Monday, November 28, 2016

Book 34: Pointe

TITLE: Pointe
AUTHOR: Brandy Colbert
STARTED: October 22, 2016
FINISHED: October 31, 2016
PAGES: 333,
GENRE: Young Adult

FIRST SENTENCE: I wish I could say the day Donovan came home was extraordinary from the start, that I woke up knowing something special would happen that Thursday evening in October.

SUMMARY: [From BN] Theo is better now. She’s eating again, dating guys who are almost appropriate, and well on her way to becoming an elite ballet dancer. But when her oldest friend, Donovan, returns home after spending four long years with his kidnapper, Theo starts reliving memories about his abduction—and his abductor. Donovan isn’t talking about what happened, and even though Theo knows she didn’t do anything wrong, telling the truth would put everything she’s been living for at risk. But keeping quiet might be worse. Brandy Colbert dazzles in this heartbreaking yet hopeful debut novel about learning how to let go of even our most shameful secrets.

THOUGHTS: Whoopsie! I completely forgot that this book was sitting in my drafts folder entirely unreviewed. Well, I do remember that I very much enjoyed the book as I was reading it. The characters were interesting and the plot was well-placed. I love ballet and, as a former dancer, the descriptions of those scenes felt true to life. I truly looked forward to reading it each evening.

That said, it felt a touch overwritten and dramatic. There was a lot of different plot points going on and I don't think all of them were necessary. One or two of the big "shocking" things could have been omitted and this still would have been a good book.

RATING: 6/10 [Good]

Sunday, November 27, 2016

What I Read This Week: November 27, 2016

Quick write-up today - we need to decorate our apartment for Christmas. I can't decide if we should watch NFL Red Zone or Die Hard whilst we deck the halls.

  • Magazines
    • National Geographic, November 2016 - I read this issue while lying on the floor in my parents living room. It was great! The cover story on Mars was fantastic and I can't wait to binge watch the companion series. On top of the Mars, there was a nice piece on octopi (octopusses?). The pictures were lovely and I can never get enough information on this animal. Finally, there were brief pieces on the opening of US tourism in Cuba and the recovery from the civil war in Sri Lanka that are also worth the read.
    • Washingtonian, October 2016 - Om nom nom. The cover spread on breakfast and brunch places in the DC area has my name all over it. In addition to the list of tasty places I need to try, there was a fun piece on creating your dream kitchen. I can't remodel
      our rental, but I can file ideas away for later. There was also a fascinating (and more than mildly disturbing) article on a weird crime that took place in Virginia. Finally, there was a great piece on "the speech whisperer" - a consultant who teaches women how to speak more authoritatively without coming across as shrill or angry. It makes my blood boil that there is a niche for this kind of work - but I get it.
  • Books
    • On Thanksgiving morning, I finished off the final pages of Dietland. While the ending was a touch of a let down, I generally liked the book. Full review to come!
    • I'm a few pages into The Dressmaker by Kate Alcott. It's too soon to tell if I'm going to like this book... but part of it takes part on the Titanic, so that's a positive in its favor.
  • Other
    • When mom is "cleaning fairy" to her son but not to her daughters things need to change.

Friday, November 25, 2016

The Friday Find: Grumpy

I don't do black Friday. I prefer to spend it reading. This perfect perfectly encapsulates how I feel when my reading is interrupted.

You can find this in the Wonderflies Etsy shop.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Variations on a Theme: Cooperstown

I am home for today's Thanksgiving holiday. Home is the small village of Cooperstown in Upstate New York. Since I connect this holiday with my hometown, this month's Variations on a Theme is a collection of books about and inspired by my little village.

In addition to this list of good reads, I wish you much warmth, happiness, and pie!

William Cooper's Town: Power and Persusasion on the Frontier of the Early American Republic
Alan Taylor

An innovative work of biography, social history, and literary analysis, this Pulitzer Prize-winning book presents the story of two men, William Cooper and his son, the novelist James Fennimore Cooper, who embodied the contradictions that divided America in the early years of the Republic. Taylor shows how Americans resolved their revolution through the creation of new social forms and new stories that evolved with the expansion of our frontier. of photos.

James Fenimore Cooper

During the fierce French and Indian wars, an adroit scout named Hawkeye and his companion Chingachgook weave through the spectacular and dangerous wilderness of upstate New York, fighting to save the beautiful Munro sisters from the Huron renegade Magua. The Last of the Mohicans is the most popular of James Fenimore Cooper’s five Leatherstocking Tales. With its death-defying chases and teeth-clenching suspense, this American classic established many archetypes of American frontier fiction. An engrossing “Western” by America’s first great novelist, The Last of the Mohicans is a story of survival and treachery, love and deliverance.

