“Relax. Concentrate. Dispel every other thought. Let the world around you fade. Best to close the door; the TV is always on in the next room. Tell the others right away, ‘No, I don’t want to watch TV!’ Raise your voice — they won’t hear you otherwise — ‘I’m reading! I don’t want to be disturbed!'”
— Italo Calvino, “If on a Winter’s Night a Traveler”
Though January’s behind us, we’re not ready to come out of hibernation. At least not just yet, and today’s snowstorm is the perfect excuse to stay in and catch up on some reading. We’ve an eclectic pile to choose from, gratefully received as recent gifts or through thoughtful recommendation:
• Hawaiian Legends of Old Honolulu from Leslie, with whom we love to swap Hawaiian ghost stories which give us the shivers.
• Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake, a welcome birthday gift from the Gardener’s mother, by Anna Quindlen who we remembered enjoying reading when she was a New York Times columnist.
• The Hare with Amber Eyes and The Purloined Clinic from Carolyn and Vinnie, respectively, for some diametrical right brain entertainment/left brain stimulation.
• Beautiful Corn, on loan from Peter, because we wanted to know the difference between flint and dent corn, and how it’s nixtamalized.
• Mastering the Art of French Eating, signed by the author who looks like someone we would enjoy having a cup of coffee with at the corner cafe, from the Cook’s mother.
• Edible Wild Mushrooms of North America, on recommendation from Evan, who led us on a foraging walk and could name every mushroom along the way.
• Essential Yoga Poses by Judith Lasater, the teacher of our teacher, Erin — it may or may not help us hold the pose for longer, but at least now we’ll know what they’re called.
May you never go without something good to read — many thanks, dear ones!