This morning I am emerging from the maze of boxes I have been navigating for days. My parents just moved to a new apartment and I just got home for three weeks of break. Those two facts add up to a lot of unpacking and organizing for me. I couldn’t be happier (no sarcasm at all). I love organizing and decorating. I am definitely a nester. So this is as much an opportunity for me to get my thoughts in order as anything else. And I have most certainly been going to bed exhausted. Yet, in all this time I have managed to squeeze in a little reading and tv watching, so here is this week’s list of recommendations:
This book has been out for a few years now and this time was by third time reading it through. But if you haven’t run across it yet, my recommendation is to give it a try. It is the story of Dracula’s historical origins as discovered by several interconnected scholars and historians. It is at once a mystery, a cosy supernatural spine-shiverer, and a love letter to scholarship. It will appeal to scholars especially, as it has many trips to libraries, ancient monasteries, conferences, etc. But it should also appeal to anyone interested in language, history, and stories. It’s perfect if you are traveling, as it wraps you in a cocoon of suspense and intrigue and mentally takes you out of wherever you are.
I haven’t finished the whole season yet, but this is everything you could ever want or imagine it to be. It is the story of a young Marco Polo in the court of the great Kublai Khan. In case you ever wondered about Kublai and Marco outside of the opium-soaked Coleridge poem or the weird game of blind water tag- this is the show for you. Not that it is likely to be that accurate a representation, but it is a very fun one. There’s intrigue, snakebites, beheading, child abandonment, sexy wrestling, opium tripping, and SO MANY NAKED LADIES. Just saying- one minute it’s all political maneuvering and parent-child issues and the next minute the screen is full of naked women. Be aware. And watch it- this one is a perfect winter break escape.
In case you are, unlike me, still in Boston check out Barcelona. It is the best tapas bar I have ever been to. Get a reservation and only go if you are willing to spend a bit, but this place has the best empanadas, patatas bravas, and sangria you will find in the area. If you are looking for a bit cheaper try Tasca, which is almost exactly opposite Barcelona but just on Comm Ave instead of Beacon. Both good options- grab some plates of yummy tiny food this Christmas.