Food Tour NYC: SriPraPhai Thai Restaurant

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Borough: Queens
Neighborhood: Woodside
Address:6413 39th Ave
Woodside, NY 11377
Subways that will get you there: Take the local 7 train from Times Square towards Flushing Main St and get off at 69th st
Fare: EVERYTHING Thai food. Their menu is pages and pages and can be a little overwhelming, but it’s perfect for big groups, whether you have adventurous eaters or pad thai fanatics.

Favorite dish: Crispy Chinese Watercress Salad
Cons: can get crowded in the winter or when it’s raining because you lose the garden seating and the menu can be a little overwhelming

Why It’s A Favorite: There are dishes on the on the SriPraPhai menu other than the crispy Chinese watercress salad. There are a lot of dishes. And I’m sure some of them are really good. The two times I went to SriPraPhai, though, I always found myself wishing I just had a HUGE plate of this watercress salad instead of what I ordered for my main meal, because it’s just that good. It’s a salad that is worth the trek out to Queens if you’re staying in Manhattan. It might even be worth a subway ride from Brooklyn!

The watercress is fried and has a perfect crunch. The cashews add a nice topping. BUT THE SAUCE. The sauce is what makes this salad so amazing. The shrimp, seafood, and chicken are perfectly cooked and coated in a delicious vinegary, fish saucey dressing. It’s a little bit spicy, but not overwhelmingly so. I dream about this salad. And I’ve just never had it quite as good anywhere else.

As I mentioned, their menu is huge. You’re going to find something you like on this menu. I’m just saying, it’s probably going to be the crispy Chinese watercress salad.  And the thai iced tea.

SriPraPhai” by Robyn Lee is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0.

This post is a part of a series of restaurant reviews on Regular Rumination called Food Tour and also Weekend Cooking hosted by the wonderful Beth Fish Reads.

Top Ten Tuesday – Top Ten Books I Really Want To Read But Don’t Own Yet

The Top Ten Books I really want to read but don’t own/haven’t checked them out from the library yet are:

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1. Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage by Haruki Murakami – Have you seen this book? It’s a beauty. The online image of its cover does nothing for it. It’s a book you just have to see in person. A new Murakami is always a reason to head to the bookstore. I couldn’t get through 1Q84, but I plan on returning to it one day soon and trying again. This one seems much more manageable in size and I tend to like Murakami’s shorter novels better anyway.

2. Dreams of Gods & Monsters by Laini Taylor – So Daughter of Smoke & Bone is one of my favorite reads of 2014. It’s just so beautifully written and the story so interesting. I couldn’t wait to get my hands on Days of Blood & Starlight. I just finished that one and I didn’t love it nearly as much as Daughter of Smoke & BoneDaughter of Smoke & Bone felt effortless. Days of Blood & Starlight felt like it suffered from middle book syndrome, serving little purpose but to push the plot along, losing out on most of the beautiful language and storytelling that made Daughter of Smoke & Bone so wonderful to read. I am still excited for Dreams of Gods & Monsters, thoughand eager to finish this series.

3. Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater - This might be cheating, because this book isn’t even out yet, but I am so excited to read it. If you follow me on Twitter, you have probably heard me go on (and on) about the audiobooks for the Raven Cycle and how lovely they are and how perfectly calming and wonderful narrator Will Patton’s voice is. That being said, I don’t think I’ll be able to wait for the slow pace of audio to devour this one.

4. Yes, Please by Amy Poehler – There are few things that make me happier than Parks & Recreation and therefore there are few things that make me happier than Amy Poehler. I am ecstatic to read this memoir and I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy.

5. The Good Lord Bird by James McBride – When this won the National Book Award, it jumped to the top of my TBR, but I haven’t gotten my hands on a copy. I’ve been thinking about buying it for my shelves, but I’ve been on a pretty strict book buying ban for a while. It’s one I want to own, so it will just have to wait!

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6. The Nine: Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court by Jeffery Toobin - Every time something major happens with the Supreme Court, I have the same thought: I really don’t know enough about how the Supreme Court works. This is less an issue of buying this book or checking it out from the library, so much as finding it in my stacks of books and making it a priority to read! I shouldn’t wait for the next big decision by the Supreme Court to realize my ignorance… yet again.

7. Dangerous Women edited by George R. R. Martin and Gardner Dozois – Two of my very good friends (and trusted reading advisers) have read this and loved it, but I’ve been intimidated by the size of this one to take the plunge of either buying it or checking it out from the library. But I REALLY want to read it. It might be one I have to buy in ebook form!

8. Hawkeye Vol 1.: My Life as a Weapon by Matt Fraction, David Aja and Javier Pulido - Once again another case of library or own? LIBRARY OR OWN??

9. Trillium Vol. 1 by Jeff Lemire – I will read anything and everything Jeff Lemire works on, so I’m very excited for this latest comic collection from him.

10. The Savage Fortress by Sarwat Chadda – Okay, confession: I literally just heard about this book about 2 seconds ago. But just reading the description I know that I really want to read it. Also everything else that Sarwat Chadda has written.

toptentuesdayTop Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke & The Bookish.

Food Tour: Where to Eat in NYC

If we have ever spent a significant amount of time together in real life, you know that I like to eat. I like to eat good food, I’m an adventurous eater, I’m excited by a good, inexpensive restaurant and I get grumpy when a meal doesn’t live up to expectations. The hardest thing about leaving New York, other than missing my good friends who still live there, is leaving all that good food behind! The situation isn’t totally dire, there is plenty of excellent food where we are, but it is a little bit harder to find and we have to travel a little bit further to find it.

Since I can’t frequent my favorite NYC restaurants anytime I want anymore, I thought I could at least write about them. Then when you are in NYC for a visit, maybe BEA, you’ll have an idea of where to go for food. Unfortunately, you’re definitely going to have to travel away from the Javits Center! I was super broke for most of the time that I lived in New York, so most of the restaurants have meals for $5-$15 a person.

First Up:

Faicco’s Italian Specialties

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Borough: Manhattan
Neighborhood: West Village
Address: 260 Bleecker St
New York, NY 10014
Subways that will get you there: BDFM/ACE to West 4th St or the 1 to Christopher St
Fare: Italian, Subs, Butcher

Favorite dish: meatball sub, rice ball
Cons: no seating (go to Washington Square Park and eat your sub!), weird hours (they might just randomly be on vacation when you stop by)

Why It’s A Favorite: I will never live down the fact that Michael once said, “Let’s stop in at this place.” And I said, Nah, let’s keep walking. We lived in New York for a year before we ever went to Faicco’s and that was a wasted year, let me tell you. Faicco’s is a West Village butcher that also sells Italian dry goods, subs/hoagies, and pre-made Italian goodies like rice balls and lasagna you can take home and heat up yourself.

I finally ended up getting Faicco’s because I was homesick for my mom’s lasagna and I googled take out Italian. I ordered one of the meatball subs ($12) and it was like I had driven home to Mom’s. Seriously, this sub is so good and makes me think of Saturdays when my mom would have a huge pot of sauce simmering for hours. It’s the only meatball sub worth eating unless my mom makes it.

Faicco’s other subs are good, but they’re a little bit heavy on the meat. It’s good bang for your buck, but there is such a thing as too much deli meat on your sandwich. If you’re only going to get one sub here, and you don’t have any serious objections to meatballs, then just get the meatball. For real. No matter which sub you get, though, their bread is perfect.

Their rice balls ($1.50, if I’m remembering correctly) are super yummy, but if you’re getting them to go and you want to eat them right away, make sure you ask them to heat them up! Otherwise they expect you’re going to heat them up when you get home. Their fried raviolis aren’t that great, so just get two rice balls instead.

If you are planning to eat other meals the day you eat Faicco’s, maybe split a meatball sub with a friend or put the other half in the fridge. I swear it tastes just as good cold.

Faicco’s Italian Specialties” by Angela Rutherford is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0.

Top Ten Tuesday – 10 Books People Have Been Telling Me To Read

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1. The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett – My college roommate listened to these on audiobook this year and she’s been telling me to read them ever since. It’s not that I don’t want to, I’m just intimidated by the size! One day I’ll get to this series.

2. My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult – I’ve had so many people recommend this book and various other books by Jodi Picoult, but I’ve heard so many negative things about her books, and I admittedly spoiled this book for myself by googling the big twist ending. Is there anyone out there that wants to convince me otherwise?

3. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot – I feel like every blogger except for me has read this! I bought it for Michael for Christmas a few years ago, thinking I would eventually get to it too, but I haven’t yet. I know, I know. One day!

4. Unbroken by Lauren Hillenbrand – With this movie coming out in December, this book is everywhere. A lot of readers I know have recommended it to me.

5. The Shining by Stephen King – I feel like this is the one book by Stephen King that everyone has read… except for me. In fact, I’ve never seen the movie, and I’m pretty much ignorant of the entire plot, other than hotel, writer, creepy twins. I’m looking forward to reading this for the first time and seeing the movie for the first time. Maybe a good Halloween project this year?

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6. The Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien – Another one that everyone is shocked I haven’t read, but I tried several times when the movies first came out and I just couldn’t get into them. This summer, though, I picked up my sister’s copy of The Hobbit and suddenly I was interested again. I think my tastes have changed!

7. Me Before You by Jojo Moyes – Jojo Moyes seems to be everywhere and I’ve heard nothing but lovely things about her books.

8. All the Neil Gaiman books – Here is a secret: I don’t really like Neil Gaiman books. I haven’t found one I’ve loved, though I’ve certainly tried. I’ve read NeverwhereAmerican GodsCoraline, and Good Omens. I actually liked Good Omens quite a bit, but I’m pretty sure it just means that I like Terry Pratchett. I’m willing to keep trying, though, because everyone seems to like his books so much. I’ve also heard that the audiobook for American Gods is great, so I might try that again followed by Anansi Boys.

9. The Fever by Megan Abbott – I got this audiobook on Audible because there were so many excellent endorsements from bloggers! Plus… that cover!

10. Winger by Andrew Smith – And, finally, this is a book I keep recommending to myself, but never checking it out from the library or buying it. Mostly because the only thing I really like about it is the cover… it’s just so perfect. I keep coming across it online and in stores and reminding myself that I really must read this book one day. Anyone out there read this and loved it?

toptentuesdayTop Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke & The Bookish.

Bout of Books!

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Down to the very last minute, I’ve decided to participate in the Bout of Books! For a little bit more information about this readathon:

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, August 18th and runs through Sunday, August 24th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure, and the only reading competition is between you and your usual number of books read in a week. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 11 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. - From the Bout of Books team

I am pretty much a two books a week reader, some weeks it’s more, and some weeks it’s less, so it evens out over the year. Since the only goal of this week is read more than I usually read, my goal will be to read at least five books. I’d like to get started on my stack of books for the Diversiverse challenge in September and a few books I’ll be picking up from the library tomorrow. First up on my list is The Watch by Joydeep Roy-Bhattacharya. I was also craving some crime fiction when I went to the library last and I picked up Mind’s Eye by Hakan Nesser. It’s something a little bit different for me, so I’m looking forward to seeing if I like it!

Are you participating in the bout of books? What goals did you set for yourself?

A More Diverse Universe

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The wonderful Aarti at BookLust has been running A More Diverse Universe every fall for the past two years. In past years, she’s challenged bloggers to read science fiction and fantasy novels by people of color and post about them. The first year, it lead to me reading The Killing Moon and The Shadowed Sun by NK Jemisin. Just reading through this post again made me want to reread the series! They’re wonderful fantasy novels that I highly recommend. Lsat year, I had every intention of participating, but I didn’t quite make the date, but it did make me take a serious look at my reading habits and what I can do to make sure I’m reading more and more books by authors of color.

