Tag Archives: book pile

We All Want to Be Pickle Queen

These are the Swedish pancakes with lingonberry preserves that I got when I was in Nashville way back in May.

Oops. I forgot to post last weekend. I thought once a week was an easy goal but now I’m slipping at that. Who knows what the future holds? I’m going to make it up with three posts this week. [And then I wrote this post yesterday and didn’t hit the publish button. sigh.]

This week the NYT had an article about India’s Pickle Queen. You should go read the story but if not, this woman in India spent decades testing pickle recipes and self-published a cookbook after narrowing it down to 1000 recipes.

The last thing I need is another cookbook. I really, really tried to resist the urge but this one sounds like a fun book to read even if you never make a pickle:

There are tips in bold for, say, removing the stamens from plantain flowers (tug at them with the blunt edge of knife) and choosing the most pickle-worthy okra (look for tails that break with a snap).

A straightforward “anti-waste” chapter includes recipes for plantain skins, jackfruit seeds, ridge-gourd peels and lime leaves, which often end up in the compost heap.

And I wanted an actual book, something I could take with me next time I visit Mom so we could have fun going through it together.

I caved and bought it. Should be here tomorrow.

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Where Would We Be Without Books?

This is most of the to-read shelf. There are other pockets of to-read books on various other bookshelves in the house. Probably another 30-40 ebooks. I use three different ereader apps to disguise the extent of the problem. Not that it’s a problem.

While I’ve been directing so much energy to writing, my reading has taken a hit. (Along with TV and movie watching.) For a couple of years I tried to minimize how many books I acquired but I gave that up because getting more books is fun.

But at the moment they are stacking up faster than I can make a dent and a lot of the books I want to read are fatties. Last year I finished 16, the year before 12 and the year before 17. That’s not a perfect count because sometimes I don’t write them down.

Going through this stack made me want to weep a couple of times as books that I forgot about were buried in the back where I never see them. I think I’ve been “currently reading” that Ted Chiang collection in Goodreads for two or three years.

This is a great problem to have. I finished two books yesterday so I get to pick something new.

Here is the current status of Book #4.

45270 / 75000 words. 60% done!

I am doing a big free promotion for Book #1 at the end of the month. Details to come.

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There are Characters Named: Raleigh, Yancy and Stacker

Bob and I watched Pacific Rim last night after dinner. In terms of pure noise and destruction, it was terrific but in terms of anything else it was lacking in a big way. I couldn’t follow the story. (“Wait, so they’re underwater right now?” or Bob: “They can make these fancy robot-things but they still have regular helicopters?”) I read the wiki this morning and turns out it’s about 10 movies I’ve already seen all mashed together.

The other day I said that I’m just getting back into the habit of going to the library. I’m not sure why I stopped going. I think it was a combination of the library moving to a new location and me trying to be more diligent about reading the books I already have before running out and getting more books.

The part about the new library doesn’t make sense because the new library is gorgeous. The parking situation is slightly more challenging or at least that’s how I perceive it.

It also seemed like I could never find what I was looking for and I’ve been resistant to putting books on hold because then I’m at the mercy of when the book is available rather than when I have the time and inclination to read it. Plus then it feels one more trip I have to make.

The yoga studio recently moved close to the library so that’s my excuse to get back into it.

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Borrow v. Buy

I left the office at 12:35pm and walked through the door just after 2pm. That ride home was miserable. So happy I don’t have to go back out into that. I’ve got my pie started and I’m making cranberry sauce tonight.

Remember last month I mentioned Tina Connolly‘s podcast Toasted Cake?

On one of the podcasts I listened to, she talked about her book buying habits vs. her book borrowing habits. Here are mine.

For the most part, I only buy physical books that I think I’m going to want to share or I’m pretty sure I’m going to keep. I do sometimes buy cheap used paperbacks of books that I want to write in or can leave on vacation or stick in the Friends of the Library bin.

I’ll buy electronic books of publications I want to support but I’m pretty sure I don’t care about a physical copy. Or if it’s something I want to read and it’s cheap.

