I’m a little late to the party, but I’ve just discovered @bookbento, a virtual gallery of great books accompanied by still lifes of meaningful objects. I’m excited to make one for THE ADVENT BOX, and I can’t help but imagine artifacts for other books I’m reading. I’ve just started TINKER TAILOR SOLDIER SPY by John le Carré, but so far I think its bento box would have to include a pair of eyeglasses (like George Smiley’s), a cup of tea, a chess piece or two, and a prep-school-style tie. Just for starters![Read more…] about Book Bento Box
When Tim and I got married twenty-five years ago, I planned to give cookbooks as favors to our wedding guests, who’d shared their favorite recipes with us. I didn’t manage to produce the cookbooks in 1995, but I’m hoping late is better than never! I think sharing these recipes (more than 100!) will be a fun part of celebrating this milestone anniversary—and celebrating our friends and family, too.
Aunt Alice’s Armenian Pilaf is one of our favorite side dishes. Paired with kebabs, chicken breasts, steak, you name it, it’s so delicious and easy to make. I think the secret (besides the stick of butter!) is to get the noodles nice and brown.[Read more…] about Aunt Alice’s Armenian Pilaf
I met my first friend on Bainbridge Island a few days after we arrived. We’d taken a break from unpacking to explore the downtown area of Winslow. The woman who rang up our purchases at one of the gift shops had a familiar accent. Sure enough, she grew up in Kentucky, practically down the road from my in-laws in West Virginia. As we chatted, I explained we were brand-new to the island. She told me she and her husband and their kids had visited Seattle and Bainbridge three years earlier and, when they got home, decided they had to live here. Three months later, they packed up their lives and moved.
It’s a common story.
Do you listen to podcasts? I’ve just started my first and, surprisingly, it’s in the horror genre. Horror is my least favorite thing, but my girls love it and so, over Christmas break, we gathered most nights to listen to the Magnus Archives podcast. The series, described as one of the world’s most popular horror podcasts, is set in modern-day London and “details the supernatural cases under investigation by the Magnus Institute and its archivists.”
It turns out that, while the series is filled with all the scary elements horror lovers expect, the great storytelling captivates even chickens like me. Especially chickens who love mysteries. The main character, Jonathan Sims, has taken over as head archivist after the previous one died under mysterious circumstances. The archives are a disorganized mess, so Jon (grumpily and skeptically) begins to put the statements of people’s supernatural encounters in order. At first, the statements seem to be unconnected, but we soon realize something bigger—and scarier—is going on.
Lexie’s gone back to her apartment in Bellingham, but we’re still “meeting” to listen to the podcast at the same time. She drew this image of the Magnus Institute and it perfectly captures the podcast’s spooky mood. What happened—or will happen—to this person who’s about to record his tale?
If you have a favorite podcast, please share!
Never in a million years did I imagine one of my New Year’s resolutions would be to read more books. But here we are. It’s not that I’m not reading. Last year, I must’ve read about 5,000 essays and articles (most of them political, probably). But when it came to books, other than my steady stream of before-bed Anne Perry and Rhys Bowen mysteries and Rosamunde Pilcher novels, I bought books only to let them pile up.
Turns out there’s a Japanese word for this phenomenon: tsundoku. The word literally means “reading pile” and describes the art of buying books with the intent of reading them later.[Read more…] about My New Year’s Resolution 2021: No More Tsundoku