Growing up, I was the kid at the dinner table with my nose in a book. I don’t know why my mother put up with this.
I mastered the art of holding a copy of “The Hobbit” in one hand and navigating blinding with my chopsticking hand across the dinner table by instinct for another tasty morsel to add to my rice bowl. It wasn’t very difficult. The dishes were always in the same place. There was always a dish of steamed fish at 15 degrees right of me. A bowl of lightly boiled greens in oyster sauce was 40 degrees to my left and right in front of me would be a dish of stir-fried beef or chicken. Sometimes it would be steamed egg. Oh, I loved steamed egg with canned salmon with a drizzle of soy sauce. Simple, good one-hand food.
I still enjoy eating and reading when I’m dining alone. There’s something almost indulgent about it. On my kitchen table is a copy of Hank Shaw’s ‘Hunt, Gather, Cook : Finding the Forgotten Feast”.
It’s a wonderful book on his experiences with hunting, gathering, fishing and foraging for wild food. Beyond tracking down dinner, it provides a good starting place on how to process and prepare wild foods beyond the typical ‘boil it or roast it’ fare. It’s a great book to pick through when I have solo meals or early Sunday morning before the rest of the world wakes up and I’m working on my second cup of coffee.
That’s probably one of the few books I’ve bought in hard copy this last year. Everything else has been bought for my eReader. I love my eReader. I can walk around with a thousand books in my bag and I won’t get a sore back. I can read in bed and when I finish a book, I don’t have to get up to get another one. Thanks to my eReader, I have more space for yarn and wool J
I resisted at first but moving to a small town with an even smaller bookstore that stocks more for tourists than for locals, I’ve come to fully embrace my eReader.
Here’s a quick list of what I’ve read in the last couple of weeks along with my frosty 2 cents:
Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
“ The circus arrives without warning.”
How could one resist such an opening line???
It reminded me a little of Katherine Dunn’s “Geek Love” which is one of my all-time favourite circus stories. It’s whimsical and full of magic, literally and figuratively.
Jamrach’s Menagerie by Carol Birch
Charles Dickens and Herman Melville had a love child who was possessed by Joseph Conrads “Heart of Darkness” . This book is the result of the exorcism.
Annabel by Kathleen Winter
Much comparison has been made between this book and Jeffrey Eugenides's ‘Middlesex’. IMHO, other than the exploration of gender, there is little comparison. Eugenide’s novel is a thick and rich allegorical epic that reaches across the Atlantic and back through the generations of a family. ‘Annabel’ is a stark, lonely tale of a contradicted body.
The Sister Brothers by Patrick deWitt
A really fun, slippery, sly western about brothers who are hired killers. It also has one of the best covers in a long time. Go read it NOW.
I’ve just downloaded Haruki Murakami's “IQ84”, his homage to Orwell’s “1984”.
I’ve been waiting 2 years for this to be translated. I’m so excited I’m vibrating. I can't wait for the day to be done so I can crawl into bed and start reading this.
It’s nearly 1000 pages longs which is kinda scary but really awesome.
Have a great week!