Monday, January 08, 2018

Monday Malarkey

Recent arrivals:

  • The Dry by Jane Harper - purchased
  • Zingerman's Bakehouse by Amy Emberling and Frank Carollo - purchased, but not by me!

It's so unusual for a book that wasn't purchased by me to arrive that I nearly fell out of my seat when I found out Husband had ordered one. But, since we once lived in Ann Arbor, home of Zingerman's Delicatessen, it was also a no-brainer that we'd buy a cookbook if they ever wrote one. Husband has already cooked the "Hot Cocoa Cake", which is so good (and, unfortunately, so pricey) that we generally just buy it for other people and seldom get to eat it ourselves. The flavor was fabulous but the cakes got stuck in their little mini bundt slots, in spite of the pan being well greased, so we have a glass container of Hot Cocoa Cake chunks. I'm okay with spooning out my cake instead of slicing it.

I bought The Dry (which has been on my wish list since shortly after its release) because I've got an ARC of Jane Harper's second book, Force of Nature, and I wanted to read the two books in order but my library system doesn't have a single copy of The Dry. I started reading it last night. A friend has been waiting to discuss it with me and I'm looking forward to that.

In case you're wondering, that's a bookmark from Australia sticking out of The Dry. I try to match my bookmarks to my books in some way - often by color but sometimes by topic or location. One of my recent reads was a perfect match to a paint sample I happened to have, colorwise, so I got a kick out of how perfectly color-coordinated they were every time I picked up the book.

Books finished since last Malarkey:

  • Forty Autumns by Nina Willner
  • The Bones of Grace by Tahmima Anam

2018 is off to a good start. Forty Autumns is the true story of a single family divided by the Iron Curtain and how different their lives were on opposite sides. The Bones of Grace is the story of a Bangladeshi paleontologist reflecting on the way she hurt other people in her search for self. Both were hard to put down.

Posts since last Malarkey:

I don't know if I'll be able to keep up the same pace, this week, but since reading is like laundry (you never stop wearing clothes or moving on to the next book; therefore, there's never an end), I'd like to at least get December wrapped up for good by finishing off the last of my 2017 reviews, this week. We'll see how that goes.

Currently reading:

  • The Dry by Jane Harper
  • The Radium Girls by Kate Moore
  • Braving the Wilderness by BrenĂ© Brown

I'm enjoying The Dry, so far, and looking forward to discussing it with my friend, Heather. The Radium Girls is also for discussion. A Facebook friend just started up a reading group and The Radium Girls is the first book we'll be discussing. It's heartbreaking but a good reminder of why we need those "burdensome regulations" that protect us from heartless corporations who care only about the bottom line. And, I'm close to finishing Braving the Wilderness. I'll probably finish that one off tonight. I've found it interesting but not necessarily a book that fits my personal needs. The friend who recommended it called it a "comfort read" and I can see how it would be for the right person.

In other news:

I'm still mulling my reading goals for 2018 and I'm not sure I'll ever manage to post about them, but we'll see. Two years ago, one of my reading goals was to read a classic per month and, as I recall, I came very close with a final number of 11 classics read. Last year, I decided to add feminist reading and now I can see that it's better to stick with a single topic. I read a decent number of both classics and feminist books but didn't manage a book per month of either in 2017. However, looking at the classics on my shelves and deciding which one I want to read next has become a habit after two years and I already have chosen my next classic read. So, I feel like the end result was still positive. And, I really enjoyed the feminist reading, so I'll continue to insert some similar titles into my reading, this year.

Do you have any special plans for your reading in 2018?

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  1. I have my bookmarks all in a box. How much you want to bet I actually go to the box and grab one when I am starting a new book... lol

    1. Haha, I'm not taking that bet. I have entire drawers full of bookmarks but I only use the collection in my bedside table drawer. What's handiest wins. But, I do have quite a few in that bedside table. ;)

  2. I love this: "I try to match my bookmarks to my books in some way - often by color but sometimes by topic or location. One of my recent reads was a perfect match to a paint sample I happened to have, colorwise, so I got a kick out of how perfectly color-coordinated they were every time I picked up the book."

    I'm so glad to know I'm not the only one. Occasionally, I will CHANGE bookmarks, often because I had grabbed one nearby and was soon annoyed that it didn't "match" what I was reading.

    1. It's a funny quirk, isn't it, feeling like the bookmark has to match your book in some way or the world is not quite right. I do the switching-out thing, too. Sometimes, I'll just start out with the bookmark from the previous book or whatever's handy (receipts seem to be a biggie) but then at some point I have to find the perfect bookmark. Most of the time, though, it's kind of a ritual - when I start reading a book, I have to go through the bookmarks in the drawer to find the right one.

  3. Mmmm! Bundt cake! I can never get mine to come out of the pan in one piece either. I have no idea what my reading goals are this year. I guess it’s just to get through all my shelf’s of unread books. :D.

    1. Apparently, bundt cake that won't come loose is a common problem. See Tina's comment, below, if you missed it. Finishing your unread books is a great goal if it's manageable. It would probably take me decades to get through all my unread books. I'm a serious book hoarder. :P

  4. I have a mini bundt pan too and the same thing happens to me no matter how much I grease the pan. I heard somewhere that if you preheat the pan, and then pour the batter in, it won't stick but I have yet to try that.

    I wish my husband cooked. The other day I told him to throw a pizza in the oven and he stood for many minutes reading the instructions on the box. Who does that???

    1. I'll have to tell my husband to give that a try.

      It's nice having a husband who cooks but, to be honest, I wasn't happy about it early in our marriage. He was just not satisfied with my cooking and he loved to eat more than I did (I've since discovered the joy of food, unfortunately for my hips) so he took over, although I still cooked when he was away on business (which was most of the week) till the kids left home.

      Umm . . . I do that, now. I have cooked so little since our kids left home that I follow the instructions on boxed food to the letter. A real cook just knows the right temperature and time. I'm forever asking my husband how he would warm up this or that.


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