Monthly Archives: December 2012

Happy Holidays!

My office is closed for the week between Christmas and New Year’s and so Reading for Robin is shutting down shop as well.

Andrew and I are headed to Florida for family, food, and sun. I hope you all have a wonderful week and a Happy New Year!

I’ll be back to discuss all my favorite books with you in 2013.

A Week of Reading… Recipes

Smitten Kitchen cookbookThe missing Middlesteins still hasn’t turned up and it’s not looking good. There just aren’t that many places it could be hiding. Is it possible a book could sprout legs and walk away?

Since I’ve been holding out hope that The Middlesteins will magically reappear, I haven’t started a different novel in its place. (Or caved and bought a new copy yet).

But that doesn’t mean it’s been a week devoid of reading. On the contrary, I have been avidly reading. It just so happens I’ve been reading The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook. Smitten Kitchen is a food blog that my friends and I are obsessed with that has spawned a beautiful cookbook. Deb Perelman, the woman behind the blog, recently visited Google and Carley was nice enough to get me a signed (!) copy of the cookbook.

Since I haven’t had a novel going, it’s given me plenty of time to dig into Smitten Kitchen. It makes great reading material because, much like on the blog, the cookbook contains a story behind almost every recipe.

The only problem with cookbook reading vs regular reading is that it makes me a lot hungrier.

Game Change Gets a Sequel

Game ChangeFor the past month or so, I’ve been listening to Mark Halperin and John Heilemann’s Game Change audiobook. It’s an extensive look at the 2008 election, covering all the behind-the-scenes action, drama, and gossip. HBO turned it into a well-received made-for-TV movie. And by well-received, I mean that at least my friends like it. I have yet to see it, but I’ll get around to it.

As someone who has very little interest in politics, I’m surprised at how much I’m liking the audiobook. I’m learning so much! And I see all the “characters” – the Obamas, the Clintons, the Edwards, the McCains, the Palins – in a new light. Okay, maybe the Palins in mostly the same light, but to be fair I just got to that part so it’s possible there will be something new there.

Now I’ve just learned that the writing duo will work together again to write Double Down: Game Change 2012. As you can probably guess from the title, the book will explore the 2012 election between President Obama and Mitt Romney. Of course, HBO has already optioned the sequel.

Just one question: Does the new book’s title make anyone else crave a KFC sandwich?

The Middlesteins Is Missing

The MiddlesteinsNow that I’ve finished The Secret History, I’m ready to start The Middlesteins. It’s a book I’ve been wanting to read for a while and it just so happens to be our current book club pick. Book club meets at the beginning of January so it’s probably a good time to get reading.

The only problem is, I can’t find the book! My coworker was nice enough to lend me an advance copy of the Jami Attenberg novel. I had it in my possession at one point, but I don’t know where it went. As Maggie rightly pointed out, my apartment is rather small so there are only so many places it could be. And I’ve checked those places. I checked work too. Now what? If I can’t find it, I’ll have to buy my coworker a replacement copy of a book she got for free. Bummer. Plus, this whole lost book situation is really delaying my reading plan.

LOST: One advance reader copy of The Middlesteins. Approximately 8″ x 5″. Red and yellow cover. Jonathan Franzen blurb. If found, please contact Sam. Reward offered.

I’m just saying, this couldn’t happen with an e-book.

The Secret History is History…

The Secret History…Or something like. My attempt to play off book titles doesn’t always work.

So I’m aware I haven’t written a whole lot here lately. And it’s not even because I’m all that busy. (Okay, I’m a little busy.) It’s just that Donna Tartt’s The Secret History has been monopolizing my reading brain and my reading brain is very much connected to my blogging brain.

Now that I’ve finished The Secret History my brain is ready for new books and new blog posts. The fact that the novel took me so long to read does not reflect on its quality but rather its length. The Secret History clocks in at more than 500 pages. While I think the book could have cut a lot of fat (I know the Greek background was important in setting up parts of the book but I could have done with much less), it was a good read. I found it really interesting that the author foreshadowed the biggest events so early in the book. Is it even called foreshadowing when the author outright tells you what’s going to happen? Regardless, it was a surprising move but one that put the focus on how all the characters handled the event rather than the event itself… which when it happens is quite brief and glossed over.

This is one of those books that would make a good book club book because I think different people would have different reactions to it. It’s not making a list of favorites of mine, but I’m glad I got to this one, which had been on my to-be-read list for so long. It was a solid literary novel that I’m happy to have on my shelf.

Happy Bookish Hanukkah!

I’ll say right off the bat that I never know how to spell Hanukah/Chanukah/Hchannukaah (in the last one the first “h” is silent).

Recently, I’ve noticed all over the internet pictures of Christmas trees made of books. Something like this:

Book Tree

Now I’m all for festive cheer. And I love Christmas. One of my favorite times of the year in elementary school was going to my best friend’s house to bake Christmas cookies and decorate her tree. But I want a little bookish love for my holiday too. Which is why I was so happy to stumble upon these book menorahs from Juniper Books:

Book Menorah

Book Menorah

Pretty neat, right?

Equal book opportunity for all! Happy holidays everyone!

(Book Menorah pictures from Juniper Books ; Book Tree from JCU Library News via The Mary Sue)

Teapots for Book Lovers

Jane Austin TeapotBlogging is hard when I am not starting or finishing any new books. It really cuts down on the things I have to write about here, you know?

That’s why I love when I come across other articles/posts/pictures/nonsense that I can somehow relate to books/reading/my family/my life. Which is how I’ve come to post about teapots inspired by books.

Follow me here. I am catching up on my Google Reader in an effort to find something to blog about and put off straightening my hair. I come across a Book Riot post about bookish teapots. (I also come across an interview with Judd Apatow which leads me to Maude Apatow’s Twitter which I am now obsessed with. But I digress.) And that’s all it takes.

If you check out the Book Riot post you’ll see a Peter Rabbit teapot, an Edgar Allen Poe teapot, and more in addition to the Jane Austen one I included here. The teapots remind me of my mom. Not because she necessarily would own any of the ones included but because it brings to mind the fact that my mom sort of collected teapots. I say sort of because it wasn’t a serious collection. She only had a few but it was a start. I once bought her one from Anthropologie that was a hit. And new additions would have been welcomed. I think, as someone who also loved books, my mom would have been delighted to add these (or okay probably one based on a memoir or something since that was clearly her reading thing or something) to her small group. A book-inspired teapot? It’s a great combination of her interests. Just throw in some Anne Taylor clothes and a Say Yes to the Dress episode and it would be perfect.

So is this connection a stretch? Yes and no. It’s not exactly the most relevant blog post but anything that reminds me of something different about my mom is worth it in my opinion.

(Picture: Jane Austen Collectors Teapots via Book Riot)