The Clarks of Cooperstown
Nicholas Fox Weber

Nicholas Fox Weber, author of the acclaimed Patron Saints (“Exhilarating avant-garde entertainment”—Sam Hunter, The New York Times Book Review) and Balthus (“The authoritative account of his life and work”—Michael Ravitch, Newsday), gives us now the idiosyncratic lives of Sterling and Stephen Clark—two of America’s greatest art collectors, heirs to the Singer sewing machine fortune, and for decades enemies of each other. He tells the story, as well, of the two generations that preceded theirs, giving us an intimate portrait of one of the least known of America’s richest families.

A Great Day in Cooperstown: The Improbable Birth of Baseball's Hall of Fame
Jim Reisler

Using an iconic photo of the game's original superstars — a group that included, among others, Babe Ruth, Cy Young, Honus Wagner, and Connie Mack — as his starting point, Jim Reisler explains the unusual origins of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and delivers a delightful history of not only the game's early stars and the house built to honor them, but also the myth of baseball America. With his trademark eye and ear for the spirit of the game's golden age, Reisler explains that the construction of the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY was as much an attempt to revive the economy of a struggling draught-ravaged farming town at the height of the Depressioin as it was a tribute to the National Pastime. Weaving quirky, anecdotal stories about the Hall's first eleven inductees in and out of the story of how two industrious businessmen convinced a nation that a former Union general named Abner Doubleday created the game of baseball (which he didn't) and that the first pitch was thrown in the sleepy hamlet of Cooperstown (which it wasn't), Jim Reisler provides us with a fascinating story to be cherished by baseball fans and Americana enthusiasts alike.

Tom Stanton

Every true baseball fan dreams of visiting Cooperstown. Some make the trip as boys, when the promise of a spot in the lineup with the Yankees or Red Sox or Tigers glows on the horizon, as certain as the sunrise. Some go later in life, long after their Little League years, to glimpse the past, not the future. And still others talk of somedays and of pilgrimages that await. The Road to Cooperstown is a true story populated with colorful characters: a philanthropic family that launched the museum and uses its wealth to, among other things, ensure that McDonald's stays out of the turn-of-the-century downtown; the devoted fan who wrote a book to get his hero into the Hall of Fame; the Guyana native who grew up without baseball but comes to the induction ceremony every year; the librarian on a mission to preserve his great-grandfather's memory; the baseball legends who appear suddenly along Main Street; and the dying man who fulfills one of his last wishes on a warm day in spring.

Otsego Lake: Past and Present

Richard S. Duncan

Otsego Lake is one of the most celebrated bodies of water in America immortalized in the novels of James Fenimore Cooper, praised by artists and writers, and loved by generations of visitors to the region. It has been called ""the cradle of American literature"" and even "the Walden Pond of New York State." This volume is the first comprehensive photographic documentation of Otsego Lake. It features the extraordinary color photographs of Richard S. Duncan and draws upon the historical photograph collections of the New York State Historical Association, housed in Fenimore Art Museum. This book takes the reader on a fascinating journey to each of the principal sites around the lake, and reveals the beauty, history, and mystery of one of America's most picturesque landscapes.

Other Cooperstown Titles
American Canopy - Eric Rutkow
Around Cooperstown - Brian and Becky Nielsen
Cooperstown Confidential - Zev Chafets
Cooperstown, The Book 
The Deerslayer - James Fenimore Cooper
The Hall - National Baseball Hall of Fame
Inside the Baseball Hall of Fame - National Baseball Hall of Fame
The Monsters of Templeton - Lauren Groff
Otsego Country, Its Towns and Treasures
The Pathfinder - James Fenimore Cooper
The Pioneers - James Fenimore Cooper
Rural Hours - Susan Fenimore Cooper

Links and Staff: November 24, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Why I Love... Reading at Home

On Sunday, the Husband and I drove up to my hometown in Upstate New York for the Thanksgiving holiday. We're staying in a hotel this year and my parents have moved houses, but this is still my hometown. We don't really have any plans while we're here - other than to eat lots of food - so that leaves a lot of time for reading. Even though I'm reading in a place I've never seen before, there is something so cozy about reading at home.

I love that I can just plop myself down wherever and crack open a book or magazine. There are no outside forces telling me I should be working or cleaning or doing anything else productive. I have no appointments or meeting to get to. I have no plans at all. My calendar is completely blank and I can use this time however I wish. I choose to use it reading. I love that I can just grab a drink and a snack and read the day away.

