This house loves books. From the dictionaries to the how-tos to the Serious Fiction to the stacks of bad pulp, it’s a good bet that each of us has at least three books going at a time. It’s also a good bet that most of these books were bought used, found on a curb, or borrowed. Here’s what I’m working on currently:
First, the bread books. I love to pick up a cookbook when I have a little downtime to kill. Maybe that’s a weird tendency, but any chance to pack a little more technical knowledge into my brain is welcome to this ADD-plagued kitchen adventurer. The book on the right is a must for anyone looking to get into baking really good bread at home, and the one on the left is another gift from friend and recent houseguest C., who knows my love of bread and books, especially used. I think she found this one? It’s a great relic of the 1970s revival of handmade bread, featuring a homespun conversational voice, some solid-looking sourdough recipes, a few methods I’ll have to experiment with, and an abiding love of blackstrap molasses.
Whenever K. and I visit his sister D. and her husband W., I manage to borrow a new book or two. Besides a killer sci-fi shelf, they have a stock of cute how-to books on things like bento boxes, Lego architecture, and these sewing tomes. Maybe I will churn out some French-ish linen goods and maybe not, but those patchwork coasters are definitely in my future. Once I get my salvaged sewing machine running like clockwork, anyway…
What’s summer without a little light reading? I just finished The Hunger Games. Relevant plot point: protagonist Katniss Everdeen is a wild forager (out of necessity) and started with dandelions. On the left there is a romance novel from the $2 auction box haul, a gift for friend A. It features maybe the best cover design in the genre. The two of us have a tradition of trading cheesy romances back and forth, or just texting each other outrageous titles we run across in bookstores – last week I spotted Seduced by a Spy.
And the last category, logically, is crunchy books. The book on runes is from the auction box, the wild woman book from Rust Belt, and the Whole Earth Catalog (featuring sometimes slightly outdated but still inspirational tips, resources, and meditations from the maker counterculture circa 1972) from the Really Free Market. Sidebar: sometimes when you want something, you should say it out loud. I wanted to get my hands on an issue of the Catalog, mentioned it, and the next week there one was at the Market. Obviously this works better if it’s a physical good and you go to a lot of rummaging opportunities, but announcing an intention to find something often means it will come into your life sooner, whether it’s the Forces of the Universe aligning or just the fact that you’re keeping a better eye out. Who knows? Either way, the books in this category fill me with a crunchy sense of wellbeing, especially the fictional odyssey/love story in the sidebars of the Catalog and the affirmations of my own wild nature in Women Who Run With The Wolves.
N. is hard at work on Freedom, and K. recently finished some Celtic historical fiction in which Saint Patrick falls in love with the Queen of Faerie… in Scotland. There’s usually at least one book that lives on the dinner table to be passed around: recent ones include a book on the history of Buffalo as a drinking culture and one on surviving an economic collapse that my dad lent me, featuring the best cover design in the genre. Relevant lesson: communities with strong ties between neighbors tend to fare better in societal upheaval than those without. No word on the survival of particularly voracious readers.