Holy crap. This was so good it makes me want to read everything Connie Willis has ever written, and I didn't even think I liked science fiction. TIME...moreHoly crap. This was so good it makes me want to read everything Connie Willis has ever written, and I didn't even think I liked science fiction. TIME TRAVEL, people. The Plague. That's what this is all about. I loved this book. It's super late now (for me), I just wanted to make sure I remembered to write something before I started my next Connie Willis book. (less)
Yes, I know, I know, I have most everything packed, okay?? Anyway, I couldn't sleep last night (combination of headcold, late-afternoon coffee run, and...moreYes, I know, I know, I have most everything packed, okay?? Anyway, I couldn't sleep last night (combination of headcold, late-afternoon coffee run, and I dunno, stress perhaps?) but I stayed up reading these stories, each one hitting me in different, intense ways. The loneliness and isolation of growing up in small-town Maine was captured here in a way that made me uncomfortable. Try as you may to escape those feelings of freezing cold, poverty, and obsession with people, yourself, and getting out, this book made me realize that those things are still inside of me somewhere. Many people write about adolescence well, but something about Jason Brown's prose and the specificity of the setting made these stories ring truer to me than most. There is always something fucked up and secretive going on in these rural places. People go crazy from the cold longness of the winters, and they have trouble talking to each other--I think most of these stories are inner-monologues, not so much dialog, which was very appropriate, I felt. In my town, every few years someone's dad would suddenly kill his entire family, himself, and burn the house down. This happened at least twice during the time I lived there. Maine is a dark dark place for those people who live there year-round, and not on those pretty properties overlooking the ocean. I know I spent much of my childhood obsessing on how to get out of there, and Jason Brown's stories are so good, they make me feel proud of those experiences and less lonely(rather than bile-filled). (less)
This is a great collection of vegetarian options and most of the recipes are pretty easy and you can adjust them easily if you want to include your fa...moreThis is a great collection of vegetarian options and most of the recipes are pretty easy and you can adjust them easily if you want to include your favorite veggies. Some of the recipes are kind of bland, though, so I will tell you the best ones, okay? Spanikopida-hands down, the best recipe in the world. I know this because I went to Greece and nothing there tasted nearly as good as this. I make this recipe (as did my mom in the 70's and 80's) all the time and it is always perfect. Filo dough is intimidating but get over it. Mac and Cheese Lite--it's not really lite but tastes it because they have you add yogurt, cottage cheese, and veggies. The schizophrenics in the group home used to ask me to make this all the time. It's tangy and helps the Zyprexa go down nice and smooth. Cheese salad--a hit at a party. No joke. Hungarian Mushroom soup-amazing. Except try not to light the pot on fire and then your carpet like I did. Don't bother with the broccoli pastry thing, kind of dry. There's a big variety from mexican to german foods too..Get this book!(less)
Before I read this book, I rarely read straight-up biographies. I think the last one I read was a bio of Sylvia Plath I waded though in the tenth grad...moreBefore I read this book, I rarely read straight-up biographies. I think the last one I read was a bio of Sylvia Plath I waded though in the tenth grade for an essay I was writing on her (oh yes, I was so tortured). I still recall bits and pieces from that bio, but I didn't crave all things biography after I'd finished. I think I went to track practice and forgot about it.
This book has singlehandedly renewed my faith in the biography. I have never been in love with de Kooning's paintings, but I can't resist hundreds of pages of details about this nutty man and his exploits. Oh yeah, and art criticism that isn't boring and actually made me appreciate the paintings more fully. It also helped that de Kooning hob-nobbed with all these drunk modern artists and the bio has detailed accounts of all the people he spent time with, was inspired by, and ahem, had relations with. Did I mention that de Kooning had lots and lots of sexy lady friends, too? Well, he did. Later in life, de Kooning gets dementia, but keeps on painting. It's really interesting to see how his work changes and what remains the same throughout his life, especially when the ravaging effects of his wild lifestyle begin to take hold.
This was a really engrossing and inspiring read. Like VH1's Behind the Music meets MOMA. I have yet to find another biography that hits the mark as this one does.