My parents physical home may change, but it's still home. I can still find a comfortable seat for reading to call my own. I can still snuggle under a blanket. I can still be spoiled by my mom. Wherever home is is still home. And home is for reading.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

What I Read This Week: November 20, 2016

On the road again...

The Husband and I are in transit to my folks place in Upstate New York to celebrate Thanksgiving. He has to "work from home" for the first half of the week, but I plan on helping my mom with various holiday, relaxing, and enjoying my home town. Who knows, maybe I'll even manage to read a lot more than this extensive list below. I seriously crushed it in the reading department this week. Who knew clearing out the lesser loved RSS feeds in my reader would give me so much more "offline" reading time? (Most people I presume... but let me have this!)
  • Work
    • College and Research Libraries News, November 2016 -  There was quite a bit on reaching out to Cuba in this issue. I mainly enjoyed the piece on creating strong leadership in libraries. I also liked the brief piece on how leadership is not for everyone. 
    • American Libraries, September/October 2016 - I *heart* the library design issue. It always makes me want to take field trips to see all the new and revamped buildings and spaces. I also loved this month's professional development book picks - they were all about putting patrons in touch with their family history through research and personal collection digitization.
    • American Libraries, November/December 2016 - The first
      piece that caught my eye in this issue was the trend piece on shared spaces in libraries. I also like the story on Snapchat in libraries. I did a Snapchat takeover for my library, and it was fun to read what others are doing well. There was also a thought-provoking piece on what the new role of the Library of Congress should now that we have a new Librarian of Congress. Speaking of the new Librarian of Congress - I muchly applaud the introductory article on Carla Hayden. I can't wait to see where she takes things.
  • Magazines
    • Good Housekeeping, October 2016 - Some of the pumpkin decorating ideas were cute. I may have to try this painting a
      pumpkin instead of carving it trend. There was a fantastic article about raising a child with down syndrome in this issue. Finally, I loved the piece on how it's okay to be a grumpy cancer survivor.
    • Good Housekeeping, November 2016 - More food please! Seriously, all the November issues make me hungry. The cover on this issue left me salivating. As someone who seems to get an inordinate amount of headcolds, I found the piece on avoiding winter illness to be quite useful. Also, I loved how much of this issue was about gratitude and giving back.
    • Real Simple, October 2016 - One of the main features of this
      issue was skillet dinners. I might have added all of them to my "to try" pile. I read this after the election, so I found the article on how to raised caring and empathetic kids to be particularly poignant. And, while I've not had need of it yet, I have a feeling that I will one day put to use the article on what comes after a bad health diagnosis (either for yourself or for a loved one). And, to end on a happy note, there was a touching piece on a couple who became foster parents to three children.
    • Real Simple, November 2016 - Just feed me all the things. Seriously. Thanksgiving issues that cover food will be the end of me. I just want to sample every recipe included in the
      issue. Related... but not really... the how to clean your home before the big food holiday offered a great breakdown and how to. Addtionally, author Jennifer Weiner wrote a nice piece on growing up in different countries and how we benefit from learning from different traditions and ways of life. The one kind of article I could do without is the nutritionists who recommend how to "make it through" Thanksgiving. It's one holiday. I'm going to eat and relax and enjoy it.
    • Real Simple, December 2016 - This issue right after I finished the other two Real Simples. The gift suggestions in this issue might prove to be useful for once. My list of ideas was short this year, so I was happy for the inspiration help. I enjoyed the alphabetical guide to the holidays. It was fun to be reminded about a bit of Christmas history. Finally, I save two recipes out of the dinner section. I don't know if The Husband will love them, but they looked tasty to me.
  • Books
    • I've put a surprisingly large dent in Dietland. There's a chance I might even finish it in the next 12 hours. Right after the election, I was not in the mood for a rah-rah feminist book... but now I am. I soooooo am.

Friday, November 18, 2016

The Friday Find: Due It!

Hat tip to Lady B for finding this most excellent library scarf. It comes in three colors, so you can find the scarf that works best with your wardrobe.

