Out on the Lanai, Episode 1

It’s no secret that I love The Golden Girls. From cross stitch to project bags, I can never have enough of my favourite ladies. So of course I had to buy¬†Jim Collucci’s new book, Golden Girls Forever: An Unauthorized Look Behind the Lanai, when it came out last month. It’s a great book for any fan and it inspired another Golden Girls related project.

DSC_0025

Loving this colour combination!

I’d been playing around with the idea of making a crocheted blanket for a while now and decided to take the plunge and order some Knit Picks Mighty Stitch yarn in colours inspired by the Golden Girls living room set. Continue reading

All Saints

I’m just going to come out and say it: I’m not a fan of short story collections. So it was with some trepidation that I approached my next Evergreen read, All Saints by K.D. Miller.

And for about the first half of the book I dreaded¬†every minute of reading it. This book is comprised of ten short stories, all of them are connected in some way to All Saints, a fictional (I assume?) Anglican Church in Toronto. I was indifferent to most of the stories (perhaps even a little bored by them) but there were two ¬†that I flat out hated – I’m sure they had their artistic merit, but the characters were unlikable and they ended up in awfully¬†¬†depressing situations.¬†The turning point came towards the end, I actually quite enjoyed the last three stories. This was when things started to come together and I started to appreciate the way Miller crafted the collection as a whole.

This is the kind of book that garners all sorts of literary acclaim, and deservedly so. But that’s not why I read, I read books because I enjoy them or want to learn something or find them interesting, and this book just didn’t do any of that for me. I certainly would not prevent¬†anyone from picking it up, but I also would not recommend it either.

Seconds

One of the Evergreen nominees this year was the¬†graphic novel Seconds¬†by Bryan Lee O’Malley (of Scott Pilgrim fame),¬†my first time reading a graphic novel as part of this challenge.¬†It tells the story of Katie, a stressed out chef who dreams of opening her own restaurant. A mysterious spirit leaves her a mushroom that allows her to undo one mistake in her life, but upon finding a stash of the magical mushrooms Katie gets carried away and things spin out of control.

It was a very quick read and an interesting concept. O’Malley’s style is a little cutesy, which is an interesting contrast to the subject matter. I’m not sure that I really have that much to say about this particular title – because of the format I finished this in a couple of hours compared to the several days I’ve spent on the other titles so I feel like I didn’t really get a chance to really know this book. It was enjoyable enough, maybe I’ll try rereading it.

 

Rice Pudding

I’ve been feeling sick for the past few days and craving comfort foods, especially pudding. Rice pudding is one of those desserts that feels wholesome and is dead easy to make (plus it’s easy on a sore throat).

DSC_0003

The perfect combo for when I’m under the weather

I’m off to eat my pudding and reread a childhood favourite.

Read on for the recipe!

Continue reading

Local Customs

My latest Evergreen book was Local Customs by Audrey Thomas. It’s loosely based on the true story of Letty Landon, a¬†writer in the 183o’s, and her marriage to George Maclean that transplants her from London to¬†West Africa. A few months later she’s daed, seemingly by her own hand.

The story is primarily told from Letty’s posthumous point of view, quite an interesting technique. We also get passages from other main characters, but what I especially liked was the way some passages ended with dialogue asides from the characters.¬†I really liked this, it kind of reminded me of watching a DVD¬†with the cast and crew commentary turned on. It’s like seeing¬†the story unfold while also getting all these voices jumping in and saying¬†‘this is what I meant by that comment,’ or ‘I was thinking that action would lead to this result’ – it’s just getting that little bit of extra perspective that really makes this novel stand out.

I have to be honest, certain parts of this book made me really uncomfortable. Living in Canada in this day and age I’m just used to a certain way of being, and this book had¬†a definite ‘Us and Them’ vibe to it.¬†I just had to keep reminding myself Thomas was representing a certain time and place very different from my own.

The ending is kind of ambiguous, understandable given that this is based on historical facts. I think Thomas did something really interesting though – there’s one passage where the actual text is a bit different from the rest. At first I thought this was just a printing error, but having read the novel and thought about it for a while, I think that passage was actually the key to the mystery. Overall this was a skillfully crafted text, one that I think I will be reading again.