Monthly reading roundup June 2016

WHAT I READ IN JUNE

17884042Still Life With Breadcrumbs by Anna Quindlen. This is the kind of book you drag around with you everywhere because you don’t want to put it down but your life insists on continuing without you. I cannot say what made these characters and this story so compelling: they just were. No frills, just damn good writing.

29340182Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman by Lindy West. I think what I tweeted about this halfway through is still the best summary (pardon the typo):

12325117Kamisama Kiss, Vol. 7 by Julietta Suzuki.

12566298Kamisama Kiss, Vol. 8 by Julietta Suzuki.

13183545Kamisama Kiss, Vol. 9 by Julietta Suzuki.

30166675American Gods by Neil Gaiman. I got burned out on classical “high” fantasy (dragons and elves and whatnot in a sort of alternate earth where it’s perpetually the middle ages) when I was a teenager and it still makes my stomach turn. But this here is my kind of fantasy: the old gods (Norse, Native American, Indian, African, Slavic, you name it) versus the new gods (TV, cars, airplanes, media) on the vast back roads of Americana. Like Supernatural, but both deeper and funnier. I’m antsy for the TV version now.

13183547Kamisama Kiss, Vol. 10 by Julietta Suzuki.

211478Japanese Women Don’t Get Old or Fat by Naomi Moriyama. Less silly than I expected, and more scientific. Still follows the largely anecdotal format of lifestyle diet books set forth by French Women Don’t Get Fat, but that’s OK, because it still contains solid advice.

25897960Marrow Island by Alexis M. Smith. I love me some local fiction. This compelling, atmospheric story time-hops around a story that takes place in both the Oregon wilderness and two small San Juan Islands.

INCOMPLETE

6000153Start Your Own Restaurant Business and More: Pizzeria, Coffeehouse, Deli, Bakery, Catering Business by Jacquelyn Lynn. I skimmed this, while taking copious notes, because I have a complicated fantasy in which I run a very small bakery and breakfast-only restaurant. So the pizzeria chapter and the bar chapter didn’t apply to me, nor did anything having to do with employees because I don’t want any employees.

23398646The French Beauty Solution: Time-Tested Secrets to Look and Feel Beautiful Inside and Out by Mathilde Thomas. This sounded like a great idea when I was looking at it on the library’s website, but when it showed up on the hold shelf and I saw that it included a “detox diet” my spirits sagged. I didn’t want quackery, I wanted time-tested advice on simple beauty habits. There were some of those, and I have to hand it to the author for not simply recommending her own desperately expensive products as the answer to everything (I also didn’t know about that bias before I put a hold on the book) so it wasn’t a complete loss.

22890270Better Than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives by Gretchen Rubin (Audiobook). I plan on re-reading this in the future. I was really enjoying it, as I had the other books I have read by Gretchen Rubin, but I was away from the computer most of the first weekend of June and my loan expired before I could finish listening to it.

10515837The Bhagavad Gita: A Walkthrough for Westerners by Jack Hawley. I was reading this a few pages at a time before bed but I couldn’t finish it at that rate before the library wanted it back.

4620248The Beauty Diet: Looking Great Has Never Been So Delicious by Lisa Drayer. This book really could have been an article. Rarely have I read anything so repetitive. However, the science is sound (these foods are really good for you and getting your vitamins and minerals and antioxidants from food sources rather than supplements has been proven to be more effective) and by “diet” the author does not mean “weight loss diet” but rather the now almost-archaic original meaning of “a selection of foods habitually eaten.”

996251Women Who Run with the Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estés. This is one of those books that crops up in the bibliographies of other books all the time, so I felt compelled to read it. But I just couldn’t hack it. The analogies and “lessons” the author draws out of the stories she relates seem pulled out of thin air to me. I could see no correlation at all between the folklore and the morals the author perceived in them.

COOKBOOKS

24693655Protein Ninja: 100 Plant-Based Recipes for Hardcore Soups, One-Pot Meals, and Saucy Bowls That
Pack a Protein Punch
by Terry Hope Romero. There was nothing in here I wanted to eat. It was all very strange stuff, full of pea protein and unobtainable flours and whatnot. I was expecting clever uses for tofu and beans, not this science-project stuff.

27415846Food & Wine Annual Cookbook 2016 ed. by Dana Cowin. Food & Wine is always good stuff. I will be trying about four recipes from this mouthwatering collection.

— Amanda

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