Yesterday was a snow day, with actual accumulation, which in this area is akin to a Bigfoot sighting, in that it’s very rare and outsiders vi3.5 stars
Yesterday was a snow day, with actual accumulation, which in this area is akin to a Bigfoot sighting, in that it’s very rare and outsiders view you with scorn when you tell them what you saw: “We got six inches!” “Oh, really? Six whole inches? Wooow.” I didn’t have to work and I decided to carpe the diem for reading. This was the second book I read yesterday, and definitely the funniest.
Samantha Bee is irreverent, sarcastic, and Canadian, with a surprisingly high tolerance for pharmaceutical drugs. She has been employed at a frame store, an illegal casino, a penis clinic, as an anime character in a touring children’s show, and as the customer service rep who had to watch all the “home videos” accidentally returned to the video rental place. Penises are frequently exposed to her and once a cat tried to have sex with her head. She is a woman after my own heart.
Pretty much every chapter in this book had me laughing obnoxiously, but I think my favorite was “May December Never Come,” because what she describes has actually happened to me and oh my god it was horrible:
“There’s really nothing creepier than going somewhere with one of your parents and having people think you are together, as a couple. Of lovers. Who do it. With each other. The only way to describe how this makes me feel is to say it makes my vagina nauseous, if that’s even physically possible.”
When my little sister was born, my dad and I were sitting outside the baby chamber, where they keep all the newborns, chuckling over how much she resembled a Mexican sumo wrestler. A couple walked by and smiled at us, and the following exchange took place:
WOMAN: New baby? MY DAD: Yeah. MAN: (pointing her finger at each of us in turn) Which one is yours? MY DAD: (not nearly alarmed enough) Oh no, this is my daughter. ME: Hurk.
It’s been seven years and I am still afflicted with nausea of the stomach and the vagina every time I think about it.
I’m adding Samantha to my list of future lady-author friends. Sam, when can we meet for bacon? I work at a pet store. I can hook you up with some kittens....more
And this is a book entirely about baking cookies, so... score!
I remember when I first found this at Borders. II like the following:
1. Baking 2. Cookies
And this is a book entirely about baking cookies, so... score!
I remember when I first found this at Borders. I was hesitant to check it out because it was Martha. I have no problem with her personally, per se--I mean, it isn't like she ever came over and kicked my dog or anything--but I feel like a lot of times I'm expected to pay out the nose for something just because she slapped her name on it. Like the dog beds. What makes her dog bed worth $50 and this other dog bed worth $20? Is her dog bed made of clouds and gilded with solid gold? I doubt it.
I digress (and what's with all my mention of dogs?). My point is that I didn't want to support the Martha Machine, but I did want to make new and exciting cookies, so I borrowed the book from work and got cracking. Within a week, I owned a copy and it was covered in chocolate fingerprints and smeared with sugar and flour.
Have you ever had the chocolate crackles from this book? Eating them borders on a religious experience. Everyone I make them for calls them crack cookies and I don't even care that it's not some brilliant recipe I invented because I'll accept food-based adoration no matter what, and damn they are good cookies.
There are macaroons of various flavors, chocolate gingerbread cookies, pfeffernusse, windowpane cookies, cigarettes, etc. It is the best kind of food porn. And it's all organized by texture, which is just... WOW. I seriously can't think of anything better than organizing a cookie book by texture. I am dead serious here, folks. This is how you organize a cookie book.
Thanks to this book, I now have Silpat sheets, a really good rolling pin, lots of really nice measuring materials, a cookie press, and an addiction to melting chocolate.
Thanks to this book, I like Martha. (I still won't use her cookie packaging ideas, though. Why wrap them up all pretty when you can just eat them?)...more
This is a quick read with some historical accounts, both firsthand and second, peppered throughout. I already knew the historical faHistory! And food!
This is a quick read with some historical accounts, both firsthand and second, peppered throughout. I already knew the historical facts (she said smugly) but I did enjoy the narrative way in which they were presented here. Also: pretty pictures!
As for the actual recipes, I haven't cooked any of them yet and I will certainly never be making an authentic eleven-course Titanic-themed meal for my friends and family, as the book suggests. Make your own damn Tournedos aux morilles and Homard Thermidor, buddy! However, there were a few smaller things in there that I would love to try, like the Punch Romaine--booze sorbet, yum!--and which I will probably make after Christmas, when my line of work goes back to its usual lull and the thought of shopping anywhere no longer makes me want to gouge my eyes out with a spoon.
Three stars for being interesting and a nice collectible, but docked a fourth because when you say you've "adapted the Edwardian recipes for the modern kitchen," I don't expect to have to go hunt down rose water and quail eggs to make the stuff. (Apparently quail eggs are easy to obtain? Can anyone confirm this?)...more
I found this very interesting until around the last third or so. Then the topics and the writing began to feel less intriguing. Moore does a wonderfulI found this very interesting until around the last third or so. Then the topics and the writing began to feel less intriguing. Moore does a wonderful job, for the most part, with making history read more like a drama than a textbook....more
I can’t review this book without talking excessively about myself. And I can’t review it particularly well either, because I am so distracted by the OI can’t review this book without talking excessively about myself. And I can’t review it particularly well either, because I am so distracted by the Olympics right now. Yes, literally right now. Alas!
I used to work in a bookstore. I got asked a lot of questions. Some were irritating, like “Do you have a book?” to which I always wanted to answer, “Yes, as a matter of fact I have a WHOLE BUILDING FULL OF THEM.” Or: “I’m looking for a book. I don’t remember the title or the author and I’m not sure what it was about, but I think it was an Oprah’s Book Club pick a few years ago and if I remember correctly it had a green cover with a picture of a tube sock on it. Can you find that for me?” Yes, because that is how this bookstore is organized. And our search engine totally has boxes for “color of cover” and “sock or no sock.”
Some were funny, like the way-too-popular, “Do you have a copy of The Little Prince by Machiavelli?” Others made me want to punch the asker; just for the record, you should never go into a bookstore and ask the bookseller, “Can you please look this up on Amazon and tell me how much cheaper it would be to just order it from them?” Also, bookstores do not have photocopiers available for your use. You do not get to “just copy the pages I need because this book’s too expensive and I really just need the one recipe.” Go to the library for that. Or better yet, google the recipe and print it off at home.
I also had a lot of awkward, hilarious, and/or awesome conversations. From the heinous “Oh, it’s not ringing up—it must be free!” to uncomfortable conversations with people who wanted porn but apparently felt weird having a fresh-faced 20-year-old girl ring it up for them. Our favorite customer to hate, who we called Foxy Redhead Trucker, once asked me if we sold any crime books. “Fiction or nonfiction?” I asked.
He said, “I want the real stuff.”
“We have a True Crime section right over here.”
As I was leading him over to True Crime, FRT got a little more specific: “I’m looking for books about people who committed a crime and got away with it.”
A week later he came in and asked me for books on estate law in Maryland. Yikes.
I also threw teenagers out of my store for molesting a giant stuffed giraffe, dealt with parents who thought having a kids’ section meant free babysitting, and had people tell me we were committing highway robbery and they were going to go down the street to Barnes & Noble. Which, no offense to B&Ners, I never really understood. The books aren’t free there, either.
It was the best of times.
My point is that so much of Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops might sound unbelievable but IT IS SO REAL. I laughed, groaned, and slapped my forehead in dismay. This book was both cathartic and nostalgic. It’s a quick read and just hilarious. I give it a 10!...more