Archive for February, 2011
- The Harmony Silk Factory by Tash Aw - One thing that's been harder for me in terms of sticking to my own books is that I have way more US & and UK authors than I do international authors, so I have felt I've been quite limited in my reading scope so far this year. When I read about Tash Aw over at Chasing Bawa recently, I flagged him as an author that I needed to read. I've never read a Malaysian author before and think his first novel will be a great introduction.
- Kiss Kiss/Switch Bitch/My Uncle Oswald by Roald Dahl - I like that Dahl's short stories and writing for adults is quite dark and twisted. This seemed like a good investment as it compiles some of his best non-PG work in one handy volume.
- The Glass Palace by Amitav Ghosh - Ghosh is another author I've been wanting to read and while there were a few of his books at McKay's I decided to try this one because it spans Burma, India, and Malay, which are all places I'm interested in. I'd like to read more (South East) Asian writers in particular when it comes to reading internationally, so I'm happy to add this to my collection.
- The Pleasure of My Company by Steve Martin - We all know that An Object of Beauty made me a big fan of Martin's fiction writing, so while I'd already snagged a cheap copy of Shopgirl on a past visit to McKay's it seemed only right that I should also rescue his second novel from the bargain section as well. I'm intrigued by this one because while I've heard less about it, some people argue that it's better than Shopgirl...
- Memento Mori by Muriel Spark - I am on a wicked Muriel Spark kick at the moment. I read The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie right before I started blogging back in 2008 and didn't think much of it. But for whatever reason, I felt compelled to pick it up again and just recently finished a vastly superior re-read of it and now I feel like I must own and read everything Spark has ever written. Was very excited to find this one at McKay's as many feel this is even better than Jean Brodie.
- Mantissa and The Collector by John Fowles - I am also obsessed with the idea of John Fowles of late. I haven't read anything by him, but I feel like I've been wanting to challenge myself of late and think his writing may fit the bill. I will probably tackle The French Lieutenant's Woman again before I try either of these, but I am sure I'll be happy to have them.
It’s been ages since I posted a recipe on the site, something I apologize for. It’s not that I haven’t been cooking – I have – it’s just that I haven’t been making anything that seems all that blog-worthy. I feel like I’ve been in a bit of a cooking rut for the past few months (don't the holidays do that to us? Where all you want to do is eat out or order in take-out?), but I think I’m finally snapping out of it. I’ve recently been seeking out lots of new recipes to try, and the thought of cooking is no longer something that makes me feel tired but something that makes me feel excited. Tony and I are never ones to really celebrate Valentine’s Day because I think it’s a fairly awful holiday. I feel like if Tony and I need the push of a corporate occasion to tell each other how much we care for each other, then our relationship is in trouble. I also dislike how restaurants use this time as an excuse to create special (read: expensive) menus that really break the budget. This year Tony and I decided we would observe Valentine’s Day from the comfort of our own home, where I would cook us a meal that was a little bit fancier than what we would normally make for ourselves (but at a quarter of the price of what we would pay dining out). I decided I would try a recipe I got off of Epicurious that was created by the most recent winner of Top Chef Masters, Marcus Samuelsson. This recipe is his own, and I have to admit that I didn’t stray from it one jot! Shocking, I know, but if you make it yourself, you’ll see it needs no adjusting! Ingredients For the tuna
- 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
- 2 tbsp REAL maple syrup
- Juice of 1 lime
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- Two 6-ounce tuna fillets
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 4 cilantro sprigs
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 pound Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into quarters or 1/2-inch pieces
- 2 Bosc pears, peeled, cored, and cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1/4 cup blanched almonds, roughly chopped
- 1 1/2 tsp curry powder
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1 cup shredded baby spinach
After a short delay due to the last-minute decision to include a galley in this installment, Indiespensible #24 is now in my hands! The featured book this month is Hannah Pittard's debut novel, The Fates Will Find Their Way, which tells the story of a girl who goes missing on Halloween night. Given that its told from the perspective of a group of young boys, I am immediately reminded of The Virgin Suicides, so I'll be interested to see how Pittard uses this iconic form of a narrator and makes it her own. Also included was a snazzy Powell's mug, those weird interview cards that Powell's so loves to include, and an advance reader's copy of Ten Thousand Saints by Eleanor Henderson. According to Powell's, this is a highly anticipated novel, but I am not too proud to admit that I hadn't heard of it when it showed up along with my other goodies. The special edition box containing Pittard's book is extraordinarily lovely and definitely whets my appetite for the book itself. What are you waiting for? Isn't it about time that you treated yourself to an Indiespensible subscription?
Today I am 28!
But tomorrow is when the festivities are really taking place... I'll have the full report (including my super awesome present!) for you guys in a few days!