a blog about books and more

Category: Random

Sunday Post #3: Reading Through Cold Season

vintage lettersI haven’t been able to do much reading, or writing this month – a sick kid and a sick car have taken all the attention (rightly so!) Thankfully the chaos has calmed. Now I just have to wait and wonder when it will be my turn with the headcold… (cue ominous music.)

Last week on The Inky Whisk

Celine by Peter Heller
Year of No Clutter by Eve O. Schaub

And “Kitchen Library,” about recipe cards, booklets, and other ephemera that get left behind in vintage cookbooks.

Currently reading

The Painted Queen by Elizabeth Peters and Joan Hess. (pub date: July 25, 2017) Hooray for Amelia Peabody!
Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman (pub date: May 9, 2017)
Jane Austen, The Secret Radical by Helena Kelly (pub date: May 2, 2017)

Coming next week:

No book reviews until the week after next when these are published:


Thanks for reading and I hope you have a great week full of great books!

This is linked to:
The Sunday Post, a weekly meme hosted by Kimba at Caffeinated Book Reviewer and
It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? a weekly meme hosted by Kathryn at Book Date

Sunday Post #2

vintage letters

It was a long week of warm weather/cold weather/warm weather/cold weather. I don’t know if I should hibernate or spring clean.

Last week’s reviews on The Inky Whisk

The Natural Way of Things by Charlotte Wood
Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman

Plus “Kitchen Library,” which was about my very favorite, go-to, always reliable, had-it-since-my-first-apartment cookbook Fannie Merritt Farmer’s Boston Cooking School Cook Book.


Currently (or still!) reading

Refrigerator Monologues by Catherynne M. Valente (pub date: June 6, 2017)
Borne by Jeff VanderMeer (pub date: April 25, 2017)
South and West by Joan Didion (pub date: March 7, 2017)
Plus my next book club read The Buried Giants by Kazuo Ishiguro.

Book Cover with Cartoon Dragon HandI have a new galley that I requested just for the cover. That’s right. The cover tickled me. I mean, look at this cover.

In fairness, while the cover caught my eye, the details drew me in. The publisher’s blurb calls it “the unholy child of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Harry Potter, and Sixteen Candles.” Say no more – I’m in.

“Gork” is a coming-of-age story and, despite appearances, is not billed as a YA novel.  Author Hudson has published in various prestigious literary journals, collected an impressive array of awards, and was named one of 20 Best Young American Novelists by Granta. I can’t wait to read this one – but I promised myself I would finish my current reads before starting another book. It’s a bad habit of mine.

Gork, The Teenage Dragon will be published by Knopf in July.

Coming next week:

As for book reviews, I’m caught up on galleys and reading well ahead. (That is a thing that almost NEVER happens.) So… we will see what I come up with, if anything!

Kitchen Library #2:
Don’t you love buying a vintage cookbook and finding little booklets, yellowed recipe cards, and newspaper tear-outs inside? I will share a few interesting bonus items I have I found over the years (hint: tomato soup cake, anyone?)

This is linked to:
the Sunday Post, a weekly meme hosted by Kimba at Caffeinated Book Reviewer and
It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? a weekly meme hosted by Kathryn at Book Date

Sunday Post Feb. 19

vintage letters
This week involved a lot of catch-up on reviews for books that came out in January – and were read many months before. I really do need to make an effort to write the review when I finish the book, instead of waiting until the pub date is right on top of me (or receding in the rearview mirror!)

Last week’s reviews

A Really Good Day by Ayelet Waldman
The Sleepwalker by Chris Bohjalian
Packed: Lunchtime Hacks to Squeeze More Nutrients Into Your Day by Becky Alexander and Michelle Lake
Rather Be The Devil by Ian Rankin

Next Week’s Reviews (fingers crossed!)

The Natural Way of Things by Charlotte Wood (My most recent book club read, chosen by me, in fact.)
Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman
How to Murder Your Life by Cat Marnell

Plus a new feature highlighting vintage cookbooks and other cooking ephemera in my collection.

Currently Keeping Me Up Too Late

Celine by Peter Heller (galley)
South and West by Joan Didion (galley)
Borne by Jeff VanderMeer (galley)

This is linked to:
the Sunday Post, a weekly meme hosted by Kimba at Caffeinated Book Reviewer and
It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? a weekly meme hosted by Kathryn at Book Date

Missing Mom on Mother’s Day

My mother’s life and my son’s life overlapped by a mere 15 months. A blip of time. He was, at the time of her death, her only grandchild. My brother’s children have never known her and my son has only vague memories and an understanding that there is a low ache like white noise on my side of the family.

So Mother’s Day is a combination of joy and melancholy for me. For two Mother’s Days I was a mom with a mom. On my first my son was barely two months old. My head was still underwater and my mom was only recently diagnosed. We spoke in terms of hope and getting better and cures. She spent all the time she could with her tiny grandchild. By my second mother’s day the elephant in the room was getting intrusive and noisy but I diligently practiced denial. The treatments were not NOT working, but the results weren’t spectacular.

I was a first-time mother and a late mother. My son was still small and while I worried about him, that worry happened while he was in a hip sling or attached to my hand. It wasn’t until after she was gone and I had to send him out in the world (pre-k, school, etc.), and I inevitably felt his first pushes against me and toward independence that I finally really got my mother. I understood how hard and how fiercely she loved me, how difficult it was for her to let me venture, and how important it was for me that she bit her tongue and sat on her hands and let me. I wish she could be around when my son is a teenager and late coming home. She could remind me of all the times I sauntered in a bit past curfew and wondered why she was so upset about five minutes.

I understand why, when it was clear her tumor was not going anywhere she said with relief in her voice “at least now I know I will go before you kids.” I didn’t know that part of motherhood is getting used to always having your heart in your throat. And I wish I had had a chance to say “I get it. I get YOU. It all makes sense now.”

So while I never want to take anything away from the wonderful Mother’s Day I had today – the sweet homemade card, the bundle of thorny roses, the donuts in bed (!) – I can’t let the day pass without mentioning that cancer is an ass, and pancreatic cancer is the biggest ass of them all.

I miss you mom. Happy Mother’s Day.



Getting It Out of the Way

Let’s just get this first post out of the way, shall we? Then I can get on with things and stop worrying about what should go into my (drumroll) first post.

I will try to write regularly about things that interest me – possibly only me – like the food I make, the handcrafts I lovingly botch, the iffy diy projects, etc. I will also post book reviews from time to time in the hopes that that will motivate me to get cracking on the teetering pile of galleys I have promised to read in exchange for honest opinion. Is there ever enough time to read?

I digress…

I can’t promise breathtaking photos and graphics, but in time I will figure this out and try to do my best.  Please bear with me, imaginary readers!

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