I’m just getting back in the habit of using the library and that’s a post for later. But I tend to borrow stuff that I’m not sure about, that I want to flip through or only read portions of, or that would just be too much to have around the house. Mostly non-fiction, researchy type stuff, cookbooks. Or fiction I don’t think anyone I share books with would like. Or fiction that’s still in hardcover.

The first book I got from the library since I returned turned out to be really good so I will probably buy a copy for someone for Christmas.

I still have to map out my game plan for tomorrow but it shouldn’t be too tough. (Famous last words). Last year everything went great except I cut a finger right at the end and was trying to do 10 things at once and apply pressure and keep blood out of the food. I’m going to try to avoid that this year.

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If you’re someone that knows me this would be an obvious xmas present but I couldn’t wait and already bought my copy.

I’ve read the first few pages but I put it aside until I could finish another book and also I’m wishing for an afternoon where I can sit on the couch for hours and really get into it.

Then I had a couple of terrible commutes and I started a book that was on my nook that I read about 75 pages of and was going to finish but urgh. Do not like so I quit it at the end of the commute.

I also accidentally started a soccer book about a fan in Italy following his team around. I’ve read about 5 pages and I’m already in love. It’s 447 pages, soccer dorks unite!

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Look at my adorable sister! 1968? I bet this is at the Alyn’s pool. Possibly not how you spell their name – I can’t remember and haven’t talked to any of them for over 20 years. But if one of them sees this I’m sure they’ll let me know.

I’m on the last few boxes of slides. Scanning is tedious work so I try to do a little bit every week. I think I have about 40 slides left with this batch. I’m sure there are stacks more at the homestead.

Yesterday’s dinner turned out fantastic which is a relief because I’ve been blooping-up most of my big cooking projects lately. I was losing confidence in myself.

And while I’ve been making faces at the oodles of emails I’ve been getting begging me to buy things, I have to admit the coupons work! I bought a ton of books, new shoes and an audio course I’ve had my eye on for ages. Once I download it I can put it on my list and never get around to listening to it. It’s so refreshing to be in touch with your shortcomings.

Yesterday my magazine advised me that there was no shame in sitting around with a book and a hot toddy. To which I replied, “Gee thanks for permission.” But what makes it funny is the lady in the picture is looking at a book about guns.

I’m off. Bob and I have a movie date to see the new Pedro.

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The Book Pile

(Bigger version of photo here.)

This isn’t a completely accurate version of all the books in the house that I plan to read someday but the top shelf is the main holding area for things I intend to read sooner rather than later. The second shelf books aren’t a priority but I wanted to get the Han Shot First bookends in there.

The bookends on the top shelf are the Argonath from the Lord of the Rings.

This whole thing is making me look a lot nerdier than I’d intended. I’ve always liked to read a lot of different kinds of stuff but this year I’ve been on a sci-fi/fantasy binge much more than in past years. The Kite Runner and The Known World have been here forever and I’ve “almost” read them a number of times and then seem to be distracted by something else.

I thought about why this might be and my best theory is that when my job changed I started working much longer days and when I get home my brain fried and then I eat dinner and have a couple glasses of wine and it’s hard to concentrate on what I’m reading for more than a page or two. In this condition: dragons, space ships=easy, literature=less easy.

I don’t know why I feel the need to explain myself. I like to read the books I like. The sci-fi books are also idea for public transportation.

I keep lists of the books I read and short reviews here.

At the moment I’m reading Fargo Rock City and Chuck Klosterman IV by Chuck Klosterman that Meredith and Jeff loaned me. Fargo Rock City is about hair bands. I can’t believe I haven’t read it already. When I started it I thought a little bit of Chuck goes a long way but I’m having fun reading both. I like particularly like the celebrity profiles in IV. I also started Potter 7 at last. I can’t remember much about the other 6 books and I thought I’d speed read through the synopses online but even those are endlessly long. I don’t need to reminded of every time Harry drank a tankard of pumpkin juice and scratched his butt.

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