Monthly reading roundup May 2016


23848562Killing and Dying: Stories by Adrian Tomine. I don’t even remember where I first heard of Adrian Tomine but I have his Scrapbook and I never tire of it. His stories are drawn with simplicity and precision sometimes bordering on minimalism. He knows how to tell a story and he specializes in melancholy.

11343537Kamisama Kiss, Vol. 6 by by Julietta Suzuki.

1281393Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman. I see now why this is such a beloved book.i Wonderfully atmospheric, with fully-formed characters. Definitely something that would bear repeated readings.

10098617The How of Happiness: A Scientific Approach to Getting the Life You Want by Sonja Lyubomirsky (audiobook). I may have to read this again, in book form. The author is a researcher who has actually tested and studied the tests of other researchers on what really and truly creates lasting happiness. Much of what her research shows works are things I already practice, but there were other insights I would like to revisit. Also, there are lots of tests and evaluations for you to run on yourself.

15077298Paradise Lot: Two Plant Geeks, One-Tenth of an Acre, and the Making of an Edible Garden Oasis in the City by Eric Toensmeier, Jonathan Bates. I am not a permaculture person but I still found this memoir very interesting.

56478Party of One: The Loners’ Manifesto by Anneli Rufus. YES. Rufus hits the nail on the head about being a loner: we don’t hate people – we just want to be alone. We have friends. We are not “hiding” in our homes. We are not stuck up, we are not perverts, we are not socially inept. A point she brilliantly hammered home was the the headline “loners” who kill are never loners in the real sense – they are alone, not loners. They don’t want to be alone, but rather have alienated anyone who might have wanted to be around them.

9849425French Toast by Harriet Welty Rochefort (Audiobook). Interesting at times, but mostly very complainy. And I’ve got a complaint of my own about that cover: does that cover say middle-aged mother to you? It sure didn’t to me.


22752444Drawn & Quarterly: Twenty-five Years of Contemporary Cartooning, Comics, and Graphic Novels ed. by Tom Devlin. I admit it, I just read the comics and didn’t read the articles.

16059656The Property by Rutu Modan. I placed a hold on this and picked it up when it came in but once I had it on my own shelf I no longer wanted to read it. This happens sometimes, but it makes me feel like a bad person.


A+ cover image, amirite?

Walden and other writings by Henry David Thoreau. I was already aware that Thoreau didn’t really live the monkish life of seclusion and self-sufficiency that he claimed, but I was willing to read this semi-memoir anyway for the slice-of-life stuff: descriptions of his idyllic days in the forest and garden alone except for animals. But I only made it through 30 pages of off-topic rants before I gave up. If I wanted to listen to some old white guy bitch about modern technology and “young people these days” I’d just go to Facebook. If you want a book by a guy who really did build a cabin in the middle of nowhere, by hand, and lived there alone year-round (except for occasional deliveries of beer and TP) and who can really make you pine for the pines with his prose, get you a copy of Dick Proenneke’s One Man’s Wilderness, or the DVD version Alone in the Wilderness.


25747157My Kitchen in Rome: Recipes and Notes on Italian Cooking by Rachel Roddy. Nothing appealed to me. The food was simple, which I like, with the emphasis on the ingredients, which I like, but the combinations of ingredients were all off-putting to me.

13167803Keepers: Two Home Cooks Share Their Tried-and-True Weeknight Recipes and the Secrets to Happiness in the Kitchen by Kathy Brennan, Caroline Campion. Lots of photocopying going on here. Nothing complicated, but everything sounded very delicious.

12798803Jamie Oliver’s Food Escapes: Over 100 Recipes from the Great Food Regions of the World by Jamie Oliver. Jamie Oliver has never let me down. Photocopies made.

15791048One Pan, Two Plates: More Than 70 Complete Weeknight Meals for Two by Carla Snyder. Does what it says on the tin. And sounds delicious. This came to the photocopier with me.

16071724The French Market Cookbook: Vegetarian Recipes from My Parisian Kitchen by Clotilde Dusoulier. I have been watching Rachel Khoo (♥) and I’m trying to go vegetarian again, so this seemed like a winner. But sadly, nothing cried “eat me!”

— Amanda


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