You can buy this on Amazon.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

What I Read This Week: November 13, 2016

This was not a good week. I spent far too much time grieving and crying for what might have been if the election had gone the other way. I'm slowly starting to exit the sad stage and enter anger, but I'm not entirely there yet. I spent quite a bit of time of the couch this week just moping and clicking through more bad news on the internet. What reading I was able to finish happened in the few moments of numbness where my brain could focus on words. The reading list is short this week, but reading is therapeutic, and I hope to be back on top of things soon.
  • Magazines
    • The Atlantic, November 2016 - I started reading this issue last week. I was gung-ho about the editorial endorsing Clinton, but I read it again after the election and it made me sad. Every word the magazine's editors wrote is true - and it's just a knife in the gut. Outside of that, the articles on Twitter and cops in schools are very important (perhaps now more than ever.)
  • Books
    •  I'm still reading Dietland but it's slow going. The book is very good, but it's hard to read so a pro-feminist, rah-rah women story after Tuesday. I think, however, that the characters in this novel will get me to stop moping soon. It's hard to stay sad when you seek kick-ass characters being awesome.
  • Other
    • Pantsuit Nation on Facebook. Those stories are so incredibly uplifting. They give me hope. They give me drive.

Friday, November 11, 2016

The Friday Find: Soothing

If you need retail therapy this week, might I suggest this Library of Congress dome mug? It can hold a hot beverage to sooth you on bad days.

You can buy this in the Library of Congress shop.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Links and Stuff: November 10, 2016

From Book Porn

Wednesday, November 09, 2016

Book 33: Cravings

TITLE: Cravings: Recipes for all the Food You Want to Eat
AUTHOR: Chrissy Teigen
STARTED: October 22, 2016
FINISHED: October 22, 2016
PAGES: 240
GENRE: Cookbook

FIRST SENTENCE: I know, I know.

SUMMARY: [From BN] Maybe she’s on a photo shoot in Zanzibar. Maybe she’s making people laugh on TV. But all Chrissy Teigen really wants to do is talk about dinner. Or breakfast. Lunch gets some love, too. For years, she’s been collecting, cooking, and Instagramming her favorite recipes, and here they are: from breakfast all day to John’s famous fried chicken with spicy honey butter to her mom’s Thai classics.  Salty, spicy, saucy, and fun as sin (that’s the food, but that’s Chrissy, too), these dishes are for family, for date night at home, for party time, and for a few life-sucks moments (salads). You’ll learn the importance of chili peppers, the secret to cheesy-cheeseless eggs, and life tips like how to use bacon as a home fragrance, the single best way to wake up in the morning, and how not to overthink men or Brussels sprouts. Because for Chrissy Teigen, cooking, eating, life, and love are one and the same.

THOUGHTS: This cookbook was fine. The recipes all come with pictures and several looked tasty, but I just couldn't connect with Chrissy's writing style. I liked that she included personal stories about the food (and I think she would be awesome to have a drink with), but something about it just left me "meh."

RATING: 5/10 [Meh.]

Why I Love... A Digression

I don't even know where to begin.

Last night, I thought Hillary Rodham Clinton was going to bust through that glass ceiling and become our nation's first female president. I voted for her with unexpected but happy tears in my eyes. I was buoyant. I thought she had finally done it. That was not the case. Today, I am despondent. I am numb. I want to curl up in bed and cry. I am going to need to look at a lot of cute animal pictures to get my through this day.

Normally, when my party loses an election, I'm upset but I get over it. Sure, my pick may have lost - but the other candidates tended to be good and moral people. I've never been scared before. Today, I am afraid. I am afraid about the direction this takes our country. I am afraid about what this validates about the worse parts of our people and culture. I am afraid for all those who do not have the voice I have been given due to my race and economic background. I am afraid that all the progress this country has made on minority and women's rights has been wiped out.

I so want to be wrong. I want the future to not be as bad as I expect. I want to be surprised. But, my stomach is in knots, a lump in my throat, and tears in my eyes. I will be holding them back, because there is still work to be done - both in my life and as a country.

I entered my profession because I wanted to connect people with things and information they love and need. On hard days like this, I am reminded of the smiles people have when they enter a library for the first time. I am reminded that libraries connect people with resources they may otherwise not have access too. I am reminded that kids finding books is an adorable sight. I am reminded that there is still much that is good about this country and the people in it because there are always people who want to help others.

So, this digression of a post is a reminder to me of a quote from a Disney movie: "Have courage and be kind." I am making that my motto. I believe that tough days are ahead, but if we have courage and are kind to one another, we can get through it.

Tuesday, November 08, 2016

Book 32: The Hundred-Foot Journey

TITLE: The Hundred-Foot Journey
AUTHOR: Richard C. Morais
STARTED: October 22, 2016
FINISHED: October 22, 2016
PAGES: 245
GENRE: Fiction

FIRST SENTENCE: I, Hassan Haji, was born, the second of six children, above my grandfather's restaurant o the Napean Sea Road in what was then called West Bombay, two decades before the great city was renamed Mumbai.