This year, Aarti is opening up the challenge a little bit. Instead of reading fantasy and science fiction books by an author of color, the task this year is to read and review any book by an author of color during September 14-27th. I also have a goal (that I’m woefully behind on) to read books on my TBR, so I pulled the books that I could reach (there are a few boxes in front of my bookshelves still unfortunately) from my shelves and I came up with a reading list. Here are my pool of titles!

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I don’t expect to finish all of these, but I think it’s a good selection that includes nonfiction, fiction, and poetry. Historical fiction and contemporary. A lot of these books are BIG though, so I’m not quite sure how many I’ll get through in the next three weeks, but hopefully I’ll have a few reviews for you during A More Diverse Universe.

If you’re interested in participating, head on over to Aarti’s post to sign up. I can’t wait to read your reviews!

 

Why do you go away? So that you can come back.

When I last posted here, I had an inkling that big changes were on the horizon. They were a possibility, an opportunity, a decision not yet made. But here we are, almost five weeks later and life looks so different. New state. New job (as of Monday). New apartment.

When I moved to New York, I wanted nothing more than to work in books. I was so fortunate that I got to do just that – I worked in the special sales department at a large independent book publisher for 3 years. It was amazing. I had the best coworkers anyone could ask for and I’m sad to leave them.

When I left Virginia and then North Carolina I had a feeling it wouldn’t be for forever. I missed my family and being a short drive away. There were things about New York that I could never get used to. When Michael got a job offer back in our home state, we just couldn’t let the opportunity go. Now, I can drive to see all of my sisters in one afternoon, something that felt impossible before. I’m halfway between my mom and my dad again, which is a good place to be.

I’m going to miss NY – the food, the movement, not needing a car. Don’t get me wrong, I love to drive, but I tried to figure out how I could take a train from Virginia to NY at 4AM without having to ask anyone to wake up super early to drive me and there was no way. I’ll miss being able to get off the subway and feel like I’m in a totally different city, a different version of New York. Mostly I’m going to miss the people. All of us, most of us, from all over the country, all over the world, who turned up there for one reason or another.

But I’m excited about all the things I missed about Virginia and DC. Beautiful, technicolor springs. Snow days. (I walked to work in a lot of snowstorms this year.) Quick errands. The ability to travel so many places in one day. I can get to Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York, Richmond, or Raleigh in 5 hours or less. Free museums. People, from all over the world, who have traveled to make this their home, making it an interesting and vibrant place. New York and DC have that in common.

And I’m excited for a completely new direction in my career. I will miss publishing, but I’ll always have something of a link to it through my blog. I’m determined to stay up-to-date with publishing news and new releases. But I just accepted a job at a nonprofit and I’m excited to be back in that world, too. It feels like the exact right decision.

I’ve missed writing about books and talking to you and now that things have settled and things are almost in order, I plan on being around here a lot more with renewed enthusiasm.

The title of this post is from Terry Pratchett’s A Hat Full of Sky. I haven’t read it, so I hope I’m not taking this quote completely out of context, but it felt very appropriate for how I’ve been feeling about returning to Virginia, about leaving NY, about switching careers. The full quote is: “Why do you go away? So that you can come back. So that you can see the place you came from with new eyes and extra colors. And the people there see you differently, too. Coming back to where you started is not the same as never leaving.” Life is full of choices that change the course of where we’re going and you never know how one or the other is going to affect things in the long term. I’m so looking forward to finding out, though.

10 Days of #100happydays

A good friend of mine jumped at the chance for #100happydays early. She’s almost done! And I hesitated for a long time – I didn’t want another project that I was sure to drop, especially when days got hard. Seeing more people join in, though, and seeing all their happy things? I caught the happy bug and now it’s been ten days of happy things. I have to say, there is something wonderful about planning ahead, picking the one thing that represents the things that made you happy that day. The best days are when you can’t pick what to do. There are the days where it’s a struggle, but I’ve been making myself go out and find a happy thing. I think this little project is doing what it’s meant to.

