothing like waiting 'til the last minute!


  1. I love the butternut squash variety. Cream of broccoli wansn't my thing though.

  2. Mmmm I love soup so I will fo sho try this. Thanks for the reco. Good luck reading. Sometimes the long books just do that to a person. It's hard to get through when you have so much going on!

    P.S. the word verification is POOFFIE! yayy

  3. I am not a huge fan of soup but I might be willing to try the corn soup since you speak so highly of it. :-)

    I am glad you like The Hour I First Believed so far. I am waiting for it to come out in paperback and then I'll probably get myself a copy. I like Wally Lamb's writing.

  4. Now you've made me hungry! Thanks for the recommendation though, I'm always looking for easy, good food!

  5. Lenore, I've NEVER had butternut squash anything! I'm sold on trying the V8 soup. I think I'll love it. I love squash, I love soup, I love this V8 kind. Sounds like heaven!

    Funky, me too! It's so warm and cozified. Love that word verification!

    Wendy, it was sweet and yummyyyyy. Definitely give it a try. It might be an every-now-and-then treat for ya. :) I like Lamb's writing a lot, too. I read and enjoyed She's Come Undone, though I never tackled the 2nd book because of its size. I probably will now.

    You're welcome, Andrea! It's quick, no-guilt, and tasty. What could be better?! ;)

  6. I'll have to try some of this soup. I prefer to make my own, but never seem to have the time these days.

    I loved Wally Lamb's I Know This Much Is True and would love to read this chunkster. Looking forward to your final review, Andi.

  7. Yum soup. I wish I had some now... Love soup in the winter time.

    I hadn't been that interested in this book but you make it sound good. So ok, I'm adding it to the list!

  8. OMG, Andi, we are so alike when it comes to reading long books! I'm currently mired in my third book for the year, Sharon Kay Penman's behemoth Devil's Brood. It's over 700 pages and it is taking freaking forever. I've actually decided to read "at" it--I'm reading the much lighter, much fluffier Forever Princess by Meg Cabot as well, and am absolutely devouring it. What does this say about me as a reader? I love Devil's Brood, but I think it's taking wayyyyyy too long to read.

  9. Yum, that sounds like good soup.

    I keep hearing about The Hour I First Believed, but I haven't read an actual review yet. I'm looking forward to hearing your thoughts on it!

  10. So I've been on a bit of a soup kick lately and hadn't heard of that soup until you mentioned it! It sounds really good! Is it sweet? If it's sweet, I probably wouldn't like it...I just don't like sweet corn soup.

    The hour I first believed sounds really good! I've seen it everywhere but had no idea what it was about! I'll have to check it out.

    And I see that The Funky Bee got "Poofie" as her word verification...I got "harch" It sounds like the Alaskan girl from Donnie Darko trying to say "harsh" :p

  11. I read Wally Lamb's I know this much is true many many many years ago. QUite enjoyed it, but for some reason never felt the need to pick anything up by him again. Which is odd. Maybe I'll give this one a go.

  12. Does this mean you're moving from book reviews to soup reviews?

  13. I'm in the middle of The Hour I First Believed as well, and believe me, it's going to take you places you never imagined.

    I'm not sure I quite buy all the stories he's trying to tell (which you'll see as you get farther along). The ripple effect seems to spread a little too far for me. But after 450 pages, I'm going to finish it, that's for sure!

  14. I'll have to pick up some of this corn soup for the family - they all love corn soup, while I stand outside (Febreeze bottle in hand) because I cannot stomach the smell of it cooking :P

    This Lamb book is one I really want to read, but I've been so busy which means I'm sticking with really short books lately - but it is on my TBR :)

  15. Les, I'm a slacker and haven't ever made my own corn soup, though now I'm thinking I will because I want a BIG POT OF IT. Huuuuuge in fact! lol

    Iliana, so far so good, though like some other bloggers have mentioned (waving at Becca below) I'm not sure it's going to be terribly believable by the time he's done. We'll see.

    Well, Tammy, you know I've never tackled George R.R. Martin (ducking) for that very reason. They're huuuuuge and scary. I still have 'em though!

    Kim, if I can ever finish the blasted thing I'll definitely post a full review. I knocked off quite a bit last night--I'm about halfway through.

    Chris, it is sweet, but it definitely has a warm, spicy thing going too. I can taste the roasted red pepper, cumin, cilantro, etc. You cracked me up with that Darko reference. I need to watch that movie soon. It's been entirely too long!!! And if I watch it I'll likely be re-reading "The Destructors."

    Fence, I really liked She's Come Undone, but I never picked up I Know This Much is True! Go figure.

    Stu, as long as this book is taking me, I might! :D

    Becca, I got up to page 325 last night, and I know something is about to hit the fan. The storyline seems like it's veering toward the outlandish. lol

    LOL, Joanne! I've never cooked my own, so I can't comment on the smell while cooking, but the boxed final product is lovely! :) I'll be retreating back to my short books after this one.

  16. Ooh.. I'd love to have the spare time needed to read such a large book like that! I've enjoyed Lamb's other books and can't wait to read this one.

  17. I'm waiting for this to hit the library - I'm just a poor poor college student! There's like a million and a half holds on it.

    I'm glad that it is worth the wait! Good luck finishing it!

  18. I love soup, but have to say EWWWW to corn soup!! A little backed potato and cheese sounds like the perfect thing for me today. The kiddies have a snow day, 7 inches on the ground. Tomorrow the high is - 2. That is MINUS 2 F. Sheesh. Sucks in a royal way!!

  19. There's an award waiting for you at my blog! :)

  20. Michelle, it's tough! I'm so strapped for time since school/work is starting back, I feel like a total sloth for not finishing more books! I think I might have to gulp down something short just so I can feel accomplished and have something to review!

    Thanks, Lena! I guarantee you I wouldn't have a copy if the pubisher hadn't sent it. I don't do hardbacks!!! Poor college prof here.

    Holy crap re: all the snow, Stephanie!!! I would kill for some (unless I had to drive in it).

  21. I read The Hour I First Believed over break. I'm curious to see what you think of it when you're finished.


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