Friday, November 16, 2007


--A few weeks ago, the mother of one of Caleb’s friends called. The talent show was coming up and her son was wondering if Caleb would like to be part of a skit he wanted to perform. “It’s a Monty Python skit,” she said. “It’s not funny,” she warned.

Last night was the talent show. This was the skit. The kids were adorable and well-rehearsed. No guts were busted.

--I’m probably the last person you should be taking health tips from, but I just discovered something to better my enjoyment of salads: Just dress the whole damn thing. That way, you’re not picking all the good stuff and dipping it in the globs of dressing, leaving you, in the end, with a bunch of naked spinach that you won’t finish. I stole this dressing recipe from my friend Janet, who’s the best salad maker in the world: Wisk together olive oil, balsamic vinegar, a little soy sauce, a little mustard. Toss it in the salad bowl and work your magic with the salad tongs.

--The Book Meme! The lovely MemeGrl tagged me. (Also, check out her link to this—awesome.)

Total number of books I own:
Did you see Oprah yesterday? With that lady who’s a hoarder? I’m not making light of her situation, but let’s just say, I’m pushing the envelope. My bookshelves are two layers thick, and Brandon has been saying the word “library” in a tone might be described as “meaningful.”

Last book I read:
Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn. Sometimes, you need a mystery.

Last book I bought:
Jesus Land by Julia Sheeres because Kathy and Jessica told me to.

5 Meaningful Books:
Self-Help by Lorrie Moore: Before this, I didn’t know you could be funny and sad at the same time. (Like, in fiction. Real life, sure.) Also, the best opening line ever: “Understand that your cat is a whore and can’t help you.”

Jenny & the Jaws of Life by Jincy Willett: I love this for its own self, but it also made me believe that I might try to write fiction. (This is called either optimism or delusion.)

The Price of Motherhood by Ann Crittenden: A book that brought hard facts, good research, and terrific writing to a vague idea that a lot of mothers were feeling.

I Can’t Remember What Anthology, But One That Has Both Barbara Ehrenreich’s “Welcome to Cancerland” and Jonathan Franzen’s “My Father’s Brain”: Two of my favorite essays, evah.

The Happiness Hypothesis by Jonathan Haidt: I love the way he synthesizes ideas.

So, speaking of books, have any recommendations? (And, if you haven’t done this meme yet, consider yourself tagged.)


Jody said...

That's so funny that they chose that particular skit to do. It's not your typical 9yo fare. I would have busted a gut, I think.

Caroline said...

I love Lorrie Moore's Self-Help, I really do. I can quote more from "A Guide to the Tenor of Love" than probably any other story I've read.

Here's my reading recommendation: Emily Barton's novel Brookland. 18th century sisters running a gin distillery in Brooklyn. It's terrific.

BabelBabe said...

I just finished Ann Patchett's newest, Run, and thought it was terrific. A really lovely book.

jessica said...

"Brookland" was terrific. I so, so, want a follow up novel about what happened to the youngest sister.
What an amazing work that book was.

Jennifer said...

Jody, I guess I wasn't completely accurate. The kids cracked themselves up.

And thanks so much for the book recommendations! I thought Ann Patchett's memoir was fascinating, and I'll have to get Run. And I think I'm sometimes scared of historical fiction, but I'll have to check out Brookland.

Also: Jesus Land? So, so good. (I also read Case Histories by Kate Atkinson this weekend. Also good--it's a literary mystery--but the ending bugged me. Not content-wise, but just in the sense that i was suddenly aware it was fiction.)