“It’s Monday! What are you reading?” is a weekly event hosted by Sheila at Bookjourney to share with others what we’ve read the past week and planning to read next.
Hello and happy Monday! I hope you’ve had a good weekend. It was a long one here – Thanksgiving, Black Friday (and Saturday and Sunday?), so a lot of things happened last week! My in-laws’ arrival from Singapore on Wednesday night, bearing lots of gifts – cookies, chocolate, clothes for the kids and toys and books. It was like Christmas in November! And we even put up the Christmas tree.
We had the usual Thanksgiving hotpot with all kinds of vegetables, three types of mushrooms, some lovely thinly-sliced beef from Mitsuwa supermarket, served with chicken rice. And for dessert a carrot and persimmon cake, made using this carrot cake recipe, but adding a chopped up persimmon to the batter!
And good news! Wee Reader is recovering well after his fall the previous Sunday, his pediatrician had a look and said it was healing well.
I’ve decided that the month of December should be devoted to all those books that I keep meaning to read and keep putting off for some reason or other. It is the last month of the year after all, might as well have a (reading) ball of a time!
Life After Life – Kate Atkinson
The Woman Upstairs – Claire Messud
In Real Life – Cory Doctorow and Jen Wang
A Natural History of Dragons – Marie Brennan
Guardians of the Galaxy. It was a fun, occasionally silly movie, and with such a fun soundtrack!
(here’s a Spotify link to the playlist)
Carrot and persimmon cake
I’m probably going to be doing some noodles tonight. Probably with thinly sliced pork and plenty of caixin (a leafy green vegetable). Other things to cook: baked chicken legs with a harvest grains mix; a bacon and kale pasta; maybe a beef and broccoli rice noodle dish. Yeah I’m kind of winging it this week. Oh but last week I made a super-simple foil-wrapped salmon. I made a paste with some miso, a bit of rice vinegar, a bit of sugar (taste to make sure it’s not too sweet or sour), then spread the paste on top of a salmon fillet, add a pat of butter right on top of the paste. As much or as little as you want! Wrap the whole thing up in foil. You could sit the fish on some mushrooms if you have that. Double up the foil if it’s the thin type. Then bake in a 375F oven for about 20 minutes. Serve with rice. I also roasted some broccoli (olive oil, salt) in the oven at the same time. A splash of lemon juice would liven everything up.
The Guild – Felicia Day
I did watch an episode or two of this series a few years ago but I didn’t like it enough to continue. I actually prefer the graphic novel version!
Life After Life – Jill McCorkle
It took a while to get used to all the different characters telling their stories. It was a different read for me, one set in an assisted living home, although not all the characters were old. There was a young girl who lived nearby and who would visit regularly. Another was a young single mother who worked occasionally at the home, giving pedicures and doing the residents’ hair. Another part of the story was excerpts from the notebook of a hospice care volunteer who tries to capture the last moments of the dying person she is sitting with, followed by what seemed to be the thoughts of these very dying individuals as they pass on. A bit confused? Yeah, so was I. I muddled my way through a good chunk of the book, picking up on some rather good moments, like interactions among the residents, their relationships, their past and present lives. I appreciated the different characters and setting, it is not everyday that one reads – or hears about – a book featuring senior citizens, but perhaps because I am still quite removed from a situation like that, I didn’t appreciate it as much as others would.
War Horse – Michael Morpurgo
Hmm not quite what I was expecting. The story is told from the horse’s perspective which limits the narrative a bit. Perhaps the movie was better?? Does anyone know? Maybe I just chose the wrong Michael Morpurgo book to start with…!!
Weekend Cooking: LA Son by Roy Choi