SUMMARY: [From BN] Born above his grandfather’s modest restaurant in Mumbai, Hassan Haji first experienced life through intoxicating whiffs of spicy fish curry, trips to the local markets, and gourmet outings with his mother. But when tragedy pushes the family out of India, they console themselves by eating their way around the world, eventually settling in Lumière, a small village in the French Alps. The boisterous Haji family takes Lumière by storm. They open an inexpensive Indian restaurant opposite an esteemed French relais—that of the famous chef Madame Mallory—and infuse the sleepy town with the spices of India, transforming the lives of its eccentric villagers and infuriating their celebrated neighbor. Only after Madame Mallory wages culinary war with the immigrant family, does she finally agree to mentor young Hassan, leading him to Paris, the launch of his own restaurant, and a slew of new adventures. The Hundred-Foot Journey is about how the hundred-foot distance between a new Indian kitchen and a traditional French one can represent the gulf between different cultures and desires. A testament to the inevitability of destiny, this is a fable for the ages—charming, endearing, and compulsively readable.

THOUGHTS: I added this book to my TBR list when I saw the trailer for the movie, and thought "If that's a book... I'm reading it."

This is great story about family and coming of age. The characters and plot are fully-formed and came to life so easily in my mind that I don't think I need to bother with seeing the movie. The writing is incredibly vivid - you can smell the spices in the air, feel your hand stirring a pot, and sense the vibe on the streets.

My only complaint about this book is that the lead character, Hassan, feels emotionally stunted. While that can be explained by an event at the beginning of the book - he somehow comes across as stilted in a way that didn't quite work for me.

RATING: 8/10 [Terrific]

YouTube Tuesday: Secret

Monday, November 07, 2016

Book 31: Good and Cheap

TITLE: Good and Cheap: Eat Well on $4/Day
AUTHOR: Leanne Brown
STARTED: October 22, 2016
FINISHED: October 22, 2016
PAGES: 190
GENRE: Cookbook

FIRST SENTENCE: Eating is one of life's greatest pleasures.

SUMMARY: [From BN] While studying food policy as a master’s candidate at NYU, Leanne Brown asked a simple yet critical question: How well can a person eat on the $4 a day given by SNAP, the U.S. government’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program informally known as food stamps? The answer is surprisingly well: Broiled Tilapia with Lime, Spicy Pulled Pork, Green Chile and Cheddar Quesadillas, Vegetable Jambalaya, Beet and Chickpea Salad—even desserts like Coconut Chocolate Cookies and Peach Coffee Cake. In addition to creating nutritious recipes that maximize every ingredient and use economical cooking methods, Ms. Brown gives tips on shopping; on creating pantry basics; on mastering certain staples—pizza dough, flour tortillas—and saucy extras that make everything taste better, like spice oil and tzatziki; and how to make fundamentally smart, healthful food choices. The idea for Good and Cheap is already proving itself. The author launched a Kickstarter campaign to self-publish and fund the buy one/give one model. Hundreds of thousands of viewers watched her video and donated $145,000, and national media are paying attention. Even high-profile chefs and food writers have taken note—like Mark Bittman, who retweeted the link to the campaign; Francis Lam, who called it “Terrific!”; and Michael Pollan, who cited it as a “cool kickstarter.” In the same way that TOMS turned inexpensive, stylish shoes into a larger do-good movement, Good and Cheap is poised to become a cookbook that every food lover with a conscience will embrace.

THOUGHTS: I love cookbooks that include an image for every recipe. Aside from that, this book had some great looking recipes. I also liked that Brown included tips and techniques where applicable.

RATING: 7/10 [Very Good]

Sunday, November 06, 2016

What I Read This Week: November 6, 2016

Election Day is on Tuesday. Go vote!

Now that I've done my usual civic reminder, let's look back at my reading this week. It's WAY less than I want it to be. I blame metro. Now, I normally blame many things on metro, but this one is a legitimate complaint. My work metro station is closed from Oct. 31 until Nov. 22. Almost a whole month. In lieu of taking metro and then one of the shuttle buses, I've opted to Lyft Line (and Uber Pool) to and from the office. Well - it turns out these rides are fast and I normally end up chatting with the driver. On metro, I usually get the chance to read a magazine for 30-45 minutes (or longer if there are delays). So, while I love getting home earlier, I do miss my uninterrupted reading time.

On to the list!
  • Magazines
    • HGTV Magazine, October 2016 and November 2016 - At this point, I do nothing but flip through these issues to look at the pretty pictures. My mom gifted me this subscription and we shant be renewing it. As much as I like looking at pretty
      pictures, it feels like a waste of paper to receive this every month when I can just look at stuff on Pinterest.
    • Food Network Magazine, October 2016 and November 2016 - Same note as above. Again, as much as I love food, it feels like waste to get this every month. That said, I did enjoy the one article on Ina Garten and her husband.
  • Books
    • I finished reading Pointe in the middle of the week. It was a touch overly dramatic for my tastes, but I enjoyed how it ended.
    • The book on my end table now is Dietland by Sarai Walker. So far I am intrigued by the story, but I wonder where all the set-up is headed.

Friday, November 04, 2016

Book 30: Trapped

TITLE: Trapped
AUTHOR: Michael Northrop
STARTED: October 22, 2016
FINISHED: October 22, 2016
PAGES: 232
GENRE: Young Adult

FIRST SENTENCE: We were the last seven kids waiting around to get picked up from Tattawa Regional High School.

SUMMARY: [From BN] The day the blizzard started, no one knew that it was going to keep snowing for a week. That for those in its path, it would become not just a matter of keeping warm, but of staying alive. Scotty and his friends Pete and Jason are among the last seven kids at their high school waiting to get picked up that day, and they soon realize that no one is coming for them. Still, it doesn't seem so bad to spend the night at school, especially when distractingly hot Krista and Julie are sleeping just down the hall. But then the power goes out, then the heat. The pipes freeze, and the roof shudders. As the days add up, the snow piles higher, and the empty halls grow colder and darker, the mounting pressure forces a devastating decision. 

THOUGHTS: This book was well-paced and would have been really creepy to read during a major snow storm. While I was a touch disappointed in the ending, I loved how all the characters act together and how the plot came together. Some parts of this book felt a touch overly dramatic but, then again, that sort of fits the whole "teenagers trapped alone" thing.

RATING: 6/10 [Good]

The Friday Find: Desktop

Need a small box to organize items on your desk or kitchen counter. Why not grab this adorable mini card catalog drawer? I think this would be a great way to organize recipe cards.

You can grab this from the New York Public Library store.

Thursday, November 03, 2016

Book 29: Rachel Khoo's Kitchen Notebook

TITLE: Rachel Khoo's Kitchen Notebook: Over 100 Delicious Recipes From My Personal Cookbook
AUTHOR: Rachel Khoo
STARTED: October 22, 2016
FINISHED: October 22, 2016
PAGES: 272
GENRE: Cookbook

FIRST SENTENCE: I carry a notebook everywhere and it almost always ends up tattered, dog-eared, and splashed with various food stains from eating my way around the world or cooking in my kitchen.

SUMMARY: [From BN] Living a life as colorful and creative as Rachel Khoo—star of three BBC television series, author of bestselling cookbooks, illustrator, and international tastemaker—creates a constellation of ideas and inspiration. All of her gifts pack this exuberant more-than-a-cookbook, with its rounded corners and hefty notebook feel. Each turn of the page offers doable and delicious recipes, style-setting ideas from around the globe, 250 photographs, and Rachel's charming illustrations and engaging notes. Here's a cookbook unlike any other—one that brings a smile of surprise and delight every time it's opened.

THOUGHTS: I now need to acquire every book by Rachel Khoo. This book reads and feels exactly like her TV show. And I mean that in a good way. It's the right balance of recipes, pictures, and narrative.

Also, we've made a recipe out of this, and it was fantastic. It's going on our make again list.

RATING: 8/10 [Terrific]

Links and Stuff: November 3, 2016

From Book Porn

Wednesday, November 02, 2016

Book 28: The Dark

TITLE: The Dark
AUTHOR: Lemony Snicket
STARTED: October 22, 2016
FINISHED: October 22, 2016
GENRE: Juvenile

FIRST SENTENCE: Laszlo was afraid of the dark.

SUMMARY: [From BN] Laszlo is afraid of the dark. The dark lives in the same house as Laszlo. Mostly, though, the dark stays in the basement and doesn't come into Lazslo's room. But one night, it does. This is the story of how Laszlo stops being afraid of the dark. With emotional insight and poetic economy, two award-winning talents team up to conquer a universal childhood fear.

THOUGHTS: This story was just as cute as I hoped it would be.

RATING: 7/10 [Very Good]