The Elusive Next Issue and Books (again)

Hello out there. It’s been an entire year since there was a new issue of QSB Magazine. I haven’t abandoned the magazine but I do have a continuing loss of mojo. So, no more promises about a particular date for the new issue. I hope there will be one in the not-too-distant future. That’s all I can tell you for now.

But, I have been reading (and failing to start a new book club with a friend of mine). Over the past couple of months I’ve really enjoyed the following:

The Humans by Matt Haig. The Taste Tester found this one for me and I’m glad that he did.




The End of Night: Searching for Natural Darkness in an Age of Artificial Light by Paul Bogard. The title sums it up. A sad but hopeful read.




The Black Count: Glory, Revolution, Betrayal, and the Real Count of Monte Cristo by Tom Reiss. If you ever loved Alexandre Dumas’s The Count of Monte Cristo (or his other books), this one’s for you.



What have you particularly enjoyed reading lately?



We’ve Lost Barbara Mertz

The author of one of my favorite mystery series passed away this morning. Barbara Mertz wrote the Amelia Peabody books under the name “Elizabeth Peters.” Loved those books; I might have to revisit some of my favorites soon. Here’s an obit from USA Today. Her “Barbara Michaels”  books are good reads too.

Hello Bandwagon

Place on hold list for The Cuckoo's CallingThis morning when I finally got around to reading the news, I rushed to my library’s website to put J.K. Rowling’s new mystery on hold. I’m not anywhere near the beginning of the line but 82 people will have a longer wait than I. Although they already own 7, my library system has ordered an additional 45 copies of the book–wonder if they’ll have to wait for a new printing?

If you don’t know what I’m talking about, NPR explains.

Foodie Fangirl Moments

The Winter 2012/2013 issue of the magazine took a lot more time than usual (have you seen it?) and I fell behind on my perusal of forthcoming books.  Allow me to jump with joy and excitement for a moment (*sPrOiNg*). New books are coming out by some of my favorite authors:

Michael Pollen’s Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation and Deborah Madison’s new cookbook, Vegetable Literacy: Cooking and Gardening with Twelve Families from the Edible Plant Kingdom, both arrive next month.

What books are you looking forward to?

Serendipitous Reading List

I had a really good weekend, Y’All.  I came sooooo close to finishing the magazine (it’ll be out this week–promise!), The Taste Tester gave me a box of new cameras (all of them much older than I), it’s no longer January, and I discovered a reading list in the library book I was reading (a book I was reading to review for the magazine at that).  So, I can’t turn down serendipity (at least in this case).  I’m going to read all the books on the list this year (along with all my regular reading).  Here’s the list (minus the one being reviewed in the magazine so as to maintain the surprise) for posterity:

The Heart Broke In by James Meek

The Salt God’s Daughter by Ilie Ruby

Paris in Love: A Memoir by Eloisa James

We Are Now Beginning Our Descent by James Meek

Of Men and Their Mothers by Mameve Medwed

Have you read any of these?  What have you been reading lately?


It’s Library Card Sign-Up Month

library card sign-up month image from ALAIf you don’t have a library card, consider going to your nearest branch to sign up for one.  It’s easy and free.

Search for your local public library branch (U.S) here.  Find out more about the Sign-up month here.

So, what have you been reading lately?  I’m currently reading The Taste of War: World War II and The Battle for Food by Lizzie Collingham.  Yep, I got it at the library.


This week we’re celebrating what would be the 100th birthday of Julia Child who was born on August 15, 1912 and died 8 years ago today on August 13, 2004.

Cover of Dearie: The Remarkable Life of Julia Child by Bob SpitzSince it’s been so hot and I’ve had no desire to go outside in the late afternoons, this weekend was the perfect time to read the new biography that was released last week, Dearie: The Remarkable Life of Julia Child by Bob Spitz.  It covers her entire life (unlike other books I’ve read that focused on the cookbook years) and I have a new appreciation for how Julia Child managed to reinvent herself and just how much of a pioneer she really was.  A good read.  Notes: The photographs don’t come across well on the Kindle edition (they never do) but the author has most of them on his website.  Also, about 40% of the book is notes, bibliography, and index so it’s not as hefty a read as it appears on first glance.

Other Julia Child books that I’ve enjoyed in the past:

My Life in France by Paul Prud’Homme and Julia Child

As Always, Julia: The Letters of Julia Child and Avis DeVoto by Joan Reardon

The Julia Child portion of Julie & Julia is fun.  If they ever re-release the movie with just the Meryl Streep/Julia Child portion, I’d like it even more.

Our heat wave has yet to break so cooking some of her recipes may or may not happen but we will be devoting our prose (& heat wave relief) to Julia Child this week.

Five Acre “Farm” Fantasy

When things get a little rough around the edges, I start fantasizing about going back to the land.  I play the Five Acre “Farm” Fantasy game and pretend that The Taste Tester and I could be self-sufficient on that little acreage (yeah, we probably could but…).  My “farm” will have regular row crops and fruit trees and olive trees.  Beehives, of course.  Also some sheep.  And chickens.

Although T3 and I certainly haven’t ruled out fleeing the city for country life, we haven’t made any steps in that direction either.  Instead, I feed the flames of fantasy by reading books about people who have actually made the switch.  If this is your fantasy too (and we’re certainly not alone if the number of titles about this subject is any guide), the following books will make for great escapism:

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver

Fifty Acres and a Poodle by Jeanne Marie Laskas

The Dirty Life by Kristin Kimball

The Quarter Acre Farm by Spring Warren (this one is about staying put but growing/eating locally)

Farm City by Novella Carpenter (this is also about staying put and creating an urban farm…I woudn’t keep bees on my balcony, though)

Transit of Venus

For you astronomy buffs, today’s the transit of Venus.  That’s when you’ll see the silhouette of the planet as it passes in front of the sun.  It should start just after 3 p.m. PDT for western North America–if you’re in Asia, Australia, or most of Europe the transit is on June 6.  Don’t look at the sun without the proper protection!  Sunglasses are not proper protection.  Here are Sky & Telescope’s tips for viewing the transit.  If you miss this one, the next one will be in 2117 (so don’t miss this one).

The Day the World Discovered the Sun by Mark Anderson

Related book note: there’s a new book out, The Day the World Discovered the Sun: An Extraordinary Story of Scientific Adventure and the Race to Track the Transit of Venus by Mark Anderson regarding the June 1761 & 1769 transits of Venus.  Kirkus called it “a scientific adventure tale” and I have to agree.  Good reading!