100happydays1. “Take Me to Church” by Hozier – I started #100happydays at about 9PM when the only thing making me happy was curling up into bed and going to sleep. Oh, and listening to this song on repeat.

2. A rose! When I was in college, I often passed by a florist on my way home from studying in a coffee shop. I would buy just one flower for a dollar or two and put it in an Orangina bottle on my desk. We were walking through Queens when I decided I wanted to do that again. Michael bought me this rose and I put it in a Cheerwine bottle and it’s living on our kitchen table.

3. “Pulaski At Night” by Andrew Bird – I used to listen to Andrew Bird all the time, but I didn’t fall in love with his last few albums and he sort of fell off my radar. Until I heard “Pulaski At Night” in the first episode of season 2 of Orange is the New Black. Hearing that song was like coming home. Needless to say, it’s been on repeat since. I’m only allowing myself one music post a week, though, because otherwise it feels like cheating. I’m not REALLY taking a picture of anything, just a screenshot.

4. Homemade Strawberry Popsicles – Last year Michael and I went crazy with our ice cream machine, which was awesome because homemade ice cream is infinitely better than the store stuff, unless you’re getting it at a small-batch ice cream shop (yes, I just got a little ice cream snobby – don’t get me wrong, pretty much all ice cream is good, but some ice cream is better than others). This year, though, we went a little bit lower maintenance and bought a popsicle mold. These were the first ones! And they’re delicious and so easy it’s silly. Just pour lemonade into the mold about 3/4 full, slice up some strawberries, freeze.

5. My best friend and college roommate (remember when we went to Luray Caverns together? #tbt) sent me a postcard with our cute faces on it. I immediately put it on my cube bulletin board of love, filled with post cards, birthday cards, photos of me and Kim at Sophisticated Dorkiness, Galentine’s Day cards, and pictures from my calendars that I like enough to stick on the wall. It makes me happy to look at every day.

6. Finally, ice cream from Big Gay Ice Cream, because it was a crappy day and this made it infinitely better. Plus a cameo from spiderman.

Not pictured: Some amazing times with friends (I don’t want to post these pictures without asking! They know the photo is up on Instagram, and that’s one thing, but I’d prefer asking them all before I posted it on the blog) and Thursday night’s #100happydays, which will almost certainly be a picture of The Three, because I can’t put it down at all.

 

On repeat this week.

The Family Crest – Beneath the Brine

I discovered the band The Family Crest listening to a radio station and I’m so happy I did because Beneath the Brine has been my go-to album this week. I love the song “Beneath the Brine,” but also “She Knows My Name” and “Love Don’t Go” and “Howl.” Beyond just being a great album, I love the story behind the band of two musicians who wanted something different and something they could be proud of, so they called up all their musician friends that they knew, and all the musician friends they knew and asked everyone to contribute to the album. There are something like 400 musicians who added instrumentation or back up vocals, with recordings done in living rooms, cafes, and churches around the country. You would think that would make the album sound disjointed, but it doesn’t at all. Every song sounds a little bit different, but in the best way.

Kishi Bashi – 151a

Something between Andrew Bird and Final Fantasy/Owen Pallett, with some Sufjan Stevens thrown in there, so you know, those are pretty much magic words to 2008-Lu. This album at once feels fresh and nostalgic, plus he’s from my home town, so I’m excited to support someone local! Like The Family Crest, every song sounds just a little bit different and Kishi Bashi is hard to pin down, hard to define, but that’s how I like it. Unlike The Family Crest, Kishi Bashi is just one guy and I don’t even understand how that’s possible. My favorite song on the album is probably “Wonder Woman, Wonder Me” but I think you’ll all really like “Manchester.” It’s the song that got me hooked on the album. Like Owen Pallett, it’s just so cool to see him in action, layering sounds by himself to make it sound like there’s a huge band behind him when it’s really just him making music on a loop. I’m absurdly excited to see him do this all live in a few weeks!

