In which a jug of buttermilk makes me nostalgic.

So to celebrate pi day yesterday, I obviously had to make a pie. I wanted a buttermilk pie of some sort, which of course, requires buttermilk, but not nearly the whole bottle. So my good Southern brain naturally went straight to biscuits. Then it went straight to wishing I knew how to make Granny’s biscuits, which will never be recreated upon this earth, sadly. Continue reading

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Book review: Wonder Women by Sam Maggs

I findexully intended to post this review before this dreamy little book went on sale, but alas, I failed. Anyway, that will not stop me from telling you I loved it and hugged it and called it George, to use a reference that marks me as an old. Sam Maggs has put together a really impressive and easy-to-read reference of badass ladies throughout the world’s history. And it includes some lovely illustrations of those ladies by Sophia Foster-Dimino, who also did that rad cover.

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A round-up of random things that please me

July is nearly over and I swear it just started a couple days ago. Anyway, I have been neglecting this here blog, so I figure I’ll just post a round-up of stuff I’ve recently enjoyed. Well, media, specifically, because it’s summer and if I opened this up to anything, you’d be reading a blog about tomatoes, peaches, and blueberries. Or clicking away from a blog about tomatoes, peaches, and blueberries… Anyway, an app, some Tweetings, books, TV, movie and music seems like a good random mix, so here: Continue reading

An appreciation of Sierra from Daniel José Older’s Shadowshaper

Daniel José Older’s Shadowshaper is a lesson in a lot of things, depending on how you want to read it. Creating mythos, writing developed and dimensional background characters, building an intriguing mystery, worldbuilding — well, not so much worldbuilding as putting Brooklyn on the page and walking you around in it during the heat of the day so you get a little grime in your sweat — but the best part is easily his protagonist, Sierra. She feels like a real person, but handles her teen insecurities and family drama (and you know, supernatural troubles) with a confidence and determination that is just damn lovely. She loves herself, big fro and big butt included, and even though she lets other people make her wonder here and there, she quickly realizes they’re wrong and she’s awesome just how she is.

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Crimson Peak is a delicious treat for your eyeballs

Crimson Peak is such a gorgeous movie, which isn’t shocking given that it’s a Guillermo Del Toro film. His creature designs and overall artistic eye are things I really love about him. The ghosts in this movie are so rad-looking. A couple of years ago he released his Cabinet of Curiosities giving the world a look inside his notebooks and the way his brain works. It’s one of my favorite things to flip through. Anyway, I’m a huge fan of his, is what I’m saying (if you’re on Twitter, follow him for clever tweets and many many book, art, & film recommendations). As an enjoyer of the gothic fictions, when I heard he was planning this movie, I was so excited and immediately began wishing it would hurry up and exist already. AND he put Tom Hiddleston in it. Rawr. Expectations were high, and I was a leeeetle worried I’d be disappointed.

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Connecting with my mom through books, even though she’s gone

Recently I read Eighty Days by Matthew Goodman, which is about two female journalists who ended up racing each other around the world in 1889. Nellie Bly and Elizabeth Bisland left on their solo trips from New York, heading in opposite directions, Bly aiming to beat the record set by Jules Verne’s fictional Phileas Fogg and Bisland aiming to beat Bly, who didn’t even know there was a race. Bly left in the morning, and Bisland’s editor called her and had her on a train that evening, convinced that by going west instead of east, she could make the trip faster. What follows is a fascinating look at history and the ever-shrinking world, through the eyes of two American women who couldn’t have been more different. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and highly recommend it, but that’s not why I’m writing this. I’m writing because the copy of the book I read was my mother’s. I gave it to her for Mother’s Day in 2014 and I don’t even know if she read it before she died last October.

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Brilliance from an intro: Le Guin on words

I’m rereading Ursula K. Le Guin’s The Left Hand of Darkness and unsurprisingly, finding it 100% (or more) relevant to the world we live in right now. (If you somehow haven’t read this book, you should fix that, really. It should be required reading for being a human.) I could pretty much quote the whole chapter of observations on the androgyny of the Gethenians and its implications upon their society, but what I’m interested in dropping here is actually something from Le Guin’s introduction. It’s beautiful and absolutely true of being a reader and a writer.

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