These daffodils were a gift from my mom. I’m a recent convert to the joy and beauty of fresh flowers for the home after being a long-time grump about them (they die eventually, anyway). But now I’m totally in to them, spending $5-10 a week on fresh blossoms to add a bit of color and scent to our living room. With March as wintry and gray as it is now, how nice to have a bit of vibrant yellow in the middle of it all.
Here’s what I’m eating and reading this week:
Feminist Fight Club by Jessica Bennett
While I enjoyed this one, it didn’t wow me. It’s written for 20-somethings navigating the space after college but before commanding much power in their professional roles. What I do like, though, is the sense of community that infuses the book; I love the idea of gathering together to talk business, even across different fields. It’s part of the bigger idea that women have interesting things to talk about outside of men or their relationships. Also, I did like her Instagram account, for brief bites if you’d rather not dig into the whole book.
While I was reading bits of books and newspapers this week, I was also intrigued by this article in the New York Times book section about “The Handmaid’s Tale.” The book regained a lot of attention in the wake of last year’s election and the continual disruptions of the new administration. I know it’s her most popular book, but I actually haven’t read it (my favorite – both of Atwood’s and one of my all-time favorites – is “The Blind Assassin,” and I recently read “Hagseed,” a retelling of Shakespeare’s “The Tempest,” which was a bit underwhelming).
A quote from Atwood’s piece in The Times that resonated with me was her conclusion: “In the wake of the recent American election, fears and anxieties proliferate. Basic civil liberties are seen as endangered, along with many of the rights for women won over the past decades, and indeed the past centuries. In this divisive climate, in which hate for many groups seems on the rise and scorn for democratic institutions is being expressed by extremists of all stripes, it is a certainty that someone, somewhere — many, I would guess — are writing down what is happening as they themselves are experiencing it. Or they will remember, and record later, if they can.
Will their messages be suppressed and hidden? Will they be found, centuries later, in an old house, behind a wall?
Let us hope it doesn’t come to that. I trust it will not.“
It at times feels weird to write in this space with my thoughts on books and menu planning because it does feel as though that isn’t enough, but at the same time, I’ve found a new energy in my writing in the past months. Also, my reading patterns have skewed towards women and people of color as well as outright feminist novels and nonfiction. Reading has been helpful, and I’m hopeful logging thoughts here gives others ideas or inspiration if they’re feeling similarly adrift.
Here’s what I cooked this week (in case you need inspiration):
Sunday: Banh mi pasta, asparagus (recipe to come)
Monday: Steak tips, mashed potatoes, and roasted broccoli
Tuesday: Red curry with vegetables and onions from Melissa Clark’s Dinner: Changing the Game
Thursday: Take-out style chicken (recipe to come)
Friday: Dinner out: patty melt and bacon 3 ways
Saturday: Pasta with tomatoes, peppers, and sausage, paired with a side salad