Sunday, January 30, 2022
Life: It Goes On - January 30
Thursday, January 27, 2022
Let Me Tell You What I Mean by Joan Didion
Here, Didion touches on topics ranging from newspapers ("the problem is not so much whether one trusts the news as to whether one finds it"), to the fantasy of San Simeon, to not getting into Stanford. In "Why I Write," Didion ponders the act of writing: "I write entirely to find out what I'm thinking, what I'm looking at, what I see and what it means." From her admiration for Hemingway's sentences to her acknowledgment that Martha Stewart's story is one "that has historically encouraged women in this country, even as it has threatened men," these essays are acutely and brilliantly observed. Each piece is classic Didion: incisive, bemused, and stunningly prescient.
Tuesday, January 25, 2022
My Monticello by Jocelyn Nicole Johnson
Tough-minded, vulnerable, and brave, Jocelyn Nicole Johnson’s precisely imagined debut explores burdened inheritances and extraordinary pursuits of belonging. Set in the near future, the eponymous novella, “My Monticello,” tells of a diverse group of Charlottesville neighbors fleeing violent white supremacists. Led by Da’Naisha, a young Black descendant of Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings, they seek refuge in Jefferson’s historic plantation home in a desperate attempt to outlive the long-foretold racial and environmental unravelling within the nation.
In “Control Negro,” hailed by Roxane Gay as “one hell of story,” a university professor devotes himself to the study of racism and the development of ACMs (average American Caucasian males) by clinically observing his own son from birth in order to “painstakingly mark the route of this Black child too, one whom I could prove was so strikingly decent and true that America could not find fault in him unless we as a nation had projected it there.” Johnson’s characters all seek out home as a place and an internal state, whether in the form of a Nigerian widower who immigrates to a meager existence in the city of Alexandria, finding himself adrift; a young mixed-race woman who adopts a new tongue and name to escape the landscapes of rural Virginia and her family; or a single mother who seeks salvation through “Buying a House Ahead of the Apocalypse.”
Sunday, January 23, 2022
Life: It Goes On - January 23
Thursday, January 20, 2022
Notes on Grief by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
""Never" has come to stay. "Never" feels so unfairly punitive. For the rest of my life, I will live with my hands outstretched for things that are no longer there."
"I am writing about my father in the past tense, and I cannot believe I am writing about my father in the past tense."
Tuesday, January 18, 2022
Lessons In Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus
But like science, life is unpredictable. Which is why a few years later, Elizabeth Zott finds herself not only a single mother but the reluctant star of America’s most beloved cooking show, Supper at Six. Elizabeth’s unusual approach to cooking (“combine one tablespoon acetic acid with a pinch of sodium chloride”) proves revolutionary. But as her following grows, not everyone is happy. Because as it turns out, Elizabeth Zott isn’t just teaching women to cook. She’s daring them to change the status quo.
Sunday, January 16, 2022
Life: It Goes On - January 16
The Big Guy was going to the home improvement store yesterday so I asked him to pick up a new lamp shade for a lamp that has been wearing a shade that is a bit too small for years. As I was saying to him that I keep forgetting to pick a new one up every time I go to the store it occurred to me that I have hardly been in a store in almost two years. I can probably count on my fingers the number of times I've been in a store since CoVid arrived. Although it does mean that when you order a 2022 calendar, you may well have one arrive that runs from July 2021 through June 2022. Why, Target? Why?Last Week I:
|Seriously, doesn't everything|
look better with sunlight
pouring in the window?
Wednesday, January 12, 2022
Taste: My Life Through Food by Stanley Tucci
Stanley Tucci grew up in an Italian American family that spent every night around the kitchen table. He shared the magic of those meals with us in The Tucci Cookbook and The Tucci Table, and now he takes us beyond the savory recipes and into the compelling stories behind them.
Taste is a reflection on the intersection of food and life, filled with anecdotes about his growing up in Westchester, New York; preparing for and shooting the foodie films Big Night and Julie & Julia; falling in love over dinner; and teaming up with his wife to create meals for a multitude of children. Each morsel of this gastronomic journey through good times and bad, five-star meals and burned dishes, is as heartfelt and delicious as the last.
Written with Stanley’s signature wry humor, Taste is for fans of Bill Buford, Gabrielle Hamilton, and Ruth Reichl—and anyone who knows the power of a home-cooked meal.
Sunday, January 9, 2022
Life: It Goes On - January 9
If I haven't really posted a book review in over a month, am I even allowed to call myself a book blog any more? I'm going to redeem myself a bit this week with at least one review! My tooth pain has abated (although I am looking forward to my root canal in a week - how weird is that to say?!) and I'm able to focus on reading again. The house is finally fully back in order after the holidays - we used yesterday to do a lot of those little things that needed to be done yet like take the last bin of ornaments downstairs and put away the final Christmas presents (finding a home for the big electric knife sharpener The Big Guy wanted for Christmas took some doing).Last Week I:
Read: I'd started reading Stanley Tucci's Taste before Christmas but only managed about 40 pages until this last week so I finished that up this week and Stanley may just have managed to break my reading slump! I've moved on to Lessons In Chemistry, which I'm enjoying a lot.
Sunday, January 2, 2022
Life: It Goes On - January 2
Did you see that I posted some mini-reviews on New Year's Eve? If I was smart, I would have written longer reviews and had a couple of weeks of reviews ready to go. But I knew I wouldn't get them done if I was looking at an hour commitment for each review. And, yes, I did just say that I've had all kinds of time off work lately, but...well, I just didn't feel like it, that's all.Last Week I: