This term I have found myself doing what I always do in an English Masters program. Namely, reading a whole lot. But something feels different about this term. Maybe it is the apple cider I bought yesterday that’s making me loopy but I have been massively enjoying all the reading I have been assigned so far. Which, even though it is not yet October, is about seven books and a whole lot of critical articles. So just in case you are interested in picking up some amazing and edifying books, here has been my reading list so far, which I have helpfully ranked for you.
To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf: This book is a great introduction to Woolf if you’ve never read her and contains some of the most beautiful and calming prose I have ever read. It is also a very quick read that will make you feel contemplative and healthy, like you’ve just taken a literary vitamin.
Degas in New Orleans by Christopher Benfey: This book is a nonfictional exploration of Edgar Degas’ visit to New Orleans in the years after the Civil War. In looking at Degas and his family, Benfey is able to give an really interesting portrait of postbellum New Orleans that was full of weird stories and windows into the city.
Three Lives by Gertrude Stein: Also a great introduction to an occasionally difficult writer, Three Lives is Stein’s portrait of three separate working women, The Good Anna, Melanctha, and The Gentle Lena. The prose is weird and beautiful and the read also goes pretty quickly.
Independence Day by Richard Ford: This is the second book in a trilogy, so this recommendation is really for any of those three. The narrator in this book is often hard to take because he is kind of an ass. But he is also one of the most fully realized characters I’ve ever kept company with. I felt like I could reach through the page and slap him, and that made it massively worth reading.
A Farewell to Arms by Earnest Hemingway: Ah Hemingway. What can we say about him? I had never read this particular Hemingway novel and I came away very glad that I was finally familiar with it. It isn’t a happy read by any means but the terse prose (which I read in my head in Corey Stoll’s voice) blooms with sentiment at unexpected moments and yet never runs away from its writer. I also just realized Hemingway from Midnight in Paris and Peter Russo from House of Cards are the same person. Mind blown. Having hair makes a big difference in me being able to recognize people apparently.
Last Friday night I was freezing and enthralled as Commonwealth Shakespeare Company put on their fantastic event “Shakespeare at Fenway.
They performed scenes from many famous Shakespeare plays including Othello, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Much Ado About Nothing, making the audience alternately burst into laughter and grow quiet and contemplative. The show had its hiccups, as the fire alarm went off for a while in the middle of a scene and it was so cold the audience was shivering in their seats, but it was easy to see that everyone was hungry for more Shakespeare.
Which one can easily get by checking out what they have coming up. You can find that here 🙂
As you can tell from previous posts I am pretty excited that it is fall. I have been putting colorful tights under my summer dresses and wearing boots like it’s my job. I’ve also been so busy at school that I haven’t had much time to partake in all the fall activities I wish I could… so here is my list of suggestions for you so that I can live vicariously through you.
1. Go apple picking. This is my number one suggestion, as you can see. Because I put it first and put a number one in front of it. But seriously, go do it. It is my favorite fall activity. Last year I went and there were hay rides, so much cider, fresh apple cider doughnuts, and a maze that took me a really long time to get out of. I went to Honey Pot, which I highly recommend.
2. Go on a fall walk, bring a camera. These pictures are from a fall walk that I took a little while back and I am still full of love and joy for how amazing the colors were and how happy I was when I was just wandering around and jumping into huge piles of leaves. Stop and smell the decaying glory of the trees.3. Go to Publick House and have some baked macaroni and cheese. It is the perfect fall cheat-on-your-diet meal. It is warm and gooey and you can put a ton of extra ingredients in to make it the perfect bacon-lobster-cheese extravaganza. The fries with truffle ketchup are pretty bangin too.4. Read. A lot. Doesn’t fall just make you think of Rory Gilmore and her voracious reading habits? I used to watch Gilmore Girls every fall from the beginning and I would get so excited to do well in school and just start reading everything in sight. Those leaves turn and all I want is a good book, a crisp day, and some apple cider. Check out some great options here.
So I’m a rotten liar. A rotten, rotten liar. I did not put up a post on Friday because I am a liar. But to make up for it I want to share my favorite cookie recipe with you. And olive branch. Or a molasses… branch if you will. So here we have it, my family’s molasses cookie recipe, courtesy of my mother.
You will need:
3/4 cup shortening
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup molasses
2-1/4 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ginger
Cream shortening and sugar, mix in egg and molasses. Blend dry ingredients (except granulated sugar) in separate bowl, then stir into molasses mixture. Chill.
Preheat oven to 375. Roll dough in 1-1/4 inch balls. Dip tops in sugar. Place balls sugar side up 3 inches apart on a greased baking sheet. Sprinkle each with 2 or 3 drops of water. Bake 10 minutes, or just until set but not hard.
Then, you should get something a lot like this:Enjoy my friends!
I haven’t posted in about a week, something I am heartily ashamed of. I promise to be back with a new post up on Friday! Thanks for your patience 🙂 Here is a picture of Benedict Cumberbatch reenacting the famous “Darcy randomly emerging from a pond” scene in Pride and Prejudice.