Commonplace Book, 53

‘Tis the season around here. Your neck of the woods, too?

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:

What I’m reading:

  • I just finished The Girls at the Kingfisher Club by the whimsically name Genevieve Valentine, which was a serendipity-of-the-shelf thing which I went into with only the knowledge that it was a Jazz Age take on the Grimm fairy tale “The Twelve Dancing Princesses.” And I enjoyed it! It’s the tale of twelve sisters locked away in a Manhattan mansion for not being the male heir, who sneak out to Prohibition dance clubs. There’s a lot of emotional depth (even if I struggled to keep track of all twelve distinct sisters). I also found myself entranced by the staccato prose and hypnotically claustrophobic scenario, like the Bennet sisters on steroids. Jo, the oldest sister and protagonist of the tale, finds herself isolated by her role as “General,” protecting her sisters from their father and growing increasingly lonely:

Seeing them gathered at their table with their backs all turned to her made her want to crack open the emptiness she carried with her and leave it for them to clean up.

  • I read Flannery O’Connor’s Prayer Journal on a recent afternoon and felt a lot of feelings for a tiny book! My first was shock and concern — I shouldn’t be reading something so intimate and raw! Then I felt awe to see a little slice of Flannery unscripted. There were lines that inspired me and lines I identified with and lines that completely bamboozled me. But here, maybe, is my favorite: “I would like to be intelligently holy.”

Time Machine:

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