2018 Book Roundup

In 2018, my friend Claire challenged me to read 100 books in a year. In general, I'm not really big on reading challenges. I don't want to get so focused on hitting goals that I'm not enjoying my books anymore. But 100 books was exactly the right challenge for me. I could still read whatever I wanted, and that number was only a little higher than what I have read in previous years. If I eliminated just a couple of my bad habits, I had enough time to increase my reading time. (That said, if the goal were much higher,…

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Saturday Distractions

One of my favorite artists, Austin Kleon, wrote this earlier this week: I love meeting my readers, but I am so aware that the person who writes the books that they read is the best version of me — the most hopeful, the most helpful version of me. In my day-to-day life, I am as confused, and stupid, and pessimistic as anybody. I’ve stayed offline lately because I’m having a hard time even finding my best version of myself during a national humanitarian crisis, and my rage won't help anything. But this blog is mostly about books and recipes and cocktails, and it all…

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Take Your Goddamn Meds

Anthony Bourdain was my introduction to foul-mouthed, bad boy chefs. But he was much more than that, and if you are not familiar with his work, I encourage you to skip over the salacious stories that are sure to emerge this weekend and instead read about some of the good he did. He was a perfect example of how to be a traveler, but he was also outspoken about the role of the immigrant workers in the restaurant industry. Most importantly, lately he was totally aware of the role he may have had in sexual harassment in food world, and…

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Funny Books for Winter Blues

I had planned to title this post something like "10 Hilarious Movies to Brighten Your Winter Doldrums." But then I couldn’t think of enough funny movies. (And, to be fair, I have a rather dark sense of humor. True story: when husband and I saw Fargo in the theater, we were in hysterics. You could hear our laughter bouncing off the theater walls because not another soul in the place was laughing. I might not be your best source for funny movies.) Since I have weird, Morticia Adams taste in movies, let’s do books instead. You are prolly worried that…

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On Binge Reading

Let’s talk about a giant reading binge – by series or by author? Do you do it? Any you recommend?  I’m not talking about a reading binge just to cram in more book titles, not that that’s necessarily a bad thing; right now I’m talking about a binge because you love an author or a series so much that you have a completist mentality about them. I read last week that Louise Penny is releasing a new Gamache mystery in November and I am soooo excited. I hope she does another book tour, and I really hope she comes to…

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What's Saving My Life Right Now

Today is the mid point of winter, and I'm linking up with Modern Mrs. Darcy to share what's saving my life right now. Because depression can hit me any time of year, no matter the weather, I've never really understood seasonal depression. It’s no secret that I’m a Daughter of Winter. I’d choose a grey, rainy day over hot and sunny any day of the year. That said, this winter has been particularly rough. I’m making an effort to notice things – big and small – that lift my spirits or make me feel alive, human, and not insane. Movie…

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Obstinate, Headstrong Girl

  I mentioned in my 2017 book round up that I haven't re-read a Jane Austen book in 2 years, which is unusual for me. They are among the books that I re-read constantly and love more every time. I plan to rectify that situation in 2018 with Mansfield Park, because it's been longest since I've re-read that one. I am feeling very Austen-ish this weekend, so I thought I would hit you up with a whole bunch of Jane links this weekend. What do you think of re-imaginings of classic books, or retellings from the point of view of other characters? I love…

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Tacos, Gardens, Sci Fi

Here I go again, bitching about eating healthy. Three of my four kids claim they are vegetarian (even though the youngest hates all vegetables and indeed, most food) so by default we are eating mostly vegetarian food these days. I only prefer to cook meat because it's easy and I don't have to think about recipes, but obviously I want to be like every other red-blooded American in January and eat more vegetables. How is it going for you? I'm not sure these Beer Battered Avocado Tacos really count as health food, but they were delicious and technically vegetarian, so let's call it a…

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The Crown

It's no secret that I am obsessed with All Things Related to the British Monarchy. They are endlessly interesting to me, even though yes, I see your point that the idea that certain people live a life of radical privilege due to nothing more than the luck of their DNA while others of this world are starving is lunacy. And I also see your point that the notion that there are people in this world we are required to curtsey to - curtsey! in 2018! - is silly and goes against all of my egalitarian beliefs. And yet. I am totally…

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2017 Reading List

While I think we can all agree that 2017 was an epically stupid and oftentimes terrifying year to be a human, it was a magnificent year to be a reader. That has always been the case in my life: books save me from the crazy in my head and the crazy in the world. I read 69 books in 2017, which is a little bit less than what I read last year, but still pretty average for me. In my day job, I edited an additional 28 books for other authors, so I suppose my total book consumption is 97 books. That does…

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