Category Archives: Books for Big People

“Put a Fork in the Road with Me”

Tonight I was going to do my homework for this finance class I’m taking, which is to read chapters one through twelve in Streetsmart Financial Basics for Nonprofit Managers (Third Edition) by Thomas A. McLaughlin.

Then I remembered I had leftover buttermilk in the fridge.

That’s when I got out one of my newer favorite baking books, Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan, which I love for a lot of reasons, one of them being that the large number of recipes almost guarantees that if you are any kind of baker, you can always find something that … Read the rest

One Could Say I Spent the Entire Day Sitting in a Chair Reading

But that would be ignoring the fact that when the sun moved, I got up and moved to the other chair. Also, I did go for a run this morning. I didn’t start running thinking that I would be setting any land speed records (if I wanted to do that, I would have taken up a hobby that involves a vehicle), but all my runner friends’ excellent discipline often reminds me that I am not an athlete. Instead of paying attention to what I eat, say, or even tracking how far I run, I use running like an eraser. If … Read the rest

What I’ve Been Reading

Last week at work, I read the Children’s Internet Protection Act and New York’s open meeting laws. I’ll be starting off this week reading a tax booklet on how tax exempt status works in NYS.

Which all goes to say I deserve a gold star. Maybe even two.

At home, I’m reading A Clash of Kings by George R.R. Martin and hating Joffrey more than I’ve hated anyone real or fictional, ever. I’ve always felt that violent books do not encourage violence, but in my head, I have assassinated Joffrey several times now. I just feel like he has no … Read the rest

Some Quotes from Cheryl Strayed, Who I Am Going to See This Very Night

“Writing is hard for every last one of us–straight white men included. Coal mining is harder. Do you think miners stand around all day talking about how hard it is to mine for coal? They do not. They simply dig.”
-Tiny Beautiful Things

“The best thing you can possibly do with your life is to tackle the motherfucking shit out of love.”
-Tiny Beautiful Things

“And every last one of us can do better than give up.”
-Tiny Beautiful Things

“I was a terrible believer in things, but I was also a terrible nonbeliever in things. … Read the rest

The Types of Chocolate I Keep in the House at All Times, Because You Never Know

I’ve been off work since last Friday.

You’d think this might have resulted in a plethora of blog posts, but this is the most unstructured time I’ve had in over a year, and I have been glorying in it–staying up late, reading a lot, watching movies, shopping (Just WAIT until you see the new dress I bought!), and not getting dressed until after noon. Today, I moved on to baking cookies for absolutely no reason, which I’m surprised didn’t happen sooner. I’ve never been much of a cookie baker–vastly preferring to bake cakes, breads, and brownies–but I am lately obsessed … Read the rest

“Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost”

Not All Who Wander Are LostThis thing all things devours:
Birds, beasts, trees, flowers;
Gnaws iron, bites steel;
Grinds hard stones to meal;
Slays king, ruins town,
And beats high mountain down.
-Gollum’s riddle in The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

Last night, I celebrated the end of the world by getting together with friends for dinner. They came here, and they brought dinner because while I am more settled by the day and finally cooking again, I’m mostly baking and actual meals are as spotty as my posts have been here the last couple weeks. I was at least together enough to have wine on … Read the rest

Things I’ve Been Putting in My Brain

“It’s also about what you ask for and what you do and how after, later on, when you finally get it, if you don’t want it, it’s not like Amazon. You can’t return it. You actually have to deal with it.”
-Ben Folds at Kleinhans Music Hall in Buffalo, NY (October 5, 2012)

“I guess God was right. I can handle this. I can totally take so much more.”
-Tig Notaro, “Live”

I had to stop reading Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. It’s suspenseful, which is what kept me with it through the first half, but then I … Read the rest

Tiny Beautiful Things

This week, I read Cheryl Strayed’s Tiny Beautiful Things, which included this letter I’d never read from her column. The letter made me weep, and Strayed’s response made me weep, and I feel compelled to share it with all of you.

In the twisty way life works, Liz is the one who convinced me to read Tiny Beautiful Things even though I felt like I’d probably read most of the columns online already (which turned out not to be true), and the day I started Tiny Beautiful Things was also the day I finally got to read Liz’s new … Read the rest

The Historical Reader, Designed for the Use of Schools and Families. On a New Plan.

Recently, I subscribed to receive email updates from our library system’s Local History department, which is how I found out about them digitizing one of the most entertaining old books I’ve ever read, The Historical Reader, Designed for the Use of Schools and Families. On a New Plan. by Rev. J.L. Blake, A.M, published in 1827. I like to think that I know all of you well enough to say that you are as intrigued as I was with this title that includes two periods along with the phrase “On a New Plan.” I saw that and knew I … Read the rest

This and That and The Other Thing

“One thing you who had secure or happy childhoods should understand about those of us who did not: we who control our feelings, who avoid conflicts at all costs or seem to seek them, who are hypersensitive, self-critical, compulsive, workaholic, and above all survivors — we are not that way from perversity, and we can not just relax and let it go. We have learned to cope in ways you never had to.”
-Piers Anthony as quoted in This American Life, Episode 470: Show Me the Way

This week’s This American Life was so good I listened to it Read the rest