Archive for the ‘Mostly about reading’ Category

… for hot summer days” is a review I wrote of …

The review is up at Equals, and you can read it by clicking here. (more…)


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My reading has taken an interesting trend recently: cookbooks, more cookbooks and a book on the New Domesticity.

It started with An Everlasting Meal: Cooking with Economy and Grace by Tamar Adler.

I asked for this book for Christmas but (with two-year-old twins, an increasingly demanding writing schedule and, you know, life) I just got around to reading it.  I made the very first recipe on page 17, for salsa verde (think Italy, not Mexico) and ate nearly all of it on slice after slice of sourdough toast.  (You can eat it on nearly anything — boiled vegetables, pasta, roasted chicken — but I had toast so I slathered it on and dug right in.)

The tone of this book can be lofty and precious at times, but if you don’t mind looking at food lovingly, profoundly and (at times) religiously, you’ll either eat this rhetoric up with a spoon or gently push it to the side of your plate and read greedily on for new ways of thinking about and preparing food.

The next book is Homeward Bound: Why Women Are Embracing the New Domesticity by Emily Matchar.

This book explores what Matchar has named “the New Domesticity” — a trend for highly educated, liberal women to spend considerable amounts of time and energy on (more…)

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A very quick post (for those of you who enjoyed my post about the George Saunders reading at Politics and Prose) to say that the George Saunders podcast is finally up!

You can listen to it here.

He reads the beginning of “Escape from Spiderhead,” which originally appeared in the New Yorker, looking like this:

Escape from Spiderhead

And which you can read in its entirety in his new book, Tenth of December:


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Wow.  Just … wow.

I’ve loved George Saunders ever since I read CivilWarLand in Bad Decline, and when I told him (at his Politics and Prose reading last night), he said that I must have been about four when I read it.  “Between 14 and 24,” I said — not trying to be cagey about my age but because I was so happy to be talking with him that I got a little math-addled.  (I was much closer to 24.)

George Saunders reading at Politics & Prose.

George Saunders reading at Politics & Prose.

It was a terrific reading.  He (more…)

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My book review, “Books to read if …” is up at The Equals Record!

Books to read if

If you’re looking for books to read or give this holiday season (or any time!), click here to read more …


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About the only good thing that happened to me during the two weeks that I was sick was that I got my review copy of Stealing Time, a new literary magazine for parents.

The first issue of Stealing Time: Genesis.

I had thought – for the first half of the first sore-throat day – that being sick would turn out to be a good thing.  I could lie around and rest, lie around and drink tea, lie around and read … but the only thing I wound up doing was lie around feeling miserable.  And run around taking care of the twins while feeling miserable.  And sit up at night not sleeping because of my stuffy head and feeling miserable.  Until Stealing Time came.

I was just barely starting to feel better, just starting to need something else in my brain aside from cough medicine dosages and chicken soup recipes and the twins’ usual schedule of meal, nap, bath and bed times.  Stealing Time was perfect.  The essays, stories and poems were long enough to really get at something, but short enough to be ingested by a mother – sick or not – who is always trying to steal time to read or write.

Stealing time to read this magazine is well worth any consequence; most likely you will be inspired to steal more.

My favorite piece in this inaugural issue was (more…)

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So if you, like some of the readers of my last post, were left unsatisfied by the book Life of Pi, you might want to try Jamrach’s Menagerie by Carol Birch.

Unlike Pi’s lengthy opening back-story, Jamrach’s Menagerie starts with a bang — and an encounter with a tiger — within the first few pages.  Jaffy Brown, then eight years old, is running errands on the streets of London when he is swept up into the jaws of a tiger, (more…)

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