Stromae – Racine carré

I’m so thankful for tumblr for introducing me to Stromae and his crazy cool videos, but also his infectious songs. Sometimes it feels like it’s so hard to discover awesome international music, Stromae is Belgian and his songs are all in French, and this is a good reminder that I just need to try harder. I’m constantly looking for translations of Stromae’s songs when I listen, because he’s so good at communicating what’s going on in his videos and I feel like he has such interesting things to say. Plus it sounds pretty good, too.

Jamestown Revival – The California EP

“California (Cast Iron Soul)” has lovely lyrics with perfect harmonies and a great sound. And honestly that’s all you really need to know.

The season finale of Once Upon A Time

Okay, I know this isn’t a song. But I just wanted to talk about for a second how incredible I thought the 2-hour season finale was. If you haven’t watched it yet, spoilers below! You’ve been warned!

First – TIME TRAVEL. Have I mentioned how much I love time travel stories? No? Well I do. I really liked X-Men First Class, it got me into the X-Men stories in a way I’ve never cared about, but I’m absurdly excited for Days of Future Past because, obviously, TIME TRAVEL!!! I mean, obviously someone had to go back in time after every character except Zelena pretty much said that it was impossible, but I was so glad it was Hook & Emma. It was light-hearted, even among the changing-the-past drama, which was really needed, especially for Emma’s character. Plus, I’m pretty happy with Hook & Emma hanging out.

I’m also super into Regina & Robin Hood. I’m not a big shipper, I’ve just never gotten seriously invested in a couple, but I like Good Regina (though I sorely miss Evil Regina’s outfits) and I think Robin is just so wonderful, and I like them together. I knew that something horrible was going to happen at the end of this finale and I there is a moment 3/4 of the way through when everyone is happy. Robin & Regina are hanging out, Regina is getting to know Roland. Marian, as in Robin Hood and Maid Marian, is back!  I also had a hard time believing that Robin would have ever forgiven Regina for executing Marian, unless they’re going with he just didn’t know that that’s how she died, but I have a hard time believing that as well. This was my least favorite part of the episode because that just didn’t add up for me. It makes no sense! (Okay, after I wrote this up, I read that Robin DID NOT know that Regina executed Marian. So, all is well for continuity and logic etc.) I am, however, very happy that Roland has his mom back and Robin Hood his first true love. And I am kind of interested to see where this leads Regina, but at the same time… man, I am going to miss Happy Regina. The show runners are promising that this isn’t a return to evil Regina. That she’s grown and we’re going to get to see how she reacts to this as a new person.

Then that ending! I love that Once Upon A Time has so much story to play with. I think it’s interesting that they’re bringing in a character that’s so recent and I cannot wait to see where they go with it.

What’s on repeat for you this week?

What I’ve Been Reading…

I didn’t read too much in April, since I was traveling so much, but I did manage to finish a few books and this week I had a personal little readathon.

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The Vampire Academy series by Richelle Mead – My sister has been long telling me to read this series, claiming it was one of her favorites, but I was unconvinced. It sounded like a bad mashup of Twilight and Harry Potter. But my little sister reads every book I give her and she gave the first book for Christmas, so of course I read it. And, well, I thought it was just okay. It lingered on my desk for a while, when a coworker picked it up and read it. Then another. They moved onto the second book without me and assured me: it gets really good with the second book. So we started a little Vampire Academy book club, reading all the books in the series over the course of February and March. My sister was right! I’m sorry I ever doubted her. No, these books aren’t the most well-written books in the world, but they’re a ton of fun. The romance is steamy, the vampire lore is different enough to be interesting, and the heroine, Rose, is kick-ass but in a very real way. She can wield a stake with confidence and likes make-up and doing girly things with her best friend and is a little bit cocky and a little bit insecure.

Saga Vol. 2 & 3 by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples - This comic series is so good. If you haven’t started reading it please get to a comic store or bookstore and pick it up ASAP! The art is amazing, the story is perfect. I can’t get over how great it is at every turn. Please read!

