love my carbs

“There’s a trick to the ‘graceful exit.’ It begins with the vision to
recognize when a job, a life stage, or a relationship is over — and
let it go. It means leaving what’s over without denying its validity or
its past importance to our lives. It involves a sense of future, a
belief that every exit line is an entry, that we are moving up, rather
than out.”
–Ellen Goodman

I’ve been reading quite a bit lately. I know I’ve enjoyed the recommendations of your favorite reads in the past, and talking about what I’m reading is one of my favorite points of conversation. Yep, I’m a dork. But you know what? I’m done caring that this label makes me anything other than exceptionally curious about the world.

In 2010, (or the last few days of 2009), I’ve read:
The Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet: this book came at the recommendation of my friend Erin. When I saw it on sale at a local bookshop a few days later, I scooped it up. Out of 5 bananas, I’d give this a 3.5. It is the story of a Chinese boy and Japanese girl who fall in love in Seattle during World War II when the United States so thoughtfully decided to inter Japanese families. The story is told from the present and the past. It is a sweet, interesting read and taught me more about an ugly chapter in our nation’s human rights history.

A Homemade Life: Molly Wizenberg is the blogger behind Orangette who made French cooking in the current day seem fun. Her blog is delightful. Her book is like your favorite slice of cake served warm from the oven. (Or, like “Christmas morning,” as Matty would say.) The essays chronicle chapters in her own life (father’s death, meeting her future husband), each capped with a recipe that reminds her of the characters involved. It is such a good book — one my mother begged me for when I finished it on our vacation. Uncharacteristically, I said no. This is a book I’m keeping forever. Instead she copied large portions of the recipes by hand and has since purchased her own copy. I’ve also made several other recipes since and they are very, very good. Molly is a great storyteller and a good cook — two of my favorite things. 5 out of 5 bananas.

The Hummingbird’s Daughter: This book couldn’t be a better read after having just finished The Lacuna. The Hummingbird’s Daughter is a fictionalized take on a real woman’s life as a healer. It is set on a ranch in northern Mexico in the late 1800s – early 1900s. It is a fascinating read. I learned much about Mexican politics of the time, life on a working cattle ranch, bee keeping, healing with herbs, the Catholic church’s influence on international politics, etc. If this secret wasn’t already spilled: I love Mexico. I love the way this country celebrates color, spice, dance and life. I love the vast history of mixed people. I love the varying landscape — from tropics to desert plains. If you share my passion, you’ll love this story. 4 out of 5 bananas, absoloodle.

I would love to read a book a week in 2010, like this person did in 2009.

“Naive you are / if you believe / life favours those / who aren’t
naive.”
–Piet Hein, poet and scientist (1905-1996)

And if you are still reading — a personal tidbit to throw into the mix. I resigned yesterday. I didn’t sleep much last night but I know it is the best choice. I’m moving on to a new position and career direction, and am balancing a couple part-time jobs too. Change has notoriously been difficult for me, but there are times when you know that the sting of the unknown won’t last long. At a time when so many are out of work, I can’t tell you how lucky I feel to have options.

Taking fear by the horns in the new year,

K

P.S. Yep, that is a potato shaped like a heart. A sign I love carbs? Indeed.