janemarieprice's 2020 reading

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janemarieprice's 2020 reading

1janemarieprice
Muokkaaja: kesäkuu 12, 2020, 1:23pm

Hi, I'm Jane and have been a member of Club Read on and off since 2009, and mostly off the past 5 years. I typically read classic literature, some contemporary and popular nonfiction, and fantasy/sci-fi. I’ve been simultaneously bogged down but also reading a lot lately with the shutdown, but primarily light fantasy stuff.

Currently Reading:
The History of the Siege of Lisbon byJose Saramago
Designing for Empathy: Perspectives on the Museum Experience
Atlas of Remote Islands by Judith Schalansky

Completed:
The Sparrow by Maria Doria Russell
Battersby: Extraordinary Food from an Ordinary Kitchen by Joseph Ogrodnek, Walker Stern, and Andrew Friedman
Echo in Onyx by Sharon Shinn
Echo in Emerald by Sharon Shinn
Echo in Amethyst by Sharon Shinn
Fantastic Hope edited by Laurell K. Hamilton
Star of the Morning by Lynn Kurland
Staying Dead by Laura Anne Gilman
Palimpsest by Catherynne Valente

2dchaikin
kesäkuu 3, 2020, 9:32am

It’s really nice to see your thread here.

3LadyoftheLodge
kesäkuu 3, 2020, 2:41pm

Hi there, and welcome! We don't seem to read the same kinds of stuff, but that makes things more interesting.

4janemarieprice
kesäkuu 3, 2020, 3:26pm

>2 dchaikin: Thanks! Things got pretty hectic in life for a while there but I'm hoping the extra time at home will help ease me back in to LT.

>3 LadyoftheLodge: Thanks!

5janemarieprice
kesäkuu 3, 2020, 3:59pm

Star of the Morning by Lynn Kurland

I picked this up because I read a short story set in this world in an anthology and liked it. It is a fairly solid sword and sorcery romantic fantasy. There’s a mysterious magical menace, closer to home infighting, and misunderstandings galore. Pretty light read but exactly what I’m in the mood for these days.

Fantastic Hope edited by Laurell K. Hamilton

This anthology has a great premise - all the stories end on a high note of some kind - but as a whole it was pretty weak. I got it for the one Sharon Shinn short story which was delightful. There were a handful of others that were nice but not spectacular. In general there was a good deal of urban fantasy / sci-fi which isn’t a particular favorite of mine - detailed descriptions of guns...snore.

Battersby: Extraordinary Food from an Ordinary Kitchen by Joseph Ogrodnek, Walker Stern, and Andrew Friedman

Many things made leaving NY easy, but the closing of this wonderful restaurant was high on the list. I had several wonderful meals at this tiny 20’ wide place with an even tinier kitchen tucked in the back corner. I’m looking forward to many wonderful pasta and fish dishes to make from these. First up: Striped Bass with Braised Fennel and Tomato Confit.

6kidzdoc
kesäkuu 4, 2020, 9:15am

Welcome back, Jane! I'm glad to see that you're reading The History of the Siege of Lisbon, which is on my reading list for this month.

Striped Bass with Braised Fennel and Tomato Confit

Ooh...please let us know how that turns out.

7janemarieprice
kesäkuu 4, 2020, 10:26am

>6 kidzdoc: Hi Darryl, nice to be back. Saramago is one of my absolute favorites and so far this one is not disappointing.

8kidzdoc
kesäkuu 4, 2020, 10:29am

>7 janemarieprice: Excellent. I'm also a huge Saramago fan, and your and Mark's comments about The History of the Siege of Lisbon make me want to start it straight away.

I'm slowly working my way through Journey to Portugal, as a replacement for what was supposed to be a month long stay in Lisbon to take a course in Intensive Portuguese and explore possible places to live after I retire.

9janemarieprice
kesäkuu 11, 2020, 3:12pm

Staying Dead by Laura Anne Gilman

I picked this up after reading one of Gilman’s short stories in an anthology. I’m usually not that enthused with urban fantasy, but this was a great example of that genre. Gilman has a great way with dialog which made the main character really enjoyable to spend time with. She also did a good job dropping little bits of history, much that didn’t affect the plot, but it gave the feeling of reality to the personalities and world without a big info dump.

10janemarieprice
kesäkuu 15, 2020, 2:30pm

Crossposting these with La Cucina.

Striped Bass with Braised Fennel and Tomato Confit via Battersby: Extraordinary Food from an Ordinary Kitchen



We made this dish this week and found it a great success. As with most chef-y cookbooks, it seemed overwhelming at first - lots of ingredients and steps. But once you read through it a couple of times it boils down to roasted tomatoes, braised fennel, pan seared bass, and a sauce made with the braising liquid. The tomatoes and fennel took a long time, but mostly just in the oven so not entirely crazy but also not for a weeknight.

Those interested can find the recipe on Google Books: Striped Bass...

Crispy Pork Belly with Asian Salad



Another good one for the weekend. We have been doing a meat CSA for a few years now and occasionally get excellent small portions of pork belly. The pork needs to be brined overnight and then cook in the over for a couple hours, but active time is pretty short. Wonderful fatty meat and crispy sink paired very well with the salad (napa cabbage, basil, mint, cilantro, chives, and green apple) that had a lot of acid and freshness.
Crispy Pork Belly
Asian Salad

11janemarieprice
Muokkaaja: kesäkuu 18, 2020, 8:18am

Palimpsest by Catherynne Valente



A palimpsest is a book or page which has the original writing scraped off to be used again, with a trace of the old left behind. The Palimpsest of the novel is a fantastical world arrived at from this world only by having sex with someone who has been. Once one has gone, a tattoo of a map of part of the city appears on their skin. Not as titillating as it sounds though once desperation builds to return and drastic measures are taken.

It is a very open ended novel. The character motivations are fuzzy. What is actually happening in Palimpsest is unclear at times. The beauty is in the descriptions of the city.
Palimpsest possesses two churches. They are identical in every way. They stand together, wrapping the street corner like a hinge. Seven white columns each, wound around with black characters that are not Cyrillic, but to the idle glance might seem so. Two peaked roofs of red lacquer and two stone horses with the heads of fork-tongued lizards stand guard on either side of each door. The ancient faithful built them with stones from the same quarry on the far eastern border of the city, pale green and dusty, each round and perfect as a ball. There is more mortar in the edifices than stones, mortar crushed from Casimira dragonflies donated by the vat, tufa dust, and mackerel tails. The pews are scrubbed and polished with lime oil, and each Thursday, parishioners share a communion of slivers of whale meat and cinnamon wine.

Valente must have been reading Calvino’s Invisible Cities when she wrote this novel. The dreamlike prose works to advantage though - what is real, what is imagined, is the city taking such a toll on these characters or are they torturing themselves. Much unanswered but an enjoyable read.

12AnnieMod
kesäkuu 17, 2020, 7:40pm

>11 janemarieprice:

You may want to fix that touchstone for Palimpsest. :)

This is the first book I ever wrote a review for -- here or elsewhere. Way back when in 2009... And I agree with you, its style does remind me of Calvino (who I read later) - although it also has its own way to bend reality.

13janemarieprice
kesäkuu 18, 2020, 8:21am

>12 AnnieMod: Whoops! Fixed now.