Reading: The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion, Swamplandia! by Karen Russell, Open Secrets by Alice Munro, Start Where You Are by Pema Chodron. Recently read Too Much Happiness by Munro and Pure by Andrew Miller.
Watching: Mad Men! The second series of Game of Thrones.
Listening: Verdi’s Requiem, the new Beach House album, Chairlift, Torche — trying to decide on that one. Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros. Looking forward to hearing the new Silversun Pickups album.
Eating: Butter Crinkles, black spaghetti with clam ragu. Loads of spinach.
Browsing: Into the Gloss, it’s like Staff Stacks for makeup, Pitchfork, Girls of a Certain Age because I am indeed of a certain age and I’m always going to be interested in Sassy-related people and projects.
Reading: AJ Jacobs’ Drop Dead Healthy. Excerpt: “The treadmill was invented as a way to punish prisoners in Victorian England … (until) banned in 1902 for cruelty.” And almost done with The Christ Myth Theory and Its Problems by Robert Price. I agree whole-heartedly with Price’s title.
Just read: Peter Cameron’s Coral Glynn. Something Jane Austin would have written in 1950 if edited by Hemingway first, then Thurber second. Tasty, against-the-grain writing style and subversive narrative reflections make his potentially pathetic characters comically endearing.
Watching: Current season of Mad Men and a random Modern Family episode here or there. Some nice directorial touches for MM.
Just Watched: Les Miserables for the 5th time. Today’s 99% need better writers. And The Avengers. I tried to be disappointed, but I failed in a big way.
Listening: John Buchan’s 2nd Richard Hanay novel, Greenmantle, on Audible. His first novel was The 39 Steps, the novel that inspired Hitch’s movie. Buchan writes simple, but effective, low-tech spy thrillers. Trying to like the new CD by Norah Jones, but something’s missing there, like she’s trying to hard to sound like something a younger audience might like. Stick to your knitting Norah!
Reading: Since the last Staff Stacks, I have read The Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet for book club. It was a good read, although not destined to join the “canon.” I read the City of Joy by Dominique Lapierre. Would like to discuss this book with someone, so if you’ve read it, let me know. I re-read In the Time of the Butterflies by Julia Alvarez. This is one of my all-time favorite books—it’s historical fiction about the Mirabal sisters (“las mariposas”) who were murdered by the Trujillo regime in the Dominican Republic on November 25, 1960. I have read this book 3 or 4 times and love it every time. I also just finished reading The How of Happiness—a fascinating book about what makes us happy (and what doesn’t).
Watching: Haven’t watched anything worth noting except for a few hilarious John Stewart clips about the presidential election. Am about to watchFiddler on the Roof with the kids because I realized yesterday that Stuart has never seen it (gasp!).
Listening: I listened to Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother by Amy Chua. I read it last fall, but decided to listen to it in preparation for another book club. I liked hearing Chua read it. My daughter Marin (age 12) read it also. When I asked what she thought of it, she said, “Phew. That made me appreciate you and Dad. Seriously.”
Eating: While in Vancouver for a work trip, I ate some insanely good food. Thanks to a tip from a friend, I ate a massive fruit-filled waffle at The Elbow Room, I ate an amazing nutella and banana crepe, I ate Greek food, Lebanese food, and a syrupy sweet and huge Red Velvet cupcake.
Browsing: A few favorite articles I’ve read recently: Raising Religious (but not too religious) Children and Motherworkin’ II – Interruptibility.
Watching: The Five-Year Engagement (because the kids were asleep and Heather and I wanted to get out of the house and do something; it wasn’t bad) and Fiddler on the Roof (because the kids haven’t learned to adequately appreciate it yet).
Listening: American Idol (because the kids are into it and it’s fun watching it with them).
Eating: Whatever interesting food I can get my hands on in Nacogdoches TX (just had some great Phillipino food).
Browsing: Huffington Post, FB links from friends with interesting points of view.