This One Summer by Jillian Tamaki and Mariko Tamaki – I adored Skim when I read it a few years ago and I practically jumped for joy when I got my copy of This One Summer. This comic is lovely about that summer when you’re between the grown-up world and the kid world and how it can all seem so confusing. Do you want to build sand castles? Or talk to boys in the convenience store? It was all so perfectly rendered, I was immediately transported back to my own confusing summers. I loved Rose & Windy and their very flawed parents. Also highly recommended: this piece “Where Are All the Fat Girls in Literature?” by Mariko Tamaki.

Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson - I’m still not sure how I felt about this book, weeks later, but I think I really liked it. I found it to be occasionally slow, but I liked the narrative structure of it and I think that Jodi Lynn Anderson is a beautiful writer. It was an interesting variation on Peter Pan, but I do think ultimately it’s going to be pretty forgettable.

Various work books - I don’t often blog about my job, but BEA is coming up soon and I decided to try and read all the novels we’re publishing this fall before the show. I don’t sell a ton of fiction in my market segment (we’re more into very specific books, practical how-tos, and gifty impulse books), but I was so in love with the way everything was described at sales conference this year. I have to say, I’ve loved everything I’ve read so far! I have a few more I’d like to read in the next two weeks before BEA, but overall I think this is just a really strong fiction list and I’m eager to see all the wonderful things it does. I’ve read three books from Fall 2014 and one from Spring and none of them have disappointed.

What have you been reading?

This past month…

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I feel like so many things have happened and I don’t even know where to begin. The days all jumble together until I can’t tell one week apart from the other. I’ve traveled a lot – to Philadelphia, Virginia, North Carolina, Indianapolis. That picture up there is from my plane and that’s Cincinnati. Did you know that the Cincinnati airport is actually in Kentucky? I’ve worked. I made up for only reading one book the entire month of April (to be fair, it was A Feast of Crows) by reading 5 books this weekend (four comics, one novel). I’ve enjoyed good weather and bad. I’ve had wonderful news and horrible news and all the ups and downs that come with it. I’ve learned things about myself and feel like time has passed both too slowly and too quickly. All in all, I’m incredibly grateful that I got to just sit on my couch this weekend.

There have been times this past month when I didn’t miss blogging. A few afternoons when I thought I could give this up, probably. But there have been other days when my fingers have itched to write and I tried to let them write without a purpose, in a journal, in a google doc, and I missed this. What I really missed was you. I have felt a little bereft not knowing what’s going on in your lives. I’ve spent the past few days catching up – I’m sorry if I didn’t comment, but know that I read it and I want to know more! What has happened to you this month? What have you been reading? Tell me everything.

National Poetry Month Tour – Reach for the Horizon

I have been traveling a lot lately, the past four weekends to be exact and I’ll be traveling again this weekend. (Hence the lateness of this post! When I signed up, I was expecting to be home on Sunday night, but we decided to come home a day later.) I have seen thousands of miles of road and I’m craving a quiet weekend at home. Only one more weekend! Fortunately, there’s a poem for everything, so I thought I’d share this lovely one by Charles Tomlinson that expresses my feelings exactly. I wonder if there is some ambiguity at the end, about longing for travel while at the same time savoring in being home? I feel that, too. Against Travel by Charles Tomlinson

These days are best when one goes nowhere,
The house a reservoir of quiet change,
The creak of furniture, the window panes
Brushed by the half-rhymes of activities
That do not quite declare what thing it was
Gave rise to them outside. The colours, even,
Accord with the tenor of the day—yes, ‘grey’
You will hear reported of the weather,
But what a grey, in which the tinges hover,
About to catch, although they still hold back
The blaze that’s in them should the sun appear,
And yet it does not. Then the window pane
With a tremor of glass acknowledges
The distant boom of a departing plane.
Click here to read more of the posts in this month’s National Poetry Month blog tour hosted by the lovely Serena at Savvy Verse & Wit.