I have read a few very good books lately. Here's a brief run-down, as well as a couple on my short "to read" list. Any suggestions I'm missing?
The Silver Star by Jeanette Walls. Years ago I read The Glass Castle and remembered really enjoying it. Full disclosure - I bought this book in the SFO Hudson News airport kiosk, as it seemed the pick of the litter. I read it all the way back east. And it was. Her descriptions of people and their interactions are true and lovely.
Going Clear - Hollywood, Scientology and the Prison of Belief by Lawrence Wright. This book is insane. The first hundred pages are a bit dense and then you feel as if you are reading science fiction, but nope, it happened. Wright did painstaking research and I recommend reading this NYT review for more info.
The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer. A piece was done on Meg yesterday on NPR. It is a great coming of age, Reality Bites type theme but with the creative detail and imagination of a wonderful story. Friendships change over time as life develops and plays out. These friends meet at summer camp, exploring their successes in life as viewed through their own lenses and their friends as they grow into adulthood. A great book.
The Most Of Nora Ephron. I gave this to a friend for our Secret Santa exchange. Wry humor about women in the world and all the roles we play and dodge and embrace. This is most of her essays over time compiled into one volume to keep for a long time.
One More Thing by GJ Novak. Honestly, I do not think about reading this book. A Cup of Jo's review convinced me to give it a shot, "It's one of those books you're excited to read at the end of a long day—you actually laugh out loud and then think about the story as you're falling asleep."
Monsters: The 1985 Chicago Bears and The Wild Heart of Football by Rich Cohen. I learned about this book from a WSJ review and knew I had to give it to R. This is a great book to give any guy (or girl!) in your life with a love for Chicago and the Bears. I gave it to R for Christmas, then gave it to his brother for his birthday, then we just gave his dad a copy for Valentine's Day. Sometimes you really hit the mark with a gift, and this did it.
January to April is high visitor season in these parts. Family and friends from the north trickle down in search of Vitamin D and in hopes of replenishing color to their extremities.
The first thing I do is a sweep of the guest bathroom in preparation of their arrival. This includes bleaching shower, sink and toilet; putting out fresh towels and bathmat. I put a new guest soap by the sink and in the shower, making sure there is tons of toilet paper below the sink (so no one has to ask). I keep my old blowdryer below the sink and also have a little first-aid kit with bandaids, nail clippers, Advil, and nail polish remover. On the back of the toilette I keep a stash of sunscreen and a bowl with q-tips and cotton balls. I try to put a single bloom on the sink and ta-daaaa the bathroom is ready for guests.
I literally do not understand skipping breakfast. I shut down mentally and the day is off to a hangry (hunger mixed with anger - anyone?) start. Some mornings I sit down in my kitchen, but most days I am eating in the car on the way to work or once I sit down at work to do my morning email scroll.
My weekday breakfast rotation is greatly helped by a Sunday afternoon meal prep which normally includes hard boiling 4-6 eggs to keep in the fridge for the week. I stock up on yogurts, put breakfast cereal in snack sized ziplocks in the fridge next to yogurt, and slice up fruit and keep in the fridge. I keep a jar of peanut butter at work so I can get protein with a piece of fruit or toast if I just grab an apple or banana with a slice of bread. Overnight oatmeal is a fun breakfast if I it prepare the night before. I will post on my overnight oats the next time I make it. Smoothies also make themselves into the mix, but I need to have enough time to prepare and clean up, so they are sprinkled a bit more rarely into my rotation.
I try to make my next day lunch when I'm cleaning up the kitchen from dinner and packing it all up so it is taken care of in that moment. Preparation my friends.
The hard boiled egg piece has gotten much better with time. My personal method is as follows -
- Use older eggs (not straight from the market), they peel easier.
- Put eggs in pot covered with room temp water and bring pot to a boil.
- Remove pot from heat, cover with lid, and set aside for 15 minutes.
- Have colander ready with some ice and with slotted spoon. Remove eggs and put in colander with ice water running over eggs sitting atop the ice.
- Clean up kitchen and then place eggs in bowl in fridge, peeling before eating.
Images via My Pinterest.
January flew. We had an out of town wedding, my mom came to Miami for a ladies staycation, and I just got back from a long work trip to DC and Baltimore. February I can already feel is going to move. This is quite different from living in the north, when this month is normally the slowest 28-9 days of the calendar year. The weather is beautiful in Miami. I am intent on doing plenty of things that I still have not seen nor experienced.
On my short list:
Coral Gables Farmer's Market (have been, but not yet this year!)
Knaus Berry Farm