Commonplace Book, 16

What is a commonplace book? For me, this is a space where I post interesting links, reflections on what I’m reading, and the newest recipes I’ve been trying out — a collection of miscellaneous micro-posts.

What I’m fixing:

  • Pesto bread in the bread machine, using the last of my kale pesto and served with the roasted garlic compound butter, both of which I made a week or two ago.
  • Pizza — with the help of J, of course.

What I’m reading:

  • We are still on a fairy tale kick and things have gone smoothly, with the exception of the time we had Zelinsky’s Rapunzel from the library and got to the part where the prince is blind and wandering the woods and Rapunzel is a banished single mother and…that was the end of the book. A page was missing. I called the library and (cheerfully, I hope) suggested this might be a good candidate for weeding. Anyway, I was pleased to come across this list of picture book versions of fairy tales.
  • I’m finally really getting into the Throne of Glass series my sister in law loves, three books in. Besides the obvious similarities to the Graceling series, they kind of remind me of the world of His Dark Materials: dark and sprawling with ominous shadows around the edges that suggest a real, living universe. Get this:

“Across the White Fangs and the Ruhnns, all the way to the Western Wastes and the red-haired queen who ruled from a crumbling castle. To the Deserted Peninsula and the oasis-fortress of the Silent Assassins. Hooves, hooves, hooves, echoing through the continent, sparking against cobblestones, all the way to Banjali and the riverfront palace of the King and Queen of Eyllwe…”

I mean, it’s no Middle Earth, but I’ll take it.

  • Maybe I’m prejudiced because this is my book club, but I loved Abbey’s recent post on making time for a book club and tackling the hard stuff in capital-L Literature.
  • I spent last week staying with a friend who’s got a two-month-old at home and also just started homeschooling, and so this piece on not equating the cleanliness of your home with your success or self-worth rang especially true. Also, I am writing this while surrounded by boxes and unopened mail and half-emptied suitcases from our trip. So.
  • The Dog Stars, which I finished finally, and I’m glad I did. It’s terribly violent and lacks punctuation in a way that makes it almost garbled to read, but it’s also so lovely and wistful and ultimately hopeful. (Hang in there!) It’s the story of Hig, a man living a decade after the collapse of society, in a mostly empty landscape, flying the countryside in an old plane, his dog beside him:

“Squint and I can imagine someone in the yard. Someone leaning to hook a spreader to the tractor. Someone thinking Damn back, still stiff. Smelling coffee from an open kitchen door. Someone else hanging laundry in a bright patch. Each with a litany of troubles and having no clue how blessed. Squint and remake the world. To normalcy. But.”

autumn dreaming, with orchard-picked apple, last week in MA, where it’s almost properly cool now

2 thoughts on “Commonplace Book, 16

  1. I know I’m forever commenting on your posts…but I can’t help it.

    I remember being spellbound by the Zelinsky Rapunzel as a kid.

    Also, I feel like you’re helping me get back into ya fantasy lit. My sister and I used to read and discuss it all the time. But when I went to college, I basically only read things for class. And ever since I graduated I struggle with feeling like I’m supposed to stick to my list of must-read-to-be-cultured books. So that Throne of Glass passage is making me miss it 🙂


    • It took me getting into a young adult lit class my first semester of library school before I could dive back into less-Great but totally compelling reading. It was a tough transition from Austen & Pals to captivating fluff, but I think there is room for both in life. (At least if there’s ever room for tv and magazines…)

      Also, judging by your blog I am pretty sure we are locked in some kind of mind meld! Keep commenting — I love it 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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