Sunday Sum-Up

The temperature has risen to freezing at last. Time to open the windows!

Literally. I have steam heating that I can’t control. It was 84°F  when I got home the other day, which is a bit warm for the indoors, so I opened the windows a little to help balance out the heat and it’s been quite comfortable since then.

Sometimes life is a little weird.

A whole week into 2018, I’ve been doing well with my New Year’s resolutions. I’ve been using Duolingo every day to study French in the morning and Dutch in the evening. Why Dutch, you ask? Well, I had accidentally selected Dutch as a language to learn way back before I went to Ireland. I’d intended to study some Irish, selected Dutch by mistake, and because Duolingo doesn’t let you remove a language (that I can see, anyway) it’s been on my profile ever since. Because it was just sitting there on my profile, looking all lonely with its 0xp, I decided to go ahead and study Dutch. So far I’m pretty lost, but I do know the word for sandwich: boterham.

Ik eten een boterham. I eat a sandwich.  Important stuff, that. I’ll get there someday…

I haven’t been cooking so much, mostly due to my baking spree last weekend. I had enough leftovers to last a few days, and there were two dinners out with friends- our usual Wednesday night dinner, and then I took a friend out for his birthday on Friday night. We went to the Indian restaurant downtown, which has long been one of our favorite places. But I do have intentions of making a cottage pie later this afternoon, and another go at an Icelandic rúgbrauð. The one I made last weekend turned out really well! And because we’re expecting a bit of a winter storm later on, I’m planning to stay inside all afternoon anyway.

As far as books go, I’ve read or finished three titles this week alone! With two of them, I was glued to the book until the last page, and the third I was powering through until I finished it.

The two books I loved:

The book I didn’t love so much:

  • Behold the Dreamers by Imbolo Mbue- This is a brilliantly written book about a family of Cameroonian immigrants struggling to make it in New York City as the 2008 financial collapse is happening. Jende and Neni are compelling characters and Mbue’s writing is wonderful, but it is not a happy book. It is an important book. Do I recommend reading it? Yes. Is it one of my favorites? No.

My current read is Tahir Shah’s Travels with Myself, which is a compilation of some of Shah’s travel writing across twenty-five years. It’s definitely an interesting book, but I could do with fewer essays about how Shah and his family moved to Morocco on a whim and bought and renovated a house there.

I’m planning to start reading Laura Esquivel’s Like Water for Chocolate today or tomorrow. It’s a buddy read with Danielle at Books, Vertigo & Tea, and is my first foray into Mexican books. It was a massive bestseller when it came out in 1989, and that always makes me leery. I’ve had a lousy record with major bestsellers, but it was one of the top selling books of all time in Mexico, so it is important to readers there. It looks pretty amazing from the synopsis.


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