We did some amazing dodging this week. First off were two days of dust storms that prompted the National Weather Service to issue the first dust storm warning since… the Great Depression? No one could remember one of those happening around here since the 1930s. Then we had two days of severe thunderstorms that dropped baseball-sized hail and tornadoes on towns not so far away, but we just had thunder, lightning, and rain. It’s been a busy month for weird weather!
Otherwise, it’s been a beautiful week. The trees are filling up with leaves, and the pear blossoms are starting to fall off the trees, making it look like it’s snowing again. The redbud trees are in full bloom, too, happily. I’d thought the cold April would kill those blossoms, but there they are, accenting the city with red and purples. It’s perfect weather for going out for a walk.
It’s been a good week for reading, too, though I need to finish a couple of the books I’m in the middle of before I get too ambitious with my TBR.
This week I finished:
- Six-Gun Snow White by Catherynne M. Valente
- A Novel Bookstore by Laurence Cossé
- The Speed of Dark by Elizabeth Moon
The Speed of Dark was not a book I had planned to read at the beginning of the week, but I decided that, since science fiction and fantasy are my favorite genres, I should see about reading more Hugo and Nebula Award winning books. I wrote down the winners of each from 1980 to now and put as many of them as were available on my Overdrive Wishlist, and downloaded The Speed of Dark during a quiet moment at work. The story is mostly told from the point of view of Lou Arrendale, a man with autism, who has the opportunity to undergo a medical process that will make him ‘normal’. It’s beautifully told, and I’m still pondering whether or not I like the ending. I think I do.
- The Conference of the Birds by Farid ud-Din Attar- I try to read at least ten pages every night, so my progress is slow but steady.
- The Crystal Cave by Mary Stewart, audiobook narrated by Derek Perkins
- The Sound of Waves by Yukio Mishima
I checked out Alison Weir’s Queens of the Conquest from the library last week, but I haven’t started it yet. Other library selections include Mary Morris’s Nothing to Declare: Memoirs of a Woman Traveling Alone, Tim Crane’s The Meaning of Belief: Religion from an Atheist’s Point of View, and two books by Conn Iggulden: The Abbot’s Tale and Ravenspur, which is the fourth and final book of his Wars of the Roses series.
It’s all about British history this week, it seems, assuming I don’t stumble across something I’m not expecting.
I watched season four of the Netflix series, The Chef’s Table. It’s beautifully shot, and I’ve learned a lot about food and cooking, but I’m getting a little tired of so many egotistical men, especially given that this season is all about pastry makers. Worldwide, most pastry makers are women, but of the four people profiled in this season, there was only one woman, Christina Tosi, founder of Milk Bar in New York.
I appreciate her view of baking– you bake for other people so they can have something joyful in their day. She doesn’t only want to make food for people who have a certain amount of money or time, but for anyone who has a few minutes and a few dollars to stop in and buy a cookie. It’s a lovely philosophy of food, especially when compared to the other pasty chefs profiled, who work in high end restaurants or in exotic locales, whose philosophy boils down to “My creations push the envelope of fine dining!” I’m not interested in that, but Tosi’s views make me want to hop on an airplane and go to New York just to go to Milk Bar.
Speaking of bakeries, a Central American bakery opened up a week or so ago just a block away from me. I stopped in on my day off to see what it was all about, and I’ll definitely be going back! They make these wonderful cookies that need no sprinkles or frosting or anything else to taste amazing! They make tres leches cakes, too, but they were out when I went in, so I will have to try them another time. While the Mexican bakery downtown has more selection, you can’t beat a lovely little place that’s a thirty second walk away.
I don’t care about the upcoming royal wedding, but I saw this tea by Harney & Sons while I was waiting in line at the Barnes & Noble cafe, and I couldn’t resist giving it a try. I mean, white tea and rosebuds? Who can pass that up? It’s a wonderful blend, with just enough sweetness from the roses. I doubt it will be around for long, so give it a try while you can!