Things You Should Read

I read a lot and am both a tremendously picky reader and also easily romanced by a good book of any sort. Here are my best reads of late.

First and awesomely, Nisi Shawl’s book, Everfair, which I recently picked up from the University Bookstore. You should be able to find it everywhere.

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Nisi is a personal friend and I have long admired her deep thinking on prose, story, and perspective in story. She has this term for thinking about characters and how they interact with the world called parallax, which is a physics term that applies to how you can tell where something is based on how it is viewed differently from two different points. The parallax of characters means something like you learn a lot more about yourself/the world/the story when you let in room for showing things from different perspectives. Brilliant and important, and while I am only at the beginning of this steampunk in the Congo (during the terror of Leopold the second) I am so enjoying the sentence, the characters, and the story.

Next, a cookbook I borrowed from the library that is called VB6, which is a mysterious title unless you are part of the flexitarian/vegan before six faithful. In short, it’s this cookbook by Mark Bitman, former NYT columnist that is full of great vegan recipes. I am a lifelong vegetarian that is always look for new recipes with appropriate amounts of protein in them. This cookbook is brilliant at putting beans and tofu in everything, everything, and so far I have enjoyed sweet refried beans with apple slice for breakfast, a brilliant lentil soup, and this weirdo tofu jerky that is utterly addictive. Yum. I find this cookbook full of super easy recipes and highly recommend it for anyone tired of the boring boring same old cooking.

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And last, the book I found at the lovely free library a block away. I don’t know if most cities these days have tiny free libraries, but Seattle is full of them and I love the adventure of opening them and seeing what’s there, as well as filling them up with books I love but don’t need any more. This book, Dinotopia, by James Gurney turns out to be such a great read if you happen to have a three and six year old to get to bad at night and don’t personally want to be bored to tears. It’s written from the point of view of a (fictional) biologist and naturalist from the Victorian era getting shipwrecked on an island full of… you guessed it: DINOSAURS! The illustrations are astounding and the story is great and intriguing. I think (via a sticker on the cover) it was a big hit a while back, so maybe everyone has already read it, but it is a gem.

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