Friday, November 16, 2007

Schmorgasboard

--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.)

5 comments:

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.)